Bissed Off

Of course, grumbling about the MMA is a popular spectator sport. Which brings us to complaint number two: the fact that just more than 10 percent of the MMA's 250-person membership voted on the final ballot. You can't legitimately kvetch that Jonny Lang should have received a nomination for Artist of the Year (as if commercial success necessarily equals artistic merit) if you didn't help in the public nomination process. I mean, politics is one thing, but if people feel so jaded and powerless these days that we can't even be bothered to participate in something as simple, fun, and community-minded as the Minnesota Music Awards, we're in a pretty sorry state (pun intended). So if you care enough to complain, and you're not already an MMA member, you might start with the MMA info line at 229-3121. Obviously, the more people who sign up, the more meaningful the awards--and other Minnesota music functions--will be. (Simon Peter Groebner)

FOND FAREWELL

THE MMA CEREMONY was also the last local appearance of radio personality Shawn Stewart. On Thursday, Shawn ends her 13 years in the Twin Cities and departs for greener pastures in Philadelphia, where she's accepted the position of assistant music director at WXPN--an adventurous, noncommercial pop station at the University of Pennsylvania. Stewart says her new radio home shares a "similar synergy" with her late employer REV 105, and has nearly as strong a reputation.

Still, she finds it hard to leave Minneapolis. "I only wanted to work at one other radio station," she says, "and it was this one. It was magical the way it happened." She'll also be co-producing their World Cafe program, an intelligent daily pop program syndicated by our own Public Radio International. (Yet it's not broadcast in the Twin Cities; how lame is that?) No word yet on whether her acclaimed Moonlight Meditations show will reincarnate, but there's been some talk about producing an online version sometime in the near future.

We couldn't let this Minnesotan original depart without some farewell words of wisdom, about the REV 105 experience and beyond. "This has been an amazing lesson in supporting something that you love," she says. "So be choosy consumers. It's important in America right now; this is a really decisive time in that individuals have to support smaller businesses, or everywhere you look and turn is going to be The Gap and Starbucks and that's all. The more individuals that have voices, the louder our community will sing." (Groebner)

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