Summer Beer Dabbler Recap

summer beer dabbler

August: ’tis the season where Oktoberfests and summer shandies can hold hands in happy harmony. Both were poured in plenty at the Summer Beer Dabbler, which returned to CHS Field for its ninth year (who’s already excited for year ten, yeah?). Party guests include 135 breweries and DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip, Graveyard Club and Dwynell Roland provided the soundtrack. We sent our beer festival trend correspondent Isabelle Wattenberg so imbibe in the fun and here’s what she (mostly) remembered:

Rainy day dabblers came out poncho-ed, baseball capped and full of energy. We even saw some bare legs; it is the summer Dabbler, so we’ll be damned if we don’t drink in shorts.

Everyone was in a really good mood—attendees and brewers alike. Good vibes all around. Had a bourbon barrel-aged cherry lager that was positively mwa. Seriously smooth imperial stouts too. And Against the Grain from Kentucky, my homeland (well, one of them anyway), had a booth there: v. pleasant surprise.

Pretzel necklaces are getting out of control: string cheese, apple jacks cereal, Ziploc bags of homemade trail mix. Also spotted: one festival-er carrying around a Costco-sized jar of pretzels.

People will clap when you break your sample glass. There’s a reason sample glass coozies are now (smartly) a thing.

The foam ranneth over at several tents: We found ourselves slurping through a frothy sample numerous times. Mayhaps the staff were just in a hurry to get as many pours as possible out before the skies started to open (which they never really did).

One notable newcomer to the brewery booth lineup: spiked sparkling waters. Fizzy, sweet, and alarmingly subtle alcoholic notes.

Quick Q+A: Daniel & The Real Feels + Classic Entertainment

daniel real feels

How did local rockers Daniel & The Real Feels develop their die hard fan base? Is it their undeniably classic throwback dancey sound? Their overall good vibes? Daniel’s energetic Jagger-like moves? Likely all of the above, all coated in a generous helping of hot lick magic.

Ahead of Friday’s release party for Daniel & The Real Feels’ new album Classic Entertainment—an accurately named collection of songs that also includes a video for “City Girlfriend” directed by Alec Zender—we sent some Quick Questions over to Daniel Olson and Alec Robertson to hear more about the record, the release show, and their stretching routines.

Secrets of the City: What’s new with Classic Entertainment? Any big departures from the last album or more of the same feel good throwback groove? Please tell us that the new album still has the dance beats to keep your dance-y fans happy!

Dan: With Classic Entertainment we decided to record the majority of the music live, all together in the same room. We recorded with August Ogren who runs this awesome studio called The Petting Zoo in NE Minneapolis. It was a wonderful place for us to tap in to some of the sweaty rock and roll vibe of these songs.

Though we feel a dancey element is still found in this set of tunes, we also gave in to our love of guitar licks and vocal harmonies. We teamed up with our old friend/former bandmate/now producer/mixing master Aaron Sunde who’s got a studio based out of Los Angeles and he mixed and mastered the album. We went for an out-front vocal, high energy sound that hopefully gives a nod to power pop acts of the late 70’s early 80’s . . . we also wanted a sprinkle of a little Rocky Horror on top.

How has years of playing together affected the band and your music-creation process, if at all?

Dan: We all grew up together in Fergus Falls, MN. We tend to get sentimental about that fact and we wanted to create an album that was a true collaboration. We hope the listener can hear those deep roots as they listen to Classic Entertainment. We also brought in some fabulous guest musicians to round out the friends/family open door atmosphere.

Alec: Like Dan said, we all grew up together and we’ve also played in each other’s other projects over the years. We also all write songs on our own which I think helps us to be able to craft songs together in a fun way. I think we all really like approaching the music creation process with a sense of togetherness, goofiness, and friendship that we hope is apparent in all of these songs.

We can’t think of a better fit than D&tRFs plus Worldwide Discotheque for a feel good dance party, but you also teased some surprises, can you give us any hints?

Dan: I think a general air of romance will be wafting about in the air so don’t be surprised if you fall in love while watching some classic entertainment.

Alec: We also have Real Feels beer koozies! Oops. I’m terrible at surprises.

You’ve got a big weekend with the release party and then Ssing Ssing at the Cedar. What’s next after this or will you need a break to rest your hips?

Dan: We can’t wait to be part of the show The Cedar show. We are hoping they take us back with them to South Korea. If that doesn’t pan out we have some shows scheduled in Minneapolis, Fargo, and greater MN this fall.

Alec: I don’t think Dan has ever rested his hips. We are also starting to track for a new EP that should be out this fall so be on the lookout for that.

What’s your favorite feel?

Dan & Alec: The one we got when we received this email from Secrets Of The City . . . JOY.

Oh, those guys! You can catch the release of the new record Classic Entertainment at the Nomad on Friday. Music at 9 PM. $5 door.

Quick Q+A: Gigi B + Cherry Moon Press

prince pins

One of our favorites forms of Prince love, and the favorites of many fans and collectors, has been the enamel pins made by notable local tweeter Gigi B aka @_omgigi_ as Cherry Moon Press. On Saturday, Cherry Moon Press pops-up at B. Resale with several different pin designs—from 3121 perfume to “Purify Yourself” to the 3RDEYE look and more—and the shop will also host a guest DJ spot by Talia Knight to make the shopping trip that much more a party. Ahead of the fun, we checked in with the Pin Queen with some quick questions. 

Secrets of the City: Are you surprised at all by how much Prince’s iconography lends itself to pins?

Gigi B: Not really. Everything he did during his life was iconic and he’s just as iconic in the afterlife. He was so ahead of his time his music and style is eternal.

How did you start making the pins—was this the next natural step after winning best tweeter?

Well of course, but also I have collected pins and buttons my whole life. I have collected Prince pins and tour buttons like 10 years or so. I’ve been collecting pop culture pins for over the past year or so. I love the pin culture on Instagram everyone is so creative, but when it comes to Prince enamel pins out there I can have only so many love symbol pins. I wanted to make Prince pins I wish other people had made already so I did. I love that some of them are obscure references to very detailed, I put a lot of thought into them each and every one of them.

How hot were the First Ave gold Prince stars?

They were insane. They sold out so quick I couldn’t reorder them fast enough. I made it as my first pin because I liked it and I thought my friends would too, but I had no clue how it would take on a life of it’s own. I’ve been asked not to sell it anymore, it’s a bummer but also i’m super happy that it was my first pin that’s how most of my purple family found me!

Which is your personal favorite? The Simpsons pin?

I do love the Simpsons pin! I think it’s a cute nod to Prince’s place not only in pop culture but also meme culture as well. He was very aware of his . . . meme-ability? I don’t know if that’s a word, but you know what I mean. My favorite pin at the moment is probably 3121 perfume. I love it be cause it’s super obscure. People always say “Oh I remember that!” or “Omg Prince had a perfume?!”—I love how a little piece of jewelry can evoke an emotion like that. I believe that’s why my purple family shops with me because I am a fan just making pins and I actually put thought into the pins themselves. Many of them have massive collections and they’re so great. I wanted to add unique pieces to my own collections and feel super honored to be apart of theirs now as well. Oh I also really love Beautiful Loved Blessed. That song is from the 3121 album, it’s a great reminder no matter what’s going on in the world today we’re still those 3 things.

Are there other designs you’re looking for the future? Prince’s buns in his yellow ass-less pants? When will Jerome get the pin he deserves?

Haha, I have so many ideas and as addictive as buying pins is . . . so are getting them made! I try and put out 3-5 designs month and I’ve been open since April. I love dropping a bunch at once to give people options because we all have different tastes. I try and keep them in stock as much as I can but some have been selling out so quickly. Like the first round of that Simpsons pin for example. I had it made mostly for me and like 5 friends, if other people bought it that was a bonus. That pin sold out in less than a week! So now I make sure that’s never low in stock it was definitely a sleeper hit.

Btw, what about other non-Prince products? For example there’s no good Charlotte Flair swag, even though she’s the best athlete currently in the WWE.

Ummmmmm WRONG BUT OKAY. I will definitely make other pins. I don’t know if it would be under the name Cherry Moon Press or when it will be but I have so many ideas . . .  I’m assuming I would make another store front? I’m just not sure yet. I also am not a Charlotte fan so you’ll need to get your Charlotte fix somewhere else … WOOOOOOO 😉

1-4 PM. Free. B. Resale, 2613 Nicollet Ave, MPLS;

Price Points: Total Delicacies


The very first publications were basically just lists of prices for the necessities you would buy throughout a market; that’s what we’ve got here, some of the costs throughout MPLS + STPL. If we had the time, we’d include this in every newsletter! All costs are in American dollars.

Grilled artichokes with romesco, $7
Italian sausage meatballs in red sauce, $7
Forest mushrooms pizza, $13
with arugula, fontina, garlic, pickled onions

kado no Mise
Grilled A4 Wagyu Beef, $42/4 oz
shishito peppers, yuzu kosho and sansho peppercorns
Hosomaki—Tekka maki, $10.50
bluefin tuna roll

Hewing Hotel
St Anthony Suite, $263.20 advance, $329 per night

WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs 
Target Center, Oct 22nd, $27-502

Ali Wong
State Theatre, Oct 14th, $45-65

Quick Q+A: Donna Grantis

Donna Grantis

Imagine how good you have to be for Prince to pick you to play guitar in his band—especially in his later years when he was far into his “guitar god” status himself. Well, Donna Grantis, who played with his Purpleness in the New Power Generation and 3RDEYEGIRL, is just that good, a fact acknowledged by Guitar Player mag to bands she’s shared the stage with: Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, and more.

Now back making her own music, Grantis debuts her new music—we flipped out when reading the descriptions that cite Miles Davis’ “Electric Period” as a comparison—at the Dakota with two shows this Friday. Before Grantis’s big sonic splash, we sent some Quick Question to her about the new music, creating a look, finding talent, and the prospect of becoming a notable local in MPLS + STPL.

Secrets of the City: We know the Dakota is great, especially for jazz/blues performance, but why specifically did you pick the Dakota as the spot to debut your new band?

Donna Gratis: My first public performance with Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL (before we even had a band name) was at the Dakota. As a band, we often visit to check out live music—it’s a great room for both listening and performing in, and Lowell and everyone involved with the club have always been exceptional. Some of my favorite guitarists, like John Scofield and Bill Frisell, have played there a number of times.

We also know that JT Bates is required on the kit for most jazz shows in MPLS, but how did you go about recruiting the rest of your band? Are they musicians you’ve previously worked with? Musicians who share your vision? Does everyone want to play with you these days?

I scoured the internet and frequented clubs like First Ave and Icehouse for a couple of months looking for players who I thought would best fit the musical direction of this new project. After reaching out, we all got together for three days and jammed some of the compositions I’d been working on over the past 18 months. Then we spent a day at The Terrarium Studio in Minneapolis and recorded most of the upcoming album.

It’s very cool to see Miles Davis’s Electric Period as an influence on your musical direction! What parts of that are most prominent for you? Miles’s modal stylings? John McLaughlin’s jazz guitar work? All the guitars on Get Up With It?

Albums I’ve been diggin’ lately are: On The Corner, Big Fun, Dark Magus, In A Silent Way, The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions, Live – Evil and Bitches Brew. I love how the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll is blended with a jazz sensibility in an exploratory context.

Your gear in 3RDEYEGIRL seemed like a pretty advanced rock guitar set-up, will there be many changes gear wise/effect wise for the new band? What helps make the new Donna Grantis sound?

My guitar tech refers to the pedalboard I used with 3RDEYEGIRL as “The Starship”. It features 21 effects pedals over 3 interconnected boards, all running in-stereo. It’s a pretty wild set-up. For this new project, I again worked with Craig Pattison Rig Design to create a simplified board of 9 essential pedals. One in particular that I’m excited about is the Empress Ecosystem Delay which features duel delay engines and up to 35 presets ranging from classic to obscure sounds.

We’re loving (in a big way) the silk screen posters that are available at the shows and some of the retro-funky visuals in the photos, etc. How much input do you have on the design direction and aesthetic for the band/show?

I think photography, fashion, production, lighting, art and design are all important creative outlets that can communicate an artistic vision. I like to collaborate with photographers, designers, sound and lighting engineers and visual artists to ensure that the creative direction on all fronts matches the vibe of the music. It was a pleasure working with Minneapolis’ own Brian Geihl from Dogfish Media to create the silk screen poster. I’m collaborating with long time friends, Call And Response Clothing in Toronto. They are brilliant designers and so fun to work with! They created so many of our stunning wardrobe pieces for 3RDEYEGIRL and it’s been a blast seeing thru this new artistic vision with them.

One of our hopes is that you’ll be regularly performing in and around MPLS + STPL this year and upcoming year—can we look forward to many more shows from you and your projects?

Yes—Thanks! I’m very happy to be here in MPLS. More music coming soon!

Some tickets still available for the August 4th show at the Dakota; 7 & 9:30 PM. $55-30.