Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Am SOOO Not Sick of Sarah

by Doug MacRostie

This week on Centerstage MN my guests are Abisha Uhl and Jamie Holm, 2 of the 5 ladies that are Sick of Sarah, an indie rock band out of Minneapolis. Their self-titled debut CD drives down the Rock highway with Pop dragging behind. Some of the songs like "Breakdown" seem to make it impossible to drive the speed limit, while a song like the acoustic "Fall" slows down, opens up and shows a totally different side. They've got catchy melodies, beautiful harmonies and enough attitude for that edgy feel. I am very excited to have Abisha and Jamie on this week!!!

I am also totally pumped because I have some brand-spanking-new CDs to share. Like the new Clawthroat EP "Know Yr Roots." Singer, guitarist and songwriter Joseph Downing joined me last year when they landed a gig at the Winnipeg Folk Fest w/ their demo relase. The demo was great, but the EP has some new songs and new recordings of a couple songs from the demo. Clawthroat's style is hard to describe, sort of a roots folk-rock/americana; like they've taken an old style and modernized it. I plan to have Joseph on to talk about it soon :D

And I'll be playing the new Two Many Banjos CD "Can't Slow Me Down." This is their 4th CD in 2 years and Marc Gartman's songwriting is in full stride with this one! I really enjoy Marc's work (he's been on before about previous TMB CDs, and the Marc Gartband) and once again I have been pleasently surprised. Two Many Banjos continue to push folk/bluegrass boundaries to their limits and I am also planning to get Marc back on to talk about it. Oh, and I hear they are already working on album #5, and expect to release it before the year is out...so yeah, they really can't be slowed down.

And I'll try calling Dylan's cell number again. After finding the # on my desk last week, I ended up leaving Bob a message. Maybe I'll actually reach him this time...

Centerstage MN is every Thursday evening at 6pm streaming live at KAXE.org, or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. You can hear all my interview from Centerstage MN archived at KAXE.org, and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Griff Wigley on Leadership Blogging

by Maggie Montgomery

Last Thursday I attended a blogging workshop in Bemidji, sponsored by KAXE and Northern Community Internet dot org, and presented by Griff Wigley. Griff was an original founder of the groundbreaking Northfield Citizens Online in 1994, and currently manages Locally Grown Northfield. What follows are notes from his session. I hope they might de-mystify blogging and inspire you to blog! When you DO set up your blog, please add it to the blog roll on Northern Community Internet dot org.

About 70 people attended Griff Wigley’s northern Minnesota “Leadership Blogging Tour.” Some had blogged a lot and some had never blogged before. His presentation was about why and what to blog.

Griff told us that blogs are especially good for community leaders. “Blogs can be your bully pulpit, your platform…they allow you to strategically capture one or two interactions from your week as a story.” He explained that blogs have shelf life. They also have “permalinks,” which are specific, permanent web addresses.

Why blog?
1) Blogging allows you to engage in strategic storytelling in near real-time. You can use storytelling to illustrate your roles, values, mission, goals, strategies. What gets through to people? Stories! Simple stories that illustrate a point are best.
2) Blogging allows you to leverage your leadership activities (thinking, beliefs, problem solving, interactions) for greater time-saving influence. If you can set aside some time to blog, it may save you time later.
3) Blogging lets you bring a voice of authenticity and a measure of personality to a website.
4) A cluster of knowledgeable, motivated bloggers can sometimes be more informed than the media about a story, a company about its products, or government officials about an issue. Blogs can be an alternative to—and leverage with—existing media. Also, the act of blogging can help you think through the issues. When you’re called upon to speak in a committee or covered by a reporter you will sound more informed.

What to blog:
1) Recognize other people and organizations. Affirm them. Create a positive feedback loop.
2) Leverage your media diet. Share what you are reading/what you are learning from media.
3) Give perspective on a current problem. This is about credibility, transparency, explaining an error, how you or your organization handled a screw-up.
4) Chronicle your learning. Let others know how your thinking is changing, what you are reading or hearing.
5) Teach about the complexities of an issue.
6) Teach about a product, service, program or skip
7) Share your positions and opinions.
8) Share your mistakes and apologies
9) Your community activities
10) Use it to answer your email, especially when it is something that may be used more than once. Link to the blog. Say, “Here’s what I wrote about that.”

What NOT to blog:
1) The truth without a strategy or purpose (dirty laundry)
2) Anything that you wouldn’t say to a reporter
3) Something that is a conflict of interest
4) Personal conflicts—keep it policy oriented

A few other miscellaneous Griff Wigley comments:
Twitter is “micro-blogging.” It is handy for getting an “ambient awareness” of things going on online. You say “Oh.” That’s it.
“Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.” When you blog, you own the press!
“I’m a believer in civility. There are methods of dealing with people who aren’t civil” (on blog sites).
On the Northfield site, sarcasm is forbidden and you have to post comments or replies to people directly, using their first name. (“Daniel, I disagree with you because…”)
Some leaders are interested in blogging but are afraid of comments, at least while they are learning to blog. Start blogging and turn off the comments if that is a concern. You can turn them on later, when you feel more competent in the medium.

Finally, Griff said, “Go forth and blog!”
note: in the photo are Griff Wigley and Diane Pittman

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No Country For Old Men? Thoughts On KAXE Turning 33

by Scott Hall

"Social Networking" - Facebook, Twitter, and other kinds of on-line commuication - was the topic on "Between You and Me" with Heidi Holtan on Saturday, April 18th. During the program three "old guys" - Mike from Bemidji, Don from Suomi, and Ed from Deerwood - called with varying degrees (dour to mild) of concern and disapproval over what the new modes of communication will do to us and how they will change us - our values, our connections with each other, and our relation to the world around us. I know these guys. We're about the same age. Another friend can't stand a lot of the mundane detail on Twitter. I still don't get the appeal of music videos. Music is the sound of my imagination, my experience, my heart. I admire the video craft and artistry, but it's usually not the song I hear in the images they show.

I was hosting KAXE's Green Cheese trivia show one Saturday night, about 15 years ago. A guy calls in on his cell phone from a fishing boat, and I thought "why spoil a fishing trip with a phone on board or, for that matter, a radio?" But I've done that many times since then. Catch a nice fish, take a picture of it on the phone, let the fish go, call someone to tell them about the fish - no lie!

So my heart is with these guys, but my head and gut aren't. And I think eventually my heart will betray them too (you can get to this blog post via my twitter). I love radio, especially community radio, and especially KAXE, and I hope it has a great future. As much as I love the medium of radio, I believe in the community part more - the local ownership, the celebration of where we live and our cultures, a place to talk about our shared concerns, and, of course, the wide world of music.

So it seems prudent for KAXE to venture into on-line media as well as sustain the radio. It's a tall order, especially in this economy. When KAXE went on the air 33 years ago, its founders had little more than their belief that community-owned radio is a great idea, and their committment to try it. Northern Community Internet is the beginning of building new media based on those good ideas. We're not sure what it will look like when the dust settles. The internet is able to transmit in multiple media, including radio. But I'm up for following the younger "digital natives" who already know their way around these new media. It doesn't have to be a cultural or commercial wasteland. Hope you are up for it too - enough to contribute. Here's how.

Friday, April 24, 2009

the controversy of SPELLING continues at KAXE

It started innocently enough - one KAXE-r said "people love to spell let's start a show" - another KAXE-r said "you're nuts! no one wants to spell!"

And so "May We Have A Word With You" began. Each Friday morning right before 9 the world is invited to join John Bauer and Heidi Holtan for 3 words to spell. You get 2 out of 3 right, WELL, gloating rights are yours for the weekend.

But lately, it's harder and harder to get phone calls. "Like pulling frikken teeth" one of the hosts might say.

So today, we suggested, JUST suggested, that maybe MAY WE HAVE A WORD WITH YOU might be canned. Did I say we? I meant John Bauer said it. Not me.

We were deluged with responses. Here are a couple of anonymous ones:

"The hosts comments about spelling were really insensitive, negative commentary."


"Maybe in fairness to the listeners you could modify the program once in a while, say during fundraiser. Try a reverse format where callers get to ask you or John to spell."


"I will call every week under a fake name just to keep May We Have a Word with You on the air!!!"

Is spelling losing it's luster?


Thursday, April 23, 2009


Bemidji Community Art Center: through 4/25 area high school students in the 9th annual multi-media invitational. Then 5/1-5/16: 5th grade invitational. Bemidji Symphony Orchestra presents “Final Fanfares” on Sunday, 4/26 @ 3 @ the high school auditorium. For all the other art sites and schedules around Bemidji: bcac.wordpress.com (link to the Region 2 Arts Council’s newsletter)

Edge Center/Bigfork: 4/30 Pat Surface in concert (website doesn’t list a time). 5/6: high school band and choir @ 7. 5/8: student art show in the gallery, opening reception 5-9 5/8. Deadline is approaching (5/11) for entering “Art on the Edge: 5th Annual Juried Exhibition”---for guidelines/application: the-edge-center.org

Ironworld/Chisholm: through 4/30 “The Apron Chronicles”, then 5/23: “The Scoop on Poop: The Science of What Animals Leave Behind” (e.g., learn how long it takes an elephant to poop its body weight) through 9/7. ironworld.com

Range Art Center/Hibbing: annual meeting 5/11 @ 6 (potluck dinner, election of officers). For late-spring early-summer classes: rangeartcenter.org Also in Hibbing: Dylan Days: May 21-24: dylandays.com

First Stage/Lyric Center for the Arts/Virginia: “Open Water”, a large group show by area artists celebrating the fishing opener, reception tonight (4/23) @ 6, exhibit runs through 5/30.

Brainerd area: “Great River Dance”, featuring the Great River Strings Community Orchestra in their spring concert at Crosby-Ironton High School, 4/25 @ 7:30, and at First Lutheran Church in Aitkin, 4/26 @ 2. On 4/25, 11-2, at First United Church in Little Falls: Heartland Symphony Orchestra Fashion Show/Luncheon. On 5/1 @ 7, Tornstrom Auditorium: Tonic Sol Fa (Habitat for Humanity benefit). Brainerd High School, 5/9, 9:30-4: Spring Arts and Craft Festival. brainerd.com

Ripple River Gallery near Deerwood, through 5/3, Sonja Larsen, nature prints, closing reception on 5/3, 2-4, with demonstration & book signing. Up next: pastels by Denise Bunkert, opening 5/6. Tina Fung Holder’s doing a workshop 5/9, 9-1: recycling cardboard paper tubes into baskets (not related to “The Scoop on Poop”). Don’t care about cardboard basketry?---sign up to be in Tina’s company for a few hours---you won’t regret it. ripplerivergallery.com

Jaques Art Center/Aitkin: through 5/2 in the Carnegie Gallery, student art from all over Aitkin County. 5/8-6/13: “Coming Home” by McGregor artist Julie Barta, opening reception 5/9, 1-4. jaquesart.com

MacRostie Art Center/Grand Rapids, throughout May: in the MacRostie Gallery, Britta Urness (paintings, prints and installation art), and in the Minnesota Gallery “Small Art, Big Ideas: An Exhibition of Miniatures” (the 2nd annual) by MAC-affiliated artists (nothing bigger than a foot in any dimension, nothing over $100), all sponsored by Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital. And on 5/16, 7-9: “The Art of Beer: A Tasting”, featuring Mike Hoops/Town Hall Brewery and Chef Matt Taylor/Rivers Italian, underwritten in part by Deerwood Bank. Then in June, sponsored by Paul Bunyan: paintings by John Cox and, drum roll, John Bauer & Heidi Holtan: Reveal, photographic and audio art---DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW. macrostieartcenter.org

Brewed Awakenings this month: photos by Kelly Klatt. Next: Mike Jasper. Live jazz tonight (4/23) @ 6.

Reif Center: “Tapestry: Souls of our Feet” (a tap dance extravaganza) Sunday (4/26) @ 7:30. Friday, 5/1 @ 7:30, at Davies Hall Theater on the ICC campus, and underwritten by ICC: Atwater & Donnelly (Traditional American/Celtic folk music). Thursday, 5/7 @ 7:30 (at Reif), sponsored by Grand Rapids GM: Craig Carothers (folk-country guitarist/singer/songwriter). 5/9 @ 7:30, Itasca Symphony Orchestra (featuring soloists Kate Ophoven & Sage Jenson) and with the Itasca Youth Chamber Orchestra, proceeds to benefit the Strings Program, reception provided by Bovey Coleraine Youth Center---a very special night. 5/14 it’s the larger group of Itasca Youth Orchestras. Itasca Children’s Theater is doing Jungle Book 5/1-5/3. The high school’s “Beauty & the Beast” is this weekend (4/24-25), there are school band concerts 4/27, 5/4, 5/5, and more: reifcenter.org

Heading to Minneapolis? “The Shape of Time” opened at The Walker last week, up through 11/1. Pop, post-war, post-modern, post-you-name-it: a massive, comprehensive, diverse who’s-who of international art stardom. Plus, it’s a fabulous show.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did You Know that Bob Dylan is From MN?!?!?!

by Doug MacRostie

We'll be celebrating Bob Dylan all hour this week on Centerstage MN. I'll be talking with Gene LaFond, he and the Wild Unknown will be performing with Dylan's famed violinist from the 70's, Scarlet Rivera on Sat. the 23rd as part of Dylan Days in Hibbing, happening from May 21st-24th. Gene traveled with Dylan back in the Rolling Thunder days and has been a singer and songwriter his entire life. Beyond the obvious subject, we'll also talk about Gene and Bob's friend Larry Kegan, who was inspiration for both from his wheel chair (there is a good story w a lot more info about Larry Kegan at Gene's website: www.genelafond.com/CDbio.html). We'll also hear from Aaron Brown, one of the organizers of Dylan Days, about all the different things happening. More info is at www.dylandays.com.

AND GUESS WHAT!!! I found Bob Dylan's cell # on my desk the other morning, so I'll play a song from his new CD Together Through Life and then try giving him a call!!! (thanks to whoever dropped his # off!).

I'll also celebrate Dylan with some excellent covers of his tunes by Minnesota bands including Mason Jennings, The First Ladies, Crazy Betty, Bittersweet and The State Champs.

Next week my guests will be Abisha Uhl and Jamie Holm, 2 of the 5 ladies that are Sick of Sarah, an indie rock band out of Minneapolis. Their debut, self-titled release mixes rock and pop with a punk attitude. From harmonies and melodies, to pounding drums and jammin' guitars, these ladies are ready to rock and I am really excited to have them on the show.

Centerstage MN is on KAXE every Thursday evening at 6, streaming live online at www.kaxe.org, or 91.7fm Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji, and rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Saturday on "Between You and Me"

Our topic this Saturday, April 25, on "Between You and Me" is Parenting. Doug MacRostie (Escher's dad) and Jennifer Poenix (Zane's mom) will be your hosts. In case you aren't familiar with the show, "Between You and Me" is KAXE's weekly mix of music and conversation, each Saturday from 10am-noon. Each week, there is a different topic.

Parenting is a pretty broad topic. We're looking for your stories and advice. Did you call the hospital during your baby's first night home? Maybe you have a great tip for getting your kid(s) to eat their veggies. Perhaps you have a question to pose to other parents. We'd love to hear it.

Are you the kind of parent you thought you'd be? Had you ever given it any thought? Do you do the things you swore you never would, like spit on your finger and wipe gunk off your kids' face?

We'll be checking in with KAXE commentator Aaron Brown, who will be at the Children's Fair happening in Grand Rapids at the IRA Civic Center from 9am-1pm this Saturday.

We're hoping to hear from young and experienced parents alike. Call in during the show: 218-326-1234. You may also leave a Talkback message by calling 218-999-9876 or send an email to comments@kaxe.org

Organic Farmer David Massey

David Massey has been an organic gardener for 40 years, and loves to talk about soil chemistry. He explains that the health of the soil is very important to the plants he grows and their effect on the body. He also says that whenever he has moved from a place, he has left behind a plot of improved soil. Many things indicate soil type to David Massey: buildings, native plants, geology…he conducts soil testing and adds the low or missing constituents to help counteract a soil’s weak points.

David is 69 years old and a retired chemist for HB Fuller in the Twin Cities. He farms land in two different locations: three acres in White Bear Lake, and 640 acres near Pequot Lakes in Cass County. His business is called Northwoods Organic Produce. David grows heirloom vegetables in raised beds and a small greenhouse in White Bear Lake. His Cass County land consists of sustainable forest, upland pasture for hay and about 8 acres of intensively-farmed land surrounded by a 10-foot-high deer fence.

David grows 7 varieties of blueberries, 3 of strawberries, 2 types of raspberries, black raspberries, asparagus, 20 types of heirloom tomatoes, 20 types of organic potatoes, over 2,000 plants of 6 types of broccoli, several varieties of cabbage, herbs, beets, carrots, rutabagas and much more.

David Massey also saves heirloom seeds, especially saving several varieties of squash available nowhere else and a northern variety of corn. He participates in seed savers’ exchanges in Decorah, Iowa, and Toronto, Canada. .He has been developing markets for his food over time, and says he could sell more food than he can grow. His customers include 3 food co-ops, 10 restaurants and 2 grocery stores. He works hard all season and admits it’s a challenge for a 69-year-old man to farm using organic techniques like hand weeding and planting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Difference

by Scott Hall

The new movie, "State of Play", is based on a popular BBC mini-series.
One theme of the new movie, "State of Play", is the difference between journalism and the more popular and profitable commentary found in blogs and 24/7 TV and radio talk formats. "State of Play" is a murder mystery set in Washington, DC. Russell Crowe plays a seasoned and seedy newspaper reporter who pursues leads and relies on sources he has cultivated over sixteen years. He's a valued reporter whose work is losing its value. His editor is under pressure to make the paper pay.

The movie honors the work required to do good journalism- seek out a variety of sources, persuade them to go on the record, chase down dubious leads as well as the obvious ones, then follow the leads the leads lead to, and change the focus of the story as the facts change. The reporter in this story is not impartial. His personal stake in the story almost undermines his ability to get it right. He uses people - colleagues, friends and sources - to get want he wants.

A story about murder, corruption and misplaced ideals set in Washington, D.C. makes for good entertainment created by Hollywood. The role of the reporter is over dramatized and the events are compressed for entertainment value. In real time, the story might have unfolded in a series of reports, as in Watergate. But in these times, as money and commitment to the grunt work of traditional journalism fades, the story might never get told.

We need reporters that have the time and resources to follow stories that tell stories that matter and keep those in power accountable. The opportunity for good reporting exists here in northern MN and elsewhere. Every journalist can probably tell you about stories they would have liked to tell, but lacked the time, resources, and editor to back them up. Find out how you can help build a new on-line place for good journalism at the Northern Community Internet web site.

Read A. O. Scott's review of "State of Play" for the NY Times

Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Acoustic Edition of Centerstage MN... (not really)

by Doug MacRostie

Tonight on Centerstage MN I'll be joined in the studio by local singer songwriter Pat Deal, he'll bring along his guitar for some live music and conversation. Pat writes his own music and also does covers ranging from The Beatles to They Might Be Giants. His original music (that I've heard) ranges from an indie rock sound similar to Sean Lennon to more of a pop-punk feel similar to Green Day. I'll talk with him about songwriting and the music scene in Grand Rapids.

I've got a new CD from Bill and Kate Isles called "Matching Baggage," which has that classic Bill Isles friendly-folk sound. His wife Kate has sung with him on previous CDs, but I believe this is the first time they have co-released an album. And I've got a brand new recording from Kiki and Greg of Dancing Light that they recording while in Florida last month.

Take Cover, the pop-rockers out of Minneapolis w/ bass player Chad Snell from Marcell, have recorded an acoustic version of one of their songs, and we'll hear that along with another new song from the all female indie rockers Sick of Sarah self titled debut release.

And, not only will we see the light, we'll love it, fear it and get over it all in one set of music with The Ophovens Family Band, Charlie Parr and Two Many Banjos. Also Haley Bonar, Matt Hoskins and Hattie Peterson.

Oh, and some exciting news - I've got an interview/in-studio performance scheduled with The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank which will be coming up in June - they're latest EP release is One for the Time Capsule and we'll hear a new song off that tonight as well.

Centerstage MN is every Thursday evening at 6 streaming live at KAXE.org, or 91.7 in Grand Rapids, 89.9 in Brainerd and 105.3 in Bemidji. All interview from Centerstage MN are also archived at KAXE.org, and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Let's Go Fishing With Seniors

Retired Minnesota Conservation Officer, Tom Chapin, visited us this morning to talk about the local chapter of Let's Go Fishing with Seniors. LGFWS is a program that takes Senior Citizens out for fishing and boatinng excursions on a pontoon boat.

The Itasca County chapter started in 2008, and is a real success. Last year, they took 42 groups of senior out on the pontoon boat. Most of the groups were from area nursing homes or senior groups, but he stressed that trips can be organized for groups of individual seniors who just wabt to get out on the water. In other words, if a groups of senior friends want to go out fishing, or just on a boating excursion, LGFWS can help.

The boat is moored on Lake Pokegama, but the folks who organize the trips are willing to go to just about any lake in the county where they have good access that can accomodate the group. The schedule will be filling up fast, so if you have a group that wants to take advantage of this fun program, make arrangements as soon as you can.

Volunteers and donations are needed to help sustain the progam. You can learn more about Let's Go Fishing With Seniors at their website www.lgfwsitasca.comLink

Saturday, April 11, 2009

In case you've ever felt bad about your hair

Tune into Between You and Me today from 10-noon to talk about HAIR - your best or your worst - home haircuts - you know you've got a story! 218-326-1234 listen online!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bridges and Food

By Stephanie Rose

When I got to work at KAXE this morning I proceeded directly to the kitchen without stopping at my desk. That’s not unusual. The unusual part was the best breakfast EVER.

There were fancy places set at the table for Jennifer and me with walleye cakes with chardonnay-dill cream sauce, Jamaican Jerk pork kabobs with pineapple, tri-colored peppers, and red onions, and salmon-corn chowder [the salmon was in huge chunks, fresh-never-frozen, and in Jennifer’s words, “didn’t even taste like fish”]! Everything was conceived and prepared lovingly by TimberLake Lodge Chef Andy Faltynek, who was here with PR director Lauri Gomez to discuss the menu, the facility and its upcoming fundraiser, Taste of Itasca, which benefits Bridges Kinship Mentoring.

Bridges Kinship Mentoring is a non-profit in Itasca County that connects an adult friend with a long-term commitment to provide friendship, guidance and support to a youth. Through positive mentoring relationships, the youth will often overcome the difficulties they face and become successful, productive adults. This is definitely worth your support.

On a personal note, I had lunch with a second grader at Murphy School on Tuesday through another of Bridges’ programs, Lunch Buddies. She politely ate all of her lunch and washed her hands … and then she beat me at a game of Hang Man after lunch! My conclusion: Bridges Kinship Mentoring makes kids smarter than Stephanie Rose. Again, definitely worth your support.

Go to this event. Tickets are just $30, and you should hurry, because they’re only selling 200. It’s Tuesday, April 28, starting at 5:30 at the TimberLake Lodge in Grand Rapids. That brilliant and talented Andy Faltynek will be there, along with samplings from 16 other restaurants, wine and beer tasting, and a live auction. Call 326.4700 or stop at Reed Drug in Grand Rapids for tickets. I’ll see you there.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Red Hawks Beat Beavers, 4-1

Miami of Ohio stopped Bemidji State's bid for a national championship in men's college hockey tonight (Thursday). The Red Hawks scored three second period goals and went on to a 4-1 win over the Beavers. It was the first semi-final game of the Frozen Four in Washington D.C. Miami now plays for the national title Saturday night against the winner of the Boston University-Vermont game. BSU was the 16th seed in the NCAA tournament, and upset Notre Dame and Cornell to reach the Frozen Four. Congratulations to coach Tom Serratore and the BSU team for a great run and giving northern Minnesota hockey fans a lot to cheer about. It was fun!
Read the NY Times game report.

Misquotes and Mayhem Tonight on Centerstage MN

by Doug MacRostie

With a Pick 3 MN Favorites from MN music legend Rich Mattson, this week is more music and less talking on Centerstage MN, and even so - there is still a lot more music I want to play than I've got time for (but don't feel bad, I'll be joined by Pat Deal from Grand Rapids in studio for some live music and conversation next week :D).

I'll be starting off w/ Prince - his latest 3 CD release includes "MPLSOUND," and with his trademark mix of funk and rock, he is ready to kick off a new revolution out of Minneapolis. He's got plenty of sexy party songs (as you'd expect), but I'm drawn to the groovy and topical "Ol' Skool Company," which sings, "...everybody talking about white-collar crime like it just started yesterday...but people I know, they've been strugglin', at least it seems that way...fat cats on wall street get a bailout while everybody else has to wait....700 billion but in my old neighborhood ain't nothin' changed but the date..."* Of course, there is a lot more to this 7+ minute song than digs @ investment bankers, but my ears seemed to pick up on the word "bailout" pretty easy these days. I'll follow Prince with neo-soul/R&B artist Janey and hip-hip/electronic artist Prophis - both of which will follow the revolution well.

Also, I've got a very unique interpretation of The Beegees' "How Deep is Your Love" from The Bad Plus's latest release For All I Care which has Wendy Lewis joining them on vocals and is just an outstanding album of jazz interpretations of everything from Nirvana to Pink Floyd to Heart. AND, be suer to tell that Dylan freak in your family that I've got another NEW Dylan song from his forthcoming release "Together Through Life."

I'll also be featuring:
Hattie Peterson - she has withdrawn from the MN music scene but we I'll still play her music
The Honeydogs - back to a more rockin' sound with "Sunshine Committee"
Sick of Sarah - 5 ladies from Minneapolis taking indie pop-rock by storm
Take Cover - Rock poppers from Minneapolis/Marcell (North School represent!) :D

Some of the stuff that DIDN'T make it this week, but will soon, is a new recording from Greg and Kiki of Dancing Light, a new album from Bill & Kate Isles called "Matching Baggage" (which Bill came in and gave to me in person yesterday :D) Also, The Ophovens, a family band from the Grand Rapids area who's new CD "I Want to be Ready" was also dropped off yesterday and I think it'll sound good with Charlie Parr. And Two Many Banjos, The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Matt Hoskins and Timmy Haus are due for some airtime...and...and...and...

Centerstage MN is every Thursday evening and Sunday morning at 6, streaming live on KAXE.org, or 91.7 in Grand Rapids, 89.9 in Brainerd and 105.3 in Bemidji. You can hear archived interviews at KAXE.org (and click on Centerstage MN on the left).

I hope you can tune in and enjoy, it's like Prince says, "The White House is black...we've got to take the radio back! Power to the people..."*

Rock on,

* Prince quotes might be entirely wrong, as I don't have a lyric sheet and I can't find them online :p

Anticipating the Fishing Opener

We talked with our Early Bird Fisherman, Jeff Sundin, this morning about his plans for the fishing opener. Jeff is already set for this year's opener, so our discussion quickly diverted to the Mn DNR Walleye Fishery at Cutfoot Sioux. You can read a lot more about it here on the DNR site. Here are some photos of the egg stripping operation to make you droole...


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

5 new things on Northern Community Internet

What's New on Northern Community Internet.Org


1. There are TWO new stories at Brainerd Community Internet.org this week – Kari Frisch writes a story about the effect of the economy on the Sharing Bread Soup kitchen in Brainerd and Jenny Gunsbury has a story on how the Brainerd school district is dealing with uncertain state funding.

2. On Eveleth Community Internet.org, next week's Mesabi Range College Techfest is highlighted on the Eveleth Horizon's blog.

3. There is a new classified ad posted on GrandRapids Community Internet.org selling heritage chicks. “Purebred...cold hardy, excellent foragers, good brown egg production all winter long. Our oldest American breed, the Dominique traveled west over the prairies with the settlers...”

4. Robby Robinson has a story on the Bemidji Community Internet.org site about Bemidji's homeless community.

5. A new blog has been added to Northern Community Internet.org called “Squaw Lake News”. Do you write a blog or follow local blogs? Add them to our site!

Upcoming book events in Northern Minnesota

Coming up this weekend (April 10-11th) in the Brainerd/Nisswa area is the first annual Minnesota Author's weekend at Grandview Lodge featuring Doug Wood, Will Weaver and Mary Casanova. Some of the topics include Doug Wood's "Earth Songs and Earth Stories" and Will Weaver's "Pathways to Publication - But First Comes the Writing" and Mary Casanova's "No Less Than Stars".

Bestselling Minnesota mystery writer William Kent Krueger will be at Ironworld in Chisholm on Saturday April 18th from 2-3pm. Krueger writes mysteries set on the Iron Range featuring Cork O'Connor. The latest is "Red Knife". Publisher's Weekly called Red Knife "outstanding... Simply and elegantly told, this sad story of loyalty and honor, corruption and hatred, hauntingly carves utterly convincing characters, both red and white, into the consciousness."

Coming up Tuesday April 21st at the Grand Rapids Area Library there will be a noontime tribute to author Bill Holm for National Poetry Month. From 12-1:30 area writers and fans of Bill Holm will gather to read excerpts from his work. Later that evening, at 5:30 at Brewed Awakenings coffeehouse in Grand Rapids there will be a celebration of Itasca Community College's publication "Spring Thaw". You are invited to come listen to excerpts from the publication as well as share your own poetry.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Does Exist

By Jennifer Poenix

It's April in Minnesota, and you know what that means. Unpredictability.

There's sun and temps in the 40's in the forecast this week. No snow in the foreseeable future, so we're hopeful.

I recently returned from Portland, Oregon, where I attended the National Federation of Community Broadcasters conference with Maggie Montgomery, Katie Carter, and Michael Small. The above photo was taken the day before we left.

It was raining with and about 40 degrees when we arrived in Portland, but spring has definitely made its mark there and isn't looking back. The following photos offer proof:
So, don't worry folks. Spring is alive and well in some parts of the country. It's just taking its time (as usual) to arrive in northern Minnesota, but when it does arrive, it will be beautiful!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Radio In 5 Years

Here are a few paraphrased observations from the blue ribbon panel on this topic at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters conference in Portland Oregon this week:

Norm Stockwell, WORT, Madison WI: Commercial radio is in terrible trouble due to its lack of localism. Community radio's strength IS its localism. It is important for stations to start distributing content across as many platforms and new technologies as possible. This is also making it possible for many stations to share content internationally.

Mark Fuerst, Integrative Media Association: Public radio is holding its own, but overall the industry is in decline. Public broadcasting may and should become "public media." 75% of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's funding goes to public television. He said "there is no optimism there." Only 3% is going into new media. He said 2 to 3-person staffs are too small to implement new media strategies. Those strategies are too complex. He praised Northern Community Radio as the only community radio organization he knows about (in the NFCB--there is one other, Atlanta Public Broadcasting) that is trying to see itself as a media company and not just adding new media to a station website. (He was talking about the Northern Community Internet project)

Rebecca Martin, Youth Media International (formerly Youth Radio): YMI is in complete experimentation mode, and not "tied to a transmitter." They aspire to "the buzz of YouTube, the participation of Wikipedia, and the credibility of the New York Times." Besides written and audio pieces, they focus on short form video and photographs.

Skip Pizzi, Media Technology consultant (formerly w/Microsoft and BE-Broadcast Engineering-Magazine): It's hard to predict radio in 5 minutes, let alone 5 years. Trends: HD radio transition is continuing, but very slowly. Internet radio expansion is proceeding very quickly. He called radio the first "social network" and a "secular church." He said "wireless broadband could be your next transmitter." Reminded us that radio stations are both content companies and service providers. Radio is a delivery system, but the platform may not be as important as the content.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Monday Morning on KAXE: Hockey, Heart-Throbs and Community Banking (Tornado Bob Too!)

by Scott Hall

The President of Grand Rapids State Bank, Noah Wilcox, returns to the Morning Show to update the ever changing banking business here in northern MN and beyond. He'll be joined by Tom Welle, President of the First National Bank of Bemidji. Tom and Noah are also active in state and national banking associations looking out for the interests of smaller, solvent community bankers (7:20)

Bemidji State Men's Hockey Coach and Greenway High School Alum, Tom Serratorre, talks with Dodger, Jack Lavaliere and me about the Beavers trip to the Frozen Four next week in Washington, DC. Nobody gave Bemidji State much of a chance. Teams from the WCHA, CCHA, and Hockey East have dominated Division One hockey.Bemidji State's great showing solidifies their bid to join the WCHA. Former Greenway and Dartmouth College hockey standout, Kent Nyberg, pointed out how close we came to a Highway 2 Frozen Four. UMD and North Dakota lost tough regional games by one goal. Had they won, three of the Frozen Four teams would have had Highway 2 addresses. The Beavers play Miami of Ohio Thursday night 5:30 or 8 o'clock (ET). The championship game is Saturday night, 7 PM (ET). Boston University plays Vermont in the other semi-final. THE BEAVERS WILL PREVAIL!!! (I hope) 7:40

We have our beautiful, talented, and beloved Mom Of Pop Culture, Julie Crabb, on Friday mornings. Now our Professor of Pop Culture, Jack Nachbar, joins us one Monday each month to review and preview a classic movie. The second Wednesday of each month, the Edge Theater in Bigfork shows a great movie from long ago. Next Wednesday night it "You Can't Take It With You", a Frank Capra movie starring Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Lionel Barrymore. The movie got 7 Academy Award nominations and won two: Best Director and Best Picture. Jean Arthur is one of my original heart-throbs - tough and tender, and a lot more than a pretty face, a star not a starlet. Barbara Stanwyck was another...(sigh) Jack Nachbar taught film at Bowling Green and will also speak before, during and after the movie Wednesday night. (8:10)

TORNADO BOB, a star in his own right, has the weather and the why every Monday at 8:40

ely's april fools marketing plan

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What Does Health Insurance Cost?

So, what would it cost for a 25 year old person to get health insurance in Minnesota?

Well, that kinda depends on what you are willing to accept as a deductible. For example, this 25 year old living in Grand Rapids could get coverage from Blue Cross for $60/month. But, that comes with a FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLAR ($15,000) annual deductible. Bring that deductible down to $5,000 and the monthly cost is about $120 (source: eSurance).

The cost of insurance is higher for a 50 year old. The same policies would cost about $123 for a policy featuring a $15,000 deductible, and about $250/month with a $5,000 deductible.

Remember, that deductive means that you also pay 100% of your annual health care costs up to the deductible amount.

Chad Haatvedt gave us permission to post his health insurance cost from his benefit package as a State of Minnesota employee. Family coverage costs about $650/month. This includes a employee contribution of $65 and the State pays about $590 of the cost.

What do you pay for health insurance? How is your coverage. Let us know.

Minnesota Tuition Reciprocity

Minnesota has reciprocity agreements with the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Manitoba and one college in Iowa. These agreements allow a student from Minnesota attend college in one of those states and pay the resident tuition rate for that state. Likewise, students from our neighboring states pay the Minnesota tuition rate.

How do our residents fare?
Quite well actually. In general, Minnesota has more residents taking advantage of its neighboring states tuition rates, compared to the number of non-residents attending college in Minnesota. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education has a report that details reciprocity arrangements with our neighbors. You can read the entire report here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nature-Inspired Spontaneus Musicial Creations that Rock (get it? Rock?)

by Doug MacRostie

Ryan and Jesse Dermody of The Brothers Burn Mountain will talk with me this week on Centerstage MN about their latest release "Wild Cat Road." Poetically and sonically reflecting the images and sounds of nature through spontaneous music creation, The Brothers Burn Mountain is like old Moody Blues back around "On the Threshold of Dream" but in a new form from two brothers pushing their songwriting boundaries. The music is creative with thoughtful lyrics and a fresh experimental presenation, and I am looking forward to the conversation with Ryan and Jesse.

Also, I''l be playing a new, previously unreleased song from Bob Dylan's upcoming album "Together Through Life" due out April 28th. From there, new music from Bob Mould (you know, the guy who helped define punk music in the late 70's w/ Hüsker Dü...yeah, before I was born), his new CD is called "Life and Times." And since we are playing some of the MN greats, might as well go ahead put on a song from the new Peter Himmelman album "The Mystery and the Hum" (remember, he played guitar with reggae/calypso band Shangoya and then performed under the pseudonym Sussman Lawrence...some of which also was before I was born :D).

A couple upcoming highlights: I will be having Rich Mattson and Tony Derrick of The Tisdales to talk about their debut release "Bakers Dozen" coming up in May. I don't know what to call it other than a kickass rock album and that is going to be a lot of fun having them on to talk about it. Also, pop-rock band Take Cover are planning to come in for a live acoustic set in June as they gear up to release a new album. Very cool.

Centerstage MN is every Thursday evening at 6, streaming like at KAXE.org; or 91.7fm Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are also archived at KAXE.org, just click on Centerstage MN on the left.

Read more of my blogs about MN music at myspace.com/macedelic.