Your weekly playlist

Conductor and composer Sarah Hicks, who is reinvigorating pops concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, joined Stephen Smith for Bright Ideas at the UBS forum. It was rebroadcast this past week on Midday.

It’s been a banner week for in-studio performances – enjoy!

Jazz singer Jane Monheit

She was critically acclaimed after her debut hit album in 2000 and critically reviled for being marketed as a sexy “jazz princess.” Today, Jane Monheit is 33, a first-time mom, and perhaps more comfortable than ever.

Memoir explores how land can connect a family

When she was a teenage writer, Sarah Stonich shrugged off her father’s belief in the necessity to own some land. Many years later, as a single mother, she came around to his way of thinking, and bought property near Ely.

Researcher looks at impact of file sharing on music industry

When file-sharing websites like Napster first appeared years ago, many in the music industry predicted a devastating effect on new artists breaking into the business, and a chilling effect on creativity. But, that hasn’t happened, according to a researcher at the University of Minnesota.

The science, and science fiction, of forensics

From battlefields to crime scenes, Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner Andrew Baker has seen death in many forms. And he says he views every victim as his patient. He joins Midmorning to discuss the science of forensics, and why what we see on TV doesn’t reflect reality.

The Dinner Party Download featuring Neil Strauss

This week on the Dinner Party Download: A NYC tailor tells a joke, we hear about a time when giant rabbits roamed the earth, and get a visit from bestselling author Neil Strauss.

Rogue Valley perform in The Current studio

Local quartet Rogue Valley is collaboration of Chris Koza and fellow Twin Cities musicals Peter Sieve, Luke Anderson, Joey Kantor, and Linnea Mohn. Named after a rift near Portland, Oregon where Koza grew up, their orchestral-folk sound has made them a favorite throughout the cities music scene.

The Dodos perform live in The Current studio

Multi-instrumentalist Meric Long began as a solo artist steadily gigging around San Fransisco in 2005. After meeting Logan Kroeber, it seemed obvious Kroeber’s progressive metal/experimental drumming was a prefect fit for Long’s love of West African Ewe drumming and bluesy finger picking style. With a reputation for using an alternate instrumental approach, their blend of indie-psych folk is definitely a treat for the ears.

Ron Sexsmith performs in The Current studios

Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith has been playing music since 1978 and has been releasing albums for twenty years, so it’s no surprise that he’s garnered substantial recognition from both critics and audiences. Still, he’s reached a point that few musicians get to while still at the height of their powers: becoming the subject of a documentary.

Chapel Club performs in The Current studios

Although their debut album, “Palace,” was released less than two months ago, the London quintet Chapel Club have already created quite a stir in the indie-rock world. Their shoegaze-influenced sound has captivated the British music press, and that buzz has started to bleed over into the US scene, aided by high-profile gigs like their performance at this year’s South by Southwest festival.

The Rural Alberta Advantage performs live in The Current studio

In a sea of internet sensations, The Rural Alberta Advantage definitely hold their own. With exhilarating guitar lines, intricate percussion, and sincere vocals these indie rockers are a talent to be reckoned with.

James Vincent McMorrow performs live in The Current studio

With an oddly similar story and even voice, the Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has received several comparisons to Wisconsin’s Bon Iver. Self-recorded over five months in a small, one room house by sea, James Vincent McMorrow captures the sounds of the waves and the isolated house on his debut album “Early in the Morning” to create a haunting yet beautiful tribute to nature.

Music with Minnesotans: Gwen Freed

It was about 10 years ago that Gwendolyn Freed – then a writer for the Star Tribune – wrote an article that surveyed the playlists of the classical stations in our region. Now she joins Allison Young and creates her own playlist for Classical MPR

New Classical Tracks: A Young Pianist’s Bach

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein made her name playing Bach. Now, as she brings her new Bach disc out, she talks about how she made her way to the composer, and what his music means to her.

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