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Wednesday
Dec132017

Explore local music and expand your Minnesota playlist with MnSpin

Via a December 13 e-newsletter from Hennepin County Library:

MnSpin - It's like iTunes, but free!

This week, Hennepin County Library is launching MnSpin, a new music streaming and download platform that will give music lovers and seekers access to 50-plus curated albums by local artists and groups. 

“Libraries have a long tradition of making music available to patrons, including sheet music, vinyl records, cassettes or CDs,” said Library Director Lois Langer Thompson. “This project makes local music available to our patrons in a 21st century format – by streaming and download. We have such a rich and diverse local music scene, and any music lover can find something new and exciting through MnSpin.” 

Inspired by models already cranking on library websites based in places like Seattle, Portland and Nashville, Hennepin County Library worked with Madison-based MUSICat to create a platform to accept contributions from musicians. The library recruited a diverse group of curators to pare 325 disparate contributions into a collection that reflects our community’s varied and vibrant music scene. 

A playlist picked for you

Five curators included local music leaders and library staff members who have deep roots in the Twin Cities music scene: 

  • Maria Jette, vocal performer of classical and contemporary music 
  • Jessica Rau, program and artistic director for the Minneapolis’ Cedar Cultural Center
  • J.D. Steele, member of The Steeles and director of the MacPhail Community Youth Choir 
  • Matt Dahl, Hennepin County Library specialist
  • Chris Latchana, Hennepin County Library office specialist 

Steele said he joined the effort because it sounded exciting to shed light on emerging artists and established artists who continue to produce great work. He listened to music from each one of the artists who made the first cut.

“The diversity was quite mind boggling,” he said. “It showed that we have a very diverse music scene that often gets overlooked when people focus on the ‘Minneapolis sound.’ The Minneapolis sound is more than one sound.”

Learn more about our curators.

A ticket to listen

Your Hennepin County Library card is a ticket to stream or download music from MnSpin; and music lovers everywhere can discover and stream music created in our hometowns. For decades, Minnesotans have been musical innovators. Hennepin County Library is proud to play a part in spreading the word about new, sometimes undiscovered, and always varied music that is constantly being created in Minnesota. 

The final MnSpin collection includes, rock, hip-hop, folk, country, R&B, jazz and more. Some of the artists are brand new to the Twin Cities scene; others have been recording and performing in major venues for years.

Shreya Preeti, of Minneapolis, finished recording and producing her album, “Entrance,” last spring. Since then, she not only submitted the album to MnSpin, she had a debut performance at 7th Street Entry, as well as two other well-received Twin Cities gigs, before beginning a stint in graduate school in Chicago. 

She describes her sound as R&B with a pop influence, but notes that she is committed to incorporating any sound she likes into her own style, which she calls, “a love child of being in Minneapolis and listening to great music,” Preeti said. “Minneapolis is already such a big music scene and I want to be part of that.”  

The Friends of the Hennepin County Library, the system’s funding partner, provided a $200 per-album stipend for each act.  

Find the names of the other inaugural artists at MnSpin, or browse from hclib.org/arts-culture.  

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