Music News

Name: Mark Simmet

What's your job?

I'm a Studio One Host (Tuesday/Thursday/Friday) and I also manage the music we play. I determine what gets added to the library and I book bands to play in the studio. 

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

Alabama Shakes' new album "Sound & Color". My first thought when listening to it was that Brittany Howard is an incredibly soulful singer. It blows you away at how soulful she is. 

Rachel Barton Pine spoke to me in January about her new Mozart concerto set - and since then it has earned great reviews and been chosen as one of our $15/month pledge premiums. The Telegraph said that Rachel's playing reveals "subtleties alongside the grace and exuberance that render the music endlessly fascinating and appealing"; it also praised the "ever-stylish" Sir Neville Marriner and his Academy of St.

William Elliott Whitmore lives in Lee County, between the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers, in the very southeastern corner of Iowa.  He lives and works on his family's land, finding inspiration there for the songs he writes and the music he makes.  Radium Death is his third album for the Anti- label, and his seventh overall.  Whitmore recorded the record in Iowa City over a two year period, with Luke Tweedy producing.  About a third of the new songs are performed solo, and the rest feature a variety of musicians. 

IPR/Tony Dehner

On April 16, the Eastern Iowa band Wooden Nickel Lottery played songs from their just-released debut album On Our Way, for Studio One listeners both in IPR's Cedar Falls studios and those tuning in for the live broadcast.  It was a set of tasty guitar licks and solid songwriting from the Cedar Rapids-based blues/rock band.  Check out the Wooden Nickel Lottery sound right here! 

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa City band Soul Phlegm stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on April 13 to play a set of what they call "soulgrass outlaw funk."  Whatever you call it, you can hear those elements plus a strong undercurrent of the blues in their high-energy performance.  Soul Phlegm played songs from their new Phlourish EP and more. New songs that are perhaps a preview of the full-length album expected later this year.  Enjoy this live set!

Live from The Basement venue of The Des Moines Social Club

Nick Carlo

Thirteen-year-old piano prodigy Emily Bear has performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, and many other venues across the globe, and has now added Iowa Public Radio’s Studio One to the list. Listen below to a special interview and performance with the rising star.  

Nick Schumacher

We hope you'll take the time to listen to this special interview and performance by acclaimed composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain recorded in Studio One. Roumain has debuted new works at Carnegie Hall and has been commissioned by the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, and more. His works have been performed by orchestras around the world and he has been an artist-in-residence at numerous institutions.

Brude Nells Social Club

The 10th Annual Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City kicks off today with a variety of events ranging from literary readings to cultural food tastings. The festival runs until Sunday, April 5 and you can hear Studio One's live broadcast of several music events throughout the weekend. You can even join us in person while we broadcast live from The IPR Lounge at The Java House in Iowa City.  

From The Basement at The Des Moines Social Club 

Name: Tony Dehner

Job: Production Assistant/Studio One Host (Sundays & Mondays)

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

I listened to a CD that The Michael Reed Band dropped off after their live performance in Studio One last Thursday. 

What album have you been listening to lately?

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Waterloo-based Michael Reed Band stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on March 26, playing a set consisting  of various shades of Rock and Americana for an appreciative audience.  The band, led by singer-songwriter Michael Reed, played songs from their new release Running Wild and more.  Have a listen to their set!

Red Cedar Chamber Music

A century ago, a couple named the Brintons from Washington, Iowa, assembled one of the world's great collections of silent films.

Sunday Baroque

 Suzanne Bona, flutist and host of Sunday Baroque, knows her Bach. In honor of his birthday, this Sunday from 8am to noon she's devoting her entire program to his music. Suzanne appreciates many different styles of Bach playing and has a keen ear for performances that turn out special. Which works and recordings will she choose? Tune in and find out!

Afterwards, Barney will host four hours of music that's NOT by Bach - although some of it will be by Bach's family members, predecessors and devotees. Stay tuned to hear that (and also, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony).

wikimedia commons

In researching two posts on copyright (one on a study of Italian opera composers, and the other on cases involving Jean Sibelius), I found it useful to make myself a simple chronological timeline of laws on copyright duration. Just in case you find it useful too, here it is:

http://web.stanford.edu/~pmoser/

Last week, a suit over a Marvin Gaye song put copyright into the headlines; but last year, the top copyright stories involved classical music. I wrote about one of those stories in a previous post, and now want to tell you about an even more memorable one.

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota band The Tinder Box are in the midst of a Midwestern tour that will include stops in Lincoln, Madison, La Crosse, Morris (MN) and more.  The four-piece group stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on March 9, bringing their folk rock/Americana songs and talking about their new album The Attic Sessions:  Volume 1.  It was a rousing set, with instrumentation consisting of guitars, banjo, trumpet and drums.  Have a listen! 

Facebook: Tinder Box

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota band The Tinder Box are touring around the Midwest.  Stops include Chicago, Lincoln, Madison, La Crosse, Burlington (Wisconsin), Morris (Minnesota) and...Cedar Falls.  I'll be hosting the band for a free performance in IPR's Cedar Falls studios, on Monday, March 9.  With their roots in the southeastern South Dakota soil, The Tinder Box play their own blend of folk-rock, Americana and self-described "BlueSgrass."  They have a new release out titled The Attic Sessions:  Volume 1.  ​You'll hear songs from that album and more on Monday night.

Tony in Devon on Wikimedia commons

Editor's Note (by Barney): In 1951, Dylan Thomas spent some time in Iowa. Two years later, his now-classic play Under Milk Wood premiered in New York City at the 92nd Street YNow, Susan Scheid, who spent some years in Iowa before moving to New York, tells us below about a Welsh composer who recently dared to set Under Milk Wood to music.

Facebook: Canby

What's it look like when I host a Studio One show?  You can find out this Thursday, March 5 at The Basement (901 Cherry Street) in Des Moines!  IPR is excited to be taking Studio One out on the road for the first time, partnering with the Des Moines Social Club for the entire 7-10 pm show.  I'll be playing new indie rock, singer-songwriters and roots-rock, plus a sprinkling of great older tracks.  It will be just like our usual great mix, except that I'll be spinning the discs live with an audience of Basement patrons.

Do classical players focus too much on the written notes for the good of the music? Simone Dinnerstein explained why she thinks so when we talked last week.

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa City trio Milk Duct Tape played an energetic live set for Studio One on Feb. 17, in IPR's Cedar Falls studios.  In the great rock tradition of guitar/bass/drums, the band played songs from their new release Styrofoam Tombstone and more.  Milk Duct Tape describe their music as "grunge rock from the Iowa desert."  Have a listen and find out what that means! 

    

Clay Masters / IPR

Seattle musician Damien Jurado is spending a bit of time in Iowa this week playing more intimate shows. The early pioneer of Seattle’s singer-songwriter circle has been recording music and touring for nearly two decades. He performs Wednesday at Dordt College in Sioux Center and in a Coraville living room on Friday. He says this kind of venues offers fans a more personal setting.

beck.com

Conventional wisdom has it that the voters participating in the Grammy Awards are often out of touch with current music.  Those voters work in various creative and technical areas of the recording industry, nominating the finalists and determining the winner in each category.  One theory is that they vote based on name recognition, therefore they may be  biased toward artists that have been around longer.  A famous example of this is Jethro Tull winning the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance award over Metallica in 1988.

Tony Dehner

The United States Air Force Midwest Winds Woodwind Quintet visited Studio One for a special live broadcast on Iowa Public Radio’s Performance Iowa on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at noon. Comprised of members of the USAF Band of Mid-America, the ensemble features Senior Airman Rachel Maclary, flute; Staff Sergeant Jennifer Kost, oboe; Senior Airman Craig Buying, clarinet; Senior Airman Sara Garing, bassoon; and Master Sergeant Peter Hensel, French Horn. 

lamontcranston.com

Hey, does anyone remember the Shadow?  The  mysterious crime-fighter with psychic powers began his long-running career in the 1930's, as a pulp magazine character, and also as the subject of a memorable dramatic radio program (voiced for a time by Orson Welles).  The radio shows and the striking visual image of The Shadow have never really gone away, just faded into the...shadows.  The character certainly made an impression on Minneapolis/St Paul-area brothers Pat and Larry Hayes, who founded their band in 1969 and named it after The Shadow's alter-ego, Lamont Cranston.

NPR Tiny Desk Concerts are intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host, Bob Boilen.  Boilen's desk is located at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC.  Past performers have included Lucinda Williams, Rubblebucket, St Paul and The Broken Bones, J. Mascis, Tweedy, Pixies, Neko Case and many more!  

Rachel Barton Pine, who performed recently in Ames as part of the period-instrument group Trio Settecento, has just released her first recording with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner - and last week, she talked with me about it. The set includes all of Mozart's concertos for violin and it's outstanding. In 0ur interview, she talks about why each concerto is a mini-opera, the value of writing your own cadenzas, the lessons a "modern-instrument" player can learn from playing period instruments (although she uses her modernized Guarneri  on this set), and more.

operaomnia

[UPDATED Jan 18: Expanded to include 36 publications and over 100 critics - yielding some new rankings:] What were the best classical releases of 2014? Don't ask me!- or any one person alone. After all, thousands of releases came out last year, and nobody had the time or money to listen to every contender. Besides, we're more likely to hear about artists from our own necks of the woods. And that neck is defined not only geographically but also musically, since most critics have specialized tastes and expertise. 

Elliot Tensen

The Iowa band Beverly and the Accordion performed live in IPR'S Cedar Falls studios on January 13.  The six-piece group played songs from their new release The Porch Sessions, and more.  An appreciative hometown audience responded enthusiastically to Beverly and the Accordion's Americana-flavored music.  And yes, an accordion can be heard in the mix!    

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