I've got a whole city to hold down

April 20, 2005

IPO redux

Last week we offered a scouting report on the first half of the fortnight-long local incarnation of the International Pop Overthrow festival.

As promised, here's part two. As before, all picks come courtesy of Michael Bennett, who publishes the weekly Chicago Pop Show Report and reviews records for

April 22 - Beat Kitchen. Perhaps the best bill of the fest, featuring artists from the Rainbow Quartz label. Andy Bopp of Myracle Brah opens, followed by the Lackloves (pure jangle circa 1966), the Telepathic Butterflies (an incredible psych-pop band), and the Grip Weeds (a great live act, they mix Byrds guitar shimmer with the rhythm power of the Move).

April 23 – Gunther Murphy’s. (evening) With a major-label album to their credit, Admiral Twin are pro popsters; the Cells keep on rolling with a hard pop sound.

April 24 – Beat Kitchen. (evening) A lineup of Canadian artists on Bullseye Records. The two best acts finish – they are the Kings (a really fun band known for “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide”) and Dave Rave (formerly of Teenage Head and a great pop artist in the vein of Paul McCartney and Matthew Sweet--though not quite like either, I suppose).

April 27 - Schubas. Dolly Varden, who haven’t played out in a while, will provide their usual alt-country brilliance, but David Singer and the Sweet Science are the highlights.

April 28 - Schubas. One of the strongest lineups of the fest, it includes Van Go (an energetic, meat-and-potatoes power pop band), the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir (twee, Chicago style), Canasta (hard to categorize, but one of the most promising local acts I’ve seen in a while), and Epicycle (a psych-pop band featuring Ellis Clark, who has worked with David Roth, Kevin Tihista and others).

April 29 - Abbey. In what's becoming a Chi-PO tradition, stalwarts E’Nuff Z’Nuff and Off Broadway top the bill. Other nice locals include the Mark Watson Band (total heartland pop) and Million Yen (who pack a sleeker, Cheap Trick-meets-Bends-era-Radiohead style).

April 30 - Gunther Murphy’s. (evening) The Goldstars are one of Chicago’s best garage rock bands. And look out for the Breakup Society, a rocking power pop outfit led by a former member of the Frampton Brothers.

May 1 - Wise Fool’s Pub. (evening) Dave King is from the Canadian band the Cloudsmen, and his music is adult pop in the vein of latter day XTC and Crowded House. The Oohs have ace vocals and play a mix of skinny-tie rock and Jellyfish sophistication. And while I haven’t heard the Injured Parties yet, front man Larry O. Dean has a good track record.