The cinder block wall in the hallway leading to the studios at Twin Cities PBS is adorned with thousands of signatures of people who have taken part in a TPT production. The space is a highlight and provides talking-points for station tours. As guests are shown into the studio for Almanac, they often stop and look for familiar names. Quick glances at the wall reveal a who’s-who of local and national notables, including politicians, athletes, business leaders, members of the media and musicians. Tom Kelly, Harmon Killebrew, Peter Ostroshko, Rod Grams, Jesse “the Body” Ventura, Dudley Riggs, Carl Eller, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sid Hartman and many others have taken a Sharpie to our wall. (Click on a thumbnail to see a larger shot of each signature.)
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, TPT Studios have been closed to guests, most employees and visitors since mid-March. But rest assured that all of these names will still be here when activities return to normal.
One set of large, block letters spelling out “Tina & the B-Sides” will inevitably stand out as your eyes roam the wall, hunting for recognizable names.
Tina Schlieske fronted her band Tina and the B-Side Movement, which later became Tina & the B Sides, in the 1980s and 1990s. They were frequent visitors to Twin Cities PBS studios, appearing on arts- and music-related shows Showcase and Arts on 2. When they signed the wall, the year ’98 was noted beneath their block-lettered signing. Best guess would indicate they were featured on an episode of NewsNight Minnesota, a nightly news program that featured local music once a week.
Schlieske and her bands were powered by high energy and intense vocal expression – and the band routinely drew packed crowds to area venues like Bunkers and First Avenue. With a sound often described ad rocky and rootsy – think Melissa Etheridge or Sheryl Crow when Sheryl Crow decides to rock – the very nature of the band’s sound instantly conjures up that ’90s alt rock vibe. If you’re of a certain age, the band’s sound will take you right back to what a lot of bands sounded like when flannels and ripped jeans were all the rage.
What are some of your memories of seeing Tina perform? What are some your favorite songs? Let us know by sharing a comment or two.
This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.
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