Sunday, August 04, 2013

my saddest day in radio - goodbye Mischke

If you listened to Mischke every night like I did, then you knew this day was coming. There had been hints and comments made from time to time that offered a peek into his world, and it was clear that he was struggling with a choice. Not many creative endeavors are smart enough to know when to throw in the towel and call it a day. For instance, the BBC version of The Office ended absolutely perfect after a mere 13 episodes, where as the American version of The Office slid so far down hill before calling it quits that I found myself not caring what happened at the end. Mischke's decision to leave the airwaves may have not been a total surprise, but it still stings. I think the only better interviewer out there is Terry Gross from Fresh Air, and that is saying something. He was also a master at handling his random callers and usual suspects. Again and again I would hear him turn a phone call into radio magic, be it fooling the caller into thinking they were talking to the screener, telling a mother she was not a bad person for buying medicinal marijuana for her son's relief from cancer, or convincing a critic of his show to meet him for coffee and a hand of cribbage. He often broke into song during his show, and if you listen to me at all on the air then you know why I love that too. I could go on and on with a laundry list of jokes or calls or interviews that kept me coming back night after night to Mischke's show, but it just makes me sad to think that there will be no more moments like them. Mischke explained his reason for leaving - he had done everything he could think of doing on the radio and just didn't have any more to give. That makes sense, and I am glad he had the guts to quit and not just start phoning it in, but boy oh boy will I miss those two hours of radio bliss. I wish the best for him and I hope the next creative endeavor finds him soon.

It was also my letter to Mischke that but the wheels in motion for Emily Kaiser's amazing write-up about the "Mystery Band" Haze in the City Pages. I asked Mischke if he wanted to hear a story, and he was game. Tim and I also joined him on WCCO to talk about Jandek's first Minnesota performance last October, and that was a thrill of a lifetime. He called me that night and said "Can you join me in the first hour?" to which I started blubbering yes and feeling all radio fangirlish. Is that a word? I think it should be. We spent the hour talking about Jandek's music on "big time radio" with Mischke and I will never forget his willingness to embrace a subject outside the norm.

Here is what I think you should do. If you have never heard of Mischke, then go to itunes and download every one of his shows right now that you can. You can find them under "Nite Show With Mischke". There is also a website called The Madness Of Mischke that has some audio you can listen to. Just do it.

All right then, I had better end this. Even though I have never meet the man, I feel like I have lost a friend. Goodbye Mischke.


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