IPO San Francisco 2015
Click on artist name to go to their music page
CLICK HERE to see IPO San Francisco 2015 Artist Yearbook Photos
Artists from San Francisco
The American Professionals – You’re sure to get your RDA recommended allotment of procrastination, self-indulgence and low self esteem, and still get to savor the joys of catchy melodies, grinding guitars, and fluffy billows of lush harmony with this band…not to mention that their live shows are always entertaining! Their new album, We Make It Our Business, displays main man Chuck Lindo’s way with a turn of phrase!
Jason Berk – A critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who comes to the west coast (he splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco) by way of New York, 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 album, Coming Home, will appeal to fans of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Costello, to name but a few!
The Bobbleheads – An absolutely engaging trio 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!
The Bottle Kids – The latest project of recent Austin, TX ex-pat. singer/songwriter/guitarist Eric Blakley, The Bottle Kids embody powerpop circa 1979 – which, by the way, we think is a GOOD thing! Think Paul Collins (for whom Blakely recently performed as a lead guitarist/background vocalist), The Knack, and Supertramp rolled into one! Their debut CD, Such A Thrill, was released at IPO San Francisco in 2013 (for which we are honored), and we can’t wait to see ‘em again!
Cash For Gold – A trio who meld the beautiful harmonies and melodies of bands such as The Zombies or The Shangri-Las with a dark hypnotic vibe comparable to Beach House or The Raveonettes. The songs on their latest EP, Swan Dive, capture the dark underbelly and grit from the streets of San Francisco, and lovingly carry both it and the listener through an array of restless, catchy melodies.
Claire On A Dare – A San Francisco quintet who blend elements of shoegaze, glam rock, funk, and acoustic flourishes with melody and passionate story telling to provide a polished and compelling rock experience. Their latest album, Sanctified: Deitor Darker & the Infinites, is a multimedia rock-opera-inspired concept album, based upon the thin line between love, infatuation and madness. Very cool!
The Clarences – The Clarences were hatched by Robert A. Medeiros in Oakland, California. He was traumatized because Mego never made a Green Lantern action figure. Then, he met Erin Shannon at a reading aboard a b-52. After that, he met Leslie Outhier at a Canadian bunny farm. Together, they are The Clarences!
The Corner Laughers – A band known for quirky intelligent lyrics, catchy melodies, harmonies, and fun! The Corner Laughers’ new album, The Matilda Effect, offers the clever wordplay, magical melodies and heartbreaking harmonies fans and critics have come to expect from the group, while displaying their wry and witty spirit of adventure!
French Girls – A quartet (none of whom are actually girls, btw) from the small town of Willits, tucked away in the Redwoods of Northern California, the band began as an outlet for teenage, degenerate skateboarders and slowly grew into something a lot more serious. Combining melodious guitar riffs morphed and inspired by the new wave era and the dynamic power of their rock and grunge predecessors, French Girls creates music that is violent and psychedelic. Check out their recent EP, Tablemanners, and watch out for a full length sometime later this year!
Eric Friedmann and The Lucky Rubes – The songs on their latest CD, Telephone Girl, perfectly straddle the line between the alt-country vibe of bands like Walter Clevenger and The Dairy Kings or The Jayhawks and the traditional power pop of Cheap Trick or The Knack. The current lineup rocks harder than ever…and boy, can Friedmann write a good hook!
HIJK – An Oakland-based art-pop indie rock trio, who’s musical foundation consists of “hyper late ‘90s-style rock, full of addictive hooks and complex riffs”. (The Bay Bridged) The current lineup retains the quirky post punk feel of their earlier work and combines it with a more traditional hardcore sound. A new album is in the works, so watch for it!
The Honey Wilders – A combo emerging from the basements of Sunnyvale who play old school power pop with a dash of twang. Think Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick, The Rubinoos, and Nick Lowe wrapped into one, and you get the picture! Their Singles for Singles CD is strongly recommended for rockers and power-poppers who like to get down and get with it!
The Hot Toddies – Heidi, Erin and Sylvia are best friends who have been playing music, drinking whiskey and writing songs together since 2005. Said songs-which can be heard on their latest EP, Bottom’s Up, or either of their fine full length albums-combine sunny beach pop, indie rock riffs and a dry sense of humor. Fans of bands such as The Waitresses, The Donnas, and The Go-Go’s need to check them out!!
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands – If you like the grittier, angular side of folk rock with just a touch of twang, you will certainly appreciate the music of this man and his band(s)! Having been a member of The Meantime, True West, Cottonmouth, The Mariettas, and Denim TV, he now performs with his band The Dirty Hands. The current live band features Greg Lisher of Camper Van Beethoven on guitar; Kevin T. White of Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express on bass, and long time co-producer/engineer Matt Boudreau on drums. The band’s latest CD, Risk Profile, is a mix of delightful western ballads and pure twangy power pop; certainly something for everyone!
The Real Numbers – This quartet makes a musical mash up of the best the Bay Area has to offer. Part power pop, part quirky melodic rock, seasoned with a generous heap of harmony and a dash of twang. With tight arrangements, lush chords, relentless rhythm and lyrics both smart and smartass, The Real Numbers conjure an era of songwriting come and gone from commercial airwaves, but carried on by the likes of Fastball and Fountains of Wayne. Check out their debut disc, Welcome To The Numberhood, now! Need we say more?!
Rich Girls – The band describe the reverb-drenched sound of their Fiver EP as “garage-y torch songs from the dark end of the street,” and have drawn comparisons to New Order and The Jesus & Mary Chain. Add a touch of The Pretenders and The Motels to that, and you’ve just about got it…or better yet, come to their IPO showcase and check them out for yourself!
The Secret Identities – Responsible adults with “real” jobs by day, singer/songwriters and guitar heroes by night, The Secret Identities provide new sonic realms and sparkling 12-string jangle to complement each other’s songs. The results, as can be heard on their debut Open Me Up, or at their IPO showcase, are a series of highly crafted pop songs laden with muscular guitar parts and dripping with power pop harmonies inspired by their mutual love of The Beatles, The Who, Big Star, Badfinger, The New Pornographers and Guided by Voices, which any self-respecting power-pop fan will love!
Talk Tonight – The latest project by Christian Navarro, whose previous band Smith Point were known for their catchy melodies and hooky riffs. Talk Tonight continues in a similar vein of straight up, ultra radio-friendly rock n’ roll with a pop twist. Their debut EP, A Single Day, was one of the best of 2012, and their long-awaited new disc, It’s Your Move, is poised to follow in similar vein…and Navarro’s voice is something to behold!
TRIP WIRE – A quartet who produce short catchy songs that revolve around that perfect juxtaposition of power pop, indie rock, psychedelic rock and garage styles. As such, fans of The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, Guided By Voices, and REM will surely dig ‘em!
The Well Wishers – The latest project by the main man of San Francisco stalwarts, Spinning Jennies. The Well Wishers sound is a little less power pop and closer to that of Shelton’s long time musical heroes, The Posies. A Shattering Sky, the Well Wishers’ 7th full-length studio album, is Shelton’s most ambitious and full-bodied production to date, with tighter arrangements, broader instrumentation, and cleaner production that lose none of the sharp power-pop sensibilities of his previous work. While bold and bright guitars, lush melodies, and undeniable hooks are always at the forefront of Shelton’s tried and true pop formula, there are also nods to broader stops on the musical spectrum, such as alt-country, bouncy Brit-pop and swirling brash psychedelia!
US Artists from Outside of San Francisco
Blame The Bishop – A band based out of Citrus Heights, CA who exist at the intersection where traditional American rock and British pop meet. The band’s namesake and guitarist/singer, Warren Bishop, and fellow guitarist/singer Todd Weber have been playing together for 11 years through The Holy Men/The Onlymen combination before a reboot as Blame The Bishop. In addition to their original songs, the band often will dig into their collective memories and pull out some choice covers, so this is one show you will not want to miss! Also be on the lookout for not one, but TWO (!) CDs due out soon!
Jackie Zealous – Dripping equal parts sunshine and reverb, Santa Cruz’ Jackie Zealous plays surf-inspired rock n’ roll with a light whimsical touch! Check out their debut self-titled EP now, of which 50thirdand3rd beamed, “Jackie Zealous sound like sunshine. It’s like they recorded these six tracks on a beautiful sunny California day, adding some rays to the mix – a musical photosynthesis if you will.”
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!
Last Life In The Universe – LA-based 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.