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]

Bold sound and set design elevates the Guthrie’s ‘Frankenstein’ to new heights

The creak of shifting ice and horror-film undertones are the first sounds welcoming audience members into the Wurtle Thrust stage at Guthrie Theater. A gleaming black, sloping mound dominates the set; a black disk of a sun glows ominously in the upper-left corner of the stage. The sounds, composed and designed by Cliff Caruthers, and … [ Read more]

Har Mar Superstar is opening a bar in Moorhead with fellow musicians

Plenty of people dream of opening a bar with their closest friends. Even more people dream of being successful full-time musicians. Few people actually make either dream become reality. Even fewer do both. Welcome to the story of Eric Odness (bassist for Primitive Weapons), Rob Pope (bassist for Spoon), and Frank Bevan (former frontman for … [ Read more]

Minnesota’s little comedy festival-that-could is all grown up

Back in 2011, Minneapolis comedy vets Bob Edwards and Andy Erikson decided to showcase the thriving Minneapolis comedy scene with a small but mighty festival with about 15 comedians in the basement of the Corner Bar. Seven years later, The 10,000 Laughs Festival has grown into a four-day festival with nearly 60 performers, including some … [ Read more]

Painting the Court Purple: Looking back on the sportier side of Prince

Prince loved a good pair of heels. He was often found sporting them on stage or in public, along with his famously outlandish wardrobe. But occasionally he preferred sneakers over heels—so as not to scratch up the gym floor. During his time at Bryant Junior High and into his years at Minneapolis’ Central High School, … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: The Iconic Illustrations of Mark Herman

Mark Herman’s bright sunlit Minneapolis studio is covered in prints, sketchbooks, and miscellaneous artworks he’s thought up over the years. We’re sitting back in his cozy office, which is lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stuffed with photographs, mementos, some of his own artwork, and books that he ironically doesn’t touch. “I’m a terrible student—horribly dyslexic, barely … [ Read more]

St. Paul artist Michael Iver Jacobsen named Surly’s 2018 Featured Artist

More than 120 artists threw their work in the ring to be this year’s featured artist for Surly Brewing Company. The winner: March 2017 Growler cover artist (and the artist behind the illustrations in the September issue’s Field Guide to Cider), Michael Iver Jacobsen. Jacobsen created the artwork for this year’s Darkness label (and the three Darkness … [ Read more]

Matt Osterman’s “Hover” is a Heartland Horror story

Drones are as accessible as iPhones these days. Anyone can get their hands on one—to take videos, race, or simply enjoy as a toy. Minnesota filmmaker and director Matt Osterman’s latest work, “Hover,” takes this technological phenomena one step further and explores a not-too-distant future where drones are used for a more sinister purpose. Osterman, 40, … [ Read more]

Through Diversity and Collaboration, TU Dance Continues to Defy Definition

Somewhere beyond the confines of ballet and other genres of dance resides contemporary dance—an artistic expression fluctuating between cadenced and arrhythmic motion, which ignores traditional boundaries and evades simple categorization. For the last 15 years, this universe of dance has been embodied—and expanded—by St. Paul, Minnesota-based company TU Dance. TU Dance was founded in 2004 by … [ Read more]

Not Just a Happy Apple: Mike Lewis on John Prine, Bon Iver, and his very own music

How the hell can a person go to work in the morning and come home in the evening and have nothing to say?”  That’s singer/songwriter John Prine. Well, that’s Mike Lewis quoting Prine’s song “Angel From Montgomery” while sitting next to me at a countertop. We’re nearing the end of an hour-long conversation, and I’ve … [ Read more]

Pop music and classical opera meet picnic-on-a-farm with Picnic Operetta

Unlikely pairings can lead to uniquely satisfying outcomes: whiskey chased with pickle brine, Lady Gaga duetting with Tony Bennett, cronuts. This concept is familiar territory to Scotty Reynolds, who has not only embraced it but created an entirely new artistic enterprise from it in Picnic Operetta. Juxtaposing classical music, pop music, a five-course picnic, and environmental … [ Read more]

A lesson in drag at Guthrie Theater

It takes more than putting on a dress and squeezing into nylons and high heels to be a true drag queen. You have to know the history of it, the community of it, the art of it. You have to know who you are and who you’re hoping to become. You have to commit to … [ Read more]

“100 Years and Counting”: The next chapter of the Minnesota Museum of American Art

Racks stuffed with paintings, shelves holding all shapes and sizes of sculptures, and artist-designed furniture fill a fluorescent-lit warehouse. The sheer amount of art packed into this single room is nearly impossible to take in; to the untrained eye, it looks random and chaotic. But for the staff of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, … [ Read more]

Smaller Towns, Vibrant Sounds: Exploring the music scenes of Greater Minnesota

Some music venues advertise thousands of seats and state-of-the-art light shows. Others double as sports arenas. And then there are those that offer pottery classes or operate out of someone’s living room. While the Twin Cities house some of the state’s most iconic music venues, Minnesota’s small towns are the perfect places for discovering vibrant … [ Read more]