Friday, July 11, 2008

Orange County Fair puts power pop on display

The Barry Holdship Four will play at the Orange County Fair on Sunday, July 13.
If there is a style of music ideally suited for the long, warm days of summer, it is power pop.

Now fans of jangly pop-rock and lush vocal harmonies will have a number of opportunities to catch regional proponents of Rickenbacker-powered sounds thanks to a trio of shows coming to the Orange County Fair.

Time Warner Cable is sponsoring entertainment on the Plaza Arts Stage at the fairgrounds throughout the event, but has specifically set aside three Sundays to host mini-music festivals.
"The Damage Done and I are excited and honored to be a part of this year's Orange County Fair," said Courtney Chambers, who inaugurates the bill on July 13 with a 10:30 a.m. set. "We're looking forward to kicking off the show and unveiling some new songs in our live set."

Orange County's music scene will be represented throughout a series of concerts sponsored by Time Warner Cable. Courtney Chambers & the Damage Done, Sparkle*Jets UK, Kenny Howes, Walter Clevenger & the Dairy Kings and the Barry Holdship Four will perform on July 13, while a so-called "Night After Prom" event will feature students from the Commercial Recording Arts Department at Huntington Beach High School performing songs from the Beatles' "Rubber Soul" and the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" as well as original material from 11 a.m.-noon and 1-2:30 p.m. on July 20.
The series of special concerts ends when the Orange County Fair hosts International Pop Overthrow (better known as "IPO") for a day, with 10 bands set to perform between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 3. That lineup features several regional acts such as Orange County's X86, as well as artists from around the world (including Japan's Strawberry Mud Pie and Canada's the Irises).
"I suggested to David Bash that we hold an IPO show at the Orange County Fair," said John Borack, who has been assisting IPO founder David Bash organize events in Orange County since the annual pop festival was launched in 1998.
"This is the second year that we (Time Warner Cable) have been a sponsor of that stage. Last year, I noticed the stage was empty sometimes during the day. I thought, I know a lot of bands and people in bands. I checked with the people we deal with at the fair and they were excited by it.
"It's a whole untapped audience that otherwise might not hear this music."

So while Borack has been busy organizing the trio of concerts at the Orange County Fair, the Fountain Valley resident will take a break from organizing concerts so he can play in some too. He will play drums with the Barry Holdship Four at the fair on July 13 and at the Fountain Valley Summer Concert Series from 6-8 p.m. on July 17; he will also get behind the kit with the Popdudes as part of an IPO date at Fitzgerald's in Huntington Beach on July 26.
In addition, Borack is busy planning to pen a follow-up to his "Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide" that was published by Not Lame Recording Company in late 2007. The ambitious and fully-illustrated book has sold several thousand copies and a follow-up is already in the works.
"I have been playing with Barry (Holdship) for more than two years and had never recorded with him. (I thought) it would be great to do something and it be exclusive for the CD recording that accompanies the next book," Borack explained.
Earlier this year, the Barry Holdship Four went into Clevenger's studio to record a version of Elvis Presley's "Girl Happy." An early mix of that recording can be heard at

Borack said the real treat for music lovers is to see power pop acts in a festive live setting such as the Orange County Fair on Sunday afternoon.
"I think it will be a real treat for fairgoers. The music appeals to kids who like Green Day and to their parents and grandparents who grew up and listened to the Beatles. The bands booked to play at the fair represent a wide range (of styles) that people will like," Borack said.
For general information about the Orange County Fair, visit For more specific information on any of the events, email Borack at

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