Family Matinee at Bottom of the Hill w/No Age and White Circle Crime Club

Words by: Jake Butler Photos by: Nicole L. Browner My first show in San Francisco was an all ages show at Bottom of the Hill. Coming back for this afternoon show to close out my own personal Noise Pop experience brought things full circle in a sense. Making the trek from the East Bay was a bit daunting at first, as even with all my magical powers, I couldn't keep God's tears at bay (translation: it was dumping rain). My hesitation almost ruined the day for me, as I barely made it as the last badgeholder to be let in. [...]

Single Syllable First Names – Bob and Mark at the Swedish, Keep it Classy Folks

Words by Jake Butler I had been to Cafe Du Nord numerous times, and had always heard rumor of this mysterious "Swedish American Hall" that lie above us in the strange world above street level just past the Church St. MUNI stop. I walk into a sea of seated concertgoers who would likely give up their first born before their seat. There's probably 70 chairs or so in the center, with limited seating along the borders of both the base level and the balcony at the Swedish American Music Hall. I instantly notice that there is an abundance of blazers, [...]

By |March 6, 2009|Tags: , |

I Need That Record!: My final movie at Noise Pop Film Fest 2009

Words by: Ben Richardson The uncertainty and unease that surrounds today's music business is hardly news. Decades of mismanagement and greed have exposed rotten timbers, deep down near the keel of an industry that seems to be mired in the doldrums. The number of major labels has shrunk, as they continue to foist cookie-cutter artists with high promotion budgets and low standards on the beleaguered public, while blaming illegal downloading for their declining sales. After spending years trying sell music like toaster ovens or Big Mouth Billy Basses, it seems like something's gotta give. The first victims of this trend [...]

Quality uncompromised: Sholi at BotH

Words by: Nicole L. Browner Photos by: Adrian Bischoff Whereas many of the Noise Pop shows offered headlining spots to the big out-of-town bands, this Bottom of the Hill show allowed San Francisco to boast its local talent on the rise: Sholi's Noise Pop performance doubled as their at-home record release party for the album they've released on Quarterstick last month. Opening for the night was their longtime associate, Jake Mann (Crossbill Records) and friends. Jake bashfully draws upon classic sounds from the decade before: the eager tempo of Pavement, Jeff Tweedy's rural charm and even a little Neutral Milk [...]

Soldiers Under Command: Stryper at ATA

Christian glam metal. These days, it seems almost impossible, but for much of the 80s, it was big business. California band Stryper were one of the first "contemporary Christian" bands to achieve crossover appeal, shifting millions of copies of their hit albums Soldiers Under Command (Enigma, 1985) and To Hell With The Devil (Enigma, 1986). They had the teased hair, twin guitar solos, and piercing vocals of their more sinful contemporaries, along with black and yellow striped stage outfits that signified Christ's suffering under the lash. Bibles were tossed into the audience at their shows, as the band attempted to [...]

Ra Ra Rawkin’ Good Time at the Indie, and a Pretty Sweet Happy Hour

Words by: Jake Butler Photos by: Reid Williams So whoever read from us at the Bay Bridged that you should go to Happy Hour - I simultaneously love you and forsake you. Come Friday, I swung by to catch Tempo No Tempo, along with cohorts Maus Haus and Sugar and Gold. I was at Bender's on Tuesday and don't get me wrong, there was a solid size crowd, but on Friday it was wall-to-wall. When some friends came to meet me they were stuck in a one-out-one-in line. I felt bad for them because they were missing the alterna-indie-electro-R&B-soul-dance-rockin' show [...]

Noise Pop 17 Concludes in Collective Dementia

Words by: Joseph Hayes Photos by: Reid Williams March 1, Sunday night, 10:15 p.m. in San Francisco, sheets of rain, the city's inhabitants mope around between laundromats and cafes, peaking out from a video storefront awning, eating a soggy vegetarian burrito, contemplating sleep or catching up on episodes of Mad Men or the Wire in the hopes of having something to offer at the water cooler tomorrow, and...simultaneously... Like a jet ski in a kiddie pool, Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington (aka the Homer Simpson of Indie rock) is parting through the sardine can crowd of sticky hipsters at Mezzanine, [...]

Seven Signs: Music, Myth, and The American South at ATA

An afternoon that starts with John Darnielle doing an Ace of Base cover can't be all bad. Back at ATA for my third and final Noise Pop Film Festival double-feature, I was heartened by the quality of the now-customary Wolfgang's Vault retrospective. Too bad the movie that followed it was so disappointing. The directorial debut of J.D. Wilkes, frontman for Th' Legendary Shakers, Seven Signs purported to tell us something about music, myth, and the American South, themes that are familiar but always worthy of revival. Wilkes, a Kentucky native, has a unique perspective on the region, and a fledgling [...]

By |March 2, 2009|Tags: |

A.C. Newman shines at The Independent

Words and Photos by: Ben Van Houten Opening with "There Are Maybe Ten Or Twelve," the first track from his new solo album, A.C. Newman delivered an hour-plus set of stately chamber-power-pop to great applause on Saturday night at The Independent. After weeks of hand-wringing about Get Guilty--Was the production too muted? Were some of the songs too long or too slow?--it was welcome relief that the live show rendered these questions moot via an enthusiastic set from this former San Francisco resident. Yes, Newman announced, he lived for a period of time at Broderick and Eddy, noting that, memorably, [...]

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