Wednesday, August 31, 2011

KBXE and that Big Hole

The Hole
by Steve Downing

            It’s a big hole, certainly. Big enough to swallow your car and much else besides. And yet not so big, when you realize that a five-hundred foot tower is going to rise up out of this hole, with all of its deadweight tonnage and the down-and-outward stresses of the buttressing wires and their anchors.
            The truest significance of the hole is simply that it’s there. It’s been dug. It’s ready. You were pretty sure KBXE was going to happen when the studio renovation started. Now: you know.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Culturology 8-25: Treuer named to Arts Board

by Travis Ryder
Dr. Anton Treuer
Governor Mark Dayton has appointed Dr. Anton Treuer, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, to a four-year term on the Minnesota State Arts Board.  The board’s eleven citizen-members are charged with stimulating and encouraging the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts.  Its $60 million biennial budget is appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature; funds are used to provide financial assistance and other programs and services designed to make the arts more available to all Minnesotans.  Treuer is editor of the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language and author of eight books including:  The Assassination of Hole in the Day and Ojibwe in Minnesota, which was named “Minnesota’s Best Read for 2010” by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

The Lyric Center for the Arts is seeking submissions for an upcoming exhibition of Street Art, to be called North Street and running October 5 through November 5 at the center in downtown Virginia.  Media desired includes installation, painting, comic, sculpture, poster art, sticker art, skate board decks or anything "street".  Street art can be a powerful platform for reaching the public; themes can include adbusting, subvertising and other culture jamming and has launched the careers of many artists. like Jean Michel Basquiat & Shepard Fairey.  Submit images of your work by September 9.  Follow this link to find the details.

Culture Calendar
Playing the Bill, an original musical by Steve Saari, is about the waning years of vaudeville. It is a tale of troupers, shadow-painted survivors, and lost souls swept up in the immediate aftermath of the Crash of 1929 and the recent advent of "All Talking, All Singing, All Dancing" motion pictures.
Tickets will be available at the door one hour prior to curtain at the Chief Theater in Bemidji Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday at 7:30, and Sunday at 2:30.

"The Lady With All the Answers" is the story of Ann Landers, presented by The EdgeWild Players, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.,  at the Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork.

A correction to our broadcast this morning: The Ojibwe Forest auto rally weekend slated for the dirt roads around Bemidji this weekend has been cancelled due to an inadequate number of entries.

"Real Horse Power", 11 to 4 at the Forest History Center outside Grand Rapids. Draft horses provided the muscle to move heavy timber and giant sleigh loads of logs during the heyday of highball logging. This event features the versatility of the horse as a motive of power and the skills of the teamsters, blacksmith and the barn boss in a logging operation.
Bill and Kate Isles play the Lake Bemidji State Park amphitheater Saturday night at 7:30.  A songwriting workshop is at the park from 1:30 to 5 with Bill Isles leading the session.

Kaivama, a Minnesota-based Finnish-American folk duo, plays the Reif Center in Grand Rapids Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

"Ole & Lena and the Great Big Walleye" just finished their 5-show run at the 18th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival. The cast and crew have returned home to Brainerd and will perform two encore performances at Central Lakes College, Saturday at 2 and 6 p.m.

Katie McMahon, known as "The Voice of Riverdance," along with her band and The Corda Mor Irish Dance Troupe will perform at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Aitkin High School Auditorium.  Proceeds will be used to purchase improved sound/lighting equipment from lakes area suppliers in order to help bring higher-caliber performances to the area.

The free summer choir concert at Union Church in Hackensack will be this Sunday, August 29th at 7:00 PM. Refreshments will be served.  All are welcome.

Itasca Youth Orchestra soloists perform at noon at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grand Rapids.

Minnesota History Datebook
August 26, 1731 French explorer La VĂ©rendrye and his voyageurs land at Grand Portage to begin an expedition into the region west of the Great Lakes. La VĂ©rendrye eventually establishes a trading post, Fort St. Charles, on Lake of the Woods.

August 25, 1917 Reacting to protests in New Ulm over the use of draftees in the European War, the Commission of Public Safety, under orders from Governor Joseph A. A. Burnquist, suspends Mayor Louis A. Fritsche from office. Other city officials and the president of Martin Luther College are also removed from their positions. These actions effectively end the protests, although Fritsche would later be reelected.

August 26, 1919 The state legislature ratifies the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, granting women the right to vote. Prior to this federal amendment, the state's women had been permitted to vote only in elections for school officials and for library officials, since 1876 and 1898 respectively.

August 21, 1965 The Beatles perform at Metropolitan Stadium to an estimated crowd of 4,000 teenagers, mostly girls, turning the event into what one writer described as "Shrieksville, U.S.A." With the continued popularity of Beatles's recordings long after their breakup in 1970, the irony of early panning is shown in sharp relief by a Pioneer Press comment on the performance: "The Twin Cities was visited Saturday by some strange citizens from another world. They wore long hair and wide grins and were easily identified as Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney. They were the Beatles—alleged musicians."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Talent Show

by John Bauer
I was fortunate enough to be a judge at the Top 10 Talent Search at the Reif Center last night in Grand Rapids.  Our mission was to judge the final 10 participants and come up with the Top 3.  Piece of cake, right?  Wrong!  Man ... there were some talented musicians there. The Durocher Family .. Gary Burt .. Marjie Shrimpton ..  Wayne Leeds .. Laurie Antonson .. Courtney Gunsalus .. The Simple Guys .. Caleigh .. Nathan Emerson .. Mikaela Krampotich and Jenny Graupmann.

The three finalists were 17 year old Nathan Emerson doing a amazing Sonata (3rd place) ... Courtney Gunsalus doing an upbeat country tune and a solo Star Spangled Banner that made your hairs stand up (2nd place) and the winner, 16 year old Mikaela Krampotich from Hibbing.  Mikaela played two of her original songs: the first on guitar and the second on piano. She is an amazing talent and has a very bright future.  You can hear Mikaela play her winning song on this Friday's Morning Show on KAXE with Heidi and John at 8:10 AM.

My congratulations to everyone who performed.  You were all fantastic!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Radio Potluck with Guido

by Steve Downing, aka Guido

            Pot. Luck. Two words, become one. Let’s leave the first for another poem and focus on the second, as it relates to you and the thing our two-word word identifies.
            How is your luck running? At the potluck, there may or may not be E. coli in the home-made beef stew. Salmonella in the deviled eggs. A very long---or, worse, short and curly---hair or two in the fruit salad. Lead in the venison chili. Mercury in the pickled fish. Suppose whoever brought the gallon jug of ice-house punch has an axe to grind and spiked it with one or another friendly chemical: mescaline, say, or laboratory tetrahydrocannabinol.
            Still: at any given potluck dinner you’re more likely to discover a new (and nice) spice combination, or dessert presentation, than you are to assume your role in the next life, or even to wind up lie-down, sit-down, get-down sick.
            The offerings on potluck dinner tables always exude hope, don’t they. Hopefulness. Remember: potluck dishes, themselves, are no strangers to the vagaries of luck. Lovely as they look, they could easily have blown up in the oven, or collapsed as they cooled, or acquired the unmistakable flavor of dish soap somewhere, almost anywhere, in the process.
            To say nothing of the transit risk. Who hasn’t had a crockpot full of chutney curry soup turn dramatically un-full, in the car, potluck-bound, when a stop sign materialized out of nowhere, or a deer?
            A key tenet of old-school Occidental philosophy---“When something is spilled, something else is not spilled”---won’t mitigate the crockpot mess in your car, but it does remind us that everything is connected.
            And this is the point of the potluck meal, too: we may be up to our eyeballs in hard times and bad ways, but we’re in it together. What’s mine is yours. Yours, mine.
            That may warm the cockles of your chilled-out Marxist heart, but, between you and me, a cautionary note: think twice about bringing anything ostentatiously left-wingy-healthy to the potluck. Most folks will take a forkful and pretend to love it, but the Bubble-Up Pizza Hotdish with added blue cheese and bacon bits is what everyone will be talking about tomorrow.
            My theory: bring bread. Period. Not for nothing are there more than 300 references to bread in the Bible. And a loaf of bread that doesn’t catch on at the potluck will seem a lesser failure than a fussy, fancy (or un-fancy) tofu loaf that sits there on the table at the party looking just hopeful.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Without A Trace

by John Bauer
This past week has been a little sad.  I arrived home last Wednesday after work like any other day.  As soon as my car made the final long turn in the driveway ... Lloyd could see and hear me coming and he began to bark in his own special Basset Hound way.  As I pull up to the garage, as usual,  he darts in front of me and makes me stop as not to run him over.  I unleash his chain and he follows me into the house thinking only of cheap dog treats and his soft, flat doggy football.

Once his daily diet of treats and footballs is fulfilled ...  he heads outside for a journey around his 30-acre domain.  A domain filled with trails ... grass ... corn and wonderful smells only a Basset Hound can adore.  I last saw him barking ever so softly as I started the lawn mower.  After mowing for about 30 minutes I returned to the garage for a refill of gas.  For some unusual reason ... there was a deaf silence in the air.  One I haven't experienced before.  I knew something was wrong with Lloyd but couldn't explain it.  Well ... here I am seven days later and there is no evidence of Lloyd anywhere.

I often question my character or maturity because of my sorrow over losing Lloydy.  Hell!  I always make a point to get down to their level, greet and pass on a little love to every single dog I come across.   Then I tell myself, "It is what it is and there's nothing wrong with being kind to dogs.  We owe them that much gratitude for the unconditional love they give us!" 

Some people say that because Lloyd vanished without a trace ... I will have no closure and I think that's true.  However, the thought of him dying a terrible death in the woods makes me cry.  Lloyd is (not was) the kindest dog you'd ever wanna meet.  But we can't be so sure that that's what happened.  Maybe somebody picked him up and he's bringing great joy to a young family with kids.  I sure hope they can stand the sound of his tail loudly tapping on the floor when you walk by ... or the traces of foam on his mouth only Basset Hounds can produce.

I can't thank everyone enough for their thoughts and offers of helping me look for him in the woods.  The woods are very thick and impossible to search.  People say not to give up hope because of all the unbelievable stories of pets returning home after long periods of time. I can only hope that happens here.  In the mean time, if you see Lloyd out there somewhere ... tell him I miss him dearly and send him home.  

Big Deals Come in Many Sizes

by Scott Hall
KAXE has been covering the local food scene here in northern Minnesota for almost four and a half years now.  On Wednesday mornings, Maggie Montgomery talks to local farmers about their products, innovations and marketing.  Something big is growing here. Originally we thought the series would last about six months, but we met so many amazing people with a passion for farming and increasing our ability to bring fresh and locally produced foods to our tables that the series goes on. 

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported this week that the Minnesota-based, multi-national food company, Cargill, just paid 2.17 billion dollars for Provini, another international food business in the Netherlands.  Provini produces feed products for livestock producers in 26 countries. Cargill wants a bigger share of the animal feed business because the demand for meat is growing in Eastern Europe and Asia. Cargill employs over 140,000 people, about ten thousand in their animal feed businesses alone. A few of Cargill's "smaller" holdings include investments in the Brazilian tomato industry, Australian grain trading, and Indonesian food products.

The local food movement here and elsewhere is tiny compared to these deals. Feeding seven billion people every day is a huge challenge and big business. Population growth and environmental factors add to the challenge.  Businesses like Cargill may be able to adapt to changing conditions.  We are not immune to these worldwide influences, but if some day our health and economy depend in part on a vibrant local food industry, you can hear the people making it happen right now on Wednesday mornings.


Culturology 8-18: Feeling the crunch?

by Travis Ryder
Can you feel the end of the season coming?  Colleges are in session next week, with K-12 schools starting soon after.  Labor Day is in sight.  There were some LEAVES on the ground in my yard yesterday.  Make the most of the remaining days of summer by taking in some of these events:

The Beltrami County History Center has reopened with a new exhibit.  “Uncle Sam’s New Deal” illuminates the federal government’s role in reviving Minnesota communities 70 years ago through photography, interviews and New Deal film footage.   This exhibit was created by Minnesota Landmarks in partnership with the Minnesota History Center. It is on display through September 24, at the center in Bemidji.

Thursday, August 18
Admission is free in the evening at Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm.  There’s live music in the Amphitheatre starting at 7 with the groups Fathers and Sons, and Mark Henderson and the Mojosaurus Blues Band.

Friday, August 19
Grand Rapids Area Library hosts a music and dance performance by the Hmong Cultural Center of St. Paul.  The free performance starts at 7 p.m.

There’s a classic-car cruise night Friday and stationary car show Saturday from 10 to 2 on Chestnut Street in downtown Virginia.

Lakes Area Chamber Music Festival has a recital featuring young talent on pieces by Liszt, Rachmaninoff and others Friday night at Tornstrom Auditorium in the Washington Building.  There’s a pre-concert talk at 7 and the music starts at 7:30.

Saturday, August 20
Children’s watercolor event at MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids.  Staff and volunteers work with children and their parents to create art with watercolors.  Choose one of four one-hour sessions starting at 10 am.  Pre-registration is recommended; call us for more information.

Forestedge Winery hosts an art fair on the winery grounds near Laporte.  Featuring 28 selected artists selling pottery, porcelain, jewelry, fiber, leather, wood, sculpture, paintings, along with food, music and wine.  It’s happening 10 to 5:30 Saturday and Sunday.

Music, dance, poetry and storytelling about the northwoods at Forest History Center this Saturday from 11 to 4.  A Wild Edibles session will run from noon to 3:30.  Both are included with regular admission.

Lake Bemidji State Park hosts two different performances Saturday.  At 5:30, it’s Mudsong, a swamp tale of a motherless child with a six-piece band to accompany it.  Then at 7:30 the park’s concert series presents local trio Bluebird.

The Northern Lights Trio will entertain at the annual Piano Bar event at The Edge Center in Bigfork.  It starts at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Twin Cities psych-rockers the Magic Castles are in concert Saturday night at the Blue Ox  in Bemidji.

Sunday, August 21
Range rockers the Tisdales play a show in Meadowlands as part of the Central St. Louis County Fair, happening all weekend.  Other highlights include an adult kickball tournament Friday, craft show Saturday, and car show Sunday.

The Itasca County Fair wraps up Sunday.  Harpist Marina Whight performs from 1 to 3 in the fine arts building.

Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven are on the program for the finale concert of the Lakes Area Chamber Music Festival.  It’s a 3 p.m. show at Tornstrom Auditorium and like all the festival events, it’s free.

The 12-piece Air Force Brass In Blue ensemble is touring the region.  They perform free shows on Sunday at Leif Erikson Park in Duluth, Monday at Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm, Tuesday under the Rotary Tent at the KAXE Amphitheater in Grand Rapids, and Wednesday at Bemidji High School.  All shows start at 7.

Monday, August 22
The Reif Talent Search includes a $500 prize for the winning act.  The top ten entrants will perform starting at 7:30 Monday at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids.

Minnesota History Datebook
August 15, 1899  Fire wipes out much of the city of Cass Lake.

August 18, 1929  A hungry 350-pound bear smashes through the window of the Hotel Duluth's lounge. The hotel's night watchman and a bystander confront the bear, hitting it with a chair and a hammer. A police sergeant tries to edge the bear out of the hotel unharmed, but he’s forced to shoot it. The bear is the third killed in Duluth that year.

August 19, 1863  The first time Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin flew in a balloon, he did it in St. Paul.  He would go on to develop the rigid, self-propelled, guidable airships that would bear his name.  He was in the US as a volunteer for Union forces during the Civil War. 

August 19, 1957  The air force launches the ultra-high-level balloon Man-High II in Crosby. Pilot David Simons reaches a record 101,516 feet (almost twenty-one miles) before setting down in Elm Lake, South Dakota. The flight takes thirty-two hours and ten minutes, but Simons occupies the balloon's capsule, from pre-launch to landing, for forty-four hours, a period longer than Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Steve Downing on Road Trips - This Saturday on Between You and Me


            Our last true roadtrip was two summers ago, in Costa Rica. Dodger and I were tooling around the west and west-central regions of the country, in a rental SUV, equipped with a GPS device that alternately worked for us or took us to Nowheresville. We needed the SUV, because one of our stops was at a small resort directly across from the ever-smoking Arenal Volcano, and this place was at the pinnacle of one of the most primitive uphill roads I have ever driven on. I include the old logging road that delivers us to our cabin up in the boondocks, which is sometimes not a road at all and on which you can get into serious trouble without cracking a sweat. We did have trouble on that Costa Rican quasi-road, but it turned out to be related strictly to the SUV and its compromised idiot-warning-light-system.
            One of the adjustments we had to make on that trip involved the stark difference in sheer road usage. On the highways around here, you see almost exclusively motorized vehicles. An occasional bicycle or two. A hitchhiker, only very rarely nowadays. And deer, of course. Other roadkill potential. On the roads in Costa Rica, even on the Interamericana, the main Central American highway, you’ll see anything, and up close. People, whole families of them, walking, doing business, socializing, arguing, parenting, playing soccer, whatever. Plus, every kind of animal: cows and horses and dogs and cats and chickens and goats, and critters we couldn’t even name. All of them right there on the road, either hanging out or on the move. The Costa Ricans are ready to help you, feed you, chat. They’re among the most friendly, civilized people we’ve run into anywhere. You don’t make good time on a road like that; you might as well slow down and get to know the neighborhood, the community, the country.
            Contrast that experience with cruising at 70 or 80 m.p.h. along one of our Interstates, roadways designed to make all of the above impossible. You’ll get from Point A to Point B faster, no question, but you will never, ever, see a young girl having the time of her life trying to train a goat to dance, so close to the road you can reach out your window and touch them both.