Alan Sparhawk’s creative process and Low’s new album, ‘Ones and Sixes’

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The line starts to crackle as soon as Alan Sparhawk picks up the phone. As he greets me from his home in Duluth, Minnesota, the Low frontman’s voice booms and sizzles, as if it’s bristling against the wires in the phone line and wrestling to break free. Although I could easily adjust the volume, I […]

First Avenue at 45

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A look at the club’s path to greatness and dedication to history First Avenue is one of the most recognizable buildings in Minneapolis, if not the state. It frequently appears in tourism ads, citywide shots from Target Field, and press coverage of their 1,000-plus shows each year. Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, it seems that […]

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Day Block’s Bands that Brew: The Lone Crows

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Day Block Brewing takes the relationship between music and beer one step further by making the musicians the brewers It’s no secret that we at The Growler believe wholeheartedly that beer and music go hand in hand. So when we heard about the Bands That Brew series at Day Block Brewing Company, we wanted to […]

Dakota Jazz Club opens St. Paul speakeasy Vieux Carré

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Downtown St. Paul has another feather for its increasingly crowded hat. The owners of the Dakota Jazz Club, a downtown Minneapolis music institution with roots in St. Paul, is opening a “sister location” across the river in the former home of the Artists’ Quarter. Vieux Carré (pronounced “View Kah’ray”) will have a “speakeasy vibe” and offer a light, seasonal menu […]

Book Dabbler: Violent Nature in The Dig

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When I opened the bottle of Badger Hill’s High Road Everyday Ale and passed it to my dad, neither of us expected it to fizz up and foam over. The beer flowed over my outstretched hand and spilled onto the floor. Dad stayed dry in his recliner, fortunately, but the dog, Gus, ran for the […]

In Cahoots! A Collaboration of Craft (Beer)

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10 Minnesota breweries will form five teams to brew five totally new collaboration beers for Red Stag Supperclub’s annual summer bash Block parties are a staple of Minnesota summers. So is beer—preferably local craft beer. So when the folks at Red Stag Supperclub were looking to put a new spin on their annual block party in […]

10 Music Festivals in the Midwest This Summer

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Summer is fleeting in the Midwest. Blink and you could miss out on a whole season of outdoor music. Here are ten music festivals across the region that you shouldn’t pass up. Basilica Block Party || Minneapolis, Minnesota July 10–11 Twenty years ago, the Basilica of Saint Mary threw a block party to raise money to […]

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Jokes that Rock

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Local comedy music gets its moment in the spotlight It takes an exceptional level of talent, dedication, and practice to be a great comedian. The same can be said for musicians. While thousands of people will try and fail at one or the other, a select few somehow manage to be great at both—and seamlessly […]

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Sacred Sounds: How One Restoration Expert is Preserving the World’s Pipe Organs

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Photos by Aaron Davidson Pipe organs are the most complex instruments in the world. Born of wood, metal, fabric, wire, glue, and finish, they contain many moving parts, some as sensitive and fragile as eggshells. They can include massive pipes three stories tall that weigh more than a ton, all the way down to small […]

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Minnesota United FC Looks to St. Paul for Stadium Location

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The battle to build a soccer specific stadium for Minnesota United FC’s MLS promotion is opening up a new, familiar front: Saint Paul. In March, Major League Soccer announced their intention to grant the Loons (Minnesota United’s nickname) an expansion franchise, contingent on a deal to build a downtown Minneapolis soccer stadium. The site targeted […]

Jazz & Funk & Soul, Oh My!

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After years of simmering on the backburner of the Twin Cities music scene, jazz-inspired funk bands are back—and they’re bigger, louder, and groovier than ever On a snowy day in late 1978, just a week before Thanksgiving, jazz saxophonist Morris Wilson staged a rally for working musicians on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Fed up with […]

Craft Culture: Tim Reede’s Custom Guitars and Basses

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Photos by Kristine Erickson Tim Reede sits on the edge of a green loveseat with a handmade Sitka spruce acoustic guitar in his lap. He’s in the attic above his custom guitar workshop, which looks from the outside like any other garage next to any other home in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis. Rock gods Jimi, […]

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Beer Wrote This Song: A Brief History of a Match Made in Heaven

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“Whiskey’s too rough, champagne costs too much, and vodka puts my mouth in gear.” – Tom T. Hall, “I Like Beer” Like old friends who met young, beer and music are inextricably linked. At the dawn of civilization, those proto-hipster Sumerians honored their goddess of brewing with a hymn that doubled as a recipe (sample […]

Tom Weber’s Twin Cities

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The MPR radio host swaps airwaves for paper to highlight the best of Minneapolis-St. Paul Sometimes it takes a Minnesota transplant to point out the Twin Cities’ best features. Those of us who were born and raised with access to the lakes, theater, butter heads, museums, and markets are prone to forget how good we […]

June 2015 Arts and Culture Events

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A look at our favorite arts and culture events happening in Minnesota during June 2015. Featured Event Twin Cities Jazz Festival June 25–27 • Lowertown St. Paul • Free The Twin Cities Jazz Festival will hold its 17th annual event in and around Mears Park in downtown St. Paul’s historic Lowertown neighborhood. Recognized as one of the largest […]