Noise Pop joins forces with Litquake on day three of the festival for a night of readings from America's oddest musical memoirs. Think The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones and then lower the bar ... a lot. Get ready for excerpts—read by local lit and music luminaries such as Beth Lisick, Thao Nguyen, Michelle Tea, Bucky Sinister—from published works by Justin Bieber, Marilyn Manson, Jewel, Tori Amos, and more.
There are big things afoot for local musician and trash star Seth Bogart, better known to those on the scene as the flamboyant Hunx, of Hunx & His Punx. He wears his forever-lovelorn heart on his sleeve for the band's debut album Too Young To Be In Love (Hardly Art), which drops in late March and features his ragged and innocent Brill Building-esque garage pop tunes about cruising for guys, stolen kisses on lovers' lane (listen to the LP's Shangri-Las-influenced first single here), and of course, heartache.
Was that a band of traveling gypsies dancing down the street and around the corner at Bimbo's last night? Oh, no that was just the cult of feather and banjo-clad Edward Sharpe enthusiasts. And if the scene outside wasn't enough, the at-capacity venue was brimming with positive energy and eclectic personalities.
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.
Hipster bar mitzvah. A cool-kids-only prom. Stadiums with gaggles of screaming teenaged girls. These are the places one can imagine Piedmont-popsters Dizzy Balloon playing in the near future. Now if they only didn’t have to go to college.
On Sunday afternoon at Bottom of the Hill, Dizzy Balloon took the stage after three opening acts that included The Hounds Below (the latest band of The Von Bondies frontman Jason Stollsteimer) and watched anyone between the ages of 19 and 45 flock politely to the exits. Lucky for the band, Dizzy Balloon’s rabid following of teen and tween girls and their parental supervision stepped right in, ready to squeal and dance.
Saturday night at Slim’s, Scotland’s latest chug-a-pint-and-shout-along indie import We Were Promised Jetpacks plowed through a straight-ahead 50-minute set that was short on the chit-chat but heavy on the rocking. With aggressive guitars and the big-piped vocals of Adam Thompson, We Were Promised Jetpacks overcame some curiously poor acoustics (read: ear-bleeding feedback that none of the openers experienced) to delight the packed house.
“Your body was black and blue,” the crowd sang repeatedly as an open-mouthed Thompson stepped back from the microphone on “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning,” a song that evokes countless UK films about abusive and alcoholic fathers. The dark and earnest lyrics almost make you feel guilty for enjoying the sing-along so much.
Both Friday and Saturday's free Noise Pop Happy Hours at Bender's laid the foundation (hello, $3 beers) for a pretty rockin' city-wide indie takeover this weekend. The happy hours paid homage to some of the best emerging local talent and gave us occasion for some pretty legit hometown pride-ing.
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The crowd at Bottom of the Hill last night was overwhelmingly dude, with just a spattering of female support. It’s been twelve years since Far released their critically acclaimed second album, Water and Solutions, but the nostalgia for the emotive (though never weepy), post-hardcore album was very, very present. Last night’s show wasn’t just a reunion for the band; it was a reunion for the fans, some of whom have been waiting like, a decade to be in the same room with the Sacramento natives. Case in point: Matranga breaking mid-song to belt out his own rendition of Beyonce’s “Halo,” an improvisation that provoked sporadic hoots and hollers from the few girls in the room.
Now that Noise Pop is officially in full swing, chances are you've already seen more live music...well, since last year...and it's not even the weekend yet.
We say it's time to switch things up a bit on Saturday and check out another kind of independent artist at Noise Pop's insanely popular indie design fair, Pop 'N Shop.
Need a new cropped sweater, quirky jewelry or a bold print for your walls? Yeah neither do we, but you'll likely change your mind once you set foot in The Verdi Club. With over 40 local artists and designers like Turk+Taylor, Seccession Art & Design and SanFranPsycho slingin' their unique and affordable wares, we dare you to walk out emptyhanded.