Noise Pop 2020: Resavoir livens SFJAZZ’s Joe Henderson Lab

(photo: Tim Nagle) Following the release of last fall's self-titled Resavoir, the Chicago-based band started the first night of their tour at SFJAZZ’s Joe Henderson Lab on February 29 as part of the Noise Pop 2020 lineup. The band, led by trumpet player Will Miller (Whitney), is a tight-knit group of musicians whose stage chemistry makes their funky '60s jazz-inspired compositions all the more engaging. Miller introduces the band and tells us they’ve been playing to gather for years. “This guy right here?” Miller says, pointing to percussionist Peter Manheim. “He’s been my day one homie. We did some breathing [...]

Noise Pop 2020: The Onyx at SFJAZZ

The Onyx (photo: Ria Burman) The Onyx brought some sweet, high-octane, contagious, feel-good energy to the Joe Henderson Lab at SFJAZZ as part of Noise Pop festival. With vocals strong and in unison, the Onyx created powerful vibes, complemented by keys, which transformed to sounds of electric guitar wails and bass and beats keeping steady flow. The Onyx delivers one kickass show, full of vitality and groove-moving goodness.

By |March 2, 2020|

Noise Pop 2020: Helado Negro at Great American Music Hall

Helado Negro (photo: Ria Burman) Mid-week through Noise Pop 2020 brought the peak of electronic, chill-folk in the form of musician-mixer, Helado Negro at Great American Music Hall. With the auditorium jam-packed with a sweaty, collective groove-smile, Helado Negro performed a sold-out show with beats and strums, creating a dopamine nest for one of the best feel-good-inducing Noise Pop sets. Sweet support was given by Meernaa, Tre Burt, and Anjelica Garcia. Read Michelle Kicherer's full review here!

By |March 2, 2020|Tags: |

Noise Pop 2020: Vacationer commands crowd at the New Parish with dreamy melodies

Vacationer (photo: Cindy Huang) On Thursday February 27, the line at the New Parish is out the door and approaching the restaurant on the corner. Guests are clad in sparkly outfits and bubble with excitement.  Vacationer takes the stage around 9:30pm. Normally a four-piece band, only lead vocalist Kenny Vasoli is present. He’s there to play Wavelengths, the band’s fourth studio album, which was released in September. Wavelengths is a 14-track album devoid of the sky-shouting vocals (or rather any vocals) that once characterized Vasoli. Formerly part of emo/pop-punk band the Starting Line, Vasoli founded Vacationer in 2010 to escape the [...]

By |March 1, 2020|Tags: |

Noise Pop 2020: The Seshen and Mahawam shine at Rickshaw Stop

Last night, people packed Rickshaw Stop to see the Seshen, the Oakland R&B/jazz/soul/whatever-genre-they-feel-like group that's we've seen in settings as varied as Outside Lands and London. However, the standout to me was Oakland's Mahawam. The Seshen were reliably good (actually, they were great), but during Mahawam's opening set, it became crystal clear why our writers have been praising them since early in their career — they present an alluring mix of R&B, hip-hop, pop, and electronic. The music can be a bit serious, but it's broken up by their charming stage presence: In-between asides were filled with humor, bold statements, [...]

By |February 28, 2020|Tags: , , |

Noise Pop 2020: Helado Negro, Angelica Garcia, Meerna and Tré Burt mesmerize the crowd

On the third night of Noise Pop 2020 at Great American Music Hall, Meerna opened the night with a room-silencing cover of Joan Baez’s “Silver Dagger” and set the stage for what would be a lovely and soulful performance. Never have I seen an audience so silent, so willfully watching the first opening act. Meerna frontwoman Carly Bond, who typically plays with a full band, braved the stage solo and confessed, “Guys, I’m scared,” then tuning her guitar added in a drawn out voice, “Soooo scared,” to audience chuckles. After busting out an old favorite, “Good Luck,” Bond tuned her [...]

Noise Pop 2020: Sandu Ndu, Velvet Negroni, Sudan Archives light up the ballroom at Starline

Although the first night of Night Pop at Starline Social Club started on a quite somber note, night two was a rambunctious endeavor. In the upstairs ballroom, Sandu Ndu, Velvet Negroni, and Sudan Archives all showcased their individual visions of R&B and soul with a lot of swagger. And though openers Sandu and Velvet Negroni (Jeremy Nutzman) faced some sound issues, each managed to break through the crowd's chatter (Ndu with her crisp voice, Nutzman with his sheer personality and occasional yelps). What was emphatically clear, though, was that this was Brittney Parks' night to shine. As producer, singer, and [...]

By |February 27, 2020|Tags: , |

Noise Pop 2020: Tim Atlas turns insecurities and anxieties into dreamy indie pop

Ever since his elimination from season nine of NBC’s The Voice, Tim Atlas refused to let a short stint on reality TV dictate the rest of his career. He already had the tools: Before the competition, the Oakland-born, Los Angeles-based Atlas was a working and talented multi-instrumentalist that didn’t just sing, he could produce, engineer, and write songs too. Still, he felt the precariousness of the show’s fast fame. “It was all about competing and comparing myself to others,” Atlas says. “And I can feel that pressure in life too. I compared myself to others and their success. But when [...]

By |February 26, 2020|Tags: , |

Noise Pop 2020: Stephen Steinbrink, Mutual Benefit soothe souls at Starline

On the first night of Noise Pop, festival attendees at Starline Social Club were greeted by a calming presence in the form of Stephen Steinbrink, Sonoda, and Mutual Benefit. Often, "intimate" is an overly romanticized way to harp on the ability of an artist to command a room, but here, it was clear that the small audience of under 100 were willing to be captured from the start. Steinbrink, an Oakland-based artist, opened the night with an acoustic set, beckoning others to settle into the night. In the small room, audience members mostly sat as Steinbrink worked through much of [...]

Noise Pop 2020: Joshua Radin + Friends at Great American Music Hall

From left: William Fitzsimmons, Joshua Radin, Ben Kweller (photo: Cindy Huang) Acoustic shows at the Great American Music Hall always guarantee an intimate experience with the artist. Singer-songwriter Joshua Radin certainly delivered on this promise as he took us on a soulful journey through the inner workings of his songwriting that tugs at your heartstrings. He was joined onstage for the duration of the show by longtime friend William Fitzsimmons and Ben Kweller whom he recently befriended four days prior to the show. Radin later revealed that he came to know Kweller’s work by way of a hand-me-down Jeep, which [...]

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