Comedian Adrian Washington puts St. Cloud (and himself) on the comedy map

Adrian Washington’s start in stand-up comedy was less than ordinary. While some aspiring comics are scratching and clawing their way for a few brief minutes of stage time at a local open mic, Washington managed to talk his way onto the stage. “I remember one night I was at First Street Station in St. Cloud, … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Holiday Guide 2019

It’s time to take the easy (but soulful!) way out, harness the power of this guide, and have yourself a very, very happy 2019 holiday season!

Making Moonshine and Dancing to Dixieland: A tour through Minnesota’s prohibition-era music venues

From 1920 to 1933, Prohibition outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol—but Minnesotans found other ways to enjoy their spirits. St. Paul’s bootlegging business was booming and the city’s bands provided the soundtrack. When the Volstead Act was enacted in 1919 and went into effect in 1920, saloons and beer parlors closed up shop … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Designing the written word with Anne Ulku

Anne Ulku just wants you to feel something. As a designer and illustrator, she’s made a name for herself through her work with brands ranging from small local startups to national companies like Apple, HP, and Nickelodeon. Her deft use of bright color, eccentric design, and interpretive typography flows together in a way that lends … [ Read more]

‘Tis the season for board games

Family downtime is a blessing and a curse, and finding the right activity to span the generations (and make up for sometimes hostile weather) can be a challenge. Fortunately, the modern board game renaissance has (many) answers to the question of “what do we do now?” We chatted with Bob Seabold, the owner of Tower … [ Read more]

Comedian Robert Baril on Russia, dating a grandma, and his new album “TMI”

For Robert Baril, there is no such thing as TMI. The Twin Cities comedy veteran has been one of the busiest and most consistent performers over the course of the past decade. Whether he’s talking about his personal life (he’s currently engaged to a grandmother, which is the premise of one of his more popular … [ Read more]

Comedy in Reverse: Kevin Farley brings a big name from the screen to the stage

Getting on stage to perform comedy with the last name “Farley” can carry some pretty lofty expectations. Nobody knows this better than Kevin Farley, the younger brother of Chris. This weekend, Farley will make his way to the Twin Cities metro for three nights of stand-up shows through the towns of Maple Grove, Loretto, and … [ Read more]

In My Time of Dying: Musicians must prepare estate plans for their musical works

Whether or not we want to plan for it, we all inevitably die. A hard subject for some to grasp, death can bring forth a variety of emotions, conflict, or even chaos, depending on whether or not the deceased had a pre-established estate plan. To some extent, everyone has assets, but what happens when music … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Luis Fitch’s art is at the intersection of graphic design, fine art, and vandalism

You may not know who Luis Fitch is, but you have probably seen his art. From T-shirts to taco shops, Fitch has been consistently using a combination of gallery openings, street art, and branding opportunities to make himself a recognizable symbol wherever he goes. Other artists might think he is selling out, but he doesn’t … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: The Natural and Vivid Watercolors of Xee Reiter

Xee Reiter’s backyard is bursting with life, with three gardens, a hen house, an in-progress worm farm, and a beehive. Some may think it looks chaotic, but to Reiter, who grew up with fresh produce from a garden and helped butcher the chickens her family raised, it looks like an organic canvas.  “I grew up … [ Read more]

Feelin’ Nur-D: The Minneapolis rapper blending geek culture, activism, and pro wrestling to keep MN hip-hop weird

If you ask Matt Allen, known on stage as hip-hop artist Nur-D, how he’d describe himself, he would tell you that he is weird, your seventh favorite hip-hop person, and then declare himself a nerd. Vocal about his love for comics, professional wrestling, video games, ’80s hair metal bands, and superheroes, Nur-D creates his music … [ Read more]

Living Outside the Box: A Q&A with pianist, activist, and musical auteur Lara Bolton

Lara Bolton’s impressive array of performances, creations, and occupations defies any attempt at being clearly labeled, and her work⁠—imbued with sparkle and elan⁠—can be relied upon to trigger something of the unexpected in those who experience it. Recently praised by the Star Tribune for her “heroic presence at the piano,” Bolton is known for her versatile … [ Read more]

Blazes of Glory: Pyrotechnic designers and engineers add fiery drama to the concert experience

When you go to a concert by Macklemore, Pitbull, or Marshmello, it’s not just for the music—you’re also going for an elaborate spectacle, and often that means waterfalls of sparks raining down from the ceiling or pillars of fire erupting from the edge of the stage. In short, pyrotechnics. Pyrotechnics can incorporate anything from fire … [ Read more]

Fanning the Flames: Minneapolis Fire Collective Creates Connections and Burns Down Barriers

Photos by Marla Klein What started as a hobby for Amy Bloss—aka “Fire Mama”—has transformed into a massive fire community in Minneapolis. Today, Bloss is the executive director of the Minneapolis Fire Collective (MFC), an organization that offers fire performances, classes, and events. The group started back in 2008 with just 12 members and was … [ Read more]

“The Oxygen Bar” – A Short Story

The following is a short story written by fiction writer John Jodzio. Jodzio’s work has been featured in a variety of places including “This American Life,” McSweeney’s, and One Story. He’s the author of the short story collections, “Knockout,” “Get In If You Want To Live” and “If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home.” He lives in Minneapolis.  Someone set … [ Read more]