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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Los Campesinos! (the band include the exclamation point in their name) formed in Cardiff, Wales in 2006 at Cardiff University.  The Spanish word campesino translates as "peasant" or "country person."  All six of the current members, as well as the former members of the band use "Campesinos!" as their surname.  No Blues is their sixth full-length album, as energetic as before, but more focused this time out.

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British vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Nick Lowe is a major figure in UK pub rock, power pop and New Wave in the 1970's.  In recent years, his records have gone in a traditional and roots direction.  His latest release is a Christmas album, titled Quality Street:  A Seasonal Selection For All The Family.  The title is a nod to a famous UK manufacturer of holiday sweets.  For this project, Lowe offers traditional songs, forgotten gems, and new songs written by himself, Ry Cooder and Ron Sexsmith.

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Cut Copy formed in 2001 in Melbourne, Australia as the solo project of DJ Dan Whitford.  During his studies in the graphic design field Whitford became interested in dance music and began working as a DJ.  He also bought a sampler and various keyboards, finding inspiration for his music in both dance and indie low-fi sounds.  Since then, Cut Copy has become an actual band.  Free Your Mind is their fourth album.

Host Charity Nebbe sits down with "Studio One" host Mark Simmet and "Blue Avenue" and "Backtracks" host Bob Dorr of Iowa Public Radio's Studio One to talk about the best music of 2013.  Their picks are listed below, and you can hear excerpts throughout the show.

Mark Simmet - Best alternative/independent albums of 2013

10.  Sky Ferreira- Night Time, My Time   
She’s very young and she’s a tabloid celebrity, but her debut full-length album is catchy and creative.  It’s not disposable pop music, it’s good pop music.

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Someone, the new record from the Waterloo-based band Dylan Sires and Neighbors, will be officially released on Tuesday, Dec. 17.  That night, the band will join me on Studio One to play live and talk about the new album.  I invite you to be part of the studio audience for this free show!  We are located on the third floor of the Communication Arts Center on the UNI campus in Cedar Falls.  The set from Dylan Sires and Neighbors will begin around 7:15 pm.  Come on up, or listen live on Studio One!

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Cults formed in 2010, while core band members Brian Oblivion (guitar, vocals) and Madeline Follin (vocals) were both students in New York City.  The songs on thier 2011 self-titled debut album were inspired by early 1960's pop and their own relationship as a couple.  Cults' second full-length release, Static, is an album of breakup songs, again reflecting their personal relationship while expanding on the sound of their first record.

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The Seattle band La Luz ("the light") bring their own take on girl groups and surf rock to their debut full-length album, It's Alive.  The line-up of Shana Cleveland (guitar), Marian Li Pino (drums), Abbey Blackwell (bass) and Alice Sandahl (keyboards) also adds a lo-fi retro-rockabilly vibe to the sound of La Luz. 

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Join us on IPR's Studio One Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 8:00 PM for a special live concert from Arcade Fire, performing at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.  The band performed many of the songs from their new album Reflektor, as well as some of Lou Reed's music in tribute to the passing of Reed earlier that week. 

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Devonte Hynes is a British vocalist, songwriter and producer who has recorded as Lightspeed Champion in the past, and more recently as Blood Orange.  Hynes was born and raised in Ilford, Essex, and has resided in new York since 2007.  The new release Cupid Deluxe is Blood Orange's follow up to the 2011  album, Coastal Grooves.   Cupid Deluxe tunefully expands on the electro-pop of that acclaimed debut record. 

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Join us on Studio One Thursday, Nov. 21 in the 7:00 PM hour for a special feature on Minneapolis-based musician and songwriter Mason Jennings.  Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters will be talking with Jennings about his life and his new record Always Been.  The new release was produced by Bo Ramsey.  Musicians and vocalists appearing on the album include Pieta Brown, Iris DeMent, and members of the Pines.  Along with the interview, you'll hear music from Jennings' records, including Always Been.  Also, the new album is our CD of the Week this week.

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Shulamith is the second album from the Minneapolis-based band Polica.  An offshoot of the Minneapolis collective Gayngs, Polica was formed in 2011 by producer  Ryan Olson and  vocalist Channy Leaneagh.  Leaneagh described the songs the two co-wrote for the new record thusly:  "Drums.  Bass.  Synths.  Me, Women."  The title of the album is a reference to the feminist Shulamith Firestone, who Leaneagh described as her "muse and mentor."

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In 2010, Virginia native Jonathan Russell and California transplant Josiah Johnson formed the core of the songwriting partnership of The Head And The Heart in their new hometown of Seattle.  The band was quickly rounded out with the addition of drummer Tyler Williams, keyboardist Kenny Hensley, vocalist/violinist Charity Rose Thielen and bassist Chris Zasche.  Their 2011 debut album on Sub Pop became one of the label's best-selling debut releases to date.  The Head And The Heart's Let's Be Still is their follow-up to that initial success.

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B-Room, the new album from Philadelphia's Dr. Dog, has been called the most cohesive, soulful, loose and just plain fun record of their career.  The title of B-Room references the band's newly built studio, an integral part of the making of the new album.  The band built the new studio themselves, from the studs to the sheet rock to the recording booth.  Recording many of the album's tracks as live takes, Dr. Dog discovered the soul roots always inherent in their Philadelphia background.

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Iowa Public Radio's Studio One is presenting Arcade Fire in a live concert from Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28 beginning at 9:00 pm.  The Montreal-based indie rock band will perform highlights from their new album, Reflektor, the follow-up to their Grammy winning 2011 release The Suburbs.

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Chvrches (pronounced "churches") are a Scottish synthpop band from Glasgow, formed in 2011.  The group consists of Lauren Mayberry (lead vocals, synthesizers and samplers), Iain Cook (synthesizers, guitar, bass, vocals) and Martin Doherty (synthesizers, samplers, vocals).   The Bones Of What You Believe is their debut album, following an EP released earlier this year.  The record's title refers to the raw "creativity and effort" that served as the skeleton for the album, according to lead singer Lauren Mayberry.

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Elvis Costello met The Roots as a result of being a guest performer on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, where The Roots have been the house band since the program premiered in 2009.  ?uestlove and the other members of the band have a rich history of musical collaboration, as does Costello.   His lyrical prowess meets their solid grooves, and the result is the new record Wise Up Ghost.

  

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The Glasgow, Scotland based band Franz Ferdinand formed in 2002, with band members Alex Kapranos (lead vocals and guitar), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), Nick McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keyboards and backing vocals) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals).  Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is their fourth studio album.  Kapranos has described the record as dealing with "the idea of the cynic's search for optimism and the skeptic's search for a manual."

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Tune in Saturday, Sept. 28 beginning at 7:00 pm for our live broadcast of the British band Et Tu Bruce, followed by the legendary British group The Zombies.  Both bands are performing at the Ames City Auditorium as part of this week's Maximum Ames Music Festival.  The Zombies are known for such classic hits as "She's Not There" and "Time Of The Season."  The group includes founding members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent.

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Ty Segall began his career as a musician in various underground bands in the San Francisco Bay area.  He began releasing solo projects in 2008.  Since then, he has already released eight solo albums (the first two were on cassette).  The new release, Sleeper, features primarily acoustic psychedelic folk compositions.  It's being called Segall's most focused album to date.

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Negativity is the fifth full-length release from the Providence, Rhode Island-based band Deer Tick.  The band includes frontman and chief songwriter John McCauley, guitarist Ian O'Neil, bassist Christopher Dale Ryan, keyboardist Rob Crowell and drummer Dennis Ryan.  Negativity is McCauley's most personal work thus far, and was recorded earlier this year in Portland, Oregon with legendary producer Steve Berlin.  

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Ernest Greene records and performs as Washed Out.  On his second full-length record Paracosm, he takes the dreamlike, otherworldly atmospheres of his music further by adding a variety of old keyboards to his sonic palette of computers and synths.  Greene and his wife Blair (who plays in the Washed Out live band) recently relocated from Atlanta to a house outside Athens, Georgia.  Escaping is a theme on Paracosm.  The title refers to a phenomenon in which people create detailed imaginary worlds.

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Singer-songwriter Daughn Gibson was born in Pennsylvania (as Josh Martin).  His new album, Me Moan, is his first for the Sub Pop label, and his second full-length release overall.  Gibson combines country and classic Americana styles with synths and electronic sounds.  The result has garnered Gibson critical acclaim for his originality.

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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros formed in Los Angeles in 2007.  Lead vocalist Alex Ebert leads the band, with a  revolving lineup of up to 12 people.  The musical collective began as a collaboration between Ebert and singer Jade Castrinos.  The band's name and Ebert's live persona are based on a messianic figure named Edward Sharpe, from a story he wrote.  The band's sound has elements of folk, gospel, roots rock and psychedelic music.  Their third release is self-titled, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

  

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Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, formed in 1999 and known for persistent touring and theatrical stage shows.  Much of the band's sound is inspired by Gypsy music.  Gogol Bordello incorporates accordion and violin along with the punk and dub reggae elements of their music.  The new album, Pura Vida Conspiracy, is their first in three years, and was recorded in El Paso, Texas. 

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Soft Will is the third album from the Chicago band Smith Westerns.  The band was formed in 2007 by Max Kakacek and Cullen Omori, who at the time were students at Chicago's Northside College Preparatory School.  Cameron Omori, Cullen's brother, soon joined on bass.  The current drummer in the Smith Westerns is Julien Ehrlich.  Originally inspired by 1960's garage rock, Smith Westerns continue to refine their melodic indie rock sound on Soft Will.

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Austra is a Canadian electronic music band from Toronto, Ontario.  The band formed in 2009, and consists of Katie Stelmanis (vocals, keyboards), her former Galaxy bandmate Maya Postepski (drums) and former Spiral Beach bassist Dorian Wolf.  The band is named after Stelmanis' middle name Austra, which is also the name of the goddess of light in Latvian mythology.  Their new release, Olympia, is the follow up to their highly praised 2011 debut album Feel It Break.

  

 

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The Cedar Rapids-based Surf Zombies formed in 2006 and have released several full length CDs, including their most recent release Lust For Rust.  Brook Hoover and Ian Williams are the guitar duo, with Trevor Treiber on bass and Tyler Russell on drums.  The Surf Zombies play all original surf instrumentals, and bring this perfect summertime music to IPR's Studio One for a live in-studio appearance Monday, July 29th.  You are invited to be in the audience for this free show on the third floor of the Communication Arts Center on the UNI campus in Cedar Falls, Monday night beginning ar

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The Newport Folk Festival is one of the summer's signature musical events and Iowa Public Radio will provide live video coverage of this legendary concert series from Newport, Rhode Island.  Visit iowapublicradio.org for live webcasts Friday, July 26 beginning at 1:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11:00 am.  See and hear live sets from Andrew Bird, Beck, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Lumineers, Justin Townes Earle, The Avett Brothers, The Mountain Goats, Iris Dement, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Father John Misty, Beth Orton and more.

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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.

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