Music News

A woman in 19th-century France equaled her male peers in composing music. What can we learn from her career about how to close the gender gap today?

IPR/Tony Dehner

With the 80/35  Music Festival behind us for another year, some Iowa music fans may now be wondering, "Okay, what's next?" We're here to help! In this latest edition of the B-Side podcast, the Studio One team is joined by IPR's Lindsey Moon to talk about upcoming music festivals that are on our radar. And, as always, we want to hear from you! What festivals are you excited about? What festivals did we miss that we should know about? What advice do you have for festival attendees? Thanks!

Matt Anderson

Hello Studio One Readers,

This coming weekend I will be attending the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago for the first time. I will be documenting my first-timers' experience into a narrative podcast with my good friend and fellow music junkie, Jonathan Smith. I'm expecting the weekend to be insane, funny, stressful and joyous all at the same time.

IPR

We were joined early on Friday night at our free stage by Anna Gebhardt and Ryan Stier from the Des Moines band Annalibera, ahead of their amazing Saturday performance. The intimate setting was a terrific showcase for Anna's powerful vocals. We think you'll agree!

IPR

Iowa-based singer-songwriter Damon Dotson opened our stage weekend on Friday night, playing a great set before the festival technically began! How cool is that?

IPR

Having had Mighty Shady in both our Cedar Falls studios and on IPR's Java Blend, it felt right for them to perform on our 80/35 stage. They turned out to be a perfect choice to close out the stage on the first night of the festival, as they definitely got the crowd ready to party!

IPR

We have to admit, the Ames band Fuzzy Logic hadn't been on our radar before the festival. After this set, though, we're definitely wanting to hear more of those funky acoustic sounds!

IPR

We're still not sure how, but we managed to get all eight(!) members of the Minneapolis-based bluegrass band The Kind Country onto our stage AND stay on schedule! For many of the audience members who stopped by our stage over the weekend, this was a definite highlight of the festival.

IPR

The Studio One team has crossed paths with Minneapolis' Jon Wayne and the Pain before at 80/35, so this was a treat for us. The band had already played the Hy-Vee main stage earlier in the day, and played the official after party just a few hours later with the Jaden Carlson band!

IPR

Here's another example of how our stripped-down setting can bring new dimensions to music you may have already heard. As much as we LOVE the 12-piece (or more!) band Canby, lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Scott Yoshimura does pretty well by himself!

IPR

While some musicians had to make some adjustments to our stage, others were already perfectly suited to the intimate, stripped-down atmosphere. The Iowa-based husband and wife duo The High Crest definitely fell into the second category, and played a great set following their appearance at the Kum & Go stage.

IPR

Another band from Boulder, and veterans of IPR's Java Blend, Head For The Hills turned out to be the perfect band to wrap up our weekend. Even though the day was winding down, we still had a great crowd for this great bluegrass band!

IPR

Along with Jon Wayne and the Pain, Boulder, Colorado's Jaden Carlson Band also managed to fit us in between their main performance and the after party later that evening. This band definitely brought the funk, and more than anyone else at the festival, 15-year-old Jaden made it look easy with her incredible guitar playing.

IPR

"Stripped down" and "intimate" don't necessarily mean "laid-back" and "relaxing", as the Chicago band The Kickback showed us on Friday.

Less than 20 minutes after his amazing performance at the Nationwide free stage, Des Moines artist Christopher The Conquered rushed over to our stage and treated us to a couple of covers, along with the full, true story behind one of his newer songs.

IPR

Now based in Los Angeles, Boh Doran returned to her home state to play at 80/35 and gave a terrific performance. As you'd expect from the setting, her amazing voice was on full display.

IPR

From Iowa City, The Olympics played 80/35 for the first time, and by all accounts they played a great set at the Nationwide free stage. It was fun working with them again after their IPR appearance at the Des Moines Social Club in May!

IPR

One of the most talked-about bands from any of the stages at 80/35 was Brazilian 2wins, from Cedar Falls. Between both of their electrifying sets at the festival, they've acquired many new fans!

iowapublicradio.org

With the launch of the new Iowa Public Radio Studio One 24-hour music stream and IPR app for iOS and Android this week, plus the annual 80/35 Festival in downtown Des Moines this weekend, it's a great time to be a music fan in Iowa!  The Studio One crew will be at 80/35 again this year- with bells on!  The IPR booth will be at the corner of 10th and Locust.  Please stop by and say hello, and take in some exclusive performances from many of the Iowa and national bands appearing on 80/35 stages this year.

Orchestra Iowa has a new concert master, Dawn Gingrich. She says she fell in love with the violin when she was three.

“I was constantly exposed to lots of great concerts,” she says. “When I was three years old, there was a women playing the violin at a concert I attended with my parents, and she had a terrific dress on. That’s really what stuck with me. I was reportedly insistent about violin lessons after that.”

Photo by Nate Ryan / Minnesota Public Radio; used by permission

This May, the Minnesota Orchestra became the first US orchestra to perform in Cuba since the normalization process began. Tonight you can hear the first concert they gave at 7PM when IPR Classical airs SymphonyCast (or you can stream the concert at Minnesota Public Radio).

 For three decades,  Curt Snook shared with Iowa the music he loves, plus a trove of fascinating facts, insights, ideas, and stories. Curt reached retirement on Tuesday, but after his last air shift stayed in the studio a little longer to chat with me (and all of us) about his life and career. What a pleasure it was!  To hear the audio, click on the arrow below.

John Pemble/IPR

Name: Clay Masters

Job: Morning Edition is weekdays from 5 to 9 on the Iowa Public Radio News Channel. I'm also a reporter spending a lot of time covering the Iowa Caucuses.

What was the very last thing you listened to today? Be honest!

I've been listening to My Morning Jacket's new record, "The Waterfall", on my 4 a.m. commute to work. I saw them play at The Ranch Bowl in Omaha 12 years ago and I've been hooked ever since. Every album they've put out has taken some getting used to...this one is finally sinking in. 

IPR/Tressa Glass

Gentlemen Of The Road Festival Stopovers are organized by Mumford & Sons, so it's fitting that seemingly 98% of festival attendees are there for them, and the other bands are kind of an afterthought.  When they took the stage Saturday night and played for over two hours, Mumford & Sons more than justified the buzz generated by their presence in Waverly.  They played great, with spirited performances of both the hits and album cuts, and they did an intimate acoustic/near- a cappella set.

Barney Sherman

In 2009, Michael Gilbertson - a young man from Dubuque who has become one of America's leading composers - wanted to raise funds for his alma mater, the Northeast Iowa School of Music.

IPR/Jason Burns

 What's almost as much fun as listening to your favorite music? Talking about it, of course! And with the year already half over, we've got a built-in excuse!

Clare Roth

Name: Lindsey Moon

Job: I'm a producer at IPR, which means that I help brainstorm and research ideas for the shows and stories you hear on the air. Lots of the people who have conversations with Ben Kieffer or Charity Nebbe during "River to River" or "Talk of Iowa" spoke with me first.  

What was the very last thing you listened to today? Be honest!

"Your Party" by Ween

What album have you been listening to a lot lately?

Ben Kieffer

Name: Ben Kieffer

Job: Host of River to River; Host/Producer of Java Blend

What is the last thing you listened to today? Be honest!

An audio book version of "Dead Wake", the latest book by Erik Larson about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. I love Larson's historical work and once had the pleasure of interviewing him. 

What album have you been listening to lately?

Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks". It reminds me of being young!

What's your favorite song today?

belcantocedarvalley.org

  Where can you find a thriving classical new-music scene playing to capacity audiences that love the premieres even more than the chestnuts? In small Iowa towns - if you realize that "new music" includes not just the challenging fare that wins Pulitzers but also a growing repertory of pieces for chorus. The 21st-century renaissance of new choral music also thrives outside of Iowa, of course - our neighbor to the north, Minnesota, is one of several states to have played key roles, and so are a number of countries, including many near the Baltic and North Seas.

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