This undated postcard photo depicts a U.S. Mail boat at a nondescript location. The only clue that it might be on the St. Louis River or some other body of water in the vicinity of Duluth is a penciled note on the back of the card.
In our lives as rehabbers, we witness many happy moments, but also many tragedies and moments of heartbreak. This story is one of the sad ones.
When friends of Wildwoods saw these very young, very tiny grey fox kits wandering around outside their den without their mom, they knew something was amiss. Something had happened to Mom; she was gone.
I moved to Duluth in March of 1998. It was during the El Nino winter, in which every single human with whom I interacted informed me that this winter was NOT NORMAL FOR MINNESOTA. It came up in every conversation, which, over the course of the six months that normally would comprise one Duluth winter, provided a more vigorous facsimile of the suspended, punishing experience; only instead of shivering from the cold, I was shivering from collective dread, carefully cultivated by the city’s entire populace. In the wake of such calamitous portent, simple freezing fucking winter was actually a relief. Thus it was that I spent an entire terrifically warm winter in Duluth scared shitless, forming alliances and hoarding dry goods, waiting for real winter to come, like Duluth was some kind of folksy, sitcom version of Game of Thrones.
In fairness, Duluth is a really strange place. It was going to be strange, whether or not the winter was briefly co-opted by an exotic air current. I have a hundred examples of Duluth’s magnificent wackiness, but that’s too many for today. So here are three.
Nick Wroblewski gets beautiful layers of color and detail from his woodcut printing process. You may have seen his work in local galleries and shops, and you might also be seeing it in your refrigerator on 6-packs of Earth Rider beer. Simpler, limited-color versions of his art are being used on the Earth Rider packaging. Be sure to check out the video at the end of the post to see how he builds up the layers of color for some stunning effects. He will be talking about the work for Earth Rider tonight (Friday, 5/18) at the Cedar Lounge, and doing a demonstration tomorrow (Saturday, May 19) at Zeitgeist Art’s “Spirit of the Times” event.
NW: The medium I am working in is called woodcut printmaking, and it’s been my primary medium for about 15 years. All the images that I make are printed from the inked surface of a carved block of wood. This technique is an ancient method used to create multiples of a single image. I was first drawn to this technique because of the way that it combined elements of drawing and painting with sculpture and woodworking.
The Duluth/Superior radio market is characterized by two striking characteristics — an uncommon number of public-interest stations and an uncommon number of Christian stations. The commercial broadcast signals that fill out the rest of dial are mostly owned by two entities — Midwest Communications and Townsquare Media — although there are a few smaller station owners, like Northwoods Radio and Twin Ports Radio.
In a world where trivia abounds, a quiz emerges to challenge your knowledge of Duluthians in the film industry. Only the buffest of film buffs will prevail; do you have what it takes to arise victorious?
Zenith City Online was an invaluable source of research for this quiz. For more information on these and other Duluth performers, check out their biographies at zenithcity.com.
The next PDD quiz, reviewing headlines from May 2018, will be published on May 27. Email question suggestions to Alison Moffat at email@example.com by May 24.
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture — it’s a really stupid thing to want to do.
— Martin Mull, maybe?
All good writing strives to say the unsayable.
— Louis Jenkins
I stupidly want to do that thing, and I am ill-equipped for doing it as well as I would prefer, but here we go.
If I still owned a bunch of record albums I’d probably still do a version of what I did with Mom and Dad’s collection when I was a kid: lay or kneel on the carpeted floor in front of the cabinet where the records were stacked vertically spines facing out; flip through the stack, bathing in whooshes of sacred aging-cardboard air as they albums gently slapped against each other; hold worn cardboard covers to my face and inhale in the same way any decent human being does when they pick up an old book; pull out single records or small stacks or maybe the whole collection to flip the covers back and forth back and forth while reading the long notes on the back or the inside and try to figure out how all those words and images and that musty-seductive smell relate to the sounds in the vinyl grooves and the lives of the people who created the sounds; try to figure out what it all meant. What it all means. All of it.
This week, photographer David Barthel talks about building a career from his art, how his photography evolved from a hobby and curiosity as a kid, the turning point of a job loss, and some of his inspirations from our area.
DB: I’ve been photographing the natural world for over fifteen years, with a primary focus on the North Shore of Lake Superior and a secondary emphasis on the vast and rugged American West. I’m often asked how long I’ve been involved with photography, a question that would seemingly demand a concise answer. The reality is, my journey into photography didn’t result from any single moment of epiphany, but rather the gradual development of a long-held hobby.