IPO Chicago 2012
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Artists From Chicago
92 Degrees – IPO Chicago fans will be treated to something special when they witness a rare performance by 92 Degrees, one of the stalwarts of the ‘90s Chicago pop scene! The band features Mike G (see The Valley Downs), Steve Steffans, and Dane Svoboda. Their self-titled CD from 1995 is difficult to find, but well worth searching for!
The Abbeys – The twang is definitely the thang with these guys! Whether Brit-pop, power pop, rockabilly, or just plain jangle is your cup of tea, they can quench your thirst quite nicely. Check out their latest mp3 CD, Please File Under Twang. A new one is also in work for release later this year, so watch for it!
Phil Angotti – The venerable musician is practically a household name in powerpop circles, and especially in his home town of Chicago. Both he and his band The Idea have released a bunch of tremendous CDs, and Phil’s latest, People And Places, proves he just keeps getting better! We were honored to host the debut performance of Material Re-Issue at last year’s IPO Chicago, and Phil Angotti’s lead vocals and guitar channeled the spirit of Jim Ellison as well as it could possibly be done.
The Artist Formerly Known As Vince Band – A fun new old school band with whose recently released record, On Display, is an actual record…on spiffy colored 12” vinyl no less! Glitter glam garage all the way, baby!
Mimi Betinis of Pezband – Pezband’s three late ‘70s albums, Pezband, Laughing In The Dark, and Cover To Cover, are in the pantheon of power pop, and those and the band’s legendary live performances are part of what makes Chicago the Mecca of Power Pop. Lead singer Betinis is back with a solo career, and an album, All That Glitters, which fans of powerpop, glam, and even funk will love!
Keith Betti – IPO audiences may well recall Betti’s classic rock styled pop from his previous appearances. The classic influences are still there in his latest CD, Company Loves Misery, but topped off with a generous dollop of rich Americana. Tasty!
The Break – A true-to-form great rock band, The Break has played every major venue in Chicago to a constantly growing fan-base, which is pretty amazing considering they are just 16 years old! Their debut CD, Welcome to Our Side, has been on iTunes for the past year and has received rave reviews from Buzz News, WGN TV, Chicago Sun Times and many more! A second CD is in the works, and we can’t wait to hear it! Bass player Paul Ansani also happens to be the son of Ted Ansani (of Material Issue fame!), proving musical talent definitely runs in that family!
Bumble Monkey – A side project featuring John Luckhaupt of Catsplash, who have graced many an-IPO Chicago stage. The subtle boy-girl harmonies, sense of fun, and unexpected chord changes are still there, but now wrapped in a John Lennon/Matthew Sweet-influenced powerpop package!
The Burrows – The Burrows are hitting the studio to record their new EP, and we can’t wait to hear it! Together since high school, their music is an amalgam of indie rock, classic rock, R&B, funk, and a hint of country that is sure to appeal to a wide variety of audiences. Check them our now!
Ellis Clark & His Band – A founding member and lead singer of Chicago stalwarts, Epicycle and Social Act, and guitarist with local favorites, The Handcuffs, Clark has also stepped out on his own with a solo career. Watch for his debut solo release, filled with gentle pop songs sure to appeal to fans of John Lennon, Ben Folds, and (of course!) Epicycle!
Collectors – If their debut EP, Reverberation, marked a beginning, then their latest, Travelogue, marks a band confidently hitting its stride. Travelogue finds the band showcasing broad sonic textures, ear-pleasing psychedelic tinged pop sensibilities, tight hooks and strong arrangements that evoke the best sounds of UK rock over the years…with a hint of good ‘ol American punk pop! Check it out now!!
Common Shiner – These transplants to Chicago from the rubble of the Michigan roots rock scene keep cranking out captivating piano rock songs, sure to leave a mark on the pleasure center of your brain, as exemplified by their latest CD, Before They Sold Out: Part 1. Their music will appeal equally to fans of Ben Folds, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, The Police, and Mayday Parade, but retains a unique sound that is all their own. Everyone who listens to Common Shiner comes away liking something different, and these boys wouldn’t want it any other way.
Graham Czach – A wildly creative and accomplished composer, Czach is always pushing the envelope to reach new levels of versatility and musicianship in his work. Case in point: his debut CD, Lucid, blends influences as diverse as Debussy, CSNY, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles into a cohesive whole!
Kate Diaz – At only 15 years old, this up and coming singer/songwriter is definitely one you want to keep your eye on. She’s already got two live acoustic albums to her credit, as well as numerous TV and stage appearances around Chicago. Her IPO showcase is just the tip of the iceberg for what she’s got planned in 2012, as she’s been named a music partner for Earth Day Network, and will be appearing later this year at Six Flags!
The Elements Of Style – A very aptly named band who bring together several stylish elements in their music. Their new CD, Take Care Always and Have a Night Ahead, should also be available soon. Their music evokes a touch of Sinatra, a dash of indie rock, a dose of fuzzy guitars, and a wall of keys – stirred, not shaken…the perfect pop martini!
Everelle – A longtime fixture on the local Chicago scene, Everelle features intense and hard-hitting all-original music that is lean and muscular with a familiar but innovative sound. New vocalist Miss Sarah brings a tremendous and powerful vocal presence to the band. She possesses impeccable technique, instincts and can go from the proverbial whisper to a full-on roar of a scream like an Indy car launching off the line!
Aaron Fox & The Reliables – Fronted by Fox’s engaging voice and clever songwriting, The Reliables’ sound is propelled by driving guitars, sweeping bass lines, and infectious hooks that will stick with you for days on end. Their debut CD, Late Too Soon, plays like every song is from a Greatest Hits album! The Reliables also feature Rick Zygowicz, an original member of the beloved Chicago band Material Issue, on drums!
Freetoed – Freetoed brings to the stage nearly ten years of playing music together around Chicago. With roots influenced by the likes of Wilco and Badly Drawn Boy, their songs climb and fall, peeling back and layering on both the melodic and dissonant. Nowhere are these qualities better emphasized than at their characteristically energy-laden live show.
Go Time – Their sound is best categorized as powerpop with a hard edge: a mix of The Who, Cheap Trick and various other artists with a contemporary twist. The band’s harmonies and Rickenbacker-fueled melodies on their third and newest release, Boneshaker, are sure to please many a power pop fan! Not ones to rest on their laurels, they plan to head back to the studio at the end of the year to start work on CD number four!
Jess Godwin – A self-proclaimed singer/songwriter/misfit with soul, Godwin writes pop melodies that stick, but the true star is the lyric. Quirky, funny, and honest, her songs take jabs at boyfriends and bad dates, but she saves the best digs for herself. Closet fans of Disney movie soundtracks, Katy Perry, and early ‘60s girl groups will want to check her out!
The Goldstars – A band brought together by a mutual affection for the golden age of primitive rock n’ roll as they worship the holy trinity of the Farfisa organ, the fuzzed-out guitar, and the wailing voices of American kids trying to sound like British kids trying to sound black. In other words, they know how to rock out and have fun, and put on a live show not to be missed…so don’t miss their IPO showcase!
GUH – A band whose name is an expression has got to be cool, and GUH most certainly does not disappoint! Led by the affable Tom Clark (who for years co-lead Chicago favorites, Epicycle, with his bother Ellis Clark-see above), GUH combines a raw rock-edged powerpop sensibility with Lexi’s sweet n’ sassy lead vocals.
The Hurtin Kind – Underneath all the hooks and well crafted melodies lay songs about life on life’s terms, reminiscent of such greats as Buddy Holly, Tom Petty, and Steve Earle. The Hurtin Kind play music for grown ups about the world as we see and experience it. It’s a joyous noise, so c’mon along for the ride!
Idealist – This sextet blend the upbeat bounce of modern UK indie rock with their Chicago blues and jazz inflected powerpop roots…and throw in a dash of cello for good measure! Their EP, Fibs, Lies, & Lullabies, will also appeal to fans of Amy Winehouse and The Bangles!
The Injured Parties – The latest project of none other than Larry O. Dean, the enigmatic, erudite mastermind of the bands The Me Decade and Post Office. An old recipe of pop sensibility, songwriting craftsmanship, intricate harmonies, breathtaking melodies, and delicate arrangements can be found in anything the man touches. Check out their latest EP, Chop House Demos, a collection of alternate versions of songs from The Injured Parties’ debut, Fun With a Purpose !
The JoyRyders – Drawing their influences from the last forty years of your favorite rock ‘n roll, The JoyRyders offer something that pop fans of all shapes and sizes are bound to love. Check out their latest CD, See The Good Things, and their IPO show, and you’ll see and hear what we mean!
The Kuhls – Fans of Carole King, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, and Simon & Garfunkel are bound to love the smoky-soulful-folk pop and sibling harmonies of this sisterly duo made up of Renee and Grace Kuhl. The six tracks featured on their debut recording, The Midwest EP, showcase the poetic lyrics, the storytelling, and the unique fusion of styles that define them as songwriters.
Left Turn At Albuquerque – Relying on intricate guitar fingerwork, sultry piano and well-thought-out lyrics, songwriters and co-lead singers Jeff Churchwell and Sarah Scanlon bring you music that refuses to sit in a single niche, but rather appeals to a wide variety of tastes and age groups. Left Turn At Albuquerque is a detour well-worth taking (ask Bugs Bunny!). Their debut release, In Broad Daylight, will appeal to fans of Neil Finn, Squeeze, and The Dixie Chicks!
Little Boy Jr. – If you like garage pop with a sense of vaudevillian whimsy, then you will LOVE Little Boy Jr. The songs on their CD, Local Thieves, combine elements of Merseybeat, surf, and rock into mix that is nearly impossible to resist! Lovers of The Beatles and the Animals, as well as fans of The Everly Brothers and The Knack will want to check them out!
The Lovely Tyrants – The current project of Chicago (by way of North Carolina) singer/songwriter Phil Lomac, who has released two albums of lyrically-weighted, alternative folk-rock material. Somewhere between Elliott Smith and Nick Cave, with an approach that belongs to the experimental popster and a core that is pure and rich with instrumentation, the unrefined sound of his music will also appeal to fans of Ani DiFranco and Sparklehorse.
The Luck Of Eden Hall – A swirling guitar-jangling psychedelic rock experience that is sure to appeal to fans of King Crimson, Cream, The Beatles, and The Dukes of Stratosphear, to name just a few! These Chicago natives just keep getting better and more prolific with each new release – as if they didn’t receive enough critical acclaim for their 2011 release Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 1, they went ahead and released a companion piece, Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 2, which is just as good!
Magatha Trysty – Magatha Trysty was born out of a love for classic pop music, the Golden Age of Hollywood, and old-time country. Standing on a foundation of explosive hooks and harmonies, Magatha Trysty have turned the influence of The Beatles, Cheap Trick, Patsy Cline, and The New Pornographers into its own brand of piano-and-guitar driven power-pop. Their debut full length CD, Another Lovely Party, is due out soon, so watch for it!
John Mead & The Coyotes – A band who excel at the quintessential pop music art-form of gritty Americana laced with sweet Rickenbacker jangle and a down-home lazy feel. Kick your feet up, set a spell, and enjoy!
Johnny Monaco – Though some may know him as the former guitarist for Enuff Z’nuff (who have also graced many an IPO stage!), he’s a very noteworthy artist in his own right! Needless to say, fans of Enuff Z’nuff will dig his music, and so will anyone with a taste for meaty power pop with strong hooks, and he delivers these songs in a live setting with panache and style! His debut solo CD, Overrated, is full of instant classics!
Panoramic and True – P&T blends raw, colorful rock ‘n’ roll with the dynamic palette of a full string section. Add songwriter John Lennox’s lyrical scope and P&T delivers a seductive brand of layered, unpredictable, and smart pop. Like a sonnet cycle in music-form, the songwriting is honest, and spans the emotional spectrum from the dark and intimate to the epic. Check out their debut self-titled CD, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Pieptone – And now, for something completely different…and completely fun!! Pieptone does obscure German lounge pop hits of the ‘50s and ‘60s because Die Sprache die Popmusik ist universal! If you don’t understand now, you will after checking out their IPO showcase!
The PondHawks – The PondHawks sound is characterized by sweet vocal harmonies and classic pop jangle, and they’ve earned the privilege of sharing the stage with such greats as The Doobie Brothers, Danny and the Juniors, and Mickey Dolenz and the late, great Davy Jones of The Monkees. Their debut CD, The Pondhawks Have Landed, is a “must have” for many a pop fan, and they’ve got a new one in the works!
Pop Dollys – Having played together in a variety of Chicago pop bands off and on since the ‘80s (including The Abbeys-see above), the members of Pop Dollys came together in this latest incarnation, and we’re thrilled they did! Their songs wed influences from The Buzzcocks to The Motors and Cheap Trick…in other words, they’re totally fun and really rock! Drummer Jim Hurley will be making his debut with the band at IPO, and then it’s on to release a CD which we can hardly wait to hear!
The PowWows – A Chicago alt-pop-rock quartet who play part indie adult contemporary – with a bit of Joan Jett’s rock marbles and sides of acoustic “it’s over” snot-wipers and a few “oh…..that’s funny” lyrical barbs. Their debut self-titled CD is also sure to appeal to fans of artists such as Sheryl Crow, The Pretenders, and The Gin Blossoms.
The Pralines – They’re led by the ubiquitous Pamela Richardson, who has played IPO Chicago several times. Everything she’s written is lyrical and steeped with emotion. Richardson foregoes the quixotic tradition of the folk singer and instead writes songs of the heart. Like the chewy confection from which The Pralines draw their name, their debut CD, Song of the Day Café, is guaranteed to stick in your head. Bon appetit!
The Queue – Building a reputation for their roaring guitars and unforgettable hooks, The Queue have found a way to fuse solid melodies, indelible harmonies and gritty rock to produce a sound their fans have identified with and called their own. With a distinctive British pop influence, interlaced with an American Alternative sound, their style (which can be heard on their recent EP, Turn It Up, Turn Me On) singles them out from the traditional. As they say in Liverpool, “These are too good!”
The Redfords – Thev’ve moved from the classic powerpop stylings of their debut CD, Miracle at Sunrise, to a more mature, indie pop sound on their latest EP, Come Alive At The Moment. Their chops and versatility has been recognized in another industry, as their music will have appeared in the new movie, The Circle, by the time you read this!
Red Plastic Buddha – Rising out of the ashes of the mid ‘90s Chicago band Sub Rosa, they’re led by singer/ bass guitarist Tim Ferguson (Hop on Pop, Me Decade). RPB blends melodic ‘60s pop with wall of sound psychedelia. Their latest CD, All Out Revolution, is a must have for fans of both space rock and psychedelic sunshine jangle pop!
Red Wigglers – A quirky art-pop-rock combo with horns! Fans of artists such as The B52s, The Talking Heads, or Chicago indie-popsters (and IPO veterans!) Beatnik Turtle should check them out!
The Right Tidys – The latest project of main man Lou Galassini, also of Van Go (see below), features dual lead female vocals, courtesy of Erica Loftus and Michelle Tormey. Powerpop to be sure, but with undertones of new wavey punk. Fans of The Handcuffs will want to check them out!
Shalini – A recent transplant to Chicago from North Carolina (where she shared a musical partnership for a number of years with Mitch Easter), Shalini is a guitarist and bass player whose hook-filled music mixes the late ‘70s and early ‘80s new wave punk and powerpop of bands such as Cheap Trick and Blondie with Scandinavian pop influences such as The Soundtrack of Our Lives and Sigur Ros. Her EP, Magnetic North, is available now, and a full-length is on the way!
The Shifties – With influences as diverse as The Beatles, The Ramones, and Fugazi, you know The Shifties are one interesting band! Their “…winning combination of ’60s inspired pop with a dark underbelly…” (Shindig! Magazine) is displayed to perfection on their latest release, The Patty EP!
The Spindles – They cover decades of the best power-pop music and original music, too… sweet harmonies with jangly, chiming Rickenbacker 12-string and no-nonsense powerhouse drumming – who could ask for anything more?
Squeegee – If you love The Beatles, Badfinger, and Big Star (and what powerpop fan doesn’t?), then you’ll certainly appreciate the music of this Chicago quartet, fronted by the lead vocals of Elle Murphy. All the jangle you could want, with a few melodic twists and turns thrown in for good measure!
Sugar Skulls-Duo featuring Rick Sparks, lead singer of This Magazine is Haunted (see below) and Kate Burns or the Chicago band, Tuffy UK. Their sparse indie-folk pop style with male-female harmonies and pretty melodies is what The Everly Brothers might sound like if they were operating in today’s indie pop scene…and one of them was a girl!
Swinger-A band whose sound has been described as “Beatlesque without sounding a damn bit like The Beatles” (Audities Magazine), and that’s pretty right on! Their latest CD, The Walk (Ginger Records) fits that description to a “T”. Plus, how cool is it when a band is so good that ladies throw underwear at them, which is exactly what happened at Swinger’s IPO Chicago show in 2003??
Telstar – Most highly recommended by the estimable Mike G (see The Valley Downs), this combo is led by Anthony Calderisi and specializes in a warm combination of powerpop and Americana which is sure to please IPO goers!
This Magazine Is Haunted – A powerhouse quartet made up of Rich Sparks, Mark Winkler, Doug Bobenhouse, and Big Al Wooldridge, This Magazine is Haunted cranks out smart and groovy pop songs that will bore their way into your heart and head. Fans of such bands as Guided by Voices, The Apples in Stereo, and The Pixies will definitely want to check them out!
Thrift Store Heroes – An honest to goodness tried and true powerpop band from the backyards of Chicago, featuring the singing/songwriting chops of Drew Neely, who has played IPO several times in several different configurations. The band’s latest CD, Get Back Together E.P., blends Neely’s bright lyrics with to-the-point guitar work to turn out a record brimming with uber-memorable tunes full of hooks, harmonies, and energy – the perfect powerpop trifecta!
Too Much Saturn – Classic Midwest powerpop served up with loads of sticky hooks, soaring harmonies, big drums, 12 string bass, swirling keyboards and a liberal mix of crunchy, ambient and jangly guitars. Fans of artists from Cheap Trick to The Gin Blossoms to Fountains of Wayne should sit up and take notice of these guys!
The Treeshakers – The Treeshakers’ sound is rooted in Chicago’s school of powerpop, in the tradition of Pezband, Cheap Trick, Shoes, and Material Issue. From there, the group branches out and refines their sound, combining it with hard-driven dual-guitars to create what only can be described as Massive Power Pop!
The Unswept – Charlie and Ryan O’Brien relocated from sunny Sheffield, UK to a small but tiny apartment in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, where they write and record power pop tunes. With their hook laden songs featuring cowbell, handclaps, and sibling harmonies, we think they fit right in with Chicago’s powerpop heritage! IPO is honored that they’ve decided to make their IPO showcase their debut US performance, and we look forward to many more!
The Valley Downs – These guys and gal feature a cache of beautiful songs and enchanting live performances, and have taken their show on the road to several IPO festivals! All Music Guide has called their Behemoth EP “a promising debut,” a sentiment with which we wholeheartedly agree…and we’re looking forward to more, more, more!
Mike Vanderbilt & The Suburban Garage Sound – Vanderbilt has graced many an IPO stage from Chicago to LA as the leader of the super-fun power-pop-punk band, The Romeros. He’s back with his latest project that blends his pop-punk heritage with a slice of alt-country which has been compared to the likes of Nick Lowe, Rhett Miller, Ryan Adams, and Paul Westerberg.
Van Go – Chrome plated guitar pop-rock is the name of that tune from this foursome. Richard Milne of WXRT-Radio has cited Van Go as “one of the best bands in Chicago….great songs, great performances, great vocals….” That’s what you get on their latest CD, Pop Your Heart Out.
The Velvet Cadillacs – The Cadillac is the only car for rock n’ roll. When played with a purpose, rock n’ roll is a lethal combination of power and style – think 1962 caddy convertible with 400 hp roaring from its V8 engine. Dirt road. Sunglasses. Wind in your hair. Radio cranked. Driving faster than you should. You don’t care. Powerful. Cool. Smooth. That’s rock n’ roll. And the Velvet Cadillacs’ Pretty Little Boxes EP embodies the sound that should be playing on said cranked radio!
The Viaducts – The power trio as an art form has a special place in the musical tradition of the Windy City (and IPO!), and The Viaducts carry on that tradition quite nicely indeed! Their debut album, Mission to Destroy, is full of catchy melodies with sing-along choruses punctuated by fuzzy guitars, chunky bass lines, and a frenzied drum beat. Check it out now!
The Webstirs – A truly great band whose latest CD, So Long, was hailed by Not Lame as “one of 2009’s more exciting indie powerpop releases.” “It`s chock full of sunny harmonies and Beatles riffs thrown under a metallic shower of fuzz.” (The Chicagoist) But wait…there’s more…their 1994 debut album has recently been re-discovered, re-mastered, and re-imagined…with super-deluxe extra tracks, and cheekily titled The Webstirs Re-Present Smirk. If you like ELO, Jellyfish, and Cheap Trick, and The Beach Boys, and don’t yet own these CDs, go get them…now!
Weekend Vinyl – The new project of Swinger (see above) main man, Mike McLaughlin! As their name might imply, their sound is as smooth and pleasant as a lazy weekend listening to some of your favorite old vinyl records. The gently jangling guitars overlaid with airy vocal harmonies on their debut CD, Easy Chair, are sure to appeal to fans of The Replacements, Wilco, and The Jayhawks, to name but a few!
Wes Hollywood – Whether you love modern punchy powerpop or long for retro British Invasion styled pop, you can feast your ears on Wes Hollywood’s latest record, Fantasy Arcade. Available for download in your choice of mono and stereo versions (!), the record is also available on limited edition double gatefold vinyl, with an LP apiece for each version! Pretty cool and catchy stuff!
Wiplot – Very cool power pop combo fronted by a cowboy hat totin’ gent named Dean Carlson, whose unique vocal style is the perfect complement to the rough hewn, jangly sounds on the band’s latest CD, the cheekily-titled Just Ad Nauseam.
Tommi Zender – Producer, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter Zender plays all the instruments on his latest CD, Will Work For Harmony. We think the title says it all, but if you want a bit more, think Jon Brion, Steely Dan, Todd Rundgren, and Joni Mitchell all rolled into one! He’s rumored to be working on a new one, so watch for it!
U.S. Artists From Outside of Chicago
Certain Stars – Forwarding the melodic sound and powerpop of bands such as Superchunk and Big Star, a Certain Stars hook can take up space in your head for days. All members of this Milwaukee combo take on songwriting duties that uniquely add to the whole. Their new CD, The Great Destroyer, adds a classic album rock feel that’s impossible to resist!
Fun With Atoms – Main men Dan Collins, Rick Smith and Curt Lefevre grew up in the shadow of Lambeau Field during the British Invasion, and boy are we glad they were infected with the music of that time, and traded their cub scout badges for guitars! Their music is a synthesis of British Invasion, roots twang, and surf influences, heavily filtered through their Midwestern roots. Think of influences such as Shoes and Cheap Trick right alongside the “3 B’s” (The Beatles, Beach Boys, and Badfinger), and check out their latest CD, Smart!
The Iveys – No, not a reincarnation of the pre-Badfinger combo; rather, they’re an up and coming El Paso, Texas band featuring two brothers and a sister, who have been getting lots of attention, with recent appearances on FuseTV, “Good Morning Austin”, and college campuses across the country!. Their sound is a testament to their musical journey, with nods to artists such as The Eagles and Matchbox Twenty, but with a voice that is all their own. Their latest CD, Days & Nights, adds a bit more of an edge, and the kind of shimmering harmonies that could only be created by a family.
Jeremy – One of the most genuine, nicest people on the pop scene, as well as one of the most prolific pop artists around. His gentle, John Lennon-influenced pop is as spiritual as it is melodic, and you can hear this for yourself on all of his CDs. This Michiganian can stake his rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame!
New Inhabitants – A quintet of young indie-popsters from Lawrence, Kansas, with sparkling piano pop melodies that are as sweeping as the broad plains from whence they come. Their debut CD, Shot Across The Bow, is aptly named, as they are one you will definitely want to keep an eye on. Their live show has been described as an encounter with greatness that leaves audiences mesmerized. We can hardly wait!
The Pounders – If you like high energy Motor City pop with a dash of jangle, you will LOVE The Pounders! Their sound draws comparisons to everyone from Elvis Costello to The Who to The Romantics and MC5, to name but a few, and their debut CD, You And What Army? will also appeal to fans of Tom Petty and Neil Young. The Pounders live show is a musical experience not to be missed…so don’t miss their IPO showcase!
Red Giant – A veritable supergroup of friends and collaborators from all across the Milwaukee pop scene, featuring members of The Cups, The Buskers, and Jacuzzi Fuzz. Their sound is a heady brew of prog, pop, folk, and good ‘ol classic rock n’ roll. Mmm, mmm, tasty!
The Shake Ups – Combining elements of power-pop, indie rock and alternative, The Shake-Ups are one of Indiannapolis’(by way of San Diego) most engaging bands! Their latest CD, Warm Fuzzies, is a 12-track collection of “lost California sessions,” running the musical gamut from edgy guitar rock to sun-kissed power-pop, sure to appeal to fans of The Apples in Stereo, Matthew Sweet, and Mates of State with its bouncy sweet and sour jangle. A new CD is due out late this Spring, and we can hardly wait to hear it!
The Surf Zombies – One doesn’t normally think of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a hotbed of surf music, but one listen to this band may just make you change your mind! Inspired by the likes of Dick Dale, Link Wray, and The Cramps, The Surf Zombies play all-original hard hitting surf instrumentals that would fit right in as the soundtrack for your favorite B-grade beach party zombie horror movie!
Trolley – If you’re looking for a band who really understands the garage pop idiom, look no further than Trolley! Fans of L.A. Explosion-era Last and all things Paisley Underground will dig Trolley – plus, you gotta love a guy who simultaneously sings and chews gum a la John Lennon, as lead vocalist Pauly Wall does. Their third full-length CD, Things That Glow and Shine, features a lush kitchen-sink production and Trolley’s trademark melodies, harmonies and charging guitars, and is definitely their best yet!
Kerry Tucker Band – The latest project by one of the main men of the venerable Illinois band, Einstein’s Sister, whose Humble Creatures CD has been described as “Like early Elvis Costello taking tea with Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, while Lennon and McCartney fuss over the scones in the kitchen.” (CD Baby). Kerry Tucker Band picks up right where Einstein’s Sister left off!
The Uncommon Houseflies – A foursome from Louisville, Kentucky who play accessible powerpop/rock, with a heaping helping of jangle and incredibly humorous lyrics. Their musical style will appeal to fans of Nerf Herder and Fountains of Wayne, and with song titles like “The F*ck You Song” and “Beating Up Hippies,” you know these boys like to have fun!
Your Gracious Host (with special guest Brian Leach) – Fans of Teenage Fanclub, The Shins, XTC and a host of similarly minded sounding bands will enjoy the debut disc masterminded by former member of Autoliner, Tom Curless. The latest, 1UP 2DOWN, is their most immediate, blending powerpop guitars turned up to 11 with their trademark harmonies and intricate instrumental arrangements! This is a special IPO performance, reuniting Curless with his Autoliner mate and Illinois powerpop icon, Brian Leach!
Andy Griffiths – A Toronto-based pop rock/folk singer/songwriter who writes from gut feeling and personal experience. His latest album, Looking At Life, mixes pop rockers and touching ballads that fans of Tom Petty, Crowded House, and Matthew Sweet are sure to dig!
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!!