Thankful for Mostly MN Music – for Heather Baker and all of the music

I’m thankful for Mostly MN Music and all of the people who have encouraged me through the years. So I thought I’d tell the story.

Mostly MN Music has been around for years with written music and arts reviews. I was prompted to get started by my friend (and music promoter extraordinaire) Krista Vilinskis when I quit writing for Twin Cities Daily Planet. It opened the door to a few reviews with my friend Becca Marx at Rift. And then it really got traction when it branched out into radio – an idea that scared the bejesus out of me until the right cohost emerged.

The idea of radio came up three (or so) years ago when my daughter Lily had her on her radio show (Shradio) at CKUW at University of Winnipeg. My friend Heather Baker and I had a great time creating a playlist. And it turns out I enjoyed being on the show. A week or two later, I saw that WMCN (at Macalester College) was looking for community deejay applications. I called Heather and said, it’s due tonight should we do it?

I need to stop to say that Heather and I are both fairly shy. We’re not the ones to run up to you at the show and give you a hug. We stand back. We both have a huge love for local music and that’s what drew us in. But jumping on air was a big leap for us. But heck, maybe we wouldn’t be selected.

But we were selected. And then we realized we had to learn the technology of going on air. Honestly, that first show we might have tapped out and never look back. But we didn’t. We did the scary thing. And I’m proud of us!

Since that time we hosted a weekly show for two and a half years, until COVID shut down the college campus. Our first guest was JOUR. She brought in her keyboard and played. Amazing. And we tool off from there. We got to a point of hosting two bands each two-hour show. Once we hosted the show after each of us had completed a triathlon. Heather did it after a marathon. Once I did it 24 hours after surgery. We hosted people we had crushes on (before and/or after the interview!). We hosted people who were new to us. We bleeped out swears, we weathered silences (technical and other) we laughed and often we danced when no one was watching.

We got a front row to live music once a week. Then COVID happened and we reimagined what we could do. We turned Mostly MN Music into a podcast. We have hosted more than 50 conversations with amazing Minnesota musicians since March. We hosted most of the musicians from the #METOOMPLS and Quarantine Dream, we have celebrated 93 and a half birthdays (with Cornbread Harris), people experiencing homelessness (Zamya), artists inspired by the civil unrest born of the murder of George Floyd (NUR-D and Lewiee Blaze). I like to think we spurred a music video (Little Man’s Body to Body) and we got to interview a favorite band at the Parkways Theater (Turn! Turn! Turn!).

A big thank you to all of the guests who have join us and a special thank you to Heather for contacting artists, organizing the interviews and managing the Instagram account. But mostly I thank her for jumping into the adventure with me!!

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