Looking back at Noise Pop 2011: a guide to all of our photos and reviews from this year’s festivities

Another Noise Pop Festival has come and gone, but you can look back at the shows you missed and the shows you saw with our widespread festival coverage. Below, you'll find a cheat sheet to all of our festival reviews and photo essays, as well as a new gallery of shots taken by Charlie Homo and Paige Parsons, two of our wonderful photographers who caught a variety of Noise Pop shows. We'd like to offer our sincerest thanks to all of our tireless writers and photographers, without whom this wouldn't have been possible. Thanks also to everyone at Noise Pop. [...]

Noise Pop Review: Ben Gibbard and Zach Rogue redefine ‘solo’ at Great American Music Hall

Like many previous renditions of the festival, Noise Pop 2011 was a cavern of over-stimulus: several shows per night stacked bottom to top with bands, myriad of concert attendees eager to be there for any number of reasons, alcohol and dark venues and eclectic entertainment. Lots and lots of music, often loud, often surrounded by similarly loud patrons. Noise Pop closing nights traditionally close the festivals with a bang - something particularly unique to act as the finale. The 2011 closing show was certainly unique and special, but not in the traditional sense. Packed lineups and stage antics were replaced [...]

Noise Pop Review: The Fresh & Onlys, The Growlers, The Pleasure Kills, The Wrong Words 2/27/11

Noise Pop ended on Sunday, and the afternoon show at Bottom of the Hill carried with it a nostalgia for attending all ages matinees there when I was under 21. Why aren't there more matinees these days? Are people not drinking enough at afternoon shows to make them cost-effective? In any event, based on Sunday's test case, I will vouch for the enjoyability of both afternoon beer and afternoon rock and roll. I first saw The Fresh & Onlys at Noise Pop two years ago, and it's been amazing to watch them grow and evolve since then. Last year's Play [...]

Noise Pop Review: No Age, Grass Widow, Rank/Xerox, Crazy Band 2/26/11

About halfway through the second band at the Rickshaw the other night, I was beginning to realize that the night's lineup was designed as a "punk rock" bill more than anything (mind you, Spin was presenting). Admittedly, I've always been slightly uneasy with the connotations of "punk". To me, it's become as vague or ironic a descriptor as "indie" or "folk." I always thought punk ended sometime in the early 80s when hard rock and glam metal began, then grunge, 90s arena rock, and the eventual schism of genres we've come to embrace or poke fun at. Were the Talking [...]

Noise Pop Review: Kimya Dawson, Aesop Rock 2/25/11

Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock know how to throw a party. Equal parts one-off take-home stage decorations, interpretive cross-dressing dance performance, turntablism, animal costumes and just a dash of space exploration. Let's back up. I have to admit that I was drawn to the Aesop Rock/Kimya Dawson collaboration for the same reasons that had Ben scratching his head at the line up, initially. What would that collaboration sound like? It sounds a lot like Aes rapping over piano and guitar melody. It also sounds like Kimya lilting over Serato scratches. The earnestness with which each wordsmith took at a stab [...]

Noise Pop Review: Kid Koala, DJ Swayzee, Jel, J House

Friday night's Noise Pop show at Mighty was a pleasant mix of those who don’t get out to dance at the club that often and those who do. This had a lot to do with the contrast of acts for the evening, a clever mix of talents that united two different crowds. Hailing from San Francisco, J House is a DJ with an artful streak. Stylistically he was all over the board in a way that in less able hands would have been a mess. He jumped from genre to genre, evoking the electronic music gods all while keeping his [...]

By |February 28, 2011|Tags: , , , |

Noise Pop Review: The Concretes, Birds & Batteries, Magic Bullets, Psychic Friend

On a night when a meteorologist's conspiracy hoodwinked all of us into thinking it would snow in our temperate little town, the Rickshaw played host to Sweden's The Concretes, two of SF's local heavyweights, Birds & Batteries and Magic Bullets, and a debut performance from Psychic Friend (featuring Will Schwartz of Imperial Teen). Energy was a little low at the start of the evening, but Schwartz being the music vet he is, wasted little time hooking his overtly emotional, piano-powered pop into the emerging crowd. Filling out the guitarless trio were drummer Patty Schemel (Hole) and bassist Bo Boddie, who [...]

Noise Pop Review: Tamaryn, The Black Ryder, The Soft Moon, Wax Idols

Each club has its own personality. Some are prompt and efficient. Others take it easy late into the night. Some have out of the box light show programs, while others put up a few desk lamps. Cafe Du Nord has made good for years now on their formula of getting multiple bands on and off on schedule and refusing to light the entire right half of the stage. But it is a flagship Noise Pop venue, long on ambiance, good beer and good cheer, which this representative of the press appreciates. Friday night's bill could be lumped into the shopworn [...]

Noise Pop Review: Battlehooch, Nobunny, The Exray’s and The Downer Party

Blame the weatherman. Even though people kept going to Bottom of the Hill's rear courtyard and disappointingly peering up into the cloudless, snow-free sky hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime show, the real show was going on inside. After The Downer Party's poppy, riot girl-inspired punk rock opened the night, San Francisco's own Exray's took the stage. Nominally a duo but performing as a three piece, Exray's have a unique live setup. Instead of a drummer, their percussion is handled entirely by someone playing an electronic drum machine. Interestingly, for the majority of the set, the "drummer" used naturalistic drum sounds and [...]

Noise Pop: Ted Leo, A B & The Sea, Kevin Seconds

I always get a little nervous at the prospect of seeing a favorite artist play without the comfort of a backing band. On some level, I think, a solo performance is inherently a struggle, with one individual responsible for keeping the crowd entertained, or, at the least, preventing its attention from getting distracted elsewhere. I've seen more solo sets than I care to admit fade behind audience conversations and noise from the bar, or drag in uncomfortable between-song silences. Given the king's welcome Ted Leo received when he climbed on stage at Bottom of the Hill on Thursday night, it [...]

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