The 2015 Noise Pop Festival is upon us! With a whole lot of concerts from Tuesday, February 24 through Sunday, March 1, the sheer number of choices can be somewhat daunting. This is the second of two sets of day-by-day previews for the festival. Whatever you end up doing, go see some Noise Pop shows!
Friday, February 27
Don’t Miss: Friday is a day meant for happy hours, so you better start your evening at The Bay Bridged’s happy hour show at Bender’s. We’ve got three killer bands on deck — Couches, Stalls, and Never Young — and you’ll want to get there early to catch Never Young, whose new EP is another killer set of warped, melodic noise-punk.
Geographer heads to the Fox Theater comes after the band has released a couple of songs from Ghost Modern, which arrives in March. If you’ve enjoined the group’s lush synth-driven melodies and Mike Deni’s powerful voice in the past, chances are very good these new songs will have you very excited. Even sweeter: locals K.Flay and Bells Atlas are also on the bill.
A mostly-psych night happens over at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall, with Fullerton rockers Cosmonauts joining emerging local band Mondo Drag; check out Mondo Drag’s new album for a heavy dose of modern-vintage psych rock. Or, if you’re looking for something with more of shoegazer sound, check out No Joy with locals Vaniish and Chasms at Bottom of the Hill.
Already Sold Out: Cathedrals’ two sold-out shows at The Independent this weekend might have caught some people by surprise, but if you were paying close attention last year, the band’s steady stream of great singles throughout 2014 built the group quite a fan base by the time they released their debut self-titled EP. Also playing are The Tropics, who are one of the most exciting young indie-pop bands in the Bay Area.
Considering she lives in Portland and grew up in Northern California, it’s feels like a rare treat to catch a show by Grouper, singer-songwriter Liz Harris’ atmospheric project, especially in a warm, inviting venue like the Swedish American Hall. Last year’s Ruins was a more stripped-down Grouper release, showing that Harris’ compositions stand on their own even without layers of haze.
Not a Concert:
Who doesn’t love concert posters? The National Poster Retrospecticus comes to the Swedish American Hall early Friday evening to showcase over 350 hand-printed posters from 100 top poster designers, including local Lil Tuffy. Also: complimentary drinks make this a win-win.
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- Premiere: Stream Stalls’ self-titled debut EP
- Interview: SF’s Cathedrals find balance in opposing forces
- Vaniish reveal track off upcoming debut album, ‘Memory Work’
- The Tropics talk Noise Pop, “Take You Home”, and horns (that’s right—horns)
Saturday, February 28
Don’t Miss: Warren Hildebrand’s Orchid Tapes has been not-so-quietly becoming one of the most interesting labels around, with great releases from Foxes in Fiction, Alex G, Elvis Depressedly and an impressively cohesive compilation. The Orchid Tapes showcase at the Swedish American Hall is topped Hildebrand’s band Foxes in Fiction and Owen Pallett, and should be a hell of a show.
Pop fans — indie pop, dream pop, and synth pop specifically — will find some compelling offerings at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall. Orlando’s SALES and Los Angeles’ Haunted Summer are both emerging bands crafting super-melodic songs led by strong female vocalists. Haunted Summer’s tracks are especially lush and compelling. But be sure to show up to this show early, what with local synth-pop experts Seatraffic kicking things off and GNTLMN, a new duo featuring Natalia Rogovin of Social Studies.
What can be said about The New Pornographers that can’t be better conveyed by listening to one of their immaculately-crafted power pop songs? Packed to the gills with killer songwriters, The New Pornos are so reliably, seemingly effortlessly great that it would be easy to take their skill for granted. Don’t make that mistake — see them at The Fox Theater (and show up early for Nick Diamonds because Islands is downright criminally underrated).
Already Sold Out: Dan Deacon, king of fun/insane live shows, will get the sold-out crowd at The Chapel dancing with songs from his latest album, Gliss Riffer. After a few ensemble-based releases, Deacon has returned to solo recording with this one, which also places an increased emphasis on Deacon’s vocals.
Not a Concert: Alan Lomax was born January 31, 1915, so in celebration of 100 years, the Alan Lomax Archive is presenting a free screening of footage from Lomax’s archives, including everything from the late ’30s to Lomax’s final session from 1991 in the Caribbean. The show, which is at the Swedish American Hall, also includes a Q&A with Lomax Archive curator Nathan Salsburg.
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Sunday, March 1
Okay, so Sunday is a light day for Noise Pop with the festival winding down with four shows. And your choices are made all the easier by the fact that three of those concerts — Caribou at The Fillmore, James Vincent McMorrow at the Swedish American Hall, and Deafheaven at the Rickshaw Stop are already sold out. Representing three very different corners of the musical landscape, we’d suspect that most of you aren’t likely struggling to pick between two of these.
If you’ve managed to maintain some energy for Sunday, the fourth show — not yet sold out — is definitely worth checking out, with SF’s Holly Herndon performing live at The Lab. Herndon is one of the most creative electronic artists around; dig the collaborative track with Mat Dryhurst that she just released below.
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