Music News

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Festival season is upon us. In the past week, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival hosted its 19th year of memorable performances, which also resulted in memorable releases.

Meanz Chan / Special To Iowa Public Radio

Lily DeTaeye's first album "Nothing To Say" is a whimsical journey, full of pop ballads and light acoustic tracks like "Footie Pajamas." As she gets ready to release her second album, prepare for something different. 

She's debuting a new single "Hurt You" in preview of her new record which is slated for an early fall release. 

NPR

Thirty-six Iowa artists entered this year's Tiny Desk Contest for a chance to play a Tiny Desk concert at NPR and go on a nationwide tour. You can sort through and listen to all of the entries submitted here. 

We listened through all of the submissions from Iowa, and there were a few that really caught our ears. 

IPR/Madeleine King

The Maytags joined Iowa Public Radio in the Basement at the Des Moines Social Club previewing several songs from their forthcoming album "Meriweather," due June 28th. The band wants to shake things up a bit on the new record. Click and listen for a preview.

The Maytags will be performing at the Des Moines Arts Festival in June and at Hinterland in August. 

Shadow Fox Photography

Drive south from Iowa City, embrace the taste of the gravel dust and make your way to rural Lone Tree. There sits a renovated barn, painted matte black and shaded by a grove of trees.

Shadow Fox Photography

Serious Music People: there’s another Sam and Dave that you should know about.

The 2019 Tiny Desk Contest is officially closed for entries. Last Sunday night, in the final hours of the entry period, we watched videos pour in from across the country, delivering thousands of songs (and desks) to us.

For the musicians who sent us their songs, the hardest part is behind them. But for us, it's just beginning. While our judges deliberate, you can watch all the entries coming in as we moderate them and maybe find some new favorites of your own. Here are a few that we discovered this week.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Moen

Elizabeth Moen is a favorite in Iowa. She's played venues like Racoon Motel in Davenport, the Englert Theater in Iowa City, stopped by Daytrotter last year, and even made her way onto the Hinterland lineup for this summer.

But following the release of her second EP and a tour that took her from coast to coast and over seas,  it's becoming clear that Moen's fan base streaches far beyond statelines

The deadline to send us your video for the 2019 Tiny Desk Contest is quickly approaching: You have until this Sunday, April 14, 11:59 p.m. EDT. If you need some inspiration for your entry, you can now check out every eligible entry we've seen so far on the Tiny Desk Contest website. And while you're working on your last-minute entry, (fine by us!) check out these videos below to see what's caught our attention lately.


Michael Weber / Shadow Fox Photography

For more than two decades, multidisciplinary artist Jason Snell has been challenging the relationship between music, maker, and technology to create richly engineered performances and complex soundscapes. 

Jon Lemons Photography (Instagram: jonlemons)

Des Moines-based band The Maytags, who have been blending soul, funk, and jazz for years, are releasing a new album this summer.

"Meriweather," due on June 28th, will be the band’s second full-length album. It follows their first full-length album "Lovelines," and the EP "Nova." The new record is co-produced by lead vocalist and guitarist Dustin Smith and Jon Locker of Sonic Factory Studios in Des Moines.

Des Moines hip-hop artist, Asphate, is releasing a new album this spring. The Main Dude’s debut album, “A Bloodied Up Conclusion,” is produced by Batsauce and will be out this summer under the longtime underground rap powerhouse indie label, Galapagos4, based in Chicago.

In this Talk of Iowa segment, Charity Nebbe talks with Asphate about the inspiration for the album.

80/35 Facebook - Alyssa Leicht Photo

There are 40 acts playing in downtown Des Moines the weekend of July 12-13 including headliners Elle King and Portugal. The Man.

The Des Moines Music Coalition, which founded the festival in 2008, has curated a playlist of bands who are appearing at the festival this year. 

80/35 Facebook Page

Mark your calendars for July 12 and 13. 80/35 announced it's 2019 line-up today, and it boasts a wide variety of genres, including acts we've loved for years and some new ones we're excited about. 

New this year, the festival is adding a second stage inside the paid area.

Hungry to make your summer plans and decide which summer concerts to prioritize? Us too. Good news for your Monday: the line up for 80/35 2019 is being announced Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Check back here to find out who's headlining and playing the smaller stages this summer over the weekend of July 12 and 13 in Des Moines at Western Gateway Park. 

Iowa City's Mission Creek festival is coming up next week. This is a unique and annual spring event curated by a team of organizers and hosted in part by the 106-year-old Englert Theatre. The festival spans 6 days, and full festival passes are $250. Mission Creek also offers single show tickets. If you're making plans to attend or are thinking about it, here's who we wouldn't want to miss.

Courtesy of Sam Fathallah

The music scene in Iowa and the rest of the Midwest is thriving right now and videographer Sam Fathallah wants everyone to know about it.

That's why Fathallah started Circular Sessions, a video series showcasing the breadth and depth of the Midwestern music scene through interviews and performances. Through the series, Fathallah invites artists including Elizabeth Moen, The Maytags, and Bad Bad Hats into his sun-filled artist's loft for a session that feels as creative as it is intimate. 

“Music in this type of space, in this natural lit open space... it's reminiscent of how music is made, when it's really made. You know, when it's rehearsed in people's living rooms, and in their basements before it even gets to the studio," Fathallah says. "That's what music really looks like especially in Iowa, where folks are just making music in their homes.”

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa City band Halfloves were our guests for our first Studio One live set of 2019. You may remember when they were known as The Olympics and joined us for one of our first Studio One Underground shows. Since then, they've changed their name and lineup, and the band's sound has evolved: atmospheric and moody, with plenty of head-bopping moments.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

Growing up poor in Mississippi, Cedric Burnside didn't have running water.

It's a fact he highlights in the first song on his Grammy-nominated album, Benton County Relic.

In the upbeat, soulful song, titled "We Made It," Burnside croons verses like, "I came from nothing, I done been lower than low" and "Walk 3 miles every day, to have water in the house for another day."

Burnside grew up in his grandfather's house, along with many of his cousins. It wasn't until he was 12 years old that they finally got running water.

Madeleine King / Iowa Public Radio

The Hinterland music festival in St. Charles is announcing its 2019 line up today, including a mix of Grammy nominated and Midwest-based acts. The festival will also expand to three days this summer.

Alejandro Cordón / flickr

Feeling chilly and wondering how to fill your time indoors today? We've got you covered. Check out our latest Spotify playlist featuring curated picks from our staff to get you through these sub-zero days. 

What are your favorite songs about the cold? Tweet us @iowapublicradio. 

                         

IPR/Madeleine King

As hard as it may be to believe, IPR has now kicked off our fifth year of Studio One Underground! It's been an honor and a privilege to be able to do these LIVE shows from the Des Moines Social Club, and most importantly, it's been a lot of fun!

IPR/Tony Dehner

One of our favorite Christmas traditions every year at IPR is our yearly live broadcast of A Conquered Christmas, hosted by our friend Christopher The Conquered, live from the Basement of the Des Moines Social Club. The show began in 2015, and at the time we had no idea it would grow into what it's become in its fourth year. A wide variety of Iowa musicians once again joined in the fun, performing not only classic holiday favorties, but some original Christmas songs and some non-holiday songs that just happened to fit in with the night's themes.

Bao Ngo, High Road Touring; Olivia Bee, SubPop Records; Matador Records; Kevin Burt / Graphic: Katelyn Harrop


Casey Reyner

Our Iowa City studio recently got a major face lift. We painted some grey-brown walls robin’s egg blue, got rid of some office furniture that hadn’t been used in years and set up lobby space that reminds us of our living rooms at home. 

As a statewide network, we have studios across Iowa. Talk of Iowa and River to River’s production team is based in Iowa City, and for two hours a day on weekdays, the producers and hosts who work on those shows foster conversation that inspires and educates Iowans.

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/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.

Nick Spanos

Tank and the Bangas, an American funk and soul music group from New Orleans won 2017’s Tiny Desk Contest by unanimous vote, wowing NPR’s music desk with their unique spoken word inspired style. During this Talk of Iowa conversation, Tarriona "Tank" Ball,  who is  lead vocalist for the band, talks with host Charity Nebbe. 

Tank and her band are headlining a Halloween show on Tuesday, October 30 at Codfish Hollow in Maquoketa. 

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.

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