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Thao Nguyen on the Inspiration for The Get Down Stay Down's New Album "We the Common"

Thao Nguyen

I asked Thao Nguyen point blank, ‘Why is Valerie Bolden sentenced to life without parole?’ I didn’t expect that she’d give the reason, but wanted to ask partly out of curiosity, and also as an exercise in asking difficult questions. But her answer tapped into the type of person she is; one that promised herself as a sociology major that she would use her music to draw attention to things she considers important.

Noisette Culinary Concert Block Party

Noisette Culinary Concert Block Party

The folks behind Noise Pop and Finger on the Pulse (the Brooklyn duo known for making parties out of good eats and tunes) are heating up the south side of the city with a block party that will get every San Franciscan going. Eight hot young chefs, seven indie bands and DJs, local brews from Speakeasy, and Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous root beer floats are the name of the game at Noisette's Saturday (8/4) afternoon affair. Here's the lowdown on what the expect.

Thrillcall Rolls Out New Live Music Discovery App For iPhones

Just in time for Noise Pop, the indie music festival celebrating its 20th anniversary this week, Thrillcall has launched its new iPhone app to discover and get into live events, even at the last minute and after they are sold-out.

Six Shows You Mustn't Miss, Noise Pop Edition

Six Shows You Mustn't Miss, Noise Pop Edition

Sing it with me: ”It’s the most / wonderful time / of the year…” Yes, Noise Pop is here to rescue San Francisco music fans from their winter hibernation (well, semi-hibernation). There are way too many shows to list here, and many are sold out, so we tried to focus on the shows that somehow haven’t sold out yet. For all of you who don’t have tickets to Flaming Lips, Sleigh Bells, Bob Mould, Wye Oak, Budos Band, et al, try appeasing your FOMO with these Noise Poppers:

Craig Finn, Tuesday, 7 pm, Bottom of the Hill

Noise Pop 2012 Lineup Announced

At least now we know we'll get to see some great shows before the world ends in 2012, right? The venerable Noise Pop  just announced their 20th festival lineup slated for next February. While there are still some names to be added, the list of confirmed performers definitely isn't a blinged-out roster of earth-shattering indie artists, it'll definitely be six days worthy of the big 2-0.

Hot Pop-Up Planner: Labor Day Weekend Eats and Beyond

You know you're supposed to get elbow deep in that new bbq recipe at some point over the next few days. It is Labor Day weekend, afterall. But sometimes life isn't giving you pork butt and spices, it's giving you pop-ups. Since these underground dinners and impromptu "restaurants" are coming out almost as fast as food trucks these days,  perhaps this weekend is a good time to avoid the grill all together and check out an outside-the-restaurant-box meal event. We picked our some of our favorite upcoming pop-up events to take you into this weekend, and the coming month too.

Noise Pop & graffEats' Underground "Covers" Dinner: Second Night Added!

Who doesn't love a good cover song? Heck, sometimes covers are way better than the originals they're meant to pay homage to. Recognizing that, the folks from Noise Pop and graffEats have created an exclusive dinner party called Covers: A Culinary Tribute, held at a top-secret city locale with six courses that salute the world's best chefs and musical minds.

People clamoured so hard to get a seat at the first dinner on May 26th that it sold out–so organizers ended up adding a second dinner on Wednesday, May 25th at 7 pm. Here's how it works: the courses, prepared by graffEats chef Blair Warsham, are takes on signature dishes by the likes of Thomas Keller, Quince's Michael Tusk, Sursur Lee and more. Then, using the folks from Noise Pop's savvy, they'll pair songs (think Syd Barret's "Octopus", accompanying Keller's Grilled Octopus Tentacles with chorizo and green almonds) with dishes for a full sensory takeover. Clever, right?

Come Sunday: Noise Pop ‘N Shop

A fashion-minded addition to Noise Pop, Sunday’s Pop ‘n Shop at Public Works is likely to be music to many stylish locals’ ears. Over 30 vendors will be selling handcrafted apparel, accessories and giftables during the event, which is part of the music festival’s Culture Club line-up of arts-minded workshops, talks and D.I.Y.-driven events.

Here are five reasons to go (other than the free admission, of course):

NOISE POP 2011 Photos: Yo La Tengo @ The Fox Theater

Yo La Tengo performed at Oakland’s Fox Theatre last night, continuing their Spin The Wheel Tour. The stakes are pretty high when the theme of the first set is determined strictly by the spin of a wheel. The possibilities ranged from "The Name Game", songs containing peoples monikers, to “Sitcom Theatre”, during which band members perform a 30 minute TV sitcom script in its entirety. Last night’s spin landed on "Dump", thus the first set featured songs by bassist James McNew’s side project. Prince’s "The Beautiful Ones" was also performed during the first set, obviously in homage to his Purpleness’s Oakland shows.

A Noise Pop Primer: The 5 Bay Area Bands You Need to Know Right Now

Brace yourself - the indie music storm known as Noise Pop invades San Francisco starting today. We've published a day-by-day guide of the must-attends, but for the more "big picture" music fans, sister site Spin.com has a handy list of the 5 Bay Area Bands you need to know right now. Brush up to get ready for this week's music bonanza.

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