Studio One

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.  

This summer, June through September, we'll be looking back at some of our favorite Java Blend broadcasts of 2012.

Tune in every Saturday starting June 14 at 2 PM to catch these special encore broadcasts featuring locally grown and nationally known artists. 

IPR/Tony Dehner

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! 

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with The Grahams.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the making of their debut album. 

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 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.

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!       

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Crankshaft.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about what he calls "pork neck" music.

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.”

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.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with the Des Moines trio of Mary McAdams, Patresa Hartman, and Lily DeTaeye.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about their songwriters in the round.

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!

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Cedar Falls locals and Iowa Pop Kings, Dylan Sires and Neighbors.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about their upcoming international tours.

IPR/Phil Maass

Jon Hogan and Maria Moss were not on my radar until about a week before the show. A friend of a friend was organizing their concert in southern Minnesota, and knew they'd be passing through Iowa on Easter Sunday, on their way back home to Texas. A few Facebook messages and e-mails and it was a done deal.  Looking like they'd be right at home in a Bonnie and Clyde movie, Jon and Maria gave us some high-energy renditions of early country music and shared their historical knowledge of the genre.

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.

IPR/Tony Dehner

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! 

In this special episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," recorded at The Redstone Room in downtown Davenport, host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Brooklyn, NY artist, Jen Chapin

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about this soulful folk artist and her trio. 

Flickr: Seth Anderson

Spring will be sticking around for good any day now, and then summer will be right around the proverbial corner.  That puts one in mind of (among other things) new music! 

Facebook: Kelly O

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.

IPR/Andrew Arganbright

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!

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the fliers for yard-cleaning services that know a big job when they see one are a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on ways to drop musical knowledge without seeming obnoxious.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Rebecca Rego.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the Wisconsin based artist.

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.

Courtesy the artist

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.

 In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Davenport rockers, Jason Carl and the Whole Damn Band.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about their latest self-titled album.

Scarlett Cerna

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.

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.

IPR/Tony Dehner

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.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with southeast Iowa indie folk-rockers, The PBJs.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the sweet and salty duo.

IPR/Tony Dehner

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!