IPO Seattle 2016
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Artists From Seattle/Tacoma
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!
Wynne C Blue & Her Trouble Fakers – Software engineers by day, smokin’ power-pop/riff-rock band by night, Blue’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 – On 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.
Colorworks – Flirting with the sounds of the British Invasion while retaining a refreshingly gritty and textural psych-pop nature, Colorworks intuitively incite hyper-melodic pop creations driven by swooning harmonies and sun-chiming guitar orchestration on their 2015 debut Joyla Red EP. At their powerful live shows they’ve been known to add to their ear-popping originals, cover medleys featuring the zest of the Zombies, the tonality of the Byrds, and the retro kick of the Kinks. A new EP, Dreams of Mangoes, is set for release later in 2016, so watch for it!
General Mojo’s – This five-piece genre-bending psychedelic rock band is an amalgamation of distinct musical backgrounds, colors and grooves, who continually strive for new depths in texture and rhythm. Their brand new How Hollow A Heart EP will appeal to fans of Yes, Supertramp, and Pink Floyd, to name but a few!
Ida Bay – Starting with the collaboration between Norman Tumolva and Jesse Tiamson, Ida Bay soon incorporated the ethereal vocal style of Rita Laine Moore, the bass leads of Nick Barger and Brad Robinson’s energetic drumming style to create a sound both atmospheric and driving. Fans of artists from Stereolab to The Velvet Underground and Bowery Electric will dig their recent A Lacuna EP!
Irene Peña – Pop singer-songwriter, loop-peddler, giggler, geek and or/nerd. Peña’s music is characterized by moxie, wit, and a story to share on a sturdy guitar with a melody that gets stuck in your head. Whether “acousticating” or rocking out with a full band (as she will at IPO), she turns the charm way up past 11 as she deftly combines singer/songwriter/storyteller ballads with bubblegum, punk, and girl group influences. This is one artist you will not want to miss!
The Pop Cycle – A power pop foursome 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! 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!
Joe Ross- – The longtime guitarist for the legendary Green Pajamas is doing a solo set at IPO, in which he will be performing Green Pajamas songs! This should be a lot of fun, so don’t miss it!
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 recent Foretoken EP and their new “Dr. Boots” single!
The Scheme – They play Beatlesque power pop with touches of the Clash and Pixies, plus whatever singer/songwriter David Thompson feels like throwing in (their debut album included solo acoustic bossa nova plus a song accompanied only by drum loops and clarinets) …but mostly good old pop, rock & roll. Thompson was co-leader of Boston-based amphetamine popsters The Pills and formed The Scheme when he moved to Seattle in 2004. They are psyched to be reuniting after five years, releasing an EP, and playing as part of this great IPO lineup!
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 follow up full-length, Vanilla 2.0, and recently released Mystik Knights of Takoma EP continue in similar vein!
U.S. Artists From Outside Seattle/Tacoma
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!
Jason Berk – A critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who comes to the west coast (he splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco) by way of New York, Berk has proven himself to be a musical tour-de-force, teaching himself guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, ukulele, mandolin, and banjo, and garnering nationwide radio-play. His latest album, Coming Home, will appeal to fans of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Costello, to name but a few! Said fans will also want to watch out for his new one, Everything Old Is New Again, which will be out soon!
Fruit Juice – They’ve been hailed as The Best New Band in Olympia in The Weekly Volcano’s Reader’s Poll, and with good reason! “The kind of light psychedelic pop created by Fruit Juice is eminently invigorating in its giddy goofiness. With their glammy energy and commitment to sunny, falsetto harmonies…It’s a swirling fish bowl of paint illuminating against a wall in an endless configuration of shapes and colors…all with pleasantly glassy-eyed sheen” (Rev Adam Mckinney, Weekly Volcano) Fans of Talking Heads, David Bowie, and T. Rex should make a point of seeking out their recent Are You OK? EP!
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!
Andras Jones – We’re thrilled to welcome the inimitable Mr. Jones back to the IPO stage after too long an absence! Jones has toured the US and Canada solo and with his band The Previous since the early 90’s, and is once again performing his songs live onstage after an extended sabbatical. Said songs are characterized by upbeat melodies and hooks you can’t get out of your head, coupled with sweetly subversive lyrics with clever wordplay that will make you think and laugh and cry all at once! Fans of Robbie Rist and The Piper Downs who are not already familiar with Jones’ work should definitely check him out!
Steve Rosenbaum – If you like sweet jangly power pop (and who doesn’t? – whether or not they admit it!), you will LOVE the music of this gent from San Diego! Fans of Big Star, The Raspberries, and The Plimsouls – to name but a few – should check out his songs, “First in Class,” on last year’s IPO CD, and “Take It Slow” on this year’s edition, and come to his live show!
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!!
Stay Up – A power trio who have relocated to Portland but were originally from Seattle, 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!