Thursday, October 24, 2013

Imitation Is The Sincerest Way To Rock


Poster (with some familiar copy) from The Abbeys Facebook page.

I’ve written a lot about International Pop Overthrow - Chicago in the past few years, but my expertise with this annual festival is a drop in the bucket compared to what Mike Cohen and Jeff Janulis know about it. As founding members of The Abbeys, they’ve performed at every IPO - Chicago since the festival started coming to Chicago in 2001. They’ve put together a four-act line-up called Chicago Pop Revue for The Red Line Tap this Saturday night that borrows a page from International Pop Overthrow CEO/Founder David Bash’s playbook.

Like International Pop Overthrow (which Bash brings to various cities in the U.S., Canada, and England), The Abbeys have branched out a bit from their power pop base in choosing participants. Amber Stereo leans more toward punk, and claims Lucky Boys Confusion and Streetlight Manifesto as influences. I haven’t seen Amber Stereo, but judging from their Facebook page, these guys approach rock with a sense of humor. The Logan Squares played their first IPO - Chicago gig this past April. Their guitar-driven set recalled R.E.M, and The Logan Squares broke free with frequent spirited instrumental passages, while never coming across as a self-indulgent. 

The Webstirs have mastered the art of eccentric pop music (not many bands have songs like “Maurice Klybatzia” in their repertoire) and are IPO - Chicago veterans. Band members Preston Pisellini and Mark Winkler will be performing an acoustic set as part of Chicago Pop Revue tomorrow night that will hopefully include catchy and clever songs from CDs like Smirk. This will be the first time in a few years, that I won't be seeing The Webstirs doing a Halloween tribute band show, but maybe Pisellini and Winkler can do a few copy tunes.

You can find my views on The Abbeys by clicking on the poster at the top of this blog (yes, Review should be Revue) and they are a highly polished and fun band. The Abbeys will be selling copies of their new Please File Under: Twang CD (see September 23rd in Archives for review) for $10, or two for $15. Despite Chicago Pop Revue being held on the last Saturday in October, it’s not a Halloween-themed event as far as I know. But if you listen carefully, you’ll detect the spirit of David Bash.

Note: International Pop Overthrow has three more stops on its 2013 tour: New York (November 13-17); Boston (November 20-23); and Toronto (November 27-30).

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