IPO Chicago 2013
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Artists From Chicago
92 Degrees – IPO Chicago fan are always 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!
Ateliers – A collaboration of four like-minded individuals working out of The Populist Studio in Wheaton, IL, Ateliers brings together dark pop with catchy alternative rock. Think The Cure meets INXS,…or better yet, just come check out their IPO showcase!
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.
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 new CD, Life and Rhymes, proves he just keeps getting better! We were honored to host the debut performance of Material Re-Issue at IPO Chicago in 2011, 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 whose latest record, On Display, is an actual record…on spiffy colored 12” vinyl no less! Glitter glam garage all the way, baby!
Keith Betti Band – 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 teenagers! 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 nearly complete, 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!
The Bright White – A powerful pop band indeed, with soaring vocals reminiscent of Oasis or U2, balanced by hooky choruses and crunchy guitars. Check out their latest CD, Lose Yourself, and (pardon the pun!) be blinded by their brightness!
Ralph Covert – IPO is honored to host a special solo performance by the main man of The Bad Examples and Ralph’s World! The Bad Examples’ compact disc debut, Bad Is Beautiful, was named by Goldmine Magazine as one of the “50 Essential American Power Pop Albums of All-Time,” and Covert is still going stronger than ever, with eight (count-em!) Ralph’s World discs available on Disney Sound, and a TV pilot in the works! Whether playing to older fans that have adored him since the ‘90s or to the younger set, Covert does melodic catchy pop better than just about anyone!
Dad’s Magazine – A Chicago pop scene super group made up of members from Swinger, The Sun Sawed in ½, The Webstirs, and Dad Factory. Although new on the scene in their current configuration, you know that with this group you can expect sweet vocals, big choruses, jangly guitars, chunky bass lines and super catchy melodies….and what powerpop fan could ask for anything more?!
Liam Davis & Steve Frisbie – The main men of Frisbie unite for a special IPO performance and we can hardly wait! As all Chicago pop heads know, Frisbie is one of the most beloved bands in the Windy City, and their CD The Subversive Sounds Of Love has garnered many a rave review. Davis is also working on his first solo disc, The Dread Knot Awaits, which offers a more gentle folk-edged complement to his heartfelt vocals. This is one show you will not want to miss!
The Despotic Hall Of Fame – One of the most interesting and eclectic bands to grace the IPO stage, their influences include everything from flamenco to samba, rock, soul, and (of course!) pop. Their music is currently available on their Greatest Hits and Other Associated Masterpieces CD, and the soon to be released Kind Regards from The Despotic Hall of Fame. Intrigued? Then come check out their IPO show, and get ready to become an instant fan!
Em & Them – Their driving rhythmic indie pop with hints of Motown is a powerful combination…especially when topped by Emily’s sultry vocals. Fans of Al Green, Martha & The Vandellas, and Lauryn Hill will want to check them out!
Food and Drug – A duo featuring Rick Sparks, lead singer of This Magazine is Haunted, and member of supergroup Dad’s Magazine (see above) 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!
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 live show.
Frosting – The perfect rockish pop/poppy rock confection, their in your face hooks, catchy melodies, and searing guitars will remind you of why you fell in love with rock n’ roll in the first place! Check out their new CD, Frosting II, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Gooey -A classic Chicago powerpop quintet, Gooey deliver punchy melodies that stick in your head overlaid with gritty heartfelt vocals. Fans of artists from Cheap Trick to The Cars to Elvis Costello will love these guys. A band definitely on the rise! Check out their latest disc, Hold On Tight!
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!
The Gold Web – Weaving a tapestry of psychedelic rock, electronic fuzz and beats, and unexpected gentle touches of ambient orchestration, The Gold Web’s music is hypnotically mesmerizing. This is one web you will enjoy being caught up in!
Michael Heaton – A singer/songwriter offering his own brand of jangly Heartland style songwriter rock in the grand tradition of artists such as Tom Petty, Marshall Crenshaw or The Tragically Hip. His twangy hook-laden style is also sure to appeal to many a classic powerpop fan – check out any of his three fine CDs, and you’ll hear what we mean!
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!
The Intimate Machines – A collaboration of old friends with a mutual love of all things rock n’ roll, their list of influences reads like a who’s who of powerpop: everything from The Beatles, Big Star and Badfinger to Guided By Voices, T Rex and The Jam, to name but a few! With credentials from previous projects including The Cells, Box-O-Car, and Big Angry Fish, you know they can also deliver the goods!
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, as well as their IPO show, and you’ll see and hear what we mean!
Kirby Kaiser – A supremely talented young singer-songwriter who delivers the retro melodies and lush harmonies of a ‘60s girl group combined with bubblegum-sweet lyrics, often tinged with the melancholy of teen romance…which she comes by quite naturally, being only recently out of her teens! Her self-titled EP will appeal to fans of artists from Lesley Gore to Fiona Apple, and is sure to leave listeners wanting more!
Phil Knox – Morning Pilgrim, the latest CD from this Chicago singer/songwriter (by way of Manchester, UK!), offers songs that blend folk and western with lushly layered pop jangle. Fans of artists from Arlo Guthrie to The Everly Brothers to Elliott Smith will want to check him out!
Kevin Lee – Fans of modern guitar pop/rock may recognize Lee from his days as Kevin Lee and the Lonesome City Kings. Several years and several records later, Lee is back with his current band, Kevin Lee and the Kings. The 10 songs on the band’s upcoming album Breakout are well worth a listen for their big hooks, chunky guitars and sheer joy to rock out to.
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!
Lights Alive -A Chicago trio who offer anthemic rock arrangements with female lead vocals, enhanced by ambient synth and orchestral sounds. Fans of Angels & Airwaves, Weezer, and Paramore will want to check out their self-titled EP!
Logan Squares – If you crave the catchy musical smorgasbord that used to be present on the radio in the mid to late ‘70s, then look no further than and That is That, the latest CD by this Chicago quartet. Songs run the gamut from pop to rock with some jazz and country embellishment, with a few nods to Devo or The Talking Heads, and some Beatle-esque chord changes and indelible hooks thrown in for good measure! Check them out now!
MariZen – MariZen doesn’t just play music–they assault it. Using an arsenal of loud, dirty guitars, rich, spidery bass lines, thundering percussion, and powerhouse female driven vocals, Marizen’s brand of power-pop is like a charging freight train of sound, chugging along with an energy and dynamism that’s impossible to resist. Their latest album, When The Sun Goes Down, will be available soon!
Minor Wits – A powerpop trio who meld exuberantly hooky indie-rock and surf pop with just the right amount of fuzz! Their debut EP, Bedroom Blues, will appeal to fans of bands from The Beach Boys to The Cars to All-American Rejects to Alkaline Trio!
Night Of Fire – Night of Fire represents the definitive Chicago hard rock sound: searing, punchy, articulate melodies over precisely measured grooves as can only be delivered with raw and honest musicianship. Fans of the project will tell you that you don’t come to a Night of Fire show to choke back shitty beer and reminisce about the good old days. You go to a Night of Fire show for an experience, to come hungry and leave (absolutely) stoked to conquer for whatever is next in front of you.
Gerry O’Keefe – Formerly the main man of The Hideouts, who had an EP produced by Jeff Murphy, of Shoes, O’Keefe has been doing the solo thing for awhile now, recently releasing the CD Whatever Suits You, featuring 14 tracks adorned with the melodic traits and classic sense of pop craft he’s been stubbornly drawn to from day one!
The Outfit – With a spectrum of influences ranging from soul-stroking Blues and Jazz, to screaming, in-your-face rock ‘n roll, The Outfit is an audio-visual escort service that you’ll call again and again to treat your ears right! The Outfit owes its driving sound to the legends who inspired millions: From Muddy Waters to Jack White; from Etta James to Grace Potter; from Hendrix to…well, Jimi stands alone. A debut album is due out later this year, and is sure to be something special!
Panoramic & True – They blend 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 brand new album, Wanderlust, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Placeholder – Currently comprised of Greg Baker on bass and Brian Doherty on drums, this trio is heavy on hooks in 3 minute (or less!) bursts of highly efficient rock. Keep an eye out for [PLACEHOLDER] in 2012 with their infectious crowd favorite F-Bomb and a set loaded with songs about girls, swearing and dressing well!
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 and Danny and the Juniors, as well as 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 their latest EP, Dreaming Over Ireland, is just as good, if not even better!
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 new CD, A Beautiful View, 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 has also appeared in the 2012 movie, The Circle!
The 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!
Rollo Time – They describe themselves as just a bunch of guys who’ve played music together over the years who finally got together and recorded a bunch of songs. Said songs can be heard on their latest CD, Victims of the Crown, and will rock you out in the classic powerpop tradition. Think Mathew Sweet, Cheap Trick, Guided By Voices and XTC all rolled into one, and you get the picture!
The Romeros – IPO is proud to present a special reunion show by this quintessential midwestern band singing classic late ‘70s/early ‘80s inspired power pop in the tradition of The Buzzcocks, Raspberries and Cheap Trick! All four members believe in the power of rock ‘n roll, and are, as the title of their debut EP claims, Cooler Than Your Boyfriend!
Rob Schultz Band – IPO audiences may recognize Schultz as one of the main men behind Swinger, but he’s also put out a couple of fine CD’s under his own name. Influences from The Kinks to The Beach Boys to Elvis Costello abound, but he brings his own unique personality and sensibilities to the fore. His work displays a wealth of hook-packed classic power pop that is earnest, tuneful, sincere, dynamic and accessible. Check out his latest, Tragedy and Comedy, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Sketch Middle – IPO is glad to welcome back these Chicago stalwarts, who have been doing their own thing for over 15 years, while also backing the likes of Ted Ansani (Material Issue) and Mike Felumlee (Smoking Popes/Alkaline Trio). Their latest CD, Destination Run For Your Life, remains true to their trademark crunchy guitars, tight rhythm section and catchy cadence-like choruses, but takes on a plethora of new songwriting themes such as escapism, the anti-hero and adult relationships. Mentor and influence Ted Ansani adds layers of harmony vocals to 6 of the 14 tracks, helping round out the album’s unique sound. Check it out now!
Slushy – Fans of garage pop (whether the classic fuzzed out ‘60s inspired variety or more modern incarnations), as well as bubblegum and surf pop afficianados will surely appreciate All The Rad Dudes, the debut by this dynamic duo; it’s like The Kingsmen, The Beach Boys, The Archies, and The Strokes hanging out and throwing the perfect party on the beach!
Owen Stevenson – As the title of his latest CD, Back To Basics, suggests, Stevenson’s music hearkens back to the good ole’ days of songwriting, story telling, and melodies. Influenced by artists such as James Taylor, Jim Croce, John Mayer and The Beatles, Stevenson is ready for some fun with a guitar.
Telstar – Most highly recommended by the estimable Mike G (see The Valley Downs), this band is led by Anthony Calderisi and specializes in a warm combination of powerpop and Americana which is sure to please IPO goers!
Temporary Pharaohs – Their debut self-titled CD offers lushly layered psychedelica over hypnotic grooves and warm surf-pop harmonies sure to appeal to fans of The 13th Floor Elevators and The Beach Boys. Their latest EP, Down South, builds on this foundation, and adds a soft-pop dimension reminiscent of The Turtles and late ‘60s French movie soundtracks. We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!
Too Much Saturn – Classic Midwest powerpop served up with loads of crunchy 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! They’re hard at work on a new CD, for which we can hardly wait!
The Top Shelf Lickers – Known for their high energy shows with licks that don’t stop and songs that are guaranteed to get stuck in your head, The Top Shelf Lickers bring their unique mix of rock, punk, indie, ska and blues to IPO for the first time. Their debut album, Head First, contains eight tracks chock full of harmony, energy and a sense of hope, and is packed to the brim with hooks that just won’t let go!
Torch Singer – Indie rockers and orchestral pop fans will both find something to love in the soothing yet brooding cello-laced pop on offer by this charming sextet. The boys and girls of Torch Singer have one aim: to find their way into your ears and hearts, so check out their These Remote Places EP now!
Treeshakers – 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 Uglies – The Uglies music is the perfect contrast to their name. Their doo-wop meets garage meets girl group style conjures images of slow dancing with your favorite gal or fella, driving along the beach with the top down, and sipping sodas at the drive in. Fans of Patsy Cline, Dusty Springfield, and Sam Cooke will surely appreciate their Summer EP.
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! Check out their recently released The Surf Song EP, and you’ll hear what we mean!
The Van Buren Boys – Combining the hooky powerpop style of Cheap Trick, the fun-spirited rock ‘n roll attitude of Eddie and the Hot Rods, and the in-your-face punk-pop energy of The Ramones, The Van Buren Boys will steamroll their way into your heart (and your CD collection!) Check out their latest EP, Hit It Quick!
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 (see above). 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.
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!
Waiflike – The current musical project of Chicago-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Richard Neil Miller. Miller writes moody music that is catchy and clever and lyrics that are both interesting and intense, as can be heard on Waiflike’s debut CD, Fifty Pence Piece of Mind. Fans of The Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and classic Chicago power pop will want to check it out!
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 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!
The Welcome – Boy-girl pop: sometimes fast, always loud and catchy. “The band’s latest EP shows that they can be ferocious, playful, and charming all at once. Hopefully a full-length from this criminally unsigned foursome will be coming in the near future, but judging from Bicentennial, it’s impossible to know what to expect from it.” Nick Schneider, The Owl Mag
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. One of the most fun bands in Chicago!
U.S. Artists From Outside Chicago
A Fragile Tomorrow – The perfect jangle pop cocktail, mixed with sparkling harmonies, sticky hooks, and dosed liberally with spine tingling chord changes. If you like REM, Jellyfish, or The Lemonheads (and what self-respecting pop fan doesn’t?!), then you NEED to check out A Fragile Tomorrow’s latest disc, Be Nice Be Careful! One of Charleston, SC’s finest!
The Black Roses – A female-fronted quartet from Peoria, who love all things powerpop, punk-pop, and rock n’ roll. Their Blooming EP will appeal to fans of The Pink Spiders, The Buzzcocks, and Weezer, to name but a few!
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!
Dana DeStefano & Dollparts – Naperville’s Dana DeStefano is a new artist posed to take over the airwaves with her band Dollparts. Her soft-pop meets indie-rock style and lyric driven songs make her music highly relatable. Fans of The Pixies, The Beach Boys, and Rilo Kiley will want to check out their brand new 3-song EP!
Einstein’s Sister – IPO is honored to host a special reunion show by this Moline, Illinois pop favorite! Their 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).
The German Art Students – While lyrically more akin to acts like Devo or Johnathan Richman, the sound of Madison, Wisconsin’s 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!
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!
Nick Peay – Peay was influenced by the songwriters and bands of the ‘60s and ’70s, and that music inspires his songwriting and musical approach. For Peay, then, it comes back to writing songs that convey his own, unique feelings and perspectives in a way that will also connect with an audience who may see it differently. His latest CD, Feathers & Fables, will appeal to fans of The Jayhawks, Cat Stevens, and The Beatles.
Pilgrims – Try as you may to pigeonhole Pilgrims into one genre, but these guys run the gamut between indie-rock in the same vein as Two Door Cinema Club, the same emotional alt-rock territory that Jimmy Eat World occupies, and power-pop hooks that would make Fall Out Boy start taking notes. Harnessing the power of their memorable and infectious hooks, and built on a foundation of thunderous drumming, their new CD, House of Cards, is just the latest step as they forge their own path to becoming a household name!
Matt Pingel – A very talented young acoustic based pop-rock singer songwriter from Idaho (by way of Chicago), Pingel’s style brings together the modern radio pop of icons such as Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz with the classic feel of artists such as Al Green or Smokey Robinson! Check out his debut EP, Smaller Miracles, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Semi Twang – One of the quintessential alt-county/Americana pop bands of Milwaukee in the ‘80s are back and going stronger than ever! Fans of Nick Lowe, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan who missed them back in the day will be pleased to discover them now. Their latest album, Wages of Sin, (their first in 23 years!) was released in 2011 to rave reviews, and they’re back in the studio, working on yet another! The band features E.I.E.I.O. guitarist Mike Hoffmann!
The Shake-Ups – Combining elements of power-pop, indie rock and alternative, The Shake-Ups are one of Indiannapolis’most engaging bands! Extra Pulp, their shiny new full-length CD, is the musical equivalent of a breath of fresh air! The dozen tracks run the gamut from melodic indie-rock to sun-kissed power-pop; stuffed to the brim with honeyed harmonies, meaty guitar runs, chiming acoustics, and new wave-y keys.
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 Paul 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! One of Milwaukee’s finest!
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!
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 for three years running, with many more to come. Thank you, Dave!!