Record Store Day is Back to “Normal”
April 23. That’s tomorrow, and it’s the day you’re gonna wanna circle on your calendar if you like records, record stores, and days—and if for some reason you still have a paper calendar that you consult. After a few years of makeshift adjustments to the realities of the (not yet over no matter what the airplanes think) pandemic, Record Store Day is back in classic one-day format.
And this means local stores are offering live music again. There are too many events to list here, but the Electric Fetus is serving up the Controversial New Skinny Pill and MMYYKK along with DJ sets by Jake Rudh, Lady Midnight, and Brian Engel; Hymie’s is reopening its music stage with an afternoon performance from Andrew Salgado; while Know Name Records is combining its 45th anniversary along with RSD. And here’s a fun RSD-affiliated gig: The Bleeding Hearts are reuniting for an Eagles 34 show to celebrate the long-long-long-delayed release of Rags to Riches, an album recorded nearly 30 years ago with Bob Stinson on guitar, finally making its way to shelves thanks to Bar/None Records.
What Is Current-ly Happening?
Perhaps you were one of the many who listened, laughed, and even teared up in solidarity as Mary Lucia soldiered through her final four-hour set at the 89.3 the Current yesterday afternoon, sharing your thoughts on social media and RTing your faves from the Current playlist. Even if not, you’re probably already aware that the pug-lovin’ rocker is out at the Current, where she’s been a DJ for 17 years, a genuine institution in Minnesota radio. (Here’s the full playlist, if you’re interested.)
For her farewell show, Looch deviated mildly from the Current’s often rigorous playlist, which got some reminiscing about the good old days of free-form FM. (Never mind that you were more likely to zonk out then to side 3 of Yes’s Tales From Topographic Oceans than rev up with the New York Dolls, or that most of Lucia’s picks weren’t that off-the-wall, even by Current standards.) Some choices were clearly just personal faves, while others seemed like prickly little subtweets at management: Pretty hard not to get the message of Margo Price’s “Pay Gap,” especially since Lucia cited the struggle for “equity and fair treatment of all of my sisters at the station” as one of her reasons for exiting.
Lucia also thanked listeners for their goodwill while suggesting her bosses had been much less supportive.
“These last couple days hearing from you I know I’ve made a difference,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if the company or management doesn’t feel the same way.”
Curiously, MPR President Duchesne Drew announced just after Lucia went off the air that Jim McGuinn, the Current’s program director since 2009, was no longer with the organization. The two events seem related! But how? Says the Strib’s Chris Riemenschneider, “Two sources who have worked for the Current and did not want to be named for fear of reprisal said McGuinn was the main source of Lucia’s complaints.” So why fire him after she leaves? A mystery that Racket would be happy to help solve in the future.
Just a reminder to anyone out there that if you like talking shit about your former or (small or large c) current bosses, Racket has a sympathetic ear or eight to lend.
In Much Less Fraught Public Radio News…
Last year’s inaugural Grand Rapids Riverfest must’ve worked out pretty dang OK, because the folks at KAXE are doing it again. The station has been announcing the lineup for the September 10 event day by day this week: the South Carolina Americana duo Shovels & Rope, Twin Cities singer-songwriter Chastity Brown, and Grand Rapids’ own “Wild Horses.” And today, they shared the identity of their headliner, which starts with a “W” and ends with an “ilco.” You guessed it… Waristemilco.
KAXE is also sponsoring a unique (and free!) little show on Saturday night at a northern Minnesotan high school. That high school happens to have graduated Robert Zimmerman, who appeared on that stage as a teen to do Little Richard impressions (which were poorly received by the administration). This is a very roundabout way of saying that Kenyan-born, Minnesotan-based singer-songwriter Ondara, who was such a Dylan fan he chose the Gopher State as his U.S. destination, will be performing at Hibbing High on Saturday night. And we’ll take any opportunity to remind you of just how gorgeous Hibbing High is.
A DVS Plan
The music industry is not known for its benevolence. But techno mensch DVS1, aka hometown hero Zak Khutoretsky, has come up with a system that might alleviate a few injustices, if the DJ/producer can convince others to follow his lead. The problem he’s addressing? Superstar DJs get showered in riches while the producers and artists whose tracks make up their sets often receive much less. His solution: Aslice, a platform that would allow DJs would share a percentage of their fee (5% is suggested) with producers and artists. Khutoretsky talked over the details recently with DJ Mag.