Studio One

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New Jersey native (currently based in Brooklyn) Sharon Van Etten self-released her music in the form of handmade CDs for a few years before her first actual studio album came out in 2009.  Van Etten is also an actor and (since 2017) a mother.  In fact, she was pregnant, going to school, and auditioning for an acting role while writing the songs for her new album Remind Me Tomorrow.  Van Etten says:  "I want to be a mom, a singer, an actress, go to school...and I feel like a mess, but I'm here.  Doing it.  This record is about pursuing your passions." 

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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.

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David Bazan is the frontman of the Seattle-based band Pedro The Lion.  Even though the singer/songwriter also has a long and successful solo career, and his latest batch of songs reflect on his hometown and growing up there, Bazan decided to record these songs as a group project.  Phoenix is the first Pedro The Lion album in about 15 years.  Bazan's effectively delivers his heartfelt and detailed lyrics based on his memories of his youth in the desert city.  He plays bass, synth, and some guitar on Phoenix.  Erik Walters is the lead guitarist, and Sean Lane is the drummer.

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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. 

                         

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The Well Pennies are a husband and wife duo- Bryan and Sarah Vanderpool.  They were each solo artists when they met in Boston, became a couple, and relocated to Los Angeles.  After eight years in California, and the release of an EP and their debut full-length album, The Well Pennies relocated again.  Their current home base is Des Moines, a place the duo says they chose in order to "...escape the chaos and desperation of Los Angeles and move somewhere where artists can afford to be artists."  With their home recording studio in place, and a batch of new songs inspired by heartland living,

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Foxwarren formed over ten years ago, with the group of siblings and childhood friends sharing the experience of growing up in different small towns across the Canadian prairies.  Andy Shauf (guitars/keys/vocals), Dallas Bryson (guitar/vocals) and brothers Darryl Kissick (bass) and Avery Kissick (drums and percussion) collectively became Foxwarren in Regina, Saskatchewan.  The band's name comes from the Kissick brothers' family home in Foxwarren, Manitoba.  As laid-back Canadians, Foxwarren took their time recording their self-titled debut full-length album, although the delay was also due t

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My Brightest Diamond is the project of Arkansas-born Shara Nova (Shara Worden until her 2016 divorce).  The songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist began performing and recording in the late 1990's while attending college in Denton, Texas.  A few years later she started using the name My Brightest Diamond, and began releasing albums and EPs with that band name.  The latest is A Million And One, with Nova taking her band in a more electronic direction, with her techno-pop tunes intended for dancing down at the club as much as listening in your headphones.

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In mid-November of 2018, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy released his memoir Let's Go (So We Can Get Back).  The book was followed up a couple of weeks later by Tweedy's second solo album, WARM.  WARM consists of all new material, unlike his first solo album which found the songwriter revisiting some of his Wilco songs.  This is not to be confused with the all-original Sukerie album by the band Tweedy, which is pretty much just Jeff along with his son Spencer on drums.  Well, Spencer also plays drums on WARM...but no matter, fans love Jeff Tweedy for

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!

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The Fleet Foxes release First Collection 2006-2009 gathers together the Fleet Foxes songs that you know and love, plus the Fleet Foxes songs that you probably don't know, but will soon love.  The Sun Giant EP and the Seattle band's debut full-length album Fleet Foxes are of course included in this new set.  But of most interest to fans will be the barely-released 2006 EP titled The Fleet Foxes, and the B-Sides and rarities included in First Collection 2006-2009.

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.

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Sooner or later, it seems like every artist in the wide field of popular music has something to say about the holidays that occur at the end of every year.  In many cases, the result is a Christmas Album; Bob Dylan even did one a few years ago.  In 2018, after many decades of recording, Eric Clapton has released his holiday record titled Happy Xmas.  It's not a straight blues album by any means, although there are some blues tracks that showcase Slowhand at his best.  Happy Xmas also features a surprising EDM version of "Jingle Bells".  Plus selections that featur

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Rodney Crowell has been writing and recording in the Americana field for decades.  He released his debut album in 1978, and went on to have his greatest success in country music in the 1980s into the '90s.  He's still at the top of his game as a songwriter, with recent albums that have included two collaborations with Emmylou Harris.  Now Crowell has turned his skills to a holiday record, for the all-original Christmas Everywhere, with no versions of the familiar Yuletide standards to be found.  Like JD McPherson's Socks, it's a singer-songwriter/Americana record that just

Iowa City musician Charlie Cacciatore writes and performs his music under the name Good Morning Midnight, and 2018 saw the release of his second album, Both Neither and Both. The band performs live in various configurations: occasionally, Cacciatore will perform solo, and other times with a full band. We got to hear Good Morning Midnight as a power trio in our studios, and they played songs from the new album and some material that hasn't been recorded yet.

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JD McPherson is a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist who specializes in a retro blend of classic rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and rockabilly.  McPherson and his band don't just play in imitation of those genres; they thoroughly inhabit them.  Since his debut album received wide release in 2012, McPherson has attracted legions of fans who quickly picked up on his authenticity.  His fourth record, Socks, is sure to continue that trend.  It's a fun listen from beginning to end, with the Oklahoma-born McPherson writing (sometimes co-writing) an album's worth of original Christmas s

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Robbie Fulks was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Virginia and North Carolina, and has lived in Chicago since 1983.  He's a singer-songwriter completely comfortable in the realm of neo-traditionalist (or alt) country music.  Louisiana-born singer and pianist Linda Gail Lewis is currently based in Memphis. She's the younger sister of Jerry Lee Lewis, with a long recording career as a solo artist, and also in collaboration through the years with her brother and Van Morrison.  Fulks invited Linda Gail Lewis to Chicago to record Wild! Wild! Wild!

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The shorthand take on J Mascis is that his solo albums are his more mellow side.  The less mellow side would be his work with the band that he co-founded in 1984, Dinosaur Jr.

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Matthew Houck was born in Alabama, began performing as Phosphorescent in Athens, Georgia in 2001, and then later became a Brooklyn, NY-based artist.  His latest Phosphorescent project is titled C'est La Vie, recorded in his new hometown of Nashville, at a studio he built himself.  In the five years since the previous Phosphorescent album, Houck has also faced meningitis and became a father twice.  Considering that he named the new album C'est La Vie ("That's life"), it's no surprise that Houck is philosophical about it all.  As he says via his record company:  "These signi

IPR/Tony Dehner

Iowa City musician and songwriter Anthony Worden performed live in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Nov. 15.  Worden brought his band, dubbed The Illiterati, for a live set that featured songs from his new album Slouching Towards Tomorrow- and more!

Enjoy music and conversation with Anthony Worden right here!

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Elvis Costello arrived on the scene in 1977,  just as the new wave of music was breaking.  He had punk attitude, Buddy Holly glasses, and the audacity to appropriate the first name of the King.  Although his songwriting prowess was recognized from the very start, the depth and breadth of Elvis Costello's skill came to be revealed as he went on to explore many diverse musical genres.  The man even wrote songs with Burt Bacharach.  Bacharach is back for three co-writes on Look Now, the first Elvis Costello studio album in five years.  And old friends The Imposters are back t

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The Des Moines band The Fuss stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Nov. 7 for a return appearance on Studio One Tracks.  The group had recently embarked on the tour they have dubbed "The Loving Family Show."  You'll find out all about that, and hear songs from The Fuss' forthcoming new EP during this live set.

Have a listen to The Fuss right here!

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.

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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

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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

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!

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!

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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.     

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.

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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.       

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