Picks: Art, pitched

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December 7, 2009 // UPDATED 10:44 am - December 7, 2009
By: Cristof Traudes
Cristof Traudes
The occasional Bud Light ad notwithstanding, commercials in the United States can be drab, repetitive, loud and, most of all, intrusive. The Super Bowl? It’s threatening to become more about football than what we’re told to buy.

Dullness in advertising is less a problem in Europe, where the limits of what’s allowed are not quite as stringent. Smartly, the Walker Art Center picked up on that two decades ago.

For 21 years, the museum has screened the annual winners of the British Television Advertising Awards. The spots are often outrageous and hilarious, even if they feature some of the same stars pitching products in the U.S. (This year’s batch has appearances by Rob Lowe and Snoop Dogg.)

Fans of dancing marionettes, monkeys and nudists should be sure to get tickets sooner rather than later, because the screenings sell out fast. Bonus: Tickets come
with a day’s worth of gallery admission.

2009 British Television Advertising Awards
Thru Jan. 2
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave.


Leaders of new music

One of the leaders in new-music ensembles is coming to the Southern Theater.

The International Contemporary Ensemble, a new-music staple since 2001, is known for being unique and excellent. The group, which has as many as 30 musicians attached to it, swells and shrinks according to the day’s music. Sometimes, there are strings, woodwinds, piano and percussion; for this performance, expect woodwind duos.

The ensemble has been called “adventurous” and “accomplished” by The New York Times and “a powerhouse” and “brilliant” by The New Yorker. This is their first appearance at the Southern.

Afterward, there will be a champagne toast and meet and greet with the ensemble’s musicians.

International Contemporary Ensemble
7:30 p.m. Dec. 14
Southern Theater
1420 Washington Ave. S.