Studio One

facebook.com/tacocatband

Tacocat is a quartet that makes fun music.  With a band name that's a palindrome, how could they not?  But making danceable punky pop music does not preclude them from delivering thoughtful lyrics that comment on our culture and world.

The group came together around 2007, with guitarist Eric Randall and drummer Lelah Maupin meeting as co-workers at a Longview, Washington Safeway grocery store.  Bree McKenna and Emily Nokes, part of the same Seattle punk milieu, soon joined up.  Tacocat began releasing records and came to be known for their catchy feminist pop-punk songs.

This year, I was blown away by the Tiny Desk Contest entries I saw. We received over 6,000 entries from all across the country. We saw tiny desks up on rooftops and down on a subway platform; tucked into treetops, pickup trucks and laundromats. We heard songs about the situations that make life difficult and the people that make life worth living.

facebook.com/mountaingoatsmusic

After album themes that have included Goths, professional wrestling, fictional tarot cards and more, Mountain Goats songwriter and frontman John Darnielle now turns his attention to a Dungeons & Dragons inspired fantasy world.

IPR/Madeleine King

Des Moines' Parranderos Latin Combo pride themselves on helping to keep Latin music alive and diverse in Iowa and beyond.  Exploring musical styles such as salsa, cumbia and samba, PLC is a true crowd-pleaser.  The multi-member group made a return visit to Studio One Underground for a couple of sets in The Basement of the Des Moines Social Club on May 2, 2019.

Listen to the infectious music of Parranderos Latin Combo right here! 

IPR/Tony Dehner

The last time we had the band perform live on Studio One, John June Year were about to release their EP "Pop Sucker."  This time the band came to perform songs from their debut full-length album "Modern Motives."

FACEBOOK.COM/SHOVELSANDROPE

South Carolina's Shovels & Rope take a giant step forward on their new album "By Blood."  Built upon the duo's strong Americana foundation, it's a thoroughly satisfying contemporary rock and roll record.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

facebook.com/weyesblood

The latest album from Weyes Blood is "Titanic Rising," with dreamy and cinematic songs haunted by the fateful tale of that doomed ocean liner.

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.

facebook.com/jennylewis

Jenny Lewis has been making indie rock for more than twenty years now. Yes, she records for major label Warner Bros., but her approach and her many collaborators are firmly indie. 

Shadow Fox Photography

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

facebook.com/andrewbirdmusic

Much can be said about Andrew Bird:  a classically trained violinist, known for his whistling (as befits his actual name), he was in the indie-jazz band Squirrel Nut Zippers in the '90s, and has been releasing his own style of indie music since his band Bowl Of Fire and a solo career that began in 2003.  

facebook.com/officialkareno

Karen O is a powerful (both visually and sonically) vocalist, and she has fronted the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs since 2000.  She has also done solo projects and collaborated with some interesting people, gravitating toward the artier side of indie rock.  Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) has been a part of Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells and Danger Doom, and has worked with many others as a respected producer, musician and songwriter.  Karen O and Danger Mouse met in 2007, discussed working together, and finally got serious about it in 2015.  The project has come to fruition with the new album "Lux P

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.

facebook.com/juliajacklin

Julia Jacklin wears her heart on her sleeve all through the ten tracks on "Crushing", her second full-length album.  Sure, that's a cliche, but it's such a fitting way to describe the Australian artist's approach to her songs, and why they are so compelling.  Jacklin writes about heartbreak and infatuation, and as her record company explains, she keeps "her storytelling centered on bodies and crossed boundries and smothering closeness."  Plus, Julia Jacklin has a wonderful voice to deliver the intimate indie pop songs she writes.    

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.

facebook.com/betteroblivioncommunitycenter

If you saw Conor Oberst joining Phoebe Bridgers on stage last July at 80/35, maybe you thought it would be cool if those two were in a band together.  In that case, your wish has been granted in the form of Better Oblivion Community Center.  It's an unwieldy band name to be sure, and serves as the title of their debut album as well.  As a record, Better Oblivion Community Center loosely ties together ten songs having to do with a fictional dystopian wellness facility.  Oberst and Bridgers kept quiet about the album as they recorded it last year, surprise releasing it in early 2019.

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. 

IPR/Chris Fenton

The Cedar Rapids band In The Attic performed a live set in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on March 21.  The group talked about the various projects they are involved in, and played songs from their forthcoming new album.  With their two guitars, bass, drums plus electric violin lineup, In The Attic provided a great rock set for the Studio One Tracks audience.

You can hear the night's performance right here!

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.

facebook.com/mercuryrev

Bobbie Gentry had one huge hit song, and it was a good one.  The atmospheric and mysterious "Ode To Billie Joe" is fondly remembered to this day.  Gentry's follow-up to that song (and accompanying full-length LP) was her 1968 album The Delta Sweete, which expanded on "Ode" themes of Southern life and culture.  Fifty years later, The Delta Sweete had largely been forgotten.  Crate diving indie bands like upstate New York's Mercury Rev don't forget, however, and the group have recorded a brand new version of Gentry's song cycle.  Mercury Rev are joined by a roster of twelve

facebook.com/cassmccombs

California native Cass McCombs has been recording his own blend of folk-rocky alt country since 2002.  McCombs new album is Tip Of The Sphere, recorded quickly by McCombs and his core band in Brooklyn.  It's a compelling listen, with an immediacy that never seems to lag, despite a playing time of nearly an hour.  According to McCombs' label, ANTI- Records, the idea all along was to make a consistent statement.  The song "Sleeping Volcanoes" sits right in the middle of the record, and it's described as the thematic centerpiece of the album.  According to McCombs, the song is about "

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Candymakers have a brand new release titled Family Flowers, and the Iowa band brought those songs and more to the Basement of the Des Moines Social Club for two energetic sets.  The occasion was IPR's live broadcast of Studio One Underground.  The sweet sounds of The Candymakers are a confection made up of soul, funk and blues.

Have a listen to both sets from The Candymakers right here!   

facebook.com/girlpoool

Girlpool is the core duo of Cleo Tucker (guitar and vocals) and Harmony Tividad (bass and vocals).  The Los Angelenos met in November of 2013, each quitting the bands they were involved with at the time.  In just three months they had released their debut EP.  What Chaos Is Imaginary is the third full-length album from Girlpool.  Tucker and Tividad each write and arrange songs for the group.  Tividad claims the record's title track as her own, explaining:  "I was experiencing a lot of mental health issues.  That song comes from a place of being disconnected from reality.  The world

facebook.com/deerhuntermusicgroup

Deerhunter (not to be confused with Deer Tick, who also have a new record, or Deerhoof, who do not) have a new album intriguingly titled Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?  It's the eighth full-length album from the band formed by Bradford Cox and Moses Archuleta in Atlanta, Georgia in 2001.  Fellow songwriter (with Cox), second guitarist, and sometime lead vocalist Lockett Pundt came aboard a few years later.  I fondly recall Deerhunter's set at 80/35 a few years ago.  Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?  finds Bradford Cox and the band in a more mature mod

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.

Pages