I’m not a DJ. I’ve never specifically wanted to work in radio, nor do I know anything about the standards and practices involved with doing so — which is why being asked to be Local Current’s DJ in Residence was a little scary for me. I sort of live under a rock. The only local music I’m regularly exposed to is made by my friends, and is usually happening in front of me. I haven’t spent much time researching or collecting local music, so I was a little nervous about being handed the torch.
First, I decided to focus on what I do know how to do, which is being weird and dramatic. I wrote a radio drama about a DJ suffering from amnesia, who slowly discovers who he is listening to local music. That was really fun, and I’m thankful that I was given the freedom to do something like that. However, now after having the last three weeks to really dive into Local Current’s catalog, I’m sort of kicking myself for not having one more week to explore. In my mind, the best DJs don’t draw attention to themselves directly: through their specific curation of music, you gain an understanding of their character. This is a skill I wish I had more time to cultivate. I suppose I do have time to do so — it’s not like I’m going to cease to exist once now that this residency is over.
Or maybe I will.
Maybe I was created in MPR’s basement with the sole purpose of being Local Current’s DJ for a month, and now that I have fulfilled my destiny, I will quickly fade from existence, and return to the stygian void. I guess we’ll see…
Sorry, what was I talking about?
Ah yes. Minnesotans have made so much amazing music. Getting to spend a month playing some of my favorite artists, and discovering a ton of new stuff has been an incredible opportunity — one that I have benefited greatly from. I wish I could take the music library home with me and keep exploring, but I guess I will have to work on compiling my own collection. This experience has shown me that I have some serious gaps in my understanding of our music scene, gaps that I hope to continue to fill.
Additionally, there are also gaps in The Current’s catalogue. I don’t say this in a pejorative or accusatory way — rather, as a testament to the importance of the DJ in Residence program. I would challenge future DJ’s to continue to bring in new music that others may overlook, as well as using your time here to fill in your own gaps.
Thanks to The Current for offering me this residency, thanks to Kelsey for being awesome and walking me through it, thanks to whomever tuned in and listened, but most of all, thanks to Dom (or Don? sorry), the MPR volunteer who found my keys in the snow on the light rail tracks after I spent hours searching for them my first week. YOU RULE DOM! DON’T EVER CHANGE! DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU’RE NOT THE MAN! YOU’RE THE MAN DOM!
Tune in to our Minnesota music stream today, Feb. 26, from noon to 6 p.m. to catch Eric Mayson’s last shift as Local Current DJ in Residence. Next Friday, we’ll hand the guest DJ mic over to March’s DJ in Residence: Tess Weinberg of Murder Shoes.