IPO Chicago 2015
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Artists From Chicago
The Abbeys – The twang is definitely the thang with these guys! Whether Brit-pop, power pop, rockabilly, or just plain jangle is your cup of tea, they can quench your thirst quite nicely. Check out their latest mp3 CD, Please File Under Twang.
The Artist Formerly Known As Vince Band – A fun new old school band whose latest record, On Display, is an actual record…on spiffy colored 12” vinyl no less! Glitter glam garage all the way, baby!
Doug Bobenhouse – Known by many as the lead vocalist behind the great St Louis band, The Sun Sawed In ½, Bobenhouse has made himself a fixture in the Chicago pop scene, lending his sweet vocals to Dad’s Magazine (see below) and multiple other projects. Don’t miss this rare chance to catch him in a solo set…and be sure to check out any of The Sun Sawed in ½’s seven (count em!) excellent albums, available via their bandcamp page!
Bob’s Yer Uncle – Bob’s Yer Uncle plays melodic rock with a bluesy edge featuring harmonies, incorporating an array of eclectic songs with no specific influences. That said, fans of Elvis Costello, The Stone Roses, and Yes are sure to appreciate them. Check out their recently released xplod-i-mite CD!
Cartridge B-Sides – Equal parts indie rock and Britpop, Cartidge B-Sides are sure to please fans of Oasis, Killers, and Snow Patrol, to name but a few! They’ve been working on some new songs and new recordings, so stay tuned to their page for details and come to their IPO showcase for a sneak preview!
Chronic Edge – An original rock band with a unique and addictive style of music characterized by smooth and melodic qualities punctuated by driving rhythms, hard-hitting back beats, and explosive energy that simply sticks in your head. The band strives to accomplish a single mission: to create powerful and dynamic music that reaches into the minds of a global audience. Their Krazzy EP is poised to help them do just that – check it out and hear for yourself!
Clear Confusion – Each member of Clear Confusion began playing instruments at a very young age, and it quickly became apparent that their musical talent was extraordinary. Clear Confusion originated at Rock Academy of DuPage and have performed a wide range of cover songs at Mullen’s in Lisle, Ballydoyle in Downers Grove, the Moose Lodge, and various block parties and festivals in the Chicago suburbs. They have also created a solid catalogue of original songs to showcase their varied talents.
Collectors – If their debut EP, Reverberation, marked a beginning, then their latest, Travelogue, marks a band confidently hitting its stride. Travelogue finds the band showcasing broad sonic textures, ear-pleasing psychedelic tinged pop sensibilities, tight hooks and strong arrangements that evoke the best sounds of UK rock over the years…with a hint of good ‘ol American punk pop! We were honored to host their first reunion show after an eight year hiatus at last year’s IPO Chicago, and we’re thrilled to have ‘em back once more – so be sure you don’t miss them!!
Cooler By The Lake – With a two-guitar attack, rhythm section, keys, flute and sax, a dedicated back up singer and raucous vocalist Rory Lake at the helm, Cooler by the Lake has conquered rock clubs all over the Midwest for the last 15 years. Their shaken cocktail of classic rock, psych, prog and punk appeals to pop and rock fans of all shapes and sizes – check out their latest CD, Summer’s Over, and their IPO show to see and hear what we mean. It’s more than music; it’s an intense rock experience!
The Cubes – The Cubes first came together in 1989, but eventually called it quits after several years of playing all the cool clubs and having to replace too many drummers….but now they’re back with some tasty new tunes and a hefty back catalog, and IPO is glad to have ‘em! Their sound is an eclectic mix of guitar-based rock, a little pop, a little psychedelia, a little Revel, a little spaghetti western, a little twisted…just the way we like it!
Dad’s Magazine – A Chicago pop scene super group made up of members from Swinger, The Sun Sawed in ½, The Webstirs, and Dad Factory. You know that with this group you can expect sweet vocals, big choruses, jangly guitars, chunky bass lines and super catchy melodies….and what powerpop fan could ask for anything more?!
Larry O. Dean – A Chicago-based singer, songwriter, guitarist, band-leader, poet, journalist, educator, existentialist, and racounteur (and all-around great guy!), who has appeared at past IPO Chicagos in many guises: Whether performing as the main man of his many projects such as The Post Office, The Me Decade, or The Injured Parties, as the host of his monthly “Folk You!” series, or solo – as he will at this year’s IPO – Dean’s songs are filled in equal measure with melody and wry witticism, making him a perennial IPO favorite!
Euphoria – With members ranging in age from 13 to 18, Euphoria is an alt/rock band from the suburbs of Chicago. They’re experienced, and can really rock it out. They consist of vocalist Sydney Popelka, Franco Addante on guitar and vocals, guitarist Jameson Ghalioungui ,Kat Woltman on bass and vocals, drummer Marshall Ghalioungui, and keyboardist Allie Cheevers. They’ve done some impressive covers of great music including Say it Ain’t So by Weezer, The Ocean by Led Zeppelin, The Distance by Cake, and more. This band loves to rock and enjoys sharing their talent through music with whomever they can.
The Evening Attraction – Although even their parents are too young to remember the British Invasion, this group of young guns creates music steeped in that tradition, blended with a thoroughly modern edge! Their recent Almost Desperate album will appeal to fans of artists from The Zombies and The Animals to The Zutons and Arctic Monkeys, and leave them eagerly wanting more!
Jennifer Fletcher & The Reckoning – Fletcher and her band deliver heartfelt heartland pop with a classical edge, combining elements of folk, country, and Americana pop with violin. Their music draws on influences such as Patsy Cline, The Allman Brothers, and Miranda Lambert, to name but a few!
Food and Drug – A band fronted by the dynamic duo of Rick Sparks, lead singer of This Magazine is Haunted and member of supergroup Dad’s Magazine (see above), and Kate Burns of the Chicago band, Tuffy UK. Their sparse indie-folk pop style with male-female harmonies and pretty melodies is what The Everly Brothers might sound like if they were operating in today’s indie pop scene…and one of them was a girl!
The Fox & The Hounds – Self-billed as “Chicago’s only burlesque rock n’ roll band,” the area sextet create seductive and sensual sounds with elements of high-drama classic rock, baroque chamber pop and cabaret-style performance. There truly is nothing like them in the Windy City, and upon the release of their debut self-titled album, they’re well on their way to making their mark. Fans of artists from Beirut to Queen to Ella Ftzgerald to Gwen Steffani – to name but a few – should check them out…or better yet, just come to their IPO show!!
Freetoed – Freetoed brings to the stage nearly ten years of playing music together around Chicago. With roots influenced by the likes of Wilco and Badly Drawn Boy, their songs climb and fall, peeling back and layering on both the melodic and dissonant. Nowhere are these qualities better emphasized than at their live show.
Gooey – A classic Chicago powerpop quintet, Gooey deliver punchy melodies that stick in your head, overlaid with gritty heartfelt vocals. Fans of artists from Cheap Trick to The Cars to Elvis Costello will love these guys. A band definitely on the rise! Check out their latest disc, Hold On Tight!
Homeschool Dropouts – With its members all hailing from Downers Grove, Home School Dropouts’ goal is to put a youthful spin on classic songs, and showcase their stunning talent. The band features lead vocalists Lily Fosco and Sarah King, guitarist Sarah Durbin, bassist Anna Mitman, drummer Amy Sczepanik, and Delaney Durbin on keys. Home School Dropouts have played music venues all throughout the suburbs of Chicago. Their set list varies from concert to concert, but contains favorites from bands like AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, and The Beatles. Home School Dropouts hopes to continue growing as musicians, and present their skills for people to enjoy.
The Hurtin Kind – Underneath all the hooks and well-crafted melodies lay songs about life on life’s terms, reminiscent of such greats as Buddy Holly, Tom Petty, and Steve Earle. The Hurtin Kind play music for grown ups about the world as they see and experience it. It’s a joyous noise, so c’mon along for the ride!
Kerosene Stars – Their recently released self-titled CD represents a more fully realized sound and an exciting new direction for the band, which has been together in various formations since 2010. The songs seamlessly blend echoes of the ‘60s, alt-country, and Brit-pop, with occasional tangents into moodier and experimental atmospherics. This is music for the head and for the heart, and the record resonates with a sincerity all too rare in modern music. Fans of Elvis Costello, The Jayhawks, and Dinosaur Jr – to name but a few – will dig it!
Mallory Lennon and The Sykadelix – Barely in her twenties, Lennon is a noise making, tambourine shaking, guitar playing, key pressing, banjo plucking hippie child who strives to make words seem alive. Her penchant for the written word and the power of music make her sound passionate and real. Definitely and artist (and band) that fans of Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor will want to keep their eyes and ears on!
Logan Squares Band – If you crave the catchy musical smorgasbord that used to be present on the radio in the mid to late ‘70s, then look no further than and That is That, the latest CD by this Chicago quartet. Songs run the gamut from pop to rock with some jazz and country embellishment, with a few nods to Devo or The Talking Heads, and some Beatle-esque chord changes and indelible hooks thrown in for good measure! Check them out now!
The Luck Of Eden Hall – A swirling guitar-jangling psychedelic rock experience that is sure to appeal to fans of King Crimson, Cream, The Beatles, and The Dukes of Stratosphear, et al! These Chicago natives just keep getting better and more prolific with each new release – their seventh (!) and latest, Victoria Moon, initially released by the band as a limited edition CD, drew so much critical acclaim that it was recently re-released by Headspin Records on 180 gram coloured vinyl! They’ve got an eighth album in the works, to be accompanied by a UK tour this summer, and we’re thrilled to have them back at IPO as they continue their journey to world psych pop domination!
Homer Marrs and The Excellent Adventure – One of the most unique and entertaining bands we’ve run across in quite a while, this indie-rock act that might get compared to They Might Be Giants but sounds more like David Sedaris tickle-fighting R.E.M., or the Lemonheads after Netflixing all five seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race! Their sound is catchy pop/rock with seriocomic lyrics that make people remember things otherwise forgotten, including emotions that are better left unearthed. Homer performed “The Facebook Song” on Jimmy Kimmel Live live via Skype in support of the first National UnFriend Day, and the band have been getting quite a buzz for their recently released “It’s Amazing” single and video. Watch for new music from them soon, and check out their IPO showcase – this promises to be an entertainment extravaganza not to be missed!
Mike McKenna – An up and coming singer/songwriter whose brand of Americana can be best described as “haunting and raw”, and will surely tug at your heartstrings!
Sean Michael – IPO audiences may recognize him as the main man from The Queue, who’s fusion of roaring guitars, solid melodies, indelible harmonies, and unforgettable hooks on their Turn It Up, Turn Me On EP made them an instant IPO favorite. As a solo artist, Michael has lost none of his penchant for great pop-rock hooks, but turns it up a notch with some harder edged influences reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails or Offspring and dance beats thrown in for good measure! His debut solo release is due out later this Spring, so watch for it!
Drew Neely & The Heroes – Neely has long been a fan favorite at IPO for his quirky brand of powerpop with folk-pop-styled story-teller lyrics, punk pop sensibilities, and sticky hooks. Back with his brand new band, The Heroes, he takes his penchant for intelligent lyrics and catchy melody to a whole ‘nother level! Watch for their forthcoming album, This Could Be You, due out soon!
No Love For Linus – Boasting original jams and catchy hooks, No Love For Linus have quickly gained themselves a local following, and earned opening spots for national touring acts such as Third Eye Blind, Sister Hazel, and Barenaked Ladies. Their Someday EP will appeal to fans of these artists, as well as others like Counting Crows, Tom Petty and Matchbox Twenty. Check them out!
The Pickpockets – The band’s debut, By The Time We’re Through, contains thirteen tracks where distinctive vocals relate indelible narratives while guitars alternately dignify and rub dirt on the agreeable melodies. The band’s sound is influenced by British and American post-punk and indie music of the ’80s and ’90s, and over the last several years, the foursome has displayed its devout allegiance to tunefulness through its vigorous live shows – so be sure to catch their IPO showcase!
The Pralines – They’re led by the ubiquitous Pamela Richardson, who has played IPO Chicago several times. Everything she’s written is lyrical and steeped with emotion. Richardson foregoes the quixotic tradition of the folk singer and instead writes songs of the heart. Like the chewy confection from which The Pralines draw their name, their latest CD, A Beautiful View, is guaranteed to stick in your head….Bon appetit!
The Red Plastic Buddha – Rising out of the ashes of the mid ‘90s Chicago band Sub Rosa, they’re led by singer/ bass guitarist Tim Ferguson (Hop on Pop, Me Decade), and they’ve developed a sound that blends the best elements of late ‘60s British psychedelia with modern dynamics, alternating between swirling sonic landscapes and catchy, melody driven pop. Their latest CD, Songs For Mara, is a must have for fans of both space rock and pastoral psychedelic pop!
The Red Wigglers – A quirky art-pop-rock combo with horns! Fans of artists such as The B52s, The Talking Heads, or Chicago indie-popsters (and IPO veterans!) Beatnik Turtle should check out their ultra-entertaining live show at IPO!
The Right Tidys – The latest project of main man Lou Galassini, also of Van Go (see below), featuring dual lead female vocals courtesy of Erica Loftus and Michelle Tormey. Powerpop to be sure, but with undertones of new wavey punk. Fans of The Handcuffs will want to check them out, as will anyone who loves to dance!
Bryan Roberts – Armed with his acoustic guitar and a fresh perspective on folk pop, Roberts blends Beatlesque melodies with influences from gypsy and world music to create an unforgettable style all his own. Fans of John Lennon, John Mayer, and Pearl Jam should check him out!
Rollo Time – The describe themselves as just a bunch of guys who’ve played music together over the years, who finally got together and recorded a bunch of songs. Said songs can be heard on their latest CD, Victims of the Crown, and will rock you out in the classic powerpop tradition. Think Mathew Sweet, Cheap Trick, Guided By Voices and XTC all rolled into one, and you get the picture!
The Romeros – IPO is proud to present a rare performance by this quintessential midwestern band singing classic late ‘70s/early ‘80s inspired power pop in the tradition of The Buzzcocks, Raspberries and Cheap Trick, but adding saxophone to create a whole new thing! All four members believe in the power of rock ‘n roll, and are, as the title of their debut EP claims, Cooler Than Your Boyfriend!
Rob Schultz Band – IPO audiences may recognize Schultz as one of the main men behind Swinger, but he’s also put out a couple of fine CD’s under his own name. Influences from The Kinks to The Beach Boys to Elvis Costello abound, but he brings his own unique personality and sensibilities to the fore. His work displays a wealth of hook-packed classic power pop that is earnest, tuneful, sincere, dynamic and accessible. Check out his latest, Tragedy and Comedy, and you’ll hear what we mean!
The Shifties – With influences as diverse as The Beatles, The Ramones, and Fugazi, you know The Shifties are one interesting band! Their “…winning combination of ’60s inspired pop with a dark underbelly…” (Shindig! Magazine) is displayed to perfection on their latest release, The Patty EP!
Skatterplot – Essentially the nom de plum of singer/songwriter/pianist Steve Solomon, Skatterplot’s music is evocative of a modern Beatles sound with tastes of Muse, Vampire Weekend, and Ben Folds. If Schroeder was your favorite “Peanut,” you need to check out Skatterplot!
Soft Candy – Take Sgt Pepper-era Beatles, mixed liberally with influences from West Coast sunshine softpop, bubblegum, and a touch of garage, and you get some of the sweetest ear candy around! These songs need to be heard and this band needs to be seen!! IPO is honored to host a special reunion show from these guys, and we can hardly wait!
The Spindles – They cover decades of the best powerpop music and original music, too… sweet harmonies with jangly, chiming Rickenbacker 12-string and no-nonsense powerhouse drumming – who could ask for anything more?
Suspicious Fires – Burning through your stereo with crashing drums, jangling guitar riffs, spine-tingling vocal harmonies, booming bass and a raucous rockery that mixes grunge with new pop sensibilities, Suspicious Fires will rock and roll their way into the hearts of folk rock, hard pop, and prog-pop fans alike! Watch for their soon to be released Songs in a Tin House LP!
Telstar – Most highly recommended by the estimable Mike G of local stalwarts, The Valley Downs, this band is led by Anthony Calderisi and specializes in a warm combination of powerpop and Americana which is sure to please IPO goers!
Their Ocean – A unique pop duo with roots in both the Evanston Township Marching Band and hip-hop, Their Ocean’s songs are pretty with lush, interesting chords and plenty of vocal harmonies without losing focus on quality song craft and groove. Their recent Sunstroke EP lies somewhere between indie-rock, soul, and pop with interesting and unpredictable mixing touches giving it a psychedelic quality. Check it out!
Todd from Hop On Pop – Too restless to be confined to a single genre, Todd’s latest CD, Chicken On A Bicycle, runs the gamut from electronic pop to country, bluegrass, klezmer (!), and punk! Surely something to appeal to everyone!!
Too Much Saturn – Classic Midwest powerpop served up with loads of crunchy hooks, soaring harmonies, big drums, 12-string bass, swirling keyboards and a liberal mix of crunchy, ambient and jangly guitars. Fans of artists from Cheap Trick to The Gin Blossoms to Fountains of Wayne should sit up and take notice of these guys! Check out their Moving Forward Sideways CD!
The Top Shelf Lickers – Known for their high energy shows with licks that don’t stop and songs that are guaranteed to get stuck in your head, The Top Shelf Lickers bring their unique mix of rock, punk, indie, ska and blues to IPO once again, and we are glad to have ‘em!. Their debut album, Head First, contains eight tracks chock full of harmony, energy and a sense of hope, and is packed to the brim with hooks that just won’t let go…and their recent Heart Beats Brain! EP kicks the energy up yet another notch!
Ultrahazard – A political punk pop band with a touch of ska and song topics ranging from feminism, solidarity among artists, class war, roller derby, and revolution, Ultrahazard with make you laugh, dance, and think! Fans of Anti-Flag, NOFX, The Distillers, and Screeching Weasel should check them out!
The Unswept – Charlie and Ryan O’Brien relocated from sunny Sheffield, UK to a small but tiny apartment in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, where they write and record powerpop tunes. With their hook laden songs featuring cowbell, handclaps, and sibling harmonies, we think they fit right in with Chicago’s powerpop heritage! Fans of The Monkees, Teenage Fanclub, and Stone Roses will appreciate their debut self-titled full length CD!
Mike Vanderbilt & The Suburban Garage Sound – Vanderbilt has graced many an IPO stage from Chicago to LA as the leader of the super-fun powerpop/punk band, The Romeros (see above). He’s back with his latest project that blends his pop-punk heritage with a slice of alt-country which has been compared to the likes of Nick Lowe, Rhett Miller, Ryan Adams, and Paul Westerberg.
Van Go – Chrome plated guitar pop-rock is the name of that tune from this foursome. Richard Milne of WXRT-Radio has cited Van Go as “one of the best bands in Chicago….great songs, great performances, great vocals….” That’s what you get on their latest CD, Pop Your Heart Out.
The Velvet Cadillacs – The Cadillac is the only car for rock n’ roll. When played with a purpose, rock n’ roll is a lethal combination of power and style – think 1962 caddy convertible with 400 hp roaring from its V8 engine. Dirt road. Sunglasses. Wind in your hair. Radio cranked. Driving faster than you should. You don’t care. Powerful. Cool. Smooth. That’s rock n’ roll…and the Velvet Cadillacs’ Pretty Little Boxes EP embodies the sound that should be playing on said cranked radio!
The Viaducts – The power trio as an art form has a special place in the musical tradition of the Windy City (and IPO!), and The Viaducts carry on that tradition quite nicely indeed! Their debut album, Mission to Destroy, is full of catchy melodies with sing-along choruses punctuated by fuzzy guitars, chunky bass lines, and a frenzied drum beat. Check it out now!
The Vinyl Skyway – The creation of singer/songwriters Michael Hayes and Andy Santospago, In late 2012, Hayes and his family left Boston for Chicago. Despite the distance, he and Santospago continue to craft new songs together between their two cities. Their influences range from Crowded House to Teenage Fanclub to Wilco, and their two albums rank among the best of those bands. Yes, it’s completely true!
Waiflike – The current musical project of Chicago-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Richard Neil Miller. Miller writes moody music that is catchy and clever and lyrics that are both interesting and intense, as can be heard on Waiflike’s debut CD, Fifty Pence Piece of Mind. Fans of The Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and classic Chicago power pop will want to check it out!
The Webstirs – A truly great band whose latest CD, So Long, was hailed by Not Lame as “one of 2009’s more exciting indie powerpop releases.” “It`s chock full of sunny harmonies and Beatles riffs thrown under a metallic shower of fuzz.” (The Chicagoist) But wait…there’s more…their 1994 debut album has been re-discovered, re-mastered, and re-imagined…with super-deluxe extra tracks, and cheekily titled The Webstirs Re-Present Smirk. If you like ELO, Jellyfish, and Cheap Trick, and The Beach Boys, and don’t yet own these CDs, go get them…now…and look out for a…wait for it…new release in May!!
Weekend Vinyl – The latest project of Swinger (and Ginger Records) main man, Mike McLaughlin! As their name might imply, their sound is as smooth and pleasant as a lazy weekend listening to some of your favorite old vinyl records. The gently jangling guitars overlaid with airy vocal harmonies on their debut CD, Easy Chair, are sure to appeal to fans of The Replacements, Wilco, and The Jayhawks, to name but a few!
The Aaron Williams Band – Emerging from the studio (where they’ve been writing and recording with Grammy producer Johnny K), they come to IPO armed with new songs that carry infusions of classic, indie, and punk rock melded into an original sound they are proud to share with the world. Check out their debut self-titled CD and recently released single, “Ash”!
Yoko and the Oh No’s – A two-guy/one-girl combo who bring a touch of The Mersey to the shores of Lake Michigan! Their songs combine catchy garage rock guitar hooks with powerful soulful vocals to create a sound that is intricate, raw, and fun…and will make you want to dance! We can’t wait for these guys (and gal) to release an album!!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Chicago
Andy Bopp – One of the most prolific (and eclectic) singer/songwriters around, he has been at the helm of several well-loved Baltimore bands, such as LoveNut and Myracle Brah, and currently performs as a both a solo artist, and as one half of The Modern Ruins, whose brand new Three Tracks Off The Four Track EP will appeal to both longtime fans and anyone else who loves quirky Beatle-esque pop with a psychedelic touch! Definitely one of the legends of the power pop scene, and we’re honored to have him at IPO Chicago!
Broadfield Marchers – Merging the clipped-buzzsaw riffs of mod acts like The Who and the Creation with the angelic harmonies of the Wilson brothers and Big Star, the Broadfield Marchers have been gathering legions of loyal fans both near and far from their home in Louisville, Kentucky. Their latest release, Displayed In Relfections, was given three stars by UNCUT Magazine, appeared on many “Best Of 2009” lists, and got rave reviews overseas. They’ve got a cache of new recordings to be released soon (for which we can hardly wait!) – come to their IPO show and have a listen!
Joe Caravella (of The Reign) – The Reign have been mainstays on the NYC club circuit since 1985 with their classic take on power pop, harkening back to bands like Badfinger, The Raspberries, Myracle Brah, and Big Star. Their debut album, The Long Wait is currently available on iTunes. This will be a special acoustic performance by their main man, so don’t miss it!
Certain Stars – Forwarding the melodic sound and powerpop of bands such as Superchunk and Big Star, a Certain Stars hook can take up space in your head for days. All members of this Milwaukee combo take on songwriting duties that uniquely add to the whole. Their latest CD, The Great Destroyer, adds a classic album rock feel that’s impossible to resist!
Lannie Flowers Band – Although Flowers 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 in a single year in 2013! 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!
Honeywagen – After a three-year hiatus, Kansas City’s Honeywagen has reinvented itself yet again as a force in the power pop scene with a new line up and a brand new CD! While the band unapologetically draws inspiration from the likes of classic staples like Big Star, The Byrds and The Beatles, it has also been compared to the Flamin’ Groovies, Matthew Sweet, The Plimsouls, the Smithereens and others. Sweet!
The Jeremy Band – The eponymous band led by 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 and his band can stake their rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame!
Mike Mentz – Take Jason Mraz, Fountains of Wayne, and Jameson 12 Year, put them all in a plane and fly them around the world a few times, and you begin to approach the sound of Mike Mentz, who’s songs are shaped by his love of travel and the always-changing world around him. Named “One To Watch” in 2012 & 2013 by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, Mentz is frequently hosted as a featured songwriter at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and his single “Cigarette” rode the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Top 40 Chart for 4 months! Check out his Nashville Nights EP and hear why!
Rocketboat – An American adventure-rock band from Hammond, Indiana, Rocketboat’s sound forged in the embers of punk and post-modern rock that is dynamically rooted in science fiction and video games. Their debut self-titled album “runs riot with catchy melodies, layered harmonies, and counter choruses, which ultimately translate into carefully thought out arrangements, as well as tremendously tight instrumentation” (Rick Jamm). Fans of Weezer, MxPx, and They Might Be Giants (to name but a few!) should check them out!
Your Gracious Host – Fans of Teenage Fanclub, The Shins, XTC and a host of similarly minded sounding bands will enjoy all four discs masterminded by former member of Autoliner, Tom Curless, who returns to his old Chicago stomping grounds from his current home in Grand Blanc, Michigan. The latest, 1UP 2DOWN, is their most immediate, blending powerpop guitars turned up to 11 with their trademark harmonies and intricate instrumental arrangements!
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 four years running (including as many as 50 in a row!), and we look forward to many more. Thank you, Dave!!