Symone Smash It. Submitted photo

Best Picks: Feb. 8–21

Updated: February 5, 2018 - 4:59 pm

What to do downtown after work

Enter the ‘Symulation’

Combine Sailor Moon, a Lady Gaga Super Bowl outfit and a robot, and you’d have something that looks like Symone Smash It.

The Twin Cities-based singer channels a cosmic character when performing her own unique spin on electronic dance music that blends dancey, upbeat production with interdimensional lyrics.

The music, co-produced with local producer Eyedyed, is the result of the years Marie spent as a kid watching Saturday morning TV. When your parents are both actors, you’ll tend to be a bit theatrical, and Marie doesn’t miss the mark.

“I don’t remember a time I wasn’t singing. I (was) always singing theme songs of my favorite cartoons,” she said.

SYMONE SMASH IT 1 submitted photo webAs Symone Smash It, Marie performs in shimmering makeup, carefully placed jewels and layers of metallic and iridescent clothing that bring her into character. Marie describes Symone Smash It as “confident” and someone who “knows all the right moves.”

“She can do anything. She’s in all realities at once, all possibilities are available her. It’s an open game. It’s “(The) Sims” and she’s the player,” she said.

Symone Smash It has released a five-song EP, last year’s “Symulation,” with more music — either another EP or a debut album — set to drop later this year. Marie calls her music progressive house or electronic pop, but whatever you call it, it’s decidedly surreal and high energy. Marie and her fellow dancers Aveo and Trey Chic work the crowd with glamorous moves, their silvery outfits glistening in the vibrant concert lights.

“I do want people to get involved and have a good time,” she said.

The vibe matches the music perfectly. “Automaton” is enough to get a robot to dance (“And you’ll feel alive / for the very first time”). “Dark Matter” poses a series of ontological questions, but as the bass booms, it throws them to the wind (“Is the sky blue? Are the waves too? It doesn’t matter”). The slower, more atmospheric “Wander” features a lush production, an operatic bridge and a story of Symone adventuring through time, seasons and moments that make existence — be it robotic, alien or something more — worth it (“I wish I could hold tighter to the ones / the ones that seem too fast”).

Marie said she’s looking to develop the lore around her character, so who knows? Maybe the out-of-this-world personality will make the jump to another medium — or another dimension.

“I want to expand Symone Smash It into a comic book character, a video game. I want a TV series for Symone Smash It,” she said.

Symone Smash It will play Daddy, a queer variety show, at First Avenue’s mainroom on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. The 18-plus show will feature a number of acts, including local R&B singer Nick Jordan and DJ Keezy.

Cowboys and cocktails

Walk into Dalton & Wade Whiskey Common and you’ll be immersed in a refined aesthetic of cowboys, contemporary Americana and whiskey. Even the name comes from two “Road House” characters, in case you needed a glimpse into the owners’ vision board.

What I didn’t notice right away was the music, but with a vintage jukebox near the bar, it makes sense. But it goes further. Co-owner Sean Geraty is a veteran of Nashville’s music scene and is bringing in 89.3 The Current DJ Bill DeVille, host of the “United States of Americana” radio show, to try his own hand at spinning bluegrass, alt-country and roots tunes.

Photo by The Restaurant Project
Photo by The Restaurant Project

devilleDeVille will delve into his own person LP collection for United States of Americana happy hours held 5 p.m.–7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month, though times and dates may change (check the restaurant’s website for details). Geraty called DeVille a “perfect match” for the restaurant. “One of the cornerstones of our brand was always to have great music that fit with the theme of our cooking and the whiskey,” he said in a statement.

In addition to regular happy hour deals, guests can win gift cards and concert tickets. A lucky winner at the inaugural Feb. 8 happy hour will walk away with tickets to Robert Plant and the Sensational Shape Shifters’ sold-out Thursday, Feb. 22 show at the Orpheum Theatre.