Noise Pop //
Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
February 25th-March 2nd, 2014 //
This time of year can often be a bit slow for live music, but not during Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco. This week-long event spread out amongst the 22 finest venues in the City by the Bay makes for the best extended independent music showcase on the west coast. Noise Pop Fest shows offer in-depth evenings — the best thing to do is to show up early and catch emerging artists before they graduate to headliner status.
One great way to get the most value out of the week is with by springing for a badge. The purchase of a General or Super Fan badge gets you into all general admission shows, films, happy hours, NPHQ and more, along with a screen-printed festival poster. There’s also a Noise Pop Fest app to help keep you connected.
The lineup is as good as ever this year — our list doesn’t include top-notch artists Com Truise, Rogue Wave, Throwing Muses, Beardyman, Ladytron, No Age, Shabazz Palaces, Mikal Cronin, Bleached, Trails and Ways, The Fresh & Onlys, The Limousines, The Soft White Sixties, amongst others. Presented here are 12 compelling reasons to consider a badge upgrade, in day-to-day order.
New this year in Noise Pop’s 22nd incarnation, Noise Pop Headquarters at The NWBLK is now the centerpiece of Noise Pop Festival. Festivalgoers can swing by the stunning gallery-turned-multimedia-space to grab a drink, watch a film, get some food, do some shopping, and experience a pivotal part of this year’s festival with friends and artists before heading out for the night’s events. Purchase tickets or RSVP to all free shows, which will grant you priority entry once capacity has been reached. Yet another reason to go big with a badge.
A coupled bill of indie folk, rich with thick vocal harmonies and dense soulful compositions, Lord Huron and Superhumanoids pair perfectly to cover the modern state of rhythm and blues. Americana based, the Lord Huron dabble in psychedelic and experimental pop elements, which also can be heard in their counterparts Superhumanoids. The Los Angeles-based trio features genre bending soundscapes, delivering a groove-driven journey through layers of pop, soul and electronic musical arrangements. Each band, although unique in their melodious executions, cover a vast array of roots-rock influences while updating the archetypal sounds in their own innovative manners. This sold out show highlights a great pair of bands to kick off the festival and is one worth splurging a bit extra on a badge to guarantee entry. -MK
The latest project from Ghostly International co-founder and experimental artist Matthew Dear, Audion Live: Subverticul is an all-encompassing multi-media experience. Teaming up with the innovative crew from LA-based design studio Vita Motus, Subverticul features a live set debuting new material from Matthew Dear. Audion Live promises to be a unique show, fashioned to resemble a moving audio visual sculpture. Composed of multi-layered experimental EDM and dazzling abstract art installations, Subverticul is an impressive feat in both live music entertainment and creative enterprises. Making its Bay Area debut in celebration of the Noise Pop 2014 and playing unreleased tracks off of his upcoming album, Matthew Dear’s Audion Live: Subverticul will undoubtedly be a highlight performance of this year’s festival. -MK
Let’s not forget that live concerts aren’t the only offering from the citywide Noise Pop Festival as the film series has some gems being screened, including Mistaken for Strangers. This documentary follows budding horror filmmaker, Tom Berninger, embarking on a massive national tour with his brother’s little band that some may know as the National. The ensuing months shows the younger Berninger brother tossed into the indie touring machine as a functioning crew member while keeping focus on his ambitions as a creator himself. -KQ
Papercuts, Vetiver, The Donkeys, EDJ, Vinyl DJ Selections by Britt Govea //
The Chapel – San Francisco
Wednesday, February 26th //
Artists under brand new label Easy Sound Recording Co. plan on presenting the future of folk at The Chapel during Noise Pop week. Jason Quever’s SF-based Papercuts have a new album Life Among the Savages in the works. The group’s sixth LP is set to release in May, so plan on seeing the group preview new tracks from their forthcoming album. They just released the albums’s lead single “Still Knocking at the Door”, and it’s promising. Vetiver is on the roster, another local group led by Andy Cabic. Their 2011 record The Errant Charm is oh so mellow and excellent, and we expect good things coming soon. The Donkeys are an emerging psyche-garage rock formation from San Diego, blending surf rock and jam sentiments into a bouncy, enjoyable time. -MF
“Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton” Film Screening and Live Show //
The NWBLK (NPHQ) – San Francisco
Wednesday, February 26th (6:30 pm) //
Gain access to rare concert footage, backstage documentation, home videos and intimate portrayals of some of the most influential hip hop artists of our time in this cutting edge documentary brought to you by the iconic Stone Throw Records posse. Featuring appearances by Snoop Dogg, Mike D, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Tyler the Creator and more, this feature length delves into the inner circle of the groundbreaking label to bring you a fresh perspective on the evolution and current state of modern day hip hop. Followed by a Q&A with director Jeff Broadway and Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf, tickets are still available with an additional option to upgrade to a “Film and Live Show Ticket”, granting access to a live performance after party with Peanut Butter Wolf, J Rocc, JonWayne and Knxledge. Happening at the Noise Pop 2014 headquarters NWBLK, this event is a great way to get into celebratory spirit and check out the brand new festival facility. — MK
Celebrating the groundbreaking icon’s diversion from his scene-defining hardcore act Husker Du, Bob Mould revisits his first album as a solo artist, Workbook, with help from fellow artists and friends. Mould pushed the boundaries of the independent rock scene with this record whilst mapping out an era of alternative music that influenced generations of artists for years to come. Mould will be joined on stage by longtime bassist Jason Narducy, along with Rogue Wave’s Zach Rogue and Jon Gignoli of San Francisco’s own Pansy Division. Gearing up for the deluxe double-album edition of this seminal record to be released February 25, this show will be the first live revisiting of the material in full since its 1989 debut. One of the first shows of the festival to have sold out, a badge is necessary for entry and in this case is well worth the cost of this once in a lifetime experience. — MK
Sure, Digital Mystikz may be one of the higher listed names you have never heard of, but producers, Mala and Coki, nearly single-handedly built the UK bass-culture scene which eventually was termed, dubstep. This South London duo has been working together since teenagers, while also maintaining solo careers, eventually starting the progressive label, and club night, that goes by DMZ. After a few failed attempts to perform on the West Coast as a duo, it appears the day is almost here for Digital Mystizk to make their big San Francisco debut at 1015 Folsom with DJ Rashad and a slew of local warriors to back ‘em all up. —KQ
Truly one of the more stacked bills this year will feature LA darkwave mastermind Wesley Eisold, popularly known as Cold Cave. With a release slated for 2014, expect new material that Eisold describes as a “mix between some of the bigger sounds on Cherish and more minimal stuff I’m interested in now.” Local psych-pop duo, Painted Palms are also featured on this bill after the release of a recent album on Polyvinyl. Expect a breezier affair before the headliner with these San Francisco rising stars. Local trio Dirty Ghosts will also be on hand to lend support via their female-fronted take on psych-pop with a tinge of world influence. —KQ
It wasn’t too long ago that fans of breezy surf-rock were enjoying Real Estate at Treasure Island, but this time we get a pair of more intimate shows over the busy Noise Pop weekend. The recently expanded 5-piece band is prepping their third studio album set for release the first week of March and will go by the title, Atlas. Expect new songs peppered with old favorites for these sold out shows, which will be supported by Vancouver songsters The Shilohs, along with Dominant Legs on Friday and Dream Boys on Saturday. —KQ
While Mark Kozelek’s music comes in the form of many groups and collaborations, his new record Benji with Sun Kil Moon will likely solidify this group as his legacy. The lyrics are heartbreaking, the control of his cadence immaculate, and the words often relate to Bay Area locales, a place he calls home — there’s the Night Stalkers’ final victim who lived in San Mateo, barbecues in San Rafael, his Tenderloin summer (when he likely made the album), and going seeing the Postal Service perform at the Greek Theater only to rush to a hot tub-refuge in Tahoe. Billed as an evening with Mark Kozelek, an incredible live artist with throngs of records under his belt with Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon and by his lonesome, expect a varied setlist with a heavy doses of cuts from Benji stealing the show. — MF
Dr. Dog make their Noise Pop debut as headliners atop a talented lineup of performers. Road warriors and prolific song writers, these indie rockers from Pennsylvania make the west coast swing in support of their latest album, 2013’s B-Room. Dr. Dog has been making a name for themselves for 15 years, building a loyal fan base and graduating to larger venues along the way. Supported by Saint Rich and Moses Sumney, Saturday March 1st at the Warfield will showcase some of the finest indie rock around. Floor seats may be sold out, but you can still make your way to the dance floor with a Noise Pop badge. Don’t sleep on this show. -KR