Noise Pop, the week-long citywide music festival, returns next spring for its 30th anniversary, February 20-26. Spanning more than 25 local venues, the event kicks off the national music festival cycle, with raucous mosh-pit frenzied happy hour shows, dominated by gritty edgy bands on the cusp, to the after-hours discothèque pulse at local dance club venues. It’s an all-inclusive, crosstown, downtown, around-town music party that reads vast and feels personal.
It’s a perfect opportunity to gauge up-and-coming talent—there’s a reason why it precedes SXSW—as well as catch sometimes intimate sets by your favorite indie darlings.
Tickets are on sale starting Fri/18: The first phase of the lineup has just been revealed, which includes Yo La Tengo, Duster, STRFKR, FIDLAR, Bob Mould, Covet, Tourist, and Boy Harsher (headlining the giant 1015 Folsom). More than 100 musical acts have yet to be revealed.
Among those just announced, however, are three local (well, California) acts you would do well to check out:
San Francisco band No Vacation (February 20 at the Chapel) encapsulates a lot of emotions with understated vocals, inviting guitar licks, and shoegaze eloquence. The band describes their sound as “wavy-gravy dream-pop,” which is not a catchy label, possibly by design, but they possess dreamy hooks and endearing melodies that consistently stun every time. (And we’re pretty sure Wavy Gravy would be into it, too.)
Nate Mercereau‘s release Duets | Golden Gate Bridge featured the famously eerie humming sounds that were being made by the bridge, alongside Nate’s improvised guitar work. It is the first human and bridge duet album in history. The Los Angeles-based musician, who has produced or played on songs by Jay-Z, Shawn Mendes, Lizzo, and The Weeknd, consistently pushes boundaries while experimenting with cosmic textures. Nate plays February 23 at SF Jazz.
We love Fake Fruit. The Oakland-based indie quartet, led by Hannah D’Amato, makes edgy, twitchy downright intoxicating, punk rawk darts that average two minutes and change. By the time D’Amato gets to the chorus, you’ve already smirked, scowled, and guffawed. Fake Fruit (playing February 23 at Rickshaw Stop) is a top choice for venues looking for the ideal band to open for international acts like Dry Cleaning and ESG because of their jittery, guitar-pop sound, which has helped put San Francisco back on the rock and roll map in the midst of all the jangle-pop concentration (which we also love) happening right now around The Bay.