Twin Cities Geek: Andrea Swensson Documents the Ascent of the Minneapolis Sound

By Paul Patane
Twin Cities Geek

Swensson_Got coverThe North Minneapolis and Rondo neighborhoods played key roles in the evolution of Minnesota’s music scene, culminating in the birth of the Minneapolis Sound. Until Prince began to garner national attention in the late 1970s, the budding movement went mostly unnoticed and undocumented by the people who weren’t living and breathing it. But this story is much bigger than Prince, and Andrea Swensson’s new book, Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound, is a tour de force that sheds light on a greater story that needed telling.

Swensson, the former City Pages music editor, music journalist, and host of The Local Show on Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 the Current, digs through all the segregation, the discrimination, and even the construction of Interstate 94 to get to the social issues that plagued the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s and percolated into the local music scene. “The big narrative is the social history, and that was the really eye-opening part for me to learn about,” Swensson said. “To learn just how deep the discrimination and segregation has run, how it’s still seen today—it was just really incredible and kind of mind expanding for me to dig into that kind of history.”

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