With just over two weeks to go until Noise Pop kicks off, there’s just enough time to get your plans in order. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the curators of Noise Pop have some great shows lined up. Hosted at some of the best venues across San Francisco, Noise Pop affords the opportunity to catch anything from historic — okay, nostalgic — bands to the next big act without having to shell out the big-festival bucks. Officially occurring February 21 through 26, the hefty line-up will force you to make some difficult decisions. Check out Rabbits Black’s recommendations after the jump.
The full line-up of over 40 bands can be found over at Noise Pop’s official site, but there are some definite standout names on the bill.
- Class Actress with Painted Palms (DJ set) and Epicsauce @ Academy of Sciences NightLife (21+) [tickets – $21]: If you haven’t had the chance to experience NightLife, now is your perfect excuse! Get nice and classy while enjoying an adult beverage or five to some great music, all to the backdrop the coolest wildlife and history you’ll see. The Academy of Sciences has an albino alligator. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the specially-themed “adult” planetarium shows.
- The Flaming Lips with Release the Sunbird @ Bimbo’s 365 [tickets sold out]: Okay. If you have tickets, you already know this is the place to be on Tuesday night. But that doesn’t have to stop you from getting excited! It’s The Flaming Lips! Performing The Soft Bulletin! In its entirety!
- In case you didn’t grab tickets to The Flaming Lips, Noise Pop is also hosting a happy hour at Bender’s Bar with Permanent Collection, Swiftumz, and Sorry Ever After for free.
- Grimes with oOoOO @ Rickshaw Stop, and Die Antwoord @ The Regency Ballroom both sold out, but there is another great show you can attend…
- Cursive with Ume, Virgin Islands, and Taxes @ Great American Music Hall [tickets – $19 advance/$21 door]: Cursive embody everything that was great about music in the early-2000’s. A band that writes whole albums of quality lyrical and musical writing that are best played through in entirety, Cursive have not slowed down with their musical talent. Don’t miss this chance to see them at a great venue.
- Ok, ok, I know you really wanted to see Built to Spill with Sister Crayon @ The Fillmore, or Two Gallants with White Cloud and Greg Ashley @ Edinburgh Castle but they’re both sold out. Take this as your opportunity to branch out and check out some new music.
- Sleigh Bells with Black Bananas @ The Regency Ballroom [tickets – $22.50 advance/$25 door]: The Regency is a pretty rocking venue, and New York’s Sleigh Bills are guaranteed to bring the Noise Pop dance party. Having played Coachella in 2010 and 2011, they are no festival newbies. Expect a great set with a great crowd.
- Full disclosure: All of my picks for Friday night are sold out. But it’s San Francisco on a Friday night, what more did you expect? If you grabbed a Noise Pop General Badge, but need some help deciding where to go, look no further.
- Imperial Teen with 20 Minute Loop, Hollerado, and Giggle Party @ Cafe du Nord: It’s Friday night. You want to start a cool and indifferent party sans the neon and cheesy 80s throwback in an awesome but small venue. San Francisco locals Imperial Teen have you covered.
- Two Gallants with Walken and Violent Change @ The Edinburgh Castle: It’s Friday night, but you want to avoid the typical San Francisco crowd. Hometown favorites, Two Gallants always, always know how to please any crowd in the Bay. Friday night will be no different. Check them out if you’re looking for more of a lo-fi, bluesy rock sound.
- Teebs @ The Roll Up Gallery at Public Works [free]: More of the local gallery, chill, ambient tunes type? Check out this show, and not just because my initial pseudonym for Rabbits Black was an homage to Teebs.
- With only one show sold out, Saturday night in San Francisco is your oyster.
- Atlas Sound with Carnivores, Electric Flower, and Seventeen Evergreen @ Bimbo’s 365 [tickets – $20 advance/$22 door]: That’s right! Co-headliner of Rabbits Black’s Home for the Holidays Winter Showcase will be part of Noise Pop’s 20th Anniversary, and we could not be happier! If you didn’t make it out to O’Briens back in December for our charity event, now’s your chance to catch Electric Flower before they really explode. This is one of those chances you’ll regret not taking in a year.
- The Dodos with Au, Canons and Clouds, and Here Here @ Great American Musica Hall [tickets -$20]: San Francisco’s not-quite-so-folk-psych-pop sweethearts, The Dodos are a local institution, and the perfect act to close out the 20th anniversary party for Noise Pop.
Noise Pop 2012 provides you with a lot of choices, and has something to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Whether you have a festival pass, or are just looking for a few nights of entertainment, San Francisco will be the place to be February 21 through 26. And if you’re like 50% of San Franciscans out there who have been meaning to go to more shows, what better time to start than now?
Be sure to check back with Rabbits Black for a full review of Noise Pop!