Another Year in My Life - 2022

Everything is different this year. I have trouble concentrating and I've only managed to read a couple dozen books. Serials on Netflix or Amazon don't grab me any more; mostly they wander off into episodes that only serve to extend the season. The Vikings, the Twins and the Mets seriously disappointed after promising starts. 

On the positive side though, things are opening up and, carpooling with my friend Alexandra,  I've seen a lot of shows. There's so much talent and arts here in the Twin Cities. How many times have you driven through deserted streets in the dead of winter to some basement or living room with a handful of people watching a performance you'd pay $50 or more to see in New York City? I've attended an avant-garde play in someone's  garage (with hot dogs on the grill afterwards in the back yard), seen a rock band in a hair salon, a play in the swimming pool of the Y, ballet in the parking lot of a brewery, puppetry at the  House of Balls and countless events at loading docks and a Bowling Alley.

My Favorite Discovery      The Originalist        OPEN WINDOW THEATRE
One night Ed Jirak and I drove out to Inver Grove Heights to a theater nestled between a Haunted House and a dance school in a tiny strip mall for a production by a group dedicated to "telling redemptive stories of faith, hope, and reconciliation." We saw a moving drama about fairly dry legal subjects. It starred James Ramlett who grabs the audience's attention from the minute he steps on stage. 
 
Thanks to Hamil Griffin-Cassidy for turning us on.
 

 
  My Favorite New Soloist    Daniel Volovets    LAKEWOOD CEMETERY
 I first caught Daniel at the Gamut Gallery one afternoon: masterful renditions of flamenco, Brazilian  jazz, classical as well as his own compositions. I was amazed to learn he's also doing a residency in psychiatric medicine at Hennepin County Hospital. (In the last two years I've had 4 confrontations at bus stops with crazy people.) He also performed in the Minnesota Opera production of Carmen and I just found out he's publishing his guitar chords and writing a novel! And thru it all he's just a really sweet guy!      

My Favorite New Singer      Tori Evans             TWIN CITIES PRIDE FESTIVAL
Tori Evans is currently a Junior at Berklee College of Music. In a couple years, with those looks, that voice, the band and a solid gold education, she's going to go far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  My Favorite New Band     The April Fools          ICEHOUSE 

There's some great new bands in town - or at least new to me. I love Little Man, Lolo's Ghost, Muatas, Cindy Lawson, Tragic Hands and especially Annie and the Bang Bang. My favorites though are a multi-talented, allstar, cowpunk group called The April Fools. Their latest album, Wonderland got a great review in T.J. Music and you can listen to it here.

 
 
 
My Favorite Old Band that's Still Got it   Dumpster Juice
These new bands play some great music but I wouldn't describe any as loud, drunk or obnoxious. Honestly, they hardly sweat, let alone loose other gross matters upon the audience. When Dumpster Juice played at Palmer's, some kids got up and started slam dancing!

I almost cried. Thanks Todd - drums, Rowland - vocals, Wayne - Bass, Kevin - Guitar!

 
 

  My Favorite International Band     (A Tie)

L to R Stephanie Mitchell, Marielle Mitchell, Ian Shillock, Chris Shillock & Sarah Erickson The 3D Tour

 Kraftwerk      STATE THEATRE

 Electro-Kraut Rock The 3D Tour


 

 

 

 

 Dakha Brakha         THE DAKOTA 

Ukranian Folk Punk. Special Thanks to Lowell Pickett for bringing this group to the Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite  Vibe       Orville Peck       1ST AVE



 

 

 

 

 

 

Two weeks after  the Supreme Court struck down the right to abortion,  this gay cowboy sold out 2 nights in the Main Room. It felt like a proclamation  that, yes!!! there is still a real world here, a world of people loving whom they will. Pete, the bartender at 1st Avenue, remembered us and greeted us with free drinks for old times sake. He took this picture of me with Sarah and Cassandra.

My Favorite Party 

 

 

 

My Favorite Art Show

 

 
My Favorite Book, Fiction



My Favorite Book, Nonfiction