The Onion On My Internet Belt

Posts tagged ‘minnesota’

Tomorrow, Yesterday, and the mix for 5-12-17

Tomorrow I am taking part in the MS Ride again. Currently I am the #33 fundraiser overall for the event. If you enjoy the weekly mixes, why not help bump me up in the rankings and donate? Some of you loyal readers/listeners have already and I do vastly appreciate it! Here is the donation page.

My back has been bothering me and it has made me a bit cranky. Is there more to say? No. I’m getting old and am aware of it. Next week I’ll talk about my forest of ear hair.

I’m glad the week is over. Everyone (including me) has the spring crazies and needs to get outside.

Had a very nice visit today from a former employee of mine. She was on the campus for an event and came up to the office. There are few things that lighten the load or cheer the day so much as an unexpected visit from a friendly face.

Yesterday (May 11th) Minnesota celebrated its 159th statehood anniversary. Happy birthday to my favorite state!

DSC_1838

The Minnesota State Flower, the Pink Lady Slipper as seen at the Como Conservatory.

Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents… originally mixed the week of 5.12.17

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.

Song – Artist – Album
Far Cry – Marvin Gaye – In Our Lifetime.
To Live and Die in L.A. – Wang Chung – To Live and Die in L.A.
Lonely Tonight – The Power Station -The Power Station.
Champagne? – Joe Satriani – Engines Of Creation.
Fly Like An Eagle – Les Paul & Steve Miller – Les Paul & Friend: American Made World Played.
Freeway Jam – Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow.
Slow Ride – Kenny Wayne Sheperd – Trouble Is…
Brave Beyond The Call – Walt Mink – Colossus.
All Messed Up – The Donnas – Spend The Night.
Daft Punk is Playing at My House – LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem.
Mysterious Ways – U2 – Achtung Baby.
From Your Mouth – God Lives Underwater – Life in the So-Called Space Age.
Welcome Back Victoria – Jesus Jones – Doubt.
Judas – The Verve – Forth.

Black Days Stormy Nights, the mix for 4-22-16

If you are reading this, it means you are on the internet, so surely you have heard the terrible news that yesterday morning Prince died.

While I would love to write something that can frame this, I can’t. There are many people writing many things about Him and His Career that are going to be more comprehensive and better researched. Someone else will have to write about the universal. All I can offer as I try to process it is a personal view.

Sure, I knew about Prince in the 80s. I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis. I had MTV. But it wasn’t until high school and the release of the Symbol Album that I really got into Prince. I can thank, in no small part, my friend Dan for that. I think specifically after we went to his grandma’s house and on a small end table in the upstairs hallway was an MTV Music Video Award. While I don’t recall the specifics on the placard, I do recall three things about it: It was awarded to Prince. The little flag came out. It was oddly chintzy. Then the Symbol Album came out and it was massive. We listened to that album a lot. There was no small amount of humor/delicate treading around which version of “Sexy M.F.” (edited or not) you could play and around whom. In college the impact of Prince intensified. The first young woman who was interested in me as a young man was way into Prince. I could easily listen to his back catalog at the campus radio station (and did, a lot, late at night). In a rare instance of being caught on the back foot, a woman I was getting to know called my radio show at said station and requested “Erotic City”, which I wasn’t familiar with. She said “You should play that for me. Just for me.”. She called with the same request the next week. I was flattered and excited by this clever approach in a way that only young man can be excited. Prince was there for some of my most intimate moments. Flash forward a few years. Dan and I again. Working retail in Roseville, MN. We used to take extended breaks on flimsy pretexts because that is the kind of crew we had at the store. We bought “Crystal Ball” when it came out on one of those breaks. He also brought back “Sign O’ The Times” for me on a day when he got to run out and I had to stay and work. In ’98, along with a couple of coworkers, Dan and I went to the “Jam of the Year” concert to support the album “Emancipation” [which I had gotten for Christmas from my soon to be in-laws, and listened to end to end as I drove through a raging slush storm between Pipestone and Luverne, MN, trying to get home…] at Target Center. Technically our seats were behind the stage, but since there was no obstruction, what we really had were randomly awesome seats. Flash forward two more years. Of course I made a mix tape to play when I proposed to my wife and of course I started crying when “Forever In My Life” came on. In 2000, Mary (my wife) bought me the best birthday present ever. Prince went from the Unpronounceable Symbol back to being Prince and he hosted tours and parties at Paisley Park to celebrate, and she got tickets for that. I’ve seen the basketball court where Charlie Murphy got dunked on. This tour included a show at Northrup Auditorium that was amazing, chocked full of special guests, and almost 4 hours long. Prince, his persona, his music, his identity as a Minnesotan, his love of purple (which I endorse as the sexiest color hands down) has been a recurrent thread in the tapestry of my previous quarter century. There is more to say but I can’t say it.

This week’s mix can’t possibly contain all the Prince songs that matter. It also isn’t a run at “greatest hits”. This is a mix for those who want to listen to Prince today.

Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents… Purple Majesty, Originally mixed the week of 4.22.16

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.

Song
Jam Of The Year
Feel U Up
Thunder
Kiss
Housequake
Erotic City
Calhoun Square
All the Critics Love You In London
Batdance
Crystal Ball
It
17 Days
Darling Nikki
P Control
Pope
The Continental
Shockadelica
Pink Cashmere
Letitgo

(Ever wonder what that backward part of Darling Nikki said?)

Thank You, Wits.

I recently read the poem The Lanyard by Billy Collins. It resonated as I am both a son and a parent. It was a good reminder that our books are often unbalanced when it comes to what others have given us and what we have given them in return.

Today the MPR radio show “Wits” was cancelled. They have given and I have received in unequal measure and I am in their debt. There are few currencies I can offer in terms of evening this balance in the wake of this bad news so I will give the lanyard that I have.

Thank you, Wits.

Thank you to each of you who made the show what it was: John Moe, Larissa Anderson, Hans Beutow, Corey Schreppel, Mike Fotis, Christina Baldwin, John Munson and The Witnesses (Janey Winterbauer, Steve Roehm, Richard Medek, and Joe Savage). I know there are more of you involved with the show and I am sorry to not know all of your names.

Thank you for using some of the questions I sent in.

Thank you for giving my wife and me an excise to have a date night. We got to be people together and not just parents for a few nights.

Thank you for giving us something to get excited about in St. Paul on a regular basis.

Thank you for introducing such phrases as “Enemy band!”, “Go big and go home! Do it the Polk way!”, and “you know… the weird stuff or the good stuff or the weird good stuff…” into our daily vernacular.

Thank you for The Wits Social Club gatherings. I never imagined I’d be sitting around talking music with John Munson.

Thank you for the nexus of public radio amusement that was meeting Peter Sagal and having a fedora party with him in the lobby of the Fitz.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity over and over again to say “Thank you!” in person to creative, funny, and remarkable people who have made my life better with their music, their writing, their podcasts, and their jokes. Folks like Kevin Murphy, Neil Gaiman, Open Mike Eagle, Paul F. Tompkins, Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Paget Brewster, Weird Al, and Cary Elwes.

Thank you for not throwing me out of the building when I totally geeked out on Aisha Tyler and held up the meet and greet line.

Thank you for having a crossover episode with “The Thrilling Adventure Hour”. Getting to see a TAH show in person was a legitimate bucket list item for me that I figured was just out of reach.

Thank you most of all for your sense of “Hey, we did this cool thing! You should be part of that cool thing, too!”. My appreciation of being included in these experiences is profound.

Thank you, good night, and good luck.

Languages, Saddle Time, and the Mix for 6-12-14

Remember that cryptic first paragraph from the last blog back on 5-28-14? Well the time has come for clarity. I’ve been more obtuse than usual lately because on June 23rd I’ll be starting a new job. I’ll be the admin for the Languages department at the university I currently work at. That process and its attendant stresses are still in the front of my mind. Usually I build and post these blogs at work (that’s one of the reasons they happen at the end of the week). I’ve got no idea how this will play out in the new space.

In other news, my friend Kate and I rode the Munger State Trail this past Sunday. Running from Hinckley to Duluth, MN, it’s a 72 mile (112 km or thereabouts) very pleasant paved trail. The scenery is wooded along the vast bulk of the route. I had wanted to ride this one for a few years and Kate got us on track for that. Mary did the support car driving and since we didn’t need any help on the trail, Mary got to hike a few of the north shore state parks. We spent 5.5 hours in the saddle and I’ll admit the last ten miles were tough. Not only does fatigue set in but the beauty of the scenery on this part of the trail is in inverse proportion to the quality of pavement. We had a notable set of stretches of loose gravel to ride. The weather was perfect (70F, 3 mph breeze, clear skies all day) and we had fun.

My trusty steed over the St Louis River at the south end of the Thomson Reservoir on the boundary of Jay Cooke State Park just outside of Carlton, MN.

My trusty steed over the St Louis River at the south end of the Thomson Reservoir on the boundary of Jay Cooke State Park just outside of Carlton, MN.

This week also contained my birthday. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more contemplative about the event. As is my wont I took the day off. Here are some of the awesome things the day held: Great works of art, lucky parking, packages in the mail, colored vinyl, new music, woodworking, speakers, books, hanging out with my best friend, meeting two comedy legends (Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy who voiced Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo respectively on Mystery Science Theater 3000), sleeping in, and fantastic weather. I hope your week has been as interesting as mine!

On to the main event! Listen to and/or download this show! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents… originally mixed the week of 6.12.14

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” mixes generally post on Fridays. The show archives are generally ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.

Song – Artist – Album
The End Is Just The Beginning – Electric Skychurch – Sonic Diary.
Dictaphone’s Lament – Tycho – Past Is Prologue.
Faxed Invitation – Underworld – Oblivion With Bells.
On We March – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – The Social Network Sampler.
Doing My Job – Two Fingers – Two Fingers.
Rudy’s Got The Number – Horse Noodles – LunaticWorks- Vol 3:
Starting Over (Elite Force Mix) – The Crystal Method – Community Service II.
Change Works – Oxia – Renaissance 3D
Transformation – Transform – Logic Trance 2.
It’s My Mind That Works – The Future Sound Of London – ISDN.
Neal Cassady Starts Here – Fatboy Slim – Everybody Needs A 303 [Single #1].
At The End Of The Day – Amon Tobin – Foley Room.

mmm skyline i love you (part 2)

In this previous post I talked about my continuing fascination with the Minneapolis skyline. There are two other pictures that I want to share in particular.

This first one was taken by my Dad (and all rights, etc, still belong to him. I posted this with his permission) in 1972. As far as I can tell, it was taken from around the St Anthony Falls area, or possibly from somewhere on the University of Minnesota campus (where he and my Mom were living at the time). On the left is the Foshay Tower, on the right, the IDS center.

Minneapolis Night Skyline Dec 1972 by Dean Funk small size

Did you know that John Phillips Sousa wrote a song called the Foshay Tower March about this very building? It was played at the dedication of the building in 1929, months before the stock market crash. The check Foshay wrote to Sousa bounced and the march wasn’t played again until the commission debt was paid some sixty years later (or was renamed and resold, depending on what sources you like).

This next picture was taken on the morning of January 10th, 2012 by me and represents my favorite frame of this particular subject in the “picture a day” project I completed that year. It was taken at the top of the exit ramp from Hwy 94 on to Cretin/Vandalia Avenues in St Paul, a few miles south and a mile or two east of the above shot, both looking west. Timing is everything.

Minneapolis skyline from cretin vandalia jan 10 2012 by Cory Funk

In this shot, the Foshay is only visible as an antenna on the right side of the far left cluster of buildings. The IDS is left of center, the second tallest building with two antennas on the top. The city has changed notably in 40 years, as has camera technology.