Meet Kool Aunt Cyndi, host of WMNF’s new Gen X Redux show.

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Cyndi Philpott, host of Gen X Redux. Photo: Erika Flaskamp, 06-2023
Cyndi Philpott, host of Gen X Redux. Photo: Erika Flaskamp, 06-2023

Gen Xers and early risers have a new music show to start Monday mornings. Gen X Redux, hosted by new volunteer programmer Cyndi Philpott, a.k.a., “Your Kool Aunt Cyndi,” brings the eclectic sounds of the 1980s and ’90s to the airwaves on Monday mornings from 3 to 6 a.m. ET on WMNF 88.5 FM.

On Gen X Redux, Aunt Cyndi plays music inspired by her experiences growing up in a working class suburb of Detroit, as a college radio programmer in the 80s, and living and working in NYC throughout the 90s. Tune-in to WMNF in the wee hours of a given Monday and you’ll hear an array of genres including new wave, post-punk, Brit-pop and alt-country.

“One of the best things about growing up in Detroit was Canadian broadcasting,” Cyndi said. “CKLW was the 100,000 watt station out of Windsor, Ontario. They played all kinds of stuff, but they had to follow the ‘Canadian Content Rule,’ which mandates that a certain percentage of programming be Canadian content. So, I heard stuff that most people around [the U.S.] don’t hear,” she said.

Cyndi studied broadcasting at Central Michigan University. “I was really fortunate that I got turned onto college radio. I hosted an indie and alt music program called ‘Contraband,” she said. “I also worked at the local NPR station where she was turned onto public radio and programs like “A Prairie Home Companion.”

“I really loved listening to emerging bands in college,” Cyndi said. “There was a club called The Foolery and they brought in punk and rock acts like Soul Asylum and The Dead Milkmen. It’s so great to see live music in an intimate setting.”
A move to New York City led to Cyndi working for Tower Records in Uptown Manhattan as an assistant manager and music buyer.

Since then, Cyndi has moved around the country a bit spending time in the other Bay Area, San Francisco, before moving to Florida to be closer to family a few years ago.

In 2019, Cyndi became the production assistant on The ’60s Show, then hosted by Bob “The Commuter From Hell” Gray.
“Commuter gave me a chance to produce a special show for International Women’s Month,” said Cyndi. She had so much fun putting together a set of all women artists from the decade that she thought, “I want to get into doing this again.” Enter the pandemic.

Like many people, Cyndi was laid off from her job during COVID, so she took the opportunity to volunteer more at WMNF and learn more about production. She went back to work full-time, yet she jumped at the chance when WMNF Program Director Sam Hval offered Cyndi an early Monday time slot. (A flexible job and a generous boss allow Cyndi time for a power nap when her show ends at 6 a.m.)

Logo for WMNF Gen X Redux Show with Kool Aunt Cyndi Philpot
Logo for WMNF Gen X Redux Show with Kool Aunt Cyndi Philpott

To plan Gen X Redux shows, Kool Aunt Cyndi takes inspiration from her music memories, listener requests, and by referencing old music charts  from CMJ (College Music Journal) and the British journal New Music Express.

“I love listening to new music and I like a lot of the new music that’s coming out—it’s really influenced by the music of the ’80s and ’90s,” Cyndi said.  Earlier this month, she spotlighted Live Aid, and is planning shows around the anniversaries of the vintage music festivals Lollapalooza, and Lilith Fair.

“It’s kind of cliché to say that I love everything, but I do. Even now, I love pop music and power pop. I love funk,” Cyndi said. “I don’t have encyclopedic knowledge. I’m not a music snob. I just want to share my joy of music.”

Listen to Gen X Redux on WMNF 88.5 FM or stream the show at wmnf.org on Mondays, from 3 to 6 a.m. ET.

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