Monthly Archives: November 2013

The 2012 MSP International Film Festival darling returns

 

 

They wiggled, they jiggled, they wore low cut gowns and short shorts, they kowtowed to the club owners and smiled at the customers…and they did it all, just to play the music they loved. The Girls in the Band tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30′s to the present day. These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continued to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them. Today, there is a new breed of gifted young women taking their rightful place in the world of jazz, which can no longer deny their talents. The Girls in the Band is playing at St. Continue Reading →

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Noelle Scaggs from Fitz and The Tantrums talks touring, music and her three wishes

 

 

 

 

By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer

“I love the rush of performing on stage, and watching the emotional responses from the crowd,” says Noelle Scaggs the dynamic co-lead singer extraordinaire of Fitz and the Tantrums. “It’s always a great challenge for me to get the most stoic person in the room dancing and shouting towards the end of the show.”

Fitz and The Tantrums brought their “soul-influenced indie-pop,” to the metro area when they performed club Myth in Maple Grove November 21. The L.A. based band has created a name for themselves with soon-to-be pop classics from their second and most recent studio album, More Then Just a Dream, which was released in May of this year to critical and popular acclaim. The forming of the band, much like its sound, was from a place of impulse, synchronicity, fun and inspiration. Lead singer, Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick formed the band from friend and fellow musician Saxophonist James King, who recommended singer Scaggs and Drummer John Wicks. When Wicks brought in bassist Joseph Karnes and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna to the clique of Fitz, the synchronicity was apparent and unstoppable. Continue Reading →

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Cutting food assistance is not just morally wrong — it’s bad economics

 

By William Spriggs

Guest Commentator

 

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (the value of all goods and services in the economy) figures show GDP per person is $53,211. That’s per person, not per family. Those figures also show we annually spend $2,797 per person on food — that’s $233 per person a month. After netting out imports, we sell nearly $14 billion in food overseas. Clearly America is a wealthy nation that is fully food secure. Continue Reading →

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Is President Obama a ‘lame duck’?

You be the judge
 
In the last 20 days, discussion on both the left and the right has been about the failures of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the real name of what both sides call “Obamacare,” long a term of pride for Democrats and one of derision for Republicans, and now one of confusion for both. With the elections of 2014 and 2016 looming, both parties are nervous, with the most scared trying to summarize it all in the term “lame duck.” This is another way for both sides to not address the problems they fear: health care, education, housing, immigration, foreign affairs, entitlement programs, etc. “Lame duck” won’t work. Obama has the courage and determination to persevere. One of two things will happen to the ACA: (1) repealed and replaced, or (2) kept but greatly modified. Continue Reading →

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Blaming both drivers for fatal cop chase makes no sense

Sgt. Andrew Brumm of the State Patrol Major Crash Reconstruction Unit said he “found nothing in his investigation to indicate that the Minneapolis police officer Joshua Young saw the oncoming motorcyclist Ivan Romero.” So what does this tell us? It really tells us nothing except that maybe Young didn’t see Romero because he didn’t give himself enough time to adequately look. The Star Tribune November 15 article “No charges in fatal cop chase” says that according to the crash reconstruction report, the collision was the fault of both drivers.” If it was an SUV running a red light and a police officer on a motorcycle going through the green light, and the cop crashes into the SUV, it is safe to say the reconstruction report would not fault both drivers. Most of the blame for Romero’s death, which happened on the day of the Terrance Franklin killing, is being put on Romero. Continue Reading →

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Putting the ‘Black’ in Black Friday

By Ron Daniels

Guest Commentator

 

The Christmas season provides an excellent opportunity for Africans in America to engage in a season of resistance. The corporate retail establishment in this country is heavily dependent upon this season for consumers to participate in a frenzy of buying to buttress their bottom line. The unofficial kick-off of the “shop until you drop” season is the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is called Black Friday. This is the day corporate retail giants begin an all-out effort to induce, seduce, bribe and otherwise “persuade” consumers to buy enough goods to enable companies to “break into the black” — achieve profitability for the year. Unfortunately, the sons and daughters of formerly enslaved Africans in America, who complain about the oppressive conditions of stop-and-frisk, joblessness, the War on Drugs, crime, violence, fratricide, and the murder of unarmed Black men such as Trayvon Martin and Black women such as Renisha McBride are not immune to the seductive appeal of the Christmas season. Continue Reading →

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African Americans in the Twin Cities co-op movement

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

 

“There were two African American owned co-ops in the Twin Cities,” according to Gary Cunningham, former staff of the old Bryant-Central co-op. Gary’s uncle, Moe Burton, was the energy behind the co-op that formed in 1975 on the corner of 35th Street and 4th Avenue. Decades earlier, in 1946, the Credjafawn Social Club formed the first African American Co-op, the Credjafawn Co-op, which was located a few blocks from the current Mississippi Market Co-op location at Selby and Dale. St. Peters AME church member and Central community resident, Gregory McMoore became concerned when he learned from a Wilder Foundation report that found that you can predict the life expectancy of people by their zip code. Continue Reading →

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An interview with veteran actor Sterling K. Brown

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Sterling K. Brown became a thespian back in high school in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduation, he went on to Stanford, where he earned a drama degree and later a masters in fine arts from New York University. Brown has nearly 30 acting credits, mostly small roles in television to his credit. His breakthrough role may have been in Lifetime’s Army Wives (2007-13), where his Dr. Roland Burton character was the only male among the featured group of

military spouses the show revolved around. Continue Reading →

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Helen St. James lays down a winner

The guys were hunkered down in the studio lobby munching on sandwiches and chips, sipping beer. Cooling their heels, shooting the breeze. The last time they’d hung with Helen had been her send-off gig several weeks ago at Kenny’s Castaways in the West Village. It closed soon after and liars were already coming out of the walls, claiming they’d once upon a time played the venerated venue. Helen had, and the crowds had loved her. She strolled in wearing a baggy sweatsuit that covered up but couldn’t hide her fabulous full figure. Or her paunch. Didn’t have on a lick of makeup. Not even lipstick or eye-liner. Hair snatched back in a ponytail. She was going for comfort, not style. “Hey, fellas,” she called out with a broad grin. “We gonna get some work done around here or what?” The guys laughed. She smiled directly at Keith who, smiling back, shook his head, motioned her over to the couch, and sent the boys into the studio. Continue Reading →

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