It's finally here, the music pop-up festival that can only be brought to you by San Francisco. Noise Pop 2013 has a truly amazing array of art, film, and music for your viewing pleasure over the course of six nights. I had a really hard time narrowing the list to just must-see shows – I have exactly three days to learn how to be in two places at once – but here are my picks for potentially life-changing shows in the coming week.
Tuesday February 26, Rickshaw Stop, 8:00 p.m.
I can't think of a better way to kick off the week than Noise Pop's opening night party featuring Body/Head, Horsebladder, and Burmese. Body/Head – which consists of Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Bill Nace – is sure to bring the house down.
Wednesday February 27, Bender's, 8:00 p.m.
Noise Pop Happy Hours are among my favorite parts of the festival. The venues are always small and the musicians are literally up in your face just begging you to talk to them and snap a few photos. California's own darlings, the boys of Great White Buffalo, are sure to make this intimate gathering a load of fun. Also in attendance will be Nova Albion and Down and Outlaws.
Thursday February 28, Artist's Television Access, 7:00 p.m.
I'm not gonna lie, I was really really temped to make !!! at the Great American Music Hall my must-see event for the night – those pioneers of dance-punk symbiosis are sure to put on a good show. I am more intrigued, however, by the film being screened Thursday night. Punk in Africa traces the underground rock music of early 1970s Johannesburg; the first multi-racial punk bands, the Uprising; and the militant anti-apartheid hardcore and post-punk bands of the 1980s all the way to the rise of celebratory African-inspired ska bands. Oh man!
Friday March 1, Rickshaw Stop, 8:30
Hailing from our northwest neighbor Portland, The Thermals have been bringing us their bratty pop for over a decade now and I can't wait to see them do it again. Throw in the Dirty Ghosts, a haunting pop rock band full of punk rock glory, and The She's, San Francisco's very own beach pop ladies, and I have this show pegged as one of the best of the week.
Saturday March 2, The Independent, 7:30 p.m.
Chillwave champion Toro y Moi mixed with Sinkane's strong Afrobeats is a match made in dance-party heaven. The end.
Sunday March 3, Bottom of the Hill, 5:00 p.m.
Caspian's latest album seamlessly transforms a three guitar attack into some seriously beautiful tunes. They also have a reputation for delivering intense performances, so I think it goes without saying that this show will be an experience to remember. I'm also pretty excited for The Dandelion War – hailing from Oakland this up-and-coming band blends Icelandic atmospheres and American post-rock into amazing anthems.