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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Matthew Houck was born in Alabama, began performing as Phosphorescent in Athens, Georgia in 2001, and then later became a Brooklyn, NY-based artist.  His latest Phosphorescent project is titled C'est La Vie, recorded in his new hometown of Nashville, at a studio he built himself.  In the five years since the previous Phosphorescent album, Houck has also faced meningitis and became a father twice.  Considering that he named the new album C'est La Vie ("That's life"), it's no surprise that Houck is philosophical about it all.  As he says via his record company:  "These signi

IPR/Tony Dehner

Iowa City musician and songwriter Anthony Worden performed live in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Nov. 15.  Worden brought his band, dubbed The Illiterati, for a live set that featured songs from his new album Slouching Towards Tomorrow- and more!

Enjoy music and conversation with Anthony Worden right here!

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Elvis Costello arrived on the scene in 1977,  just as the new wave of music was breaking.  He had punk attitude, Buddy Holly glasses, and the audacity to appropriate the first name of the King.  Although his songwriting prowess was recognized from the very start, the depth and breadth of Elvis Costello's skill came to be revealed as he went on to explore many diverse musical genres.  The man even wrote songs with Burt Bacharach.  Bacharach is back for three co-writes on Look Now, the first Elvis Costello studio album in five years.  And old friends The Imposters are back t

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The Des Moines band The Fuss stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Nov. 7 for a return appearance on Studio One Tracks.  The group had recently embarked on the tour they have dubbed "The Loving Family Show."  You'll find out all about that, and hear songs from The Fuss' forthcoming new EP during this live set.

Have a listen to The Fuss right here!

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Philadelphia musician, vocalist and songwriter Kurt Vile was once in the band The War On Drugs, but he's more likely to be known these days for collaborating with Courtney Barnett.  That, plus his solo albums; Bottle It In is Vile's seventh studio release.  It's entirely fitting that Vile opened for Neil Young a while back, playing for 90,000 people in Quebec.  He's kind of a Neil-of-the-mid-70's type figure for the 21st century.  Like Young, Kurt Vile takes inspiration from Americana in its many forms, including country music.  He does a nice version of "Rolling With The

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Chan Marshall has a musical career that goes back to the early 1990s.   A Caterpillar trucker cap that said "Cat Diesel Power" inspired Marshall to name her first band Cat Power.  Before too long Cat Power became her own stage name.  The Atlanta-born musician, songwriter and soulful vocalist has now released her tenth album, Wanderer.  As Marshall explains via her record label, the title refers to "the course my life has taken in this journey- going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me.  Folk singers, bl

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Quad Cities' band Chrash have a timely new release titled 2017 The Music, taking as their subject matter the current political climate in the United States.  The trio made a return visit to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live set on Oct. 25, playing every song on the new album in sequence, and expanding on the themes of 2017 The Music during the interview portions of the set.

You can hear this 2018 live performance from Chrash right here!

IPR/Tony Dehner

Iowa native Miss Christine has lived and worked in Nashville in recent years, and that's where she recorded her debut full-length album, Conversion.  The songwriter, vocalist and bassist brought songs from that record (and more) for a return visit to Studio One Tracks on Oct. 23. 

Listen to the 2018 Studio One performance from Miss Christine and her band right here!

IPR/Tony Dehner

Long time Iowa favorites Brother Trucker performed live for Studio One Underground on Oct. 4.  The band was primed to play, with a brand new album titled and a club full of fans eager to hear the new songs.  In fact, Brother Trucker promoted the show at The Basement of The Des Moines Social Club as a CD release party- and that's exactly what it was!

Join the fun and have a listen to Brother Trucker classics, as well as brand new songs, right here!

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This week's Featured Release is Art Of Doubt, the latest album from Metric, another twenty-year-old indie rock band with a dependable track record.  Plus, they're Canadian, a factor that somehow adds to the expectation of quality.  Even more exotic than that, frontperson Emily Haines was born in India, although her parents are American.  It's the seventh full-length record from Metric, with the Toronto group changing up their decidedly synth-based sound this time out.  It's guitars in the forefront for Art Of Doubt.     

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2018 seems to be shaping up as a good year for solid new records from twenty-year-old (or so) bands.  This week's Featured Release is the first in four years from the New York-based group Interpol.  Interpol formed in 1997, and released their critically acclaimed debut album in 2002.  The new record Marauder was recorded in upstate New York with producer Dave Fridmann, known for his work with bands like Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, MGMT and Spoon.  It's indie rock further defined as post-punk revival.       

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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!  

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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!

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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!  

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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

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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! 

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