IPO Detroit 2013
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Artists From Detroit
The Afterburners – Featuring members of The Joint Chiefs of Detroit, Sunday Painters, Junk Monkeys and Black Mollies, The Afterburners combine powerpop hooks, raw garage energy, and Motor City soul with a sound that lives on long after the party is over! Check them out now!
Bazooka Jones – There are scads of bands from Detroit, and Bazooka Jones definitely ranks up there with the best from this flourishing scene! They embrace raw rock ‘n roll energy while infusing pop sensibilities and hooks large enough to lift a tank on their self-titled CD. Plus, they’re more fun than a barrel full of…Bazooka!
The Bell Beat – Their CD, Our Manderly, combines shimmering psychedelic folkiness with bouncy indie-pop energy and inventive boy-girl harmonies. Fans of Belle & Sebastian, Fleetwood Mac, and Simon & Garfunkel should definitely check them out!
The Blue Squares – Freakbeat garage in the grandest Detroit tradition of such bands as The MC5 meets Nuggets-style British Invasion influences a la The Zombies and The Kinks in the music of this quartet. Check out their Hard Times CD (or better yet, come to their IPO showcase), and you’ll hear what we mean!
Chris Degnore and the Black Drops – A trio who combine sweet powerpop vocals with crunchy rock guitars and a touch of blues. The results will stick in your head for days! Their debut self-titled CD is one of the better ones we’ve heard this year, so check it out now!
Matt Fig – He’s the main man of the band Fig, who combines some in your face powerpop with an in-your-face rock n’ roll influence. For this set Matt is doing it acoustically, and both his experience (he’s done shows with Enuff Z’nuff!) and songwriting chops will definitely carry the day!
Half Light Music – Front man Cheyenne Goff is no stranger to music industry success, having also fronted Epic recording artist Bliss 66. With their combo of heartland rock with strong vocals and pop hooks, Half Light Music should appeal to fans of artists such as Oasis, U2, and Our Lady Peace.
The Hand Grenades – Consistently delivering catchy hooks and three-part harmonies, The Hand Grenades cite Motown and the British Invasion as primary influences, coupled with modern acts like The Walkmen and French Kicks. Their recent full length, The Morning After, will also appeal to fans of The White Stripes and The Electric Six. They’re at work in the studio crafting their next opus, which we can hardly wait to hear!
The Hendersons – Although IPO typically does not feature cover bands, this one is cool enough we decided to make an exception! Made up of members of The Phenomenal Cats and Chris Richards & the Subtractions, they not only wear their ‘60s influences proudly on their sleeves, they sing and play them too!
Mike Leslie Band – MLB offers an eclectic twist on pop music while delivering hook after hook of spine chilling melodies and hauntingly relatable lyrics. They have the songwriting of The Beatles, the primal energy of Nirvana, and the everlasting soul of Sam Cooke! Their live display is a three ring circus of harmony, complete with a balancing act of surprises that always leaves the audience aching for more. Check them out now!
The Means – Their frenetic energy and inventive chord structures declare them as punky alt-rock, but their melodies and harmonies will please many a pop fan. Their debut EP, You Were Right, will appeal to fans of artists as diverse as Matthew Sweet, Foo Fighters, and Army of Freshmen!
George Morris – Piano pop ballads wrapped in a heavy dose of fuzz, and decorated with some punchy loops and beats are the calling card of this enigmatic and engaging artist. His debut record, Organ Solos, will be out soon, so watch for it!
The Phenomenal Cats – Any band featuring three notable popsters such as Chris Richards, Keith Klingensmith and Andy Reed is bound to be good, but this one is nothing short of…well…phenomenal! Fans of artists such as The Beatles, The Kinks, and Elvis Costello will eat this stuff up!! We’re proud to have this reunion of time and mind at IPO!
The Pounders – If you like high energy pop with a dash of jangle, you will LOVE The Pounders! Their sound draws comparisons to everyone from Elvis Costello to The Who to The Romantics and MC5, to name but a few, and their CD, You And What Army? will also appeal to fans of Tom Petty and Neil Young. The Pounders live show is a musical experience not to be missed…so don’t miss their IPO showcase!
Chris Richards & The Subtractions – Richards is a veteran of several cool Detroit bands, including The Noel Redding Experience, The Phenomenal Cats (see above), and The Pantookas. The band’s latest CD, Sad Sounds of the Summer, is chock full of soaring hooks, shimmering guitars and melodies galore!
The Romeo Flynns – Heavily influenced by the British invasion of the ‘60s, a time when it was all about the song, they learned how to do one thing well: compose songs that people want to hear! Combining their British influences with a sound reminiscent of the powerpop scene of Detroit in the ‘80s, The Romeo Flynns’ latest CD, Masque of Anarchy, is a perfect example of what Detroit power pop once was and is once again!
The Secrets – The Secrets carry on the tradition of creating the kind of smart-catchy-fun pop songs that made Detroit famous! Blending soaring harmonies with sweetly singing guitars, and adding a dash of Saturday morning cartoon whimsy with a touch of Motown production, any of their CDs will fit perfectly in the collection of many a pop fan!
Johnny Spark & The Boys – If you enjoy the high energy classic Detroit punk-pop meets classic rock of the early ‘80s, then you will love Johnny Spark & The Boys. They’ve been going strong since back in the day, and will appeal to fans of The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and Iggy Pop. Their live show has been described simply as “WOW”, so this is one show you will not want to miss!
The Sugar Clouds – Blending psychedelia with synth loops and quirky pop hooks, wrapped in an ambient shoegazer layer of fuzz, they are quite aptly named, as their music will make you feel like you are floating away on a cloud of sweet electronic pop confection. Check out their recent ep, B, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Vox Vera – “A classic power trio, St. Clair Shores-based Vox Vera has been tearing up the Radio OPIE People’s Choice Countdown since we received their tunes a few months ago. We here at the station have quickly become addicted to their power pop/alternative rock sound. Vox Vera brings back the post-grunge sound of the mid-to-late 1990’s and gives it a modern edge…[T]hey kick ass live, too!” (Radio Opie) Pretty cool stuff!
Woodward – Proud of their hometown heritage, the band is named after Woodward Avenue, which bridges worlds by connecting the Northern suburbs to the Southern tip of downtown Detroit. Similarly, the cutting edge modern attitude and vintage, classic tone of Woodward’s sound is putting a new face on the Detroit music scene by bringing together all different types of music lovers. Their music is a powerful mix of vintage guitar tones, hook-heavy synth lines, and creative four-part harmonies that will embed themselves in your brain and refuse to let go!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Detroit
A Band Called Mithras – Main man Bob Wilson has long been a fan of pop, funk and late ‘60s/early ‘70s music. Armed with a basement studio in Howell Michigan, some synths, and some friends, his influences have culminated in the band’s new CD, No Bargain or Reprieve, which is sure to appeal to fans of artists from The Beatles to Aerosmith to Queen!
Fireking – A band sired by former members of Detroit’s own Figures On A Beach, who claim to be the “rock experience of the 21st Century.” The band moved to Boston, and a few years later main men Anthony Kaczynski and Michael “Smitty” Smith formed the great Fireking! The sound on Fireking’s Live A Little, Love A Little CD falls somewhere between Face To Face-era Kinks and The Stooges’ Funhouse, and their performance at The Cavern at IPO Liverpool in 2005 had many of the locals begging for more! Speaking of “more”, look for a new album very soon!
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 Michigander can stake his rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame!
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!!