Mark Simmet

Senior Music Producer

Senior Producer Mark Simmet began working at KUNI over 20 years ago.  In that time he has produced and hosted a long-running daily jazz program, as well as weekly blues and world music programs.  Mark also was a fill-in/substitute folk music host.  He has spent many years perfecting IPR's unique blend of musical styles as the host and producer of Studio One.  Mark also reviews all new submissions to IPR’s Studio One library, deciding on CD of The Week artists and maintaining reporting of music aired to record companies, promoters and trade publications.

Mark has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, and finds that his creative skills are very applicable to his work sculpting Studio One.

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Featured Release This Week From The Orwells

The Orwells' Disgraceland is this week's featured release.
The Orwells

Our featured release this week on Studio One is the second full-length album from the young Chicago band, The Orwells.  Actually, they are from Elmhurst, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, making them that much closer to being a regional band!  Of course, their place of origin is not as important as the vital, tuneful garage rock that they play on the new Disgraceland​.  The five members of The Orwells have known each other for years, forming the band and getting signed to Autumn Tone Records for their first album while still in high school.

Studio One
8:34 am
Mon July 14, 2014

CD of the Week from Jack White

Credit npr.org

Jack White has enjoyed both critical and commercial success since the late 1990's when he and Meg White formed The White Stripes.  Since then he has made his mark as a musician, songwriter, record producer and more.  White was also a founding member of The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.  Most recently, he has been focusing on his solo career, releasing his album Blunderbuss in 2012.  The follow-up is Lazaretto​, lyrically inspired in part by stories, plays and poems White wrote when he was 19.

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Studio One
1:42 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Hear Mark's Studio One Best Coast Interview

Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno of Best Coast stopped by the IPR Meet and Greet tent at 80/35 for an interview with IPR's Mark Simmet.
Credit IPR/Scarlett Cerna

I had the pleasure of interviewing Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno of Best Coast when they stopped by the Iowa Public Radio Meet 'N Greet tent, prior to their main stage performance at the 80/35 Festival in downtown Des Moines.  Enjoy this July 4 audio interview!

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun July 6, 2014

CD of the Week from Spanish Gold

Credit spanishgoldmusic.com

South Of Nowhere is the debut album from the trio Spanish Gold, formed last year by former Hacienda guitarist and vocalist Dante Schwebel.  Schwebel had originally wanted to work as a solo artist, but soon decided to make Spanish Gold a band project.  Former Grupo Fantasma guitarist Adrian Quesada and My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan completed the trio.  Their soul, rock and hip-hop influenced record was primarily recorded at Dan Auerbach's studio in Nashville, with additional recording in Austin, Texas.

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun June 29, 2014

CD of the Week from The River Monks

Credit Graham Gardner

The Des Moines-based band The River Monks formed in 2010 with founding members Ryan Stier, Nicholas Frampton and Joel Gettys.  Current members also include Drew Rauch, Mallory Heggen and Tommy Boynton.  Their second album, Home Is The House could aptly be summed up by a phrase they have used to describe their sound:  "wistful harmonious megafolk."  The River Monks combine beautiful vocal harmonies, intriguing songwriting and creative use of traditional folk instrumentation on the new album.  

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Studio One
2:49 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Hear IPR 80/35 Showcase Live Sets

Max Jury performs in IPR's Studio One as part of the 80/35 Showcase.
Credit IPR/Tony Dehner

Our IPR 80/35 Showcase series of live in-studio performances concluded on June 26, with two more fine sets.  Des Moines-based singer-songwriter Max Jury played keyboard and sang songs from his Something In The Air EP, as well as a haunting Neil Young cover.  Also from Des Moines, Dustin Smith and his new band The Maytags played a soulful set of new songs.  The Maytags EP, Nova, was recorded in Nashville and will be out this fall.  Enjoy these 80/35 Showcase performances here!

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Studio One
1:58 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Hear IPR 80/35 Showcase Live Sets

Brother Trucker perform in IPR's Studio One as part of the IPR 80/35 Showcase.
Credit IPR/Tony Dehner

The IPR 80/35 Showcase series on Studio One continued on June 25 with two more bands performing live in our Cedar Falls studios.  The Des Moines/Davenport-based band Brother Trucker made a return visit, previewing their upcoming July 4 main stage appearance at 80/35.  Brother Trucker's solid Americana set included songs from their forthcoming fifth album.  Later, Des Moines' Cirrus Minor made their live Studio One debut, with their exciting progressive/alternative sound, including songs from the band's  latest album, The Division of Space.

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun June 22, 2014

CD of the Week from Jolie Holland

Credit anti.com

Singer-songwriter Jolie Holland was born in Houston, Texas, and has also lived in San Francisco and Vancouver, where she was one of the founding members of The Be Good Tanyas.  In her solo work, she has drawn inspiration from different genres of roots music to create her own unique sound.  Holland's fifth studio album, Wine Dark Sea, blends elements of folk, blues, R&B, and vocal jazz to great effect.   

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Studio One
1:59 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Hear IPR 80/35 Showcase Live Sets

Gloom Balloon perform in Studio One as part of the IPR 80/35 Showcase.
Credit Gretchen Dehner

Our IPR 80/35 Showcase series continued on June 19, with two more live sets in our Cedar Falls studios.  Des Moines' Gloom Balloon (Patrick "Tape" Fleming and Chris Ford) played songs from their debut album You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Disaster/ Fix The Sunshine Pts 1-7 (An Ode To Bill Doss) and more, including some new material that they will be performing on the Main Stage at 80/35 on July 4.

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Studio One
1:43 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Mark's 80/35 Picks

Credit 80/35 Facebook page

When I talk to record companies and music promoters, and the subject turns to the 80/35 Music Festival, it quickly becomes apparent that the annual Des Moines festival has come to be regarded as an example of “getting it right.”  Around the country, weekend music festivals do not always succeed, and as we excitedly anticipate the seventh year of 80/35, props to the Des Moines Music Coalition and project manager Amedeo Rossi and his staff! 

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Studio One
12:55 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Hear IPR 80/35 Showcase Live Sets

The River Monks perform in IPR's Studio One as part of the IPR 80/35 Showcase.
Credit IPR/Tony Dehner

Our series of IPR 80/35 Showcase live sets began on June 16 with two Des Moines bands performing live on Studio One.  The River Monks were first out of the gate, playing songs from their new album Home Is The House, with a sound they have described as "wistful harmonious megafolk."  Holy White Hounds came on later in the evening, demonstrating that sonically, and also in terms of attitude, they are a rock 'n' roll band.  You can hear both great performances here!

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun June 15, 2014

CD of the Week from tUnE-yArDs

Credit npr.org

The music of tUnE-yArDs is filled to the brim with interesting audio ideas and sounds, as befits a band that spells its name in such a quirky, stylistic fashion.  tUnE-yArDs is the project of New England native Merrill Garbus in collaboration with bassist and frequent co-writer Nate Brenner.  Garbus went to Haiti to study drumming, bringing some intricate polyrhythms to the band's third full-length album, Nikki Nack.  The new record is as creative and vibrant as past tUnE-yArDs releases have been, yet more accessible this time out.

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun June 8, 2014

CD of the Week from Conor Oberst

Credit npr.org

Upside Down Mountain is the latest album from Omaha native Conor Oberst.  In addition to records released under his own name, he has been a member of several other bands, most notably Bright Eyes.  Oberst has a very distinctive voice; both the sound of it and his literary voice.  Commenting on the new album, he said: "For me, language is a huge part of why I make music.

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Studio One
3:40 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

2013 80/35 Festival Live Sets

Studio One will be bringing you exclusive IPR recordings of live sets from the 2013 80/35 Festival during the week of June 9.  As we gear up for this year's festival, we'll revisit some great sets from bands that performed last year!  You can hear the live sets during the 7:00 hour of Studio One.  Here's the schedule:

Monday, June 9    Water Liars   (from Oxford, MS)

Tuesday, June 10   Escondido    (from Nashville, TN)

Wednesday, June 11   Strange Names  (from Minneapolis, MN)

Thursday, June 12     Prissy Clerks   (from Minneapolis, MN) 

Studio One
4:01 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Hear The Host Country's Studio One Live Set

The Host Country perform live on IPR's Studio One.
Credit IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa band The Host Country have expanded from the original duo of Ty Wistrand (guitar, vocals) and Diana Garles (keyboards, vocals), to a four-piece group with  bassist Tom Rue and drummer Ethan Weishaar.  On June 2, they brought their full band, folk rock sound and wonderful harmony vocals to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live broadcast on Studio One.  The Host Country played songs from their brand new full-length release, Walk Away.  Enjoy this podcast of their set!

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun June 1, 2014

CD of the Week from La Sera

Credit Jake Michaels

Katy Goodman was the bassist in the Brooklyn-based punk trio Vivian Girls. That band called it quits earlier this year, making it possible for Goodman to devote all her attention to La Sera, the side project she had started in 2009.  A variety of different players have joined her for each La Sera album.  Hour of the Dawn is the third full-length release, showcasing Goodman's songwriting and very appealing indie garage-pop sound.

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun May 25, 2014

CD of the Week from Woods

Credit woodsist.com/woods

The story of the band Woods follows a path that is not uncommon for some notable 21st Century bands.  Songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Jeremy Earl was in another band (Brooklyn's Meneguar), and began Woods as a side project in 2005.  He released his lo-fi music on cassette in the beginning.  Woods developed into a full-fledged four-piece band, with more refinement and better production on each new album.  The band releases their work on the Brooklyn label Woodsist, which Earl runs.

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun May 18, 2014

CD of the Week from The Black Keys

Credit npr.org

The Black Keys'  Turn Blue is the eighth studio album by the Akron, Ohio duo of Dan Auerbach (vocals,guitar) and Patrick Carney (drums).  Actually, duo doesn't seem quite correct, as the co-songwriting and producing role of Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) has become an integral part of the the band.  The Black Keys have slowly and steadily grown as artists, while simultaneously extending the reach of their soulful blues-rock to a wider audience.  

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Studio One
2:26 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Hear The Digital Wild's Studio One Set

The Digital Wild perform on IPR's Studio One.
Credit IPR/Tony Dehner

The Austin, Texas band The Digital Wild are touring the U.S. in support of their debut album.  Lead vocalist Chantell Moody is originally from Des Moines, and while the band was in Iowa they stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live set.  The band brought their Afrodelic trip-rock sound to Studio One on May 15, and you can enjoy their performance in this podcast! 

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun May 11, 2014

CD of the Week from Thee Oh Sees

Thee Oh Sees began as guitarist and vocalist John Dwyer's side project, eventually evolving into a full band with various personnel changes along the way.  Dwyer relocated from Providence, Rhode Island to California in the late 1990's.  He became active in the San Francisco indie rock scene, playing in several bands, and releasing his experimental home recordings under names like Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS and Orange County Sound.  Since 2008, the name has been Thee Oh Sees.  

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Studio One
9:12 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Sean Lennon and The Beatles Legacy

Credit thegoastt.com

The progeny of Apple Corps Ltd. founders, The Beatles, are apples that evidently didn’t fall far from the tree. The sons have taken up their fathers' trade.  Of course, the weight of such an endeavor is almost too ridiculous to contemplate, with the Fab Four holding such a lofty place in the hearts and minds of the music-loving world.  With the 50th anniversary of the Beatles landing in the U.S. this year, and the release of Sean Lennon’s new project, let’s consider the work of the sons.

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Studio One
3:32 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Hear The Soil And The Sun's Studio One Live Set

Credit the Soil and the Sun

  The Soil And The Sun are a seven-piece band from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  They were in Cedar Falls on Saturday, May 3 to perform at the College Hill Music Festival, and IPR had the opportunity to bring them in to record a live Studio One set.  They describe their sound as "experiential spiritual folk-rock/New Mexican space music."  That's probably as good a label as any for this beautiful, intricate, grooving music.  Enjoy this podcast of The Soil And The Sun!       

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun May 4, 2014

CD of the Week from Wye Oak

Credit npr.org

The Wye Oak was the honorary Maryland state tree, believed to have been over 460 years old before it went down in a thunderstorm in 2002.  Perhaps aspiring to the awesomeness of their namesake, the band Wye Oak formed in Baltimore in 2006 (originally calling themselves Monarch).  Jenn Wasner is the vocalist and guitarist.  Andy Stack is the drummer and keyboard player, and adds backup vocals.  On their fourth full-length record, Shriek, the duo feature more synths and drum machines, and less guitars.

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun April 27, 2014

CD of the Week from Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco is a Canadian songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist.  Born in British Columbia (and living in Brooklyn since last year), DeMarco has been making music since 2008, self-releasing a series of albums under the name Makeout Videotape.  In 2011 he signed with the Captured Tracks label and began releasing his music as Mac DeMarco.  Salad Days is his second full-length record.  The tracks have a definite home-made, deliberately paced feel, yet his sound is tuneful and accessible.  DeMarco claims to still use the same guitar he bought for $30 when he was sixteen!

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun April 20, 2014

CD of the Week from Future Islands

Credit future-islands.com

In the great tradition of art school bands (mainly in England, but Talking Heads also come to mind), the members of Future Islands started playing music together while they were art students at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, approximately a decade ago.  There have been personnel changes along the way, and a move to Baltimore.  Then came the release of the first Future Islands full-length album in 2008, establishing the New Wave-inspired synthpop sound they have been refining ever since.

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Studio One
12:58 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Hear Land Of Blood And Sunshine's Studio One Set

Land Of Blood And Sunshine perform in IPR's Studio One.
Credit IPR/Tony Dehner

Land Of Blood And Sunshine are a band from Marshalltown, Iowa with three full-length records out, and more new music on the way.  They are appearing at a variety of venues across Iowa in the coming weeks, and brought their full (7 piece) band sound to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live set on April 16.  Enjoy this Land Of Blood And Sunshine Studio One podcast! 

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Studio One
7:35 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Mark Picks: New Summer Releases

Credit Flickr: Seth Anderson

Spring will be sticking around for good any day now, and then summer will be right around the proverbial corner.  That puts one in mind of (among other things) new music! 

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun April 13, 2014

CD of the Week from Tacocat

Credit Facebook: Kelly O

Arriving a bit early to be a summertime record, Tacocat's second album NVM​ can certainly fit the bill as a fun, fun, fun springtime record!  Emerging out of the Pacific Northwest and based in Seattle, the female-fronted (Emily Nokes on  lead vocals, Lelah Maupin on drums, Bree McKenna on bass, lone male Eric Randall on guitar), Tacocat deliver with short, punchy power pop songs and sweet harmonies.

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Studio One
3:15 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Hear Brother Trucker's Studio One Live Set

Des Moines band Brother Trucker performing in IPR's Studio One.
Credit IPR/Andrew Arganbright

The Des Moines-based band (with Davenport connections) Brother Trucker brought their roots-rock Americana sound to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a crowd-pleasing live set on April 10.  Andy Fleming (lead vocals/guitar), Mike Fitzpatrick (lead guitar/vocals), Lyle Kevin Hogue (bass), Jim Viner (drums) and Matt Jesson (keyboards) showcased some of their best songs with road-refined musicianship! Listen here for the complete performance, including a song that only the studio audience got to hear!

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun April 6, 2014

CD of the Week from The War On Drugs

Credit Courtesy the artist

The War On Drugs formed in Philadelphia in 2005, with founding members Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile.  Vile left for a solo career following the release of The War On Drugs' debut album in 2008, and the band has included a few other members over the years, with songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Granduciel the only constant.  The new record, Lost In The Dream, is the third full-length release for The War On Drugs, furthering the band's appealing blend of indie-rock and classic rock.

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