Revenge of the Archies!

Pop bands rule at the IPO

you could call the international pop Overthrow (IPO) a way of hurrying history, fighting back against All That Is Ugly within modern rock—the fest's very name suggests a hostile takeover (viva la revoluciĆ³n!). It's a 14-day affair featuring more than 150 bands dedicated to the Preservation of Pop—short, catchy, three-minute songs that were once as prevalent on the radio as Limp Bizkit is today. Most everything takes place in the clubs of LA and Hollywood, but IPO organizers are cool enough every year to let OC in on their party for a day—this year, that day is Saturday—in two locales: Garden Grove's normally tranquil, shady Eastgate Park (which is bound to feel somewhat utopian, as it did last year, when the sun shone brightly, the barbecue blazed, kiddies splashed in the park pool, somebody walked around in a giant bee costume, and a bunch of mostly good bands gathered to play giddy, peppy songs that felt gleaned from our KHJ-raised youth) and Fitzgerald's Irish Pub in Huntington Beach.

Unlike the annual Poptopia fest, which is almost exclusively LA-oriented, 60 percent of the bands booked for this year's IPO are from out-of-town. Some are even from other countries, like the Oranges, an Archies-influenced (Archies-influenced!) Japanese band who've never been to the States before and upon landing here will be whisked immediately to Eastgate Park for their set (at least they're not gonna waste all their time at Disneyland). Somebody named Julian Leal has schlepped here from Illinois. Other bands scheduled for the afternoon hours include Blue Imagination, OC's own Scarlet Crush, Wayne Resnick (the KFI talk-show host, who can apparently play guitar), LA's Wonderboy (famous for having Robbie Rist—a.k.a. Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch—as a member), Spinning Jennies, and Randell Kirsch and the Popdudes (with IPO co-organizer John Borack and Michael Simmons of Sparklejets UK, who'll team up for a set of oldie-pop hits).

After a three-hour halftime break, the fest moves to Fitzgerald's for the Dining Room Set, Atlanta's Paul Melancon, the Salteens (from Vancouver, and not ex-Posie Ken Stringfellow's band), Tammy & the Lords of Misrule (don't know a thing about 'em, but the name's cool), Orange Hat, Love Candy (from Indiana), Dipsomaniacs (from Norway— Norway!), and LA's Barry Holdship Four. It all adds up to some 18 bands in 12 hours, and it should be quite a sugar rush—a big, yellow, happy-faced antidote to rage-rock's surly scowl.

THE INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW AT EASTGATE PARK, 12001 Saint MARK ST., GARDEN GROVE. SAT., NOON-4:30 P.M. FREE; AND AT FITZGERALD'S IRISH PUB, 19171 MAGNOLIA ST., HUNTINGTON BEACH, (714) 968-4523. SAT., 7:30 P.M. $8. 21+. A COMPLETE SCHEDULE AND INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT THE IPO WEBSITE [WWW.SANDPLUM.COM/IPO].

 
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