IPO Detroit 2016
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Artists From Detroit
Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms – The not quite solo project of the lead singer/songwriter of Thunderbirds Are Now!, Friendly Foes, Destroy This Place, the Cold Wave, and Red Shirt Brigade features a veritable who’s who of Detroit area music on Allen’s recent disc, Heart String Soul. Fans of Emitt Rhodes, Paul McCartney, Jason Falkner, Elvis Costello, and other fine purveyors of energetic introspective power pop will dig it!
The Badways – After an eight year absence from IPO, they’re back, and we’re mighty glad to have ‘em, as they do their pop/rock with just a touch of bubblegum, garage and glam like no other! If KISS had a party and invited Bachman Turner Overdrive and The Ramones to jam with them, it might sound something like this. Motor City Rock n’Roll, Baby!
The Bruised Reed – Led by husband-wife duo Josh and Kirsten Wheeler, the band manage to weave dreamy layered melodies and Kirsten’s ethereal vocals together with angular chord changes in a way that is mellow and rocks at the same time. Their recent two-track EP series, cheekily named Doubles vol 1 and Doubles vol 2, will appeal to fans of Elliott Smith, Pedro The Lion, and fellow Michiganians (and sometimes IPO players) Glowfriends. Check them out!
Dave Caruso – Cardboard Vegas Roundabout, Caruso’s recently released album, is being hailed by many among the power pop intelligentsia as a tour de force of sparkling sunshine pop, jangly power pop and soulful ballads, a la Elvis Costello, Andrew Gold & Matthew Sweet: “Dave’s miracle of an album is one of the best releases of… any year… Magnificent sound. Lovely, melodic songs. Crafted with care. Sharp musicianship and gorgeous, multi-part harmonies. I am in love, love, love with Dave’s music.” (Alan Haber, Pure Pop Radio)
Cetan Clawson – Serving up melodic rock with a side of blues, Cetan Clawson have toured the U.S. and have worked with the likes of Eric Clapton drummer Chris Layton and Led Zeppelin producer Eddie Kramer. They have also been featured in the video game Rock Band! Their latest EP, Daylight, is a perfect blend of sweet jangle pop, smokin’ hot blues rock, and power pop hooks – check it out now!
The Chris Degnore 6 – Having performed at past IPO’s as both a solo artist and as the leader of his powerpop trio, Chris Degnore and the Blackdrops, Degnore is back with an expanded ensemble and ready to rock twice as hard! The Blackdrops’ debut self-titled disc combines sweet power pop vocals with crunchy rock guitars and a touch of blues that stuck in our heads for days, so we can’t wait to hear what Degnore and his new band have got cooked up next!
The Dives – Taking cues from their past lives in The Junk Monkeys, The Black Mollies, and The Sunday Painters, as well as great rock and punk band influences including The Stones, The Who, The Clash, The Stooges, and The MC5, The Dives have crafted a sound that weaves driving riffs and compelling, sometimes irreverent lyrics into a gritty but honest musical tapestry that is distinctly rock ‘n roll. The songs on their debut album, Magnificent Desolation, are proof that rock isn’t dead, and that sometimes all you need is three guys and a great hook!
Mango Lane – Main men Austin Carpenter and Jack Engwall have been childhood friends playing music together and experimenting with different styles and sounds for over six years, finally culminating in joining forces with friends Adam and Cameron to bring their music to life as Mango Lane! Their recent Liquid Love EP brings together many of these influences into a groovy psychedelic soft pop experience, that also includes elements of jazz, funk, prog, and experimental pop! Very cool stuff!
Matt Fig – Hailing from the suburb of Wyandotte, Fig (and his latest band, The Disappointments) combines the in-your-face rock n’ roll influence of Aerosmith with hooky slightly self-deprecating power pop in the best tradition of artists such as Robbie Rist and Fountains of Wayne! Fig (the man minus band) has also been doing shows with Enuff Z’nuff; how cool is that?? Whether solo or plus band, Fig is one performer you will not want to miss!
The Garden Party – If you like classic rock n’ roll and jangle pop harmonies, you will love The Garden Party! Their 2013 Tennessee album combines influences from such greats as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, and The Kinks to name but a few! We can hardly wait to see them do their thing live at IPO!
Nina & The Buffalo Riders – A product and cumulative manifestation of Detroit’s legendary musical history, the six-piece outfit combines soulful vocals with instrumentation reminiscent of early blues and psychedelic rock from the likes of Big Brother and the Holding Co. and Jefferson Airplane. Nina’s voice has been called “one of the seven wonders of the Midwestern World” (Metro Times), and the band is known for their high intensity live performances and genuine desire to make real friendships with audiences everywhere, so come check them out….and also be sure to pick up a copy of their recent self-titled EP!
Nick Piunti – His debut CD, 13 In My Head, flew to the top of many a “Best Of” list in 2013, but not to rest on his laurels, Piunti’s latest release, Beyond the Static, takes things to the next level. These 11 songs of power pop, indie rock, adult alternative songs hit hard in the hooks department and offer something to think about, not just hum about. Melodies rooted in the ‘60s and ‘70s with guitars forefront in the mix complement Piunti’s lyrical observations, and make him a perennial IPO favorite!
The Pounders – If you like high energy pop with a dash of jangle, you will LOVE The Pounders! Their sound draws comparisons to everyone from Elvis Costello to The Who to The Romantics and MC5, and their CD, You And What Army?, will also appeal to fans of Tom Petty and Neil Young. The Pounders live show is a musical experience not to be missed…and word on the street is they’ve got some new tunes in store to unveil this year at their IPO showcase, so don’t miss it!
Chris Richards & The Subtractions – Richards is a veteran of several cool Detroit bands, including The Noel Redding Experience, The Phenomenal Cats and The Pantookas. The band’s latest album, A Smattering of Mystery and Sound, is chock full of the soaring hooks, shimmering guitars and sweet melodies for which they have long been known (and loved by power pop fans the world over)! We’re always glad to see them, and you will be too!
The Romeo Flynns – Heavily influenced by the British invasion of the ‘60s, a time when it was all about the song, they learned how to do one thing well: compose songs that people want to hear! Combining their British influences with a sound reminiscent of the power pop scene of Detroit in the ‘80s, The Romeo Flynns’ latest CD, Masque of Anarchy, is a perfect example of what Detroit power pop once was and is once again! They also promise to bring a slew of new tunes for IPO this year, and we can hardly wait to hear ‘em!
Shady Groves – A collective of Michigan-based songwriters, who trade songwriting and lead vocalist duties, which is something we love! Their sound has been described as “[h]armony-heavy, vocal-centric, ukulele-utilizing folk-pop, with tones as smooth as honey and cooing guitars (sounds like slide-guitar, almost) shearing in softly like the morning’s first sunrays…” (Jeff Milo, Detroit Metro Times), and they’ve been cranking it out steadily as a series of single releases via Bandcamp since the release of their debut album, Bitzer. Check them out now!
Six and The Sevens – Hailed as “a slightly sweeter, more polished version of The Sights,” their latest CD, Not What Ships Are For, perfectly blends everything from funky soul to jangly psychedelic power pop to classic rock into their own brand of raucous garage pop mayhem! Definitely a band after IPO’s heart!
The Starfire Band – A group of high school buddies drawn together by their love of hard rock and bands like Alice Cooper, Bad Company, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin. Today they draw the inspiration for their music from Detroit’s deep musical roots, writing and performing tunes inspired by The Beatles, Cheap Trick, Marshall Crenshaw, The Raspberries, and Eric Carmen, characterized by good melodies and flowing chord progressions, as exemplified by the songs on their latest CD, Livin’ in the City.
The Sugar Clouds – Blending psychedelia with synth loops and quirky pop hooks, wrapped in an ambient shoegazer layer of fuzz, they are quite aptly named, as their music will make you feel like you are floating away on a cloud of sweet electronic pop confection. Check out their latest CD, Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and Be Amazed), and you’ll hear what we mean!
U.S. Artists From Outside Of Detroit
Fireking – A band sired by former members of Detroit’s own Figures On A Beach, who claim to be the “rock experience of the 21st Century.” The band moved to Boston, and a few years later main men Anthony Kaczynski and Michael “Smitty” Smith formed the great Fireking! 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! Speaking of “more,” their recent double album (cheekily titled Double Trouble) was well worth the wait and has lived up to its pre-release hype, as it is one continuous slab o’ rock!
The Jeremy Band – The eponymous band led by 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 Michigander and his band can stake their rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame!
The JetBeats – A band on a mission to bring back the excitement from the high energy live shows of the early 60’s Beat Music era, The JetBeats seamlessly belt out British Invasion, rockabilly, and R&B classics from 1957 to 1965 alongside their own original tunes in the same vintage style. Their recent debut EP, Sonic Boom Boom, features seven of their best originals, and will certainly appeal to any fan of Merseybeat! Their IPO showcase will also be the Detroit debut for this Grand Rapids-based combo, so come on out and show ‘em some love!
Jupiter In Velvet – American born, and transplanted to the UK, Jupiter In Velvet is a musical journeyman who now calls home wherever he may be at the time. His latest album, Glitter On The Sun, displays a wide array of styles, colors, emotions and sounds that is all tied together into a cohesive effort through Jupiter’s vivid songwriting, his warm and passionate voice, and his unique life perspectives. Likened to “a modern day version of David Bowie or even Paul McCartney” (Loren Sperry – GasHouse Radio.com), this is one artist you will not want to miss!
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. A recent CD, Live With What You Know, was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of its songs, “Anne Marie”, and his latest 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!!