Artist Profile: Sam Soulek found his calling through design

Cover artist Sam Soulek’s interest in graphic design was born on a fateful summer afternoon from an unexpected source: a TV ad for an art school’s video game design program. “I didn’t know design was even a thing,” he says. “But I knew video games were a thing, and I had to have this stupid … [ Read more]

Claiming Space: Two artists from war-torn countries find a place and a voice in Minnesota through music

I have a friendly neighbor/she wanna be my savior/her daddy always warns her about my family’s behavior/she wonders ‘bout my flavor/those chocolate coated layers” Dua Saleh sings on their 2019 single “Sugar Mama.” Their voice sluices through the verses, and you too will find yourself with that the uneasy feeling in your stomach is actually … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Tourism Guide 2020: Road Trip Worthy Podcasts

Find more great travel ideas in The Growler’s Tourism Guide 2020 When you’re behind the wheel watching the interminable flat expanse of the Great Plains slowly roll past your window, hit play on an audio adventure that will fill the silence and get those neurons firing on all cylinders again. Here are some titles to … [ Read more]

Dubh Linn Brew Pub helps Duluth, Minn. stake its claim as Comedy Capital of The North

By now you may have heard that the Twin Cities comedy scene is a pretty big deal these days. But north of Minneapolis, Dubh Linn Brew Pub has been the epicenter of comedy in Duluth for nearly 10 years. Brothers Mike and Seth Maxim were born and raised in Duluth and opened the pub over … [ Read more]

Ladies First: How Desdamona and Maria Isa set the stage for women in Minnesota’s hip-hop scene

  Rapper and spoken word artist Desdamona has shared stages with Wyclef Jean, Bahamadia, and Saul Williams. But when she first moved to the Twin Cities in 1995, she couldn’t find anyone to give her the opportunity to perform. “When I tried to get into the hip-hop scene, it was very difficult,” said Desdamona. “There … [ Read more]

Mythical Stories for the Modern Age: A collection of short fiction

Legends never die—they just take on new meaning in changing times. What follows are excerpts from three original short stories by Minnesota writers who draw their inspiration in equal parts from the distant past and the present day—be sure to click the link to find the full stories. Heikki Lunta Sinks a Ship Late one … [ Read more]

“The Lake Monster” – A Short Story

There was a recent sighting of the Lake Monster so Christina and I drove to Pepin and rented a boat to see if we could find it.  “Log, log, another log,” Christina says, her eyes up to his binoculars, scanning the water. “So many stupid goddamn logs that kind of look like lake monsters.” Last … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Breathing new life into Native legends with Marlena Myles

Though she may appear a mythical being on the cover, Zitkála-Šá was a flesh-and-bone Dakota Sioux translator, writer, musician, teacher, and activist. Taken by missionaries from her home in 1884 on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota to a Quaker boarding school in Indiana, she became one of the first of the Dakota Sioux … [ Read more]

“The Rose Ceremony” – A Short Story

Wait! You haven’t seen The Bachelorette? We have to watch it.”  Out of desperation to meet a deadline at the PR agency where she worked, Ani remembered her grandma’s stories about Astghik, the ancient Armenian love goddess, and summoned her to help with some Valentine’s-themed social media posts. That was Friday. Now it was Monday, … [ Read more]

“Heikki Lunta Sinks a Ship” – A Short Story

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, not far from Marquette, there lives a Finnish snow god named Heikki Lunta (Hank Snow.) Beloved and feared, he is responsible for delivering snow (by the flake, the inch, and the foot) to the doughty folk of the North Country. Late one autumn night, the snow god Heikki Lunta and his … [ Read more]

5 Comedians to Watch in 2020

  Whether it’s the best amateurs competing in Acme’s Funniest Person Contest every summer, Ali Sultan’s People of Comedy showcase at Sisyphus Brewing putting the spotlight on comedians of color, the Big Fat Comedy Hour at Lush offering up a “Virgin Sacrifice,” or just a newcomer stepping up at an open mic, the next great breakout comedian … [ Read more]

One More Time, With Feeling: Encores are a time-honored ritual—but has the very idea of a concert coda lost meaning?

You’re at a show by one of your favorite bands. They play an epic version of a song from their latest album, they introduce all the musicians, and they close the number with a flash of pyrotechnics. “Thank you very much!” cries the singer as the band heads offstage and the lights go down. That … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Capturing the chaos of taproom debates with comic artist Will Dinski

Will Dinski is framed by a wall of ramen spoons. He slurps a mouthful of crispy chicken ramen and looks around the Nicollet Avenue Ichiddo Ramen thoughtfully. “This would be really fun to draw.”  Food has taken center stage in the Minneapolis-based comic artist’s work and his personal life in recent years. Dinski is currently … [ Read more]

PHOTOS: Devon Monroe and Jake Atlas at Wrestlepalooza XVII at First Avenue

Wrestlers Jake Atlas and Devon Monroe are just two of the many up-and-coming performers blazing a trail and changing the stigma of LGBTQ wrestlers in the evolving landscape of professional wrestling. You can read their inspiring stories in Patrick Strait’s feature, “Face Time.”  Monroe and Atlas took to the ring on Saturday, January 4 at … [ Read more]

Face Time: LGBTQ pro wrestlers are shaking off old stigmas and changing the game

On a Saturday night at a F1RST Wrestling show at the Uptown VFW, 20-year-old Devon Monroe is going toe-to-toe with arguably the biggest name in independent professional wrestling: Joey Ryan. Monroe, who is openly, proudly gay, is sporting flashy rainbow hologram tights, and flying around the ring like a seasoned veteran, while the crowd is … [ Read more]

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