Remembering Mike Justen, Minnesota’s ‘godfather of sound’


Mike Justen, whose advocacy and mentorship touched countless musicians and sound engineers across Minnesota, passed away last week. He was 78. Mike, who owned the West Saint Paul guitar shop Eclipse Music with his son John Justen, started out in the music business as the owner of the legendary Scholar Coffeehouse in the late ‘60s.…

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New music on The Current

New music on The Current

The Current is where you turn for new music. When you listen, you find incredible local bands before they hit the national stage and independent artists who are just about to step into the spotlight. Make your contribution today for all the times you've discovered something new on The Current and help power great radio.

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Paisley Park begins selling replicas of Prince-invented ‘Tamboracca’ instrument

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Paisley Park has announced, via an e-mail to ticket buyers, that a presale for replicas of Prince’s “Tamboracca.” The Tamboraccas will run $80 each, and those interested are being encouraged to email for additional information. The custom yellow-and-purple instrument includes an early version of the famous Prince insignia in the center. Described as a blend of a maraca…

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Friday Five: Hippo Campus edition

This week, we received not one but two Hippo Campus videos for Friday Five (you can send your submissions to To celebrate the band’s album landmark, which came out today, we figured we’d share both new videos and a few old favorites, too. Give landmark a listen once you’ve checked out these gems. Hippo Campus, “simple season” Purple…

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‘A way to feel less hopeless’: Drone Not Drones returns for a fourth year

The fourth annual Drone Not Drones event is happening tonight at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. At 7 p.m. Friday, drone music will begin playing for 28 consecutive and uninterrupted hours as an estimated 67 musicians will overlap and transition on and off stage. Artists taking the stage for the first time will include…

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DJ Pick of the Week: Bill DeVille - Tinariwen, 'Sastanaqqam'

Bill DeVille says he can't get enough of the 'desert blues' sound of Saharan musicians Tinariwen. For his DJ Pick of the Week, DeVille chose 'Sastanaqqam' from the band's new album, 'Elwan.' DeVille says he can't get enough of Tinariwen's 'swirling guitars and hypnotic rhythms.'

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Music News: Fans buy Prince’s purple house site

Two Prince fans have paid $700,000 to purchase the Chanhassen site where Prince lived in a purple house in the first half of the 1980s. Tonia and John Roemer say the main reason for their purchase was the pleasant setting on Lake Riley, but they’re also big Prince fans, so the location is particularly meaningful to…

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Northside gallery/community space New Rules to host ZULUZULUU on Saturday

“I’m pretty new to the neighborhood,” Nancy Musinguzi says as she walks through Northside Minneapolis space New Rules. But since she moved from New Jersey in 2014, she’s made more connections than many long-term residents, especially in the arts community. Both a hip-hop and documentary photographer and a youth engagement professional, Musinguzi now relies on…

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Black History Month Featured Artists

Sarah White: Prince’s gift to me – and to the world

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This February, The Current is celebrating Black History Month by celebrating four artists chosen by our listeners. We’ll be playing their music on the radio and sharing features online. This week, we’re featuring Prince. I loved Prince because of what he meant to me as a Wild Black Girl growing up in the Midwest, but I…

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Lady Midnight pays tribute to Lady Day

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This February, The Current is celebrating Black History Month by celebrating four artists chosen by our listeners. We’ll be playing their music on the radio and sharing features online. This week, we’re featuring Billie Holiday. I learned of heartbreak when I was 13 listening to the voice of Billie Holiday. Jazz was a genre I was becoming…

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The Current Sessions®

Hamilton Leithauser performs a solo acoustic set

Hamilton Leithauser performs a solo acoustic set at The Current

Equipped with only a nylon-string acoustic guitar, Hamilton Leithauser stopped at The Current studio for a session hosted by Mark Wheat. The result is a stunning set of three heartstring-tugging songs from 'I Had a Dream That You Were Mine,' Leithauser's collaborative album with Rostam Batmanglij. There are even some Dylanesque overtones ... and that's not the only local connection.

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Craig Finn performs in The Current studio

Craig Finn previews upcoming album in The Current studio

Craig Finn's next album, 'We All Want the Same Things,' comes out on March 24, 2017. In town to open for Japandroids at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Finn stopped at The Current studio for a live session hosted by Mary Lucia, during which Finn and his band played three new songs from the upcoming full-length release. Check out the new songs and hear Craig Finn talk about the origins of the new record.

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Oake and Riley Features

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Coffee Break: Songs from movies

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony is this Sunday, where the best films, actors, producers, designers and directors of 2016 will be honored. The host is Jimmy Kimmel and La La Land will probably win everything. Regardless, let's have some fun today. What songs from movies do you want to hear for today's 9:30 Coffee Break?

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