Local Current Blog

Archives: History

Searching for Lake Minnetonka and solid ground post-Prince

I was walking through Manhattan recently, making my way up 5th Avenue to check out all the Christmas displays like a typical Midwestern tourist, when I looked up and realized something odd: I was standing at the foot of the Empire State Building, an instantly recognizable spire that I had been eyeing for blocks. But […]

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Music History Spotlight: Blaze

Whether it was setting a drum set on fire or covering the Plasmatics, Blaze built a reputation for boldness throughout the Midwest. With fierce lead singer Wendy Engler, bassist Ralph Benicke, guitarist Nick Baca, keyboardist Mike Case and Matt Batchelor on drums, the band captivated audiences with a set infused with new wave and dark […]

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Ten things you need to know about André Cymone

This week’s Local Show features an interview and performance from André Cymone. Before we dive in Sunday at 6 p.m., here are a few key facts to get you properly acquainted with the artist, who grew up contributing to the Minneapolis Sound.  1. As a young musician in the midst of the growing Minneapolis Sound, […]

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Music History Spotlight: Sean Na Na

Not long after graduating high school, Sean Tillmann and Jeremy Allen hit the road in a Honda and began touring as an early version of Sean Na Na. Soon enough, the pair recruited Ben Webster from Austin, Texas, forming the band’s core lineup. From about 1997 to 2006, the trio toured almost continuously, adding musicians from the cities […]

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Music History Spotlight: The Clams

In hopes to add another all-female rock band to the Minneapolis music scene, Cindy Lawson took out ads in local magazines in the summer of 1985. Soon enough, the City Pages and now-historic Twin Cities Reader ads caught the attention of drummer Karen Gratz, bassist Patsy Joe and  guitarist Roxie Terry, and The Clams were […]

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Music History Spotlight: Maurice McKinnies and the Champions

After touring the country with Big Maybelle and Eugene Church, 17-year-old Maurice McKinnies moved to the Twin Cities, where he soon became a key player in the close-knit, flourishing R&B, funk and soul music community that pioneered the Minneapolis Sound. Upon moving to the area, he played with a band called the Big M’s, which featured […]

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