IPO New York 2015

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Artists From New York/New Jersey

Albis – The current project of Brooklyn-based session musician/producer Oscar Albis Rodriguez, previously leader of Ghost Robot Ninja Bear and Nakatomi Pizza, and guitarist for A Great Big World, who were briefly signed to Epic Records! The latest Albis album, Smoke & Ghosts, combines poignant melodies and hooks with powerful indie rock, and will resonate with fans of Elliott Smith and Nada Surf.
The Anderson Council – These Jersey boys have the most authentic, Creation-influenced mod-psych sound conceived by any band west of The Thames, and the band has both the smarts and skill to convey the sense of whimsy that defines late ‘60s British pop-psych. Their third and latest album, Looking At The Stars, was well worth the wait, and they’ve begun working on a fourth! In the meantime, their Listening Party! EP is available now!
Astro Chicken – We are honored to host a reunion show of veteran IPO performer John Laprade with his former punk/power pop trio, who throughout the late ‘90s and early 2000’s were much praised by such as The Daily News, Mojo Magazine, and Hits Magazine, and who put out three fine albums on Honey Darling and Meaningful Records. “The band timewarps The Beatles, XTC, and Nirvana into hook-filled rock capped with handsomely sung harmonies” (Ira Robbins, The Daily News). This is one show you will not want to miss!
Sophie Auster – “Sophie Auster is not the kind of singer likely to come up too often. Like a cross between Fiona Apple’s righteous rage and Gillian Welch’s homespun folk yarns, her bittersweet alto’s deft sense of delivery is a shot to the scull, wrapped up in some of the most alluring, seductive torch songs you’re liable to find…” (Mike Levine, The Deli) Her latest album, Dogs and Men, represents love and heartache as well as her surreal dreamy side. Check it out!
Bastards of Melody – A rather aptly named band who adhere to a simple formula: impossibly catchy songs with great melodies and interesting arrangements. The songs on their latest CD, Hurry Up and Wait, feature crunchy/jangly guitars with some folky, acoustic flourishes thrown into the mix. Add melodic bass, straightforward drumming with vintage keyboards and sweet harmonies and it’s clear why they draw comparisons to classic power pop bands such as Big Star, Cheap Trick or the Raspberries. Check ‘em out now!
Changing Modes – The ensemble led by Wendy Griffiths and Yuzuru Sadashige, a pair of classically trained composers whose influences range from Bartok, Stravinsky to Nirvana, along with King Crimson & Sparks! Changing Modes creates unique, darkly complex art rock delivered with punk energy and prog-rock flair, all the while maintaining a melodic pop sensibility. Their latest CD, The Paradox of Traveling Light, is space rock at its finest, tossed liberally with hints of new wave punk and more chords than you can count! Fans of Zappa and The B-52s will love this band!
Lindsey Cohen – Weaving her soulful vocals and fiercely honest lyrics into a graceful yet gritty breed of indie-pop, Cohen uses a tapestry of textures and tones to echo the emotional subtleties at the heart of her latest EP, Distance Makes Me Sensitive. The EP runs the gamut from raw garage-driven guitar riffs to hypnotic and theatrical atmospherics, and will connect with a wide variety of audiences. Fans of Regina Spektor, Radiohead, and The White Stripes in particular will dig it!
The Crayons – We at IPO are honored to host a reunion show by this superfine band from Jersey whose CD, What Color Are You? , is replete with sophisticated songcraft and harmonies. One of its tracks, “Allyson Fell Off The Bike”, is my favorite from the IPO Volume 6 CD, and one of my faves of all-time from the entire series! You don’t want to miss this one-time reunion performance!
Crazy Mary – Crazy Mary carries the flame for a time when downtown Manhattan was at its post-punk apex: gritty, smart, artful, edgy and sexy, before its soul was taken over by corporations. But true to the ideals of the era from which they emerged, the band remains fully engaged with the modern, eschewing sentimentality and nostalgia. Their latest album, Dreaming In Brilliant Color, carries their music forward and keeps their mélange of Airplane-influenced psychedelia, tribal music and Velvet Underground-inspired no wave very much alive and well. Check it out now!
Mark Crozer & The Rels – Crozer is a British artist currently based in Brooklyn, and the UK’s loss is definitely Brooklyn’s gain, as he and his band The Rels deliver some of the best power- meets mod- meets psych-pop around! Think International Jetsetters meets The Monkees meets The Jesus and Mary Chain, and you get the picture!
Ronnie D’Addario – Purveyor of beautifully crafted pop songs with rich harmonies and production, reminiscent of such greats as John Lennon, Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson, Procol Harum, and Emmit Rhodes, with four full length albums to his credit (along with some fine discs from his previous band, The Rock Club). But don’t let the title of his latest, A Very Short Dream, fool you…at fifteen songs strong, it is thankfully not short, but the songs most certainly are dreamy!
The Dents – Their music is evocative of the best of ‘90s fuzzy radio pop, with just the right touch of New York punk and grunge, and we at IPO think that is a very good thing indeed! Their singles, “Bad Make Out” and “Caroline”, make us wish they had a full length CD! Fans of The Lemonheads, Nirvana and The Pixies should check them out!
John Dunbar – Some may remember Dunbar as the leader of A Confederacy of Dunces, who put out a couple of critically acclaimed albums – Tsk, Tsk, Tsk and Dunces with Wolves – in the ‘90s. Since the demise of the band, he’s used his penchant for literate songwriting to put out several solo releases and even to penning an off-Broadway musical! His knack for combining catchy melodies with a storyteller’s heart has drawn comparisons to Ray Davies, Glen Tilbrook, and Squeeze! Pretty cool!
Bibi Farber – A singer/songwriter bred in both her native Manhattan as well as in Sweden, her music is inspired by both the classic rock n’ roll icons she grew up with as well as by ‘80s punk and new wave. Fans of artists from The Rolling Stones to David Bowie to Television are sure to appreciate her blend of gritty rock attitude with subtle pop melodicism.
Eric Frisch – With influences range everywhere from the Beatles and the Beach Boys to Sam Cooke and the Four Tops to Bob Dylan and Jackie Wilson, Frisch combines elements of ‘50s and ‘60s pop music with a more modern sound, creating a unique call to the past while still pushing forward into uncharted territory. His latest CD, Goodbye Birdcage, rollicks and rocks while providing a symphony for the soul!
Joey Kelly & The Brooklyn Horns – IPO audiences may recognize Kelly as the lead singer of classic New York power poppers, Buddy Love, who have graced IPO New York with their raucous brand of power pop many a year. In this latest incarnation, expect him to turn the power pop energy up to 11, and infuse it with a heaping dollop of Motown and The Blues – we can hardly wait!
Doug Khazzam – One of the main men of local ‘80s sensations, Buddy Love, whose recent CD, Now & Then, offers a cool mix of re-issues and new recordings. Khazzam keeps getting better with age, as his high octane shows with the band over the past few years at IPO New York will attest! This is a special solo performance you will not want to miss!
Lazy Queen – Although they started as a recording project, it’s hard to believe that now, as they are quickly gaining a reputation for their explosive and engaging live shows! Their brand new EP, Drift, features high energy psychedelic indie rock inspired by experimental bands like The Pixies, Nirvana, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, Blur and Jesus & The Mary Chain. Check them out!
Isabella Marriott – The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and her band came together in early 2014, adding a rock sound to her lyrically driven style. Even with the added instruments, her intimate and personal voice is still very much a defining characteristic of their new music together. Her recent Red Leaves EP will appeal to fans of Tori Amos, Regina Spektor, and Aimee Mann, to name but a few!
meyerman – A band who strive for crunchy power pop goodness in all they do – and succeed quite nicely! Their long awaited debut CD, who do you think you are? was mixed by Kurt Reil of the Grip Weeds, and was hailed as one of the best power pop releases of 2011! If you like Badfinger, Big Star, Cheap Trick, Teenage Fanclub, and The Replacements – and let’s face it: what power pop fan doesn’t? – then you will love meyerman, who we are glad to have back and IPO, and doubly thrilled that they’re making their IPO showcase their debut featuring their new lineup!
Dan Miraldi – Originally from Cleveland but currently based in New York City, Miraldi grew up captivated by sixties rock artists such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, but was later also influenced by contemporary songwriters like Ben Kweller, Jack White, Pete Yorn and Grace Potter. Miraldi’s music has been critically acclaimed and has received airplay on over 140 radio stations across the US, Canada, and Europe. His latest album, Chaos Destruction & Dancing, features the John Lennon Songwriting Contest winning track “Junkie Friend”; definitely an artist to watch!
The Modulators – Their reunion show at IPO New York in 2009 meant a lot to me personally, as in the early ‘80s I used to hang around guitarist Joe Riccardello as he managed the quintessential northern New Jersey record store, Vintage Vinyl. Joe is responsible for turning me onto artists like R.E.M. and Marshall Crenshaw, and when I found out he was a member of a Crenshaw-inspired band called The Modulators, I couldn’t wait to buy their first 45 (“She’s So Cynical”). They have the distinction of playing The Dirt Club more than any other band, and their excellent album from 1985 is available as a reissue on CD by Kool Kat! Not ones to rest on their laurels, they’re back in the studio, with a new disc out soon! They’ve floored IPO audiences from New York to Boston to Liverpool every time they’ve played, and I can’t wait to see ‘em do it again!
The Peaces – Concentrating on the three-minute song and the six-part harmony, The Peaces are here to refresh, renew and remind you that tunes that make you feel good are a reward. Their latest CD, Is, Are, Was, Were was one of the best of 2007, and we can hardly wait for their next one!
The Penultimate – An All-American power-trio, they proudly proclaim themselves as loud and fast, influenced by the ‘70s and ‘80s American and British punk and mod movements, but playing the rock of the future. Fans of The Jam, X, and MC-5 should check them out!
PEP – A cunning blend of melodic flavors that serve to titillate the ear buds, PEP has even been scientifically proven to heighten those intimate moments between couples, and is sure to bring a smile to your face! They perfectly channel the charm and innocence of early ‘60s doo-wop, girl group, and beach pop into their own brand of original pop songs on their recent My Baby and Me EP – but don’t be surprised if you also hear them throw a classic cover or two into their set!
Jana Peri – Influenced by the British Invasion rock of the 1960s, as well as the punk and new wave of the 1970s and 1980s, NYC vocalist/songwriter/guitarist and her band specialize in hook-laden, harmony-filled power pop/rock that is aggressive yet melodic. Jana was a winner of ROCKRGRL’s Discoveries contest with the song “Dating Sucks” from her self-titled, debut EP. Other critically acclaimed releases include Catching Flies With Vinegar, produced by Daniel Rey (Ramones), featuring “Go Ahead,” (also on International Pop Overthrow – Volume 7), and the singles “I Hate The Holidays (But I Love Spending Them With You)” and “Gallery Whore.”
The Reign – They’ve 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, and are still going strong! Their debut album, The Long Wait is currently available on iTunes, and is well worth checking out if you don’t already have it!
The Sharp Things – A Brooklyn-based, classic orchestral pop and rock collective with eclectic influences including Mark Eitzel, Scott Walker, Jimmy Webb, David Bowie, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Radiohead, Randy Newman and The Beatles (among many others). Their latest album, Adventurers Inn, blends classical instrumentation with pop melodies – definitely not your average indie-rock band!
Shannon Söderlund – A Pacific Northwest Minister’s daughter transplanted to New York City, who reveals the playful and soulful duality between her wholesome upbringing singing in her family’s band and the visceral, urban energy that comes from the NYC experience, in both her songwriting and performance aesthetic. Pop-forward hooks are layered with feel-good bluesy grooves and complex jazz texture. With a voice that harkens to the golden age of the crooner, she sings about life: love and loss, pets and workweeks on her recent EP, Innocent Heart. Fans of artists from Billie Holiday to Edie Brickell and Suzanne Vega should check her out!
Lane Steinberg Quartet – One of the main men of The Wind and Tan Sleeve, the prolific Mr. Steinberg has penned many a quirky pop song and hauntingly beautiful melody, and has graced quite a few IPO stages, both in his guise as a solo artist or in one of his many duo or band projects, most of which can be sampled and purchased via his website. We never quite know what he’s got up his ample musical sleeves when he comes to IPO, but we know it is sure to be something special that you will not want to miss!
The Turnback – As their name might imply, they take much of their inspiration from the past, but these guys from the boroughs and environs of New York have a sound that is also sure to appeal to fans of modern indie rock jangle and psychedelic garage pop. Their latest album, Are We There Yet?, has been hailed as “a power-pop lover’s dream” (The Big Takeover), as it rocks a bit harder than their debut, Drawn In Chalk, and is sure to climb to the top of many a 2015 “best of” list!
Youth Yamada – Born in Philadelphia, and having released three mini-albums and toured Tokyo and Osaka with his band World Chocolate, Yamada now makes his home in New York City, and has recently released his first solo EP. Influenced by The Beatles and ‘60s folk rock, Yamada pens simple feel good songs that can easily embed themselves in your brain! The title track of his EP, “Shinin’ On” was also named a finalist in the 2015 John Lennon Songwriting Contest – pretty cool!
Zombies Of The Stratosphere – The duo of J and A Zombie continue to churn out gem-like compositions with maddeningly infectious tunes and obscure lyrics, as they have on their latest CD, Ordinary People. Following in the tradition of their idols, Ray Davies, Elvis Costello, and Brian Wilson, their sound is evocative of classic Britpop wrapped in a cloud of gorgeous yet sometimes quirky orchestration.

U.S. Artists From Outside of New York/New Jersey

The Allrightniks – Inspired by artists such as The Beatles and Cheap Trick, and not liking what they were hearing on the radio, these gents from Roanoke, VA decided to write and record their own music, and we are certainly glad they did! The songs on their recently released Two Places At One Time album are pure catchy rock n’ roll – melodies, harmonies, and chord changes at the forefront, with just the right touch of rich orchestration in the background. All right!
John Faye & Cliff Hillis – Faye has amassed an impressive musical resume dating back to his major label days fronting ‘90s alt-rockers The Caulfields (whose single “Devil’s Diary” cracked the modern rock top-40, and whose songs played in Disney’s “The Babysitter’s Club” and “Melrose Place”), to his first solo foray The John Faye Power Trip, which morphed into IKE (who put out 6 full-length records from 2003-2011), and his punk / garage-rock influenced duo John & Brittany, who gained notoriety on “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” and on MTV-u with their video for their song “Paper Planes.” His new solo album, Meddling Kid, will be out later this year! Hillis has long been a favorite of hardcore power pop fans, drawing comparisons to Matthew Sweet, Bread, Elvis Costello, and every great pop artist in between, but has been making a name for himself nationally since the release of his critically acclaimed Better Living Through Compression CD. His recent Song Machine EP, takes the energy and production up yet another level! Don’t miss this special duo performance by these giants of the Philadelphia area indie power pop scene!
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!
The Pengwins – A band of buddies (including Lannie Flowers-see above) who had their heyday in Fort Worth, Texas in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, back when power pop was king! Taking cues from the greats such as Badfinger, Cheap Trick, and The Raspberries, their music is power pop all the way….and they can still deliver it better than just about anyone! Check out their brand new single, “Christmas Time” and their IPO showcase to see and hear what we mean!
Oberon Rose – An underground psych-rock band from Connecticut, led by the songwriting prowess of Tim Oberon. Their 2012 debut disc, wunjo, has drawn comparisons to The Posies, The Zombies, and The Kinks, to name but a few! Check it out now!
The Weeklings – All four members of The Weeklings are critically acclaimed, writing songs for and touring with such note worthies as Styx, Marshall Crenshaw, Bruce Springsteen, ELO, and Paul McCartney (!), and as The Weeklings, they perform the music of The Beatles with passion and enthusiasm that is truly infectious! Their recently released album combines songs Lennon and McCartney gave away with originals in a similar vein, and is a most excellent disc!

International Artists

Jose Estragos – A singer/songwriter from Madrid, Spain, along with his band, whose piano pop stylings are heavily influenced by Lennon-McCartney. Just one listen, and you’ll understand why they’ve been a fixture at IPO Liverpool for the past three years! We’re equally thrilled to welcome them to their first IPO New York appearance – check the merch tables for a copy of their recently released Jose Estragos vol 3 album!
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”, and his newest CD, Sweet American Music, is quite probably his best ever!! From 2010 to 2014 he played 50 IPO festivals in a row (yes, you read that right), and he still plays many of them…and we look forward to many more. Thank you, Dave!!
Hailee Rose – Any artist talented enough to become a protégé and backup singer of the venerable Dave Rave (see above) is bound to be worth a listen, and this up and coming young lady from Toronto is certainly deserving of such. Her style ranges from power pop to soul to blues and the power of her voice will blow you away! She is quite the dynamic live performer!