Earlier this week Noise Pop, the annual independent music festival that takes place in SF February 21 through 27, unveiled an expanded lineup with 40 plus new acts confirmed to perform at the multi-venue, multi-genre event while “actively monitoring the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.”
Local acts Chime School, Blues Lawyer, DJ Aaron Axelsen, Tommy Guerrero, and Buzzed Lightbeer were announced, alongside international acts Kamaal Williams, Ouri, Partiboi69, Rituals of Mine, Azealia Banks, Jeff Tweedy, LSDXOXO, Charlotte Dos Santos, and more. Tickets to these new concerts went on sale this Friday at 10am with schedules, info, and fest badges available here.
A company spokesperson for the event told 48 Hills, “Festival organizers are most immediately looking to the expertise of local and state health officials to help guide the path forward. Other factors being examined include local hospitalization rates with an emphasis on intensive care, local vaccination rates, the general feedback from the public. More details are forthcoming via website, social media, and newsletters to ticket-buyers, especially in light of the new city rules that require patrons to wear masks and receive their booster shots for any indoor ‘mega-events.’ We will continue to share more details with respect to the festival’s healthy and entry policy as the dates draw near.”
Established in 1993 with just one over-capacity show at the former Kennel Club on Divisadero Street (now the Independent), Noise Pop has featured early career performances by The White Stripes, Modest Mouse, Joanna Newsom, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, Grimes, and more.
This year, in addition to the North American festival stage debut for the HE. SHE. THEY. party, Noise Pop’s adding a 4-part concert series in partnership with SFJAZZ, alongside previously announced performers like Alex G, Dorian Electra, The Drums, King Woman, The Microphones, and Titus Andronicus, festival organizers believe this marks one of the most musically diverse and progressive lineups in the festival’s 29-year history.
We at 48 Hills have identified some must-see performances from this new crop.
KAMAAL WILLIAMS DJ SET
Kamaal Williams rolled through San Francisco in December 2019, for a whirlybird DJ set at 1015 Folsom in support of his DJ-Kicks album series. Yes, he’s an acclaimed jazz musician, but also a DJ. A dope one, for sure, who can hang with the best while selecting house, UK funky, broken beat, jungle, soul, hip-hop, R&B, and of course, jazz. Such genre diversity seems to be the norm amongst his wave of London jazz musicians. Williams likes to jump around when crafting albums, just as much as when he’s playing keyboards at live concerts that stretch the parameters of what is expected of a jazz musician.
When he touches down at the California Academy of Sciences, be prepared. Anything is game.
Chime School, the supporting band for Papercuts on a scheduled Feb 26 performance at Bottom of The Hill, is the brainchild project of San Francisco musician Andy Pastalaniec, who was gifted a cassette four-track Portastudio “almost as a dare,” compelling him to step out of the drum kit and into the spotlight.
Pleasantly adding melodic guitar-pop to the current wave of jangle bliss flowing through San Francisco right now, his arrangements complement recent efforts from local bands The Umbrellas and Seablite. Citing influences from ’80s indie and its ’60s forbearers, plus the formative dissonance of The Byrds by way of early Primal Scream and The Springfields—let’s just say, Chime School has legs. Popping up on several Best of 2021 lists (psst we even mentioned them way back in October before that Bandcamp piece on San Francisco not being dead yet…yeah, we saw that) This promises to be a great show. And you should check out his other super rad band Seablite too.
RITUALS OF MINE
Listen. Some of the best shows I’ve seen at Noise Pop over the years were the supporting acts that nobody really paid attention to until they showed up, blew minds, and bounced. That’s how I saw and immediately fell in love, amidst three other close friends caught in the same state of WTF-ness, with Seablite. But I wrote that piece already.
So I am fair-warning you right now, in January no less, do not miss Rituals of Mine, the immerse hybrid project of Terra Lopez who hails from Sacramento. Her 2020 self-assured 13-track LP HYPE NOSTALGIA, was interspersed with future R&B, electronic, and pop, layered with the softness of Lopez’s ethereal vocals. It is still a journey of hope and success. She’s opening for King Woman at DNA Lounge, but expect performance in that DJ set. I just got a feeling.
HE.SHE.THEY. makes its North American festival stage debut at Noise Pop 2022 with a very special night featuring VTSS, LSDXOXO, and many more. HE.SHE.THEY. is “an international event series, fashion house, and record label with diversity and inclusion in the DNA of everything it does, with the belief that, through representation, spaces can and should be made welcoming to people of all races, sexualities, genders identities, and beyond. This renowned party for EVERYONE hosts an all-star lineup for a late-night heater with all-star DJs and dancers. Former guest DJs have included the likes of Maya Jane Coles, Honey Dijon, and Ellen Allien taking over spaces globally from Berlin to Mumbai and everywhere in between.”
According to Pitchfork, LSDXOXO, a Berlin-based producer and former GHE20G0TH1K affiliate, wielded “a four-track EP of lacerating, irresistibly kink-positive techno” on latest Dedicated 2 Disrespect EP.