Sunday afternoon isn’t generally known as a time to rock out, but tomorrow’s six-band International Pop Overthrow showcase at The Abbey Pub provides a good reason to get out of the house early. Later on, another half dozen bands will keep the day rocking, at Red Line Tap. Note: My previews are based on the schedule found on the IPO - Chicago website, and due to last minute changes, may not be entirely accurate.
The power pop trio 92 Degrees has been involved with International Pop Overthrow almost as long as the festival’s founder David Bash. It was one of three acts (The Idea and The Critics being the other two) that traveled out to Los Angeles for the very first IPO back in 1998. 92 Degrees hasn’t released a CD since its 1995 self-titled feature length CD, and if you don’t catch their gig tomorrow, you’re not likely to see another one until next April. They’ll be playing catchy songs from their debut CD, a few from their earlier vinyl EP, Money Makes The World Go ‘Round, and possibly a few unreleased gems.
Lead singer-guitarist Mike Cohen of The Abbeys has appeared at every IPO - Chicago, and he’ll be performing twice this year. Cohen has a gift for setting catchy melodies and clever lyrics within guitar-driven arrangements, and is also adept at swinging rock-a-billy songs like “Nobody Moves.”
Springfield, Illinois quartet The Oohs have released two CDs of power pop music augmented with Beatlesque harmonies. “Pretty” even starts out with the riff from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
The online IPO - Chicago schedule now lists Kerry Tucker in the slot my notes from earlier research showed as belonging to the Detroit band The Wall Clocks. I couldn’t find a Kerry Tucker musician on the web, so unfortunately I have nothing to write.
Aaron Fox And The Reliables made a strong impression with a pair of shows at last year’s IPO - Chicago, as well as with the tuneful songs on their debut CD, Late Too Soon. In a review on my blog, I stated, “The quartet’s melodic blend of acoustic and electric instruments definitely taps into a Midwestern tradition that includes Spooner, The Bodeans, and Thrift Store Halo.”
The final slot for the afternoon showcase is listed as a TBA on the online schedule.
Singer-guitarist Mike Cohen will make the commute from The Abbey to Red Line Tap to kick things off for the evening set with his newest ensemble, Pop Dollys. As with The Abbeys, the melodies are strong, while his lyrics, particularly on the Leona Helmsley-inspired number “Like A Hurricane,” have a definite satiric bite.
The Hurtin Kind puts an emphasis on guitar for melodic rock songs like “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day.” I couldn’t find a website for Telstar, so I’ll bow to David Bash’s description of them in last year’s program as a “warm combination of power pop and Americana.” I also couldn’t find any info on The Reunion. Lead vocalist-guitarist Lauretta Tagli gives the melodic rock songs by The PowWows a similar sound to The Indigo Girls.
I first came across the four woman band The Wanton Looks while researching a show they were doing with The Handcuffs and The Maybenauts. I still haven’t seen them live, but the songs and videos on their ReverbNation page certainly make a good impression. They’ll be wrapping up a full day’s worth of International Pop Overthrow.