The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota Hip-Hop: Part 2

Four local artists on collaboration, creative barriers, and the future of rap in the North Star State This is part two of a two-part conversation with three up-and-coming Minnesota-based hip-hop artists—Kamilla Love, booboo, and Student 1—and Medium Zach, an artist with two decades of experience, about Minnesota’s hip-hop scene. Read Part 1 here. I’m Sean … [ Read more]

The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota Hip-Hop: Part 1

Four local artists discuss collaboration, creative barriers, and the future of rap in the North Star State I’m Sean McPherson and I’ve been playing bass in Twin Cities hip-hop groups for 20+ years now. I went to St. Paul Central, and I started a band that’s still active today called Heiruspecs, and I met a … [ Read more]

Art, Printed: Computers are redefining fine art. But is that a good thing?

Watching a lumbering 3D printer slowly churn back and forth, painstakingly adding minute layer to minute layer of material to an ambiguous shape is far from exciting. It can take hours—sometimes days—until a final product reveals itself. But for as cumbersome as 3D printing can be, the technology has had a profound impact on the art … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Brad Jirka & Katherine Jones

Before it even hit the printer, Brad Jirka and his wife/collaborative partner Katherine Jones spent upwards of 65 hours on the model for this cover. Between laying out the initial design and recreating it 40 different ways in the 3D printing software formZ, the design duo behind Northfield studio Bohemiawerks eventually came full-circle, landing on … [ Read more]

Laughing with Louis Lee: The man behind the curtain at Acme Comedy Co.

From Robin Williams to Mitch Hedberg, Daniel Tosh to Maria Bamford, the list of legendary names that have stepped on stage at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis reads like a comedy hall of fame. But the most influential person in the club’s 27-year run has never been on stage and doesn’t tell jokes. Acme owner … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Holiday Guide 2018

Seasons greetings, Growler Nation! Before long, our kitchens and living rooms will be filled with raucous nephews and doting aunties, ugly sweaters (deliberate or not), and hopefully, friends and family gathered in the spirit of togetherness. To help kick-start your party planning, we present our Holiday Guide, a quick collection of information designed to make … [ Read more]

Liquid Music: Former ballet dancer’s alt-classical series is on point

Curatorial dynamo Kate Nordstrum launched The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series—now in its seventh season—to international acclaim. From her years training as a dancer to curating concerts across the country, music inspires Kate Nordstrum to action. “As a dancer, you relate to music viscerally,” says Nordstrum. “You think about how it feels in your … [ Read more]

10 Notable Minnesota Albums of 2018

Low ■ “Double Negative” If you were to stand on the shores of Lake Superior in February, you might be able to imagine how Low’s “Double Negative” came to be. Like the tumultuous stacks of ice that grow and break as waves crash onto the North Shore, the 12th studio album from the Duluth-based trio … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: The clean, striking designs of Matt Erickson

Matt Erickson has mastered the basic rule of K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid. At just 27 years old, the graphic designer and artist has honed a refreshingly sparse style—one that can be seen everywhere from labels on Jack Daniels bottles to bags of Caribou Coffee to the mural inside the Uptown Minneapolis Target store.  Erickson’s … [ Read more]

Year in Review: Minnesota’s Arts & Culture Scene in 2018

Minnesota’s arts and culture scene experienced its fair share of high highs and low lows this year. From the #metoo movement bringing about leadership changes at notable organizations to our state making history by electing the first Somali-American to the U.S. Congress, there was no lack of drama, excitement, anticipation, and disappointment in 2018. Here’s … [ Read more]

From immigration to kidnappings, Ali Sultan’s ‘Stories with my Muslim Mom’ is the surprise podcast of 2018

Ali Sultan is one of the smartest, funniest, and most genuinely likeable comedians in the Twin Cities right now. And he clearly got it from his mom. As a stand-up, Sultan has been having an incredible year. After making his television debut on Kevin Hart’s “Hart of the City” in 2017, he has followed up … [ Read more]

Meet the Minnesota nonprofit helping bring local video games to a screen near you

We’re home to the offbeat, the debut, and the experimental.” That’s how the creative director of GLITCH, a Minneapolis nonprofit that supports emerging video game creators through education and mentorship programs, sums up the organization. Evva Kraikul co-founded GLITCH with fellow University of Minnesota student Nicolaas VanMeerten in late 2009, bringing together like-minded people on campus to talk and learn … [ Read more]

“An Honest Desire To Reach Out”: Eric Simonson on the return of “Silent Night”

One of the most important works of 21st century opera, “Silent Night,” winner of the Pulitzer Prize, returns this weekend to the site of its 2011 world premiere. The Minnesota Opera is remounting the show that sprang from its New Works Initiative, and has since enjoyed a remarkable tour. Stage director Eric Simonson is a … [ Read more]

Masters of Arena Rock: Why sound engineers are to thank for the ultimate concert experience

There are few experiences as memorable as attending your first concert in an arena. You enter the doors of a cavernous dome and squint to find the section and row of your seat on your ticket. You take your seat, the lights dim, and the rumble of bass being pumped through a dozen loud speakers … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Tymkrs and the Art of Circuitry

Left, the original artwork for The Growler’s Issue 61 cover by Sarah Petkus. Right is the rendition of the same artwork for the badge design by Tymkrs For us commoners, the inner workings of a circuit board are miles over our heads. Most days we’re lucky to manage screwing in a light bulb without any … [ Read more]