Studio One

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!       

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Crankshaft.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about what he calls "pork neck" music.

Kludge, the follow-up to Nashville based PUJOL’s 2012 debut UNITED STATES OF BEING, continues the journey of self-discovery juxtaposed with an imaginative, uncertain future involving lizards and cyborgs along with a questionable present reality. The influence of punk and garage rock is definitely there, but it is the traces of pop and folky blues, interwoven with Daniel Pujol’s seemingly lighthearted yet heavy lyrics that make Kludge—“a crock that works.”  

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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.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with the Des Moines trio of Mary McAdams, Patresa Hartman, and Lily DeTaeye.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about their songwriters in the round.

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!

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Cedar Falls locals and Iowa Pop Kings, Dylan Sires and Neighbors.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about their upcoming international tours.

IPR/Phil Maass

Jon Hogan and Maria Moss were not on my radar until about a week before the show. A friend of a friend was organizing their concert in southern Minnesota, and knew they'd be passing through Iowa on Easter Sunday, on their way back home to Texas. A few Facebook messages and e-mails and it was a done deal.  Looking like they'd be right at home in a Bonnie and Clyde movie, Jon and Maria gave us some high-energy renditions of early country music and shared their historical knowledge of the genre.

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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.

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! 

In this special episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," recorded at The Redstone Room in downtown Davenport, host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Brooklyn, NY artist, Jen Chapin

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about this soulful folk artist and her trio. 

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! 

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.

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!

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the fliers for yard-cleaning services that know a big job when they see one are a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on ways to drop musical knowledge without seeming obnoxious.

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In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Rebecca Rego.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the Wisconsin based artist.

Every once in a while, folk music pokes its way out of obscurity and gets noticed by a wider public. Filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen shone a spotlight on music of the American south in their 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou, and they’ve done it again with this year’s Inside Llewyn Davis.  The movie is a fictionalized account of the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early 1960s, when baby boomers discovered traditional music, and the oxymoronic concept of the “professional folk singer” took root.

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.

 In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Davenport rockers, Jason Carl and the Whole Damn Band.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about their latest self-titled album.

Scarlett Cerna

April 1st kicks off the 2014 Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City welcoming both national and regional artists to the area. Launched in the spring of 2006, music is just one aspect of Mission Creek. Film showcases, local food tasting, stand-up, and literary events have also been incorporated into the festival in recent years. New for 2014, is the Tech + Innovation Conference (April 4-5).  Over the course of six days you can check out a wide variety of artists from Phillip Glass to !!! (pronounced chk chk chk), and from Laurie Anderson to Hannibal Buress.

Black Lips

Black Lips formed in 1999 in Dunwoody, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta, while founding members Cole Alexander (guitar) and Jared Swilley (bass) were still in high school.  Drummer Joe Bradley joined a few months later, and lead guitarist Ian Saint Pe' joined in 2004.  After releasing records for other labels, Black Lips signed with Vice Records in 2007, releasing their new Underneath The Rainbow on that label.

IPR/Tony Dehner

In anticipation of the April 1 release of their new record Tomboys On Parade, the Waterloo-based band TWINS joined me for an exuberant March 27 in-studio performance on Studio One.  The band (lead vocalists/guitarists Joel and Harper Sires, drummer/vocalist Luke Sires and bassist/vocalist Devin Ferguson) were in fine form, playing Tomboys On Parade songs and more, including an encore that was not part of the live broadcast, but was heard by the studio audience.  Here is their set, complete with encore and my conversation with TWINS.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with southeast Iowa indie folk-rockers, The PBJs.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the sweet and salty duo.

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa band John June Year stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a high energy in-studio performance on March 25.  Their music has been described as filling the gap between British guitar rock, the raw and artsy sounds of the Velvet Underground, the early 2000's garage rock revival of bands like the Strokes, and contemporary torch-bearers such as the Arctic Monkeys.  You'll hear those influences in this live set, plus a Monkees cover included among their original songs! 

John June Year, from Clinton, Iowa (and currently residing in Cedar Falls) join me for a live in-studio set on Tuesday, March 25, beginning around 7:15 pm.  John June Year fills the gap between British guitar rock, the raw and artsy sounds of the Velvet Underground, the early 2000's garage rock revival of bands like the Strokes, and contemporary indie rock torch-bearers such as the Arctic Monkeys.  The free show will be on the third floor of the Communication Arts Center on the UNI campus in Cedar Falls.

Scarlett Cerna

Spring is here, and if you didn’t get to head down to the South by Southwest festivities in Austin, no worries! We got you covered on IPR’s Studio One; and complied a list of some of the hottest upcoming artists on the scene, as well as the spring releases we are looking forward to.

Brooklyn duo, Denitia and Sene have created a buzz with their blend of electronic pop and soul. As one of groups to watch out for at this year’s SXSW, here is a track off their 2013 debut His and Hers.

The Waterloo, Iowa band Twins are about to release the  follow-up to their 2012 album, Funny Faces.  The new record, Tomboys On Parade, was self-produced by the band at Jealous Dog Studios in Cedar Falls, with Al Eacret engineering the recording sessions.  Eacret mixed the album along with Twins lead vocalist and guitarist, Joel Sires.  The line-up of Twins also includes Luke Sires on drums, Harper Sires on guitar and Devin Ferguson on bass.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Santa Monica based pop-rocker,  Tiff Jimber.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about her and her recent U.S. tour.

Flickr: Jason Persse

Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, began her career as a member of The Polyphonic Spree.  She formed her own band in 2006, and released her debut album the following year.  After a couple more full-length records, she collaborated with David Byrne on Love This Giant.  Byrne and St. Vincent toured together, wowing the crowd at last year's 80/35 Festival with a tight and celebratory show.  The new album, St. Vincent, showcases the next steps in Clark's musical evolution, with smart, accessible songwriting and ear-pleasing innovative songs.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Waterloo's renowned bluegrass and folk string band, Comfort Kings.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about their latest album, Prairie Fire.

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