Shorts: More top picks from Noise Pop

Pub date February 14, 2012


Noise Pop isn’t all studied, somber plucking, ethereal soundscapes, or morose, twisting in the night song lyrics; there are solid yucks to be had. Kata Rokkar and Noise Pop are presenting another installment of Snob Theater at the Noise Pop-Up Shop pre-main events. Hosted by comedian-music blogger Shawn Robbins, it’s a mashup of indie rockers and indie comics, a real giggle fest for the musically-inclined. Brendon Walsh (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel), Dave Thomason (SF Sketchfest), Janine Brito (Laughter Against The Machine), and Chris Thayer (Bridgetown Comedy Festival) bring the comedy, rockers the Ferocious Few and Bobby Ebola and the Children MacNuggits bring the raucous tunage. (Emily Savage)

Feb. 17, 8 p.m., $10

Noise Pop-Up Shop

34 Page, SF



 The chances that this South African freak-hop duo will roll onstage with LED-tricked wheelchairs, wearing onesies that make flat-topped emcee Ninja and devil-pixie singer Yo-Landi Vi$$er look like plushies are not high — the two already worked that look for the “Umshini Wam” video, accessorizing with a telescope-sized joint and firearms. No matter, this hot-ticket sell-out show will have a gonzo pack of hipsters twerking to the weird-ass lyrics like there’s no tomorrow. Die Antwoord, like most hip-hop groups these days, is plagued by questions of authenticity (it reps for South Africa’s working-class demographic that its members may not actually hail from), but the performative aspect of its schtick makes it a cultural artifact regardless of where Ninja went to high school. Hot tip for those that dig a long shot: keep one eye peeled for Celine Dion. Die Antwoord’s pegged her as their dream collaborator. Weirdos. (Caitlin Donohue)

Feb. 22, 7 p.m., sold out

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF



Along with Last Days Here, currently screening as part of the San Francisco Independent Film Festival, Hit So Hard is one of the most inspiring rock docs in recent memory. Patty Schemel was the drummer for Hole circa Live Through This, coolly keeping the beat amid Courtney Love’s frequent Lollapalooza-stage meltdowns after Kurt Cobain’s 1994 death. Offstage, however, she was neck-deep in substance abuse, weathering several rounds of rehab even after the fatal overdose of Hole bandmate Kristen Pfaff just months after Cobain (who appears here in Schemel’s own remarkable home video footage). P. David Ebersole’s film gathers insight from many key figures in Schemel’s life — including her mother, who has the exact voice of George Costanza’s mother on Seinfeld, and a garishly made-up, straight-talking Love — but most importantly, from Schemel herself, who is open and funny even when talking about the perils of drug addiction, of the heartbreak of being a gay teen in a small town, and the ultimate triumph of being a rock ‘n’ roll survivor. If you miss Hit So Hard at Noise Pop, it’ll be back around for a San Francisco theatrical run starting April 27. (Cheryl Eddy)

Feb. 22, 9 p.m., $10

Artists’ Television Access

992 Valencia, SF



After listening to Grimes on heavy rotation for the past couple years I still find myself mesmerized by Claire Boucher’s voice. It leaps and falls, circles words in repetitive motions, ciphering their sonic texture and tone into a perpetual undoing of sound. Grimes consistently induces this siren effect, inhabiting that mysteriously seductive threshold somewhere between waking life and dream world. Its third full-length, Visions (Arbutus/4AD), is no different. It continues to draw resources from spectral pop wherever it can, from the processed rhythms underpinning a constellation of electronic dance genres, to the gushing melodies of New Age cassette tapes and 1990s R&B, and even disparate psychedelic folk from across the globe. What holds Grimes’s aesthetic together though is, simply put, mood: whirling awfully close to planetary rapture. (Michael Krimper)

Feb. 22, 8 p.m., $10, sold out

Grimes and oOoOO

With Born Gold, Yalls

Rickshaw Shop

155 Fell St., SF



Few bands working within the new wave of funk revivalism during the past decade are as tight as The Budos Band. The Brooklyn-based outfit has released all three of their records, each simply self-titled and numbered, on Daptone Records, home to powerhouse soulstress, Sharon Jones. But The Budos Band has a bit more of a worldly spectrum than other Daptone releases firmly rooted in 1960s R&B. They take influence ultimately from the funk diaspora launched by James Brown: Fela Kuti’s afrobeat jams and the Latin soul of Fania, to the psychedelic ethio-jazz culled by Mulatu Astatke. The drums are deep in the pocket, wah-wah guitars get gritty, and the horn section hits hard, all with the frenetic urgency of a score straight out of a Melvin Van Peebles’ blaxpoitation flick. (Michael Krimper)

Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., $20

With Allah-Las, Pickwick, Big Tree


628 Divisadero, SF



This longtime San Franciscan (and seventh-generation Texan) may call the road her home — with brief pauses for righteous swimming holes — but we’ll always think of her as a perfectly impure product of the Bay’s musical bohemia, the latest in long line of city songsmiths succored on prog politics, cultural patchwork, and high times. Whether Holland’s warbling about her mind reeling, blood bleeding on “Black Stars,” that wicked good “Old Fashioned Morphine,” or real-world psychic vampires (referenced in the title of her latest long-player, Pint of Blood (Anti), she taps a deep vein of blues —one related to a familial history steeped in Texas swing and her own soulful explorations here and abroad. This waltz around, she alights in trio form, playing with Carey Lamprecht and Keith Cary. Long may she ramble and roam. (Kimberly Chun)

With Will Sprott of the Mumlers, Dreams, and Emily Jane White

Feb. 24, 7 p.m., $16.50–$18.50

Swedish American Hall

2174 Market, SF



Matthew Dear has a talent for surprisingly rewarding detours. With Asa Breed (Ghostly) in 2007, he departed from the pure percussive bliss of minimal techno and house, which occupied the scope of his previous efforts, in favor of pop song structures and vocal stylings in the spirit of Brian Eno. My favorite winding road came with 2010’s Black City (Ghostly): a record prefaced by bubbly vocals and rhythms, whose lightness quickly disperses into an orgiastic sort of density typical of film noir’s crowded urban landscapes, and the lustful encounters they tend to prompt. Last month’s Headcage EP (Ghostly) marks the most recent tangent into drum patterns that glide and skitter, but if Matthew Dear’s past wanderings are any indication, it promises yet another fruitful pathway in the ever expanding multiverse of his sound production. (Michael Krimper)

Feb. 24, 8 p.m., $16

With Maus Haus, Exray’s, Tropicle Popsicle, DJ Mossmoss

Public Works

161 Erie St., SF



There are a lot of great bands returning to the Bay Area this year during Noise Pop, but one in particular hasn’t made it yet. Veronica Falls was originally scheduled for its debut SF performance at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall last September, when an issue with visas forced the UK quartet of indie pop morbid romantics to cancel at the last minute. At the time of the cancellation the group was also releasing its first self-titled LP on Slumberland Records, so on the plus side there’s been extra time for anyone awaiting Veronica Falls’s appearance to take in the music. It’s an album that delivers on the promise of early singles “Beachy Head” and “Found Love in a Graveyard” — a hauntingly retro British sound with layered vocals led by the bittersweet Roxanne Clifford, laid on top of the classic combination of jangled guitar rhythms and a punchy back beat. (Ryan Prendiville)

Feb. 24, 8 p.m., $14

With Bleached, Brilliant Colors, Lilac

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF



Danny O’Connor’s doc about legendary British indie label Creation Records is named both for the Jesus and Mary Chain single that helped launched the imprint — and the go-for-broke attitude shared by many of the freewheeling characters involved in its story. Most of them chime in to help tell the tale, including founder Alan McGee, a Scot whose thick accent is among many collected here that may make Americans long for subtitles. And, of course, what a tale — filled with colorful encounters, drugs, major-label wooing, drugs, “shockingly out of control” behavior, drugs, and all of the expected trappings of music-biz stardom. The soundtrack is filled with Creation’s many alt-rock, acid house, shoegaze, and Brit-pop success stories, including Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Swervedriver, Teenage Fanclub, and Oasis. Where were you while they were gettin’ high? Director O’Connor appears in person for a Q&A after the screening. (Cheryl Eddy)

Feb. 25, 7 p.m., $10

 Roxie Theater

3117 16th St., SF