International Pop Overthrow returns to Chicago on April 19th and will run through the 28th at Red Line Tap. Each night will showcase at least six power pop or indie rock bands, with additional daytime showcases on Saturday, April 21st, Sunday, April 22nd, and Saturday, April 28th. David Bash, who brings “International Pop Overthrow” to 16 cities, including Liverpool and London, has assembled another Chicago lineup of veterans and promising rookies.
Phil Angotti, who was part of last year’s sold-out Material re-Issue gig with Ted Ansani and Mike Zelenko, will be performing his own music as part of Ginger Records Night. The Webstirs, and five other acts will also be part of the showcase.
“Mike McLaughlin and Big Al of Ginger Records asked if they could do a ‘night’ with us,” Bash explained via e-mail. “As Ginger Records artists have played IPO – Chicago (as well as other IPO cities) for many years, it was a slam dunk for me!”
Like Angotti and The Webstirs, Mimi Betinis, The Abbeys, 92 Degrees, The Valley Downs, and Van Go have logged several IPO appearances.
“I’m very thankful that so many fine artists play IPO – Chicago each year,” Bash said. “I like to think what most attracts them is that they know they’re going to be on bills with cool, like-minded bands, playing in front of crowds who really dig what they do, and that I’ll treat them like family.”
Over the past few years, bands like Aaron Fox & The Reliables and Magatha Trysty have quickly established themselves as IPO standouts. Both groups, along with Wes Hollywood, Go Time, Red Plastic Buddha, and Trolley will be playing songs from new CDs this year. Some acts will be appearing for the first time, although Bash seemed reluctant to name which ones he finds the most promising.
“It’s like asking which of your children you love the best!” he joked. “Of those from Chicago, the IPO newcomers I’m most excited about are probably Jess Godwin, and Left Turn At Albuquerque.”
Bash also has high hopes for The Iveys from Texas, and New Inhabitants from Kansas. He prefers bands try out for IPO by introducing themselves via an e-mail sent to intlpop[at]earthlink.net, letting him know at which website(s) he can hear their music. Or they can use Sonicbids, a web-based organization that enables bands to apply directly to festivals.
This year all of IPO – Chicago will be held at Red Line Tap, leaving The Abbey Pub out of the mix for the first time. Bash explained the change came about naturally.
“For the past couple of years we’ve done shows at Red Line Tap, which have all gone well,” he said. “Brettly Kawaguchi has been absolutely great in helping promote the shows. In 2011, we did shows exclusively at The Abbey and Red Line Tap, but when longtime Abbey talent buyer Sean Duffy informed me that he was leaving, I took the opportunity to ask Brettly if we could do the whole festival at Red Line Tap.”
Holding IPO at one venue is easier on Bash, who personally introduces every act. The hectic schedule can be challenging.
“With each passing year the pace of the festival, along with the traveling, does tend to wear me out a bit more,” Bash said. “But at 53, despite having a bad back from lifting gear and suitcases, I still look forward to doing this every time!”
– Terrence Flamm
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