Spinning Platters Guide To Noise Pop 2012

by Dakin Hardwick on February 16, 2012

For the last 20 years, the good folks of Noise Pop have turned a single show at Kennel Club (now known as The Independent) into a huge, weeklong festival that causes Bay Area music nerds to clear their calendar every year. In recent years, the fest has expanded beyond music- we have movies, craft fairs, and literary events in addition to one of the best programmed music fests you will ever go to. Go to 2012.noisepop.com for a full listing, but if you want to know what I think you should go to, follow the jump!

Thursday, February 16th

Class Actress, Painted Palms, Epicsauce DJ’s at California Academy of Sciences

Officially Noise Pop begins on the 21st. But, they’ve tacked on a bonus show for the Thursday prior to the big show. That show is at the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. In addition to seeing the dark synth pop of Class Actress, you get to walk through a museum while drinking! Plus, you get to enjoy the Academy kid-free for half the regular price. It’s an all win situation!

Tuesday, February 21st

The Flaming Lips performing The Soft Bulletin, Release The Sunbird, Aaron Axelson at Bimbo’s 365 Club

The greatest live band currently performing live is playing the classiest intimate venue in America to perform the greatest record of all time. This show also sold out in about 15 seconds flat, so you are going to have to do some fancy footwork to get into this show.

Craig Finn, Sad Baby Wolf, Mount Moriah, Ash Reiter at Bottom Of The Hill

So, you weren’t magical enough to get tickets to see The Flaming Lips… Across town we’ve got another huge super star playing an intimate venue! The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn is playing his first ever solo show in the Bay Area as part of the fest. You will get to hear the great songs by The Hold Steady, only stripped of all the bombast.

Wednesday, February 22nd

Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death of Patty Schemel at ATA

The story of Kurt and Courtney is one of the best documented romances in the history of rock n roll. Lesser known is what happened to Hole drummer Patty Schemel, who left the band right before they were ready to embark on their biggest tour ever. Well, her story is an intense tale of addiction and recovery, and this documentary will shed a whole new light on the story of one of the most infamous bands in history.

Papercuts, Sonny & The Sunsets, Princeton, Tortured Genies at The Independent

Four reverb drenched danceable pop bands in one night. Sure, there are a lot of big national bands playing tonight, but none of those shows will be nearly as much fun as wonderful package show.

And, of course, I’m not going to tell you what you are sold out on, but you really should consider buying a badge

Thursday, February 23rd

Budos Band, Allah-Las, Pickwick, Big Tree at The Independent

(Gordon Elgart writes:) The fact that Budos Band are a Daptone Records project should be enough to get you to this show. You shouldn’t even have to hear them. “Daptone? Really? I’m there!” You won’t stop moving for the entire time that they’re on stage.  And isn’t this the year saxophone came back? You won’t get better sax than you can get from the Budos Band. And the openers are pretty sweet, too. This is the best show that’s not on Dakin’s list of shows you can’t go see without a badge.

Mac McCaughan, Sun Foot, Rachel Haden, Sasha Bell at Swedish American Hall

McCaughan is the lead singer of one of indie rocks finest bands, as well as the man behind Merge Records, one of the most important independent record labels. Actually, one of the most important labels is music. This is a very special shot to be up close and personal with a legend of rock. Also playing is Rachel Haden: bassist for that dog. and sister in law of Jack Black.

And another round of sold out gigs. Loser. Badge?

Friday, February 24th

Jolie Holland, Will Sprott, Dreams, Emily Jane White at Swedish American Hall

Holland is a favorite of Bay Area music legend Tom Waits. She is also a founding member of the roots trio Be Good Tanyas. She has one of the most haunting voices around, and this show could literally send chills down your spine.

Veronica Falls, Bleached, Brilliant Colors, Lilac at Rickshaw Stop

UK’s Veronica Falls may be one of the lesser known acts headlining a showcase this year, but they are also one of the best bands playing. This band does some amazing jangly pop punk that can send your head swimming and your body pogoing.

And, of course, there are plenty of reasons to be disappointed that you didn’t buy tickets early:

Saturday, February 25th

Big Freedia, Hard French DJ’s, Vogue & Tone, Double Duchess at Public Works

Gender bending is not something that hip hop has historically been OK with. That was before Big Freedia  made her way onto the scene. And, Big Freedia has been embraced by the hip hop community big time. It’s because amazing mic skills know no boundaries.

Overwhelming Colorfast, Oranger, Slouching Stars, Peppercorn at Bottom Of The Hill

Although there’s plenty of “new” going on with this year’s Noise Pop festival, there is something to be said about a band that sticks around. And Overwhelming Colorfast played the first Noise Pop, 20 years ago.

And, of course, there are these shows that you can’t go to:

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