This song is part of a compilation album released just this week titled Dark Was The Night. The compilation is a benefit for the Red Hot Organization – "an international charity dedicated to raising money and awareness for HIV and AIDS through popular culture." The album was produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National.
You can listen to The Giant of Illinois, plus a couple other songs I like from the album, just because I can, on this customizable (cool) widget.
Uff Dah Minnesota - by Roy Holdren
This is one my mom sent me. It's a silly country parody. I found it online here.
The soundtrack listing to date: The playlist so far: Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota - Weird Al Yankovic Stevie Nix - The Hold Steady Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight (or Heavy D & the Boyz) Such Great Heights - The Postal Service An Ear For Baby - The Thermals Minneapolis - That Dog Minnesota - The Push Stars Minnesota - The Mountain Goats Say Shh... - Atmosphere We Got as Far as Minnesota - Kind of Like Spitting Minnesota Moon - The Big Wu Minnesota - Northern Light Weird Fishes/Arpeggi - Radiohead Big Fish - 3 Minute Hero Spin The Globe - Reel Big Fish Please Come Back - Catfish Haven Fishing For a Dream - Turin Brakes Big Chair - Travis Tallest Building in Hell - by Jared Mees & the Grown Children The World at Large - by Modest Mouse The Giant of Illinois - by Andrew Bird Uff Dah Minnesota - by Roy Holdren
We head back to Canada for another International Spotlight. The town of Nackawic, New Brunswick received the title of Forestry Capital of Canada in 1991. The giant axe was built to honor that and, as the bronze plaque reads, it "symbolizes the importance of the forest industry, past, present and future, to the Town of Nackawic and the Province of New Brunswick."
From what I can gather, it seems to be about 60 feet tall (I've also seen it listed at 49 feet and 66 feet.), is 23 feet wide, and weighs about 7 tons. Also, there may or may not be a time capsule in the axe head.
Portland, Oregon's famous Paul Bunyan statue has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a "well-crafted example of roadside architecture." The statue was unveiled in 1959 to celebrated Oregon's 100th birthday as part of the Oregon Centennial Exposition. He stands 31 feet tall. Coincidentally, he will be celebrating his 50th birthday this Valentine's Day.
Portland's Bunyan is not the first Paul Bunyan on the National Register, however. That honor would go to Bemidji, Minnesota's Paul and Babe, which were built in 1937.
When my sister-in-law went on a post Christmas trip to Anchorage, we asked her if she could take some pictures of Snowzilla. She was kind enough to oblige.
Snowzilla is a creation of Billy Powers and his kids. It made it's original appearance in December of 2005 and measured roughly 16 feet tall. A 16 foot tall snowman requires quite a bit of snow, so they used buckets and sleds to collect snow from their neighbors' yards. Snowzilla was resurrected in 2006, they were unable to do it again in 2007 due to a lack of snow, but they were at it again this winter. This year, however, the city tried to put a stop to that. Tried, but failed.
The city decided that Snowzilla was a public nuisance due to the increased noise and traffic surrounding it and because of safety concerns for onlookers from that traffic and, apparently, the threat of a structually unsound Snowzilla toppling over and crushing small children... I guess. They also claim that not all of Powers' neighbors are so thrilled to have the giant snowman around.
Two weeks before Christmas, while Snowzilla still did not even have a completed torso, the city placed cease-and-desist orders at the base of Snowzilla and at Powers' door. This put a halt to the construction of Snowzilla and left a giant mound of snow.
In some kind of Christmas miracle, Snowzilla reappeared before dawn on December 23rd. Someone rebuilt the snowman, seemingly in the night. This time, he rose to about 25 feet. This year's version is not as shapely and well-proportioned as previous incarnations because of the speed of the build. It delighted the children nonetheless.
For more information or pictures of Snowzilla, just Google it. There will be plenty.