Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dropkick Murphys

by Mark Westergaard
February 24th, 2013 at the Myth Nightclub, St. Paul, MN

The Dropkick Murphy’s are a raucous band from Boston that are steeped in their Irish-American heritage.

 They have released nine studio albums and three live concert albums.  They have been together in various iterations for 18 years.   This tour is to promote their current release “Signed & Sealed In Blood”.   The best way to categorize their music is Celtic Punk or Punk Revival.  The seven man ensemble features a bagpipe, an Irish flute, an accordion, and the standard rock assembly of a lead guitarist, bass, drummer, rhythm guitarist, and two lead singers.

They came out with great drama starting with the blistering anthem “The Boys Are Back”.  From the onset the concert was high octane, at warp speed, and they kept hitting the gas pedal harder and harder.  They went from one scorching punk tune to the next with hardly a breath taken between tunes for an hour and 30 minutes.  These are fist pumping arena anthems inspired by their Irish heritage, their love of honor, drinking, tattoos, getting into trouble, getting out of trouble, screwed up families, family honor, love, mayhem, and courage.   It is masculine and muscular.  In short, this concert was an onslaught of testosterone.  

The only criticism I have of this show is that there was no chance to take a breath.  It was one power anthem after another with very little variety.  Subtly and nuance is not in their repertoire.    That said, I saw the Ramones once and they too had only one speed – hyper-fast.  The Dropkick Murphy’s are exactly as billed, a hard working intense Celtic Punk band with no speed but warp.   

The highlight for me was the only time they slightly backed off the feverish tempo and brilliantly performed my favorite tune – Rose Tattoo.  I am reminded of the Bob Segar lyric, “With the echo of the amplifiers ringing in your head…”  In the end, I liked the show more than I didn’t.   I might not be as into the Dropkick Murphy’s as the mostly young male packed house was, but still, an interesting show that I’m glad I saw.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Arts and Cultural Events in Northern Minnesota 1/16/


Arts and Cultural Events in Northern Minnesota this week:

Thursday Jan. 17th
The  Virginia Public Library holds the Brown Bag Lunch Series at noon with piano and song with Shannon Gunderson
That evening in Grand Rapids at the Grand Rapids Area Library at 7pm it’s “Hoarding and Garbage Clutter Hoses” with Leya Drabczak – a housing inspector in the Neighborhood Reinvestment Division of the city of Coon Rapids.  Both events are free and open to the public. 

Saturday January 19th
                5:30pm Itasca State Park there’s a Lantern Lit Hike – meet at the Jacob Brower Visitor Center
                7:30 Lori Goulet performs in the lobby of the visitor center – she’s a folk/alt. country artist.

Sunday January 20th
1st Lutheran Church in Bemidji – gospel organ players Rooselvelt & Elizabeth Slaughter perform at the Epiphany services at 8:30 and 10:30

Monday January 21st
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day there’s a viewing of the documentary “At the River I Stand” at the Carpenter’s Local 606 in Grand Rapids.  6-8pm

Tuesday January 22nd
Rail River Folk School in Bemidji  from 5:30-7:30 join Red Lake Elder Bob Shimek… he’ll share the Ojibwe snow snake tradition and teach others how to carve their own snakes. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth

by Erika Kooda

When I got the chance to chat with author of "The Fault In Our Stars", John Green, the topic of the soundtrack for that movie came up. He mentioned his favorite band, the Mountain Goats. When I was in the KAXE studios a few months later, I saw the newest release of the Mountain Goats - "Transcendental Youth" - and decided to give it a listen. The Mountain Goats remind me of Flogging Molly, without the Irish. This album is kind of different from what I normally listen to, a lot of it is upbeat tunes (which is what drew me to it,) but their meaning is so much deeper than I expected.

Highlighting some of my favorite tracks now, "Cry for Judas" is definitely an example of the upbeat but depressing thing. Some of the lyrics include "Long black night, morning frost / I'm still here, but all is lost". I also like the first song I heard from it, "In Memory of Satan", because it's slower with an emphasis on the drum set, and the lyrics are very visual. Another good song is "Lakeside View Apartments Suite"... I'm not sure why I like it, but it's another song with a good beat. The Mountain Goats' use of a variety of instruments makes the whole album good. It rounds it out and has a great balance, and highlights the singer's voice in each track.

2013 in Music

by Maddi Frick

Aside from releases I'm looking forward to in pop music (Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake!!!) in 2013, this year promises to provide stellar music, like any other year.  Here are some highlights so far:

WakeOwl - Wild Country
Lead singer Colyn Cameron used to write rap and hip-hop, but he's changed his tune, and it's delicious.

They'll be at the 7th Street Entry on Valentine's Day.  

Chastity Brown - Back Roads Highway

Originally from Tennessee, Chastity is calling Minneapolis home for the moment.

Seth Glier - Things I Should Let You Know
He's a Grammy Nominee.  And he's cute.  But seriously, love this album.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Top 100 Albums of 2012

by Maddi Frick

A bit belated, but true nonetheless.  Here are the Top 100 Albums played this year on Northern Community Radio.  Is it any surprise Trampled made it to the top?  They're also the only band to make it twice.  Bands are in order of most plays starting at the top.

Artist Title
Trampled By Turtles Stars and Satellites
Joan Osborne Bring It On Home
The Black Keys El Camino
Janiva Magness Stronger For It
Etta Britt Out Of The Shadows
Bonnie Raitt Slipstream
The Chieftains Voice Of Ages
Alabama Shakes Boys & Girls
The Wood Brothers Smoke Ring Halo
Leonard Cohen Old Ideas
Bruce Springsteen Wrecking Ball
Norah Jones Little Broken Hearts
Dion Tank Full of Blues
Ruthie Foster Let It Burn
Heartless Bastards Arrow
Hindi Zahra Handmade
Jimmy Cliff Sacred Fire
Carolina Chocolate Drops Leaving Eden
Beth Hart Don't Explain
Punch Brothers Who's Feeling Young Now?
Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer Little Blue Egg
Walter Trout Blues For The Modern Daze
Jack White Blunderbuss
Shemekia Copeland 33 1/3
Dar Williams In The Time Of Gods [Advance]
Heritage Blues Orchestra And Still I Rise
Peter Karp Beyond The Crossroads
Rodrigo Y Gabriela & C.U.B.A. Area 52
Julia Nunes Julia Nunes 11 Settle Down (Nudebutler)
Ingrid Michaelson Human Again
Various Artists Just Tell Me That You Want Me รข€’ A Tribut
Jimmy Cliff Rebirth
Sista Monica Livining In The Danger Zone
Bill Wyman Rhythmn Kings Sampler
Ray Charles Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Single
Bob Dylan Tempest
Novalima Karimba
Various Artists Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dyla
Various Artists Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dyla
Joe Louis Walker Hellfire
Jessie Baylin Little Spark
Ceu Caravana Sereia Bloom
The Little Willies For The Good Times
Brandi Carlile Bear Creek
I Like You. Fall In Like
Rupa & The April Fishes Build
The Stone Coyotes A Wild Bird Flying
Claudia Schmidt Bend in the River
David Byrne & Caetano Veloso Live At Carnegie Hall
Pat Donohue Vicksburg Blues
Justin Townes Earle Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel 
Etta James The Dreamer
Carole King The Legendary Demos
Lucy Michelle And The Velvet Lapelles Heat
The Pines Dark So Gold
Trampled By Turtles Palomino
Alt-J An Awesome Wave
Balkan Beat Box Give
Galactic Carnivale Electricos
Little Feat Rooster Rag
Teague Alexy This Dance
Sara Watkins Sun Midnight Sun
Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound
Delta Moon Black Cat Oil
Fatoumata Diawara Fatou
First Aid Kit The Lion's Roar
Nanci Griffith Intersection
Lucy Kaplansky Reunion
Van Morrison Born To Sing: No Plan B
Nada Surf The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
Willie Nelson Heroes
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds Pound Of Dirt
The Honeydogs What Comes After
The Lumineers The Lumineers
Paul Thorn What The Hell Is Goin' On
Divine Fits A Thing Called Divine Fits
Alejandro Escovedo Big Station
Melody Gardot The Absence
John Hiatt Mystic Pinball
Bettye LaVette Thankful N' Thoughtful
Lyle Lovett Release Me
Diet Folk Cold
Dr. John Locked Down
Kelly Hogan I Like To Keep Myself In Pain
Small And Tall High On You - Tall & Small
Otis Taylor Otis Taylor's Contraband
TriBeCaStan New Deli
Various Artists Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dylan
Tom Waits Bad As Me
Yo-Yo Ma  Stuart Duncan
Big Harp White Hat
Ane Brun It All Starts With One
J.D. McPherson Signs & Signifiers
Jerry O'Hagan And His Orchestra Dance Time Volume 1
Amos Lee As The Crow Flies
Old Crow Medicine Show Carry Me Back
The Steel Wheels Lay Down Lay Low
Johnny Winter Roots
Ryan Adams Ashes & Fire
Amadou & MariamFolila

Friday, December 28, 2012

Looking Back at 2012 in Northern MN

On the Morning Show Friday, Aaron Brown and Scott Hall started this list of memorable events that affected many of us here in northern MN in 2012.  Feel free to add to the list or comment on ours. In somewhat chronological order:

- The demolition of the old DuPont Blasting Powder plant in Hibbing last February (pictured before the demo).  It was a remnant of an earlier mining era, and site of a couple of unplanned explosions in its heyday.

- KBXE goes on the air in March!

- The election in June of Carri Jones (at left) as the new Chairwoman of the Leech Lake Band, and Melanie Benjamin, Chairwoman of the Mille Lacs Band.  Now four of the seven bands of Minnesota Ojibwe are led by women.

- Extreme weather events: the heavy rains and flooding on June 19th. By fall, most of northern MN was in severe drought conditions. The July 2nd blow down caused widespread power outages and lots of devastation to property and forests.

- A variety of events (and radio programs) commemorating the150th anniversary of the U.S. - Dakota War of 1862, one of the more tragic events in 19th century Minnesota and U.S. history. 

- Magnetation expands in and out of northern MN. The innovative mining company continues to expand its capacity to extract high grade ore from mine waste dumps here, but will build a new plant to process the ore in Indiana.

- In November, Minnesota allowed the hunting and trapping wolves.

- Also in November, DFLers retook control of both houses of the MN legislature. For the first time in twenty two years, we'll have a DFL Governor, and DFL majorities in the House and Senate. And DFLer, Rick Nolan,defeated Republican incumbent, Chip Cravaack, to represent MN's 8th District in Congress.

- More mining exploration adds to the size of the known copper-nickel deposits in northeast MN, and increases the pressure to develop that potential.