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.
Jason Davis is going from "On the Road" to Down the Road. The long-time Minnesota TV journalist announced his retirement Thursday and will hang it up on May 30. KSTP, his home since 1976, will air a week of tributes starting May 19.
"Jason won the first Emmy awarded in KSTP history in 1996," said Stanley Hubbard, chairman of Hubbard Broadcasting. "He has been a tremendous asset to KSTP and will be missed."
Davis, best known for his easy-going feature stories, said he's miss the exciting travel and fascinating people that he's gotten to meet.
"I have been given the unique freedom to choose my own stories, travel where I will and write and produce the story I want to tell," he said. "I don't think any other person in the television industry has been given the freedom I have enjoyed at KSTP."
The lineup for the 20th annual Basilica Block Party is being announced this afternoon on Cities 97 – one act every 15 minutes.
Announced thus far are Alpha Rev, Delta Rae, Airborne Toxic Event, Wild Feathers, local band Black Diet and the duo of roots rocker Ben Harper and blues harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite.
The BBP is slated for July 11-12 at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. The previous events have raised $5.2 million for the basilica’s restoration and outreach program.
This year’s event will feature 20 acts on three stages over two days. Pre-sale tickets will go on sale Saturday for members of Cities 97 Frequent Listeners Club; the public sale begins May 3 at etix.com, the Electric Fetus and 1-800-514-3849.
Cities 97 DJs Paul Fletcher and Keri Noble should finish announcing the lineup by about 7 p.m. Look for an update here shortly thereafter.
He’s back! After a two-year absence from the State Fair, Garrison Keillor will bring “A Prairie Home
Companion” back to the grandstand on Aug. 29.
Before his hiatus (to undertake “Prairie Home” cruises), Keillor had performed eight consecutive years at the Great Minnesota Get Together. Tickets, priced at $25 and $32, will go on sale at noon Saturday.
Country superstar Tim McGraw (right, Star Tribune photo by Renee Jones Schneider) will be returning to the grandstand for the second consecutive year, with an Aug. 27 concert. Tickets, priced at $56 and $71, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. It will be his fifth appearance at the state fair.
The fair also announced DigiFest Minnesota, starring the vocal group Fifth Harmony of “X Factor” fame and YouTube favorite Cimorelli, on Aug. 24 at the grandstand. Tickets, priced at $20 and $30, will go on sale at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Tickets can be purchased at mnstatefair.org, etix.com and -1-800-514-3849. The state fair box office will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
These three concerts join the previously announced shows: Kid Rock on Aug. 23, Linkin Park on Aug. 26 and the Happy Together Tour starring the Turtles on Aug. 25.
Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola have decided to get a divorce
Wurzer confirmed the separation by e-mail Tuesday after posting a short notice on Facebook. The couple, who have been married for 20 years, will continue to co-host "Almanac," TPT's long-running news program.
Eskola was a high-profile reporter for WCCO radio before leaving in 2010. Wurzer continues to work mornings at MPR.
In her e-mail, Wurzer said "all is well between Eric and me. We have the full support of TPT."
Wurzer and Eskola started co-hosting the Friday night show in 1994, the same year they got married.
Photo: From left to right: Eric Eskola, Tom Emmer, Mark Dayton, Cathy Wurzer and Tom Horner in 2010 "Almanac" debate. Photo by Jeff Wheeler
John Munson (left) and Dan Wilson/ photo by Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune
LOS ANGELES - One of the great aspects of St. Paul's WITS radio show is the unexpected mesh-ups of musicians. That vibe continued as the weekly program made its first road trip this past weekend with a two-night stint at Largo, one of the premiere comedy/acoustic music clubs in the country.
Not only did former Semisonic members John Munson and Dan Wilson reunite for some of Wilson's new songs, but they were joined by bluegrass queen Sarah Watkins and banjo player Ed Helms, perhaps better known for his work on "The Office" and "The Hangover." In fact, Helms nearly stole the show with an original song of his that could pass as a classic country-music drinking ballad.
The Sunday night show also featured Oscar nomineed Anna Kendrick, who showed off her vocal pipes on a group version of "I'll Fly Away," and Zack Galifiankis, who, thankfully, left the singing to others and stuck with his surreal brand of comedy..
Lots of jokes about Minnesota (Galifiankis once referred to host John Moe as "Flyover"), but the prize for best home-state zinger went to Wilson, who now lives in Los Angeles. When asked to describe the difference between Minnesotans and Californians, Wilson ad-libbed: "Minnesotans are shy and passive aggressive. Californians are sleek, shiny -- and passive aggressive."
Air dates for the Largo shows have not yet been determined.
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