Introducing The Current Rewind

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The Current Rewind
You know great music when you hear it. But do you know where it came from? Host Andrea Swensson and the team bring you original reporting on Minnesota music, fording scenes and decades to put unsung stories on the map. (MPR Graphic)
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Introducing The Current Rewind
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Hi, world. We at The Current have something special to share with you this week: the launch of a Minnesota music history podcast hosted by Andrea Swensson. It'll take musicurious listeners from Duluth to the West Bank of Minneapolis and beyond, putting unsung stories on the map.

The Current Rewind's teaser episode is out now via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, NPR One, and the audio player above (transcript available here). The first full episode, which covers the history of Rhymesayers Entertainment's Soundset Festival, drops this Wednesday, May 22. Our eight episodes will run weekly, with a short break in the middle of the season.

It's nothing new for the Current team to dive into local music history, but with this podcast, we'll immerse listeners into stories we feel are worth a closer look. For example, our first episode centers around Soundset, the hip-hop festival that draws 30,000 people to the State Fairgrounds every Memorial Day weekend. You've probably heard of Soundset — you've maybe even attended it. But did you know the first Soundset was actually a warehouse party in South Minneapolis? Did you ever imagine how complicated Atmosphere's relationship must be with the festival they've played every year?

Later this season, we'll be applying that same curiosity and nuance to subjects like Duluth band Low, Somali star Aar Maanta's history with the Twin Cities, and the Andrews Sisters, who were born and raised in Minneapolis before becoming World War II-era icons.


Before signing off, I wanted to tell you more about The Current Rewind the best way I know how: introducing the people behind the show.

I've been writing for The Current for almost five years and am excited to be producing The Current Rewind. In the past several months, this podcast has taken me to the shores of Lake Superior, through phone calls to California (and Australia!), and past the Pine Bend Refinery off Highway 52. Oh, and back and forth from my local library, over and over. Love you, HCLIB.

Andrea Swensson, host of The Current Rewind and The Local Show, has been a champion in this process, lending her editorial and creative expertise. If you want to hear audio that bends your heart or makes you lean forward in your seat, all you have to do is listen to her interviewing Slug, J-Bird, and Siddiq of Rhymesayers or Al and Mimi of Low.

Michaelangelo Matos pitched this idea long ago and has spent months researching and writing this podcast.

Colleen Cowie has built web features to supplement every episode, including transcripts, full-length interviews, and photo galleries.

Marisa Gonzalez Morseth has flaunted her archival research prowess. Rick Carlson has transcribed hours of tape, and Lazerbeak created our theme music: "Winging It" from his album Luther. And that's not even everyone who has helped put this together.

It's all in search of learning more about who we are as a state — beyond the stories of Prince and Bob Dylan — the many forms of being Minnesotan. Let's hit the road.

- Cecilia Johnson

P.S. Since our first episode focuses on Soundset Festival, we put together a little ticket giveaway to help kick off the season. Nine entrants will win a pair of tickets each to Soundset 2019. Enter below.

The Current Rewind Soundset Pass Giveaway

Use this form to enter The Current Rewind's Soundset giveaway between 6 a.m. CDT on Monday, May 20, 2019 and 11:59 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Nine (9) winners will receive two (2) general admission tickets to Soundset 2019 on May 26 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Ten (10) back up names will be drawn.

Prize retail value: $250.00

We will contact the winner by email on Thursday May 23, 2019. Winner must accept by 10 a.m. CDT on Friday, May, 24, 2019.

This giveaway is subject to Minnesota Public Radio's 2019 Official Giveaway Rules.

You must be 13 or older to submit any information to American Public Media. The personally identifying information you provide will not be sold, shared, or used for purposes other than to communicate with you about American Public Media programs. See Minnesota Public Radio Terms of Use and Privacy policy.


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