Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ann Hood: "Aching Beauty and Indelible Grace"

by Heidi Holtan

This week I get the chance to talk with Ann Hood again - this time she's written a novel that was inspired by her own life and the adoption of her daughter Annabelle from China. It's called "The Red Thread" and Dennis LeHane called it "a work of aching beauty and indelible grace. A novel that elicits nothing less than wonder." Tune in for our conversation on RealGoodWords.

The title The Red Thread, is based on an ancient Chinese belief that connects children to all of the people that eventually play a part in their lives.

Learning Ojibwe: Anishinaabeg

From Chelsea Annette's new book, "Discovering the Little Brothers"

Anishinaabeg: People, human beings


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Feel the Lake Effect

by Doug MacRostie

The human voice can do a lot - from throat-singing to yodeling (I'm still waiting for the forward thinking performer who combines those...). Multiple voices combined take it even further - they can create a powerful wall of sound with intricacies and melodies that go from the lowest lows to dizzying highs. Lake Effect, a vocal jazz ensemble out of Duluth, have a released their first CD, "Live!" and we'll hear a conversation with lead vocalist Jenny Graupmann this Thursday night at 6 on Centerstage MN.

With her degree in vocal performance, Jenny is joined by up to 18 other voices on this CD. A project from the School of Fine Arts' Department of Music at UMD, "Live!" ranges from mystical soundscapes to pop-choruses, including a high flying medley of Michael Jackson tunes. Members of the ensemble are selected after highly competitive auditions in the fall of each year. The students are music majors and non-music majors of varying ages and musical backgrounds.

Speaking of interviews, I'll also be featuring many musicians who will be guests coming soon on Centerstage MN including Mark Olson, Keri Noble, Deb Harley and the Brothers Burn Mountain.

Mark Olson, founding member of The Jayhawks, new solo CD is called "Many Colored Kite" and it's an upbeat (compared to his last solo album, "Salvation Blues") neo-folk expansion of Olson's "desert country" style.

Keri Noble will be performing as part of the 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival - she's an acoustic pop singer with confidence and a beautiful voice.

Deb Harley is new to me, her CD arrived at the station last week called "Flung Wide Open." It's her 4th CD overall, it's upbeat contemporary folk music with a twist of blues, country and swing.

The Brothers Burn Mountain are good friends of Centerstage MN (they've been on 5 or 6 times). They're new CD is called "Partly in the Blue, the White." It's another excellent album from BBM that takes their whimsically experimental style to new heights. The emotion and imagery in their music is truly something special.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji and can be heard again Sunday mornings at 6. All interviews are archived at Centerstage MN is also heard on Pioneer 90.1 in Thief River Falls, Saturday nights at 11pm and on KFAI at 90.3 FM Minneapolis & 106.7 FM St. Paul Tuesday nights between 8 and 10pm.

Help Save PTFP!

PTFP is an acronym for a federal program: the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program. PTFP is in trouble.

PTFP is the place public radio and television stations go to apply for federal funds to help build new stations. It also keeps existing stations on the air when the equipment wears out, and helps public radio stations prepare for or recover from hurricanes, floods or other natural disasters.

It is a good program. It has just 3 employees and low overhead. PTFP helped KAXE replace an ailing transmitter in the past, and we hope it will help us build KBXE in the future. It is a small federal program; a drop in the proverbial budgetary bucket. PTFP received a total $44 million in 2011, most of which will be distributed to public radio and television stations.

Yet, for some reason, PTFP has been targeted as one of only 4 programs in the whole government as examples of what the President wants to line item veto this year. Efforts to cancel the program have come from both Democrats and Republicans in congress. They have linked cancellation of PTFP with lowering the deficit.

At the root of this, there seems to be general misunderstanding about PTFP. Some people think it is redundant, because the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds many aspects of public broadcasting, and has recently provided funding for digital conversion.

Unlike the CPB, the PTFP doesn’t only fund equipment if you're converting a station to HD radio or digital TV. PTFP exists to build stations. PTFP is the only place organizations like Northern Community Radio can go for federal funds to buy actual, basic broadcast equipment. The PTFP’s highest priority is to make sure public broadcasting is available to people everywhere in the United States. It won’t pay for everything—the program requires every applicant to leverage public money with matching private funds.

In 2007, the FCC opened what is probably the last window for applications for new noncommercial broadcast licenses ever (because the FM spectrum is pretty much completely full now). They granted hundreds of new construction permits, many to grassroots organizations—community licensees, colleges, nonprofits and American Indian groups, to name a few. Most of these new stations are not built yet. A loss of the PTFP right now will mean an irreplaceable loss in new community radio stations because the stations in the pipeline—that had counted on PTFP for help—may not be able to find enough money to build. If they can’t build in time, their licenses will go to wealthier organizations that can, and it is likely that no new licensing opportunity will ever come again.

This is a critical issue for all small and community-based radio stations in the public radio system. You can help! Here is a link to a letter you can send to your congressional representatives (by email or printable letter) about PTFP. It is on an NPR website, the Public Radio Action Center (when you fill in the identifying information, most of you will be a “non-station advocate.”)

Here is a link to write to your local congressperson:

And another link to write to your senators:

Or, call KAXE if you want more information, and ask to talk to me! 218/326-1234.

-Maggie Montgomery, General Manager
Northern Community Radio

KAXE's Record Setting Summer Fundraiser

by Doug MacRostie

Success!!! With 208 new/renewing members we raised over $24,500 for independent community radio. Thanks to everyone who pledged to KAXE, and thanks to all the volunteers who came in to play music, make food, answer phones, make food, offer services and make food :D This is big news for 2 reasons. 1) This is the largest dollar amount we've ever raised during a summer fundraiser. 2) This is a notable rebound in new membership (though not the highest ever).

Why #1 is important is pretty obvious - we set a goal to reach our operations budget for this fiscal year: $23,977. We raised $24,564 - this is almost $5,000 more than we raised last summer! w00t! With all the financial craziness the last couple years (both globally and locally) a record setting fundraiser represents strong support for Northern Community Radio.

Here's why #2 is important. In the last year we shorted our normally 2-week long Fall and Spring fundraisers to just 1 week, which worked very well overall, but we noticed a slow decline in new members - the money was coming in (about) the same, but it was larger amounts from fewer people. 97 new members this fundraiser is roughly a 25% increase over last summer (and the 4th highest overall). "New members are the most important reason we do on-air fundraisers... it's the only reason," said Maggie Montgomery, "We can find existing members and lapsed members, we know them. Fundraisers reach new people. New members are the lifeblood of the station." And this summer, the lifeblood is pumping strong :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

What's New on KAXE

Dangermuffin "Moonscapes"
Sia "We Are Born"
Sarah McLachlan "Laws of Illusion"
The Cat Empire "Cinema"
Fat Freddys "Drop"
The Derek Trucks Band "Roadsongs"
Robert Randolph and the Family Band "We Walk this Road"
The Gibson Brothers "Ring the Bell"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Learning Ojibwe: Amik

A phrase from Chelsea Annette's new book, "Discovering the Little Brothers".

Amik: Beaver


Did You Know We'd Be Talking about the 6th Sense?

This Sat. from 10-Noon on KAXE, we’re talking about the SIXTH SENSE or ESP. Share your stories here from when you KNEW something would happen. We’ll also have a guest appearance by Rev Dave, a man who can tell the future.

Have you known when something was about to happen? Ever get a feeling and find out why later? Leave a comment and let us know! And be sure to tune in Sat for Between You and Me at

Video: Mayda with 'Little Ginkgo' Live on Centerstage

Her voice is clear, emotional, powerful. Her music is clever, engaging, intimate. Her name is Mayda, and she performed live at the KAXE Studios June 24th on Centerstage MN. An adoptee from Korea, CSMN host Doug MacRostie said, "her music is so emotional and consuming, so intimate and personal. It's like there is a wildfire blazing away inside of her, and it burns through her music setting anyone who listens ablaze."

More info:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Learning Ojibwe: Aaniin nindinawemaaganag

A phrase from Chelsea Annette's new book, "Discovering the Little Brothers".

Aaniin nindinawemaaganag: "Hello, my relatives"


KAXE...The Rebel You Can't Live Without

by Kathryn Lavelle

So here’s the deal. There’s regular radio…and there’s KAXE. Both can be necessary assets for any community. Regular radio is good…can even be great sometimes. Regular radio is like that football player that you had a HUGE crush on in high school. You thought he moved with the grace of a panther, remember? His hair was like the golden wheat in that crazy farmer’s field next to the high school…waving slowly in the golden bronze of the sun.

But then you also begin to remember how that particular, hunky football player would ignore you because you weren’t one of the cool kids. You weren’t a conformist…you were were unique…and he was just too damn focused on being popular to see your potential. He never even took the time to notice or appreciate your creative nature or eccentric personality.

Then enters KAXE, walking through the lunchroom with his tousled hair and black glasses. Kind of shy…kind of good looking in an I-don’t-care-what-I-wear sort of way…extremely intelligent…aloof…a rebel. He saw you for what you were right away…someone worth getting to know. Someone with substance and heart and beauty. He wrote you poetry and read it to you in the rain.

He had long conversations with you about environmental issues, politics and music…and not just the same ole same ole kind of tunes…but MUSIC…weaving its unique sound and eclectic patterns like rainbow trout swimming through a cool, fast running stream. He was the one who listened to your crazy conspiracy theories and never laughed…not once! He assured you that you would always be special to him…that he would always take the time to appreciate you…and he would never sell out so he could be popular.

There’s definitely a place in our lives for regular radio…as well as the sometimes fond…sometimes not so fond memories of the popular kids…the football players…the cheerleaders. High school wouldn’t have been the same without them. But…it would have been mighty boring without those eclectic rebels thrown in there. KAXE is the eclectic rebel we can’t live without. It is important to have that constant in our lives…the public radio station that will continue to amaze, comfort and challenge us. That will bring us the news we may not want to hear…but NEED to hear. That will educate our ears, heart and soul with unfamiliar music that captures and captivates us.

So again…it is time for us to support KAXE…the rebel we can’t live without!!!

Mayda Live in Concert Tonight

by Doug MacRostie

Her voice is clear, emotional, powerful. Her music is clever, engaging, intimate. Her name is Mayda, and she'll be performing live at the KAXE Studios tonight from 6-7:30pm as part of Centerstage MN. You don't want to miss the chance to be part of our live studio-audience as we broadcast this beautiful concert all over Northern MN - be ready to be WOWED by Mayda.

An adoptee from Korea, "her music is so emotional and consuming, so intimate and personal. It's like there is a wildfire blazing away inside of her, and it burns through her music setting anyone who listens ablaze." Don't let the 4' 10" fool you - this is going to be huge!

Be at the KAXE Studios tonight at 6 to be in our live audience, 260 NE 2nd Street Grand Rapids. There will be a Rotary event happening outside - we'll be rockin' INSIDE the KAXE building. See ya then!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Strictly Numbers - Non-Adults

by Maddi Frick

I’m a college student who barely had enough money to pay for her books. I watched my bank account dwindle to a measly $20 during a 2-month paycheck dry spell. I don’t exactly have the wherewithal to give a radio station $1,000 a year, although I’d like to. But just because I don’t have that much money doesn’t mean I can’t give anything. The “No Nonsense” level of $5 a month can fit into a college or high school student’s budget. You can also give smaller amounts; $2 a month, $1 a month. I give $5 a year to WBEZ in Chicago because they create my favorite radio show. It’s not a lot, but I’m glad that I get to show my appreciation and help keep the show on the air at the same time. Think about it, you don’t have to be an “adult” to help out your favorite radio station.

Learning Ojibwe: Aaniin ezhi-ayaayan

This is the first in a series of Ojibwe words and phrases from Chelsea Annette's new book, "Dicovering The Little Brothers".

Aaniin ezhi-ayaayan "How are you?"


You Can Never Have Too Much Onzaam

Tonight at 4:35 during All Things Considered on 91.7 KAXE, we'll be joined by two handlers of Onzaam O Onzaam, an online persona residing on Facebook that represents Native American views and issues in a highly interactive, creative, often funny and sometimes extremely serious way. "Onzaam" means "too much," but instead of too much subjugation and oppression of Native People, they offer too much love, fun and information of/about their people.

Joining us from the Rice Lake Band of Ojibwe over towards McGregor, Onzaam's handlers will talk with Doug MacRostie about what they're doing, "We're representing people that have never had a voice...all the Native people that aren't in a place to speak or to share or to celebrate their culture..." Onzaam will at one moment share a music video and then the next do a time-line of media coverage of the recent issue of treaty rights in northern MN and how that situation was covered and reported on by media such as the Star Tribune. Nothing is off limits, from the hilarious to the heartbreaking.

What started as a way to sell some of their handpicked rice and birch bark/bead work quickly evolved into an online phenomenon that connects people and helps spread ideas and news from Native Country, bringing often ignored or overlooked views, opinions and ideas to the forefront.

Pictured is a bead-work/birch bark piece in progress - the 2nd image has a mirror in the middle - it's reflecting the camera :)

Why KAXE? The Space In Between

by Deborah A Davis

There are a lot of things in Minnesota that are delightful. It's hard not to be reminded of them at this time of year. Just a couple of weeks ago the delicate yellow Moccasins were in bloom; now we've got the shocking pink and white of the Ladyslipper. We're lucky to live here, whether by choice or chance. The world outside fills our senses with its bloom, bird song and beauty. But what of the space in between? If the rush of whitecap stills your mind at the lake, what stills your mind in the mad dash to work in the mornings, the rush to the grocery store in the evening? There's only one radio station that I know that can brush up against the surprise and delight of natures wonder. Can any other station match KAXE's choice in music to sooth the soul, the savageness of the world we walk in every day?

Just this month you may have enjoyed Keri Noble, Eilen Jewell, Mayda. You could have adventured into the Dark Night of the Soul with Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse. KAXE listeners let their minds wander and rest, delight and dance with Wilder Embry, Janiva Magness and Bemidji's Pelican Railroad. We remembered the folksy roots of Dylan with Amy Correia, a shoot of that root herself.

And music isn't the only exploding of sensory bloom KAXE has given us this summer. We're kept vitally alive with LIVE PERFORMANCES and interviews, not only with with music makers but with local artists, activists and other world changers. KAXE touches us with local folk too. Heck, we might find out what the guy down the road had for breakfast. And we know the vital news of the world from a perspective that few are brave enough to tell.

Maybe they've made it too easy... If you want to see the rare and exotic Ladyslipper you have to hike, sometimes miles, into the woods. If you want to smell the scent of the pine in the rain you're gonna get wet. But when you want to be equally enriched by KAXE all you have to do is turn on the dial and listen. When you need that blank and frenzied space inbetween to be filled with wonder, you just push a button.You know, maybe you could go the extra mile; preserve your senses wherever you are. Pledge what you can today to be renewed, informed and delighted, and guarantee KAXE will be there when you need them. And you will need them. Winter is just an Autumn away.

Deborah A Davis
Bemidji MN

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mino-giizhigad! (It’s a good day!)

Ojibwe author, Chelsea Annette, joins Maggie Montgomery and Scott Hall to talk about her first in her series of books for learning the Ojibwe language and preserving the Ojibwe culture Weds morning at 8:10 on KAXE. This book, “Discovering The Little Brothers”, is the story “about a little song bird, Naagamowin-bineshiinh, who wants nothing more than to make a nest.” On his journey, we meet a lot of animals and learn a lot of Ojibwe.

Strictly Numbers - Online Listeners

by Maddi Frick

In the past 365 days, we’ve had 29,197 visitors listen to our online audio stream a total of 329,840 times. It costs $270 per month to run the online audio stream, that’s $3240 per year. If we were charging you to listen online, it’d be 11¢ per year. Do you think you could spare that? Give us $1.10 and you’d be covering 9 other people. Give us $11 and you’re covering the cost of 99 other people. Give us a one-time $33 donation and you are paying for 299 other people. Need I keep going? Don’t you appreciate being able to listen online? Think about it, 11¢.

Sense & Gender

by Guido

Back in our benighted past, when males believed they were the only ones capable of making sense of things, it was determined that we have five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. You could argue the small-mindedness of that conclusion---what about hunch?---precognition?---but hardly anyone did. Next, men decided that, of their five senses, sight and sound were premier, in that they so thoroughly involved the intellect, and thusly sight and sound were designated the manly senses. Smell, taste and touch were all about the body, the physical, lesser attributes than intellect, and they were of course then associated with the feminine.

This goofiness corroborated the very manly philosophy, Cartesianism, which held that truth is perceived strictly by way of the mind, and everything you sense physically is illusion. The clown quotient is over the top, no lie, but the gag held up for awhile in the 17th century, and the guy it’s associated with, Rene Descartes, is known as the Father of Modern Philosophy.

Remember “Cogito, ergo sum”? I think, therefore I am. There: right there is Rene’s great gift to modern and postmodern philosophy.

This week on KAXE 91.7 we’re proposing and proving---daily, hourly---that you need all your senses working all the time to fully appreciate all the things that membership in Northern Community Radio means for you, and manliness means whatever you want it to mean---same as it ever was.

Come to your senses. Yours is ours. We sense, we pledge, therefore we are.

A Match that Makes Cents

Now is the time to pledge!!! Willie, a friend of KAXE and longtime supporter, has been gathering change and brought in a jug full to help encourage NEW members to pledge. He's offering an additional $20 to the first 10 pledges by a NEW member, so take this opportunity for your pledge dollars to go further and support independent community radio: 218-326-1234 or 800-662-5799, or pledge online at

Listener support is our single largest source of funding for over 34 years and new members are vital to our continued success - pick an amount that fits your budget over the next year and pledge now so you get an extra $20 thanks to Willie!

See An Incredible Cup of Hot Chocolate On The Radio

by Scott Hall (with lots of help from Stan Freeberg)

The theme for KAXE's Summer fundraiser is "Come To Your Senses". Each day we focus on one our five (or six) senses. Today it's sight. That may seem like a stretch for radio, but au contraire, mon ami!. Check out this ad Stan Freeberg produced for the radio advertising council over 50 years ago.

Click here to listen: Hot Chocolate on the Radio

One of MN's Treasures: Jon Hassler

by Heidi Holtan,

There are many reasons to be proud of the state of Minnesota.

Education. Marion Ross. 66 State Parks. Loni Anderson. Spam. Butterheads at the MN State Fair. Cute accents. The MN Twins. Climate extremes that make Minnesotans a grateful bunch. And writers. It's a state chock full of writers.

In 2008 Minnesota lost one of it's most beloved voices, author Jon Hassler.

Jon was born in Minneapolis but grew up in Plainview and Staples, Minnesota. One of Hassler's colleagues at St. John's University, Nickh Hayes, in Collegeville, MN said, "Minnesota has been lost between the sentimental images of Lake Wobegon and the cynical look of Sinclair Lewis's Gopher Prairie". Hayes is a professor of history and university chair of critical thinking. "Jon rescued small-town Minnesota. He saw it without sentimentality, but with a subtle eye that brought out the dignity, humanity and humor of its characters. I was always amazed by his ability to give such life to characters that you would think, at first glance, would be of no interest whatsoever. He saw the complexity of individuals.

When Jon Hassler taught in Brainerd, MN at the former Brainerd Community College (now Central Lakes College), he met a man that would be a lifelong friend. Joe Plut is my guest this week on Realgoodwords. We'll talk about the work he did with Jon - that has just been published by Nodin Press, "Conversations with Jon Hassler".

I grew up in a home where Jon Hassler's writing was revered. (thanks Mom!) I still haven't read all his work - one of my favorites is Grand Opening. I felt like, through Jon's writing, I learned more about my grandfather's growing up years in southern Minnesota. Thanks to Joe Plut's scrupulous reading of Jon Hassler's work, and his conversations about each of his novels, I was able to learn more about not only the story of Grand Opening, but how Hassler wrote it and how much it was based on his own life. Tune in this week for Joe Plut on Realgoodwords and his book "Conversations with Jon Hassler".

Richard Russo wrote of Jon Hassler in the New York Times Book Review, "Part of Jon Hassler's brilliance has always been his ability to achieve the depth of real literature through such sure-handed, no-gimmicks, honest language that the result appears effortless."

Do you have a favorite Hassler work? Why?

It's our summer fundraiser, and thanks to Joe Plut and Nodin Press, you can get a copy of "Conversations with Jon Hassler" when you pledge your support!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Don't Come To Your Senses in a Hospital Bed

by KAXE Volunteer Rev Dave,

If the Mayans are right, the world is going to change drastically in 2012. All the signs point to upheaval, change, and possibly the end of caramel latte's. In a world like this you don't want to be alone against the legions of mediocrity that have banded together like rats and taken over all malls and manicure shops. You need to "Come to your Senses!" and join the voice of freedom known as KAXE.

OK, OK, maybe a little heavy on the gloom and doom. I'll try this again...

KAXE is the sound that touches my heart, makes me see blue skies, and smell the memory of pine trees.

OK, that's a bad greeting card, or an anti-depressant commercial.

Damn, this is tougher than I thought.... All I'm supposed to do is write some little toss off about why people should support the great institution of KAXE. There's so many great programs, there are so many great people, KAXE is so many things to so many people, and weaves it's family into a fabric that covers the world. This should be easy.

But all I can think is, support KAXE or when you come to your senses you'll be in a hospital bed.

A Momentary Lapse of Morning Show

Have you ever lost 10 minutes to a daydream? Or maybe drove home and realized you couldn't remember the commute at all? We've all had these moments when it seems our mind was absent, yet we functioned just fine. Stuff like that happens on the KAXE Morning Show all time.

It's the first day of our Come to Our Senses Fundraiser and students from College For Kids helped to write, act and produce this video to encourage people to support independent local radio/multi-media in Northern MN.

KAXE is an non-profit, public broadcast organization working to build community in Northern MN and listener support is vital to our success - infact, it's kept us strong and on the air for over 34 years now. We need to hear from you NOW, pledge at whatever amount you can afford by calling 218-326-1234 or pledge online at

What's New on KAXE

Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers "Mojo"
Audra Mae "The Happiest Lamb"
Alejandro Escovedo "Street Songs of Love"
Macy Gray "The Sellout"
Les Copeland "Don't Let the Devil In"
Deb Harley "Flung Wide Open"
Dixie Chicks "The Very Best Of..."
Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse "Dark Night of the Soul"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Freaky Fundraisers Hard at Work

There is a LOT going on in this picture - can you see the gong? And where's mallet? How many coffee mugs do you see? And is there a bird in the feeder? :)

It's the first morning of our Come To Your Senses Fundraiser. Listener support is our single largest source of funding - people just like you who pledge now!

On this first day we're celebrating the sense of hearing - when you pledge you can go on-air and we'll play a mystery-sound for you - if you get it right (and Sound Master Guido has been offering clues) you get a free CD!

On an entirely unrelated subject - a nice young man was found wandering our amphitheater - turns out he can't remember anything, so we lovingly nicknamed him Amneesia Manne and asked him to report about our fundraiser, check it out:
Amneesia Manne Ep 1

The important thing is that you look at your budget and see what you can afford, then give us a call! 800-662-5799 or pledge online at

Friday, June 18, 2010

Long Day For Tornado Bob

by Scott Hall

As the tornado watch alerts began flashing last Thursday afternoon, I put a call out to our senior staff storm chaser, Tornado Bob. I knew he'd be tracking those unstable air masses, but we couldn't track him down. He finally checked in Friday morning, and, as I suspected, he headed out to northwestern MN, including Wadena, late Thursday morning, well ahead of the storms. He said it is tough chasing storms alone because he has to pull over frequently to check the latest data on his computer. You can hear his report this Monday morning on 91.7, KAXE, at 8:45.

"I don't Know Who I Am or Why I'm Here..."

The other day the KAXE staff noticed someone wandering outside the studios and inquired if he needed help... turned out he can't remember anything - listen to what happened:
The Introduction of Amnesia Man

Our summer fundraiser starts Sunday night at 5 with Backporch Harmony and goes through Green Cheese Trivia on Sat. the 26th. Are you a member? Now's the time to come to your senses...

Ultimato: Blogging vs Dishes

by Guido

At the KAXE staff meeting today (6.17.10) Maggie Montgomery laid down the law: anyone who doesn't maintain a blog will be assigned the (in Maggie's mind) commensurate duty of kitchen clean-up after the regular Thursday morning meetings. A surrogate pounded the table for Maggie, with implications for consequences; i.e., who's going to enforce her ultimato?

I'm an old hand at the kitchen sink. Indeed, I've done more than a few dishes here in my short time as a KAXE quasi-staffer. I'm not doing this to prevent dishwater hands. My first goal is to simply test the whole system (electronic, administrative, punitive).

I do have important things to say. Truly, I say only important things. Think of this as a shot across the bow. Now that I have everyone's attention, depend upon it: this changes everything.

Maggie: be careful what you mandate.

From Afton to Zippel Bay: MN State Parks

This week on Between You and Me we’re talking about one of Minnesota’s greatest treasures: STATE PARKS. Photographer Doug Ohman has a new book out called “Prairie, Lake, Forest: Minnesota’s State Parks,” he’ll be taking your questions and tell us about visiting and photographing all 66 Minnesota State Parks. But we want to hear from you too!!!

Which park is your favorite?

Which one have you been meaning to visit?

What's your most memorable experience?

Between You and Me with Heidi Holtan, our weekly get-together, a mix of music and conversation from 10-noon on Sat - streaming at Call in during the sho, email or call out talkback line 218-999-9876

You can also join our online facebook discussion and share your stories of MN’s State Parks, click here!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Adventure and Memory on Realgoodwords this week

by Heidi Holtan

Linda Greenlaw is one of my guests this week on Realgoodwords this week... she's the only female swordboat captain in America. You may know her from the movie The Perfect Storm or the book by Sebastian Junger... or maybe you've seen her discovery channel show Swords. I talked with her about her new memoir about getting back out on the water to captain a swordboat after 10 years. It's called "Seaworthy: A Swordfish Captain Returns to the Sea". Now I'm not usually the kind of gal who likes this kind of adventure writing - but I found this book to be fun and fascinating about this hardworking world of fishing I knew nothing about. Hope you get to hear the interview, I found my conversation with Linda delightful.

I also talked to Australian writer and speaker Michael McQueen about the book he's put together "Memento: My Life in Stories". After the surprise death of his father, McQueen realized how important stories are to us. He had given his father a notebook with questions and after he passed, they found it, filled out, in his desk. It has helped him deal with such a big loss in his life. Questions in the book include things like "What was your favorite childhood toy" and "What can you remember about your first kiss" and "What was your wedding like".....

We also get the chance to hear my conversation with Nick Hornby again this week - his latest novel is "Juliet, Naked".

If you missed the show, check here for Realgoodword archives.

Mayda: Please Pierce Her to My Earlobe

by Doug MacRostie

I listen to a lot of music. All kinds of CDs come into the KAXE Studios and I spend much of my commute sliding discs in and out of the stereo. A couple weeks ago one of our volunteers left a Mayda EP on my desk - I had never heard of her. As I was drifting through the haze of generally unremarkable music (anything can get on CD these days...) I put in Mayda and instantly heard something special. By the end of the EP her powerful and emotional voice and clear, intricately-tuneful guitar work had reached out of the dashboard and grabbed onto my face and made it rock. Perfect :) It's so emotional and consuming, so intimate and personal. It's like there is a wildfire blazing away inside of her, and it burns through her music setting anyone who listens ablaze. This week on Centerstage MN I'll be featuring music from Mayda's "Eyes on the Water." AND - I am very excited that she will be performing LIVE on Centerstage MN a week from Thursday, on June 24th, and you can be part of our studio audience!!! When we open up the station like this it's a very intimate venue - the perfect way to experience Mayda! It's a free concert during KAXE's "Come to Your Senses" summer fundraiser so come out and enjoy on Thursday the 24th at 6pm! (Click here to rsvp on Facebook).

I've also got a new song to play from Mason Jennings, inspired during a 2007 trip to Patagonia to check out the filming of 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless. The DVD just recently hit stores and the soundtrack also features Ugly Casanova, James Mercer and Jack Johnson.

I've got some Dalia and More Than Lights, both with a clear and in-your-face (in-a-good-way) style that will go well with Mayda. And the out-of-this-world music of The Darbuki Kings and Jake Dilley and the Color Pharmacy. And more music from Trampled By Turtles' "Palomino."

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji and can be heard again Sunday mornings at 6. All interviews are archived at Centerstage MN is also heard on Pioneer 90.1 in Thief River Falls, Saturday nights at 11pm and on KFAI at 90.3 FM Minneapolis & 106.7 FM St. Paul Tuesday nights between 8 and 10pm.

Monday, June 14, 2010

NFCB Conference Photos

See more photos here. KAXE brought a small army of staff and volunteers to the National Federation of Community Broadcasters annual meeting, this year in St. Paul, MN. Not only did we learn a lot, but KAXE also had 5 presenters for training sessions. Here's a couple pictures from around the conference. Speakers including Senator Amy Klobuchar, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and many lots of great food :D Check out the pix in our Photo Album. More info at

What's New on KAXE

Paul Thorn "Pimps & Preachers"
Dr. John and the Lower 911 "Tribal"
Peter Case "Wig!"
Lucy Woodward "Hooked"
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals "GP&N"
Fred Eaglesmith "Cha Cha Cha"
Michael Franti and Spearhead "The Sound of Sunshine"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

DJ the DJ talks tattoos on Between You and Me

Tune in tomorrow (6/11) for Between You and Me from 10-noon.... DJ will be taking your stories of your tats. What's the story behind yours? A love affair? A big birthday? A brother who is a tattoo artist? Call or email 218-326-1234.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kristen Anderson's fiber art in Marcell

An Arctic map made partially of Arctic muskox (qiviut) fur... a venison-keeper made with materials from deer... and many more pieces that unite form, medium, and context. Kristen Anderson of rural Marcell is showing her textile work at the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center (the old ranger station) on Highway 38 north of Marcell.

Kristen Anderson spoke with KAXE's new Arts and Culture producer Travis Ryder at the exhibition opening. Hear about her work, methods, and inspiration on Wednesday's Morning Show at 7:50 a.m.

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's Vinyl Ni/It's Vinyl Ni/It's Vinyl Ni/It's Vinyl Ni/...

Sorry about that, the keyboard was skipping ;) It's the first Monday night of the month and that means it's ALL VINYL tonight on KAXE during On the River from 7-10 with DJ the DJ and the elusive Bebo. "We will 'Blame It On The Stones' and 'Get The Led Out'." In this day and age when CD's are going the way of the 8-track for digital libraries, it just makes that soft, warm and inviting vinyl sound that much sweeter - tune in tonight and enjoy!

What's New on KAXE

J. Shogren "Bird Bones & Muscle"
Bettye LaVette "Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook"
Moe. "Smash Hits: Volume 1"
Mose Allison "The Way of the World"
Patrick Stanfield Jones "A Heart and an Open Road"
Sara Jackson-Holman "When You Dream"
Guthrie Kennard "Matchbox"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Engineer's Log: Streaming Fixed. (Again.)

by Dan Houg

For those that listen to us via the 91.7 KAXE web stream, you may have experienced sporadic connection quality. I tried several approaches to resolving this and things greatly improved but we still experienced occasional lockups. In an effort to provide the most reliable streaming audio possible, we have installed a dedicated streaming appliance that does not use a Windows based PC. This should permanently fix our stream connection issues but the solution cost us over $400 for the hardware. Our pledge drive is coming up in June and this would be a perfect time the online listeners to express appreciation with the renewal of your membership or actually become a member!

Technically, we have installed the Barix Instreamer. A dedicated appliance about the size of a package of cream cheese, it uses a Linux kernal coded into non-volatile memory and does the job simply and well with no moving parts, fans, or Microsoft.

Of Umpires and This Old World

by Scott Hall

This Old World: 3.5 to 4 Billion Years and Counting

Had a good conversation with Richard Ojakangas (right) last night. He taught Geology at the University of MN-Duluth for 38 years, and, in 1982, co-authored with his colleague at UMD, Dr. Charles Matsch, "Minnesota's Geology", a widely used text on the geological history of Minnesota. Richard was born in Warba, graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1950, and got undergraduate and graduate degrees in Geology at UMD, the University of Missouri, and Stanford. He's done geological research all over the world and, at age 78, is still doing research and writing. In July he's off to India. Last year he published "Roadside Geology of Minnesota". Hear our interview this Thursday morning at 8:10. By the way, major geologic events that formed Minnesota rocks occurred about 3.5 billion years ago in the Minnesota River Valley, but "only" 1.1 billion years ago in the Lake Superior Region. As Doug MacRostie says, "Minnesota rocks!".

A Bad Week For Umpires

The Twins lost a game in Seattle Wednesday night when the 2nd base umpire appeared to miss a close call of a force out at second base in the bottom of the 10th inning. If the runner had been called out, the inning would have been over and we'd be heading into the 11th inning. But Seattle scored the winning run on the play and the Twins lost, 2-1.

Earlier that same day, the first base umpire in a game between Detroit and Cleveland blew a call at first base and denied Armando Gallarraga a perfect game. The umpire, Jim Joyce, admitted after the game he blew the call and felt horrible about it. For his part, Gallarraga was very gracious and said missed calls were part of the game. Joyce is a highly regarded ump by players and managers and doesn't need this incident to define his legacy (but it probably will). In the picture at right, Joyce and Gallarraga shake hands the day after the bad call.

If only the national media had been as gracious as Joyce and Gallarraga, but grace doesn't sell beer. So we've got a heated debate going on now about whether replays should allow umpires calls to be over-ruled. Even though I'm an old Cardinal fan who who remembers umpire Don Denkinker's blown call on a play at first base that probably cost the Cardinals the 1985 World Series, I don't think replays should be used in baseball. Having said that, it would be all right with me if the Commissioner did over-rule a call in very unusual circumstance like this perfect game. Reversing that call would not have changed the outcome of the game in any way (the next batter grounded out, game over). And Gallarraga would become only the 21st pitcher to throw a perfect game (27 batters up and out without a hit, walk, or error) in over 120 years of baseball history.

Gallarraga's perfecto was the 3rd over the last two seasons. Now people who sell tickets (owners) and sell beer (TV) are beginning to worry that pitchers are starting to dominate the game too much. They believe fans prefer offense (see hockey and soccer), and enough won't pay to see close, well-pitched games. While the Commissioner won't over-rule one umpire's decision, he and the rulers of the professional game won't hesitate to make changes if they think it will cost them at the cash register. They lowered the pitching mound 5 inches after the 1968 season when pitchers dominated and may have juiced the balls a bit from time to time too. Wednesday night Mariner pitcher Cliff Lee and Twins pitcher, Kevin Slowey, pitched so well that by the 7th inning you knew the outcome of the whole game rested on every pitch or one little mistake. Hard to imagine a better game to hold my attention.