Written by Nadine Quitania
Photo courtesy of Matt Kowal-Noise Pop 2009
San Francisco’s annual Noise Pop indie music, film, and art festival is just around the corner. The week-long festival, held in over twenty venues in the Bay Area, with the heart of its operation is at The NWBLK (a store, design fabrication facility, and official Noise Pop Headquarters—NPHQ) is an event that shouldn’t be missed.
Aw man, everything’s happening at the same time! No worries, here’s a breakdown of who and what you should see:
Start off at the official opening night party on Tuesday, February 25, at The NWBLK with DJ sets by Bob Mould, Shepard Fairey, and Jello Biafra. After some fun at the opening night party, if you were one of the lucky ones who scored tickets, head over to The Fillmore and catch Lord Huron and the Superhumanoids. It’s sold out but if you really want to see the band, buy a badge and see not only them, but all the other sold out shows and events throughout the week.
On Wednesday, if you’re skipping the movie or don’t get in to watch Mistaken For Strangers at the Roxie Theater and are into surf-pop, take your pick and see the The Donkeys with Papercuts, Vetiver, and EDJ (Eric D. Johnson of the Fruit Bats) at the Chapel or San Francisco treasures the Fresh & Onlys, Cool Ghouls, Sandy’s, and Luke Sweeney at Brick & Mortar Music Hall.
So much is happening on Thursday night but we all have to make sacrifices and we’re still going to have a blast. Here’s what’s going down: first, go to the Noise Pop Poster Retrospective at Bender’s, after that head over to the NPHQ and take advantage of the Noise Pop Badge Appreciation Happy Hour. End the night at Rickshaw Stop to see Broods and ASTR. But hey, if you don’t have a badge, or aren’t into Broods and have been waiting for some hip-hop or rap, go to Slim’s and see Shabazz Palaces, Cities Aviv, Extra Classic, and Raw-G for the goods.
Still haven’t had enough and you want to go out and party some more on Friday? Or you missed out all week and finally have time to do something? There are free shows to enjoy. The Scene Unseen III event with Mr. Carmack, Kelela, Majical Cloudz, Supreme Cuts, and Purple at 1015 Folsom is one party you definitely want in on. That’s a whole lotta goodness going down under one roof and it’s free with an RSVP via the Noise Pop website.
Tired from Friday and just want a steady night out on Saturday? Catch Real Estate, The Shilohs, and Dominant Legs at The Independent. If you want to dance, head over to the NWBLK and party with Ladytron (DJ set) and Jimmy Tamborello (The Postal Service, DNTL). Get things started early on Sunday and see Rogue Wave with Trails and Ways at the Chapel before the closing night party with Machinedrum (club set) and DJ Dials back at the NPHQ.
Get Your Art On
Noise Pop is throwin’ it back this year showcasing posters and photos from its previous years. If you’re a fan of poster art and collect, be sure to go to the Noise Pop Poster Retrospective and pick up a poster at Bender’s on Thursday with artists Lil’ Tuffy, Alan Forbes, Jason Munn, Matt Leunig, and Gregg Gordon. You’re into photography? Stop by San FranPsycho and see the “Women Who Rock” Photography Show on Friday. Don’t forget to bring a light colored shirt and get a limited edition San FranPsycho print done. On Saturday, Yours Truly is having an exhibition of photos, videos, and letters that haven’t been released before and if you’re a fan of those intimate Yours Truly videos of your favorite artists be sure to stop by the NPHQ for that.
Short list of films to see:
Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton at The NWBLK on February 26 (Q&A with Director Jeff Broadway and Stones Throw Co-founder Peanut Butter Wolf) and a second screening at Artists’ Television Access on March 2.
Mistaken for Strangers at The Roxie Theater (Q&A with Director Tom Berninger)
Cidade Cinza/Grey City at The NWBLK
Kids Like You and Me at The NWBLK (Q&A with Director Bill Cody)
And finally, you know how sometimes you get into a band and look them up only to find out they just played a show in the city? Well, here’s your chance to get ahead. We went through the lineup and put together a playlist of this year’s artists just for you. Listen, fall in love, and catch a show before some of them go off on tour and head to Austin for SXSW next month.