Friday, May 28, 2010 Summer Guide

Have you seen's epic 80-page summer guide yet? It hit newstands yesterday. I contributed some of my top picks, including:

Twin Cities Pride weekend (6/25–27)
Iain St. James walks his dog, Jacques, before last year's Pride parade. Photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii

Every June, the Twin Cities plays host to one of the nation's biggest GLBT pride celebrations -- and this year it's bigger than ever, thanks to some marquee names coming to town. The Pride Festival in Loring Park (10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.) and the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade (11 a.m.-Sun.) are the biggest draws, with the Village People and CeCe Peniston headlining Pride in Concert (5:30 p.m. Sat., Loring Park, $10). And just in time for Pride, self-proclaimed "D-List Diva" and longtime gay rights supporter Kathy Griffin is in town for two shows at the Orpheum Theatre (7:30 & 10 p.m. Sat., $53-$63). Other big to-dos include Bryant-Lake Bowl's Uptown Pride Block Party on Friday, and Lavender magazine's "Bitch 'N Brunch" hosted by drag queen Bitch Flowers atop Seven's rooftop lounge, offering a perfect view of Sunday's parade. And expect huge parties at bars like the Saloon and Gay 90's throughout the week. More info on -Jahna Peloquin

'Mad Men' Season 4 premiere on AMC (7/25)

Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Courtesy AMC

It's hard to say now whether midcentury modern came back into vogue as a result of "Mad Men," or "Mad Men" became a hit because of it. Either way, it all seemed to come to a head last summer at's swanky Season 3 premiere party at Jax Cafe. Who knew that the Twin Cities loved to get so dressed up? Our affection for the midcentury style -- and substance -- of the AMC series set in the ad-agency world of 1960s Manhattan has hardly waned. Creating your own "Mad Men" avatar was the Facebook meme of 2009, and when Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper) hosted "Saturday Night Live" in January, it was one of the most-watched episodes of the season. Season Four of "Mad Men" promises new beginnings for Draper and Co., and of course, plenty of mid-'60s fashions. Premiere party at Jax Cafe, details TBA. -Jahna Peloquin

Macy's Glamorama (8/6)

Thanks to a shaky economy, fashion lovers' fingers have been crossed in hopes that Glamorama will go on. We can take a sigh of relief -- the long-running fashion show will return for at least another year. The high-octane event includes some of the best production values seen in a locally produced runway show, and will feature fall collections from the usual roster of high-profile designers: Jean Paul Gaultier, Just Cavalli, Marc Jacobs, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Sonia Rykiel, SportMax, and new addition Versace for men. Musical guests to be announced. An epic after-party will follow on the eighth floor of Macy's. -Jahna Peloquin

Lady Gaga (8/30–31)

Lady Gaga

It's hard to believe the last time Lady Gaga was in town, she was showing her poker face in the intimate confines of the Fine Line without much fanfare. But within the last year, Gaga's celebrity status has shot into the stratosphere, thanks to her commanding Web presence, music video premieres-as-events, over-the-top fashion sense and a steady stream of chart-topping singles. For her "Monster Ball" tour, it only took a matter of days for the pop cipher to sell out her first show at the Xcel (a second was quickly added). Gaga's predecessor, Madonna, hasn't pulled those kinds of numbers since her "Material Girl" days. -Jahna Peloquin

Boat parties (via "We're On a Boat" Guide)

What would summer in the Twin Cities be without boat parties? Last year saw a sharp rise in the size and scope of cruise parties rocking local waterways. The following parties will set sail again in 2010. (No word yet on whether Red Bull will return with another epic boat party, but it's possible there will be a throwdown during its Red Bull Flugtag event July 24 at Harriet Island.)

  • River Rampage: St. Paul record label SP Style's annual hip-hop fest on two boats. DJ D. Mil, Mr. Peter Parker, DJ Dow Jones, DJ Doez It, DJ Francisco on June 12; live DJs and comedy on Aug. 14. (10:15 p.m. June 12 & Aug. 14. Harriet Island, St. Paul. $25-$40.
  • Twin Cities Pride Boat Cruise: Part of Twin Cities Pride Week. Salsa lessons, DJs. (1:30 p.m. June 19. Harriet Island, St. Paul. $40.
  • Reggae on the River: Jamaica Minnesota Organization's annual reggae boat ride with the International Reggae All-Stars band. (9 p.m. July 19. Harriet Island, St. Paul. $30-$35. 651-639-7687.)
  • Rock the Boat III: Vega Productions' annual party on two boats, with live music from Dance Band, Mark Joseph Project featuring Heatbox, Pistol Whippin Party Penguins, Roster McCabe, White Iron Band and the Summit featuring Nicholas Mrozinski. (9:30 p.m. Aug. 20. Harriet Island, St. Paul. $30.)
  • Attitude City Yacht Club: Annual yacht party thrown by Attitude City DJs. (Date, time, location, cost TBA. -Jahna Peloquin
More in this week's

As usual, check out my weekly fashion column. This week's focuses on Jeanne Beatrice French market basket handbags (pictured at left) and Sex and the City 2 parties.

My spotlight on Vilification Tennis' "Michael Jackson: Gone but not Forgotten" satire.

And my spotlight on monthly dance night Menergy (print edition only):

Saturday: Menergy
10 p.m. Kitty Cat Klub $1-3 21-plus
A couple of months ago, everyone’s favorite kitschy homoerotic dance night made its triumphant return - this time at a new venue, the Kitty Cat Klub. Helmed by DJs Nightstalker and Sweet Talk Radio (formerly known as Real Talk Radio) and interactive video artist Time Squid, the night includes plenty of sexy, hard-hitting beats juxtaposed against animated video of ‘70s Playgirl centerfolds and cartoonish depictions of testosterone-fueled musclemen. This month’s edition includes guest DJ Bach 666, and the chance to get animated on the big screen by Time Squid live. -Jahna Peloquin

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