IPO Portland 2012
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Artists From Portland
Beautiful Lies -An indie-pop band from Portland by way of Boston, whose music will appeal equally to fans of ‘90s radio rock and twee-pop. They’ve recently finished work on their latest self-titled album with legendary producer Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Soundgarden), so check it out now!
Beyond Veronica -This four-piece dubs themselves “instrospective power pop, with guitars”, but they might convince you that they’re extroverts at heart with their live performances and songs that will call to mind bands like Blondie and The Pandoras. Their fab new disc (or vinyl!), Hard Times for Dreamers, will also appeal to fans of the Paisley Underground!
Blue Skies For Black Hearts -The tracks on their latest CD, Embracing The Modern Age, retains the intimate feel and juicy harmonies of their previous work, but rocks more! Fans of The Beatles, Elvis Costello, The Beach Boys and anything to come out of The Brill Building will still love them, but this one will also make fans of The Rolling Stones, T. Rex, and Stax singles rejoice!
The Contestants -For those who love the harmonic and kinetic, the melodic and energetic, you have found the perfect sphere for your ears to orbit. While hook-filled guitar pop is certainly the guiding principle, a decidedly epic quality exists in their sound paired with a certain structured deliberateness in song arrangements. Though not at all a departure from previous poppishness, their latest CD, Can Die in a Fire, sounds full-grown and has a distinct ‘60s-flavored spice to it, but not without some awesome XTC-ish chord changes!
The Cool Whips -The Cool Whips (pardon the pun!) whip up a cool slice of old school rock ‘n soul reminiscent of the best of Mersey Beat, Sun Records, The Brill Building, and early Motown combined! We can’t wait for these guys to release a CD!!
The Cry -It’s always cool to see such young men sporting ‘60s styled clothes and haircuts, but even more so when they can deliver the goods as well as these guys! Their self-titled debut CD is filled with lots of ‘60s and ‘70s inspired tunes spiked with in your face vocals, hooks galore, and their live show has enough energy to light up the city of Bend!
Flurries -Just as the gently falling snowflakes from which they take their name can all at once grow into a raging blizzard, so too the warm ambient sounds of this unique band from “The PDX” can shift seamlessly into a full-on rock attack and shift right back again. Soaring vocals and psychedelic effects complete the soundscape. Check them out!
The Hugs -“Like The Lemonheads but with more primal yelping, the moment when their retro-referencing tunes seem to be veering too much in a pleasant, palatable garage-punk direction, their teeny weeny singer Danny Delegato – the lovechild of Noel Fielding and one of The Monkees- lets go a grave-spinning, throat-slashing screech before indulging in some energetic and muscle-tearing mic-robatics.” (NME, London). Their long-awaited third studio CD, Dirty Gems, is finally available, and will appeal equally to fans of ‘60s psychedelic garage and early ‘90s Britpop!
Josh and Mer -The musical project of Josh Schroeder and Meredith Adelaide, who found they share common ideas about music, art, life, and their love of the beautiful Pacific Northwest (which they also share on their lifestyle blog, Hipster Decadence). Their debut CD, Planet Music, evokes a dreamy, experimental indie rock sound that will appeal to fans of Bjork, The Cranberries, and Elliott Smith.
Metropolitan Farms -A power trio in the truest sense of the word! The songs on their Our Hero Pleads His Flimsy Case CD achieve the powerpop trifecta: catchy sing-along choruses, sparkling vocals, and energetic lightning quick chord changes! Fans of classic purveyors of the genre such as Jellyfish, The Posies, and Fountains of Wayne should sit up and take notice! Definitely a band after IPO’s heart!
The Quags -Mining influences like the Kinks, Buzzcocks, Big Star, Small Faces, Curtis Mayfield, and The Jam, The Quags turn out the type of smart, fun, hooky and rocking tunes that make the moniker “powerpop” well…powerful! Though looking to the past for inspiration, the Quags are firmly grounded in the present, equally at home in front of a crowd of young indie popsters or old school rockers.
Queued Up -A band who are just as in-touch with their inner Cheap Trick as they are able to channel the British Invasion influences of The Kinks and The Rolling Stones. A 4-song EP of their “maximum powerpop” will have you (pardon the pun!) queued up waiting for more!
Ramune Rocket 3 -Ramune is a musician/engineer whose music is characterized by electric guitar with a wide range of effects, meaty bass lines, high energy drums, and pretty vocals. The songs on her debut album, Truth and Beauty, are fun and cheerful on the surface, but the lyrics have deeper meaning. Her blend of upbeat pop with early punk influences will surely appeal to fans of Radiohead, Regina Spektor, and Veruca Salt…plus the band really rocks!
The Satin Chaps -Aided by the howl of their three-piece horn section, the whiz-bang of their Hammond organ, and the percussion necessities to make it all sparkle, the Chaps specialize in sweaty, booty-shaking, good-times music. The group’s self-released debut long player, Might I Suggest The Satin Chaps, is part homage to the likes of Booker T and the MGs and Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass. Groovy!
SuckerForLights -A dreampop duo with a mesmerizing warm atmospheric sound. “Their latest single, “To Love, We Swore” from their upcoming debut LP, is reminiscent of Cocteau Twins, with sweeping vocals, atmospheric synths, and understated guitar hooks.” (Portland Mercury) Lead singer Olivia Voss’ vocals will also appeal to fans of Kate Bush and The Smiths.
Throwback Suburbia -Collectively these four individuals from “the PDX” are irrefutable. All being musical purists, they seem to have tapped into the heart and soul of everything we love about rock music. Throwback Suburbia blends infectious hooks, pop sensibility and a confident yet unpredictable rock ‘n roll attitude that can be described as immediate and refreshingly familiar. Their debut self titled full length CD made the top of many a “Best of” list in 2009 and their recently released second disc, Shot Glass Souvenir, is even better!
The Upper Lower Class -A band led by Portland-based (by way of Seattle) singer/songwriter Same Wegman, and also featuring Sam Densmore, who has previously played IPO Portland under his own name, and with his band Silverhawk. The band’s sound derives from a combination of blues, folk, and indie-rock that will appeal to fans of Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, The Beatles, and Radiohead alike!
Sean Wagner and the Ne’er Do Wells -Drawing comparisons to Spoon, Pete Yorn, Elvis Costello, and Death Cab For Cutie, and combining a pleasant voice with captivating rhythms, strong hooks and melodic instrumentation, Wagner’s songs pull the listener in and don’t let go until the last note. The songs on his All The While CD were just meant to be heard on the radio – and they have been!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Portland
302 -A band formely based in Atlanta, but now relocated to Eugene, Oregon, who offer up guitar pop founded on The Beatles and legions of bands they’ve inspired, like ELO, Barenaked Ladies, and Coldplay. 302’s live shows feature originals from their debut CD, Platform Souls, as well newer tunes from their forthcoming sophomore CD.
Phamous Phaces -A purveyor of those classic power pop stylings, this Salem, Oregon band’s New Pop City CD was one of the better discs of 2001, and their long awaited and most recent disc, Spider Ball, is even better, and word has it a new disc is due out soon! They’ve played many an IPO in many cities around the world, and we’re always glad to have ‘em!
Sweet Diss and The Comebacks -A quartet from all over Washington state who describe their music as catchy melodies, soaring harmonies, and more key changes than your ex-girlfriend’s apartment! Lovers of all things soft- (and also not so soft!) pop from The Beach Boys and Linus of Hollywood to Jellyfish and Green Day will all find something to appreciate in their Emerald City Love Song CD!
The Russ Tolman Band-The leader of True West, one of The Paisley Underground’s most beloved bands, whose “guitar poetry” will never be forgotten, nor will landmark albums like Drifters. We had one of those rare, unforgettable “pinch me” moments at International Pop Overthrow, when the original line-up of True West performed together for the first time in 20 years at IPO Seattle in 2006, and we’re sure IPO Portland is in for something really special as he steps out under his own name!
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 hopefully many more to come. Thank you, Dave!!