Daddy photos by Darin Kamnetz

Daddy photos by Darin Kamnetz

Best Picks: July 12–25

What to do downtown after work

Daddy turns 1

One of the biggest newcomers in Twin Cities nightlife involves burlesque dancers and poets sharing the stage with bands, drag queens and a futuristic Sailor Moon-turned-EDM singer.

That would be Daddy, a LGBTQ-plus variety show that has been selling out Icehouse on a monthly basis. The event, which is celebrating its first-year anniversary this month, is carving out a space for itself as a home for diverse talent and audience members. The stage is typically home to people of color and/or queer people sharing their talents in, as the organizers say, a fun party atmosphere.

“Honestly, I just want Daddy to be queer, subversive, weird and full of love,” said co-founder Archie Bongiovanni in an email. “I just wanna get sweaty and messy with everyone.”

Locals Bongiovanni and Brent Pennington started Daddy last year at Eat Street’s Icehouse without some grand vision, but, rather, an understanding of the city’s need for a venue that could showcase a wider range of queer performers. A typical event will feature femme-cee and burlesque performer Marcel Michelle Obama and several DJs, dancers, bands, musicians or even a fashion show.

2018-06-10 Daddy cake promos-Darin Kamnetz-164Some of the performances are out of this world. Symone of Symone Smash It describes her act as a “multi-reality experience that takes in fans or listeners as ‘Smash Bots’ and helps them realize that anything they can imagine is possible and accessible.”

As a performer, Symone said it’s one thing to have a LGBT-focused space, but another to have one that draws the crowds and support from venues that Daddy does.

“It definitely creates a space that the Minneapolis scene needed, especially for queer people, LGBTQ people (and people of color),” she said. “To have a popular platform for that, that’s something that Daddy is definitely becoming.”

The dance music singer will perform at Daddy’s anniversary event at First Avenue. Bongiovanni said every show is different, so even Daddy’s anniversary show will feature performers new to the event, such as dance group New Black City. There will also be local poet, singer and rapper Dua, DJ QueenDuin and queer femme-focused fashion from GNAT, among others.

“Brent and I talk about how weird and fun the performances could be in the future, like we’d love more dance groups or a puppet show or a magic show or something we haven’t even imagined yet,” they said.

Photo by Darin Kamnetz
Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Pennington, who comes from the world of indie rock, said there wasn’t a way to be “loudly queer” in that scene. He said at the core of Daddy, which shouldn’t be misconceived as a night for leather-clad silver panthers — at least not necessarily — are a lot of different people and performers supporting each other.

“I do think there’s just been this underlying sort of mixing of tenderness and vulnerability with a really fun party,” he said.

Key features of the supportive and inclusive atmosphere are gender-neutral bathrooms and consent between those at Daddy. Both Icehouse and First Avenue, where Daddy hosted an event in February, have provided such facilities. Pennington said they have volunteers at the events to support people and make sure they’re getting home OK.

The support feeds back into the performances, which can often be sexual or deeply personal. Think burlesque performers and poets with autobiographical material.

“I think any form of celebrating our (bodies) or sexuality is valid — and it’s (especially) valid and important for a community that is often shamed or discriminated against because of our sexuality or our genders or our bodies,” Bongiovanni said.

Personal expression is also a key component for the audience. Partiers will often get into the Daddy spirit with a little makeup, a little glitter or whatever it takes for them to feel like their comfortable, unrestricted selves. Pennington said several people bring killer looks.

“People really bring a look to Daddy. It’s a fun place where a lot of people get excited about their outfit and there’s an element of fashion to it, but that doesn’t feel mandatory either,” he said.

Daddy’s anniversary will take over First Avenue’s mainroom on Saturday, July 14 at 9 p.m. The 18-plus event will feature Doña Pepe, Gigi Bernadette and Madre T. Rosa. Lineup and ticket information are available at facebook.com/daddympls.com

Photo by Darin Kamnetz
Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Time-honored treasures

Want to spend a weekend vintage shopping? Well you only need to stop at one place with the Minneapolis Vintage Market at Northeast’s Sociable Cider Werks. The sale at noon–5 p.m. Sunday, July 15 will feature women’s eco-fashion from Lighthorse Studios, old-school duds from Moth Oddities and ’50s–’80s finds from Rank & File Vintage. The event will also feature other Twin Cities-based pop-up shops like Smock Walker Vintage, the Vintage Modern Shop, Three Martini Lunch and Waver Wonder Vintage.

Maybe you have your own piece you’d like to beautify? Dinosaur Hampton will be on hand to do custom embroidery, which my more fashion-inclined colleagues tell me is on-trend.

Of course, if you find yourself thirsty, Sociable Cider Werks’ dog-friendly taproom will have freshly brewed ciders on tap. Its resident food truck, Red River Kitchen, will supply eats for the event.

File photo
File photo

Welcome to the neighborhood

If you still need to check a bunch of places in the North Loop off your must-try list, check out North Loop Fest. The annual tradition features food and beverages from many of restaurants, bars and breweries in downtown’s hippest neighborhood. The half beer and beverage sampler, half music festival presented by the Downtown Resource Group will take over the parking lot at Cuzzy’s Grill at Washington & 5th. If a move is in your future, North Loop Fest can be a great way of checking out what the neighborhood has to offer in one night. It might just save you a few bucks that way too.

Tickets are $25–$30 for the 21-plus event and are available online.

File photo
File photo

Time-honored treasures

Want to spend a weekend vintage shopping? Well you only need to stop at one place with the Minneapolis Vintage Market at Northeast’s Sociable Cider Werks. The sale at noon–5 p.m. Sunday, July 15 will feature women’s eco-fashion from Lighthorse Studios, old-school duds from Moth Oddities and ’50s–’80s finds from Rank & File Vintage. The event will also feature other Twin Cities-based pop-up shops like Smock Walker Vintage, the Vintage Modern Shop, Three Martini Lunch and Waver Wonder Vintage.

Maybe you have your own piece you’d like to beautify? Dinosaur Hampton will be on hand to do custom embroidery, which my more fashion-inclined colleagues tell me is on-trend.

Of course, if you find yourself thirsty, Sociable Cider Werks’ dog-friendly taproom will have freshly brewed ciders on tap. Its resident food truck, Red River Kitchen, will supply eats for the event.