This short art video by Payton MacDonald features paintings by Duluth’s Kenneth D. Johnson. Sonic Divide documents a performance-art piece in which MacDonald mountain biked over 2,500 miles — from Mexico to Canada — while periodically stopping to perform music.
Melanie Schantz, a musician and visual artist from New Jersey, produced this music video for Duluth musician Gaelynn Lea. The song “Watch the World Unfold” features Al Church on guitar and is from the 2016 EP The Songs We Sing Along the Way.
Ray Pirkola’s 1936 Ford Coupe debuted at the Million Dollar Motorcade car show at the Duluth Armory in 1955. Featuring 1940 Ford fenders and a hood grafted to a chopped and channeled 1936 five-window body, it was the first “full custom” car in the region. The song “Scandanavian Hot Rod” by the Hoot Owls celebrates the car and the self-determination of Ray Pirkola, father of the Hoot Owls singer and guitar player Barry Pirkola. The song is from the band’s 2010 album Alien Scrapyard.
Twin Cities musician Haley Bonar, whose career took off during her years living in Duluth, announced today she is changing her surname from her paternal birth name, Bonar, to her maternal family name, McCallum. As a performer, however, she’s shortening it up to simply “Haley.”
An article published in the Daily Beast over the weekend recounts the strange circumstances surrounding the premiere of Prince’s movie Under the Cherry Moon in 1986. A young motel chambermaid in Sheridan, Wyo., won an MTV dream date with Prince in her tiny hometown. “On TV, it seemed like a fairy tale. Behind the scenes, coke-fueled chaos reigned,” the blurb at the top of the story synopsizes. (It’s not Prince or the Chambermaid doing coke, for the record). Deep into the fascinating and lengthy story is a reference to Duluth.
Bobby Z, drummer for Prince’s backing band, the Revolution, reflected on the how the Prince premiere was essentially the biggest thing that ever happened to the small farming, ranching and coal-mining town of Sheridan.
“It wouldn’t have been the same if it had been in a bigger place — like, say, Duluth — because you really couldn’t take over the town like this has,” Bobby Z says in a quote attributed to the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.
The 2017 Homegrown Music Festival Field Guide is off the presses. All three tons of the processed wood fibre will be distributed to various shops across the Twin Ports beginning this weekend. This year’s cover art is by Sarah Brokke, who was also the featured artist in yesterday’s “Selective Focus” on PDD. The photo above, shot by Kip Paslowicz, shows Homegrown Assistant Director Adam Guggemos standing atop a portion of the 20,000 copies of the 100-page promotional magazine.
This year’s Homegrown happens April 30 to May 6, with 196 bands performing over the course of the eight days.
Breanne Marie & the Front Porch Sinners have plans to record the full-length album Wildflowers & Tumbleweeds in 2017. A Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise $7,500 to cover the costs. Brian Barber donated his videography skills for the Kickstarter video. Katlyn Kretzschmar donated her photography for updated band photos, shot at the Spirit Room. Bent Paddle has donated a $50 gift card. Back the Kickstarter campaign at $50 or more between now and Feb. 26 at midnight to be entered to win.
Wisecracks & Roadside Flats is a news podcast featuring American stories and folktales from musician, author and storyteller Teague Alexy. The debut episode, “Million Dollar Magic Take,” is Teague’s experience with the classic Bob Dylan and the Band album The Basement Tapes. Teague first hears the album on a solo road trip and years later finds himself as part of a tribute show to the album in Bob Dylan’s hometown of Duluth.
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