IPO Austin 2015
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Artists From Austin
Bang Bang – IPO is honored to host the debut performance of the latest outfit led by the inimitable Eddy Best, known to many Austin area popsters as one of the main men of The Go Wows! Combining influences from classic ‘70s power pop and ’60s garage with irresistible hooks and crunchy guitars, they’re sure to be an instant favorite!
Burgess Meredith – Influenced by such greats as Harry Nilsson, Ricky Nelson, and The Beach Boys, this local collective artfully blends ‘60s harmony, folk and psych pop with bubblegum and new wave touches to create a uniquely catchy sound of their own. Their Banana Moon EP “channels the ephemeral fun of Seventies AM-radio pop by grafting disparate sources like Beach Boys vocal harmonies and music-hall derived keyboard tinkering into an action-packed whole.” (Greg Beats, The Austin Chronicle) Pretty cool!
Buzzie – Formed by lead singer/songwriter John McElhenney after leaving local Austin pop darlings Blue Cartoon (see above), Buzzie thrives on the 3:30 minute harmonic convergence with lyrics that are not about sex, or drugs, or being a rock star. Their latest album, Cooling My Jets, features acoustic versions of old favorites as well as some new tunes, and has been described as Wilco meets Radiohead unplugged! Check it out now!
Gentlemen Rogues – Drawing inspiration from UK visionaries like The Who, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, and The Jam, while steadfastly blasting their own course through an American indie-rock canon shaped by Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Jawbreaker, and Superchunk, Gentlemen Rogues crank out catchy, amplified treble kickers, mixing powder keg intensity, classic melodies, and brash theatrics into a 200-proof distillation of brazen rock n’ roll. Their new EP, A History So Repeating, is now available! Check them out now so you can say you saw them before they were superstars!
Craig Marshall – Over the past two decades, Marshall has quietly built a remarkably accomplished body of work, drawing upon his wide-ranging musical background to craft engagingly melodic, personally-charged music that’s as emotionally resonant as it is catchy. The title of his newest release, After All, showcases his alt-country side and has been hailed as his best work yet!
Neal Mehta – As the singer of The Recliners, a popular Austin-based lounge band from the mid 1990s to early 2000s, Mehta played throughout the U.S. and Europe, sharing the stage with artists such as Matchbox 20, Offspring, Social Distortion, Spoon, and Duncan Sheik, and has also appeared in several original pop and rock bands, such as Swirl, Corduroy, Halloway, Fairlight, and Fosskit No. 5. His latest album, Beautiful Space, reflects both his Americana rock and Britpop influences, and will appeal to fans of Ryan Adams, Oasis, and The Smiths, to name a few! Both the album and his backing band also feature the talents of fellow IPO performers Chris Smith, as well as Bill Walter and Darwin Keys of Ashbury Keys (see below).
Oh Antonio & His Imaginary Friends – A fun-loving musical adventure comprised of Antonio Delgado and everyone he can gather to his cause, which is creating songs to make your heart smile and set your feet dancing. Imagine if Bowie and Springsteen had a baby that jammed like Jerry Lee Lewis and danced like Elvis Costello, and you would almost get the idea…or better yet, check out their Binary Stars EP and their IPO showcase!
Mount Pressmore – Fast becoming a fixture of the Austin club scene, Mount Pressmore is committed to creating great music one song, one performance, and one album at a time. Their first single, “Trampoline,” has invited comparison to the dance-inspired rock of Talking Heads, soaring choruses of Peter Gabriel, raw energy of the Police and sophistication of Steely Dan. Their debut album, aptly titled Enjoy, has had us doing just that since its release, and has us eagerly awaiting the release of their next album, The Masked Battle! Modern prog-pop at its finest!
Rich Restaino & the Obits – Their sound fuses elements of UK power pop with soul grooves and girl group harmonies, as displayed on the three albums they’d released between 2007 and 2012. After a bit of a hiatus, Restaino reassembled a slightly modified version of the band to play new material. His latest EP, Apocalytopotumus, draws from more country, folk, and early American pop influences, while retaining that fun soulful bubblegum edge!
The Rite Flyers – Combining sweet jangle and scintillating swirling psychedelic chord changes with twangy heartland power pop and Beatlesque harmonies, The Rite Flyers’ music is sure to set the hearts and ears of many a pop fan soaring. Their Electromode LP spent time on The Waterloo Records Top 10 vinyl list among some mighty fine company!
The Rivals – Modern audiences may recognize several of the members of this band as members of The Soulphonics (who played IPO the last few years). While we were disappointed that The Soulphonics couldn’t make it, we are thrilled that main men, Glen Worley and Kevin Connolly got their ‘80s band back together for a special reunion show 27 years in the making! Their One Side Of cassette and appearances on vinyl compilations are treasured collectors items to those who remember them from their heyday, and their musicianship has only grown in the intervening years, so this is one show you will not want to miss!
San Saba County – The band started out as a straight garage-country group, the type that could only come from Austin, Texas: equally comfortable playing the Continental Club and twenty-something house parties with angular po-mo groups with Romulan haircuts. The songs on their latest album, Broken Record, are honest, witty, and well-crafted – tough as blue jeans and catchy as new slang. Fans of Wilco, R.E.M., and The Silver Jews will dig ‘em!
Chris Smith – A singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer/engineer whose versatility in modern rock, pop, blues, and country styles keeps him busy in several Austin area projects (Jordann Mitchell and the New Usual, Philip Q. Morrow, Smith and Co.), as well as in writing, recording, and playing his own music. His songwriting builds on the rich texture of the songs of our youth, with a look to the future, when melody is king, simple chord progressions are used when appropriate, and complex ones are used when the melody requires complex harmony.
Wiretree – Wiretree melds hints of the Shins, Brendan Benson, Elliot Smith, Wilco and ‘70s era Nick Lowe. Their 2013 album, Get Up, “… reveals its pleasures through repeated spins, insinuating itself intellectually at first, but eventually settling permanently into the heart.” (The Austin Chronicle). Definitely one of my fave bands to ever grace the city of Austin. Check them out now!
U.S. Bands From Outside Of Austin
Ashbury Keys – A straight-up pop-rock band from Houston who have garnered multiple nominations as one of the best bands of the city! Returning in 2012 after a brief hiatus, they’ve not only not missed a beat, but have come back even better, flooring crowds at IPOs both near and far (including several appearances at IPO Liverpool!) with their muscular power pop and sibling harmonies. Their latest EP, Do You Know Who You Are?, takes their Texas-filtered Brit-Pop sound to a whole ‘nother level!
Demi The Daredevil – A theatrical art rock sensation from El Paso, Demi The Daredevil’s latest LP, The Secret Schizoid, combines influences from Queen and The Beatles with Bach, Disney, and modern Broadway rock opera shows, such as Rent and Superman. “It’s a very striking combination of dense sophisticated lyrics with contrapuntal melodic and harmonic structures not normally heard in current contemporary music these days,” say John McCracken, acclaimed musician, Gold and Platinum music producer and former head of A&R for EMI Music Group, and current head of John McCracken Music Group, who has signed them to his label, and expects great things to come!
The Lannie Flowers Band – Although he and the band hail from Kennedale and Ft. Worth, they’ve done what no other artist in the history of the LA Music Awards has done…namely, taking home four awards from the event in November 2013! Flowers’ latest studio CD, New Songs, Old Stories, picks up where his earlier disc, Circles, left off, but rocks even harder, and the band’s latest, Live In NYC, shows why you must see them in person! 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!
The Prettiest Girl – The nom-de-plume of singer/songwriter Jasmine Kostraba, who was the main force behind the excellent Los Angeles combos The Otterpops and the Swedes, and who currently splits her time between LA and Austin. Her solo work delivers the same power-packed melodic rock n’ roll punch of her previous bands, with a dash of quirky folk-edged indie-rock on the side, so if you like that kind of sound, you’ll surely want to check her out!
The Rosedale Highs – San Antonio’s The Rosedale Highs are self-proclaimed champions of the “New Power Pop” movement, which emphasizes melody, harmony, and the classic Beatlesque pop sound, updated for the 2010’s. Their music has been described as having the “lyrical complexity of Ben Folds” and the “sunny but melancholy rock of The Replacements” (Adam Coronado, The San Antonio Current). Their latest EP, Let’s Get Wrecked With The Rosedale Highs, is sure to gain new converts to the new power pop cause…check it out and hear what we mean!
Beat Root – A band of folk, roots, howling blues & classic pop beats, featuring the songwriting prowess of Andrea Magee & Ben Jones (he of The Lovedays and Rifle Volunteers). Though originally from Belfast and Kent, they’ve spent considerable time in The States, putting together their own tour of the U.S in 2014, and have not looked back since! Their debut album together, Waiting On A Miracle, was released last year on New Orleans’ Toulouse Records, and they’ve recently recorded with Tommy Harden (Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift) in Nashville to capture their live sound for an upcoming release titled The Root of The Beat. They pour themselves into their live performances, so this is one show you will not want to miss!