Five Bay Area Concerts to Keep the Noise Pop Mojo Alive


I don’t know about you guys, but Noise Pop week has me in a state of blissful exhaustion. Personal highlights: STRFKR's wondrous dance pop spectacle (and furried friends) at the Regency on Friday, and Saturday night's celebration of all things chill at the Independent, via adopted hometown hero Toro y Moi. By all accounts, it was another banner year for Noise Pop.

This being San Francisco, the fun doesn't stop just because a festival ends. We'll call this Noise Pop Fallout week, which looks just as busy as last week:

Alabama Shakes, Fox Theater, Tuesday

Well, that was fast. The Alabama Shakes went from obscurity to the Grammys and an SNL appearance in about three seconds. The attention could not be more warranted — especially after a listen to Brittany Howard’s soul-smacking, to-hell-with-niceties voice. Their sudden rise is even more astonishing when you consider Howard was delivering mail for the US Postal Service as recently as 15 months ago. The blue-collar mentality shows in tracks like “Hold On”:

Yes, The Warfield, Tuesday

Following the recent surge of bands appealing to the nostalgic sensibilities of fans, geniuscore band Yes is performing three of its most celebrated albums — The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One — from front to back on its current tour. For a band like Yes, where concept, continuity and context are part and parcel to the working philosophy, the album reproduction is a no-brainer. The Yes Album especially (below) is a must-listen for anyone who considers themselves a fan of prog/experimental rock.

Passion Pit, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Thursday

Yes, this uber-sugary electro pop outfit makes music that cheers up the sappiest suckers walking the earth, but man, are the lyrics are a real bummer. But it starts to make a bit more sense when you learn Passion Pit lead singer Michael Angelakos is actually clinically bipolar. He’s become a quasi-spokesman for the disorder in recent weeks by accident. He made news this past week after going on a Twitter rant of sorts about the representation of bipolar characters in film and TV after discussing how the disease was portrayed in Academy Award-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook, and one tweet turned into a much larger, fascinating discussion. Food for thought — what you hear isn’t always what you’re meant to hear.

Pickwick, The Independent, Friday

The story goes like this: Seattle-based band ditches the acoustic guitars and the alt-country identity in favor of a more soulful approach. Step 2: They proceed to blow up. The band now appears in prime position to make waves with its soon-to-be-released album Can’t Talk Medicine. Seattle Weekly recently asked the question — Is 2013 the Year of Pickwick? And it very well could be. The six-piece outfit actually shares a common aesthetic with Alabama Shakes —  which clearly has a winning formula. Check ‘em out:

Alicia Keys, Oracle Arena, Sunday

Consider me COMPLETELY on board with Alicia Keys attempt to bring sweat pants back. The leather baggies she rocked at the NBA All-Star Game caused a ridiculous stir on Twitter, and all the haters did what they gon' do. Alicia, I’ve got your back, and I know you’ll lead us back to the land of fashion-forward comfort. Behold:


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