Hear the latest Great Northern Radio Show from Brainerd

Host Aaron Brown and stage manager Sarah Bignall address the crowd before the Feb. 9, 2019 live broadcast of the Great Northern Radio Show at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd, Minnesota (PHOTO: Grant Frashier)

Last weekend I brought my Great Northern Radio Show to the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd, Minnesota. Today I’m able to share a recording of the show for those of you who missed it live on Northern Community Radio.

The show went well! It was a very cold weekend, approaching 30 below when we woke up last Saturday in Brainerd. Nevertheless, folks showed up and we had a great crowd at the Franklin Arts Center.

The venue is an old junior high school. And while it still very much looks like a school, it’s got a whole new purpose. Classrooms have been converted to art studios and shops. Some have become apartments for artists in residence. We warmed up the theater for the first time in a while. A local theater group uses the space, but they’re about the only ones in there now.

If you haven’t heard the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers you should. They’re an Americana duo that achieve a vintage country sound with all original material.

The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers (Nikki Grossman and Joe Hart) perform at the Feb. 9, 2019 Great Northern Radio Show in Brainerd, Minnesota. (PHOTO: Grant Frashier)

Singer/songwriter Brady Zierke performs at the Feb. 9, 2019 Great Northern Radio Show in Brainerd, Minnesota. (PHOTO: Grant Frashier)

Local singer/songwriter Brady Zierke did a great job with a few of his own original songs.

I delivered three monologues, two of which were based on things I wrote here recently: Hygge and the qualities of light in winter. Another you’ll be seeing this weekend as my newspaper column. It’s a discussion of the misery of throw pillows and shams.

The sketches played well. Our actors for the show included C.J. Anderson, Nathan Bergstedt, Brett Carter, Lauren Nickisch and Louisa Scorich. I wrote several, with a couple more added by Nathan Bergstedt. As usual, most related to interesting stories or quirks about the Brainerd area, though a few explored broader concepts.

Nathan wrote a character called Metro Man Andy Rancid, a pro wrestler from the Twin Cities who talks smack about small towns. He got more boos that we’ve ever had on the show (on purpose, of course).

And we had a lot of fun with a sketch about a single man and woman trying to determine if they’re in the same “league” when they’re both wearing heavy layers of winter clothing.

A man (Nathan Bergstedt) and woman (Louisa Scorich) determine whether or not they’re “hot” based on their self-disclosures of their physical flaws. (PHOTO: Grant Frashier)

We featured several local guests on the program, including Sarah Hayden-Shaw of Sage on Laurel in Brainerd, my friend and Dig Deep collaborator Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, and Brainerd City Councilor Dave Badeaux talking about efforts to save the historic water tower. All of them highlighted Brainerd’s evolution in recent years and what makes them love this small town on the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota.

Sarah Hayden-Shaw

Chuck Marohn

Dave Badeaux

Listen to the show here. Full show audio is at the top of the linked post. Individual segments may be found at the bottom.

The Great Northern Radio Show house band The Occasionals perform during the Feb. 9, 2019 show in Brainerd, Minnesota. (PHOTO: Grant Frashier)

Writer, host and producer Aaron Brown delivers a monologue during the Feb. 9, 2019 Great Northern Radio Show in Brainerd, Minnesota. (PHOTO: Grant Frashier)

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