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Arts + CultureMusicCan't stop the local love with these 5 Noise...

Can’t stop the local love with these 5 Noise Pop must-sees

Tommy Guerrero, Spacemoth, Rochelle Jordan, more fill fest venues with Cali sounds.

As the sun goes down early in these waning days of winter the allure of music festivals increases with every sad trombone sunset. Recent layoffs at tech companies around the Bay—Tik Tok, Google, Amazon, Microsoft—and writing platforms across the board, could make that fun trip to Austin for SXSW, just a bit out of reach.

Dining options may need to be re-examined for a frugal budget: Less Foreign Cinema, and more Taqueria Cancun right down Mission Street. And I love Taqueria Cancun, for real, it’s filling and I can always chow down on that couch change staple, the Vegetarian Burrito. 

So with festival season ramping up—Coachella, Shabang, Ultra in Miami, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival—all these out-of-town joints? You may need to put a pin in them.

Luckily for you, Noise Pop Music Festival 2024, running February 22 to March 3, provides superior live music, world-class entertainment, and nightclub culture that at best only requires BART fare to reach said destination. Grab badges, purchase tickets, and check for additions to their final 2024 musical line-up here.

Beyond dozens of music performances, festival-goers can look forward to a jam-packed schedule full of happy hours, secret after-hour parties, and so much more: Noise Pop turns the streets of San Francisco into sprawling festival grounds, stretching your digital coin.

Here are five performances you will not want to miss:

TOMMY GUERRERO AT 4 STAR THEATER, FEBRUARY 24

Noise Pop festival organizers are not fools. They understand when you have someone so immensely talented and local, you keep them in the rotation—it’s a win for everybody.

San Francisco former pro-skater Tommy Guerrero, who was raised by his mother in the Inner Sunset, began playing music at the age of nine. Skateboarding at 12. He prospered at both. A variety and rarity for sure, which permitted the entire Bay Area to watch him evolve through many phases over the past several decades since his career(s) launched in the 1980s.

His Bottom of The Hill portion of 2022’s Noise Pop Festival, with a 90-minute set of what he’s identified as “groove music,” kept an intergenerational, culturally swirled well-wisher lot in a merry and at times reckless state of optimism. Folks were out there… acknowledging, and rightfully so, that cool-ass Uncle-type energy.

So you want that type of scenario in the 4-Star Theater for a performance.

We have a growing culture here in the 415, where our live acts perform in local neighborhood movie theaters to remind people that to keep these communal spaces open, you need to visit them regularly.

And, with Tommy Guerrero playing his music and making that guitar time travel, you feel like you are walking around the Mission on a beautiful Sunday. The way he blends blues with contemporary sounds is just a special San Francisco thing that you have to experience for yourself.

ROCHELLE JORDAN AT RICKSHAW STOP, FEBRUARY 29

The London-born, Toronto-raised, Los Angeles-based Rochelle Jordan reached back to those days when she became fascinated by her older brother’s taste in ’90s UK Black club music. 

Liquid drum and bass, garage, West London broken beat, experimental hip-hop, and UK funky are featured on her dynamic release, Play With The Changes from 2021, released by Tokimonsta’s emerging label, Young Art Records. It’s filled with collaborations from producers KLSH, Machinedrum, and Jimmy Edgar and stands as an outstanding statement on the power of electronic music with a Black-pop sensibility. 

Wear your trainers to Rickshaw. It’s on.

Spacemoth

SPACEMOTH, TEAL POP, CHIME SCHOOL AT KILOWATT ON MARCH 1 2024

When San Franciscans rejoiced at the fact that Kilowatt was booking bands once again, it was for several reasons. I saw Pavement, yes, that one, at The WATT, for five or seven bucks, way back in the day in the ’90s, and it was awesome. Recently, as in this past New Year’s Eve, the venue booked Pussy Riot. Talk about not wasting any time in re-establishing that reputation. Nice work!

So this line-up—Spacemoth, Teal Pop, and Chime School—as part of Noise Pop 2024 is another one of those “for the ages” spectral booking scenarios. Somebody, somewhere, did the homework, ran the personal math, and put on their big person-curating pants, cause this bill makes sense.

Maryam Qudus, a first-generation Afghan American child of working-class immigrant parents, who records and performs by way of screeching audio tape loops, sound reverb, hellfire cosmic lo-fi bedlam, and imaginative astral-pop emotions under the name Spacemoth, is a Bay Area original.

Teal Pop is an amalgam of longtime friendship and textures that include Los Angeles-based collaborators Marina Aguerre and Lionel Williams, who create enchanting melodies and ethereal lyrics that draw inspiration from Stereolab, Broadcast, Joyce, Air, and the Free Design. 

In Teal Pop, Williams has found a sound partner who smooths out all those previous jumpy time signatures. Joyful ones indeed, but this is a new chapter forward that previous Vinyl Williams fans will also find a new bliss within.

According to local lore and the band, guided by Andy Pastalaniec and a live group that now includes Bay Area music vets Phil Lantz, Josh Miller, and Garett Godard, “Chime School pays homage to the formative jangle of The Byrds by way of early Primal Scream and The Springfields; the production and pop sensibility of the Biff Bang Pow and The Razorcuts; and the spirit of great singles labels like Creation, Postcard and Sarah.”

But once all of that hits a stage, with a particular lighting situation, you have an inspired business-like performance from precise and workmanlike musicians who command attention all at once.

This is one of San Francisco’s finest, and they haven’t even peaked yet.

There is word of a new album on the way this year. Buy it.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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