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Noise Pop 2015: Get the most out of San Francisco’s essential 12-day indie fest

np2015_header-imageWritten by Mike Frash & Molly Kish //

Noise Pop //
Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
February 20th-March 1st, 2015 //

Indie-minded music and culture will be taking over the San Francisco Bay Area with the 23rd iteration of Noise Pop beginning this week. Progressive and innovative music is the hallmark of Noise Pop Fest, and this year is no exception. Outside of the incredible musical lineup, Noise Pop has curated a wondrous series of events including film, photography & stage for the 2015 showcase.

Noise Pop headquarters has moved to renovated Swedish American Hall on Market Street where a bunch of free, fun & intriguing events will take place.

And when it comes to the music, get there early. Most shows have 2-3 openers before the headliner takes the stage, and one of the best aspects of Noise Pop is discovering the next great indie act before they blow up.

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1. Go to under-the-radar Noise Pop Shows that aren’t sold out (yet)

If you can’t spring for a badge, consider going to these yet to sell out shows:

Flight Facilities, Touch Sensitive — The Regency Ballroom
Tuesday, February 24th

At long last Aussie production & remix-ranglin’ duo Flight Facilities released their first full length of original material last year with Down To Earth. Arguably the most essential dance party of Noise Pop, fans of Poolside, Classixx & Flume should queue up to kick off a colossal week.


Jessica Pratt, Kevin Morby, Carroll, Two Sheds – The Chapel
Wednesday, February 25th

Introverted songwriting and minimalist instrumentation lay the foundation for Jessica Pratt’s beguiling voice — one that is on the road touting her second album, On Your Own Love Again. The former San Franciscan was discovered and initially promoted by White Fence’s Tim Presley, so it’s no surprise Pratt’s warm take on dream pop includes a dash of subversive psych.


Les Sins, DJ Cali, DJ Dials — The New Parish
Thursday, February 26th

Did you know Toro y Moi has a side project and dance alias, Les Sins, that incorporates elements of two step garage and dub into an electronic-based smorgasbord? Well he does, and Chaz Bundick is taking the project to The New Parish after blowing minds at his Song Exploder Live Podcast Recording earlier that day for Noise Pop Thursday at Swedish American Hall (more on that below).


No Joy, Devon Williams, Vaniish, Chasms — Bottom of the Hill
Friday, February 27th

It might be a bit obvious to summarize the band No Joy as a shoegazing indie/noise pop outfit with an ounce of doom, but the label suits them well. The Montreal based group have promised their third record this year, stating last week that they are “still not sure when exactly or what it’s called, but its definitely pretty fucked! Played a lot of shows and partied really hard every single night, hope you like the music because we’re completely insane now.”


Kindness, Pell — Mezzanine
Saturday, February 28th

Adam Bainbridge is Kindness, the musician that brought the gems “House” and “Swingin’ Party” to the world in 2012. Last year he released his second album Otherness with contributions from his Blood Orange bud Dev Hynes, Kelela & Robyn — you’ll want get south of Market for this exciting indie mash of R&B, disco and funk.


James Vincent McMorrow (Solo), Kevin Garrett, Avid Dancer — Swedish American Hall
Sunday, February 29th

Post Tropical may have been one of the most underrated albums from 2014 — the enveloping album from James Vincent McMorrow hits the sweet spot for those on stand by for Justin Vernon’s next effort. McMorrow is helping to wrap up Noise Pop 2015 with a solo performance that’s sure to sweep listeners away into pure, crescendo-induced bliss.


Deafheaven, Bosse-De-Nage, Mortal Bodies, Cloak – Rickshaw Stop
Sunday, February 29th

San Francisco’s Deafheaven made a mondo impact in 2013 with Sunbather, which reintroduced their experimental black metal way beyond the Bay Area. They’ve hinted that their third LP will come out this year, so get to Rickshaw Stop for the chance to preview some new material.



2. Get a Super Fan Badge and do it all

Super Fan BadgeSee any Noise Pop show or event of your choosing if you spring for the Super Fan Badge, which includes these shows that are sold the fuck out:

• Best Coast at Bottom of the Hill, 2/24
• Surfer Blood at Rickshaw Stop, 2/25
• Giraffage at The Independent, 2/26
• Cathedrals at The Independent, 2/27 & 2/28
• Grouper at Swedish American Hall, 2/27
• Dan Deacon at The Chapel, 2/28
• Caribou at The Fillmore, 3/1 & 3/2


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3. Observe Toro Y Moi & How to Dress Well deconstruct their music (then watch your head explode)

These unique events are partially seated shows/Song Exploder Live Podcast Recordings where the audience becomes immersed in a live podcast that allows musicians to break down their songs through storytelling and personal perspectives.This year’s festivities, taking place at the Noise Pop Festival headquarters at Swedish American Hall, will focus on the creation of material by:

•Toro y Moi @ Swedish American Music Hall, 2/26 at 5 p.m.
Chaz Bundick will be breaking down a song from his forthcoming album, What For?, dropping May 7th.
RSVP HERE and get there early…

• How to Dress Well @ Swedish American Hall, 2/27 at 1 p.m.
Tom Krell will deconstruct “Pour Cyril” from his 2014 LP, “What Is This Heart?”
RSVP HERE and get there early…


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4. Take in Independent Cinema with the Noise Pop Film Series

The films on deck this year offer a wide variety of musical subject matter. One that peaks our interest is Salad Days: The Birth of Punk In The Nation’s Capital, West Coast Premiere + special guest short film curation by NOWNESS @ Roxie Theater, 2/21 at 7 p.m.

This event will be accompanied by a Q&A session with director Scott Crawford and Mark Haggerty (Gray Matter) Meghan Adkins and Nicky Thomas (Fire Party).

Here are all film options during Noise Pop. What strikes your fancy?

Hardcore Devo Live @ Roxie Theater, 2/20 7 p.m.
Metropolis: Live Scoring by Chrome Canyon @ The Swedish American Music Hall, 2/20 7 p.m.
Ollies, Dollies & Drones: A Survey of Spike Jonze’s Skate Video’s @ Roxie Theater, 2/20 9:15 p.m.
The Case of the Three-Sided Dream @ Artists’ Television Access, 2/21 2 p.m.
Welcome to Deathfest + Heavy Metal @ Artists’ Television Access, 2/21 4 p.m.
Lance Bangs: Immortal Volume @ Swedish American Music Hall, 2/21 5 p.m.
Beautiful Noise @ Roxie Theater, 2/21 9:15 p.m.
The 78 Project @ Artists Television Access, 2/22 2 p.m.
Christopher Willits Presents Opening: Film + Live Scoring @ Swedish American Music Hall, 2/22 7 p.m.
Stop Making Sense @ The Independent, 2/23 8 p.m.
Life on the V: The Story of V66 @ Artists’ Television Access, 2/24 7 p.m.
Sound and Chaos @ Artists’ Television Access, 2/25 7 p.m.
I’ve Rambled This Country Both Early and Late: Alan Lomaz Centennial Project @ Swedish American Music Hall, 2/28 3:30 p.m.


primus_MIKE

5. Bathe in some of the best Bay Area photography from the past 23 years of Noise Pop

23 for 23: Celebrating Noisepop Rock Photograpahy in Year 23 @ Hotel Biron, 2/26 7 p.m.

This live music photography event will showcase the work of Showbams’ very own Michael Rosati alongside Bay Area photographers Paige Parsons, Deb Zeller, Peter Ellenby, Heather Bernard, John Hartsfield, Jeanne Ellenby, Tara Graves, Martin Lacey, Emily Anderson, Joey Pagliani and Daniel Kielman.


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6. Watch a raucously entertaining musical created by NOFX’s Fat Mike, a professional dominatrix & the guy that made Avenue Q

Home Street Home: A Original Rock Musical @ Z Space, 2/22

Created by Fat Mike of NOFX, Jeff Marx creator of Avenue Q and professional dominatrix Goddess Soma, Home Street Home is a brand new, highly unconventional dark comedy/musical, glorifying the hedonistic exploration of sex work, drug use and BDSM culture. Written from the collective perspectives of the authors’ own life experiences, the story follows Sue a teenage runaway who encounters and assimilates into a tribe of street punks, whom through their wild adventures form an atypical bond, finding strength and happiness amongst their abstract lifestyles.

Making its debut in San Francisco at Noise Pop 2015, the staged theatrical production will only play 11 performances through March 7th. Listen to the full concept album featuring songs by NOFX and members of Descendents, Lagwagon, No Use for a Name, Alkaline Trio, Mad Caddies, Frank Turner, The Living End, Old Man Markley, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Dropkick Murphys, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Dance Hall Crashers, The Aggrolites, Limp, The Real McKenzies, Mariachi El Bronx, R.K.L. and Hedwig & the Angry Inch here:

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