These are a few of the things Mary Lucia loves talking about: bad TV,
shaggy guitar bands, the weird dream she had last night, and cats.
“I just got a kitten and I named it Muse,” she tells me on a typical
Wednesday afternoon. “It’s like I got a wild squirrel and let it loose
in my apartment.”
She’s not talking just to me. This observation
is dropped lovingly amid an eclectic four-hour mix of music during
Lucia’s slot as a drive-time host on 89.3 the Current, a public radio
station that is heard by a weekly audience of 150,000 listeners in the
Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This afternoon’s playlist, as
fashioned by Lucia herself, includes Spoon, M.I.A., the Faces, Brother
Ali, and Radiohead, plus an affecting in-studio performance and
interview with Grammy-winning songwriter Dan Wilson. It’s an average
day on a not-so-average station that’s changing expectations for public
radio in America.