This week’s podcast episode is the first of two dedicated to spotlighting the wealth of talent coming to San Francisco for the 2008 Noise Pop Music Festival. Now in its sixteenth year, it’s not hyperbole to call Noise Pop a Bay Area indie rock institution and true to form, there are a ton of great shows in this year’s festivities.

We’re proud to be an official media sponsor for Noise Pop 2008 and over the next several weeks, stay tuned as our team of writers and photographers will be bringing exclusive interviews, show previews, reviews and more to TheBayBridged.com!

This week’s episode features eight great groups from Northern California, all of whom are playing shows at Noise Pop:

Birdmonster (TBB Feature) kick off our episode with a song from their debut full length No Midnight. The band is currently preparing their follow-up CD and you’ll probably hear some new stuff on Thursday the 28th when the guys join Stellastarr*, Throw Me The Statue, and The Hundred Days at the Great American Music Hall.

Local indie-poppers 20 Minute Loop are also working on a new album and always put on a great live show. At Noise Pop, they join British Sea Power, Colour Music, and Off Campus at Bottom of the Hill on Saturday, March 1st.

Sacramento folk-rockers Two Sheds head to SF for a strong Noise Pop bill. They will be at Bottom of the Hill on Wednesday the 27th, with Minipop, West Indian Girl and Trophy Fire.

San Francisco’s Here Here are one of our new favorites despite having only just released their buzz-building debut EP. Catch them at Bottom of the Hill for a strong bill with Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes, and Sholi (TBB Feature) on Thursday, February 28th.

Today, San Jose’s The Mumlers celebrate the release of their new album Thickets & Stitches on Galaxia Records. The Mumlers will be at Cafe Du Nord on Wednesday the 27th with Entrance, honey.moon.tree., and Golden Animals.

No strangers to The Bay Bridged, The Morning Benders (TBB Feature) are preparing for the April release of their first full length titled Talking Through Tin Cans. They’re on an amazing bill on Thursday the 28th, with Kelley Stoltz, Grand Archives, and The Weather Underground at The Independent.

With a new album entitled Huggable Dust out digitally in February (and physically in April) on Absolutely Kosher, it’s going to be a big next few months for the East Bay’s Okay. Okay will be performing Friday the 29th with The Mountain Goats, Jeffrey Lewis and the Jitters, and Aim Low Kid at Bimbo’s.

TBB favorites The Dont’s (TBB Feature) close out the mix with their dancey art-rock. They’ll be rocking the free Happy Hour show at Thee Parkside on Friday the 29th with The High Violets and The Union Trade.