IPO Atlanta 2017
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Artists From Atlanta/Athens
Ambulette – Any band featuring Matt Brown of Uncle Green has gotta be good, so we’re really looking forward to the IPO debut of his latest project! Uncle Green built a reputation in the burgeoning college-radio circuit of the ‘80s and ‘90s for tight, memorable melodies and offbeat songcraft — something like R.E.M. and Pylon having a couple well chilled PBRs with Big Star. They released several albums back in the day, and recently resurrected their long abandoned magnum opus Rycopa. He’s teamed up this time with Halley O’Malley to create spiky music for small emergencies in the finest post-punk tradition! Come check them out!
Casper & The Cookies – Long recognized by those in the know as one of the best bands in Athens, “…Casper & The Cookies are a fun little rock and roll band. They’re everything you like best about The Monkees, Nick Lowe, the dB’s, XTC, Sparks, the B-52’s, and earlier Bowie all wrapped up in one colorful musical ribbon.” (WXPN Blog) They really are that good, and both their energetic live shows and quirky eclectic albums are not to be missed!
The Good Graces – Formed by singer-songwriter Kim Ware in 2006, The Good Graces have performed up and down the east coast, in California, and at such festivals as 30A, NXNE, Athens Pop Festival and last year’s IPO Atlanta. Their recent album, Close to the Sun, explored a variety of styles and genres, from folk and alt. country to ‘90s-inspired indie pop, and caught the attention of The Indigo Girls, who asked them to support some Midwest and Southeast shows during their 2015 summer tour! The new record, Set Your Sights, marks their fourth full-length collection, and once again places Ware’s heart-on-her-sleeve songwriting and earnest, honest lyrical delivery at the forefront of a sonic expedition led by producer / guitarist Jonny Daly.
Kenny Howes & The Wow – Mr. Howes comes to IPO armed with his collection of Rickenbackers and six outstanding CDs. His style never fails to combine Matthew Sweet, Beatles, and Beach Boys influences in a new and imaginative way. Tornadoes Here & Past, his latest CD and the first with his current band, The Wow, was well worth the wait for his many delighted fans and critics alike! His latest single, “She Knows What I Mean” was recorded by Lee Flier of What The…? (see below) at her Radio Flier studios. Check it out!!
The Joe & Joe Show – The “other” band of Joe Scinta of The Soogs (see below) delivers hooky power pop with just the right touch of quirkiness, that will have you dancing and laughing at the same time! Their Faster Than A Married Man EP will appeal to fans of artists from Cheap Trick and The Knack to Zappa and The Talking Heads!
Netherglades – The latest project of garage rock legend Bruce Joyner, who’s musical journey has taken him from the plantation streets of south Georgia in the mid-50s to the punk clubs of LA (as the main man of The Unknowns) and Paris in the early ‘80s, and back again to the Atlanta rock scene of NOW. Netherglades offers down & dirty rock n’ roll and gothic swamp rock at its finest, and their show is guaranteed to be one helluva good time!
Orange Hat – An exuberantly quirky pop quartet led by Zeus Henderson, and featuring Lee Flier of What The…? (see below). They seamlessly blend influences from Zappa to Brian Wilson to The Beatles to The B-52s and elements of funk and ska into a heady psychedelic concoction of sound and sight (they’re known for their colorful stage shows) that is absolutely infectious! If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like if Buckminster Fuller challenged Orange Hat to travel the world in a Dymaxion tour bus to teach his ideas to the world but got stuck on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta instead, then check out their new album, Poncedelic!
Paisley Garden – A brand new (and enticingly named!) combo led by Chuck Yoakum and Ken Kennedy of The Raves! Not only were the Raves at the forefront of the ‘80s pop music revival, bringing tight vocals, soaring and jangling guitars, powerful bass lines and a driving beat, to appeal to fans of classic acts such as The Beatles, Badfinger and The Who, they were also responsible for introducing IPO to Jean Catharell, who helped bring the festival to The Cavern Club in Liverpool, for which we will eternally be grateful! Paisley Garden’s set at IPO Atlanta will feature songs from their upcoming release, In A Perfect World, which we can hardly wait to hear!
Pizzaland – New project by Zeus Henderson, long time main man of Orange Hat (see above), also featuring Paul Melancon, and Thad Thompson of The Shut-Ups (see just below). Henderson has been working on a concept album about the misadventures of a pizza delivery boy and the crazy people he meets; it’s fun music, and more than a little reminiscent of Squeeze…and that’s a very good thing in power pop land!
The Shut-Ups – A five-piece new wave and power pop band whose music will instantly put a smile on your face and set your toes to tapping! Fans of artists such as They Might Be Giants, Sparks, Randy Newman, Adam Ant, and The Cars will dig their latest album, (which is actually a compilation of their four proper albums) cheekily entitled A Layman’s Guide to The Shut-Ups!
The Soogs – The Soogs have played in and around Atlanta on and off since 1991, and we’re pleased to welcome them back to IPO, where their hooky brand of alterna-pop fits right in! The Soogs’ music has been described as “The Pixies meet The Partridge Family,” but will also appeal to fans of T Rex, Cheap Trick, and The Cars! Come to their IPO showcase, and hear what we mean!
The Stoplight Roses – Taking their name from the Nick Lowe song, and with a nod to The Jesus of Cool’s vintage style of songwriting, The Stoplight Roses combine equal measures garage, power-pop, indie rock, and country. Check out their latest single, Starlight, and their IPO showcase!
What The…? – Atlanta-based trio What The…? takes you on a journey that runs the length and breadth of rock ‘n roll, from classic Brit Invasion to roots-rock/rockabilly to finely crafted power pop to practically punk, as can be heard on their latest CD, You Have No Idea. They have also been instrumental in helping to organize IPO in Atlanta in each year that we’ve held it here, for which we are truly grateful!
The Young and The Elder – With strong melodic lines, densely packed rhythms, and introspective lyrics, The Young and the Elder compose music about life’s twists and turns, dead ends and successes. Fronted by brothers Scott (vocals/piano) and Peter Elder (drums), and rounded out by Justin de la Cruz (guitar), they produce cinematic piano-driven alt rock influenced by the likes of Ben Folds, The Killers, and Death Cab For Cutie. Keep an eye (and an ear!) out for great things to come from this young trio!
U.S. Artists From Outside of Atlanta/Athens
Tony Low – A founding member of New York’s renowned garage-psychedelic pop band The Cheepskates, and currently residing in Greensboro, North Carolina, Low has been honing his craft of writing and recording memorable tunes as a solo performer since 1998. His unique blend of folk-rock and power pop brings to mind such influences as Big Star, XTC, Neil Young and The Byrds, and captures a timeless spirit of beauty, sadness, and joy which everyone can relate to. His latest album, Rendezvousing, is a collection of twelve songs based on true stories, and takes the listener on a journey that spans loneliness, joy, despair, searching for love and the inevitable meeting of one’s destiny, whether happy or tragic. Check it out now!
Leisure McCorkle – We’re always grateful when this gentleman makes his way to IPO (all but four this year!) 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 recent disc, 5000 Light Years Beyond The Speed Of Sound, and you’ll know what I’m talkin’ about!
Sex Clark Five – Doing their thing since the mid ‘80s, when their critically acclaimed debut Strum and Drum! was released, this Huntsville, Alabama combo has long been the master of the 1:30 song, complete with hooks and that signature Rickenbacker jangle. The band is so well thought of, that none other than A.C. Newman of The New Pornographers called them his “unsung heroes”! “Power pop, folk Mersey Beat, Celtic punk — SC5 defy categorization. Probably they are best described as — Sheer cruddy genius!” (Underground, London) Their brand new album, Ghost Brigade, is available at sc5songs.com.