Climate Change in Minnesota: Minnesota River Expanding, Raising Flooding and Erosion Concerns

By Bradley Carlin

There’s no doubt that climate change is having effects on temperatures and weather patterns globally, but here in Minnesota we’re seeing some pressing environmental concerns that are causing policymakers and local residents to seek immediate efforts to help address the side effects of global warming. 

One such concern is the expansion of the Minnesota River. The river’s width has nearly doubled in some areas since the 1940’s, encroaching on and threatening personal property, roads, and ecosystems. Higher-than-average rainfalls are a large contributing factor to the river’s overflow, with last year being the wettest year on record for Minnesota.  According to a 2017 study by Utah State University, the increase of rainfall and severe storms more generally has caused the river’s flow to double since the 1950’s. This added volume of water has raised concerns of both flooding and erosion along the river bank. For instance, in Mankato, Minnesota, the river has expanded outwards over 50 feet, bringing it just 8 feet away from the well the town uses for drinking water. 

Policy makers and local residents are quickly seeking both temporary and long-term solutions to help relieve the river’s overflow, reduce erosion, and improve water quality. 

It is hoped that these solutions, while currently only treating the symptoms of global warming, will spark more changes aimed at a more holistic approach to addressing climate change. 

You can read a great write-up of some of the more pressing environmental concerns related to the Minnesota River in this recent article in the Minneapolis StarTribune

Medium Post – Events in Minneapolis this Weekend (Feb. 7 2020)

Check out the latest Medium.com post with some cool events in Minneapolis this weekend. Here’s the highlights:

Flannel Fest

When: Sunday, February 9th from 12:00–2:30pm
Location: Columbia Manor | 3300 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Event Website: https://www.esns.org/northeast-flannel-fest

Blue Man Group

When: February 5th-9th
Location: State Theatre | 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55402
Things to Know: Show times vary | Advanced ticket purchase required
Event Website: https://hennepintheatretrust.org/events/blue-man-group-broadway-tickets-minneapolis-mn-2020/

Family Skate and Bonfire Night

When: Friday, February 7th
Location: Bryant Square Park | 3101 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55408
Things to Know: Advanced ticket purchase required
Event Website: https://www.active.com/minneapolis-mn/classes/family-skate-and-bonfire-night-february-7th-2020

Full Medium Article: Bradley Carlin on Medium

Bradley Carlin: 3 Events to Check out in Minneapolis-St Paul this Weekend

Winter Fest Craft Beer Tasting

Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s WinterFest is going on this Friday, January 17th from 7:00 – 10:00pm. The annual event brings over 100 Minnesota breweries under one roof for a night of craft beer tastings and food pairings. Your $80 admission ticket gets you unlimited beer tastings, unlimited small-plate food pairings, and a commemorative tasting glass. All proceeds go to benefit the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.

When: Friday, January 17 from 7:00 – 10:00pm

Location: Polaris Club | US Bank Stadium | 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55415

Things to know: No guests under 21 admitted (Photo ID required). No pets.  

Event Website: https://www.mncraftbrew.org/event/winterfest/

Acoustic Guitarathon 

The Minnesota Guitar Society is hosting its annual Acoustic Guitarathon on Saturday, January 18th at 7:30pm. The concert will feature both up-and-coming and established artists from a variety of musical backgrounds. 

When: Saturday, January 18 at 7:30pm

Location: Sundin Music Hall | 1531 Hewitt Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104 

Event Website: https://www.mnguitar.org/sundin-concerts-19-20/2019/mgq-c23lm-l25se-d7k2m-2n6l6

Spring Brook Nature Center’s Winterfest

If you’re looking for some outdoor adventures this weekend, look no further than the Spring Brook Nature Center’s Winterfest in suburban Fridley, Minnesota. Enjoy family-friendly adventures like snowshoeing, trail activities, a medallion hunt, and a visiting dog sled team. The event will last from 12:00 – 3:00pm on Saturday, January 18th. 

When: Saturday, January 18 from 12:00 to 3:00pm

Location: Spring Brook Nature Center | 100 85th Ave, Fridley, MN 55432 

Event Website: https://www.springbrooknaturecenter.org/Calendar.aspx?EID=1152

Minneapolis Live Music: Three Local Music Spots to Check Out this Weekend

The Minneapolis music scene is as diverse as it is ubiquitous. No matter your genre of preference, you’re destined to find a great local spot to enjoy some of your favorite artists, as well as discover new bands and artists just getting started in their careers.

Whether you’re a local or are just passing through, check out this latest Medium.com Post with a few legendary Minneapolis music venues to check out.

https://medium.com/@brad_carlin/bradley-carlin-minneapolis-live-music-three-local-music-spots-to-check-out-this-weekend-1c858a8e7e84

Brad Carlin: Four Tips to Make Your Band’s Next Show a Success

Establishing a local band in your hometown or city can be a surprisingly daunting task. This is especially true if you’re in a new city where you don’t have an established family, friend, or musician network. Regardless of where your band’s looking to get started, having the right approach combined with a little (OK, maybe a lot of) persistence can help you start booking more venues and playing more shows.

Here are a few simple tips to help you get started:

Don’t Play Too Often

The instinct for many bands just starting out is to play any show that they can get. While building your experience and exposure is a good thing, too much exposure can actually hinder your band’s growth. You want your audience to feel a sense of urgency when you put on a show, as if missing that night’s show means not being able to see your band for several more weeks. If you’re playing the same venue too often, you may end up making your band too accessible, which could actually hurt your attendance.

Start Small

Playing in an over-sized, half empty room isn’t fun for either the audience or the band. When targeting venues to play, aim for those you are confident you can fill with friends, family, and fans. As your audience grows, you can begin booking larger venues.

Think Diversity

This applies to all aspects of the experience:  the type of music, the type of venue, and perhaps most crucially, the composition of the band itself.  Bands that feature multiple lead vocalists and multiple featured soloists are inherently more interesting.  On the venue side, while the lure of downtown venues and hip nightspots is strong, don’t summarily reject fundraiser and other private gigs; while their exposure they offer may be more limited, it’s still good for networking and an opportunity to see what material works best where.  

Collaborate with Other Local Musicians and Bands

Networking is a huge part of the music industry at every level. Networking with venues, musicians, and other local residents is crucial to your band’s success. Try to attend other musicians’ shows and get to know the local players in your town or city. Once you’ve identified a few bands or musicians that you think might be a good fight, ask them if they’d like to collaborate or do a guest performance. This is a great way to give your own fans something different, as well as expose your band to a different following.

Brad Carlin and Homeward Bound perform “Shame on the Moon” by Bob Seger

“Shame on the Moon”, by Bob Seger, performed by Homeward Bound during the Hearts and Hammers “Spring RAG” fundraiser at Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis, MN on Friday, Apr 26, 2019.

Homeward Bound is Brad Carlin (guitar, piano and vocals), Josh Carlin (drums), Heather Succio (piano, mandolin and vocals), Susan Thompson (guitar and vocals), and Jim VerBout (bass guitar).

band’s website:  homewardboundband.com

New Trend: Utilizing Music Therapy in the Workplace

For many decades Music Therapy has been widely practiced within the medical community as a method of addressing numerous health concerns and ailments. More recently, the practice of utilizing music therapy for other applications has become more widespread.1 One particular field that has been rapidly growing within recent years is the application of Music Therapy in the workplace.

Many employers have recognized the benefits of offering Music Therapy as a way to help promote health and wellness among their employees. When facilitated by a qualified Music Therapist, both passive (listening and enjoying) and active (playing and creating) Music Therapy has been shown to boost employee morale, promote collaboration, and improve overall productivity within the workplace.

Here’s a quick look at some of the most common benefits of Music Therapy in the workplace:

Improves Productivity

Trained Music Therapists can help teach your employees how to intentionally use music throughout their workday to help improve their mood, focus, and productivity at work.2

Promotes Health and Wellness

Recent research has specifically detailed the health and wellness benefits of Music Therapy when used within a medical setting. In the workplace, Music Therapy can help to reduce stress, improve moods, and boost employee’s immune systems.3

Increases Collaboration

Playing, listening, and creating music in a team environment can help your employees to connect more deeply and promotes better communication among your employees.4
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1. [https://www.musictherapy.org/about/history/

2. [https://content.iospress.com/articles/work/wor01410]

3. [https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=566436047272311;res=IELHEA]

4. [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08098130609478159]

3 Common Benefits of Music Therapy

Lately I’ve been becoming more and more interested in music therapy, which involves creating, playing, singing, or listening to music to help address various physical or mental ailments in patients. While anyone can experience the healing and therapeutic benefits of music on their own, music therapy sessions are generally conducted or overseen by a licensed therapist or specialist. Administering music therapy under the care of a trained music therapist can greatly increase the benefits of this time-tested and popular practice.

There are many different applications and benefits of music therapy, and I hope to dig deeper into each of them on this blog at a later date. In the meantime, here are three of the more common benefits and uses:

Helps with Pain and Recovery

Music therapy can help change our perception of pain. Surgery patients, people with chronic pain, and cancer patients have reported a reduction in pain levels when undergoing music therapy.

Helps with Symptoms of Depression

Music can have a tremendous effect on our moods. Many therapists use music therapy to help those suffering with depression because of its ability to help regulate emotions and promote general well-being.

Helps Improve Memory Functions

Because of its melodic and repetitive nature, music has the ability to improve our memory and general cognitive functions. Studies on patients with Alzheimer’s have also shown that music therapy can help recover previously lost memories.  The effects here can be particularly dramatic; see for example this remarkable video of a memory care patient named Henry:

Henry not only remembers his love for music, but even the name of his favorite singer (Cab Calloway) before then crooning a familar Christmas tune.  I’ve served as a pianist/songleader at memory care facilities, and while I’ve never seen anything quite this dramatic, I have seen previously unresponsive people open their eyes wide (like Henry does) and literally dance in their chairs.  It’s amazing and truly a joy to behold.