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ST. PAUL - Seventeen years ago, when the Duluth community organized its first lobbying blitz of Minnesota lawmakers, we were the only ones doing it. We stood out. We were remembered. Today, communities and organizations from around the state descend on the Capitol every single day to pitch their needs, to tell their story and to win favor for money and laws that help them prosper, grow and be happy. With the annual, two-day, hundreds-strong Duluth and St. Louis County at the Capitol event wrapping up with a legislative breakfast this morning, it's fair to ask: Is our event still relevant?
There are so many fantastic European bands that Americans don't hear about. It's not because they're not good -- it's because they aren't American enough. (They sing with accents, basically.) As a result, they are viewed as being outside the normal cone of interest of the typical American music consumer by most major media outlets, and so they are passed by in favor of more "palatable" fare. Case in point: Norway's Motorpsycho. Not only are they one of the best rock bands going (don't judge them by their terrible name, please), but they're celebrating their 25th year in business.
Zinema 2 and the Duluth Art Institute are again teaming up to present a series of free art films at the theater on Saturday mornings. The eight-week series starts at 11 a.m. Saturday with "F is For Fake," an almost-documentary about a professional art forger.
A YouTube video helped Minneapolis musician and nanny Kat Perkins land a spot on "The Voice." Last year, a video was posted on YouTube of Perkins singing Adele's "Someone Like You" at an Amsterdam airport, where she was on a layover during a trip to perform for the troops in the Middle East. Producers from the NBC show saw the clip and liked it so much they invited her to try out for the TV singing competition. Perkins made the cut and filmed her blind audition in October.
Know who isn't into green beer and sloppy Kiss-Me-I'm-Irish affection? The people behind the St. Patrick's Day celebration on Monday at Clyde Iron Works. This event eschews the day's party-hardy personae in favor of something less Irish-gone-Wild. This one is considered family-friendly, even. St. Patrick's Day-Duluth is billed as a grand celebration of culture and includes music by the Celtic band Ninety to the Dozen and bagpipe player Fred Dudderar. There will be a grand parade, although not too grand. Organizers are hoping to set a world record for shortest parade route. Wear green.
Tim and Peggy White and Change of Pace Productions have been a staple of local entertainment for the past 20 years. This production of "I Do, I Do" marks the finale for the duo. Incidentally --it's the same show they opened with all those years ago. The musical follows Michael and Agnes from wedding to children, careers and aging.
A fractured farm family is at the root of Sam Shepard's play "Buried Child," a post-modern Pulitzer Prize winner that opens today at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The patriarch, Dodge, is logging serious couch time and his wife Halie harbors a few horizontally-born secrets herself. The boys, Tilden and Bradley, are struggling with irregular burdens. Then comes Vince, Tilden's son, and he's an unrecognizable presence. His girlfriend, though?
It's an event where you might be rewarded more for groans than for cheers. Pundamonium is a slam-style pun contest. Contestants make puns based on prompts like "A day at the beach" and are judged by select members of the audience. The players go two rounds before the top four face off in the final pun-off. Pundamonium events have been held in Madison and Minneapolis, where founder Art Allen paired with the Loft Literary Center for the event. Go see it What: Pundamonium When: 7 p.m. Tuesday Where: Dubh Linn Irish Pub, 109 W. Superior St. Tickets: $6 at the door
It's arguably one of the cutest puns out there: DuLutsen. It's a made up word that means a lot of Duluth bands will be playing at Lutsen Mountains as part of a North of North Music and Ski Festival. The six day fest features 11 bands and four mountains and starts with bluesy folkster Charlie Parr at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Other bands include: DJ Beaustar with Marc Gartman's Fever Dream, Clearwater Hot Club, Big Wave Dave & The Ripples, Brothers Burn Mountain, Black River Revue, Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Black-Eyed Snakes, Tin Can Gin and Southwire.
Beware the Ides of March. According to legend, it's a day when local bands channel other bands for the night. (And something, something Julius Caesar, but whatever. This is about rock 'n' roll). This year's concert series runs two weekends and at multiple venues. It starts with Songs of Shipwreck playing the music of Frank Turner, Preparation H playing Ben Folds and Meliante & Friends playing Joni Mitchell. The all-ages show starts at 6:30 p.m.