IPO New York 2013 (Spring)
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Artists From New York/New Jersey
The Anderson Council – These Jersey boys have the most authentic, Creation-influenced mod-psych sound conceived by any band west of The Thames, and the band has both the smarts and skill to convey the sense of whimsy that defines late ‘60s British pop-psych. Their long-awaited brand new disc, Looking At The Stars, is finally available!
The Baghdaddios – These self-declared “runts” of the Lower East Side’s post-Ramones power-punk era have outlasted the majority of their original peers, and are still going strong! Their latest CD, Autopsy-Turvy, tackles multiple styles and achieves a major-label sound that not only adheres to their original pop-with-a-mutated-twist signature, but also serves to enhance it!
Bastards of Melody – A rather aptly named band who adhere to a simple formula: impossibly catchy songs with great melodies and interesting arrangements. The songs on their latest CD, Hurry Up and Wait, feature crunchy/jangly guitars with some folky, acoustic flourishes thrown into the mix. Add melodic bass, straightforward drumming with vintage keyboards and sweet harmonies and it’s clear why they draw comparisons to classic power pop bands such as Big Star, Cheap Trick or the Raspberries. Check ‘em out now!
The Beat Rats – These rats are so cool, even cats (or should I say Kats?) love ‘em, as their debut CD, A Cellar Full of Rats!, was released on Kool Kat records. Their blend of Merseybeat, surf guitars, and campy pop chic a la the Batman TV Show is totally infectious and almost impossible NOT to dance to! As a testament to where their hearts lie – and to the authenticity of their sound – their new CD, Have Mersey!, was just released on Cavern Records!
Paul Bertolino – Fans of psychedelic soft pop and baroque pop from The Association to Burt Bacharach to The Cowsills and beyond NEED to check out Bertolino’s latest opus, Where The Buildings Hit The Sky! He’s also got a groovy back catalog, so dig in!!
Haley Bowery & The Manimals – A band who serves up in-your-face glam-punk-powerpop just the way we like it! Fans of No Doubt, The Pretenders, Cyndi Lauper, and Hole (to name but a few!) will LOVE their latest album, Born Strange!
The Brixton Riot – Combining American and English influences, The Brixton Riot fuses elements of ‘70s power-pop and punk, ‘80s jangle-rock and ‘90s indie rock into a sound that is both familiar and distinct. Their latest LP, dubbed Palace Amusements as a nod to their earliest rehearsals in Asbury Park, is sure to appeal to fans of The Replacements, Elvis Costello, The Jam, and Fountains of Wayne!
Bubble – A tight, rugged power pop band whose 2000 CD, Bash Bish, sounds exactly as the title would imply. “Principal songwriter Dave Foster constantly gets it right, fashioning killer hooks into a collection of songs which demand the listener’s attention throughout and are guaranteed to provide a lot of pleasure to those of a pop inclination” (Luke Magazine). Not surprisingly, Bubble also excels at loving recreations of The Beatles repertoire, which they have been performing to sell-out crowds!
Buddy Love – That’s right…the New York power pop sensation of the ‘80s are back together again, and IPO is thrilled to have ‘em! If you missed their reunion show at IPO in 2007 – their first in 26 years – you won’t want to miss ‘em again, as they’ve been going strong ever since! Their high-energy, classic sounds are sure to get everyone out on the dance floor and, believe us when we say they’re just as good now as they ever were! Check out Now & Then, a cool CD mix of their re-issues and new recordings!
Madison Cano – A chanteuse who embodies the modern Lower East Side folk pop sound! She’s become known for her whimsical melodies, catchy hooks, and breathtakingly heartfelt and powerful vocals. Check out her latest disc, Pulleys, Levers, and Other Simple Machines, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Changing Modes – Led by Wendy Griffiths and Yuzuru Sadashige, a pair of classically trained composers whose influences range from Bartok, Stravinsky to Nirvana, King Crimson & Sparks, Changing Modes creates unique, darkly complex art rock delivered with punk energy and prog-rock flair, all the while maintaining a melodic pop sensibility. Their latest CD, In Flight, features meticulous arrangements with intricate vocal harmonies and tight rhythms, shifting from prog to punk to funk and a bit of everything in between! Fans of Zappa and The B-52s will love this band!
Crazy Mary – Crazy Mary carries the flame for a time when downtown Manhattan was at its post-punk apex: gritty, smart, artful, edgy and sexy, before its soul was taken over by corporations. But true to the ideals of the era from which they emerged, the band remains fully engaged with the modern, eschewing sentimentality and nostalgia. Their latest album, Dreaming In Brilliant Color, carries their music forward and keeps their mélange of psychedelia, tribal music and Velvet Underground-inspired no wave very much alive and well. Check it out now!
The Heartless Devils – They blend Power Pop, Hard Rock, and Punk into a sound that is as aggressive as it is catchy, and the vibe is a good one. Raw, fun, hook-filled Rock n’ Roll; think the Ramones meet Cheap Trick with some Social D and Plimsouls thrown into the mix for good measure. Or better yet, check out their “self-titled” El Diablo Sin Corazon CD…or come to their IPO showcase!
The Hillary Step – A NYC-based acoustic band whose songs feature an eclectic mix of styles, from rock to reggae to jazz to pop. Their lush vocal harmonies, as well as tight and unusual instrumental arrangements, combine to form a sound which is both unique and accessible. Their latest CD, Note To Self, is sure to appeal to fans of Jellyfish, Chicago, and The Beatles, to name but a few!
John Laprade – A former member of New York power pop outfit Astro Chicken, who throughout the late ‘90s and early 2000’s were much praised by such as The Daily News, Mojo Magazine, and Hits Magazine. His debut solo album, World Class Faker, displays and obsession with The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Squeeze and others, and has won the hearts of many an Americana and powerpop fan!
Latvian Radio – As their name might imply, Latvian Radio plays super catchy radio friendly pop songs. Their CD, Kill The Static, blends influences from some of the most beloved pop bands from the ‘60s through today, such as The Kinks, Fountains of Wayne, The Archies, and The Ramones – yes, it’s that good!
Lieder – Formed in the spring of 2007, Lieder (which means “songs” in German) was personally given its name by rock legend Pete Townshend of The Who! They display an aggressive style of power pop, steeped in the tradition of American and British rock n’ roll, and thrive on playing live. They revel in the immediate response to their energetic style of play and challenge anyone not to enjoy their enthusiasm!
Jeff Litman – Those who loved his debut, Postscripts, will be pleased to discover his recently released sophomore effort, Outside, which kicks his sound up a notch (or two!). His music combines the gritty Americana of Tom Petty, the harmonic savvy of Elvis Costello, and the undiluted melodicism of Paul Westerberg. Fans of those artists should definitely check him out!
London Egg – This totally groovy band blends the chic of swinging London with the modern mod rock energy of their New York home turf. Fans of artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces, T-Rex, and The Jam will dig their debut CD,…In The Beginning!
Michael Lynch – Michael Lynch (who regular IPO audiences may remember as the main man of The Anything People) missed out on the ‘60s but likes to pretend he didn’t. Does he pull it off? That’s up to you. But whether he does or not, he still puts forth some catchy songs, dipping them in dishes of Beatles, Kinks, Byrds, Hollies, Gants, E-Types, Cryan’ Shames, The Move, and virtually every band on the two ‘Nuggets’ box sets!
meyerman – A band who strive for crunchy power pop goodness in all they do – and succeed quite nicely! Their long awaited debut CD, who do you think you are? was mixed by Kurt Reil of the Grip Weeds, and was hailed as one of the best powerpop releases of 2011! If you like Badfinger, Big Star, Cheap Trick, Teenage Fanclub, and The Replacements – and let’s face it: what powerpop fan doesn’t? – then you will love meyerman.
The Modulators – Their reunion show at IPO New York in 2009 meant a lot to me personally, as in the early ‘80s I used to hang around guitarist Joe Riccardello as he managed the quintessential northern New Jersey record store, Vintage Vinyl. Joe is responsible for turning me onto artists like R.E.M. and Marshall Crenshaw, and when I found out he was a member of a Crenshaw-inspired band called The Modulators, I couldn’t wait to buy their first 45 (“She’s So Cynical”). They have the distinction of playing The Dirt Club more than any other band, and their excellent album from 1985 is available as a reissue on CD by Kool Kat! They’ve floored IPO audiences from New York to Liverpool every time they’ve played, and I can’t wait to see ‘em do it again!
Freddy Monday – A Long Island based singer songwriter with numerous TV and film credits, Monday certainly knows his way around a good hook. His latest CD, Everything Anyhow, shines with sparkling melodies that can’t help but make you feel good. He’s got a new album due out later this Spring, but if you want a preview you can go see the new Steve Jobs biography movie Jobs, as his song “There Were Times” is featured in the soundtrack! Fans of artists from Brendan Benson to The Monkees to Marshall Crenshaw will want to check him out!
Daniel Novick – Combining a twangy Americana singer-songwriter rock ethos with sweet and radio-friendly indie pop vocals and irresistible melodies and hooks, Novick’s new Devil Down CD will appeal to a wide range of audiences. Catch his IPO showcase, so you can claim you saw him before he became a household name!
The Peaces – Concentrating on the three-minute song and the six-part harmony, The Peaces are here to refresh, renew and remind you that tunes that make you feel good are a reward. Their latest CD, Is, Are, Was, Were, was one of the best of 2007, and we can hardly wait for their next one!
Jana Peri – Jana has had two critically acclaimed CDs: Catching Flies With Vinegar, produced by Daniel Rey (Ramones) features “Go Ahead,” (also on International Pop Overthrow – Volume 7) and a self-titled EP, which boasts “Dating Sucks.” In 2009, Jana released her single “I Hate The Holidays (But I Love Spending Them With You)”and 2010 saw two new ones: “Ballerina Of The Bowery” by Gar Francis (Doughboys) with drums by Kurt Reil (Grip Weeds), as well as Jana’s own, “Gallery Whore.” Jana also sings with Loser’s Lounge.
Matthew Pop – Matthew Pop is an artist who you’ve probably heard a dozen times but couldn’t pick out of a lineup. Still, Pop has had his music featured in a number of popular MTV shows, in film, on NYC radio and has even been the opening act for Regina Spektor. This prolific songwriter whose songs sound like a cross between Weezer, Superdrag, and The Beach Boys, has so much sweet pop-dom to offer that his two latest releases are compendia of his work: Last year’s Lights Out: The Best of Matthew Pop, featuring 20 of his “greatest hits,” and the just released Matthew Pop Trash: a collection of rarities, demos, and live tracks. Definitely an artist well-deserving of powerpop stardom!
Pemberton Roach & Trouble Club – Pemberton Roach is a New York based bassist, vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, with a penchant for writing tasty pop hooks that will stick in your head for days! A dynamic live performer, he has played thousands of gigs with over 100 different artists at venues ranging from hay wagons to soccer stadiums, sharing the stage with a variety of music legends, such as the Dictators, INXS, Living Colour, Psychedelic Furs, and New York Dolls, so this is one show you will not want to miss!
The Roebucks – Hard-hitting gritty powerpop in the tradition of such bands as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Springsteen, or Cheap Trick is the order of the day for these New Yorkers! A band who will remind you why you fell in love with powerpop in the first place! Check out their latest self-titled EP, and you’ll hear what we mean!
The Rousers – Do you dig to rock? Discover the new standard for old school hard rock and roll. The Rousers, NYC rockers baptized at Max’s Kansas City/CBGB’s, born to bring it with already-classic sounds you will love forever after. Their long-awaited (and very aptly named!) CD, Playing the Rock and Roll for You! was worth the wait!
The Royal Drag – The brainchild of Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Josh Fox, who has played with, recorded, produced, managed, and hung out with countless musicians in New York City and abroad. The songs on their eponymous EP center around themes of disaffection and isolation, with a draggy but cheery pop sound, influenced by artists such as The Eels, Elliot Smith, Wilco, The Smiths, and Pavement. Pretty compelling stuff!!
Sonny Lee & The Layovers – A band with a plan to keep it sneaky simple: make a little noise, rattle some glasses, pound some tables, and tip some chairs..and in the process, put a smile on your face with their brand of indie rock meets twangy powerpop. Fans of artists such as Steve Earle, The Rolling Stones, REM, and The Smithereens may want to sit up and take notice of this one!
Lane Steinberg – One of the main men of The Wind (see below), the prolific Mr. Steinberg has penned many a quirky pop song and hauntingly beautiful melody, and has graced quite a few IPO stages, both in his guise as a solo artist or in one of his many duo or band projects. Case in point: his latest release is a collaboration with his old schoolmate, powerpop darling David Grahame …never mind that they haven’t been in the same room in 30 years! We never quite know what he’s got up his ample musical sleeves when he comes to IPO, but we know it is sure to be something special!
Joel Streeter – Joel Streeter has been hailed as “one of pop’s best kept secrets”, as “a true pop talent”, as “an indispensible songwriting talent”, and as an “avowed melody junkie” drawing comparisons to Neil Finn, XTC, Elliott Smith, Paul McCartney and Badly Drawn Boy among others. Having followed-up his debut album, Hear Me Out, with his second effort, Matador, he continues to draw praise and attention from music lovers everywhere.
The Tea Club – Bet you didn’t think we’d have an honest-to-goodness prog band at IPO, but we surely do in the form of The Tea Club, a five-piece combo who are damn good at what they do! Their latest CD, Quickly, Quickly, Quickly has four songs so you’d think it would be an EP. Wrong! It’s a full-length with songs ranging from 6 minutes to 17 minutes! Led by The McGowan Brothers, The Tea Club are doing their best to ensure that this precious genre of music will never die!
The Thigh-Highs – Part garage, part powerpop, and totally fun, The Thigh-Highs are unabashedly influenced by ‘60s AM radio, and describe themselves as “Big Star on different drugs”. Sound intriguing? Then come check out their IPO showcase!
The Turnback – As their name might imply, they take much of their inspiration from the past, but these guys from the boroughs and environs of New York have a sound that is also sure to appeal to fans of modern indie rock jangle and psychedelic garage pop. Check out their debut CD, Drawn In Chalk, (as well as the movie to which the CD serves as a soundtrack, Drawing With Chalk), and you’ll hear what we mean!
The Whims – A band who could well be the musical love-child of Elvis Costello-style powerpop and The Shins’ gentle indie rock, raised on the glitz and glam of T Rex! Their debut self-titled CD is now available in both download and CD format so that powerpop fans of all ages and technological inclinations can enjoy!
The Wind – What an honor it is for me to have these guys at IPO again! The band were regulars of both the Florida and New York scenes in the ‘80s, releasing two ultra-fine albums and one EP during that period. Main men Lane Steinberg (see above) and Steve Barry (nee Katz) did some solo projects in the ‘90s, and have lately teamed up and released several cool albums as Tan Sleeve. You can also re-fall in love with The Wind’s 1984 classic, Where It’s At With The Wind, available for digital download on iTunes!
Zombies Of The Stratosphere – The duo of J and A Zombie continue to churn out gem-like compositions with maddeningly infectious tunes and obscure lyrics, as they have on their latest CD, Ordinary People. Following in the tradition of their idols, Ray Davies, Elvis Costello, and Brian Wilson, their sound is evocative of classic Britpop wrapped in a cloud of gorgeous yet sometimes quirky orchestration.
U.S. Artists From Outside New York/New Jersey
Steve Barton – Most of you know Steve as the man behind the awesome ‘80s band Translator (you know you can sing “Everywhere That I’m Not” in your sleep…and you probably have!). His Charm Offensive CD, with his LA band, The Oblivion Click, earned three stars from MOJO Magazine – which ain’t easy! – and their latest, Gallery, is just as good, if not better! If you love Barton’s music, you’ll also want to check out Different Time, a Translator double-CD set of outtakes, demos and live tracks hand-picked by the band!
Michelle Carter – She’s a force to be reckoned with in the LA music scene (and in the industry at large, as she frequently travels to other locales, such as Austin and Nashville, and has played IPO in her native Vancouver in addition to her home of LA) and will have a career to aspire to for years to come. Her voice has already been heard on the first season of The L Word, as well as on Sony Music (Media Software) Pocket Diva Acid Loop Pack and her debut LP, So Simple! Not one to rest on her laurels, she’s got both a solo CD and a duet project with Keith Megna that should both be available soon!
The Demos – A Rochester sextet whose debut CD, Lovely, and intricate boy-girl harmonies are sure to appeal to fans of crunchy powerpop, sunshine harmony pop, and indie rock alike! Fans of The Beach Boys, The Strokes, Big Star, and The Cars should definitely check them out!
The Lazy Suns – A tasty brew of twangy Americana-rock is served up warm and inviting by five seasoned musicians from New York’s Hudson Valley. The songs on their debut self-titled EP will appeal to fans of Townes Van Zandt, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and The Traveling Wilburys, to name but a few!
John LT – Hailing from the sprawling lawns and wall to wall carpeted basements of Cockeysville, MD, is this gent whose new release, Suburban Superstar, is a bombastic collection of piano driven sunshine drenched ‘60s pop and psychedelic ‘70s soul. With influences spanning several decades, the record is stacked with strings, horns, harmonies and grooves to keep your foot tapping and leaving you with the melodies stuck in your head. So put your headband on, warm up the 8-track and listen up!
Milkshake Jones – Some call it power-pop. Some call it alt-country. Some call it rock. Just call Milkshake Jones the hottest star in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s musical universe, as they’re a blistering combo that blends the best of contemporary power-pop, ‘60s-vintage rock and a sprinkling of alt-country to create something entirely new. Check out their latest CD, Gala Days, and their IPO showcase, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Starbelly – Beloved power poppers, they’re one of the finest bands ever to emerge from the Baltimore pop scene, and their latest CD, Everyday And Then Some, is gorgeous from start to finish. Fans of Velvet Crush, Big Star, and Badfinger, take special note!
Steve and Robert from Translator – Yes, it’s true: Steve Barton and Robert Darlington are gracing IPO New York with their presence, and a bunch of Translator songs! This is the closest thing we’re gonna get to a full-fledged Translator reunion, so come on down to their IPO show!
The Super Fuzz – The Super Fuzz makes no apologies about wearing their classic rock sensibilities on their sleeve while infusing ‘70s-style production reminiscent of the post-punk movement. With influences from Jellyfish and Redd Kross to The Beatles and The Beach Boys, the Miami-based group’s debut CD, Art Noise, is a 12-song reflection of their unabashed love of guitar rock and indie pop.
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 three years, with many more to come. Thank you, Dave!!