An oral history of 89.3 the Current's in-studio performances

Categories: Radio
Photo by Nate Ryan, courtesy of MPR
One oft-overlooked aspect of 89.3 the Current is that it has access to one of the best recording studios in the region. Since the station began in 2005, Minnesota Public Radio's Studio M and Studio P (technical specs here) have hosted between 1,400 and 1,500 sessions with local and national talent like Phoenix, Lana Del Rey, Adele, Miguel, Broken Social Scene, and so many more that can be found in the in-studio archives.

With the insights of technical director Michael DeMark, who oversees most of them, and the stories of other present and past staff, here's an oral history of the in-studios at the Current.

See Also: 89.3 the Current: An Oral History

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An oral history of 89.3 the Current's The Morning Show

Categories: Radio
photo of Riley courtesy MPR, photo of Seel by Nate Ryan
The faces behind your morning radio.
The day's early hours can be make-or-break for radio. When sleepy commuters roll out of their beds and into their cars, many stations try to connect via a bawdy, prank phone-calling, zoo-style show. But at 89.3 the Current, The Morning Show co-hosts Steve Seel and Jill Riley have created a subtler model.

The duo didn't always helm the 6 a.m. shift. From the station's start in 2005 until the end of 2008, 89.3 was home to Minnesota Public Radio's well-loved, long-running version of The Morning Show, anchored by Dale Connelly and Tom Keith, who went by his alter-ego Jim Ed Poole on the radio. When Keith retired at the end of 2008, the Current was faced with creating a morning show of its own -- something to draw in listeners, set the tone for the day, and reflect an identity the station was still growing into.

In an extra segment of this week's cover story on the Current, here's an additional set of stories about how the station got its mornings, told by the people behind them.

See Also:
Radio Heads: The oral history of 89.3 the Current
An oral history of Rock the Garden
Oral History of 89.3 the Current: Minnesota music community says thanks

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Oral History of 89.3 the Current: Minnesota music community says thanks

Categories: Radio
Brother Ali photo by Marshall Franklin; Caroline Smith photo by Mark N. Kartarik

This week, 89.3 the Current begins its 10th year on the air. Not only has the station been a score for Twin Cities music fans, but local musicians, labels, publicists, and every part of the ecosystem have been positively affected too. While preparing this week's cover story, 89.3 the Current: An oral history, we were left with a lot of extra material that was fascinating, but we couldn't squeeze it in. Over this week, we'll try to remedy that.

Today, we have testimonials from artists like Brother Ali, Jeremy Messersmith, Caroline Smith, Dan Wilson, Chan Poling, Lizzo, Lazerbeak, Low's Alan Sparhawk, John Munson, Rhymesayers CEO Siddiq, and so many more. And though former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak isn't technically a musician, he'd done enough stage-diving to be included here.

See Also: 89.3 the Current: An oral history

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Radio K up for four CMJ College Radio awards, including Station of the Year


Music fans in the Twin Cities area are blessed with a plethora of great radio stations to choose from. No matter what your tastes or preferences are, you can typically find a spot on the local dial that is playing something you like. Radio K is definitely one of the best radio options in the area, for not only discovering new music, but hearing deeper album cuts from bands that you already love, as well as terrific in-studio sessions that we frequently focus on in Local Frames.

National music fans are taking notice of Radio K's stellar efforts as well, as the University of Minnesota's student-run radio station has just been nominated for four CMJ College Radio Awards, including the coveted Station of the Year award.

See Also:
Best Radio Station - Radio K

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Talk back at 89.3 the Current at their second music meeting

Categories: Radio
Photo by Nate Ryan
Unlike our gridlocked national bureaucratic bodies, effecting change on the local airwaves can be as simple as buying pint at Amsterdam Bar & Hall and having the liquid courage to speak up.

The second running of 89.3 the Current's Music Meeting happens tonight in St. Paul, and it's an opportunity to express feedback directly to the people feeding us music when we're stuck in traffic, at our desks, or getting our freak on with Mark Wheat every Friday.

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Rock the Garden 2013 lineup & schedule

Photo by Erik Hess
The 2013 Rock the Garden lineup is out there. The Current and the Walker Art Center have unveiled a grouping of bands that hopefully will not raise the ire of too many local op-ed writers, and two of the big names for the spectacle are staples of the station, Metric and Silversun Pickups.

The event takes place at the Walker on Saturday, June 15 for about 10,000 folks gathered on the grassy hill next to the gallery. For anyone who is not a vet, you'll need to pony up for membership to either the Walker or the Current to get a shot at these tickets before they go on sale Friday. They sell mighty fast.

See Also:
Rock the Garden at Walker Art Center, 06/16/12
10 gorgeous GIFs from Rock the Garden 2012
Rock the Garden Festival 2012 lineup

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Love 105 FM is now sports talk station The Ticket

Categories: Radio
The lite-rock stylings of Love 105 are no more. On Monday, April 1, the station became The Ticket, a CBS sports talk station.

This is the latest move for the frequency that once held alt-rock listeners with Rev 105, and has revamped several times since. The switch from Drive 105 to Love 105 occurred back in 2007, and then its parent company filed for bankruptcy two years later.

See Also:
Minnesota Twins music director Dan Edwards is out
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Introducing the Gimme Noise Music Podcast

Here's a surprise to ease you out of this warm and sunny Friday. The very first Gimme Noise Podcast is live! Recorded in our satellite "studio" in Seward, this represents a collection of recent topics, both locally and at large, that we -- myself and music editor Reed Fischer -- wanted to discuss further.

In this 20-minute installment, we talk about the new Har Mar Superstar song, Alan Sparhawk's artistic rise, the recent SXSW Music Festival in Austin, and City Pages' own 10 Thousand Sounds Festival. Check it out below the break.

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Jennifer Lawrence and SNL remind us Minnesota radio still lacks hip hop

Categories: Radio, Rap/Hip Hop
Saturday Night Live still thinks the state of hip hop radio in the Twin Cities is laughable. Over the weekend, we returned to the fictional studios of B-108 in Shakopee, "Minnesota's home for blazing hip hop," for another early morning joke at our scene's expense. This time, guest The Hunger Games starlet Jennifer Lawrence plays Busty Rhymes, another dim-witted intern who replaces Lindsay Lohan's Illiterate Lisa.

In general, much of the schtick still focuses on the original skit's premise. Only at 5 a.m. would there be a hip hop show here ("Even Al Roker's still asleep"). And instead of a Kevin Beacham or Lisa Moy, we get fatuous jocks Richard the Investigator aka Rowdy Doody (Taran Killam) and the Buffalo aka Cedric the Carabiner aka Osama bin Luscious (Bobby Moynihan) on the mic.  

See Also:
Lindsay Lohan disses Minnesota hip-hop radio on Saturday Night Live?

B96 switches to 96.3 NOW, a "hit music" station

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Local critics, Gimme Noise included, converged on the Local Show

Categories: Radio
It's most opinionated time of the year. Thus, 89.3 the Current's studios opened up for a few gatekeepers from the Twin Cities music media to air out the wares they've been pushing all year long once again before moving onto the 2013 models. This is the Critics Pick edition.

In an episode that aired Sunday evening, Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider, Pioneer Press's Ross Raihala, the Current's Andrea Swensson, and myself all got in the booth with the Local Show's David Campbell and discussed what music was great in 2012. And then, as you can see above, things got ugly in a way that only Instagram could capture.

See Also:
Twin Cities Year in Music 2012

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