Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

International Pop Overthrow preview

| April 14, 2010

Various clubs, Chicago
Thursday, April 22 to Saturday, May 1, 2010

Midway through a telephone interview, International Pop Overthrow founder David Bash is happy to hear about someone becoming an instant fan of The Lackloves after seeing the Milwaukee-based band perform at a Chicago IPO gig.

For Bash, that’s exactly why he stages his showcases in various cities around North America, as well as Liverpool, England. International Pop Overthrow returns to Chicago for its ninth straight year with a two-week run that spreads across The Abbey Pub, Bird’s Nest, The Spot, and Red Line Tap. Although none of the acts are big names, if past tours are any indication, several will be worth checking out.

“If [people] come to these shows, they will discover a lot of great bands,” Bash maintains. “That’s part of the IPO mission statement.”

Since its debut in Los Angeles in 1998, International Pop Overthrow has grown to a roster of 13 cities. The lineup changes for each location, and while several acts fall into the power pop genre, in recent years, Bash has tapped other acts that are more difficult to classify.

“Each city definitely has its own flavor,” Bash says. “Chicago is obviously going to be more power pop than some cities.” Boston’s IPO, on the other hand, leans more toward indie rock.

The Lackloves won’t be part of the Chicago lineup this year, but Bash has attracted the acoustic-based rock of Colin Gowel & The Lonely Bones from Columbus, Ohio; The Ramones-influenced Dave Rave from Ontario; and guitar-driven rockers The Pounders from Detroit. Milwaukee’s psychedelic band Elusive Parallelograms wryly lists “quantum physics” under the Influences tab on its Myspace page; while Minnesota residents Matt Dodge & The Lobsters prefer radio-friendly pop. Singer Jeremy hails from Michigan while the atmospheric rock trio Suddyn includes musicians from New York and Ireland.

Still, the bulk of the Chicago IPO lineup are local acts, many of which, like The Ringles, The Swingers, The Valley Downs, The Webstirs, Penthouse Sweets, Million Yen, The Abbeys, and Luck Of Eden Hall, are veterans of the Fest. 92 Degrees, which has an all-ages show on a Saturday afternoon at The Abbey, was one of the three Chicago bands (The Critics and The Idea being the others) that played at the very first IPO in Los Angeles. International Pop Overthrow also gives artists an opportunity to sell merchandise, and some, like Hollus; Andy Stone; and Aaron Fox & The Reliables, will use their IPO gigs as CD release parties. Ellis Clark & Epicycle promise a wild performance that will include clowns, surprise guests, and puppets.

“Obviously, I’m excited about what Cliff Johnson is doing with his new band,” Bash says of another longtime participant. “The best IPO show we ever had was the Off Broadway performance at Double Door in 2003.”

Bands hoping to become part of International Pop Overthrow can send Bash an e-mail through the IPO Web site, letting him know where they’re from and where he can hear their music. Which for most artists, is their Myspace page.

“”I listen to every submission that comes in,” Bash says. He also suggests applicants check out IPO partner Sonicbids, which gives bands inroads to various festivals.

Although International Pop Overthrow has its origins in Los Angeles, Liverpool is now the crown jewel of the tour. Held at The Cavern club toward the end of May, IPO Liverpool attracts what Bash calls “the cream of the crop” artists from the U.S. and Europe, along with numerous English acts. Chicago bands that have made the trip across the pond include The Valley Downs, The Sonnets, Leave, The Desperate Club, and The Shifties.

With 13 cities now part of International Pop Overthrow, it might seem like Bash is constantly on the move, but he says the tours actually only take up about 25 to 30% of his time each year. Someday he’d love to add Stockholm, Tokyo, Madrid, and Sydney. Bash says there are occasional hassles like uncooperative club owners, but overall, being the IPO head honcho is a blast.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Bash says. “As much fun as [IPO] looks from the outside, it is on the inside.”

— Terrence Flamm

Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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Comments (6)

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  1. PondHawk fan says:

    Chicago’s HOTTEST upcoming band getting major radio airplay, The PondHawks, are not mentioned in this article. ???

    They will be playing Chicago’s IPO Saturday, April 24th @ The Spot.

    Read about the band on Billboard…

    The PondHawks Have Landed… The Chicago band is Getting Nationwide Attention with Their new Album that Critics call “very Beatlesque”

    The PondHawks are heating up the airwaves with their debut album, The PondHawks Have Landed, that echoes classic rock, with a updated sound that is crossing genres. more…

  2. Rob Quinser says:

    Hey Chicago,

    It looks like you have a really great lineup again this year for the IPO. I’ve seen many of the bands that are scheduled to play and it looks to be a cool event.

    I noticed that the IE article mentioned The Pounders, from Detroit. I caught them at IPO last week and they were great. Since I’m a Detroit native, I hope you enjoy one of our exports from the D.


  3. This article also does not mention The Shake Ups from Indianapolis, IN. They will be playing @ The Abbey Pub as part of IPO on Saturday, April 24th.

  4. Edward Bock says:

    So many great bands will be performing include the Desperate Club(included on last year’s I.P.O. Vol 12 disc) & Pop Dollys. Don’t miss Luck of Eden Hall or The Cliff Johnson Band.

  5. I am super-excited to be playing a solo/acoustic set at the Abbey Pub on the afternoon of Sunday, 4/25!
    I only just released my second album (Chicken On a Bicycle) a couple of months ago, and it’s always fun to play the new material for a pop-focused crowd.

    Hope to see some of y’all there.
    I go on at 1:00 p.m.

    Todd of Hop On Pop

  6. Mike Abbey says:

    Again, David’s put together one great line up after another for this fest!

    And yeah, the ShakeUps were pretty darned great…they played right before POP DOLLYS debut at The Abbey on Saturday afternoon.

    This fest is going on for another week, so catch a show or two. Ya won’t regret it!