Rain Taxi Spring Fling

Rain Taxi’s BANneD BOOKS spring fling on Friday, May 3, 2024, was a great success, with 100 people enjoying the riveting musical performances by The Muatas, Zak Sally, and Willie Wisely, and spellbinding literary readings by Dessa, Klecko, and special guest Carolyn Kuebler, amid the beautiful Granada Theater backdrop. Thank you to all who made this fundraiser a smashing success: the Rain Taxi Board, the talented artists, our sponsors, and everyone who attended! Click on the photos below for a fun slide show:


THE MUATAS, Ayanna and Cam Muata, create an original blend of post-punk, trip hop, dark wave, shoe gaze, and electronic music. The Muatas have released three albums since 2020, most recently Battle Weary. With a sound that mixes sampled and programmed beats layered with synthesizer, guitar, bass guitar, ambient strings, and vocals that often range between the melodic and spoken, they desire to share a bit of their story through their music, and to connect with others through that experience.

ZAK SALLY has been making comics and art (Recidivist, Sammy The Mouse), creating music (Low, The Hand, solo work), publishing books (via his small press La Mano), and otherwise engaging in various creative WTF’s for 35 years (and counting); he recently published a prose memoir titled Folrath. He lives and works in Minneapolis.

photo by Mathias Fau

WILLIE WISELY is equal parts Minnesota music scene veteran and Laurel Canyon devotee. Wisely remains that rare bird mixing profound power pop with vaudevillian showmanship, a troubadour on an all-night rave, a cold Komboucha on a hot California day, a McCartney-ite taking a break from his Japanese import of Ram for a quick canyon run listening to João Gilberto. Singer, Guitarist, Producer, Composer, and sometimes Clothes Horse, he has released over a dozen albums, the latest of which is Face the Sun.

DESSA is a singer, rapper, and writer who has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations. As a musician she has performed at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury, collaborated with the Minnesota Orchestra, and had entries on the Billboard charts. As a writer, she’s been published by The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler, penned the acclaimed memoir-in-essays My Own Devices, and has had two chapbooks of poetry published by Rain Taxi, A Pound of Steam and Tits on the Moon. Also a noted public speaker on topics from art to entrepreneurship (including a TED Talk about her science experiment on falling out of love), Dessa is the host of the podcast Deeply Human. When not on the road, she calls both Minneapolis and NYC home. 

photo by Sam Gehrke

KLECKO studied breadmaking at Dunwoody Technical College in Minneapolis and the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kansas. He spent the first decade of his 45-year career running ovens on the night shift; often, while waiting for the loaves to bake, he wrote poems. He has since written several books, including the Midwest Book Award-winning collection Hitman-Baker-Casket Maker and the memoir A Bakeable Feast; his work has also been featured in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times. An ardent fan of “all things 651,” Klecko lives in a St. Paul mansion across the street from where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his first novel. 

CAROLYN KUEBLER co-founded the literary magazine Rain Taxi and has been the editor of the award-winning journal New England Review for the past 10 years. Her short stories and essays have been published in numerous venues including The Common and Colorado Review; her piece “Wildflower Season” won the 2022 John Burroughs Award for Nature Essay. She has published scores of book reviews, small-press profiles, and author interviews in Publishers Weekly, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi, City Pages, and other venues. Now residing in Middlebury, Vermont, Kuebler returns to Minneapolis to launch her debut novel, Liquid, Fragile, Perishable, described by Michael Collier as “A true-to-life, richly detailed American tale in the tradition of Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, and Thornton Wilder” and named one of Oprah Daily’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024. 

photo by Karen Pike
A note to help you find your way and park in Uptown: 

The Granada Theater is located at 3022 Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis, but since Hennepin Ave. is currently under reconstruction, the road between Lake Street and 31st, including in front of the Granada, is closed to drivers. This means people can’t get dropped off directly in front of the theater—so you’ll get to take the scenic route there after you disembark or park! 

For parking, the closest, easiest is in the Seven Points (formerly Calhoun Square) pay ramp across the street from the theater — from there simply exit to 31st St., head west to Hennepin, and then north on Hennepin to the Granada. Free street parking is also an option on residential cross streets (Holmes, Humboldt, Irving, etc.). Further navigational directions and a detailed map of street closures and parking availability is available from our official event bookseller Magers & Quinn, whose store is just a few doors down from the Granada: https://www.magersandquinn.com/directions

No matter how you’re getting to the Granada, you will be ready for a drink, a bite to eat, and a show. We have all three areas covered with our celebration of books, bands, and lively fun at BANneD BOOKS! 

Thank you to our sponsors for their support:

Media Sponsor

Event Book Seller