February 2014 Archives

Joseph Godfrey was born a slave and sought refuge among the Dakota Indians. Years later, when the U.S.-Dakota war broke out, he joined the fight. KFAI’s Allison Herrera has more about this remarkable man.

Drummer Robert Rivkin, aka “Bobby Z,” was at the helm of the “Minneapolis Sound,” which showcased funk, rock and R&B. Since recovering from a heart attack, Rivkin has focused on raising heart-health awareness, and stages an annual benefit for his organization, My Purple Heart. This story was produced for KFAI by Danny Sigelman.

Orfield Labs is the only sound-quality laboratory in the United States. This internationally recognized lab is known for its design, research and testing services, as well as its ground-breaking research in science, perception and architecture of living facilities for elders and people with autism. The building has been recognized with two Guinness Book of World Records: The Anechoic Test Chamber—the Quietest Place in the World at –13 decibels; and Sound 80 Studios—the world’s first multitrack digital recording studio.

Most people believe that children should be kept away from guns, but many Minnesota youth know how to use guns safely and responsibly for hunting. State rules require that anyone born since 1979 is required to successfully attend gun safety training before using a firearm to hunt. KFAI reporter Susan Budig shares the experiences of two brothers, James and Adam Reineke, who enjoy deer hunting; and their father, Herbert Budig, who has been a firearm safety instructor for forty years.

To many people, the bend in the river south of downtown Saint Paul is empty space—a no-man’s land at the base of the bluffs, filled with an underused park and some of the busiest train tracks in the country. But to the Dakota people, this is wakan tipi, the center of the Dakota universe. KFAI’s Bill Lindeke took a tour with Jim Rock and Roxanne Gould, two native American custodians of the area, who have spent years fighting to revitalize and restore this sacred space.

St Paul’s Wabasha Street caves are full of history and mystery—not to mention a lot of Swing-era fun. Originally mined for cilica sand, the caves have also housed a mushroom farm, a speakeasy, and a disco. Big-name Jazz musicians and gangsters frequented the caves in the 1930s, and they were the scene of a triple homicide during that time. The bodies were never recovered, and many think they’re still buried in the caves. Ghost stories abound, with reports of ghosts dancing, playing jazz, and showing up in wedding photos. KFAI producer Maria Almli went to investigate.

Tatters alternative clothing has been part of the Lyn-Lake landscape since 1980. KFAI producer Cyn Collins paid a visit to the story to hear about its colorful history.

Have you ever wanted to play a harpsichord? Hear a phonograph? Read a letter by Mozart? Look no further than the Schubert Museum in Downtown St Paul. This free museum boasts an extensive exhibit on early keyboards, an Indonesian Gamelan, victorian music boxes and more. The Room of the Future includes unusual instruments that combine harp and cello, or meld several violins into one. KFAI’s Maria Almli toured the museum to learn more.

The Real-Phonic Radio Hour is held the third Thursday of each month at the historic James J. Hill Library in downtown St. Paul. It began in November 2011, when library board member Thom Middlebrook created an event to increase attendance. Inspired by the Grand Ole Opry, the legendary WSM radio station, the King Biscuit Flower Hour and old-time music variety shows, Real-Phonic Radio Hour features local and national performers.

Many people fear spiders, but they’re an essential part of our ecosystem. KFAI producer Manda Lillie met up with Mia Schillace Nelson and her husband Paul Nelson, who run Outhouse Exhibit Services in Minneapolis. They build traveling exhibits to showcase creepy, crawly creatures, and are changing the way we feel about bugs.