New Years Eve San Francisco Events
Related Articles: Music, All

Noise Pop Turns 15

Six-day Fest includes Music, Film and Art

Well into its teenage years, San Francisco’s maturing DIY music fest Noise Pop is back with a few new attributes, a bunch of new and old friends, and a schedule that could test the stamina of even the most rugged, beer- and/or caffeine-fueled music fan.

Noise Pop kicks off on February 27th with a free art and music show at Mezzanine and continues through March 4th when revelers have the option of ending the festival with a bit of nostalgia (Cake), a new take on a familiar sound (Midlake), nasty punk rock (The Dwarves), or a laugh (Comedians of Comedy, featuring Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn and Maria Bamford).

But don’t be fooled, Sunday’s options are not the grand finale nor are they icing on the cake (no pun intended). The five other days of the festival feature an equally eclectic mix of local and touring acts. Highlights include:

• Sebadoh (2/28, Great American Music Hall): A reunion of the band formed by Lou Barlow (former Dinosaur Jr. bassist) and Eric Gaffney.

• Lyrics Born and The Coup (3/1, The Fillmore): A pairing of two Bay Area underground hip-hop staples that also happen to feature two of the funkiest live hip-hop bands in the business.

• The Dandy Warhols (3/2, Mezzanine): Portland rockers that bring a bit more pop than noise with a catalog that spans 12 years.

• Brightblack Morning Light (3/3, Great American Music Hall): Organic space cadets that left a nomadic life in rural areas in Northern Cali, Alabama and the Southwest for a nomadic life playing trippy music for large crowds of people throughout the country.

“The noise pop experience is about a really well-crafted show where all of the bands have an image and relationship to each other,” says Chris Appelgren, marketing director for the festival. “The booking team really tries to craft the shows to make them a great experience, and a really different experience. You can spend all six nights of the festival in a setting that is maybe a bit more intimate and acoustic, or you can also go and have a very loud and garage-y, huge rock experience.”

In addition to the music acts listed above and several other bands that are performing throughout the festival, the Noise Pop film festival will continue with 10 events at five venues, and festival organizers are increasing their presence in the art world with the first Noise Pop gallery show.

“Art has always been a pretty important component of the festival, in terms of working with visual artists for festival posters and individual show posters,” Appelgren says. “It made sense this year to extend the festival to include an art show.”

But don’t expect organizers to stray from the festival’s local DIY and grassroots ethos.

“We are doing it in a very comfortable easy-going way,” Appelgren says. “We are not trying to be lofty or highfalutin, or anything like that.”

The Noise Pop Festival starts February 27th. A schedule of events and ticket prices are available at