Noise Pop 2017 is upon us. For eleven straight days, we will be enjoying the finest in film and music that the scene has to offer. There is literally too much to do, and there is no way you can be everywhere at once, so here is a quick guide to the best of the fest. Of course, you may disagree with my choices, and if so, there’s the full schedule to choose from.
(All suggestions by Managing Editor Dakin Hardwick except where noted.)
Thursday, February 16th
Hired Gun at Alamo Drafthouse
Hired Gun is a documentary about the unsung heroes of the arena show. It’s the story of the back up musicians that support the big stars! Following the back up bands of artists like P!nk, Billy Joel, Ozzy Osbourne, and more, this film is going to shed light on a side of music that nobody seems to ever discuss.
Friday, February 17th
Festival at Swedish American Hall
We are well into the second decade of the American Festival Resurgence, and we finally have a solid documentary film about music-festival-goers. This is a movie that centers around a handful of attendees at an outdoor music festival. After the film, we will get to enjoy a panel, hosted by Allen Scott of Outside Lands/Life Is Beautiful and Jordan Kurland & Kevin Arnold of Treasure Island Music Festival, to discuss the film and festivals in general.
L7: Pretend We’re Dead at Roxie Theater
L7 were one of the great unsung heroes of the riot grrl movement. They were unapologetically feminist, churning out anthem after anthem for a bulk of the 90’s. Unlike bands like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile, L7 managed to sneak onto a major label, and brought their brand of feminist punk/metal onto MTV, and even snuck their way onto the incredibly macho “Headbanger’s Ball.” This film is their story, and members of L7 will be in attendance for Q+A.
Sunday, February 19th
Ticket To Write at Swedish American Hall
If you loved Almost Famous, you’re sure to enjoy this new documentary about rock music journalism’s heyday, from the late 60s through the early 80s. Featuring interviews with legendary rock journalists (Lester Bangs, Ben Fong-Torres) and some of the era’s notable musicians (Andy Shernoff, Mike Skill), writer/director Raul Sandelin’s behind-the-scenes look at the pre-MTV golden age of music criticism is bound to educate and entertain even the most casual rock ‘n’ roll fan. A Q&A after the film’s screening with Sandelin and music journalist Robert Duncan will continue what will no doubt be a fun and engaging discussion. (Carrie Kahn)
Gary Numan: Android In LaLa Land at Artists’ Television Access
Gary Numan is best known as the guy who wrote the song “Cars”; however, he’s much bigger than that. He is one of the greatest innovators of synthesized electronic music. This is a documentary about one of music’s most groundbreaking and under-appreciated artists.
Monday, February 20th
Cloud Nothings, Itasca, Never Young, Kid Trails at The Independent
Wednesday, February 22nd
Temples, Night Beats, Deap Vally, Froth, JJUUJJUU at The Chapel
This show features a line up assembled by the folks that put on Desert Daze, a ridiculous music festival on Joshua Tree that featured the best psych and punk festival I’ve ever encountered. The whole evening is a small selection of that fest, featuring British psych pop sensations Temples fronting the bill, and LA blues punk duo Deap Vally, among others. This is gonna be one to test your earplugs.
Kelis, Rayana Jay, Cellus at 1015 Folsom
Kelis is a one-of-a-kind performer. Every time I’ve seen her, she’s embodied something completely and dramatically different from what she was before. Her last time through town, she was a vintage soul queen, fronting a 10-piece ensemble, and before that, she was a futuristic pop robot. I have no idea what she’s going to be at 1015 Folsom for this night, but I know it’s going to be great.
Thursday, February 23rd
The Hot Toddies, Great Apes, Brasil at Benders Bar & Grill
Oakland’s finest power pop trio, The Hot Toddies, are always good fun if you are looking to bop around and smile while listening to songs of local significance. They might be the only band on the fest that can name every player on the Oakland A’s. Also, this venue makes amazing tater tots.
BADBADNOTGOOD, Hodgy, London O’Connor at The Fillmore
BADBADNOTGOOD are a band in their own unique league. They walk the fine line between jazz and hip hop, taking you on an intense aural journey unlike anything else playing Noise Pop — or really playing anywhere at all. This is going to be an epic adventure.
Japanese Breakfast, Miya Folick, Dante Elephante, Flying Circles at Rickshaw Stop
Leave it to Noise Pop to put together some of the dreamiest dream pop bands all on one night. Between Japanese Breakfast and Miya Folick, you’d be hard-pressed to find another lineup that will barrage you with the feels while at the same time making you glad about it all. There’s every expectation that everyone at the Rickshaw Stop that night will be floating at least three feet off the ground, anchored only by the heavy feelings in their hearts. (Jessica Lachenal)
Friday, February 24th
Deafheaven, This Will Destroy You, Emma Ruth Randle at The Independent
For those of you who made it out Treasure Island Music Festival this last year, you almost definitely encountered the thundering, tribal aggression of Deafheaven. They were impossible to contain on the island, so you only imagine what kind of aural pummeling you’ll be feeling tonight at The Independent.
Rogue Wave, Middle Kids, The New Up at Rickshaw Stop
Bay Area Noise Pop veterans, Rogue Wave, are back to do something incredibly special — a full set of their favorite songs from the 80’s. They will be doing songs by bands from The Cure to The Cult to The Church, as well as 80’s bands that don’t begin with the letter ‘C’.
Los Campesinos!, Crying, No Vacation, The Y Axes at Great American Music Hall
Los Campesinos! is as old school indie pop as they come. According to their bio on the Noise Pop site, they “invented and rejected indie pop back in 2006”, and that’s entirely accurate. Their songs are packed with the kind of exuberant energy and somewhat melancholy lyrics that came to define much of the indie pop scene back in the late aughts. Pay tribute to your heritage; listen to some Los Campesinos! today. (Jessica Lachenal)
Saturday, February 25th
Tacocat, Daddy Issues, Lisa Prank, Valley Girls at Starline Social Club
Tacocat’s success with their brand of twee punk feels like a huge surprise. However, their hooks are so infectious that it’s impossible not to enjoy a good pogo to this excellent band.
Vince Staples. Kilo Kash at The Fox Theater
Long Beach, in the 90’s, was best known as the city that gave us the long-lasting frat stoner legends Snoop Dogg and Sublime. 25 years later, however, the city is back on top, being the new home for some of the best new hip hop. One of the finest performers coming out of this scene is Vince Staples, playing the biggest venue of this year’s Noise Pop fest.
Or, if you don’t like that version, how about this one?
Sunday, February 26th
Creeper Lagoon, Peggy Honeywell, Fake Your Own Death, Luke Sweeney at Bottom Of The Hill
Creeper Lagoon are Noise Pop veterans. They first played 22 years ago, sharing a bill with Jawbreaker at Bottom Of The Hill. Sadly, Jawbreaker still haven’t gotten back together. (Someday. Someday…) However, Creeper Lagoon are still one of the great Bay Area rock bands, and this will be a very special event.
Monday, February 27th
Ty Segall, Shannon & The Clams, White Fence, Axis:Sova at The Fox Theater
For the first time ever, Noise Pop has stretched itself out so it’s closing up on a Monday, not a Sunday. Why? In order to make room for the most stacked garage rock line up you can possibly get in a single night. This is going to be a full night of everything thick and fuzzy you’ll ever want to hear.