Arts & Entertainment

  • Best TV Newscaster

    Mark Albert, KSTP

    In today's screwed-up world, we need good investigative journalism more than ever. It's a shame, then, that these deep-dive stories seem to be the exception rather than the rule. That's why we appreciate Mark Albert from KSTP. He may look like a nice enough guy, but don't be fooled. He is one cold-hearted dude. Albert recently won a Peabody Award… More >>
  • Best TV Weatherperson

    Sven Sundgaard, KARE 11

    Okay. We admit it. Every time KARE 11's weather stud Sven Sundgaard appears on camera with his spiky blond locks standing at attention in Norse-god glory, we want to reach through the TV screen in a moment of virtual ecstasy and just muss the heck out them. It's distracting, really, and it leaves us consumed with guilt. Shouldn't we be… More >>
  • Best TV Sports Anchor

    Mark Rosen, WCCO

    In a carousel category that has revolved between four men over a decade or so, it's been far too long since WCCO's Mark Rosen has been recognized as the lead rider among TV's sporting thoroughbreds. To be sure, TV newscasts afford little time for sporting pith, which is why the long-running Rosen's Sports Sunday should be appreciated. The program allows… More >>
  • Best TV Station

    TPT MN

    It seems that almost every discussion of public TV eventually devolves into talk of highbrow snobbery, pledge drives, and the always-popular subject of Caucasian corniness. But let's throw all that aside to take note of how much TPT has done for our state with the Minnesota-centric offshoot of the PBS affiliate. While the mothership station offers the internationally focused news,… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    Steve Seel, 89.3 the Current

    Getting up in the morning is a little easier since the advent of the Current's regular morning team, especially with the addition of Steve Seel (co-host Jill Riley is no slouch either). Seel brings decades of experience in radio and has a deep passion for all types of music—he cut his teeth as a classical music host in the 1990s—and… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    TD Mischke, WCCO-AM 830

    TD Mischke has been a fixture on the AM dial for nearly 20 years, most memorably as a quirky host and call-in zookeeper at a late-night gig with AM 1500. Since his abrupt firing in 2008 and resurrection on WCCO (after a stint as podcaster and columnist for City Pages), Mischke has made his show less of a tightrope act,… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    89.3 the Current

    That the Current provides mostly engaging music cutting across a lot of genres—though firmly settled in modern alternative rock—without commercials or many interruptions (except for pledge drives, the necessary evil of public broadcasting) puts it near the top of the map in a local radio community dominated by rock 'n' roll dinosaurs, achingly bland purveyors of pop, and endless rows… More >>
  • Best Sports Talk Radio Host

    Phil Mackey, ESPN-AM 1500

    Since KSTP-AM 1500 made the splash of going to its ESPN all-sports format last spring, the biggest voice at the station has been Mackey's. A former side-charge at rival KFAN, the twentysomething Mackey has played a major role in jockeying 1500 neck-and-neck with "the Fan." When the station first announced that the stat-heavy Mackey would team with 40-plus-year media vet… More >>
  • Best Columnist

    Jon Tevlin, Star Tribune

    It's easy enough to be a mediocre columnist. Regurgitate the same old opinions on the same stale topics and you're bound to attract believers and critics who can fight it out in the comments section. We see this play out far too often. That's why Jon Tevlin's work is so refreshing. Tevlin, the metro columnist for the Star Tribune, is… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Science Museum of Minnesota

    The Science Museum of Minnesota is known for bringing in big exhibits—the current King Tut showcase, for example, and last year's Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit—but the whole facility is a dream palace for those who want to know why things happen the way they do. The regular galleries invite visitors to explore the Mississippi River, dinosaurs and other fossils, and… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop Artist


    Doomtree's recent run of envelope-pushing hip hop has been so consistently impressive that by now it should be nearly impossible for any of its members to truly surprise us. And yet Andrew Sims has. After waiting patiently in the wings for six long years since his last solo album, the youngest member of the crew came out swinging with last… More >>
  • Best Museum Exhibition

    From Here to There: Alec Soth's America

    It's easy for a Minnesotan to take photographer Alec Soth for granted. This year his work has appeared everywhere, including on City Pages' Artist of the Year cover, in the publication of From Here to There: Alec Soth's America, and on a Flickr project in which locals were invited to contribute pics as well. But we're very fortunate to have… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Cult Status Gallery - CLOSED

    Last spring Cult Status faced controversy when building tenants complained anonymously about a mural the gallery commissioned from graffiti artist Deuce Seven. While the artwork was eventually painted over, that hasn't slowed down or deterred gallery owner Erin Sayer from putting together a prolific and diverse series of gallery shows, art happenings, and parties. In 2010, the space hosted a… More >>
  • Best Place to Be an Artist

    The Atelier

    If you long to be an artist but don't have the technical know-how, take heart: Drawing and painting are skills that can be learned. The Atelier has a long tradition of teaching artists. Co-directors Dale Redpath and Cyd Wicker, both successful painters, studied here for five years before taking over in 1992. The school's philosophy is to take would-be artists… More >>
  • Best Cartoonist

    Kevin Cannon

    Kevin Cannon draws great buildings and animals and landscapes and maps. And people—gangly, quick-moving, dynamic, simple-featured yet empathetic and expressive people. There's an unpredictable sort of spirit to Cannon's work, like the cheery aesthetics of a late '50s/early '60s commercial illustrator given free reign to tinker with whatever comes to mind. That's something the wider comics world discovered in 2009… More >>
  • Best Art Festival


    From its humble beginnings as a neighborhood art crawl, the annual event known as Art-a-Whirl has expanded at such an exponential rate that it's now billed as the largest open-studio and gallery tour in the United States. Organized by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, Art-a-Whirl draws from the enormous pool of artists who have set up shop in the neighborhood.… More >>
  • Best Punk Rock Literary Series

    Riot Act Reading Series

    There is something about literary readings that can feel a bit awkward and not that much fun. But Riot Act Reading Series takes the stick out of poetry's butt by infusing punk rock energy into the lit—two fine arts that work great together, with the presence of alcohol smoothing the way. Since 2006, Paul D. Dickinson, formerly of the legendary… More >>
  • Best Lesbian Night

    Twilight at Kitty Cat Klub

    Twilight, the Twin Cities' Monthly Queer Women's Dance Party, recently celebrated its ninth anniversary, standing firm as the most reliable and fun party in a town where venues catering to queer women are few and far between. In those years, Twilight has been held at various venues—the Varsity, Bobino, the Loring Pasta Bar, Club Ashé, and Trocadero's—and has recently found… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    The Trylon

    The Trylon microcinema may be small, but no theater in the Twin Cities can match its passion and energy for the movies. The intimate little 50-seat theater, tucked into a corner of the Longfellow neighborhood, makes every show seem like a private screening for a small community of film fans. Its emphasis on classic movies offers plenty of crowd pleasers… More >>
  • Best Non-Movie Theater Place to See a Movie

    Minnesota Orchestra

    Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho may have one of the best scores in movie history. Think about it: Without those screeching violins, the famous shower scene would be just another movie murder. For those who appreciate the power of a good score, the Minnesota Orchestra has your ticket. While you watch one of your favorite classics, the orchestra sits onstage and plays… More >>
  • Best Theater

    Theater Latte Da

    It was a terrific year for this musical theater that can. Each production featured creative, thrilling, and most of all artful events full of top-notch acting, singing, and (when appropriate) movement. The company tackled pieces both big and small, from the quiet, folksy chamber music of Violet to all the pomp and circumstance the stage could contain in Evita. Topping… More >>
  • Best Comedy (Theater)

    The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Mixed Blood Theatre)

    Pro wrestling seems like a perfect target for a comedy. After all, the adventures of overmuscled, heavily greased men in tight, colorful costumes—produced for straight men, by the way—is funny enough on its own without any outside spoofing. Still, the best comedy comes from deep knowledge and, very often, a love of the material being spoofed. Playwright Kristoffer Diaz obviously… More >>
  • Best Musical (Theater)

    Violet (Theater Latte Da)

    In the Deep South at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, a horribly disfigured woman takes a bus to visit a faith healer in Oklahoma. Violet's hope is that the man can fix her face and finally allow her to live a full life. Jeanine Tesori (who also wrote the music for the masterful Caroline, or Change) and Brian… More >>
  • Best Drama (Theater)

    Life's a Dream (Ten Thousand Things)

    Anyone who values the art of acting should find Ten Thousand Things' approach thrilling. The stripped-down, in-the-round productions focus nearly all of our attention on the performers, who carry the day, often in front of audiences completely new to the theater (be it at a community center or a prison). Life's a Dream features a thick stew of ideas, from… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Stephen Yoakam

    A strong presence for decades in the Twin Cities, Stephen Yoakam gave a spellbinding performance in the Jungle Theater's production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf last season. Through the decades prior to the action, the characters in Edward Albee's play had built a prison for themselves based on lies and bitterness. Often, George comes off as the lesser participant… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Maggie Chestovich

    Maggie Chestovich gave two standout performances in 2010 in two utterly different venues. In the summer, she matched wits with the likes of Joe Scrimshaw, Randy Reyes, David Mann, and John Middleton in Scrimshaw's Fringe hit The Damn Audition. There, she played a personal assistant far more in control of the increasingly mad situation (the audition in question is for… More >>
  • Best Director

    Peter Rothstein

    A great director can open up new vistas in familiar work. But a supreme director makes you reassess a play you've already dismissed. Peter Rothstein can take pieces that are often seen as big-budget dross and spin them into something deeper and richer. In 2010, he helmed a trio of shows for Theater Latte Da. First, there was the moving,… More >>
  • Best Original Comedy Company

    Joking Envelope

    Joseph Scrimshaw has long been a ubiquitous presence on the local comedy scene, renowned for his work with sibling Joshua in the Scrimshaw Brothers Comedy Team, bestselling shows at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and collaborations with Rockstar Storytellers. In 2009, however, Joseph Scrimshaw (along with wife/business manager Sara Stevenson) launched his own production company, allowing for the unfiltered expression of… More >>
  • Best Dance Company

    Zenon Dance Company

    Founded nearly 30 years ago by Linda Andrews, Zenon Dance Company has rightfully earned its place as a Twin Cities institution, with a national reputation for matching its own versatile dancers to a wide range of contemporary dance and jazz choreographers. The troupe's recent fall concert at the Southern Theater showed that Andrews continues to seek out some of the… More >>
  • Best Dance Performance of the Past 12 Months

    Feet Don't Fail Me Now!, Rhythmic Circus

    In a town filled with gifted feet, probably none are funkier (in a good way) than those belonging to the members of Rhythmic Circus. Their performance of Feet Don't Fail Me Now! at the Women's Club last summer practically exploded with tap dancing pyrotechnics courtesy of Nick Bowman, Ricci Milan, Kaleena Miller, and Galen Higgins. Backed by a live band,… More >>
  • Best Choreographer

    Uri Sands

    Uri Sands co-founded TU Dance with creative partner, wife, and muse Toni Pierce-Sands in 2004, and since then the troupe has garnered Sage Awards as well as critical accolades for work that effortlessly combines elements of modern dance, African-based movement, hip hop, and ballet into a satisfying creative blend. The Amusement of the Gods, which premiered last fall at the… More >>
  • Best Dancer

    Nic Lincoln

    Nic Lincoln may be the first dancer to earn praise in this category for the uncanny ability to channel a horse. The six-year veteran of James Sewell Ballet often impresses in works with the company as well as in his own choreographic endeavors, but he revealed an entirely new side of his talent in Dressage, created by Judith Howard for… More >>
  • Best Local YouTube Video

    Metrodome roof collapse

    In early December a storm hit the metro, dropping over 17 inches of snow. Usually that's not a problem for the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome's air-supported roof, which weighs about 580,000 pounds and reaches 16 stories at its highest point. The roof is made of two layers: the outer of Teflon-coated fiberglass, and the inner a proprietary acoustical fabric. The… More >>
  • Best Place to Entertain Your Kids


    If you were just a good parent, you'd spend family day exposing your children to the educational exhibits of the Science Museum, building their appreciation for the arts by taking in a Children's Theatre production, or instilling the values of volunteerism by picking up trash together by the river. But you're not only a good parent, you're also a fun… More >>
  • Best Tattoo Artist

    Megan Hoogland

    So you're about to get tattooed. Maybe you want to cover up that faded tribal armband from the mid-'90s, or you've convinced your mom the two of you should get matching ladybug tattoos on your toes. Who do you imagine will be gripping the tattoo gun? Maybe a Paul Booth type sporting Satanic tattoos. Or an old biker dude with… More >>
  • Best Concert of the Past 12 Months (Local)

    Mark Mallman's Marathon 3 at the Turf Club

    How long is 78 hours, really? It's the length of a four-day, three-night vacation. It's the ultimate all-nighter, longer than anyone should ever stay awake in one stretch. And it's enough time to rally more than 100 musicians behind one lofty, maniacal goal; enough time to form dozens upon dozens of one-off bands, all in the name of the marathon.… More >>
  • Best Concert of the Past 12 Months (Touring)

    Ms. Lauryn Hill at First Avenue

    It was the most expensive concert ticket for a Mainroom show in recent memory, but Hill made it worth every penny. It took only about 30 seconds for Ms. Lauryn Hill (as she requested to be billed on the club's signage) to put to rest all the ridiculous rumors that had swelled up around her rare string of concert dates… More >>
  • Best Live Band

    The Goondas

    A glazed roll of the eyes, a hiccup, and a slight stagger. Brenden Green spins his head, then collapses to the ground and writhes on the stage, his clothes ripped and tattered, his feet bare, as he wraps himself up in his mic cord and nearly strangles himself with it. All around is ear-splitting noise, an unholy, raucous mixture of… More >>
  • Best Rock Band

    Hastings 3000

    In an era of ultra-emotive, ultra-earnest indie rock, and in a town with a history pocked by nostalgia and legacy, what does it really mean to "rock" these days? Is it irreverence? Balls? An astute ability to break shit? Lodged somewhere between the grittiness of the punk bands of yore and the showiness of some of our flashiest pop acts… More >>
  • Best New Band

    Phantom Tails

    In one of the most fertile 12-month periods of local music in recent memory, more than a few forerunners emerged for the all-too-vague category of Best New Band. But few bands have managed to pinpoint the sound of 2011 better than Phantom Tails, whose multi-genre approach stitches together far-reaching elements like 8-bit electro squeals, snarling Britpop wails, and gloomy prog-rock… More >>
  • Best Blues Artist

    Charlie Parr

    Charlie Parr is the real deal. A Duluthian through and through, he's about as unpretentious as they come. Climbing up on stage dressed in a flannel shirt, carpenter's pants, and work boots, he wields his steel-stringed guitar like it's an extension of his body, effortlessly gliding over the frets with a slide and letting it reverberate before trading it for… More >>
  • Best R&B Artist

    Mint Condition

    Thanks in part to an opening slot on Prince's sporadic Welcome 2 America tour on the East Coast this past winter, St. Paul's Mint Condition are being pushed back into the national spotlight—and they sound as fresh and funky as ever. In a pop landscape dominated by electronic drum beats and Auto-Tune, Mint Condition are the real deal, an old-school… More >>
  • Best Vocalist (Male)

    Isaac Gale

    There's plenty to be said about Marijuana Deathsquads' future-forward approach to electronic hardcore—the controlled chaos, the indescribable squalor, the sometimes random and high-profile laundry list of collaborators—but what's often overlooked, somehow, is one of the group's main ingredients: singer Isaac Gale's distorted, piercing howl. Like a poltergeist creeping out of a snowy, crackling television screen, Gale's tortured, throaty hollering is… More >>
  • Best Vocalist (Female)

    Channy Moon Casselle

    In the five years since she formed Roma di Luna with her husband, Alexei (a formidable singer, writer, and rapper in his own right), Channy Moon Casselle has grown from a shell-shocked chanteuse sighing sweetly over an acoustic guitar into a serious soul singer fronting a stomping, swinging live band. Casselle can belt it with the best of 'em, but… More >>
  • Best Classical Musician


    The members of this innovative vocal ensemble don't just make gorgeous music together, they stretch and play with their repertoire to the point that the old and new have merged into a seemingly new canon. The group's most visible performances each year are the All Is Calm concerts and broadcasts, in which they team up with Theater Latte Da to… More >>
  • Best Songwriter

    Jeremy Messersmith

    If you'd somehow overlooked Jeremy Messersmith's growing output of brilliantly written pop songs before, The Reluctant Graveyard made it impossible not to take notice. The bespectacled singer with the sugar-sweet tenor delivered his most irresistible songs yet with his third record, diving head-first into the pleasures of jangling '60s pop, from tightly wound but danceable melodies to sunny, singsong choruses… More >>
  • Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months

    Relayted by Gayngs

    It started, as we all know by now, as a joke—a joke set at 69 BPM, to be precise, and conceived, no doubt, in a haze of weed smoke. But it didn't take long to realize that there was much more to this project, the offspring of the mad, prolific, and altogether brilliant mind of Ryan Olson, than merely a… More >>
  • Best Band to Break Up in the Past 12 Months


    Hindsight, all too often, is a needlessly cruel lens through which to view the world. Events become predictable, every moment a foreshadowing of our heartbreaks and disappointments, only increasing the depths of our regret for their sheer inevitability. When Lookbook broke up suddenly late last summer, it was a bitter blow for anyone who'd been touched by their lush synth… More >>
  • Best Local Music Broadcast

    Radio K's Off the Record

    Tune into Radio K on a Friday afternoon and one thing's for certain: The hosts of the station's all-local program, Off the Record, have the bug. Co-host Andrew LaValle is no casual music fan; he's the kind of music obsessive who can be seen roaming the clubs nearly every night of the week, harassing up-and-coming bands to send him unreleased… More >>
  • Best Karaoke

    Vegas Lounge

    The best karaoke nights are usually held in bars that lack pretention. The Vegas Lounge is no exception. This neighborhood dive attracts an eclectic crowd, and on any given night you may find yourself high-fiving a hardcore drunk, a friendly trucker, or a U of M music major on your way to the mic. The song selection is heavy on… More >>
  • Best Concert Venue

    First Avenue

    First Ave's 40th birthday was quite the landmark, so it's appropriate that the House That Prince Built celebrated the occasion in style, with a number of renovations and additions taking place at the legendary venue. The most prominent of those was the appearance of the Depot, a full-fledged restaurant that sprouted on the far side of the 7th St. Entry… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    Triple Rock Social Club

    Last year the Triple Rock took this category on the basis of its accessible versatility—a place where you could catch a pre-show drink and meal next door to kill some time before crossing over to the perfectly sized music room to get a dose of some high-wattage jams. That still holds this year, but there's another important factor to keep… More >>
  • Best Blues Club

    Wilebski's Blues Saloon

    Though Wilebski's has existed in some form since 1979, it seems the club has really hit a stride of late since moving from a troubled locale in Frogtown into new digs on Rice Street. The owners are aiming for a reinvention of the club, which established itself as one of the only hot spots in town for world-renowned blues musicians… More >>
  • Best All-Ages Venue

    Triple Rock

    There aren't as many dedicated all-ages venues in the Twin Cities as there ought to be, which is a shame for a place with such a vibrant music scene for grown-ups. The good news is that many of the clubs recognize that the children are our future and open up their doors for all-ages shows on a regular basis. The… More >>
  • Best Club DJ

    Jake Rudh

    The Twin Cities is home to dozens of talented party rockers in a fantastic array of genres, from techno to hip hop to the dance party circuit. But in the last 10 years one hardworking DJ who has created a niche for himself in post-modern pop, new wave, and classic electro has risen above the rest. Jake Rudh and his… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    First Avenue

    For a long time First Avenue was the club to default to if nothing else was going on, but it has increasingly over the last decade become the spot to indulge in a wild night of drinking and dancing, especially on Saturdays. Plus, you can usually get a drink from one of the seven full-service bars without much hassle, unlike… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Ogre Smash Death Boom

     … More >>
  • Best Jazz Club

    Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

    The Twin Cities are immensely fortunate to have two superb jazz clubs: St. Paul's Artists' Quarter and the Dakota in downtown Minneapolis. Both offer a steady stream of local talent, in intimate settings that encourage easy mingling of patrons and artists. So what puts the Dakota over the top? First, the club is regarded as one of the premier jazz… More >>
  • Best Jazz Artist

    Atlantis Quartet

    No jazz band in the Twin Cities is on the prowl both creatively and in gaining national recognition quite like the Atlantis Quartet. Guitarist Zacc Harris, bassist Chris Bates, saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, and drummer Pete Hennig all keep busy on myriad other projects. But as the Atlantis Quartet they create something greater than the sum of their considerable individual skills.… More >>
  • Best Folk Artist

    Roma di Luna

    Is Roma di Luna a folk group? Before the release of last year's Then the Morning Came, the answer was more clear-cut: The band's sparse arrangements were etched with folkie fragments stretching through Appalachia. When Morning broke, Luna tunes had more electric guitars sneaking around, along with the odd saxophone and trumpet, while the group flirted with Memphis R&B, blues,… More >>
  • Best Strip Club

    The Seville

    It's not for lack of options that year after year the Seville is the go-to spot for strip club enthusiasts. Its atmosphere is comfortable and classy, making it perfect for bachelor parties, out-of-town businessmen, and the slightly boozed-up, post-Twins-game crowd. The drink prices are about what you'd expect from most upscale strip clubs (around $8 for a beer), but not… More >>

Best of Award Graphics