Category Archives: Arts & Culture

arts, fine arts, dec arts, performing arts…

What do you think is the greatest pop song of all time? My vote: ‘Hallelujah’

The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" by Alan LightJerry Bilek, Monkey See Monkey Read bookstoreRolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

A week or so ago while doing the dishes and listening to an NPR podcast on my smartphone (see, I’m hip), I heard this Weekend Edition music interview, Dozens Of Covers Later, ‘Hallelujah’ Endures about Leonard Cohen’s song, Hallelujah. The book that prompted the piece is out this week: The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah” by Alan Light.

In 1994, a cover by the late Jeff Buckley helped save “Hallelujah” from musical obscurity. Buckley’s version turned one man’s lament into another artist’s ode to love. Light says the ambiguity of the song’s lyrics makes it easy for musicians to make the tune their own. “There are lyrics that are talking about sex. There are these allusions to stories from the Bible; the King David story and the Samson story,” he says. “There’s lots and lots of layers.”

After hearing that I thought, Hmmm, that actually could be at the top of my list of the greatest pop songs of all time. (Jerry Bilek at Monkey See, Monkey Read has the book in stock at his store in downtown Northfield.)

I also just learned about List.ly so I thought I’d give it a test run here on LoGro.  I’ve put five of my all-time favorite songs on the list (in no particular order) to get things started.

Your task, fellow Northfield citizens and music fans, is to:

  1. Add your all-time favorite song to the list if it’s not listed. (One source to use if you’re having trouble remembering your fave: the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)
  2. Vote songs up or down
  3. Comment on the songs and on the comments of others. You can comment within the List.ly listing on each song or you can comment via the usual WordPress comment box attached to this blog post
  4. Share the list on your social networks
  5. Embed the list on your Northfield area blog or website (List.ly syncs all the activity)

To participate in using the List.ly features, you’ll need to login with your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ account.

I may adjust the List.ly settings on the fly occasionally as I learn about how it works.

[listly id=”2bm” theme=”light” layout=”full” numbered=”yes” image=”yes” items=”all”]

There are now at least three Northfield area photographers on Capture Minnesota

Griff Wigley, John WaltersSenior Open photos by Corey ButlerCapture MinnesotaGlenn Switzer

I became an artist at 4 pm on Tuesday at the Senior Open and got to meet and chat with some of my, ahem, fellow artists. Among them: St. Olaf Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, John Walters who’s into many things in his retirement, including photography.  (See Corey Butler’s photos of the event on Northfield Patch.)

John told me about Capture Minnesota, a social network for Minnesota photographers hosted by TPT. See his Capture Minnesota page of 60+ photos.

I don’t know how many other Northfielders are members but a search of the word ‘Northfield’ brought up many Northfield-area photos, including 95 by Dundas Mayor Glenn Switzer who is Glenn of Dundas on the network.

I just joined and intend to get posting my photos Real Soon Now.

Anyone else on Capture Minnesota besides me, John, and Glenn?

Patsy Dew wants you to attend the artists reception for the Third Annual Senior Open. Me, too.

Patsy 'Vanna White' Dew, Senior Open 2012Senior Open 2012Griff Wigley, geezer amateur photographer Senior Open 2012

After publishing 20,000+ Northfield-related photos in the past decade, I decided to include one in the Third Annual Senior Open, now open at the Northfield Senior Center through Jan. 6.  Patsy Dew has once again organized an outstanding group of geezers to display one item from our work: 

Jim Haas, Beverly Watson, Ruth Meliza, Marsha Kitchel, Riki Kolbl Nelson, Mary Ruth, Maryrose Gondeck, Patsy Dew, Barb Cleare, Sandy Dinse, Fred Gustafson, Mac Gimse, Kathy Anderson, Marj Gruszewski, John Walters, Larry Torgeson, Greg Smith, Donna Jackson, Walter See, Beverly Steberg, Bob Oates, Pat Oates, Linda Bliese, Sharon Bornhott.

And next Tuesday, Dec. 4, there’s a reception for the artists from 4-6 pm.  If you show up, I just might take your photo.

Fine Craft Collective shop pops up again downtown for the holidays (photo album)

Assemblage Jewelry by Leanne StremchaLeanne Stremcha (Assemblage Jewelry) alerted me last week to Saturday’s opening of the Fine Craft Collective shop downtown in the old Hoffman’s Photography location.

Robbie and I paid a visit around noon and went back at 4 for the wine and cheese grand opening.  Robbie bought stuff. I took photos.

Here are some details from Leanne:

Fine Craft Collective 2013The Fine Craft Collective, Northfield’s artisan pop-up shop, has once again opened it’s doors for the holidays. Our grand opening is Saturday, November 24th! Stop in to enjoy refreshments and see all the beautiful pieces by our talented local artists. This year the Fine Craft collective will be open seven days a week at 605 Division Street. More than just the personal touch of an object made by hand, this co-operative gallery gives a personal connection between artisans and shoppers.

A member of the show is there every day so that they can dialogue about the work – gain ideas and offer insight.  Shoppers can see a variety of goods for special gifts and everyday life, and know that their purchase will directly support their community. The more research that is done about buying local, the more we can all see how local purchases, especially of goods that are also locally produced, help keep our towns and neighborhoods thriving.

See the large slideshow of 16 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Northfield (‘Music City, Minnesota’) gets featured in MinnPost with a little help from Jessica Paxton

Jessica PaxtonBack in April of 2009, I paid a visit to KYMN’s studios to harass the host of the new All-Wheel Drive show, Jessica Paxton. (Video clip here.)

Fast forward 3.5 years. Her afternoon drive-time music/local news show is still going strong, and Northfield’s blossoming music scene is profiled on MinnPost this week by music and local culture reporter Jim Walsh in a piece titled: Is Northfield truly becoming ‘Music City, Minnesota’?

MinnPostThrow into the mix a healthy house concert scene; an insatiably curious and well-educated populace; a pipeline of music-mad high schools and colleges; Johnson Paxton’s must-hear free-form radio show “All Wheel Drive” on the locally owned and truly independent KYMN-AM; and the lure of Division Street in downtown Northfield, where several clubs host free live music seven nights a week and which Johnson Paxton likens to Austin, Texas’s 6th Street, and it becomes clear that Morris’ claim that Northfield “could be a mini-Olympia, Washington, or Athens, Georgia” in the making isn’t just a boast of provincial pride.

… and at the moment, an enthusiastic mélange of students, professors, townies, and transplants are reaping an unprecedented arts-academia harvest that might actually one day live up to its moniker of Music City, Minnesota.

Cool.  And Jessica emailed me more good news today:

I’ve been invited to appear on 89.3 The Current’s "The Local Show" to discuss the Northfield music "scene" and spin some music by my favorite local bands.

I wonder if our local community and political leaders see Music as Economic Development like Richard Florida does?

Jennifer Wolcott wants you take the Studio ArTour this weekend

Jennifer Wolcott 2012 Studio ArTour
Jennifer Wolcott (Wolcott Art) stopped by my corner office at GBM last week to show me the fancy brochure for this weekend’s 2012 South Central Minnesota Studio ArTour. (I only had my crappy smartphone camera with me so I turned the lousy photo of her into, um, a work of art.)

The Studio ArTour is as classy as the print brochure and loaded with features.

FYI, this blog post from yesterday, Metal, Fibers, Clay and Jewelry at Studio #2,  says that Jennifer…

will have the twisting machine ready for you to twist your own grass sticks. You don’t get to weld the angle iron on the end but you can watch. If you ask nicely you can even try the plasma cutter, (adults only please).

Adults-only plasma cutting? I gotta get out more.

More links:

Northfield.org: The Studio ArTour opens studios to art enthusiasts Oct. 20 and 21

KYMN: ArtZany! Radio for the Imagination

Northfield News: Eighth Annual Studio ArTour this weekend a chance to meet local artists

Tim Madigan wants to tell you about the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862. My ancestors will be listening.

Tim MadiganI stopped by Tim Madigan’s office at Anna Dee’s Cafe in Faribault this morning to get a promo photo.

At 6:30 pm next Thursday, October 18th, he’ll be removing his Northfield City Administrator hat and putting on his history teacher hat for his Northfield Historical Society presentation titled The Fog of War: Perceptions and Realities of the US Dakota Conflict of 1862:

This presentation, given by local amateur historian Tim Madigan will focus on the prism used by various groups and individuals to view the Conflict and its aftermath. Madigan was a history major in college, and Tim taught high school history and social studies for four years before entering the city management field. Three years of his teaching experience was in Morton MN, site of the start of the US Dakota Conflict. While at Morton he designed a local history class and became familiar with many of the sites and events of the Conflict. He has also lived in Mankato and Faribault, cities with close ties to the events of the Conflict.

US-Dakota War of 1862I’m 1/16 Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota so I’m keenly interested in this.  Was it a war or a conflict? What role did the ‘loyal Mdewakanton’ play and was it significant? Was there a ‘concentration camp’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ after it was over? If it had never happened, what might have been the result?

I’m hoping to get to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 exhibit at the MN History Center before Tim’s presentation. 

Video: Rich ‘Mick Jagger’ Larson and pals at the Cow

Rich 'Mick Jagger' Larson and pals at the Cow

It was another idyllic scene on the outdoor decks at the Contented Cow last night: warm, no wind, no bugs, a full moon, and a packed house for Cows, Colleges, and Satisfaction – A Tribute to the Rolling Stones.

Props to producer Rich Larson, Left-Handed Entertainment and the staff at the Cow for a memorable event.

Watch this one-minute video clip of Rich and pals belting out Honky Tonk Women:

Cows, Colleges, and Satisfaction! A Tribute to the Rolling Stones on Saturday at the Cow

stones poster updated 2012This Saturday, September 29th, The Contented Cow will host Cows, Colleges, and Satisfaction – A Tribute to the Rolling Stones. Music starts at 5:00.

Just like Dylanfest the last couple years, and the Northfield Beatles Tribute last fall, this is another big, fun tribute show on the Cow’s outdoor stage. This time, more than 15 local artists will perform songs by “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” to honor their 50th anniversary.

Among the groups scheduled to perform are: Mr. Sticky, The Rice County Roosters, Marty Anderson & The Goods, Terry Vandewalker and Mark Grundhoefer, Jacob Hendrickson of Midnight Collision, Barb Piper, Tom Nelson and the 99%ers, and a Rolling Stones tribute band from St. Paul called Stoned Acoustic.

The rumors are swirling that the Rolling Stones might play concerts in New York and London later this year to commemorate their 50 years together, but this is the only time you’ll be guaranteed to see this great music played live, the way it should be.

The weather looks very promising this weekend. This is the last big shindig on the Cow’s outdoor stage for the year. Don’t miss one last chance to soak up some sun, drink some great beer, and hear some terrific music.

Preliminary Schedule:

5:00 The ClayTones

5:20 Ed Treinen

5:30 Terry Vandewalker and Mark Grundhoefer

5:45 Jacob Hendrickson

6:05 The 47%ers

6:20 Cannon Valley Kids

6:40 Barb Piper & Randy Ferguson

7:00 4th Myers Band

7:15 Tom Nelson & The 99%ers

7:35 Prairie Dog Fight Club

7:55 The Steve Delwiche Band

8:15 The Rice County Roosters

8:35 Bill McGrath

8:55 Stoned Acoustic

9:15 Marty Anderson & The Goods

9:35 Mr. Sticky

Cows, Colleges and Statisfaction! is a Left-Handed Entertainment Production.