IPO Seattle 2015
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Artists From Seattle/Tacoma area
Accidental Heroes – A four piece pop-rock combo from the South Puget Sound featuring the talents of Tim Monaghan, who some may remember as one of the main men of GE5. Mixing a high energy stage show with dynamic musicianship and harmonies, and throwing in a classic powerpop cover or two amidst their originals, it’s no – pardon the pun – accident that fans of Cheap Trick, Train, or Tom Petty will love them!
Emilio Banda – Dripping with all kinds of cool Britpop influences from The Beatles to Bowie to Elliott Smith, Banda’s music is warm and catchy and full of memorable hooks. Catching some major label attention from the likes of Epic and Dreamworks, Banda seems destined to be a huge musical force from the Pacific Northwest to the rest of the world, so check him out now!
Jesse Boggs – Longtime leader of the great band, Smile Brigade, whose songs range from mildly sugarcoated pop to sleazy and riff-laden rock to melancholic lullabies, while maintaining a fluidity of impenetrable hooks, rich vocal harmonies and tactful composition, which can be heard on their latest CD, Do You Come Here Often? Expect Boggs’ solo effort to display a similar penchant for simplicity; a strong melody and a good hook, with the knack for putting it all together in a way that makes it hard to get out of your head!
Wynne C Blue & Her Trouble Fakers – Software engineers by day, smokin’ power-pop/riff-rock band by night, Wynne’s songwriting influences include Better than Ezra and Indigo Girls, and her vocal style has been compared to both Chrissie Hynde and Gwen Stefani. The band’s sound includes a healthy mix of blues, rock, coffeehouse, dance, and hook-heavy pop sure to grab your attention. Check out their latest disc, I Know, and their IPO showcase to hear for yourself!
Spencer Carlson – In his latest album, The Universe is Screaming, folk-singer/songwriter Carlson opens himself up a little bit, but also tries to make a stand for the small opinions he deeply believes in. His blend of poignant lyrics with stick-in-your-head hooks and mind-bending chord changes will resonate with fans of Elliott Smith, The Beatles, or Chris von Sniedern.
Christa Says Yay – Whether you’re partial to the jazz, blues, and soul-inflected rock of the early ‘70s or the jangly alt-rock of the mid-‘90s, you will fall in love with Christa Says Yay! Imagine Stevie Nicks singing lead with Pink Floyd backed by Wilco, and you get the idea…or better yet, come check out their IPO showcase and pick up a copy of their Monster Love Machine CD!
Peter Fedofsky – Perhaps best known to Seattle pop fans as the man behind the ivories in Curtains For You, Fedofsky’s solo music displays his deep obsession with classic Brit-Pop influences such as The Zombies, The Kinks and The Beatles, and melds this with his love of Beach Boys harmonies. The result is pure ear candy, sure to leave you wanting more! Good thing he’s got a healthy (and constantly growing!) back catalog as well as a new CD, The Sound and the Fury, which is awesome and at this writing available for download!
The Finger Guns – Featuring a line-up of veteran Seattle musicians including Eric Chapman (Big Splash Champion, Kingpin Hayes) on drums, Arthur Hagman (Pinehurst Kids, Luna Park, The Sun-Ups) on bass and Steve Bergstrom (Dapper Jones) on vocals and guitar, The Finger Guns are here to bring their unique brand of catchy punk rock straight to your earholes. Slices of ‘80s punk, sprinkles of ‘90s rock, and spatters of ‘00s songscapes make up a big steaming batch of awesome on their new A Double EP. Their live show is incendiary, featuring pounding drums and bass, a buzz saw guitar and straight-from-the-heart vocal delivery, so don’t miss it!
In Cahoots – The songs on their recent Dogland album deliver sweet and sour pop rock so catchy and infectious that the choruses get stuck in your head for days. A vigilant disciple of Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry, front-woman Christina Cramer’s soaring vocals have a beautiful mix of “vixen and venom” that highlight her clever songwriting skills, and the rest of the band provides a solid background to the mixture of old-school punk and classic-rock riffage sure to melt your face off!
Kight – An alt-pop band from the Seattle suburbs who try to write music to inspire – music that people can connect with that helps them overcome daily tribulations, and thrive in this adventure we call life. Their debut album, Fight To Fly, will appeal to fans of The Early November, Dashboard Confessional, and Mayday Parade, to name but a few!
The Pop Cycle – A brand new power pop trio who play a mix of originals and covers drawn from several decades of the power pop genre. Their repertoire includes songs by Big Star, The Who, The Records, The Kinks, Cheap Trick, Beatles, and more, and their main goal with the Pop Cycle is to have a heck of a lot of fun, rock hard, and celebrate the music that means something to them – a sentiment we feel fits in perfectly with IPO!
Post Adolescence – Combine wall-of-fuzz guitars, a frenetic intensity, some ‘80s British post punk echoes, and a dash of glam, and what do you get?…Post Adolescence! Their debut full length CD, My Nothing, will appeal to fans of Manic Street Preachers, Ash, Oasis, or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and their recent EP, Goodbye From The Future, kicks up the intensity and anthemic rock feel a notch! One of the best bands we’ve heard out of the Pacific Northwest in quite awhile!
Salvadore Dali Llama – A band who creates a sonic soundscape that is part modern alternative and part ‘80s Britpop, with a few psychedelic flourishes thrown in for good measure! Fans of artists such as Echo & The Bunnymen, The Church, and The Rolling Stones will want to check out their Foretoken EP!
Shakedown At The Majestic – A sharp-dressed young quartet whose signature style involves tightly woven harmonies and interweaving vocal melodies, drawing from rock and pop’s early years but delivering something altogether fresh. Their influences include early rock n’ roll, doo-wop, the Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Zombies, Weezer, The Hives, and the Pixies, and they combine these into something irresistibly danceable, catchy and fun that we dare you to try to shake out of your head! Watch for a debut album to be released soon!
Swords For Arrows – The rock ‘n roll brain child of song-writer, singer and guitarist Travis Nelson, bassist Gar Hooker, and a rotating cast of drummers, Swords For Arrows write pop songs that sound like they were lit on fire and sent screaming down a hill in a little red rider wagon in a thunderstorm! Think Bowie and Zappa rockin’ out to The Offspring, or better yet, just come check out their IPO showcase!
Strangely Alright – Frontman Regan Lane’s ‘80s pop star experience, Ken Schaff”s driving hard rock influences, Jason Bair’s rocking military precision on drums, Ray Hayden’s keyboard crush on all things prog rock and Sean Van Dommelen’s crunchy white boy blues all collide, creating their unique raw, energetic sound deep seated with emotion. The combination gives Strangely Alright “…an undeniable emotional appeal. Ringing, triumphant chords and lyrics that allude to conquered tribulations immediately make the music relatable to everyone.” (Rockford Rowley, The Weekly Volcano) Fans of The Beatles, Prince, and Super Furry Animals should check them out!
Vanilla – This band made up of Seattle-Tacoma music veterans features Jayson Jarmon and Scott McPherson (also the principal songwriters of Liar’s Club), Sean Gaffney, and Dana Sims (The Jet City Fix), along with a combination of players who make up the “Tiny-Vanillacano Club” family of Tacoma pop bands — members of Vanilla, Tiny Volcano, and Liar’s Club. Their debut self titled CD has been compared to a variety of pop legends, such as The Association, Wings, and Jellyfish, and their just released follow up, Vanilla 2.0, continues in similar vein…and we’re honored that Vanilla has deigned to make this IPO show their CD release!
Xolie Morra & The Strange Kind – People are instantly taken by Morra’s captivating stage presence and melodic range, and from the day she hit the scene and played her first show, it wasn’t long before there was a buzz. She has been described as a cross between Chrissy Hynde and Lindsey Buckingham, and the band has a very unique sound, blending classic rock sass and honest modern melodic style reminiscent of the Pretenders, Tom Petty, as mind blowing and breath taking as Coldplay with a country kick in the pants!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Seattle
Flurries – Just as the gently falling snowflakes from which they take their name can all at once grow into a raging blizzard, so too the warm ambient sounds of this unique band from “The PDX” can shift seamlessly into a full-on rock attack and shift right back again. Soaring vocals and the clash of psychedelic meets new wave effects complete the soundscape. Their self-titled debut is grittier than pop but peppered with hooks that will keep you humming along for days. Check them out!
The Hard Way – Fueled by manic, artfully crafted pop songs, The Hard Way play rock ‘n roll with a major emphasis on vocal harmony, driving guitars and big-ass drums. Their third and latest studio album, Day 5, is their best yet, combining influences as diverse as The Posies, Soundgarden, The Pretty Things, and AC/DC! One of Olympia’s finest!
Anthony Kaczynski (of Fireking) – With our without his band, make no mistake, this Bostonian (by way of Detroit) can rock! 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 – due in large part to front-man Kaczynski’s powerful delivery! Speaking of “more”, Fireking’s 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 Mona Reels – An Olympia-based pop/rock n’ roll/experimental music project formed in the year 2000 as a creative umbrella for the compositions, recordings, and live performances of Peter David Connelly and others. The band’s various incarnations have issued five full-length albums, three singles, and a 12″ EP, with 2005’s “You’ve Fallen In Love” having been hailed in particular as a regional pop music classic. For those who love all things Beach Boys and/or Jellyfish (and what self-respecting pop fan doesn’t?!), you need to check them out!
Silver Ships – IPO is honored to host a special performance by Silver Ships, a Portland, OR act via Austin TX. Multi-instrumentalist Chazz Bessette will be performing an intimate solo electric set. Silver Ships is a dedication to carefully crafted home recordings and live shows showing a true dedication to good musicianship and well executed shows. Some of you may remember Chazz as a founding member of legendary Tacoma act The Vicci Martinez Band!
Gayle Skidmore – A born songwriter, Gayle Skidmore has written over 2000 songs since she began songwriting at the age of eight. Named “Best Singer-Songwriter” in the 2013 San Diego Music Awards, Skidmore continually processes her adventures, experiences, thoughts and emotions through music; writing, playing and singing from the depths of her soul. Her song “Paper Box” was featured on the HBO show Looking, and her latest full-length album/coloring book, Sleeping Bear, was nominated for “Best Pop Album” in the 2014 San Diego Music Awards. One of San Diego’s most unique and engaging artists!