This week’s Wave

This week’s Wave includes a Q&A with Doomtree rapper slash poet slash lots-of-stuff Dessa, who performs Friday at The Rex.

The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Duluth Playhouse announce 2014-15 seasons. One is working on inner-arts collaborations; The other is using a tried-n-true formula.

Best Bets include: Cars & Trucks at the Planetarium, “A Night at the Opera” live reading, long-form, prime time improv by Renegade, photos of Women in Black, CD release shows at Beaner’s Central.

Tony Bennett does a play-by-play of “One Week Live, Vol. 12.” 

A&E Notes include: Cracked Walnut live reading series, Record Store Day.

A few Dessa vids

Minneapolis hip-hop artist Dessa plays at 9:30 p.m. Friday at The Rex. Thursday’s Wave includes a Q&A with the musician.

Here are a few picks to get you in a Dessa-minded place before the show.

Here she performs “Seamstress” live on KEXP. She mentioned this song from “A Badly Broken Code” as a favorite extended metaphor that she’s written.

Here she is performing “Skeleton Key” from “Parts of Speech” during an in-studio with Radio K.


And here is a video for “Dixon’s Girl.”



Walker, Current announces Rock the Garden lineup

De Le Soul and Spoon headline the Walker Art Center and 89.3 FM The Current’s first two-day Rock the Garden event, according to a news release from organizers.

No D-town reps in this year’s lineup. (Last year was the famous Drone Not Drones event that pitted Low loyalists against the world and raised the convo: Do you owe music fans a five-song set or can you get whack with your presentation in the garden of a contemporary art museum? Discus.)

Rock the Garden starts at 3:45 p.m. June 21-22 and tickets go on sale for Art Center and MPR members at 11 a.m. Thursday. For everyone else: 11 a.m. Saturday at or by calling (800) 514-3849.

Saturday’s lineup: Jeremy Messersmith, Best Coast, Matt and Kim, De La Soul. (Also: the day opens with a surprise guest and they’ve carefully noted this surprise guest is NOT The Replacements).

Sunday’s lineup: Valerie June, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Dessa, Guided by Voices, Spoon.


‘The Cellist of Sarajevo’ soundtrack

Here is my review of “The Cellist of Sarajevo,” this year’s One Book, One Community all-city read-along. The novel by Steven Galloway has at its center a cello player who committed to 22 consecutive days of playing amid the bombed out wreckage. The nameless musician is based on a real-live musician, who inspired other artists to create pieces about him.

This Spotify playlist includes:
*”The Cellist of Sarajevo” by David Wilde and recorded by Yo Yo Ma
* Adagio in G Minor by Albinoni, the piece the cellist played daily
* “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo” recorded by Trans-Siberian Orchestra


Weekend A&E roundup

Here’s my review of the Ludacris concert Friday night at Amsoil Arena.

It’s been 18 years, but the “Fargo” effect is still strong in these parts. Prepare for a whole lot more “you betcha” catcalls as FX premieres “Fargo” the limited run TV series on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Fargo linguistics experts examine the dialect made popular by the Coen brothers’ film. 

Lawrance Bernabo reviewed a one man, one night only take on “The Iliad.”

This week’s Wave

This work is by artist Joe Klander, who used 1980s pop references for his pieces. (Courtesy of the Duluth Art Institute)

This week’s Wave includes interpretations of Mayor Don Ness and Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson as good and evil.

There’s a good chance you’ve never seen a panorama like this one.

Best Bets: The aforementioned Ness v. Carlson, Lehto & Wright, Toki Wright, a one-man “Iliad,” Ludacris, live radio theater and burlesque.

A&E Notes include an outdoor concert, pretty much regardless of what is happening outdoors.

Theater Review: Small town presents big production of “Fiddler.”

Music Review: John Frusciante’s solo album is dated.

Here’s a new thing: I’ve created a Spotify playlist that includes some of the music mentioned in this week’s Wave.

Get your Homegrown guide

If you are the kind of person who likes to hold the key to Homegrown Music Festival in your hot little hand, here is this year’s field guide. I found mine at Electric Fetus and I saw more at the Zeitgeist Arts Building. I’m guessing there is at least a stack at Pizza Luce.

This is just to say that *this* is what you are looking for in places where people put piles of things like this.

Otherwise, there is always this.

Homegrown Music Festival is, of course, an eight-day festival featuring local bands, artists, poets, film and merrymakers. It starts April 27 at venues in Duluth and Superior.


Weekend A&E roundup

Austin Brown (from left), Rob Lundquist, Tim Foust and Chris Rupp perform with the a cappella group Home Free at the Arrowhead Home & Builders Show on Friday afternoon at the DECC in Duluth. The group won the singing competition on the latest season of the TV show “The Sing-Off.” (Photos by Clint Austin /

Home Free played a bunch of shows during the Arrowhead Home & Builders Show at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. We caught the winners of Season 4 of “The Sing-Off” on Friday afternoon.

Sam Black found the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s “Requiem”to be a satisfying experience. Review here.

Paul Brissett enjoyed the dynamic between characters in the College of St. Scholastica’s production of Beckett’s “Endgame.”

And RIP Mickey Rooney. Stay tuned for a local reaction on his death.

Music: Eric Swanson’s HG mixtape (and more)

Homegrown Music Festival has posted this year’s Homegrown mix, which is curated by Eric Swanson of Sacred Heart Music Center. It’s available for download. Name your own price.

Mix includes music by: Little Black Books, Cars & Trucks, Coyote, Amy Abts, Bill Meier, The First Ladies, Haley Bonar, Mary Bue, Greg Cougar Conley, Father Hennepin, Sarah Krueger, Dave Mehling, Rivulets, The Very People and Three Song Sunday.

It is here.

Speaking of Amy Abts: She’s got a load of new stuff for you to listen to right here. She’s living in Rochester and playing with Extinct Gingers.