Maribou State feel the love at The Regency Ballroom

Maribou StateBy Karina Kristensen //

Maribou State with Sea Moya //
The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco
October 16th, 2019 //

On a Wednesday evening in SF, a packed crowd at The Regency Ballroom showered English electronic act Maribou State with love. The duo that consists of Chris Davids and Liam Ivory received quite the reception for a mid-week performance.

While Maribou State released their debut album Portraits in 2015, this tour was specifically in support of their sophomore LP Kingdoms in Colour, which dropped more than a year ago now and features long-standing collaborator Holly Walker on the tracks “Nervous Tics” and “Slow Heat” as well as Texas-based three-piece Khruangbin on “Feel Good” (and yes, it does).

Serving as support was Sea Moya, a kraut-beat combo that energized us with their German-styled aesthetic. Their music was the good kind of weird — the different, yet perfect fun for warming up a crowd.

Maribou State

When Sea Moya concluded, the lights illuminated the crowd that had subtly grown to fill the space and continued to show the sea of bodies getting denser toward the front of the stage as Davids and Ivory began.

Joining Maribou State for much of their set was London-born multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Obi Franky, whose vocals sounded nothing short of incredible and fit perfectly with the feelings you get while listening to Davids’ and Ivory’s music. Past the midway point of the show, she returned to perform “Midas” off Portraits on a stage that radiated pink and we couldn’t have been happier to see Franky do her thing again.

When Maribou State walked off stage for their encore break, it was almost as if the crowd immediately expected an encore. But no one left until they came back out and performed “Turnmills” from Kingdoms in Colour in honor of the London club that closed in 2008. We really couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a fall night in The City by the Bay.

Feel Good
Nervous Tics
Beginner’s Luck
November Nights
The Clown


PHOTOS: Shpongle at Regency Ballroom 3/13

Shpongle1_postBy Kory Thibeault //

Shpongle with Desert Dwellers, Vokab Kompany //
Regency Ballroom – San Francisco
March 13th, 2014 //

Simon Posford is one trippy fellow. If the music he produces under the moniker Shpongle does not scramble your headspace, his visually striking production will. Shpongletron 3.0 entranced the crowd at the Regency Ballroom with mesmerizing visuals. Simon’s psychedelic take on world music is complemented perfectly by visual artist Zebbler’s pupil dilating talents. Shpongle’s production may be the closest one can come to a hallucinogenic trip without the actual consumption of substances. These photos are hardly a replacement for the actual experience, but will certainly give you an idea of what a night with Shpongle looks like. Enjoy.








12 reasons to grab a Noise Pop festival badge

NP-cover-postWritten by Mike Frash, Molly Kish, Kevin Quandt & Kevin Raos //

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.

Click artist names to buy individual tickets below, or simply buy a General or Super Fan badge.


Noise Pop HeadQuarters (NPHQ @ The NWBLK) //
All week //

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.


Lord Huron, Superhumanoids //
The Fillmore – San Francisco
Tuesday, February 25 //

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


Matthew Dear Presents Audion Live: Subverticul //
The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco
Wednesday, February 26th //

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


Mistaken for Strangers (Film) //
Roxie Theater – San Francisco
Wednesday, February 26th //

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


Bob Mould: 25 Years of Workbook, Zach Rogue, Jon Ginoli //
Great American Music Hall – San Francisco
Thursday, February 27th //

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


Digital Mystikz, DJ Rashad //
1015 Folsom – San Francisco
Thursday, February 27th //

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


Cold Cave, Painted Palms, Dirty Ghosts, Happy Fangs //
Slim’s – San Francisco
Friday, February 28th //

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


Real Estate, The Shilohs, Dream Boys, Dominant Legs //
The Independent – San Francisco
Friday & Saturday, February 28th & 29th //

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


An Evening with Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon) //
Great American Music Hall – San Francisco
Saturday, March 1st //

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, Saint Rich, Moses Sumney //
The Warfield – San Francisco
Saturday, March 1 //

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

Noise Pop 2014

Kirk Hammett reunites with Exodus & joins Death Angel at Fear FestEvil


Written by Scotland Miller // Photos by Tom Dellinger //

This past weekend saw the first incarnation of an event that will surely become a mainstay in annual Bay Area activities. February’s true desire for rain was accompanied by the “Kirk von Hammett’s Fear FestEvil” held at The Regency Ball Room in San Francisco, an incredible gathering of metal heads and horror fanatics. Kirk’s personal collection of horror movie memorabilia was put on display, panels of horror celebrities were assembled to discuss various aspects of the genre, taxidermy classes were given, and oh yea…there were two nights of live music that would wake any dead soul from their eternal sleep.

As this was the first time run of the Fear FestEvil, I was curious as to what the vibe was going to be like. My curiosities were answered when the first security guard I ran into was in full zombie makeup complete with demon-eye contact lenses, a yellow “Event Security” t-shirt ripped and bloodied, and an amputated arm wiggling in my face as I nodded my head in recognition. Yea, it was going to be a good couple of nights.


Carcass was the first band to take the stage. If you call yourself a metal-head and you don’t know who these guys are, you might want to find out before banging your head again. Hailing from Liverpool, England and considered by many as the innovators of grindcore, Carcass has been throwing down since the early 80’s. The pit churned as lead singer Jeff Walker growled his way through songs from their early albums Reek of Putrification, and Symphonies of Sickness. This set, however, was not highlighted by the band but rather from the man in the wheelchair who thrust himself into the middle of the pit. After throwing some blows on his way in, a friendly mosher grabbed the handles of his chair and began steering him around in circles with the rest of the pit. That’s thrash. Walker was also very vocal about the roots of thrash and hardcore punk specifically coming from the Bay Area bands of the 80’s…very cool!!


Local hardcore legends from Oakland, Exodus, were the second and final band of the night. The frontlines of the floor were now at least ten deep, and more and more space was being carved out for the pit. I have never been as stricken with intensity as I was for the first few moments of my first Exodus show. The fog on stage was so thick that only the mike stands were visible for the opening riffs of their set, and you couldn’t see the drum kit until at least the third or fourth. All heads banged their way through shrills and screams of Rob Dukes’ voice as Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt melted faces to the floor. Being that Kirk was a founding member of Exodus (ya know, before he joined that other band), it was only fitting that he joined them for the closing song of the night — Blue Oyster Cult’s classic, Godzilla, complete with a guy in a purple Godzilla costume who ended up taking a few riffs of his own.


The second night’s line-up consisted of LA’s Death Division, Orchid from San Francisco, and Death Angel from Concord. This remained consistent with the theme of how influential the old skool metal bands from the Bay have been within the genre. It seems that each front man chose to be very vocal about one little fact; the Bay Area in the 80’s gave birth to fast-paced thrash.

On paper, Orchid didn’t really seem to fit the bill other than sharing the same hometown as Kirk. However, this did not matter with the crowd as they pumped out some of the most eardrum rattling sounds of the entire weekend. With their more classic stoner/doom sound, Orchid managed to be the throwback band of the festival despite only being around since 2007. “Nomad”, “Eyes Behind the Wall”, and “Silent One” seemed to transport the crowd back to the early days of heavy. As they did in their last gig in the City a few months back, they did not disappoint. These guys are going to do something big.


Death Angel has been around a long time, and has been through a lot of lineup changes. That hasn’t stopped them from becoming underground kings of thrash and metal. Their performance at the Fear FestEvil was impressive, but not as impressive as what happened at the end of their set. The weekend was closed out in a true metal-head fashion with Kirk joining Death Angel on stage to cover a Metallica classic, “Trapped Under Ice”. I’m not going to try and describe it to all of you in fear of not doing it proper justice. What I will say is that it was long, loud, and I lost my shit. Kirk Hammett being the axe slayer that he is absolutely killed it.

If you didn’t make it this year I can tell you to keep your eye out next year, because this is only going to get better. Forget my face…these guys melted my skull! My ears feel like they have been cored with melon ballers.

STRFKR play new material, party with furries at Noise Pop

StarfuckerPhotos by Mike Frash ~ View Photo gallery below

Fresh off the release of their brand new album Miracle Mile, Starfucker sub-headlined Noise Pop Fest 2013 with a sold out and furry-friendly performance at the Regency Ballroom this past Friday night. A line wrapping around Van Ness and eager fans filled the venue to capacity during the opening set from Blackbird Blackbird. Re-visiting a familiar setting, the foursome whom played to a similar crowd back in September for Will Call’s pop up show took the stage with the confidence and casual demeanor of well-seasoned professionals.

Riding off the energy of local indie rock outfit Blackbird Blackbird’s opening set, the audience began to stir in anticipation for STRFKR to take the stage. Usually a high energy show right off the bat, people began to shuffle toward the front of the venue for better views of what would be an antic-filled stage show.

This time around though, the band had a different agenda, and took advantage of the crowd’s steadfast attention, utilizing the first half of their set to introduce their newer, more experimental tracks. Catching the audience off guard with early performances of dreamy pop songs like “Last Words,” and a crooning rendition of “Say to You,” the overtly ecstatic energy of the crowd was lulled into an ambient haze, transfixed by the band’s new material.


Beyond the adjustments made to their set list, the group dynamic and their new visual stage design also showcased a higher level of professionalism. In past performances, the band’s stage presence was wrought with sarcasm and comedic undertones, but the guys took command without a hint of levity this time with their game faces on. Friday’s show was a well-manicured performance, the new LED screen with synchronized lighting certainly enhanced the experience.

Growing antsy with predetermined expectations, the crowd’s early response to STRFKR’s new material was mixed but easily appeased once the band broke into “While I’m Alive,” and subsequently the second half of the show. From there the audience exploded into a full-fledged dance party, screaming lyrics to familiar favorites off of previous releases Jupiter and Reptilians.

Highlight track’s included “Julius” and “Bury Us Alive,” and the audience was deluged with balloons from the end of the first set through the encore. The evening ended with Starfucker’s accustomed cover of “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun,” and before that with a San Francisco fashioned performance of “Boy Toy,” accompanied by a stage full of “furries”. Finishing the night strong with a cast of characters including a giant banana, panda bear, Gumby and two dudes in skin tight body suits, STRFKR left the Noise Pop 2013 crowd satisfied and impressed.