Minneapolis-based Kiss the Tiger will play songs from the band’s new EP, “Elliot Park,” at the Viking Bar on Friday, Nov. 10. Submitted photo

Minneapolis-based Kiss the Tiger will play songs from the band’s new EP, “Elliot Park,” at the Viking Bar on Friday, Nov. 10. Submitted photo

Best Picks: Nov. 2–15

Updated: October 31, 2017 - 11:46 am

What to do downtown after work

The last band worth living for

For the past year actress Meghan Kreidler has been working on her next role as the frontwoman in a rock band.

The singer, a regular face in the Twin Cities theater scene, describes the band Kiss the Tiger as “energetic,” “loud” and “infused with a lot of character.” This character, however, comes from its members, not a script.

“I spend so much time listening to myself, and what I learn mostly from playing in this band is how to abandon all of that internal self-talk and things that inhibit you from totally releasing,” Kreidler said.

Kiss the Tiger is made up of Paul DeLong (bass), Andrew Berg (guitar), Jay DeHut (drums) and Kreidler’s partner, Michael Anderson (guitar, vocals). The gritty, old-school rock group dropped its debut self-titled album last year and is preparing to release an EP this November.

With the new music, Kreidler has taken on a larger role in leading the band, singing lead vocals across its four or so tracks. Music puts her in a similar place to her acting, she said, but the confines aren’t as small.

“I find a lot more freedom in playing music and performing in a band setting than I do doing theater. It’s a little more immediate, a little more accessible,” she said.

With a vigorous, charismatic lo-fi sound, Kiss the Tiger tells tales of dark figures and people looking for love, from the debut album’s “Preacher” to “Girl Never Had a Chance.”

The band named the EP after Elliot Park because, apart from conveniently sharing the initials “EP,” it has a spirit they’re trying to reflect in their music.

“It’s tried to go through waves of gentrification and they haven’t really worked,” she said. “[Elliot Park is] something that is just so inherently what it is. A trendy coffee isn’t going totally change the landscape.”

Kiss the Tiger will debut the batch of new songs with a free show at the Viking Bar on Friday, Nov. 10. The lineup includes openers Little Man, Pelicant, Renee Copeland and Andy Ebling.

Naturally, Kreidler will be coming to the show after tech rehearsals for “The Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theater where she’ll be performing as “Mrs. Cratchit” this season.

For readers, Kreidler suggested checking out the harmonies of Twin Cities-based surf rock band Lavender Daughter, which she said reminds her of The Alabama Shakes. The group is working on its debut record.

“I think they’re really great songwriters and musicians,” she said.

N/A in the North Loop

IMG_1567Food and beverage magazines near and far have been clamoring to name non-alcoholic drinks a new trend, and restaurants are adopting N/A drinks that don’t sacrifice on taste or complexity. You won’t have to look much further than the newly opened NOLO’s Kitchen & Bar to find a few. NOLO’s, located in the Maytag Building — also known as the former Gardner Hardware building — is the latest eatery to adopt the main-level restaurant and basement-level bar approach. In fact, its sister concept below is simply called Basement Bar. On the first floor, however, there’s a corner of the expansive drink menu with a selection of $6 mocktails. The Melody Ginger combines melon, lemon and honey with ginger to create a spicy tonic. The Montana is the tropical choice with pineapple and coconut. Garden Party is light and summery thanks to cucumber and mint. In the best possible way, Summer’s End tastes like an apothecary’s brew with a complex sour flavor.

Instead of wining and dining, these drinks are a fun way of going out without feeling like you just went out. Plus, for $6 — and no hangover — each of these drinks is cheaper than any glass of wine or cocktail you can find on the menu.

Travailing BBQ

Able 1 by Eric Best webNortheasters can try the barbecue from Travail Kitchen & Amusements before the team opens their barbecue joint in the area next year. Chef Kale Thome and the Travel team of Mike Brown, Bob Gerken and James Winberg will be at Able Seedhouse + Brewery serving smoky barbecue alongside the brewery’s cold beer on several Wednesdays in November (Nov. 1, Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 from 5 p.m.–9 p.m.). If you get hooked, it might be worth driving to the restaurant out in Robbinsdale to order smoked meats a la carte in the bar or dining room. For patient palates, Minnesota BBQ Co. is targeting a 2018 opening for its Northeast Minneapolis restaurant.