April 2011 MinneCulture Archives

Mon, April 4

Producer Britt Amodt joins Nancy Sartor for this special spring pledge drive edition of MinneCulture. Hear features from Britt’s catalog, including:

1. St. Paul Sidewalk Poetry

2. Excerpts from the two-part Minnesota Cartoonists documentary

3. The Ghost of Leon Gleckman: St. Paul’s most notorious bootlegger

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This special spring pledge drive edition of MinneCulture features some of the best music from our live concert series. Hear performances by:

*Rogue Valley

*Communist Daughter

*Heiruspecs

*Spider John Koerner & Tony Glover

*Willie Walker & Willie West

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This is Twin Cities fashion week, and KFAI is featuring five related stories from its 10,000 Fresh Voices series:

1. MN Fashion presents Voltage: Fashion Amplified
Produced by Allison Herrera
If “Minnesota fashion” conjures up images of down jackets, waterproof boots and layers of scarves, sweaters, and thermal underwear, check out Voltage: Fashion Amplified. This annual event is part of Spring Fashion Week, and showcases work by 10 local designers in a rock and roll environment tailor made for First Avenue. KFAI’s Allison Herrera explains how the sartorial sensibilities of this diverse group have helped redefine Minnesota fashion.

2. Designer Rachel Blomgren
Produced by Katey DeCelle
Rachel Blomgren in one of 10 designers selected to show at Voltage: Fashion Amplified 2011—the Midwest’s premier spring fashion and rock show. Blomgren talked KFAI’s Katey DeCelle about how fabrics can have hidden meanings, and how textiles can tell stories.

3. Designer Raul Osorio
Produced by Katey DeCelle
Twin Cities designer Raul Osorio learned how to sew at his parents’ textile school in Honduras. He spoke to KFAI producer Katey DeCelle about his creative inspiration, and what it’s like to prepare for his second Voltage: Fashion Amplified runway show.

4. Vintage Fashion: Rewind & Lula
Produced by Sabrina Crews
The Twin Cities is home to a wide variety of independently owned clothing stores, including many thrift stores and retro shops. Vintage fashion is especially popular, but what draws locals to clothes from the past? KFAI’s Sabrina Crews went to Rewind in Minneapolis, and Lula in St. Paul, to talk to business owners about the lure of vintage fashion.

5. Dyed in the Wool: Kim Christensen
Produced by Diane Richard
Minneapolis fiber artist Kim Christensen finds a bounty of natural dye stuffs in her backyard and alleyways. She sells her woolen wares at the Kingfield Farmer’s Market of Minneapolis.

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Minneapolis Skyways: glass & steel bridges connect downtown
Produced by Britt Aamodt

Minneapolis has the longest skyway system in the United States, and a severe climate that encourages interior walks many months of the year. City planners conceived of skyways in 1959, but didn’t construct the first elevated glass bridges until 1962, connecting downtown buildings. Since their inception, skyways have been appreciated and denigrated in equal measure. KFAI producer Britt Aamodt spent three months in the skyways—talking to city planners, business owners, musicians, editors and bloggers—and compiling this skyways soundscape in advance of the structures’ 50th anniversary.

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Five stories from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series:

1. A Machine to See With: Walker Art Center’s Blast Theory
Produced by Todd Melby
If you fidget in movies and are bored by two-dimensional images, you may be ready for something new—something like, “A Machine To See With”— interactive cinema experience created by British group Blast Theory.

2. Works Progress: Twin Cities Changemakers
Produced by Michelle Alimoradi
Works Progress is a group of Twin Cities “changemakers”: artists and professionals who strive for progress by creating platforms for creative people to present their ideas—a kind of live performance think tank. KFAI’s Michelle Alimoradi recently attended their gathering called Solutions Twin Cities Volume 4 at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis, and has the story. For more information, go to worksprogress.org.

3. Ingebretsen’s Celebrates 90 Years
Produced by Britt Aamodt
Charles Ingebretsen, a Norwegian immigrant, opened several stores during his lifetime, but the one the iconic shop that has endured sits at the corner of Lake Street in Minneapolis. Ingebretsen’s opened in 1921 as a meat market catering to the mostly local Scandinavian population. But as supermarkets began to appear, the meat market narrowed its focus and began specializing in Scandinavian foods while it expanded its appeal. Becomming a one-stop emporium for all things Scandinavian—food, music, books, arts and crafts—Ingebretsen’s is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2011. Charles’ granddaughter, Julie Ingebretsen, gave KFAI producer Britt Aamodt a tour of the family store, and shared her passion for her immigrant heritage.

4. Kramarczuk’s Deli: Northeast Minneapolis’ Sausage Legacy
Produced by Dale Connelly
Kramarczuk’s Deli has been hand-making Eastern European-style sausages for decades. In the 1940s, Wasyl and Anna immigrated to the United States from the Ukraine and set up shop in Northeast Minneapolis. Today, Nick Kramarczuk is the third generation to carry on the family tradition. And business is not only thriving on East Hennepin Avenue—this year Kramarczuk’s is adding a second stand at Target Field to feed hungry Twins fans . KFAI’s Dale Connelly went to see this landmark operation in action.

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Experimental Sound Artists
Produced by Dixie Treichel

The world of experimental sound arts is innovative and unusual—a place where instrument builders, alternative tuning systems and unorthodox musical expressions converge. In this documentary, six Minnesota experimental sound artists share their musings, explorations and creations.

St. Paul native Paul Metzger performs solo and with various experimental musicians around the world. In this program, he improvises on his collection of modified guitars and banjos, including a 23-string banjo.

Mary Garvie likes to collaborate and perform freestyle. Hear her voice experiments, and listen as she plays a variety instruments, such as an amplified grate, table top and singing bowl.

Tim Kaiser designs and builds electronic experimental instruments for himself and others, and likes buttons, knobs and switches. Based in Duluth, he performs at experimental sound festivals around the country.

David Means curates the Strange Attractors Experimental Intermedia Festival in St. Paul. Many of the experimental sound pieces he creates—using electric, electronic and computer instruments—are designed for the architectural layout of a performance space.

Dixie Treichel is founder of the Unique Sounds Ensemble in Minneapolis. She makes instruments from found objects, and uses them to create electronic sound art.

Kris Peck builds and performs on micro-tonal guitars. The altered fret boards on these instruments create unusual scales in nontraditional tuning systems. He also explores the use of digital delays and performs in the Twin Cities with a variety of experimental musicians.

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Stories from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voice series:

1. Fontmaker & Alphabetician, Chank Diesel
Produced by Susan Gray
Mister Stinky, Broken Dreams, and Flubber are just a few of the 300 unique fonts created by Twin Cities typographer Chank Diesel. With the recent introduction of open font formats on the web, the number of typography choices for consumers and designers is rapidly expanding. KFAI’s Susan Gray met with Chank to learn how digital technology has changed the way fonts are created and distributed, how font choices impact memory retention, and what Arial did to Helvetica.

2. Rogue Buddha Gallery
Produced by Michelle Bruch
Rogue Buddha Gallery has become famous for its haunting artwork and talented contributors. One of the first hot spots to turn Northeast Minneapolis’ 13th Avenue into an arts destination, it has survived more than decade as other galleries have come and gone. KFAI’s Michelle Brook spoke to artist and gallery owner Nicholas Harper.

3. Youth Farm & Market Project
Produced by Dan Greenwood
The Twin Cities Youth Farm and Market Project empowers young people through environmental stewardship, farming and community outreach. What started out as a community garden project with 10 kids in 1995, has grown to serve 500 youth year round in multiple neighborhoods throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. KFAI’s Dan Greenwood attended a weeknight program in south Minneapolis, where kids prepared and served food for a neighborhood.

4. Forte Drums
Produced by Nancy Sartor
Rob DeMarais disassembled his first drum kit when he was 12. Decades later he’s still reconstructing and repairing trap sets, and is recognized as a master craftsman of custom-built drums. KFAI’s Nancy Sartor met Rob at his Columbia Heights drum shop, Forte Drums, to ogle the percussive eye-candy and meet one of Forte’s more unconventional students—79-year-old Char Johnson.

5. Prison Poetry
Produced by Elena Erofeeva
April is National Poetry Month, and KFAI has been broadcasting related stories. In this segment, producer Elena Erofeeva discovers poetry from inside Hennepin County’s correctional facilities, and the published works of men, women and juveniles behind bars.

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Music and conversation with experimental band, Eclectic Ensemble.

Meet Tim Donahue, Charlie Hendrickson and John Vance—members of the Eclectic Ensemble. Awarded a 2011 Community Arts Grant, the trio will be performing May through October in outdoor locations throughout the Twin Cities.

Eclectic Ensemble is an ambient and improvisational group that runs on solar power and transports all its gear by bicycle. Eclectic Ensemble has been performing its Music of the Sun project for two years, and was captured live at Minnehaha Falls last summer.

This installment of MinneCulture features this unique group along with commentary from the band.

Music of the Sun is made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council from an appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature.

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