The B-Side

Welcome to The B-Side - your source for all things music! We'll discuss, play, and share music, talk about what's interesting us in the industry, and give you our inside scoop on what's happening in the Iowa - and national - music scene.

Name: Mark Simmet

What's your job?

I'm a Studio One Host (Tuesday/Thursday/Friday) and I also manage the music we play. I determine what gets added to the library and I book bands to play in the studio. 

What was the very last thing you listened to today? Be honest!

Alabama Shakes' new album "Sound & Color". My first thought when listening to it was that Brittany Howard is an incredibly soulful singer. It blows you away at how soulful she is. 

William Elliott Whitmore lives in Lee County, between the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers, in the very southeastern corner of Iowa.  He lives and works on his family's land, finding inspiration there for the songs he writes and the music he makes.  Radium Death is his third album for the Anti- label, and his seventh overall.  Whitmore recorded the record in Iowa City over a two year period, with Luke Tweedy producing.  About a third of the new songs are performed solo, and the rest feature a variety of musicians. 

IPR/Tony Dehner

On April 16, the Eastern Iowa band Wooden Nickel Lottery played songs from their just-released debut album On Our Way, for Studio One listeners both in IPR's Cedar Falls studios and those tuning in for the live broadcast.  It was a set of tasty guitar licks and solid songwriting from the Cedar Rapids-based blues/rock band.  Check out the Wooden Nickel Lottery sound right here! 

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa City band Soul Phlegm stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on April 13 to play a set of what they call "soulgrass outlaw funk."  Whatever you call it, you can hear those elements plus a strong undercurrent of the blues in their high-energy performance.  Soul Phlegm played songs from their new Phlourish EP and more. New songs that are perhaps a preview of the full-length album expected later this year.  Enjoy this live set!

Live from The Basement venue of The Des Moines Social Club

Brude Nells Social Club

The 10th Annual Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City kicks off today with a variety of events ranging from literary readings to cultural food tastings. The festival runs until Sunday, April 5 and you can hear Studio One's live broadcast of several music events throughout the weekend. You can even join us in person while we broadcast live from The IPR Lounge at The Java House in Iowa City.  

From The Basement at The Des Moines Social Club 

Name: Tony Dehner

Job: Production Assistant/Studio One Host (Sundays & Mondays)

What is the last thing you listened to today? Be honest!

I listened to a CD that The Michael Reed Band dropped off after their live performance in Studio One last Thursday. 

What album have you been listening to lately?

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Waterloo-based Michael Reed Band stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on March 26, playing a set consisting  of various shades of Rock and Americana for an appreciative audience.  The band, led by singer-songwriter Michael Reed, played songs from their new release Running Wild and more.  Have a listen to their set!

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota band The Tinder Box are in the midst of a Midwestern tour that will include stops in Lincoln, Madison, La Crosse, Morris (MN) and more.  The four-piece group stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on March 9, bringing their folk rock/Americana songs and talking about their new album The Attic Sessions:  Volume 1.  It was a rousing set, with instrumentation consisting of guitars, banjo, trumpet and drums.  Have a listen! 

Facebook: Tinder Box

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota band The Tinder Box are touring around the Midwest.  Stops include Chicago, Lincoln, Madison, La Crosse, Burlington (Wisconsin), Morris (Minnesota) and...Cedar Falls.  I'll be hosting the band for a free performance in IPR's Cedar Falls studios, on Monday, March 9.  With their roots in the southeastern South Dakota soil, The Tinder Box play their own blend of folk-rock, Americana and self-described "BlueSgrass."  They have a new release out titled The Attic Sessions:  Volume 1.  ​You'll hear songs from that album and more on Monday night.

Facebook: Canby

What's it look like when I host a Studio One show?  You can find out this Thursday, March 5 at The Basement (901 Cherry Street) in Des Moines!  IPR is excited to be taking Studio One out on the road for the first time, partnering with the Des Moines Social Club for the entire 7-10 pm show.  I'll be playing new indie rock, singer-songwriters and roots-rock, plus a sprinkling of great older tracks.  It will be just like our usual great mix, except that I'll be spinning the discs live with an audience of Basement patrons.

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa City trio Milk Duct Tape played an energetic live set for Studio One on Feb. 17, in IPR's Cedar Falls studios.  In the great rock tradition of guitar/bass/drums, the band played songs from their new release Styrofoam Tombstone and more.  Milk Duct Tape describe their music as "grunge rock from the Iowa desert."  Have a listen and find out what that means! 

    

Clay Masters / IPR

Seattle musician Damien Jurado is spending a bit of time in Iowa this week playing more intimate shows. The early pioneer of Seattle’s singer-songwriter circle has been recording music and touring for nearly two decades. He performs Wednesday at Dordt College in Sioux Center and in a Coraville living room on Friday. He says this kind of venues offers fans a more personal setting.

beck.com

Conventional wisdom has it that the voters participating in the Grammy Awards are often out of touch with current music.  Those voters work in various creative and technical areas of the recording industry, nominating the finalists and determining the winner in each category.  One theory is that they vote based on name recognition, therefore they may be  biased toward artists that have been around longer.  A famous example of this is Jethro Tull winning the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance award over Metallica in 1988.

lamontcranston.com

Hey, does anyone remember the Shadow?  The  mysterious crime-fighter with psychic powers began his long-running career in the 1930's, as a pulp magazine character, and also as the subject of a memorable dramatic radio program (voiced for a time by Orson Welles).  The radio shows and the striking visual image of The Shadow have never really gone away, just faded into the...shadows.  The character certainly made an impression on Minneapolis/St Paul-area brothers Pat and Larry Hayes, who founded their band in 1969 and named it after The Shadow's alter-ego, Lamont Cranston.

NPR Tiny Desk Concerts are intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host, Bob Boilen.  Boilen's desk is located at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC.  Past performers have included Lucinda Williams, Rubblebucket, St Paul and The Broken Bones, J. Mascis, Tweedy, Pixies, Neko Case and many more!  

Elliot Tensen

The Iowa band Beverly and the Accordion performed live in IPR'S Cedar Falls studios on January 13.  The six-piece group played songs from their new release The Porch Sessions, and more.  An appreciative hometown audience responded enthusiastically to Beverly and the Accordion's Americana-flavored music.  And yes, an accordion can be heard in the mix!    

TV on the Radio

Several dependable bands, some innovators and a few pleasant surprises made the list of IPR's Studio One hosts' favorite music of 2014.

IPR/Tony Dehner

Pieta Brown, along with Bo Ramsey on electric guitar, stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Dec. 8.  The set list included songs from the new album Paradise Outlaw.  The live set was in advance of her Dec. 12 show at Des Moines' Temple for the Performing Arts, a night of music that will also feature The Pines, and is being presented by Iowa Public Radio Studio One.  Enjoy this wonderful live performance!

  There is something about good music that just gets me, and for as long as I can remember I have always connected through music.

It was four years ago that I hosted my first show on IPR’s Studio One.  It was on a Sunday night after the Thanksgiving holiday, and coincidently my last show falls during that same time of the year. I am grateful to have had the opportunity on Studio One to share my love of music with other fellow music aficionados throughout the state of Iowa.

Minneapolis Troubadour Has One Lucky Guitar

Nov 12, 2014
Image Provided by artist

If you don't already know Jack Klatt, he's a rambling, roving troubadour-type folk singer who made an appearance on IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" earlier this year. Klatt was born and raised in Michigan's Mississippi River Valley,  but his true story telling talent comes from his travels. 

Darice Mangin

If you're a fan of live music, or a performing musician, you might not think of a stranger's living room as a good choice for a performance venue. But that's exactly what's been happening in one Cedar Falls home for about six years.

Since 2008, Cedar Valley House Concerts has provided traveling singer-songwriters with a place to perform, along with a warm bed, an opportunity to do laundry, and other comforts that artists often miss while on tour. Open to the public, guests are asked for a small donation that goes directly to the artist, plus a side dish or snack to share.

When it comes to compiling a Halloween playlist, there are the staples like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and “The Monster Mash” sung by the theatrical Bobby Boris Pickett. Oddly enough the 60s and 80s created a lot of the music that has ended up being played at nearly every Halloween event, but then every decade has produced some uncanny tracks. And for inspiration we’ve brewed up a short list of some of our favorites to spice up your Halloween festivities.

Scarlett Cerna, host of Studio One:

Upcoming Chicago band Twin Peaks are heading to Iowa during their fall tour in support if their sophomore release Wild Onion.  They will be in Iowa City at the Blue Moose Tap house tomorrow Sept 23 and then Des Moines Wednesday Sept 24 at the Vaudeville Mews.  If you missed the phone interview I did with Twin Peaks vocalist and guitarist Cadien Lake James you can listen to it below. 

Tonight during the 7 o’clock hour of Studio One, we have a live performance from Bedroom Shrine out of the Davenport area. Here’s a video from their debut No Déjà Vu. 

Antonio Rodriguez

Listeners of Iowa Public Radio's Studio One know that Iowa has a thriving music scene, and that bringing the music of these talented artists to a larger audience is a key part of IPR's mission. And now, some of those artists are receiving recognition from outside our home state.

courtesy of the artists

  With August upon us, we are now near the middle of summer. Some of my summer music obsessions have been the debut albums from Spanish Gold (South of Nowhere), Mø (No Mythologies to Follow), and St. Paul and the Broken Bones (Half the City). They may be new to the scene but don’t let that fool you, for instance the core members of Spanish Gold are seasoned musicians who have ties with My Morning Jacket, Hacienda, Dan Auerbach’s Fast Five, and Groupo Fantasma.

IPR's Studio One team is at 80/35 this weekend, July 4 & 5. We're chatting with local and national bands who are rocking the music festival in Des Moines, and we're recording some live unplugged sessions from the Meet & Greet area. 

Stop by and see us, or click here to watch the videos as we post them! 

Des Moines Register

The music festival season is well under way, and as the fourth of July weekend approaches there are several to choose from around the Midwest depending on what kind of music you enjoy, and how far you would like to travel. But even if you already have plans for this weekend there are several upcoming festivals that are taking place on various dates throughout the summer

Mark's 80/35 Picks

Jun 20, 2014
80/35 Facebook page

When I talk to record companies and music promoters, and the subject turns to the 80/35 Music Festival, it quickly becomes apparent that the annual Des Moines festival has come to be regarded as an example of “getting it right.”  Around the country, weekend music festivals do not always succeed, and as we excitedly anticipate the seventh year of 80/35, props to the Des Moines Music Coalition and project manager Amedeo Rossi and his staff! 

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