Music News

Jonathan Tichler / Met Opera / Facebook

With an American opera house of international caliber, why miss the opportunity to see and hear the world’s best performances from the Metropolitan Opera?

 

Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the MET is offering a handful of operas for free through their "Nightly Opera Stream" series. They are also streaming much of their catalog for free if you sign up for a seven day trial of the MET's "on demand" platform or for a $4.99 rental per work. 

 

Here are a few recommendations not to miss from IPR's Jacqueline Halbloom. 

Madeleine King / IPR File

The coronavirus outbreak has been devastating for live music. Nationally-touring bands and local musicians alike have canceled shows, which are a primary source of income for artists and others who make their living from live performances. In these trying times, there are still ways to support your favorite musicians. 

Roberta / Flickr

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has disrupted everything. IPR's Karen Impola, who hosts the Folk Tree, says she finds music a big source of comfort and has some recommendations.

Madeleine King / IPR File

As the current number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa continues to rise, postponements, cancellations, and closures are a daily occurrence. By order of the governor, restaurants, bars and other public spaces remain closed in an effort to restrict the spread of the novel coronavirus. We’re definitely in uncharted waters! Here's what we know. 

Gerry Hardy / Flickr

Songwriters will write songs about what inspires them, and often they (like us) are inspired by other musicians and songwriters.  

Omar Prestwich

There’s a flood of news regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus across the state and across the country. It’s important to take a step back, even if just for a moment, to think about something else.

Here are five videos from Iowa artists who have recently played in our studio or have joined us for Studio One Underground, our live concert series at xBk in Des Moines, that we hope offer you some respite. 

Des Moines Symphony / Facebook

Events and public gatherings of all kinds are being canceled in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state of Iowa. If you have tickets to a show or event in the coming month, we recommend checking in with the hosting organization to ensure it’s not been canceled or postponed.

@thefordly / Facebook

If music is an expression of the human condition, music videos are the visualization. Lily DeTaeye’s new music video “Tusk” is a fierce example.

Since the release of DeTaeye’s album BiTe Back, she has been singing about what it means to be a woman in today’s political landscape. Her just-released video “Tusk” is a challenge to men who believe they deserve to be ever dominant. 

Roberta / Flickr, https://tinyurl.com/va6q5pn

Codfish Hollow has cancelled the last indoor show of the season following news about cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in Iowa.

Venue owner Tiffany Biehl is monitoring information being provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) closely and is prepared to cancel shows, and potentially the entire season, if that’s what experts recommend.

Chris Pizzello / AP Photo

Hollywood produced some truly incredible movies in 2019 with some truly incredible soundtracks. If after watching some of these movies you find yourself thinking “wow, I wish I knew where to find more music like that,” here are some recommendations based on movies that are nominated for "best soundtrack" at this year’s Academy Awards. 

Madeleine King / IPR File

Winter in Iowa can be harsh.  Rather than keeping you at home, perhaps the snow and cold can spur you on to see a great band in a warm venue! Here are a few upcoming shows that caught my attention. With a couple of exceptions, these are all nationally touring acts passing through our state.  In addition, there is a wealth of Iowa talent to be heard performing near you in the next couple of months!

Jack Plunkett / Invision/AP

We’ve put the lid on 2019.  And we’ve looked back at the decade just finished, reveling in all the great music that has come our way.  Of course, every year has its share of stellar sounds, and 2020 will be no exception.  Here are five records coming out in the next few weeks that we are eagerly awaiting. 

IPR/Matthew Alvarez

Nearly a dozen people sat in a small room painted black and lit only by two theatre lamps, drawing attention to a DJ booth with its chrome and silver equipment glimmering.

DJ Patrick Blin stepped up to the booth, and the silence was broken by the sounds of record scratches as those watching pulled out their phones to begin filming. Smiles broke out across their faces.

IPR

A handful of us at IPR have spent entirely too much time obsessing over what we think the best albums of the decade are. After much deliberation, here are our picks. 

We also want to know what your favorite albums were! Tweet us @IowaPublicRadio #iprmusic. 

Leander Arkenau / Flickr

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, we get a rundown of some of IPR's favorite new releases from 2019 from classical, folk and blues musicians. Charity Nebbe talks with IPR Classical's Barney Sherman, the Folk Tree's Karen Impola and the one and only Bob Dorr, who hosts Blue Avenue and Backtracks on IPR's Studio One. 

Madeleine King / IPR

2019 was another great year for Iowa music, with a wide variety of artists releasing new songs, EPs and albums.  Here are ten noteworthy full-length albums from the past year, listed in the order of their release.

30 Albums From 2019 You Should Hear

Dec 18, 2019
Madeleine King / IPR

There was a lot of good music that came out in 2019. If you're like us and anxiously awaiting the new Tame Impala album which is forthcoming in early 2020, here are the best records to listen to between now and then. 

Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

It's easy to grow tired of hearing the same holiday songs over and over again. Happily, there's a lot of seasonal music that's not heard as much and is just waiting to be discovered! 

Roan Lavery / Unsplash

Songwriter Frank Loesser wrote "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in 1944, essentially for the amusement of himself and his party guests.

Decades later, there's been fierce debate about what's implied in the back and forth conversation that comprises the lyrics. Ironically, the song was originally written as an invitation for someone to leave, not to stay. 

Photo courtesy of Sara Routh

Kat Darling will never forget her first year as a coach at Girls Rock! DSM. She was walking down a hallway and heard screaming coming from inside a room where a practice session was taking place. She soon discovered it was coming from her then ten-year-old daughter, Abileen Darling.

Matt Alvarez / IPR

When cellist Hannah Holman began her YouTube series exploring the lives of female cellists throughout history, she did not anticipate getting many views or subscribers. Austin McConnell, a YouTuber with nearly one million subscribers, recently promoted Holman's channel in one of his videos, helping Holman develop a larger audience. 

Cameron Wittig

Pieta Brown’s eighth full-length record “Freeway” is prime Pieta Brown music.

“If you’re listening to your own voice that’s about the best you can do right?" she says about her sound. "There’s a great quote from Miles Davis that I think of often:  ‘It takes a long time to sound like yourself.’  Maybe I don’t sound like myself yet, maybe I do.”      

Devin Ferguson

Life has a way of reminding us of our past at the unlikeliest of times. For members of the Iowa band The Teddy Boys, it happened at a friend’s wedding. After performing a reunion show at the reception, they were handed a download card for an album they recorded, but didn’t finish, 12 years ago.

Beth Teutschmann / Unsplash

Think October is the best month of the year? You're not alone. 

As you breathe in the smell of the falling leaves and wrap your hands around a cup of apple cider wearing your favorite flannel, take heart knowing there's a camp of Iowa based musicians who have written and recorded you the perfect soundtrack. 

Elly Hofmaier

At the age of 21, Lily DeTaeye may not come across as a veteran of the music business, but she’s been writing and performing music for more than a decade.

This Friday, the Des Moines singer-songwriter will release her first full-length album, “BiTe Back,” along with a music video for the first single, “Peppermint.” 

Amy Baugess / Unsplash

What isn't being said about the lives of women in rural Kentucky?

Fueled by intuition, and inspired by time she spent filming present day life in rural Appalachia, pianist and composer Rachel Grimes set out to answer that question.

Nirmal Majumdar / Special to IPR

School has begun, and fall is in the air. But we’re not done with music festival season. Maximum Ames is happening September 5-8.  It lists dozens of sets, some of whom will make even the most Serious of Music People stop and say “wait, what?”

For starters, Des Moines based blues artist Matt Woods is playing a show at the United Church of Christ.  

Courtesy of Max Wilkening


Music festival fans in Iowa found a lot to love this summer, with a mix of established festivals and new ones popping up around the state. Why are these festivals so appealing? Enter a well-planned music festival, and it can feel like you’re stepping into another world. One full of adventure, inspiration and escape. 

Tiffany Biehl / GoFundMe Photo

Marvin Franzen is one of those Iowa farmers you can’t help but smile at when you meet him. He’s been working on the farm that’s home to Codfish Hollow in rural Maquoketa since he was a teenager. On show nights, he can be seen clad in bib overalls and a feed store hat rain, shine, or punishing heat driving a green John Deere tractor.

Elly Hofmaier

One of Iowa City’s busiest and most accomplished sidemen is stepping into the spotlight for a new solo project. Guitarist Dan Padley will release his new album, “Perfectly Whelmed,” Friday. If you’re a fan of the Iowa music scene, you likely know Padley as one of Elizabeth Moen’s backing guitarists.

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