Studio One

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If you've listened to songs from the great Leonard Cohen album The Future, you've heard Iowa native Julie Christensen's wonderful vocal contributions on that record.  She also toured with Cohen, and can be heard on live Leonard Cohen recordings of that era.  Or maybe you recall Divine Horsemen, the post-punk/Americana-leaning rock band that Christensen co-fronted (with Chris D.) in the 1980's.  Perhaps you've heard Christensen's solo albums or her current band Stone Cupid.  Join me on Studio One Tracks on Monday, Oct.

On this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer chats with Iowa City folk group The Awful Purdies. 

Listen in to hear stories and songs from their new album, "All Recipes are Home." 

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Slow, deliberate tempos and minimalist arrangements.  Mystery, atmosphere and perhaps even  trance-inducement.  That's the music of Low.  Founding members Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals) began Low in Duluth, MN/Superior, WI in 1993.  Their debut album was released the following year, and with the new Ones and Sixes, Low is now up to their eleventh full-length studio release. The record was recorded at Justin Vernon's studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  Sparhawk and Parker are married with two children, and still live in Duluth.    

On this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer catches up with legendary Iowa City songwriter Dave Moore. 

Listen in below to hear what Moore's been up to lately. 

Beverly and the Accordion

The Friends of KUNI are presenting an evening of live music on Thursday, October 22nd at Gingers on the Hill in Cedar Falls, with music from Peas and Carrot and Beverly and the Accordion. Denny McCabe of the Friends of KUNI says this is a listener appreciation event that's "in celebration of local radio, local music, local beer and local spirits."

IPR/Mark Simmet

The Little Rock, Arkansas band Amasa Hines, a hit at the 80/35 Festival this past July, returned to Iowa Oct. 1 for a performance broadcast on Studio One Tracks.  They played two sets on the Kum & Go Theatre stage of the Des Moines Social Club.  Fusing their diverse influences into a musical blend they call "Psychedelic Afro-Futurism," Amasa Hines demonstrated their musical approach to a rapt audience in the theatre.  Their sets included songs from the band's debut album All The World There Is, with musical exploration a key component in their sound.

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Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are The Black Keys, a band that continues to grow in popularity.  Meanwhile, Auerbach and Carney each find time to get involved in producing other artists, record solo albums and start up side projects.  For the latter, check out Blakroc, Drummer and The Rentals (not a start up, but an existing band Carney joined last year).  The latest side project is The Arcs.  The debut album Yours, Dreamily began as another Auerbach solo record.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer catches up with prominent Iowa blues artists Joe and Vicki Price on the RAGBRAI trail on a hot day in July. 

Tune in to hear tunes from the Prices' newest release, "Night Owls." 

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer learns what Iowa singer-songwriter Chad Elliott has been up to lately. 

Lend an ear below to hear tracks from Elliott's brand new album, "Wreck and Ruin." 

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Stuff Like That There is the 14th full-length album from Yo La Tengo, the pride of Hoboken, New Jersey!  Yo La Tengo easily fit into the indie rock category of "critical favorites/cult band."  Guitarist, keyboard player and vocalist Ira Kaplan and his wife Georgia Hubley (drums, keyboards, vocals) formed the band in 1984.  James McNew has been Yo La Tengo's bassist since 1992.  Guitarist Dave Schramm recently rejoined the band in time to participate in this new album.

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The next Studio One Tracks live broadcast from the Des Moines Social Club is coming up this Thursday, Oct. 1, beginning at 7:00 pm.  We will be featuring a live performance from Amasa Hines, a six-piece band from Little Rock that has been creating a buzz not only in their home state of Arkansas, but nationwide.  You may have caught their excellent set at the 80/35 Festival this past July.  Amasa Hines will be back in Des Moines to play the Kum & Go Theatre at the Des Moines Social Club for this ticketed event.  

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Beach House are purveyors of dream pop- defined as moody and atmospheric music, with the focus on sonic textures, breathy vocals and introspective/existential lyrics.  The Baltimore band decided to simplify the arrangements of their songs for their fifth full-length record, Depression Cherry, getting back to the feel of their first two studio albums.  Beach House began in 2004 when Vassar College grad (and French-born) songwriter, vocalist and keyboard player Victoria Legrand met songwriter/guitarist Alex Scally in his native Baltimore.

IPR/Mark Simmet

Singer-songwriter Kate Kennedy performed for a receptive audience at the First United Methodist Church in Ames (her home base) on Sept. 12.  She was opening for The Mountain Goats at the Maximum Ames Music Festival event.  Kennedy has been writing songs for about eight years, and released her debut album in 2006.  She also released an album as Pennyhawk in 2009.  You can listen right here to Kate Kennedy live on Studio One Tracks!

IPR/Mark Simmet

Studio One Tracks featured a live performance from The Mountain Goats on Sept. 12.  It was the final show of a brief solo tour from Mountain Goats songwriter/vocalist/guitarist/pianist John Darnielle.  The Maximum Ames Music Festival headlining performance was very well received by an enthusiastic full house at the First United Methodist Church in Ames.  Many in the audience had come long distances to catch this intimate live set from The Mountain Goats.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer hangs out with acoustic country songwriter Mike Himebaugh.

Listen in below for his "Chicago twang" sound that's bound to draw a smile.

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Singer-songwriter Dan Bejar formed his band Destroyer in the mid-1990s in Vancouver, British Columbia.  He may or may not be amused by the fact that there are several other musical groups with the name "Destroyer." However, those are heavy metal and KISS tribute bands, so musically there can be no confusion with Bejar's indie rock sensibilities.  He is also known for his work with Vancouver's New Pornographers, which he joined after fronting Destroyer for a few years.  Bejar has continued writing, singing and playing with both bands.

IPR/Tony Dehner

On Sept. 3, the Waterloo-based power pop band TWINS played two energetic sets at the Kum & Go Theatre venue of the Des Moines Social Club.  Their sets included a generous selection of songs from their forthcoming third album, plus TWINS favorites and a great cover of a Nick Lowe song.  A good time was had by all, as they say, and you can hear what I mean when you listen to this podcast! 

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As I've been preparing for our Studio One Tracks live broadcast of The Mountain Goats this Saturday night (Sept. 12, beginning at 7:00 pm with opening act Kate Kennedy), I've come across many surprisingly varied ways that other writers have described John Darnielle's voice.  One of my favorites is from a Paste magazine scribe who wrote that The Mountain Goats' songs are "steadfastly proclaimed in (Darnielle's) geek who-lived-to-tell wail."  The writer liked  the singer's  voice, and so do I.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer talks with unique Moline, Illinois rock ensemble Minus Six.

Listen to and download the podcast below to find out how the group has successfully omitted guitar.

themynabirds.com

Lovers Know is the third full-length album from The Mynabirds, the band founded by singer-songwriter and keyboard player Laura Burhenn in 2009.  She had previously been one half of the Washington, D.C. duo Georgie James.  Burhenn signed to Saddle Creek Records and relocated to Omaha, Saddle Creek's home base.

In this special encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," Coralville native bluesman Kevin B.F. Burt chats with host Ben Kieffer.

Listen to Burt's powerful blues performances below.

Des Moines Social Club/Mickey Davis

After a summer break, the Studio One team is heading back to the Des Moines Social Club on Thursday, September 3rd! IPR's Mark Simmet will be spinning your daily soundtrack live from the Kum & Go Theater at the Social Club, and he'll be joined by the Waterloo band TWINS, who will be bringing their brand of high-energy rock and roll and performing songs from their upcoming third album! 

Gabriella Porter/thebirdandthebee.com

Inara George is the daughter of the late Lowell George of the band Little Feat.  She had already performed and recorded on her own before forming the Los Angeles-based duo The Bird And The Bee with musician/producer Greg Kurstin in 2006.  The two share an appreciation for jazz standards, sophisticated dance music, and well-constructed pop songs.  In fact, their previous full-length release was an album of Hall & Oates covers.  The new Recreational Love follows five years later, with ten new ear-pleasing indie pop songs.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer catches up with Quad Cities-based group EmJay.

Lend an ear below to some of EmJay's female-fronted neo soul/groove music.

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Blood is the second full-length album from Lianne La Havas.  La Havas was born in London to a Greek father and Jamaican mother and began singing at age seven.  Her father taught her piano and guitar basics, and she started writing songs at a young age.  La Havas signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2010, but took her time developing her skills before releasing any music.  Her debut album came out in 2012.  With the new follow-up record Blood, Lianne La Havas continues to write, sing and play smart, sophisticated songs in a jazzy neo-soul style.

IPR/Tony Dehner

Iowa native (from Allison) Miss Christine returned to the state for a string of live performances, including a set in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Aug. 18.  The songwriter, vocalist and bassist is a graduate of Boston's Berklee College Of Music, and is now based in Nashville.  Miss Christine and her band played all the songs from the new EP Dichotomy plus much more, including a couple of well-done cover songs.  Have a listen!

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will talk the  group Hipknosis.

Listen in below to hear the Iowa based group's straight forward approach to rock 'n' roll.

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Coming Home is the debut full-length album from Leon Bridges, the young soul singer, guitarist and songwriter from Fort Worth, Texas.  Bridges' music and visual image are very much in the tradition of early Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke circa 1963.  It wasn't that long age that he was working as a dishwasher and playing open-mic nights around Fort Worth.  Bridges signed with Columbia Records last year, and began touring nationally this year.  Coming Home shows Leon Bridges to be utterly sincere in his approach to retro-soul.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer chats with singer-songwriter JD Eicher and his band, The Goodnights.

Listen in below for Eicher's crafty, introspective brand of pop-rock. 

facebook.com/tameimpala

Kevin Parker founded  Tame Impala as his own home recording project in 2007.  The band continues to be his own very personal project, with Parker writing all the songs and performing all the music and vocals himself, plus producing and mixing.  He is joined be other musicians when Tame Impala tours.  Currents is the third full-length album from the Australian band, with more synths and a more dance-oriented approach this time around.  Parker's careful attention to detail has resulted in this buzz-worthy new record from Tame Impala.      

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