Studio One announces its 2023 80/35 IPR Stage line-up, and it's not one to miss
Iowa Public Radio hosts a stage at 80/35 every summer — where we not only present a lineup of bands but also live broadcast a few sets and record the whole thing. We do that so you can enjoy the sets in the part of the year when it isn’t 90 degrees outside, and so music lovers who can’t make it in person can still enjoy some of the sounds of our state’s largest nonprofit music festival. This year, we’re feeling the '90s riot grrl punk vibes, disco-tinged dance parties, hip-hop, bluegrass breakfast and surf rock.
Friday, July 7
Friday, 5 p.m.ish
Born out of the pandemic, Big Salt filled the long and desolate winter months with cathartic basement thrashing before taking their "in-your-face" sound to Twin Cities stages once venues re-opened. The four-piece female ensemble embodies an unholy mix of ‘70s hard rock, ‘90s riot grrl punk, a touch of Sabbath-esque metal and a whole lot of salty attitude. Big Salt's sound evokes a spirit of defiance with bold and raw garage rock confidence. They released their debut EP One For Your Sister in December of 2021.
Force-of-nature singer and front-woman Sally Linda’s vocals possess a powerhouse quality with buttery range. Guitarist Eva Lau coerces powerful riffs and face melting shreds from a blue Les Paul. Bassist and guitarist Angie Lynch adds texture with ambient effects and wall-of-sound bass. Drummer Milan Wilson-Robinson provides titanic beats, dexterous fills and dynamic rhythm changes that keep audiences on their toes.
Annie Kemble + B. Well
Des Moines, IA
Friday, 6 p.m.ish
Last October, B.Well held the release show for his record, Elegance, at Wooly’s in Des Moines. It was a sold-out show, and featured one of B.Well’s frequent collaborators as a guest artist: fellow Des Moines musician Annie Kemble, who released her own debut, Dive Bar, in the fall as well. Kemble had previously appeared on B.Well’s song “Mine,” his most-streamed song on Spotify. As great as they each are on their own, the two of them working together is something special. B.Well and Kemble have something else in common: they’ve each previously held the title of IPR’s Artist of the Month. We’re excited to present them together, and those of us who missed their show together in October can let go of the FOMO we’ve been feeling for months.
Cedar Falls, IA
Friday, 7 p.m.ish
Michael, Andy and Jacob began the project that became Salt Fox in 2016, inspired by a decade-old list of self-improvement goals they found in a ruined apartment. Then, the building they practiced in was torn down, and the group stalled until they were invited to perform at a digital music festival during the pandemic. These days the group can be found performing their freshman EP Places on the weekends in Cedar Falls, Des Moines, Minneapolis and beyond and operating their gutter installation service during the week.
“Their debut EP is a dense, dizzying blend of synthesizers, drum machines and electric guitars,” says IPR’s Tony Dehner. “There’s a lot packed into these six songs, and you’re going to just want to put it on repeat to catch everything, as I’ve done on many occasions.”
Saturday, July 8
Flash in a Pan
Iowa City, IA
Saturday, 11 a.m.ish
The Iowa City-based quartet has been playing around the Midwest for more than a decade. Founded by guitarist Blake T. Daly, the current band includes banjo player Alex Flesher, mandolinist Max Lipnick and bassist Blake Shaw. Listen for shining vocal harmonies and look forward to vibrant stage energy from this act. Flash in a Pan has played festival stages, theaters and bars to audiences of all ages, and offers a blend of original songs that are all both familiar and refreshingly unexpected.
Flash in a Pan has shared stages with bluegrass royalty The Travelin' McCourys and Sam Bush, as well as regional favorites like Chicago Farmer, Them Coulee Boys, The Lil Smokies, Miles Over Mountains, Old Salt Union, Pert Near Sandstone, The Kitchen Dwellers and Horseshoes & Handgrenades. The band has played at fests as large as Summerfest and as boutique as Grey Area Festival in Lone Tree, and this set will be their 80/35 debut. We thought some brunch bluegrass would be the vibe to open our stage on Saturday. If you stop by, make sure to ask Tony about his theory that all jam band fans eventually find their way to bluegrass music. I can’t say from my own experience that he’s wrong.
You can find Flash in a Pan’s original studio albums Off The Rails (2017) and Folklore (2018) on Spotify. They’re currently working on new music, expected for release yet in 2023!
Cedar Rapids, IA
1 p.m. (This set is being broadcast live, meaning it’s one of two sets we can confirm will start at exactly the time listed.)
Surf Zombies raise surf rock from the dead with fast, crazy, original instrumentals that straddle retro surf, bubblegum punk and garage rock, conjuring images of beach parties, Saturday morning cartoons and hot rod car shows. The driving rhythms, swirling tremolo, crashing spring reverb from dueling guitars and authentic growl of vintage tube amps make for a truly weird Midwestern wonder. Surf Zombies have played in all corners of Iowa and frequently visit Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska. They twice shared the stage with the late surf guitar godfather Dick Dale, have a beer named after them from Iowa Brewing Company and received the Spirit Award from the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. This band has played our 80/35 stage before, and we’re bringing them back as a fan favorite.
“The Surf Zombies set was the absolute perfect way to wrap up Iowa Public Radio's activities at the 2019 80/35 Festival. […] I couldn't help wondering why festivals aren't more careful to be sure to book bands like Surf Zombies more often. It was a long weekend, […]Surf Zombies were the perfect antidote,” says IPR Music Program Director Al Schares.
Fun fact: The Surf Zombies wrote the theme music for our weekend music show All Access. They’ll be playing it live as we start the broadcast from our stage at the fest!
Des Moines, IA
3 p.m. (This set is being broadcast live, meaning it’s the second of two sets we can confirm will start at exactly the time listed.)
Straight out of Des Moines, Greg Wheeler and the Poly Mall Cops deliver manic garage punk slime at its finest — whatever that means. Greg Wheeler (The Wheelers, The Slats, Night Stories) joins Jill McLain-Meister and friendly neighborhood barber Hutch (The Vandon Arms) to form an unusual and frantic chemistry that leaves you winded but thirsty for more. Their 2023 debut full length, Manic Fever, out on High Dive Records, is a fitting follow-up to their previous seven-inch releases – packing a punch with 12 high energy bangers. Come prepared for this set with a full beer. Actually, maybe take a few sips out of that bev before you head our way to avoid spillage. This will be an energy packed live broadcast from the pocket park.
FlySpace (FlyLife + Sqvce)
Des Moines, IA
Saturday, 4:30 p.m.ish
Fresh off the release of their third collaborative album FlySpace III, FlyLife and Sqvce, two members of the Des Moines hip-hop collective Us Versus Them (U.V.T.), are hitting the IPR stage armed with an arsenal of new music, including tracks like “WTF,” “Rubi Rose” and “100K.” With over a decade of experience making music together, the pair are able to strike an unmatched balance between Fly’s melodic forcefulness and Space’s no f-cks flow. Before U.V.T. takes to C stage later in the evening, catch two of the group’s most dynamic performers unite for a FlySpace set that’s sure to send you somewhere galactic. Maybe Sqvce will perform his newest “CC (Caitlin Clark) Freestyle” for the first time in concert?
Des Moines, IA
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.ish
Sharane Calister is an R&B/soul/pop singer/songwriter. A native of Des Moines, Calister is best known for her appearance and performance on The Voice Season 14, when she worked with Alicia Keys and Adam Levine in 2018. She landed in the Top 11 with powerful performances singing songs like “Make it Rain,” “All I Can Do is Cry,” “In My Blood” and “Never Enough.”
She continues to sing with her band The Feel Right Band and makes additional solo appearances throughout the country. Calister is going to be performing all her original songs, with a few extra surprises for IPR’s 80/35 stage. IPR fans should also recognize her from her performance as a part of Juneteenth: The Movement 2022.
McKinley Dixon + Teller Bank$
Des Moines, IA
Saturday, 6:30 p.m.ish
Closing out this year’s IPR stage is “the collab to end all collabs.” Following his official 80/35 set, Chicago-based McKinley Dixon will join Des Moines’ Teller Bank$ for an exciting performance of hip-hop, jazz and everything in between. The pair collaborated previously on Dixon’s debut album For My Mama and Anyone Who Look Like Her, and will feature together again on Dixon’s upcoming album Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?.
“Dixon views his music as an all encompassing storybook,” says NPR Music, and it shows.
Teller Bank$ is a father and magician based in Des Moines. Just this year he’s dropped several albums, including The Big Lebowskiii: The Story of Eastside Jesus, The Love Tiger, 4692 and The Heist (the debut album from Iowa dance/EDM duo The Heist, of which Teller is one half). Bank$’s music has been highlighted by Spotify, Bandcamp, Okayplayer and more.