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.

Click "next segment" to skip ahead in the show.

Album cover art

Wednesday, July 18

Science Fiction is the solo debut album from Tom Bailey, known for his work throughout the 1980s with The Thompson Twins, a band that scored Top 40 hits with songs such as “Doctor! Doctor!” “Hold Me Now” and “King For A Day.” We’ll hear selections from that release as well as music from the 1985 Thompson Twins set, Here’s To Future Days.

Thursday, July 19

Released in 1978, Real Life is the debut album from the band Magazine, led by former Buzzcocks member Howard Devoto. The record is frequently viewed as one of the first in the British postpunk movement. We’ll hear music from it as well as selections from Wire’s 1977 set Pink Flag.

Friday, July 20

Released in 1984 The Flat Earth is the sophomore release from British musician Thomas Dolby. We’ll hear selections from it as well as Mental Notes, the 1975 debut album from New Zealand’s Split Enz.

Saturday, July 21

SASSAFRASS! is the latest release from Canadian-born singer-songwriter Tami Neilson. Since relocating to New Zealand roughly a decade ago, Neilson has moved beyond her Americana roots to cover a distinct range of styles many of which can be heard on this new effort which tackles a number of important social and emotional issues in its lyrics. Listen for music from this recording plus songs from the latest by Cowboy Junkies.

Monday, July 23

Listen for selections from Jon Regen’s Stop Time LP, featuring Davey Faragher and Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello and The Imposters as well as John Hiatt’s mid-1990s release Walk On.

Tuesday, July 24

Listen for selections from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as well as music from Jethro Tull.

Wednesday, July 25

Listen for music from Sufjan Stevens’ 2003 release, Michigan as well as from Cat Stevens’ Tea For The Tillerman.

Courtesy photo

Willis Alan Ramsey has, to date, released one album. Issued on Shelter Records in 1972, his self-titled debut remains a high water mark in the pantheon of American singer-songwriter albums. The 11 songs that comprise the record speak volumes about the artist's maturity and breadth of musical and lyrical interests.

Album cover art

Wednesday, July 11

Released in 1982, Hot Space was a marked departure for British band Queen. The record was heavily influenced by the dance music that vocalist Freddie Mercury was hearing at nightclubs in New York City and muted some of the band’s signature guitar and vocal harmonies in favor of something more urban and contemporary. We’ll hear music from Hot Space as well as selections from July featured artists Low Cut Connie and Lake Street Dive.

Thursday, July 12

 Listen for music from Queen’s 1977 effort, News Of The World.

Friday, July 13

Backroads and Abandoned Motels is the latest LP from The Jayhawks and is largely comprised of songs that the band’s Gary Louris co-wrote with other artists, including a handful of tunes composed with the Dixie Chicks. We’ll hear selections from that as well as music from Ray Davies’ Our Country: Americana Act II featuring The Jayhawks as his backing band.

Saturday, July 14

 Listen for music from Heaven and Earth, the latest by Kamasi Washington as well as selections from Gnosis, the new release by Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy.

Monday, July 16

Issued in 1996, Made To Be Broken is the sophomore release from Soul Asylum. The record bridges the distance between the band’s origins as a punk rock outfit (its original name was Loud Fast Rules) and the melodic rock band it would become. We’ll hear music from Made To Be Broken as well as selections from The Jayhawks’ Tomorrow The Green Grass.

Tuesday, July 17

 Listen for music from Act Like You Know from King James and The Special Men as well as selections from Hawk’s Bomb Pop.

Album Cover Art

Tuesday, July 3

Best known for his work with technical heavy metal acts such as Dysrhythmia and Gorguts, guitarist Kevin Hufnagel has just issued the album Messages To The Past, a collection of meditative guitar instrumentals featuring only guitar. We’ll hear music from that recording plus Hufnagel’s work with the project Byla on the 2007 release Viscera featuring former Swans vocalist Jarboe.

Wednesday, July 4

We celebrate Independence Day with selections from X, Yes, Kansas and more.

Thursday, July 5

Look Together is the new release from Wild Moccasins. Listen for music from that effort as well as from the latest by Let’s Eat Grandma.

Friday, July 6

It’s our New Month, New Music feature with songs from the latest by Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy, Gnosis as well as selections from Kamasi Washington’s Heaven and Earth.

Saturday, July 7

Released in 1982, Songs of the Free is the third LP from British postpunk band Gang Of Four. We’ll hear songs from that release as well as from the Cocteau Twins’ effort from the same year, Garlands.

Monday, July 9

Blue Bell Knoll is the 1988 release from Scotland’s Cocteau Twins. Listen for music from that recording as well as from Thomas Dolby’s 1982 record, The Golden Age of Wireless.

Tuesday, July 10

Released in 1983, Points On A Curve introduced Wang Chung to the world via the hit “Dance Hall Days.” We’ll hear selections from that release as well as The Hurting, the 1983 disc from Tears For Fears.

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:

Album Cover Art

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.