Noise Pop 2011
We attended a dizzying array of Noise Pop performances last week. Here's our list of noteworthy performances and bands to watch.
Bands to watch:
Chelsea Wolfe, Los Angeles, CA
One of the most captivating performances of the entire Noise Pop melee was one that almost no one witnessed -- Chelsea Wolfe at Cafe Du Nord. The doom and glorious gloom of the black-veiled goth chanteuse set the bar high for the entire night of the show, headlined by How To Dress Well. Her crystalline alto pipes, in the vein of Zola Jesus, are encased by scratchy guitars, droning keyboards and howling drums; music perfect on dark, rainy days or if you ever find yourself inhabiting a cave.
Atmosphere seemed to be the collective concern of each of the four acts of Friday night’s Café Du Nord roster, one of the most fervently anticipated line-ups of this year’s festival and one of the first to sell out. The evening was all about setting a mood, which swayed between pop-coated angst and haunted beauty as each of the four very different acts took the stage. While a strong start energized the packed house, technical glitches marred the mood of hyped headliner Tamaryn and her ethereality, and listeners were left wishing for a little more of the romance that was captured so compellingly on her recordings.
The party can’t go on forever. This year’s weeklong Noise Pop Festival went out with a bang, a sigh and swaying fans came to worship at the whim of Ben Gibbard last night. Headlining a rare solo show at a packed Great American Music Hall, the indie rock icon brought out the nostalgia and a little of the future of his band Death Cab for Cutie with tons of favorites and a teasers from the band’s newest and seventh record Codes and Keys, due in late May.
The Fresh & Onlys could not have a more streamlined operation going onstage. Bathed in sunlight during one of the last Noise Pop shows of 2011 at Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco's own played one of their most airtight sets yet and left the day-drinking crowds completely buzzed off their unbridled energy.