Noise Pop 2010 Preview

<p> <a href="features/features/noise_pop_2010_preview/"><img src="" alt="Noise Pop 2010 Preview" /></a> </p> <p> The indie festival season used to start & end in Austin, from South-by-Southwest (<a href="features/features/sxsw_2009_recap/" target="_blank">QRO recap</a><span style="font-weight:...
Noise Pop 2010 Preview
{snippet 14}



Har Mar Superstar – Benders Bar

To get into the free drinks, free Har Mar Superstar Opening Night Party, one needs to head to sponsor Diesel Store (800 Market Street), after Friday, 2/19, pick up the ‘FREE BE STUPID’ t-shirt, RSVP for the guest list, and wear ‘BE STUPID’ at Benders.


Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, with Deerhoof – Fox Theater

In 2009, Yoko Ono brought back her Plastic Ono Band with Between My Head and the Sky, the first Plastic Ono release in over a quarter-century.  While her line-up at Noise Pop doesn’t feature the all-stars at her Brooklyn Academy of Music show on 2/16 (like Eric Clapton – QRO event listing), it does include son Sean Lennon, as well as Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto.

A band (QRO photos) that’s always hard to peg down, the prolific Deerhoof (QRO photos), led by the unmistakable Satomi Matsuzaki, are fitting ‘love ‘em or hate ‘em’ locals to open for Yoko Ono.

Plastic Ono Band



Love Is Chemicals, The Ian Fays, Mist & Mast – Benders Bar


Harlem, with Best Coast, The Sandwitches, Young Prisms – Café Du Nord


Rogue Wave, with Princeton, Man/Miracle, Two Sheds – Bottom of the Hill

Out of the dot-com bust came newly unemployed Zach Schwartz’s (a.k.a. ‘Zach Rogue’) Rogue Wave.  The band has endured serious lows, like the death of former bassist Evan Farrell shortly after leaving the band, to drummer Pat Spurgeon’s struggles with kidney disease, but also highs, from the breakthrough success of single “Publish My Love” to 2007’s Asleep At Heaven’s Gate (QRO review).  New record Permalight comes out the day after Noise Pop, so expect new material alongside older songs like “California” (QRO video) and “Ghost” (QRO video).

Friend of the Q Princeton (QRO spotlight on) toured hard at the end of 2009 (QRO live review) before-and-after the release of their sweet full-length debut, Cocoon of Love (QRO review).  Hailing from Santa Monica to the south, the band smart enough (QRO interview) to go to said Ivy, but here’s hoping they take the festival route (QRO photos at a festival) instead.


The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger, with If By Yes, Consortium Musicum – The Independent

Doing triple pseudonymous duty at Noise Pop is Sean Lennon, first in his mom’s band on opening night (see above), but also with girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl as The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger, and before that with Greg Saunier in Consortium Musicum (and If By Yes features another Plastic Ono, Yuka Honda).


Foreign Born, with The Fresh & Onlys, Free Energy, The Splinters – Rickshaw Stop

While Los Angeles’ Foreign Born (QRO photos) started in the indie-mainstream (including appearing in the series premiere of Chuck) with On the Wing Now (QRO review), the band (QRO photos at a festival) has since shifted to a more indie-folk stomp with last year’s Person To Person (QRO review).

On tour with Foreign Born is Free Energy (QRO photos at a festival), a seventies-rock inspired (and looking – QRO photos) young outfit that somehow found themselves on electro-dance label DFA (LCD Soundsystem, The Juan MacLean, YACHT) for debut Stuck On Nothing, out right after Noise Pop.

Rogue Wave
The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger
Foreign Born
Free Energy



Social Studies, The Old Fashioned Way, Shark Toys – Benders Bar


Citay, with Scout Niblett, Greg Ashley, Tape Deck Mountain – Café Du Nord


Far, with Stomacher, Picture Atlantic, The Trophy Fire – Bottom of the Hill

The alt-rock reunion bug has even infected emo-rock pioneers like Sunny Day Real Estate and now Sacramento’s Far (QRO photos), who are getting ready to release their first new record since breaking up after 1998’s influential Water & Solutions.


The Dodos & Magik*Magik Orchestra Collaborative Performance – Palace of Fine Arts

Experimental folk locals The Dodos (QRO photos) moved from the more psychedelic folk of “The Season” (QRO video) & “It’s That Time Again” (QRO video) from 2008’s Visiter to the straighter, but more interesting Time To Die (QRO review) last year. And the duo is blowing up (QRO photos at a festival) to the point where they can collaborate with an orchestra at Palace of Fine Arts.


Zee Avi, with The Hot Toddies, Leslie & The Badgers, Tiny Television – Rickshaw Stop

The Dodos


FRIDAY, 2/26

Hunx & His Punx, Spencey Dude & The Doodles, Weekend – Benders Bar


John Vanderslice, with Nurses, Honeycomb, Conspiracy of Venus – Swedish American Hall

Alt-singer/songwriter John Vanderslice moved to San Fran to set up his acclaimed recording studio, Studio Tiny Telephone (Death Cab For Cutie, Okkervil River, Spoon, Division Day), and is a natural for the singer/songwriter-friendly Noise Pop.

John Vanderslice

Atlas Sound, with Geographer, Magic Wands, Nice Nice – Great American Music Hall

Bradford Cox of Deerhunter (QRO live review) was one of the busiest people in indie-rock in 2008, putting out not only two Deerhunter records, Microcastle (QRO review) & Weird Era Cont. (QRO review), but also his first solo record as Atlas Sound (QRO live review), Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (QRO review), with tracks like “River Card” (QRO video) & “Winter Vacation” (QRO video). While Deerhunter eased up a bit last year, Atlas Sound kept going with Logos (QRO review) and touring (QRO photos from 2009), where the expansive ambient rock of “Logos” (QRO video) can “take it to the fields” (QRO live review).


The Mumlers, with The Growlers, Sonny & The Sunsets, The Ferocious Few – Café Du Nord

Atlas Sound

Wallpaper, with The Limousines, Butterfly Bones, Battlehooch – Slim’s

Bringing some dancetronic beats to Noise Pop is Eric Frederic, a.k.a. Wallpaper, as well as Bay Area’s own Limousines.


Four Tet, with Nathan Fake, Rainbow Arabia, New Villager – The Independent

U.K. post-rock electronic musician Kieran Hebden, also who’s remixed everyone from Andrew Bird (QRO album review) to Radiohead (QRO album review), tours once more as Four Tet, on the back of There Is Love In You, his latest since 2008’s Ringer (QRO album review).

Four Tet

Scissors For Lefty, with Judgment Day, Ghost & The City, Glaciers – Bottom of the Hill

One of the seemingly ever-growing set of acts with pairs of brothers (see The National – QRO live review – or The Spinto Band – QRO album review), natives Scissors For Lefty have been built to the point where they’re headlining a showcase at Noise Pop.

Scissors For Lefty



Memory Tapes, with Loquat, Birds & Batteries, Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Bottom of the Hill

They may be at the bottom of the bill, but most interesting at Bottom of the Hill is Letting Up Despite Great Faults, thanks to the delectable electro-shoegaze from their self-titled debut (QRO review).

Letting Up Despite Great Faults

Odawas, The Baths, That Ghose – Benders Bar


P.E.E., with True Widow, Ovens, Grass Widow – Café Du Nord

Some bad band names goin’ on at Café Du Nord, from ‘P.E.E.’ to a battle of ‘Widows’ (QRO photos of Grass Widow).


We Were Promised Jetpacks, with The Lonely Forest, Bear Hands, Tempo No Tempo – Slim’s

Scotland’s FatCat Records has already given us Frightened Rabbit (QRO live review) and The Twilight Sad (QRO live review), and now come We Were Promised Jetpacks (QRO photos at a festival) to bring the Highlands’ intimate yet expansive sound, as seen on debut These Four Walls (QRO review).

No indie music festival is complete without an up-and-coming Brooklyn band, and at Noise Pop it’s friend-of-the-Q Bear Hands (QRO spotlight on), on tour with We Were Promised Jetpacks.  Their alt-punk is more skilled than most in the genre (or the borough), and they’ll have just come out with new single “What a Drag”. Fronted by the engaging Val Lopez & Dylan Rau (QRO interview with both), they play well at festivals (QRO photos at a festival), including last fall at U.K.’s Leeds (QRO live review). Look for new material from the band (QRO photos), as well as old like “Sickly Brunette” (QRO video) and “Long Lean Queen” (QRO video).

Grass Widow
We Were Promised Jetpacks
Bear Hands

Thao Nguyen, with Mirah, Horse Feathers, Dave Smallen, Carletta Sue Kay – Swedish American Hall

Thao Nguyen (QRO interview) broke through just about two years ago with We Brave Bee Stings and All (QRO review) and its fun, charming folk-rock, and followed it last year with Know Better Learn Faster (QRO review).  Her live shows are, if anything, more engaging (QRO live review), whether in a college student center (QRO photos) or a massive converted warehouse (QRO photos).

Evergreen State’s Mirah has evolved from stripped sounds to near-orchestral – as well as moving to San Fran.


The Soundtrack of Our Lives, with Nico Vega, Music For Animals, Imaad Wasif – The Independent

Before the psychedelic Swedes Soundtrack of Our Lives comes the energetic Nico Vega, good times Music For Animals, and the spooky Imaad Wasif (QRO photos at a festival) – Lou Barlow’s favorite guitarist (QRO photos with Barlow at a festival).

Thao Nguyen
Soundtrack of Our Lives

Mark Kozelek, with Laura Gibson, Paula Frazer, Fences – Great American Music Hall

Dreary-rock master Mark Kozelek may have gotten great guest stars like Ben Gibbard & Eric Pollard for his last Sun Kil Moon release, April (QRO review), but the experienced musician holds up very well on his own.

Opening up for him are more singer/songwriters, Laura Gibson (QRO photos at a festival), Paula Frazer, and Chris Mansfield (QRO photos at a festival), a.k.a. Portland’s Fences (QRO album review).

Mark Kozelek

!!!, with Maus Haus, Sugar & Gold, My First Earthquake – Mezzanine

Sacramento dance-punk act !!! (QRO photos) – pronounced ‘chk chk chk’ were seriously blowing people away a few years ago (QRO live review) with Myth Takes (QRO review), then seemingly disappeared, but are back (QRO live review) and as wild as ever.

San Francisco’s psychedelic, electro-dance-tastic Sugar and Gold (QRO photos at a festival) bring their sound back home in the run-up to April’s release of Get Wet!, to give everyone a good disco workout, after doing it up for Middle America (QRO photos at a festival).


Magnetic Fields, with Mark Eitzel – Fox Theater

The prolific and creative alt-pop mastermind Stephen Merritt has been putting together amazing record after amazing record with his band Magnetic Fields, most recently with his ‘no-synth’ trilogy of records, i, Distortion (QRO review), and 2010’s Realism (QRO review).

[note: also playing 3/1 at Herbst Theater – see below]


Black Prairie, with Trainwreck Riders, Billy & Dolly, Birds Fled From Me – Rickshaw Stop

chk chk chk
Sugar & Gold


SUNDAY, 2/28

Dizzy Balloon, with The Hounds Below, Visqueen, Laarks – Bottom of the Hill (day show)


Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, with Watson Twins, AB & The Sea, The Northern Key – Bimbo’s 365 Club

Alex Ebert, former singer of Ima Robot (QRO interview), only recently formed Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, yet they’ve got a ton of buzz, and are headlining over other, more established acts. Is the buzz justified, or just PR hype? Judge for yourself.

One of those established acts is the alt-country Watson Twins (QRO photos), who’ve collaborated with such artists as Jenny Lewis (QRO live review) and Ben Kweller (QRO photos with Watson Twins), and right before Noise Pop drop their own Talking To You Talking To Me (QRO review).

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Watson Twins



Magnetic Fields, with Mark Eitzel – Herbst Theater

Stephen Merritt gives Noise Pop a second dose (see above) of Magnetic Fields (QRO photos) to close out the festival.

Magnetic Fields


For festival website, go here:


  • Anonymous
  • No Comment

    Leave a Reply