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The folks from the Southern Songbook series joined Kerri Miller for Midmorning this week.

Local musicians herald The Rites of String

Singer-songwriter Chris Koza joins rock artist Adam Levy and rapper Dessa in MPR’s Maud Moon Weyerhauser studio to perform live and talk about the third installment of The Southern Songbook series. This time, they’re bringing string players into the mix, as part of the Southern Theater’s String Theory music festival.

St. Paul poet’s new collection delivers life with a twist

In his new collection “Invisible Strings,” St. Paul poet Jim Moore lays out complex human stories in just a few lines.

St. Paul musician writes a song a day, for a year

It’s easier and cheaper than ever to make your own high quality recordings, and local musicians are getting more and more ambitious with their output. A St. Paul singer/songwriter is committed to reaching a formidable goal — writing and recording a song a day for an entire year.

Will Rogers: cowboy comic to political insider

Soon after the dawn of radio, Will Rogers became a multimedia personality in newspaper columns, magazines and movies. Now, hear how Rogers also shaped public opinion and public policy.

Writer recounts lessons learned in solitude

Philip Connors once had what some people would consider a dream job: He was an editor at the Wall Street Journal. However, in the space of a few weeks, he set it all aside to become a fire watcher. His new book, “Fire Season,” recounts what he’s learned sitting on top of a tower in New Mexico looking for smoke.

Cube Critics take on comedies and remakes

As cube mates at Minnesota Public Radio News, arts reporter Euan Kerr and the Movie Maven Stephanie Curtis spend more time than they probably should engaged in cinema small talk. Juvenile comedies and and disappointing remakes are top of mind on this edition of Cube Critics.

The Dinner Party Download featuring Greta Gerwig

On this week’s Dinner Party Download, artist and Texas music legend Terry Allen, why some people sleep better than you and actress Greta Gerwig.

Spyder Baybie Raw Dog and 2% Muck perform in The Current studio

Spyder Baybie Raw Dog and 2% Muck are an ironic, rap duo fronted by Bight Club’s Jeremy Nutzman and local producer Eric Muchow. Spyder Baybie Raw Dog and 2% Muck started getting hype in 2009 when they released a free mixtape. Since then, Spyder and Muck have wrapping the Twin Cities in their web, rocking it at the Gayngs Affiliyated Showcase and producing two bizarre music videos for City of Music and MPLS.TV.

J. Mascis performs in The Current studios

Best-known as the frontman for Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis is–somewhat surprisingly–laconic and soft-spoken. In interviews, he is known for his minimal responses and repeated disdain for enthusiasm. Besides Dinosaur Jr., Mascis has played in a number of other noisy, dense bands including Witch, Sweet Apple and Deep Wound. His first acoustic solo effort, “Several Shades of Why,” is a far cry from his previous collection of guitar- and voice-shredding anthems. On this album, he collaborated with Kurt Vile (who he’s currently touring with), Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Dre, and Band of Horses’ Brian Bidwell to produce a delicate record that showcases his versatility as a singer, guitarist and songwriter.

Sharon Van Etten performs live in The Current studios

The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten admits that she’s still trying to find her voice, which she says is dependent upon what she’s listening to — anything from folk to hardcore. After strong urging from Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, she decided to pursue a career and released her first official album in 2009. Now on her second record “Epic,” Sharon says that she’s finally ready to start writing music with the band, which she will be doing this summer.

Grouplove performs live in The Current studio

The five-piece rock band Grouplove began in 2009 when they started playing together during their free time in Greece for an art recidency. When the world-travelers got back to the states they wanted to meet up again and keep working on the music they had been making abroad. A few short months later they finished their EP, signed to Atlantic Records, and were opening up for Florence and the Machine. They are making this music career look easy.

Foster the People performs live in The Current studioAfter a whirl-wind year of touring Foster the People, known for their synth-laced hazy pop, brought an acoustic set to The Current studio. The California trio spoke to Mark Wheat about their love of surfing, touring, and the German website that kick started their internet buzz.

New Classical Tracks: The Romantic Violinist

When people think of the term ‘Romantic,’ they’re often thinking ‘wild,’ ‘passionate,’ says Daniel Hope. “From all we know about Joseph Joachim’s playing, it was anything but that. It was elusive. It was touching, and it inspired people.”

Music with Minnesotans

In this week’s edition, Alison Young talks with Pioneer Press photographer Chris Polydoroff. His playlist is filled with sounds that – like a perfect image – can stop him in his tracks. It’s great stuff by Bach, Henryck Gorecki and the Hilliard Ensemble.

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