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Noise Pop 2009

The Morning Benders Glad To Be Home

The entire lineup of last night’s Noise Pop show at Slim’s was perfectly billed. From Rademacher and The Mumlers to co-headliners, The Submarines and Bay Area sweethearts, The Morning Benders, everything flowed pretty smoothly for the bouncy, indie pop show. The vibe was light and fun and every band carried their weight. The Submarines even played their infamous iPhone commercial song, “You, Me & the Bourgeoisie,” much to the crowd’s pleasure and cheers.

Portugal. The Man on Being Star Struck by Other Band Members

Recording an album a year clearly isn’t enough for these Portland-based fellas. After recording and writing all 15 songs on Censored Colors (their September 2008 release) in 15 days, Portugal. The Man just finished another 3-week stint recording their latest album in Boston (still unnamed and without a release date). Those loveable boys originally from Wasilla, Alaska have been on tour for nearly three years straight (nearly 300 shows a year) and recording albums on their few weeks off a year, but after Alternative Press named lead singer John Gourley the “Best Vocalist of 2008,” they began blowing up in the press and we can’t say they don’t deserve it. With people like Paul Q.

Noise Pop: Thee Oh Sees

This week’s Noise Pop festival has proven that San Francisco is burgeoning with emerging musical talent and we feel pretty safe calling the locally based Thee Oh Sees one of the best underground indie pop bands in the Bay Area. Active on the scene since the late ‘90s, front man John Dwyer’s experimental home recordings morphed into a full-blown band over the course of seven albums and the group has found their calling in catchy garage band tunes for avid alt music followers.

Goblin Cock Transcends Into Our Dimension

San Diego's own lords of death and destruction, Goblin Cock accomplished exactly what they set out to do last night at The Rickshaw Stop. Donned in their traditional garb of grim reaper-esque robes and B.C. Rich guitars, skulls were abundant and the sometimes shirtless crowd got into it (although fairly tame for a metal show).

Claiming powers to transcend time and space, the smoke machine-happy crew of Lord Phallus (singer aka Pinback's Rob Crow), Bane Ass-Pounder (guitar), King Sith (bass), Braindeath (drums) and Loki Sinjuggler (keyboards) dished up some serious sludge metal all with faces concealed (with the exception of Lord Phallus' beard popping out and Braindeath's face exposed wearing a Zorro mask).

Thao Nguyen Charms the Swedish American Hall

Thao Nguyen’s Noise Pop show last night was like sitting amongst close friends in a cozy living room.  Only it wasn't a living room, it was the Swedish American Music Hall, and it wasn't just close friends, it was 300 devoted fans.  But you get the idea.  The Virginia-bred, San Francisco-based folk rock singer/songwriter and guitarist charmed the audience with her bouncy acoustic style and soothing vocals, pausing in between each song to chat and crack jokes with the crowd, as if we were all one big, happy family of best friends. 

Sleepy Sun Wakes Up Bottom of the Hill

Sitting through three opening bands in anticipation of a show’s main act shouldn’t be a chore, as it was at last night’s Noise Pop show at Bottom of the Hill. Ears ringing and head spinning after Kings & Queens and Dallas-based True Widow, local act the Lumerians saved the audience from calling it an early night with their organ-laden psych-synth sound and bongo beats—the perfect foreplay to Sleepy Sun’s power performance. 

Sit Down with Noise Pop Darlings, Sleepy Sun

Sleepy Sun, who've already been picked up by the indie music hype machine, are poised to become one of the darlings of this year's Noise Pop festival.   We ventured to their Outer Sunset apartment yesterday to catch up with the five guys (minus Rachel) and talk music, inspiration and cats (they have a surprising fascination with cats). 

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:

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