Two mainstays of Radio K's programming came to a bit of an unceremonious end last month. Paul Harding, who's hosted Sunday morning's essential listening, Radio K International for 16 years now, and Adam Mehl, host of punk program, Out of Step for nearly 7 of its 10 years, have long been hallmarks of the weekend programming schedule.
But along with hosts from the perennial Locust Lecture and On the Corner, the University of Minnesota graduates were told they'd have to hand over their headphones to make room for more student volunteers on the Radio K airwaves.
Typically the University of Minnesota embraces and depends on the involvement, experience and loyalty of alumni, but as part of the new "all students on-air all the time" policy and an attempt to secure student service fees, Radio K has made the adjustment -- which for a college radio station seems to make the most sense.
Regardless, both Mehl and Harding have since moved on. Without missing an uptempo beat, Out of Step has moved from the confines of student radio to the cyberworld with a weekly podcast now available through iTunes and the recently erected Fancy Pants Gangsters - Twin Cities Netcast Network.
Though a bit disappointed from the way he was treated in the transition, Mehl sees the progression as a new opportunity. "I have gotten my ass in gear to do something I'm excited about," he says. "People have donated studio time to me for live bands, to record the show and money to buy turntables. It kind of kicked my butt."
You can follow along with playlists and subscribe to Out of Step on its blog. Mehl has also put together a 10th Anniversary showcase which is coming up Wednesday, July 20 at the Triple Rock.
Paul Harding, on the other hand, is taking a break from hosting a radio show. While Radio K International will still stay on the Radio K airwaves with new hosts, no other DJ in town turned his listening audience onto more music from all other parts of the planet. It's been his spirit and dedication in a mostly niche and thankless genre that has made the listeners of Radio K International tune into his presentation week after week, all the while never taking a penny for his work.
To celebrate his stint he's put together an evening of DJs and local bands that will be bringing the good World Music vibes to the Cedar Cultural Center this Saturday night for Rewind! Celebrating 16 years of Radio K International. Taking over the decks at the Cedar, Paul will be bringing his patented sound of dance music from across the globe. As his trademark head-spinning mix of the best from the Latin world, reggae, middle-eastern, afrobeat and everywhere in between, it should promise to be a positive way to maintain the spirit and energy Paul brought to listeners every Sunday morning. Local Cuban son powerhouse and my newest favorite local band, Malamanya will be on hand as well to close out the evening.
Malamanya "Mi Son Cubano"
Lets hope the evening inspires Harding to continue to make a local presence on and off the airwaves with those sounds.
Rewind! Celebrating 16 years of Radio K International happens Saturday, July 9 at the Cedar Cultural Center. 7pm $5 All Ages welcome.