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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J. Baumgartner

Released in 1987, Shore Leave is the sole album from Yung Wu, featuring members of venerable New Jersey indie giants The Feelies. Led by that outfit’s percussionist Dave Weckerman (vocals) and featuring Glenn Mercer and Bill Million (guitars), Brenda Sauter (bass) and Stan Demeski (drums), Yung Wu featured the exact lineup as the sophomore release from The Feelies, The Good Earth and the lineup the group employs today. Additionally John Baumgartner from Speed The Plow and the Trypes joined in the sessions on keyboards. The result is a record that differs enough from The Feelies to stand on its own and yet manages to capture enough of that outfit’s spirit to appeal to its stalwart fans.

Comprised of Weckerman originals and three covers (one from Phil Manzanera, one from Neil Young and one from the Rolling Stones), Shore Leave is back in print thanks to Bar/None records.

Weckerman spoke with KMUW from his home in New Jersey.

Phil Nicholls.

Sarah McQuaid’s latest release is If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous. The record marks a few milestones in the veteran guitarist/vocalist’s career. It marks the first time she’s played electric guitar on a recording and the first time she’s used piano on an LP as well. Produced by acclaimed guitarist Michael Chapman, the record highlights the brilliance of McQuaid’s compositions as well as her singular playing.

An author and expert on the Irish DADGAD tuning, McQuaid has live performances book through the end of this year. Learn more about her here:

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Tuesday, June 26

How To Be Okay Alone is the new release from singer-songwriter Brent Cowles. Cowles is a former member of the Colorado band You Me & Apollo and has been generating major critical buzz with his new solo effort. We’ll hear selections from it plus music from Life Is Good On The Open Road, the new LP from Minnesota’s Trampled By Turtles.

Wednesday, June 27

Passwords is the sixth LP from California band Dawes. The record continues the tradition of emphasizing lead singer Taylor Goldsmith’s powerful and emotive writing. We’ll hear music from it as well as selections from the latest by Nine Inch Nails, Bad Witch.

Thursday, June 28

God’s Favorite Customer is the latest release from Father John Misty, the name under which former Fleet Foxes member Joshua Tillman performs. Listen for selections from that release as well as music from Sparkle Hard, the latest by Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks.

Friday, June 29

Nivalis is the latest release from the Icelandic band Árstíðir (English pronunciation: Seasons). The group combines elements of folk, classical and a variety of other genres in its unique approach. We’ll hear selections from the LP Nivalis on this episode as well as new music from Paul McCartney.

Saturday, June 30

Released in 1983 Speaking In Tongues became the commercial breakthrough for Talking Heads. Listen for music from it as well as a preview of our July featured artists, Low Cut Connie and Lake Street Dive.

Monday, July 2

Listen for music from Lake Street Dive’s latest, Free Yourself Up plus music from Low Cut Connie’s 2011 debut, Get Out the Lotion.

KMUW Music is celebrating the first day of summer on Thursday, June 21, with five hours of music. Tune in to Global Village, Strange Currency and Night Train from 7:00 p.m. to midnight for songs of the season. 

Tuesday, June 19

We remember Matt “Guitar” Murphy, who died on Friday, June 15. Although perhaps most widely known for his work with The Blues Brothers, Murphy also performed alongside Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon among others. Plus: Selections featuring Murphy’s Blues Brothers bandmate, Steve Cropper.

Wednesday, June 20 

Released in 1993, Rumble Doll is the debut album from Patti Scialfa and features performances from members of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers as well as members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Springsteen, who Scialfa married in 1991, also appears. We’ll hear selections from that recording as well as Slim Dunlap’s 1993 solo debut, The Old New Me.

Thursday, June 21

We celebrate the first day of summer with selections from The Jam, X, BB King and The Alarm.

Friday, June 22

Arthur Buck is the new collaboration between singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and former REM guitarist Peter Buck. We’ll hear music from the duo’s debut album as well as selections from REM’s Life’s Rich Pagaent LP.

Saturday, June 23

Hollow Bones is the latest release by singer-songwriter Maria Elena. We’ll hear selections from that as well as from Shane Marler’s latest, One Stop.

Monday, June 25

Up To The Sky is the new recording from cellist Serena Jost. Listen for music from that release as well as from Zoe Keating’s 2010 effort, Into The Trees.

Anson Brody

Based in Fort Worth, Texas singer-songwriter Tommy Luke’s songs recall the dusty, well-worn sounds of western music. His earthy voice drives the narrative of songs such as “The Ground,” “I Don’t Know (I Had It All)” and “Oklahoma Hula Hoopin’ Angel” with a confidence and honesty that recalls Kris Kristofferson’s best, early work.

You might be forgiven for thinking that his work emerged from an earlier time in music. It’s unencumbered by the trappings of contemporary music and free of the irony that some bring to traditional music. This is to say that there’s an undeniable appeal to the songs that populate his album Life Ain’t Hard and his live shows.

Speaking from his Texas home, Luke, who performs at Barleycorn’s on Thursday, June 14, says that he’s looking forward to returning to Wichita for the concert.

Florence Montmare

Serena Jost’s Up To The Sky finds the New York City-based cellist working in a new environment and without a band. Having completed two LPs with a full group, this time she set up shop in St. Peter’s Church, not far from her home. The result is a collection of composed and improvised pieces that marry her distinctive playing style with her otherworldly voice.

The recording appeals to fans of experimental popular music and those more comfortable in the classical realm. The material carries listeners through a variety of moods and settings that capture Jost at her most unadorned.

The classically-trained musician says that she may undertake more projects of this kind in the future and that the fast pace of the sessions and the room itself made for a memorable experience.

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Tuesday, June 12

Swallowed By The New is the 2016 album from Toad The Wet Sprocket frontman Glen Phillips. The record was inspired by the end of Phillips’ 20-plus-year marriage and its aftermath. He recently released a deluxe edition of the album and we’ll hear selections from it on this episode of the show plus music from The Cure’s 1980 LP Seventeen Seconds.

Wednesday, June 13

Byron Isaacs has shared the stage with The Lumineers, Willie Nelson, Levon Helm and a variety of other artists. Despite that, he’s never released a solo album. That changes with Disappearing Man, a meditation on vanishing ways of life and the changing landscape of New York City. We’ll hear music from that release as well as from Brian Belknap’s In Lieu of Flowers.

Thursday, June 14

After touring the United States with his band Soft Machine in the late 1960s, Kevin Ayers considered leaving the music industry behind. His friend Jimi Hendrix had different ideas and gifted his fellow musician with an acoustic guitar. That guitar inspired Ayers to write his first solo effort, Joy of a Toy which features guest appearances from Soft Machine’s Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper and, on the 2003 reissue, Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett. Listen for selections from Joy of a Toy as well as Bridget St. John’s Ask Me No Questions.

Friday, June 15

What A Wonderful Industry is the latest from singer-songwriter M. Ward (She & Him). We’ll hear music from that release as well as from Nik Freitas’ Day & Dark.

Saturday, June 16

Issued in 1988 Naked became the final album from Talking Heads. We’ll hear material from that record as well as selections from the latest by Chris Stills, Don’t Be Afraid.

Monday, June 18

We celebrate Paul McCartney’s 76th birthday with selections from throughout his solo work, his time with Wings and, of course, The Beatles. Plus a variety of collaborations and side projects.

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Friday, June 1

It’s our New Month, New Music feature with selections from Low Cut Connie, Courtney Barnett and more.

Saturday, June 2

Listen for selections from The Cure’s 1979 debut album Three Imaginary Boys as well as selections from Frankie Rose’s 2017 re-creation of the band’s LP Seventeen Seconds. Rose is known for her work with Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts and others.

Monday, June 4

We celebrate the birthday of Cure guitarist Reeves Gabrels with selections from his work with Tin Machine, David Bowie, Public Enemy and as a solo artist. Plus: Music from Allan Holdsworth, John Scofield and Gov’t Mule.

Tuesday, June 5

Long fascinated with world music, David Byrne issued the Latin-centric LP Rei Momo in 1989. The record featured guest appearances from Kirsty MacColl, Celia Cruz and others. We’ll hear music from that recording on this episode plus selections from The Cure’s 1987 effort Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.

Wednesday, June 6

We celebrate the birthday of musician Tony Levin who has recorded with Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Paula Cole and countless others. We’ll hear from Levin in those settings as well as with King Crimson, Stick Men and many others.

Thursday, June 7

We mark the 60th anniversary of Prince’s birth with material from throughout his recorded output plus a variety of covers and selections from the musicians who inspired him, including Sly & The Family Stone, Miles Davis and Santana.

Friday, June 8

Released in 1994, David Byrne’s self-titled album was a dark and often humorous affair, concerned with life in the wake of AIDS, the legacy of the New York art scene which he’d come up in as a member of Talking Heads, and the joys and pitfalls of marriage. We’ll hear selections from this recording plus material from Byrne’s 1980 collaboration with Brian Eno, My Life In The Bush of Ghosts.

Saturday, June 9

Listen for selections from Wish, the 1992 release by The Cure plus music from The Cavves’ Learn To Swim.

Monday, June 11

We’ll hear music from Paul McCartney’s 1986 effort Press To Play as well as David Bowie’s Never Let Me Down.

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Wednesday, May 23

Sparkle Hard is the first album of new material from Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks since 2014. We’ll hear selections from the album on this episode of the show plus music from Ike Reilly’s latest, Crooked Love.

Thursday, May 24

We celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday with selections from The Band, John Martyn, Steve Wynn, Gregg Allman and, of course, Dylan himself.

Friday, May 25

Released in 2003 as the soundtrack to a documentary of the same name, Bodysong by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is being reissued for the first time on vinyl. We’ll hear music from that release plus material from Japanese Breakfast’s Soft Sounds From Another Planet.

Saturday, May 26

Tomorrow’s Daughter is the latest release from Matthew Sweet, we’ll hear music from it on this episode plus selections from If I Were A Carpenter, the 1994 tribute to The Carpenters featuring selections from Buffalo Tom, The Cranberries, Babes In Toyland and others.

Monday, May 28

Life Is Good On The Open Road is the latest release from Trampled By Turtles. Listen for selections from it as well as music from Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.

Tuesday, May 29

 Musician Wesley Stace has long performed under the name John Wesley Harding and does so on his new disc, Greatest Other People’s Hits, which finds him covering Roky Erickson, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed and more.

Wednesday, May 30

Leeds is the new project from Spacehog’s Royston Langdon. We’ll hear selections from the Leeds LP, Everything’s Dandy plus music from Spacehog’s 1995 effort Resident Alien.

Thursday, May 31

Released in 1992, Grave Dancers Union became Soul Asylum’s breakthrough album, selling more than three million copies and spawning the single “Runaway Train.” For many fans, it marked a sea change in the band’s career and style. We’ll hear music from that release on this episode plus music from Sister Sweetly, the 1993 album from Big Head Todd & The Monsters.