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Music History Spotlight: The Phones

Before graduating high school, Jeff Cerise and Brad Mattson had already traveled the country with their cover band. So when the duo arrived at Moorhead State University and met some like-minded musicians at orientation, it didn’t take long for them to trade in their textbooks for a life on the road. With bassist James Riley […]

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Searching for Lake Minnetonka and solid ground post-Prince

I was walking through Manhattan recently, making my way up 5th Avenue to check out all the Christmas displays like a typical Midwestern tourist, when I looked up and realized something odd: I was standing at the foot of the Empire State Building, an instantly recognizable spire that I had been eyeing for blocks. But […]

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Music History Spotlight: Blaze

Whether it was setting a drum set on fire or covering the Plasmatics, Blaze built a reputation for boldness throughout the Midwest. With fierce lead singer Wendy Engler, bassist Ralph Benicke, guitarist Nick Baca, keyboardist Mike Case and Matt Batchelor on drums, the band captivated audiences with a set infused with new wave and dark […]

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Music History Spotlight: Sean Na Na

Not long after graduating high school, Sean Tillmann and Jeremy Allen hit the road in a Honda and began touring as an early version of Sean Na Na. Soon enough, the pair recruited Ben Webster from Austin, Texas, forming the band’s core lineup. From about 1997 to 2006, the trio toured almost continuously, adding musicians from the cities […]

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