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Music, Sizzle & Fizzle Sizzle and Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle and Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle Cass McCombs smirked and threw sidelong glances at his three-piece band all night as a means of communication, but the audience was too busy being enchanted by his gentle twang, the rolling groove of "Big Wheel," and obvious love…
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Music, Feature

Intermission: Noise Pop Turns Down the Volume

What happened to the Noise Pop festival in 2013? This is the question of the season among music nerds and fans. Last year, for its 20th anniversary, San Francisco's club-based indie music festival booked headliners like the Flaming Lips, Bob…
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Music, Feature Indie on Top: Noise Pop Celebrates 20 Years of Independent Music

Indie on Top: Noise Pop Celebrates 20 Years of Independent Music

Photos by Amanda Lopez. Noise Pop has prevailed. This year, as the San Francisco festival's 20th annual week of indie music concerts gets under way, the proceedings have the distinct feeling of a victory lap — a very loud…
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Music,

Jordan Kurland's Top Five Noise Pop Memories

Jordan Kurland partnered with Noise Pop founder Kevin Arnold in the festival's sixth year. Here, he looks back on some of his favorite Noise Pop sets. 5. A three-way tie: Yoko Ono at the Fox Theater, 2010 Meeting Yoko automatically…
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Music, This Is Noise Pop: What Not to Miss at S.F.'s Signature Indie Music Fest

This Is Noise Pop: What Not to Miss at S.F.'s Signature Indie Music Fest

Now it's a festival name, an almost-genre, and, for some, even a mantra — but back in 1993, "noise pop" was just a term Kevin Arnold made up to describe a bunch of bands he liked. He stenciled the phrase…
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Music, Feature Saturday Night Fever Indie Division

Saturday Night Fever Indie Division

It's midafternoon on an overcast day at the Long Beach harbor, and !!! frontman Nic Offer is having a dance party of one in the midst of thousands of skinny-jeaned twentysomethings. The year is 2003, the festival is All Tomorrow's…
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Music, Noise Pop matches orchestras with pop acts and art with sound

Noise Pop matches orchestras with pop acts and art with sound

Sitting shoulder to shoulder with her 28-piece Magik*Magik Orchestra last month, composer, vocalist, and musician Minna Choi performed a set of 10 grandiose songs with indie-rock darlings the Dodos inside the expansive SFMOMA. The collaboration was part of the museum's…
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News, Feature Gimme Indie Rock!

Gimme Indie Rock!

Kevin Arnold and Jordan Kurland stroll into 500 Club, a Mission dive bar, on a recent August weekday. The pair lean against the counter, weighing their options. "I should order a martini," says Arnold with a grin. "That's what I…
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Music, Pop Philosophy

Call the Zookeepers

You can't escape it. It's everywhere you go. Your hairstylist, your dentist, your proctologist -- they all want to know about this year's Noise Pop. And if you grumble and grouse and say, "There's really nothing to see this year,"…
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Music, Life of  the Party

Life of the Party

When did rock 'n' roll get so serious? The members of Radiohead act like they have a tougher time making music than Nietzsche did explaining human existence, while emo-punk band At the Drive-In gives pre-performance sermons about proper concertgoing behavior.…
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Music,

Institutionalized

If the trendmongers are to be believed, the San Francisco Noise Pop Festival should be dying, or even dead. When founder Kevin Arnold started the festival in 1993 -- as a single night of five bands at the old Kennel…
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