IPO New York 2016
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Artists From New York/New Jersey
63-64 – As one might surmise by the name, 63-64 take their inspiration from the Beatle-esque/British Invasion sound of the early ‘60s, and were brought together by main man Thomas Cavanaugh to bring to life his album of the same name. The album was recorded using primitive out of date recording machines and vintage instruments, and contains 12 tracks that would all have been number one hits had they been released in those years!
Airplane Mode – A band who really, really love music, and pull inspiration from everything: ’90s alternative, classic rock, jazz, and especially pop. They describe their sound as one part Foo Fighters, one part The Killers, and a dash of Taylor Swift (!). Their infectious energy and dynamic performance will make you want to get up and move!
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 brand new Albis EP, Animals, builds on a solid foundation of indie rock, but definitely leans more heavily toward the softer more poignant side of things, intricately woven with folk influences. Fans of Elliott Smith and Neil Young will dig it!
Azwel – Built around the songwriting prowess of Jason Perrillo, Azwel’s music is influenced by various styles, but is always filled with interesting chord progressions, catchy melodies and vocal harmonies. The arrangements vary from song to song with electric/acoustic guitars to keyboards and strings. Known for being an extremely prolific and busy writer, Perrillo releases at least one album per year. Fans of artists such as ELO, Scott Walker, and Teenage Fanclub in particular will want to check out Azwel’s extensive back catalog and IPO showcase!
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!
BETS – An all-female bicoastal dream pop band, BETS is led by singer-songwriter Betsy Hershey. She grew up on both coasts which both still strongly impact her art and music. Her bandmates reside in Brooklyn when they’re not living out their musical dreams on the road.
BETS debut LP, Days Hours Nights, is “…an album outfitted for the young urbanite just taking things day by day, hitting the inevitable rough patches but also strongly shining at times…” (Paste), and showcases Hershey as an electro-indie troubadour whose breathy ballads shimmer with the freedom and power acquired by following her own heart!
Chris Bolger -A stalwart of the New Jersey music scene for many years, Bolger has been heavily influenced by the British Invasion, and among his favorite songs is “No Matter What”, which he fondly refers to as “a mental blueprint for the perfect blend of pop and rock”. His latest album, No Promises, is replete with power pop goodness, and features none other than Graham Maby of Joe Jackson’s band on bass, and Dennis Diken on drums!
Bubble – A tight, rugged power pop band whose 2000 CD, Bash Bish, sounds exactly as the title would imply. “Principal songwriter Dave Foster constantly gets it right, fashioning killer hooks into a collection of songs which demand the listener’s attention throughout and are guaranteed to provide a lot of pleasure to those of a pop inclination” (Luke Magazine). After a break during which Foster released his debut solo CD, Blue Circle, Bubble returned in 2009 with the release of the aptly named Seconds, and they’ve been going strong ever since! They are in the studio with producer Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu) recording their 3rd full length album, which we can’t wait to hear!
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!
The Crushes – An all girl dream/synth-pop band who skillfully blend the poignant yearning one might expect of a girl group with a much darker and harder edge…think Stevie Nicks meets Grace Jones! A debut album is the works for release early next year, but if this sounds intriguing, you won’t want to wait that long, so be sure to catch them at their IPO showcase!
Mike Daly & The Planets – Daly is best known as the lead singer of New Jersey power-pop stalwarts Every Damn Day, and this is his latest recording and performing project! Fans of Every Damn Day, as well as notable power pop artists from various solo Beatles to Matthew Sweet, Tom Petty, and The Posies, will appreciate the band’s 2010 debut four song EP, The Cosmic Adventures of ManBoy. Recording of a full-length follow-up (which we hope they finally finish …and soon!) is perpetually in progress.
Danny and Caroline – An indie folk-rock duo with huge talent and potential, whose track, “Better Days,” gained some international exposure when it was feature in a Coca-Cola advertisement promoting the Winter Olympics in Socchi, Russia. Danny and Caroline’s sound has evolved tremendously over years of writing and touring together, and teaming up with producer Wil Farr, of Hurrah! A Bolt of Light, has taken their songs to new heights. The upcoming album, titled Beauty and the Beard, is one you won’t want to miss!
The Gershwin Brothers – The latest project to play IPO led by the prolific Mr. Lane Steinberg! Best known as one of the main men of The Wind and Tan Sleeve, 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. 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!
Peter Horvath (of The Anderson Council) – IPO is proud to present a special solo performance by the main man of The Anderson Council, whose Creation-influenced mod-psych sound is the most authentic conceived by any band west of The Thames! All three of their excellent albums, as well as their recent Listening Party EP, deftly convey the sense of whimsy that defines late ‘60s British pop-psych. Their brand new release, Assorted Colours, presents an aural history of The Anderson Council: recorded at The House of Vibes under the stewardship of Kurt Reil (of The Grip Weeds), the album includes punched-up re-masterings of three tracks from each of their previous albums, along with four newly recorded gems in a seamless presentation. Check it out – now!
Jes Hudak – With a songwriting style that combines shades of everything from Regina Spektor and Fiona Apple to Otis Redding, Beyonce, and Justin Timberlake, Hudak is perhaps best known in the US for her appearances on Bravo’s reality show, Platinum Hit. The show featured 12 emerging singer-songwriters as they battled through innovative songwriting challenges on their way to becoming the next hit-maker, and although Hudak placed second, she has actually achieved said “hit-maker” status in Australia! Her performance of the song “Different Worlds” made it to the number 6 position on the Australian iTunes charts and achieved gold record status, after being heavily featured in promotional campaigns for The Voice, Australia. This fall, she will be releasing both a self-produced full-length solo album, as well as a full-length album as Bang, You’re Dead, an electronica/soul duo she fronts with DJ/producer Quickie Mart, one or both of which may be available in time for her IPO showcase. Definitely an artist to watch for even more big things to come!
The James Rocket – An indie rock combo whose power pop sensibilities are brought to the forefront on their new album, Thrust. They sing about everything from bartenders, time, roller derby, lies, dolls, spy planes, and the rent, and combine frenetic angular chord changes with stick-in-your-head hooks and harmonies galore. Fans of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, They Might Be Giants and Cheap Trick should check them out!
Steve Katz – One of the main men of The Wind and Tan Sleeve (see Gershwin Bros. entry above), Katz goes it solo for his IPO performance! Beautiful and rich melodies along with his own distinctive style of guitar work compliment Katz’s soulful voice. His style can be likened to Cat Stevens, Damien Rice, David Gray and James Blunt. His recently released EP, “Barricades is a confident five-song debut…[and] should serve as a perfect demo to intrigue any record company interested in this breed of pop.” (Wes Britton, Blog Critics)
Sarah Kervin – “Story-telling through music has always been the heart of the matter for New York-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Kervin. Schooled in jazz and classical, this Atlanta native came to New York with a soulful sound and inspired writing that blends modern and classic influences to take you to the place where your heart is smiling.”(MuzikReviews) Equal parts Ella Fitzgerald and Sara Bareilles, her music has history, soul and the optimism of a small town girl making her way in the big city. Into the City, her 2015 sophomore album, tells stories of the shared human experience: trying to making it through life without totally screwing everything up.
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 IPO New York shows will attest! This is a special “extravaganza” performance you will not want to miss!
Lieder – Formed in the spring of 2007, Lieder (which means “songs” in German) was personally given its name by rock legend Pete Townshend of The Who! They display an aggressive style of power pop, steeped in the tradition of American and British rock n’ roll, and thrive on playing live. They revel in the immediate response to their energetic style of play and challenge anyone not to enjoy their enthusiasm! We’re thrilled to welcome them back to IPO after far too long an absence!
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 the band’s new music. Ranging in genre from lush pop-rock ballads to gritty up-tempo electric folk, her recently released Three Hundred Days album is a thematic exploration of world-wariness and isolation, with a glimmer of practical optimism that 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!
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 released an album of current music, Try, Try, Try, which proves they’ve still got it! 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 Mylars – If rock ‘n roll is dead then no one told The Mylars. The Mylars are the Garden State’s newest super charged rock ‘n roll outfit, with a back story too good to even try and embellish. With a band mission of “It is what it used to be,” The Mylars are a combination punch of an analog recording, the excitement of your song being heard on the radio for the first time and a place when lyrics and melody shaped the time of your life. Their debut single, “Breathe Again” has us eagerly looking forward to a full album!
Christian Navarro – The main man of San Francisco pop outfits Smith Point and Talk Tonight has recently made The Big Apple his home, and San Francisco’s loss is definitely New York’s gain! Smith Point were known and loved for their catchy melodies and hooky riffs, and Talk Tonight continued in a similar vein, providing straight up, ultra radio-friendly rock n’ roll with a pop twist on their 2015 release, It’s Your Move. Navarro’s voice is something to behold, and his performances solo or with band were always highlights of IPO San Francisco, so we can’t wait to see and hear him in his first IPO appearance as a New Yorker!
Erik Only – The soulful guitar pop rock and clever chord changes on Erik Only’s recently released album, Human, are instantly both addictive and uplifting! Fans of artists from Stevie Wonder to The Beatles to Rodgers and Hammerstein to The Beach Boys need to check out both the album and his IPO showcase!
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!
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.”
Pop Smart Overdrive – The newest band incarnation of prolific singer/songwriter/session player Thomas Cavanaugh, also the main man of 63-64 (see above). As the name implies, Pop Smart Overdrive is power pop all the way, taking cues from the likes of Cheap Trick, Blondie, and Green Day! A debut album is in the works, which we can hardly wait to hear!
Slyboots – IPO is proud to host the debut performance of the new band featuring KG* Noble and Margaret LaBombard, whose guitar hero glitter glam and solid bass lines were the power behind the great Lily Sparks! Expect cleverly crafted songs, an engaging performance, and the rock turned up to 11!!
Speed The Plough – Founded by John and Toni Baumgartner and Marc Francia, this New Jersey-based band has had numerous line-ups over the years, including former members Rich Barnes and Chris O’Donovan (of Wild Carnation), Stanley Demeski and Brenda Sauter (of The Feelies), writer Jim DeRogatis, John Neilson (Wharton Tiers), and veteran DJ Frank O’Toole. Their recently released album, Now, features a wide-ranging group of songs, including everything from intricate folk pop to searing psychedelic garage rockers!
Supersmall – Combining strong melodies and sharp poetic lyrics, This Other World, the debut E.P. from this New York-based indie rock band, featuring Irish singer-songwriter Colin Dempsey and drummer Daniela Schiller, is a strong first outing. Both are seasoned musicians that have played in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia, and their talents as storytellers and writers shine through in their intricate songwriting.
Valentina – Brooklyn-based singer songwriter Valentina’s music is raw, dark, and sexy, combining deep heart-felt lyrics with melodic and subtle instrumentals. Her recently released EP, Part 1, will appeal to fans of Tori Amos, Amy Winehouse, and Jewel, to name but a few!
Zombies Of The Stratosphere – The duo of J and A Zombie follow in the tradition of their idols Ray Davies, Elvis Costello, and Brian Wilson, i.e., churning out gem-like compositions with maddeningly infectious tunes and obscure lyrics while failing to deal with their crippling emotional problems. Their latest release, In Technicolor, adds a dash of psychedelic jangle to their characteristic lush orchestration, and is easily their best one yet!
U.S. Artists From Outside of New York/New Jersey
Cait Brennan – A singer-songwriter from Tempe AZ with a unique brand of glitter glam soulful rock n’ roll sung straight from the heart. Plus, you gotta love anyone who can channel Roy Orbison, Elton John, Freddy Mercury, John Lennon, and Etta James in the space of a single set! Her recently released Debutante album has been shooting up the Amazon singer/songwriter charts, and has some critics already naming it as a contender for album of the year…check it out for yourself to hear why!
River Lynch and The Spiritmakers – Singer-songwriter River Lynch got his name out there as a solo act, playing shows in and around upstate New York for the last several years. In 2015, he found some local Rochester, NY cats that shared the love of rock n’ roll and possessed the skill to create it themselves, and the band’s timeless sound incorporates vintage influences while remaining fresh for the modern world. A tasteful mix of the rock n’ roll vibes of Tom Petty, with a modern edge comparable at times to the sounds of Jack White. Having recently released their debut EP, There Goes The Heart, they are taking their show on the world and preparing for world-wide rock n’ roll domination!
Jack Rivera and Heavy Friends – If you like authentic ‘60s influenced garage in the vein of The Beatles, The Kingsmen, and The Troggs, look no further than the music of Jack Rivera! He makes his home in LA, but he’s toured the world, building an ever-growing fan base within the underground garage scene, and we’re excited that he’ll be doing his thing at IPO. As a special treat, he’ll be backed for his IPO showcase by none other than Sweden’s The Most (see below), so you know this will be a truly special performance that you won’t want to miss!
Wizard Farm – A collective from Hartford, Connecticut who weave beautiful sonic waves for your aural enjoyment. Their music is a magical fusion of psychedelia, pop, and rock – with a few surprises thrown in for good measure! Their latest release, Jams for Haiti, is a Charity Compilation Album put together in support of the Hoof It For Haiti Foundation in Rocky Hill. Fifty percent of all proceeds go straight to the people of Haiti through their foundation, so come out and show your support!
U International Artists
The Most – One listen to their music and you’ll understand why these guys from Umeå, Sweden were instant hits when they played at IPOs Liverpool in 2013/14 and LA in 2015, and are sure to be instant favorites at this year’s IPO New York! They specialize in sweet jangling psychedelia that nicely straddles the line between garage pop, mod and soft pop that fans of The Monkees, The Jam, and The Beatles are sure to dig! Check out Auto Destructive Art, their debut full-length album released at IPO Liverpool in 2013, or their latest album, Invasion Completed, released on the heels of their 2015 American tour, and you’ll hear what we mean!
No Stories – One of Colombia’s 10 Best New Bands according to Mute Magazine (Argentina), No Stories has played shows at some of the most important venues and events in Bogota, and now bring their brand of rock n’ roll to IPO! No Stories absorbs elements from ‘60s pop, early punk and garage to make catchy songs for the 21st century. Fronted by a Colombiano who grew up in the U.S. surrounded by old rock n’ roll records, the band makes the kind of music they love to hear, with an outsider’s twist. Fans of The Kinks, The Arctic Monkeys, and The Strokes will dig their recently released Let’s Get Away EP!
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 power poppers 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 another recent 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. A debut album, Introducing Hailee Rose, was released last year, and features a mixture of classic covers and Rose’s original tunes. 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!