-- The venue formerly known as the Nob Hill Masonic Center will re-open next month as "The Masonic," a 3,300-seat music venue booked by Live Nation (as it was before), with new bars, food options, and a state-of-the-art sound system, after spending much of 2014 under construction. The lineup of shows so far has some pretty big hitters, with the Pixies, Broken Bells, Modest Mouse, and, um, Hall & Oates taking the stage in the coming months. Read more »
Will 2013 be the year that Noise Pop began downsizing? Or, is the festival simply adjusting its focus towards smaller, rising acts? Either way, this year's lineup was surprising from the get-go, eschewing the name-brand, Flaming Lips-y headliners in favor of rising, blog-friendly outfits like Toro Y Moi and DIIV. Sadly, I couldn't occupy nine venues at a time, so here's a rundown of the Noise Pop shows I did see this past weekend.
CALIFONE Having listened to Califone's records for over a decade, yet never seen it live, I was curious about the band's strategy in translating its studio material to the stage. From its introductory statement, Roomsound (2001), to the extended freakout-jams of Heron King Blues (2004), to last year's Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People, Califone's sound has always been production-oriented, augmenting the rustic twang of blues and roots music with an equally faded, rusted, precarious palette of electronic sound. No one merges the old and the new quite like Califone in the studio; the band's records are visionary, but sadly, its live show didn't quite measure up. Read more »
MUSIC Four years ago, in the waning days of the aughts, the befuddling adlib term "chillwave" forged in the throes of the blogosphere, accompanied nearly every story about acts like Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Toro Y Moi. For the uninitiated, chillwave is a cheap, slap-on label used to describe grainy, dancey, lo-fi, 1980s inspired music, and most importantly is a disservice to any band associated with it. Luckily for music writers and listeners alike, this term has died a relatively swift death.Read more »
It’s all about choice, people. Noise Pop is a well-oiled festival machine at this point — now in its 21st year — cranking out dozens of concerts, nightlife happenings, film screenings, culture club events, photography showings, and all that good stuff we’ve come to expect from the homegrown indie fest. But given all those choices for the week of Feb. 26 through March 3, restless souls such as myself always tend to feel a bit well, overwhelmed. Read more »