May 24, 2013
This weekend is the latest installment of SF Popfest, the somewhat intermittent, but pretty much yearly, festival inspired by the sounds of the jangly, dreamy, and shoegazy pop ethos spawned from mid-eighties UK labels like Postcard, Sarah, and Creation.
A ragtag lil’ festival that could, SF Popfest is the grassroots, punk house party alternative to the Noise Pops and the Coachellas, organized and curated by musicians and music nerds, essentially. People who have nothing else to gain other than putting on shows that they themselves would want to go to, and hope you will too — and usually at the last minute when they realize it may not happen.
“Everyone’s sort of like, where’s Popfest, what’s up with Popest? And suddenly it’s like, ‘Oh crap, no one’s done anything! I better help!’ It’s like on Lost, ‘You don’t choose Popfest, Popfest chooses you,’” says co-curator Jamie Guzzi, who you may know as DJ Jamie Jams from Shine On and Debaser. He and a few others, mostly organizers from Shine On, Time Keeps Time, and SF Popfests of yore worked hard to make it happen.
As for the result? “It’s all very twee as fuck,” he jokes.
This year’s lineup is heavy on new projects from from veteran musicians: solo work from Dreamdate’s Yea-Ming, Dum Dum Girls’ Sandy Beaches’ new band Sisu, and Wil Ivy’s (Wet Illustrated, Lilac) Dream Boys, while #1 Smash Hits features members from the early aughts power pop band Lunchbox. The veritable supergroup Still Flyin’ boasts members from Track Star, Aislers Set, Ladybug Transistor, Love Is All, Maserati, and Red Pony Clock, among others.
Looking back at SF Popfest 2012: a collection of photos, videos and highlights, including Seapony, BOAT, Manatee, Surf Club and more
July 7, 2012
Video by Claude Cardenas
SF Popfest returned for a fourth year and packed 13 bands and 10 DJs into two venues for a memorable Memorial Day Weekend. Below, check out a ton of videos, photos and highlights from one of our favorite annual events.
I arrived late to the first night at
LA’s Black Elephant represented the darker side of the pop spectrum and put on a really great show. Their songs have this slight Plastic Bertrand “Ca Plane Pour Moi” feel to them that beg for a dance floor, and if my pint wasn’t as full, I’d have cut a rug. According to
Seattle’s BOAT channeled Pavement and rightly so love The Clean. Here they are playing an original number followed by a cover of “Tally Ho!”:
A highlight of the evening was Seapony’s cover of one of my favorite songs of all time, “Emma’s House” by The Field Mice. Skip to the three minute mark if you’re anxious, then rewind to the beginning since this Seattle band’s song “So Low” is also pretty great:
May 22, 2012
Surf Club may be from Stockton, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got the Land Locked Blues. On the contrary, their sound is pretty light and breezy summer pop, with — as you might have guessed — plenty of surf rock sounds mixed in. And as it turns out, their sound is still very much shaped by their hometown, even though it’s miles and miles from the coast.
I talked with Surf Club singer/guitarist Frankie Soto about wanting to escape Stockton, his favorite SF venues, and how 60s girl groups helped shape his sound. Check it out after the jump.
Kids On A Crime Spree, Surf Club, Manatee, Dead Angle, Cruel Summer
May 16, 2012
SF Popfest returns for a fourth year for indie music lovers with a sweet tooth. This year’s festival spans three days and two venues, featuring 13 bands and
three ten DJs for what should be a very confectionery Memorial Day weekend. Standouts include Kids on a Crime Spree, Cruel Summer, Manatee, Desario, and Black Elephant (just to name a handful), while the kids from Shine-on will take Saturday into the wee hours of Sunday morning with an indie pop dance party.
Check out the full schedule and get your tickets here, but first, listen to this mix made by Jamie Jams of Shine On to get you psyched:
May 10, 2012
San Francisco Pop Fest 2012 is gearing up for this year’s Memorial Day Weekend festivities (May 25-27) with 14 bands playing over three nights at the Hemlock Tavern and the Knockout. Looks like a pretty good time with a solid lineup.
Full lineup for the festival: [More...]
June 15, 2011
DIY filmmaker/music fan Claude Cardenas, whose work aggregates under the moniker Popsongromance, did an extensive video capture of this year’s SF Popfest. Posted to the YouTube channel are songs performed during soundchecks across this year’s festival, from the low-lit stage of the Hemlock, where he managed to capture Eternal Summers and The Beets (below) as well as nights at the Rickshaw, including the Mantles’ set (above).
Hats off to Popsongromance! See his photo set on Flickr.
May 23, 2011
Every Monday, we’ll be offering you early picks for some of the week’s best concerts. Do you think we omitted something worthwhile? Let us know in the comments! Be sure to visit our Local Concert Calendar for an expanded set of daily listings.
By now, you’ve hopefully had a chance to sample some of the many exciting bands partaking in this year’s San Francisco Popfest, which runs from this Wednesday to Sunday. These day-by-day previews highlight some of the many reasons why we’re excited to support this fest.
Acclaimed Australian shoegaze band The Black Ryder co-headlines Wednesday’s Rickshaw Stop show (8pm, $12) with SF’s Blackbird Blackbird, who has been working on new songs that continue to experiment in new sonic directions. As with all of the Popfest shows, get there early: on Wednesday, Mikey from Blackbird Blackbird’s jangly, Brit-influenced band Wolf Feet opens the show.
Dominant Legs‘ only release so far is 2010′s Young at Love and Life, but every visit to that four-song EP gets me psyched for the band’s upcoming full length. At Cafe Du Nord on Thursday (8pm, $12), the SF band’s smart avant-pop will be paired with Sarah Records band Aberdeen, reuniting after 10 years apart. The SoCal twee-pop group was, notably, the only California band to release any music on Sarah before it folded. The Motifs and Sweater Girls open the show.
Visa troubles have prevented Allo Darlin’ from being at the Rickshaw Stop (8pm, $15) on Friday night, but I don’t want the disappointment to obscure what remains an amazing show. “Teenage Kicks” gets most of the attention, but The Undertones‘ catalog is far deeper; the group’s self-titled debut features an abundance of nervy foot-stompers, and the band eventually went on to explore psychier terrain before the end of their first run. Playing a slate of “35th Anniversary” shows earlier this year, the reunited quintet’s recent output has returned to that classic punk-pop sound. Local jangle-pop heroes The Mantles and Burlington’s The Smittens support.
May 18, 2011
Over the past several years, the San Francisco Popfest has emerged as a highly anticipated annual treat, a weekend-long celebration of indie pop music that mixes a bunch of exciting out-of-town names with some of the best local bands. This year’s Popfest, taking place from May 25-29, features over 30 bands in six shows around the City, with a wealth of potential highlights. From out of town, we’re especially excited for a rare SF performance by legendary punk-pop band The Undertones, London’s Allo Darlin’, and Captured Tracks bands Catwalk and The Beets. On the local front, Slumberland Records is hosting a showcase featuring the label’s many exciting acts, and, in other shows, local favorites like The Mantles, Blackbird Blackbird and Dominant Legs will all be performing.
We’ll be counting down to Popfest with some more in-depth previews and features over the next week. For now, sample over 20 Popfest bands in this hour-long mixtape and check out the full schedule of events below.