Welcome to Artcetera. Arts-and-entertainment writers and critics post movie news, concert updates, people items, video, photos and more. Share your views. Check it daily. Remain in the know. Contributors: Mary Abbe, Aimee Blanchette, Jon Bream, Tim Campbell, Colin Covert, Laurie Hertzel, Tom Horgen, Neal Justin, Claude Peck, Rohan Preston, Chris Riemenschneider, Graydon Royce, Randy Salas and Kristin Tillotson.
Rena Sarigianopoulos and Eric Perkins/photo by Bre McGee
Did a robot take over KTWN?
For the past few days, a Siri-like voice has been reciting pop-culture quotes and movie lines while countdowning to Monday afternoon. That's when a new format is expected to launch.
No word from KTWN management on why the robotic chatter and exactly what kind of music the station will soon start playing. Since 2012, the Pohlad-owned station, which also broadcasts Twins games, has focused on contemporary and classic rock.
It's also unclear who will still be on the KTWN team. Eric Perkins, who co-hosted the morning show, confirmed Friday that he's out, saying it was tough to balance his sports duties at KARE, Ch. 11 with the radio gig. No word yet on whether or not his KARE colleague Rena Sarigianopoulos will still be on 96.3 FM in the AM.
Minnesota Public Radio has won a a prestigious national award for its series of investigative stories into how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis attempted to cover up abuse of children by priests. It is the first time MPR has received the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, which is considered to be on par with a Pulitzer Prize.
"We are honored and grateful to receive the duPont Award," said Chris Worthington, MPR News' managing editor. "While the stories can be difficult to hear, it's important they be told. They were well-documented and carefully reported. We are proud of our journalism and community service."
Judges called the pieces "a heartbreaking, exhaustive investigation," one that "overcame the challenges rife in reporting this type of story."
Madeleine Baran served as the lead reporter.
Other winners announced Wednesday include Netflix, the Seattle Times, PBS and CNN.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, 89.3 the Current is staging 10 Days of Random Acts of Musical Kindness in January. Some of these acts are more random than others but most of them are pretty cool and definitely kind.
* The events start Jan. 15 on the low-key with a Coffee Break with the Morning Show, with music by the Ericksons and free doughnuts and coffee. Free.
As for the more exciting events:
* Record shopping at the Electric Fetus with three Current DJs on Jan. 16. Free.
* 10-inch record release party for a special anniversary vinyl disc, with live performances by the Suicide Commandos featuring Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady and L'Assassins on Jan. 17 at the Turf Club. $15.
* Jose James, the Minneapolis native who has been making noise since moving to New York, will be in concert at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester on Jan 17. $24.
* Concert and party featuring Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen, at the Turf Club on Jan. 17. $15.
* Concert with Current faves Dan Wilson, Jeremy Messersmith and Caroline Smith at the Bryant Lake Bowl on Jan. 18. Tickets only by winning on the radio.
* Mary Lucia’s Rock and Roll Radio Hour goes live with Little Man, Tropical Depression and —drum roll, please — Billy Idol at the Turf Club on Jan. 19. $25.
* A screening of Prince’s “Purple Rain” with live music by Heiruspecs featuring guest vocalists Maurice Jacox, Ashley Dubose, Tickle Torture, and a “special guest” at the Fitzgerald Theater on Jan. 20. $15.
* Two-day anniversary concert and live broadcast featuring Cold War Kids, Dead Man Winter, Hippo Campus and Allan Kingdom on Jan. 23, $20, and Atmosphere, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, The Trashmen and PaviElle at First Avenue on Jan. 24. $25
Tickets for all ticketed events go on sale this week: noon Thursday for MPR members and noon Friday for others. For more information, go to thecurrent.org/ten
Manuel Bojorquez (forefront) and Ian Bearce (on the phone) / courtesy of CBS News
And you thought your commute was bad.
Ian Bearce travels from his home in Minneapolis to his New York-based job every week to the tune of about $13,000 a year.
Will he get a financial break because of lower oil and gas prices across the country?
That question was on correspondent Manuel Bojorquez's mind when he came to Minnesota to talk to Bearce for a piece that's expected to air Monday on the "CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley."
It's part of a multi-part series on how lower prices are affecting the economy.
The "CBS Evening News" airs locally at 5:30 p.m. on WCCO, Ch. 4.
Chris Thile/ courtesy of the Walker Art Center
For only the second time in "Prairie Home Companion"'s 40-year history, Garrison Keillor is turning over hosting duties to someone else.
The Feb. 7 and 14 shows will be hosted by Chris Thile, a mandolinist for the Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek.
The only other substitution happened in 2011, when Thile's Nickel Creek band mate Sara Watkins took over with Keillor watching from the wings.
"'Prairie Home' has been a pretty dependable show and now and then it likes to do something entirely different," Keillor said in a press release. "I look forward to sitting at home and listening."
Keillor will be at the helm for the other four broadcasts in January and February.
Upcoming guests include Nellie McKay, The Gibson Brothers, Heather Masse, Robbie Fulks and the Punch Brothers.
Tickets for the next six shows, which kick off Jan. 17, will be available starting Tuesday at the Fitzgerald Theater or at www.eTix.com.
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