Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Tear down The Wall

At 67 years old a reflective Roger Waters took his new live production of The Wall to Saint Paul and it was a spectacular display that managed to transcend original intent while spanning eternal human struggles.

While surveying the preshow crowd I noticed an abundance of grandmas and grandpas filling the seats, yelling “WHOOOO”, and pointing at friends seated elsewhere. This was to be a show where everyone seemed to know someone and by the end we would all agree with solemn pledge to tear down the fucking wall.

The show opened with an near full-scale Luftwaffe Stuka dive-bomber crashing into the partially constructed wall and exloding into a ball of flames. The evenings first physical manifestation of the psychological thriller we all came to see. Since Roger Waters’ last tour of The Wall the technology has drastically improved and as the show progressed the bricks of the wall were filled in one by one. Although the wall would eventually become a completed projection screen it started out with simple bricks and a message, as much a statement on life as a metaphor, a message against war and all it entails. A message that would be reitterated time and time again throughout the evening as Roger Waters combined potent imagery and modern themes of loss with the timeless inner struggles of mankind. A binary battle of good vs evil, wrong vs right, and us vs them.

While Roger Waters may have come to grips with his inner demons his sense of justice has remained unwavering as his powerful voice. Yes, those preshow grandmas were correct. WOOOOOOO!

At times throughout the evening Waters transformed from an inexplicably fit and energetic man to a seemingly frail grandfather dwarfed by the the wall behind him and back. All while purveying his message of antiwar, anti-establishment, and anti-suffering.

Perhaps here in America we don’t respect our elders enough. Perhaps Mr.Roger is correct that we don’t value life as we should and at one point during the show he notes that every gun built is a thief. It steals food from the unfed. It steals life from the living.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0ZlOG5TO-A[/youtube]

It may not take an epic struggle with our own morality and mortality to tear down the wall, but it certainly seems to help.

Tear down The Wall!
Tear down The Wall!
Tear down The Wall!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZdBVVuBlRQ[/youtube]

WHAT: Roger Waters The Wall 2010

N 1st Street

N 1st Street
Image Uploaded on May 3, 2010 by PhotoPatzer who says “These windows were just to good to pass up. I shot the crap out of this place!”

For some reason this image freaks me out, in a good way.

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Let’s judge a book by it’s cover.

You know the old saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” words of wisdom that we’ve all ignored at one time or another. And not just with books, right? It’s a great metaphor and it often makes sense, yet I find myself making decisions on “the cover” of things from wine labels to situations.

It appears that Minnesota has found itself in a bit of a “judge a book by it’s cover” situation over a recent appearance by acclaimed author Neil Gaimon over an appearance in Stillwater for Money for Club Book which was paid for by Legacy funds.

Strib reports

Librarians defend use of Legacy funds to inaugurate Club Book series with bestseller Neil Gaiman. The metro-wide program was started to expose suburbia to authors of national acclaim… Fantasy and science fiction writer Neil Gaiman’s speaking fee of $45,000 for a recent four-hour appearance in the metrowide Club Book series has some tongues in the library community wagging in astonishment.

Let’s start with the Legacy Fund, it has been a classic case of judging a book by it’s cover since day 1. Everytime a news article comes up about the Legacy funding being used there is at least a minor kerfuffle. Public money is like that, even when we agree we want money spent we often disagree on how or when it should be spent.

When it comes to the Legacy Fund most of it’s supporters and many of it’s detractors had preconceptions on how the money should be spent.

Now with the Gaimon situation it seems the issue isn’t that money is being spent on a literature series, but rather the amount of money spent on one author with Gaimon’s appearance taking up nearly a third of the fund for the Money for Club Book series.

Personally I understand that some authors will cost more than others and they’ll also have a much bigger draw, but in this situation I have seen estimates of 500 people attending. At $45,000 for the event, that means the fund paid $90 a ticket for the pleasure of Mr.Gaimon’s lecture.

I was going to attend, but I had plans that day. Were you there? If so, what did you think? Either way, let’s judge a book by it’s cover.

I am leaning towards the side of “it’s no big deal”, kudos the the library system for bringing in Mr.Gaimon and kudos to Mr.Gaimon for getting a big pay day. It’s a tough literary world out there and big paydays are a rarity for authors.

Now I’ve read reople generally speak at 150 words per minute and there are 60 minutes in an hour which makes 9,000 words per hour or 36,000 words per the four hour commitment. That’s about 1.25 per word Mr.Gaimon was paid.
Does that mean if he spoke in all 50 cent words he would have been over payed by 75 cents a word?

Just kidding, Neil. Love ya’ man.

Readers decide.
[poll=24]

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A Call for MN poets and writers

Do you like to write poetry? Or perhaps Flash Fiction is more your bag?

mnartists.org is sending out the call for artists and poets to submit entries for it’s WHAT LIGHT POETRY PROJECT and mnLIT literary series.
The Deets

Eligibility and Submission Guidelines:

Any Minnesota resident may submit up to three short, previously unpublished poems (each may be up to 50 lines or, in the case of a prose poem, a maximum 300 words long); send your submission(s) as an attachment to poems@mnartists.org (preferably as Word documents or, in the case of pieces with complex formatting, jpeg files). You may also simply paste your piece into the body of an email. Please put “WHAT LIGHT poetry submission” in the subject line of your email.

You must be a resident of Minnesota and become a member of mnartists.org to have winning work published in this contest. At the time entrants to What Light submit their poems for consideration, they should also submit a low-res (72 dpi) photograph of themselves, a brief bio (no more than 150 words). With this biographical information, entrants should also include links to any relevant personal websites or blogs that they would like mentioned should their poem(s) be selected.

Read an archive of previously winning poems and short stories in these literary series on mnartists.org.

Talking Minnesotan – 03/19/10

FLOODS!!! BRACKETS!!!! WCHA!!! SXSW!!!

Minnesotans have been crazy talking up the recent goings on, much to the dismay of… well … other Minnesotans. We’re a fickle lot, we like to talk a lot, sometimes. Other times we don’t want any talking. Most of the time we don’t want to hear or read about things we aren’t talking about. Of course, maybe I get too much of my information from Twitter.

If FLOODWATCH2010 is your thing Sornie is pulling together an impressive group of flood pics over and yon at Minnpics

MPR brings us a boatload of events this weekend

This weekend is burgeoning with more events than I know what to do with: book signings, dance concerts, theater, birthday celebrations, music, comedy… If you can’t find something in here to tickle your fancy, well all I can say is, you’re missing out.

Your weekend outlook: the (w)rite of spring

2and21 says forget lakes. we got bikes.

While Simplegoodandtasty points out our great Mn craft beers Locavore Beer Lovers Have Much to Like About Minnesota Brew

Bob has some helpful information @justplainbob “@BCollinsMN Perhaps 90% of people don’t know — as I didn’t until recently — that you can recycle CFL at Menards for free. Spread the word!”

Remember that Duluth Google video I posted a while back?
Now Public Knowledge asks “Will Minnesota Senate Kill Duluth’s Chances of Getting Google Gigabit Project?”

Minnpost is talking healthcare Behind-the-scenes on health care maneuvering: how Tim Walz is deciding, how lobbying pressures mount

While Cinn.mn is taking on the ever popular immigration debate Minnesota Compass: The Economic Impact of Immigrants in Minnesota

•Immigrant-owned businesses generated $331 million dollars in net income to the Minnesota in 2000.
•Hispanic-owned firms in the state have grown 350% since 1990.
•Foreign-born workers account for the majority of growth in the labor force in Minnesota.
•Nationally immigrants represent 25% of physicians and 40% of engineers holding doctoral degrees.
•The U.S. Labor Department reports that the nation has an immediate shortage of 126,000 nurses, yet the average wait for a nurse to get a “green card” is six years.
•Rural Minnesota alone faces a predicted shortage of 8,000 RNs in the next decade.

In sad news longtime Mpls.St.Paul Magazine editor Brian Anderson passed away this week. In my household Brian was viewed as a thoughtful writer and it was his stories my wife would discuss the most.

MSPMAG has the details on his services

On Saturday, March 20, he will be remembered by family, friends, colleagues, and readers at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Visitation begins at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Lakewood Cemetery. All of those Brian touched, either through his deeds or his written words, are welcome to attend

Let’s wrap this up with Mn’s own Romantica – These Things Are Too Beautiful (Live on The Local Show)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBTzJPs3h4E[/youtube]

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Talking Minnesotan – 02-26-10


Image “Third Thursday: Foot in the Door 4 Premiere” Uploaded on February 19, 2010
by Minneapolis Institute of Arts
(Photos: Lacey Criswell and Kimberlee Whaley)
Find artwork on the FITD4 website

Check out the Best Shoes in the Door Gallery here

Learn about upcoming Third Thursday events.

Join the Third Thursday Group Pool and upload your own images from the event.

Well I missed another Third Thursday event, but I really want to go. The wife has decided she won’t be able to make the next couple, so I need a date or three. Want to go to the next one?

This week the talk has been all Prince all the time. His Purpleness has released a new song “Cause and Affect” and Andrea Swensson is not impressed.

People, we have a fake applause situation. When one of our friends was listening to “Cause and Effect” for the first time, he remarked that it sounded like the background noise on the video game Rock Band. We giggled, and then became very, very sad. Honestly. Is there anything more depressing than the image of the Purple One at Paisley Park, wielding a plastic guitar with multi-colored buttons and playing with a backing band of cartoons?

Ouch.

Check out Toki Wright talk about BlackMale, an 8 song digital EP of all brand new music. “Seeing that it is Black History month it seemed like a fitting to release this interpretation of African-American manhood”
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbhlgax39nE[/youtube]

Although Mn has plenty of Minnesotans in the Olympics people still can’t seem to get enough Brett Favre talk.

Most sports fans are getting into baseball mode and What ‘choo talking about, Willis? has some things to say with Twinsanity

While MPR’s Laura McCallum takes on the more serious discussion of homelessness in Mn with A business plan to end long-term homelessness Ever notice how politicians say they are going to end homelessness, but then set the date way off in the future all the while defunding programs for the homeless?

Yeah, I’m sure that will work.

There’s been a lot of law talk this week and right in the midst of it all Sheila Regan fights the law and well, somehow actually wins. TCDP’s Sheila Regan gets court records opened

Secret court proceedings will see the light of day, according to an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on TC Daily Planet reporter Sheila Regan’s motion to open the records of contempt proceedings against Carrie Feldman. The appeals court allowed further government delay in opening the records, drawing a sharp dissent from Judge Bye, one of the three-judge panel hearing the case:

Congratulations Sis, but be careful, that’s not how the song goes.

Hey look that pretty boy Andrew Zimmern is going to be on the Tyra show. Fierce.

Speaking of MSPMAG Man-about-Town Steve Marsh (who still owes me 20 bucks and drinks, fucking hippy.) has two videos worth checking this week.

In this one he gets hammered and talks about the monster situation he created with Michelle Bachmann and in this one he interviews author Wells Tower at Il Gatto

HEY YOU!!! Don’t forget to vote in the Pepsi Refresh contest, there are some good local entries.

You know what? It’s Friday, let’s close it out with Eyedea & Abilities – Smile

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9-eKhCukW8[/youtube]
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Lake Phalen – Winter Carnival – Kite Fest – 2010

A few weekends ago I went to Lake Phalen to watch the Winer Carnival Ice Boat racing event.

While there I interviewed Kitemaster Mike Gee of Wings on Strings

The interview covers the first three minutes of the video and at about 3:30 you can see the giant kite Spirit Man set sail.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBbFsZRkG-c[/youtube]

The Photo Set

Wings on Strings

Wings on Strings is North Dakota’s Club for Kite Flying

We consider anyone who flies a kite in North Dakota a member of the club. You may already be a member, but did not know it. We have no dues and no meetings.

If you like kites, fly kites, make kites, or want to know more about kites, we’ll help you out. It may be a small state, but North Dakota has its share of nationally recognized kite enthusiasts as well as kite festivals that attract people from across the nation (and Canada).

The 16th Annual Jamestown Kite Festival
June 12 and 13, 2010

North Dakota: No Mountains, No Trees, Just One Big Kite Flying Field

Talking Minnesotan – 02-05-10


Image Uploaded on January 27, 2010
by Individual_romance
There’s been plenty of talk in Minnesota this week. Most of it about bacon and eggs, some of it about beer, and occasionally someone has brought up the topic of the weather. Typically, we kill that person with kindness while secretly thinking thoughts of the Caribbean. Since it’s Superbowl weekend I’ll open it all up with some football talk.

Bob Collins has The case for a Vikings stadium discussion

The Minnesota Legislature begins its 2010 session today (MPR’s Midday is originating its entire show from the Capitol today) and the chief topic is how to to close the state’s budget deficit.

But the slightly smaller gorilla in the room is a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Still, it has no significant chance of coming up for discussion this year.

Gov. Pawlenty tried to put the discussion in play yesterday during his appearance on MPR’s Midday when he offered several possible ways to raise some revenue for the Vikings, whose lease at the Metrodome expires at the end of next season.

Sooner or later, the issue has to come up for discussion. The question is: Should it be sooner? Or later?

I like the first comment by BSimon

You’re absolutely half-right, Bob. I say half right because the necessary discussion isn’t just about a hypothetical Vikings stadium, but the entire list of requests for state funding. What really needs to happen is a prioritization process, that includes analysis of the payback we’ll get from any given expenditure. For instance, how much do we spend on schools & what’s the return? Are we properly educating our future workforce such that they’ll be productive members of society, contributing back to MN? What about law enforcement – is the investment in law enforcement, the courts & prison system the best way to provide security & safety to the populace? Or can we achieve the same or better results by spending differently? So, back to the Vikings stadium. Supporters claim there’s an ROI, through taxing players’ salaries, or an intangible benefit of building a sort of community. Ok, how do we quantify that & prioritize it against other obligations? Should we build a stadium or hire more public defenders & fix some bridges? How about building a ditch around Moorehead? If we consider a new dedicated source of funding, like racinos, why would that revenue be earmared for a stadium, rather than addressing the enormous budget shortfall?

So, yes, lets discuss it. What are our priorities & how much are we willing to pay for them? In bang for the buck, a stadium falls a bit on the priority list, in comparison to ensuring our state’s future standard of living remains high.

Check out my buddy Marsh getting hammered

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Steve Marsh and reporter Brian Lambert imbibe the latest cocktail creations by La Belle Vie’s star bartender Johnny Michaels while chatting about the politics of Michele Bachmann, Brian’s new radio show Brian and Sheletta on FM 107.1, and the death of happy hour at the state capital.
, Brian’s new radio show Brian and Sheletta on FM 107.1, and the death of happy hour at the state capital.

Remember when I talked about the Art Shanty Black Bania? Citypages points us to this video of Spoken word artist Paul Dickenson.

bigboxcar confirms: Yeah, Cheeseheads are still bitter.

Hookers!

Minnesotan Jeff Severns Guntzel says what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate on War and makes a great video.

I ravaged the Utne Reader library looking for covers from the alternative press that helped to tell the complex and terrible story of our war in Iraq. Utne Reader librarian Danielle Maestretti and art director Stephanie Glaros helped me. Here’s what we came up with:

Video: The Iraq War as Told Through Magazine Covers

Great work.
Fellow Cloquet escapee and writer CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER writes a fascinating story about Wille Murphy

Did you see that guy’s hair?

Speaking of hair Jason Derusha says
“The Good Question intern @allisonjanney has been researching hair. Not mine, obviously.”

Check it

Enough about hair, let’s close it out with the nicely waxed Brother Ali
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyBbTe7Kn7k[/youtube]
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the jennefit: for jenn barnett

Image by jennbarnett

Speaking of photography Paperlily is hosting a benefit to help local photog Jenn Barnett replace some gear.

Elli writes,

jenn has done *so* much for local musicians and helping to promote them, both through creating amazing images of their bands and telling people about their music . . . surely some of them would rally to help her replace her camera. and they would! they are! the bands i approached immediately embraced the idea of donating their time to help.

so i contacted the turf club and got a date for a benefit, and i started contacting bands. as of yesterday, we have the final lineup – although i’m certain that any of the bands on the bill would be willing to work in a cameo if anyone else wanted to get in on this. i started calling it the Jennefit (because i’m hilarious) even though that’s basically painful in it’s dorkiness. it’s super fun to say! say it out loud. do it! jennefit.

here’s what we are going to do, and i TOTALLY need your help, if you are reading this. we are going to the turf club on march 26th and we are going to watch these kick ass bands play until they make us all go home:

the honeydogs
molly maher
erik koskinen
ryan paul & the ardent
the mad ripple
(jim walsh)

Sounds like a pretty great line up, for more great pics check out JENN BARNETT PHOTOS

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The magic of snowglobes for a snowy day

Sure it snowed a good three inches over night and the morning commute dripped slower than Molasses, but we only 46 more days until spring. So we have that going for us, which is good.

Check out this video that MPR made of a snowglobe repairman.

Northfield, Minnesota’s Dick Heibel has been fixing snow globes for decades, and says the thanks he gets from his customers is the reason he keeps doing it.

charges
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-uQKQCeUHU[/youtube]

(H/t In The Loop)

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