Noise Pop 2014 RoundUp
By Elizabeth Yowe
Published Feb 2014
San Francisco's annual Noise Pop Festival features outstanding musical talent and provides excellent exposure for upcoming indie artists. Twenty two years in the running, Noise Pop alums have included acclaimed acts such as Modest Mouse, The White Stripes, and The Shins. In addition to bringing some of the indie world's finest to the Bay Area, the widespread schedule of events allows locals to discover new venues and spots around our city limits. Here are a few of Noise Pop's finest upcoming shows that guarantee you a night to remember in an unforgettable city. THE FRESH AND ONLYS The Fresh and Onlys/Cool Ghouls @ Brick and Mortar, February 26 | Doors at 8 PM. San Francisco-based band The Fresh and Onlys have made a serious name for themselves outside the limits of our pretty little city. This indie quartet has been charming crowds around the globe since 2008, making headlines at prestigious arts and culture happenings such as SXSW. With a new album release on the horizon, there is no better time to catch this moody yet melodic ensemble perform their carefully crafted oeuvre in their home city. Their sound has the ability to both steal and wrench your heart with every note that radiates from their instruments. Progressing from deeply dark western-infused jams from 2010 (such as “Waterfall” and “Until The End of Time”) to creating lighter, sharper melodies on their 2012 album “The Long Slow Dance”, the next album holds as many ambiguities as it does promises of enjoyment. Catch their show with Cool Ghouls at the Brick and Mortar on February 26 to see the next chapter of their career unfold firsthand. Waterfall: Until The End Of Time: MIKAL CRONIN Mikal Cronin/Old Light/Vertical Scratchers @ the Chapel, March 1 | Doors at 7 PM. Mikal Cronin’s sound has evolved significantly from his influential beginnings in the San Francisco garage rock scene. Moving away from his raw, fuzz-drenched surf sound that earned him a gold star in collaborations with SF wunderkind Ty Segall, Cronin’s sophomore album MCII possesses dreamy acoustic strums and awe-inspiring vocals that melt in your ears like butter on toast. Though he retains a dash of thrash on upbeat, smile-inducing tracks like “Change”, he experiments with new instruments on tracks such as “Weight” and “Peace of Mind”, weaving intricate violin solos with piano melodies to create a fresh folk sound. Performing with like-minded indie-funk bands Old Light and Vertical Scratchers, Cronin’s March 1 show at the Chapel promises a unique showcase of San Francisco’s local talent. Change: Peace of Mind: Weight (Live): BLEACHED Bleached/Terry Malts/Mystic Braves @ the Rickshaw Stop, February 28 | Doors at 8:30 PM. Sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin have mastered the craft of taking their listeners on an auditory journey to a sun soaked paradise with their upbeat, spunky surf pop sound. Their LA based band Bleached possesses a raw yet buoyant quality that challenges the genius of legends such as Debbie Harry. Their much-anticipated full-length album “Ride Your Heart” is dripping with heart-wrenching guitar progressions with a hint of grit. The Clavin sisters will steal your heart with tracks such as “Love Spells” and “Think of You”, where their feel-good beach vibes and silky vocals guarantee to make your body move with each note. Their February 28 show at the Rickshaw Stop will not only be filled with effervescent energy, but provide us San Franciscans with a night away from the rain and allow us to bask in their endless summer vibes. Love Spells: Think of You: PAINTED PALMS Cold Cave with Painted Palms @ Slims, February 28 | Doors at 7 PM. Painted Palms’ new full-length album “Forever” is a contemporary psych-pop masterpiece that rivals classics such as Electronic Light Orchestra with catchy vocals and dance-inspiring melodies. The San Francisco based duo combines sunny electronic elements with blissfully bright chorus hooks that can easily get stuck in your head—and you won’t want them to leave. The premiere single “Spinning Signs” promises to transport any listener to a 60’s dance party with their captivating croons and endless beats that act as a kaleidoscope for the ears. Opening for Cold Cave at Slims on February 28th, Painted Palms will deliver an upbeat performance that will have the crowd screaming every word. Spinning Signs (official audio): Forever: COM TRUISE Com Truise with Phantoms @ Mezzanine, February 27 | Doors at 9 PM. NY Based electronic producer Seth Haley, better known for his pseudonym Com Truise, has mastered the craft of constructing bass-infused, funk-filled synthesizer beats that steal the attention of anyone who comes in contact with them. With varying tempo progressions that range from light-speed to slow motion, Com Truise takes the crowd on a galactic journey with bright notes that undulate through the atmosphere. With cosmic tracks such as “Open” and “Brokendate”, Com Truise showcases 80’s instrumentals beaming with an interplanetary funk vibe. His February 27 show at Mezzanine promises nothing but an auditory blast off into another dimension. If you’re into involuntary dancing and being carried away by a synthesizer, spend one of the last nights of the month with Com Truise. Open: Brokendate: COOL GHOULS The Fresh and Onlys with Cool Ghouls @ Brick and Mortar, February 26 | Doors at 8 PM. San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls have the ability to create a time warp back to the 60’s with their timeless, dreamy surf pop sound. With every strum of their guitar and tantalizing harmonies, Cool Ghouls possess a sound that’s reminiscent of a sun-kissed day at the boardwalk. Their 2013 self-titled debut album is filled with raw-edged surf lullabies and upbeat numbers jam-packed with psychedelic satisfaction. The soulful chorus of the track “Grace” radiates a romantic retro sound, while faster tracks such as “Natural Life” naturally convinces anyone who hears it to boogie on the spot. The Ghouls will not only open your eyes to a side of surf rock you didn’t yet know about, you may just fall in love. If the idea of having your heart stolen grabs your fancy, go see them play alongside local SF favorites the Fresh and Onlys at the Brick and Mortar on February 26. Grace: Natural Life: SOCIAL STUDIES Social Studies with Aan, Max and the Moon @ The New Parish, February 27 | Doors at 8 PM. San Francisco based indie-pop band Social Studies has a sound as diverse as its five member ensemble. With a classically trained pianist as the lead vocalist and a guitarist with punk roots, Social Studies employs a mix of whimsical folk vibes with ethereal synthesizers to create a unique and memorable sound. Their latest full-length album “Developer” features bone chilling keyboard rhythms in tandem with soul-driven vocals to deliver a carefully cultivated sound that’s all their own. Take a trip across the bridge to see this fresh ensemble woo the crowd at the New Parish on February 27. Terracur: FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF FESTIVAL EVENTS AND LINEUP: SCHEDULE LINEUP