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Noise Pop: He Said She Said

courtesy of She and Him

The annual San Francisco indie music festival known as Noise Pop is here once again. And this year’s lineup has its fair share of electric shows. It’s a little like the primaries, in that despite the (informal) polls, there’s just no telling what show will break away from the rest as the people’s chosen one.

Before the entire schedule was announced, my money was on Magnetic Fields. Come on, they’re indie legends, they’re hyper-literate (SF loves its well-read bands), they’ve got a great new album and they haven’t performed here in ages. What’s more, you can’t even use your badge to get into the show: Now that’s hard to get! (And a bit confusing: Isn’t that the point of having a badge? To get access to all the shows? No matter, I’m making a point here.)

Enter: The Gutter Twins. The highly anticipated West Coast debut (and second live US show) of the new collaboration between Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan, the Gutter Twins show is guaranteed to keep the iPhones of hipsters all over town in overdrive. But as Hilary and Obama know, it ain’t over until it’s over. And the late-in-the-game entry of another team of candidates—She & Him—is the duo I’m currently predicting as the team to beat.

The musical pairing of actress Zooey Deschanel and singer-songwriter M. Ward, She & Him has a steadily-mounting buzz that’s backed up by the Dusty Springfield-esque delivery of Deschanel and the instantly-addictive, marinated-overnight nostalgia of their sound.  True, they got into the race late. Also, they’re performing on a Sunday night—the night I’ve traditionally dubbed “the one I’m too tired to motivate to another show on.” But after hearing some of their tracks (see: “Why do you let me stay here” on this week’s playlist), I’m confident that their show will be the one to save the date for.

Then again, there’s just no telling how it will turn out. With slamdunk performers like MSTRKRFT, local up and comers like the Dodos and trendy buzz bands like the Virgins on the bill, it’s really anyone’s game. I, for one, can’t wait.

She & Him play GAMH on March 2, the closing night of Noise Pop. Noise Pop runs from Feb. 27–March 2.