When I go deaf

class=img_thumbleft>Last month brought this announcement from the department of "duh": "Researchers at the University of Minnesota have determined that concerts damage hearing, and wearing ear plugs can help if people are convinced to wear them." They pay people for this stuff? (Read the rest of the press release


.) "It's not just the loudness of music at concerts that puts your hearing at risk," adds one doctor. "Crowd noise can also have a big impact." Which is what I've been telling that guy behind me for years. What I told the tender ears of singer

Juana Molina

(pictured), who

performs Saturday

at the Walker and whose

City Pages interview

is now live, is what my colleague

David de Young

has always insisted: that the key to enjoying concerts safely is expensive ear plugs, not just cheapies you buy at the bar. (Most clubs don't even have those.) Soon I'll check out the


clinic that opened in Edina earlier this year,

Audiology Concepts

, and report back with consumer advice. Meanwhile, not-quite-deaf Pete Townshend is

blogging his novella

: Perhaps only a brain attached to those failing ears would mention that the

deepest note

ever detected from an object in the universe is a B-flat, "57 octaves below middle-C," sounding from a massive black hole in the Perseus cluster. If a tree falls...

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