Geographer at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011
Photos by: Anna Gazdowicz

It is seemingly customary for any Noise Pop show to look like a bit of a head-scratcher on paper. Typically when I see a Noise Pop bill I think to myself "what an odd combination, will that work?" In my experience it always does. The shows are stylistically diverse and well-curated.

Funeral Party at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

Funeral Party at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

Funeral Party is an L.A. quintet, though their sound is a bit more New York. Propulsive drums and charging guitar are augmented by synthy keys. Frontman Chad Elliott has an engaging and powerful voice which was equally melodic and scorching. Their live performance lives up to their newly released debut album, The Golden Age of Knowledge. I recommend keeping an eye on these guys.

K.Flay at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

K.Flay at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

K.Flay at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

San Francisco's K.Flay, a one-woman operation, is an impressive hip-hop-pop act with a bit of everything you would want in that combination. She brought ultra-dense beats, great hooks, and lightening quick rhymes. K.Flay had plenty of showwomanship, adding to her backing tracks by triggering drum hits and samples.

The rhymes were punctuated by occasional high pitched squeaks, which I wonder if were accidental, but it became clear that nothing K.Flay does is unintentional. At one point in the show she had a fun demonstration of her skills – each verse got faster and faster until she was rapping at a near inhuman speed. She is a great performer and has great songs to back it up. It is unquestionable - she left with a roomful of new fans.

Butterfly Bones at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

Butterfly Bones at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

Butterfly Bones at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

Fellow locals Butterfly Bones combine 80s cheese sheen and crazy modern dance beats to form something both timely and a bit timeless. Their music is so fun and danceable they could probably get away with having a keytarist onstage (the ultimate compliment?). I dare you to see them live and not at the very least sway.

Geographer at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

Geographer at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

Geographer at the Independent 2/23, Noise Pop Festival 2011

The headliner of this sold-out show was San Francisco's Geographer, who were met with an enthusiastic packed house. This trio combines carefully constructed electronics with live drums, cello, and frontman Mike Deni alternating between synths and guitar. Deni's sweet and tuneful voice is the perfect compliment to the band's epic sound. Their live show is an experience, to say the least.

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