Insight News

Wednesday
Nov 26th

Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show at Target Center

Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show at Target Center

The acrobatic masterpiece, Cirque du Soleil, touched down in Minnesota with a tribute show to the late great Michael Jackson, in a tour titled The Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour which was showcased at the Target Center last month March 27 – 28.

Unlike other Cirque shows this was truly one of the most unique presentations to. If you get a chance to catch this wave either in its Las Vegas run or in one of the many cities it touches down in across the United States, expect the unexpected; you’re looking at a whole new kind of Cirque.  And if you go in thinking that way, well then you’re sure to like it, especially if you’re a Michael Jackson fan.

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The Sounds Of Blackness releases new video “Testify”

The Sounds Of Blackness, Twin Cities-based winners of a 2012 NAACP Award in the category of Outstanding World Music Album for their current self-titled CD project, this week released a brand new video, “Testify” on YouTube.

The Sounds of Blackness have been bringing hope and inspiration to people through its music globally for the past four decades. The group has awed audiences on five continents with the depth and breadth of its artistry, covering all forms of African-American music from gospel and soul to jazz, R&B, reggae, hip-hop, rock and blues, to ragtime, field hollers, work songs and traditional spirituals. As Sounds of Blackness celebrates 40 years of music and inspiration, the group offers a superb self-titled 15-track CD that is a dazzling showcase for its all-encompassing musicality.

Watch the new video “Testify”

River's Edge Music Festival lacks diversity

With the Taste of Minnesota gone from Harriet Island in St. Paul, the site will now play host to the two-day River’s Edge Music Festival, but do not expect to see much in the way of R&B or hip hop.

The June 23 and June 24 festival, expected to attract more than 40,000 daily, will feature prominent acts the Dave Mathews Band and Tool with several other established and local artists. And though the Dave Mathews Band is diverse in its make-up, the current line-up lacks the same diversity. But officials from Live Nation, the company responsible for bringing the new festival, said additional acts will be named and it is quite possible these acts could be of the soul/R&B or hip hop genres.

“There’s no question we’re missing a couple of genres of music,” said Mark Campana, president of Live Nation. “There are more acts to come and we’d love to see a great hip hop act to fill the bill.”

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American Family at Park Square Theatre: Play explores the other side of racism

American Family at Park Square Theatre: Play explores the other side of racism

Playwright Carlyle Brown knows how to stir some echoes. His latest piece, American Family, closing April 7th at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, charts the story of a young Caucasian woman named Mary Ellen (Tracey Maloney), and her journey to mentally and emotionally find her way back to a family she was ripped from as a child due to the racially charged South.

The play sees Mary Ellen in two different lights. One as the 10-year-old who struggles to understand life apart from her dolls and youthful innocence, while the older Mary Ellen is layered in hate and confusion towards a mother and family who let her be drug from their home by an emotionless and racist father (John Middleton). Her father couldn’t fathom her growing up in a home with a Black man. No matter what Mary Ellen’s mother and stepfather do, they never are able to get her back.

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L.A. teens come of age in millennial generation morality play

L.A. teens come of age in millennial generation morality play

We the Party

Whether by design or merely by coincidence, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that We the Party is being released the same day as American Reunion, the 4th installment in the American Pie series. After all, the original American Pie revolved around a quartet of horny, high school students competing to lose their virginity before graduation, and we find the testosterone-driven quintet at the center of We the Party in pursuit of the same rite of passage shortly before their senior prom.

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Book review: Perfect Combination

Book review: Perfect Combination

“Originally Published on AALBC.com (The African American Literature Book Club)”. 

Perfect Combination:
Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together
by Jamillah and David Lamb
Between the Lines Productions
Paperback, $16.99
180 pages, Illustrated
ISBN: 978-0-9849250-0-1

“Jamillah and David Lamb are the dynamic couple behind the successful Off-Broadway play ‘Platanos Y Collard Greens’ which is enjoying its 9th year-running. For years, they have worked side by side, 24/7, to create and build their business. And, not only have they not killed each other, their love has grown stronger.

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Harmonica master James Cotton

Harmonica master James Cotton


Grammy Award-winning harmonica master James "Mr. Superharp" Cotton and his band will perform at Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues in Minneapolis on Sunday, April 29, 2012. Cotton's latest CD, the Grammy-nominated Giant, is his long-awaited return to Alligator Records. Cotton, who in 2012 is celebrating his 68th year as a professional musician (starting at the age of nine), has recorded almost 30 solo albums, including two highly-regarded releases for Alligator in the 1980s and the famed Harp Attack! with Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch in 1990. In 2011, Cotton won three Living Blues awards: Male Blues Artist Of The Year, Most Outstanding Musician--Harmonica and Best Blues Album for Giant.

Over the course of his storied career, Cotton has seemingly done it all. As a small boy he learned harmonica directly from Sonny Boy Williamson. He toured with Howlin' Wolf, recorded for Sun Records, and spent twelve years with Muddy Waters before stepping out on his own. Leading his own band, he rose to the very top of blues and rock scenes, touring the world non-stop and earning his reputation as one of the most powerful live blues performers in the world.

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