Local Current Blog

Archives: Feature

Graphic: The Current Top 89 of 2020 - Minnesota releases

Top 89: 20 notable Minnesota albums of 2020

As The Current’s local music team, we used to find a lot of new music out at late-night shows, but this year, we’ve mostly been exploring releases through Bandcamp and SoundCloud (and our inboxes). Is it ideal? No, but it’s still rewarding. This year, Minnesota music has made us cry, dance, and cheer. Below, we’ve […]

Graphic: The Current Top 89 of 2020 - Minnesota releases
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For the love of live albums

Somewhere around 1990, when I was a teenager, I picked up a used copy of Bruce Springsteen’s classic five-LP set Live/1975-85. I knew the Born in the U.S.A. hits, and I was ready to take a deeper dive into the Boss’s oeuvre. I put on side one track one (“Thunder Road”), turned off the lights in my bedroom, […]

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Ten Minnesota songs from the 2010s that have stuck with me

Right now we’re all making our best-of-2020 playlists and checking them twice (have you cast your votes in The Current’s Top 89 poll yet?). Do you ever go back and actually listen to the best-of playlists you made in prior years? Every time I do, I’m reminded of some amazing Minnesota songs from those years. […]

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Happy holidays: December programming on The Current

December is a time of reflection and celebration for people of many different backgrounds and traditions. For some, that means religious holidays like Hanukkah or Christmas. For others, it’s cultural celebrations like Kwanzaa. Some look to the winter solstice as a time of renewal, and everyone flips the calendar page on January 1. I’m going […]

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How many ‘Jeopardy!’ Prince questions can you answer?

This weekend, the world was saddened to learn of the death of a television icon: longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. Over the course of 36 years helming the popular quiz show, Trebek asked contestants (and, by extension, viewers) to display their knowledge on a vast range of topics. Among those topics, of course, was Minnesota music […]

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What counts as a cover song?

Pat Boone’s “Tutti Frutti.” Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower.” Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love.” Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion.” The Bangles’ “Manic Monday.” Neil Diamond’s “I’m a Believer.” Puff Daddy and Faith Evans’s “I’ll Be Missing You.” Which of those are cover songs? For music heads, it’s a question with a lot of potential answers. Let’s […]

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Bassist Liz Draper aboard the Ivan Doerd

Minnesota musicians to “PonTour” down the Mississippi River

In a summer that may have otherwise been filled with live music, musicians and audiences alike have been adjusting to socially distanced options. For most, this entails live streams and music videos made from home. For three Minnesota musicians, bassist Liz Draper, fiddler Clancy Ward, and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Ollah, it also involves a pontoon boat. […]

Bassist Liz Draper aboard the Ivan Doerd
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