A few weeks ago I was out watching football with some buddies. I was talking about my new car and how I was disappointed it didn’t have Radio Data System built in, which shows you the song name and title when listening to the radio. “Who still listens to the radio?!” he said. I replied, “I listen to The Current! We have one of the best public radio stations in the country!
_Mary Lucia: Photo by Kyle Matteson under a CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 license
I vividly remember the day Rev105 changed formats. My wife and I were leaving work and climbed into the car in the carpool lot. Turning on the car, Van Halen was playing. I was surprised, but I’ve always been a Van Halen fan, and dug that they were playing it. Rev105 was the most eclectic radio station I’ve ever listened to, and while I was surprised to hear Van Halen, it wasn’t out of the norm from some of the things they played.
It feels like yesterday that Minnesota Public Radio announced they would be launching their own indie rock station with a focus on local music. 89.3 The Current hired a number well known of on-air personalities who had worked in the Twin Cities for years, with experience at Rev105, RadioK and more, which just added to the excitement. Giddy with anticipation, I donated to MPR, becoming a founding member even before the station had launched.
I didn’t grow up in Minneapolis and missed out on the iconic radio station, WLOL. Jon Hunt reminisces about what made radio, and WLOL, great growing up for him as a kid.
I share Mr. Hunt’s enthusiasm for radio. I remember as a kid in the 80s having my boombox reading for the nightly top 10 with my finger poised over the record button so I could get a new song onto a mixtape.
Today marks the one year anniversary of 89.3, The Current, a Minnesota Public Radio station.
By far the best radio station to hit the Twin Cities in a long time, The Current offers an eclectic playlist you’d be pressed to find anywhere else, other than KCRW or KEXP. With a focus on Minnesota local music, and DJ’s who get to play their own songs of their choosing, where else can you hear music from Elvis to Aimee Mann to Thunderbirds Are Now!
Two Minneapolis Star Tribune writers have a back and forth discussionon what they like and don’t like about 89.3, The Current.
It’s an above average article, and while I agree with most of it, there are parts I disagree with, though it does give you a good feeling for the station as a whole.
JB: What I want from a radio station is a DJ I could talk music with.
About two weeks ago I received an email from Minnesota Public Radio that their annual winter fund raising drive was coming up, and a link to fill out a volunteer form to help answer phones during the pledge drive.
I had already pledged money to MPR to support 89.3, The Current, before the station even launched, in support of what they were doing. (See my other posts on The Current.)
I’m consistently impressed with 89.3, KMCP, The Current. The music keeps getting better and better. I had some money left in my MusicNow account, so I took Mary Lucia’s advice and picked up Ted Leo & The Pharmacist’s Shake the Sheets. I had looked for it at Best Buy, but they had had only 2 of their older albums. I also picked up Tegan & Sara, a Canadian folk duo (sisters, I think) that have opened up for Sarah McLachlan a few times.
My corporate firewall / proxy server defeated me at work today. I was unable to stream the Windows Media stream for 89.3, KCMP The Current. So tomorrow, I shall go old school, and bring an old radio / small boombox. Take that corporate IT managers!
The Current publishes their playlist for the last 6 hours, here’s a sample (in reverse order) of what I heard on the way home from work today:
I’ve been meaning to blog this all weekend, but I got distracted.
MPR has re-launched their website, replacing just the blog, including bios of the on-air talent, a feedback form, a FAQ, and donation information.
Speaking of donating, in the age of XM, Sirius, and Napster, when you can pay $10-$15 month for hundreds of stations, why donate? Because 89.3 is public radio, a community service, and is unlike and other radio station out there.