Charlie Parr – “I Ain’t Dead Yet”


Charlie Parr - I Ain't Dead Yet EPIn this video from March 20, Duluth’s Charlie Parr shares a powdered toothpaste anecdote and performs “Ain’t Dead Yet” at the Ore Dock Brewing Company in Marquette.

The song is on Parr’s new limited edition EP, a 10-inch record (pressed on green vinyl) set for release on Saturday as part of Record Store Day.

Skateboarding at Rail Park near Gateway Plaza


Video by Shane Brown, featuring “Grady, Stephan, Pete and Shane.” Music by Seym0ur.

Selective Focus: One River, Many Prints


Starting this week, Selective Focus is changing direction. Instead of variations on a weekly theme as before, we will be posting brief profiles of visual artists and happenings around the area. We start it off with a collaborative project between UMD students and elementary students.

Superior Siren – “Rattlesnake”


From the April 14 edition of WDSE-TV’s The PlayList, Superior Siren performs “Rattlesnake.”

Seasonal restaurants reopening in and around Duluth for 2016

IMG_8288Nothing signifies the emergence of spring quite like the reappearance of malts on the Duluth Lakewalk and the wafting scent of fried fare from seasonal burger joints. For those ready to indulge, here’s a rundown on seasonal restaurant re-openings.

Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet reopened on March 20, the first day of spring. The classic hamburger stand is a favorite among locals and a popular stop for Twin Cities travelers headed to cabins up north. The restaurant, now in it’s 56th season, is known for its hand-pattied burgers and onion rings, and was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. A&Dubs

A & Dubs, another nostalgic burger joint in Duluth’s West End, will reopen on Mother’s Day, May 8. The seasonal, family-run business at 3131 W. Third St. was founded in 1948 as Duluth’s first drive-in restaurant. A & Dubs holds a special place in the hearts of residents of western Duluth. It’s a remarkable relic; nowhere else in Duluth has ice-cold root beer and burger baskets delivered by carhops for in-vehicle consumption.

Ice cream aficionados will be pleased to know the Denfeld Dairy Queen and the PortLand Malt Shoppe are already serving up decadent desserts.

One River, Two Islands

Clough Island photo by Richard Hamilton Smith

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeAs part of the One River, Many Stories project, Lake Superior Magazine’s April/May issue features Molly Hoeg’s profile of Clough and Spirit islands, titled “One River, Two Islands: A History & Culture Tour on the St. Louis River.”

From centuries-old bloody battles between Ojibwe and Dakota, to fist-fight riots at a resort in the late 1800s, through to modern-day habitat restoration, the history of the two islands is colorful and deep.

“Modern-day paddlers clearly feel this aura around Spirit Island just as they feel drawn to explore and enjoy Clough Island,” the story concludes. “Knowledge of both islands’ histories enriches any journey along the river. Cleaving its water with kayak or canoe, they paddle between two cultures, between the past and the future and between the heart of the forest at the river’s beginning and the vast expanse of the inland sea at its end.”

Duluth Band Profile: Rick McLean

Rick ThumbRick McLean honed his songwriting skills on Coupla Focal. From a Pogues-ish “St. James” to a somber “Son of Luddwig,” he isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve while making people laugh.

Upcoming gigs:
April 20 at Legacy Glassworks
May 4 at Kom-on-Inn

Slow TV: Carrot Washing at the Food Farm


This is how the Food Farm washes carrots, slowly.

Canal Park Timber Lodge Steakhouse won’t reopen

Canal Park Timber Lodge Steakhouse Timberlodge Steakhouse

After 20 years in business, the Timber Lodge Steakhouse in Canal Park is calling it quits. Bruce Taher, CEO of Timber Lodge’s parent company, Taher Inc., says he regrets having to make the decision. He hoped to close the restaurant for the winter and reopen it this spring, but a number of challenges precipitated the restaurant’s demise.

St. Louis River Story: Paula Vang


OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgePeople in the St. Louis River watershed shared their connection to the river with WDSE-TV during the opening reception for The St. Louis River: Diverse Connections at the Duluth Art Institute.

Superior’s Bogojevic begins wrestling training with the WWE


According to Ringside News, Superior High School 2010 grad Nikola Bogojevic is part of a group of new recruits training at the World Wrestling Entertainment Performance Center. (He’s the hulking mass at the far right in the image above.) These men and women “will have the chance to hone their skills and fulfill their dream of becoming a WWE Superstar.”

Duluth Band Profile: Mind Control

Mind Control ScreenMind Control fans the flames of Duluth’s underground community. Band members explain how the group’s self-titled EP could stand a test of time. Click on the image above to hear the interview.

Upcoming gig:
May 2 at the Barrel Room

Piano Man and PBS Pioneer Max Morath


The April 7 edition of WDSE-TV’s The PlayList featured this segment on Duluth piano man Max Morath, a member of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. His ground-breaking work on The Ragtime Era series in 1960 for what is today Rocky Mountain PBS set the bar for television programs nationwide.

Alexander Miles: Barber, real estate investor, inventor

Alexander Miles - Hair DresserDuluthian Alexander Miles invented an improved mechanism for opening and closing elevator doors. It’s just one accomplishment of the man who was thought to be the wealthiest black man in the Midwest during the late 1800s. Read all about Miles on the Duluth Public Library’s Reference@Duluth blog. It’s the first new post on the blog in over two years, and it’s a doozy.

Mysterious Masonic building seeks new owner

Real Estate agent Jim Aird in the balcony of the old Euclid Masonic Lodge in West Duluth. Aird's grandfather was a member of the fraternity and had a room named after him in the building.

Real Estate agent Jim Aird in the balcony of the old Euclid Masonic Lodge in West Duluth. Aird’s grandfather was a member of the fraternity and had a room named after him in the building.

An historic and mysterious West Duluth building has stood abandoned for a decade after an ancient fraternal organization sold the property to a developer who died before initiating a renovation.

Euclid Lodge 198 erected the boxy, brick and largely windowless building at 611 N. Central Avenue in 1909, a period of great growth for the centuries-old, international fraternity of Masons. During its almost 100 years in operation, some of the most prominent West Duluth businessmen and civic leaders of the time participated in secretive ceremonies, jovial fellowship and benevolent works inside its walls.