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

The Chemical Brothers, 'Born in the Echoes'
The Chemical Brothers had never made the great album of their career -- until now. 'Born in the Echoes' is constructed as one piece, allowing the tracks to take us on a musical and lyrical trip. (07/20/2015)
The Staves
Composed of sisters Emily, Camilla and Jess Staveley-Taylor, folk-rock trio the Staves passed through the Twin Cities on their way to perform at the Eaux Claires Music and Art Festival in Wisconsin. Their connection to that area runs deep; their latest album, 'If I Was', was produced by Justin Vernon and recorded at his April Base studio. 'It was a really, really magic first trip out there,' Jess Staveley-Taylor says. Check out the full session. (07/16/2015)
Courtney Barnett
Best Coast is back after a two-week hiatus; Tame Impala and Wolf Alice debut two new tracks; Jamie xx is inducted to the Hall of Fame for the first time (as a solo artist); and Courtney Barnett climbs to the top. (07/15/2015)
Beck and the Staves make Chart Show debuts; Catfish and the Bottlemen are inducted to the Hall of Fame; and Brandi Carlile nabs the yellow jersey, er, No.1 spot. (07/08/2015)
Rock the Garden acts Courtney Barnett and JD McPherson jump up the Chart; Elle King is the highest mover; Florence and the Machine are back on; Heartless Bastards make their debut; Father John Misty is the highest new entry at No.1. (07/01/2015)
Heartless Bastards tried something new for their latest album. 'We've never done sort of a destination recording,' says frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom, explaining how the band decamped to Tornillo, Texas, to record 'Restless Ones' at Sonic Ranch, set in the middle of world's largest pecan farm. Listen to Heartless Bastards' stripped-down set and their chat with Mark Wheat. (06/29/2015)
The second full-length album from Iceland's Of Monsters and Men projects the experience of a band who have matured together, and it also benefits from the band's decision to return to their unique culture to create an album that is truly from their hearts. (06/29/2015)
Jim James of My Morning Jacket stopped by The Current's studio to chat with host Mark Wheat before two performances at Northrop June 26 and 27 with opening local acts Hippo Campus and Lizzo. (06/26/2015)
Bully, Best Coast, Death Cab for Cutie, Desaparecidos and Greg Holden make debuts; Laura Marling, Of Monsters and Men and Tame Impala are inducted to the Hall of Fame; and Jamie xx holds on to No.1. (06/24/2015)
Jamie xx jumps up to No.1; Modest Mouse, St. Vincent and Elle King debut new charting tracks; My Morning Jacket, Houndmouth and Mumford and Sons are inducted to the Chart Show Hall of Fame. (06/17/2015)
Minnesota United FC's match against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday is important not just because it's the final fixture in United's spring season, it's been dubbed 'Alan Willey Day.' Mark Wheat welcomes the former player and current television color-commentator into the studio to talk about soccer, music and what Alan calls 'the best seat in the house.' (06/11/2015)
The Mumfords are on top this week for the first time with a song from their new album, and it's poised to be inducted next week. (06/10/2015)
It's always a treat when Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric come by our studio, and today they gave us another wonderful surprise: In addition to playing three songs from three different albums, they worked out an acoustic version of 'Cascades' from their forthcoming 'Pagans in Vegas.' Check out the full in-studio, recorded ahead of Metric's scheduled gig at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. (06/09/2015)
My Morning Jacket snag the top spot ahead of two big Northrop gigs, with supporting local act Hippo Campus at No.2; Tame Impala see a boost; five new entries comes from Dawes, the Decemberists, JD McPherson, Benjamin Booker and Blur; Belle and Sebastian and Hozier are inducted to Hall of Fame. (06/03/2015)
Mark Wheat's Global Shout-Out is now a daily feature! Listen each weekday at 8:30 p.m., as Mark Wheat sends a shout-out to people listening to The Current's stream around the world. Check out the map to see just where those listeners are. (06/03/2015)