Rogue Wave (Photo: Terri Loewenthal)Rogue Wave plays 20th Street Block Party (Photo: Terri Loewenthal)

Noise Pop isn’t fucking around.

The stalwart music organization has been around for over two decades and has gradually been expanding their reach. They’ve taken their efforts far beyond their namesake festival to Do415, an event listing publication, the indomitable Treasure Island Music Fest, which seems to only augment its billing every year, and the 20th Street Block Party, a music and food conviviality taking place right around their own headquarters in the Mission this weekend.

Noise Pop’s General Manager Dawson Ludwig has a lot to say about the Block Party, one of their newest endeavors, particularly because it also happens to involve a good amount of something else the company loves: great local food.

“We consider food as an art in the same way music is. That perspective is really going to inform some of the future events we do,” he told The Bay Bridged. “I think it’s also very much an art form that deserves to be treated as such.”

It also just so happens that the Mission district, where Noise Pop headquarters is located, is the heart of the finest of San Francisco’s culinary canon. Flour + Water, “a landmark restaurant,” was one of the first to promote the burgeoning of San Francisco’s food scene. A partnership with David Steele, one of the founding members of Ne Timeas, seemed pretty organic after all, especially as their roster includes luminaries of the food world, like Central Kitchen, Trick Dog, the soon-to-be unveiled Café du Nord, and of course, Flour + Water.

But, lest we forget, Noise Pop is a music company—and an independent, local one at that. They’re well aware of the plights facing the modern music-making economy in the city, but as a San Francisco company, they’re going to do what they can, where they can to assuage the rough financial climate of the city. “It’s no surprise that right now,

[Noise Pop] is in a precarious position as the affordability of the city seems to be driving out a lot of artists,” he says. After all, Thee Oh Sees are gone. Segall is gone. Deafheaven is pretty much absent and even WATERS departed this week.

“One of the bigger things that we’re really passionate about is cultivating excitement around local music,” Ludwig says. “There are a lot of forces that we can’t fight, like local rent prices, but one of the things we can do is remind San Franciscans how exciting a lot of these bands are and how worthy they are of people’s attention.”

That’s actually an easy enough task when they’re booking incredible rosters like they did for this year’s 20th Street. This year’s lineup includes local acts like Rogue Wave (pictured), Melted Toys, and The Bilinda Butchers, alongside buzzy talent from beyond, like Cayucas. Ludwig though, is excited about the combination of a few other notables: Ray Barbee and the Mattson 2 featuring Tommy Guerrero. “I have no idea what to expect, but I love all those artists,” he says. “The fact that we’re able to get them all to do something together so unique is awesome.”

It seems the manner of presentation of the musical acts this year will be equally awesome. This year’s local stage, which will be set up right outside Noise Pop at 20th St and Bryant, is actually a transformed RV called “Bandwagon” designed by producer Rob Culos. The festival will also feature a hefty amount of attractions for art enthusiasts thanks to participation from Southern Exposure and Artspan. As he says, “We’re really excited about [the layout] because we get to see our street that we walk on every day transform into festival grounds. It’s not every day that we can reimagine such familiar settings.”

“Familiar” is a complex idea though. Certainly, the music scene in San Francisco is one that strives to support local art, at least as far as Noise Pop goes. “I think that [quality] is a driving force to preserve and keep the music scene going. I mean, it will always be going but it has to go through these iterations and right now it’s figuring itself out,” Ludwig adds. “We’re happy to be pushing it forward.”

20th Street Block Party is this Saturday, August 23, and it’s FREE – or get your VIP tickets here. Noise Pop also recently announced the 20th Street Block Party After Party, which features Jacques Greene as well as Jim-E Stack, B. Bravo, and Brogan Bentley. More info here.