Monday, April 28, 2014

Playful Dancing

I just ran across this video tonight and it was a delight to watch. I love how playful these two both are. And once Ann decided to "march" around, she stuck with it and worked it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Tunes: J.E. Sunde & Big Lake

I love the Twin Cities. It is a place full of talented musicians, and I've been lucky enough to cross paths with a handful them. A few of them have been in the process of making new music that they've just released or are releasing soon. I want to share of a few of their new projects:

First off, J.E. Sunde. He just released his single "Passport" for the album Shapes That Kiss The Lips of God that is supposed to come out June 3rd.  This isn't the new single, but check out this video for his song "Easy Kid."

Second, Big Lake is releasing their self-titled LP on April 25th. Which is great, but what has gotten my attention more is a video of cover (Big Star "13") that they did with Joey Ryan. Check out the video and their CD release show at the Turf Club (April 25th).

I have yet to tell you about The Ericksons, We Are the Willows, Dewi Sant, and more. But, alas, I have run out of time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Kalispell's Kickstarter

I haven't written on the blog in ages! What brings me back is wanting desperately to help a friend, Shane Leonard of Kalispell, reach his Kickstarter goal to help record his second album.

This is the same Kalispell that I wrote about more than a year ago when he released his first album. That album was recorded in the spare room in his apartment and was hand packaged and was essentially all self-made. This time, Shane wants to create a more professional record.

As of right now, there is only only 62 hours (2 1/2 days) left to raise the remaining $6,690. I think that that goal can be achieved with a little help from my blogging friends! 
Check out his Kickstarter link!

Even if you don't contribute, would you mind helping spread the word? If anybody deserves this, it's Shane. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dance Whirlwind

The dance world has been kind to me this year.

For some reason, I made finals in the Amateur Jack and Jill at Lindy Focus. Not only did I make finals, but by the grace of God, I placed 2nd (with an amazing partner, James Pack)! That felt like a good start to the new year.

(Taken by the great Bobby Bonsey)
  But my year has gotten even better. And it's only March! Last weekend, I attended Heartland Swing Festival and was surprised to find myself with 3 medals and 2 overall awards, including:
  • 2nd in Solo Jazz
  • 2nd in the Jack and Jill with Baron Smith
  • 1st in the Any Swing Goes (aka Strictly) with Joseph Bojang
  • Overall Collegiate Jitterbug Champion, alongside my friend Bradley Smith.
  • Dancer's Choice Award, alongside my friend Joseph Bojang.
 I don't feel like I deserve any of it. I'm not that good, really. I'm grateful, for sure...but I still think ya'll are crazy.

But I want to take the time to try to communicate something that I've been thinking about since Lindy Focus:

Where I am at in my dancing will always be tied to all those who came along with me through my dance journey. I'm only at this place because you all helped get me here, whether you knew it or not. You were my motivation, my help, my struggle, my pick-me-up. I'm only me because of you and that's HUGE.

So, thank you. You made me feel like a million bucks this past weekend.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stefan and Bethany

I am really enjoying Stefan Durham and Bethany Powell's dancing right now. Their dancing isn't exactly what I want to aspire to technique wise, but they've got their own thing going on. And that is inspiring.

They're coming up with some creative stuff that's fun to watch.  Check out their performance at Lonestar this past year:

I've been itching to dance the past couple of days, but after watching this performance, that itch has gotten more intense.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Do you remember, folks, when I told you briefly about my buddy Shane's band Kalispell? Well, he finally released his full-length album Westbound a little over a week ago. I hitched a ride to Eau Claire so that I could be there for the CD release show and am extremely glad I did. We Are the Willows and The Daredevil Christopher Wright opened, which that in-and-of-itself would have been a good line up. But the final build up came from seeing Shane finally perform all his great tunes from the album, start to finish, with a full band. The stage was sometimes packed with the likes of violins, upright bass, steel guitar, drums, and even a cello; and sometimes the stage slimmed down to simply Shane and one other on stage. And it was good. His old-time infused Americana-folk is the kind of stuff I love.

My favorite on the album so far is probably track 2, Methodist Lift. How can you go wrong with a song that starts with the twanging of a banjo? And I really dig the lyric: "The church taught me how to hold a grudge, My brother taught me how to let it go, He learned from his father, and We learned from our fathers. Isn't that the way it's supposed to go?" And if you're not sold yet, you can download my second favorite track, Lucky a Hundred Times, for free

Give him a listen. Give him a try. Then go see him in town near you!

Jonas David

If you like S. Carey or Bon Iver at all, I think you're going to love Jonas David. Jonas David hails from Germany and is a musical gem. Very ethereal folk tunes with poetic lyrics. Please take the time to give this guy a listen. Please.
Or watch: