Music Posts

Selective Focus: Dirtbike Boyfriend

Bret Holland pops a wheelie while finishing a dirt bike race

Photo by Gary Walton

Bret Holland, or “Dirtbike Boyfriend,” is a multimedia artist based in Duluth. His art — encompassing doodles, denim painted clothing, music and more — explores themes both personal and political. And yes, he does ride dirt bikes.

Charlie Parr – “Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)”

Duluth’s Charlie Parr performs the song “Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)” in this recently-uploaded-to-YouTube video from PoleCat Productions. The song was originally recorded by Robert Johnson in 1936. This video of the Charlie Parr version was shot on Feb. 22, 2021, during a performance in Slab City in California’s Sonoran Desert.

On underwater microphones and the acoustics of Lake Superior

In this video, the Embassy‘s Sub Superior Festival (feat. Troy Rogers AKA Robot Rickshaw) teams up with Cafe Scientifique Twin Ports. They address the technical challenges of producing an underwater music festival, review favorite moments, and dream about the future of Sub Superior. Broadcast live from the Embassy’s secret Industrial Temple.

Video Archive: Styx in Duluth, 2002

Twenty years later and they’re still going strong.

Steve’s Overpopulated One-man Band – “The Ely Song”

From 94.5 FM WELY radio in Ely.

Music by Big Sky Woody

This is a one-man-band home-recording available for free on Bandcamp. You can find a few others there as well.

Chuck Haavik – “When We Were in Love”

The fourth single from Duluth’s Chuck Haavik, “When We Were in Love,” is sort of a boy breakup rock ballad. Duluth native Dave Mehling plays bass and mixed the song.

Charlie Parr – “Running, Jumping, Standing Still”

Charlie Parr performed on the North Shore last week as part of the Silver Bay Music in the Park Concert Series. The song “Running, Jumping, Standing Still” is the title track to a 1969 “Spider” John Koerner and Willie Murphy album.

Bike-a-Band Inaugural Ride

Tom Maloney built a rolling stage for a moving concert. Here’s a very brief montage of videos and photos from the inaugural ride of the Bike-a-Band.

Trampled by Turtles – “Burlesque Desert Window”

The new Trampled by Turtles music video, complete with bicycling owls, was shot and edited by Cooper Baumgartner. “Burlesque Desert Window” is on the band’s upcoming album Alpenglow, scheduled for release Oct. 28.

Dave Mehling – “Country, USA”

Duluth native Dave Mehling has a new EP in the works titled 100 Percent Denial. The single “Country USA” features Stacy K on vocals and Jason McGlone on drums. The track is mixed by McGlone and mastered by Rob Schlette.

Charlie Parr on Lakeland PBS Backroads

Duluth’s Charlie Parr performed songs from his 2021 album Last of the Better Days Ahead at the Rail River Folk School in Bemidji for an episode of the Lakeland PBS program Backroads.

Video Archive: “Gonzo USA Theme”

For your flag-waving Independence Day viewing pleasure Perfect Duluth Day presents the “Gonzo USA Theme” from Jim Richardson’s public access television show circa 2001. The music is by Craig Minowa of Cloud Cult fame; Richardson, of course, is now alternatively known as Lake Superior Aquaman.

Perfect Duluth Day Outdoor Summer Concert Primer 2022

Charlie Parr performing outside Wussow’s Concert Cafe in the spring of 2021.

The noticeable change in recent years to the outdoor concert scene in the Duluth area is the extension of the season. It used to be a mid-June to mid-September thing. In the pandemic era the patios and canopies of the region host music from April to November. But things still kick into high gear in July and August.

What’s hot on stages this summer? Here’s a summary.

The Brothers Burn Mountain – “When We Play Music”

The Brothers Burn Mountain have a new album, The Thrill and the Flame, set for release July 16. The video for the first single, “When We Play Music,” was produced by Ryan Dermody.

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