Tag Archives: Arts

J. Otis Powell‽’s Health Transition Fundraiser

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My friend J. Otis is recuperating from a serious illness and this campaign to raise money to help pay for some of his expenses is over the half-way point to meeting its goal. Please contribute and help out one of the Twin Cities’ greatest talents. Thank you very much.

THIS JUST IN: To my peeps in the Twin Cities – there is a fundraiser being held at Intermedia Arts, here is the info:

Members from the community are coming together to produce a benefit show honor and celebrate local treasure J. Otis Powell on Wed July 15th at Intermedia Arts (7pm). We would love to have you there to witness & contribute to the wall poetry/word/image mural that will hang in J. Otis’s recovery room. Come commune, jam and celebrate with us. 

Purchase your ticket here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/benefit-show-for-j-otis-powell-tickets-17602364145

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Yonkers Alert!

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Michael Yonkers is doing a rare appearance in support of our community radio station KFAI on Sat., February 7th at the Turf Club in St. Paul. He’ll perform at 8:00.  I can’t thank Cyn Collins enough for making this fundraiser happen, but especially for getting Yonkers on the bill – I’m giddy over being able to see him! He tells Cyn that he won’t be “covering” himself – he means his songs, not that he’ll be naked, so all originals can be expected.

I’m Off!

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To help orchestrate KFAI’s co-sponsorship of THROWATHON, a 48HR Pottery Spinning Charity for Empty Bowls Polka Dance Party at the PNA Hall with Kids’ Art DJs spinnin live broadcast Sugar Shop Learning for Leadership kids deejaying then Jazzed Up & Bonkers Polish kielbasa Harriet Brewing Beer for sale but there’s free snowcones and popcorn on Saturday all as a part of ART-A-WHIRL WEEKEND which happens annually here in Minneapolis and is a true harbinger of spring although it is still in the 50s and windy and feels more like March but that’s how we whirl here in Minnesota.

Thunderboldt Pagoda

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So here’s a show I am missing this evening – they’re probably playing as I write this. I WILL catch a set of theirs soon. At some point. TP are:

Erik Wivinus – Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Vocals, Electric Sitar – Erik’s been in groups Gentle Tasaday, Salamander, and Skye Klad (and possibly other bands I’m missing.) He’s one of the owners of super cool antique store findfurnish.
Ralph Karsten – Mellotron, Analogue Synthesizers – Ralph owns Atma-Sphere Music Systems, a business which builds high-end, one-of-a-kind tube amps.  Ralph is better known as for his solo pursuit; Salubrious Invertebrae: experimental synth to the nth degree.
Matt Entsminger – Drums – Matt is an old buddy of mine and I love that he’s playing with TP. He’s an amazing drummer and held down the beats for Janitor Joe and Gnomes Of Zurich.
Gerard-Jean Boissy – Bass – I’ve gotten to know Gerard very well over this past year – we sat next to each other in school for nine months and Facebook texted sarcastic barbs back and forth during classes about some of our ridiculous classmates. Gerard is best known for his guitar-playing role in the legendary – oh, what’s that band’s name again? Oh, yeah, Rifle Sport! He is of the finest French Canadian pedigree and has the best girlfriend in the world.

tboldtpagodaT’Pagoda’s new record is available here: http://www.mutantmusic.com/ – check it out if you love space rock. I do.

Space Is The Place, Indeed

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sun raWent to a killer show at First Avenue tonight – Tacoma, Washington’s The Sonics – so wonderful – yes, rock and roll can sanctify and save my soul.

But you know, when it’s almost 3:00 a.m., and I’m feeling contemplative, sometimes my thoughts turn towards the Sun… Sun Ra. There’s never been anyone like this cat – ever. This documentary is mind-blowing, truly. At certain points in the film, you totally start believing that he is not really from this Earth. He’s quite convincing.

He was sort of dictator-like in the discipline he imparted upon the musicians he worked with – they were “his” musicians – much more like family. Sort of cultish, really. But it seems like he needed to be that way in order for his vision to come to fruition.

He took jazz to a level not ever duplicated by another living soul. Dig it.

Garmarna (Dogs That Guard The Gates Of Hell)

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Still one of the most amazing groups I’ve ever heard or witnessed, I had the distinct pleasure of booking Sweden’s Garmarna’s first U.S. tour when I was working for their American record label, Omnium Records, owned by my good friend, Drew Miller. Insanely talented and very, very nice people, they stayed with us when they played at The Cedar Cultural Centre here in Minneapolis. Well, those in the group who wanted to get rest stayed at our house; those who wanted to drink some beers stayed with Drew.

Emma, their lead singer, was about 19 at the time, and was super shy and sweet. But, as you can see from the video, oh, that VOICE – not exactly shy. She began singing very early – when she grew up “in the forest with her mother.” In Sweden they do a sort of cattle call called “kulning,” and that gave her the training which took her to a sort of mystical place on the stage.

It was so lovely to hang out with “the Garms” for a couple of days and get to know them and their tour manager. They did a couple more U.S. tours after that initial tour; touring the U.S. has become very difficult in recent years, Homeland Security and all that…so they haven’t been back recently. I believe that all of the members of the group are working on other music projects at the present time; I hope very much that they’ll reunite and come back to the states. I will always have a floor for them to crash on!

Snag Films

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http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/alice_donut_freaks_in_love

I will confess. I found Snag Films when I was Googling myself. Come on, admit it, we all Google ourselves. I was trying to find references to my old punk band, Snag (Sensitive New Age Guy), and Snag Films popped up.

Snag Films is an awesome source for all kinds of films. Their specialty is documentaries – they have hundreds of award winning documentaries from all over the globe.

I stumbled upon “Freaks In Love,” a doc about Alice Donut, a group from “back in the day” whom I used to love. I had no idea that they had stayed together all these years! Great documentary and really inspirational from an artistic point of view.

So far, Snag Films is free of charge. Occasionally, it has “buffering” issues – the film will stop for few seconds sometimes, and that’s a little frustrating. Some of the movies have sponsorships, but not obnoxiously so.