Studio One

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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

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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!   

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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

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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.

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Chaz Bear (formerly Bundick) was born in Columbia, South Carolina.  In the Bundick household, Chaz heard music from many different genres, and he was already playing and recording original compositions in his preteen years.  He began forming bands in middle school.  Chaz had already released over ten albums as Toro Y Moi on his own before signing with Carpark Records in 2009.  His latest album for that label is Outer Peace, written and recorded in the Bay Area after Chaz's return from a one year stint in Portland.  The new record has elements of funk, Eurodance, hip hop, and ambien

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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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