IPO Boston 2012
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Artists From Boston
1.4.5. – They take their name from the classic three chord progression that rock is built upon. They played many famous clubs in the early ‘80s (Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s, The Rat, etc.) and were playing loud punk-pop with a three-piece lineup fronted by Paul Armstrong (also of The Flashcubes) while Green Day were still playing Little League! The band reformed after a 20 year hiatus to play IPO in 2007, and we’re always glad to have ‘em back!
Peter Baldrachi – If you like crunchy power-pop dripping with gooey stick-in-your-head melodies and dusted off with solid rock guitar licks, then look no further than Back To The Start, the latest album by Peter Baldrachi! Fans of powerpop/rock greats like The Rolling Stones, Teenage Fanclub, and Big Star will eat this stuff up!!
The Eric Barao Band – Long-time fans of Boston powerpop may remember Barao as a co-founder of local pop-darlings The Cautions. In his latest project, he’s teamed up with some of the coolest musicians from the Boston pop underground to perform some of the best orchestrated Beatle-esque pop around! Fans of Jason Falkner and Bleu will also dig it! A debut album is in the works and we can hardly wait!
Bedford Davis – Somewhere between new wave punk and indie-pop lies the artfully quirky and delightful melodies of Bedford Davis. Imagine The Shins covering The Talking Heads in a weird ‘80s movie starring David Bowie, and you get the picture!
The Brigands – The latest incarnation of this band of brothers (known as The Bouncers in the ‘80s) has been going strong under their family name since the late 1990s, rocking it up with their pulverizing mix of ‘70s and ‘80s Mass Ave. scene covers, as well as Brigands originals. A totally fun band who will appeal to fans of The Clash, The Ramones, and The New York Dolls! IPO is honored to host the release party for their new CD!
Peter Buzzelle – His songwriting is reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, Elliot Smith and Morrissey, as well as heavily influenced by Depeche Mode and his experience as a drummer in the ‘90s Northwest band, Frequency dB. He brings a unique rhythmic interpretation to his personal brand of indie rock, conveying feelings, emotions and situations without weighing the music unnecessarily. His current album, Museum Of, tells a story about his life and his experiences against the backdrop of his powerpop/indie rock credentials.
Cat Sounds – Featuring members of Boston bands Mount Peru and Seaplanes, Cat Sounds fuse danceable Motown beats with infectious powerpop hooks. Their eponymous debut EP brings together the warm lighthearted feel of late-‘60s and early’70s radio with the freshness of modern indie-rock.
Brian Charles – Fans of Matthew Sweet and Myracle Brah will love his CD, Sadderdaydreaming. “The choruses on almost every track jump out of the speakers, forcing one to take notice, not to mention sing along uncontrollably” (Amplifier Magazine). He’s also quite the renaissance man, as he owns a recording studio and has produced some of the bands playing IPO Boston!
Didn’t Planet – A four-piece rock/alt-rock band from Boston’s South Shore who started as a cover band, working the local circuit from Faneuil Hall to Block Island to the ski resorts of New Hampshire and Vermont, but have lately turned to originals…and we’re glad they did. Fans of twangy powerpop will love their combination of solid rock sound and catchy hooks that you’ll hear on their new album, We’re Goin’ Nowhere, and fans of great brain-teasers will love the challenge of listening to see how many name-checks of local landmarks you can catch in their lyrics!
Munk Duane Band – Inspired by the exploration of American roots music in timeless albums by legendary artists like The Rolling Stones (Exile on Main St) and U2 (The Joshua Tree), and the country/pop crossover success of everyone from Chet Atkins and Elvis to Jason Aldean, Duane is taking his penchant for modern pop hooks and infusing a little bit of country into his rock n’ roll. Check it out on their debut EP, Everywhere Is South of Somewhere, and keep an eye out for their debut full length, Argue With Gravity, due out in January 2013!
Fireking – A band sired by former members of Figures On A Beach, who claim to be the “rock experience of the 21st Century.” The sound on their Live A Little, Love A Little CD falls somewhere between Face To Face-era Kinks and The Stooges’ Funhouse, and their performance at The Cavern at IPO Liverpool in 2005 had many of the locals begging for more! Speaking of “more”, look for a new album very soon!
In Tangiers – IPO is honored to host the first show of this Cambridge quartet who combine old school Motown hooks with the piano-pop-rock punch of Billy Joel or Elton John. Shut your eyes, and you just might think lead singer Sarah was actually Diana Ross!
Justin Levinson – A Vermont native renowned for a catalog of songs covering everything from power-pop to country to “feel good heartbreak”, Levnison has earned steady praise from audiences and critics alike since his 2005 debut, 1175 Boyleston, which he wrote while still a student at Berklee College of Music. His latest album, This Side of Me, This Side of You, dresses his distress in an eclectic mix of piano, loud guitar, horns, strings, and dreamy harmonies. Check it out!!
Meathead – The latest project led by the one and only Sal Baglio, main man of The Stompers. He’s joined by other Boston pop legends, such as Paul Armstrong of The Flashcubes and 1.4.5 (see above), and engineer extraordinaire, Ducky Carlisle, so we know this one’s gonna rock!!
Michael Oliver & The Sacred Band – Yin and Yanxiety, Oliver’s latest album, is a touchingly personal collection of intelligent pop and rock songs reminiscent of Matthew Sweet, Marshall Crenshaw, REM and even The Archies! It is an emotional meditation on the past, filled with beautifully crafted songs that glisten, glow, and grandly unfold, with vocals lingering and lyrics resonating long after the songs have faded.
Tad Overbaugh & The Late Arrivals – Boston powerpop scenesters may recognize Overbaugh as the leader of his long-time outfit, The Kickbacks. The Late Arrivals’ EP, End Of The Decade, is inspired by the sharp songwriting of classic country, the rock ‘n roll vibe of The Replacements, Cheap Trick, and Tom Petty, the alt-country boom of the ‘90s, and back around to troubadours Guy Clark and Steve Earle!
The Russians – With influences ranging from Phil Spector, Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd to Beachwood Sparks, Teenage Fanclub and The Flaming Lips, The Russians offer rock ‘n roll that is lush, melodic, grooving, and righteous. Fans of both classic powerpop and die-hard indie-rock are sure to appreciate their latest release, Crash The Party!
Watts – A dynamic four-piece aptly named for the gentleman drummer of the Rolling Stones, Watts’ sound combines all the best elements of ‘70s glam, old school punk, new wave, British Invasion and straight up rock ‘n roll to create a timeless amalgam that is at once familiar and fresh. The band was named one of 2008’s “Bands You Must Hear” by the UK’s Classic Rock magazine, and have kicked it up a notch with their latest release, On The Dial. Watts ROCK!!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Boston
Kurt Baker – As good as he was as the leader of Maine punk poppers, The Leftovers, Baker is even better now that he’s set out on his own! His latest album, Brand New Beat, is a teaspoon of Elvis Costello, a half pint of Paul McCartney, a gallon of Joey Ramone and just a dash of Rick Nielsen, so you’ll want to listen often!
The Connection – It’s always refreshing to see young guys who wear their classic pop influences proudly on their sleeves…especially when they’ve got the chops to back it up with songs that sound like classic radio hits, as do these guys from Portsmouth, New Hampshire! Fans of The Beatles, Nick Lowe, and The Ramones will want to check out their Comes & Goes EP!
Lannie Flowers – The second CD by this Texas gent, Circles, flew to the top of many a powerpop best of the year list, and with good reason! Badfinger-esque in-your-face guitars and vocal harmonies blend with softer shifting sounds more reminiscent of XTC. Fans of The Raspberries to The Velvet Underground will also appreciate this one, and we appreciate that Lannie and his band have played many an IPO, including Liverpool!
Hannah Cranna – If you’re a pop fanatic in search of a great lost band, then look no further than New Haven, CT’s Hannah Cranna! Refusing to bend to the shifting musical fashions of the day, they’ve been cranking out songs with strong melodic hooks since the ‘90s, taking their cues from such greats as Buffalo Springfield, The Beatles, The Kinks, and Big Star. Their self titled CD was produced by legendary Badfinger guitarist/singer/songwriter Joey Molland! A new full length is due out soon, but meanwhile you can feast your ears on their 5-song sampler, A Real Nice Parade!
Cliff Hillis – Long a favorite of hardcore powerpop fans, Hillis has been making a name for himself nationally since the release of his critically acclaimed Better Living Through Compression CD. His new release, Dream Good, takes it up yet another level! Fans of Matthew Sweet, Bread, Elvis Costello, and every great pop artist in between will want to check this one out!! Phoenixville, PA’s finest!
The Modulators – Their reunion show at IPO New York in 2009 meant a lot to me personally, as in the early ‘80s I used to hang around guitarist Joe Riccardello as he managed the quintessential northern New Jersey record store, Vintage Vinyl. Joe is responsible for turning me onto artists like R.E.M. and Marshall Crenshaw, and when I found out he was a member of a Crenshaw-inspired band called The Modulators, I couldn’t wait to buy their first 45 (“She’s So Cynical”). They have the distinction of playing The Dirt Club more than any other band, and their excellent album from 1985 is available as a reissue on CD by Kool Kat! They’ve floored IPO audiences from New York to Liverpool every time they’ve played, and I can’t wait to see ‘em do it again in Boston!
Kyle Vincent – Though he may still be known best as the lead singer of the seminal teen power pop band, Candy, Vincent has released a slew of fine CDs since, and shows no signs of slowing down! His style is inspired by the pop and soul of the ‘60s and ‘70s, drawing comparisons to such artists as David Cassidy and Barry Manilow, and like them, he often draws swooning female fans whenever he strays from his home in New England to play to both packed clubs and living room shows. Check out his latest album, The Best…So Far, and watch for a new one in early 2013!
Dave Rave – He began popping very powerfully indeed a near quarter century ago as part of the legendary Canadian bands Teenage Head and The Shakers, and has often been referred to as “The Canadian Nick Lowe.” His latest CD, Live With What You Know, was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of its songs “Anne Marie”!! He’s played every IPO the past two years, with many more to come. Thank you, Dave!!