So to the reason I haven’t posted in awhile: I was preoccupied this past week with a couple of projects, one of which being involved with Noise Pop. Noise Pop, if you don’t know already, is a festival of sorts, that showcases amazing indie rock bands throughout the span of a week. The shows are spread out through venues in San Francisco (just think that it’s in the fashion of SXSW). This year we got The Flaming Lips and Britt Daniels (of Spoon), along with countless other bands.
I volunteered to help contribute as a filmer for a couple of shows as a part of the Noise Pop documentary that’s in the works. It was probably the best thing I’ve ever been a part of just for the experience and the people I met. Special thanks goes out to guys at Act Now Productions and all of the friendly folks (Jason, Natalie, Jen, Leslie, and Elise at Soma.FM) that spent time and chopped it up with me. Even though I found myself troubled filming most of the time and unsatisfied with the footage (I doubt any of it will be used to be honest), the time I spent out there was awesome.
Anyhow, I’ll recap on what went down. Thursday was my first night out, and the show I attended had a great line-up. It was The Octopus Project, Aqueduct, and Rogue Wave at Bimbo’s. I hadn’t attended a show at Bimbo’s since it’s an 18+ venue, so I was in for a real treat. It really is a gorgeous setting. I didn’t know what to expect from The Octopus Project; I’d heard a couple tracks off of their myspace previously, but they didn’t leave much of a lasting impression on me. They were pretty fucking crazy on stage and had some pretty interesting equipment and effects (the use of the theremin intrigued me). Aqueduct was surprisingly entertaining. Though I wasn’t initially drawn to their style of music, their live show was good nonetheless. Rogue Wave obviously played the best set of the night and I was excited as all hell when they played. Descended Like Vultures got some decent play when I first got it and watching them perform “California” as an encore was wonderful.
Friday was a fun night. I saw Cold War Kids, Street To Nowhere, Silversun Pickups, and Two Gallants. Cold War Kids opened pretty early and not too many people caught their show. I think it was a shame to put them first on the bill because they were one of my favorite acts of the night. More people need to pick up on this band and witness them live; they’re solid, fun, and lead singer has great vocals. They’ll be touring with Two Gallants in the next coming months, so be sure to check them out if they’re near you. Speaking of Two Gallants, have I mentioned I absolutely love this band? You’ve heard the buzz, this recent Saddle-Creek signee blew me away.
Saturday night was the last show I’d make it out to, and it was going to be the highlight of my journey. I was really looking forward to this show because the two headliners, Xiu Xiu and The Velvet Teen, have been personal favorites of mine for awhile. The Velvet Teen played a bunch of new songs and let me tell you, their next release is going to be epic. Though my futile attempts to get them to play some old tunes (I kept chanting for them to play “Walking Backwards“), they’re new material blindsided me. I don’t really enjoy weird, obscure stuff. No, I didn’t love the Antony And The Johnsons’ release, and I’m not too fond of Sun0))) or any other droning noise band. I just can’t get into it sometimes. Xiu Xiu is different for me though. Eerie vocals (as well as lyrics), chaotic programming and setup, just generally unorthodoxed. But there’s something that lies outside of that, some beauty which Xiu Xiu seem to create that calls to me. The duo have honestly released some remarkable stuff and watching them live is something else. They’ve got the oddest equipment and the vibe they diffused was entrancing.
So there it is. I’ve been gone for a bit, but I’ll try a little harder to update more. I’ve got a bunch of stuff I’d like to share. Noise Pop was lively, but exhausting. My legs are really worn out from all the traveling I did, but it was well worth it. I saw some of the best performances I have seen in a long time and I’m definitely going to do this again.
Oh, and I got interviewed for some newspaper or zine on Friday pertaining to Two Gallants. I never got the info or specifics on if or where it’d be published, so if you’re a local and happen to come across that, let me know. Just look out for a photo of a kooky asian in a brown blazer.
• Spoon – “The Way We Get By“