Mark Wheat

Host, The Current
Minnesota Public Radio
mwheat@mpr.org

Mark Wheat grew up near Cambridge, England, where he regularly listened to the late great BBC DJ John Peel. Like Peel, Wheat came to the USA to start his radio career. Emigrating in 1983, Wheat lived in St. Louis, in Kure Beach, N.C., and in Hoboken, N.J. It was while living in Hoboken that Wheat learned how to push the buttons at the legendary free-form station WFMU.

After moving to the Twin Cities in 1992, Wheat volunteered at community radio station KFAI and created Local Sound Department, playing only Minnesota music. Wheat spent 18 months at commercial station Zone 105, hosting Across The Pond, a weekly show playing music from all over the world. In 1998, he became Director of Student Programming at the University of Minnesota's Radio K, and created a weekly magazine show, The Music Lovers Club.

Since The Current launched in 2005, Wheat has hosted weekdays 6 to 10 p.m., including The Chart Show on Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

Wheat lives in downtown Minneapolis with his wife, Maren Kloppmann, who operates her own ceramics studio and gallery in the North East Arts District. Wheat became a U.S. citizen in September 2012.


Mark Wheat Feature Archive

Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams tops the Chart on the back of being our Album of the Week. Jim McGuinn suggests in his review of the self-titled album that Ryan has a deep connection with another recently re-energized rocker, Tom Petty. (09/24/2014)
first aid kit 2
After a couple of weeks hiatus, First Aid Kit return to the top for the second week holding off a strong surge by the New Pornographers, who just <a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/56709-new-pornographers-drummer-kurt-dahle-leaves-band/">lost founding drummer Kurt Dahle</a>, and a very high new entry by Interpol, who seem to have overcome the <a href="http://www.billboard.com/articles/review/6244100/interpol-el-pintor-track-by-track-album-review-2014">loss of their iconic bassist Carlos Dengler</a>! (09/17/2014)
the bots 1
Fresh from their gig at Riot Fest in Chicago on Saturday and gearing up for a show tonight in the Nether Bar at Mill City Nights, Los Angeles duo the Bots stopped into The Current's studio to play some songs and to talk with Mark Wheat. (09/15/2014)
Massive response this week &#151; more votes than any other week of the year! Trampled By Turtles fans hoping to win VIP Festival Palomino tickets helped the Duluthians stay at the top by a comfortable margin, and thereby get inducted to our <a href="http://www.thecurrent.org/feature/2013/03/28/chart-show-hall-of-fame">Chart Show Hall of Fame</a>, along with Spoon. (09/10/2014)
In town for a gig at the Cedar Cultural Center, Oxford-based band Glass Animals stopped in to The Current's studio on the fourth day of their U.S. tour to play some tunes and to talk to Mark Wheat. (09/09/2014)
With a dearth of strong, mid-career, guitar-based bands around right now, it is good to have Interpol back -- refreshed and focused, making an album that more than adequately adds to their canon. (09/08/2014)
On the last day of the Great Minnesota Get-Together, Haley Bonar played a few songs off her latest album, <em>Last War</em>, and chatted with Mark Wheat during a live broadcast from the MPR booth. (09/04/2014)
Wholesale changes in the Chart this week. We lost Lykke Li after eight weeks, tUnE-yArDs after seven, PHOX after five, Sylvan Esso after four and Glass Animals after only one week. That also affected the gender balance and sound of the chart overall &#151; it's become more male and ... roots-ier!? (09/03/2014)
First Aid Kit take the top spot for the first time in Chart Show history, Jenny Lewis shot back up to #2 and Doomtree solidify their spot in the top 5 the week that their <a href="http://blog.thecurrent.org/2014/07/doomtree-releasing-500-page-career-spanning-photo-book/">mammoth 500-page photo book</a> releases! (08/27/2014)
Strong showing for the locals this week. Can we still call Bon Iver local? Justin's song for the movie <em>Wish I Was Here</em> jumps up to #3 and Trampled By Turtles maintain control of the top for the fourth week in a row. (08/20/2014)
Just before playing a show at the 7th Street Entry, Strand of Oaks stopped by The Current studio to play some songs and to talk to Mark Wheat about songs that simply "needed to be written." (08/20/2014)
It's the third week in a row at the top for locals Trampled By Turtles, but otherwise we had a broad culling of Minnesota talent from the list this week, with Atmosphere, John Mark Nelson and Haley Bonar all falling off the Chart. (08/13/2014)
In his final On the Ball blog post, Mark Wheat gives a preview of the Premier League season that begins this weekend, along with tips on how to watch and even an invitation to join a fantasy league. He also describes the fun he's had writing this and explains why he's decided to draw a line under it. (08/11/2014)
Spoon get a big bump up the Chart as their new album <em>They Want My Soul</em> is released &#151; we made it our <a href="http://www.thecurrent.org/feature/2014/08/04/album-review-spoon-they-want-my-soul">Album of the Week</a>. In her review, Mary Lucia suggested that, as a long time fan of the band, she regards "Rent I Pay" to be their best song ever. (08/06/2014)
Baraboo, Wis., six-piece PHOX have enjoyed a meteoric rise since the release of their 2013 EP 'Confetti'. In town to play a sold-out show at the 7th Street Entry, PHOX visited The Current's studio for the first time, where they played some songs and chatted with Mark Wheat. (08/05/2014)