Mark Kozelek, Lord Huron, Bob Mould, No Age, Cayucas, Kinski, and Bottomless Pit are among the performers confirmed so far for Noise Pop's 2014. The music festival will take place February 25 through March 2, 2014 at venues throughout San Francisco.
Early-bird badges are on sale now for $125 (regular badges will be $150). This year, there will also be a limited amount of "super fan" badges; at $350, they'll give fans everything the regular badge has to offer, plus an official Festival merchandise package, drink tickets to select events, rideshare coupons, guaranteed entry to any non-seated show, and a Noise Pop Fest representative available for assistance during the Festival. An official announcement party will take place Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 1772 Market Street from 6-10 p.m.
Chris Manak — better known as Peanut Butter Wolf and the founder of Stones Throw Records — is a live DJ known for his eclectic mix of rap, soul, hip-hop, and funk, all wrapped in a lively and fun package. Sadly, all that — the light fun, and visual mash-ups for which he's known —was nowhere to be found during last night’s Noise Pop show at Public Works SF.
Anyone walking into the small gallery space of Public Works SF last night for the opening party of Nick Zinner’s 1,001 Images, would've felt as if they'd known Zinner for years. From ceiling to floor, the white walls of the exhibit room were covered with photographs (1,001, to be exact), documenting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist’s life. Zinner — with an incredibly low and soft-spoken voice, and wearing his signature all-black ensemble — was incredibly kind and enthusiastic to talk about his work with Ear Bud.
Noise Pop kicks off tonight with Dan Deacon at the Independent and Yo La Tengo at the Fox Theater (full schedule here). A bunch of shows have already sold out, but buying a badge will gain you access to them. Catch is, the deadline to buy a badge is today at 3 p.m. Afterward, download NP's handy iPhone app.
Sold-out shows so far:
Best Coast & Wavves
How To Dress Well
Dan Deacon @ Rickshaw (tickets to the Independent show tonight are still available)
Aesop Rock & Kimya Dawson
The 19th edition of Noise Pop announced its first confirmations for its 2011 festival this morning. Held February 22-27, the long-running music festival will feature performances by Yo La Tengo, Best Coast, Dan Deacon, Wavves, Ted Leo,
and others. The list (still developing) after the jump...
Badges for the 2010 Noise Pop festival went on sale today, and the big news is that a show will be held in the East Bay for the first time. However, only a limited number of badges will include access to see the Magnetic Fields, who’ll play Oakland’s Fox Theater on Saturday, February 27. (They’ll also play the Herbst Theater on Monday, March 1.) A couple of years ago, Noise Pop’s Jordan Kurland said an East Bay show might be possible if the right venue came around, and thankfully, the Fox did. With more East Bay venues opening all the time, and others on the horizon, let’s hope more shows are headed this way.
Other announced acts include Mark Kozelek, Rogue Wave, Atlas Sound, the Soundtrack of Our Lives, Four Tet, John Vanderslice, We Were Promised Jet Packs, Wallpaper, Zee Avi, the Limousines, and Foreign Born. Noise Pop’s Industry Noise conference will take place Saturday, February 27 at the Swedish American Hall. Keep your eye out for more bands, films, and art shows to be announced in the coming weeks.
With less than a month to go until the 17th annual Noise Pop festival, organizers recently announced more performers, including Pavement's Steve Malkmus playing solo, former Hüsker Dü wild man Bob Mould, and Kool Keith. Also slated to perform are the Mountain Goats, Antony and the Johnsons, and local folk rock artist David Dondero. The lineup isn't set in stone yet though, so look out for more late-breaking additions. Noise Pop events and concerts start February 20 and continue through March 1.
But where's Devendra Banhart when you need him? Well, perhaps Outside Lands and Noise Pop are a little much, but at least you'll get to see some of his artwork, which will be included as part of photographer Lauren Dukoff's show Family, documenting Banhart and other "freak folk" artists (or whatever you want to call them) such as Joanna Newsom and Bat For Lashes. Family opens February 20 at Eleanor Harwood Gallery (1295 Alabama St., SF). - Ben Taylor
Live: Midlake Date: Sunday, March 4 Opener: Minmae, Ester Drang, Minipop Rating: 3 out of 5
It felt like the first real day of spring outside, which may have explained why the sold-out show at Bottom of the Hill on a Sunday afternoon was far from packed an hour after it started. It also may explain why I missed openers Minmae. Ester Drang's performance made me remember how much I like these guys and regret losing track of them. Coming from Oklahoma, the Jade Tree-signed trio orchestrates music that instantly inspires me to want to create an underground dance phenomenon at arms-crossed indie-rock shows. Half the band appears to be preprogrammed, but it doesn't take away from its captivating live performance. (Neither does the fact that the band just pulled an "all-nighter" with fellow show-mates Minipop and Midlake in the van outside the venue.) Reminiscent of Doves, Ester Drang's lush instrumentation, comprising synths, horns, and groove-driven basslines simultaneously convey upbeat, wall-of-sound pop and twinges of nostalgic melancholy. Projected images of snow flurries and hazy, dreamlike images propelled the theme.
Locals Minipop were an obvious favorite of the day, evidenced by the crowd now shoving in. Coupled with the unseasonably warm weather outside, it was a veritable sauna inside Bottom of the Hill. I started to sweat in my jeans. Sublime vocalist Tricia Kanne led Minipop's lush, sweet-dreaming pop. The band is great at what it does, but I feel like I'm at a KFOG concert. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The guitarist's young son with his toy guitar onstage mouthing along and following dad's lead was the ridiculously cute epitome of "Minipop."
By Midlake there was difficulty breathing or moving. The band sounds like Thom Yorke fronting Fleetwood Mac: forlorn lyrics through clenched teeth, acoustic guitar and piano pop jams with full harmonies. It's both understated and overstated at once. But the bits of guitar noodling makes it teeter dangerously close to a jam band. Midlake certainly has tapped into a part of '70s nostalgia that has mesmerized a significant fanbase, but it's not one I'm hankering for.
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Previous Experience: Liked Ester Drang's first album. Personal Bias: I like metal. Could Have Lived Without: The couple in front of me nibbling on each other.
Live: Dead Meadow Date: Saturday, March 3 Openers: Lovelikefire, Spindrift, and the Starlite Desperation Better than: Tripping out all alone Rating: 7.0
Washington, DC's neo-psych rockers Dead Meadow sold out the Cafe Du Nord on Saturday as part of Noise Pop's 2007 weeklong music festival in San Francisco. Dead Meadow unabashedly displayed its anti-indie-rock ethic by hooking up smoke machines, neon flashing lights, and swirling designs as accompaniment to its set of heavy stoner psych. Lead singer Jason Simon remained firmly in front of the mic throughout most of the set, delivering blistering guitar solos which relied heavily on his use of his reverb, delay, and wah-wah pedals. His vocals were unfortunately severely muffled by either the sheer volume eliciting from the band's monster vintage amps or the sound engineer's ineptitude, but either way it didn't matter. No one came to hear the singer moan about dark forests with emerald secrets; the audience was here to see a trio which has been playing together for ten years deliver volume, technical skill, and rhythmic proficiency through instrumental psych-rock abandon.
What were the openers like? Well, Bay Area's Spindrift played an interesting set that involved an eight-piece comprising three guitarists, a bassist, drummer, percussionist, and lead singer. They were all dressed in full cowboy/vintage garb and played songs consisting of mainly slow stoner rock with an emphasis on the tandem syncopation of the rhythm section. The highlight of their set was a superb track that involved the band chanting like Native Americans to an Ennio Morricone "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" desert rhythm, while the rest of the band looked as if they were about to initiate us into a peyote ritual. Sounds weird? Well it was, but hey, this is San Francisco.
The Starlite Desperation was a trio of bass/guitar/drums that played with the fury of meth addicts desperate to find their first fix of the week. The lead singer opened the set with a scream that went on for like two minutes, only to be followed by a second scream by the drummer that matched the first one in intensity, if not length. The band then quickly launched into a set of songs that sounded like the Hives on a mission to get back to the top of the charts. Remember them? -- Oscar Medina
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Previous experience: Dead Meadow at the Starry Plough in Berkeley Personal bias: I own every Dead Meadow record Random quote of the night: Gay guy screams at Dead Meadow, "Man, you guys are fucking hot!" (after the blistering set) "No, but what I actually mean is you guys are really ..." (gets cut off by lead singer). "Yeah, I know what you mean, man, I know what you mean." (audience erupts in laughter)
Live: Autolux Date: Friday, March 2 Opener: Death of a Party, Malajube, Snowden Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Los Angeles art-noise-pop band Autolux seemed to forget that the performance-as-art thing doesn't really work unless the creativity part is compelling. Not to say that its performance was that compelling, either. The trio began its set with a programmed ten-minute chiming intro, as if aliens were announcing its arrival. It was a lot to ask for the sold-out crowd to sit through, and while the anticipation built, the payoff never arrived. The rawness of "Turnstile Blues," which put them on the map to begin with, was one of the few moments where noise and pop collided effectively. But that was the second song they played after fifteen minutes. The rest of their songs were structurally similar to the point of predictability: periods of screeching feedback with bursts of cymbal smashing and lots of staccato guitar plucking like a digital heartbeat, organic and synthetic at once. The audience continued to wait for something to erupt, and it didn't help that the band acted more like mediums of transmission rather than employers of it. Overall, their set suffered from way too much brooding, and not nearly enough bloodletting.
Openers Snowden kept up with the brooding theme, but both its explosive performance and its immediate music was far more engaging. The Atlanta band's sexy, gothy dance rock is anchored by the singer's faux-British affectation, which somehow isn't annoying. Credit the band's energy onstage which, even if its songs began to sound similar, never slowed. Perhaps the bassist, who resembled a sultry elf-maiden princess rescued from the Matrix, gave the most exhilarated performance of the night. Still, you had to feel a little self-conscious for her after a while. A few of their diehard fans soaked up every single second.
French-Canadians Malajube were flat-out confusing. The band's songs are an odd mix of sappy, we-should-be-on-the-OC staccato pop, with hints of thick, heavy guitar rock. They should stick to the rocking and get rid of a few of the 600 keyboards. At one point, the lead singer had a monologue with his guitar that, as one observer noted, wasn't too unlike "Stairway to Heaven." Compadre Kara envisioned their music, "Like if Lindsay Lohan and Avril Lavigne were dry humping with Tahiti 80 in the background on speed." Eww...
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Previous Experience: Was a fan of Autolux's early, 4-song self-released EP, but never gave their actual long-player much listen. Personal Bias: Was a Failure fan. Sagely Advice of the Night: Prohibit beer bottles in the balcony.