Hey, so Noise Pop 2013 starts today! And if you don't have tickets or a badge to this year's most-anticipated shows by this point, you probably aren't getting in. (Sorry!) That doesn't mean, however, that you're out of luck when it comes to checking out San Francisco's premier club-based indie music festival. There are still some promising shows with tickets available. For those of you who are just getting your weekly agendas straight, here are five good Noise Pop shows to consider.
Tuesday, Feb. 26: Jason Lytle @ Brick and Mortar Music Hall
Onetime Bay Area indie rock band Grandaddy is revered among fans for its unpretentious (but brilliant) melancholy pop. The voice of Grandaddy, Jason Lytle, is off on his own now, and has relocated to Montana. But his solo work, exemplified by last year's Department of Disappearance, contains lots of the sweet longing and blip-rock textures that made Grandaddy so beloved. He plays the opening night of Noise Pop tonight for $12-14 at Brick and Mortar Music Hall with Jenny-O, Will Sprott (of the Mumlers), and Michael Stasis.
Wednesday, Feb. 27: Ceremony, Terry Malts, and Synthetic ID @ Rickshaw Stop
Well, look at that: Three of the bands on this bill made our list of the 10 best Bay Area indie rock records of 2012. North Bay outfit Ceremony has traded its punchy hardcore for steaming, brutal indie rock, maintaining much (if not all) of its intensity, and becoming vastly more listenable for those of us who aren't 19 and straight-edge. Terry Malts made a stupidly good power-pop record for its Slumberland debut last year, a 14-song ode to the Ramones on which every other track could be a hit single. And post-punk outfit Synthetic ID's neurotic, restrained debut LP immediately put this Oakland group on the map. If your tastes lean toward the punk side of things, this is the Noise Pop show for you. Tickets are $12; Comadre and Permanent Ruin round out the bill.
Thursday, Feb. 28: !!!, White Arrows, and the Mallard at @ Great American Music Hall
Remember the dance-punk heyday circa 2004? Gosh, do we. And while that white-belted era of yore has undoubtedly passed, Sacto torch-bearers !!! remain as dedicated to their wildly entertaining live show as ever. Frontman Nic Offer bounds and stage-dives and taunts the crowd, and the band's beat-driven rock retains its potential for nonstop kinetic inspiration. Who needs buzz when you've got a crazy frontman and endless rhythms? L.A. psychotropical pop kids White Arrows and quickly-rising S.F. rockers the Mallard help make this an excellent Thursday night option. The Yellow Dogs play, too, and tickets will run you $21 (advance) to $23 (at the door).
Friday, March 1: Golden Void, Wild Moth, and DSTVV @ Bender's (FREE)
Not all the good shows happen late at night. At this year's Noise Pop, the free happy hour parties at Bender's are packed with promising locals. There's none better than Friday's, which features local psych-rock supergroup Golden Void (whose Thrill Jockey debut came out last year), and the fierce, melodic post-punk of S.F.'s Wild Moth. Add locals DSTVV to the list, remember that there's no cover, and this could easily be one of the best small shows of the festival.
Saturday, March 2: YACHT, Tussle, and Shock @ Slim's
After being reminded of their live presence at last year' Outside Lands festival -- where Claire Evans, Jona Bechtolt, and Co. joked, danced, and inquired their way through a charming 45 minutes -- we recommend seeing YACHT anytime you can. Though probably best known for the 2009 quasi-novelty hit "Psychic City," the group's senses-assaulting "Second Summer" from December proves it's still in its prime. Tussle's adventurous electronica and Shock's dance-pop make this an ideal Saturday night lineup. Also with Future Twin for $18 (advance) or $20 (doors).
Stay tuned to All Shook Down for more Noise Pop coverage all this week.