Sunday, May 08, 2005

Public Radio Music

My freshman year in college, I was one of the lucky ones to receive a workstudy appointment. However, I did not want to work in some office where I would answer phones or scoop tater-tot hotdish onto plates of students as I sported a hairnet. No, I wanted a 'cool' job. I wanted a job that was unlike anything I had ever done before. Sure, I had scooped ice cream and washed elderly people's hair, but I wanted to do something that would be my first 'grown-up' job.

The work study employment board was full of desk jobs that had phrases like "administrative duties" and "food service". But after much searching and no settling, I stumbled upon the North Dakota Public Radio station that was located on our campus. The job called for "interest in music, friendly, and organized". That was me. Thankfully, I got the job where I was able to listen to two of the three stations that the radio stations ran. I answered phones. I wrapped up CDs and t-shirts for the public radio members during member drives. I ran to get the food for the announcers. I also typed thank you cards for members. But mostly, I sat at a desk where I listened to the radio. I walked up and down the aisle of CDs of the music library.

Unfortunately, I did not receive workstudy funding for the rest of my college career, but I continued to love public radio. UND had a great folk public radio station that highlighted non-commercial artists. It was a completely underappreciated station on campus and in town. They played this great show called World Cafe. (It can be found on most public radio stations.) That was where I first heard of Patty Griffin, Wilco, and Dar Williams.

So, during my trip to Minneapolis, I was brought back to my college days with the underappreciated public radio station that played such excellent music when I listened to The Current, 89.3 for Minnesota Public Radio. They were playing Ray LaMontagne, Sly and the Family Stone, and Jeff Buckley. It was great. You can stream it to your computer and have listen yourself.

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