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Home BLOGS Random Noise Pop's Quinceanera!

Noise Pop's Quinceanera!
Written by Andreas Trolf   
Monday, 12 March 2007 05:04
Andreas takes a look back at this year's SF Noise POP.
Noise Pop!
By Andreas Trolf
Photos by Andreas Trolf and better photos by Casey Gossard

Doesn’t it seem like music festivals are all over the place these days? I mean, you’ve just got so many to choose from—Coachella, CMJ, SXSW, Noise Pop, and there are probably even some others, like in foreign countries or something, that I don’t even know about yet. And I’m sure to have missed some important ones here in the states as well, but what do I know? I’m just a lowly professional music writer. But as with all things, some examples are better than others (case in point, not just with music festivals, but also with music writers, i.e.—me). And so how did Noise Pop fare in the grand scheme of annual music festivals? Read on and be amazed!

Oh well. Let’s dig right in, shall we?

In previous years, South by Southwest has always been my personal favorite. Not simply for the sheer variety and number of awesome bands, but because it gave me an opportunity to visit lovely people like Mikey Sieben and Brandy and Andy, but because SXSW always has the best hospitality set ups for, like, “industry types,” where you can get free cigarettes, complimentary clothes, and the booze flows like, well, free booze. CMJ has always been sort of cool too, mostly because I’m from New York and the atmosphere during the festival was always as if the carnival has just come to town despite the fact that the festival (and all its accoutrements) is always pretty New York-centered. But still... You know what though? In all my years as a music enthusiast and occasional resident of San Francisco, I’ve never attended any of the Noise Pop shows before now. So I guess this year was as good a time as any since 2007 marks the festival’s 15th anniversary. Right now the festival is old enough to start experimenting with booze and sex. I’m so proud. The festival may timidly ask an older, worldly gentleman such as myself what the best way to un-hook a bra is, or what the preferred brand of smokes among cool dudes is. And I, always a shining beacon of classiness and erudition, shall oblige. Then I will warn the teenaged festival to shave off its crappy dirt-stache.

So yeah, this year’s Noise Pop, right? Our little curious teenager, filled with power chords and reckless abandon, fueled by half a can of Sparks. Let us embark on this journey together, hand in hand, and check out some rock and/or roll.

To begin with, a disclaimer: I did not go to all of the shows. I did not even go to most of the shows. I did not even go to all of the shows that interested me. And, to be sure, I was not interested in most of the shows... Did that make sense? I hope so. I have to be honest with you. The only shows I really, really wanted to see were Roky Erickson, Sebadoh, Dead Meadow, Ted Leo, and Ray Barbee Ray Barbee. Yeah. Maybe I’m judging other bands a bit harshly, but the majority of the bands scheduled to perform didn’t get me all that excited. Check out link the line up for yourself. See? What, am I gonna get all worked up for The Comedians of Comedy? Seriously? Patton Oswalt? (okay fine, he was funny in that Reno 911 movie). But even so, I was hoping for slightly more stoke-worth bands. Fuck it, though.

First up: The Oohlas, Scissors for Lefty, and French Kicks at Slim’s on Thursday, March 1st.

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This is an example of one of the shows I didn’t go to. Instead, Casey went and shot a ton of photos, which I am now going to write about as if I had been there.

Man, Slim’s was packed for this one! People were totally going ape shit! We arrived at the venue and had just enough time to pound three or four free beers before the L.A.-based Oohlas took the stage and proceeded to totally kill it! Did you know that The Oohlas are Greg Eklund’s band? I was wondering what happens to dudes that used to be in bands like this. But never mind the past, The Oohlas soared into the heavens like birds of the future (provided of course that the future is the mid-1990s).

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Oh man!

Next up were local favorites Scissors for Lefty. These guys were totally awesome. They’ve got this weird sound that manages to hit the mark somewhere between late 90s-era Britpop and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. By this point in the night, we’d all had a bit too much to drink and I was dancing like crazy. And those of you that know me also know that there are two things that I do not do, and one of those things is dancing. But just look at how fun this show was:

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At one point a prisoner even escaped from somewhere and mounted the stage in a flurry of rock and roll enthusiasm. Behold the awesome power of a catchy single!

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Dude even got down from the stage and slummed it with the screaming crowd. Talk about rock and roll populism! Yeah! It’s the great leveler. What a democratic medium! Go America!

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Groshong and Heidi loved it too!

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Afterwards came the night’s headliners, French Kicks. These New Yorkers have been creating quite a bit of music industry buzz lately, and their Noise Pop performance was well worth me getting out of bed for. I mean, it’s not just any new wave-y, dance-y band that could make me leave my comfortable house and brave an unforgiving San Francisco night in the dead of a mysterious winter. But man, am I ever glad that I went to this show!

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It was weird because even after all that excitement and booze I wasn’t even tired at all. Almost as if I’d never left my house and just experienced the show vicariously through someone else’s photos (kind of like you’re doing right now).

Next show: Land Shark, The Gray Kid, Honeycut, and Ghostland Observatory at the Mezzanine on Saturday, March 3rd.

This is a great example of a show that I actually attended. The performance was unfortunately marred by two things: Land Shark actually showing up and the venue itself. Holy shit, have you guys ever been to the Mezzanine? Me neither. I had no idea that places like this even existed anymore outside of terrible tv shows and frat boys’ imaginations. It’s like one of those places that people refer to when they say that they’re going to the club “. Basically, it’s got really overpriced drinks, tons of weekend warrior types with fake tans and ultra-gelled hair, and just an overall “glamorous” feel that made me feel slimy. But hey, if that’s your thing then by all means put on your new Dockers and pay $6 for a Bud while trying to touch some fake boobs. Go for it!

This is the view from Mezzanine’s, um, mezzanine.

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I went with my friend Emma. I managed to persuade her to come along because of the free tickets. I was really glad that she came because I think I might have had a total emotional meltdown if I’d been forced to attend this show by myself. After spending all of the cash I’d brought with me on a single round of drinks, Land Shark took the stage. Are you guys familiar with these dudes? I think they complimented the venue perfectly. They were sort of this group of dudes who I imagine feel really cool in floor-length leather coats. Kind of like dudes who are really into The Matrix or used to be really, really into The Crow back in the 90s. They sounded like a weird cross between an industrial band, a 13 year old girl’s idea of a goth band, and some music you might hear on Viva La Bam or in a really edgy Gap commercial. I don’t want to be too harsh on people who play music that I might feel personally disinclined to listen to, but I would seriously rather have gonorrhea than listen to these guys again. But hey, that’s just me.

Here they are, crooning through tons of effects pedals:

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Then a really cool thing happened: they spontaneously combusted!
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Not really, but I was kind of hoping.

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The singer was doing this weird thing where he would wave his arms all invitingly at the crowd, like he wanted to baptize people or something.

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But people there were actually kind of stoked. I wish I’d gotten photos of the entire crowd because, believe it or not, there were actual ravers there. Like from the early-90s. With weird glow in the dark writing on their skin and giant pants and weird hair and they were dancing like crazy. It was nuts.

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I will give these dudes credit for attracting a diverse crowd, though. They had everyone from coked up Marina folks, to Japanese mall punks, to the token old dude checking out their set.
I love the token old dude at shows because in all likelihood I will one day be him. Looking at this dude, I kind of hope he’s there at the show, watching this band, thinking quietly to himself, “Why the fuck did you leave the house tonight, Lenny? You have a fifth of bourbon back at home and the old lady’s out of town visiting her sister. This is my time, goddammit!”

Up next was The Gray Kid. I had pretty much no idea what to expect and after the first band I’d already been making desperate phone calls to my roommate Mara, hoping she’s be able to get us some last minute passes to the Dead Meadow show at Café du Nord. But, you know, The Gray Kid’s PR dude had been kind enough to get us tickets for the show and the least I could do was to check out his act before hopefully hightailing it to a better show.

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But you know what? The Gray Kid was pretty fucking okay. He was this totally self-involved white boy rapper/satirist, but dude had flow. I’m not kidding.

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I actually have to give this dude credit for doing something very few people are comfortable doing: getting up on stage in front of a couple hundred strangers and pretty much singing karaoke for 45 minutes. But it was 45 minutes of incredibly entertaining karaoke, where he’d program his laptop to spit out the beats and he’d run up and down the stage, kind of going nuts, rapping like the upper middle class Eminem.

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At one point he was pulling at his shirt being all heart-throbby for the ladies and Emma was all, “Take a photo! He’s hot,” and I was all, “Way to emasculate me!” But I still took the photo and she was stoked.

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Then, just in the nick of time, Mara called and said she’d gotten us on the list for the sold out Dead Meadow show. Ripping! We jumped in a cab and zipped to du Nord just in time to catch the opening act, The Starlight Desperation The Starlight Desperation , the drummer of which was Mara’s first ever boyfriend. His name is Jeff and he’s a totally rad drummer.

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Here are my two dates for the evening, Emma and Mara. Sometimes I can totally pull it like that.

Okay, so back to the music. The Starlight Desperation. They were pretty damned excellent, though maybe not exactly thematically a logical choice to open up for the psych-rock of Dead Meadow. These guys are pretty straightforward rock and roll—a genre that sometimes gets neglected in favor of all the different niche markets. But you know what? Straightforward rock and roll fucking works, that’s why it’s been around for 60 fucking years. What other musical genre has that type of staying power? Ska? Electroclash?
The Starlight Desperation’s singer had obviously watched tons of Rolling Stones footage over the years, as he’s modeled himself a bit after Mick Jagger, who, just so you know, is the archetype of stage presence and swagger. Now I know some of you out there will be quick to point out Robert Plant’s stage antics and his cocky British stride, but to you I say this: 1) I love Led Zeppelin, seriously. A lot, but 2) Robert Plant is the most embarrassing man alive. I mean, come on, you’re a grown man strutting up and down the stage singing about Orcs and far maidens in this impossibly high yelp that often sounds like the death throes of a whooping crane. Seriously. Zeppelin’s so rad, but I could do without Robert Plant sashaying simply for the benefit of all those 14 year old girls he was going to deflower backstage. Anyhow…

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I wish I’d gotten more photos throughout the night, or actually, I wish I’d gotten more coherent and usable photos. I have tons of photos, which are mostly me mugging and drinking beers. I doubt you guys want to see any of that, though. What I really wish I’d shot more photos of was Jeff drumming and Dead Meadow. Jeff was killing it. He’s one of those overly-energetic drummers that maintains a steady smile, letting you know how much fun he’s having playing music, all while keeping up a drumming barrage that would put Neil Peart to shame.

Then we had some more beers, which always ease the pain, and after what seemed like ages the lights dimmed again and the sell-out crowd went ape shit. And let me tell you, those dudes in Dead Meadow know a thing or two about building up suspense, because once the lights dimmed and the lasers and smoke machines started, nothing happened for about 20 minutes. People were literally staring, expectantly, at an empty stage.

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Then the guitar guy Jason came out and hit a single note, which had this epic sustain kind of like that part in Spinal Tap when Nigel Tufnel claims that you could hit a note and then walk away and eat some food and come back and it would still be playing. Then the crowd went a bit more ape shit and stared at the empty stage some more, albeit an empty stage with a single psychedelic note playing loudly.
Then, finally, the band took the stage and proceeded to make me wish to fuck I’d brough some weed with me.

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Check it out! Whoa!

But seriously, Dead Meadow proceeded to kill it. Like I said, I wish I’d taken more photos, but the place was so packed that I was afraid to push my way up front to the stage area for fear of being caught in some Great White scenario had something terrible occurred with the lasers and the smoke machines.

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Oh look, I totally have one more photo. It’s kind of trippy. Maybe. I don’t know.

Sorry, I guess I got so caught up in the fever-pitch excitement of blogging that I forgot to have some overarching thematic message for you guys. Hmm, let me think of something right now. How can I end on an up note and come across as slightly less of a pedantic asshole? Is that even possible at this point?
Maybe I’ll just leave you with this.

The end. Check back here this time next year for more exciting Noise Pop excitement.


{moscomment}

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contact FF

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur
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When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old high thing. Which—unless, like me, you think we need a vessel for our inner life—is nothing much to mourn.

lead

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


Headlands Center Fundraiser -6/4/14
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ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 12:50


 

 


 

 

 

Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

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Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...


Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


Jay Bo at Hamburg's Circle Culture

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NYCHOS @Fifty24SF

Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.


Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?


Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.


AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.


Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.


Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners


Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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