While meeting Gaelynn Lea I was challenged in many ways. For two weeks now I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around it! She is an amazing musician, and a remarkable human being. My piece here barely scratches a tremendously fascinating surface, but trundle on over to Ed’s Big Adventure to learn more of her story, struggles, and music. This is the story of a great big soul in a tiny package. She isn’t trapped or helpless, either, but is a tremendously enriching member within our community. A model for all, frankly.
The subject of The Louie Show, Louie Anderson’s 1996 TV situation comedy set in Duluth, was covered fairly in-depth on PDD two years ago, but we mark the 20th anniversary of the airing of the first episode with a few updates. Particularly, there’s the discovery of the Louie Anderson interview above, conducted by KDLH-TV’s Joe Thornton, which aired during the 10 p.m. newscast following episode #2.
Last weekend Spirit Mountain became (as far as we know) the first ski resort in North America to offer lift access fat-tire biking. Break out the fatbikes this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and come ride with us!
It’s not romantic. Paris with the one you love is romantic. Paris while you navigate the rain, the metro transit system, and a creative-writing residency class-load and its homework, is challenging and more than a little lonely. I’m one of the new kids here, and while I’ve made friends, it’s hard to step up to a circle and demand to know what we’re all doing tonight. I’m not built that way. I’m built for books and Netflix. I’m built for empty movie theaters and empty seats next to me on planes. I’m built for my wife. She is my co-conspirator and without her every experience feels drenched in a demi-glace of melancholy that mingles with the January mist and chills my bones.
JESUS. Chill out, Bennett. Someone’s been spending too much time talking imagery and not enough time eating.
And, since I’m in Paris, eating is a must. So I’m taking my stomach on a date. Instead of flowers, I will buy my stomach flour. We will take a long walk in the rain to a restaurant void of tourists, and the wine will flow. And, after a date like this, my stomach will totally put out.
Okay, I may have extended that metaphor too far. But, you know, that’s why I’m in school. To learn how to not make it sound like I expect my stomach to have sex with me.
This film footage from 1928 shows U.S. President Calvin Coolidge arriving in Hibbing on the Duluth, Missabe, and Northern Railroad to view mining operations and see the highly acclaimed Hibbing High School. Modern-day aerial footage of the school concludes the video.
Bent Paddle Brewing announced Wednesday its Barrel-Aged Double Shot Double Black Ale will be released in 750-milliliter bottles “in a couple weeks.” The beer is a stronger version of the brewery’s Cold Press Black Ale, “aged in bourbon oak for nearly 15 months … with a ‘double shot’ of cold-press coffee and whole-bean Madagascar vanilla.”
I thought this week’s theme would be simple, though it did raise some discussion as to what exactly constitutes a portrait. My belief is that a portrait is anything which somehow conveys a being or beings- even non-sentient ones; though sentience itself is a contestable construct (doesn’t our region’s Spirit Tree seem capable of feeling, and perception?). I will leave any thoughts more esoteric than that to you, and the comments section below.
A new Duluth Does Dylan album is in the works — the fourth in a series of compilations featuring Duluth bands covering Bob Dylan songs. Bringing it All Back to Duluth Does Dylan will feature 14 tracks recorded at Sacred Heart Studio by engineer Tom Fabjance. Fabjance is co-producing the album with executive producer Tim Nelson.
Sunshine Café, a 30-year-old West Duluth restaurant known for its affordable, tasty breakfasts and cheery atmosphere, will reopen Thursday after a five-month hiatus.
Owners Young-a and Steven Clement closed their café at 5719 Grand Avenue in August when Steven fell two stories from a ladder while cleaning the gutters on his home. He was in intensive care for a month and has been recovering ever since. He fractured ribs and vertebrae, damaged the orbital bone in his eye and sustained a nasty head wound.
The Short Shorts Film Festival showcases videos that are less than five minutes in duration, with cash prizes awarded to the top three productions. It is northern Minnesota’s only festival dedicated exclusively to short videos.
The festival is open to professional and amateur filmmakers from all over the world, and in all genres. A panel of judges will select the top 15 finalists, and a live audience will pick the prize winners. First place wins $300, second place $200 and third place $100.
In recent months, Duluth band Low has been covering Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” including this past weekend’s show at First Avenue marking the Current’s 11th anniversary. Above is a version recorded in Spain; below is a version at the Crocodile in Seattle.
The inventor of the Bucket Boss and founder of Duluth Trading Company, while declining to pay allowances to his children, has infused his kids with entrepreneurial skills that will last a lifetime. This was an interesting visit, and an incredible story I’m excited to tell. Learn more on Ed’s Big Adventure about the creation of these incredibly ambitious kid-owned businesses: Max Organics and Ben’s Blooms.
This story traces a genetic lineage that began with the closure of the U.S. Steel mill, which ultimately prompted the formation of one of Duluth’s most successful homegrown businesses, and continues to thrive in this next generation. This story will inspire you to think outside-of-the-box when it comes to running a business, instilling entrepreneurial skills in kids, and to live and buy locally.