IPR Music

IPR/Tony Dehner

Singer-songwriter Courtney Krause brought her ethereal sound and heartfelts songs to Studio One Underground in November. Backed by an all-star band of Des Moines musicians, and performing before an enthusiastic crowd at the Des Moines Social Club, we were treated to two amazing sets of songs from both of Courtney's albums. We also had a lot fun talking between songs, and our conversation touched on numerous subjects, including the first time Courtney heard one of her songs on IPR and a humorous incident at the 2016 80/35 Music Festival.


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

Rob Merritt

Puccini’s last opera, Turandot, revolves around the beautiful Princess Turandot and the charming Prince Calaf. Turandot is full of “blood, violence, and fear – but also love and hope.”

Princess Turandot declares that anyone who attempts to marry her and fails to answer three riddles correctly will be punished by death. Prince Calaf takes on the challenge. As the plot unfolds, sacrifices are made, hearts are broken, and blood is spilled, but love ultimately wins.

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s cast for Turandot includes:


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

Devilish Deal

Oct 29, 2018
University Relations

Who wins, the soldier or the devil? Stravinsky’s timeless masterpiece, The Soldier’s Tale, celebrates its 100-year-anniversary this year. Scored for seven instruments, three narrators and three dancers, the work is based on an old Russian folk tale revolving around an AWOL soldier and his run-in with the devil.

In honor of L'Histoire du soldat’s 1918 premiere, UNI’s Faculty Septet collaborated with other UNI departments under Dr. Danny Galyen to present a fully-staged production of Stravinsky’s revolutionary work.

John Rommereim

In a dusty box in the archives of Grinnell College, John Rommereim found a long-missing manuscript.  It was the only copy of a massive score by Edward Scheve, the composer who "made Grinnell musical."  Scheve conducted it in a 1910 performance with the Berlin Philharmonic, but all that survived was a piano reduction - or so things appeared until Rommereim opened that box.  Below, he explains how his discovery set in motion an enthusiastic response thousands of miles away.  He also discusses Scheve's rel

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!

Britney Walters

Offenbach thumbs his nose at Greek Mythology, creating one of operetta’s most “satirical and hilarious operas of all time.”

Nothing is sacred in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, including the Greek Gods.

Offenbach’s insanity ends with his famous Infernal Gallop, also known as the Can-Can.

The ISU Theatre and Opera Studio accepts Offenbach’s musical challenge, running their cast and crew through the “pastoral tranquility of earth, the dizzying frivolity of heaven, and the bacchanalian hedonism of Hades.”

Luther College 2018

A tale of humor, deceit, mistakes, and forgiveness, Mozart’s Così fan tutte is described by the New York Times as his “last and wisest Italian comic opera.”

Così fan tutte shakes up everyone’s ideas about infidelity and devotion in a fun and light-hearted way.

The Luther College’s double cast for Così fan tutte includes:

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!


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.     

Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson of Luther College is President of the Iowa Choral Directors Association.

I am thrilled to help welcome you to the Choral Iowa topic page!  My gratitude goes to Barney Sherman and the rest of the team for creating a way to share the work of amazing choirs all over the state. 

Ben Easter

An “instant hit” on Broadway in 1944, Bernstein’s On the Town soon became a movie starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

Known as his “valentine” to New York, Lenny’s On the Town is a Broadway musical about three sailors during World War II and their “amorous adventures on a 24-hour-shore leave in New York City.”

IPR/Sydney Hauer

It's been an exciting year for the Cedar Falls band Hex Girls: not only did they release their debut album More Of That, they performed at the IPR Live Sessions stage at the 80/35 festival, followed by a two-week tour, and have a music video coming soon. We talked about all of this and more (including the history of the band's name, and exactly how they befriended guitarist Charlie Patterson) during Hex Girls' Studio One live session.


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.       

Des Moines Metro Opera

Inspired by the true predicament of a refugee stuck in an airport for 18 years, Jonathan Dove’s Flight is truly one-of-a-kind.

Stage director Kristine McIntyre believes the “unbound future” draws all of the characters in Flight. Our “constant human need to recreate ourselves and our relationships” are a central theme throughout the opera.

Flight takes an ordinary place – an airport – and highlights the qualities that actually make it extra-ordinary. Dove describes airports as “portals between the everyday world and the magical world of flying.”

© 2015 Benjamin Ealovega

The world-renowned pianist, Jonathan Biss, hopes to complete recording all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas by 2020. He also created a Beethoven/5 project, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and five living composers each writing a concerto inspired by one of Beethoven’s five piano concertos.

His online course, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, enrolled more than 150,000 students from 60 countries. What an outreach!

Putnam Museum and Science Center

Novelist Ayn Rand said it best: “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.”

The Putnam Museum takes this statement to heart with their new exhibit, Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions.

Showcased will be vignettes of characters from novels such as Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Little Women, Harry Potter, The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Age of Innocence. These heroic women truly come to life in the new exhibition.

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

Welcome to Buried Treasures, a new series at The B-Side where we dig back and listen to some older songs that we heard on Studio One in years past, or that we just felt like digging up. Please send your suggestions for Buried Treasures to studioone@iowapublicradio.org.


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.

Des Moines Metro Opera

Dvořák’s gripping opera, Rusalka, often compared to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, ushers his heroine, Rusalka, through the joys of falling in love, coupled with the heartbreak of broken commitments as the result of several tragic decisions.

Sung in Czech, the opera truly “resonates with Dvořák’s passion for Czech folklore and fairy tales.” He “juxtaposes the mortal and the mythical with beautiful folk melodies and luminous arias.”

Carol Bassett

Born in 1907 in Winterset, John Wayne’s family moved a lot. Wayne was a smart kid and a budding athlete. He attended the University of Southern California on a sports scholarship until an injury ended his football career. Switching gears, he started working as a prop man and an extra in Hollywood. The rest is history.

Brooklyn Museum

What better forces to pair up than music and art? The Figge Art Museum in Davenport and The Quad City Symphony Orchestra have partnered to create a celebration of “French Moderns.”

Des Moines Metro Opera

Kicking off the broadcasts is a performance by the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2018 production of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.

Die Fledermaus is described as an “effervescent and sparkling confection” that contains “familiar melodies” and “delightful charm.” A tale about a friend who plays a joke on another friend, the story will bring laughter to all listeners.


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

Dead Man's Bones/Rhianon England

Welcome to Buried Treasures, a new series at The B-Side where we dig back and listen to some older songs that we heard on Studio One in years past. Please send your suggestions for Buried Treasures to studioone@iowapublicradio.org.


Fine art, wooded hills, and winding rivers – over 50 artists will be putting out their welcome mats for this year’s 21st annual Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour.

Vibrant falling leaves are the backdrop to discovering unique painting, jewelry, pottery, ceramics, photography, weaving, wood, blown glass, sculptures, and collages. Artists open their studios to the public exclusively for this event, where visitors can watch the artists create, chat, and purchase works of art.

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!