Objects in Mirror

Learn to love the outlaws: Theft of the Dial

Posted at 8:38 AM on June 13, 2011 by Julia Schrenkler

From the desk of MPR Digital Media Intern Maddie Butler:

I totally believe that one of the best ways to expand your own musical horizons is to experience those of others. Friends, relatives, acquaintances - it doesn't matter who it is, but listening to what makes someone else tick can introduce you to an artist or area of music you would not have otherwise explored.

Theft of the Dial operates in the same way, only this time your friends are people like Julian Casablancas and Arcade Fire. The program not only lets you hear an artist's personal playlist, but also the stories behind these songs - how they stumbled across this ditty, or what memories they associate with that tune - a process that sheds a new light on both the song and the artist themselves.

In addition to seeing what influences your idols, Theft of the Dial allows you to take a break from normal Current artists and hear something you never thought would be played on the radio (2 Live Crew, anyone?). It's this exploration and openness that leads individuals to create a truly diverse library of musical interests. And that's what The Current is all about, isn't it? So go, now! Explore the archive. Dive in and begin your education. Looking for a place to start? Here are a few of my favorite Thefts of the past year:

Girl Talk:
Listening to this playlist, you can completely see why Gregg Gillis makes the music that he does. The songs make you want to rock out, and the interview gives you a peek inside the mix master's head.

Brother Ali
Okay, okay - you are probably pretty familiar with most of the artists on this one. But the special way that Brother Ali introduces each song makes them all seem new.

Cee-Lo Green:
Here's the man who brought the aforementioned 2 Live Crew to The Current airwaves. Add some Lou Rawls and Egyptian Lover to the mix and I'm sold.


So go ahead, let your radio be taken over.

June 2011
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