Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gender Bender

by Scott Hall

Kate Smith (right)is an 8th grader at Detroit Lakes.  This Spring she won the Class 2A girls state championship in golf, shooting a remarkable 140 for two rounds, 9 strokes ahead of her nearest opponent., and led her DL team to the state title.

It rained Saturday and so I turned on the TV.  On ESPN the Minnesota Lynx were locked in a ferocious contest with the "Sky", Chicago's entry in the WNBA.  The Lynx are the defending champions and so every team makes an exceptional effort to knock them off.  Minnesota's home grown hero, Lindsey Whalen (below), had 25 points and some dazzling assists and the Lynx won 79-67 to run their record to 12 wins and one loss. Lindsey was the best player on the court this day, but she isn't even the best player on her team.  In fact, the Lynx make such discussions moot because it is such a good team in the truest sense.

During breaks in the action I surfed the other ESPN channels - there are three or four - and each had an angle on girls and women sports:  an international girls volleyball tournament in Florida, profiles of basketball and soccer stars.  The reason for this focus is the 40th anniversary of Title Nine, the federal law that opened up opportunities for women in colleges that get federal money.

Title Nine was an amendment to the Higher Education Act in 1972.  It met with little opposition until years later when the breadth of its application was challenged in court. It was coincidental but appropriate that Title Nine passed on Wilma Rudolph's birthday.  Wilma (right) was born on June 23, 1940 in Clarksville, Tennessee, one of Ed and Blanch Rudolph's 22 kids!  She was in poor health for much of her childhood including a left leg and foot made lame by polio.  In 1960, at age 20, she represented the U.S. in the Olympic games in Rome, won 3 gold medals in track, and became known as the fastest woman in the world.

I remember watching those Olympics as a kid, wowed by the exploits of Wilma, Rafer Johnson in the decathalon, Cassius Clay in boxing, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson in basketball.  Wilma retired from racing in 1962 at age 22.  Track athletes in those days had to keep their amateur status to compete in the most prestigious events. In 1963 she got a degree in elementary education and became a teacher and coach.  As a kid I was oblivious to the barriers - both racial and educational - minority and women athletes had to overcome.  Those weren't the good old days.  There were many we never knew who didn't get the chance.  Title Nine blew the lid off those limits and created vast opportunities for women, well beyond sports.

I don't know if Title Nine could happen today.  It would be called overreach and social engineering by the federal government by some, and against God's will by others.  The most naive among us would say we are past the days when prejudice can deny opportunity.  But it's something every generation has to learn.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Culturology Calendar 6-21-12

by Travis Ryder
Thursday, June 21
Brainerd Public Library presents CafĂ© Accordion Orchestra at noon.  The 5 member group combines swing, ballads, tangos, cha chas, rumbas and cumbias.
The Edge of the Wilderness Almanac, directed by Master Puppeteer Theresa Linnihan, showcases northern Itasca County life using giant puppets, original music and poetry, among other things. Shows are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7, Sunday at 2, at the Edge Center Theater.
Sunshine Boys is the new production this week at the Chief Theater.  The Paul Bunyan Playhouse presents the Neil Simon show tonight through Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2.

Friday, June 22
Artists on Deck at Gull Lake Yacht Club, Friday, June 22, 11am - 8pm.
The public is invited to join art lovers and meet artists at the beautiful Gull Lake Yacht Club in the Brainerd Lakes area.  Artists include Carolyn Abbott, Roy Abbott, Bob Carls, Jeff Kreitz, Diane Runberg, Greg Souther, and Diane Whiting.  Art, music, food and drinks.

Saturday, June 23
Lady Slipper Festival celebrates the great habitat for our state’s official flower around Blackduck.  The festivat gets under way there in the early afternoon.
The Woodpicks in concert at 7:30, at the Roxy Theater in Clearbrook.  Co-hosted by the Clearbrook Depot Committee and the Clearwater Co. Historical Society, all donations received will support the Depot Restoration Project in Clearbrook and County-wide Historical Society projects.

Thurs., June 28th and Sat., June 30
Loon Opera presents Madama Butterfly, BHS Auditorium.  High-level operatic talent must have a summertime break, because director Abe Hunter has attracted some to be part of the show along with great local performers.

Minnesota History Datebook
June 22, 1861 The First Minnesota Regiment departs Fort Snelling for Washington, D.C., eventually finding both glory and death in the Civil War.
June 21, 1973 The United States Hockey Hall of Fame opens in Eveleth, the capital of American hockey.
June 22, 1973 Hail 7 inches deep stops traffic on Highway 169 in Grand Rapids.
June 23, 1927 Captain Gerhard Folgero and his 42-foot Viking ship Leif Erickson sail into Duluth, completing a voyage from Norway. The ship is now displayed in a Duluth park.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Culturology Calendar 6-14-12

by Travis Ryder

Thursday, June 14
More show dates for the Paul Bunyan Playhouse production of ‘The Spitfire Grill’, tonight through Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2.  Next Wednesday at 8, the Chief Theater hosts the next Playhouse summer production, ‘Sunshine Boys.’

Thursday through Satrurday
The Bemidji Library Book Festival continues today and tomorrow with workshops and reading sessions.  Polar explorer Ann Bancroft gives the keynote Friday night.  Then Saturday in Bemidji, author Wendell Affield reads from his new Vietnam-era memoir Muddy Jungle Rivers at the Headwaters School.  That event starts at 4.

Friday through Sunday
The Judy Garland Festival and a Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival are both happening in Grand Rapids this weekend.
The Clearwater History Center in Shevlin has their first weekend hours of the season.  The center is open Friday until 8:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 until 2 and Sunday from 12:30 to 3:30.  On Friday night is a special concert event at 7 p.m. with folklorist John Berquist. Through the end of August the museum will be open Tuesday through Friday from 10-4, Saturdays 10-2 and by appointment.

Saturday, June 16
Minnesota folklorist and musician John Berquist performs Saturday at the Beltrami History Center at 2 p.m. in downtown Bemidji.
Charlie Parr, Steve Kaul, and Sneaky Pete Bauer play a Barn Fire Benefit under the Rotary Tent at the KAXE Amphitheater in Grand Rapids.  The show gets started at 4 p.m.
At 5:00, the Great Northern Radio Show goes out live on KAXE/KBXE from the theater at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.  If you’d like to be in the audience in person, call us for free tickets or be there before 4:30 Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday
Summer's not really in full swing on the Range until the Land of the Loon Ethnic Arts & Crafts Festival convenes in Virginia.  Marching bands will still have a rough cadence and sheet music on their lyres as the parade heads down Chestnut Street Saturday morning.  Exhibitors, performers and vendors fill Olcott Park both days, and there's a street dance downtown Saturday night.

Tuesday, June 19
Pianist Emily Rudquist plays the Tuesday noon concert series in Grand Rapids at Community Presbyterian Church.  A lunch will follow after the show at 12:30.

Minnesota History Datebook
June 14, 1868 The first Ojibwe to relocate to the White Earth Reservation arrives. An annual ceremony and reunion is held to commemorate the event.
June 11, 1899 Speeding bicyclists are deemed a threat in the state’s capital city.  This week in ’99, the St. Paul Police establish a squad of twelve bicycle officers to patrol roads and sidewalks, keeping the public safe from so-called "scorchers." The speed limits are set at six miles per hour on sidewalks and eight on streets.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Music: 2012

by Maddi Frick

The earth is warming, the crows are awake way too early and it's summer 2012.  I'm eagerly consuming new music at an alarming pace.  After being devoid of new music the past new months, the avalanche at the KAXE studios makes me giddy.  So to inhale even more, let's see what else is coming these next few sunny months.

Fiona Apple | Alanis Morissette

For some reason, these two are always combined in my mind.  Maybe it has something to do with their music videos.  Fiona's album, The Idler Wheel, the first in 7 years, releases in June.  Alanis's album, Havoc and Bright Lights, won't release until late August.

Tallest Man On Earth

 Releasing in June, TMOE's There's No Leaving Now is one album I will buy/download immediately with no preview.  Just give me more. 

Maroon 5 

Sue me.  I like Maroon 5.  A lot.  Coming out in June, Overexposed will hopefully give us more pop hits to sing along with in the car.  And I can't wait.  

Glen Hansard

He's Irish!  He was in a movie!  I bet you've heard him before.  And that movie Once?  It's a broadway musical now.  This is his first solo album- Rhythm and Repose releases in June.

Passion Pit

 I really like some of Passion Pit's songs, and I really don't like some of their songs.  Hopefully Gossamer will provide a few hits to fall in love with.   Releases in July.

50 Cent | Chris Brown | | Flo Rida

If you don't like hip-hop, this is a warning.  If you love hip-hop, I think you'll be happy.  In a span of 4 days, right before July 4th, 4 major hip-hop players will all have albums releasing.  That's a lot of hip-hop music.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Great Northern Radio Show from Brainerd June 16th!

Great Northern Radio Show heads to Brainerd
Variety program to broadcast live from Central Lakes College June 16

BRAINERD, Minnesota (June 6, 2012) -- The Great Northern Radio Show, a popular new variety program produced by Northern Community Radio (KAXE), heads to Brainerd on Saturday, June 16.

The show will be broadcast live from the John Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College from 5-7 p.m. on 89.9 KAXE in Brainerd, 91.7 KAXE in Grand Rapids and on the Iron Range, and 90.5 KBXE Bemidji. The program will also be streamed live at Tickets for the June 16 live performance are free, but must be reserved by calling KAXE at 800-662-5799. Audience members are asked to be seated by 4:30 p.m.

Written and hosted by northern Minnesota writer Aaron J. Brown, the Great Northern Radio Show features music, stories and comedy about modern life off the beaten path.

“We try to reflect the unique culture and history of northern Minnesota with every show,” said Brown. “We pay particular attention to the stories and people of the towns we visit, using mostly local actors and musicians with a few of our regulars brought along.

The June 16 show features several musicians, including The Bitter Spills, a rock and blues band from the Iron Range, Eric Pollard and his solo act “Actual Wolf,” Brainerd singer/songwriter Seth Doud, recent Brainerd high school graduate and musician Katie Wig, Central Lakes student brothers Andy and Spencer Olson and their bands the Danver Patients and Hollow Hearts, with John Pribyl. Past show guests Iris Kolodji of Hibbing and Sonny Johnson of Bemidji will return.

The Great Northern Radio Players, a rotating group of actors from towns around Minnesota, will feature Brainerd and Pequot Lakes area actors Nancy Waller, Charlie Johnson, Sue Johnson and Jon Bjorquist, along with other surprise guests from the Brainerd area.

Great Northern Radio Show regulars include director Shelly Nowak and stage manager Kelly Gustavsson of Hibbing. The house keyboardist is Nickolai Koivunen of Zim. Longtime Iron Range broadcaster Scott Hanson provides foley sound and other performance material. The show is written by Brown and Hibbing native Matt Nelson.

“Each show is unique, exciting and unpredictable,” said Brown. “Whether you attend the live performance, where you get to see behind the scenes, or listen on the radio, you’ll have a great night of free entertainment.”

The Great Northern Radio Show started last year with a show on Brown’s native Mesabi Iron Range in Hibbing. This April the show broadcast from the Chief Theatre in Bemidji. After the June 16 Brainerd program, the Great Northern Radio Show heads to Eveleth on Oct. 20 and Bigfork on Dec. 15.
“Right now we do a show every season and we’ll try to visit as many different towns as we can in the first couple years of this show,” said Brown. “After that we’ll consider whether we want to stay on the road or establish a home theater somewhere.”

The Great Northern Radio Show is rebroadcast on other independent public radio stations around the state and is available as a podcast. Find out more at The show is underwritten by the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota and made possible in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Amendment.