IPO San Francisco 2017
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Artists From The Bay Area
The American Professionals – You’re sure to get your RDA recommended allotment of procrastination, self-indulgence and low self esteem, and still get to savor the joys of catchy melodies, grinding guitars, and fluffy billows of lush harmony with this band…not to mention that their live shows are always entertaining! Their latest album, Sympathetic Overdrive, combines the thick, chunky hooks and straight-up pop of their previous work with layered melodies and harmonies, diverse instrumentation and more intimate lyrics that reflect their own emotional narrative.
Butch Berry – Already known for concise blasts of pop and energetic stage shows, Berry wanted to create a deeper intimate and more enveloping experience. His CD, Enamorado, opening with a traditional Spanish flavored song and ending with Beatle-esque strings and harmonies, more than any of his previous releases, feels like a true album in the classic sense. Epic!
The Bobbleheads – An absolutely engaging combo who’ve created, as they put it, a “niche of niceness” with their “bubblegum flavored indiepop”, in which can be heard musical influences ranging from flower power pop to experimental chamber music! Their Automatic Fun CD still ranks as one of the good feelin’ CDs of The New Millennium, and their latest, Make Yourself Happy, is even better!
KC Bowman – Long known for his clever wordplay, irresistible melodies, and mind-bending chord changes, Bowman has been an IPO-mainstay in many guises: as a solo performer, as the driving force behind the ultra quirky bubblegum pop combo The Preoccupied Pipers, as a guitarist/vocalist in The Corner Laughers (see below), and as maestro of the sunshine-psych-glam-power pop super-group Agony Aunts. We never know what melodic and lyrical surprises he has in store, but we know it will be something you won’t want to miss! Check out any of his solo or band CDs, and you’ll understand what we mean!
Patrick Clos (Cocktails) – IPO is proud to welcome the main man from Cocktails to his first ever IPO, and we think he will fit right in! Cocktails’ brand new LP, Hypochondriac, is a fine example of good-times and ‘70s AM-Radio bicycle power pop, taking cues from Rubinoos and Shoes, with ‘90s links to Teenage Fanclub, Redd Kross, Chevelles, and Decibels. With constant on-point vocal harmonies and fuzz-driven Moog synths, it will warm your heart and your top-of-the-curve summer mood…and just might charm it’s way towards the top of a few “best of” lists for 2017!
The Clarences – The Clarences were hatched by Robert A. Medeiros in Oakland, California. He was traumatized because Mego never made a Green Lantern action figure. Then, he met Erin Shannon at a reading aboard a b-52. After that, he met Leslie Outhier at a Canadian bunny farm. Together, they are The Clarences…part vaudeville sideshow, part ELO-inflected glammy orchestrated power pop outfit, and definitely one of the most fun bands in the Bay Area!
Corner Laughers – A band known for quirky intelligent lyrics, catchy melodies, harmonies, and fun! The Corner Laughers’ latest album, The Matilda Effect, offers the clever wordplay, magical melodies and heartbreaking harmonies fans and critics have come to expect from the group, while displaying their wry and witty spirit of adventure. Corner Laughers fans will also want to watch for front woman Karla Kane’s debut solo album, King’s Daughters Home for Incurables, due out this fall, on which she leads listeners into an intriguing land of acorns and tea leaves, feminism and fairy tales, pagan pop and pastoral protest songs, whimsical wanderings and sharp observations on the current state of the world, where sunny California indie meets melancholy English folk and the redwood meets the oak. We can hardly wait to hear it!
Eric Friedmann and The Lucky Rubes – The songs on their latest CD, Telephone Girl, perfectly straddle the line between the alt-country vibe of bands like Walter Clevenger and The Dairy Kings or The Jayhawks and the traditional power pop of Cheap Trick or The Knack. The current lineup rocks harder than ever…and boy, can Friedmann write a good hook!
Goggy – A space capsule was sent centuries ago with hibernating space felines. Their mission: to share their music with earthlings. They are amongst us, stealthily humming tunes while we slumber. Goggy is people!! Goggy is rock! The side-project of keyboardist/singer-songwriter Margrit Eichler (of the bay area trio, True Margrit), in the studio Goggy is just Margrit tinkering away, until her cats Luc and Freddi purr approval, but onstage Goggy is Margrit, Nick O’Connor (of Sweet Peaches) and Pam Delgado (of Blame Sally), and together they deliver quirky experimental piano pop at its finest! Check out their IPO showcase and their recent Satellites and Saints CD to see and hear what we mean!
Lunchbox – Comprised of Oakland-based duo Tim and Donna, Lunchbox delivers fuzzy shoegazer bubblegum pop extraordinaire! Fans of artists from Weezer to My Bloody Valentine to The Ramones will dig their very cheekily named EP, Smash Hits!
The Morning Line – Their artful layers of sweeping power pop have drawn comparisons to ‘80s artists like The Smiths and The Windbreakers, and the East Bay Express has said The Morning Line “pops and shines like a mournful, West Coast Luna, fronted by a ragged, smoky Elvis Costello type.” The dreamy hooks on their recently released Smoke EP will really draw you in!
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands – If you like the grittier, angular side of folk rock with just a touch of twang, you will certainly appreciate the music of this man and his band(s)! Having been a member of The Meantime, True West, Cottonmouth, The Mariettas, and Denim TV, he now performs with his band The Dirty Hands. The current live band features Greg Lisher of Camper Van Beethoven on guitar; Kevin T. White of Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express on bass, and long time co-producer/engineer Matt Boudreau on drums, and deliver pure twangy power pop better than just about anyone! Come to their IPO showcase, and watch out for their new brand EP, Mistakes!
The Real Numbers – This quartet makes a musical mash up of the best the Bay Area has to offer. Part power pop, part quirky melodic rock, seasoned with a generous heap of harmony and a dash of twang. With tight arrangements, lush chords, relentless rhythm and lyrics both smart and smartass, The Real Numbers conjure an era of songwriting come and gone from commercial airwaves, but carried on by the likes of Fastball and Fountains of Wayne. Check out their debut disc, Welcome To The Numberhood, now! Need we say more?!
Stonedog – Their debut self-titled album started as the follow up recording sessions to Spirit Guide for the band Trevor Childs, but a line-up change and fresh new sound made it clear they should make a clean start as a new group. Stonedog’s sound is best described as ‘70s power pop with new wave influences, along with a hint of 80’s Rod Stewart. It’s the perfect hook-filled new classic rock album for the summer – made for driving around with the music up and the convertible top and windows down!
Artists From Outside The Bay Area
The Armoires – Led by the paisley-clad duo of Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko and hailing from Burbank, CA, The Armoires have turned heads worldwide with their unique harmony-driven, jangly songcraft, blending the sounds of SoCal legends like The Byrds, X, and hits-era Fleetwood Mac with a lyrical sensibility that’s all their own. It’s on display on their acclaimed debut album Incidental Lightshow, with more to come on a follow-up release later in 2017. Renowned as community builders on the global pop scene, they’re also the founders of the Big Stir: Power Pop & More concert series, which has blossomed into a record label and touring company, which they used to turn their IPO Liverpool appearance into a whirlwind month long tour of the UK, alongside a cavalcade of the UK’s finest pop bands!
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 classic musical style has drawn comparison to such greats as The Beatles, Randy Newman, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Costello, to name but a few! Check out his latest album, Everything Old Is New Again, and his IPO showcase to see and hear what we mean!
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop – Hailing from the unlikely hamlet of Kingsburg, California, this ensemble uses just about every instrument under the sun to create some bizarre, witty, quirky, yet ultimately melodic sounds, and have become an IPO fan favorite from LA to Liverpool! Their latest CD, Teasers from the Whispermaphone, is a rollicking romp through a Seuss-ian soundscape painted by Frank Zappa! Definitely something a little bit different!
Leisure McCorkle – We’re always grateful when this gentleman makes his way to IPO (all but one this year, so far!) 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!
Morty Shallman – Creator of the world’s first Novel with Songs, Last of the Zacharys, this dapper, affable Angelino is known for his cutting-edge mashups of pop songs and pulp fiction. Fusing elements of disco, dance pop, indie pop, alt-rock and EDM, with soaring melodies, intelligent lyrics and classic pop song craft, Shallman serves up a glowing succession of catchy tunes and infectious beats that will brighten the playlists of listeners, dancers, youtubers and radio programmers alike. His brand new EP, Pop Fiction, a neo pop/indie noir concept thriller, has been called “A truly groundbreaking accomplishment in conceptual music and art” (Screaming Match Productions) – check it out now!