Spinning Platters’ Guide To Noise Pop 2018

by Dakin Hardwick on February 15, 2018

No. Not a “Bro” marathon. More like a hip music marathon?

Noise Pop is upon us again… Also known as that week where Bay Area music fans marathon as many shows as they can in a single week. And, well, not all of us can be in multiple places at once, so let’s try to limit our Noise Pop anxiety a bit!

Full schedule, full fest badges, and individual show tickets can be found here!

Monday, February 19th

The Coathangers, Death Valley Girls, The Flytraps, The Feels at The Independent

The Coathangers are one of my favorite modern bands. They manage to pull together rockabilly, punk, and psych influences in a perfect way that doesn’t feel like it’s aligning with any particular trend. You could drop this band in any era from the last 40 years, and they would feel contemporary and relevant, and not like anyone at the same time.

Tuesday, February 20th

Noise Pop Photo Retrospective at The Royal

Concert photography is an underappreciated art. When you are taking photographs at a show, your subjects aren’t posing for you: they are performing, in motion, for a crowd. The lighting is set up for the audience, not for the photographers, too. Taking photos of a live performance requires you to be able to act quickly, and getting the final product often means hundreds (or thousands if it’s a festival) of photos need to be sifted through to find the final few.

Orson Welles’ Too Much Johnson featuring a live soundtrack by William Tyler at Alamo Drafthouse

Too Much Johnson was one of Orson Welles’ earliest films. And it was never truly finished, and was thought to be lost until it surfaced in 2008. Tonight we are experience the film with live score by William Tyler, and it’s the first time it’s ever been screened in SF. This is practically a  “once in a lifetime” event to see an early work by one of the greatest filmmakers in history.

Wednesday, February 21st

Parquet Courts, The World, Meg Baird at The Fillmore

Angular post punk blah… You’ve read that phrase a million times. The thing that separates Parquet Courts from the rest of the pack? A true sense of humor, and a lack of fear of working outside the rules of “post punk.” Plus, they recorded a song with Bun B, who is awesome.

Girlpool, Field Medic, Rose Droll, Special Explosion at Great American Music Hall

Girlpool have always been great at setting themselves out as a unique voice in the lofi world. However, now that they’ve added drums and horns to their set-up, it’s time for them to dominate your eardrums.

Thursday, February 22nd

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Night Beats at The Fox Theater – Oakland

Many, many years ago, when I was a wee 19 year old, I saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club play a show, and an older friend kept smuggling me drinks. I didn’t know the feeling of drunk, but once BRMC started up, my brain was a wash of swirly, fuzzed out guitars and booze. To this day, this band leaves me with that beautiful feeling of sloppy rebelliousness that I felt nearly 20 years ago.

Friday, February 23rd

tUnE-yArDs, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Sudan Archives at The Fox Theater – Oakland

tUnE-yArDs have been reinventing themselves every few years since the dawn of Merrill Garbus’ music career. She’s been through experimental pop, afrobeat, and folk music, all making them uniquely her own. Her latest project switches things up again, putting her spin on House Music. Plus, the openers, Sudan Archives and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, are two of the best things in the world. I would die happy if the last tones I heard were Thao destroying any stringed instrument.

Bully, Melkbelly, Club Nights, Boy Scouts at Great American Music Hall

You know that perfect feeling when a guitar has the perfect, fuzzed out tone that just immediately makes your ears happy, and then there is the perfect assaultive drum chaos that makes your heart beat in a way that it never has before? That’s Melkbelly. You’re welcome.

Saturday, February 24th

Superchunk, Bat Fangs, Cocktails, Love Jerks at Great American Music Hall

Superchunk are the best pop punk band that missed every wave of pop punk that happened during their lifetime. Their live show is, hands down, one of the most fun and frantic experiences a person can have. Their new record is more hook heavy, pogo inducing joy that will leave you sweaty and happy.

Sunday, February 25th

Nilbog: A Horror Movie Music Tribute, Chaki at Rickshaw Stop

Nilbog is a supergroup comprised of members of some of LA’s best psych and freak bands, such as clipping., Thee Oh Sees, Captain Ahab and more doing their take on classic horror film scores. Don’t take my word for how awesome this will be. Just listen:


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