The 2011 Noise Pop Festival begins today, taking over a number of SF venues over the next six days for a celebration of the best in independent music. This year’s festival is the nineteenth annual, the sort of number that stands as a remarkable sustained achievement. By now, Noise Pop is a Bay Area indie rock institution, something expected every February, but the festival’s organizers are continuing to push its boundaries too.
Speaking to the continually evolving notion of the Noise Pop sound, Producer Stacy Horne remarked via phone that, “We want to keep it fresh and have exciting new stuff that’s going on,” citing NP 2011 artists like The Stone Foxesand Tamaryn. Both are local to SF and headlining shows this week, and both might be considered outside of the more traditionally indie pop-rock sound associated with the festival’s origins.
Beyond the bounds of rock and roll, too, Noise Pop is also expanding toward other genres and into new types of experiences. “I really like the direction that we’re heading, in presenting outside of our usual comfort zone,” Horne said, noting the increased inclusion of hip hop and electronica acts, including Kid Koala and Aesop Rock. Moreover, the festival has embarked on two significant new endeavors this year. The Pop Up Shop series allowed Noise Pop to work with a number of partners to collaborate “in a really physical way that we hadn’t done in the past.” Additionally, the Noise Pop Culture Club, taking place 2/26 and 2/27 at Public Works, is an “exploration of art and film and their relation to music