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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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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! 

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.  

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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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James Mercer is the lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter in The Shins.  Brian Burton (also known as Danger Mouse) is the artist and producer with many notable projects on his resume.  With their band Broken Bells, the two artists combine their considerable musical credibility with great success.  The second full-length Broken Bells album is After The Disco.  For the new record, the band's atmospheric synth pop is augmented by a four-piece choir and seventeen-piece string orchestra. 

CD of The Week from Low

Mar 31, 2013
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The Invisible Way is the tenth album from the Duluth, MN trio Low.  Low's guitarist and vocalist Alan Sparhawk tells the story of how the new record came together:  "While driving through Chicago, on tour, we stopped finally to visit Wilco at their studio, The Loft....It's a great place- a sea of instruments in a relaxed, open working environment."  Wilco's Jeff Tweedy agreed to produce the new Low album.  "He spoke a language we understood, but then took us effortlessly into the mystery," according to Sparhawk.

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