'Rise,' says AfroGeode

“Unprotected Woman,” a new single by AfroGeode, is a gorgeous mix of soul and spoken word — a project by the artist Diona Johnson, who was part of DanSan Creatives’ “This Moment In Time” livestream concert earlier this month at Sacred Heart Music Center and also performed as part of Duluth’s virtual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event.

AfroGeode (Photo by Theresa Gail Photography)
AfroGeode (Photo by Theresa Gail Photography)

The song, with beats by Jeremy Gardner, is about suppression and all the things taken from Black women — “she forgives when she don’t wanna,” AfroGeode sings, “with resilience and grace.”

"It's a song about the emotional and psychological and cultural taxation and burdens that are placed on Black womxn/femmes by white people and how we regularly play several roles for others while forgetting to tend to ourselves due to the effects of systemic racism and white supremacy," she said in a recent chat.

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The song quiets to echoed poetry and a callout:

“Black women, black queens, rise.”

AfroGeode, she said, is a mix of her love of her identity and geode crystals.

“Unprotected Woman” by AfroGeode is available for streaming and download on all platforms, according to her Facebook page. She has a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to complete an album in 2021.

Lanue (Image courtesy of Sarah Krueger)
Lanue (Image courtesy of Sarah Krueger)

Lanue brings new perspective

It has been six years since “Lustrous,” an album alt-folk artist Sarah Krueger created in a slow, methodical way. “These songs are about finding the light in yourself,” she told the News Tribune at the time.

Krueger is back — now she’s performing at Lanue — and she has a self-titled album scheduled for release on March 2. Last week, she offered up her first single from the project that was recorded in her hometown, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, alongside artists like Steve Garrington (Low), Sean Carey (S. Carey, Bon Iver) and more.

“What I Love” is a warm and wide-open song — the video stars Krueger waist-deep in Lake Superior and dancing on Park Point — and has her signature unique vocals and lyrical a plot twist.

“Some days I’m a mortal, some days I’m a ghost, some days I spend all my time hating what I love the most,” she sings.

Forbidden Fruit (Image from Facebook)
Forbidden Fruit (Image from Facebook)

Fest it up

One Less Guest and Ursa Minor Brewing have joined forces to create a virtual music festival — complete with beer and swag — as a fundraiser for Sacred Heart Music Center.

“Forbidden Fruit” will be available for streaming on Facebook and features New Salty Dog at 5 p.m. from Wussow’s Concert Cafe, Laura Velvet at 6 p.m. from Ursa Minor and One Less Guest at 7:30 p.m. from the Sacred Heart stage.

It’s free to watch, but they are taking donations to support the venue. Meanwhile, Ursa Minor’s Forbidden Fruit beer, a sour, is available at regional liquor stores and at the Lincoln Park brewery.

Superior Ice Festival (2020 file / Superior Telegram)
Superior Ice Festival (2020 file / Superior Telegram)

Ice breakers and makers

Lake Superior Ice Festival is a mix of public art, lawn games, racing and bonfires — in addition to traditional outdoor play — that runs Jan. 29-30 in Superior. This outdoor event, billed as celebrating “the coolest aspects of our region,” will adhere to CDC recommended social distancing and masking policies. You can make snow stuff at Fairlawn Mansion or the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center, or you can take a tour of the 24 ice sculptures located at local businesses. There are kubb lessons at Barker’s Island along with sledding and bonfire pits.

It all ends with fireworks at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, also at Barker’s Island. For a full schedule, go to lakesuperioricefestival.com.

MacKenzie Astin in "Iron Will." (Disney)
MacKenzie Astin in "Iron Will." (Disney)

Husky party on the +

Listen. You aren’t invited to watch the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon this year — no one is. But you can watch “Iron Will,” a 1994 movie about a young boy who sets out with his team of huskies with the hope of winning the $10,000 grand prize — which his family desperately needs. This movie was filmed in Duluth, and if you scan backgrounds, you will see some familiar (albeit younger) faces. Also, it stars MacKenzie Astin, whose mother, Patty Duke, starred in the single best horror movie ever created at Glensheen mansion. “You’ll Like My Mother” was released in 1972 — before the double murder at the estate.

“Iron Will” is available for streaming on Disney+.

"Vintage Hitchcock" (image from Facebook)
"Vintage Hitchcock" (image from Facebook)

Radio play

Students from Harbor City International School have created “Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Show” — a program available for streaming.

It will showcase “The Lodger,” “Sabotage,” and “The 39 Steps” complete with vintage commercials, sound effects and musical underscoring.

“Vintage Hitchcock” is Jan. 28-Jan. 30 on broadwayondemand.com.