Noise Pop 2019: Celebrating Bay Area indie culture with great music & a whole lot more

Noise Pop 2019 - Caroline Rose


Caroline Rose

Photos by Mike Rosati, Norm de Veyra & Marc Fong // Written by Kevin Quandt & Ryan Bright //

Noise Pop //
Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
February 25th-March 3rd, 2019 //

Another epic edition of Noise Pop is now in the history books, and we were there to witness much of the action. Here are a few of our favorite moments, plus a ton of photos, from 2019.

Coke

With a name like Coke, you’d hope this SF band would be loud and wild enough, even with a 7 p.m. hit time, and they were. Playing their second-to-last show before losing a key member to the East Coast, they proved rock is not dead and that it generally sounds best in medium-sized bars full of your friends. – KQ

In the Valley Below

It has been a hot minute since the duo of Jeffrey Jacob and Angela Gail released their widely acclaimed debut album and supported it with multiple late-night appearances that saw them play their breakthrough hit “Peaches”. Their slow return to the stage hasn’t stopped this pair from performing some powerful indie pop that set the stage perfectly for Albert Hammond Jr. on a Wednesday night at The Independent. The live-expanded twosome also delivered select cuts from their forthcoming sophomore release The Pink Chateau, which will also feature an accompanying “motion picture companion.” Certainly appearing to be a comeback year for the Michigan-based group and a packed room at the Independent would likely agree. – KQ

Albert Hammond Jr.

Hammond Jr. is an explosive performer, and his Noise Pop show at The Independent was no exception. Relying heavily on his 2018 release Francis Trouble, his live effort showcased his frontman stature and musical abilities apart from his cohorts in The Strokes. Interestingly enough, the album explores the stillborn death of his twin brother and a recent reckoning that part of Francis’ fingernail was actually born alongside him. Despite the LP’s macabre topic, songs like “Far Away Truths” really conveyed Hammond’s raw energy as he jumped right into the crowd, mic in hand, for a cathartic mosh pit. – RB

Bob Mould Band


Bob Mould Band

Bob Mould Band

Bob Mould has had a lengthy, fruitful relationship with Noise Pop and the packed Fillmore demonstrated that in spades after recently releasing his rather well-received, and 13th, solo album Sunshine Rock since disbanding Hüsker Dü and intersplicing Sugar releases. Mould is nearing the age of 60, but you’d be hard-pressed to think that when he frantically paces back and forth onstage while firing off his characteristic take of punk-leaning alternative rock. “In a Free Land” and “Something I Learned Today” were Hüsker Dü highlights, while “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” and “Hoover Dam” represented a handful of Sugar cuts that the balding frontman belted out. Mould recently moved to Berlin from SF, but any longtime Bay Area fan can sleep well knowing he’ll always return to give us a dose of his infectious punk rock. – KQ

Film School

While it has been almost 20 years since Gerg Bertens initially formed Film School, the band has continued to keep a strong relationship with Noise Pop. Many consider the five-piece’s 2016 Noise Pop shows at Bottom of the Hill to be its grand return after hanging it up in 2011, and this year’s well-attended opening set showed that they can still whip up some polished alternative shoegaze. “Two in Sun” shined bright, and many of us hope this California outfit sticks around and rides the wave of the current shoegaze revival. – KQ

Beirut

After taking several years off, Zach Condon’s project Beirut returned this year with a new album titled Gallipoli and an international tour that included a stop at the Fox Theater in Oakland for Noise Pop. While Beirut’s career-spanning set might have been a nostalgia trip for some, the musicianship and multi-instrumentation were the real highlights of the night. They managed to make their unique brand of “world” music, which features Balkan, polka, mariachi and francophone influences, feel inviting, warm and triumphant thanks to subtle textures of the accordion, ukulele, trumpet, Moog synthesizer, piano and Condon’s unique satiny vocal stylings. For me, new songs like “Landslide” and “We Never Lived Here” stood out just as strongly as fan favorites “Elephant Gun” and “Nantes” — and the entire crowd’s response indicated that as well. – RB

Noise Pop 2019 Shows of the Week // GO4FREE to Caroline Rose, Tommy Guerrero, Uffie & more

Uffie


Uffie

Written by Molly Kish//

Noise Pop //
Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
February 25th-March 3rd, 2019 //

We got your tickets to four of the top featured shows at Noise Pop 2019.

But first, make sure to read our festival guide so you get the most out of San Francisco’s essential indie fest.

Win a pair of free tickets to one of our SF Shows of the Week by entering your name and email below.

Contests end at 3 p.m. on the day of show.




Caroline Rose: February 28th (THUR) @ The Independent // BUY TICKETS
Fresh off the release of her sophomore album Loner last year, Caroline Rose returns to the Bay Area for Noise Pop 2019. The singer-songwriter conscientiously departed from her Americana roots in order to branch out into something more representative of her sound — and she did it with great success. Incorporating an array of new instruments and an ever-growing sense of “ahhh fuck it,” Rose brings her latest material to life at The Independent, and we want to get you and a friend in to the show.

Contest ends this Thursday at 3 p.m.




DJ Boring & Jacques Greene: February 28th (THUR) @ 1015 Folsom // BUY TICKETS
This packed bill of house music innovators, which also boasts Jacques Greene and Eclair Fifi, will undoubtedly be one of the biggest parties at Noise Pop 2019. Spanning the globe with an armada of underground hits, DJ Boring and the two other electronic artists have made waves in their hometown scenes of London, Montreal and Australia and toured various club circuits, gaining attention for their individual mixes and stellar mainstream collaborations. The dance floor at 1015 Folsom is about to heat up!

Contest ends this Thursday at 3 p.m.




Tommy Guerrero: February 28th (THUR) @ The New Parish // BUY TICKETS
An original member of the skateboard company Powell Peralta as well as the Bones Brigade team, legendary skateboarder and musician Tommy Guerrero will cross the bay to play The New Parish in Oakland for Noise Pop 2019. Showcasing his talents as a bassist and guitarist, he will be sharing the stage with Chuck Treece, Josh Lippi and Matt Rodriguez, and this is a performance you won’t want to miss.

Contest ends this Thursday at 3 p.m.




Uffie: March 1st (FRI) @ The Independent // BUY TICKETS
Making her long-awaited comeback, Uffie is headlining one of the most anticipated Noise Pop showcases that sees vverevolf, STARFARI and MPHD all on board as support. The 31-year-old singer-songwriter formerly signed to French electronic music record label Ed Banger Records finds herself back in the spotlight with a brand-new, seven-song EP, and she’s making waves yet again as a viral electropop star primed for a buzzworthy return. You’ll definitely want to catch Uffie at The Independent, which is sure to feature her material from Tokyo Love Hotel.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.


Win-2-Tickets

Pick the show you would like to attend from the dropdown, then enter your name (First and Last) along with your email. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on the day the contest ends (details above).

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CONTEST CLOSED.

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Noise Pop 2019: Here are the shows you can’t miss

Noise Pop 2019Written by Molly Kish //

Noise Pop //
Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
February 25th-March 3rd, 2019 //

Noise Pop returns this year for its 27th installment with a lineup that features more than 130 acts spanning 18 Bay Area venues. In addition to the debut of the “Ear Up Global Showcase” this Saturday, March 2nd, NP2019 boasts a brand-new venue located in SF’s Mission District that’s known as the Brava Theater Center.

Attendees can still look forward to plenty of happy hours at Bender’s Bar & Grill as well as special showcases curated by DoTheBay, San Franpsycho, BFF.fm, Sea Witch Productions and Text Me Records. Plus, you can also view the “Noise Pop Festival Photo Retrospective” this Tuesday, February 26th at The Royale to relive some of the best moments in Noise Pop history through the lenses of the Bay Area’s top photographic talent.

Brava Theater Center


Brava Theater Center

The festival’s art this year highlights the Bay Area’s very own Kristin Farr, whose work can be seen on public murals, office building interiors and festival stages in SF and beyond and was even included in the Emmy Award-winning KQED Art School series.

Noise Pop badges and individual tickets to shows are still available and can be purchased here. To help you sort it all out, we have broken down the 2019 lineup and offered our top performances that you won’t want to miss below.


Noise Pop 2019 - Bob Mould

TUESDAY 2/26

  • Men I Trust @ Great American Music Hall

WEDNESDAY 2/27

  • Noise Pop Happy Hour with Coke
  • Baths @ Great American Music Hall
  • The Marías @ The New Parish

THURSDAY 2/28

  • Vetiver and Fruit Bats @ The Chapel
  • DJ Boring & Jacques Greene @ 1015 Folsom

FRIDAY 3/1

  • Saul Williams @ Brava Theater Center
  • Tourist @ Gray Area
  • Vagabond @ Swedish American Hall

SATURDAY 3/2

  • Beirut @ Fox Theater Oakland
  • Bob Mould @ The Fillmore
  • Princess Nokia @ UC Theater
  • VHS Collection @ The Independent

SUNDAY 3/3

  • Partner & Dude York @ Cafe du Nord
  • Daughters @ The Independent

Check out the monthly Noise Pop Podcast series to discover more new music and create your own customized Noise Pop schedule here.

Noise Pop 2019 - Phase 3 lineup

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2018

David Byrne at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium


David Byrne at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Tim O’Shea

We have to be honest: 2018 was kind of a weird year for music. Sure, there were some major highlights — many of them listed below, in fact — but we also saw a serious changing of the guard. The decline of mainstream rock and the continued rise of hip-hop, R&B and pop was more noticeable than ever, from this year’s Coachella lineup to the cancellation of FYF Fest, making us wonder what the next twist or turn will be for the industry now that the demand for EDM has started to cool off following its boom circa 2012. That said, we still listened to a lot of new albums and caught plenty of concerts over the last 12 months, and it’s once again time for us to share our annual “Best of” lists, much like we have done over the past several years (see our 2017 picks here).

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2018.

See our favorite performances from 2018 here.

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2018:


Jamiroquai at Coachella 2018


Jamiroquai at Coachella 2018 // Photo courtesy of Coachella

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2018
1. Queens of the Stone Age at The Forum – Inglewood, CA – February 17th
Just more than two months after his infamous assault on a photographer at The Forum for KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas, Queens of the Stone Age leader Josh Homme made his return to the LA arena for a proper, sold-out affair with UK rock duo Royal Blood delivering what proved to be a headbanging opening set. From there, it only got better as Homme and the boys dazzled with a headlining performance that even included Villains producer Mark Ronson sitting in for most of the five-song encore and the band’s live debut of its “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” cover. You can bet Elton John, whom Homme actually collaborated with during the writing and recording of QOTSA’s sixth album …Like Clockwork, would have been proud. I always know when I’ve seen a good rock ‘n’ roll show because my neck will be sore the following day, but after this one, it was sore for the next three days. Ouch.

2. Nine Inch Nails at Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CA – December 12th, 14th-15th
3. Jamiroquai at Coachella, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 13th
4. David Byrne at Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA – August 24th
5. Foo Fighters/Nirvana reunion at Cal Jam 18 – San Bernadino, CA – October 6th

Top 5 Albums of 2018
1. Jungle – For Ever
Unlike previous years, picking a favorite album in 2018 wasn’t quite as easy for me. I’ll admit that I didn’t hear every one that was released this year, but I listened to a lot of them. So, call me boring and short-sighted if you like, but nothing totally knocked my socks off. After much deliberation, it was Jungle’s sophomore LP For Ever that stood the test of time for me (no pun intended). The English soul collective’s follow-up to its 2014 self-titled debut doesn’t veer off in a completely different direction from what came before, but it still moves the sonic needle forward enough. After two full lengths, Jungle have shown a knack for writing catchy, dance-fueled tunes that transport you to a different time and place — even if it’s only for a three- or four-minute stretch.

2. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
3. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
4. Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth
5. Big Red Machine – Big Red Machine

Top 5 Songs of 2018
1. Nine Inch Nails – “Over and Out”
When I first listened to Bad Witch, I immediately knew this one was my favorite track on the album. But hearing it performed live on the final night of NIN’s “Cold and Black and Infinite” North American tour sealed it for top honors in 2018. Layering a brooding, yet funky bass line on top of a glitchy, experimental beat, Trent Reznor shows that he isn’t just playing it safe and merely saving his creativity for scoring films with bandmate and longtime collaborator Atticus Ross. You can tell Reznor had his late friend David Bowie in mind when he wrote the song too as he conjures up an even deeper baritone from behind the microphone than the one we have come to know over the last 30 years.

2. Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
3. Jungle – “Heavy, California”
4. Wild Nothing – “Partners in Motion”
5. The Raconteurs – “Now That You’re Gone”


Richard Russell - Everything Is Recorded

Molly Kish // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2018
1. David Byrne at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – August 16th
In support of his seventh solo album American Utopia, musical virtuoso David Byrne hit the road for one of this year’s most creative and ambitious tours. Over more than 150 dates that spanned the entire globe, the 66-year-old delivered Broadway-caliber performances with a traveling 11-piece band that served as a traveling retrospective of his solo and collaborative work. Meanwhile, the tour also doubled as a platform for him to deliver his “Reasons to Be Cheerful” manifestos on civic engagement, climate/energy, culture, economics, education, health, science/technology and urban transportation. He partnered with HeadCount while encouraging audiences every night to engage in public discourse through social media and their own personal stories on his website. And as a result, Byrne elevated the concert-going experience into more of an interactive, performance-art space that his fans became a living, breathing part of.

2. Young Fathers at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – November 10th
3. Erykah Badu & Thundercat at The Armory – San Francisco, CA – February 14th
4. Beck at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – August 8th
5. LCD Soundsystem with TV on the Radio at Greek Theatre Berkeley – Berkeley, CA – April 27th-28th

Top 5 Albums of 2018
1. Richard Russell – Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell
A multi-artist project released as the debut album of XL Recordings founder Richard Russell, Everything Is Recorded is collaborative effort representing the ties between past and present sounds currently shaping the framework of hip-hop, funk and soul. Featuring collaborations with Sampha, Kamasi Washington, Syd, Damon Albarn, Peter Gabriel, Ibeyi, Obongjayar and more, the album also plays as the soundtrack to a 30-minute film, which documents the time each spent in the studio during its conception and is interspliced with archival footage of Gil Scott-Heron and Curtis Mayfield. With its underlying themes of loss and isolation, Everything Is Recorded effectively communicates Russell’s emotional journey as he battles a debilitating autoimmune disease in hope of finding salvation through the shared experience of creating a beautifully mastered piece of art.

2. George Fitzgerald – All That Must Be
3. Pusha T – DAYTONA
4. Robyn – Honey
5. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo

Top 5 Songs of 2018
1. Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
If any song embodied the insanity and collective discontent of 2018, it was definitely Childish Gambino’s epic single “This Is America”. The juxtaposition of an a cappella choir leading into Donald Glover’s soft crooning over island beats and drum samples before staunchly diverting to a menacing base line reminiscent of 90’s gangster rap — as well as the hortative delivery of degrading lyrics about the current state of violence and American ideals — is near-perfect. Of course, the provocative music video that accompanied the track’s surprise release during his “Saturday Night Live” debut was incredible. The song, lyrics, video and marketing campaign could not have been a more flawless “slice of life” reflection of modern American society and justifiably has boomeranged into probably the most important moment of Childish Gambino’s career so far.

2. The Presets – “Downtown Shutdown”
3. Jon Hopkins – “Everything Connected”
4. Jungle – “Casio”
5. Parquet Courts – “Wide Awake”


Kevin Quandt // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2018
1. David Byrne at Jazzfest – New Orleans, LA – April 29th
You know what they say: the first time is always the best. With David Byrne’s 2018 “American Utopia Tour” being universally acclaimed as one of the most enigmatic live shows of the year, it’s not surprising to see it top other “Best of” lists. Byrne and his merry band of “unplugged” pranksters created a feast for the eyes and ears, and his daytime set on the Gentilly Stage did not disappoint at all. While his Fox Theater Oakland shows were more intimate and featured some more dynamic lighting features, his performance at Jazzfest back in April was the most memorable for NOLA revelers.

2. Jamiroquai at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – April 17th
3. Polo & Pan at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – June 20th
4. Nine Inch Nails at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – December 4th
5. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever at Primavera Sound – Barcelona, Spain – June 2nd

Top 5 Albums of 2018
1. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
What a banner year for this Texas trio! Khruangbin have been on a steady rise the past few years as they turn on the masses to their infectious amalgamation of psychedelic soul, Thai surf rock and subtle funk. Having cemented their reputation as beasts in a live setting, Con Todo El Mundo proved their knack for penning tunes of equal strength with its emotive first single “Friday Morning” serving as a clear standout. “Evan Finds the Third Room” has also become a fan favorite, and the accompanying music video only lends to its growing charm. The sky’s the limit for Laura, Mark and DJ, so grab your ticket to fly.

2. Hookworms – Microshift
3. Amen Dunes – Freedom
4. Shame – Songs of Praise
5. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Sparkle Hard

Top 5 Songs of 2018
1. Jonathan Wilson – “Trafalgar Square”
LA producer-turned-frontman Jonathan Wilson churned out one helluva album opener for his third solo LP Rare Birds, as this six-plus-minute romp has all the right pieces for true liftoff. A proper intro leads into a riff so heavy that it’ll break your mama’s back. Top-notch production is key to this track, as Wilson is a wiz behind the boards. As you cruise down the 405 with this whopper blaring, you’d be hard-pressed not to nod along. Extra points for those of you with a 1970’s convertible, too.

2. Tom Misch – “Water Baby” feat. Loyle Carner
3. Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
4. Jonathan Something – “Happy Day”
5. Men I Trust – “Seven”


Shame - Songs of Praise

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2018
1. The Smashing Pumpkins at Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA – August 27th
The Smashing Pumpkins are the quintessential 90’s arena-rock band, and they fully lived up to that billing at Oracle Arena for their Bay Area stop over the summer. I’ve seen them several times over the years, and although this time it was pegged as a “reunion tour” (minus D’Arcy, sigh), you never know what you’re going to get from them. Billy Corgan led the band through over three hours’ worth of material with some killer stage production to go with it. The show was definitely a marathon, but totally worth being there for. It came to light later that Corgan was also fighting off a bad case of food poisoning, but it didn’t show. It was great to see James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlain back onstage, too — the way it should be.

2. Nine Inch Nails at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – December 3rd
3. Against Me! & Turbonegro at UC Theatre – Berkeley, CA – May 25th
4. Alkaline Trio at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – October 6th
5. Back To The Beach Festival – Huntington Beach, CA – April 28th-29th

Top 5 Albums of 2018
1. Shame – Songs of Praise
This album hit me like a ton of bricks in the best way. I had heard a ton of hype around Songs of Praise before giving it a first listen, and usually I am a healthy skeptic, but good Lord, does this record rip. It has a dark flavor and carries with it a lot of angst, and you can’t help but get caught up in the hooks that Shame offer. These five lads from South London simply killed it.

2. IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance
3. Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth
4. Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
5. Snail Mail – Lush

Top 5 Songs of 2018
1. Shame – “Concrete”
Conjuring up the ghost of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis without sounding like a complete poser is challenging for newer post-punk bands it seems — except for Shame’s Charlie Steen. Paired with some brilliant instrumentation, I just couldn’t stop listening to “Concrete” when I first heard it. I must have listened to the track a solid 10 times in a row on the first go. This song has an infectious quality to it and is a straight-up ripper.

2. The Soft White Sixties – “I Still Love You, San Francisco”
3. Hot Snakes – “Six Wave Hold-Down”
4. IDLES – “Colossus”
5. The Sword – “Come and Gone”

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10,000 Maniacs evoke 90’s nostalgia at The Indy

10,000 ManiacsBy Ria Burman //

10,000 Maniacs //
The Independent – San Francisco
August 30th, 2018 //

With more than three decades worth of experience, 10,000 Maniacs brought their folk-rock vibes to SF last Thursday for a headlining show at The Independent.

Delivering plenty of fiddle-magic sounds that were entwined harmoniously with guitar, beats and keyboards, the six-piece band, which formed in Jamestown, N.Y., offered a rip-roaring set full of 90’s nostalgia as well as new creations with a packed, dance-bopping crowd on hand.

And despite not having a supporting act to warm up the audience, they had all of the 40-somethings in the house bouncing and grooving by the time they performed “More Than This” — a cover of Roxy Music’s 1982 single — from their sixth LP Love Among the Ruins.

Setlist:
The Candy Everybody Wants
Like the Weather
Trouble Me
Can’t Ignore the Train
Tension
More Than This (Roxy Music cover)
What’s the Matter Here?
Irish Tune / Eden
She Moves Through the Fair
Stockton Gala Days
Because the Night (Patti Smith Group cover)
Rainy Day
Pit Viper
Don’t Talk
My Sister Rose
Hey Jack Kerouac

Encore:
Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover)
These Are Days