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Noise Pop Last Night: Memory Tapes, Birds & Batteries, Loquat

It was a mashup of sorts last night at Bottom of the Hill - the sounds of Birds & Batteries, Loquat and headliner Memory Tapes don't necessarily go together. But to each his own, and though most of the all-ages crowd was there to shimmy to Memory Tapes, Loquat and Birds & Batteries certainly did their part to impress some local musical talent.

The Best Tracks of 2008 (Bay Area Edition)

'Tis the season for "best of" music lists around the web. We've got one of our own to add to the mix - our roundup of what we think are the seven best songs to come out of the Bay Area this year. So listen up, and then go out and support these bands immediately. (Read: catch them before they're playing mega tours and you're paying stupid ticket prices to support things like light shows, pyrotechnics and RVs).

Here's the list.

Interview with Loquat

A lot's happened since SF pop darlings Loquat dazzled us with their critically acclaimed debut, It's Yours To Keep in 2005.  For one, lead singer Kylee Swenson (whose ethereal, lullabye voice is reminiscent of Aime Mann and Feist, only less drone-y) and bassist Anthony Gordon got hitched. But there were also hardships - family deaths, an apartment fire and lost jobs - enough to bring the band to the brink of a break-up.  Fortunately for us, Loquat weathered the storm and used all the material for what they call their most inspired album yet,  Secrets of the Sea, which was released last week.  We caught up with Swenson and Gordon from their East Coast Tour, where they're set to play the CMJ Festival in New York on the 24th.   They're returning to the Bay to play a much-anticipated Hometown CD Release Party at Bottom of the Hill on November 8.  Here's what they had to say about the new album, their Treasure Island Music Festival performance and the San Francisco music scene.

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