Friday, July 30, 2010

Learning Ojibwe: Ashaageshiinh

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

Ashaageshiinh: Crayfish

In "Discovering The Little Brothers", the fox, "Waagosh", and the songbird, "Nagamowin-Bineshiinh", offer the sturgeon, "Name", a crayfish, "Ashaageshiinh", as a gift of food, "Miijim".


Here Comes Stormy Weather

John Bauer saw a full size tree ripped out of the ground by wind while his golf bag stood still just 8 feet away... This week on Between You and Me it’s all about stormy weather. Have you ever been in a tornado? Got a good storm story to share? Between You and Me with Heidi Holtan is our weekly get-together – a mix of music and conversation from 10-noon Saturdays on 91.7 KAXE. You can share your story on our Facebook discussion board, email or call our talkback line 218-999-9876. John says he has a witness and everything!

Photo from KAXE Volunteer DJ and Photographer Karen Oothoudt

Thursday, July 29, 2010

91,700 Internal KAXE Documents Leaked

The Northland Security Service of Northern Community Radio is trying to get the full scope and impact of over 91,700 classified documents related to 91.7 KAXE's work to build community since moving into their new building 5 years ago. The documents, many of which are person-to-person emails about events, concerts and fundraising, were leaked over the weekend.

In response, KAXE quickly vowed to continue building community in Northern MN, no matter what is reflected in the leak and harshly condemned the unauthorized distribution of the internal information - even if the majority of it is incorrect or generally useless.

A representative from KAXE is quoted saying, "We believe the leak started in the bathroom..."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

KAXE Brings Back Danny Schmidt

On Friday, August 27th, KAXE is bringing back singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt to Grand Rapids for a concert at KAXE's Amphitheater under the Rotary Tent.

Very seldom does KAXE bring back the same musicians two years in a row...but Danny Schmidt is brilliant - quite possibly one the country's best singer songwriters and you can see him in person starting at 7pm on Friday, Aug 27th. His music is intelligently crafted and beautiful.

There will be an opening set with the very talented Bemidji singer/songwriter Lance Benson joined by Mark Bauer.

Tickets are $20, KAXE members get a $10 discount. To reserve your tickets call KAXE at 218-326-1234 and get more info at

This is going to be an amazing and intimate show on the north bank of the Mississippi River in Downtown Grand Rapids (260 NE 2nd St), be here!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Many Colors of Mark Olson

by Doug MacRostie

This week I'll be talking with Mark Olson about his new solo CD "Many Colored Kite." That name should be familiar, Mark was the founding member and principle singer/songwriter with The Jayhawks. One of the most acclaimed bands to come out of MN, the Jayhawks were on the forefront of the Alt-Country scene during the mid-80's through mid-90's and you can still hear their impact and influence in music today. This is Mark's 2nd solo CD, and it's a bit more upbeat than "Salvation Blues" which came out in 2007. Other than being a world-class singer, songwriter and performer, he's a very good speaker too, and we will talk in-depth about his music - this is going to be a great interview on Centerstage MN this Thursday night at 6.

For example, I asked Mark Olson what inspires him, "The basic struggle as far as family, friends, earning a living, existence, our place in the would - just the basics that I think most people struggle with in their lives, that inspires me to try and express myself about it. Things that are obviously wrong - I don't think that I can change the world or make anything better... if I can express myself in a way that points out something wrong and if there's a solution out there...I don't know. But that inspires me, there is so much wrong in the world right now. If you sing a song you can help someone feel better or even yourself. What also inspires me, this is really true; I like the physical aspect of playing music, I like how it feels to move the arms and sing and get into it - there's just something about that I've always enjoyed." See what I mean?

We'll also hear music from Pat Surface's new CD "Songwriter. " Pat has been making music for over 30 years from Ely. Along with The Boundary Water Boys he's put together a great collection interpreting many well-known songs. Pat only prints his releases 1000 copies at a time, and when I bumped into him in Bemidji last week he told the first pressing of "Songwriting" sold out in less than 5 days. Right on!

Plus we'll hear from Grand Rapid's High Bongo. And next week my guest is The Brothers Burn Mountain and we'll hear from their new CD "Partly in the Blue, the White."

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 KSRQ in Thief River Falls, and on KMSU in Mankato. Sometimes heard on KFAI in Minneapolis & St. Paul and WTIP in Grand Marais. Often featured on

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brian Freeman & the KAXE Bookclub

by Heidi Holtan

I'm excited for tomorrow night - the KAXE book club is getting together at 5:30 to discuss MN author Brian Freeman's latest mystery (set in Grand Rapids) "The Burying Place".

So what's the big deal? There's a couple of big deals about this meeting.

1. Brian Freeman will be AT the book club meeting
2. We're meeting at a book club member's house - near where the action/mystery in "The Burying Place" takes place
3. It's summer in northern Minnesota! Bookclub is meeting outside overlooking Pokegama Lake!! What's not to be excited about?

So how does the KAXE book club work? Good question, and I get asked it a lot. This is the first book club I've ever been in - and we are a no-guilt, everyone-is-invited, all-fun, come-when-you-can-even-if-you-haven't-read-the-book kind of book club.

This means YOU are invited. Even if you haven't read the book. And like any good Minnesota get-together, it's a potluck, so we are asking that you bring something to share. Here's a sneak peek at the food/beverages on board for the party: buster bars, beer, sandwiches, thai fried rice, wine, brownies, potato salad and who knows what else!!!

We'll eat, hear from the author, ask questions of the author and enjoy each others company.

If you want to attend and need to find out the mystery location, call Heidi at KAXE 218-326-1234 or email

Video: The Brass Kings with "Tin Man"

The Brass Kings area an acoustic roots band operating out of the Twin Cities - singer/songwriter Steve Kaul is from Bemidji, MN. A trio of world-class musicians their performance includes washtup bass, washboard percussion, a butter dish, resonator guitars and more. Their sound and style goes deep into American Roots music with an edge of blues.

The 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival was on July 17th, 2010 featuring Pelican Railroad from Bemidji, Steve Kaul and the Brass Kings, Keri Noble, Eilen Jewell and Willie Murphy.

It was a great festival that also included local, handmade art/items from KAXE members.

Though it was looming from time to time, we only got some scattered sprinkles (all the worst weather drifted towards Brainerd).

More info:

What's New on KAXE

Rocky Dawuni "Hymns for the Rebel Soul"
Lissa Schneckenburger "Dance"
R.E.M. "Fables of the Reconstruction"
Pat Surface with the Boundary Water Boys "Songwriter"
Hot Club Sandwich "And If Only"
The Brothers Burn Mountain "Partly in the Blue, the White"
Sheryl Crow "100 Miles from Memphis"
Jason Spooner "Sea Monster"
Kazyak "A Beautiful Brontosaurus"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Learning Ojibwe: Asemaa

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

Asemaa: tobacco

Tobacco has quite a different meaning in Ojibwe culture. It's offered in prayer to Gichi-manidoo, the Great Spirit. And it's offered when asking for help from others.


Between You and Me: Camp Fires

Michael and Gail will host Between You and Me on Saturday the 24th. Have you got a recipe to share, a favorite ghost story, a great memory of time spent around the campfire, the perfect design for building a fire ring or the perfect fire? Please share:0) My dog has been known to drag burning food, especially marshmallows, right out of the fire with her paws and snout!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Video: Pelican Railroad at the Mississippi River Fest

Pelican Railroad performing at the 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival. From Bemidji, Pelican Railroad is an eclectic jammin' rock/blues band that plays both originals and unique interpretations. The video goes crazy for a little bit, our camera man Doug MacRostie had to prevent his son from running on stage and taking over :)

The 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival was on July 17th, 2010 featuring Pelican Railroad from Bemidji, Steve Kaul and the Brass Kings, Keri Noble, Eilen Jewell and Willie Murphy.

It was a great festival that also included local, handmade art/items from KAXE members.

Though it was looming from time to time, we only got some scattered sprinkles (all the worst weather drifted towards Brainerd).

More info:

Mississippi River Festival Photos

The 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival was on July 17th, 2010 featuring Pelican Railroad from Bemidji, Steve Kaul and the Brass Kings, Keri Noble, Eilen Jewell and Willie Murphy. It was a great festival that also included local, handmade art/items from KAXE members. Though it was looming from time to time, we only got some scattered sprinkles (all the worst weather drifted towards Brainerd). See the pictures here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

T-Shirts: Check. Stage: Check...River Festival Tomorrow: Check Check Check!

The limited addition t-shirts for the 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival arrived today! 3 colors, 1 awesome design. They'll be available at the Festival tomorrow under the Rotary Tent at the KAXE Amphitheater in Grand Rapids from Noon-8:30pm for just $15!!!

Pelican Railroad from Bemidji will kick off the concert with their blend of styles - it's hard to describe, but I'll go with a jammin' blues-rock band. They do both originals and covers, when they cover a song they will change the style and tempo to make it their own.

Then at 1:45 it's The Brass Kings, operating out of the Twin Cities (singer/songwriter Steve Kaul is from Bemidji). A trio of world-class musicians their performance includes washtup bass, washboard percussion, a butter dish, resonator guitars and more. Their sound and style goes deep into American Roots music with an edge of blues.

At 3:30 it's Minneapolis soul-pop artist Keri Noble. Her music is critically acclaimed across the globe and falls into the pop category, but her vocals definitely have that soulful edge. She'll have a band with her and it's sure to be a riveting performance.

Then it's Eilen Jewell at 5:15. Leading a new generation of roots music, part of her music is instantly recognizable, the other part is instantly fresh and innovative. The only performer who isn't from MN, she does Massachusetts proud, and we are very excited to bring her to the stage.

Then headliner Willie Murphy and band takes the stage at 7pm, and be ready to dance your feet off! One of the three original inductees into the MN Music Hall of Fame (along with Dylan and Prince) Willie's career helped define the sound of Soul and R&B music, along with his prolific blues career. It's going to be awesome.

Not only that, but we'll also have a booth of local, hand-made items from KAXE members including clothing, birch bark and bead work, honey, wild rice, soap, gift cards and more, all made by supporters of KAXE. The stage is set, the weather is looking good and the excitment is definitely in the air - be here!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Startling Words with MN Author Maureen Gibbon

by Heidi Holtan

Northern Minnesota author Maureen Gibbon is my guest this week. She's written a compelling new novel called "Thief". It's startling even - mainly because it's a book that doesn't shy away from sexuality.

In "Thief" Suzanne is a teacher in her early thirties who has come up north to get away from her life and problems during her summer vacation. She places a personal ad and one of the people who responds is an inmate from Stillwater State Prison. Most people might turn away, but Suzanne is curious. It turns out the inmate is a convicted rapist - and Suzanne, as a survivor of a rape in her teenage years, wants to find out some things. They begin a friendship that leads to more. Gibbon's writing is raw but not gratuitous. Kirkus Reviews wrote, "In an odd way this book is a female, and highly sexual, version of Thoreau's Walden; there are some lovely bits about solitude, nature and solitude-in-nature, but Suzanne is a woman who craves and needs contact, and much of her contemplation is devoted to exploring the tangled roots of that need. Grim but inspiring, this is a flint-tough, plainspoken novel about a flint-tough, plainspoken woman who asks no pity and gives no quarter."

Gibbon also writes with a very strong sense of place. You feel the northwoods of Minnesota in her writing - especially the lakes. Suzanne, her main character, gets comfort from her daily swims in the lake where she can witness the natural world around and be buoyed by the water. When I talked to Maureen Gibbon, she mentioned a poem by Robert Francis called "The Swimmer".

Observe how he negotiates his way

With trust and the least violence, making

The stranger friend, the enemy ally.

The depth that could destroy gently supports him.

With water he defends himself from water.

Danger he leans on, rests in. The drowning sea

Is all he has between himself and drowning.


What lover ever lay more mutually

With his beloved, his always-reaching arms

Stroking in smooth and powerful caresses?

Some drown in love as in dark water, and some

By love are strongly held as the green sea

Now holds the swimmer. Indolently he turns

To float.--The swimmer floats, the lover sleeps.

We'll also talk about a con man this week on Realgoodwords, named John Drewe. Laney Salisbury has written a book that looks at this extraordinary true life character who created one of the most far-reaching and elaborate cons in the history of art forgery. Salisbury talks about how subjective the world of art is - her book is called "Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art". Oprah magazine wrote "Specatular... a real-life thriller of the fine art of the con."

The Scintillating Soul-Pop of Keri Noble

by Doug MacRostie

I had never heard of the term "soul-pop" before listening to Keri Noble, and with her clear and powerful voice and catchy, melodic music she introduces the genre very well. Her music falls into the pop category, but her vocals definitely have that soulful edge. With a Pastor father, Keri was raised in a religious home in Detroit and you can hear the gospel influence in her music. As she grew older in Minneapolis she started questioning the judgment and exclusion side of religion and wondered why there wasn't more prominence of love and acceptance - something she sings about in her amazing song "Born Again". When she heard Joni Mitchell's album 'Blue' in her late teens it inspired her to start writing songs and expressing her emotions through music. "My songs are about relationships, and not just the romantic's like therapy, you have to feel music." Keri will be my guest this week on Centerstage MN to talk about her new self-titled CD.

Keri Noble will be performing this Sat. at the 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival under the Rotary Tent at the KAXE amphitheater in Grand Rapids along Pelican Railroad, the Brass Kings, Eilen Jewell and MN music legend Willie Murphy. Get more details here.

As a side-note: those of you who listen to Julie Crabb as The Mom of Pop Culture or listen to her host Green Cheese Trivia, Keri talks JUST like Julie. I don't mean her voice sounds the same, I mean they talk the same - the words, the rhythm, the style - listen for it and let me know if you agree :)

We'll also hear music from The Jayhawks and Bob Dylan, new music from The Brothers Burn Mountain, and Andy Dee's solo CD "Sweet Soul Sewage."

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.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Change Your Profile Pic In Solidarity :)

With the 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival happening THIS Saturday, we're doing one last online push to make sure everyone is aware of this amazing full day of music for just $40 (and KAXE members get a $10 discount!). More info here.

We ask that you, whether you can make it to the festival on Sat or not, change your profile picture to the Mississippi River Festival logo:
Just right click on the image and save it to your computer, then load it to your facebook, myspace, twitter, whatever profile :)

Show your KAXE pride! In a summer when festivals have been cancelled and tours under-selling, we had amazing early-bird ticket sales. Help take it even further and spread the word!!!! And if you're going to be here, be ready to enjoy Pelican Railroad, The Brass Kings, Keri Noble, Eilen Jewell and Willie Murphy. Everyone should be aware of this amazing full day of music for just $40 (and KAXE members get a $10 discount!). More info here.

The 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival

by Doug MacRostie

OMG, this is going to be awesome! The 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival is THIS Sat. starting at Noon and the forecast as of Tuesday: partly cloudy/partly sunny with temps in the low 80s and only a 20% chance of rain. Be prepared - maybe have a raincoat or tarp just-in-case, feel free to bring your own chairs & coolers, there will be food & soda/ice coffee/root beer floats by the Grand Rapids Kiwanis Club. And there will be a table of handmade goods by KAXE members including wild rice, clothing, jewelry, honey, soap, wood-turned bowls and more.

And we haven't even talk about the music yet! I'm torn on who I'm most excited to see, but Scott Hall said on the Morning Show that, "Doug thinks Eilen Jewell will be the big surprise," so I'll go with that :p And yeah, I've wanted to see her perform since the first time I heard her new-style of roots music on KAXE. I'm also really pumped to see Willie Murphy, partly because who he is and what he represents (having helped define the sound of R&B and Soul music and a prolific Blues career) and also because I know he's going to make everyone dance. When I interviewed him on Centerstage MN last year that was one thing that he made perfectly clear, "I like longer songs because they're better for dancing, and my music is all about dancing." Hell yeah.

But wait, there's more. The day will kick off with Pelican Railroad from Bemidji, a rockin' blues band (or was it a bluesy rock band, lol) - they play regularly in the Bemidji area, and we are really excited to bring their good-time to Grand Rapids. And, another son-of-Bemidji will be performing: Steve Kaul and The Brass Kings. To quote myself, "Steve Kaul is the caliber of guitarist you compare with the likes of Doc Watson, Leo Kottke and Bruce Cockburn." Check out the video of Steve playing at our studios below :) The Brass Kings are a world-class roots/blues trio.

And we've also got Keri Noble, a soul-pop artist from Minneapolis - in her late teens she was inspired by Joni Mitchell's "Blue" to start writing her own music. Her music is about relationships (not just the romantic kind), "as a kind of have to feel music." She will be my guest this week on Centerstage MN - so tune in for that preview.

That's the 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival this Sat., July 17th from Noon-8:30pm. Tickets for this full day of excellent music are just $40 and KAXE members get a $10 discount. 13-18 year olds are $10 and kids 12 and under are free. Call 218-326-1234 to get your tickets and more info, or go to See you Saturday!

Here's Steve Kaul of The Brass Kings performing in our conference room (the studio was being "upgraded" at the time, hehehe):

Monday, July 12, 2010

Learning Ojibwe: Anishinaabemowin

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

Anishinaabemowin: Original Language


What's New on KAXE

Lee Ritenour "6 String Theory"
The Steve Miller Band "Bingo!"
Butch Holler "A Tribute to Loretta Lynn"
Herbie Hancock "The Imagine Project"
Cyndi Lauper "Memphis Blues"
Lucy Woodward "Hooked"
John Henry's "White Linen"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wedding Lover or Crasher?

This week on Between You and Me we’re talking about the summertime tradition of Weddings. Did it rain on your wedding day? Did anyone faint or interrupt the ceremony? Did you "speak now" at someone's wedding? What’s the coolest wedding you’ve ever attended? We’re talking WEDDING STORIES this Saturday on Between You and Me With Heidi Holtan, our weekly get-together, a mix of music and conversation from 10-noon.

Share your stories:

The Minnesota Phenology Network: Phenology at Your Fingertips

The Minnesota Phenology Network Facebook site is up and going. John Latimer and some of the KAXE Phenology Show regulars are already posting observations, pictures, asking questions and starting discussions. The network is not for "experts", but for everyone who is curious about our wild world here in northern Minnesota. Your observations and questions will help create data for those who study the biology of our region.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gaea Returns to the Bemidji Sculpture Walk

Last night, the Bemidji City Council voted to return the statue “Gaea” to its place on the Bemidji Art Walk at the corner of 4th Street and Beltrami Avenue. [Click here to see pictures]. The fiberglass beaver had been removed last week by order of City Manager John Chattin, who felt the painted front of the beaver looked like female genitalia. Gaea was one of 11 beavers to adorn the art walk this year. The beaver is the Bemidji State University mascot.

Gaea had lots of supporters in Bemidji, many of whom turned out for the city council meeting, filling the council chambers and spilling into the hall. Gaea herself was also present for the meeting, placed at the back of the room. 15 people spoke during the comment period, including artists, city residents, students, a representative of the ACLU, and a member of the Sculpture Walk Committee.

The civil discussion that ensued covered censorship, the extent of the city manager’s authority, dismay over his single-handedness and lack of artistic input in removing the sculpture, and the lack of clear guidance or agreed-upon criteria for public art. One commentator asked those who found the piece objectionable to “get your minds out of the gutter.” Another equated the piece with “woman-ness, womanhood, feminine strength and beauty.” Others expressed dismay that Bemidji, which calls itself the First City of the Arts, had become the center of national media attention for its attempt to censor the piece: “If you Google ‘pornographic beaver’ your first search result will be ‘Bemidji’,” said one BSU student.

Just one elderly gentleman spoke in opposition to the majority: “It is not obscene to me, no,” he said. “But yes, it is offensive…I would not want my daughters and granddaughters to see it and have to explain what they’re looking at…It belongs in an art gallery where people can intentionally view it.”

Gaea’s creator, Deborah Davis, said she had recently spoken with supporters, journalists and celebrities from as far away as Japan and New York. “Gaea has touched people,” she said. “Gaea makes people feel peaceful, happy, positive and empowered.”

Council member Barb Meuers moved to “Put the statue back,” with a second from council member Ron Johnson. The vote was unanimous.

After the motion, the statue was picked up by a group of enthusiastic supporters and marched back to its pedestal, occasioning both applause and tears. “Communication is so important,” said Meuers after the vote. “Obviously, it wasn’t what it should be.”

~Maggie Montgomery

More info:
Sculpture Walk:
KAXE: http://www.kaxe.or

A Sneak Preview of Ayelet & Michael

by Heidi Holtan

This week I get the chance to check in with the literary super-couple Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. Besides their works of fiction, they both have books of essays out about parenting. Ayelet's is called "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace". Michael's is called "Manhood for Amateurs: the Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father and Son".

In searching for a photo of them and more information online, I found some really vitriolic pieces about the two of them - and especially about Ayelet. But I'm here to say that I had a wonderful time talking with them... and found them very down to earth. I didn't get a sense of them being the "new overshare-y parents" as one blog called them. Really? Overshare-y is a word? It seems to me that being honest and frank about some of the hardest jobs out there (parenting) is always welcome.

Here's a sneak peek of my conversation with them.

I asked Michael & Ayelet to describe each other as spouses.

Michael: Ayelet is an amazing mother. She is an extremely fierce advocate on behalf of her children. She spends what I as a father and as a man would probably consider an inordinate amount of time worrying and fretting over the food that they eat and the clothes that they wear and the toxic chemicals that they are being exposed to... and when the alert comes through the preschool that some manufacturer brand of lunch boxes in Scarsdale, NY was defected to have a certain amount of lead in the plastic my reaction to that would probably be like "oh that's too bad for the people in Scarsdale".... And Ayelet's reaction and I think the proper reaction - was to get our kids lunch boxes tested because they might have the same thing...


Michael: (laughter) Exactly! And the kits got ordered and sure enough one of them shows a positive result and that attention - that level of attention that it requires - to successfully raise children is something that I always look to Ayelet as my role model for that. And you know, she's warm and encouraging and all those things as well....

Ayelet: And he says that even though I've been SO crabby for the last couple of days! Thank you honey!

Michael: (laughter) Well, yeah, I'm not talking about the last couple of days. I need to stipulate...

I asked Ayelet to describe Michael as a father.

Ayelet: Well you know, I could wax rhapsodic...

Michael: You don't need to! you've already done it so many times!

Ayelet: But I think the best way to describe it is that I think that he is a really awesome mother.

Michael: (laughter) Thank you! That's high praise!

Tune in this week to Realgoodwords to hear more of the conversation - and check out what the New York Times had to say about them.

Alison Scott on Centerstage MN

by Maddi Frick

Singer/ songwriter Alison Scott has a beautiful voice to stun the masses. Based in Minneapolis, Alison works with her band composed of Grammy-winning guitarist Kevin Bowe, drummer Peter Anderson, and bassist Steve Price. Her new CD was listed as one of the year’s top 10 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She began performing solo after winning the Women and Music Minnesota’s first annual songwriting contest. One of the judges, Kevin Bowe saw talent in her and convinced her to make an album with him. Now, with her third album due out on September 11th of this year, Allison Scott is one of the strongest new voices to come out of the Minneapolis music scene in many years.

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 KFAI at 90.3 FM Minneapolis & 106.7 FM St. Paul Tuesday nights between 8 and 10pm.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Leave It To Beaver: Controversy in Bemidji

by Doug MacRostie

When I first heard that there would be a series of beaver statues painted by local artists displayed around Bemidji, I'll admit I giggled. And when some of the artists would do status updates on Facebook about "working on my beaver" I also would giggle. What I'm talking about is a new series for the Bemidji Sculpture Walk, funded by the George W. Neilson foundation (they bought the blank beavers). Area artists were selected by committee to paint the beavers. 9 were put up for display on June 20th. Get more info here. They will be displayed for a year, and then auctioned off to benefit the Sculpture Walk, with 30% going to the original artist.

Here is the series sitting together, before being displayed throughout downtown Bemidji:And now the controversy: Gaea, the third beaver from the left has been removed from the Sculpture Walk. Here's the description by Deborah A Davis of her Beaver Gaea, "That the fertile earth itself is female, nurturing mankind is a belief that crosses culture, time and borders. Gaea means Mother Earth. It also means 'God is Gracious,' and is one of the 52 feminine aspects of God in the Christian Bible. Gaea in mythology was a female Titan. If we could embrace the strength of womaness, celebrate it, we would become the people we are meant to be: nurturing, loving, whole." Or, is it obscene and pornographic?

Here's Gaea in her downtown Bemidji location:As you can see, there are forms of the female body, there's a tree growing up from the tail...and what's that on the front? A person rising from bubbles? A flower? A vagina? Mother Earth?

This is where the question comes in: is it pornographic? Bemidji City Manager John Chattin says yes. And he told the Bemidji Pioneer that he doesn't regret the decision.

Deborah disagrees, "I did not intend it to be sexual or titillating in any way," Davis told the Pioneer, "I would never do pornography. I am anti-pornography."

Gaea was taken down on Thursday, July 1st and as of right now there are almost 1000 people who say "Bring Back Gaea to the Bemidji Sculpture Walk" on Facebook. The Bemidji Pioneer has a poll running on their website that shows 77% favoring the returning Gaea to the Sculpture Walk, and the City of Bemidji seems to be at odds with an active arts community, with other pieces in the beaver series now showing signs of solidarity (aka: wrapped up Burqas). This topic is expected to draw a lot of people to the Bemidji City Council Meeting tonight at 7pm. I know I'll be there...

What's New on KAXE

Ann Savoy & Her Sleepless Knights "Black Coffee"
The Back Row Baptists "Broken Hearts & Bad Decisions"
Grupo Fantasma "El Existential"
Walter Trout "Common Ground"
Gilkyson, Gorka, Kaplansky "Red Horse"
Indigo Girls "Staring Down the Brilliant Dream"
Tara Linda "Tortilla Western Serenade"
Jimmy Webb "Just Across the River"
Read more on the Currents Playlist...

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Montage of Memory Loss

Amneesia Manne, the nice young man who wondered into KAXE with no idea who he was or why he was here, helped us have a great fundraiser. Here's a montage of his reporting on the Fundraiser from a forgetful perspective :)

Lawn Mowing: Love it or Hate It?

This week on Between You and Me we're talking about something that may take a lot of your time in the summer: Lawn mowing.

Do you have a method to your madness? Have you stopped mowing your lawn? Was it one of your chores as a kid? Do the neighbors do it for you when you're gone?

KAXE producer Doug MacRostie says that he doesn't mind mowing, and with the right mix of music can even enjoy it. But, with all the other things to do it gets pushed way down the list. "It's just not a priority for me," he said, "And my 17 month old son likes to run around and pick the wild flowers." But just the other day while he was gone the neighbors used a tractor pulling a big mower blade to mow the side of the yard visible from the road. "You'd think we're in a gated community or something...really, what's the big deal? Are they offended by daisies?" asks MacRostie. What do you think? Do you mow or grow?

Between You and Me with Heidi Holtan, Our weekly get-together - a mix of music and conversation from 10-noon on 91.7 KAXE.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Crow Wing Food Coop

by Heidi Holtan

Last month I visited the Crow Wing Food Co-op in Brainerd. They've been around for 30 years, but because of the push to support local food producers and a move to a newer, brighter building, the co-op is exploding.

Desiree Hopkins is a mother of 3 and a member of the coop. I asked her why she shopped there. "The girls of course" she said. "And they are super smart and seeking out healthy, local food."

When you walk into the coop - the bells on the door ring, and more often than not, someone greets you with a smile. While I was there for about an hour I saw a young woman with a baby buying organic baby food, a mother and daughter who asked about using food stamps, a member dropping off older editions of Mother Earth News, a woman who sat at one of the tables with her laptop, using the Co-op's wi-fi and drinking coffee with her gluten-free cookie... as well as farmers dropping off produce and tourists stopping in on their way to Duluth.

So why, in this down economy, have the food co-ops in our listening area not just been able to stay afloat, but find themselves expanding? Throughout the summer I'll check in on the Natural Harmony Food Coop in Virginia and Harmony Natural Foods Coop (who is also expanding) in Bemidji. You can listen here to the audio story of Crow Wing Food Co-op.