IPO Toronto 2012
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Artists From Toronto
The 905’s – The 905’s are blasting out of the suburbs with high energy powerpop and punk-wave rock ‘n roll. It’s sleek, it’s fast, and it’s fun! In the grand tradition of fellow Canadians Teenage Head, and likeminded bands such as The Buzzcocks, Stiv Bators, and Johnny Thunders, The 905’s are here to get the party rockin’! If you want to sing along, dance, stomp your feet, or pump your fists in the air, check out their latest CD, Breakout, and their IPO showcase!
All Dressed – A band who embody what it is to be a powerful power-trio! Their music is the perfect combination of old school rock n’ roll meets classic late ‘70s powerpop meets new wave with a touch of soul! We can hardly wait for an album!
Alright Alright – From out of the basements of Toronto comes Alright Alright! Their punchy garage rock is tempered with a touch of late ‘50s doo-wop/sock-hop rock courtesy of such influences as Buddy Holly and a collection of old Motown records. The result is extremely catchy and sure to put a smile on your face!
The James Clark Institute – The musical outlet of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist James Clark, described as “…a witty, concise and sometimes acerbic lyricist with moving, memorable and often hilarious songs.” (Blair Packham – Producer; Singer/Songwriter; Composer; Educator; and fellow IPO performer – see below). Their recent five-song EP, Son of a Sideshow, is a companion piece to 2008’s Sideshow Unattraction, with songs that range from pretty folk ditties to vaudevillian quirky pop that will appeal to fans of John Lennon, Neil Finn, and Elvis Costello.
Clockwise – Check out any of their awesome full-length releases or their latest single, Sugar Coat It (on spiffy 7” vinyl!), and you’ll be instantly hooked! Their sound is influenced by Elvis Costello, The Kinks, Joe Jackson and Squeeze, tempered with more contemporary artists like Crowded House and The Beautiful South, and they efficiently crank out three and a half minute pop songs with hooks that will stick with you long after that initial investment in time has been spent. Their classic Toronto powerpop style fit right in at The World Famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, where they joined us for IPO four years in a row, and we’re very glad they did!
Galore – A storming live act with a fondness for volume, high kicks and melody, who have tapped into their inner Cheap Trick on their latest CD, Amplifier. Fans of powerpop, classic rock, and glam will all appreciate this one, as influences from The Rolling Stones , T-Rex, and David Bowie can also be heard….plus how can you not love a band that combines great powerpop harmonies with liberal doses of cowbell?!
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!
Hunnay! – A band comprised of two women and four men who weave imaginative and uncontrived songs sung with compassion, a cheeky sense of humour, and rich, sweet melodies with bold, beautiful high voltage vocals complimented by a hard edged musical body. Check out their CD, The Other Side of The Coin!
Lawrie Ingles (aka Dr. Jingles) – Mild mannered bondaholic dentist and dad by day….crazy SOB with a sensitive side….by sundown. .Geddy Lee and Bruce Springsteen, and Elton John wannabee…backing player to Jaimie Vernon and, occasionally, Geddy Lee! Many things to many people!
Jetcoaster – A groovy piano pop-rock band from Toronto, who blend in just a touch of acoustic rock for variety. Fans of artists from Randy Newman to Steely Dan to James Taylor should check them out!!
The Jitters – The legendary Canadian powerpop band was started by a twenty-one year old Blair Packham (see below) and his high school pal Danny Levy in 1981. By 1987, they were signed to Capitol-EMI Music of Canada, who released their debut album, and in 1990 the band released their follow-up, Louder Than Words, which enjoyed some Canadian Top Ten action. They’ve toured across Canada opening for The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Huey Lewis and the News, The Byrds, Jeff Healey, Blue Rodeo, and Colin James. Packham and Levy ultimately wrote five Canadian Top Twenty hits between 1987 and 1991, including “Last of the Red Hot Fools”, “The Bridge Is Burning” and “’Til the Fever Breaks” (the latter two co-written with Jules Shear). They can still rock it like they used to, so this is one show you will not want to miss!
Muscle Souls – A captivating blend of folk pop, soft pop and artfully orchestrated pop with a touch of soul is on offer from this Toronto sextet. Imagine James Taylor meets Burt Bacharach meets The Left Banke, and you come pretty close…better yet, check out their new Out Of The Gate EP and their IPO showcase, and hear for yourself!
Desmond Nathan – An eclectic artist who found his calling at the tender age of three (!), Nathan’s music combines influences from classic rock to new-wavey prog rock to the blues! Check out his recent CD, Space, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Sue Newberry & The Law – Sue Newberry is a powerhouse of intelligent pop music. Her dynamic indie-pop layers catchy riffs and infectious harmonies over songs that are as literate and poetic as they are rocking and celebratory. Fans of classic Motown girl groups will also love this stuff!! Watch for their Shine Shine Shine Shine EP, due out later this year!
Oscar Tango – A band here to prove that great pop rock as embodied in the power trio is very much alive and kicking, with a sound featuring punchy guitars and catchy melodies, with a few cool tempo shifts and bursts of vocal harmonies to boot – fans of Thin Lizzy, Squeeze, or Joe Jackson are sure to dig it! They’ve got a four-song EP, Oscar Tango Volume 1, and we can hardly wait for Volume 2!!
Blair Packham – This singer/songwriter/producer/former long time vice president of the Songwriters Association of Canada may be best known to audiences as one of the guiding lights behind the late ‘80s/early ‘90s band The Jitters, but he’s a wonderful performer in his own right. Could’ve Been King, his second solo CD, will appeal to fans of Elvis Costello, Squeeze and Nick Lowe, and rumor has it a third CD is in the works! Check out his live shows; along with his very introspective tunes- he’s a great storyteller!
Ravyn Red – Ravyn Red consistently makes an impact on their crowds, letting the music speak for itself. Said music is a compelling mix of influences from artists such as Lady Gaga to Evanescence with echoes of classic beatnick folk-pop artists such as Joni Mitchell. They’ve completed twelve original songs and are currently working on their first full length album, so watch for it!
Swedish Fish – Inspired by Bullseye Records sales of their old singles from the mid to late ‘80s on eBay, fans young and old have found a revived interest in their quirky, keyboard-driven, post-new wave alternative pop tunes! Said interest resulted in the band reforming after a 20 year hiatus, and in their 2008 CD, Dark Light. A remixed collection of their older work is also being planned, so watch for it!
Symphony of Nine – A hot young quartet who are set to take the scene by storm, combining the pop hooks of The Beatles with the moody driving prog-rock of Rush. Plus, their teen-heartthrob good looks and their love of playing to the crowd don’t hurt either!
T.C. Folkpunk – AKA the project of Timothy Cameron, bass player of indie popsters The James Clark Institute (see above). His solo material, now available on a full-length album under his T.C. Folkpunk moniker, is a bit more raw, bringing to mind such artists as The Clash, Billy Bragg, or Tom Robbins. He also has the unique distinction that one of his songs, “American Dream,” has become part of the curriculum in a high school class in Germany, which is studying the recent impact of American culture on the outside world!
Tea and Coffee – Tea and Coffee is a Toronto based indie-quirk-pop rock band whose sound can be best described as pieces of the B-52’s, Weezer, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, Vampire Weekend, Muse and Feist appropriately fitted into a fun, lyrically driven ensemble. This family-fronted band with siblings Taylor and Alexandra Battista writing and singing adds a fresh and engaging male/female dynamic not commonly seen in high energy music. Check out their seven-song EP, Attention!
Julian Troiano – If his last name sounds familiar, it may be due to the fact that he’s the nephew of legendary Canadian guitarist, Domenic Troiano. However, young Julian is quickly becoming a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with in his own right. He was recently awarded a full scholarship to the famed Metalworks Institute, and is in pre-production for his first EP (scheduled to be released in 2013). Fans of classic R&B/Pop artists with smooth vocals, such as Lionel Richie, Al Green, or Lenny Kravitz will love Troiano and his band!
You vs Me – Nationwide college radio rotation (charting at #1 at a few of the stations), two tours of the Ontario-Maritimes corridor, and a Feature on CBC Radio 1’s “Mainstreet” are just a few of their credits. But where some bands might rest on those laurels, You vs Me have re-crafted their sound to be more aggressive, more melodic, more technical, and more awesome, drawing comparisons to such anthemic rock meets pop-punk artists as Foo Fighters and Blink 182. Check out their new EP, The Book Of…, and watch for a new tour coming soon!
Canadian Artists From Outside Of Toronto
Credit Valley – Credit Valley is a landlocked surf pop/indie rock group from Cambridge, Ontario. With originals that run the gamut from pop punk to ska to folksy alt-rock to surf, and an energetic stage presence, they have gathered new fans with each successive show, so come check out their IPO showcase!
The Foreign Films – Like the soundtrack to a distant summer, The Foreign Films create cinematic songs that remind us of our past while we contemplate our future. Their recent EP, Fire From Spark, consists of four new songs that capture the high energy from their live performances, seamlessly weaving subtle measures of ‘60s psych pop, UK northern soul and ‘80s new wave. Very cool!
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!!
Thought Beneath Film – A five-piece rock n’ roll band from Hamilton, Ontario who take their name from an Emily Dickinson poem, which speaks to the unseen interpretations that can be found by looking in a “different light.” Bend your ear one-way and you may hear sterling hook-driven, guitar pop; bend it another and you may discover a band with a penchant for noise-inflicted pop. The myriad of influences and touchstones taken at face value make their music completely relatable, but the initial unseen layers make them their own musical concoction. Pick up a copy of their Detours EP, and hear for yourself!