Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Now Hear This! Recent Audio Highlights from KAXE

Just in case you missed anything (or maybe something you didn't even know about!):
The KKK in the Itasca County
We talk with Brian Vroman, Philosophy Instructor at Itasca Community College, about the history Ku Klux Klan in Itasca County in the 1920s. Get more of Our History here.
Independent Community Gardening
Laurie and Jerry Priener talked with us from their farm near Stony Lake, SE of Park Rapids, about their 3rd year producing local food and upgrading to a CSA. If you're interested in buying a share, call 218-732-1376 Get more stories on our Local Food page.
A Talk on the Wild Side
Exhausted from a hurried bike ride to the studio, Harry Hutchins talks with John Latimer about Juncos and this odd March weather... Get more nature news on The Phenology page.
Ojibwemowin: Nigaane Students Go To The Sugarbush
Students, teachers and parents in the Nigaane (NEE gah nay) Ojibwe language immersion program at the Bug O Nay Ge Shig School in Bena recently spent a few days in a sugarbush on the Leech lake Reservation. They tapped trees, and collected and boiled sap into syrup. Scott Hall went with them one day and has this report…Click here to see more pictures..., and get more on our Ojibwemowin page.
All Things Equine
Bobbie talked with T.J. Clibborn about wild mustangs and the program he is in to train one. T.J. Clibborn was born in New South Wales, Australia. His background includes: training, show jumping, rodeo, and horse racing. He has worked in Australia, Japan, Europe and the United States. You can visit his website at
Petz Saddle Club
Get ready for girl oriented happiness...The Binary Boys are grooming and trotting with Petz Saddle Club... more info at The Binary Boys.

Aaron Brown on Brushes with the Law
Aaron says that
driving really fast requires less planning than better time managment.. Get more contributions and stories at the Between You and Me page.

Guido on Brushes with the Law
Don't take away Guido's plastic cap-gun or he'll just use a hammer and then go to a peace march...
. Get more contributions and stories at the Between You and Me page.

The Last Word on Brushes with the Law
Unlike times in our history, the cops are now our friends...Get more contributions and stories at the Between You and Me page.
What's for Breakfast with Debbie in Puposky
We talk with KAXE Member Debbie Warne-Jacobson from Puposky - she hadn't had her daily 48oz of Green Smoothie...yet. Get to know more members better on our What's For Breakast page.

SisterSong with Shannon Murray
Shannon Murray on the 3rd Annual SisterSong: A Celebration of Women and Their Music, March 27th at Wild Rose in Bemidji.
More info on SisterSong at Here more interviews with MN musicians on the Centerstage MN page.

Erika's weekly ipod pick
14 year old Erika Kooda gives us her glee-ful weekly ipod pick. Erika has supported KAXE on her own for at least three years, using her babysitting and birthday money to support her favorite radio station. The future of KAXE is much brighter with Erika as a volunteer!
Julie Klassen "The Silent Governess"
Julie Klassen about her book of historical fiction that's been nominated for a Minnesota Book Award, "The Silent Governess." Listen to more interview, and check out the RealGoodBlog on the RealGoodWords page.

Jewels-in-Fiber with Marion Hunziger-Larsen
The unusual Jewels-In-Fiber art by Marion Hunziger-Larsen. Marion will present a program about her work and that of other fiber artists this Friday night at the Beltrami Electric Cooperative Room in Bemidji ( ). You can see examples of her work here and at her web site,
Regularly archived programs:

"It Feels Natural to Come Back"

Maddi Frick, former intern and now KAXE volunteer, is on Spring break from St. Olaf and is playing music On the River this morning. Not only is she spending her precious break-time at KAXE, but today is also her 20th Birthday!!! And not only that, SHE brought US cookies!!!! "It feels very good to be in the KAXE studios again," Maddi said before starting her show, "It's natural to come back." We love having you Maddi! Her mix this morning includes MN's Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapels, Coldplay and Billy Holiday.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Duluth Author's Creepy Debut Novel

by Heidi Holtan

I mean creepy in the best possibly sense of the word of course.

–adjective,creep·i·er, creep·i·est.
1. having or causing a creeping sensation of the skin, as from horror or fear: a creepy ghost story.

Duluth journalist Wendy K. Webb has just put out her first novel called "The Tale of Halcyon Crane". I'm not somebody who usually reads ghost or gothic tales, but since the author was from Duluth, I gave it a try.

And boy, was I pleasantly surprised. And did I say creeped out? I don't want to give anything away, but I'm definitely being careful when I stand in front of open windows or staircases.

Webb's character of Hallie James is at a pivotal point in her life. She grew up raised by her single father, thinking that her mother had died in a fire when she was young. We meet her as her father is dying of Alzheimer's and she is sent a letter informing her that her mother has also died and that the family home on Grand Manitou Island has been left to her.

She barely remembered her mother, and to find out, late in life, that she COULD have known her, intrigues her enough to travel to the remote, gothic setting to find out what she can about her family. Based on Mackinaw Island, the setting is both beautiful and haunting.

“The Tale of Halcyon Crane is a wonderfully creepy gothic tale with a distinctly modern sensibility. Ms. Webb has written a hypnotic, twisting, and vividly imagined story about the terrible and lovely ways the past impacts the present, and how one woman’s discovery of old family secrets reveals new truths about herself and her life, and sets her on a perilous road to a future she could not previously have imagined.”—Megan Chance, author of The Spiritualist and An Inconvenient Wife

Tune in for our conversation this week - along with a talk with Walter Mosley about his newest series of mysteries as well as his post as ambassador to the American Library Association.

Centerstage MN Gets High on Drama

by Doug MacRostie

When I was told, "I'll be bringing a digital piano," to the session for Centerstage MN, I thought it was a fancy way to say "keyboard." Nope. I'll be joined in-studio by High Drama Blues for some live music and conversation this Thursday night at 6 - and it's a REAL digital piano!

From Chisholm, HDB is an original and intricate blues & rock band. In-studio I'll have Gina Nordquist in vocals, Rob Wheeler on guitar and harmonica and Marty Halverson on digital piano and accordion. Their self-titled debut release was recorded at on the Iron Range at Sparta Sound by Rich Mattson - it's a great CD, but there is an energy to them when they play live that you'll want to hear.

Having met at Open Mic nights, HDB started working on original material right away, with Gina writing the lyrics and songs coming from impromptu jam sessions. The music is great and the vocals powerful. They are part of I.R.O.M.A., The Iron Range Original Music Association. Rob Wheeler has been heard on the show before with both The Wheeler Dealers and the Gypsy Prophets. They have a good thing going and it'll be a lot of fun to have them on Centerstage MN.

To set up the High Drama Blues, we'll hear from the new Janiva Magness album, "The Devil is an Angel Too." Janiva is a Blues and R&B singer with a rich and soulful voice that can lead an audience from deep sorrow to overwhelming joy. And we'll hear from some folkers with new music from Pat Surface and the Boundary Water Boys, the Blue Drifters and Bill Isles.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Phenology Notes: Black-Backed Woodpecker and Morning Cloak Butterfly

Entries from John Latimer's Phenology Notes:

April 12th, 2009: In the black spruce swamp west of the house a black-backed woodpecker was busy flaking bark from the trees. His motions were economical and extremely facile. Supporting himself with his tail he leaned to the left and struck the bark with one or two well placed blows. Quickly shifting to the right he struck a blow and the whole piece of bark flaked off. A quick inspection for insects followed and the whole sequence was repeated. There were no wasted motions. It was like watching a well choreographed dance. The male black-backed and the male northern three-toed are the only woodpeckers of the northern boreal forest that have no red on their heads. Both sport a medium sized yellow cap.

May 5th, 1998: The spring azure and mourning cloak butterflies are out and flitting around today. The spring azure is a lovely small blue butterfly. Butterflies employ several strategies to get through our winter. Some like the mourning cloak over-winter as adults hiding in cracks and cavities, while others like the monarchs migrate. The spring azures are the first butterfly to emerge from a chrysalis in the spring. They spent the winter wrapped in silk awaiting transformation to the butterfly stage. Though they live for only a week or so as adults they add immeasurably to the beauty of the north woods. First juneberries are seen in flower, while on the forest floor the wood anemones are starting to bloom.

Intro to More Secure Computing...Episodes to follow

by Chad Haadvedt, KAXE's IT Connection

If you are a Windows user, you have probably been hearing a lot of reasons to worry about viruses and malware on your computer. Especially if you are connected to the Internet. Unfortunately, much of what you read about/hear is true--there are a lot of threats that are easy to fall into and infect your computer.

I'll be writing a short series of blogs about what you can do to prevent (or at least reduce the risk) your computer from being hijacked. I am not going to bother with any detail about Anti-virus software, because if you don't have it already on your Windows computer, you are probably a hopeless case anyway. So, let's go over a listing of the things that you should do in addition to keeping your AV software up-to-date.
  1. Browse the web and read email with a depreciated user account on your Windows computer (Episode 1)
  2. Become a smarter (more suspicious) Internet user. (Episode 2)
  3. Learn to use malware prevention and detection tools (Episode 3)
  4. "There's a sucker born every minute" - don't let it be you (Episode 4)
I invite tips and suggestions from readers. I'd also like to hear about your horror stories about confirmed viruses.

What's New on KAXE

Martin Sexton ... "Sugarcoating"
AJ Downing and The Buick 6 ... "Way Back Home"
Secretly Canadian ... "jj nÂș 3"
Janiva Magness ... "The Devil is an Angel Too"
She & Him ... "Volume Two"
JBM ... "Not Even In July"
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu ... "Gurrumul"
Peter Wolf ... "Midnight Souvenirs"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Friday, March 26, 2010

An Even Better Buzz!!!

This is bigger news than the ghost haunting the Ely bowling alley - we are launching an ALL NEW BUZZ!!! The first edition will be unleashed this afternoon at 1 - Click Here to sign up!!! If you've received our old Buzz - you have to sign-up again, this really is an all new thing :D The esteemed Jennifer Poenix will be the Buzz Master from now on...Read More...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Private vs. Public?

by Scott Hall

Yesterday Crosby-Ironton and Grand Rapids won quarterfinal games in the boys basketball tournament. On the Sports Page this morning, Fred Friedman pointed out that these two northern MN public school teams beat two well-endowed Twin Cities private schools that recruit athletes for their teams. The differences between public and private schools are worthy of a long discussion about opportunities for quality, affordable education, but is it important as a sports issue?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


This Wednesday night at 6 on RealGoodWords, Heidi Holtan talks with Julie Klassen about her book of historical fiction that's been nominated for a Minnesota Book Award, "The Silent Governess."

Also Helen Thorpe and "Just Like Us: The Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in American."

RealGoodWords is every Wednesday night from 6-7, heard again Sunday mornings from 9-10 on 91.7 KAXE, independent community radio in Northern MN.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The New and Improved Buzz

By Jennifer Poenix

If you've been a subscriber to KAXE's e-mail service, "The Buzz," you have probably noticed that it's been sporadic (at best) lately.
The Buzz was once handled by a small group of KAXE staff. About four of us. Of the female variety. Mostly. I don't mean anything negative about the others; it's just the way it was.

At some point, we decided that, "Hey, maybe everyone should take turns writing the Buzz." So, an alphabetical scheme was derived. It worked for awhile, and then nobody could remember whose turn it was, or people forgot, or some people tried outsourcing their turn in exchange for cupcakes.

We spoke for awhile at our last staff meeting about the Buzz: how we can improve it, what information people really want, whether we should sign up for an email hosting service, and who should take on the responsibility.

We're about to change servers at KAXE, plus we want to create better newsletters with more flexibility, and have less SPAM issues (since we were sending 800 emails at a time with every Buzz, a lot of people received our Buzz as SPAM). So, we signed up with Constant Contact, which will take care of these issues.

Also, I'll be sending the Buzz with contributions from others.

We want to start a fresh list, so if you wish to keep getting the Buzz (or if you want to start getting it), please sign up by clicking this link. You'll be asked to provide your e-mail address, plus confirm it, and we'll ask for your name.

If you have any questions or feedback about the Buzz, please let us know.

Pussy Willows in March with John Latimer [Video]

Did you know there are 18 different species of willow shrubs in MN? Did you know a pussy willow is male OR female? Did you know they come in a variety of colors? Did you know you can make willow whistles? Here's the latest in our continuing series Phenology Videos with John Latimer, this time on Pussy Willow:

Check out more about John Latimer and The Phenology Show at

Gigabit Fiber at Home?

by Chad Haadvedt, KAXE's IT Connection

Google is getting a ton of publicity about it's Google Fiber for Communities contest. They promise to lay out a really fast fiber network in the winning community, and cities all over the country are putting together applications / proposals touting themselves as the best candidate city.

Amongst Google's claims is that they will provide homes and businesses with Internet connections up to 100 times faster than what currently exists in the community. The expectation/hope is that faster connections will lead to 'new bandwidth-intensive "killer apps" and services, or other uses we can't yet imagine'.

What will a gigabit Internet connection do for me? Not much in today's world. Or next year's world either. Now, I don't want to be perceived as short sighted, but let's be realistic and look at this little analogy to put things in perspective...

Haulin' Bits
Before the Google Fiber days, I had to haul bits back and forth from my ISP to my house by the wheelbarrow full in my little Toyota pickup. Then Google came along and gave me a ten yard dump truck to haul the bits. Great. Now I should be able to get a lot of bits real fast.

But, oh oh, my ISP can only give me a wheelbarrow of bits at a time. And the rules of the Internet say that I have to deliver each load to my house before I can get the next load. (By the way, the new truck goes the same speed as my little Toyota, it can just carry more.)

I can't be mad at my ISP for not filling up my new truck. It would cost them a huge pile of money to be able to load my big dump truck up to capacity each time, even if they could get the bits fast enough. They have lots of customers. While they have the capacity to load up one or two of those dump trucks every minute, they cannot fill thousands of them at once. After all, they have to pay a shipping charge for the bits they distribute to me and their other customers. It's not free.

It gets worse. Even though my ISP has the ability to give me a whole wheelbarrow load at a time, the company that I want to get bits from can only ship out one dump truck at a time. AND, they have to divide that up amongst a thousand customers simultaneously. So, I'd be lucky to get a shovel's worth of bits from them for each trip anyway.

So, I have this great big dump truck, but I can only haul a wheelbarrow worth of stuff each trip. Sure, it might include a shovel full of bits, a bundle of news, a bucket of movie, or even a game or two. But I'm going to have a lot of unused capacity in that truck. Maybe someone will come up with some stuff to fill up the empty space in my new dump truck, so I can boast about hauling bigger loads. But it'll have to come from someone locally, as my ISP's can't afford to haul it in from off their network. I don't know what I'll do with it, and I wonder how long I'll have to wait for it.

Or, maybe they could just fluff up the bits with a bunch of air so it looks like I'm getting a better deal.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Centerstage MN is Rolling in Women...

by Doug MacRostie

Women's History Month celebrates women's contributions to history, culture and society and we'll further that celebration with an hour dedicated to women performers on Centerstage MN. From the crazy-jazz sounds of The Bad Plus joined by Wendy Lewis to the delicate and personal songs of Alicia Corbett... from the hip and catchy Dalia to the bluesy soul of Janiva Magness...women are going to rock Centerstage MN!

And we'll be talking about the 3rd Annual Sister Song: A Celebration of Women and Their Music with event director Shannon Murray, a local singer, songwriter and community organizer (have you heard about the Babe City Rollers - the new flat-track roller derby team in Bemidj? Yeah, thank Shannon :D). Showcasing many area musicians, the event is also a fundraiser for a scholarship by the same time. Sister Song is Sat. March 27th at the Wild Rose Theater in Bemidji, starting at 6:43pm. Performers include Annie Humphrey, Brenda Weiler, Yasen Marie, Caleigh, Hattie Peterson and many more. Get more info at

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

What's New on KAXE

Tina and the B-Side Movement ... "A-Sides: The Best of TBS"
David Broza ... "Night Dawn: The Unpublished Poetry of Townes Van Zandt"
Delta Moon ... "Hell Bound Train"
Pieta Brown ... "One and All"
Julie Neumark ... "Dimestore Halo"
Jeff Beck... "Emotions & Commotion"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

KAXE Recall?!?! Radio Induced Acceleration

The Consumer Safety Division of Northern Community Radio is currently investigating reports of unintended acceleration of all makes and models of vehicles that are tuned into KAXE. "I was cruising along at an even 56mph on my way home from work," said one concerned driver, "when suddenly I was pulled over by a police officer for going 91.7 miles per hour." He went on to say, "I had no idea I was speeding - the music was sooooo good, and it was a song I hadn't heard in 15 years and I guess I just got carried away while singing along. This must be stopped."

Though unavailable for comment, KAXE put out a press release rejecting the notion of a radio station causing speeding tickets. "While it may be true that we play excellent music that you don't hear anywhere else, we feel it is an individuals responsibility to regulate vehicle speed. Over our 34 years of research and listener feedback, we often find that OPPOSITE is true: people will actually drive slower to allow more time to listen to the radio, and that many even sit in their car parked in the driveway to hear the end of the show they're listening to."

Another vehicle was reported to be going 89.9mph in Brainerd and a third going 105.3mph in Bemidji. Stay tuned, we'll have updates as more info is available...

Tonight on RealGoodWords

Beth Hoffman talks about her new novel, "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt." And bestselling novelist Liza Palmer is back with her latest, "A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents." RealGoodWords with Heidi Holtan ever Wednesday night from 6-7 and Sunday mornings 9-10. A place for those who read, write and appreciate the written word.

No Pinching Centerstage MN - We've Got Green On!

by Doug MacRostie

Whether it's the amazing blues scenes that still holds strong from 30 years ago along the banks of the Mississippi in the Twin Cities, the authentic and raw roots/Americana music of Duluth and the Iron Range, the experimental rock and singer-songwriter movement in Bemidji or any of the other music strongholds in MN - we've got basically every base covered when it comes to musical variety - and Irish music is no different. We'll be having a St. Patty's Day special this week on Centerstage MN.

We'll hear a live recording of McInnis' Kitchen recorded in October of 2008 in the KAXE Studios. From Duluth, they perform Celtic music from Ireland, Newfoundland and Cape Breton. And Scott Hall talks with Paul Imholte of Ring of Kerry, an Irish music group from the St. Cloud area with sounds that range from the thunder of the Irish bodhran drum to the sparkle of the hammered dulcimer.

Plus music from Caleigh from Bemidji, Willowgreen from Duluth, MN legends Boiled in Lead and many more. Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Best Picture

by Scott Hall

Mark Tarner, a.k.a. M T Head, and I just had a good go around about which of some very good 2009 movies is the best one. The problem is we haven't seen the same movies. Mark's vote goes to "Avatar", for new standards it set as an incredible viewing experience - standards far beyond anything yet. Mark saw it in 3-D. I saw it in 2-D. "Avatar" isn't my choice. I didn't think the visual experience overcame an ordinary story and uninteresting characters.

Of the ones I've seen, I prefer "The Hurt Locker", Crazy Heart", "Inglourious Basterds", and "Into The Air". "The Hurt Locker" is tense and gut-wrenching, depressing, well-written and acted. Jeff Bridges nails the main character in "Crazy Heart". I don't like most of Quentin Tarentino's movies, but I like "Inglourious Basterds" more every time I think about it. Haven't seen "Precious", but believe Mo'nique deserved the Oscar from just the one scene I've seen.

Another problem with these lists is there are so many great independent gems we'll never get to... What's on your list?

Monday, March 15, 2010

What's New on KAXE

Seasick Steve ... "Man From Another Time"
The Chieftains feat. Ry Cooder ... "San Patricio"
The Tisdales ... "Out With the New"
The Bird and the Bee ... "Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1"
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars ... "Rise & Shine"
Loudon Wainwright III ... "10 Songs for the New Depression"
Brother Ali ... "Us"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...