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.

British musician and songwriter Jason Pierce (aka J. Spaceman) launched Spiritualized in 1990.  The band reached a kind of high water mark about twenty years ago with the album Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space.  Space is vast, and Pierce continues to mine it for inspiration.  He sports a vintage spacesuit as a visual theme for the new Spiritualized album, And Nothing Hurt.  With it's big, layered sound, it's fascinating to find out that J.

Paul McCartney is a living testimonial to the virtues of being a vegetarian.  The 76-year-old remains as vital as ever, with Freshen Up world tour dates scheduled into next year, and a new album titled Egypt Station.  It's been five years since McCartney's last album of new songs, but he's no slacker.  The record is nearly an hour long, not including several bonus tracks available in different formats.  It's all prime Macca, with stylistic shifts and well-crafted songs to carry you along.  Ever mindful of honoring the legacy of The Beatles, Sir Paul explained the record's

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Sept. 6 Studio One Underground live broadcast featured a couple of bands that many would characterize as "alt-country".  Omaha's Clarence Tilton and the Des Moines band Monday Mourners released a split vinyl record early in 2018, with each group taking one side of the album.  And each band performed a separate set at the Basement of the Des Moines Social Club for Studio One.

Have a listen to Monday Mourners!   


IPR/Tony Dehner

The Sept. 6 Studio One Underground live broadcast featured a couple of bands that many would characterize as "alt-country".  Omaha's Clarence Tilton and the Des Moines band Monday Mourners released a split vinyl record early in 2018, with each group taking one side of the album.  And each band performed a separate set at the Basement of the Des Moines Social Club for Studio One.

Have a listen to the band Clarence Tilton! 

IPR/Tony Dehner

Iowa singer-songwriter Elizabeth Moen celebrated the release of her new album A Million Miles Away with a live set in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Sept. 10.  Liz was in fine voice, playing guitar and bringing her road-tested band along for a performance that included songs from the new record, and more!

You can hear Elizabeth Moen right here!

IPR/Tony Dehner

Iowa songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Chad Elliott performed a live set in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Sept. 24.  It was a crowd-pleasing set of songs both old and new, including many from his new album Rest Heavy:  The Sun Studio Sessions, recorded with his band The Redemptions.  Chad Elliott also talked with us about the recording of the record at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis. 

You can hear Chad Elliott's set right here!

Negro Swan is the fourth album producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist Devonte Hynes has released as Blood Orange.  Raised in England, Hynes started out as a teenager in the UK punk band Test Icicles.  Later in his career he put out two albums as Lightspeed Champion.  Hynes explains the latest Blood Orange recored as "an honest look at the corners of black existence...a reach back into childhood and modern traumas, and the things we do to get through it all.  The underlying thread through each piece on the album is the idea of HOPE, and the lights we can try to turn

Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth met as music majors at the University of Vermont.  After graduating, they both joined the East Coast reggae band John Brown's Body.  Traver and Toth formed their own band, Rubblebucket Orchestra, about ten years ago.  By the time of their second studio album, the Brooklyn-based group was simply Rubblebucket.  Recent developments have included the end of the co-leaders romantic relationship, but they remain together in the band.  Promotional material for the new album Sun Machine aptly describes the Rubblebucket sound as "indie dance, horn-laden pop and k

The Japanese-American songwriter, vocalist and musician Mitski Miyawaki self-released her first two albums while a student at the Purchase College (part of the State University of New York system) Conservatory of Music.  She signed to a label for her third album, and soon began attracting critical acclaim.  That acclaim has continued right up to her latest full-length, Be The Cowboy.  The carefully crafted songs on the new record were all written by Mitski, and performed almost entirely by the artist and her producer.  Mitski explains the album's title:  "There was this artist I re

Thank You For Today is the ninth studio album from Death Cab For Cutie; a quintessential indie rock band (although their music has been released on major label Atlantic Records in recent years) from that fertile area of the Pacific Northwest.  After twenty years, Death Cab can still generate anticipation with a new release.  In this case they're doing it with a couple of new band members joining frontman Ben Gibbard and fellow veterans in the studio for the first time.  It's also the first album without founding member Chris Walla.

The 21st Oh Sees album is not a breakup record.  Well, maybe it is if headbanging riffs and mythological sci-fi lyrics provide the catharsis for a broken relationship.  The album title Smote Reverser and the cover art tell you this is a project inspired by heavy metal.  The music (with those mythological sci-fi lyrics) is metal-leaning prog rock.  The San Francisco-based Oh Sees began in 1997 as a vehicle for the music of John Dwyer, and Dwyer has been experimenting with different varieties of psychedelic and garage rock ever since.  There have been band lineup changes and

Lindsey Jordan turned nineteen in June, shortly after the release of her buzzworthy debut full-length album as Snail Mail.  The album is Lush, the follow up to the Snail Mail EP Jordan had released on a small local label when she was sixteen.

IPR/Tony Dehner

The eastern Iowa band Wooden Nickel Lottery made a return visit to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live performance on August 14.  The group is releasing it's third album Long Time Running in September, and devoted almost their entire set to material from that new release.  Wooden Nickel Lottery does a cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" on the new album, and the band played an outstanding version of that song for the Studio One audience.

You can hear that and more in this live set from Wooden Nickel Lottery!

Dirty Projectors are David Longstreth's band.  Where his life goes, so goes the band.  The 2017 album Dirty Projectors was a breakup record, with Longstreth writing about the end of his relationship with band member Amber Collins.  Now, a year later, things are looking decidedly more upbeat with  Lamp Lit Prose.  It's the eighth studio album from the Brooklyn-based Dirty Projectors.  The group rises above the indie rock (and indie pop) pack, with Longstreth's distinctive songwriting and vocal style, and those dazzling electronic bleats and blurps that we love from this ban

Christopher Fenton

The Des Moines band Origami Animals stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on July 17 for a live set that included songs from their current album Out To See, plus some unreleased material that will be on their next release.  The group even included a cover of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" in their garage rock set!

Have a listen to Origami Animals right here!

Christopher Fenton

Earlier this summer, the Iowa City band Flash In A Pan released their second album, Folklore.  The "folk and grass" (as in bluegrass) group brought many of the songs from that new album to IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Aug. 6.  Flash In A Pan write original songs utilizing the traditional bluegrass form, as you will hear in this live set.

Have a listen to Flash In A Pan right here!

Jim James is the frontman of the band My Morning Jacket, plus he's been involved in interesting collaborations like Monsters Of Folk and The New Basement Tapes.  As a solo artist, he's been releasing EPs and studio albums since 2009.  James is best known as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, but he's a multi-instrumentalist and producer as well.  He plays a lot of guitar on his new album, Uniform Distortion.  Like many artists these days, Jim James is finding inspiration in the current cultural climate, as he explains:  "I feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/me


Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are an up-and-coming band from Melbourne, Australia.  They formed in 2013 and released a couple of EPs leading up to their debut full-length album, Hope Downs.  The record is named after a vast open cut mine in the middle of Australia.  Guitar-centric indie rock is alive and well in the land down under (Courtney Barnett!), and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever like to play theirs in the wide open spaces.  According to Fran Keaney, one of the band's three songwriter/guitarist/vocalists:  "We didn't really want to record in a studio.  We thought we'd get

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Cedar Falls band The Copper Smoke Trials performed a live set for Studio One in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on July 23rd.  The band members are all music students, and are led by vocalist and guitarist Clayton Ryan.  The Copper Smoke Trials take a lot of their inspiration from classic rock, as was evident in their energetic set featuring most of the songs from their EP titled Bird, and more.

Have a listen to The Copper Smoke Trials! 

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Big Takeover are a soulful ska/rock steady/reggae band from New Paltz, New York.  In the midst of their current tour, the band stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios before continuing on back to the East coast.  The Big Takeover, with frontwoman Nee Nee Rushie, were in top form as we recorded their session on July 23rd- a Monday morning.  Their great set will get you moving any time of the day!

You can hear The Big Takeover right here!

The Now Now is the quick followup to last year's Humanz from the virtual (i.e. cartoon) band Gorillaz.  As I mentioned a little over a year ago, when Humanz was a Studio One Featured Release, Gorillaz is the most successful cartoon band ever.  Why does that matter?  It adds a unique dimension to the band's music because of the space between Damon Albarn and the other band members, and the characters created by Jamie Hewlett.  After the apocalyptic Humanz, the darkness has lifted for The Now Now- as you can see in the video for "Humility."

Johnny Marr established his fame in the 1980s with The Smiths- a very popular and influential band in their native England, and a significant cult band in the United States.  Marr was the guitarist in the group, and co-wrote the band's songs with frontman Morrissey.  The Smiths only lasted for five years, and Marr went on to not only do a lot of session work, but to join bands like The Pretenders (briefly), The The, Modest Mouse, and The Cribs.  He also formed a new band, Electronic, with Bernard Sumner.  Since 2013, Marr has been releasing solo albums.  Call The Comet is his third

Virginia-born singer-songwriter Neko Case has been releasing solo records for over twenty years.  In fact, her solo career predates Case's membership in The New Pornographers.  She's also done other projects, including her 2016 album with Laura Veirs and k.d.

God's Favorite Customer is Josh Tillman's fourth Father John Misty album.  The songs are beautifully recorded, with producer Tillman utilizing members of his touring band, as well as people like Jonathan Rado (of Foxygen) as players.  With his dry sense of humor, sometimes morbid outlook, and taste for the absurd, the lyrics are what we've come to expect on a Father John Misty record.  Tillman seems to be a bit more reserved, a bit more serious this time out.  And yet, this is prime Father John Misty, not quite like anyone else on the current musical landscape.

Courtney Barnett is in the forefront of the latest wave of artists and bands from Australia.  One could argue that she is also a shining light among female musicians and songwriters.  It's hard to be totally original, but since she started to attract notice in the U.S.

Arctic Monkeys formed in Sheffield, England in 2002.  The band has been very successful in their native country, but most definitely do not want to rest on their laurels.  For album number six, Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, frontman Alex Turner wrote the songs on piano rather than guitar, with the result being a kind of "lounge pop" sound.  Lyrically, Turner was inspired by science fiction.  The kind of science fiction that comments on our current world and culture while it spins it's speculative tales.

is the new album from the Boston-based band Lake Street Dive.  What is striking about the record is the evolution of their sound- the strong foundation of soulful, jazzy classic pop remains, but with a new rock and roll edge added.  It's a very appealing sound, and it certainly doesn't hurt that the songwriting on Free Yourself Up is top notch.  Many of the new songs were written or co-written by Iowa City native Bridget Kearney, who plays bass in the band.  Kearney and her bandmates Rachael Price (lead vocalist), Mike Olson (guitar and trumpet), and Mike Calabrese (drums) self-pro

Victoria Legrand & Alex Scally have been making music together as Beach House since 2004, when they formed the dream pop band in Baltimore.  7 is the duo's 7th full-length album of new material, and it's clearly an important record for Beach House.  Through their label, Sub Pop Records, they have commented on their recording process and what they intended to be.  According to Beach House:  "We are interested by the human mind's (and nature's) tendency to create forces equal and opposite to those present.  Thematically, this record often deals with the beauty that ari

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines band Field Division are having quite a year, with a European and U.K. tour this past Spring, and another tour abroad slated for this Fall.  In between they are releasing their debut full-length album, Dark Matter Dreams, on the British label Bella Union.  The band played a Studio One Tracks live set in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on May 31, previewing some of the songs that will appear on that new record.

You can hear that set right here! 


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