Entertainment Briefs - Jan. 23

? Minneapolis band coming to Blue Ox Smell My Pillow (SMP), an original rock band from Minneapolis, with a sound with hints of alternative, grunge and acid, will perform at 9 p.m. Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Blue Ox in downtown Brainerd. Fans have ...

■ Minneapolis band coming to Blue Ox

Smell My Pillow (SMP), an original rock band from Minneapolis, with a sound with hints of alternative, grunge and acid, will perform at 9 p.m. Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Blue Ox in downtown Brainerd.

Fans have commented that some songs sound like Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers or Cake and others have said Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin with a touch of old Jefferson Airplane.

Marc “KWall” Kowalski is the founder, music writer and guitarist of SMP. Kowalski grew up in a family of musicians and started playing guitar at age 8. Former bands include Deck O’ Squares (Boston, with former members of the Modern Lovers, Human Sexual Response, the 2X4’s and The Classic Ruins), Leeky Beets, Tim Mahoney, Retail and other side projects. Influences include, Peter Frampton, Early Chicago, Black Sabbath, KISS, Led Zeppelin and Boston.

Tim Mahoney is Kowalski’s brother. Mahoney has played in the Brainerd lakes over many times over the years and got to know Steve Walczak, also known as Walzy.


“Walzy saw SMP played in Hopkins last year and said we would be great for the Blue Ox in Brainerd, said Kowalski. “I have been ice fishing and golfing in and around Brainerd many times over the years and have always enjoyed the area. In fact, it now is coming to me ... When I was about 6, my mom brought me to Paul Bunyan Land and I got my picture taken by Paul and Babe and looked like an ant. Made a big impression on me and still to this day feel like Brainerd is the Disneyland for kids and adults of the upper midwest.”

Also in the band are Amy Shaw, lead vocals and is a song writer, who channels Ozzy Osbourne and Grace Slick when performing; Elijah Deaton Berg, bass, who currently plays with several projects including Fire at The Falls and Avians of Autonomy; and Troy Berg, drums, who started playing drums at the age of 8 and was in his first band before his voice changed at age 13. Berg has recorded and toured with many Twin Cities bands including St. Cry, Droplet, Twisted Humor and Produkt with Greg Herriges and John Wright.

■ Singers wanted in
Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS - St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls is looking for singers for the St. Francis Community Chorale which will begin rehearsals at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at the St. Francis Music Center.

The choir welcomes all adults who love to sing. There is no charge to participate and people do not have to take lessons at the Music Center to participate or be associated with the Franciscan Sisters.

Rehearsals will be every Thursday at 7 p.m.

The chorale is under the direction of Barb Stumpf. The chorale will be practicing for a spring concert scheduled April 27. The concert will feature a mixture of styles of music.

Men interested in singing can join a men’s ensemble that meets at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays starting on Jan. 27. A women’s group, Sestri, meets at 5:30 p.m. Sundays. This group sings folk songs of Eastern Europe.


All rehearsals are at the music center.

For more information, contact the music center at 320-632-0637 or go to . Or the directors: Barb Stumpf at 320-632-8372 or Vicki Spofford at 320-632-2360.

■ Watercolor exhibit showing

LITTLE FALLS - “Out of the Ordinary,” a new art exhibition, is on display in the main gallery at the Great River Arts Center in Little Falls through Feb. 1.

The exhibition is of water media painting by three area artists, who are members of the Central Minnesota Watercolorists.

Featured artwork on the display includes “Opposites Attract” by Kathy Braud; “Proprietary Information” by Shelly Leitheiser; and “Hippo” by Sandra Driscoll.

■ Winter Light Festival scheduled

NEW YORK MILLS - The Winter Light Festival will be held Feb. 1 at the Cultural Center in New York Mills.


Feb. 1 is St. Brigit’s Day, the turning point of the year in the Celtic calendar. The following day is Candlemas in the Christian calendar and then Ground Hog’s Day. All of these days celebrate the return of the light.

The Cultural Center in collaboration with St. Peter’s Lutheran Church is sponsoring a “Winter Light” festival beginning at 7 p.m. Feb. 1. There will be handmade lanterns, ice luminaries, music, food and a collection of award–winning short films from the Rural Route Film Festival. The collection of short films includes a three-minute homage to the reindeer in “Lapland,” and another movie includes some of the footage of the Northern Lights.

There will be free lantern-making workshops held Jan. 29 through Feb. 1, preceding the Winter Light Festival for families and individuals. Puppet Pageant artists Anne Sawyer-Aitch and Lisa Winter will lead the workshops. Workshop dates at the Cultural Center will be from 7-9 p.m. Jan. 29; 3:30-5:30 p.m. Jan. 30; 3:30-5:30 p.m. Jan. 31; 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 1.

This Winter Light Festival is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with numerous job titles since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently as Digital Editor. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work these 30+ years. I was present and worked on the our web page when our original website first went live on April 26, 1994.
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