Over the Weekend, 12/28-12/31

The calendar is kind to the party-minded this year, on the cusp of 2008. A long weekend of music began Friday night, carried through yesterday evening ... and now it's New Year's Eve. As you rest up for tonight and prepare to swear off drinking forever (again, and not until morning), check out a few dispatches from events of the past three days.

Conor Oberst and his Not-Bright-Eyes Band

Contrary to the rumors, Portland's M. Ward was not part of the new band Conor Oberst brought to 400 Bar for two shows Saturday and Sunday. But the prolific practitioner of indie rock still packed the house for two concerts, though they were shrouded in mystery -- he wouldn't answer questions about what type of backing band he'd have, and would only say that it wouldn't be a Bright Eyes show. And it wasn't, as his group played 10 new songs before "covering" three from the Bright Eyes canon. See the slideshow with photos by Daniel Corrigan.

Over the Weekend, 12/28-12/31

Mothership Connection: DJ ESP at the Foundation

Seminal electronica figure DJ ESP (Woody McBride) stopped in Minneapolis during his "I was abducted by aliens" tour on Friday night. Prominent in the early 1990s Twin Cities music scene, ESP dropped beats for a particular purpose. "My job is to remove the 'False Self' from the party-goers ... and then apply a thick layer of psychic salve directly to the hair, ears, eyes and skin," he says.

Daniel Corrigan was there from set-up and sound check through the entire show. See DJ-perspective photos of the show by Corrigan here.

Over the Weekend, 12/28-12/31

On the topic of that venue: Tonight is the last night the club will be open for some time, so if you're a Foundation-goer, check it out.

She Blinded Me With Science: A Day in Pompeii

It's now the final week of the Science Museum of Minnesota's "A Day in Pompeii" exhibit, and your intrepid correspondent dutifully attended.

The verdict: well worth the $20 admission fee. Artifacts -- including food, like an ancient bread loaf, to accompany furniture, coins and other accoutrements -- are worth the price of admission alone. The exhibit's true power lies in the fascinatingly morbid plaster casts of people in their death throes. The things are full-on creepy (especially the one of a manacled slave), but it was the replica of a faithful dog left behind to guard a villa that really got to me.

The exhibit runs through Jan. 6. Reservations in advance are strongly encouraged.

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