Studio One

King Tuff is multifaceted songwriter and musician Kyle Thomas.  The name is a play on both his own name and "King Tut."  Was Dead is actually a reissue of the first King Tuff album, which preceded 2012's King Tuff.  The original release in 2008 was only on vinyl, and is very hard to find.  Was Dead is a treat for fans of catchy, guitar-based glam pop.

Christopher The Conquered and H.D. Harmsen stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios for music and conversation in the middle of their summer tour.  Hear live performances and Mark Simmet's interview with the two Iowa musicians, Wednesday night in the 7:00 pm hour of Studio One.

The Lonelyhearts is the duo of John Lindenbaum (vocals & guitar) and Andre Perry (vocals & keyboards).  The band formed in San Francisco in the early 2000's, released some music, and relocated to different parts of the country.  Lindenbaum is now living in Fort Collins, CO, and Perry resides in Iowa City.  They come together to work on new material, record new records (the latest is Years In The Great Interior on Maximum Ames Records) and tour the country.  The Lonelyhearts will be stopping by the Cedar Falls studios of IPR for a live in-studio appearance Tuesday, July 23.

Valerie June grew up in the small town of Humboldt, Tennessee before moving to Memphis.  She spent years honing a distinctive sound that shifts between eras and genres, with a voice that has been described as somewhere between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday.  June wrote or co-wrote all but one of the 11 tracks on her debut album, Pushin' Against A Stone, with a blend of rural roots, country, rock and blues styles.

Shannon and The Clams take late '50s/ early '60s rock 'n roll as a starting point, adding elements of doo wop, girl groups, surf and punk music for their distinctive sound.  Shannon Shaw (also a member of Hunx and His Punx) is the powerful vocalist, and also plays bass in the trio.  The other members are Cody Blanchard (guitar, vocals) and Ian Amberson (drums, vocals).  Dreams In The Rat House is the third full-length album from the Oakland, California-based Shannon and The Clams.

Originally from Laguna Beach, California, Mikal Cronin's garage pop sound is influenced by indie rock of the '90s.  He is known for collaborating with Ty Segall, who also appears on Cronin's recordings.  After moving to San Francisco, Cronin recorded his second album.  MCII is his first for the Merge Records label, and with a few exceptions (including a couple of guitar solos from Segall), Cronin played all of the instruments.

Join us for live sets from the 2012 80/35 Festival Play In Finals in the first hour of Studio One, beginning Sunday, June 30.  We will feature a different live set each night leading up to the 2013 80/35 Festival July 5 and 6 in downtown Des Moines.  Here is the lineup: 

June 30    Seedlings

July 1        Holy White Hounds

July 2       Holy White Hounds

July 3       Love Songs For Lonely Monsters

July 4       Love Songs For Lonely Monsters

The fourth album from French electronic duo Daft Punk is Random Access Memories.  Daft Punk recorded the album largely using live instrumentation with session musicians, and limited the use of electronics to drum machines, a modular synthesizer and vintage vocoders.  The record also features collaborations with Panda Bear, Julian Casablancas, Giorgio Moroder and more.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes a very recent live recording and interview with the group Finnders and Youngberg, a Colorado-based group which includes Iowa native and award-winning songwriter Mike Finnders; a live recording of Iowa's own Jordan Sellergren; and music in honor of the summer solstice.  You'll also hear from Norman Blake, Patti Casey, and Greg Brown, among others.  Tune in between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 23 for some great music!

Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox first met guitarist Lockett Pundt while attending high school in Georgia.  Years later, Cox met keyboardist Moses Archuleta and began jamming with him.  Deerhunter was established in 2001, and currently consists of Cox, Pundt and Archuleta plus bassist Josh McKay and guitarist Frankie Broyles.  The new album, Monomania is a garage rock record full of the layered and hazy vintage guitar sounds Deerhunter are known for.  Deerhunter will be appearing on the main stage at this year's 80/35 Festival in Des Moines.

Tomorrow, May 17th at 2 PM IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with The Beggarmen.

Join us Thursday, June 20 for an exclusive Iowa Public Radio recording of Divine Fits' entire set from the 2013 Mission Creek Festival.  IPR recorded Divine Fits this past April at the Blue Moose Tap House in Iowa City.  Band members include Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner, Sam Brown and Alex Fischel.  The live set will begin around 8:00 PM on Thursday, June 20, on IPR's Studio One.

Iowa Public Radio is very excited to be teaming up with the 80/35 Festival again this year- offering the opportunity for local and regional bands to play their way onto the main stage of the 80/35 Festival in July in Des Moines.  The winner of this year's IPR 80/35 Play In is the Waterloo/Cedar Falls based Dylan Sires And Neighbors.  They will play Saturday, July 6 at noon on the 80/35 main stage.  The other two finalists, Emperors Club and The Uniphonics (both from Iowa City) will play on the Hy Vee Triathalon Stage- one at 5:00 PM Friday and the other at 1:00 PM Saturday.  We were very im

The band Portugal. The Man formed in Wasilla, Alaska and is now based in Portland, Oregon.  For their seventh album, Evil Friends, they collaborated with Grammy winning producer Danger Mouse.  The result is Portugal. The Man's most diverse, yet cohesive album to date- a hook-heavy record, with a sonically varied sound.

Nicholas Burnham,

Trouble Will Find Me is the sixth album from the Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band The National.  Formed in 1999, the band consists of vocalist Matt Berninger fronting two pairs of brothers:  Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).  Commenting on the recording of the new album, Aaron Dessner remarked that "our ideas would immediately click with each other.  The songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they're our most simple and human.  It just feels like we've embraced the chemistry we have."

Dustin Smith & The Sunday Silos

         This Saturday at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Dustin Smith and the Sunday Silos on "Java Blend."


Join us for live sets from the 2012 80/35 Festival in the first hour of Studio One, beginning Wednesday, May 29.  We will feature a different live set each night leading up to our live broadcast of the 2013 IPR 80/35 Play-In Finals on June 6.  Here is the lineup:

May 29       Derek Lambert and The Prairie Fires

May 30       Jaill

May 31        Mark Mallman

June 1         Mark Mallman

June 2        Night Moves

June 3        Night Moves

June 4        Now Now

June 5        Now Now

Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson formed Vampire Weekend in 2006 while attending Columbia University in New York City.  In 2007 the band signed to XL Recordings.  Their self-titled debut album was released in early 2008.  The band's second full-length release, Contra arrived in early 2010.  Vampire Weekend continue refining their sound with compelling melodies and well-crafted lyrics on their third album, Modern Vampires Of The City.

The Howlin’ Brothers are a three-piece string band that brings heart and passion into every performance. Their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle.

Don't fear! Java Blend is here for the summer. 

Skye Carrasco

This Saturday at 2 PM, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with Iowa City's own Dwelling Fruit.

Iowa Public Radio/Kendall McCabe

  This Saturday at 2 PM, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with Korby Lenker.

The French group Phoenix have been recording since 2000, further refining their synthesizer-based sound on their fifth full-length studio album Bankrupt!  The new release is vibrant and energetic, with a vibe that is definitely '80s synth pop.  Interestingly, Phoenix purchased the console used in the making of Michael Jackson's Thriller to mix the songs on Bankrupt!

Songwriter, singer and guitarist Jim Dwyer has been active on the San Francisco indie scene since the late 1990's.  For the last half dozen or so years, he has led a band that has gone through many different styles (including lo-fi, experimental and psychedelic) and variations of the name Thee Oh Sees.  Floating Coffin is the 12th release from this very prolific band, which includes Brigid Dawson (vocals, tambourine), Petey Dammit (bass) and Mike Shoun (drums) along with Dwyer.  The new record can best be described as straight-ahead garage rock.

Kendall McCabe

  This Saturday at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Dave Zollo on "Java Blend."

Philadelphia songwriter and musician Kurt Vile has been making his own music since he was a teenager, creating home recordings and self-releasing them in cassette form.  His new release for the Matador label is his fifth full-length album, Wakin On A Pretty Daze.  The record is comprised of sweeping, expansive songs that are both intimate and conversational.  Even the more lengthy tracks remain compelling.  Wakin On A Pretty Daze can be viewed as Kurt Vile's distinctive take on the classic model of guitar-based songwriting.


This Saturday at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Tallgrass on "Java Blend."

Ghost On Ghost is the fifth release from singer-songwriter Sam Beam, recording and performing under the name Iron And Wine.  The album was produced by Beam's longtime associate Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Califone, Fruit Bats) and follows 2011's Kiss Each Other Clean.  For Ghost On Ghost, Beam sought to move from what he called the "anxious tension" of his previous two records.  "This record felt like a reward to myself after the way I went about making the last few," he says.

Iowa Public Radio's Cedar Falls facilities are the home of Studio-One-the-room (as opposed to Studio-One-the-programming-stream), an excellent venue for live music.  As I write this, Studio-One-the-room is undergoing renovation and not available for use, but on April 28, The Folk Tree brings you some music that was recorded live there.

In the 2:00 hour, it's our favorite metaphysical Minnesotan singer-songwriter, Peter Mayer.  Then in the 3:00 hour, Sam Knutson, Jordan Sellegren,  and John Waite play music from their Iowa Opera House project.

The Envy Corps' indie quasi-anthems, filled with galvanizing arrangements and elasticized melodies have garnered the Des Moines band the affection of the Midwest, and fans internationally.  The band stopped by the IPR Cedar Falls studios on September 8, 2011.  Tune in to hear a set recorded that night on the Thursday, April 25 edition of Studio One, in the 7:00 pm hour.