Woebegone Me

illustrations by Brian Barber The Rake gains access to one of public radio’s most celebrated—and feared—geniuses, Harrison Taylor, the mastermind of A Prairie Groan Companion and all subsidiaries, subdivisions, copyrights, and service marks thereof. Since this is a pure work of parody and satire (we couldn’t decide what the difference is) any resemblance to living […]

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Any Resemblance to Living Persons…

Being a concise survey of bizarre coincidences in the life of real public figures and wholly manufactured fictional characters. 1. Astonishingly, Garrison Keillor was included in the top 10 of Playgirl’s sexiest men of 1986. Others on that list included Sen. Robert Dole, Billy Crystal, William “The Refrigerator” Perry and Donald Trump—so one begins to […]

The Op-Ed Slam

Top honors for the July 11 Op-Ed Slam went to Tim Shea of Minneapolis.Judges were an assortment of folks who were challenged by the wide range of 3-minute presentations. Some sang, some shouted, some railed, some simply read, and some waxed poetic. Some had opinions. Other awards went to Colleen Kruse of The Rake fame […]

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Uptown Diner

So you walk out of a late show at the Uptown Theater on a Friday night and your stomach is angry with you for stuffing it with Sour Patch Kids and popcorn instead of dinner. You only have $10 in your pocket and you don’t feel like sitting in a dingy, smoky bar waiting for […]

Napa Valley Grille

On a recent weeknight, we had the few odds and ends to pick up at the Mall of America and decided to see what was cooking at Napa Valley Grille. Chef Tom Anderson was up to his usual stuff, so it was extremely hard to decide what to order—not that the menu is terribly long, […]

Mr. Show Live

While their movie Run Ronnie Run languishes at New Line Cinema, the comedy duo of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross has released the first two seasons of their now-legendary HBO program, Mr. Show , on DVD. The sketch comedy follows in the tradition other recent HBO hooters such as The Larry Sanders Show and Curb […]

Paul McCartney, The Who, Bruce Springsteen

This is one helluva week for the Xcel Center, and it points up why this may be the perfect model for the future of arena entertainment, at a state-of-the-art civic center in the heart of a vibrant city. We can certainly expect major growth in the area of mid-sized geezer rock ’n’ roll shows, thanks […]

George Clinton, Taj Mahal

For the past several years, the Minnesota Zoo’s outdoor amphitheater has been one of the most reliable venues in town, with a roster of solid locals and national touring acts from John Prine to Ween. This summer’s series winds up well, with two cornerstones of African-American music. George Clinton, of course, is the grandmaster of […]

Going Driftless, An Artists’ Tribute to Greg Brown

We’ve been big fans of Greg Brown for a long time now—for almost as long as he’s been obsessed with the Driftless, that rugged beautiful part of the country down where Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all come together, the land the glaciers forgot to plow under. Seems most of the music-making world is a fan […]

The Suburbs: In Combo, Credit in Heaven, and Love is the Law

Well, it’s about time. Nine years since the fondly remembered First Avenue reunion shows, 15 since their breakup, and 22 since In Combo first popped up in the vinyl racks, Beej and the boys’ original albums are finally out on CD. It’s a fine opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the ’Burbs’ brand of buzzy and […]