IPO Austin 2016
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Artists From Austin
Joshua Aaron (of Stealing Heather) – The main man of Stealing Heather, who’s sincerity and their emerging reputation as “the thinking person’s pop-rock band” stands in stark contrast in an age of thirty-second attention spans and banal pop songs. As opposed to getting by on their “vibe,” Stealing Heather stands for moving lyrics and musical intensity that can actually change the listener. Fans of Snow Patrol, Keane, and Nada Surf should definitely check out their debut disc, Your Mistake, and be sure not to miss this special solo acoustic performance with the lyrics will shine through in a more intimate way!
Ashbury Keys – A straight-up pop-rock band originally from Houston, but with members now also living in Austin, who have garnered multiple nominations as one of the best bands of the city! Returning in 2012 after a brief hiatus, they’ve not only not missed a beat, but have come back even better, flooring crowds at IPOs both near and far (including several appearances at IPO Liverpool!) with their muscular power pop and sibling harmonies. Their latest EP, Do You Know Who You Are?, takes their Texas-filtered Brit-Pop sound to a whole ‘nother level!
Bang Bang – The latest outfit led by the inimitable Eddy Best, known to many Austin area popsters as one of the main men of The Go Wows, Bang Bang combine influences from classic ‘70s power pop and ’60s garage with irresistible hooks and crunchy guitars. Their recently released debut self-titled CD has been getting much well-deserved local radio play and internet buzz, and their raucous performances since their debut at last year’s IPO have made them an instant fan favorite!
BUZZIE – Formed by lead singer/songwriter John McElhenney after leaving local Austin pop darlings Blue Cartoon, BUZZIE thrives on the 3:30 minute harmonic convergence with lyrics that are not about sex, or drugs, or being a rock star. Their latest album, Cooling My Jets, features acoustic versions of old favorites as well as some new tunes, and has been described as Wilco meets Radiohead unplugged! Check it out now!
Walter Clevenger – Known to many pop fans as the main man of Orange County, CA’s Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings, Clevenger now resides in Austin, and is making a name for himself as a solo performer. He built his foundation with The Dairy Kings on his unique brand of alt-country-rock, 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, while his newest material has taken on more of a blues-bent without eschewing his pop sensibilities! This should be a very cool performance (it will feature some Dairy Kings), proving that Orange County’s loss is most definitely Austin’s gain!
Freddie Steady Krc – IPO is proud to present a solo performance by the main man of The Freddie Steady 5 and Steady Boy Records, long known in Austin and beyond as a tireless promoter and musician, and one helluva guy! He’s appeared as a session drummer with everyone from Carole King to Roger Waters to Ronnie Lane, and has even appeared as a session drummer on film in the movie Outlaw Blues. His tunes as a solo performer and with The Freddie Steady 5 blend British Invasion and ‘60s psychedelic garage influences with country and blues into what can best be described as just feel good rollicking good time music, and whether solo or with a band, he always rocks his heart out!
Craig Marshall – Over the past three decades, Marshall has quietly built a remarkably accomplished body of work, drawing upon his wide-ranging musical background to craft engagingly melodic, personally-charged music that’s as emotionally resonant as it is catchy. He has also recently been getting some much deserved attention from music biz insiders, being named 2016 Songwriter of the Year by The Austin Songwriters’ Group! The songs on his sixth and latest album, After All, show off Marshall’s gift for penning and performing the kinds of tunes that helped country-inflected folk to eventually become the Americana genre. Fans of Crowded House, Matthew Sweet, and The Beach Boys should check him out!
Neal Mehta – As the singer of The Recliners, a popular Austin-based lounge band from the mid 1990s to early 2000s, Mehta played throughout the U.S. and Europe, sharing the stage with artists such as Matchbox 20, Offspring, Social Distortion, Spoon, and Duncan Sheik, and has also appeared in several original pop and rock bands, such as Swirl, Corduroy, Halloway, Fairlight, and Fosskit No. 5. His latest album, Beautiful Space, reflects both his Americana rock and Britpop influences, and will appeal to fans of Ryan Adams, Oasis, and The Smiths, to name a few! Both the album and his backing band also feature the talents of fellow IPO performers Chris Smith, as well as Bill Walter and Darwin Keys of Ashbury Keys (see above).
Mount Pressmore – Fast becoming a fixture of the Austin club scene, Mount Pressmore is committed to creating great music one song, one performance, and one album at a time. Their first single, “Trampoline,” has invited comparison to the dance-inspired rock of Talking Heads, soaring choruses of Peter Gabriel, raw energy of The Police and sophistication of Steely Dan. Their debut album, aptly titled Enjoy, has had us doing just that since its release, and has us eagerly awaiting the release of their next album, The Masked Battle! Modern prog-pop at its finest!
New Mystery Girl – A Garage-Pop band envisioned by singer/songwriter/guitarist Chrissie Flatt and abetted by Eric Hisaw’s fiery telecaster work, with a manifesto of “Passion, Lust, and Adventure” that pervades their music, whether live or on CD. Their recently released album, Crawl Through Your Hair, “…is a concentrated blast of all killer, no filler garage rock ’n’ roll, explosively catchy, classic pop hooks and cool, confident swagger. At just under 20 minutes long, it flies by way too fast — you won’t even know what hit you. But you will be twitching for more.”(Richard Skanse, LoneStarMusicMagazine.com)
Oh Antonio & His Imaginary Friends – A fun-loving musical adventure comprised of Antonio Delgado and everyone he can gather to his cause, which is creating songs to make your heart smile and set your feet dancing. Imagine if Bowie and Springsteen had a baby that jammed like Jerry Lee Lewis and danced like Elvis Costello, and you would almost get the idea…or better yet, check out their Binary Stars EP and their IPO showcase!
The Prettiest Girl – The nom-de-plume of singer/songwriter Jasmine Kostraba, who was the main force behind the excellent Los Angeles combos The Otterpops and the Swedes, and who currently splits her time between LA and Austin. Her solo work delivers the same power-packed melodic rock n’ roll punch of her previous bands, with a dash of quirky folk-edged indie-rock on the side, so if you like that kind of sound, you’ll surely want to check her out!
Rich Restaino & the Obits – Their sound fuses elements of UK power pop with soul grooves and girl group harmonies, as displayed on the three albums they’d released between 2007 and 2012. After a bit of a hiatus, Restaino reassembled a slightly modified version of the band to play new material. The band’s latest EP, Apocalytopotumus, draws from more country, folk, and early American pop influences, while retaining that fun soulful bubblegum edge! While we’re saddened to hear that the band has decided once again to call it quits – and possibly this time for good – we’re honored that they’ve agreed to make IPO Austin their farewell performance! Come out and help them make it one for the ages…and also check out Restaino’s new more stripped down solo album, It’s A Golden Age For Creeps!
The Soulphonics – The Soulphonics play American garage rock and roll: three to four minute songs full of hooks and mostly about the pain of love, of life, and death…and no guitar noodling! Fans of The Seeds, Flamin’ Groovies, and AM radio circa 1966 will want to check out their latest album, Heart Full of Soulphonics! Groovy!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Austin
Demi The Daredevil – A theatrical art rock sensation from El Paso, Demi The Daredevil’s latest LP, The Secret Schizoid, combines influences from Queen and The Beatles with Bach, Disney, and modern Broadway rock opera shows, such as Rent and Superman. “It’s a very striking combination of dense sophisticated lyrics with contrapuntal melodic and harmonic structures not normally heard in current contemporary music these days,” say John McCracken, acclaimed musician, Gold and Platinum music producer and former head of A&R for EMI Music Group, and current head of John McCracken Music Group, who has signed them to his label, and expects great things to come!
The Lannie Flowers Band – Although he and the band hail from Kennedale and Ft. Worth, 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! Flowers’ latest studio CD, New Songs, Old Stories, picks up where his earlier disc, Circles, left off, but rocks even harder, and the band’s latest, Live In NYC, shows why you must see them in person! 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!! One of Spyderpop Records’ finest artists!
Mick Rhodes and The Hard Eight – The band from Claremont, CA, has been described as AC/DC meets Lucinda Williams going out on a bender with Paul Westerberg, only to find itself at a late night diner with Tom Petty, when out of the blue Ron Sexsmith sits down for pie, and they all somehow end up at Little Richard’s hotel room listening to the Faces, watching the sun come up. In other words, their music contains a little bit of everything that rocks, rolls, and twangs its way into your heart! Songs that would not be out of place in a southern rocker’s set share space with others that would work just fine in Laurel Canyon of the ‘70s. Lush three-part harmonies coexist with raucous fuzz guitar, and strings and cello share space with empty whiskey bottle percussion. Check out their recently released Paradise City and their IPO showcase to hear for yourself!
The Rosedale Highs – San Antonio’s The Rosedale Highs are self-proclaimed champions of the “New Power Pop” movement, which emphasizes melody, harmony, and the classic Beatlesque pop sound, updated for the 2010’s. Their music has been described as having the “lyrical complexity of Ben Folds” and the “sunny but melancholy rock of The Replacements” (Adam Coronado, The San Antonio Current). Their latest EP, Let’s Get Wrecked With The Rosedale Highs, is sure to gain new converts to the new power pop cause…check it out and hear what we mean!
Beat Root Revival – A band of folk, roots, howling blues & classic pop beats, featuring the songwriting prowess of Andrea Magee & Ben Jones (he of The Lovedays and Rifle Volunteers). Though originally from Belfast and Kent, they’ve spent considerable time in The States, putting together their own tour of the U.S in 2014, and have not looked back since! Their debut album together, Waiting On A Miracle, was released on New Orleans’ Toulouse Records, and they’ve recently recorded with Tommy Harden (Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift) in Nashville to capture their live sound for an upcoming release titled The Root of The Beat. They pour themselves into their live performances, and are fitting in a special performance at IPO Austin in between their supporting slots for The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s 13th Annual Christmas Rocks Tour, so this is one show you will not want to miss!