Reach over to your radio and tune in to 88.5 or go to wmnf.org and hit Listen Now. I know, it's way down there on the dial. No, it's not a religious station unless of course awesome music is your religion. If it is then I'll see you on Sunday. If you haven't heard of WMNF yet then I probably can't say anything in this blog that will convince you to unlock your piggy bank and send them your hard earned pennies but I will try. WMNF is the only, I repeat, ONLY radio station in the entire Tampa Bay area that plays independent music, local music, and indie music from bands that will never ever make it to commercial radio. They play genres of music that corporate radio like ClearEverythingElseOffTheDialChannel can't even pronounce. Not only do they represent small genres of music like Native American music, Jewish music, Polka music, and World music but they also play acid jazz to zouk and afrobeat to zydeco. If you love music and have an open mind for new genres then there really is nowhere else to go. I think that a lot of people here don't get how rare it is to have a station like this. If you grew up in a wasteland of commercial radio like say East Texas then you might never have heard of this music. Robert Earl Keen is from Texas and I never heard him on the radio before I moved here.
On top of that, WMNF goes out of their way to have talk programming that serves the people of our community. I want to take it down now and talk about one particular show and how you can support the station and the arts at the same time. If you have heard of WMNF and haven't sent them your hard-earned pennies then you are exactly who I want to talk to.
Have you paid $5-$10 to get into an art show or a concert this year? Do you drop $12 for a couple of beers at the Independent on Saturday night? Well then, I need you to pony up and pay the cover charge for Art In Your Ear today at 1:30. This show is the only place that actually takes the time to bring artists on the radio and talk and interview them here. JoEllen is an engaging and quite often hilarious interviewer who brings on people from the visual arts, stage, and music every week to discuss what is happening and get people involved in the arts discussion here. You can hear about what's going on at Tempus Projects, TMA, the Museum of Fine Arts, or maybe Jobsite Theater or the Silver Meteor or in Ybor. I hear the complaints, nobody supports the arts here, heck I do a lot of complaining myself but trust me, she supports the arts and believes in it! You need to put your money where your mouth is and send her $5 or $10 today. There are 476 fans of Art In Your Ear on Facebook and if each of those sent $5 that would be $2380. I'm pretty sure that would open some eyes to the amount of support that she gets from us in the community.
If every person that ever whined about the lack of arts support sent her $10 then there would be no talk of layoffs. You know who was the first to call volunteers to action after the layoffs? You guessed it... JoEllen, and she didn't rest until they made it right! With the money that we send WMNF, they would be able to do more shows and more music and get larger live acts! So get off your wallet and spend the first round of drink money on Art In Your Ear today. You don't even have to wait until 1:30 to do it. They make it so easy that you just drop it in the tip jar. Here's the link. Tell JoEllen that I sent you. Did I mention that she's also the owner of the Globe Coffee Lounge in St. Pete?! That's right, and you know how busy indie owners are because you listen to me whine about it. So she takes time out her week to inform us slackers who don't want to scour the internet for shows on the best arts happenings! Okay, I'm done, if that doesn't convince you then nothing will. But just in case you're on the fence let me list a few of the bands that you will never hear anywhere besides WMNF 88.5.
MGMT, Robert Earl Keen, Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, The National, The Beauvilles, Okkervil River, Rebekah Pulley, Nervous Turkey, Gorillaz, Frightened Rabbit, The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Sons of Hippies, Richard Thompson, The Watson Twins, Gotan Project, Candy Bars, Tokyo Police Club, Refugee All-Stars of Sierra Leone, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, Ryan Bingham, Of Montreal, Light Yourself On Fire, Ratatat, The Black Keys, Rogue Wave, Band of Horses, Grizzly Bear, Sparklehorse