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Noise Pop: 7 Must-Sees

Can you hear the indie drum beats?  Noise Pop 2009 is taking the city by storm.  And like most festivals, it's a breeding ground for scheduling heartbreaks. Like Stephen Malkmus and up-and-comers Maus Haus, for example. Here, we distill the 7 must-sees:

1. The genius solo act of St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark), is also a stand-out highlight on this year’s Bonnaroo line-up. Her graceful voice and poised lyrics are sure to be one of the more dominating acts.  See her at the Great American Music Hall on February 27. http://www.myspace.com/stvincent

2. Two-man indie phenoms No Age are going to blow up the stage at Bottom of the Hill on March 1st, and that’s not even including the openers - White Circle Crime Club, Infinite Body and Veil Veil Vanish. These guys have been slumming the LA underground circuit for a while now, but their 80s throwback sound and brand of feel-good independent punk makes them a must-see. http://www.myspace.com/nonoage

3. New York natives Ra Ra Riot electrify any crowd with their energetic presence and synth-infused electro-indie. Just a year after their formation, they were rocking stages at South by Southwest and gathering critical acclaim. For an upbeat, sure not to disappoint kind of act, these guys are it.  http://www.myspace.com/rarariot

4. If you've never seen a Maus Haus live show, you should remedy that immediately. The dreamy sextuplet not only switches up instruments, their sets are almost always different and unexpected. They rock the stage at Benders February 27th with Sugar & Gold and Tempo No Tempo. http://www.myspace.com/maushausmusic

5. February 26th may be the most heartbreaking day of the whole festival. Classics like Scissors for Lefty take the stage at Benders, while DC-native Thao Nguyen and San Diego heavy metal superstars Goblin Cock make a rare appearance. But despite all the rarities, the ultimate showdown will be between Bay Area representatives and headliners Thee Oh Sees and openers for From Monument To Masses, Built For The Sea (we’re entirely surprised they didn’t headline their own show).
http://www.myspace.com/ohsees
http://www.myspace.com/builtforthesea

6. After building a dedicated international fan-base, Antony And The Johnsons are finally hitting home.  The gloomy, avante-garde musicians will set up shop at the Nob Hill Masonic Center on February 24 with no openers announced yet (extra-long set perhaps?) If you dig the dark cabaret-esque themes, make sure you see these guys (and gals) before you have to pay big bucks to see them from the lawn at some awful venue. http://www.myspace.com/antonyandthejohnsons

7.    Portugal. The Man is pretty high up on our list to see, but Bay Area natives, Sholi, win our hearts over on February 28 with their genre-defying experimentalism. What can we say? We can’t resist adorable, artsy San Franciscans with intelligent overtones.