Best of the Twin Cities 2011

150 things to be proud of because they're ours

Pop Culture

The 10 people, trends, and happenings that still have us talking

Modern Murals: Broken Crow

Sure, we featured Broken Crow (pictured) in our November issue, but we simply couldn’t leave it off this annual roundup. Its murals keep popping up around town. “It’s hieroglyphs from the perspective of future generations, love letters from humanity before the power went out,” says John Grider, who is one-half of Broken Crow. Well put. brokencrow.com


Breakout Year: Bon Iver

A new album, countless TV appearances and magazine covers, two sold-out shows at the Orpheum, a personal stamp of approval from Kanye West–yet this hometown hero still keeps it real in Eau Claire. Bon Iver's “Holocene” video, shot in Iceland, premiered on the National Geographic website this fall. One word: brilliant. boniver.org

Curb Service: Food Trucks on a Roll

The City of Minneapolis finally got on board with this brilliant idea last year, and we knew it was only a matter of time before food trucks would take off. Want to see even more options next year? Get in line.

Local Waves: The Current

The rockin’ public radio station hasn’t wavered in its support of local music since hitting the airwaves in 2005. Time and time again, out-of-towners tell us about The Current, “Oh, you guys have that cool radio station. I stream that all the time.” Yeah, we do too! thecurrent.org

Collaboration: Alec Soth for Rodarte

We’re not sure why this collaboration didn’t get more play on a national level, but local photographer Alec Soth worked with prêt-à-porter design duo Rodarte for a cool coffee table book—a mix of fashion and art photos. It’s on our Christmas list, anyway.

Design: Allan Peters

You may not recognize Allan Peters' name, but you definitely know his work. The local graphic designer has the dream gig of creating cool branding for Target and Nike. Wonder if he designs Christmas cards too? cargocollective.com/peters

Fiber Optics: HOTTEA

Hate to say we told you so, but we knew local yarn installation artist Eric Rieger (aka HOTTEA) was on to something when we wrote about him back in July. Converse shoes agreed—and recently flew him to Berlin and London to be featured in a commercial.

Artistic Comeback: The Jayhawks

After toying with the idea for a while, The Jayhawks officially reunited in 2011. In September, the band released a new album, Mockingbird Time, which quickly became its most popular album ever. It rose as high as No. 11 on the Billboard rock album chart, peaked at No. 2 on the folk album chart, and squeaked into the top 40 of the Billboard 200 at a respectable No. 38.

Bull’s-Eye: Missoni For Target

Whether you scored one of the coveted zigzagged partnered pieces or not, the design collaboration between Target and Missoni had people around the country acting like it was the second coming. Let’s see if Tarjay irons out its website wrinkles in time for the Jason Wu collection, out in February.

10 Parties With A Purpose


Benefits: Children’s Cancer Research Fund

Hope Rocks

Benefits: Faith’s Lodge

Art Perchance

Benefits: Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Walker After Hours

Benefits: Walker Art Center

TC Polo Classic

Benefits: U of M’s Leatherdale Equine Center

Annual Midway Contemporary Art Fundraiser

Benefits: MCA


Benefits: Open Arms of Minnesota

Fantastical Fête

Benefits: Walker Art Center

Whisker Whirl

Benefits: Animal Humane Society


Benefits: U of M’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital

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