IPO Portland 2016

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Artists from Portland

Phil Ajjarapu – Ajjarapu has played bass and pedal steel for many bands over the years, and was finally prompted to make his solo album after a near fatal accident in March of 2012. Said album, Sing Along Till You Feel Better, is an album made for people who like albums, by a person who adores albums. Fans of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Big Star, Jellyfish, and The Posies will dig it! Don’t miss his IPO show, where he’ll have Molly in tow!
Lucio Barbarino – A unique singer-songwriter who deftly combines a Beatle-esque sense of pop melody with the wistful spirit of a lonesome cowboy folksinger. His recent The Past Is Dust, Time Sweeps It Away album will appeal to fans of Lennon/McCartney, Neil Young, and Gene Autry (!), to name a few!
Steve Barton – Most of you know Steve as the man behind the awesome ‘80s band Translator (you know you can sing “Everywhere That I’m Not” in your sleep…and you probably have!). His Charm Offensive CD, with his LA band, The Oblivion Click, earned three stars from MOJO Magazine – which ain’t easy! – and their latest, Gallery, is just as good, if not better! He’s relocated to Portland and has not one, but two (!) new releases planned for 2016: Before I Get Too Young, produced by Marvin Etzioni and Willie Aron, and featuring a plethora of special guest musicians including Dave Scheff (Translator), Derrick Anderson (The Bangles), Nelson Bragg (The Brian Wilson Band), and Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and The Attractions), and a still untitled 14-song album produced by Steve himself! If you love Barton’s music, you’ll also want to check out Different Time, a Translator double-CD set of outtakes, demos and live tracks hand-picked by the band!
Cartoon Spirits – A power trio who are determined to bring power pop back to where it belongs: the Pacific Northwest. Gray skies and drizzle can only be battled with hooks, fuzzy guitars, and raspy harmonies, and these three have the goods with which to win that fight! Their debut Crustacean EP has been called “modern pop magic!” (Power Popaholic), and has just been released on bright sunshine-y 7” orange vinyl! Come to their IPO showcase to get your slice of sunshine today!
The Cool Whips – The Cool Whips whip up (pardon the pun!) a cool slice of old school rock ‘n soul reminiscent of the best of Mersey Beat, Sun Records, The Brill Building, and early Motown combined! Their latest album,Goodies, is very aptly named, and they’ve just started recording for their next one, which we can hardly wait to hear!
Danny Delegato – The guitarist, singer, and prolific song-writer of Portland native pop-garage band The Hugs. The Hugs formed while attending Cleveland High school in 2007. Danny has released six solo albums independently since and with his most recent solo E.P., titled Inner Reflections, on which he explores love over time and the dubious relationship between dreams and reality. The E.P. is available now, so come to his IPO show and get it!
Sam Densmore – A singer/songwriter in the tradition of folk/rock n’ roll/indie acts such as Mtn Goats, REM, WILCO, The Beatles and David Bowie, Densmore has been honing his craft performing over 100 shows per year. His set includes songs from his upcoming release, Open Marriage, as well as material from his earlier work. “Densmore’s pleasant voice and smartly succinct songwriting make for a strong and impressive double whammy. Moreover, Densmore plays a mean acoustic guitar and never degenerates into mushy cliché at any point…” (Joe Wawrzyniak, Jersey Beat). Don’t miss him!
The Diagonal – We can’t wait to see and hear the new band featuring members of the venerable psych-pop quartet UHF, who have graced many an IPO stage and were one of our favorite Portland bands! Combining late-‘70s new-wave power-pop with early-‘00s minimalism, The Diagonal builds a new sound on classic ground. Sharp lyrics and hooks abound. Dig the divide, as drawn by The Diagonal!
Matthew Heller – “Singer-songwriter Mathew Heller’s rock n’ roll folk has the stories, the brave vulnerability, and the painful truths of traditional folk, but it’s just way, way louder. Heller’s unique blend of alt-rock catharsis and protest music messaging is potent and poignant. His latest, Invitation, is a stunning display of raw-nerve emotionality and fine songcraft with a broad dynamic palette that stretches from euphoric rock to introspective ballads.” (KJXM Radio) Very cool!
Wil Kinky – Hard work has always been a part of Wil Kinky’s life, and he takes that same work ethic to music, with a love and a passion for it you can feel. His sound is like John Mayer meets Ray Lamontagne at a radio concert. Its bluesy and soulful, with an alternative edge…and it’s very cool!
The Loved – A charming trio dedicated to three chords and the truth, The Loved blend gritty alt-rock with uplifting dream pop. Their recently released self-titled EP will appeal to fans of Ryan Adams, Neil Young, and Yo La Tengo, to name but a few!
Metropolitan Farms – A power pop trio in the truest sense of the word! Their songs embody the perfect power pop trifecta: catchy sing-along choruses, sparkling vocals, and energetic lightning quick chord changes! Fans of classic purveyors of the genre such as Jellyfish, The Posies, and Fountains of Wayne should sit up and take notice! Their latest disc, Oafish Twist, also adds cool mod vibe that fans of The Who and The Kinks will also love! Definitely a band after IPO’s heart!
RAF – Formed in 2011 with a simple goal – create punchy, danceable, music with as much style and attitude as possible. This is Mod music from Across the Pond. A full frontal assault of catchy three-minute songs delivered in sharp suits and vintage instruments. No standing around. No Chavs. The foursome of lads includes Chris Rich (guitar & vox), John Crawford (bass & vox), Josh Millman (formerly of IPO Portland performers, The Superficials) (guitar & vox) and Brad Pharis (drums). Come be a part of “The British Inversion.” We are the Mods!
The Resolectrics – Like the pioneers of rock & roll in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, The Resolectrics draw inspiration from many sources in the roots of American music to create an original and soulful blend of rock, classic R&a,[‘B, and folk. Their ragged-yet-heartfelt harmonies, bluesy riffs and swampy grooves are sure to move you. Their latest album, High Water, will appeal to fans of Booker T & The MGs, The Band, CCR, and the entire Stax catalog!
The Satisfied Minds – A folk-pop quintet writing and recording original material concerning hummingbirds, pinball machines, the imaginary quality of numbers, the inadequacies of human language, flying saucers and love. The title track from their Hummingbird Today! EP also appears on this year’s IPO compilation CD, and exemplifies their unique brand of late ‘60s/early ‘70s-influenced rootsy sunshine pop!
Silver Ships – Conceived in July 2010 by multi-instrumentalist (and recent transplant to Portland by way of Austin) Chazz Bessette, Silver Ships is a dedication to carefully crafted home recordings and live shows showing a true dedication to good musicianship and well executed shows. Their debut album, Songs From A Room That Never Moves, will appeal to fans of artists such as Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, and Stealers Wheel, and is now available in a 12” double gatefold vinyl edition! A new EP is in the works, so watch for it!
Stay Up – A power trio fronted by songwriter & guitarist Mikey Davis, who has played with the likes of Alien Crime Syndicate, Tommy Stinson (The Replacements), Cali Giraffes, and who once started a band with his childhood idol Evan Dando! Accompanied by Ian Gustafson on drums and Dan Schrom on bass, Davis’s poignant lyrics and sweet melodies float over a tight, hard hitting rhythm section, to deliver a sound that’s impossible to ignore. A debut full-length album should be available soon, but in the meantime, you can check out their “Too True” single and their IPO showcase!
David Stoops – Acoustic British pop in the vein of the Rolling Stones, Kinks, Replacements, Squeeze & XTC. None other than Bruce Brodeen had this to say about Stoops’ Spill Your Drink EP: “Much of the material sounds like the long, lost World Party album that fans have been waiting for…this is a release that I will be pulling out in 20 years. It’s that cool…Extremely Highly Recommended!” – NotLame .com
Swansea – Oft compared to artists such as LCD Soundsystem, St. Vincent, Santigold, and Feist, Swansea combine artful narrative and atmospheric sweep with a touch of dancey, off-the-cuff toughness. They are currently working on their second full-length release with the help of John Askew (Neko Case, Wild Flag); said album, Flaws, is due out later this summer, so watch for it!
Swim Atlantic – A quartet of songwriters engaged in a friendly competition for who can produce the best songs (not unlike that of a certain well-known Liverpool based quartet). They put the emphasis of their work on two things: vocal harmonies, and hook-heavy pop songs. The band draws on a variety of influences that include The Beatles, Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys, Queen, Sparks, Motion City Soundtrack, and onward. Together, they bring their influences to create a buffet of pop tunes that promise something for everyone. As they say in the UK, “These Are Too GOOD!”…so you NEED to check them out now!

U.S. Artists From Outside of Portland

302 – A band formely based in Atlanta, but now relocated to Eugene, Oregon, who offer up guitar pop founded on The Beatles and legions of bands they’ve inspired, like ELO, Barenaked Ladies, and Coldplay. 302’s live shows feature originals from their debut CD, Platform Souls, as well newer tunes from their forthcoming sophomore CD.
Ships Have Sailed – Since their inception, LA’s Ships Have Sailed have always struck a balance between exuberant pop and substantial alternative rock, a formula for success that has earned them both a loyal following and numerous accolades from ISC, Unsigned Only and The John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Whether doing it slick and electric, as they do on their debut album, Moodswings, or mellow and acoustic, as exemplified by their EP, Whispers, their soaring melodies and heartfelt delivery will stick with you long after the last note of their songs! IPO is honored to have them as the first band ever that’s scheduled to play all six stops in a row of our West Coast tour!!