Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

My only personal connection to Prince Rogers Nelson is that I once saw him walking across the street. His presence belied his tiny stature, and I thought him one of the most elegant, regal, and — yes — beautiful men I’d ever seen. He made such an impression in that fleeting moment, in fact, that […]


On Monday I got an unexpected email: “Do you do CD artwork?” The request was coming from one of Ireland’s top musicians. “These are some CD covers i like … if you had any ideas i’d love to see your work,” he wrote. I was so surprised and star-struck that I forgot I’m not really […]


Since my last post I’ve attended an all-night birthday party … visited Strasbourg … … heard an Irish music concert by The Kilkennys  … … joined the lads for a wee session after the show … … moved out of my beautiful home in Freiburg … … taken the TGV to Paris, and settled into […]


I’ve been home for more than a month, but I’m still sorting through the photos from my last vacation. I hope you won’t mind an occasional trip back to Europe as I get caught up. Today’s post is about an epic evening with The Kilkennys. Whenever I plan a trip, I do a bit of […]


Have you heard about Lukáš Kmit, the Slovakian musician whose performance was interrupted by a cellphone’s ringtone? Many hailed his response as “perfect.” Unfortunately, the Forbes article I read misidentified the instrument as a violin instead of a viola. (A minor detail—but not to my string-playing friends.) So I went looking for another link to […]


If Mozart had eaten more veggies, partied less, and gotten a bit of exercise, today he might be celebrating his 256th birthday. Photo via singforyoursupperblog.com I was made aware of this fact last Saturday during A Prairie Home Companion, when Garrison Keillor and pianist Rich Dworsky teamed up for a lovely-yet-cheeky tribute to Herr Mozart. […]


I am sitting in the very heart of the city where Elvis Presley recorded Heartbreak Hotel in 1956 … where Bob Dylan cut Blonde on Blonde in 1966 … and where Kansas laid down Dust in the Wind in 1978. Those are just three of the reasons Nashville, Tennessee is known as “music city.” When […]


Think of the single thing you absolutely most love doing. Now imagine being told that an incurable disease will prevent you from doing that thing—ever again. That’s exactly what happened to Billy McLaughlin. I met Billy in passing some 20 years ago, when his career was just taking off. He used to play in downtown […]


Each year, Labor Day marks the end of the Minnesota State Fair. Most Twin Citians have long since lost their ties to Minnesota’s agricultural roots. But for 10 days in late summer, the State Fair lets us remember that vanishing history. Of course, that’s just one of the reasons why more than 1.5 million people […]


In February 2010, I was fortunate to attend a taping of A Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. I got some great advice that night (“Don’t talk about your problems; talking about your problems only makes you discover new ones”). I laughed out loud at Garrison Keillor’s stories and I got […]