IPO Detroit 2015
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Artists From Detroit
Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms – The not quite solo project of the lead singer/songwriter of Thunderbirds Are Now!, Friendly Foes, Destroy This Place, the Cold Wave, and Red Shirt Brigade features a veritable who’s who of Detroit area music on the brand new disc, Heart String Soul. Fans of Emitt Rhodes, Paul McCartney, Jason Falkner, Elvis Costello, and other fine purveyors of energetic introspective power pop will dig it!
The Bruised Reed – Led by husband-wife duo Josh and Kirsten Wheeler, the band manage to weave dreamy layered melodies and Kirsten’s ethereal vocals together with angular chord changes in a way that is mellow and rocks at the same time. Their New Words for Old Desires EP will appeal to fans of Elliott Smith, Pedro The Lion, and fellow Michiganians (and sometimes IPO players) Glowfriends. They plan to spend 2015 releasing a series of two-track releases, so be sure to collect them all!
Dave Caruso – Cardboard Vegas Roundabout, Caruso’s recently released album, is being hailed by many among the power pop intelligentsia as a tour de force of sparkling sunshine pop, jangly power pop and soulful ballads, a la Elvis Costello, Andrew Gold & Matthew Sweet: “Dave’s miracle of an album is one of the best releases of… any year… Magnificent sound. Lovely, melodic songs. Crafted with care. Sharp musicianship and gorgeous, multi-part harmonies. I am in love, love, love with Dave’s music.” (Alan Haber, Pure Pop Radio)
Chris Degnore – Don’t miss this special IPO solo performance by the main man of Chris Degnore and the Black Drops, a trio who combine sweet power pop vocals with crunchy rock guitars and a touch of blues that is sure to embed itself in your brain! For those (like us) who have been eagerly awaiting a new CD ever since the release of their debut self-titled disc, the wait is nearly over – they go into the studio right after IPO Detroit! Yes!
The Dives – Taking cues from their past lives in The Junk Monkeys, The Black Mollies, and The Sunday Painters, as well as great rock and punk band influences including The Stones, The Who, The Clash, The Stooges, and The MC5, The Dives have crafted a sound that weaves driving riffs and compelling, sometimes irreverent lyrics into a gritty but honest musical tapestry that is distinctly rock ‘n roll. The songs on their debut album, Magnificent Desolation, are proof that rock isn’t dead, and that sometimes all you need is three guys and a great hook!
Matt Fig – Hailing from the suburb of Wyandotte, Fig (and his eponymous band) combines some in your face power pop with the in-your-face rock n’ roll influence of Aerosmith and the breezy folk rock of Buffalo Springfield. Their latest CD, The Medicine Isn’t Helping, is their best yet! Fig (the man minus band) has also been doing shows with Enuff Z’nuff; how cool is that?? Don’t miss your chance to see him in this rare solo performance!
The Hangabouts – “Executing their songs with passion and integrity, the Hangabouts focus on quality, but still know how to have fun and habitually toss peculiar moves into the show when least expected. If bands such as the Beach Boys, Fountains Of Wayne, Big Star, and Apples In Stereo send you spinning with glee, you’re guaranteed to lavish mountains of praise on Illustrated Bird.” (Beverly Patterson, Something Else! Reviews) If this description sounds too good to be true, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out online and live at their IPO showcase!
John Holk & The Sequins – Don’t let the embroidered pants, bolo tie, boots and cowboy hat fool you – although Holk and his band do have a strong country influence, the songs on their If You See Her CD are full of stick in your head hooks, jangly breezy melodies, sneaky chord changes and harmonies that fans of pure power pop are sure to appreciate! If Hank Williams, The Byrds, or Big Star are your cup of tea, you will want to know John Holk & The Sequins!
Le Voyage – Originally started as a solo project by singer/songwriter Joel Sanders, with the help of some talented friends, Le Voyage has become a full-fledged band. Since the band was formed in early September 2013, the music has developed, expanded, and exploded into a wave of Prog Rock, Pop, Jazz, and Electronic music that will send you on a trip (pun intended!) to the moon and back – check out their debut self-titled CD and be transported!
Nick Piunti – His debut CD, 13 In My Head, flew to the top of many a “Best Of” list in 2013, but not to rest on his laurels, Piunti’s brand new release, Beyond the Static, takes things to the next level. These 11 songs of power pop, indie rock, adult alternative songs hit hard in the hooks department and offer something to think about, not just hum about. Melodies rooted in the ‘60s and ‘70s with guitars forefront in the mix complement Piunti’s lyrical observations, and are sure to land him back on a few “Best Of” lists in 2015!
The Pounders – If you like high energy pop with a dash of jangle, you will LOVE The Pounders! Their sound draws comparisons to everyone from Elvis Costello to The Who to The Romantics and MC5, to name but a few, and their CD, You And What Army?, will also appeal to fans of Tom Petty and Neil Young. The Pounders live show is a musical experience not to be missed…so don’t miss their IPO showcase!
Chris Richards & The Subtractions – Richards is a veteran of several cool Detroit bands, including The Noel Redding Experience, The Phenomenal Cats and The Pantookas. The band’s latest CD, Sad Sounds of the Summer, is chock full of soaring hooks, shimmering guitars and melodies galore! Their IPO showcase will also be a special experience that you will not want to miss, as Mr. Anthony Kaczynski of Fireking (see below) takes the stage with them as an honorary member of The Subtractions!
The Romeo Flynns – Heavily influenced by the British invasion of the ‘60s, a time when it was all about the song, they learned how to do one thing well: compose songs that people want to hear! Combining their British influences with a sound reminiscent of the power pop scene of Detroit in the ‘80s, The Romeo Flynns’ latest CD, Masque of Anarchy, is a perfect example of what Detroit power pop once was and is once again!
The Rose Cult – Purveyors of swirling psychedelic guitar meets blues rock revival mayhem, this quartet will appeal to fans of artists from The Brian Jonestown Massacre to The Velvet Underground, The Black Angels, and The Rolling Stones, to name but a few! Check out their latest single, “If You Come Or Not” and their IPO showcase, and hear what we mean!
DL Rossi – A singer/songwriter and cancer survivor whose new self-titled album brings to life songs spanning 12 years of his life that he had never previously felt comfortable sharing with others. The album tells the story of his deeply personal struggles with anxiety and depression as a constant backdrop in the midst of stumbling through love and romance, the evangelical church, anger, self-worth, and fear – all wrapped in a catchy power pop confection!
The Starfire Band – A group of high school buddies drawn together by their love of hard rock and bands like Alice Cooper, Bad Company, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin. Today they draw the inspiration for their music from Detroit’s deep musical roots, writing and performing tunes inspired by The Beatles, Cheap Trick, Marshall Crenshaw, The Raspberries, and Eric Carmen, characterized by good melodies and flowing chord progressions, as exemplified by the songs on their latest CD, Livin’ in the City.
The Static Dial – Coming together as a group of musician friends in Detroit, the band redraw the boundaries that separate indie rock from other genres of music, striving to create music that “should already exist.” The quartet take an indie approach to textures, a love for Mediterranean and African styles (among a wide creative palette), and blend it all with a Motor City attitude. Their latest single, “Desert Song,”, will speak to fans of Calexico, Arctic Monkeys, and Jeff Buckley, et al! A full length album is due out later this year, so watch for it!
The Sugar Clouds – Blending psychedelia with synth loops and quirky pop hooks, wrapped in an ambient shoegazer layer of fuzz, they are quite aptly named, as their music will make you feel like you are floating away on a cloud of sweet electronic pop confection. Check out their recently released CD, Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch And Be Amazed), and you’ll hear what we mean!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Detroit
Fireking – A band sired by former members of Detroit’s own Figures On A Beach, who claim to be the “rock experience of the 21st Century.” The band moved to Boston, and a few years later main men Anthony Kaczynski and Michael “Smitty” Smith formed the great Fireking! The sound on Fireking’s Live A Little, Love A Little CD falls somewhere between Face To Face-era Kinks and The Stooges’ Funhouse, and their performance at The Cavern at IPO Liverpool in 2005 had many of the locals begging for more! Speaking of “more”, their new double album (cheekily titled Double Trouble) is finally available, and was well worth the wait as it is one continuous slab o’ rock!
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!
The Tearaways – They’ve been putting out sweet harmony-filled ear candy and crunchy powerpop gems since 1981, and are still going strong! They performed on the Arsenio Hall Show after their 10th year performing at the Mathew Street Festival in Liverpool, and their music has been featured on NBC, ABC, and ESPN and several independent films. Their 50-song recording project with famed producer Earle Mankey, The Earle Mankey Sessions Vol. IV and The Earle Mankey Sessions Vol. VII was recently released on Robo Records, A Division of Universal Music. Their new single “We’re All Gonna Drink Tonight” b/w the classic Badfinger song “Baby Blue” was also recently released on Robo Records/Universal Music and is now available on iTunes. Definitely one of Santa Barbara, California’s finest (with some Motor City roots)!
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!!