IPO Atlanta 2013
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Artists From Atlanta/Athens
Atomic Clock – Guitarist Michael Goldman played IPO Atlanta with The Eyes a few years ago, and is also playing IPO this year with Starr*Hustler (see below). Atomic Clock is led by Bruce Joyner, who was the main man of the great San Diego ’80s band, The Unknowns. This is Joyner’s first project in awhile, so we can hardly wait to see what he and the band have in store!
Avenue of the Giants – A power trio whose mantra of positive energy, positive thoughts, and positive action shines through in their music. Their edgy brand of rock n’ roll combines elements of grunge, arena rock, and ska with powerpop hooks – check ‘em out at their IPO showcase and on their soon to be released debut LP, Just Between Us!
The Black Sundays – The Black Sundays grew out of wide musical influences: Everything from the Posies and XTC to Nada Surf and Matt Pond can be heard on their debut, The Resonate EP. A revolving musical cast based around singer-songwriter Patrick Finn, The Black Sundays recall the best of ‘90s alternapop while staying in touch with contemporary sounds. Emerging from the Texas BritPop scene, Finn currently makes his home in Atlanta, and Texas’ loss is most definitely Atlanta’s gain!
Casper & The Cookies – Recently named one of Thirty Great Athens (Georgia) Bands in Paste Magazine.com, “…Casper & The Cookies are a fun little rock and roll band. They’re everything you like best about The Monkees, Nick Lowe, the dB’s, XTC, Sparks, the B-52’s, and earlier Bowie all wrapped up in one colorful musical ribbon.” (WXPN Blog) They really are that good, and their energetic live shows are not to be missed!
Brent Daniel – Purveyor of hook-filled “basement powerpop” reminiscent of The Replacements, The Raspberries, or Big Star, Daniel proves that life imitates art (or vice versa). Look for him next year in The Sandlewoods, the story of an empty nester couple in the Atlanta suburbs who find themselves feeding cats, a dog, birds, squirrels, and a rock group in their basement. His music will also be heard in The Sandlewoods LP – pretty cool!
Kenny Howes & The Wow – Mr. Howes comes to IPO armed with his collection of Rickenbackers and six outstanding CDs. His style never fails to combine Matthew Sweet, Beatles, and Beach Boys influences in a new and imaginative way. Tornadoes Here & Past, his latest CD and the first with his new band, The Wow, was well worth the wait for his many delighted fans and critics alike!
Paul Melancon & the New Insecurities – Melancon crafts literate, moody, indie-pop music beautifully brought to life with his band The New Insecurities. “His is the kind of pop that’s not afraid to use more than three chords, and complex ones at that, leaving the listener humming along to a beautiful simple melody… in a category with the most talented of indie-pop singer-songwriters.” (Paste Magazine) His tools are the bittersweet melody, lyrical depth, and sardonic wit found in fellow artists such as Michael Penn, Neil Finn and Elvis Costello. When whipped into a frenzy, he can shake and pop like a drunk Nick Lowe. We can hardly wait for a new CD!
My Rebel Episode – An alt-rock four piece dripping with hooks, and with roots in both the Atlanta and California rock scenes. They never fail to bring the great punk-edged powerpop, and we at IPO can’t wait to see and hear some of it!
New Terminus – An Atlanta-based rock band with high-powered guitar-driven melodies and stylistic pop sensibilities. The band’s influences vary from Built To Spill and Superchunk to the Pixies and Pinback. Combining captivating melodies, intricate lyrical stylings and driving rock music, New Terminus infuses each song with infectious energy. They also feature Patrick Finn of The Black Sundays (see above), locking it down on bass and backing vocals. Some new material will be due out soon, but in the meantime, you can check out their debut LP, Red Giant!
Nine Times Blue – An alternative/power pop band, often compared to the Gin Blossoms, The Smithereens and The Replacements, Nine Times Blue effortlessly blends crunchy guitars, infectious hooks, layered harmonies, and a driving backbeat that will have you stomping your foot and singing along before the end of every song. Their latest album, Falling Slowly, features a veritable national and international alt rock/powerpop scene “who’s who” list of guest appearances by the likes of John Faye (The Caulfields, IKE, John Faye Power Trip), Joe Giddings (JTG Implosion, Star Collector), and David Myhr (The Merrymakers)! We also want to give a big THANK YOU to main man Kirk Waldrop for all he’s done in helping to put together this year’s IPO Atlanta!
Orange Hat – An exhuberantly quirky pop quartet led by Zeus Henderson, and featuring Lee Flier of What The…? (see below). They seamlessly blend influences from Zappa to Brian Wilson to The Beatles to The B-52s and elements of funk and ska into a heady psychedelic concoction of sound and sight (they’re known for their colorful stage shows) that is absolutely infectious!
Blake Rainey & His Demons – Rainey may be known to some as the leader of garage-rockers, The Young Antiques, but he can also do the dark introspective Americana folk thing, and does so to perfection with this project! His latest solo release, The Ambulance Alley Sessions, could be called more of a snapshot of a specific time and place than a typical album. Recorded near Grady Memorial in the Winter of 2005 in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward, the album is a live in-studio (or live in-industrial loft, to be exact) exploitation of Rainey’s emotionally pitch-perfect live performance skills; an of-the-moment, you-had-to-be-there evening. Fans of Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, and Joe Strummer should definitely check this out!
The Raves – Part of the pop music revival spearheaded by punk and new-wave bands in the early ‘80s, The Raves are simply put a great powerpop band. Featuring tight vocals, soaring and jangling guitars, powerful bass lines and a driving beat, they will appeal to fans of classic acts such as The Beatles, Badfinger and The Who. Their Past Perfect Tense and Inside Looking Out LPs have received wide critical acclaim and are considered essential listening for ANY fan of power pop, Brit rock, or just good music. A box set of their music videos entitled As Seen on TV is also available, so check them out now! They were responsible for introducing IPO to Jean Catharell, who helped bring the festival to The Cavern Club in Liverpool, so we’re doubly thrilled to be able to bring the festival to them in their own home town!
The Shut-Ups – A five piece new wave and power pop band whose music will instantly put a smile on your face and set your toes to tapping! Their latest album, cheekily entitled A Layman’s Guide to The Shut-Ups, will appeal to fans of They Might Be Giants, Sparks, Randy Newman, Adam Ant, and The Cars, to name but a few!
Starr*Hustler – Given a childhood diet of ‘70s pop culture sci-fi and FM radio rock, and enabled and prodded by longtime rhythm section co-conspirator Kelly Shane (Enemy From Space, Kenny Howes & the Wow! – see above), singer/songwriter/bass guitar champion Andy Tegethoff headed into the studio to create Starr*Hustler’s debut release, Keep Looking Up. It’s a collection of cosmic pop/rock from the edge of space and time, wrapped in quintuple smooth chocolate that plays like a lost Pink Floyd or Supertramp record, but with songs that Robert Pollard might have penned. Fans of the above listed artists, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin should definitely check it out!
The Sunset District – An indie rock collective led by John McNicolas, The Sunset District will appeal to fans of Elliott Smith, Superchunk, and all cool purveyors of nerdy indie pop with intelligent lyrics and catchy melodies. Check them out and hear for yourself!
What The…? – Atlanta-based trio What The…? takes you on a journey that runs the length and breadth of rock ‘n roll, from classic Brit Invasion to roots-rock/rockabilly to finely crafted power pop to practically punk, as can be heard on their latest CD, You Have No Idea. They have also been instrumental in helping to organize IPO in Atlanta in 2013, as well as back in 2007 & 2008, for which we are truly grateful!
U.S. Artists From Outside Atlanta/Athens
Crash Into June – This is Memphis power pop at its finest, recalling the likes of Big Star, The Raspberries, or Teenage Fanclub with radio friendly guitar driven melodies and soaring vocal harmonies. Their classic out of print 1999 release From Blind to Blue is now available as a download, and their talents (among those of many other current powerpop luminaries) are featured on the recently released What A Concept: A Salute to Teenage Fanclub. Cool!
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 latest 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!
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 played every IPO for three years running (that’s a total of 50, folks!) before taking a brief hiatus earlier this year. Join him on the 4th stop on his latest IPO journey! Thank you, Dave!!