Mark Simmet

Studio One Host

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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Virginia-born singer-songwriter Neko Case has been releasing solo records for over twenty years.  In fact, her solo career predates Case's membership in The New Pornographers.  She's also done other projects, including her 2016 album with Laura Veirs and k.d.

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God's Favorite Customer is Josh Tillman's fourth Father John Misty album.  The songs are beautifully recorded, with producer Tillman utilizing members of his touring band, as well as people like Jonathan Rado (of Foxygen) as players.  With his dry sense of humor, sometimes morbid outlook, and taste for the absurd, the lyrics are what we've come to expect on a Father John Misty record.  Tillman seems to be a bit more reserved, a bit more serious this time out.  And yet, this is prime Father John Misty, not quite like anyone else on the current musical landscape. 

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Courtney Barnett is in the forefront of the latest wave of artists and bands from Australia.  One could argue that she is also a shining light among female musicians and songwriters.  It's hard to be totally original, but since she started to attract notice in the U.S.

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Arctic Monkeys formed in Sheffield, England in 2002.  The band has been very successful in their native country, but most definitely do not want to rest on their laurels.  For album number six, Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, frontman Alex Turner wrote the songs on piano rather than guitar, with the result being a kind of "lounge pop" sound.  Lyrically, Turner was inspired by science fiction.  The kind of science fiction that comments on our current world and culture while it spins it's speculative tales.  

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is the new album from the Boston-based band Lake Street Dive.  What is striking about the record is the evolution of their sound- the strong foundation of soulful, jazzy classic pop remains, but with a new rock and roll edge added.  It's a very appealing sound, and it certainly doesn't hurt that the songwriting on Free Yourself Up is top notch.  Many of the new songs were written or co-written by Iowa City native Bridget Kearney, who plays bass in the band.  Kearney and her bandmates Rachael Price (lead vocalist), Mike Olson (guitar and trumpet), and Mike Calabrese (drums) self-pro

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Victoria Legrand & Alex Scally have been making music together as Beach House since 2004, when they formed the dream pop band in Baltimore.  7 is the duo's 7th full-length album of new material, and it's clearly an important record for Beach House.  Through their label, Sub Pop Records, they have commented on their recording process and what they intended to be.  According to Beach House:  "We are interested by the human mind's (and nature's) tendency to create forces equal and opposite to those present.  Thematically, this record often deals with the beauty that ari

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines band Field Division are having quite a year, with a European and U.K. tour this past Spring, and another tour abroad slated for this Fall.  In between they are releasing their debut full-length album, Dark Matter Dreams, on the British label Bella Union.  The band played a Studio One Tracks live set in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on May 31, previewing some of the songs that will appear on that new record.

You can hear that set right here! 

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Okkervil River is a river in St.

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Kyle Thomas performs and records using the far more expressive nom de plume King Tuff, and of course that's also the name of his band.  The music of King Tuff is almost always described as "garage rock", and while that's not an inaccurate classification, the growth toward a more sophisticated indie rock and power pop sound is apparent four albums in.  The new record, The Other, was totally written and produced by Thomas.  He also played all of the instruments (including guitars, various synths/keyboards, and autoharp), except drums (played mainly be Ty Segall) and

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Critical Equation is the tenth full-length studio album from Dr. Dog.  The Philadelphia band began in 1999, gathering fans and hometown support, and eventually putting forth their self-produced and self-released debut album in 2001.  Toby Leaman (bass) and Scott McMicken (lead guitar) are the lead vocalists in Dr. Dog, and their musical partnership goes all the way back to eighth grade.  On Critical Equation the band continues to refine it's appealing indie rock sound.  Much of Dr.

IPR/Tony Dehner

Iowa City-based songwriter, musician, producer and arranger Dana Telsrow brought some accomplished players with him for his Studio One Tracks live set on May 10.  The performance in IPR's Cedar Falls studios featured tracks from Dana T's previous album as well as several from the brand new full-length release, Harsh Forever.  Plus, we were treated to a brand new unreleased song.  

Have a listen to this great live set from Dana T!

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Greta Kline is the daughter of two actors- Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, and although she has done a bit of acting herself, Kline is best known for her lo-fi, DIY, indie pop songs.  She has released a lot of material under various names, including the monikers Ingrid Superstar and Frankie Cosmos.  At age 24, Kline has over 40 albums of home recordings- just check her Bandcamp discography.  Vessel is the third "official" studio album from Frankie Cosmos, the group comprised of Kline and her bandmates. 

IPR/Tony Dehner

St. Louis-based musician and songwriter Beth Bombara and her band arrived at The Basement of The Des Moines Social Club on the rainy and stormy night of May 3, for two sets of "Americana with a rock 'n' roll chaser".  Bombara performed songs from her most recent album, Map & No Direction, including a great cover of a Bob Dylan song.  

Have a listen to this Studio One Underground live performance, right here!

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Although Ben Harper made his reputation in the 1990s as an alternative rocker, blues, gospel and soul have informed his music from the very beginning.  Harper has gone on record as saying that he regards Charlie Musselwhite to be the best harmonica player in the world.  Mississippi-born Musselwhite has been active as an electric blues sideman and  bandleader since the 1960s, with many records to his credit.  In 2014 he and Harper won a Grammy award for Best Blues Album.  That was for 2013's Get Up!- their first record together.  Five years later we have the welcome followup- No

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In a nice bit of synchronicity, Wye Oak's new album The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs was released on the same day that the band played The Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City this month.  Since their self-released debut in 2007, the duo from Baltimore have sent a new full-length record into the world every couple of years or so.  That debut album was impressive enough to gain re-release on Merge Records, and Wye Oak have been with that well-respected indie label ever since.  Beginning with a folk-influenced sound eleven years ago, Jenn Wasner (lead vocals, guitars, bass) and A

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Erudite and often springing from some dusty old corner of history, the music of The Decemberists sounds like what one would expect from a band that named themselves after the 1825 Russian insurrection known as the Decembrist (sic) revolt.  But The Decemberists are also a tuneful indie rock/baroque pop band, as one would expect with acknowledged influences like Morrissey, R.E.M., and XTC.  I'll Be Your Girl is the eighth studio album from the group, formed in 2000 in Portland, Oregon.  Like a lot of music coming out these days, the record is informed (in a nonspecific way) by the mo

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines rock and blues trio The Other Brothers released their second studio album Born Out Of Tune on April 11.  That very night, they stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios to perform the new album live in it's entirety!  The songs are all originals, but the sound will have you thinking classic rock revival.

Check out The Other Brothers right here! 

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Izabel Crane is a band based in Springfield, MO.  The group has been gathering fans in Iowa as they have toured through the state in the past year or so, and many of those fans were in the audience for Izabel Crane's live debut on IPR.  It was Studio One Underground, live from The Basement of the Des Moines Social Club on April 5.  For this show, Izabel Crane was a three piece band:  Liz Carney on vocals and guitar, Matt Guinn on lead guitar, and B.J.

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Nathaniel Rateliff 's story is the "overnight success" tale of  a formerly obscure musician who comes out of nowhere with a song that catches fire, propelling the musician and his band to seemingly universal awareness.  Of course, there's a lot of hard work, struggle and even desperation behind that story.  St.

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Kim Deal and Tanya Donelly began The Breeders in 1989.  The critical acclaim that Deal was receiving as part of The Pixies, and that Donelly was enjoying as part of Throwing Muses, continued with their new side project.  Donelly left after a couple of years, and Kim Deal recruited her sister Kelley Deal to join up.  As the 1990s rolled on, The Breeders had a hit single and album ("Cannonball" from 1993's Last Splash).  ​There have been times of inactivity for the group, with various personnel changes and years between albums.  The new full-length release All Nerve is the first from

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Dan Auerbach is keeping things humming along at his Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville.  One of his new production projects is Onion, the fifth full-length album from the Oakland, California band Shannon & The Clams.  The quartet are known for their garage punk take on 1950s and '60s pop genres like doo-wop, rockabilly, girl group, surf, and other variations of good old rock 'n' roll.  Auerbach is a fine fit as producer for Shannon & The Clams (Shannon is Shannon Shaw on bass and vocals).  Like the band, he loves those genres, too.  But he also brings his productio

IPR/Tony Dehner

Des Moines singer-songwriter Dan Tedesco returned to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live set on March 21.  Tedesco made fine use of our vintage Steinway piano, and also accompanied himself on guitar and stomp board.  He played some new songs, and talked about his latest projects, as well as his life as a working musician.

Enjoy this live set from Dan Tedesco! 

IPR/Chris Fenton

The Cedar Rapids band treesreach played a live set in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on March 19.  The performance was also featured as a Facebook Live event on IPR's Facebook page.  The group played songs from their debut album Some Night You Will Hear Me Crowing.  On the album, many of their songs come across as more orchestral and in the realm of chamber pop, but for this live set treesreach put a definite indie rock spin on their material. 

Have a listen to treesreach right here!

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Last week Franz Ferdinand, and this week Belle and Sebastian.  Two Featured Release bands in a row from Glasgow, Scotland.  Belle and Sebastian have been around a bit longer though, and they haven't had the kind of mainstream success that Franz Ferdinand have enjoyed.  Founding member Stuart Murdoch leads the band named after the French novel Belle et Sebastien, which he and his mates knew from a television adaptation.  The new album, How To Solve Our Human Problems, is filled with their distinctive indie pop songs- so filled that Belle and Sebastian originally released it

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No doubt many have googled "Franz Ferdinand" and stumbled upon the fact that this was the guy whose assassination sparked World War I.  The band Franz Ferdinand began in Glasgow, Scotland in 2002.  They liked the alliteration of the name, and mused that perhaps one day they would be more well-known than the Archduke himself.  Releasing a solid, danceable indie rock album like Always Ascending every few years can only help to make that more and more likely.      

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MGMT brought their sound and vision (cool video behind them on stage) to last summer's 80/35 Festival in downtown Des Moines.  At that time they were probably working on their fourth album, Little Dark Age.  ​The advance word on the new record was that MGMT mainmen Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser were going to rein in their experimental side this time out, and bring some focus to the proceedings.  As the music was released, that's exactly what we got- MGMT's eccentric songs and left-field pop sensibilities remain for Little Dark Age, but with a bit more self-discipl

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One advantage of flying under the radar of the mainstream, is that a good band can continue to produce quality work for years without being forced to meet the expectations of the masses, and perhaps accelerate toward premature burn-out.  Okay, that's just a theory.  But Calexico, the long-running indie band from Tucson, Arizona seem to bear it out.  They've been around for over twenty years, and have just released one of the best albums of their career, The Thread That Keeps Us.  The record showcases Calexico's expert blend of Tex-Mex Americana and desert indie rock, all i

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Ty Segall is one of those Studio One artists who seems to have a new record out every few weeks or so.  With the different bands he's involved in, plus his rising solo career, the man is prolific.  In fact, the new Freedom's Goblin is a good old-fashioned double album:  19 tracks on four sides of vinyl.  The songwriter/guitarist/vocalist keeps things moving along quite nicely.   Segall changes up the mood and tempo as needed, and does not shortchange the listener on demonstrations of his skill as a guitarist.   

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In 2006, New England-born musician Merrill Garbus started her lo-fi folk project Tune-Yards (sometimes known as tUnE-yArDs...artists! ), releasing a debut album in 2009.  Along the way, Nate Brenner became the other core member of the band, playing bass and various synths and programs.  For album number four, provocatively titled I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life, Garbus and Brenner co-produced the record, and co-wrote the music.  Garbus did write all of the lyrics, questioning culture and politics in a search to find out what's going on.  She delivers the songs wi

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines-based band The Fuss raised a fuss in 2017 with their debut full-length record, and also a Des Moines Social Club performance for Studio One Underground.  Here's a chance to check out an in-studio set from the band, recorded in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on August 1, 2017.

Enjoy this set from The Fuss!

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