Standing Ovation

Thanks for reprinting the 2003 WSJ Opinion piece. I remembered it, but couldn’t recall the source. I may print copies and hand them out the next time I go to any performance in the Twin Cities. A couple of weeks ago, Jorja Fleezanis performed Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra, which was conducted by […]

Craig Finn’s Playlist

The Hold Steady are well known for tossing hosannas to the Twin Cities’ landscape and music scene, past and present—from name-checking the “Grain Belt bridge” and Payne Avenue to sonic nods to all manner of local bands. Never mind that frontman Craig Finn, a native of Edina, decamped to Brooklyn some seven years ago—the Twin […]

Honorable Exit

My mother took me on a wild, unforgettable ride the morning she died. Drugged and nearly comatose for about twenty-four hours, she suddenly started breathing heavily, opened her dull, mucus-covered eyes, and began writhing her shoulders off the bed. I was holding her hand, and she gripped me so hard that her bones stabbed painfully […]

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Living Room Licks

Fifty twenty-somethings crowded into Two Pines, a dark living room in South Minneapolis, on a sweltering Sunday night, flowing into any space not filled by six musicians and their guitars, mandolins, and banjos. The singer, clad in drooping denim overalls, strummed a few chords of a Mazzy Star song and chuckled. “What does this song […]

Chris Osgood’s Playlist

Breaking news: Members of Minneapolis’s pioneering ’70s punk trio, Suicide Commandos, have officially (though with tongues apparently planted firmly in cheek) dubbed themselves a “legacy band.” How appropriate, then, that the Commandos have been tapped to open for yet another rock legend—the supremely fabulous and hugely influential Ms. Joan Jett—for an August 26 Grandstand concert […]


The local music scene’s ubiquitous and ridiculously busy hot hand, Erik Appelwick has, remarkably, been living in the Twin Cities only six years. Having grown up in South Dakota and Michigan, and then kicked about South Dakota for a while during his collegiate and postcollegiate years, he made the bold decision in 2000 to move […]

A Rakish Holiday: Silent Night, Unholy Night

It’s not hard to understand the aversion some people have to the ubiquitous music of Christmas. There are literally thousands of recordings in this genre, and every year the market is flooded with new product. Much of it is indisputably execrable, and obviously driven by the crassest and most exploitive of impulses. But then, it’s […]

Above & Below

From a Twin Cities perspective, Duluth’s alternative music and arts scene briefly flashed across our consciousness for a while around the turn of the century. Seemingly all at once, there was a great compilation CD (Duluth Does Dylan), a breakout band (Low), and a feisty, well-written alterna-rag (the Ripsaw). There were big stories in Twin […]