Sleepwalking down memory lane

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I have this feeling that I’ve written about this before, but I can’t find it in my blog, or in Michael’s. And looking back through the last year of posts over there was… painful. So if I’m repeating myself, forgive me.

When I was in college, I was a DJ. It started the summer before I began classes, in fact. Michael somehow found out about WMCN, which was weird, because we could barely get the signal way over in Minneapolis, since WMCN was just 10 watts. But somehow he figured out that it existed, and that I could get a show there. I applied, got a show, and we did it together. We called it “Sleepwalk” and led off with the Ultravox song of the same name.

It was fun, and I kept doing it throughout the four years I spent at Mac (1984-88 for those keeping score at home). As he had that first summer, Michael shared the studio with me many times – often enough that when I was filling out the application, I’d list the DJ as “The Unstoppable Matheny Brothers” – and even when he wasn’t there, his influence was.

If you want to get a sample of his (and my) musical tastes of that time, check out his Pandora station: http://www.pandora.com/station/play/917077119442963905.

This summer is my 25-year college reunion. And the folks at WMCN are offering alumni the chance to DJ a show. I jumped at the chance, and signed up for Friday June 7th from 10pm-Midnight. My pitch was to do a retrospective of New Wave from its roots in the late 70s through the modern artists still keeping the sound alive. That sounded like a really good idea at the time, but having just spent a couple of hours in iTunes building a playlist, I realize it’s going to be a tall order to fit into two hours. I’m going to have to be ruthless in my selection, because right now I’ve got 11.2 hours of songs.

And it’s going to be hard, because part of the reason I’m doing this is for Michael. I wouldn’t have been a DJ if not for him. Explaining that is hard – I mean, I can do it in writing like this, because no matter how tight my throat gets I can still type. And thanks to my high school typing classes, I’m a touch-typist, so the tears blurring my vision aren’t a problem. Go me.

So I’m going to ask my friend John Slade if he’ll be my wingman for this – he was my best friend in college (and still is) and he knows my musical tastes. And if I’m unable to take the mic to explain why I’m playing a particular song, he’ll have my back.

Wish me luck. And strength. And come Friday June 7th, give a listen at http://www.macalester.edu/wmcn/. I promise you’ll hear good music.

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