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A happy case of making lemonade out of lemons – with the added option of spiking it with alcohol -- Twin Cities Public Television is moving its well-received live music series “The Lowertown Line” out of the studios and into the nightclubs starting with a kick-off taping tonight at Icehouse in Minneapolis.
The change of scenery was out of necessity, as TPT’s facilities in downtown St. Paul are currently undergoing renovations. However, the staff is looking at it positively, both as a chance to mix up the look and format of the show in its second season, and as a way of connecting more with the local music community.
“[The show] is all about showcasing the best, brightest and most diverse acts playing right now in the Twin Cities," series producer David Roth said. "We're excited to bring that experience into the venues that foster this rich local talent."
Following tonight’s taping, future episodes will take place at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Bedlam Lowertown and one other venue yet to be selected. The Sept. 25 show at the Amsterdam especially sounds like a blast. Here’s the schedule:
After undergoing a lineup makeover this past year – frontman Gabriel Douglas is the lone man out from the original foursome – the 4onthefloor is working on a reportedly very different sort of new album and getting back up to speed gig-wise.
Tonight’s show kicks off a busy week that also finds them headlining the Minnesota State Fair’s new Schell’s Stage amphitheater in the West End Market on Friday and Saturday nights (7:30 p.m., free with fair admission). The guys picked up the fair gigs only a few weeks ago after rising alt-country bellower Sturgill Simpson cancelled, choosing instead to take up an opening slot with the Zac Brown Band (hard to knock him for that). Simpson will be back around to play the Fine Line on Dec. 4.
"Weird Al" Yankovic/ photo by Casey Curry/AP
"Weird Al" Yankovic and Colin Hanks are among the big stars that will visit "Wits," the St. Paul-based radio show hosted by John Moe.
In addition to the celebrities that have been named for the fall season, American Public Media has announced some intriguing venues. Here's a run down:
Sept. 10, Portland, Oregon: Jim Gaffigan and Reggie Watts. Sold out.
Sept. 28, at the Guthrie: Colin Hanks and Father John Misty.
Oct. 3, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University Fine Arts: Maria Bamford and Jeremy Messersmith.
Oct. 24, Fitzgerald Theater: "Weird Al" Yankovic, Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster.
Nov. 8, Fitzgerald Theater: Neil Gaiman and My Brightest Diamond.
Nov. 14, Fitzgerald Theater: Hari Kondabolu and OK Go.
Nov. 21, Fitzgerald Theater: Keegan-Michael Key and Bhi Bhiman.
Matt Brickman and Kim Johnson/ photo courtesy of CBS
The Twin Cities' top-rated morning show is doing the ol' switcheroo.
Meteorologist Matt Brickman and traffic reporter Kim Johnson will join current anchors Jason DeRusha and Jamie Yuccas at "WCCO 4 News This Morning" starting Sept. 1.
Brickman will take over for Mike Augustyniak who, in a statement released by WCCO, said he asked for a reassignment.
"My body doesn't work as well at 3 a.m. as it does at 3 p.m.," he said.
Current traffic reporter Natalie Nyhus will become anchor of the Saturday morning show, the gig currently held by Brickman.
"After four awesome years on mornings, I was ready for a new challenge," Nyhus said.
In a letter sent out to staff, news director Mike Caputa reiterated that the changes were made at the requests of Nyhus and Augustyniak.
Jesse Ventura/ photo by Tom Wallace
Jesse Ventura just can't keep himself out of the news. Just two days after posting a victory in a controversial lawsuit, the former governor launched "We the People with Jesse Ventura," a weekly podcast that will be available every Thursday on iTunes and Carolla Digital.
That second platform is no lightweight. Adam Carolla hosts the No. 1 daily downloaded podcast in the world. Other notables that have shows on his network: Dr. Drew Pinsky, Penn Jillette and comedian Larry Miller.
During the premiere episode last week, Ventura interviewed Carolla and discussed the Pope and the birther issue.
"My fans have requested a podcast for some time now," said Ventura, who once hosted a radio show in the Twin Cities. "I find it to be a new, interesting and innovative way to communicate with them."
Who says news is dead? Not the folks at Fox corporate who announced Wednesday that it's adding 29.5 hours of local news a week in nine markets.
That includes KMSP, Fox 9, which will account for four hours of the increase. Starting July 13, the Twin Cities station will air news shows from 10-11 a.m. and 10:30-11 p.m. on Sundays.
The more significant change will occur in early September, when Fox 9 adds a 6-6:30 p.m. news program Monday through Friday.
Other markets adding programming include Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Phoenix, Charlotte, Memphis, Atlanta and Austin, Texas.
"Uninformed critics say big companies are cutting local news," said Jack Abernethy, CEO for Fox Television stations. "However, the opposite is true at Fox. We are expanding in a big way."
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