About the Podcast
89.3 The Current in Minneapolis and XPN in Philadelphia are exchanging local music on the air and online in an effort to cross-pollinate two of the best music scenes in America. Every Tuesday and Thursday in Minnesota, The Current will feature on air and in the "Song of the Day" podcast a local band selected by XPN. At the same time, XPN will be introducing listeners in Philadelphia to Minnesota musicians.

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Recent Episodes
About the artists from XPN

Andrew Lipke
Philadelphia based singer-songwriter, Andrew Lipke, has been categorized as a cross between a singer-songwriter and an alternative rocker and given that Lipke claims influences from Bach to Pink Floyd and Radiohead. His current album, The Way Home was produced at Drexel University's Mad Dragon Records under Emmy Award Winning composer Jim Klein. Lipke began playing piano at the early age of five while living in South Africa. He then moved to the states in 1987, eventually attended University of the Arts for music composition. He's working on a new album entitled Mother Pearl and Dynamite to be released in the fall 2008.

Nicole Reynolds
Nicole Reynolds is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and daughter to a family of steelworkers. She uses her life experiences to fuel her insightful lyrics when writing songs. In terms of her Philadelphia performance career she is relatively new on the scene. Since 2007 she's released a successful album entitled This Arduous Alchemy which has been described as "a beautifully set, warm, and full-sounding album, and featured a collaboration with another Philly favorite Jim Boggia. Nicole is currently working on her third album entitled Unordinary Mine.

Kuf Knotz & the Hustle
Described as a mixture between The Roots and Gym Class Heroes, the recently formed band Kuf Knotz and the Hustle featuring Nora Whittaker, brings a unique sound to the Philadelphia music scene. Fronted by Philly's own Kuf Knotz the band combines positive themes, thoughtful lyrics and amazing vocals to produce hip-hop that is much more than the beats as heard on their recently collection, The 4, 5, 6 EP. Kuf refers to his music as "everyday-people music. We talk about everyday living and things all people experience - love, money problems, happiness, war, the struggle, partying, relaxation. All across the board - we cover it all."

Lemons Are Louder Than Rocks
Lemons Are Louder Than Rocks are fronted by singer and songwriter Dan Casey. Fans of Dr. Dog and Apples In Stereo will love LALTR's indie-folk art-pop on the band's self-released new album Gallop & Other Distorted Love Songs. had this to say about the band: Lemons Are Louder Than Rocks give fans an alternative to the regular outlet of pop by mounting it from a different perspective, while keeping it melodic sounding through its experimental phases. They are a band that makes a difference in the pop world with their first full-length album filled with indie-pop charisma and flighty rhythms.

The Spinning Leaves
The Spinning Leaves are a hootenanny indie-loverock trio who are part of a flourishing alt-acoustic scene in Philly. The primary musical forces behind the band include Barbara Geddes and Michael Baker who record and perform live with numerous local musicians. Some may call it freak-folk, but there's nothing freaky about The Leaves. The band has been making music together since October 2006 and their self-released, self-produced album LOVE! is a warm, welcoming and charismatic collection of acoustic music.

Madi Diaz
Singer-songwriter Madi Diaz was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and released her debut album Skin And Bone in 2007. She attended the Berklee College of Music and was featured as the precociously talented teenager to beat in "Rock School," the 2005 documentary about Paul Green's rock 'n' roll boot camp. Diaz draws on a continuum of roots music for her style of folk-pop

Tickley Feather
Tickley Feather is actually the work of Annie Sachs who grew up in rural Virginia and has been living in Philadelphia for the last five years. She recently released her self-titled album on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label. The songs are a collection of late night indie-electronica that music blogger Gorilla vs. Bear called "otherworldly, super lo-fi, underwater carnival folk ballads."

The War On Drugs
The War On Drugs' new album Wagonwheel Blues is one of our favorite new albums from a local band this year and with great reasons. New Music Express referred to it as "Bob Dylan of '66 fronting the Jesus and Mary Chain." Frontman Adam Granduciel brings out a Springsteen-esque version of the Arcade Fire for a truly visceral musical experience.

About the artists from The Current

The Owls - "All Those In Favour"
The Owls are a four-piece indie pop group comprised of members of The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, The Hang-Ups and The Ashtray Hearts. In 2007 the group released their second album, Daughters and Sons. They have been described as a sonic mixture of Belle and Sebastian and Stereolab.

Romantica - "The National Side"
Picked by Paste Magazine as one of the top 100 albums of 2007, Romantica is led by Minneapolis based singer-songwriter Ben Kyle. Their new album, America, tells the story of Kyle's family, who moved to the U.S. from Ireland in the mid-90s.

Roma Di Luna - "The Romance of Wolves"
Husband and wife led folk group Roma Di Luna formed in 2005. Alexei and Channy Moon Caselle started out performing as a two piece band. On their new album, the couple has expanded their sound and enlisted a group of guest musicians. Casting the Bones is their third and newest release.

Kid Dakota - "Stars"
Kid Dakota is Darren Jackson, a Minneapolis based singer songwriter. His debut album, So Pretty, was released in 2002 on Low's Chairkicker's Music label. Jackson is also a member of The Hopefuls.

Haley Bonar - "Something Great"
Haley Bonar is a 24 year singer songwriter based in Saint Paul. Big Star is her fourth release and she has become known for her sparse arrangements and revealing lyrics. Notably, Bonar contributed vocals to Andrew Bird's 2007 release, Armchair Apocrypha. Her new album, "Something Great" was released in June on Minneapolis label Afternoon Records.

Ed Ackerson - "Little White Lies"
Ed Ackerson has been the lead member of Minneapolis indie rock band Polara since the mid-90s. Ackerson is also the owner of Flowers Studio where he writes, records and produces music. His debut self-titled solo album was released in the fall of 2007 on Susstone Records.

Chris Koza - "With Or Without"
The Dark Delirious Morning is Chris Koza's third and newest album. With a handful of Twin Cities' guest musicians, Koza's new album straddles the line between pop and folk. His music has been compared to the 70s sounds of Paul Simon and Jackson Browne.

Jeremy Messersmith - "Franklin Avenue"
Jeremy Messersmith is an emerging Minneapolis based singer-songwriter. The Silver City is his second full-length album and will be released on Princess Records in September 2008. His new album was produced by Dan Wilson.

Songs available from XPN: The Music Exchange