The busy music month of November

Published 9:50 am Sunday, October 29, 2017

Did you know that listening to music reduces stress?

Studies have shown music can reduce anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure during a stressful activity such as delivering a presentation. Music can even decrease pain and anxiety during medical procedures. Researchers think music can distract patients from their misery and even increase their ability to tolerate pain.

Slower musical beats can also alter brainwave speed, creating brainwave activity similar to a meditative or hypnotic state.

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“There’s just something about music — particularly live music — that excites and activates the body,” said Joanne Loewy, co-editor of the journal “Music and Medicine.”

So as you review all the live music opportunities at the Paramount Theatre in November, remember: attending a live music show isn’t just for fun. It’s also about managing stress and reducing anxiety.

Whalen and the Willows kicks off the month on Saturday, Nov. 4 with a line-up hand picked by Austin native Joshua Whalen. You might find your new favorite alternative rock act among performers: The Tinder Box, SwanSolo with BIG Sexy and Dylan Fett. Josh will cap off the show with a performance by his new project: Whalen and the Willows.

Humbled by their southeastern South Dakota roots, the Tinder Box (Chad Konrad, Dominic Osterloh, and Jon Wallner) offer a uniquely cohesive blend of folk, blues, and bluegrass. Expect unique vocal style, strong rhythmic guitar playing, capacious songwriting abilities and immense stage presence from SwanSolo (Alison Swan Seebeck Huttner).

She’ll be backed by four-piece rock band BIG Sexy presenting  originals and covers. Lyle native Dylan Fett will bring his folk-rock singer-songwriter vibe to the stage. Whalen and the Willows is an indie folk band consisting of Joshua Whalen, violin/vocalist Victoria Torkelson, and vocalist Jessica Williams along with new members Nick Braaten and Trevor Bordelon.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, the Paramount will host  the New Standards, a minimalist jazz trio composed of Chan Poling (of The Suburbs), John Munson (of The Twilight Hours, Semisonic, Trip Shakespeare and The Flops) and Steve Roehm (of Electropolis, Rhombus and Billy Goat). With Poling on piano, Munson on bass and Roehm on vibraphone, the band reinterprets songs from a wide variety of genres, from classics like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” to “London Calling” by The Clash. These are not the old standards… they are the new standards.

Finally, Billy McLauglin and Simple Gifts will fill the Paramount with holiday music on Friday, Nov. 17. Presenting exclusively traditional hymns and carols interpreted in modern arrangements, Simple Gifts will be joined on stage by the Austin High School Choir.

MinnPost music critic Jim Walsh called Simple Gifts “…one of the most elegant and listenable Christmas collections of this or any year.” Expect an “Old-world” feel highlighting Billy’s signature acoustic-guitar, angelic three-part harmony vocals, bagpipes, Celtic whistles, violin, piano and tasty atmospheric percussion.

Tickets for all these shows are available online at, by phone during business hours at 507-434-0934 or at the Austin ArtWorks Center open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Coming soon at the Paramount Theatre

Nov. 1: $5 Movie: “Good Will Hunting,” 7:30 p.m.

Nov 4: Whalen and the Willows, 7:30 p.m.

•Nov. 8: $5 Movie: “Forest Gump,” 7:30 p.m.

•Nov. 11: The New Standards, 7:30 p.m.

Coming soon at the ArtWorks Center

Nov. 4: Mugs and Handles with James Bracken, 10:30 a.m.

Nov. 10: Painting the Softer Side of Nature with Joni Finnegan, 10 a.m..

•ArtRocks Open Jam Session, 7 p.m.

Find out more at