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Friday, June 27, 2008

Our Mother of Perpetual Help

June 27th marks the Feast Day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help


What’s a Feast Day?

"Feast Days, or Holy Days, are days which are celebrated in commemoration of the sacred mysteries and events recorded in the history of redemption in memory of the Virgin Mother of Christ, or of His apostles, martyr’s and saints, by special services and rest from work. A feast not only commemorates an event or person but also serves to excite the spiritual life by reminding us of the event it commemorates."
-Catholic Encyclopedia

I’ll probably never be able to explain why this particular feast day and image are important to me. I just know that they are. Although this is a minor celebration within the yearly liturgical calender, it’s still one of the many beautiful days where the Church provides us time to remember our very real need for Jesus. Perhaps the best and most grace-filled way to Jesus is through intercession of our Mother Mary. This painting (icon) was originally completed in the 13th century on the Mediterranean island of Crete. Symbolic icons are a key way to remind us of our faith and the story behind this icon is a fascinating one. Learn more:

George Harrison’s collection of demo’s entitled Beware of Abko included a song entitled "Mother Divine". This is a very hard to find recording session and is only available as a Japanese import. Let me know if you find a digital download for purchase.

A simple prayer:

Mother of Perpetual Help, you have been blessed and favored by God. You became not only the Mother of the Redeemer, but Mother of the redeemed as well. We come to you today as your loving children. Watch over us and take care of us. As you held the child Jesus in your loving arms, so take us in your arms. Be a mother ready at every moment to help us. For God who is mighty has done great things for you, and God's mercy is from age to age on those who love God. Intercede for us, dear Mother, in obtaining pardon for our sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to call upon you, Mother of Perpetual Help.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What's Your Favorite Duo?

Minnesota is blessed with a wealth of musical talent and arguably may have produced the greatest in Bob Dylan. Often though, it’s those unsung musicians under the radar that should be noticed and heard. Join KAXE tonight beginning at 6pm for our music showcase: Centerstage Minnesota. Here’s where you will find a lot of new Minnesotan shining stars rising to the surface!

While your getting the headphones ready for that, below are recent music clips from my favorite duo. Not only have they created amazing solo careers, collectively they played a pivotal role in defining a brand of midwestern Americana music that has yet to be topped. You remember the Jayhawks right? Not since the Beach Boys, the Louvin or the Everly Brothers, have harmonies sounded so sweet.

John Mellencamp bless your heart, and I love your latest album, but Mark & Gary continue to make strides in their careers too. In fact, the music their creating now is even more accessible- a staple for campfires, cafe's and folk festivals! But they don't need hit singles associated with American trucks. Not when Wolfshead is making video's like this:

"Pray for Me" (Tommorow the Green Grass-American) (Olson/Louris)

Pray for me that I may keep
faithful to you in my time
beloved it is mourn

Deeper yellow than the corn
lovers work as children play
beloved it is mourn

One fine day I walked to town
no love like yours be found
idle days, idle days

heart and soul are full of light
heart and soul untired always
beloved it is mourn

One fine day I walked to town
no love like yours to be found
idle days, idle days

Pray for me that I may keep
faithful to you in my time
beloved it is mourn

Deeper red on the thorn
may God keep you in his sight'
beloved it is mourn

Unknown steps before me fall
no love like yours to be found
idle days, idle days

heart and soul are full of light
heart and soul untired always
beloved it is mourn


What's your favorite duo?

"True Blue" by Gary Louris (Vagabonds-Rykodisc)

"National Express"- Mark Olson (The Salvation Blues-HackTone)

Picture this..... Kaxe's 5th Annual Mississppi River Music Festival featuring Mark & Gary performing songs from the last twenty years? Sounds inviting doesn't it? Hint, hint..... to whom it may concern.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Walk in the Woods w/Louis Jenkins

KAXE has and always will be two-way radio. It’s purpose is an important one- to connect members of the community with one another:

To share,
To listen,
To laugh,
To savor.

This poem came by way of morning show personality Harry Hutchins and seems well suited for those that work in the woods:

A Walk in the Woods
by Louis Jenkins

Out here in the woods I can say anything I like without
fear of contradiction.

I am not faced with solving any of
the great problems.

I have only to cross a twenty-acre patch
of mixed hardwoods and spruce from one road to another without getting lost.

I am as free as the birds that
flit from tree to tree, like the white-throated sparrow, singing "old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody," or the trees
that are doing their usual dance-arms extended, fingertips raised, feet firmly planted, swaying from side to side.

Just across the clearing there's a group of slender aspen, all in
their spring party dress, chattering away. Now the music
begins again. "Moon River."

Ladies choice.

That tall
homely one bends over to whisper to her friend and ...oh,
hell, they're all looking straight at me.


Perhaps one of the best things about being a forester is the opportunity to take walks in the woods. Each one of the paths taken are as varied and unique as rain-drops from the sky. Although most of the time my walks are of focused concentration—counting, inventorying, swatting, designing, surveying, –-I try to never take for granted the simple joy of being connected with the natural environment. One should know that foresters will never concede to being "lost" in the woods as Jenkins alludes too in his poem. I may struggle with navigating the myriad of circular campground loops at Birds Hill Park, but I'll never be lost in the woods. I don't even need a GPS, although this is increasingly becoming a must have.

In your next walk, think about Jenkins slender aspens, his singing sparrow. Better yet, get a copy of his prose and bring it with you. Louis Jenkins is a poet from Duluth, MN and his writing is available thru Holy Cow Press.

Favorite Minnesota walking paths:

Superior Hiking Trail

Angleworm Trail

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Thunderer

Poems can be a breath of fresh air on a hot muggy evening. Sometimes when your looking for that just-right sparkle between imagination and reality, a poem can be the right prescription.

In 1969 Phyllis McGinley published a delightful collection of poems titled "Saint-Watching" about the lives of many famous and not so famous saints. One of the important selections is "The Thunderer"- a cheerful yet poignant poem about the life of St. Jerome

I really like this poem’s bouncy lyrical style. A writing well suited to musical adaptation


God's angry man, His crotchety

Was Saint Jerome, The great name-caller Who cared not a dime For the laws of libel And in his spare time Translated the Bible. Quick to disparage All arts but learning, Jerome liked marriage Better than burning But didn't like woman's Painted cheeks; Didn't like Romans, Didn't like Greeks, Hated Pagans For their Pagan ways, Yet doted on Cicero all his days.

A born reformer, cross and gifted,

He scolded mankind

Sterner than Swift did;

Worked to save

The world from the heathen;

Fled to a cave

For peace to breathe in,

Promptly wherewith

For miles around

He filled the air with

Fury and sound.

In a mighty prose,

For almighty ends,

He thrust at his foes,

Quarreled with his friends,

And served his Master

Though with complaint.

He wasn't a plaster sort of saint.

But he swelled men's minds With a Christian leaven.
It takes all kinds To make a heaven.

-Phyllis McGinley (1949)

St. Jerome was not your average, run of the mill Christian scholar. A passionate and feisty orator, Jerome caused plenty of controversy among many of the church leaders at the time. Nevertheless, he is considered one of the early fathers of the church and an expert in translating the Divine Word. He’s also the patron saint of Librarians!
(Image by Georges Jansoone, GFDL)

Last year Bronx native Dion released his second acoustic album (Son of Skip James-Verve) showcasing his love of the early blues and rock pioneers. One of the standout tracks is his interpretation of McGinley’s "The Thunderer". Complete with his own verse added to the poem, Dion unveils a raw, edgy folk-rock masterpiece.

AMG Writer Thom Jurek explains the song further:

[a rambling bluesy folk tune with Rhodes piano and spare percussion, where Dion sings about St. Jerome (an early translator of the Bible as a deeply conflicted, sexist, prejudicial, and blessed if contradictory madman — "God's crotchety scholar"). Dion's conclusion is not unlike those of the bluesmen before him: "...It takes all kinds to make it to without truth is just sentimental/Truth without love is sterile...." This isn't Dion preaching the gospel, but affirming the loopy sense of inconsistency that humans walk the earth with, and affirming his belief in a God that not only understands this but celebrates it. ]

Ultimately, "The Thunderer" reflects Dion in some fashion I think. The waters are indeed rough at times, but love prevails when you seek it.

For more discussion about Dion and the Thunderer visit the following links:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Snap Shots

Introducing Snap Shots from

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.
Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Like it?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Diner w/Martin Sexton

The best artists and musicians are those that can easily shuffle through various styles and song-persona's in their craft. One of those artist's is Martin Sexton. On the new album Seeds, you can clearly discern a love of musical diversity including Motown-style R&B, acoustic pop balladry, blues, jazz, and rock. His dedication cover song of Billy Preston (the 5th Beatle) is testament to the power of soul music!

Join KAXE in welcoming Martin Sexton to our Mississippi River Amphitheatre on June 21st, 2008! We've come to expect amazing solo performances from this non-stop touring artist. This time around we'll get an intimate listen to Martin's new recording along with selections from many of his best known songs. An early evening outdoor performance promises to be truly captivating. Concert starts at 5pm.... bring a chair or blanket.

Martin recorded a favorite of mine on the album Black Sheep (Koch, 2006). The song's entitled "Diner" . Named after several famous all day and night establishments, like "Mickey's Diner" in St. Paul, Minnesota.

You might have seen one out in Minnesota

Or maybe down by the sea in Sarasota
But they were made back in Worcester Mass
Of aluminum and bakalite and glass

Like a locomotive they were streamlines
And the blue prints were drawn up from a dream of mine
Slap 'em up put 'em on the train
Out to Michigan up to Maine

You may find a diner down in Georgia or Carolina
off the twenty by the piggly wiggly
In the country out of Waynsboro
Or when it's getting late and rainy out in New York State

You hang a louie off the thru-way
And you go and grab yourself a cheeseburger
At the little gem diner off the six niner

Diner my shiny shiny love
In the night you're all I'm thinking of
Diner my shiny shiny love

The cruiser pulls in where the trooper's always stop
As we dine over the chrome and formica table top

The cashier she always squints
By the gum and the bowl of mints
She's tapping her toe
To the Dean Martin on the consolette
Booth service and a cigarette we're loving it so

Side of fries a dollar
Or the haddock plate two ninety five
A rootbeer float a pepsi
And be sure to save some room for some apple pie
Better make it a-la-mode


Dean Martin god rest his soul
Talkin' to me from the cereal bowl
There's a couple from the show me state
Knockin' back a little meatloaf plate

Diner my shiny shiny love.

Hungry for a diner? A local experience can be found at the 371 Diner
14901 Edgewood Dr, Baxter, MN 56425. Don't pass up the old-fashioned malts.

What's your favorite diner?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bigfoot: Fact or Fantasy?

On occasion I get the opportunity to meet up with some foresters who I worked with during my tenure in the Effie Area. During a recent meeting in St. Paul, the topic of Bigfoot made its way into the conversation. Although you might think that laughable, one of my sources says that last month several sets of tracks were found adjacent to a logging road in a remote part of the Chippewa National Forest. According to one retired federal employee however, "I'm leaning toward a hoax on this one".

You agree?

Back in 2000, The City Pages did a well regarded interview with Bigfoot researcher Mike Quast. Mike's extensive knowledge of Bigfoot certainly gives credence to the possibility of an encounter. Even though Chippewa sightings are apparently very rare, Mike does imply that it's more likely the hairy creature can be found in the Superior National Forest.

[After more than a decade of cataloging people's claims of Bigfoot encounters, Quast is convinced that there are fewer sightings here because there are fewer people tromping through those woods. "It may sound like a broad statement, but if the Sasquatch does not exist in the Superior National Forest, then it does not exist at all," Quast wrote in his most recent work on the topic, The Sasquatch in Minnesota (revised edition)]. City Pages, 10/4/2000.]

Years ago while a student at the Unviersity of Minnesota, a good friend of mine confided to me that he saw a female Sasquatch in the BWCA. Now how can I doubt that coming from a boyscout troup leader and a full blooded Irishman. You know how heartfelt they are.

Each year as I prepare for yet another canoeing adventure, the thoughts never escape me. Is He or She (for that matter) really out there?

Photo: Greg Seitz

One word of advice.... the next time you visit your local north shore wilderness trail or campsite, be sure to your keep gear-packs tied securely off the ground and up in the canopy. Don't want Sasquatch running off with your best whities........

While enjoying a glass of Barefoot Chardonnay, check this video out on MSN

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stompin with the Homemade Jamz Blues Band

If you like gritty-foot stompin' blues and who doesn't, I implore you to give a listen to the Homemade Jamz Blues Band. I came across this disc in our new release section of the KAXE studio's last Friday night and was highly impressed. With most blues outfits you assume they've been playing and touring for years. Not so with the Jamz. In fact, the average age of the trio is 12.

The disc contains mostly original material with a distinct southern blues rock feel! That should be no surprise when you've been raised in Tupelo Missisppi, the birthplace of many musicians including the King. There's also a wonderful cover of John Lee Hookers "Boom,Boom" that closes the disc. This is something to behold. Right from the start we get a fast-driving tempo with 16 year old Ryan Perry wailing on the guitar and yammin Hooker's grit lyric into the mic"you knocks me out.... right off of my feet"

Finally, six minutes later it's all over and we need to sit and down and breathe a little.

The album is entitled "Pay Me No Mind" and is available at the Canadian label Northern Blues Music.