February 24, 2009 by Emily Logan · 1 Comment »
Filed Under Day 2, Feature Article, Interview, News, Noise Pop 2009
It’s a monumental challenge for a band to just play music because they love it. In an ideal world, they would make the music they want without pressure from record companies and the media, while at the same time benefiting from an organic growth of fans and a constant source of income. But in reality, the “starving musician” archetype pervades the music community, and some bands never emerge from that shadow.
But every now and then, a band manages to escape some of the pains of the business and still maintain a good deal of success. And though they’ve worked for many years and released a few albums in the process, the French Kicks (NY) seem to have struck a balance that is as close to idealistic as it gets. The secret for them appears to be a genuine love of the music they play peppered with a fair amount of coolness toward the business aspects of music. That isn’t to say that they don’t care, but just that the creation and sharing of their music is the foremost priority. And if that’s not ideal, I don’t know what is.
French Kicks – “Abandon” from Swimming
I was fortunate enough to chat with lead singer/keyboardist/drummer Nick Stumpf (second from right) over the phone from his home in Brooklyn. And during the course of our conversation, it became clearer that the band sees this career as not only the absolute right path for each of them, but also as a true love and privilege. [More...]
February 24, 2009 by Nicole L. Browner · 1 Comment »
Filed Under Day 2, Mp3, News, Noise Pop 2009
Noise Pop’s second evening steadies the pace with memorable solo performances at SF’s Music Halls– Stephen Malkmus at the Great American and John Darnielle (Mountain Goats) at the Swedish AmericanÂ — but thereâ€™s plenty of other great pickings.
Sights and Sounds helps contribute to the longwinded philosophical debate of what it truly means to be an artist. Park Life gallery will display the fine art of those we know as musicians, namely Mark Mothersbaugh (Wes Andersonâ€™s go-to composer, and of Devo), Bianca Casady (the Coco, her sister is the Rosie) and our neighborhood pal John Vanderslice, among others.
A notable and local mention would have to go to Sleepy Sun who, just like the comparable Brightblack Morning Light, owe their reverberating piano pieces and overall psychedelic tendencies to forest-living (originally from Santa Cruz). They’re presented by local radio (KUSF) tonight at Bottom of the Hill, along with Lumerians, True Widow (Dallas) and Nevada City’s Kings & Queens.
One of the underdog records of last year came from French Kicks (NY), playing the Independent tonight with the The Broken West (LA) and fun local acts, Here Here and The Dont’s. One can expect a joyous night of dancing to nonstop drumbeats. Heck, the seemingly improvised, clear-cut pop numbers of Swimming should start the bunny hop on the floor (especially the opener):
French Kicks – “Abandon”
An out-of-left-field act for Noise Pop this year is Austrailia’s An Horse, the spunk-pop tourmates of Tegan and Sarah as well as Kaki King. This time they’re stopping at Slim’s with an equally happy-go-lucky Matt Costa (LA), Robert Francis (LA) and some locals always expected to steal the show: Two Sheds.
February 23, 2009 by Christian Cunningham · Leave a Comment »
Filed Under News
For those of you who couldn’t get the RSVP in quick enough for the Noise Pop Opening Party featuring Deerhunter – you’re not out of luck! It has just been announced that Deerhunter will be performing at the Rickshaw Stop the following day — for FREE.
Apart of the MySpace Secret Show series, the show will also feature The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. There are no advanced tickets or RSVPs — there will just be one really long line. First come, first served. Good luck to you all.
The show starts at 8pm.
February 23, 2009 by Ben Van Houten · Leave a Comment »
Filed Under Day 1, Mp3, News, Noise Pop 2009
This is the first in a series of profiles of what’s going on each night during Noise Pop 2009. To see all of our festival coverage, visit our dedicated Noise Pop page, which we’ll be updating throughout the week.
Noise Pop kicks off Tuesday night with three shows featuring some of the festival’s biggest acts. The official opening night party is over at the Mezzanine, and if you haven’t already RSVPed, you’ll need a badge to get in to see the psych-influenced art-rock of Atlanta’s Deerhunter. Opening the show are San Francisco electro-poppers Lilofee, who are quickly establishing a name for themselves with high-profile shows like this one and a soon-to-be-released debut album. If you have RSVPed, get there earlier than later to make sure you get in.
Another popular Tuesday ticket will no doubt be Antony and the Johnsons at the Nob Hill Masonic Center. The Crying Light is Antony’s newest album and it has some stunningly beautiful and heartbreaking songs. Experimental composer William Basinski opens the show.
Finally, Mountain Goats fans will want to check out City Arts and Lectures‘ evening with John Darnielle “in conversation and song” at the Herbst Theatre, particularly now that Wednesday’s show at the Swedish American Hall is now sold out. Darnielle’s one of my favorite songwriters and performers, and if you’ve ever read an interview with him or followed his blog Last Plane to Jakarta, you already know he’s smart and engaging and should make for an excellent show.
February 23, 2009 by Christian Cunningham · Leave a Comment »
Filed Under Mp3, News
As anyone who has been reading the site for the last few weeks knows, tomorrow, Noise Pop 2009 begins. And yes, we’re excited. However, there is another reason to celebrate — tomorrow is also the official release date of The Morning Benders’ latest EP, Grain of Salt. Featuring the title track (a personal favorite of mine), the EP also contains three previously unreleased B-sides which showcase another side of the band not heard on their full-length — one of which you can check out below!
If somehow you’ve managed to not check these guys out live – you are missing out. Fortunately for you, they’ve got a load of tour dates ahead of them in the coming weeks (see their myspace). The most notable being their Noise Pop show co-headling with The Submarines at Slim’s on Friday and, of course, a performance at our very own Bay Area Takeover Day Party at South by Southwest on March 19th.
The Airborne Toxic Event with The Henry Clay People and Rademacher @ The Bottom of the Hill, 2/13/09
February 20, 2009 by Chris DeMento · 2 Comments »
Filed Under Feature Article, Mp3, News, Show Reviews
The rhythm section of LA’s own The Henry Clay People, Mike (drums) and Jonathan (bass), were all smiles out back after their set, having warmed up the stage quite nicely for headliner The Airborne Toxic Event. Packed house, good times, good times, and with six more weeks to go–well, five and a half by now–along a tour that stretches from the North to the Southwest, it’s unlikely that smile’ll be getting swallowed anytime soon. Hearing Mike and Jonathan taunt lead singer and guitarist Joey Siara as he now begins to fux with the methods of the proverbial “back door man” (i.e. one for whom it is necessary to come and go discretely lest he be mobbed by innumerable lusty, adoring thongs) was good eating for this reviewer, for sure.
Of ATE (that’s Airborne Toxic Event) let me say I like the song “Gasoline” and IÂ wonder if they’ll soon hate playing it and “Sometime Around Midnight” along with it and are they annoyed by people saying they like those songs and want to hear them over and over and over and over; but all that’s prolix, anyway, and indirect, and discursive. I know. And anyways what I heard of their other stuff sounded pretty cool for status quo indie fare, I admit, and truth be told I had to leave a little early–prior engagements–but not unconvinced that I’d be willing to swap out someÂ Modest Mouse to make room in the old 100-disc changer for Airborne’s hotly regarded, self-titled debut.
February 20, 2009 by Emily Logan · Leave a Comment »
Filed Under News
Amidst a few shows in the Pacific Northwest with M. Ward and a looming appearance at SXSW, Port O’Brien is releasing a new single series that will coincide with each season of the year.