Hello In There, John Prine

johnprine-500x288My appreciation for John Prine bloomed late but furiously. After my tough winter in 2011, I stayed with my parents at their house in Arkansas for a while to regroup. When it was time to head back North, my dad and I took the long way home, following Highway 61 like a couple of less cool Dylans. The route meandered, our thoughts meandered, and of course, of course, our music meandered.

Dad popped in a cassette tape—dads are the purest, most heartful hipsters—and we listened to the scratchy, scruffy stories of a man who could have been from Appalachia, from Nebraska, from Salinas, from home; it didn’t matter. I think the track Dad was most excite for me to hear was the lighthearted Dear Abby and the heavy Sam Stone, both of which I’ve carried with me ever since. That’s how John Prine’s song work—like crumpled dollars you find in your pocket when you think you’ve spent your last dime. Continue reading

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A Fistful of Donuts: The Great Minnesota Get-Together

Contrary, perhaps, to our nature, Minnesotans are not shy about our love for our home state. I thought this feeling was pretty much ubiquitous to all people of the union, but after meeting more and more folks from other places, it seems like some of us see our states as less perfect than others. Look, I’m not Gallup and this is not my poll, but I don’t think you’ll find a lot of that sentiment in the American Midwest. Especially in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, the Gopher State, the North Star State, the state I love most: Minnesota. Continue reading