A week ago or more I was having a beer at the Contented Cow when Norman Butler told me that these enterprising college students were organizing a chess tournament.
They sent me this info:
11am-6pm Saturday, May 11, 2013
arrive at 10:45am to enter
The Contented Cow, 302B Division Street South, Northfield, MN 55057
Who can play? You! Everyone, of any age, with any level of experience from novice to master, is welcome. You don’t need to be a member of any chess organization to play or win.
Come to compete with students and teachers from Carleton, St. Olaf, and Northfield High School, as well as other members of the Northfield community! Enjoy chess in a casual tournament setting — with prizes! Arrive by 11am to enter. This is not a rated tournament.
Entry fee is $10 cash (no checks or credit cards), with cash prizes and Chapati gift certificates for winners. Swiss pairing,4 rounds, 30-minute games. First place winner’s name will be displayed on a trophy in the Cow!
If you have a tournament set and clock, please bring them (if you don’t, no worries!). For complete details and to let us know you’re coming (preferred but not necessary), check out the tournament website or contact David McNeil (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The management of the Contented Cow in Northfield, MN announced today that they will host Down By the River: A Tribute to Neil Young on Saturday, May 11th, beginning at 4:00 in the afternoon. More than two dozen artists from Southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities will gather to perform the music of one of the most beloved and eclectic musicians of the past 50 years. Performers will play short 3-5 song sets that will span Young’s entire career.
Continuing a string of tribute events hosted by the Cow in recent years, the bill is stocked with talent.
“We have so many great musicians around here that we need to do something every now and then to showcase them,” said show producer Rich Larson of Left-Handed Entertainment. “When you pair that talent with a catalogue of songs that are as diverse as Neil Young’s, you’re bound to get an incredible evening.”
Larson says even Young’s non-fans should enjoy the event.
“Every now and then someone says they don’t like Neil Young because of his nasally voice. Well then, this is an opportunity for people to hear these incredible songs, performed by different voices. In fact, in some cases, you’ll hear them from some people who are incredible singers. Last year the Knightengales, the all-women a cappella group from Carleton College, stole the show when they performed at our Bob Dylan event. They’ll be back again this year, and I cannot wait to hear what they’ve come up with.”
And indeed, the bill does offer a diverse group of performers. Northfield folk/country singer “The Norwegian Cowboy” Jon Larson will be joined by venerable folk stalwart Bill McGrath, garage rockers Martin Anderson & The Goods, upstart punk rock group Some Kid’s Dad, and a host of others.
“It’s one of the things I love most about these shows,” said Larson. “We’ll have performers who are in their 60’s playing alongside college kids. And all of them are stunningly good.”
The show will also serve as the unofficial kickoff of the outdoor performance season.
“It’s been a long, long winter,” said Larson. “Nobody around here needs me to tell them that. But I’ve always said May is the month to be in this state. Everything is in bloom, the humidity is low, the bugs aren’t really out yet. The outdoor stage at the Cow sits just in front of the Cannon river. It’s a really beautiful setting, and their patio is so accommodating. We expect that we’ll have one of those spectacular May days where the weather is perfect, the music will be fantastic, and everybody will have an unforgettable time.”
Neil Young is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who is known for his eclectic, diverse songwriting. He’s best known for alternately playing soft, folk based songs like After the Gold Rush and Harvest Moon, and ear rattling hard rock like Cinnamon Girl and Rockin’ in the Free World. He has influenced countless artists, including Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, Sonic Youth, and Pearl Jam. His work with his backing band Crazy Horse earned him the nickname “The Godfather of Grunge.”
Down By the River: A Tribute to Neil Young will be Saturday, May 11th, beginning at 4 p.m., and running deep into the evening. The Contented Cow is located at 302B Division Street in downtown Northfield. For further information, contact the Contented Cow at (507) 663-1351 or Rich Larson at (612) 756-0490.
Gabe Meerts stopped by my corner office at GBM yesterday morning to let me know that A) Northfield has a new homebrew club called the Milltown Mashers ("Turning grains into grins around Northfield, MN"); and B) the club is hosting a "learn to homebrew" event on the patio of the Contented Cow this Saturday, November 3rd from 3-7pm, part of National Learn to Homebrew Day.
Somebody please tell George Kinney!
I first got to know Gabe when he and his wife Sarah were about to move to Northfield from Michigan in the spring of 2011. He emailed me questions two important things: cell phone coverage and neighborhoods. They and their two young kids ultimately settled in the Heywood Park neighborhood. Sarah teaches in the psychology department at Carleton; Gabe is a full-time substitute teacher in the Northfield schools.
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.
This 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.
Some of you have heard me talking for a couple months now about the Rolling Stones show we’re doing at the Contented Cow in September. Consider this the official announcement/call for performers. The show is going to be Saturday, September 29th. I don’t have the times set just yet, but, because the weather can get a little chilly that time of year once the sun goes down, I can tell you that it will end at 10:00 pm. Because of that, we will actually have some limited space in this show.
Everybody loves the Rolling Stones, it’s their 50th anniversary, and those songs are a ton of fun to play. It’ll be the last big shindig on the outdoor stage at the Cow for the year, so we figure to have another big crowd. Those of you who have played in these shows before know how much fun this can be. Those of you who haven’t – honest to God, what are you waiting for?
The rules remain the same. We’ll have house equipment, including a drum kit, on the stage. There may be a call very soon to people who would be willing to loan us amps, mics, stands, etc. The whole idea is to keep the show moving, and have everything set so you can just climb up onstage, plug in and play. Everybody is allowed as many as three songs. There are several people who have already staked a claim. If you want to play, please email me your choices, and I’ll let you know what’s available.
So, that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. Start your engines. Or Start me up. Or Let it Bleed, or something. You know what I mean. Just figure out what you want to play, and get back to me soon.
Contented Cow proprietor Norman Butler hosted a two-hour forum for Northfield City Council Ward 2 and At-Large candidates last night on the Cow’s outdoor patio.
At-Large Council candidates: Betsey Buckheit, Joe Gasior, David Ludescher
2nd Ward Council candidates: Frank Balster, Paul Reiland, Wade Schulz; David DeLong did not attend.
Steve Engler moderated the panel and made it much more interesting by interacting with the candidates when he thought their comments needed to be clarified. I loved it whenever he refused to accept empty platitudes.
Norman goaded citizen/patrons into expressing their opinions instead of just asking questions.
The Contented Cow announced today that they will once again host Dylanfest on Thursday, May 24th at 6 pm on their outdoor Riverside Stage. More than two dozen different performers will play songs written by and associated with Bob Dylan in a celebration of his 71st birthday, which is also the 24th.
“We’re really looking forward to Dylanfest again this year,” said Contented Cow owner Norman Butler. “It’s going to kick off both Memorial Day Weekend and our annual Mayfly Music Festival. Dylanfest is a special event because it brings so many different people from the community together to celebrate some fantastic music. When we did this last year the response was overwhelmingly positive. So many people have asked if we planned to make it an annual event, that we really had no choice. And, of course, we’re thrilled to be doing it.”
The show will feature performers from all around Southern Minnesota, as well as the Twin Cities. “The thing that really gets me excited about the bill this year is the diversity,” says show producer Rich Larson of Left-Handed Entertainment. “We have more women playing this year, and we have more participation from the student population. There’s an all women a cappella group from Carleton called the Knightengales who will be singing. The styles that will be presented – from bluegrass to rock to electronic – are going to make this a fascinating show.”
This year, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Northfield youth center The Key. “There is no cover charge for the show. It’s free to attend, but there are some avenues that give us a good opportunity to help out the community,” said Larson. “We’re all big fans of The Key and what it represents. (Local artist) Nick Sinclair has designed a commemorative poster for the night. We’ll be selling limited edition prints at the show and donating the proceeds. Folks will be able to make a direct donation to The Key as well. “
Bob Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman on My 24th, 1941 in Duluth, MN and grew up in Hibbing. His music earned him such popularity in the 1960’s that he earned the name “The Voice of a Generation.” He has won numerous awards, including multiple Grammies, a Kennedy Center honor, and a Pulitzer Prize. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and just last month was named one of thirteen honorees to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. For more information on Dylanfest, please contact Rich Larson at email@example.com.
Yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade began on downtown’s west side and wound its way over the pedestrian foot bridge, along Riverwalk to Bridge Square, and then back to the Contented Cow‘s outdoor stage area.
The holy trinity of Kevin O’Connell, Jim Bohnhoff, and Jim Pokorney, after many weeks minutes of planning, once again pulled off this great contribution to Northfield’s legacy of community events.
By keeping the parade entirely on pedestrian walkways instead of having it on Division St. as in years past, no street barricades or police were needed. Therefore, organizers were evidently able to avoid having to file an application 45 days ahead of time and pay the $20 fee required by Northfield’s Community Event Policy.
I thought it was better, actually, as the parade participants and the observing crowd were in closer proximity to one another. People also lingered much longer afterwards on the Riverwalk and around the Cow’s outdoor stage where live music made the gathering all the more festive. Of course, 80-degree weather helped, too.
Robbie and I both took photos. See our large slideshow of 55 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:
I took this blurry photo (I had too much wine, evidently) of proprietor Norman Butler on the deck of the Contented Cow last night, holding my smartphone with the poster for tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day parade that Jim Bohnhoff sent me.
Take a close look at the poster, as the parade route is different this year.
Norman said they have post-parade festivities planned at the Cow but I don’t see any info about it on the Cow’s website. Anyone have details?
The Last Known Whereabouts held a reunion show at the Contented Cow last Saturday. The former Northfielders (2 Carls, 2 Oles) went their separate ways in 2009 after forming the bluegrass band in 2003.
I happened to sit next to Stewart and Marylyn Stroup, the parents of Jake Stroup (Vocals & Mandolin) who came from Madison WI to watch the show. I twisted Jacob’s arm during a break to pose for a photo with his parents.
Here’s a 3-min video clip from their riveting show:
Nick Sinclair and colleagues hosted Lowbrow-High Octane VI in downtown Northfield on Saturday. Division St. between 4th and 2nd was packed with people and appeared to not have enough room for all the vehicles that showed up.
Nick also pulled together an impressive list of sponsors and collaborating organizations. This event continues to grow each year (this was #6) and has the potential to take over the entire downtown for a three-day weekend.
On September 24th blue collar will descend upon downtown Northfield, Minnesota. Lowbrow – High Octane is an art show, car show and a rock-n-roll show all in one night. The Northfield Arts Guild will be hosting the art show in their gallery located at 304 Division Street S..
For 50 years the Arts Guild has been an important influence in Northfield arts. We are honored they have decided to show some art from a few grease monkeys. The gallery will be showing the art all week, but the big day is the 24th. The gallery will be open from 4-9pm. Come meet a few of the artists, buy some art and eat some free food.
The show is free! Yeah, I said it. FREE.
All makes, years and styles are welcome as long as it’s classic or hot rod. Show up in your Prius and we will charge you! We have 3 blocks of downtown Northfield reserved for your machine. Space is limited so get there at 5pm! Last year we filled our lot in about 20 minutes!
The Contented Cow is the epicenter of loud music, $5 burger plates and PBR specials. The “Cow” is located right next to the Northfield Arts Guild and overlooks the Cannon River. Music will start around 6pm on the outside stage and then the music moves indoors around 9ish. The bands are: Mr. Sticky, Reckless Ones, Violent Shifters and Rifflord!
The entire show is free to attend. The gallery show, car show (spectators and car entries) and the music!
A few weeks ago, Robbie and I were having a drink on the outdoor patio of the Contented Cow, chatting with Northfielder Jon Bjork about the progress of his putting together a new band. He mentioned that they were struggling to come up with a name for the band and after listening to his description of the process they were using, Robbie suggested the name Stone Soup, which the Wikipedia describes as "an old folk story in which hungry strangers persuade local people of a town to give them food. It is usually told as a lesson in cooperation, especially amid scarcity."
So she was delighted to hear that the band adopted the name and we got to hear them play on Friday night after doing the downtown Northfield Art Crawl.
Featuring rock and blues from the seminal sixties and seventies served up by some well known local musicians who have played in bands together for over 30 years! Join Dave Drentlaw on drums/vocals and Jon Bjork on guitar/vocals with fellow townie Chris Perry also on guitar/vocals and Jeff Lien on bass for some classic feel good sounds outside at the Cow!
One of the cool things about Northfield’s downtown Riverwalk and footbridge area is that it intersects with the outdoor patio, deck, and stage area of the Contented Cow. So when there’s a big crowd at the Cow for outdoor music, it draws a crowd of observers on the footbridge and Riverwalk. And sometimes entertainers emerge from that crowd. On Friday night during the JuneBug Festival of Music, someone began entertaining the crowd with big soap bubbles. My good camera is in the shop for lens cleaning but I managed to capture a bit of the performance art of big bubbles with my smartphone camera.
The threat of rain chased the Prairie Creek Group indoors last Saturday during the 2011 Mayfly Festival at the Contented Cow. Members: Alisa Leonard, lead vocals; Dave Drentlaw, drums; Peter Diggins, guitar and vocals; Bo Aylin guitar and vocals; Joel Cooper, bass and backup vocals; Peter Diggins’ daughter, piggyback.
Last Friday night at the Cow, local superstar musicians Peter Diggins and Steve Jennings wailed for a couple of hours, much to the delight of the crowd. Robbie captured this 2-minute video on her phone.
They’re playing again tonight at the 620 Grill, 9 pm, and they’ll be joined by Minnesota Music Award winner “Bassist of the Year” (3 times), Erik Fratzke.