Local Current Blog

My friend, my mentor, Rebecca Marx

Rebecca Marx (left) and Kelsey Simpkins (right). Courtesy Kelsey Simpkins/The Aural Premonition.

On Tuesday, I found out one my favorite people in the Twin Cities passed away the other week, and I want to share her with you.

Rebecca Marx was a friend and a mentor in the music scene for several years before I moved to Colorado in 2016, and even then, I saw her when I came back over the holidays. We went to shows together, she was my editor at Rift Magazine — my first ever regular, paid music writing gig in my adult life — and heartily celebrated me getting into graduate school for journalism with one of my favorite nights out. She believed in me, supported me, made me laugh so much, and was so honest with me about her own life and its challenges. I loved Rebecca so much, and I know how much she loved the people in her life, including her husband Tony and her kids. I am so upset she’s no longer with us but the world — and definitely my world and my career — were changed forever for the better by her being in it.

I wanted to share some of my favorite pieces I wrote for Rift Magazine, one or two of which I included in my graduate school application, and some other memories of this amazing woman I was lucky enough to have in my life for a short while.

I wrote an entirely too long feature about Humans Win! Studio in Minneapolis in late 2015, while I was apply to graduate school in journalism, “‘We feel proud to put our name on it’: Discussing the evolution of Humans Win! Studio, their annual demo contest, and modern music production.” I reviewed albums, including Taj Raj’s full-length Night Speech and a release from Greycoats. A favorite interview was with the duo Holidae, ahead of their album release back in 2016, as well as my chat with Warehouse Eyes.

I met Rebecca through Krista Vilinskis of Tinderbox Music, who was so kind as to recommend me as a writer to Rebecca and Rich Horton at Rift Magazine. Writing for Rift was my first paid freelance music writing job, and I finally felt legit and that I truly belonged in the Twin Cities music community. That gave me not only the experience, but the confidence to interview and write more and more pieces for my own blog (The Aural Premonition), Bearded Gentleman Music, and Bandsintown.com. I want to thank Rebecca for helping me get into graduate school, which has since changed my life and my career for the better — and for celebrating with me the day I found out I got into the University of Oregon, with a few too many whiskeys at Republic.

Rebecca made me feel like if she could figure out a small local magazine on the fly, that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. She gave me confidence that I was a good writer, that I had a knack for writing about music and finding great bands to write about, and maybe that someday I could run my own record label. I remember we had brunch once at Aster Cafe and talked about our lives with such honesty. Despite there being almost 20 years between us, it never made a difference. With Rebecca, I was almost always smiling or laughing, and I knew she always wanted me to succeed.

She was pretty busy with her family and her own responsibilities, but I never felt like she couldn’t find some time for me. I am honored that I got to meet her husband, Tony, on our last night out in Minneapolis before I moved, and I remember thinking that these two people were incredibly lucky and blessed to be with each other. Rebecca, you were a sun in this world, and your bright light will be considerably missed. You left us much much much too soon, but you are remembered and loved so deeply.

Rebecca Lynn Marx: May 7, 1972 – September 22, 2020

This post was republished, with permission, from Kelsey Simpkins’s blog The Aural Premonition.