Mark Wheat

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

manchester city win premier league raise trophy
Mark Wheat sums up his thoughts on the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, then sets the stage for the Guinness International Champions Cup match this weekend between Manchester City and Olympiacos, followed by another match between Minnesota United and Ottawa Fury. Plus: A music pick that connects a local band with the Premier League champs. (07/28/2014)
Broken Bells
Broken Bells bounce back right to the top this week as many of you tried to win tickets to their <A href="http://www.thecurrent.org/events/2014/08/03/614/broken-bells/">Aug. 3 show at the State Theatre</a>. This is their second stop here this year in support of <em>After the Disco</em>; their tour kicked off back in Feb. with a sold out show at First Avenue. (07/23/2014)
tUnE-yArDs
tUnE-yArDs makes it back to the top this week as fans try to get tickets to her <a href="http://www.thecurrent.org/events/2014/07/17/563/tune-yards/">sold out First Avenue show July 17</a>. If you were lucky enough to get tickets, don't be fashionably late as Minneapolis' own Dosh will open for Merrill and the gang. And if you snag tickets, she's just <a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/55760-tune-yards-extend-tour/">announced more gigs</a> including a show at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee Oct. 23. (07/02/2014)
As the World Cup enters the quarter-finals, Mark Wheat reflects on the tournament it's been so far, and what may lie ahead as the world watches the progression to the final. Plus, a music pick! (06/30/2014)
The Black Keys hold on to the top spot again this week, which might pale in comparison to another sign of their success: Umami restaurant chain in California has honored the band with its own burger! For every purchase, $1 will be donated to the Black Keys Alfred McMoore Memorial Endowment Fund. (06/25/2014)
Before making her Minnesota debut with a sold out show at the Varsity Theater, Aussie Courtney Barnett stopped by The Current studios to perform a few songs off <em>A Sea of Split Peas</em>. Between songs, Barnett and host Mark Wheat talked about her charming, quirky lyrics, what it was like touring with Billy Bragg and, of course, the World Cup. (06/24/2014)
Jack White lost again to his nemesis the Black Keys for this week's top spot, but he seems to be winning friends with his live show. <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/jack-white-live-in-l-a-like-watching-led-zeppelin-play-the-opry-20140612"><em>Rolling Stone</em></a> described his Los Angeles performance, "like watching Led Zeppelin play the Grand Ole Opry: raw blues power, finesse and a generous helping of fiddle." That didn't stop <A href="http://www.mtv.com/news/1846688/jack-white-bonnaroo-recap/">Jack dissing the venerable rag on stage at the huge Bonnaroo Festival</a> last weekend. "Does a tabloid like <em>Rolling Stone</em> make music happen?" he asked the crowd. "You and I make it exist!" (06/18/2014)
Ian McLagan is a living legend of popular music. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Small Faces and the Faces, McLagan has played with the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and any number of other musical luminaries. (06/18/2014)
As Group G begins its matches, Mark Wheat gives a preview of today's USA v Ghana match, which kicks off at 5 p.m. Mark will be at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis during the game, and he'll be checking in on-air with Mary Lucia and with Mac Wilson. (06/16/2014)
tUnE-yArDs takes the top spot for the very first time this week after another very tight race. She joined our friends at KEXP last week for an <a href="http://www.npr.org/event/music/317381217/kexp-presents-tune-yards">in-studio performance of "Real Thing"</a> off her new album <em>Nikki Nack</em>. (06/11/2014)
In town to play a gig at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, Eagulls stopped in to The Current's studio to chat with Mark Wheat and to play some tracks off their self-titled, debut release. (06/09/2014)
On The Ball with Mark Wheat returns as the World Cup gets ready to kick off in Brazil. Mark shares his thoughts about the Group Stage of the tournament, and of course, features not only a music pick but a special playlist created by England's Wayne Rooney. (06/09/2014)
The Black Keys are extending their online beef with Jack White to our Chart as they narrowly win the race to the top. Thank goodness Merrill of tUnE-yArDs is in there to keep them separated! The Black Keys have <a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/55396-the-black-keys-extend-tour/">released the video for "Fever" and extended their tour</a> which includes <a href="http://www.thecurrent.org/events/2014/10/24/639/the-black-keys-with-jake-bugg/">Target Center on Oct. 24</a> with opening act Jake Bugg. Wherever you are on the planet, they're coming to a town near you soon. (06/04/2014)
Between gigs at their two-night stand at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Conor Oberst and Dawes stopped in to The Current's studio to play an acoustic set and to chat with Mark Wheat. (06/02/2014)
St. Vincent returns to the top this week to end her stay on the Chart with her second induction to the Chart Show Hall of Fame ("Cruel" off <em>Strange Mercy</em> was inducted in 2012) along with another debutante Haley Bonar. After two inductions last week and the Strypes and Lana Del Rey falling off the Chart, we had room for four new entries. (05/28/2014)