IPO Nashville 2014
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Artists From Nashville
The Alarms – An alarm is a call to change — something’s happening…and something is definitely happening with this four-piece rock outfit fronted by the songwriting chops and lead vocals of Robert Gay. The Alarms play loud, wet, jangly, fuzzy, earnest, intimate songs that fans of British Invasion and powerpop hooks are sure to love! They are the sounds going off inside your head, telling you to wake up.
Anchor Thieves – Initially formed as Homework, they set out to recreate and perform home recordings of singer/guitarist Cayce Keller. These songs with minimalist arrangements, buried harmonies and undeniable hooks served as an ideal starting point, but their latest CD, Malefactors, takes their sound to a whole ‘nother level!. While the band remains rooted in solid pop songwriting and familiar fuzzy guitar tones, new material flirts with a broader array of styles and thicker arrangements. If you listen carefully, you might even detect a cautious optimism for the future of rock ‘n roll!
Dark Circles – Don’t let their name fool you: the music of this vocal pop trio is anything but dark! They blend cool bossa nova beats, playful boy-girl harmonies, and tantalizing twists of melody into a wistfully upbeat soft pop confection! Check them out now!
The Decadence – They’re a story-telling band obsessed with pop songs, who search for that ultimate musical and lyrical hook that will stick in your head long after the music is over. Like the Pettys and Dylans of old to the Rooneys and The Frays of now, The Decadence is telling their tale through music. They give their all each and every night on stage and don’t stop until the lights go up. They’re a show that sparks attention and will you have you singing along before you know it. You don’t just “watch” The Decadence perform, you experience it. Pick up a copy of their debut CD, So Long Stella, and come to their IPO show to hear and see what we mean!
DOHSE – Formerly from Flagstaff AZ and named Fight The Quiet, their latest CD, The City Below, was recorded in Nashville, and they’ve decided to stick around a while under their new name. The CD is a follow-up to 2010’s EP Let Me In, which included songs that were featured on MTV, VH1, and Clear Channel’s ‘Artists to Watch’ alongside radio favorites Neon Trees and Mumford & Sons. The band has become known for their extensive touring, marketable sound, and energetic stage presence, and can be described as an eccentric mix of The Killers, The Police, and Counting Crows, so come check them out now!
Richard DuBois – He says he owes a great debt to both Elvises, both Heartbreakers, and two out of three Hanks. Savvy Nashville music scene-sters may also recognize DuBois as the leader of Shamalam, a local radio favorite in the ‘80s, as well as more recently as the leader of The Velvet Tremblers and The Forget-Me-Nots. Now performing under his own name, he continues to crank out gritty, poppy, soulful, edgy, and melodic rock ‘n roll with hooks that will stick in your head for days!
Duette – A cheekily named duet comprised of Duane Spencer and Paulette Licitra, who feature ukulele and guitar, fun quirky melodies, and tight vocal harmonies. Duette’s engaging music skips around the genre map, but is always filled with captivating heart. Fans of Cole Porter, The Everly Brothers, and early Sun Records recordings will dig this!
Walter Egan and The Walternative Band – Remember the ‘70s radio hit “Magnet and Steel”?…if you don’t your parents probably do! Egan has lent his songwriting chops and distinctive vocal to many projects since, and shows no signs of slowing down, as evidenced by his latest album, Walternative, a blend of jangly Americana, harmony folk pop ballads, and alt rock grit that will appeal to a wide array of audiences. IPO is honored to host a performance by this veritable pop icon and his current band!
Fox Fun – As their name might imply, these guys are all about good time FUN pop-rock-garage! A bit of jangle, some sly as a fox slippery chord changes with fun lyrical word-play, and a whole lotta fuzz! Who could ask for anything more?
Wyatt Funderburk – Since self-releasing his first record as a teenager in the 1990s, Funderburk has toured the U.S. and abroad with his own bands and others’, while also working in his studio with some of the best rock and pop artists in the country (Kurt Baker, et al). His own recent CD, Novel and Profane, rose to the top of many a 2013 “best of” list among afficiandos of powerpop, Americana, and indie pop alike, so check it out now!
The Great Affairs – If you like crunchy guitars and hooks that embed themselves in your brain (and who doesn’t?), whether your thing is powerpop, indie rock, or Americana, you will find something to love in the music of this band! “…[A]s good as this style of pop gets…hooks and melodies galore, in the vein of Tom Petty.” (Associated Press) Fans of Cheap Trick, Foo Fighters, and Butch Walker will also dig ‘em!
Blair Gilley – A singer/songwriter/guitar player and documenter of life in Nashville (by way of Atlanta, GA and Baton Rouge, LA before that). Rising from the ashes of a botched major label deal and subsequent dissolution of his former band Flight Case For Sushi, Gilley is currently forging forward as front-man and chief songwriter of his own solo project. He describes the sound of his recently released Moores Lane EP as “Elvis Costello and Billy Joel ran into Green Day and Muse in the left side of the Twix factory at a meet and greet, decided to make something delicious for the right side of the factory…” Come to his IPO showcase and get a taste for yourself!
Neilson Hubbard – “From his earliest outings with his Galaxie 500-influenced band, to the infectious power pop of The Slide Project (1997) through the murky, evocative neo-Southern Gothic sound of Why Men Fail (2001) to the hypnotic beauty of Sing Into Me, Hubbard has proven his range and dexterity as a songwriter. His unique Leonard Cohen-esque voice has brought him recognition beyond his own work and led to collaborations with other writers like Cindy Wilson (B-52’s), Kristen Hall, Garrison Starr, and David Mead.” (Will Jordan, Nashville City Paper) His next opus, I Love Your Muscles, features some very special guests and should be available soon, so watch for it!
Joshua Ketchmark – Joshua Ketchmark has made a damn good soundtrack to his life, and you should care. Why? Because it very well could be the soundtrack to yours. He rocks what he’s lived – from falling in love to crashing into heartache, watching friends self destruct to lifting them higher, and searching for truth to landing on the rocks of reality. He delivers it all with melodies and riffs that leave shout-out-loud anthems ringing in your head. Fans of The Beatles, Matchbox Twenty, and Radiohead should check out his List Of Regrets CD!
Greg Pope – “It’s Greg Pope’s power pop world, and we’re all just living in it….Pope’s sound is a compendium of power pop through the ages – from British Invasion to the “mod” sound of The Who to straight-up ‘70s styled Badfinger/Raspberries pop to the today’s modern power pop.” (AbsolutePowerpop.com) Sounds too good to be true? Just check out Popmotion Animation, the latest CD by this affable gent, and you’ll be instantly hooked!
The RA-6600 – Named for a high wattage eight-track stereo, The RA-6600 is an original vocal duo with piano and drums. It combines the pop melodies of Daniel Olivas with the punk abandon of Mark Medley to create “lo-fi pop bursts” not unlike AM radio of the twentieth century. Imagine The Beatles hanging out with Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, and Brian Wilson at a party hosted by George Gershwin, and you get the idea!
Scot Sax – Sax is a Grammy and Gold Record winning singer/songwriter who continues to push the boundaries of his craft. He co-wrote “Like We Never Loved At All” for Faith Hill/Tim McGraw, for which he won the Grammy, and his own “I Am The Summertime,” featured in the blockbuster movie American Pie, propelled him to the top of the charts and a Gold Record. Although his various powerpop outfits (Wanderlust, Feel, Bachelor Number One) have always carried a hint of blues and soul, his latest solo album, In A Mood, brings these influences to the fore, and is sure to be appreciated both by long-time fans and new audiences alike!
Sherbert – Sherbert is “dumb pop music about boys and drinking”, crafted by Michelle Sullivan and friends. Blending the best of classic girl group influences with fuzzy powerpop and garage, Sherbert’s 2013 Never Happened CD is one that fans of artists from The Shirelles to Blondie, The Jam to Teenage Fanclub and The Lemonheads NEED to check out!
The Seth Timbs Thing – As it quickly becomes clear upon listening to any of Timbs’ albums (he’s got several to his credit, both under his own name as well as with his former band projects Fluid Oz. and Hot New Singles), his “thing” is a penchant for melody, big piano flourishes, and even bigger guitar solos. Fans of Randy Newman, Ben Folds, and The Beatles will dig him! His latest EP, Half Now, has us eagerly awaiting the next half!
Andrew Varner – His music is a blend of a few things you might be familiar with: catchy melodies, toe-tapping beats, rich instrumentation, relatable stories, lyrical themes of suffering, love, angst, and wonder, but all these elements are carefully sewn together into something Varner hopes you have never heard before. Check out his debut EP, Make Believe, and his just released full length, Shades of Red, now!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Nashville
Nine Times Blue – An alternative/power pop band, often compared to the Gin Blossoms, The Smithereens and The Replacements, Atlanta’s 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 new album, Matter of Time, is a tour de force of driving, melodic rock, each song simultaneously infused with the craftsmanship of the Brill Building era and the electric energy of seminal bands like Big Star, The Replacements, and The Smithereens. Wow!
The Scruffs – Their 1977 debut, Wanna Meet The Scruffs?, is hailed by many as a classic of the genre, and their sound has been compared to the likes of 20/20, Shoes, Pezband, The Rubinoos, as well as fellow Memphis favorites, Big Star, and many other powerpop greats of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Fans of the genre who missed them will want to pick it up, as well as their more recent works, Pop Manifesto, and Kill! Kill! Still going strong, and delivering their brand of Brit- and punk-inflected powerpop with a punch, IPO is proud to host a rare performance by Memphis’ “other” great powerpop group!
SIRSY – A New York-based indie pop-rock duo chock full of soul and sincerity, with just the right amount of sass! As Aftertaste Magazine said regarding Mel, “Bursting and belting out emotion and substance, she can be the queen of ‘in the groove’ rocking or be simple and delicate.” And get this…she also plays a full drum kit while standing up (she’s been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine), handles bass (played on a keyboard with her drumstick), and even throws in an occasional flute solo. Rich Libutti plays everything else, including seething guitar; bass (on a keyboard at his feet); and he is the anchor to Melanie’s on stage tornado. Check out their latest CD, Coming Into Frame, and their IPO showcase!
Travis Caudle – Chosen by the Australian Government’s Council for the Arts for a coveted 2013 Songwriting Residency in Nashville, Tennessee, Caudle has recently made significant inroads with Music Row’s songwriting and publishing circles, and has found a home in Nashville’s burgeoning rock and pop community. His recently released six-track EP, It’s Just You, was recorded with Grammy-nominated Australian producer Mark Moffatt, whose credits include the likes of Keith Urban, The Divinyls, Stacey Earle, and Neil & Tim Finn, just to name a few. Caudle specializes in guitar-based pop songs that are lyrically preoccupied with transcending the trappings of the mind, living in the present moment, reinvention and quantum physics…check out the EP and hear for yourself!
Sue Hedges – If it isn’t remarkable enough that she has met Prince Charles and has performed on bills with Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris, this Liverpool lass has been blind almost since birth! But there are many sides to the prolific Miss Hedges – she’s been known to display her rock diva persona, throw in a jangle-pop song, a bit of country twang, a heartfelt ballad, and then to belt out some soul all in the space of a single set! Check out her latest CD, The Soundtrack of My Dreams!
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.” In addition to being one of the most entertaining and hardworking powerpoppers around, he’s also been known to display his jazzy side on several collaborations with fellow Canadian singer/songwriter, Mark McCarron. His recent CD, Live With What You Know, was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of its songs, “Anne Marie”!! He’s played nearly every IPO for over three years running (including as many as 50 in a row!), and we look forward to many more. Thank you, Dave!!