Come on already!

It’s been five years — what are you waiting for?!

The Current radio station should come to Duluth!

(If we can get the mayor to jump in the lake for Google, I’m sure we can get him to do something good for bringing awesome music to the northland!)*

* Note: This is not actually endorsed by Mayor Ness, please don’t hate me!

69 Comments

Mel

about 12 years ago

Wow BadCat! Just last week I was looking at the Current sticker in my car window and thinking "I wonder how we could get a translator station up in Duluth..." GO TEAM GO!

edgeways

about 12 years ago

I am all for this, absolutely. 

But, wanted to also mutter that KUMD has been making strides in improving its afternoon quality.

Craig

about 12 years ago

The Current is coming to Duluth, you will be able to listen to the current in Duluth on the HD1 channel.

Bret

about 12 years ago

Yes!  It is time for The Current in Duluth.  So, let's organize and make this happen!

How about we all write MPR today.  And then come up with our plan of action.

TimK

about 12 years ago

Hey! Where are the misinformed complaints about bringing the Current to Duluth? "It's not going to create jobs! It's part of the economic oligarchy! It won't stop homelessness!" Come on, people- startchyrbitchin!

brian

about 12 years ago

How 'bout we send in lots of requests.
Duluth bands, Duluthy music etc.

jay

about 12 years ago

Wow, I guess the stay/buy/be local mantra of PDD is tossed out the window when it comes to radio stations.

timm

about 12 years ago

Would it not be a little easier just to petition KUMD to maybe change up their programming a bit? Disclaimer: I do have a something that could be referred to as a radio show on KUMD.

jay

about 12 years ago

oops, I should also mention that I host something that could be referred to as a radio show once a month on KUMD as well.

Bret

about 12 years ago

I'd prefer having both KUMD and The Current.  We need more then one good radio station up here.

carla

about 12 years ago

Wouldn't having the current in D. mean the end of KUMD?  Realistically?

timm

about 12 years ago

Isn't there the KUWS as well? It seems to me there are plenty of radio stations but they need to get their programming more in line with the public's interest. I agree with Carla, the Current would need to elicit pledges from the community to support the efforts in Duluth, no? And if that occurred I think KUMD would suffer greatly.

Zak

about 12 years ago

It would be nice to have an option to 8 hrs of blues a day

Rob

about 12 years ago

MN = Local
MN Choices = Good
The Current = MN Choice
People that can't let go (jay) = Bad

jay

about 12 years ago

Zak - I would encourage you to look at the playlist for KUMD's Northland Morning and Music through the Day programs if you haven't listened in a while. KUMD's playlists are online at www.kumd.org

Bad Cat!

about 12 years ago

I guess I didn't consider the effect that bringing The Current into Duluth would have on KUMD/KUWS. However, I'm not sure that even if those stations stepped up and tried to become something brilliant, that they would be able to (and I say this as a former KUMD rpm dj). 

In order to sustain a unique radio station, you need to have enough people with enough passion (and time, and resources) to pull it off. KUMD and KUWS do have some people that offer that kind of passion for music, but many either have a passion for specific types of music (blues) instead of music as a whole, or more likely are lacking the time and resources to make a big difference. 

I know that both KUMD and KUWS have shows with great music, but I don't want to schedule my radio listening time - I want to turn my radio on at any moment day or night and know that there will be music I like (and if I don't like it, I can at least appreciate it and wait 4 minutes for something I like). That is just not something that KUMD/KUWS is able to offer to me.

And yes, there is a limited amount of financial support that a community can provide to nonprofit radio, but I think there are many people (like myself) who would be willing to support the Current, but don't find enough value in our local radio to financially support it.

So yes, it would be great to have a local radio station that could fulfill the need for great non-corporate radio (Random Radio anyone?), it just isn't possible for a smaller station to accumulate that large of a music library.

Zak

about 12 years ago

That probably came out wrong.  I enjoy KUMD and have supported them for a long time.  They do play a lot of blues though, maybe people enjoy this, I am not one of them. At times I I wish there was an alternative to the alternative because most of what is on the main stream is garbage/weak sauce

Drifter

about 12 years ago

Now that we have 3G, you can get the Current anywhere in Duluth through the MPR iphone application.  I'm listening to it now.

Bad Cat!

about 12 years ago

No MPR Android app yet :(

vicarious

about 12 years ago

I agree that KUMD has improved in the past couple of years in terms of musical variety. But it still relies heavily on blues and folk. 

Music Through the Day is, we must admit, very tame and not very diverse. I mean no offense to anybody (honestly), but it's BORING. The Current, while moving steadily toward the mainstream, at least attempts to introduce a diverse array of styles (to an extent).

My bottom line: competition is good. The Current in Duluth won't destroy KUMD; it will only make them step up their game.

I will say this: on weekend nights, I have often been blown away by some of the sets the DJ's play on KUMD. For that, I am very appreciative.

Radiohead

about 12 years ago

Like Drifter, I am currently listening to the Current through my Radiotime App on the Palm Pre.  Works fine in the car, too, at least where Sprint 3G service exists.  Bad Cat, you should be able to stream it through the Android (never really liked that name or marketing - beside the point) if you can get to the Radiotime website.  Obviously you don't need a 3G phone to stream the Current, but for folks like me, it is a great option to have.  I also listen to KUMD and will continue to listen to KUMD a lot if the Current is broadcast over the air.  This would not be the death knell for KUMD.

bob

about 12 years ago

Mark Wheat's accent is fake.

Bad Cat!

about 12 years ago

I was using Stream Furious to stream The Current, but it cut in and out, resulting in frustration. Now that I know it's actually possible to get a fully functioning stream, I'll experiment with some others.

oldknifey

about 12 years ago

I agree with most of the sentiments here. I often find myself switching my car radio over to classic rock stations when I am disinterested in the song selection on KUMD. I would rather be able to switch it over to The Current. It would provide a much needed diversity in the pool of radio stations up here.
Also, let's not pretend that The Current is the greatest radio station ever. They play a lot of crap and they often play the same songs on a very regular basis. So, it won't exactly take that much away from some of the other stations.

Bad Cat!

about 12 years ago

The Current repeat ratio is no where near the Bridge. You might as well call that station, the "John Mayer every 40 minutes" station, "How many days in a row can we play the same 'Men At Work' album?" station, or "Who are 'They Might be Giants' now? Never heard of them" station.

TimK

about 12 years ago

I feel the only actual purpose for commercial radio is to be piped into dentist offices. It some how makes the pain in your jaw not seem as bad as the music they play.

adam

about 12 years ago

Maija: put down the frisbee disc and get rid of the goddamn blues already.

Touchdown

about 12 years ago

Just a head's up: The Tisdales will be taping an in-studio interview/performance on 89.3 The Current in a couple of weeks. Taping is taking place on April 16th, but I believe they don't play the show until at least the following Sunday. I suppose if you want to hear it you'll have to stream it online. I'll keep you posted on when this will air. 

It would be cool to hear more in-studio performances the local shows!

maria

about 12 years ago

I prefer Radio K to the Current unless Mark Wheat is spinning. Yes, his accent is fake, but I like it.

wetclimber

about 12 years ago

Why don't you get over it and move back to the Cities.

ToWaRd

about 12 years ago

Just wonderin'......Have any of the previous commenters supported any of these stations with their wallets?

Jude

about 12 years ago

I streamed the station today while painting woodwork and had to turn it off after 20 minutes.  It seems to me as if there is nobody in charge of transitions...I felt jerked from genre to genre...eeeks.  My brain rebelled and I went back to smooth jazz from Monteray, CA. Granted, this was just my first foray, I will try it again. 

And yes, I have a long history of supporting public radio and being a volunteer DJ..  But things change, and radio is going the way of newspapers. It's up to the stations to accommodate the needs of the listener, not the other way around, at least here in the US. And we are an eclectic and discerning audience.

Bad Cat!

about 12 years ago

I actually like the randomness of it (but maybe that just means that my ADHD meds need adjustment).

oldknifey

about 12 years ago

I pledged to KUMD last year. I only did it once. I plan on pledging again in the future.

zra

about 12 years ago

I pledged to KUMD last season, and listen pretty much every day. Ms. Dean is doing WONDERS for their music library. And, I for one will keep slinging beans to Maija's sultry voice...

ginger

about 12 years ago

How about petitioning KAXE to stretch their signal over the hill? I always seem to enjoy its programming more than KUMD's while driving through north central Minnesota. It comes in just till the edge of Proctor and Hermantown and, sadly, fades as one gets closer to the lake.

@ndy

about 12 years ago

I, for a brief period of a couple months did a show on KUMD. I was not particularly good at it. Frankly, most of the other DJs didn't do a great job either. I haven't listened to KUMD much in the past few years for a couple reasons. 1) I don't recall tuning my radio to KUMD and hearing a song I actually liked at any point in the past 5 years. 2) Rather requently I've tuned to KUMD around midnight only to hear dead air (I think they still go off the air at 3 am or 1 am, right?).

If KUMD is to be salvaged, they have to find better DJs and play music people want to hear. That is not to say that some of their DJs are not excellent, some certainly are. But a few of them are simply not good at being a DJ.

The Current has its flaws but it is a much, much better station than KUMD. If The Current does come to Duluth, I think KUMD is bascially left with two options. Play Blues and Folk all the time and cater to an older demographic, or find students that are willing to dedicate their time and energy to vastly improving the quality of their programming.

The Big E

about 12 years ago

I think KUMD has wildly improved in the past year or two.  I think I'm going to survive without The Current.

Shane Bauer

about 12 years ago

Ditto The Big E. Another vote for KUMD when in Duluth, The Current when in the Cities.

pbnotj

about 12 years ago

FYI a lot of us support both KUMD and MPR with memberships but we don't get the full benefit of our membership with MRP because we don't get the Current. In effect we pay for the Current also with our membership dollars, but we can only listen to it on the Internet not in our cars. 

I think there will still be a place for KUMD and I support it as well. It's got some different variety in programs that I think beat anything MPR has to offer sometimes! (Jazz, blues, other international music, alternative news). I moved from Missouri to MN 10 years ago and we should be proud of the variety of public radio stations in MN. 

Frankly, I've struggled with the idea of the Current hurting KUMD. I also don't want KUMD to go under but I think in the end Duluth just needs to get over its fear of big city diversity. The Current could just bring bigger names to Duluth radio and more support to MPR (IMO not a bad thing), yet I think KUMD will still have better local music and more variety than MPR stations could ever have. Here's for variety and diversity and choice. I chose to support both with membership donations (a little money makes a difference if everyone does it). Maybe you should too?

Piglet

about 12 years ago

Not familiar with The Current but will check it out. KUMD = boring. I like Cities97 in both format & play list. Their in-studio guests are always top-notch. Wish we had something similar. Our local offerings are pretty much crap.

rediguana

about 12 years ago

I like KUMD. Sometimes. But 3 hours of David-freeking-ego-trip-Dye and his Whirled Cafay gets really old. 3 HOURS!!! and sometimes Hour 3 is just a repeat of Hour 1! Why oh why can't they just replace 2 of those hours with other low-cost programming, like DemocracyNow!, which should be on in Duluth but can currently only be had online or at the Zinema on Fridays??? Or--here's a zany idea--instead of a show produced in Pennsylvania, KUMD could just draw up a contract with MPR to pipe in a few hours of the best of what's on The Current each day. Okay, enough punctuation marks already!!!!!!!

wildgoose

about 12 years ago

Hour 3 of "The World Cafe" is ALWAYS a repeat, rediguana, FYI.  The show is only 2 hours long, and there is no weekend edition so that is a repeat, too.  

I have high hopes for KUMD, I always have had and have done a lot of work there over the years but kind of gave up as they were not very welcoming of my efforts, since I was expressly not interested in the blues agenda and the David Dye overload.  Still I have affection for the place I know it will be bad for them once the Current comes to Duluth, and it will.  Too bad that they for many years ignored their potential audience and even alienated many supporters with their bizarre choice of being a "blues niche."

When I was at KAXE I begged them to put a translator in Hermantown, Ginger.  Imagine "Green Cheese" and eclectic volunteer driven music through the day as diverse as the tastes of their volunteer announcers.  Not to mention the Phenology show and other great morning public affairs options for those that want an alternative to MPR's version of "All Things Considered" or KUMD's (too short) coffee break spoken word segment.  Alas, the management at KAXE claimed that Duluth-Superior is the most saturated public and educational radio licensed market in the United States.  And I think they might be right.  Also, due to our unique geography it is tough planting stations in our antenna farm that are simultaneously powerful enough to cover MN over the hill but aren't overwhelming Wisconsin radio and TV signals.  I am sure that is part of the reason that The Current does not yet have it's own (old fashioned) FM signal here yet.  But they will.  They will.

zra

about 12 years ago

Since Christine took over as music director, things have much improved. Less blues is always a good thing (but that's just my opinion, and the reason for the lack of my support in the past), and Ms. Dean's doing a bang up job at updating their music library, which seems to have long been neglected by past directors.

oldknifey

about 12 years ago

They got rid of the third hour of World Cafe, yo. It's now on from 3 PM-5 PM.

-Berv

about 12 years ago

KUMD iphone app would be cool

David S.

about 12 years ago

If The Current came there is still plenty of room for KUMD in the marketplace. They got the blues/folks music scene down with some alt. mixed in. Bring in The Current.

adEm

about 11 years ago

Response from MPR:

"I'm sorry, but due to the lack of open FM bandwith in Duluth we can not offer The Current. We are going to offer The Current on HD radio in Duluth."

So the answer to my question of "What do we need to do to get The Current in Duluth" is, get rid of some other station.

Bad Cat!

about 11 years ago

What the hell? That's a super crappy answer!

B-man

about 11 years ago

Well, let's get rid of one of the redundant country or top 40 stations cramming the bandwidth and replace it with the Current.  

Somehow the car dealers whose' commercials dominate local radio seem to decide what music will be played between their screaming, explosions, and celebrity impersonations. Has ANYONE ever purchased a vehicle because of an ad they heard on the radio? I have asked around and cannot find even one person that has fallen victim to the constant noise.

Shane

about 11 years ago

The redundant country and top 40 stations are not in the section of FM bandwith allocated by the FCC for public radio stations.

B-man

about 11 years ago

So... KUMD, KUWS, and MN Public radio's two stations = a "lack of open FM bandwith"  Seems like a small amount to play with.

Shane

about 11 years ago

Exactly, there is a small amount to play with. A term often used is "spectrum scarcity." There are also a few other stations that do not have commercial advertising that are using a portion of the spectrum. Neighboring communities need to be taken into account, two stations using the same frequency cannot be next to each other.

Bad Cat!

about 11 years ago

MSP is *covered* with radio stations! I remember listening to one radio station that was spread across three different channels which you had to tune just right depending on which tower you were closest to!

ruby2sd4y

about 11 years ago

Happy 6th Birthday to The Current!

Don't miss out on the MN Goodness!Watch the party streaming live tonight.

APPROXIMATE SET TIMES

8:30 Trampled by Turtles
9:30 Roma di Luna
10:30 Jeremy Messersmith
11:30 Brother Ali
12:30 Free Energy

Stay Warm!
Cheers!

Agnes

about 11 years ago

I find myself listening to David Dye to further my fantasies of silly slapping him.  As for Mark Wheat, the Aussie accent has become as trendy as guys in girl pants. Pretty soon there'll be respective speech and dressing therapy jobs training them both out of it.
I'd like to recommend the new show on IFC called Portlandiers?  I know it sounds off topic, but I think it relates heavily to the metrosexual M.O.D. on which the Current operates. Its appropriate sarcasms toward lousy trends, which seem to be the driving force of everything, are brilliant.

The Current thinks its being hip by throwing in a little Nat King Cole and Sinatra alongside whatever emo drivel is hot off the press. A Lemur could tell you it doesn't make sense. KUMD's and Current's motives are a marked improvement over other formulaic stations, but have a long way to go in finding real eclectic balance.   Why does blues have to be all Chicago all the time? People have been programmed to think blues is B.B. King. There's a world of other styles in every category that never gets touched.  I've asked Maia to do a show using the thousands of deep rock and country classics that never get airplay, Vinyl Cave has offered to back it up, but she still sounded timid. How about Salsa Caliente Baby?  WWOZ, an exemplary example, streams too, check it out.  American Roots baby!

wildgoose

about 11 years ago

"Thousands of deep rock and country classics that never get airplay."

Great idea.  

I haven't been able to make "The Current" work for me either, and I couldn't put my finger on it til now.  Maybe Agnes is right about that, too. Do they try too hard to be cool?

adam

about 11 years ago

Mark Wheat is English. And where did he come from previously? Radio K.

Bad Cat!

about 11 years ago

A lot of the Current DJs are veterans of the twin cities modern rock radio scene. I think one or two go back to the KJ104 days.

Agnes

about 11 years ago

Sometimes its hard to tell the difference between Cockney and Aussie, same difference?  Radio K is still good.

Carolyn

about 11 years ago

I am a member of Current and find it disappointing that I can't listen when I am in Duluth.  Bring it!

ruby2sd4y

about 11 years ago

"the Aussie accent has become as trendy..."
Aussie accents trendy? (or any accents for that matter) Wow, then everyone (sheep) should be walking around spewing fake accents to be cool. Laughable.


"Do they try too hard to be cool?"
I don't believe they 'try' to be cool. I believe The Current does their best to promote music from many genres, and especially MN/local music, educate their listeners about the music played during their various programs, and through the combined knowledge and experience of their DJs (as does KUMD and a few others already mentioned). Anyone can play or queue up music and 'try to be cool', but The Current shares information, facts, trivia and educates their listeners, as well as provides many opportunities for their listeners and fans of the artists, and for all the artists that come through their studios, sponsors artists to visit our state and throughout our state, and also promotes the importance and bonuses of MN public radio, and more -  going way beyond 'trying' to be cool.


"Sometimes its hard to tell the difference between Cockney and Aussie, same difference?"

Seriously? 
Hardly. 
Cockney is one of the many forms of English spoken in England, in the UK, and is geographically, linguistically, and also very culturally specific. Additionally, this goes for all over the UK and it's various countries, as people from Wales don't speak Cockney (but Welsh - which is entirely different), nor do those from other parts of England (including other parts of London), Scotland (extremely different in each area) or Northern Ireland.

This is similar to how English is spoken in the US, but differs between the East (think New Yorkers vs. Bostonians), Midwest (Minnesotans vs. Chicagoans as another example), the South (Texans vs. Louisianans vs. Floridians) etc., as do the accents, cultural influences, and the slang.

Further examples would be the difference between US English and Canadian English, and even the differences in Canadian English spoken throughout it's different provinces.

The same goes for Australian as well, and 'Aussie' English/accents sounds nothing like UK English, although they do both use the Queen's English vs. US English, and share some similar words and some slang (but also have some very different to each other) different to that of the US, their accents are totally different from those of the UK, vary from state to state, and within their states/regions. As do many countries and languages, really.

Secondly, members of both groups would be very offended to read that statement, as was I, and they would be quick to point out it just goes to show 'typical Yank ignorance' once again. Yes, a blanket statement just as they would say it (as I have heard/read countless times), and as it is not just Agnes who thinks this way, but many from the US in their (UK and AU peoples) and in my personal experiences.


The Current's Birthday online broadcast was really good, once the bandwidth issues were ironed out during the Trampled by Turtles show - too bad about half of their show was affected, otherwise they sounded great. The online broadcast affected the view some as well - appearing less focused/a bit blurry. BUT, the sound was excellent. It was great to hear and see so many great MN bands (or in the case of Free Energy having MN roots) all in one night, from the comfort of my home.

There are some great stills of the party on their site on the photos page - take a gander.

Cheers!

Agnes

about 11 years ago

Maybe you just offend too easily. In a society that kills for money, got to have a thick skin. The English colonized most of the world and forced their way on others for centuries. Still do.  Consider the way Americans have learned from the English to force themselves on the world.  Australia was famously founded by convicts and derelicts from England was it not?  All of them took part in the massive slaughter of indigenous peoples. I'm offended by that.  I have a Welsh friend who's been hamming up his accent for the better part of 60 years to the major benefit of his sex life.  So if you can get a collective apology from all of these English splinter groups for past injustices, I'll apologize for making fun of their accents. People make fun of my Midwestern accent all the time, but I've never shat myself to tears about it. Got to learn to roll with the punches. Good points about  dialect, American ignorance, and the positive things Current does though.

Bad Cat!

about 11 years ago

Seriously? You're going to hold centuries of history on someone's shoulders just because of how they pronounce a few letters? What accent isn't associated with horrors and atrocities committed by speakers of that language?

Let me guess, you speak that magical guilt-free language?

adam

about 11 years ago

Get off it, Agnes.

The impression I get about the Current's birthday online broadcast, was that it was a success (and a great idea), but their tube may have been too small. That was Trampled by Turtles' third sold out show this month (they replaced Cloud Cult for the Current's B-day show).

Agnes

about 11 years ago



I couldn't help notice real issues on PDD, like FBI Infringements of Rights get Zero response, but when it comes to sex and entertainment topics, and saving the poor downtrodden English accents, people rise to fight the injustice.  So along with the above video, which I'm sure you'll find amusing and educational,  I'd like to offer this tidbit to help redirect the focus to things that matter. 

 I hate Lhasa Apsos as a dog breed altogether.  I hate their buggy little eyes, their curly little tails, and curly tongues. The thought of being licked by one terrifies me. And I believe  their very presence is an affront to mixed blood canine beings at large.  Now all the Lhasa Apso lovers can write an impassioned response castigating me for my hatred and cruel insensitivity toward this lovable breed.  

As for the Current, great...

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