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Noise Pop 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Saturday at Noise Pop: How To Dress Well Depresses a Cafe Du Nord Crowd in the Best of Ways

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

How to Dress Well at Cafe Du Nord Saturday night.
  • How to Dress Well at Cafe Du Nord Saturday night.
How To Dress Well

Dominant Legs

Shlohmo

Chelsea Wolfe

February 26, 2011

@ Cafe Du Nord

Better than: That super-emo playlist you made after a bad break-up.

Unlike many of the other acts at this year's Noise Pop festival, How To Dress Well, a.k.a. Tom Krell, was making his first appearance in S.F. this past Saturday night, which made his sold-out show all the more exciting. The experimental pop artist, who buries his R&B-influenced compositions under layers of effects and sound walls, has been oft-discussed by music nerds since the release of debut album Love Remains last year.


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Saturday at Noise Pop: Peanut Butter Wolf and Dâm-Funk Drop Sweet, Funky Love on Public Works

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Peanut Butter Wolf at Public Works Saturday night.
  • Peanut Butter Wolf at Public Works Saturday night.
Peanut Butter Wolf

Dâm-Funk

February 26, 2011

@ Public Works

Better than: Sippin' Moet at a fancy hotel with those friends who are seriously convinced that a G6 exists.

If you ever dreamed of being on Soul Train, grooving to funky hits while nodding ecstatically at the camera, your probably got your wish Saturday at Public Works. Parties with as many big acts on the bill as this rarely achieve a cohesive feel, especially at venues with different rooms and floors, but the vibe emitted throughout the converted warehouse on this culminating night of Noise Pop could only be described as sweet, funky love. No crying hipsters, no Top 40 hits, and definitely no elitism here.

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No Age, Grass Widow, and Rank/Xerox Bring the Ruckus at the Rickshaw

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM

No Age at Rickshaw Stop Saturday. - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • No Age at Rickshaw Stop Saturday.
No Age
Grass Widow
Rank/Xerox
Crazy Band

February 26, 2011

@ Rickshaw Stop

Better than: Standing still at Best Coast/Wavves.

I have a thing for drummers who sing. There's something about it that triggers endorphins: this is a multitasking musician, both pounding and hollering. It ups the ante from the usual guitarist-singing dynamic. It takes more skills, or maybe it just looks that way.

Dean Spunt, the drummer-singer from Los Angeles duo (trio when live) No Age gave his all Saturday night at the Rickshaw Stop. He was vivacious throughout, singing with all his might while hammering away on the bands' noisy, fuzzy art-punk jams as longtime bandmate Randy Randall skillfully ripped through songs off 2008's Nouns and 2010's Everything in Between. Next to him stood touring bandmate Cundo Bermudez on keyboard and sampler. A screen behind played song-correlating visuals, some of it just eye-popping, colorful psychedelia.

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Alexi Murdoch Relishes the Sound of Silence at the Swedish American

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Alexi Murdoch at Swedish American Hall Friday night.
  • Alexi Murdoch at Swedish American Hall Friday night.
Alexi Murdoch

Bart Davenport

Sarah Lee and Johnny

Silje Nes

February 25, 2011

@ Swedish American Music Hall

Better than: Any concert where you have to shush people.

It's a comfort to know that in a city -- and world -- of endless noise and cacophony and background chatter, there still exists the occasional palladium of monastic silence. For the singer-songwriters in search of a venue free from the annoying buzz of mid-song conversation, may we direct you to the Swedish American Music Hall, the cavernous wooden enclave where Alexi Murdoch headlined a sold-out Noise Pop gig on Friday.

Without exaggeration, we report that movie theaters are not this quiet. At least that was the case during Murdoch's set. A well-behaved audience might even be a requirement for getting to know this music, which puts every note in soft focus.

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Saturday at Noise Pop: Best Coast Is Lazy, Wavves Is Crazy at the Regency Ballroom

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Best Coast at the Regency Ballroom Saturday night. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Best Coast at the Regency Ballroom Saturday night.
Best Coast
Wavves
Hunx & His Punx
February 26, 2011

Better than: Standing on Van Ness avenue in not-snow, holding a useless laminated card.

We can sorta see why you'd think a Noise Pop Festival badge would get you into a climactic Saturday night show only a few minutes after its 8 p.m. start time. 

We certainly did. But alas. 

All badge access to the Best Coast/Wavves/Hunx and His Punx conflagration at Regency was cut off at 8 p.m. on the dot. Period. The show was sold-way-the-fuck-out, and the young'uns started lining up to get in before sundown. So badge holders who didn't arrive before the 8 p.m. start time (like we ever) were not getting inside to see Bethany and Nathan and their giant vomiting cat poster.

Which is unfortunate. You guys in the grousing, lanyard-ed posse outside: Can we introduce you to the scalper mumbling about $70 for a working ticket? That's your only avenue to hearing "Boyfriend" live tonight. The rest of you badge holders are doing something else.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday at Noise Pop: Tamaryn and the Soft Moon Paint it Noir at Cafe Du Nord

Posted By on Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Tamaryn at Cafe Du Nord Friday night. - IAN S. PORT
  • Ian S. Port
  • Tamaryn at Cafe Du Nord Friday night.
Tamaryn
The Black Ryder
The Soft Moon
February 25, 2011

Better than: Any Hot Topic experience you've ever had.

We could label it shoegazey, or gothy, or dark, or a bunch of other tired words, but the adjective that continuously came to mind during the Soft Moon's set at Cafe Du Nord Friday night was "noir." Or, rather, "noir-y," if you can deal with that. (Pendants: See "noirish.") Watching the set -- second of four on one of the most anticipated (and sold-out) nights of this year's Noise Pop festival --  we even entertained the idea of coining a new sub-genre called "chillwave noir." For our reputation, self-esteem, and physical safety, though, we decided against it.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Noise Pop: The Stone Foxes Tread Familiar Ground at the Independent

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM

The Stone Foxes at the Independent last night. - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • The Stone Foxes at the Independent last night.
The Stone Foxes

Voxhaul Broadcast

Ferocious Few

The Soft White Sixties

February 24, 2011

@ The Independent

Better than: Listening to 107.7 The Bone play the same hundred songs on loop.

Noise Pop gave a tip of the feathered hat to the bluesier undergarments of local rock Thursday night at The Independent, reminding us that classic rock doesn't have to be classic at all. Sometimes we forget there's traditional, straight-forward rock 'n' roll in our midst, presumably hiding in places taken up by our oh-so-silent conservative minority. Art school oddballs, it seems, don't have a monopoly on the S.F. music scene.

Last night's headliners, The Stone Foxes, are proof there's a local audience for something The Black Crowes would have called mid-album filler. This is the stuff of domestic beer commercials, but also of mild-mannered bluesy guitar fuming and harmonica riffing.


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Noise Pop: Ted Leo Keeps It Punk All by His Lonesome at Bottom of the Hill

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Ted Leo at Bottom of the Hill last night.
  • Ted Leo at Bottom of the Hill last night.
Ted Leo 

AB & The Sea

February 24, 2011

@ Bottom of the Hill

Better than: That awkward moment when the music gets turned down and you're the only one singing.

Ted Leo is a punk. He might be an untattooed, 40-year-old, skinny dude whose live singing voice sounds straight out of an expensive studio recording, but the singer, guitarist, and songwriter kept it loud and real and punk at Bottom of the Hill last night. (He also called the place one of his favorite venues.)

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Noise Pop: Film School Makes Itself Known at Cafe du Nord

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Apex Manor
  • Apex Manor

Film School
Apex Manor
Gregory and the Hawk
Melted Toys
@ Cafe du Nord
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Better than: A rainy night at the beach.

I tumbled down the stairs to Cafe du Nord last night to find the stage being cleared, rather unceremoniously, of various music-making devices. I asked around to find out who I'd just missed: everyone got "Melted" right away, but nobody could remember "Toys."

According to the Noise Pop festival guide, the San Francisco trio peddles "crunching post-punk bass lines, reverberating shoegaze guitars, and wailing psychedelic powerpop vocals all thrown together in a fiery kiln." As a fan of post-punk bass lines and shoegaze guitars, and someone who is passingly fond of powerpop vocals and homemade pottery, I was sad to have missed their set -- but moments after I came in somebody put on the 1999 Rentals album Seven More Minutes, which is perfect between-sets music, so I chalked it up to fate and wished Melted Toys the best. (Listen to some of their songs here. They're pretty enticing, and more distinctive than the festival guide makes them out to be.)

This is probably the right point to mention that I walked into Cafe du Nord without ever (knowingly) having heard a note by any of the bands on the bill. I regret nothing.

Gregory and the Hawk
  • Gregory and the Hawk

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Last Night in Photos: Geographer, Butterfly Bones, and K.Flay at the Independent

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Geographer at the Independent last night. - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • Geographer at the Independent last night.
Geographer
Butterfly Bones
K.Flay
February 23, 2011

Count them among the promoted: Last year, S.F. beat-pop trio Geographer played a great show opening for Atlas Sound. For Noise Pop 2011, the band headlined the Independent, playing with other rhythmically inclined locals Butterfly Bones and K.Flay. SF Weekly photographer Joseph Schell was out at Noise Pop's second official night and sent back these pics.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"