Basilica Block Party

Every Summer, Twin Cities residents can look forward to a local music festival that has become an institution: The Basilica Block Party. Last year the festival celebrated its 20th birthday. (You should know that my employer, Karwoski & Courge, handles public relations for the festival.)

This Summer’s Basilica Block Party takes place on Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11. You can buy tickets online here.

The History Of The Basilica Block Party

Basilica of Saint Mary

The Basilica Block Party started in 1995 as a fundraiser to pay for the restoration of The Basilica of Saint Mary. Today, proceeds from the party benefit The Basilica Landmark, which restores and preserves the historic Basilica. A portion of the proceeds from the Block Party also go to The Basilica’s St. Vincent de Paul outreach program, which provides services to those in need.

The Complete List Of Past Performers At The Basilica Block Party

The prominent names who have performed at the Block Party over the years is pretty remarkable.

1995 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Lucky Dube
  • Martin Zellar
  • Widespread Panic
  • BoDeans
  • Billy McLaughlin Group
  • The Delilahs
  • The Freddy Jones Band
  • Polara
  • Saturday Night
  • 1964 “The Tribute”
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • Tina & the B-Side Movement
  • 10,000 Maniacs
  • Terrance Simien & the Mallet Playboys
  • Johnny Clueless
  • Lowen & Navarro
  • Popa Chubby

1996 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Paul Cebar
  • The Billys
  • Steve Earle
  • GB Leighton
  • The Rembrandts
  • Tim Mahoney
  • Saturday Night
  • Golden Smog
  • Freddy Jones
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Dust Bunnies
  • Shawn Colvin
  • Jonny Lang

1997 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Mick Sterling
  • Cracker
  • Semisonic
  • Why Store
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Smithereens
  • Saturday
  • Tim Mahoney
  • John Hiatt
  • Big Head Todd and the Monsters
  • Wain McFarlane
  • Johnny Clueless
  • Sister Hazel

1998 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Heidi Jo
  • Tim Mahoney
  • BoDeans
  • Mango Jam
  • Sonia Dada
  • Sister Hazel
  • Saturday Night
  • From Good Homes
  • Martin Zellar
  • Big Head Todd and the Monsters
  • Dazy Head Mazy
  • GB Leighton
  • Freddy Jones Band

1999 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Mick Sterling
  • Burlap to Cashmere
  • Everything
  • Hootie & the Blowfish
  • Accident Clearinghouse
  • Shannon Curfman
  • Cowboy Mouth
  • Saturday Night
  • Robert Bradley
  • Los Lobos
  • Bruce Hornsby
  • 3 Minute Hero
  • Tim Mahoney
  • Del Amitri

2000 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • One World
  • Robert Bradley
  • BoDeans
  • Boogie Wonderland
  • Daniel Cage
  • Soul Asylum
  • Saturday Night
  • Scott Laurent
  • Train
  • Big Head Todd and the Monsters
  • Moneypenny
  • Shannon Curfman
  • Jayhawks

2001 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Kurt Neumann
  • Semisonic
  • Wallflowers
  • Paul Metsa
  • Tim Mahoney
  • Marc Cohn
  • Saturday Night
  • GB Leighton
  • Bob Schneider
  • Blues Traveler
  • Scott Laurent
  • Martin Zellar
  • Indigenous

2002 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Tim Mahoney
  • Dishwalla
  • Big Head Todd and the Monsters
  • Honeydogs
  • Midnight Oil
  • Soul Asylum
  • Saturday Night
  • Seven Mary Three
  • Spin Doctors
  • Gin Blossoms
  • Phantom Planet
  • Neil Finn
  • Sister Hazel

2003 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Frankie Perez
  • Edwin McCain
  • Suburbs
  • Panaramic Blue
  • Thorns
  • Nickel Creek
  • Saturday Night
  • Kathleen Edwards
  • Bob Schneider (cancel)
  • Suburbs (replacement)
  • Train
  • GB Leighton
  • Alice Peacock
  • Jayhawks

2004 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Wheat
  • Joe Firstman
  • Counting Crows
  • The Humans
  • Honeydogs
  • O|A|R
  • Saturday Night
  • Great Big Sea
  • Pat McGee Band
  • Five for Fighting
  • Kalgren
  • Dan Wilson
  • Shawn Mullins

2005 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Tagine
  • Big Head Todd and the Monsters
  • Gear Daddies
  • Summit Ave
  • Blue Merle
  • Pete Yorn
  • Saturday Night
  • Olympic Hopefuls
  • Carbon Leaf
  • The Wallflowers
  • Holiday
  • Marc Broussard
  • Better than Ezra

2006 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Trampled by Turtles
  • The Fray
  • Guster
  • Wannabee Hasbeens
  • The Hopefuls
  • Mike Doughty
  • Saturday Night
  • Mat Kearney
  • Aqualung
  • Train
  • Nathan Anderson
  • ALO
  • Freddy Jones Band

2007 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • The Alarmists
  • Lifehouse
  • Amos Lee
  • The Great Physician
  • The Cat Empire
  • Robert Randolph and the Family Band
  • Saturday Night
  • The Sweet Colleens
  • Brandi Carlile
  • Jonny Lang
  • 2 Wurds
  • Plain White T’s
  • G. Love & Special Sauce

2008 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Dave Barnes
  • Augustana
  • OneRepublic
  • Wannabe HasBeens
  • NeedToBreathe
  • Ziggy Marley
  • Saturday Night
  • White Light Riot
  • Test Your Reflex
  • Missy Higgins
  • Gavin Rossdale
  • Grayson
  • Landon Pigg
  • Gin Blossoms

2009 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Erin McCarley
  • Mat Kearney
  • The Black Crowes
  • Junebug
  • Serena Ryder
  • The Jayhawks
  • Romantica
  • Rocket Club
  • Saturday Night
  • Green River Ordinance
  • Matt Nathanson
  • Counting Crows
  • Section 30
  • Tapes n’ Tapes
  • The Hold Steady
  • Tim Mahoney
  • Tyrone Wells

2010 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • One eskimO
  • Eric Hutchinson
  • Weezer
  • Hunter Hero
  • Rogue Valley
  • Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
  • Spoon
  • Dada Trash Collage
  • Kristoff Kane
  • Saturday Night
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • Guster
  • Barenaked Ladies
  • Chester Bay
  • Robert Francis
  • VV Brown
  • Avett Brothers
  • Blue Sky Blackout
  • RedayGoes

2011 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Scars on 45
  • Lissie
  • The Jayhawks
  • David Gray
  • G. Love & Special Sauce
  • Fitz and the Tantrums
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Zoo Animal
  • Usonia
  • White Light Riot
  • Saturday Night
  • Stuart D’Rozario
  • Gomez
  • Amos Lee
  • Ray LaMontagne & Pariah Dogs
  • The 4onthefloor
  • Citizen Cope
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Arms Akimbo
  • The Hunting Club
  • The Pines

2012 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Mat Kearney
  • The Head and the Heart
  • Train
  • Tyrone Wells
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Cake
  • A. Wolf and her Claws
  • Prissy Clerks
  • Phantom Tails
  • Saturday Night
  • The Lumineers
  • Fitz and the Tantrums
  • The Avett Brothers
  • Stuart D’Rozario
  • Graffiti6
  • O|A|R
  • The Boys N’ the Barrels
  • Farewell Milwaukee
  • Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles

2013 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Mayer Hawthorne
  • Father John Misty
  • Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
  • Matt Nathanson
  • ZZ Ward
  • Family of the Year
  • Southwire
  • The Cactus Blossoms
  • Actual Wolf
  • Saturday, July 13, 2013
  • kate earl
  • Goo Goo Dolls
  • Matchbox Twenty
  • Cloud Cult
  • Walk the Moon
  • Raphael Saadiq
  • Bomba de Luz
  • Vann Stee
  • On An On

2014 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  • Airborne Toxic Event
  • Panic at the Disco
  • Crash
  • Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • Delta Rae
  • Eric Hutchinson
  • The Weeks
  • Black Diet
  • Stereo Confessions
  • Carroll
  • Train
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • Caroline Smith
  • Alpha Rev
  • Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite
  • The Wild Feathers
  • Serena Ryder
  • Jillian Rae

2015 Basilica Block Club Performers

  • Weezer
  • Nate Ruess
  • Motion City Soundtrack
  • DJ Windsor
  • O.A.R.
  • Mat Kearney
  • Matthew Sweet
  • Zoo Animal
  • Rupert Angeleyes
  • Tyte Jeff
  • Wilco
  • Jason Isbell
  • Jenny Lewis
  • Fly Golden Eagle
  • DJ Zak Michaels
  • Fitz and the Tantrums
  • Echosmith
  • Rachel Platten
  • American Scarecrows
  • Southside Desire
  • Aero Flynn

Landslide by Stevie Nicks At Mystic Lake

I finally made it to a concert at Mystic Lake’s amphitheater last week to see Stevie Nicks.

It was a great show, especially so because it was outdoors on a perfect Summer night. I gotta say, though, that I have never felt so old at a concert, a Gen Xer surrounded by greying Baby Boomers. It was an odd feeling, to say the least.

Stevie Nicks was delighted to be able to play at Mystic Lake; she commented several times what an appropriately-named venue it was for her to play at, given her interest in mysticism.

The highlight of the concert for me was the story Nicks told about the creation of Soldier’s Angel, a song from her current album. Originally a poem, she was inspired to write it after visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed hospital. She gave copies of that poem to any soldiers or their families she visited thereafter. The poem turned into a song with the help of Lindsey Buckingham, as she explains before performing the song during a concert in Los Angeles:

Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham Perform Soldier’s Angel

Found at YouTube from windytree71.

Stevie Nicks Performs Landslide

Stevie Nicks performs Landslide at the Mystic Lake Casino amphitheater on August 24, 2011. Found at YouTube from 1moregan.

Stevie Nicks Performs Secret Love [Excerpt]

Stevie Nicks performs Secret Love at the Mystic Lake Casino amphitheater on August 24, 2011. This is 45 seconds of Stevie Nicks performing Secret Love off her latest album. It’s only 45 seconds but it’s a high quality 45 seconds. Found at YouTube from cgoede67.

Xtreme Muzik??

Big & Rich Mystic Lake Billboard
Big & Rich At Mystic Lake Casino

Xtreme Muzik: The Tour?? Really?!?

I spotted this billboard for Big & Rich at Mystic Lake Casino…but are we really expected to take seriously an Xtreme Muzik tour from a couple of Good Ole Boys in cowboy hats? [DETAILS.]

OVO by Cirque Du Soleil

OVO by Cirque du Soleil
OVO by Cirque du Soleil at Mall of America

I finally got to see OVO by Cirque du Soleil at the Mall of America on Sunday.

It was amazing.

If you’re not familiar with it, Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) is a theatrical take on the circus, minus the animals. It’s a remarkable mix of gymnastics and choreography and theater, featuring trapeze artists, jugglers, tight-rope walkers, trampolines and contortionists and climbing walls and stilt-walkers amidst an artfully-designed set and backed by superb musicians.

One of the joys of athletic performance is the feeling of command one has over one’s body when you’re able to make it perform the athletic feats necessary to excel. If you can appreciate that, you cannot fail to appreciate the phenomenal athletic performances Cirque du Soleil offers.

As if that weren’t enough, take that athleticism and throw on top of it a layer of unbelievable choreography that synchronizes a handful of performers juggling oversized kiwi, and themselves, without missing a beat.

Cirque Du Soleil, Ovo
Photo of Cirque Du Soleil, Ovo courtesy of Mute Reportage on Flickr

The entire performance is backed by a live band performing an original soundtrack of wonderful compositions by Berna Ceppas. Found at YouTube from Ct8u.

The set design was both subtle and heavy handed at the same time. During the song Cacoon, a performer is suspended above the stage swathed in sheer cloth, mimicking the metamorphosis into a butterfly so seamlessly, with the help of stage lighting, that the whole thing reminded me of animation by Gerald Scarfe.

Likewise, the set featured a giant, phallic stalk of vegetation and an oversized, unfolding flower that made their appearances during key romantic scenes. These, two, reminded me of Scarfe heavy-handed sexual imagery. Found at YouTube from floydiantheo.

Wrap all that together and it amounts to an amazing experience.

Grand Old Day Music Line Up

Grand Old Day Music

This year’s Grand Old Day is this Sunday, June 5, from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, as usual, there’s a full slate of bands to choose from. Here’s a sampling of the lineup. [DETAILS.]. (Visit for daily music videos.)

Grand Old Day 2011 Trailer

Found at YouTube from GrandOldDay.

Arc Flash Hazard: You’re My Home

Found at YouTube from ArcFlashHazard.

Church Of Cash: Folsom Prison Blues

Found at YouTube from ktebeest.

Tim Sigler Band: Free and Easy

Found at YouTube from timsiglerband.

Hookers & Blow: Led Zeppelin

Found at YouTube from tapemark.

White Iron Band: Minnesota Song

Found at YouTube from hollywood94.

GB Leighton: Lonely Long

Found at YouTube from mw8792.

The Arms Akimbo: Giving Up For Good

Found at YouTube from 893TheCurrent.

Communist Daughter: Not The Kid

Found at YouTube from 893TheCurrent.

Chris Koza: Redwood Skyline

Found at YouTube from GRODMIN.

No Bird Sing: Devil Trombones

Found at YouTube from nobirdsing.

Mayda: Get Loud

Found at YouTube from MNoriginal.

Phantom Trails: Real Savage

Found at YouTube from kingofthecastle7.

Dead Man Winter: Victory

Found at YouTube from rcsskier.

The 4ontheFloor: On Tuesdays

Found at YouTube from Youa55443.

Heiruspecs: 5evs

Found at YouTube from Heiruspecs5ves.

Basilica Block Party Lineup

Basilica Block Party Lineup

The Basilica Block Party this year is scheduled for July 8 & 9. The Basilica Block Party musical lineup will include David Gray, Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs, the JAYHAWKS, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Drive-By Truckers, Amos Lee, Gomez, Stuart D’Rozario, Lissie, Scars on 45, Fitz and The Tantrums, G. Love & Special Sauce, Citizen Cope, and The 4onthefloor. [DETAILS.] Get daily music videos at

Babylon by David Gray

Found at YouTube from davidgrayVEVO.

Beg Steal or Borrow by Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs

Found at YouTube from TheEllenShow.

Blue by The Jayhawks

Found at YouTube from Abstractstv.

The Sound Of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead

Found at YouTube from MichaelFrantiVEVO.

Never Gonna Change by Drive-By Truckers

Found at YouTube from rspaceball.

Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight by Amos Lee

Found at YouTube from nameinamillion.

See The World by Gomez

Found at YouTube from IndependienteRecords.

Pursuit of Happiness by Lissie

Found at YouTube from LissieVEVO.

Give Me Something by Scars on 45

Found at YouTube from scarson45.

MoneyGrabber by Fitz and The Tantrums

Found at YouTube from FitzandTantrumsVEVO.

Cold Beverage by G. Love & Special Sauce

Found at YouTube from GLoveSSVEVO.

I Couldn’t Explain Why by Citizen Cope

Found at YouTube from citizencope.

Bricklayer by The 4onthefloor

Found at YouTube from mplstv.

Steely Dan, Marc Anthony, Train & Maroon 5 Added To State Fair Lineup

Steely Dan, Marc Anthony, Train & Maroon 5 Added To State Fair Lineup

Steely Dan, with special guest Sam Yahel, August 30; Marc Anthony, September 1; and Train and Maroon 5, September 5, the Star Tribune reports. [DETAILS.]

Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan

Found at YouTube from 09toctoc.

Calling All Angels by Train

Found at YouTube from TrainVEVO.

Harder To Breathe by Maroon 5

Found at YouTube from Maroon5VEVO.

I Need To Know by Marc Anthony

Against by better judgment, but… Found at YouTube from marcanthonyVEVO.

Mozart’s Requiem

Mozart’s Requiem

Chorus Polaris and the Golden Valley Orchestra performed Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart’s masterpiece, the Requiem Mass in D Minor yesterday in Columbia Heights. It is one of my absolute favorite works of classical music. I didn’t get a chance to see the performance, but it did get me to thinking about this wonderful scene from the movei Amadeus in which Mozart’s arch-rival, Antonio Salieri, helps him write the Requiem on Mozart’s deathbed. If you haven’t seen the movie, definitely put it in your Netflix que.

This scene is remarkable for a whole host of reasons but I’ll just point out one: It effortlessly breaks down the component parts of a musical masterpiece and in doing so, helps you easily understand how a work of music works, how those elements work together. Found at YouTube from ChipsDubbo.