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2 Big Sales for Local Music Fans

Plus Half Price Books workers walk, protecting Black journalists, and a security makeover for Target Field in today's Flyover news roundup.


Remember Treehouse Records? It’s briefly coming back to life.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Treehouse Records is Liquidating; Slim Dunlap is Downsizing

"THIS IS NOT JUNK!" shouts the ad for a one-day sale of 8,000 CDs that once populated the now-shuttered Minneapolis record shop Treehouse Records. Owner Mark Trehus is unloading 'em on July 29 for $0-$3 each to benefit the Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge, which is where the blowout sale will take place. Names like Leonard Cohen, Guided By Voices, Lucinda Williams, and Yo La Tengo are dropped to entice buyers to the Hook, where they'll also encounter a vast selection of blues, soul, jazz, indie, avant-garde, garage, psychedelia, and shoegaze. "This ain’t about making money, folks," organizers write. "This is mostly an excuse to get some music back out into the community at bargain prices and gather together some old faces. And to say thanks for 32 great years." Back when Treehouse was known as Oar Folkjokeopus, its upstairs area famously served as the hangout for the oft-over-served Replacements, who were known to stagger kitty-corner from the CC Club.

Speaking of the 'Mats: A Racket reader passed along intel on this three-day estate sale featuring belongings from Slim Dunlap, the celebrated Minneapolis band's guitarist from 1987 through '91. There's some very cool shit there, too, including: music memorabilia, trademark flannel clothing, instruments, gear, Chris Mars's old motorcycle (!), fan art, collectibles, and basically everything attached to the house, which will reportedly be torn down. "All proceeds will help fund Slim’s ongoing care and medical expenses," reads the "Dunlap Family Moving Sale" listing. Dunlap's decade-plus of medical woes stemming from a severe 2012 stroke are well-documented; the following year's Songs for Slim EP planted the seeds for a 'Mats reunion that would last for three years.

Half Price Books Workers Strike for First Time Ever

In late 2021, as the Striketober movement swept across the country, Twin Cities workers began unionizing at local Half Price Books locations. Eight stores have since unionized, including four in Minnesota—Northtown, Roseville, St. Paul, and St. Louis Park. Today, for the first time ever, the local shops went on strike to protest alleged unfair labor practices committed by the Dallas-based bookseller. Workers will be picketing all four Minnesota stores throughout the day tomorrow.

Enjoy this very feisty quote that United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) provided by St. Paul HPB worker Hanna Anderson:

“We’re fed up. Half Price Books management has repeatedly failed to approach negotiations with the respect and seriousness workers deserve. Instead of living up to Half Price Books’ purported family-owned values, management offered workers an offensive 1 percent wage increase while violating federal labor law in the process. If Half Price Books wants its values to be anything more than a shallow punch line, then management should stop their hypocrisy and treat workers like family by providing us with real raises and the security a union contract provides.” 

Damn! And here's a look at those bookish comrades skipping work, courtesy of the Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation:


Journalists have had to develop thick skins in the age of anonymous online commenting, but as MinnPost managing editor Harry Colbert Jr. writes today, a racist message ending with “I HOPE SOMEBODY KILLS YOUR FAMILY” was more than he (or anyone) should be expected to stomach. In his piece, Colbert discusses his history of having the N-word (which he spells out in full) flung at him by white people, beginning when he was five years old. He goes on to discuss how the rise in threats to journalists has been even more severe for journalists of color, and they should not be asked to shrug off either offensive or threatening language. A subheader to the piece informs us that MinnPost reported the message to the authorities. 

Revitalized Downtown Enters Its Fence Glow-Up Era

If additional barricades make downtown areas more enticing, Minneapolis is about to get another shot in the arm. The Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) announced Thursday that it will be adding new barriers in a couple key areas to Target Field. These renovations aren’t really up to the authority, the Twins, or the city; changes are being made, much like the fencing coming to the U.S. Bank Stadium, to comply with U.S. Department of Homeland Security specifications, which require protections around huge buildings that can withstand attacks from people driving vehicles going over 50 mph. While $15.7 million is required for U.S. Bank Stadium's unscalable 8-foot fence, Target Field's anti-terrorism upgrades are only running a (comparably) thrifty $3.2 million. The team and the MBA, who'll split the cost, plan to swap the granite benches along N. 7th St. for bollards and add hydraulic arms to staff parking entrances, plus a few other bollard-related flourishes that will require digging up and repouring concrete. Construction will take place during the 2024 and '25 Twins seasons while the team is on the road.

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