Local Current Blog

Kerry Alexander of Bad Bad Hats signs off as Local Current DJ in Residence

Kerry Alexander performs with Bad Bad Hats at The Current's 11th Birthday Party last weekend at First Avenue. (Nate Ryan/MPR)

What a cool month January has been! When I was a student at Macalester, I worked for the radio station and had a radio show every semester I was there. I loved the process of putting together my playlists and felt at ease telling jokes and talking during vocal breaks — so being able to DJ at a stream run by The Current, a station I’ve loved and admired and woken up to on a daily basis for many years now, was truly a special experience.

There were a lot of things I really enjoyed about this gig. One of them, certainly, was discovering new music. I like to think I have a pretty good handle on what’s happening now in the scene, but I had almost no knowledge of pre-2008 local groups. Thankfully, The Current’s library is stacked! So, I could just sift through and pick out whatever struck me. The Beatifics, the Monks, and “Spider” John Koerner and Willie Murphy were some favorite discoveries.

I’ve always enjoyed dedicating songs to my mom, so she got many shout-outs. We saw Prince together (my first concert!) when I was 13. She loves “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry.” Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue” is another of her favorites. She also found out about Psymun and is a big fan of his collaboration with K.Raydio (LucidDreamingSkylines). Good choice, Mom!

I think the thing I enjoyed the most, besides making air horn noises and singing an impromptu Local Current jingle, was the opportunity to reflect on my experience in the Twin Cities scene as a whole: the bands I’ve played with over the years and the bands that have inspired me.

I thought of Bad Bad Hats playing our first show ever at Macalester’s Battle of the Bands alongside our friends in Carroll (we both lost).

Falling in love with Strange Relations at a show where I was electrocuted by my microphone.

Meeting Jeremy Messersmith in the Cedar green room at John Mark Nelson’s album release show.

Playing an acoustic show in an art gallery alongside Paul Flynn, James Diers, and Danny O’Brien.

I played Halloween, Alaska’s “Empire Waist” and the Farewell Circuit’s “We Were Wolves” multiple times over the month because I can’t get enough!

I thought of the first show I went to in the Twin Cities: Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps. Caroline signed my CD and I was as happy as a clam.

I thought of when I studied abroad and exchanged mixes with my boyfriend back home. He gave me Mason Jennings and Motion City Soundtrack. Everything really is alright!

I feel lucky to have been able to perform alongside and get to know so many of the artists whose music I played during my stint as the Local Current DJ in Residence. Thanks to The Current for helping to create such a strong music community — and thank you for letting me get behind the mic again! I missed it.

Tune in to our Minnesota music stream today — Friday, Jan. 29 — from noon to 6 p.m. for Kerry Alexander’s last shift as Local Current DJ in Residence. Then, listen in on Friday afternoons in February to hear our next Local Current DJ in Residence: Eric Mayson.