Not to get hung up on the weather and everything (see: the last three installments of Your Minnesota Weekend), but it is finally the time of year when we start reflecting on the endlessness of winter and dole out snowfall awards. MPR News meteorologist Paul Huttner is this close to presenting the Golden Snow Shovel award for the most snow (in aggregate) this winter.
And the (tentative) winner is...Isanti. That is, of course, if no more snow falls this winter.
Paul says we ought to see temps in the 60s again on Saturday and Sunday. Keep your windbreakers close — and start dreaming of Lake Superior road trips.
The Twins continue their epic road trip with Friday night's (7:10 p.m.) game, returning to Kansas City and a three-day weekend with the Royals. Their record is 8-7 right now, second in the American League Central Division. Catch them back at Target Field next Friday, when the Tigers come to town.
• Related: Maybe Target Field should have had a roof (NewsCut)
Unrelated: Today is Good Friday for Christians all over the world. More than 280 years ago, J.S. Bach presented the St. Matthew Passion, a musical interpretation of the biblical story of Jesus' death, at Good Friday evening services. Classical MPR offers a visitor's guide to the experience.
• Also: The Current's local gig list
Record Store Saturday
It must be spring. Saturday's Record Store Day brings with it an entire block party outside Hymie's Vintage Records in Minneapolis' Longfellow neighborhood. Expect a full day (11 a.m. until 9 p.m.) of live, local music inside and outside, a roped-off section of 39th Street, album releases and a beer garden, set up in conjunction with Merlin's Rest bar.
Laura and Dave Hoenack have owned Hymie's for five years now, but it's already been named among Rolling Stone magazine's greatest record stores. They bought the place when they were still a young couple with two little kids and an aging dog. "It's funny how often people will come in and say, 'Wow it's like walking into the past,'" Laura Hoenack said this week. "And me as a young person says, Eh? The past never left."
If you go — to Hymie's or any other of the many Twin Cities record shops — keep an eye out for local vinyl labels, such as Minneapolis-based Learning Curve Records and Otis Redding's "Pain in my Heart" album, which is being re-pressed and released in vinyl for this year's celebration.
• Related: How I learned to love vinyl again (Local Current blog)
In case you missed it: Living with ALS: Wrestling with angels
For Christians and Jews, this week is one of the holiest. Passover, for Jews, marks freedom from slavery and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Holy Week, for Christians, marks Christ's crucifixion, death and resurrection.
"In spite of its darkness, I have always loved Holy Week. It is the complete package. A story in which each one of us can find some element to which we can relate," Bruce Kramer said during a sermon on Palm Sunday at Edina's Good Samaritan United Methodist Church. He's been a member of the church for many years and was asked to speak about his illness, and what it has taught him.
Need last-minute brunch ideas? Minnesota Monthly's Rachel Hutton talked with Classical MPR this week. She's got you covered.
• Related: City marks one year since bombings
Keep an eye out for Ellen Hunter-Gans, of Edina, who is headed back to Boston to finish the race she began last year. "Finishing certainly was the last thing on my mind as we began to understand the enormity of what had happened" that day, she told the Daily Circuit's Tom Weber this week.
As always, we bring you a week's worth of books to warm your library card (your e-reader?) and your literary soul. This week's unofficial theme: Traveling, near and far.
But first: The Pulitzer Prizes were announced this week — and yes, there's a Minnesota connection. Two, in fact: Poet Vijay Seshadri was honored with the Pulitzer laurels for his book "3 Sections," published by Minneapolis-based Graywolf Press. University of Minnesota alumnus Kevin Siers, an editorial cartoonist for The Charlotte Observer, was also a winner.
"When I was about sixteen and first encountered contemporary American poetry, the poetry of the '60s and early '70s, which was inseparable in my mind from the transformations and the energy of that period. I still think of the contemporary poets I read when I was sixteen, seventeen, twenty as Parnassian. I know some of them personally now, and they still seem mythic to me," Seshadri told NPR this week. His publisher, Graywolf Press, has a growing reputation for producing award-winning works. Last year, poet Mary Szybist won a National Book Award for "Incarnadine." And in 2012, Tracy K. Smith won the Pulitzer for "Life on Mars."
Jeffrey Shotts, Graywolf's executive editor, talked to All Things Considered's Tom Crann this week about how the publisher approaches its finely curated projects.
• Macondo: So what if it's not a real place? Gabriel Garcia Marquez took us there. The Colombian novelist died this week at his home in Mexico City. He was 87. Worth a moment to reacquaint yourself with — or meet for the first time — the Buendia family. (From the archives: Puppet Theater presents "Very Old Man with Enormous Wings")
• Lake Superior: The Heavy Table's James Norton and Becca Dilley team up for a full-circle guide to Lake Superior's food adventures. ("Lake Superior Flavors: A Field Guide to Food and Drink along the Circle Tour")
• Illinois: "The Last Ferryman" by Gregory D. Randle
• Tampa: Dennis Lehane's "Live by Night", as explained and presented by novelist Diana Abu-Jaber, who also writes about Florida in her novel "Birds of Paradise"
• New York, Hollywood, Paris, St. Paul: "Z," Therese Anne Fowler's novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
• Paris: Joan DeJean's "How Paris became Paris", an examination of how the City of Lights became a modern metropolis
Finally: It's not a book, but it's all about travel. Cube Critics Euan Kerr and Stephanie Curtis pulled together a list of foreign films to help you extend any vacation abroad. (Also on the movies front, Euan spent some time talking to Richard Shepard, screenwriter of "Dom Hemingway," which opens in the Twin Cities this weekend.)
Mark it down
It's not too late to score some tickets to this year's Rock the Garden show, co-sponsored by The Current and the Walker Art Center. The two-day music festival's lineup was announced this week. Headlining the second day: Valerie June, who will be joined by a host of other local and national acts, from Jeremy Messersmith to De La Soul.