IPO Los Angeles 2015
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Artists From Los Angeles/Orange County
The Armoires – Hailing from Burbank, and led by duo Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko, The Armoires draw on influences as diverse as ‘60s sunshine pop, new wave and postpunk, classic country and shoegazer dreampop. Their unique harmonies give life to literate and deeply felt tales of love, loss, confusion and joy, and they can be described as everything from a power-pop Gram and Emmylou, a janglier version of X, a new wave Fleetwood Mac, the New Pornographers for the lower 48…to the Postpunk Partridge Family! A debut album is in the works, so watch for it!
Patricia Bahia – Patricia Bahia (pronounced ba-hé-yah) is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and recording artist and ovarian cancer survivor who creates catchy piano-based pop songs that celebrate life’s struggles and triumphs. Her music resonates with cancer survivors and regular folks alike, who find inspiration, solace, and hope through her infectious melodies, expressive voice and soulful lyrics. Fans of Aimee Mann and Sarah McLaughlin will want to check out her debut Long Road Home EP, and watch out for a full length in the near future!
Steve Barton – Most of you know Barton as the man behind the awesome ‘80s band Translator (you know you can sing “Everywhere That I’m Not” in your sleep…and you probably have!). He’s released four CDs with his band, The Oblivion Click, one of which, Charm Offensive, earned three stars from MOJO Magazine – which ain’t easy! His latest opus, Projector, is a bit more personal, consisting of songs written in the aftermath of his dad’s death and featuring Barton on all the instruments and vocals. If you love Barton’s music, you’ll also want to check out Different Time, a Translator double-CD set of outtakes, demos and live tracks hand-picked by the band!
J Scott Bergman – A folk/pop singer/songwriter and orchestral pop composer, J Scott Bergman has been doing his thing in and around the Los Angeles area for quite some time. Influences from George Harrison and Bob Dylan to Jeff Buckley and Joni Mitchell to Leonard Cohen and then some are subtly woven into his own unique sound. His brand new Honeydrive album was recently selected by Amoeba Music for their “Music We Like” display!
Jason Berk – A critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who comes to Los Angeles by way of New York and San Francisco, 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 latest full-length album, Coming Home, will appeal to fans of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Costello, to name but a few!
Blackbird Days – The latest musical project of Los Angeles based singer, songwriter and guitarist Monique St. Walker, Blackbird Days’ music is a blend of classic melodic pop and deep driving indie-rock. Produced by Alain Johannes (of Queens of the Stone Age), Blackbird Days’ debut self-titled album has been earning rave reviews on iTunes for its dynamic melodies and powerful lyrics. Fans of Radiohead and Supergrass will want to check it out!
Bobby Bognar – Many of you reading this will recognize this gentleman’s name from his standing as the main man of the most fun band in Los Angeles, The Piper Downs, but did you know he also hosted “Food Tech” on the History Channel, and is the owner of The Point Café in Culver City…and he’s a champion scrabble player! A true renaissance man, but most importantly for IPO’s purposes, he’s an excellent singer/songwriter which will truly shine through in this rare solo performance he’s doing at IPO Los Angeles. Don’t miss it!
Nick Bognar – A charming singer/songwriter who never fails to delight audiences with his crop of catchy songs, featuring strong hooks and great melodies filled with tongue in cheek humor. His music has drawn comparisons to Ben Folds, Green Day, Liz Phair…and sometimes also to his brother Bobby Bognar, main man of The Piper Downs (see below). Check out his song “Ninjas Win,” the title track for the movie, Ninjas vs Vampires!
Brahms Third Racket – The latest vehicle for the music of Wishnefsky, who led the ‘90s alternative band Jabberwock, Brahms Third Racket seamlessly shifts from new wave hooks to crunchy (and sometimes quirky) guitar pop to gentle folk pop and just about everything in between! Their new album, Fantastic Shadows, will therefore appeal to a wide array of tastes indeed!
The Anny Celsi Band – Continuing in the pop-noir vein she mined on Little Black Dress and Tangle Free World, Anny’s recent self-produced album, January, once again combines Brill Building hooks with her “beatnik-cool” feel and a storyteller’s eye for detail. The album features Anny’s son Ivan Pyzow, who contributed horn, string and vocal arrangements that are steeped in Motown, New Orleans jazz, and classic pop vocal harmony style, along with trumpet, piano and that rare blend of voices that can only be found between family members, as well as a litany of guest-performers (and likely band members) that reads like a “who’s who” list of the LA music scene – so come check them out!
Charles & David (from Brian Jones Was Murdered) – Three fourths of Bakerfield’s grooviest Brit Invasion rockers make the trek down to LA to play IPO after a long hiatus, and we can hardly wait! Fans of The Kinks, The Yardbirds, and The Rolling Stones will want to be sure to check them out!
The Cherry Bluestorms – After discovering their mutual love of ‘60s guitar-based melodic rock, guitarist/vocalist Glen Laughlin (formerly of The Dickies) and vocalist Deborah Gee immediately began working on what would become The Cherry Bluestorms. Their debut album, Transit of Venus, is a garden of unearthly delights for those who cut their teeth on the vinyl pressed between 1964 and 1970! Their latest release, an ambitious concept album called Bad Penny Opera, turns their classic style and psychedelic haze up a notch, and has been garnering stellar reviews!
Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings – One of Orange County’s finest, this rockin’ quintet has for many years been known for distilling the best of Nick Lowe, Marshall Crenshaw, The Beatles, and Hank Williams to create a fresh, original brew that works well both live and on CD. Clevenger’s newest material has taken on a fresh blues-bent, without eschewing one iota of his pop sensibilities – very cool!
The Condors – They make absolutely no bones about the fact that they’re classic stylists, influenced by the best that rock ‘n roll, pop, punk, glam, and R&B have to offer. They then take all these influences and package them up in their own brand of in your face gritty powerpop! Their sophomore CD, Wait For It, received extensive airplay and press all over the United States, as well as in Europe and South America, and their latest, 3 Item Combo, is even better! They’re in the studio again, and their brand new single “Back To Jackson” gives us a taste of their fresh take on Americana that they’re cooking up next – we can’t wait for the full album!!
Dreaming In Stereo – “Jellyfish meets Jethro Tull? Aimee Mann meets ELO?… or ELP for that matter. Dreaming In Stereo epitomizes Progressive Pop….The band’s self-titled debut album…[is] a happy marriage of Power Pop and catchy ‘70s era Art Rock. The album features eleven instantly classic sounding power pop tunes with the addition of some wildly creative and frenetic guitar playing woven through them…” (Guitar Player Magazine) Main man and producer extraordinaire, Fernando Perdomo, has become a fixture on the LA scene since relocating from Miami Beach several years ago, but he’s brought his old combo together for a special IPO reunion performance that you will not want to miss!!
David Divad – Produced by the ubiquitous Fernando Perdomo (see above and below), Divad’s brand new album, Healing Hands, offers a unique blend of upbeat sunshine pop, orchestrated baroque pop and dramatic glam-pop. Fans of ELO, Queen, The Association, and fellow IPO-er Brandon Schott (see below) NEED to check it out!
Electrets – “For fans of the Ramones and the Go-Go’s… the band’s Misfit EP draws outside the lines with some wonky keyboard lines… but mostly is hop-in-the-convertible cruising music.” (Kevin Bronson, BuzzBands.LA) Their super-catchy blend of punk, powerpop, and grunge is kicked up to a whole ‘nother level on their recently released “Falling Awake” single, and their electric live shows are not to be missed!
Evil Maria – After releasing and touring behind three CDs on his Spill Records label, singer/songwriter and guitarist Evren Goknar formed Evil Maria. Their sound evolved into what Goknar describes as maximum garage pop, infusing ‘60s-influenced farfisa and edgy rock elements with pop and early new wave. Their latest release – a limited edition 7” on colored vinyl called The El Dorado Seven Inch – is totally hip!
Feronia – Led by Jessica Gerhardt, Feronia explores self-discovery and spiritual discernment with vulnerability and sensitivity, evoking candid connection and common ground in their listeners, lifting them up through her music. Their Words Like Rainfall EP will appeal to fans of Alanis Morissette, The Decemberists, and Kate Bush, to name but a few!
The Flower Machine – With a particularly idiosyncratic approach that blends psychedelic pop with early ‘70s rock, the band is closer in spirit to the work of Syd Barrett and Dutch freakbeat pioneers The Outsiders and Golden Earrings than anything made past 1978 or so. Their latest album, Lavender Lane, was released on the quintessential psychedelic pop label Rainbow Quartz, and will also appeal to fans of The Pretty Things or Arthur Lee & Love!
The Galaxies – With all the power of Pop and all the edge of Rock, The Galaxies’ music is a unique mix of melody, harmony, beat and full-out fun that really rocks!! Each member brings with him knowledge and love of ‘60s pop, ‘70s rock, and today’s energy and excitement! After just one listen, we dare you to try getting the songs on their latest CD, Here We Go!, out of your head!
Robbie Gennet – An award-winning piano player, writer, and performer who has toured as a sideman and vocalist with acts as diverse as Nick Lachey, Everclear and 7Mary3, in addition to performing solo or with one of his own bands, Rudy and Rabbithead. Expect to hear some ‘70s classic pop melodicism and clear vocals, packaged nicely with powerpop hooks on his brand new CD, Green Tea & Blueberry Pie – yum!!
Alex Jules – Jules is the main man of The Greys, whose classic pop hooks are sure to put a smile on your face and reel you in! Their Day Old EP will appeal to fans of Sunshine Pop as well as fans of modern pop artists such as Ben Folds or The 88. His upcoming full-length CD is in the mastering stages, and will definitely impress many of those who are reading this! Jules is definitely a forced to be reckoned with, and his future is looking bright!
Norman Kelsey – IPO’s favorite soul-man’s latest album, On The Rebound, has been getting rave reviews and earning Kelsey new fans in both the US and the UK! Produced by Adam Marsland, the album is a continuation of his journey into disco-pop that began with A Talent For Loving, taking cues from the Brothers Gibb and James Brown, along with the usual Motown suspects. Filled with uptempo pop tunes and ballads, Kelsey’s albums (and his live show!) will make you think it’s 1978 all over again, but without the polyester!
Last Life In The Universe – Inspired by real life events, Last Life in the Universe combines the talent of VNA (Vocals and Keyboard) and Pete Razo (Guitars). Together, they combine their songwriting genius, creating songs of depth, meaning, and melody. And it works. Pete’s guitars are sweet, sad, but powerful- reminiscent of U2’s The Edge (one more artist, that guitars sound like). VNA’s unique vocals are emotional and memorable.
The Living Dolls – Mix powerpop, rock, psychedelic, garage, mod, and punkv arena rock from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s, and you’ll get an idea of the sound of The Living Dolls! They’re an alternative blend of old and new; somehow familiar yet strangely unrecognizable. Their self-titled CD is garnering rave reviews from their home in the beautiful San Fernando Valley to Ohio to Sweden, and points in between.
Maple Mars – A dash of Pink Floyd, a sprinkle of Cheap Trick, some Jellyfish on the side, and a big dollop of the Beatles describe this Los Angeles band. If they never did anything but their debut CD, Welcome To Maple Mars, we could have all been satisfied, but thankfully they keep cranking out their psychedelic pop perfection! The fourth and latest CD, Galaxyland, weaves a dreamy Bacharach meets Rundgren element into the mix, and is definitely their best yet!
Marston – We can hardly wait to see and hear what the intriguing and engaging Mr. Peter Marston, long-time leader of the band Shplang (who have graced the stage of many an IPO), has in store for us with this, his solo outfit. Shplang have long been mainstays of the L.A. music scene, have lots of excellent CDs, including their most recent release, My Big Three Wheeler, and have a very cool, unique sound as well, with swirling psychedelics meeting solid pop sensibilities. One minute they’re sounding like the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the next: The Stranglers. Marston’s new solo CD, The Invisible Girl, is his most eclectic yet, very pretty at times but still a whole lotta fun!
Adam Marsland – Whether going it solo, playing the maestro as leader of his Chaos Band, or indulging his love of soul as part of Pacific Soul Ltd (with Norman Kelsey, above, and Teresa Cowles, of Dragster Barbie), Marsland has been cranking out power-packed performances across the US and Europe with songs ranging from beautiful harmony filled gems reminiscent of Brian Wilson to some funky blues inspired ‘70s soul-styled numbers. Quite possibly the hardest working man on the pop scene, his nearly ceaseless touring has earned him thousands of fans all over the world! His latest CD, The Owl And The Full Moon, is his best work yet, and he always throws his heart into every performance, so this is one show you will not want to miss!
Math & Science – Quirky, subversive, and fun are just a few of the adjectives to describe the unique musical stylings of this project led by the inimitable Mr. John Wolf. Math & Science pools everything it remembers from the shining moments of ‘60s and ‘70s rock to produce new rock/pop gems that are extremely evocative, while also retaining a palpable originality. Wolf’s vocals remain as intimate as ever atop a foundation of grooves echoing the Beatles, Velvet Underground, and Tom Petty. Their brand new CD, Math & Science II, will also appeal to fans of Zappa and Fountains of Wayne, so check it out now!
Kristen McLaughlin – A very talented young singer/songwriter/actress and dreamer, McLaughlin has been singing since a very young age, but always dreamed of writing and performing her own songs. To that end, she taught herself to play the guitar, and has not slowed down since! The video for her debut single, “Deserve Better,” (which is also featured on this year’s IPO CD) has gotten over 1,000 views on YouTube, and displays shades of Reba McEntire, Tiffany, and Taylor Swift all rolled into one! Her debut EP, Me, My Guitar, My Sorrow & Some Other Stuff, is now available from iTunes and other fine digital outlets!
Monogroove – They’re the latest combo led by Rin Lennon, whose lead vocals graced the awesome ‘80s band On The Air. Monogroove have been selected by Music Connection Magazine as one of their Hot 100 Unsigned Artists, and have been described as “hard charging rock with truckloads of melodic harmonies” (M.C. Magazine). Their latest CD, Echoes In The Grass, may very well be their best yet!
The Mozzies – An Orange County quartet whose debut CD, Kool Patrol, offers a gentle slice of garage rock mixed with California Sunshine, Surfpop, and Spaghetti Western elements. Very cool indeed!
Karen Nash – Born in Texas and raised in Southern California, Karen Nash plays alt-country roots music with the skillfully crafted turn of phrase and topical content of a great folksinger. Known for her impassioned songs of loneliness and broken love, Ms. Nash has captivated audiences all over the US, and was equally well-received in the UK where she played IPO Liverpool in 2008. Her CDs are evocative of Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers, and Emmylou Harris, and live with a band she can really rock!
New Maximum Donkey – “New Maximum Donkey is poised and ready to make a charge at the world of music with a brand of power-pop that is all their own, fueled by a wry sense of humor and rich melodies that have you singing along by the 2nd time through the disc.” (Jeff Johnson, CDReviews.com) Said disc, Square Root of All Evil, will appeal to fans of artists as diverse as The Ramones, UB40, Frankie Lymon, Jet, and The Banana Splits! One of the most entertaining bands we’ve ever had at IPO!
LuAnn Olson And Randell Kirsch – LuAnn Olson and Randell Kirsch wooed each other by writing songs back and forth in the early eighties, co-founded the band Show Of Hands (IRS Records, 1988) then started having babies. Six children, a mountain of songs, a smattering of releases later, and after sharing Randell with The Beach Boys touring band for eleven years, they’ve merrily returned to their favorite road, writing, recording and playing live together. Look for a mostly acoustic release premiering at IPO.
Fernando Perdomo – Re-located to LA from his former home of Miami Beach where he led Dreaming In Stereo (see above), whose churning style of music was coined by band and press alike as Progressive Pop, an eclectic mix of ‘70s Progressive Rock and ‘90s powerpop! His latest full-length, Warm, is full of symphonic arrangements and out of the box instrumentation, but with an underlying pop catchiness and melodicism that makes the songs truly unforgettable. He’s also a label head (Forward Motion Records) and producer extraordinaire (the latest album by pop legend Andy Pratt, among others – including a few fellow IPO performers!)
The Piper Downs – One of the most entertaining bands on the scene, who’ve been together for over 20 years and – like fine wine – just get better with age! Their CD, Varying Degrees of Failure and Tunelessness, displays both their excellent sense of melody and harmony as well as their tongue in cheek humor. Sadly, their IPO showcase will be one of their last before they call it quits and move on to other pursuits, but look out for their long-awaited CD, Women, Like Children, Crave Discipline to finally be released before they call it a day! You always get more than a bang for your buck with The Piper Downs, and their last IPO show promises to be something truly special, so don’t miss it!
Plasticsoul – Led by singer/songwriter/producer Steven Wilson, who over the past decade has been performing various roles in multiple bands while compiling a large catalogue of original, dynamic pop songs. The latest Plasticsoul CD, Peacock Swagger, took the top spot on several “best CDs of 2009” lists – check it out for yourself and you’ll hear why!
Popdudes – This Orange County combo led by sparkle*jets u.k. main man Mike Simmons and drummer/pop-journalist/author John Borack , are sure to please with a multitude of cover tunes done in their inimitable fashion…along with some groovy originals! A revolving cast of supporting players that reads like a Who’s Who in the LA power pop underground scene adds to the fun!
Chris Price – An engaging artist whose inspiration for his latest CD, Homesick, came from the great albums of the ‘60s, which used limitations to enhance creativity. The album was recorded entirely on an iPhone using just a 4-track app and the mic of the phone. The result is pure ear candy filled with lush strings, clear vocals, and captivating melodies. Check it out now! Price is also a producer extraordinaire, having worked on the upcoming album by Emitt Rhodes (!) and Alex Jules (see above), among others!
The Relatives – This powerful quartet belts out classic powerpop that all lovers of the genre are sure to appreciate! Their just-released third disc, Tilted World, is their best yet!! If you like Cheap Trick, Material Issue, and The Smithereens, you will also dig The Relatives!
The Resonant Heads – Take one listen to the layers of gorgeous vocal harmonies that surf upon intricate melodies and a dynamic rhythmic core, and it becomes obvious that not only is this band revisiting that classic California sound, but they are reinventing it. As the title of their latest CD proclaims, This Is Getting Fun!
Ruby Free – Any project led by the one and only Mr. Rick Hromadka (of Maple Mars fame, see above) is sure to be good, and Ruby Free does not disappoint! Featuring Hromadka and his wife/choirgirl, Lisa Cavaliere, the songs on Ruby Free’s debut album, Introducing Ruby Free, meld all kinds of psych, softpop, and early ‘70s radio pop influences, from Brian Wilson to McCartney & Wings to ELO to The Steve Miller Band!
Scarlet Crush – The undisputed Pop-Rock Champions of Orange County, the band is the all-time leading award winner at the Orange County Music Awards, scarfing up more accolades than we can count! Filling clubs, appearing on local TV and radio, and winning fans at every turn, Scarlet Crush has become known as a powerful creative force, excelling in writing, recording and performing a catalog of consistently irresistible pop/rock, sure to appeal to fans of bands from Squeeze or The Beatles to Fuel or Weezer!
Brandon Schott – A singer/songwriter/producer who wields a voice that comforts you like an old friend through warm melodic pop songs that cut to the bone. His music embraces everything that is California sunshine-folk-harmony-pop mixed with his penchant for quirky instrumentation – such as kazoos – against a backdrop of pure pop orchestration complete with strings, horns, and crystal clear harmonies! We are honored that he is making his IPO showcase the release show for his latest – and quite possibly greatest! – album, Crayons & Angels, and will be bringing along a full band to help give life to his newest creation, so this is one show you will not want to miss!!
See How They Run – A new band fronted by the duo of Adrian Bourgeois and Paige Lewis. Bourgeois has been stylistically compared to such pop music pillars as the Beatles and the Beach Boys, as well as more modern songwriters such as Elliott Smith and Rufus Wainwright. Lewis has drawn comparisons to Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morrissette, but she has her own unique style and the songs she sings were written from a place of great hope and optimism. A wonderful yin/yang pairing!
Morty Shallman – Creator of the world’s first Novel with Songs, Last of the Zacharys, this dapper, affable Angelino is known for his cutting-edge mashups of pop songs and pulp fiction. Fusing elements of disco, dance pop, indie pop, alt-rock and EDM, with soaring melodies, intelligent lyrics and classic pop song craft, Shallman serves up a glowing succession of catchy tunes and infectious beats that will brighten the playlists of listeners, dancers, youtubers and radio programmers alike. Check out his latest EP and video project, HALO, and come to his IPO showcase to see and hear for yourself!
The Shamus Twins – Yeah, you’re right, there aren’t any real twins in this band, but their sibling-like harmonies, intelligent lyrics, unique arrangements and infectious songcraft will make you forgive their nom de faux pas. If you like loud guitars, harmonies, jangle, and twang, you’ll want to pick up both of their excellent CDs!
Sitcom Neighbor – They’re a band who wear their late ‘60s and early ‘70s Brit-pop sensibilities proudly on their sleeves. Here’s what CD Baby has to say about their self-titled debut: “Quarter and thinly slice one Apple (green, red or white label, 1968 vintage approx) add one cup Kinks, one teaspoon XTC and a pinch of Nilsson.” Yup, pretty much, and their latest, Charmed, is even better, gracing my Top 10 of 2012! They’ve got a new disc in the works, and will be giving us an exciting sneak peak at the IPO Showcase, so don’t miss it!
Spirit Kid – The musical moniker of Emeen Zaroukian, recently re-located from Cambridge, MA to LA, and Cambridge’s loss is most definitely LA’s gain! Long known for energetic jangly pop and wistful harmonies, Spirit Kid’s latest disc, Is Happening, adds a touch of glam, garage, and psychedelia that is nearly impossible to resist, earning it the #1 spot on my “Best of 2014” list! Fans of The Zombies, The Beach Boys, and Apples In Stereo NEED to check it out!
Sunken Ships – From the unholy union between Morrissey, Johnny Cash, and Jeff Buckley, and gestated in the womb of eastside L.A., a band was born. Sprung from the mind of singer-songwriter Ray Argyle, and fleshed out with a motley crew of thieves, ruffians, and beggars, Sunken Ships “…draws inspiration from folky Brit bands, dark pop and mopey folk and it all has a sheen of sweet musical frosting on top to keep their songs from getting too macabre. All in all, it just works.” (Joe Armstrong, Independents Day) Check out their recent Mystery Friend EP, and watch for a soon to be released full length!
Tall Walls – Sun-drenched power pop not unlike what Buddy Holly would have sounded like if he listened to The Ramones and became increasingly socioeconomically- aware. Fusing a love for three-piece harmonies, pop arrangements, surfy guitars and steady rhythms, the band refreshingly recycles 60’s pop, punk rock and indie into songs that provide playful social commentary.
Russ Tolman Band – Tolman is one of the main men of True West, one of The Paisley Underground’s most beloved bands, whose “guitar poetry” will never be forgotten, nor will landmark albums like Drifters. We had one of those rare, unforgettable “pinch me” moments at International Pop Overthrow, when the original line-up of True West performed together for the first time in 20 years at IPO Seattle in 2006, and we’re always in for something really special when Tolman steps out in his current hometown performing under his own name!
The Trainwrecks – The band led by Piper Downs’ guitarist Garner Knutson; they’ve got a powerful, punk-pop sound that fans of The Piper Downs (see above), Green Day, and more traditional power pop will love! Check out their debut full length self-titled CD, which was well worth the wait!
VMichaels – Born and bred in Cleveland, Ohio, main men Vince Anter and Adam Campbell have been banging out tunes for over 10 years. Now, relocated to LA, and with newfound bassist B.T., VMichaels is gigging around the Los Angeles area and putting the finishing touches on a brand new three song demo! Think Maroon 5 meets One Direction, with a bit of John Mayer for flavor, and check out their electric live show, and it’s not hard to see why these guys are poised to take the world by storm!
Jeremiah Webb – This young gent loves making music – whether experimental folk pop or more orchestrated soft pop – or both woven together! – his unique voice shines through. Fans of Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan, and Jon Brion will dig him!
The Withers – A Los Angeles foursome who blend classic late ‘50s and early ‘60s rockabilly and rock n’ roll with ‘70s punk and garage, for an effect that is absolutely infectious. Their recent self-titled EP will leave you wanting more!
The Yorktown Lads – An energetic new powerpop band formed by a trio of songwriters: the venerable Mike Simmons (of long-time IPO veterans, sparkle*jets u.k. and The Popdudes, see above) and youngsters Cameron Lew and Addison Love, who despite their difference in age, are all clearly cut from the same musical cloth. Their brand new debut full-length album, Songs About Girls and Other Disasters, is pure pop perfection: sweet harmonies, chunky bass lines, and catchy melodies that fans of artists such as Paul McCartney, ELO, and Fountains of Wayne will love!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Los Angeles/Orange County
The Bobbleheads – An absolutely engaging trio from San Francisco 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, and more good feelin’!
Cait Brennan – A Tempe, AZ-based indie piano rock singer/songwriter with dark cabaret, powerpop and ‘70s glam rock influences. She can also belt out vaudevillian ditties, honky-tonk rock, and soul with the best of ‘em! Her recent two-night sold-out concert performance at Arizona’s Tempe Center for the Arts was filmed for public television’s Emmy-nominated “Songwriters Showcase” series, airing on PBS stations, Tempe 11 and on YouTube now! Wow!
Chuck Charles – The current solo moniker of the musical genius otherwise known as Charlie Recksieck, leader of the hugely entertaining San Diego band The Bigfellas, who have been hailed by The San Diego Union Tribune as “The Best Local Band in San Diego.” The band’s sound is a mélange of The Police and Steely Dan, yet with the oft-goofy approach of Barenaked Ladies, and with original songs like “4:20”, “I Wish That I Were Gay”, and “Adam & Eve & Ted & Alice” Recksieck as Chuck Charles will let his lyrics stand out even more, but be forwarned…you may find yourself rolling on the floor laughing as you crawl to the merch table to pick up his CDs!
Kylie Hughes – A trailblazer all her life, daring to march to the beat of her own quirky muse, Hughes has created a hybrid vibe so unique that she recently had the term “Calipopicana” (also the title of her debut CD) trademarked. She has traditionally described it as a blend of the California surf vibe, with influences like The Beach Boys and The Bangles, mixed with classic pop and Americana soul. The album was produced and recorded by Earle Mankey (of Sparks) with co-writers John Ferriter and John “Fin” Finseth of the famed Santa Barbara based Cali rock band The Tearaways, and Brent Bourgeois, co-founder of the veteran rock band Bourgeois-Tagg. Check it out!
The Jeremy Band – Jeremy Morris is 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 Michiganian can stake his rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame as he and his band have played more IPO festivals than almost anyone else!
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!
Southern Sirens – This all-girl trio from the Kentucky-Southern Indiana area performs a plethora of genres in their originals and covers, giving each song their own distinctive sound with a unique blend of violin, Latin percussion, guitar, vocals, and sometimes piano and mandolin. Their just released debut self-titled EP will appeal to fans of Indigo Girls, Gypsy Kings, Kelly Clarkson, and Shania Twain, to name but a few!
Suite 100 – Hailing from north San Diego County, Suite 100 is a mix of sing-a-long melodies, lush arrangements, thoughtful lyrics and pure pop sensibilities. Exploring intricate, lavish and sometimes haunting territories, their long-awaited sophomore album, The Only Cure For Gravity, harkens back to the days when you would throw on headphones and listen to an album in its entirety. Seamlessly crafted, each song is led into the next with a vignette that enhances or foreshadows the ensuing track. Eschewing the theory that lush harmonies and arrangements are for critics alone, Suite 100 also backs up their songwriting with an energetic live act that is not to be missed…so don’t miss them at their IPO LA appearance!
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!
Cartoon – Fusing their Brazilian roots with rock n’ roll flair, their music blends classical music with classic rock, prog, pop, and a bit of glam and psychedelia thrown in for good measure! Their latest release is a rock opera based on the legend of King Arthur – pretty cool!
The Most – One listen to their music and you’ll understand why these guys from Umeå, Sweden were instant hits at IPO Liverpool in 2013/14, and are sure to be instant favorites at IPO LA as well! They specialize in sweet jangling psychedelia that nicely straddles the line between garage pop, mod and soft pop that fans of The Monkees, The Jam, and The Beatles are sure to dig! Check out any of their 7” vinyl EPs or Auto Destructive Art, their debut full-length album released at IPO Liverpool in 2013, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Sarah Siddiqui – A captivating Toronto-based alt/pop singer/songwriter/storyteller with two albums to her credit, Siddiqui also has roots in Hollywood, as her songs have been featured in multiple film and TV projects, such as “Triggermen” (2002), starring Donnie Wahlberg and Claire Forlani, and “Word of Honor” (2003), starring Don Johnson and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Her upcoming album, No More Waiting Rooms, supported by several well-known guest artists and friends, including guitarist Tim Bovaconti (Burt Cummings, Ron Sexsmith) and drummer Tony Rabalao (Joydrop, Shakura Saida), embraces the ups and downs of Siddiqui’s journey, encompassing themes of mental health, self-awareness, love, and hope.