Thursday, April 21, 2011

Culturology 4-21: The Music Issue

by Travis Ryder

Since its inception in the late Nineties, the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival has become a touchstone in the region's rawk and/or roll music scene.

THE touchstone, really.

The 2011 edition, coming to the Twin Ports May 1 through 8, will feature over a hundred acts, plus film and art attractions. On this week's Culturology program, independent producer Doug MacRostie profiles one standout act performing at Homegrown, Two Many Banjos. Doug interviewed TMB principal Marc Gartman and intermixed live music from the band from their winter performance at Terrapin Station in Nevis.

We also revisit a chat between KAXE Program Director and host of 'Currents', Mark Tarner, and guitarist Bill Kirchen. You may know Kirchen's work from his time with Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen; specifically his Telecaster work on their Top 10 hit 'Hot Rod Lincoln'. Kirchen and his band perform tonight at Itasca Community College Davies Theater. Tickets are available by calling KAXE or at the door.

Comedy theater, from scratch, at the "Out of the Hat IV" event at Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Bemidji. Playwrights choose topics Friday night, pen scripts, convene actors, and gather props and set materials for a set of five 8 p.m. performances Saturday night. Musicians will perform between the acts. Tickets are available at Harmony Co-op and the Wild Hare Bistro. All seats are $10 and this will be a production suited for adult audiences.

Bridges Kinship Mentoring benefits from the proceeds of "Taste of Itasca", happening Tuesday at TimberLake Lodge, Grand Rapids. 14 restaurants and caterers will have their best eats available. Beverage tasting starts at 5, food at 6:30.

Also Tuesday, singer/songwriter, acoustic guitarist/fiddler, Jonathan Byrd performs at 5 p.m. Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse is the venue in downtown Grand Rapids.

April 18, 1807 The first recorded mention of farming by white Minnesotans is made in a letter written by George H. Monk, who notes crops of potatoes, oats, cabbages, beets, beans, pumpkins, and Indian corn being cultivated at the North West Company's fur trading posts on Sandy and Leech Lakes.

April 20, 1891 Itasca State Park, the state's first, is established. Its 32,000 acres preserve more than 300 lakes as well as the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

April 20, 1921 As a response to the Duluth lynchings of 1920, the legislature passes the Minnesota Lynching Bill. It stipulates that a law enforcement officer can be removed from duty for not stopping a lynching, and that damages may be recovered by the victim's family.

April 21, 1961 The Minnesota Twins (formerly the Washington Senators) play their first game at Metropolitan Stadium, losing to the new Washington Senators, 5-3.

Thirty-five years ago this Saturday, on April 23, 1976, KAXE-FM signs on for the first time, from its original studios at Itasca Community College. It was a bold experiment in rural community-based public radio. At the time, stations such as this were either in urban areas or depended on university support. The station continues to inspire new grassroots radio movements, both in Minnesota and worldwide.

April 17, 1997 The Red River crests 22.5 feet above flood stage at Fargo, breaking a 100-year-old record. Continuing into Grand Forks and East Grand Forks on April 21, the flood pushes water levels 26.2 feet above flood stage. The worst flooding in the area in over a century, it causes more than one billion dollars of damages and displaces nearly all of the 50,000 residents of Grand Forks.

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