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Noise Pop

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Here's Your Noise Pop (Early) Lineup

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Dan Deacon, comin' our way. - NOISE POP
  • Noise Pop
  • Dan Deacon, comin' our way.

Noise Pop
, the San Francisco music festival that's gone from being the scrappy little fest-that-could to an overwhelmingly packed week of shows, pop-ups, and parties at venues all over the city, announced its early lineup today for the 2015 festival, which runs from Feb. 20 through March 1.

Now in its 23rd year, the fest still has a nice bias toward local bands — both established and up-and-coming Bay Area artists who you can pretty much bet will be national news before 2015 is out — plus a slew of other buzzy West Coast acts, with a good mix of indie-electronica, punk, and shoegazy pop. Also, solid representation from Canada this year.

Organizers will roll out many more additions to the lineup in December, as per usual, but here's your first bite. 

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Noise Pop 2013: Is a Smaller, Weirder Lineup Better Than a Big, Predictable One?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Local group Maus Haus playing the Noise Pop closing party on Sunday, March 3, at 1772 Market. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Local group Maus Haus playing the Noise Pop closing party on Sunday, March 3, at 1772 Market.

Much of the negative commentary we heard about this year's Noise Pop festival ran along one of two narratives. The main criticism was that the 21st edition of the local indie music festival disappointed with a lack of strong national headliners. The big-type lineup of Toro y Moi, !!!, Starfucker, and a DJ set from Amon Tobin, people said, didn't stand out from the excellent variety of shows during a standard springtime week in San Francisco.

The other criticism, which tended to come from more diehard types and even a few local musicians playing this year, viewed Noise Pop as indie-lite: The festival for casual showgoers, who prefer safer, NPR-approved acts like Thao Nguyen or STRFKR over more adventurous, difficult music.

There's some truth to both of these arguments. But ironically, by failing to book some of the major headliners of previous years and lining up lesser-known acts instead, Noise Pop helped diffuse the latter criticism and bolstered its reputation as a host of local talent.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Noise Pop: DIIV and Wax Idols Play to the Talkers at Brick and Mortar, 3/2/13

Posted By on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 9:39 AM

DIIV at Brick and Mortar Music Hall on Saturday night. All photos courtesy of Amelia Sechman. - AMELIA SECHMAN
  • Amelia Sechman
  • DIIV at Brick and Mortar Music Hall on Saturday night. All photos courtesy of Amelia Sechman.

DIIV

Wax Idols

Sisu

Lenz

March 2, 2013

Brick & Mortar Music Hall // Noise Pop 2013

Better than: Watching bands rest on their laurels.

Full of moonlighting indie aficionados discussing an Animal Collective EP, Beach House's live set, or tweeting not-so-clever commentary on the between-set music selection, the eager Noise Pop crowd was more enthused by conversation than music during the sets of Wax Idols and Sisu on Saturday night. Wax Idols' transformation from a shambolic garage outfit to austere post-punk quartet left the crowd cold. Sisu's songs veered between electro-damaged atmospherics and pop chord progressions, but the combination felt unnatural, and the audience was hesitant to emotionally invest.

Judging by the show, indie rock's new presentation is more like early-'80s Manchester than French New Wave. Perhaps the stark ensembles writhing about the stage alienated the crowd. At a glance, even the merchandise table looked like the drab concrete outside: a big gray palette with shadows casting angles.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Noise Pop: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down Charm the Great American, 3/2/13

Posted By on Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down at the Great American Music Hall for Noise Pop 2013. All photos by the author.
  • Thao & the Get Down Stay Down at the Great American Music Hall for Noise Pop 2013. All photos by the author.

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside
Before the Brave
Kacey Johansing
March 2, 2013
Great American Music Hall // Noise Pop 2013

Better than: DJ sets.

Noise Pop has been doing its homework. Saturday's show at the Great American Music Hall was a thoughtful billing, with a variety in the openers that helped to set the stage for a multitalented headliner. It was as if each opener was an ingredient to make up all of the flavors of Thao & the Get Down Stay Down. The recipe of the night: Kacey Johansing's feminine ballads, plus Before the Brave's Americana twang, plus Sallie Ford's rock 'n' roll, equals Thao & the Get Down Stay Down. The evening was made up of new songs, as all but one of the groups released a new album in February.

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Noise Pop: Starfucker and Blackbird Blackbird Bring the Beats to Regency Ballroom

Posted By on Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM

STRFKR at the Regency Ballroom. - GIL RIEGO, JR.
  • Gil Riego, Jr.
  • STRFKR at the Regency Ballroom.

Starfucker

Blackbird Blackbird

Regency Ballroom

March 1, 2013

Better than: That second time you saw Phoenix, this time at an arena.

Midway through Starfucker's Noise Pop set at the Regency Ballroom, something strange is happening. The band is in the middle of strumming the opening moments to the bass-led journey that is "Reptilians," precluded here by an airy rendition of "Say to You." On stage, Starfucker looks composed. They're focused less on moving and more on maintaining the current song's groove. And if you stand still for just a moment ... the ground isn't shaking.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

!!! at Noise Pop: Here Are Some Amazing Photos From Great American Music Hall

Posted By on Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 2:38 AM

!!! at Great American Music Hall last night. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO

Along with White Arrows, the Yellow Dogs, and the Mallard -- which covered a brutal industrial work by Throbbing Gristle instead of playing its regular set -- !!! played at Great American Music Hall last night for the third evening of Noise Pop 2013. As is usually the case with a !!! show, frontman Nic Offer got rowdy with the crowd, and the crowd got rowdy back. Here, courtesy of brave photographer Christopher Victorio, are some rather entertaining pictures of said rowdiness. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kim Gordon's Body/Head Puts the Noise in Noise Pop's Opening Night

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 3:30 AM

Body/Head at Rickshaw Stop last night. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Body/Head at Rickshaw Stop last night.

Body/Head, Horsebladder, Burmese @ Rickshaw Stop

Jason Lytle @ Brick and Mortar Music Hall

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 // Noise Pop Festival Opening Night

Better than: The ambient soundtrack at your local Guitar Center.

Noise Pop 2013 kicked off last night with something relatively rare for the 21-year-old indie music festival: Actual noise.

Well, okay: Hardcore fans of the genre wouldn't consider ex-Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon's new avant-rock duo, Body/Head, to be proper noise. But her careening, chaotic set with fellow guitarist Bill Nace certainly fell more in the realm of art music than pop music. It was a surprise choice for the opening night of a festival that has seemed in recent years to be inching toward more mainstream sounds.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Five Excellent Noise Pop 2013 Shows That Aren't Sold Out (Yet)

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM

YACHT plays this Saturday for Noise Pop -- and the show isn't sold out.
  • YACHT plays this Saturday for Noise Pop -- and the show isn't sold out.

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.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Noise Pop 2013 Additions: Damien Jurado, XXYYXX, Wax Idols, Ceremony, and More

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Damien Jurado will perform at the Chapel on Friday, March 1, as part of the Noise Pop festival.
  • Damien Jurado will perform at the Chapel on Friday, March 1, as part of the Noise Pop festival.

Been a little crazy 'round here this week, which is why we're slow to bring you the latest additions to the Noise Pop 2013 festival -- some of which are surprising, and some of which aren't. The biggest name added to this year's fest, which runs Feb. 26 to March 3, is no doubt folkie indie dude Damien Jurado. Other notables: Moody Florida electronic outfit XXYYXX, local indie-pop-rockers Wax Idols, North Bay no-longer-strictly-hardcore rockers Ceremony, and bedroom-pop legend R. Stevie Moore. Check out the full list of additions here:

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Noise Pop Adds Starfucker, Ramona Falls, and More to 2013 Lineup

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 3:00 AM

The Thermals
  • The Thermals

After last week's announcement of the first batch of artists for the 2013 festival, Noise Pop is back already with more additions. New acts include Starfucker, the Thermals, and Califone, plus a few locals you might've heard of.

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Slideshows

  • 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.'"