IPO Milwaukee 2012

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Artists From Milwaukee

All The Damn Action – An explosive foursome, with musical roots ranging the gamut from pop to metal. Armed with a new self-titled EP and a kick ass live show, ATDA is ready to remind you what you love about local music. Crank the catchy guitar riffs, feel the raw lyrics, bang your head to the chorus, and you’ll know what it feels like to love having a song stuck in your head.
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!
The Form – The Form plays a blend of what they like to call “Eclectic Soul Rock n’ Roll.” It’s a style rooted in the classic rock genre of the late ‘60s, but with no boundaries – allowing them to cross over into other styles such as blues country and a little funk. Their live, raw sound is backed by solid musicianship and smooth four-part harmonies. Dig it!!
Great Lake Drifters – A blues/folk/pop outfit led by Ricky Ganiere. His appreciation for artists like Nick Drake, John Prine, Steve Earl and other folk greats is evident in his music, whether playing solo or with the band. His love and hate relationship with life, religion, notes and words keeps his music passionate and fresh. If you love Telecasters, four-part harmonies, things that are loud and others not so loud, you will want to check out their new EP, For Your Consideration…!
Litmus Vinyl – A band following the great psychedelic folk tradition of such luminaries as The Grateful Dead, CSNY, Bob Dylan, and more recent artists such as The Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo, and The Replacements. Fans of these bands as well as jazz and funk fans will dig the songs on their debut CD, and their live performance is always something to behold!
Midnight Reruns – A powerhouse mixture of classic rock n’ roll swagger, searing sometimes jangling guitars, and powerpop hooks that just can’t be beat! If you love The Rolling Stones, The Replacements, or CCR, you will want to check out their Central Time EP..now!
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!
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!

U.S. Artists From Outside of Milwaukee

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!
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 German Art Students – While lyrically more akin to acts like Devo or Johnathan Richman, the sound of Madison’s The German Art Students is more reminiscent of the pure power pop of the Buzzcocks and the heavy drive of X and the Undertones. Their live shows have always packed a wallop which helps them rise above the “novelty band” that their lyrics suggest. Their latest EP, The Power and The Trust, was inspired by the Wisconsin protests of 2011 and beyond! Fans of IPO West Coast favorites The Corner Laughers and Agony Aunts will also love these guys!
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.
The Outer Vibe – A unique alt-pop/rock wall of sound experience featuring trumpet and keytar, The Outer Vibe really know how to rock it up while still keeping it fun! Their 3rd and latest release, The Monster EP, has been getting radio play throughout the state of Michigan, and they’re already busy at work on a 4th one! One of Grand Rapids’ hardest working bands!
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!
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!
Wally Dogger – An engaging group from Chicago who fans of artists from Fountains of Wayne to Neil Young to Randy Newman to The Rolling Stones are sure to appreciate! Their combination of humorous lyrics, mid-song shifts from glorious harmonies to folky singer-songwriter style to powerpop to rock and back again, and energy is hard to resist!

International Artists

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!!