At first, Noise Pop Happy Hour at Benders Bar and Grill on Saturday felt like an indie rock version of an antique sale. The aging of the 90s Pacific Northwest-SubPop Records-heyday set was evident. The opening acts (the aptly named Aim Low Kid and Audio Out Send) struggled through poor sound on a tiny stage. The lead singer of Aim Low Kid pointed to a crowd member and said that Starbucks and Pabst Blue Ribbon was a dangerous combo. It used to be heroin-chic and meth. Now it’s Starbucks and PBR.
The Syracuse band Ra Ra Riot has always been tough to categorize. No matter what you call them (champer pop, orchestral crooners, shoe-gazing mods), their sound has a way of evoking a range of past hitmakers from Pat Benatar or Talk Talk to Belle and Sebastian or Joy Division. At the band’s sold-out show at the Independent last night, ever-earnest lead singer Wes Miles made sure to let the crowd know that he loved San Francisco and the crowd let the band know that San Francisco reciprocated.
Here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at a San Francisco indie theater near you.
1. Two Lovers
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week
Rumors of Charlie Kaufman’s reclusiveness have been greatly exaggerated.
Kaufman, the soft-spoken New York native who began his career in television churning out scripts for short-lived Fox sitcoms like Get a Life before graduating to feature films with the Oscar-nominated screenplay for 1999’s Being John Malkovich, is, according to his IMDb.com biography, a voracious reader notorious for avoiding the press. And yet here he is, cordial and seemingly at ease as he lounges in a conference room at San Francisco’s Prescott Hotel, ready for a rigorous day of interviews.
The entire lineup of last night’s Noise Pop show at Slim’s was perfectly billed. From Rademacher and The Mumlers to co-headliners, The Submarines and Bay Area sweethearts, The Morning Benders, everything flowed pretty smoothly for the bouncy, indie pop show. The vibe was light and fun and every band carried their weight. The Submarines even played their infamous iPhone commercial song, “You, Me & the Bourgeoisie,” much to the crowd’s pleasure and cheers.
Recording an album a year clearly isn’t enough for these Portland-based fellas. After recording and writing all 15 songs on Censored Colors (their September 2008 release) in 15 days, Portugal. The Man just finished another 3-week stint recording their latest album in Boston (still unnamed and without a release date). Those loveable boys originally from Wasilla, Alaska have been on tour for nearly three years straight (nearly 300 shows a year) and recording albums on their few weeks off a year, but after Alternative Press named lead singer John Gourley the “Best Vocalist of 2008,” they began blowing up in the press and we can’t say they don’t deserve it. With people like Paul Q.
Amongst a mellow head bobbing crowd, there's always a few showing off their spasm-like dance skills, thrusting their shoulders and flinging their hair close enough to smell what shampoo they use. Then again, personal space doesn't exist at standing room only shows, so a scuff on your new kicks is usually excused and well worth the sacrifice when FMTM is headlining.
This week’s Noise Pop festival has proven that San Francisco is burgeoning with emerging musical talent and we feel pretty safe calling the locally based Thee Oh Sees one of the best underground indie pop bands in the Bay Area. Active on the scene since the late ‘90s, front man John Dwyer’s experimental home recordings morphed into a full-blown band over the course of seven albums and the group has found their calling in catchy garage band tunes for avid alt music followers.
27-year-old Lisa Marie Gonzales knows a thing or two about the dating game. That game specifically being ABC’s hit reality show, The Bachelor. Gonzales grew up in Boise, Idaho, relocated to California in 2000 to attend the University of San Francisco, and has been a Bay Area girl ever since. In celebration of The Bachelor’s season 13 finale on Monday, March 2, the Public Relations Executive reflects on romance and shares her tips for San Francisco singles.
7x7: How did you become one of the 25 contestants in The Bachelor’s dating pool?
Gonzales: I submitted a photo online, and from there they asked me to fill out an application and do a video, then a more detailed application, then they flew me out to LA.
Essential SF knowledge in your inbox
Sign up for our email newsletters for the latest on local food, culture, style, tech, and more.