Ice Palace new song “Gift of Love”

The second pre-release song from forthcoming KORDA 017  How I Came to Win the War  by Ice Palace is out today!  The full album comes out 10.12.18 and represents a rich three year collaboration between Ice Palace songsmith Adam Sorensen and Korda’s Brian Tighe (The Starfolk, The Hang Ups) and Allison LaBonne (The Owls, Typsy Panthre).  Sorensen achieves an effortlessly poignant simplicity in this latest single “Gift of Love.”  We hope you enjoy the song and video, and stay tuned for more soon from Ice Palace!

Whole lotta Korda @ Mortimer’s

on 7.21.18, 5pm show.  Our roster’s been writing up a storm, on this early eve you’ll hear new and old songs by The Hang Ups (Brian Tighe),  The Go-Karts (Stephen Ittner), Deep Pool (Jeff Kearns), Vebekkä (Rebecca Fritz), The Owls (Maria May, Allison LaBonne, Brian Tighe) and from the upcoming release by Ice Palace (Adam Sorensen, Allison LaBonne, Emily Ruiz, Jared Miller, Casey Virock, Ian Prince)!  Come early, the sets will be rapid fire musical chairs, as the bands share many members between them, and the whole thing wraps by 9pm!

Happy Runes av Vaskeri Day!

Record Store Day 2018 is also the birthday of mod-yet-melancholy Korda 016 Runes av Vaskeri!  Pick up a copy at Roadrunner Records in Minneapolis, or find it easily and everywhere online.

Ice Palace first pre-release “Silence is Clean”

We are thrilled to celebrate  forthcoming KORDA 017 release How I Came to Win the War  by Ice Palace with a pre-release single and video “Silence is Clean.”  Ice Palace songsmith Adam Sorensen teamed up with Korda’s Brian Tighe (The Starfolk, The Hang Ups) and Allison LaBonne (The Owls, Typsy Panthre) to make this divine collection of lusciously tranquil songs, which they are currently putting the finishing touches on.  The full album comes out fall 2018, stay tuned for more soon!

Tofte Lake Center Residency

Visiting artists The Starfolk, a chamber pop trio from Minneapolis perform for the first time in the Ely area on June 16 as part of their week long residency at Tofte Lake Center. “Chamber pop” refers to the distinctive use of cello in The Starfolk’s sound, and their acclaimed cellist Jacqueline Ultan is also the group’s connection to Ely.

“I first visited Ely on a residency developing music for The Sandbox Theater, and now I come back whenever I can. I fell in love with Tofte Lake Center’s beautiful juxtaposition of solitude and community,  so nurturing to creative work.”

Ultan’s dual cello lead group Jelloslave drew the largest audiences The Aerie Performance Venue had ever seen, and she’s excited to return with The Starfolk next month. 

“I love bringing a too-often backgrounded instrument to the forefront in diverse musical styles.  The chemistry we create in The Starfolk is powerful. These are melodic, adventurous pop songs with thoughtful lyrics that I think local audiences will really connect with.”

Ultan also looks forward to stocking up on her favorite Ely concoction: Crapola Granola.  “Thankfully now I can find Crapola at Cub Foods in Minneapolis,” Ultan says, “but I discovered it here first.” 

The Starfolk is: Brian Tighe (guitar, vocals) Jacqueline Ultan (cello), Allison LaBonne (bass guitar, vocals)

The Starfolk perform at 7pm Friday June 16th 2017

The Aerie Performance Space at Tofte Lake Center

2209 Fernberg Road, Ely MN 55731


$10 Suggested Donation

15 Winters of Cycling Wisdom From Your Host, Jim Ruiz

Jim Ruiz breezes down "Ice Alley" with extra bright headlight and studded tires

Korda’s own Jim Ruiz breezes down “Ice Alley” with extra bright headlight and studded tires

Today while checking out at the Seward Coop, the cashier, a woman I scarcely know, told me that when she thinks about winter biking – she thinks about me!  Flattered, it made me reflect on the fact that I have been riding in the winter now some 15 long, cold years!!  Long enough that, it seems to me, I am qualified to, humbly, share some of the lessons I have learned with you my dear fellow riders.  I thought the first dispatch should be about your bike.

First, I want to make it clear that it is possible for one to ride in the winter with any bike!  My first years riding in the winter were spent on the bike you see me riding in the Minneapolis video,  it was a Schwinn Collegiate five speed.  It lasted many years until it finally, like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, froze solid with rust.  And although I considered my early riding years to be a big success, I can remember falling once the first year so hard I nearly broke my leg and later that season cracking a rib.  So, here are my top recommendations for creating your safe winter bike.

1.  No surprise here, studded tires.  When I started I had no idea they existed, now I would never ride without them.  Unfortunately, they don’t manufacture ones that work with 27” wheels. Most cheap bicycle-boom, Carter Era, 70’s to 80’s  $100 – $200 bikes you find on Craigslist use 27” tires.  Too bad!! because otherwise they would make excellent sacrificial winter bikes.  There are studded tire options for 26” wheels but they are, at their narrowest, what I would call “mountain bike” width.   These are the tires I currently ride and I love them, they fit 700c wheels.  Notice they have no studs in the center of the tire because, let’s face it, even in the winter we spend 90% of the time riding on pavement. On these tires, the studs only come into play if the tire tilts a little, as can happen on snow or ice, or when turning, but are out of the way when I am stably rolling on dry pavement.

2.  Single speed freewheel, fixed cog, or internal hub gears on the rear wheel.  I don’t think it remained a 5 speed for more than a couple months before the sprocket got rusty and all gummed up I was forced to rid the bike of all that hoo-ha on the rear wheel.   The sometimes crabby guy at Freewheel removed the sprocket, pie plate and derailer for me, I’ll never forget it, it made me, (and even him!) happy.

3.  Fenders.  Strangely enough this is more out of concern for your bike than for you, dear rider.  Of course, aesthetically, they are very pleasing as well!  And one, happily, doesn’t get a wet back!

4.  Upright handlebars.   I have always ridden with them and I just feel more stable at slow speeds this way.  I’ve been tempted to try drops, due to the fact cyclocross riders use them, but I haven’t yet felt the need to change.  If I were commuting 8 miles to work, rather than 2, I would feel much more motivated to give them a try.

5.  An extremely powerful headlight.  This has been a sea change and makes me feel more confident and safer on the roads.  I can even see the change in behavior in motorists when I have my light on.  They respect me more, i.e. give me more room.  In pitch-dark situations you can actually see the ruts you need to follow.   Unfortunately, they need to be off, or at least dimmed, on the bike trail or you risk blinding the oncoming cyclist.   The good old-fashioned tail light, two AAA battery sort, still seems to be quite adequate.

6.  Panniers or some sort of large bag.  In winter, naturally, you wear more clothing.  Having panniers means if you start shedding clothing you have a place to store it.  Sometimes you may need to add clothing.  I usually bring my choppers with me even if it is relatively warm outside, I also bring a pair of shoes to work with me everyday to change into.  I bought the winter bike I ride today for the primary reason that it had a rear rack that would accommodate my Dutch panniers.

So there it is, I hope some of it is useful to you.  Biking, it’s not just for summer anymore!

Yours in (Winter) Cycling,


The Starfolk with K Record’s Calvin Johnson and Ice Palace 7.29.16!


Calvin Johnson, the founder of K Records and seminal indie-diy bands like Beat Happening performs live in Minneapolis 7.29.16 as Selector Dub Narcotic, in support of SDN’s debut album This Party Is Just Getting Started.  Pitchfork just premiered his debut single “Hotter Than Hott“–don’t miss this rare chance to let Mr. Johnson alter your musical reality up close and personal!

Gorgeous music by chamber pop trio The Starfolk will precede Calvin, and a long awaited return to the stage from Minneapolis ambient folk heart-melters Ice Palace will open the night!  Tickets

•  Selector Dub Narcotic (Calvin Johnson)  •  The Starfolk  •  Ice Palace  •  Friday July 29 • Doors 7:30 PM • @Aldrich Ave Church • 3501 Aldrich Ave S Minneapolis • All Ages • $10 • Tickets