Friday, June 24, 2011

Culturology 6-23: tint dispensaries and summertime festivals abound

by Travis Ryder

The Twin-Cities based group The Color Pharmacy creates experimental indie-rock music with a unique, unpredictable, and edgy style.  They’ve been compared to Syd Barrett, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Willy Wonka.  Back from their third appearance at the venerable South by Southwest Festival, producer Doug MacRostie joined them at Terrapin Station for "An Evening With The Color Pharmacy." 
Jake Dilley and The Color Pharmacy return to Terrapin Station in Nevis for a show on Thursday, July 14.  Hear the piece in the Culturology Archives.

Scott Hall visited with the folks at Mesaba Co-op Park east of Hibbing.  They present their Midsummer Festival this weekend, with camping, sustainability workshops, a Finnish dinner, and music Friday night from Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses.  Saturday night’s music includes a jam session, the Déjà vu Drifters, and the Mesaba Park Band. Scott's piece includes
a song recorded at Mesaba Park: “Villi Ruusu” (Wild Rose), performed by Oscar Forsman on accordion and vocalist, Barbara Hanka.  He also captures remarks from Mesaba Coop Park member, David Bednardczuk, with a little history of the Park.

Steve Ross, member of the Lady Slipper Scenic Byway Board, joined us by phone.  The group has community celebrations this Saturday in Blackduck, and the following weekend, July 1 & 2, in Cass Lake.  Steve fills us in on the significance of the road that runs between those communities, and the schedule of events in Blackduck this Saturday.  Music and other events begin at 10 a.m.

Culturology Calendar:
Friday, June 24
Pine River Art Show runs Thursday through Saturday at the Warehouse Community Center.  Fine art pieces will include paintings from area artists.

Nisswa has an artists’ show from 10 to 5 Friday and Saturday at the community center.  Organizers say to expect original oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, Asian Brush painting, nature prints, monotypes, and art pottery.

Sam Miltich Trio featuring Don Vidal, Edge Center, Bigfork, 7 p.m.

Finnish-American folk duo Kaivama performs at Brigid’s Cross Pub in Bemidji, 8 p.m.

Mesaba Co-op Park Midsummer Festival includes camping, sustainability workshops, a Finnish dinner, and music Friday night from Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses.  Saturday night’s music includes a jam session, the Déjà vu Drifters, and the Mesaba Park Band.  The Park is near the Thirsty Moose Bar off Highway 37 in Cherry.

Saturday, June 25
Celtic Festival at the Farm on St. Mathias Road in Brainerd.  Music from Rumgumption, Boiled in Lead frontman Todd Menton, Irish dance and storytelling, craft demonstrations and vendors, 10 am-4 pm.

Zorya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, 1:30 p.m., MN Discovery Center in Chisholm.

Lady’s Slipper Scenic Byway celebration Saturday in Blackduck.  Live music, tours, activities begin at 10 a.m.

Guitarist Tim Sparks holds a workshop at 2 pm, and the Blue Turtle Grass Band performs at 7:30, at Lake Bemidji State Park.

Monday, June 27
Mississippi Traveler, St. Louis, MO author Dean Klinkenburg, 7p @ GrRpds Library

Thursday, June 30
Hibbing Gallery Hop, 19th annual event: Expecting about 50 artists to set up their works in storefronts along Howard Street from 2 to 7 p.m.  Musicians in US Bank Plaza throughout.

Minnesota History Datebook
June 19, 1873 The first graduation ceremony for the University of Minnesota is held at the Academy of Music in Minneapolis to honor both graduates.  Warren Eustis and Henry Williamson.

June 21, 1921 Actress Jane Russell is born in Bemidji.

June 23, 1927 The 42-foot Viking ship Leif Erickson sails into Duluth, completing a voyage from Norway. The ship is now displayed in a Duluth park bearing its name.

June 21, 1973 The United States Hockey Hall of Fame opens in Eveleth, the capital of American hockey.
The very next day in Grand Rapids, hail 7 inches deep stops traffic on Highway 169.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Essential and Critical Services: State Shutdown by Guido

by Steve Downing

Over the next little while, you’re going to hear more about Essential Services and Critical Services than you want to hear in two lifetimes. The adjectives in those constructions will get a workout, count on it. One person’s essential is another’s superfluous; one person’s critical, another’s trivial.
We know now what the priorities are, as calculated by a Minnesota state agency called, without irony, the Statewide Contingency Response Team. The Team has determined, for example, that insurance fraud prevention must go on. That the Dentistry Board must continue monitoring treatment of healthcare professionals. That the Governor’s Public Information Office will stay open, and his house will get the day-to-day attention it deserves. That there will be no interruption in the issuance of birth and death certificates or methadone authorizations. That Iron Range Resources (aka I.R.R.R.B) won’t have to completely halt maintenance at Giants Ridge, and the State Supreme Court will not retire to chambers. Zoo animals will get fed. The State Patrol will still be out there, fair warning.
Counterintuitively, between you and me, the Barber Examiners Board, the Chiropractors Board, the Combative Sports Commission, and the Private Detective Board, among others, will indeed shut down.
As it happens, Dodger and I are starting a roadtrip on July 1. I see that highway rest areas aren’t deemed essential; this changes everything. Also: I should probably bring the chainsaw; dead tree in the middle of the road is going to stay dead tree in the middle of the road. Any restaurant we might stop at will still be serving inspected food; this won’t turn spotty till July 2. You’re all thinking of other concerns as well, aren’t you.
But, amidst the tumult and dissembling, you might take some comfort in the fact that the Statewide Contingency Response Team is recommending that 13,211.5 full-time state employees remain on the job. That is, you might find it comforting, unless you’re privy (I’m not) to the gross number of pending pink slips. FYI: the only .5 position in the Response Team’s essential/critical FTE consideration is on the Dentistry Board. Relief. Aren’t we all better off if not a single half-person is monitoring the dentistry done in this state during these teeth-grinding times?

Tune in this Saturday to KAXE's call-in show, Between You and Me for a conversation about the MN State Shutdown... or send us your comments!

YouTube's My Favorite

by Maddi Frick
I love YouTube.  Or rather, I love finding weird, quirky, and bizarre videos on YouTube.

One of my paths to discovering new music is via YouTube's Music page.  They've got the top music videos of the week and past two hours,
(the current winner)

along with top videos in different genres.
(I found this one from the jazz genre; whether or not this is jazz is debatable)

Another strategy, find a video and keep clicking suggestions until you find a gem.  Like this one.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Very cool MN music played by Maddi Frick On the River

Maddi Frick was On the River tonight and played this cool song by MN Musician Jeremy Messersmith....enjoy!!!  Become a member of a community radio station like KAXE that has the luck of having Maddi Frick on our airwaves!

Cultural opportunities abound this weekend

by Travis Ryder

Here's a sampling of events around the region this weekend, and into next week:

Jazz vocalist Connie Evingson performs a benefit concert at the last synagogue on the Range.  She’s from Hibbing herself, and is a nationally in-demand performer.  She’ll perform tonight at the B’nai Abraham Cultural Center in Virginia along with Dave Karr, Sam and Matthew Miltich.

Central Lakes College in Brainerd has a summer theater season.  It opened up last night with “It Runs In the Family”.  Performances follow tonight through Saturday, then again Wednesday through Saturday next weekend, at 7:30 in Chalberg Theater.

Judy Garland Festival is back in Grand Rapids after a year in the Twin Cities.  Events this weekend include Grand Rapids Players’ performances of ‘Meet Me In St. Looie’, a gala dinner with Achievement Award winner Andy Williams, the Toto Too Dog Talent contest, and a meet and greet with Munchkin Margaret Pellegrini.

The weeklong Bemidji Book Festival includes a highlight address by Roxana Saberi, the journalist from Fargo who was held prisoner in Iran in 2009.  Her memoir Between Two Worlds was published by HarperCollins in 2010.  Her remarks start at 7 Friday at Bemidji High School Auditorium.

A bluegrass and old-time music festival is at the Itasca County Fairgrounds.  The music is free; there’s a nominal charge for camping on-site if that’s your thing.  That runs Friday through Sunday.

It's not just an overpriced doll and movie franchise: The American Girl Camp operated on an island in Wabana Lake in the 1930's.  Itasca County Historical Society has created an exhibit telling the story of this camp.  The grand opening is Saturday at the Old Central School.  Part of the event is a 10 a.m. trip to Wabana Lake, where participants will ride a pontoon boat to the island.  It's $10 per person to cover costs; reserve your spot by emailing

The Lake Bemidji Concert Series features cosmic acoustic act Dancing Lights starting at 7:30 Saturday at the amphitheatre at Lake Bemidji State Park.  Tony and Doyle Turner perform as part of the series Sunday at 1:30.

Swedish heritage is alive at Midsommar Fest.  Food, music, dancing, and a Maypole will all be at Library Park in Bemidji from 12:30 to 4 Sunday.

Paul Bunyan Playhouse has the opening night of A Midsummer Night’s Dream Wednesday at 8, at the Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji.

This week in the Minnesota History Datebook:
340 years ago in Minnesota history, the part of our region that drains into Lake Superior becomes French territory. The Sieur de St. Lusson formally claims the land in a ceremony at Sault Ste. Marie, June 14, 1671.

Also this week, in 1855, the first navigation canal opens at Sault Ste. Marie, which eventually permits the mass transport of wheat, coal, and iron ore from Minnesota to points east.

June 18, 1893 The towns of Virginia, Merritt, and Mountain Iron are destroyed in a forest fire.

June 15, 1939 Crown Prince Olav of Norway dedicates Duluth's Enger Tower, which offers spectacular views of Duluth Harbor and Lake Superior. Bert Enger donated much of his estate to the city after his death in 1931.  He was a Norwegian-born businessman who ran a successful furniture store in Duluth.  The tower’s renovation was completed this year in anticipation of its rededication by Prince Olav’s son, the reigning Norwegian King Harald, this October.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Joan's PERFECT Banana Bread Recipe

We were talking LUNCH on Between You and Me last week...Deb called in and remembered her elementary school lunch in Park Rapids and the perfect banana bread they served.  She's been trying to replicate it ever since!  Joan Downham was pretty sure SHE could help, and sent in this recipe:
Here is the recipe of Shelly's superior banana bread. I think it is similar to the type that the gal described on Between You and Me today.

Cream 3/4 cup butter
Add and blend in 1 1/2 cup sugar and 3-4 mashed bananas (3-4), 2 eggs , 1tsp vanilla
sift 2 cups flour and add 1 tsp soda and 1tsp salt.
...Alernate adding the flour mixture and 1/2 cup buttermilk(I use the powdered butterilk in a can) to the butter/sugar mixture just until well combined.
fold in 1/2 walnuts.
pour in 9x5" greased and parchment lined bottom bread pan and bake 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hour. You can put it in two smaller bread pans and bake for 1 hour

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Muse Not Amused

by Robert Jevne
   Having nothing more to say about my most neglected meal of the day than “Mmm…peanut butter,” I decided it was time to call upon my muse and invite him out to lunch. Yes - him. While for some, their muse might be youth or beauty, music, politics or philosophy, me? - I have Randy. It’s a long story. Nothing I ever do is good enough for Randy including the place I chose to eat. He had pink grapefruit and ice-water claiming a weight issue though he’s skinny as a rail. I had the usual thing I get on the rare occasion when I do go out for lunch. A patty melt. A patty melt is the classic “its so good because its so bad for you” sandwich. At its best a patty melt consists of fatty hamburger, oily Swiss cheese, greasy fried onions, on two pieces of rye bread the whole of which is then fried. Again. And don’t forget the side of Thousand Island dressing for dipping. Nothing lo-cal about that. In my book it’s a slam-dunk - in the best and worst sense of that phrase. I once went to a restaurant in northern Minnesota (I won’t even mention the town) where-upon ordering a patty melt, I received what looked like a plain old hamburger on a bun. When I complained to the waitress I was assured that, and I quote, “Everything was inside” unquote. And when I took my first bite something indeed was inside and came oozing out of the half moon declivity in my sandwich but which to this day I insist wasn’t everything. In fact it was an insult to connoisseurs of patty melts everywhere and frankly, as they say - “There ought to be a law.”

   Wiping my mouth and chin, I explained my inspiration problem to Randy. He was swirling an ice cube in his mouth and the look of disgust he had aimed at my plate turned to me. “You have a shelf full of poetry. Did you ever think of cracking one of those books open? Or is Google your preferred muse now?” He swirled the ice cube in a way which I suppose was meant to be meaningful. I knew he would be jealous, but for crying out loud, Google is so easy. Have you ever tried to research a poetic topic without it? I vaguely remembered something from William Carlos Williams about him eating all the plums in the refrigerator and how delicious they were but I couldn’t remember the title or first line so in the three volume collection I found nothing but an empty bowl where the plums used to be. But just Google “plums and Williams” and voila. And I’m not supposed to use a tool like that? But still I felt cheap and besides the poem mentions breakfast, not lunch. Randy kept eyeing me coldly and swirling that damn cube menacingly. I knew he was circling in for the kill. Why did I ever think this was going to work. “Well, I guess if you’re desperate,” he continued, “you could write about me. I’m interesting.” And he bit down so hard on the cube it sounded as if he were crushing his own teeth. Then he smiled icily.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

State Shutdown

Due to a budget deadlock, as of July 1st there could be a Minnesota state government shutdown.  This affects a huge number of state employees who live in the KAXE listening area, and may affect you.  We want to know what you know, how you are feeling and if you are preparing for the government shutdown.  Email us or send us a comment here or on Facebook.  

There's a website that gets into some depth on the shutdown issues, check here for more information.

If you are planning to hunt or fish in Minnesota in the next couple of months and haven't gotten a license, it's probably a good idea to get that now.  Same with license registrations on boats, cars and other vehicles.  If you were planning to camp at a MN state park in July, you may have to make alternative plans.

What else should we be thinking of? 

Check out some of the articles on MinnPost for more information.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Van Lingle Mungo Centennial

by Scott Hall
Special events are often planned around the 100th birthday of famous people, but there probably aren't many big celebrations today of the life of Van Lingle Mungo (right).  He was born on June 8, 1911, in Pageland, South Carolina and died there in 1985.  He was briefly famous as a pretty good major league pitcher, most notably with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1930s.  In 1942 he won 11 games for the Minneapolis Millers. Along the way he met the late Otey Clark (below).  Otey was a frequent guest on KAXE's "Sports Page" in the 1980s and '90s.  He said Mungo was a spitballer and and an ornery character.  The following entry from the Wikipedia account of Mungo seems to confirm that:

"Stories and anecdotes about Mungo tend to emphasize his reputation for combativeness, including episodes of drinking and fighting. The most widely told story concerns a visit to Cuba where, supposedly, Mungo was caught in a compromising position with a married woman by her husband. Mungo punched the husband in the eye, leading him to attack Mungo with a butcher knife or machete, requiring Dodgers executive Babe Hamberger to smuggle Mungo in a laundry cart to a seaplane waiting off a wharf in order to escape the country."

Jazz pianist, Dave Frishberg, grew up in St. Paul in the 1930s and '40s.  He remembers Mungo and many other big league players from those days, and used some of their names for all the lyrics of one of the greatest baseball songs of all time, "Van Lingo Mungo".  Dave also wrote "The Sports Page", the title song for our sports show on Thursday mornings.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Puffing Away

   Mr Rankin smoked filterless cigarettes. I know that, but there are a lot of things I don’t know about Mr Rankin. Like: His first name, how old he was when I knew him, whether he and his wife had had children, and what he did for a living ( although I believe he worked at the Chicago Board of Trade where he might have been a trader, but just as easily he could have been a janitor). Those didn’t matter to me when I was a child. He was Mr Rankin the old man two doors down who held court with the neighborhood kids on the concrete steps of his front stoop in neatly pressed pants which rode high enough above black sox to show a little shin and always in a white silk, or at least silky, shirt which evidently I liked to touch when I was really small. Sometimes there would be five or six of us. Sometimes just me. Occasionally he would call out to his wife Meg ( I remember her name because he spoke it often) and ask her to make us all a glass of chocolate milk, but mostly it was just talk…and smoke.
   Mr Rankin was a big smoker and an even bigger talker. He told us Johnny Weismuller ( the original movie Tarzan) had taught him how to swim…by throwing him in the deep end of the pool. He owned a pair of wooden false teeth worn by none other than George Washington. He had a rock collection which glowed under black light and a German Shepherd named J. Edgar Hoover Rankin who leapt the hedge in a single bound on command. He had an old Plymouth with push button transmission. He even let me push the button once and we reversed to the end of the driveway. So in that short frame of time in which the very young can still believe the very old, I looked up to Mr Rankin.
   Does that mean I took up smoking later because of Mr Rankin? I don’t think so. Cigarettes were just there. Were a fixture as commonplace and accepted as chocolate milk. Just like at home. My Dad smoked too. On vacation we would drive from Illinois up to Hayward and later to Snowbank Lake with as many as five kids and the dog and Dad puffing away and our biggest complaint was lack of space. That’s just the way it was. So when I was old enough I did the most natural thing in the world. I smoked. And after smoking took my dad and my wife’s dad and mom and we had children and they started bugging us to quit because of what they learned in school, we still puffed away invincibly, until finally we put up a poster of a bare-chested Fabio in the garage where we were self exiled to smoke. A poster which said “Lips are for kissing, not for smoking.” And that’s what did it. So, yeah, Fabio helped me quit smoking. Not quite as romantic as Johnny Weissmuller teaching you how to swim, but there you have it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Monday Morning: Wolves, Watercolors, and BIG Weather

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove the Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species List.  John Hart from the F&WS and Mark Johnson from the MN Deer Hunters Association talk about the reasons for de-listing the wolf at 7:20.

Also, on For The Birds, Laura Erickson continues her series on warblers with an update on the status of the endangered Kirtland's Warbler (right).

Then, in the 8 o'clock hour, we'll talk with Aitkin area artist and cartoonist, Duane Barnhart, about his watercolors and cartoons (right).  Duane is doing a watercolor workshop at the Grand Rapids Area Library Tuesday, June 7, at 7pm. His cartoons are a regular feature in the Aitkin Independent Age. His work has also appeared in Lake Country Journal and The Saturday Evening Post

And BIG WEATHER with Tornado Bob at 8:45.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Essentials: June Edition

 by Maddi Frick

June has officially arrived which means summer is officially here, although the weather can't seem to make up its mind.  Summer means a change of clothes, eating habits, and most importantly, the music you listen to.  I'm ready for some care-free pop beats and feel-good acoustic sounds from artists I have yet to discover.  Here's a collection of new music to look forward to over these (hopefully) warm summer months.

Coldplay - Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
Releasing June 3rd, this single by the infamous British band will hopefully tide you over until their 5th album release sometime in the fall of 2011.

Sondre Lerche - Sondre Lerche
The Norwegian's self- titled 6th album releasing on June 7th will promise some heartfelt beats, something you'll want to check out especially considering he recently played in Minnesota, in a barn in Wrenshall.(Other albums coming out this day include Jessica 6, Arctic Monkeys, Duncan Sheik, and The Rosebuds.)

Vetiver - The Errant Charm
The American folk band, who's toured with Devendra Banhart, will release their new album June 14th (the same day as Owl City's new release) through the label Sub Pop.

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
The sometimes-claimed-by-Minnesota Wisconsinite will release his doubly self-titled album June 21st.  This is only his second album, however he's been collaborating with many other artists, notably Kanye West.  (Other albums coming out the same day from LMFAO, Pitbull,  Lil Wayne, and YACHT.)