IPO San Francisco 2014
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Artists from San Francisco
The American Professionals – You’re sure to get your RDA recommended allotment of procrastination, self-indulgence and low self esteem, and still get to savor the joys of catchy melodies, grinding guitars, and fluffy billows of lush harmony with this band…not to mention that their live shows are always entertaining! Their new album, We Make It Our Business, displays main man Chuck Lindo’s way with a turn of phrase!
Jason Berk – A critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who comes to San Francisco by way of New York, Berk has proven himself to be a musical tour-de-force, teaching himself guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, ukulele, mandolin, and banjo, and garnering nationwide radio-play. His debut full-length album, Real Love, will appeal to fans of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Costello, to name but a few! A second full length is currently in the works, and we can hardly wait!
The Bobbleheads – An absolutely engaging trio who’ve created, as they put it, a “niche of niceness” with their “bubblegum flavored indiepop”, in which can be heard musical influences ranging from Flower Power Pop to experimental chamber music! Their Automatic Fun CD still ranks as one of the good feelin’ CDs of The New Millennium, and their latest, Make Yourself Happy, is even better!
The Bottle Kids – The latest project of recent Austin, TX ex-pat. singer/songwriter/guitarist Eric Blakley, The Bottle Kids embody powerpop circa 1979 – which, by the way, we think is a GOOD thing! Think Paul Collins (for whom Blakely recently performed as a lead guitarist/background vocalist), The Knack, and Supertramp rolled into one! Their debut CD, Such A Thrill, was released at last year’s IPO San Francisco (for which we are honored), and we can’t wait to see ‘em again!
The Campbell Apartment – An indie pop band from New York City who recently moved to the city by the Bay. The Village Voice hailed their full-length debut album, Insomniac’s Almanac, as one of 2008’s best. They are fast at work on their next album (tentatively titled IN!) produced by New York guitar rock legend Jody Porter (Fountains of Wayne). With their slightly acerbic witty lyrics, driving melodies, and pretty harmonies, they’re a band that fans of both powerpop and indie rock can love!
The Clarences – A melody driven powerpop rock combo hailing from Oakland, The Clarences offer a fresh perspective on the often formulaic pop band routine, mixing in all kinds of fun elements, be they glam, girl-group, or classically influenced. Their music and their concerts are lively, sometimes silly and always rocking!
Eric Friedmann and The Lucky Rubes – The songs on their latest CD, Telephone Girl, perfectly straddle the line between the alt-country vibe of bands like Walter Clevenger and The Dairy Kings or The Jayhawks and the traditional power pop of Cheap Trick or The Knack. The new lineup that made its debut last year rocks harder than ever…and boy, can Friedmann write a good hook!
Grandma’s Boyfriend – Hard-driving pop punk with just the right amount of silliness is the hallmark of this fun-loving foursome. Imagine The Ramones joining forces with Chixdiggit, or better yet, check out their IPO showcase and their recent 7” split with The Steadys!
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands – If you like the grittier, angular side of folk rock with just a touch of twang, you will certainly appreciate the music of this man and his band(s)! Having been a member of The Meantime, True West, Cottonmouth, The Mariettas, and Denim TV, he now performs with his band The Dirty Hands. The current live band features Greg Lisher of Camper Van Beethoven on guitar; Kevin T. White of Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express on bass, and long time co-producer/engineer Matt Boudreau on drums. The band’s latest CD, Risk Profile, is a mix of delightful western ballads and pure twangy powerpop; certainly something for everyone!
POUNDERS – A rock/pop-punk power trio based out of San Jose, CA, whose style blends infectious melodies, catchy hooks, driving bass lines, and punchy songs with a dash of attitude. POUNDERS has a unique range of tastes that influence their music, including rock, punk, metal, dance, and hip-hop, all of which are evident on their Hard Dirty and Fast EP. This trio literally owns the stage with their electrifying stage antics, leaving audiences longing for more, so make sure to catch their IPO showcase!
The Real Numbers – This quartet makes a musical mash up of the best the Bay Area has to offer. Part powerpop, part quirky melodic rock, seasoned with a generous heap of harmony and a dash of twang. With tight arrangements, lush chords, relentless rhythm and lyrics both smart and smartass, The Real Numbers conjure an era of songwriting come and gone from commercial airwaves, but carried on by the likes of Fastball and Fountains of Wayne. Check out their debut disc, Welcome To The Numberhood, now! Need we say more?!
The Spinning Jennies – IPO is honored to host a rare reunion show by the veritable kings of the mid to late ‘90s San Francisco powerpop scene! Led by the songwriting prowess of Jeff Shelton (who has also appeared at IPO with more recent projects Hot Nun, Headslide, and The Well Wishers), The Spinning Jennies were (and still are!) known for their strong hooks, soaring harmonies, and slippery chord changes backed by a driving rock energy. Over the years from the mid-‘90s through early 2000’s they put out a total of five CDs (most of which are now out of print collectors items), did several mini-tours, and drew multiple comparisons to powerpop greats such as Shoes and The Posies, and The Kinks. It’s been well over ten years since their last IPO performance, and we can’t wait to see them back doing their thing once more!
Sunhaze – A four-piece band of multi-instrumentalists whose sound is influenced by an alarmingly sweet mixture of surf pop and soul, with an added layer of grooviness. “Sunhaze captures the relaxed vibe of California beach pop with a sultry vocal that keeps you swaying as the sun sets on the waterline. The perfect accompaniment to a midsummer dream and light beer.” Sera Sexton, Oaktown Indie Mayhem
Talk Tonight – The latest project by Christian Navarro, whose previous band Smith Point were known for their catchy melodies and hooky riffs. Talk Tonight continues in a similar vein of straight up, ultra radio-friendly rock n’ roll with a pop twist. Their debut EP, A Single Day, was one of the best of 2012, and we can’t wait to hear what they’ll do next…and Navarro’s voice is something to behold!
The Trash*Pop Icons – They’re led by Naomi and Nadia Zep, powerpop sisters that have been making music together for over a decade. When fronting their previous band, Letters Make Words, they earned a spot on the Vans Warped Tour, and were named one of the Top 10 Bands in the Bay Area multiple times by local DJ Aaron Axelsen of Live 105 radio. With their iconic dueling lead vocals and killer harmonies, their sound is best described as angsty chick rock with a Pink meets Paramore feel. Their debut album, A Way With Words, is available now! Check it out!!
TRIP WIRE – A quartet who produce short catchy songs that revolve around that perfect juxtaposition of powerpop, indie rock, psychedelic rock and garage styles. As such, fans of The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, Guided By Voices, and REM will surely dig ‘em!
Bradley Wait – Guitarist Bradley Wait may best be known in powerpop circles as one of the main men of Vegas DeMilo and Pleasure Trip, but he’s an accomplished composer/arranger and singer/songwriter in his own right, and now stepping out under his own monicker! Long known for his melodic, dynamic songs with catchy hooks, compelling lyrics, and interesting arrangements that mix current day angst and youthful energy with chord arrangements and melodies reminiscent of ‘60s pop and the British invasion, he can also do the edgy dance-hall synth pop thing with ease! Definitely something for everyone!
The Wearies – Led by singer/songwriter and all-around frontman, Erik Mullin, The Wearies are back with a new lineup and revved up sound. Their catchy rock anthems and hooks galore will take you back to a time when rock and roll was king. Think Queen, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith and T. Rex, and you get the picture! Brace yourself for the dirty pop gilded guitars and glistening melodies that will have you singing along after just one listen!
The Welcome Matt – Amid a very busy schedule of tirelessly touring, producing, and writing not one, but two (!) European top 40 hits, main man Matt Langlois has managed to put out his own 8th studio album, POP JUNK FLUFF and HYPE. His songs straddle the line between folk troubadour and British Invasion, and will appeal to fans of The Kinks, Counting Crows, and Traveling Wilburys, to name but a few!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of San Francisco
David Brookings and the Average Lookings – This San Jose resident (by way of Memphis) has consistently released stellar albums. His music has been compared to the likes of Jellyfish, Matthew Sweet, Elvis Costello, and Rooney. His latest CD, The Maze, adds a gentle Lennon-esque psychedelic shimmer, and his new band The Average Lookings can be both soothing or rocking, as the mood requires! Pretty cool!
CAVE Women – An all-girl band based out of Sacramento CA, whose sound features lush four part harmonies and rich textures that include a combination of accordion, mbira, bass, flute, drums, and guitar, which capturing a diversified pop sound with jazz, classical and folk influences, among others. A treat for your senses!
Cheating Daylight – An award winning “band of brothers,” featuring two sets of brothers from Vacaville and Cobb, CA. Their soaring harmonies, driving melodies, and inventive touches of Americana will appeal to many a powerpop fan, while their anthemic rock force can blow the roof off of stadiums! Their recent Road To Somewhere album was produced by industry veteran Isha Erskine, whose legendary work includes Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Black Eyed Peas, Jeff Beck, Joss Stone and now Cheating Daylight! Come to their IPO showcase and check out why Artists in Music Awards named them 2014 Rock Artist of the Year!
Lannie Flowers – Although he and the band hail from the great state of Texas, they’ve done what no other artist in the history of the LA Music Awards has done…namely, taking home four awards from last year’s event in November! His latest CD, New Songs, Old Stories, picks up where his earlier disc, Circles, left off, but rocks even harder! Badfinger-esque in-your-face guitars and vocal harmonies blend with softer shifting harmonies more reminiscent of XTC, but that fans of artists from The Raspberries to The Velvet Underground will be sure to appreciate! We also appreciate that he and his band have played the IPO festival in many cities throughout the world and continue to do so, with no sign of slowing down!
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop – Hailing from the unlikely hamlet of Kingsburg, California, this
ensemble uses just about every instrument under the sun to create some bizarre, witty, quirky, yet ultimately melodic sounds, and have become an IPO fan favorite from LA to Liverpool! Their latest CD, Teasers from the Whispermaphone, is a rollicking romp through a Seuss-ian soundscape painted by Frank Zappa! Definitely something a little bit different!
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!!