Is this Heaven?

Eight months or so ago I woke from my first nights stay in Duluth and slipped quietly down to the sand beach of Minnesota Point. Coffee in hand, sun gently coming up, and that now-familiar hum of the city in the background, I was excited to begin learning about my new hometown. And there in the wet sand, was etched “Is this Heaven?”

As a matter of fact I do earnestly believe in divine intervention and communication, and I took this message to me as a personal directive to find the answer to that question.

Eight months later I am still working on it. My heaven is not perfect, but it is generally a kind and gentle place. It is concerned for the weakest of inhabitants, and also for the Earth that we all share. For the most part it is clean and respectful and welcomes all.

I continue my quest to answer that question by joining the PDD community for what I believe to be some of the most important research of Duluth to date. Thanks for having me.

Why can’t this happen at Bayfront?

New St. Paul fest starting out big

Two bands that have packed Xcel Energy Center in the past will stretch out on St. Paul’s Harriet Island this summer as headliners for the River’s Edge Music Festival, an inaugural two-day event whose organizers hope will draw 40,000 people daily.

Arty metal kings Tool and bohemian jazz-rockers the Dave Matthews Band — mainstays of the summer concert circuit — will top out the June 23 and 24 lineups, respectively. Some of the other 30 or so (mostly rock) acts assembled by concert promoter Live Nation include the Flaming Lips, Mutemath, Coheed and Cambria, Brand New, Diplo, Scissor Sisters and local bands Poliça and Motion City Soundtrack.

Writing Life

I just finished a two-hour long open house in the Department of Writing Studies (where I work at UMD).

So long, Southgate Bowl

Since the Southgate Bowl in Cloquet is shutting down to make way for a Walgreens, it seems fitting to pay tribute. Best wishes to Gerry and Rose Pollard, who opened the place in the 1970s.

Time-lapse video of Superior’s North Shore

Below is a pretty cool compilation of time-lapse videos taken over the past few weeks along the North Shore. Definitely an early spring on the shore. I’m still trying to figure out what that lightning flash thing is at 1:07 during the Aurora activity, some kinda gamma ray flash or something. Pretty sweet.

The Boundary Waters

Two videos by Alex Horner — shot Sept. 24, 2010 — with music by Duluth’s Steve Horner.

Homegrown Rawk and/or Roll:
Sparhawk’s Mix

It’s available now on Bandcamp, and you can name your price.

Where in Duluth?

Duluth Piano Restoration

Has anyone had an antique piano restored in the Duluth area? I am looking to have a 1907 upright restored and thus far have an estimate from Master Piano. It seems to me it would be worth getting more than one estimate for such an extensive and costly undertaking. I understand Streblow is another option. I am wondering if there are any additional companies to consider or if anyone has any experience working with either of these companies.

Coyote CD Project on Kickstarter

Coyote: Marc Gartman and Jerree SmallCoyote is hard at work on a new album. Our goal is to record our latest batch of original tunes before Marc hits the road in June! We’re taking the leap and have set-up a Kickstarter page with rewards / “pre-sales” of the upcoming CD and such.

We made a little movie to tell you all about it. Check it out…

Coyote CD Project on Kickstarter

The Kickstarter campaign goes until the end of April. Please join us and spread the word!

Jerree Small, Marc Gartman, and Matt Mobley

Photo by Rich Narum
Video by Ryan Dahlberg

December 1977 North Pole Bar Robbery

Karen Barta has the story for NewsCenter 6.

By the way, the North Pole Bar has a new owner as of last month — Scott Sutherland. Watch out for the dude in the ski mask at the back door, Scott!

This week: State of the City, urban chickens, baseball and Joan of Arc

Don Ness

Monday, April 2
Mayor Don Ness presents the State of the City Address at the DECC… for reals this time.

Tuesday, April 3
Learn how to raise urban chickens at the Whole Foods Co-op and get some soup and the bowl it comes in at the 19th annual Empty Bowl Second Harvest Food Bank fundraiser.

Wednesday, April 4
You can see Jim Hall at Thirsty Pagan and still have time to make it across the bridge to see Charlie Parr and Devil’s Flying Machine at Tycoons.

Friday, April 6
Spring is in the air and a young man’s thoughts turn to baseball! The Bulldogs and the Saints both have games today, and admission is free!

Friday and Saturday, April 6 & 7
Hear the classic 1928 silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, scored by the Minneapolis band, Zoo Animal at the Zinema 2.

The PDD Calendar Transition Team

Left to right in our photo are outgoing editor Abigail Schoenecker, intrepid intern Emily Haavik and … announcing the new PDD Calendar editor — Lawrence Lee.

8-Bit Duluth

Can anyone give me a walkthrough of the dungeon underneath the Seaway Hotel?

The Ball Slashers (Live Debut!)

What? Yeah I started a rock band. We’re called the Ball Slashers and we’re going to open the show at RT’s next Friday. Poor Howard (Howlin’ Andy & Vince Cadillac) and Hard Feelings are in the middle, and the Blood Shot (my old band!!) are last. Come on down, we’re here to provide the blast of high octane rock and roll that this town is devoid of. Cheers!