IPO New York 2017
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Artists from New York/New Jersey
Adios Ghost – Returning to the U.S. from Germany, where he had worked as a music editor in radio, songwriter Ben Sigerson sought to unite the many impressions left by this experience into something cohesive. Adiós Ghost draws from a broad sonic palette, focusing psychedelia, early house, R&B and West African music through a dark and moody rock lens. Their debut full length, Fade Out With Your Phantoms, released earlier this year, will appeal to fans of both classic and new wave pop and psychedelic rock, as well as to newer generations of hipster club kids. Check it out!
The Anderson Council – These Jersey boys have the most authentic, Creation-influenced mod-psych sound 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 latest 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. Watch out for a brand new album, possibly available by later this year!!
Binge – It’s been a few years, but they’re back and IPO is proud to have ‘em, as their witty and wiry brand of indie pop is catchy as heck, and accessible enough to appeal to pop fans of all shapes and sizes. Their hit song, “Anna Kournikova,” brought them a certain measure of fame (appearances on E! Entertainment, etc…) back in the day, while their album of the same name reveals a softer, earthier, more melodic side, and is well worth the search to find yourself a copy!
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 third full-length album, which we can’t wait to hear!
Buddy Love Unplugged – IPO is proud to present a special unplugged performance by the New York power pop sensations of the ‘80s! Their reunion at IPO in 2007 was their first in 26 years, and they’ve been going strong ever since! Though they’re known and loved for their high energy classic sound that gets everyone out on the dance floor, this intimate unplugged performance is sure to let their melodies shine through! Check out their latest release, Buddy Love, which includes new material and vintage songs, all newly-recorded!!
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, Goodbye Theodora, is art rock at its finest, tossed liberally with hints of new wave punk and more chord and tempo changes than you can count! Fans of Zappa and The B-52s will love this band!
Michael Collins – Fans of ELO, XTC, and Klaatu: rejoice – this may be your next new favorite artist you’d never heard of! His Last Laugh album has everything a power pop lover could want: sweet vocals, lush orchestration, and energetic hooks galore! We’ve been (understandably!) looking forward to having him at IPO, and hope the rest of New York power pop fandom feels the same after catching his set!
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 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.
The Editors – The premise of The Editors is as simple as their name — all members are editors in chief of prominent newspapers or magazines! Ira Robbins, founder and EIC of the beloved and legendary rock mag Trouser Press, leads this four-piece through ‘80s power pop heavy on REM and New Order.
Emergency Tiara – With a voice that crosses the fire of the Ronettes with the freedom of Gwen Stefani, Emergency Tiara defines girl power and is an experience that gives pop/soul music proper residence in the 21st century. Audiences love her upbeat lyrics, bubbly stage presence, and unforgettable, couture model-like stage command. Emergency Tiara signals the rise of today’s cosmopolitan, sexy and glamorous woman, delivering lyrics that marry the groove of California rock with the timelessness of Motown R&B. Check out her Until The Stroke of Midnight EP and her IPO showcase!
Wendy Ip – This very impressive New Yorker (by way of the Canadian prairies) is back from a stint in London, for which New York pop fans should be very grateful, as she writes some of the coolest songs around, with eccentric hooks that sneak up on you and hit you hard! Her latest full-length CD, A Different Kind Of Life, is replete with unforgettable melodies that linger in your head even if you’ve heard them only once. She’s working on material for her next opus, Bad Example, and her IPO performance will feature a set of all new original songs that we can hardly wait to hear!
Steve Katz – One of the main men of The Wind and Tan Sleeve, 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 recent 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)
Layne Montgomery Paper Company – Rising from the ashes of beloved Brooklyn drunk-rockers The Great American Novel, Layne Montgomery Paper Company is the brainchild of Layne Montgomery, Aidan Shepard, Max Miller and Steve Shaw. Mixing nineties power pop sensibility and crushing eighties arena rock production from former Passion Pit member Ayad Al Adhamy, Layne Montgomery Paper Company is delighting audiences across the five boroughs of NYC, and could very well be your next favorite band! Their 2016 EP, Let’s Be Sad Together, has us eagerly awaiting a full length!
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! They’ve become a perennial highlight of IPO New York each year, so make sure you don’t miss them!
LUV DOT GOV – Mixing influences from power pop, baroque pop, indie rock, and fuzz pop, LUV DOT GOV has created their own brand of “Nostalgia-Core” pop! It’s power pop for indie rockers, sad songs for happy people, soft music for hard times…and rather addictive! Fans of Teenage Fanclub, Elvis Costello, and Lemonheads in particular will want to keep an eye out for their soon to be released debut album. The band features long-time IPO New York performer, the very aptly named, Matthew Pop (aka Matthew DeGroat)!
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 latest release, Three Hundred Days, 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 love 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!
Kathryn Musilek (Nevada Nevada) – Musilek and her band have been scarfing up rave reviews since the release of their debut single, Anger Tango. “Nevada Nevada’s sound is a swirl of Americana noir and artful indie rock, indulging in the menace and whimsy that coexist in both and getting a boost from the powerful personality of singer Kathryn Musilek.” (Indy Week) They are currently looking for a home for their upcoming EP, Wild and Glowing, so whether you’re a pop fan or a savvy label owner, you will want to come to IPO to check out Musilek’s performance!
Onesie – The musical moniker of Brooklyn-based singer songwriter Ben Haberland, Onesie stitches together vivid, hooky guitar pop anthems from scraps of British pop, American punk, and classic rock, dealing in the currency of anthems written on the voyage toward modern adulthood. The live band, formed in 2013 with fellow scene survivor Zack Fanelli (ex Man Without Plan), wields a visceral dynamic reminiscent of the pair’s early days in the DIY punk scene. Their recently released debut album, Leos Consume, will appeal to fans of All American Rejects, Weezer, and Fountains of Wayne. Check it out now!
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!
Pop Smart Overdrive – The newest band incarnation of prolific singer/songwriter/session player Thomas Cavanaugh. 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 was proud to host their debut performance last year, and we’re equally proud to have them back to do their thing in their hometown again after wowing the crowds at IPO Liverpool last May! This is the latest band featuring KG* Noble and Margaret LaBombard, whose guitar hero glitter glam and solid bass lines were the power behind the great Lily Sparks, but we think they’re even better as Slyboots…plus Rebecca Tiehl is the ultimate front woman! Expect cleverly crafted songs, an engaging performance, and the rock turned up to 11!!
The Turnback – As their name might imply, they take much of their inspiration from the past, but these guys from the boroughs and environs of New York have a sound that is also sure to appeal to fans of modern indie rock jangle and psychedelic garage pop. Their latest album, Are We There Yet?, was hailed as “a power-pop lover’s dream” (The Big Takeover), as it rocks a bit harder than their debut, Drawn In Chalk…it was therefore no surprise that it found its way towards the top of many a 2015 “best of” list!
The Wayward Strangers – An alternative rock band from New York City’s Forgotten Borough, Staten Island, whose music is quite hard to forget. Taking inspiration from Kings of Leon, Neon Trees, and Foo Fighters, while always keeping the band’s roots in jazz involved, The Wayward Strangers leave the crowd with songs to hum long after they have left the venue. The Wayward Strangers blend an electrifying guitar and keyboard that gives a backdrop to bone chilling bass fills and perfectly placed drums. These all come together to marry the heartfelt vocals that will have the crowd always wanting more. Check out their recent Laminar Hearts EP and their IPO showcase!
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!
US Artists from Outside New York/New Jersey
Corin Ashley – A singer/songwriter who for several years was the driving force behind Boston’s hyper mod-pop band, The Pills. Ashley’s first solo album, Songs From The Brill Bedroom, is a stripped down, organic and homegrown affair which falls halfway between Neil Finn and Neil Young. His latest, Broken Biscuits, is “…filled with deep rewards for Anglophiles and power pop fans” (Pop Matters), and may just sneak its way towards the top of a 2017 “best of” list or two.
Cait Brennan – A singer-songwriter from Phoenix, AZ who has been receiving lots of great press, and deservedly so, as her unique brand of glitter glam soulful rock n’ roll sung straight from the heart is truly special. 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 new album, Third, on Omnivore Records, the follow up to last year’s critically acclaimed Debutante, was recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis – check it out!
Leisure McCorkle – We’re always grateful when this gentleman makes his way to IPO (several of them!) all the way from Charlotte, North Carolina! Fans of Joe Jackson and Graham Parker will love his sturdy rock ‘n roll, as he possesses a voice so strong that he really doesn’t need a microphone! Check out his classic CD, Jet Set Baby, and his brand new disc, 5000 Light Years Beyond The Speed Of Sound, and you’ll know what I’m talkin’ about!
E. Joseph – The musical moniker of composer/singer songwriter, Ed Neenan, who has been known to appear alternately as a solo artist (as he will in New York), or as the leader of his regular band projects, The Sparrows and The Phantom Heart, or playing keyboards and guitars in other Philadelphia-based acts, such as Wooden Hez and Stellarscope. His sweeping cinematic compositions with psychedelic flourishes will appeal to fans of Prince, Pink Floyd, Bowie and The Who – check out his recently released GloryGram vol Three EP and his IPO showcase to see and hear for yourself!
Dawn Oberg – We’d like to thank Leisure McCorkle (see above) for introducing us to this very eclectic and electric pop chanteuse from San Francisco! With an engaging storyteller’s gift for lyrics (some of which are subversively witty, so you’ll definitely want to pay attention!) and a wide range of musical influences – everything from jazz, R&B, and pop to punk and country – her songs will seem instantly relatable and catchy to just about everyone! Check out her IPO showcase, as well as her recent EP, Nothing Rhymes with Orange!
Talk Tonight – Led by Christian Navarro, who currently makes his home in The Big Apple, Talk Tonight debuted to instant acclaim after the demise of Navarro’s previous project, Smith Point, who were known and loved for their catchy melodies and hooky riffs. Talk Tonight is straight up, ultra radio-friendly rock n’ roll with a pop twist, and their 2015 release, It’s Your Move, is well worth a listen! 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 him with the full band in their first IPO New York appearance!
Dave Rave & Hailee Rose – The venerable Mr. Dave Rave 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.” A recent CD, Live With What You Know, was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of its songs, “Anne Marie.” In addition to being one of the most entertaining and hardworking power poppers around, he’s also extremely versatile, most recently showing a flair for ‘60s inspired soft-pop jangle on Radio Rave, his latest release with The Governors! From 2010 to 2014 he played 50 IPO festivals in a row (yes, you read that right), and he still plays many of them! Miss Hailee Rose has been his protégé and backup singer for the past two years, but is also a gifted songwriter and quite the dynamic performer in her own right. The songs on her debut CD, Introducing Hailee Rose, range in style from power pop to soul to blues and the power of her voice will blow you away! They’ve teamed up for a special combined set at IPO New York that you will not want to miss!