Strange Currency

Monday - Saturday at 8pm

Strange Currency airs six nights a week on KMUW, bringing you new releases, old favorites and forgotten classics. We spotlight local and regional acts, including guests on Currency Exchange, our live in-the-studio program recorded at the KMUW studios.

Jedd Beaudoin invites you to listen 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday as he opens up his personal music vault and lets you in.

Once again, KMUW 89.1 FM and its music shows Global Village and Strange Currency are winners in the annual Public Radio Exchange (PRX) Zeitfunk Awards. KMUW was #1 in the category of Most Licensed Station.

Have a question? Send Jedd an email.

And, if you’re so inclined, join Strange Currency on Facebook.

Listen to recent Strange Currency shows:

Archive is updated between midnight and 3:00 a.m. after the show airs.

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Wednesday, May 15

Released in 2003, Transatlantacism is considered the breakthrough album from Death Cab For Cutie. We’ll hear selections from that recording on this episode as well as music from Chris Cornell’s 1999 recording, Euphoria Morning featuring drums from Josh Freese (Sting, A Perfect Circle, Devo).

Thursday, May 16

When Peter Gabriel set about making his third self-titled solo album (often called “Melt”), he provided a simple directive to drummers Phil Collins and Jerry Marotta: Don’t use cymbals. Although Collins was initially reluctant to accept the approach, he quickly accepted the challenge and his performance on the song “Intruder” paved the way for his “gated drum” sound, which would become a signature feature of his own breakthrough solo hit, “In The Air Tonight.” We’ll hear selections from the Gabriel effort plus music from Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the final Genesis record to feature both Collins and Gabriel.

Friday, May 17

We celebrate the birthday of musician Taj Mahal with selections from throughout his career.

Saturday, May 18

For much of the Grateful Dead’s career the double drum attack of Mickey Hart and Bill Kruetzmann formed the backbone of the legendary outfit’s sound. We’ll hear from the 1987 album In The Dark as well as music from Synchronicity, the final studio LP from The Police.

Monday, May 20

Drummer Jon Wurster has recorded with a wide range of artists, though he is perhaps best known for his work with Bob Mould, The Mountain Goats and Superchunk. We’ll hear selections featuring his drumming from Superchunk’s 1995 effort Here’s Where The Strings Come In, Mould’s 2019 Sunshine Rock and The Mountain Goats’ latest, In League With Dragons. Plus: Selections from Venture Out by The Cavves.

Tuesday, May 21

Wall of Flowers brings together guitarist Mike Baggetta, bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose) and legendary session drummer Jim Keltner. We’ll hear music from that release as well as selections from Watt’s 1995 album Ball-Hog or Tugboat?

“It’s kind of a cosmic joke that we still have an audience,” says Traindodge guitarist and vocalist Jason Smith, speaking from his Oklahoma City-area home. “It’s all over the place. It’s a small one, a tiny one, but it’s everywhere. I’m mailing records this week to Canada, Tennessee, Los Angeles.”

Now more than 22 years into its career, Traindodge has released a series of albums, including The Truth, On A Lake of Dead Trees and Wolves, remarkable for its creative breadth and vision.

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Wednesday, May 1

Listen for selections from King Crimson’s 1995 release, Thrak, featuring the legendary progressive rock band’s “double trio” lineup with Bill Bruford and Pat Mastellotto on drums as well as music from the Spirit of the Stairs album Domesticated with the double drumming of Kody Ramsey and Kyle Hupp.

Thursday, May 2

Sheila Escovedo, better known as Sheila E. was already established as a studio musician before releasing her 1984 album The Glamourous Life but the Prince-produced effort catapulted her into the pop charts via the title song and “The Belle of St. Mark.” We’ll hear music from this recording as well as selections from the Velvet Underground’s 1968 release, White Light/White Heat featuring drumming from Maureen “Mo” Tucker.

Friday, May 3

It’s our New Month, New Music feature. We’ll hear selections from the latest by The Mountain Goats, In League with Dragons plus music from Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio as well as The Cavves’s latest, Venture Out.

Saturday, May 4 

A founding member of the Oklahoma City-based group Traindodge, Rob Smith was also, for a period of time, a member of the St. Louis trio Riddle of Steel. We’ll hear selections from Traindodge’s Wolves as well as Riddle of Steel’s Got This Feeling.

Monday, May 6 

Raised in Florida, Tommy Aldridge showed an early interest in drums but his disapproving father had other plans. Aldridge was able to conceal his passion for percussion throughout his teen years by practicing drums using only his hands. This technique became an integral part of his style and remains so after more than 40 years as a recording artist with acts such as Black Oak Arkansas, Ozzy Osbourne, Pat Travers and Whitesnake. We’ll hear some key selections from throughout his career as well as music from the 1970 self-titled debut from Cactus, featuring drums from Carmine Appice.

Tuesday, May 7 

Keith Moon is considered one of the essential rock drummers. We’ll hear selections from the Who’s classic live album Live At Leeds as well as selections from Raven’s Live at the Inferno featuring Rob “Wacko” Hunter.

Wednesday, May 8

Since his debut in the 1970s as a member of the Canadian progressive rock outfit Rush Neil Peart has been recognized as one of the top names in the drumming world. We’ll hear selections from the Toronto trio’s 1991 LP Roll The Bones as well as music from the Peart-curated tribute to jazz legend Buddy Rich, Burnin’ For Buddy, featuring Steve Ferrone (Average White Band, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers) as well as Billy Cobham and Max Roach.

Thursday, May 9 

Often eclipsed by the guitar prowess of his younger brother, Edward, Alex Van Halen is a widely-respected musician whose unmistakable style has graced numerous albums from the band Van Halen. We’ll hear selections from that outfit’s experimental 1981 effort Fair Warning as well as Journey’s 1977 jazz-fusion inflected effort, Next.

Friday, May 10

Part of a musical family, Jeff Porcaro, who died in 1992, is probably best remembered for his work with the supergroup Toto but he was also an in-demand session musician who appeared on numerous recordings throughout his career, including Joe Cocker and Steely Dan. Listen for Porcaro in various musical settings on this episode as well as music from Bill Bruford’s Earthworks.

Saturday, May 11 

The son of comedian Soupy Sales, Hunt Sales dropped out of school to pursue his passion for drumming. That led to gigs with Todd Rundgren, David Bowie, and, perhaps most notably his work with Iggy Pop and the opening drum fill to Pop’s “Lust For Life.” We’ll hear several stops in Sales’ career, including music from his most recent recording, Get Your Sh*t Together, released as the Hunt Sales Memorial.

Monday, May 13 

Often underestimated for his abilities, Ringo Starr remains a seminal rock ‘n’ roll drummer. Listen for selections for his work as a member of The Beatles and a solo artist. We’ll also hear from his contemporary, Charlie Watts.

Tuesday, May 14 

Born in 1939, Peter “Ginger” Baker became one of the most influential rock drummers of all time despite his personal passion for jazz. We’ll hear music from Baker’s time as a member of Cream (with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce) as well with Ginger Baker’s Airforce.

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Tell Me That You Love Me is the latest release from Alabama’s The Underhill Family Orchestra.

According to the group’s Stephen Laney, the titular phrase informed the writing of the album.

“That phrase means so many different things to different people,” he says. “We [all] want to be loved and to love but we don’t want to change ourselves too much.”

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Thursday, April 25

Listen for music from the latest release by Norah Jones, Begin Again as well as the 2016 effort from Petra Haden and Jesse Harris, Seemed Like A Good Idea.

Friday, April 26

We mark KMUW’s seventieth birthday with music from John Hiatt, The Embarrassment, Split Lip Rayfield, The Cavves and more in the first hour with featured music from Robin Trower and Richard Thompson in the second.

Saturday, April 27

Dancing is the 2000 release from Mike Keneally and Beer For Dolphins. The record recalls 1970s double albums from Todd Rundgren and Frank Zappa as well as paying tribute to Keneally’s musical heroes, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. We’ll hear music from that recording as well as selections from Rundgren’s Todd release.

Monday, April 29 

Listen for selections from Robin Trower’s 2005 album, What Lies Beneath as well as Cozy Powell’s Over The Top.

Tuesday, April 30

We preview our May drums feature with selections from The Band, the Rolling Stones, the Who and King Crimson.

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Wednesday, April 17

Listen for selections from Robin Trower’s 1973 solo debut album, Twice Removed From Yesterday as well as music from Thin Lizzy’s Vagabonds of the Western World.

Thursday, April 18

We’ll hear music from I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream, the latest from The Tallest Man On Earth plus selections from John Martyn’s London Conversation.

Friday, April 19

Warp & Woof is the second full-length release of 2019 from Dayton, Ohio’s incredibly prolific Guided By Voices. We’ll hear music from this new recording as well as songs from Bob Mould’s 2019 effort, Sunshine Rock.

Saturday, April 20

April 21 marks the sixtieth birthday of The Cure’s Robert Smith. We’ll hear selections from Smith and his band, which was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as some his more notable guest appearances with other artists.  

Monday, April 22

Listen for selections from Truce, the 1982 release from Robin Trower and Jack Bruce as well as music from Paul Gilbert’s Behold Electric Guitar.

Tuesday, April 23

We mark the birthday of poet and playwright William Shakespeare with a number of musical selections inspired by his works.

Wednesday, April 24

Vol.2: High and Inside is the 2011 release from The Baseball Project, featuring member of R.E.M., The Dream Syndicate and Young Fresh Fellows. For this sophomore release, the core group invited friends such as Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie and Steve Berlin of Los Lobos to guest on the album. The songs range in topic from baseball legends Reggie Jackson (“The Straw That Stirs The Drink”) and Pete Rose (“Pete Rose Way”) to a defense of the Minnesota Twins (“Don’t Call Them Twinkies”). Listen for music from this release as well as music from John Fogerty’s Centerfield.

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Tuesday, April 9

Released in 1981, B.L.T. was the first of three studio collaborations between guitarist Robin Trower and former Cream bassist Jack Bruce. This inaugural release featured drums from Bill Lordan (Sly and the Family Stone) and was a modest chart success. Listen for selections from this recording as well as music from Bryan Ferry’s 1993 covers collection, Taxi, featuring Trower on guitar.

Wednesday, April 10

The Big Freeze is the latest release from singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson. We’ll hear music from it as well as from the latest by Damien Jurado, In The Shape Of A Storm..

Thursday, April 11

Listen for selections from the latest by Acid Tongue, The Night We Broke Our Lease as well as the new release from Ex Hex, It’s Real..

Friday, April 12

Absolute Zero is the new release from Bruce Hornsby and features guest appearances from Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), contemporary classical unit y Music and jazz great Jack DeJohnette. We’ll hear selections from it as well as from These Times, the upcoming album from The Dream Syndicate.

Saturday, April 13 

Jacoozzi is the new, all-instrumental set from stoner rock pioneer Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fu Manchu). In line with jazz, funk and psychedelic rock from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the set explores Bjork’s appreciation for deep rhythms. We’ll hear music from that as well as from Bill Cobham’s jazz fusion classic, Spectrum..

Monday, April 15

Listen for music from Robin Trower’s 1980 effort, Victims Of The Fury as well as United States, the 2009 release from Freddie Nelson and Paul Gilbert.

Tuesday, April 16 

The Paisley Underground is a term coined to describe music emerging from Southern California in the early 1980s and featuring bands such as The Dream Syndicate, The Bangles (initially The Bangs), The Three O’ Clock and Green On Red, among others. We’ll hear from some of the key acts in that scene on this episode as well as selections from the XTC side project The Dukes of Stratosphear.

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Monday, April 1

We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized is the third album from Spiral Stairs, the project of former Pavement bassist Scott Kannberg. We’ll hear music from that release as well from Pavement’s Brighten The Corners.

Tuesday, April 2

On the Line is the latest release from Jenny Lewis, formerly of Rilo Kiley. The set features contributions from Beck, Ringo Starr and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench. We’ll hear music from this as well as selections from Rilo Kiley’s Under the Blacklight.  

Wednesday, April 3

We celebrate the birthday of guitarist and singer-songwriter Richard Thompson with music from his time as a member of Fairport Convention as well as selections from his work with ex-wife Linda Thompson, plus a variety of covers and guest appearances.

Thursday, April 4

Afterlife is the new release from lo-fi pioneer R. Stevie Moore. Moore, who began making recordings in the 1960s, paved the way for acts such as Ariel Pink, Guided By Voices and Half Japanese. We’ll hear selections from new recording as well as music from The Dream Syndicate’s How We Found Ourselves…Everywhere!.

Friday, April 5

It’s our New Month, New Music feature with selections from the latest by Drunken Prayer, Shawn James and Robin Trower.

Saturday, April 6

Union is the latest release from Son Volt. We’ll hear music from that as well as from Tomorrow The Green Grass by The Jayhawks.

Monday, April 8

We celebrate the birthday of Yes guitarist Steve Howe with selections from his work with that band, as a solo artist and with his late son Virgil Howe.

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Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations have a new live EP, recorded at The Hook and Ladder Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The four-song set spotlights the musical partnership struck between the bandleader, guitarist Brandon Hudspeth, bassist Mark Foley and drummer Kendall Newby.

Arbuckle recently spoke with KMUW about the EP and his band’s history.

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Thursday, March 21  

The Dark and The Light is the latest release from Chicago-born singer-songwriter Shawn James. We’ll hear selections from it on this episode of Strange Currency as well as music from Luther Dickinson & Sisters of the Strawberry Moon’s Solstice. Dickinson, perhaps best known for his work with the Black Crowes and as a member of The North Mississippi Allstars (with his brother Cody), assembled a number of singer-songwriters he respected for this recording, including Birds of Chicago and Amy Helm.

Friday, March 22

Following the dissolution of the “classic” lineup of Guided By Voices in the late 1990s, founding member Robert Pollard recruited the Cleveland, Ohio band Cobra Verde to support him on the album that would become Mag Earwhig! We’ll hear selections from that effort as well as music from Cobra Verde’s Egomania, released the same year.

Saturday, March 23

We’ll hear from Bossanova, the 1990 effort from the Pixies as well as Alien Lanes, the 1995 set from Guided By Voices. Former bassist James Greer once quipped that the record cost, less beer, “about ten dollars” to make.

Monday, March 25

Listen for music from Gallipoli, the latest by Beirut, as well as music from Sea Wolf’s 2007 effort, Leaves in the River.

Tuesday, March 26

Suitcase is a series of boxed sets released by the Ohio band Guided By Voices between 2000 and 2015. Featuring songs not included in the group’s main discography (and reportedly culled from a literal suitcase filled with tapes), the project spotlights various corners of GBV’s nature, including its forays into lo-fi and whimsical pieces such as “Little Jimmy The Giant.” We’ll hear pieces from the Suitcase sets as well as music from Robert Pollard’s 1999 effort, Kid Marine.

Wednesday, March 27

The Dark and The Light is the latest release from Chicago-born singer-songwriter Shawn James. We’ll hear selections from that effort as well as music from Mike Keneally’s Wooden Smoke.

Thursday, March 28  

Although he never broke through to major chart success, Tommy Keene, who died in 2017 at the age of 59, remained one of the best songwriters of his generation. We’ll music from his acclaimed 1986 record, Songs from the Film as well as from his 2006 collaboration with Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices as The Keene Brothers, Blues and Boogie Shoes.

Friday, March 29  

Listen for music from Split Lip Rayfield’s I’ll Be Around as well as selections from the 2019 archival release from Townes Van Zandt, Sky Blue.

Saturday, March 30

We’ll preview our April featured artists, Richard Thompson and Robin Trower. We’ll hear from the former’s 1000 Years Of Popular Music as well as the latter’s classic Bridge Of Sighs release.