The International Pop Overthrow Festival — Atlanta kicks off Day One with Blake Rainey & His Demons, The Black Sundays, The Sunset District, Atomic Clock, The Shut-Ups, Casper & the Cookies, and New Terminus.
7:30 — Blake Rainey & His Demons
The Ambulance Alley Sessions, Atlanta singer/songwriter Blake Rainey’s 3rd solo release, could be called more of a snapshot of a specific time and place than a typical album. Recorded near Grady Memorial in the Winter of 2005 in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward, The AA Sessions is a live in-studio (or live in-industrial loft, to be exact) exploitation of Rainey’s emotionally pitch-perfect live performance skills; an of-the-moment, you-had-to-be-there evening recorded just before the songwriter’s other outfit, The Young Antiques, resurged from nowhere. The music is dark, introspective, decidedly homespun and utterly Americana—a blossoming of Rainey’s more acoustic side slowly starting to form. Shortly after their cut to tape, these recordings and all solo outings were shelved for 6 years to make room for the ‘Tiques’ power pop trio comeback.
Rainey is currently recording a new full-length album with Tim Delaney (Swimming Pool Q's) and Marlow Sanchez of Atlanta band All Night Drug Prowling Wolves, in which he was also a guitarist. The album is set to be issued sometime in 2013.
8:15 — The Black Sundays
The Black Sundays grew out of wide musical influences. Everything from the Posies and XTC to Nada Surf and Matt Pond. A revolving musical cast based around Singer-Songwriter Patrick Finn, The Black Sundays recall the best of 90's alterna-pop while staying in touch with contemporary sounds. Emerging from the Texas BritPop scene, Finn relocated to Atlanta, GA and almost immediately met up with local drum sherpa Dallas Peavy. Peavy infused his manic, Ira Elliott-inspired drumming into a hard driving backbeat that Finn couldn't live without. Through various bands and incarnations, The Black Sundays emerged. With members including the world famous Bill Walter on bass and an ever changing cast of musicians, It's a darker but more hopeful sound that shows itself on the debut EP titled The Resonate EP.
9:00 — The Sunset District
The idea for the Sunset District came to me a few years ago. I wanted to do something different, not just a band, but a project based around a group of friends. Songs would be written, and shows would be played, but people could come and go as they were available. I could play some solo shows, we could play some band shows. Flexible. Fun. No pressure. No stress.Then I really started to think about the things that I enjoyed the most about creating music and performing and more and more it was the interaction with other musicians, creative people, and the audience that those creative endeavors attracted. So, being a big fan of podcasts, I thought, "Well, we have to do one of those too!" I could talk to some people and bands I admire, take a few pics, have a few beers and just connect.
We play indie rock. We play guitars most of the time. We play our type or pop music. We talk way too much on stage and off stage.
This should be fun.
9:45 — Atomic Clock
Guitarist Michael Goldman played IPO Atlanta with The Eyes a few years ago, and is also playing IPO this year with Starr*Hustler (see below). Atomic Clock is led by Bruce Joyner, who was the main man of the great San Diego ’80s band, The Unknowns. This is Joyner’s first project in awhile, so we can hardly wait to see what he and the band have in store!
10:30 — The Shut-Ups
The Shut-Ups are a five-piece new-wave power-pop band from Atlanta and Athens, GA.
The Shut-Ups practice every day (excluding Sundays) at 6:00 a.m. sharp. They do more before 8:30 a.m. than most bands do in an entire week.
The Shut-Ups are not about Pleasure. They are not about Fun. You might enjoy listening to their music. You might not. You might pretend to enjoy it because others whom you respect seem to be enjoying it. It may be that they are pretending, too. In which case you might want to ask yourself what else they're pretending about.
The Shut-Ups have four albums out. Their third, The STUD Album: Seduction Strategies for the Twenty-First Century, is loud and skanky. Their fourth, Imaginary Dancer, is cold and sterile. Their first and second albums explode when described. The Layman's Guide To The Shut-Ups is a good place to begin — it can be obtained at shutups.bandcamp.com.
The Shut-Ups are almost ashamed. To rock so hard. They would prefer a world in which everyone were equally talented. The Shut-Ups entered this business as wide-eyed idealists, determined to stand in smug solidarity with the many millions of musical mediocrities, speaking Banality to Genius. But after a few weeks of this, things seemed to change. To their horror, they discovered that we had become TOTALLY AWESOME.
11:15 — Casper & the Cookies
Hi. This is Jason of Casper & the Cookies. I'm tired of writing bios in artificial third-person. So I'm just going to tell you in my real voice. After years of making bedroom recordings, I started Casper & the Cookies with Kay. Originally, I was going to keep the "Casper &" and change the band name for every album just for fun. A lot of great people have been through this band. They all told me to keep "The Cookies." I should not have listened to them.
I started the band with Kay in 1998 or thereabouts. Since then we have put out three albums, including a double album, Modern Silence in 2009, right about the time everyone stopped buying records and started putting them all over the internet for free. We even played a whole year with an iPod drummer. That was weird. We found Gregory by accident-- or was it fate? AJ moved from Boston to Athens, and now we are four. We have just finished our fourth album, Dingbats.
You might ask what our music sounds like. That is a hard question to answer in first-person narrative. To avoid any unflattering self-evaluation, here are three reviews I like describing our music.
- “Rocking from Athens, GA 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
- “Miles and miles of conceptual pop soundscape. An eternity of possibilities.” — Aiding & Abetting
- “This is a band that embraces making challenging music. Their glossy surface is what makes them attractive.” — URB
The albums jump around a little bit stylistically. Some people like that, and some don't. If you don't like that we do that, sorry. Maybe you only eat one kind of food, too. We work hard to make our records the best they can be, which seems to be out of style right now in the rock world. It will be back in style later.
At our live shows we like to play with a lot of energy. Sometimes we dress up. It helps to distinguish the band from the audience.
We were recently named one of Thirty Great Athens Bands in Paste Magazine.com. In 2011, we opened for the B-52s for their 34th anniversary show at the Classic Center in Athens, GA. It was great. We have also supported The Apples In Stereo, Deerhoof, Architecture in Helsinki, The Blow, and we got to be Daniel Johnston's backup band for a night. It was great. We are releasing our fourth full length album, Dingbats in fall 2013 with Wild Kindness Records.
12:00 — New Terminus
New Terminus is an Atlanta-based rock band with high-powered guitar-driven melodies and stylistic pop sensibilities. The band’s influences vary from Built To Spill and Superchunk to the Pixies and Pinback. Combining captivating melodies, intricate lyrical stylings and driving rock music, New Terminus infuses each song with infectious energy.
About International Pop Overthrow
International Pop Overthrow (or IPO, as it has affectionately become known) is a pop music festival which has been held for the past sixteen years in Los Angeles, and for various years in Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, Detroit, Milwaukee, Portland, Seattle, Austin, Vancouver, and Toronto, as well as in Liverpool (at the world famous Cavern Club), and London, UK. Each International Pop Overthrow features between 25-180 of the best pop bands from around the world. Everyone from the bands to the spectators has a wonderful time, and although we’re all exhausted by the end, we part company with one prevailing thought: “I can’t wait to do it again next year!”
The purpose of International Pop Overthrow is two-fold: one aim is to give every worthy band who’d like to play their music in a festival atmosphere the chance to do so, and the other is to bring pop music the attention it so richly deserves. We have made great strides to that end, garnering press in several noteworthy papers in each city in which we hold the festival, and creating a very positive buzz about pop music within the inner circles of major labels. We’re looking forward to the very real possibility that a number of bands who have played IPO will grab the brass ring and receive major label deals.