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]

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]

Minnesota’s Most Famous Singing Trio: The Andrews Sisters’ inventive harmonies buoyed a nation at war and topped the charts

What comes to mind when you think of the Andrews Sisters? Maybe holiday classics like the Bing Crosby collaborations “Jingle Bells” and “Mele Kalikimaka.” You might remember the Andrews Sisters’ appearance in the comedy “Buck Privates” or the World War II-era hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” You might even know that the Andrews Sisters spent … [ 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]

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]

We Could Be (Feline) Heroes: Bowie fans and cat lovers come together for 14th annual fundraiser concert

Since 2004, local musicians have filled First Avenue’s Mainroom for one night a year to celebrate David Bowie—and cats. Rock For Pussy is now in its 14th year, and although the event has grown since its inception, its goals remain the same: to raise money for Feline Rescue, a Minnesota-based no-kill cat shelter, and to … [ Read more]

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