Top Culture Picks

What in-the-know Duluthians are reading, seeing and listening to

Don Ness: Mayor of Duluth 

"I've been listening to 4x4, the debut album from Minneapolis band 4onthefloor.  I've known lead singer Gabriel Douglas since his time playing with Dave Mehling and the Fontanelles.  4onthefloor has been playing in Duluth for the past couple of years, most prominently as the opening band for the Turtles and Willie Nelson at Bayfront - it's not easy to be an opening band at Bayfront, but they had a big enough sound to really get the crowd going. The band's name is based on the fact that they have 4 bass drums that all four band members play in addition to their other instruments.  It's more than a gimmick, it gives the music a strong driving stomp blues feel.  The best description I could give of their sound is to imagine if Jim Morrison lived into his 40s, ditched the organ, and started doing straight ahead blues rock.The disc does a good job of capturing the raw energy of the band, but to fully appreciate 4onthefloor, you have to catch them live next time they’re in town. They'll be at R.T. Quinlan's March 23rd."

Chris Leblanc: Youth Advocate/Street Out Reach Worker @Lifehouse

"TV Series: The Wire. A lot of Tv series these days have a difficult time objectively portraying their characters and scenarios of these characters. However, this series offers little to no judgement, no slant, or real direction on how you’re supposed to feel about these characters. Example- One scene you will witness a young african american boy hustling drugs on a corner and in the very next scene you will witness him getting his younger brothers ready for school in an apartment that seems to be owned by him. The writer of the series uses his own personal experiences through his life as a journalist in West Baltimore to portray what he really experienced in terms of different people’s socioeconomic status. Some of the characters in the show were past interviewees from actual slums in West Baltimore."

Bill Wagness: Multi-Media Journalist and Reporter for Northland News Center

"Music: Flying Lotus. To say that I worship everything [Adult Swim] is easily the biggest understatement of my young adulthood. All shows aside, [AS] has introduced me to some of my all time favorite musicians—including, but not limited to—Flying Lotus. Since I’ve had the pleasure of overplaying his latest LP, ‘Cosmogramma,’ since its release two years ago, I’ve recently taken a stroll back down memory lane and re-discovered ‘Los Angeles,’ his sophomore album. FlyLo has always been a master of multiple genres, with an ability to combine electric with ambient, dirty with downtempo, etc.—the list goes on. To say he’s been an influence in my musical career—once again—an understatement. In fact, some day I hope to be just like him."

Joe Remark-Kitchen Manager @CHUM Drop in Center

"Book: What the Dog Saw By Malcolm Gladwell. When I'm not watching channel ten's exposés on synthetic marijuana, I'm reading shit like books. Just when I thought I had reached an intellectual critical impasse, my friend Ben gave me this book. I learned how Heinz ketchup incorporates all seven types of taste (witchcraft), what football players teach us about hiring educators (smart), and what keeps Ron Popeil pushing the envelope (if Britney Spears can make it through 2007, I can make it through this day). Spoiler alert: nothing on fake weed."