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Top 89 Staff Picks: Mark Wheat, host

The Current's Mark Wheat shares his top songs and live moments of 2016.
The Current's Mark Wheat shares his top songs and live moments of 2016.MPR graphic

by Mark Wheat

December 06, 2016

Top 10 Songs of 2016

In the form of an LP.

Side 1

1. Bon Iver – "10 d e a t h b r e a s t"
2. Radiohead – " True Love Waits"
3. Anohni – "Hopelessness"
4. Polica – "Melting Block"
5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – "Jesus Alone"

Side 2

6. Margaret Glaspy – "Emotions and Math"
7. Car Seat Headrest – "Fill in The Blank"
8. Beck – "Wow"
9. Lizzo – "Good As Hell"
10. Astronautalis – "Sike!"

The tracks I selected represent the albums they are on, which were the ones that I listened to most this year. Two of the songs were singles by Beck and Lizzo, so to round out my Top 10 Albums of 2016 I would add Aesop Rock's The Impossible Kid and the Wedding Present's Going, Going..., the latter of which we haven't played on The Current yet but it will be - stay tuned for my DJ Pick of the Week!

Top Three In-Studio Sessions of 2016

1. Car Seat Headrest
Will Toledo and his band performed in The Current studio just as they were starting to get the buzz for their Teens of Denial album release. And it's the highest compliment we can get when the band leader says, "I think that's the best we've played all year!"

2. My Bubba
A delightful musical discovery of the year, charming young women who could tell a good story!

3. Black Market Brass
Wonderful to be in the room with that amount of energy, spirit and joy!

Top 10 Local Live Moments of 2016

1. Minnesota State Fair live performances at the MPR booth
Always great to see so many people cram around our tiny stage for live music, and Chris Thile performed, too!

2. The Current x Manitoba Music: Local Music Exchange
The night Leonard Cohen's death was announced, it felt poignant to be in a room full of Canadians sharing their music with us.

3. Astronautalis at the Red Herring
To celebrate The Current's new frequency in Duluth (90.9 FM), Astronautalis brought it as if he was playing a stadium!

4. Cloud Cult at the State Theater
One of my longtime favorite bands and a fitting culmination of a special career in a wonderful venue.

5. Secret Stash Soul Revue at the Fitzgerald Theater
Old-style variety show with Sonny Knight and the Lakers hosting guest vocalists for a boisterous crowd!

6. Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival in Eau Claire, WI
Every aspect of this day was a delight. I kept pinching myself and saying, Are we really still in Wisconsin?!

7. The Who at Target Center
Fitting, possibly final, arena show from one of my all-time favorite bands – Roger and Pete still got it!

8. St. Germain at the Fitzgerald Theater
Never thought I'd see this luscious music performed by so many on the stage of Minnesota Public Radio's Fitz. Magical.

9. Lucius at Mayo Park in Rockin' Rochester, Minn.
A special return show for the group as they were rained out last year. And the Roch posse always has fun!

10. Rock the Garden at Boom Island
(Especially Polica and Flaming Lips sets: I watched Wayne Coyne watch Polica side-stage then the Lips brought the sky down?!?!

The Current Hosts' and Staffers' Top 89 of 2016

Brett BaldwinBill DeVilleJay GablerLeah GaraasJadeCecilia JohnsonLindsay KimballMary LuciaJim McGuinnSean McPhersonShelley MillerDan NassMike NovitskiMatt PerkinsBrian OakeJill RileyJake RudhNate RyanDavid SafarDerrick StevensAndrea SwenssonLuke TaylorAnna ReedMark WheatMac Wilson