The Noise Pop Festival is looming and ready to bring a cornucopia of events scattered throughout the Bay Area from February 26th to March 3rd.
Like a scavenger hunt for night stalkers—that often sells out in advance with high-profile shows—the Noise Pop festival lineup is full of great musical acts and they are not always at the top of the bill. Intermingled are several art gallery shows, the noise pop film series, entertainment and culinary events at the noise pop central hub the Pop Up Shop, and happy hour shows at Benders Bar. Here are six highlights we’re looking forward to checking out.
Feb 26: Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy), Jenny-O, Will Sprott (of the Mumlers) at Brick and Mortar Music Hall
Raising to fame from the modest streets of Modesto in the early 1990s, there were high hopes Grandaddy, fronted by Jason Lytle. But after many tireless national and international tours, the band disbanded in 2006. Lytle hasn’t slowed down much, contributing his talents to commercials, collaborations with acts like Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, and two solo albums that still capture the sound that made Grandaddy so special.
People are talking about Los Angeles singer, Jenny-O. Her new album, Automechanic, was just released February 5 and is filled with candidly humorous and mature hooks. She’s grown from a girl playing in various bands to a woman facilitating beautiful harmonies.
Feb. 26: !!!, White Arrows, The Yellow Dogs, The Mallard @ Great American Music Hall (Thursday, February 26th)
With LCD Sound System in semi-retirement, Sacramento based !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) could potentially take the crown for electro dance punk music. White Arrows is more difficult to categorize. Singer Mickey Church was born nearly blind, relying on imagery to conjure his atmosphere until righting his eyesight at age eleven. Since then he has defied odds, attending college at NYU creating his major with a degree in Shamanistic Ritual. The band toured with The Cult and Weezer with only a 7-inch album to show for it. They’re getting ready to release their album Dry Land is not a Myth in June.
Feb. 28: XXYYXX, Teen Daze, DJ Dials, Nanosaur @ The DNA Lounge (Thursday, February 28th)
Marcel Everett, also known as XXYYXX, is living the teenage fantasy: a 17 year old from Florida who was bored of playing Halo and started making harmonious and emotionally provoking electronic music. Expect a lot more from this budding producer in years to come. Teen Daze is on the bill supporting their second album, The Inner Mansions, a display of futuristic electronica that aspires utopian visions. And Nanosaur’s (Bay Area native Michael Solorzano) career is simmering to a boil with production credits for a variety of emerging artists artists and a new album, Afterglow, gaining attention in the Bay Area and beyond.
March 1: Damien Jurado, Aaron Espinoza (Of Earlimart), Peggy Honeywell at the Chapel
Damien Jurado, the Seattle scene veteran who was once dubbed “Seattle’s folk-boom Godfather,” has undoubtedly culminated a unique blend of introspective and thoughtful indie folk music. His last album, Maraqopa, was released this time last year. Prepare for some new material along with past favorites throughout his tenured musical career.
Earlimart’s last album, System Preferences, took a musical plunge into the dark and beautiful realms of the world. This sound has followed The Los Angeles-based duo of Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray throughout their career together. This tour marks a rare appearance for Espinoza without Murray on keys by his side.
March 1: Amon Tobin DJ Set, Maus Haus, Naytronix, Group Rhoda at Public Works
Amon Tobin, the Brazilian born producer who’s dark industrial electronic music will have you feeling like Dante plunging through the circles of hell in the best way possible, ditches his mind-bending visuals for a intimate DJ set at Public Works. The man responsible for Naytronix is Dave Brenner, who’s also been called “the Bootsy Collins of Oakland, California.” He might be the perfect counterpart to Amon Tobin; twisted with a sense of humor.
March 2: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, Before the Brave, Kasey Johansing at Great American Music Hall
Thao’s music is beautiful and compelling and, in addition to being a fixture in San Francisco’s music scene, she has worked in the community with the artist advocacy nonprofit Air Traffic Control and has volunteered extensively with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside blends a 50s throwback sound with contemporary grooves. Think Alabama Shakes, but from Portland with fun, good time rock ‘n’ roll (weird, right?). Kasey Johansing is the perfect addition to this all female rocker show. Her beautifully melodic, down tempo songs creat illusions of an old smoky saloon. It’s hard not to fall in love with Kasey Johansing.