Studio One

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

treesreach

IPR is always looking for new ways to bring great music to our listeners, and more and more, that means going beyond what we do on air. It's no surprise to anyone that social media is playing a growing role in reaching our listeners. With this in mind, we've invested in video equipment that will make it possible for us to regularly stream our in-studio performances. We've already done it on our Classical stream, and this week you'll have two chances to catch Studio One events on Facebook Live!

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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.      

IPR/Chris Fenton

The Host Country are a band that's definitely evolved over the years. Originally a folk-inspired duo, they added a rhythm section for their first full-length album, and expanded to a five-piece band with two electric guitars in the past year. The Host Country brought their bigger, more rockin' sound to Studio One Underground in March, and now you can hear their performance right here.

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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.   

The Host Country

We're kicking off our third season of Studio One Underground on March 8th! We'll be joined by  the Des Moines band The Host Country, founded by singer-songwriters Ty Wistrand and Diana Weishaar. Over the years, The Host Country has expanded to a five-piece band and become well-known for their honest, heartfelt lyrics, strong melodies and powerful vocals.

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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!

IPR/Tony Dehner

Lewis Knudsen is a talented songwriter, vocalist and musician from the Quad Cities.  He and his band made a return visit to IPR's Cedar Falls studios on June 26, 2017.  Knudsen's latest album Philip was just out, and we were treated to spirited renditions of songs from the new record, along with conversation about the new project.

You can enjoy that set from Lewis Knudsen right here!

IPR/Tony Dehner

Foxholes, the indie rock band from Des Moines, stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios for an energetic live set on May 16, 2017.  The group played songs from their current album, titled Foxholes.  Does that title indicate that this is the definitive album from the band?  Find out in this set of music and conversation from Foxholes.

Check it out right here!

Chris Fenton

A prominent part of the jam band scene in the Quad Cities for several years, The Dawn released a new record on Davenport's Cartouche Records label in 2017.  The group stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on December 14, 2017 to showcase their talents on the new material, and to talk about their music.

Have a listen to The Dawn!

IPR/Tony Dehner

Des Moines natives Steven Bergeron and Kamillah Camp-Bey are the core members of Ancient Posse.  The up-and-coming soul/synth group brought the full band to the Basement of the Des Moines Social Club for our Feb. 1 Studio One Underground live broadcast.  The appreciative hometown crowd was treated to songs from Ancient Posse's forthcoming debut album. 

You can hear both sets from Ancient Posse right here, and find out what the buzz is all about! 

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Bob Dylan covers, even entire albums of other artists covering Dylan songs, are not uncommon.  What makes Bettye LaVette's new Things Have Changed special is her sterling reputation as a song interpreter.  Her talent as a performer, applied to the songs of arguably the greatest single songwriter of the past few decades, is definitely worth hearing.  Although LaVette picks a couple of Dylan's most well known songs from the '60s, she also draws from other decades, with some deep album cuts proving to be inspired choices for the vocalist.  Also inspired are many of the arrang

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Perhaps not since Big Star titled their first album #1 Record has an artist been so upfront about their ambition for success:  Robert Finley calls his new record Goin' Platinum! (the exclamation point is part of the title).  The 64-year-old, Louisiana-born blues & soul singer has earned the right to grab some attention.  Finley has been performing off and on for decades, and finally released his debut studio album in 2016.  The new Goin' Platinum! ​was produced by Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville, and released on the producer's own label.

IPR/Tony Dehner

As we look forward to upcoming Studio One live events in 2018, we still enjoy taking a look back at what we accomplished in the previous year. With that in mind, we hope you enjoy this live set from Iowa City singer-songwriter Elizabeth Moen, recorded in our Cedar Falls studios in 2017.

NOLA Jazz Band

What's better than spending your evening at the Des Moines Social Club with Iowa Public Radio and great live music? Doing it two nights in a row, of course!

Be sure to join us Thursday, February 1st for Studio One Underground with Ancient Posse, and  we hope to see you again Friday night the 2nd at the Des Moines Social Club for a Mardi Gras Celebration! We'll be joined by two great jazz ensembles from Des Moines: Iowa Jazz Hall of Famers the NOLA Jazz Band, and one of the Midwest's newest brass bands, Grand Ave Ruckus!

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Chris Thile plays mandolin, writes songs, sings, and has made records both on his own and as part of the groups Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers.   As of October, 2016, he has also been the host of a radio program on public radio.  That program is Live From Here - previously known as A Prairie Home Companion.  Although coming out of the bluegrass tradition, Thile is known for being inclusive and progressive in his approach to songwriting and performing.  As part of his Live From Here broadcasts, each time out he features a brand new song that he has written as a ki

IPR/MARK SIMMET

Chastity Brown was raised in Tennessee, and currently resides in Minneapolis.  She stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on July 18, 2017, singing songs from her Red House Records album Silhouette Of Sirens, and accompanying herself on guitar and piano.  Brown played and sang her introspective and soulful songs, and talked about her life and music.  

Enjoy Chastity Brown's Studio One set!

Ancient Posse

IPR's Studio One Underground series got off to a strong start in 2018, as we enjoyed a great night of music from the long-running Iowa band The Nadas. For February, we're excited to present one of Des Moines' most exciting up-and-coming bands, Ancient Posse!

Describing their music as "synth R&B gaze" and claiming Alpha Centauri as their hometown (per their Facebook page), Ancient Posse make a strong statement with their first single "Windless". The band is currently at work on their debut album, and they already have a lot of buzz about them in the Des Moines area.

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Neil Young maintains his Canadian citizenship (as he makes clear in the video below), but he lives and works in the United States and has opinions about our culture and politics.  In recent years, these opinions have fueled a lot of Young's songwriting and much of the passion of his playing as a musician.  In this he is supported for the second time on a studio album by the California-based band Promise Of The Real, led by Lukas Nelson, son of Willie Nelson.  The albums Young has recorded with Promise Of The Real (including the 2016 live release, Earth) have their own particular fe

IPR/Tony Dehner

IPR's Studio One Underground series is back for 2018, and we got off to a great start in January with the long-running Iowa band The Nadas!

Despite the crazy cold outside, it was a full house in the Basement of the Des Moines Social Club.We were treated to two great sets of music during the evening, including songs from The Nadas' upcoming new album One Louder, plus a few "crusty rusty old ones" that had the crowd singing along.

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Bjork is that rare artist who has achieved popular success while still remaining seriously avant-garde.   The Icelandic vocalist and songwriter has been experimenting in sound and vision for a few decades now, and she still has a lot to say.  Drawing upon the mystique of her homeland, the unfolding events of her life, and of course her fertile imagination, Bjork has a new album titled Utopia.  She called it that because after the darkness of her last record, Bjork is feeling optimistic and hopeful about the future.  She collaborated closely with the Venezuelan electronic p

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Sufjan Steven's seventh studio album, Carrie & Lowell, was released in 2015.  It was a quiet, indie-folk album with very autobiographical lyrics written by Stevens as a way of dealing with the death of his mother, Carrie.  Lowell is Stevens' stepfather.  The writing and recording of songs dealing with memories of his mother, who suffered from mental illness and abandoned him when he was a year old, was a means of grieving for Stevens.  Not as cathartic as he expected, the project actually caused him to feel worse.  Now he has released a follow-up album consisting of outtakes, r

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Fuss returned to Iowa Public Radio for their third live performance of 2017, on Nov. 2.  The venue this time was The Basement venue of the Des Moines Social Club, for a Studio One Underground live broadcast.  The band was excited to play for their hometown fans, and the audience was pumped for both of their sets.  The Fuss played songs from their 2017 full-length album, plus selections both older and newer.

Enjoy these two sets from The Fuss! 

The Cedar Falls band Honeywise performed a live set of their music in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on June 5, 2017.  Guitarist Jason Surratt and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Sophia Landis played a heartfelt set, including songs from their full-length album The Grass Is Green.  Be listening for Sophia's Native American flute playing.

Here is the live set from Honeywise!

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines (with roots in the Cedar Valley) band Hazer returned to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live set on Nov. 8.  The band demonstrated their affinity for catchy guitar riffs and straight ahead rock music,  performing all of the songs from their new album There's No Going Back, in sequence.  To finish the set, Hazer played a brand new song.

You can hear the entire live set from Hazer, right here!  

IPR/Tony Dehner

After a year of Studio One Underground shows from the Des Moines Social Club, it's become an IPR tradition to finish up our year of live broadcasts there with A Conquered Christmas.  For the cause of good will and good cheer, Christopher The Conquered rounds up a stellar roster of Iowa talent to perform in The Basement venue of the DMSC, and Studio One has the honor of broadcasting it live!  This year's event on Dec. 7 featured Brother Trucker, David Zollo, Dustin Smith, Max Wellman, Adam Bruce, Adrien Logsdon and many more! 

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