Arts & Culture

Energy Brat from Youth Radio, Clean Dirt by Abby Wendle, Forest to Desert by Sarah Boothroyd, & The Mystery of the Mad Minnows from Power Records

Tonight the Echo Chamber presented the annual “Word Beat I Powa” dub poetry, other poetry, and spoken word special as part of National Poetry Month. Of course, it was dub poetry that set the foundation of the show. Among the dub poets featured were Oku Onoura, Mutabaruka, Ras Takura, Jean Binta Breeze, Benjamin Zephaniah, Tomlin Ellis, Malachi Smith, Glenville Bryan, Jazzmin Tutum, Lillian Allen, Desmond Faada Johnson, Lady Dawn, and of course, the incomparable Linton Kwesi Johnson. Other pieces of dub poetry included the excellent track “Dilly Dally” from Everton Sylvester and the Brooklyn Funk Essentials, and “Spirit Made Flesh” from Dub Gabriel and Karen Gibson. But there was much more than dub poetry… From the Beat camp we had Jack Kerouac, and The Last Poets contributed the gritty “True Blues”. Other voices included Jah Wobble and Ronnie Drew doing “London Rain” from the “Celtic Poets” album; Ken Nordine’s unique “word jazz’; the “Hashish Poem” from Bill Laswell and Nicole Blackman; and the powerful words and music of Liberian born (and KFAI’s own) poet, e.g. bailey. Ahh, but let us not forget the extraordinary Jamaican DJs. Before there was dub poetry as we know it today, there was already the great tradition of Jamaican “toasters” — and we included King Stitt and I-Roy. Heck, we even included some classic Stiller & Meara comedy, and “Jack the Biscuit” from late Andy Fairley. What an eclectic mix of words…and beats…and Powa!

We speak with Jonah Lehrer his book Imagine: How Creativity Works. He is a Contributing Editor at Wired and the author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. He has written for The New Yorker, Nature, Seed, and is a Contributing Editor at Scientific American Mind and National Public Radio’s Radio Lab.

We also talk with novelist Roma Calatayud-Stocks about her book A Song in My Heart. It’s a work of historical fiction about a young woman born into a privileged bicultural family in Minneapolis of 1902 who finds music is the perfect expression of her own artistic inclinations, emotions, and ambitions. As a young pianist and budding composer, she is affected by legendary composers and Minnesota’s musical pioneers and resolves to become an orchestral conductor despite the obstacles.

Had a great telephone interview with Mr. Superharp: James Cotton to promote his up-coming show at Famous Dave’s Sunday April 29th, 2012.

Five stories from our 10,000 Fresh Voices series:

1. Medical quackery at the Science Museum
Produced by Will Wright
X-ray and CAT-scan machines are part of today’s medical landscape, but have you heard of the Orgone Energy Accumulator? Psychograph? Or Prostate Gland-Warmer? The Minnesota Science Museum houses a collection of dubious medical devices, but were these really designed to work? KFAI producer Will Wright takes a tour.

2. Alissa Barthel & Punk Rawk Labs
Produced by Cyn Collins
Punk Rawk Labs is a Minneapolis-based company specializing in living cuisine. Owner Alissa Barthel graduated with the inaugural class of the Matthew Kenney Academy, a culinary facility that specializes in raw food cuisine, then started her own line of products. In addition to her food business, Alissa writes a blog and produces an online “uncooking” show. For more information, visit Produced for KFAI by Cyn Collins.

3. Guante takes his message to school
Produced by Eric Blom
Guante is a spoken word and hip-hop artist, progressive activist, and educator from St. Paul. He curates the “Hip Hop Against Homophobia” concert series, taking his message to high schools, colleges and stages around the region. KFAI producer Eric Blom has more.

4. The Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet
Produced by Britt Aamodt
Lila Ammons grew up in Chicago—one of the hotbeds of American music. Trained in classical music, she was never far from her family roots in jazz. Her uncle Gene was a jazz player, and her grandfather Albert Ammons was one of the great boogie woogie piano players of the 1930s. Since 2010, Lila has been jazzing up the Twin Cities music scene with the Lila Ammons Jazz Quintent. KFAI’s Britt Aamodt talks to Ammons and saxophonist Dean Brewington.

5. Toki Wright
Produced by Cristeta Boarini
Twin Cities hip-hop artist Toki Wright is a dynamic force on stage and in the recording studio. He’s also an instructor at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. KFAI producer Cristeta Boarini caught up with Toki to talk about his latest projects.

Listen Now

Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected

Imagine life without drama, meltdowns, and power struggles. Most of us know what to do when our kids behave. But let’s face it: family life can get downright crazy, and it’s at those moments that we most need to keep our cool.

Family therapist Susan Stiffelman has shown thousands of parents how to be the cool, confident “Captain of the ship” in their children’s lives. Based on her successful practice and packed with real-life stories, Susan shares proven strategies and crystal clear insights to motivate kids to cooperate and connect.

The Witches of Lublin, a passover story by Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth Schwartz and Yale Strom. Women klezmer musicians in Eastern Europe in the 18th Century. Featuring Tovah Feldshuh, Simon Jones, Neil Gaiman and Barbara Rosenblat. From SueMedia Productions.