Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tech Tuesday: Amazon Pulls Plug On New York. Spinners Go Into Overdrive.

Photo by Dorian Mongel on Unsplash
This past week Amazon pulled the plug on their planned creation of a second HQ in New York at Long Island City, Queens. Activists considered it a major achievement to have derailed the planned move, which would have generated 25,000 jobs with salaries on average of $150,000 per year.

Depending on what media outlet you choose, New Yorkers lost or won by kicking Amazon out. The anti-Amazon sentiment seemed misguided to me, though. Yes, they were going to get 3 billion dollars in incentives to build a headquarters there and not have to pay taxes. But if you have 25,000 jobs at $!50,000 a year average, this alone is nearly four billion dollars in taxable income, plus when these Amazon employees spend their money in New York stores and restaurants, all that money is taxed as well. It's not like the Big Apple is getting nothing.

The upshot is that Amazon will now invest their resources in the Crystal City section of Arlington, Virginia. (Or split their investments in two cities, with Nashville being another candidate.)

"If people even bother to compare the skylines, street life and family and neighborhood stability of Long Island City in Queens, NY, and the Crystal City section of Arlington, VA, in the year 2039, they will be appalled by the poverty of the former and the prosperity of the latter."--New York Shoots Itself In The (Amazon) Headquarters, Seeking Alpha

According to a Washington Post story, "Opponents, including freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), protested that the influx of Amazon employees, to be paid an average salary of at least $150,000 a year, would cause housing costs to skyrocket, drive out low-income residents and worsen congestion on the subway and streets."

OK, this housing cost issue may be real and is the heart of the anti-gentrification movement, but what I want to know is why a solution to this issue can't be found. Why is it an either/or issue? Why can't there be job creation AND low income housing?

"New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were among those who hounded Amazon out of a development where the average worker was to be receiving a salary of at least $150,000, according to the Washington Post."

Instead of this being a loss of 25,000 jobs for New York, Time Magazine is spinning it as a black eye for Amazon. "It is a clear loss for Amazon and a wake-up call for all tech companies."

What is the wake up call? That tech companies, if they want to grow, should export jobs to China and Japan? "We don't want jobs," hardly seems like a visionary approach to the future.

What's intriguing is how many big cities have forked over a billion dollars to build stadiums for the NFL franchises, none of which will generate even close to 25,000 jobs that average $150,000 a year.

When you read the articles that spin this as a victory for New York, you soon realize that the actual enemy is capitalism. Successful companies should be penalized is the ethos here. On the other hand, logic says that if you have more jobs, then wages will rise as companies compete for good employees, right? If you reduce the number of jobs, then unemployed people will be willing to work for less because a modest income is better than nothing, right?

The comical aspect of all this is that Time's story states that the people of New York do not want this, whereas the Washington Post article stated that 70% of New Yorkers did want this. Unfortunately, a militant vocal minority got in the way.

The deal was already signed in 2018, but before the ink was dry a surge of activist groups got riled and used their animosity to produce a change of heart in the world's largest retailer.  The Wall Street Journal explained it like this:

After getting mauled by a mob of unions and politicians, Amazon on Thursday cancelled plans to build a second headquarters in New York City. It’s a testament to New York’s toxic business environment that even $3 billion in subsidies wasn’t enough to keep the company in town.

According to a Bloomberg article, Governor Cuomo "predicted that Amazon would hire 40,000 workers within 25 years and that the city would reap as much as $27.5 billion in tax revenue—a great return on a $3 billion enticement. They had won the game, 'doing what mayors and governors have done for time immemorial, which is to get companies to locate in their region,' says Margaret O’Mara, a professor at the University of Washington who has studied the history of Silicon Valley and other technology hubs."--How Amazon Lost New York, Bloomberg

Stephanie Denning, writing for Forbes, reiterates these estimates, expressing it this way:
"From a purely economic point of view, Amazon was expected to generate $27.5 billion in tax revenue over a 25-year period, 9x the $3 billion government incentives offered. Anyone arguing that $3 billion was an overly excessive offer accidentally chased out $24.5 billion from the city. And that is just the first-order effect." --Why Amazon's Decision To Pull Out Of NYC Is A Loss

The Dems who pulled off the rout will now work overtime to spin it as a positive for New York. Their fans will swallow this line, but the truth will out. Fifteen years from now it will become apparent that Arlington was the beneficiary of New York's foolishness.

Oh the games people play.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Local Art Seen: Eric Dubnicka is on the Move

For many of us, Eric Dubnicka has developed a signature style as recognizable as a fingerprint. The textures, color selection and imagery are readily identifiable. This weekend he opened his house for a fire sale of sorts, as he is now leaving the region. Over the next several weeks he will be wrapping up here. It's my understanding that if you are interested in purchasing something, the doors are still open. Give him a shout to check things out.

FWIW Department
Spring Classes at the Duluth Art Institute are beginning this weekend. Instructors include Patricia Canelake, Bill Wise, Erin Endsley, Ann Price, Peter Prudhomme, Matt Kania, Erika Mock and others.
Visit the DAI Website for contact information.

Have a great week. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Duluth Dylan Fest 2019 CALL FOR ART


The theme for this year's DDF Art Show is NORTH COUNTRY INSPIRATION. Even though Bob Dylan left the Northland as a youth, the Northland never left Bob Dylan. Echoes of our North Country have appeared in his songs for more than five decades. Here are but a few examples:

Chilly wind sharp as a razor blade...
So many roads, so much at stake
So many dead ends, I’m at the edge of the lake

In the hills of mystery
In the foggy web of destiny
--Born in Time

The circus is in town...
--Desolation Row

Rainy days on the Great Lakes
Walkin’ the hills of old Duluth
--Something There Is About You

The rocks are bleak, the trees are bare
Iron clouds go floating by
Snowflakes fall in’ in my hair
Beneath the gray and stormy sky
--Tell Old Bill

"Where do you want this killing done?"
"Out on Highway 61."
--Highway 61 Revisited

Submission Requirements
This year we are using SurveyMoney to gather artist  information. Here is the link:
The information you will provide there is as follows:
1. Your name.
2. An artist's statement that ties to the show's theme.
3. A brief bio (2-3 sentences)
4. A description of your submissions for consideration including title, medium, dimensions and price.
5. And mailing instructions in JPG or GIF format (less than 1 MB each) . SUBJECT LINE: DYLAN ART
EdNote: All mediums of wall art will be considered.

Pieces MUST BE READY TO HANG. Digital submissions must be received for review via email by April 30th. Artwork will be selected by members of the Bob Dylan Way Art Show Committee.

OF SPECIAL NOTE: The artwork must be delivered between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday May 19. It is likely that with Superior Street construction there may be special challenges. If you are unable to deliver the work because you are out of town, please indicate this and we will attempt to make special shipping arrangements for you.

Win a $100 
A panel of judges will select a favorite painting or image that reflects the theme of the show. The winner will receive $100.

Artwork will need to be picked up from the Zeitgeist Atrium on Sunday May 27. The Dylan Fest Artist Reception will be on Monday May 20 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

If you are outside of the Duluth area, please plan accordingly to make sure your art can be brought in within the given time frame. Shipping arrangements can be discussed. Contact: ennyman3 (AT) gmail.com.

To reiterate…

Submission deadline for consideration: April 30.
Art must be delivered between 2:00 and 3:00 on Sunday, May 19.
Art will need to be retrieved early afternoon Sunday May 26.
Out-of-town artwork is welcome. Shipping and handling matters must be arranged in advance. Send me an email for recommendations on shipping.


* * * *

* * * *
Art Credits -- Lower right: "Dylan III by Ed Newman
Middle picture, detail from collage portrait by Kristi Abbott

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friends, Food, Art, Music -- Twin Ports Events of Note

The Twin Ports Arts Scene is best followed by means of Esther Piszczek's Twin Ports Art blog. I am just highlighting a few additional items of note for the next several days.

* * * *
Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Eric Dubnicka's I'm Selling Most Almost Everything I Own and Moving
Eric is an artist in its truest sense. His house in Gary/New Duluth has been on the market and it was only a matter of time. Address is 93rd Avenue West which sounds easy, but it's a quirky little set of small turns if you've never been. The house is on the inland side of Grand Avenue as you go west. You will be rewarded if you can make it.

Interview with Eric Dubnicka

* * * *

Tonight and Tomorrow
Sarah Greer at the Oldenburg House. 
Improv vocalist Sarah Greer will be Cookin' at the O this weekend.
I wrote about Ms. Greer earlier this week and if you've never been to one of the jazz weekend dinner events, I encourage you to check out the Oldenburg House website at OACC.US to get acquainted. 

* * * *

Tonight and Tomorrow
Melody Mendis: A Night With Barbara
Ironically, in December I interviewed another Barbara Streisand impersonator who just happened to have initials MM. This event is at the Spirit of the North Theater in Fitgers.
Here is ticket info and more on Faceboook.

* * * *

Sunday, 3:00-9:00
Benefit for Tom O'Keefe 
Izzy's Bar in Superior
If you work in Superior and like fish fry, Izzy's is a great place to grab a bite. EXCEPT on Sunday when $10 will get you a spaghetti dinner as part of a fun-raiser for local musician and all around good man, Tom O'Keefe who has some major medical bills to cover.
There will be live music, a silent auction, 50-50 Raffle, and lots more music.

The Silent Auction will be from 3-6.
If you can't make it, you can still help at the Go Fund Me site

Tom O'Keefe (left)  leads sing-along, Blood on the Tracks Express, 2018
* * * *
February 19, Noon till 5 p.m.
Blazing Trails
And Finally.... MONDAY February 19 there will be an important event at AICHO in the Dr. Robt Powless Cultural Center called Blazing Trails. If you ever wished you knew what all the regulations were for making food products and selling them, this event is for you. Creativity comes in all stripes, and unfortunately some forms of expression more regulated than others. There will be a meal at noon followed by four hours of information invaluable to small farmers and gardeners.

* * * *


If you see me, say hello. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Three Great Wake-Up Songs

Ingeborg Von Agassiz @ Cedar Lounge
Every morning at precisely 7:00 a.m. my father would go downstairs, turn up the furnace and turn on the radio in the kitchen, its dial perpetually set to WOR in New York, the Rambling With Gambling show. If memory serves me well, 7 to 7:15 was news and then the actual show would begin, almost always some kind of cheerful, upbeat music leading into it. One song that John Gambling liked to play was Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. Another was a song with no lyrics that was all whistling, as in a marching band. There may have even been some Mitch Miller material in there, I can't recall. What I do recall is "upbeat" being the theme, a feel good lift to launch you into the new day.

This all came to mind when someone on social media asked, "If you had to spend the rest of your life with only one wake up song, what would it be?"

I didn't have to think very hard about it. Three came immediately to mind, not necessarily in this order. I don't play music in the morning when I get up except inside my head. At different times each of these has been my waking accompaniment at one time or another.

New Morning by Bob Dylan
I couldn't find the original version from Dylan's New Morning album, but over the course of near 50 years now this song has given me a lift. The opening cut from side two, here's the first stanza:

Can't you hear that rooster crowin'? 
Rabbit runnin' down across the road 
Underneath the bridge where the water flowed through 
So happy just to see you smile 
Underneath the sky of blue 
On this new morning, new morning 
On this new morning with you

New Morning was one of several early post-motorcycle crash albums, the first track of the album being "If Not For You." What intrigued me was how George Harrison recorded that opener on his first solo album, but the you seemed clearly God-directed, "If not for You."

In light of Harrison's interpretation, I often felt Dylan's own version was really in that vein. And in light of this perspective, the song "New Morning" could be given a similar slant. In the bridge where he sings, "The night passed away so quickly, it always does when you're with me" sounds like a night spent with a lover, but could easily be a metaphorical image. The darkness comes into our lives, but it's always followed by a new morning. "Thank you, Lord. It always does when You're with me."

However you want to interpret it, it's a nice wake up song.

Good Day, Sunshine
The Beatles produced so many great songs that never get old. And if you want to wake up with a spring in your step, the opening reps of "Good Day Sunshine" will take you there. George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" from Abbey Road is a nice runner-up from the Beatles catalog.

Oh What A Morning
Duluth singer-songwriter/performer Ingeborg Von Agassiz may not be a household name, but her album O Giver of Dreams became an immediate favorite for me as I listened to it enough times to internalize much of the material. For a couple weeks straight I woke ever day with the intro to "Oh, What A Morning" as my accompaniment. Great way to start your day.

Here's a fun video to get you familiar with the song.

Here's another video of Ingeborg performing the song live in the KUMD studio here in Duluth. I share it only to show how the song has been constructed.

* * * *
Well, if you're a little slow getting up to face the day, any one of these might be a good addition to your internal playlist. And if that doesn't work, try Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.

* * * *
Today on Medium I saw this article on How to Wake Up Smiling. It has nothing to do with music. The title corresponded to our theme here, so I have added it. Some good suggestions for a better life.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Lincoln Paintings

Civil War Lincoln
A Serious Lincoln: Burdened by His Calling
As a painter, it's well known I am fascinated with faces, and especially interesting faces. Whereas most Dylan fans are followers of his music and writings, I have found his face itself of endless interest. In part, he has permitted so many thousands of photos to be taken from his youth to the present, with light refracted and reflected from every possible angle so as to reveal the sculpted cheekbones, deepening furrows and such, so the face is always new, ever revealing and concealing.

It's too bad Abe Lincoln pre-existed the camera. Presidents get their share of photos taken today, but old Abe was an early candidate for that, back in a day when you were instructed not to move, hold still, and it would appear, "Be grave."

The real Abe Lincoln was actually a great storyteller and not the humorless mask we see captured in Matthew Brady's photos.

It would have been interesting to have a catalog of early Lincoln photos, to watch the progression as time and responsibility etched his appearance. But we don't.

Here are some of the paintings I produced over the years of our 16th president. You may call a few disrespectful, but I'd like to believe that in light of his sense of humor he just might get a kick out of them.

Blue Lincoln with Sunblock
Lincoln in Black & White
Candidate Lincoln in Pen & Ink
Lincoln with Impish Smile
Sunday Funnies Cartoon Lincoln

Lincoln Just Being Lincoln
"You can never escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."--Abe Lincoln

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tech Tuesday: Dali Is Back!

If you watched the Super Bowl you most likely saw the unusual ad featuring Andy Warhol eating a Whopper. I was on the phone with my brother at the time and he said, "Is that Andy Warhol?"

I replied, "No, he's been dead nearly 30 years. It's just a look alike."

Silly me. It was indeed Andy Warhol. Like, wow.

This morning's The Drum (an eNewsletter devoted to marketing) has a related story about the re-appearance of of another internationally famous artist, Salvador Dali. Unlike the Warhol bit, the Dali Museum has worked with the ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners to create an AI deepfake Dali, a computer generated resurrection, drawn from analysis of footage and writings, for the purpose of showcasing The Dali Museum.

For nearly a dozen years I flew to Tampa to help drive my mom back North after doing her winter snowbird thing there. One several of those trips I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Tampa Museum of Art, the St Petersburg Art District or the Dali Museum.

Dali, perhaps one of the three most well-known artists of the 20th Century, had been a strong source of inspiration for me when I was a young art student. I'd often intended to see the fabulous Dali collection when it was in Cleveland, and only later delighted to discover it was now housed here in Florida.

Like the art itself, the architectural design of the museum is a worthy complement to the life of Dali. If you've never been, you owe it to yourself to make time for this treasure if you're ever in the vicinity.

Now, not only does his work live on, but he himself will live on in his own inimitable way.

Read Anatomy of a deepfake: how Salvador Dalí was brought back to life

Related Links
Dali Steps Out
Dali Museum More Striking Than Ever
Warhol Revisited
Warhol and Lichtenstein

Photos created using a Salvador Dali die-cut card purchased at the Dali Museum. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Miscellaneous Monday: AICHO, Art Happenings and Other Upcoming Events

The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) is hosting what looks to be an interesting event next Monday. In a world of increasingly complicated regulations, especially as regards foodstuff, it would be great to have some kind of guide to lead you through the red tape jungle.

Well sure enough, next Monday from 1 to 5 p.m. there will be a workshop called Blazing Trails: Food Regulations Training, to be conducted at the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center, AICHO. The training is FREE for anyone with a passion for local farms and local food. You can learn more here on their Facebook page.


Thursday, February 14, 3-4 p.m.
Crafternoons for Kids, Blue Room, Mount Royal Branch Library, 105 Mount Royal Shopping Circle
"Drop in for a fun make-and-take craft project. No experience or sign-up required. Age Group(s): Preschool, Kids, Tweens"

Thursday, February 14, 5-7 p.m.
Bring Her Home: Stolen Daughters of Turtle Island, Duluth Art Institute, The Depot, 506 W. Michigan Avenue
"All My Relations Arts and its partners present art by Indigenous artists residing on Turtle Island.This traveling exhibit highlights the ongoing epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. Featuring work from Shan Goshorn, Luzene Hill, Laura Youngbird, Kayeri Akweks, Hillary Kempenich, Chholing Taha, Cara Romero and more."

Thursday, February 14, 5:30 p.m.
Valentine's Day Soiree 2019, Gresolon Ballroom, 231 E. Superior Street
Join Lyric Opera of the North for it's biggest fundraiser of the year. Always a delightful evening filled with good food, lovely voices, and a few surprises. Free Valet Parking.
5:30 p.m. – Hors d’oeuvres / Cash Bar .  6:30 p.m. – Dinner and Music $100/person ($50 tax deductible) (click on link above to see dinner choices)

Friday, February 15, 5:30-8 p.m.
9th Annual Love Your Local Artist, Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Avenue
"This annual fundraiser celebrates local art, live music, libraries, and community. Peruse the tables and meet local artists while purchasing their work. Support the library through the Adopt-a-Book sale and the silent auction. Enjoy wine and refreshments, all while supporting your local library. This after-hours event is free to attend and open to the public."

Friday, February 15, 6-8 p.m.
Free Mixed Media Techniques Art Lecture with Bonnie Cutts, Two Harbors Community Center, 417 South Avenue, Two Harbors
"Minnesota artist Bonnie Cutts is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she received her B.F.A. in drawing and painting. She has been exhibiting her work professionally since 1981, in both solo and group shows. Her drawings and paintings are included in numerous corporate and private collections around the country. Event sponsored by Voyageur Artists. *No charge, but RSVP is required: email Sandi at authenticartist@sandipilsbury.com"

Friday, February 15, 7-8:30 p.m.
Adult Story Time, Zenith Bookstore, 318 N. Central Avenue
"Zenith Bookstore staff and friends read short stories, poems and book excerpts. There will be wine, chocolate and comfy chairs."

Saturday, February 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Douglas County Historical Craft Fair, Douglas County Historical Society, 1101 John Avenue, Superior, WI
"New Monthly Event at DCHS! Visit the fair and receive free admission to our museum that day. For more information email dchs@douglashistory.org. Next fair: March 16."

Saturday, February 16, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Free Family Art Day, Duluth Art Institute at Lincoln Park, 2229 W. 2nd Street
"People of all ages and artistic abilities can create make-and-take art projects."

Acrylic Painting Workshops with Guest Artist Bonnie Cutts
$110 per workshop (or become a member of Voyageur Artists and pay $75 per workshop)
RSVP to authenticartist@sandipilsbury.com (see class descriptions below)

Saturday, February 16, 9:30-4 p.m.,
Two Harbors Community Center, 417 South Avenue, Two Harbors
"Loose, Lush Landscapes: Approach landscape painting using personal photos for subject matter, and see what fun adding lots of color and texture can be! You will learn to add texture with gels and figure out which gel best suits you as you create little paintings packed with emotion. The focus of the class will be on capturing larger shapes rather than details as you simplify the landscape images. You will be encouraged to work quickly with big brush strokes or swiftly apply paint with a palette knife. Each student will finish several small paintings during the class, all with a different feel depending on the acrylic materials used. All levels of painting experience are welcome."

Sunday, February 17, 9:30-4 p.m., Two Harbors Community Center, 417 South Avenue, Two Harbors
"Encaustic Effects With Acrylics: Learn to create the wax like look of encaustic painting with the durability of acrylics. Mimic the soft, luminous effects of beeswax by applying multiple layers of acrylic paints and gels layer upon layer. Cut and bury paper images and stenciled patterns deep below the surface and create lovely soft translucent layers over them. Become familiar with encaustic-like wax formulas, explore a variety of applications and create a whole new feeling in your artwork. Open to all levels of painting experience."

* * * *

In Carlton, there are a number of events this Valentine weekend. Here is the lineup for Oldenburg House. Also, the Historic Scott House has a nostalgic weekend planned for friends and lovers: Words of Love. Celebrating the Music of the 60s.

* * * *
Word on the street is that there will be a Benefit for Tom O'Keefe this Saturday at Izzy's in Superior. Tom has been a generous spirit who's lifted many spirits with his music. Tom O'Keefe & Friends have been performing at a number of Dylan Fest events the past several years. Details on this event will be forthcoming.

Music, Art, Dance... and Life! Get into it.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

There Will Be A Special Sweetness to This Week's Valentine Events at the O with Sarah Greer

"I help singers sing what they need to say."--Sarah Greer

Improv vocalist Sarah Greer is featured this coming week
for several evenings at the Oldenburg House.
There are many reasons people like jazz. One is simply the pleasure one gets from music itself. A second is the pleasure we receive when we witness virtuosity. A third, and one that is almost exemplified in great jazz, is the unexpectedness and beauty of improv.

Here's a description from APassion4Jazz.net:

Jazz improvisation is the process of spontaneously creating fresh melodies over the continuously repeating cycle of chord changes of a tune. The improviser may depend on the contours of the original tune, or solely on the possibilities of the chords' harmonies. It has been said that the best improvised music sounds composed, and that the best composed music sounds improvised.

I think this is why so many of the great jazz recordings come from live performances in clubs. The great genius of players like John Coltrane and Miles Davis is this ability to weave a spell into the improv realm so that all the players are improvising around a theme that got the whole riff started but now is only assumed. Listen to Kind of Blue. Listen to how they establish the theme and then begin springing off.

Actually, this was my own early fascination with the supergroup Cream with Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton. Jack Bruce. Jack Bruce, who became fascinated with jazz in his teens, fused his background with Clapton's blues mastery to produce great new sounds and concerts with incredibly robust improv, my favorite being captured on sides three and four of Wheels of Fire.

* * * *
All this to introduce you to this week's featured performer at the Carlton Room this coming weekend, Sarah Greer. In addition to giving private voice lessons Sarah Greer teaches singing at Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC).

"I practice, study and teach the art of spontaneous singing," she says.

The thing about vocal improvisation is that it's not for some elite person who's "got it" but rather, something anyone can learn who can carry a tune. (Ms, Greer might even suggest that you can still contribute if you can't carry a tune.) On her Songtaneous Blog one entry is "8 Lessons from Improvising." Group improv singing is collaborative, not competitive.

When you attend a typical jazz performance at the Oldenburg House (or elsewhere) you will see and hear individuals working together to weave a fabric of background that serves almost like a trampoline to propel the singer to the zenith of his or her skills. But its also a mutual respect society, and a team.

I think what surprises some people is how sometimes a new performer comes to Oldenburg House and even without a rehearsal the fluidity of the show comes across as if they'd spent a month preparing. How do they do this? Because it's that jazz methodology or approach.

Sarah Greer's career revolves around teaching this improv sensibility. "I'll share what I learn and experience while traveling in the intuitive, joyful, beautiful, expressive, challenging, abstract world of vocal improvisation."

Improvisational performance is the world she most enjoys swimming in. For this reason she is part of a couple of Twin Cities improv groups including the a capella ensemble the Give Get Sistet and a jazz quintet called BLU-7.

Here are a couple quotes from Ms. Greer's website that illuminate where she's coming from.

"I am passionate – some might say evangelical – about every person’s right to sing and the power of singing to change the world."

"I help people find out what they are 'supposed to sound like' so they can find a unique and joyful place from which to sing, whether they sing on stage, in the studio or in the shower."

In other words, it's really all about you.

* * * *
Valentine's Day at the Magnolia Salon

Sarah Greer will also be the featured guest with musician/singer Steven Hobert at Thursday's Magnolia Salon. Together they will explore, play, ponder and expound on the power of improv and their love of music. The duo will present and lead songs, improvisations and conversation.

Steven Hobert describes himself as a soul who plays, sings and dances while exploring life’s mysteries. His genre-blending piano, accordion and vocal music has been described as “delightful, innovative and viscerally inspiring” that “dazzles audiences with sincerity and playfulness to open up hearts and fire imaginations.”

February Salon Schedule and RSVP HERE.

For Sarah Greer tickets visit https://oacc.us/programs/cookin-at-the-o/
Stay connected to what's happening in 2019 at Oldenburg House: OACC.US

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Tentative Duluth Dylan Fest Schedule Announced. Mark Your Calendars.

I once saw an article that featured a bucket list of places rock fans should try to visit before they depart for greener pastures. I can't recall all from that list, though if you Google such things you'll find a number of websites with lists of various lengths. The Buddy Holly Museum in Lubbock was probably on the list. The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame was on that list. Jimi Hendrix and Les Paul sites were noted as well as Sun Records, no doubt. Graceland, probably a given.

What I also recall is the absence of Bob Dylan's Northland homes or, significantly, the Historic Duluth Armory where young Bobby Zimmerman and his friend Louis Kemp went to see Buddy Holly and the Winter Dance Party 60 years ago.

For folks on the Coasts, Minnesota is flyover country. But for people who know their Dylanology, Minnesota, especially here in the Northland, is the cultural soil that nourished his songs, politics and prophetic voice. According to David Pichaske, author of Song of the North Country, Dylan's Minnesota roots "offer an important framework" for considering Dylan's work.

For what it's worth, Duluth itself is a beautiful part of the world. Outside Magazine cited it as the Best Town In America for its natural beauty and year-round accessibility to all varieties of outdoor activities. I mention this only to say that if you have Bob Dylan's boyhood homes on your bucket list, you ought not just park out front and snap a few photos. Take you time. Stay a while.

I know that there are Dylan celebrations in a variety of places around the world. Duluth has released its tentative schedule for Duluth Dylan Fest 2019. Hibbing is also making plans for Bob's birthday as well. You are most welcome should you desire to join us.

Dates are established, details subject to change.

May 19-26, 2019

Childhood home in Duluth,  second floor.
Sunday, May 19
Duluth Dylan Fest Kick-off Party at the Cedar Lounge with Cowboy Angel Blue from 5-8 PM
Dylan-themed Pub Trivia at Carmody Irish Pub at 9 PM

Monday, May 20
Opening of the Dylan Fest art show at the Zeitgeist Atrium from 5-7:30 PM with live music

Tuesday, May 21
Armory Arts and Music Center’s Music Resource Center Youth Open Mic at Amazing Grace from 4-6 PM
Live Dylan music by Greg Tiburzi at Sir Ben’s from 6-8 PM

Wednesday, May 22
Poets of the North Country with Thom Tammaro at the Teatro Zuccone Theatre from 6:30-8:00 PM
Rich Mattson and the North Stars All Dylan at the Cedar Lounge at 8:00 PM

Thursday, May 23
Something special is in the works.

Friday, May 24
Bob Dylan Front Porch Birthday Party at 3 PM at the Dylan childhood hope with live music and cake.
Dylan Fest Singer Songwriter Contest at Sacred Heart Music Center at 6:30-9:30 PM
Basement Tapes Band at Pizza Luce starting at 9:00 PM

Saturday, May 25
John Bushey Memorial Lecture by David Gaines, author of In Dylan Town, at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum (to be confirmed). Lecture from 1:30-2:30 PM followed by book signing by the author.
Bob Dylan Revue Concert at Sacred Heart at 7:00 PM Tickets $10

Sunday, May 26
Farewell Brunch at the Zeitgeist Café with music by Jim Hall (to be confirmed) from 11AM to 1 PM

Exhibit of Dylan-related items by Bill Pagel yet to be determined opening through Summer.

One of three Bob Dylan Manhole Covers. 

Related Links
Song of the North Country
Bob Dylan Way Home Page
Visit Duluth Home Page
How Bob Dylan Influenced The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Word That Opens Doors

Photo by dan wilding on Unsplash
One of my first published articles back in 1982 or '83 was titled The Word That Opens Doors.  The word was "No." I've published the 500 word piece a couple times over the years, the main point being that in order to focus on things that matter you have to say no to other things.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in her book Gift from the Sea, likewise devotes a chapter to this very same matter. In her case, she addresses another facet of this issue when dealing with social grace. Do we really have to accept every invitation to dinner, to a party, to be a guest for this or that occasion? She emphatically says, "Stand your ground." Are you participating just to be nice? You may not even like these people and they might just being nice to include you, but not really like you either. It can start getting pretty weird.

Social media adds another level of time-consuming distraction. If you are marketing you may need to know what the various platforms provide in terms of benefits to your company. A lot of people, though, read that they should be on Linked In, so they try to figure out how to set up a profile and do it all "correctly" only to be told, "You really, really need to be on Instagram." You're an artist? Oh, you really need an Etsy store.

And then what do you read? How many magazines and eNewsletters do you receive but never get around to looking at?

On and on it goes.

This morning a Medium article by Tyler Kleeberger caught my eye titled A Technique for Deciding When to Say No

Kleeberger begins by debunking the notion that we can live without limits. In truth, we are mortal. There is a limit to how long I can go without rest, how long I can go without breathing, how long I can dance like there's no tomorrow.

Many times over the years I've thought about how crazy busy our lives can get when we bite off more than we can chew. If you've ever seen a pro juggler, it's dazzling what they can do, how many objects they can get spinning up in the air at once. Yes, they can wow you, but guess what. The best part of their show is usually quite brief. It is not a way of life ad infinitum.

"The human propensity to try to be everything and do everything actually circumvents that desire because we end up not fully doing anything," writes Kleeberger.

It's a good thought piece and a worthwhile read with a multitude of applications. It's nine minutes, though, so if you're busy feel free to say no. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Escape Artist, Magician, Inventor, Honest Cheat: How Following His Passion Unlocked Terry Roses' Career

One of the perks of being a journalist, blogger or freelance writer is getting the opportunity to interview and get to know interesting people They're all around us, actually, but since most of our day-to-day interactions tend to be superficial we never really discover the depths that we could discover if we'd make time to listen.

I met Terry Roses through my association with the late John Bushey, multi-faceted host of the KUMD radio program Highway 61 Revisited. In addition to being a teacher and Dylanophile, John was a master magician and a collector of Houdini memorabilia. His fascination with the escape artist also contributed to his becoming not only a collector of handcuffs and shackles, but of becoming an escape artist himself.

What I didn't know, until I'd known him several years, was that John's mentor in the escape and magic arts was Terry Roses.

They say do what you love, and the rest will take care of itself. That's Terry Roses' career got its start.

Like many a youth (myself included), when Roses was in high school he became fascinated with Harry Houdini. Unlike many, he pursued his passion to the same degree as his idol/hero. He learned everything he could about escaping from handcuffs, ropes and other devices, and followed up with audacious demonstrations of his developing skills.

On one occasion, while in high school, he had himself locked up along with a dynamite bomb that would go off and kill him if he failed to escape in time. (You can be sure no school would allow students to perform that trick today.)

Roses and his friend Bruce Liptak challenged the L.A. police to attempt to bind them "with enough irons that they could not escape." The police accepted the challenge, and the young men succeeded in escaping as promised.

By means of his magic and escape escapades, Terry Roses raised most of the money for his high school prom, which chose as its theme that year Lollipops and Roses, a tribute to Terry. According to Roses, he paid his way through college by breaking out of jails all over the West coast.

The audacious Harry Houdini, in straighjacket and shackles.
Like Houdini, he was much more than an escape artist. Magic, illusions and inventing new tricks opened doors for Terry Roses around the world.

Terry Roses, a Cloquet native, moved to Orange County, California when he was 15, where he lived until returning here to Duluth in 1975. Something he became fond of was entertaining high school students during all-nighters that various schools held. When his young protege John Bushey go bit by the magic arts bug, Bushey would follow this same path, entertaining young people with his own bag of tricks. Together they travelled the world performing magic and rubbing shoulders with the today's greatest living magicians.

Wherever Terry goes he's a good story.
Besides escape tricks, another facet of Houdini's career was disproving mediums and revealing frauds. In this, Terry Roses has also emulated the great master magician. Terry's contemporary application of this was to become The Honest Cheat. Roses became an expert in identifying the ways gamblers cheat, and the variety of ways they mark cards, "load" dice, etc.

It was against this background that Roses began working with many of the largest casinos to eliminate fraud and catch cheats. By means of endless experimentation and research in his "laboratory of magic" Roses developed a low cost device for identifying marked cards called the Inspecta Card Scanner
A recent visit to Roses studio gave opportunity to hear many new stories about this unassuming man whose pursuit of a passion led to a career that opened many unexpected doors.

It's been a privilege getting to know this clever, talented man.

Related Links
The Handcuff Kings
How to Detect Marked Cards