Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Talking Minnesotan – 01/31/2009

It’s the end of another year and Minnesotans,much like people everywhere, are making lists.

There are lists for music and lists for food
lists of fashion and lists that are rude
there’s a list for this and a list for that
be thankful, a list alone can’t make you fat

there’s a list for events and a list of regrets
and a list of things we’re not supposed to forget

Yeah there’s a list there, but no list here
I just wish you a Happy New Year.

A toast made to kindness

Yup, lots of lists. And the world keeps moving around the sun.
MPR wonders about “School levies passing in a weak economy? An odd reason” Think about it.
Starting tonight @FirstAvenue will debut their newly expanded sound system on New Years Eve. More bass for 2010 and I like the sound of that.

And soon…very very soon @spclassiccookie will be opening the greatest of new stories a cookie store. Act now, they are having a contest.
I asked Katie the question “How awesome is it to sell cookies?” and she answered it up

Pretty darn awesome!
I am passionate about scratch food, especially baked goods and cookies was the one thing I was always interested in mixing and baking since I was a young child. With cookies there is so much potential for creative expression, whether in the kind of cookie you are making, or in how you decorate it, there are never ending possibilities to create.
Basically we are ecstatic to be able to reopen and once again have the opportunity to make the most delicious cookies, muffins, cakes, and other baked goods.

Saint Paul Classic Cookie: 2386 Territorial Rd., St. Paul & the cross street is Raymond Ave.

C is for Cookie, and that’s good enough for me.

Another toast

Let’s close it all out with a video by our own Todd Pittman on December 26, 2009 at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis, Minnesota
City on the Make – Chicks on Bikes

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuG-kG46xj4[/youtube]

The Company Shredder

shredder

Spotted this paper shredder at work today. Someone has a good sense of humor.

Via Kingbozo

Talking Minnesotan – 12/18/2009

It was eerily quite in Minnesota this week. No major media brawls, no yelling at kids to get off the snowbank, no polite discussion about the weather, it was strange. All told there were maybe three words uttered in the entire 7 days, but my team of fact checkers were unable to verify they actually happened.

I suppose this is part of an inevitible shift towards texting and twittering all communications.

Though, Minnesotan Al Franken has had a few things to say in D.C. and my homies at In The Loop made this video in his honor.
Night Before Christmas (Joe Lieberman -style)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaNOkWE17Qk[/youtube]

Finally, someone is speaking again. Now maybe now we can get back to the accustomed “Cold enough for ya?” and “LEARN TO DRIVE YOU MOTHERF*&$#NG SON OF A WH@RE” that usually permeates the air this time of year.

Speaking of air, The Uptake has real time Climate Conference video and check out their tweet bar for some sweet data. mmmmmm data.

Need some food-N-Booze? SOTC has Holiday Cocktails and Beyond

Have you heard that They think they found Dark Matter at the bottome of a Minnesota mine? I’m sure it’s either that or a hockey puck.

Marrina ponders beauty MeiselPic: What Your Facebook Friends Might Look Like If They Were Super-Hot Models

Want to hear something cool? Cathy Wurzer of Minnesota Public Radio brings us the Minnesota Beatle Project

a new CD that features 16 Minnesota-based artists interpreting Beatles songs. One of the more intriguing tracks in the collection is a version of “Norwegian Wood” by Jeremy Messersmith and Zach Coulter.

Sadly, I wasn’t invited to sing; even though it’s widely known no one in Minnesota can cover McCartney like I. JET! Whooooo ooooooo JET!
Though I’m not bitter,but there will be blood. Fake blood made of pistachio pudding and and boiled okra.
Using fake blood clots to train real nurses
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-KxEFVJ33o[/youtube]

Blood not your thing? Fair enough, not really mine either so let’s calm down Minnesota style with some Owl City.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMr52bCXNdU[/youtube]

Empire State of Mind Parody – Minnesota Spoof (Empire Minnesota)

I don’t know what to say . . . .

You decide.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we6R3GGkTW8[/youtube]

A TheAfternoonDLight spoof of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys song Empire State of Mind. Minnesota version… The glasses are suppose to look like the glasses Jay-Z wears (I don’t actually wear glasses), and the hand symbol is the icon of roc-a-fella

Here are the lyrics so you can sing along champ.

Yeah, yeah Im up in MN, city of St. Cloud
We border Canada, for that I am proud

East of the Dakotas, dont hate the north state
Thank us for Scotch tape, home of ten thousand lakes

The capital is St. Paul, hangin at the state fair
(feet are cold!)

The worlds largest twine ball, breathing in the cold air Fishin for that eel pout, huntin for that deer meat
You can catch the farmers when they harvest that whole grain wheat

Down W. Germain Street, all black grand prix
Turnin up the heat, and slide in the fresh CD

Neat, got it at Best Buy, Minnesota loves prince
Why do you steal CDs?, I only had four cents

Snows fallin from the sky, sky, normal snow flurry
See you slide by, you hit a patch of black ice

May we, give a shout out, yeah you know who we be
You can tell from our lyrics that we are TheAfternoonDLight

In Minnesota, frozen tundra that we are fond of
Theres nothing you cant do, in Minnesota

These lakes will make you feel brand new
Big trees will inspire you, life in Minnesota
-Sota, -sota
(I love the cold weather)

See me with a hat and jersey at the Vikings game
Man, Favre made the vikes more famous than the Yankees man

You should know the team who, has colors red and blue
Cause I got a box of crackers rootin for the Twins, dude

Welcome to the hottest spot, MOA where we shop
In the winter we can get, a DQ banana split
Jumping jack, Jumping jack, Jumping jack, now Im tired
Minnesota niceness, up here we know how to act

You’ve heard the stories, miracle on ice
Herb Brooks glory, for the gold theres no price
Yeah we represent, Minnesota raised
The illest rhymes we spittin you know are grade A

Three degrees below, snowboard and ski
Santas at the mall, on his knee, patiently

I hope he will give me, a brand new handmade
Real colorful, and accurate to scale, map of

In Minnesota, frozen tundra that we are fond of
Theres nothing you cant do, in Minnesota
These lakes will make you feel brand new
Big trees will inspire you, life in Minnesota
-Sota, -sota

Good luck finding, real good finders
So they can find a way to kick

Our behind-as, just try if you please
Now go hide cowardly, we killed it on the last verse

To be on Christmas Eve, with the fam in St. Cloud
Will make you smile and it will never get old
Its too cold to be about, the city cause the sun is hardly shining in
Minnies gone mad, its that time of year again

Come and take a field trip, see the Mississippi
Enjoying the nature, just like a hippie
Or watch a concert down at the First Ave.
Havin more fun than you ever really should have

Too cool for school, Minnies high in education
Our states the best, dont need investigation
Joe Mauer hits rocket homers to the moon
Look pretty in Minnie, yeah the state of the common loon

In Minnesota, frozen tundra that we are fond of
Theres nothing you cant do, in Minnesota
These lakes will make you feel brand new
Big trees will inspire you, life in Minnesota
-Sota, -sota

One hand in the air for the twin cities
These lights on trees are lookin pretty

No state on the map can compare
Puttin your mittens in the air, everybody say, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

In Minnesota, frozen tundra that we are fond of
Theres nothing you cant do, in Minnesota
These lakes will make you feel brand new
Big trees will inspire you, life in

via Big ups @g_rote

Talking Minnesotan – 12/11/2009

MPR has a picture of a man in a snowsuit and somepeople think it’s a sasquatch sighting. And here I thought dope wasn’t legal yet.

Tis the Season and How Was The Show has The Guthrie’s 2009 A CHRISTMAS CAROL by the numbers

Minnesota’s prodigal video son Chuck Olsen is in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference and he’s live tweeting the entire event. You can also follow #COP15

The uptake has video and here’s some protestors being arrested

My favorite Chuck tweet so far?

I openly questioned the value of covering any more #COP15 demonstrations. @kk notes: Coverage is valued by people outside my jaded bubble.

Here’s Chuck’s Flickr feed, check it.

Is there still a media war going on?
Minnpost interviews “a lovable little fuzz ball” and things explode. Citypages responds with flair and hyperbole The worst of MinnPost’s Michele Bachmann puff piece and once again BrauerPower is the voice of reason

You know? What’s so civil about war anyway?

So I’m going to close out with the gents from In The Loop jamming with Kermit the Frog.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Iwq7HPLfM[/youtube]

Unknown Prophets Le System D

Need something to do tonight?

Go to the Unknown Prophets (CD-Release)

When I called Mike Madison aka MaD SoN of the Unknown Prophets a few weekends ago I was a little unsure of the direction my interview was going to take. I’d been listening to the their new release Le System D in the car and noticing the great guitar work. I mean, who calls a rapper to talk about guitars?

I guess I do.

So I figured the best way to proceed would be to just blurt it out, (I mean, what could go wrong? Right?), “I have to tell you, I love the guitar work and it seems as though there’s a theme. Is that true?”

“I was experiencing some tough times last year so I decided to lock myself away in a room and just start writing. I wanted to make a summer album, know what I mean? Something that you’ll want to listen to while driving on a nice summer night.”

I knew what he mean, but did I hear him right? “Wait, you wrote the guitar parts?” Sorry for the stereotype, but I’m just not used to rappers also playing an instrument.

“Yeah, I do all the guitar work. The album started with a few riffs that I decided to turn into songs. I’d write a track and send it to Jesse and he’d change the beats and add his input. “

Style wise you guys are all over the place, one of the first songs that really clicked with me was “Fresh”. I found it to be kind of a corny feel good piece that made me want to spend the day with my special lady friend.

“Not to be cocky, but I feel like we are one of the few hip hop bands that can play anything. We’re hip hop, but we also like to get heavy and rock and we can pull off a corny song, but still give it depth and meaning.”

Throughout the interview we talked about politics, kids, grocery shopping, the musical writing and recording process, and that’s just to name a few. They wrote the entire album from last November to January and spent the rest of the time recording and mixing. The quick turn around really makes the lyrics on the political songs pertinent as they rap about everything from war to bank bailouts.

I realized not only do I like the CD, but I like Mike and the message that the Unknown Prophets deliver. Maybe that message is you can be controversial without being in your face offensive or maybe that message is when times are tough life is good, or maybe it’s a little bit of both and something more, but believe me there is something appealing about Le System D that is both untangible and good.

How good? Check them out tonight at First Avenue and see for yourself.

Next week I’ll be posting my 10 questions with Mike, in the meantime buy the album and experience Le System D.

CD Release Tonight: FIRST AVE MAINROOM – 5:30PM – 10PM
Official Website: Unknown Prophets

Talking Minnesotan – 11/27/09


RIP uptown bar Uploaded on November 19, 2009
by the queen of subtle

Pictured above is the hole in the ground where The Uptown used to be, so sad. You can still hear people talking about the bar, mostly in sad whisper fueled rumor. I hear it’s reopening on 28th and Hennepin, but my source admits it’s a weak lead.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the T.C. While the temperatures have cooled most everything else has heated up.

Media Wars:
Aside from last week’s Citypages kerfuffle and the Minnpost playing nicey nice with Katherine Kerstern story, oh and let’s not forget David Brauer getting cheeky

*whew*
Yes, you’d think that would be enough of a local media battle, but there’s more as Strib’s Mike Sweeney goes after MPR in Mike Sweeney: With level playing field, future is bright for news

There was plenty of backlash from the MPR’ers, but the write up I liked the most came from Minnpost’s David Brauer Minnesota Public Radio: punching above its weight

Double whew, all that and a challenge?

BigBoxCar challenges Chuck Olsen

“@Chuckumentary Perhaps you could submit your opinion piece as our first Community Voices VIDEO post? #justdoit “

All because Chuck asked

“@dbrauer Seriously, why would your boss give either @brodkorb or Brian Melendez any screentime on MinnPost? Not sources of solid info. “

You know what I think
UNICORN POWERS ACTIVATE!

I’m telling you, it’s on.

Speaking of wars.
Warlord has a sword, or three.

Special thanks to Newsbobber for adding Minneapolis Metblogs posts to their “Alternative Sources” section! I credit the new bloggers that have been doing such a bang up job, well that and my conversation with Bob Ingrassia. Thanks Bob!

Speaking of doing a great job, I’m certian my favorite Strib commentor whom I call “Fire Childress Guy” is weeping a tiny purple tear with the new contract signing.
As for me? I’m going off the rails on a Viking Train!!!
Metro Transit revises Northstar schedule, adds Vikings train

Also, I’ve been working on an interview with the Unknown Prophets who have just released their third CD. Check them out, on last Sunday’s Local Show appearance.

Listen – 128k mp3

Their CD release in next week ( on my Wife’s birthday) Decemeber Third at First Avenue.

I’ll be there!

( Unless you’re my wife reading this post,love you sweetie.)

Here’s some older Unknown Prophets to warm up your day.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjXOK9Bg0XI[/youtube]

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and are thankful for life’s many blessings.

Confessions of a Christmas Music Addict

Christmas Music Savant, that’s what my friends call me. Maybe it was from my mum’s extensive vinyl collection and the fact that we sat around the piano singing every holiday or that I worked 20 years of retail or that I am a fine Welsh lass and my people are well known for our love of singing, but I love, L-O-V-E holiday tunes, all of them. 

Well, maybe not all of them.  No offense, but I would be happy if I never heard “Feliz Navidad“, especially the Jose Feliciano version,ever again.  But that one song aside, I start listening to Christmas music and holiday tunes at the start of November and stop after the twelve days of Christmas are over on January 5th (where do you think “Twelfth Night” came from folks?).

My moniker came from my days working at Dayton’s/Field’s/Macy’s and every time a song came on the Muzak I could name not only the song but singer in just a few notes, Bill Cullen would be proud.

I can tell the difference between Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett and Perry Como singing the exact same song.  Now with all the modern & country singers jumping into the holiday music pool it has become more difficult and my skills have begun to wane, especially since I no longer work retail, but my holiday music collection will still rival many.

Brady Bunch Xmas cover

Combined cassette, vinyl and CD there are over 200 albums in the collection. Perhaps the most prized is the “Merry Christmas with the Brady Bunch” Original Vinyl (we three sisters wore similar robes). You haven’t heard anything until you have heard Cindy Brady sing “Frosty the Snowman” with a lisp.

Fred WaringThen there is the Fred Waring Singers with Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby 12 Songs of Christmas with my favorites “Go tell it on the Mountain” & a fantastic duet “We wish you the Merriest” with Frank & Bing.  Then there is the Columbia Records “Magic of Christmas” 3- record boxed set which I loved,  and all the Dean Martin Christmas albums, those are mum’s, but we kept the old Soundesign stereo turntable just so we could still play them.  And get this, we even still have a Bing Crosby White Christmas 8-Track somewhere! Christmas LP

 

 

 

 

As for modern CD’s I think I like the Barenaked Ladies “Bare Naked for the Holidays” (includes some Hanukkah songs) and Harry Connick Jr’s “Harry for the Holidays” or his more recent “”What a Night.”  Brian Setzer Orchestra’s “Boogie Woogie Christmas” or “Dig that Crazy Christmas” are the two I own but he has also released several more including a live two CD set “Christmas Extravaganza.”

Leonard Slatkin Conducted Minnesota Orchestra Nutcracker Suite

Leonard Slatkin Conducted Minnesota Orchestra Nutcracker Suite

No Holidays would be complete without a Nutcracker Suite recording. Mum bought my sisters & me the Leonard Slatkin-conducted Minnesota Orchestra Tchaikovsky classic album when she worked there and it is wonderful (it also includes Swan Lake).

I also like some modern rock Christmas tunes like No Doubt’s “Oi to the World” and “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses as well, and they are always part of my circulation.  No Christmas is complete for me without Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town” either.  I always used to use it for my answering machine message the week before Christmas and can help but smile whenever I hear it!

I don’t think November is too early for Christmas or holiday music. You only get an opportunity to listen to it for such a short period of time and sing along like a freak for less than two months a year, so why not enjoy the spirit while you can?

And for those that don’t appreciate the “Christian” message of the Christmas music there are plenty of options.  The Barenaked Ladies have a few wonderful Hanukkah tunes on their CD and Minnesota’s own Peter Himmelman helped with a multi-performer CD called “Festival of Light” In addition songs like “Let it Snow” “Winter Wonderland” “Sleigh Ride” “Baby its Cold Outside” and even “Jingle Bells” have nothing to do with a religious saviour or holiday but rather the gloriousness of the winter season.

Maybe I like Christmas and holiday music so much because I enjoy winter and snow so much. Or maybe it is because I’m a geek and I like singing along with all the songs like I did when I was a child before I knew what all the words meant and Political Correctness had taken over the world.  But chances are when I’m in the house between November and January or at my desk, I’m cranking Dean, or Bing or Perry or anyone singing of the Holiday spirit and I’m singing along too (or in my head if I’m in an office).  Yes, My name is Fiona and I’m a Christmas Music Addict (or savant).

Fiona’s Holiday Favourites:

Classics:
White Christmas – Bing Crosby
Let it Snow – Dean Martin
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Judy Garland
Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
Frosty the Snowman – Burl Ives
Winter Wonderland – Peggy Lee or Dean Martin
I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Bing Crosby
Blue Christmas – Elvis
The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
Christmas Walz – The Carpenters
Jingle Bells – Perry Como
Don’t Forget to Feed the Reindeer – Peggy Lee
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth – Bing Crosby/David Bowie
Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald
Baby Its Cold Outside – Dean Martin
12 Days of Christmas – Fred Waring & the Pennsylvanians
Here We Come a Caroling – Fred Waring & the Pennsylvanians
The Holly & The Ivy – Westminster Boys Choir
Modern Pop/Rock
Santa Claus is Comin to Town – Bruce Springsteen
Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah- Barenaked Ladies
Dredyl Song – Another Man Down
Hanukkah Rocks – The LeeVees
Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Merry Christmas I dont Want to Fight – The Ramones
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – The Smithereens
Big Bad VooDoo Daddy – Mr. HeatMiser
Jingle Bells – Barenaked Ladies
Deck the Halls – Peter Cetera/Allison Krause or Twisted Sister
Jinga Bell Rock/Christmas Time – BoDeans
It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas – Pet Shop Boys
Last Christmas – Wham
Little Drummer Boy – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Red over White – Siouxie & the Banshees
Winter Wonderland – Cocteau Twins
Please Come Home for Christmas – Bon Jovi
Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You – SR-71
Santa Claus is Back in Town – Johnny Lang
Father Christmas – The Kinks
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Sarah McLachlan
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – Enya
We Three Kings – Fuel
Christmas Dont Be Late – Powder
Oi to the World – No Doubt
2000 Miles – The Pretenders
I Saw Three Ships – Sting
12 Days of Christmas – Relient K
All that I Want – The Weepies
Silent Night – LifeHouse
Peace on Earth – The Automatics
Sleigh Ride – Harry Connick, Jr
Zat You Santa Claus? – Brian Setzer Orchestra
Grown up Christmas List – Michael Bublé
What are you Doing New Year’s Eve – Vonda Shephard
[Edit]12 Days of Christmas – The Muppets & John Denver
 

Recommended website for pop/rock Holiday music is Mistletunes, an encyclopedia of anything and everything there is to know about modern holiday releases. 

If you want to listen to Holiday tunes at work but your collection pales in comparison to mine, AccuRadio’s AccuHolidays has multiple channels to please everyone’s tastes including a channel of just songs about Santa & his elves, Channel O’ (Oh Holy Night, O Tannenbaum, O Come All Ye Faithful, etc) and a channel called Chestnuts, just different versions of “The Christmas Song”; you can even customize your own channel. Great way to stream the holidays, and it is all FREE!  If you have Comcast Digital cable you can also tune to channel 832,which is Sounds of the Season. 

To prove what a holiday music nut I am, I will send a holiday CD to the first person who enters in the comments below the name of the horse in the winter classic “Jingle Bells”?  Yes,  the horse has a name.  Go ahead, sing it, it will come to you!

ADDENDUM:

Amazon is offering 25 free MP3 Downloads of Holiday Music, one a day until Christmas! http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/1000453281

Unhappy Minneapple

Each November I look forward to my grandmother’s cooking, trying to not die on Black Friday (I work in retail) and seeing Happy Apple play not one, but two fabulous post-Thanksgiving shows.  It was becoming my own little holiday tradition.

I learned recently that the jazz trio will not be playing this Thanksgiving weekend.  To make matters worse, no one knows when or where they will play next.  By the way, If you have never listened to Happy Apple you should take the time to treat your soul and discover them.  

A few weeks ago I wanted to check on the details of their next show.  With no concert dates on their website or  myspace, I became deeply concerned and was in a foul mood for days.   I eventually decided to stop thinking about it and that perhaps they just hadn’t taken the time to update their websites in a while, it happens.

Then the following Friday, I saw saxophonist Michael Lewis out and about in Minneapolis.  I just had to ask him whether I was being paranoid or if in fact there were no upcoming shows.  He confirmed the latter and I returned to my sad state of mind.  

This isn’t to say the world is doomed never to hear Happy Apple live again, but simply that the group is comprised of three very busy and talented musicians with many places to go and things to do.  This Thanksgiving will not be quite as magical as it could be.

Suicide Commandos Day in Minneapolis

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs_RlJ_cLv8[/youtube]

Mayor RT Rybak declared today Suicide Commandos Day.

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