Welcome to The B-Side - your source for all things music! We'll discuss, play, and share music, talk about what's interesting us in the industry, and give you our inside scoop on what's happening in the Iowa - and national - music scene.
Conventional wisdom has it that the voters participating in the Grammy Awards are often out of touch with current music. Those voters work in various creative and technical areas of the recording industry, nominating the finalists and determining the winner in each category. One theory is that they vote based on name recognition, therefore they may be biased toward artists that have been around longer. A famous example of this is Jethro Tull winning the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance award over Metallica in 1988.
Hey, does anyone remember the Shadow? The mysterious crime-fighter with psychic powers began his long-running career in the 1930's, as a pulp magazine character, and also as the subject of a memorable dramatic radio program (voiced for a time by Orson Welles). The radio shows and the striking visual image of The Shadow have never really gone away, just faded into the...shadows. The character certainly made an impression on Minneapolis/St Paul-area brothers Pat and Larry Hayes, who founded their band in 1969 and named it after The Shadow's alter-ego, Lamont Cranston.
NPR Tiny Desk Concerts are intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host, Bob Boilen. Boilen's desk is located at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC. Past performers have included Lucinda Williams, Rubblebucket, St Paul and The Broken Bones, J. Mascis, Tweedy, Pixies, Neko Case and many more!
There is something about good music that just gets me, and for as long as I can remember I have always connected through music.
It was four years ago that I hosted my first show on IPR’s Studio One. It was on a Sunday night after the Thanksgiving holiday, and coincidently my last show falls during that same time of the year. I am grateful to have had the opportunity on Studio One to share my love of music with other fellow music aficionados throughout the state of Iowa.
If you don't already know Jack Klatt, he's a rambling, roving troubadour-type folk singer who made an appearance on IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" earlier this year. Klatt was born and raised in Michigan's Mississippi River Valley, but his true story telling talent comes from his travels.
If you're a fan of live music, or a performing musician, you might not think of a stranger's living room as a good choice for a performance venue. But that's exactly what's been happening in one Cedar Falls home for about six years.
Since 2008, Cedar Valley House Concerts has provided traveling singer-songwriters with a place to perform, along with a warm bed, an opportunity to do laundry, and other comforts that artists often miss while on tour. Open to the public, guests are asked for a small donation that goes directly to the artist, plus a side dish or snack to share.
When it comes to compiling a Halloween playlist, there are the staples like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and “The Monster Mash” sung by the theatrical Bobby Boris Pickett. Oddly enough the 60s and 80s created a lot of the music that has ended up being played at nearly every Halloween event, but then every decade has produced some uncanny tracks. And for inspiration we’ve brewed up a short list of some of our favorites to spice up your Halloween festivities.
Upcoming Chicago band Twin Peaks are heading to Iowa during their fall tour in support if their sophomore release Wild Onion. They will be in Iowa City at the Blue Moose Tap house tomorrow Sept 23 and then Des Moines Wednesday Sept 24 at the Vaudeville Mews. If you missed the phone interview I did with Twin Peaks vocalist and guitarist Cadien Lake James you can listen to it below.
Tonight during the 7 o’clock hour of Studio One, we have a live performance from Bedroom Shrine out of the Davenport area. Here’s a video from their debut No Déjà Vu.
Listeners of Iowa Public Radio's Studio One know that Iowa has a thriving music scene, and that bringing the music of these talented artists to a larger audience is a key part of IPR's mission. And now, some of those artists are receiving recognition from outside our home state.
With August upon us, we are now near the middle of summer. Some of my summer music obsessions have been the debut albums from Spanish Gold (South of Nowhere), Mø (No Mythologies to Follow), and St. Paul and the Broken Bones (Half the City). They may be new to the scene but don’t let that fool you, for instance the core members of Spanish Gold are seasoned musicians who have ties with My Morning Jacket, Hacienda, Dan Auerbach’s Fast Five, and Groupo Fantasma.
The music festival season is well under way, and as the fourth of July weekend approaches there are several to choose from around the Midwest depending on what kind of music you enjoy, and how far you would like to travel. But even if you already have plans for this weekend there are several upcoming festivals that are taking place on various dates throughout the summer
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!
Lily Henley’s “Words Like Yours” is the latest CD to arrive in my mailbox, seemingly out of nowhere, and knock my socks off. It actually arrived from New York, by way of a promoter in Seattle, but its roots span continents.
Spanish Gold is a trio comprised of seasoned musicians in the indie music scene: Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket), Adrian Quesada (Brown Out, Ocote Soul Sounds, and formerly of Groupo Fantasma) and Dante Schwebel (City and Color and formerly of Hacienda), who brought the three together. Schwebel and Quesada go way back to their days in Laredo where they both occupied the same high school; and Hallahan and Schwebel worked together as Dan Auerbach’s backing band known as the Fast Five during Auerbach’s solo tour for Keep it Hid.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Winter keeps dragging on, and here at Studio One we've got Cabin Fever! While we wait out these last few weeks of cold and snow, here are the top songs and bands keeping us warm and thinking about summer!