Adventures in Killing the Radio Star

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NOISE POP day six

The final day was low key. There was a daytime show with The Growlers and The Fresh & Onlys. This was totally sold out and could have moved to a bigger venue. The Growlers brought out the young fans. There brand of garage rock is very hip. The Fresh & Onlys are one of the best bands from SF. It was good to see these bands in this mimosa environment. I missed out on th4e Ben Gibbard gig later in the night, and watched the Oscars instead. It sounded wonderful. This year's Noise Pop was singular, defining, fresh, and exciting. All the shows I went to were sold out and more people were wanting to get in. Look forward to it next year!
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NOISE POP day five

I headed down to the Noise Pop day party. I saw a few readings. Zachery Lipez and Nick Zinner was really good. It reminded me of Nuyorican Poets Cafe type stuff. This was the first year that Noise pop had like an arts and crafts weekend. It was impressive. The big show on Saturday was Best Coast/Wavves at the Regency Ballroom. It was packed and we barely got in. Ended up meeting some people from High Road touring. I thought Wavves were much improved since I saw them at FYF fest last summer. Best Coast are one of the hottest bands right now. The front rows were stocked with teenage girls who knew all the songs. It was an amazing night in the city and a fun festival all around. I got to experience many bands and three films.
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The Growlers @ Bottom of The Hill

Gallery is here. The Growlers photos here taken by Angel Ceballos in Seattle.

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Noise Pop day four

A clear cold day. I was in Berkeley for most of the day in the recording studio. Back on the train to see the Nick Zinner art show. Even though I was late, it was still packed. Ice cream man was nearby, and ice cream in sub-40 degree weather is always good. It didn't snow. I stopped by a friend's house. Finally at ten I was back at Cafe du Nord. The joint was packed for The Black Ryder and Tamaryn. I heard the The Soft Moon was another band to check out.

The Black Ryder came out with a projected light show. They are an Australian band. But they have been bringing their brand of gothic rock to the people here in the States. They have played in SF a few times this year, and recently in LA too. Aimee and Scott both handle the vocal duties. Their songs have shoegazing jangly guitars and strong basslines. At the end it is a heavy experience.

Tamaryn is a newer band who is making a mark already. Their original sounds have captivated many people. I have included a video in a previous post and will let the music speak for itself. They will be on tour with the Raveonettes. That is a show that is not to be missed.
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Noise Pop day three

Spin Presents:

Look at What the Light Did Now (A documentary film about Feist and her collaborators)

Thursday was a rainy cold day in San Francisco. Instead of genre hopping and traveling great distances I went to check out some documentaries. There was a little art installation by Simone Rubi and music by Little Wings. I had met Simone Rubi ten years ago when she was in the band Call and Response. It was the first time I remember going to a Noise Pop show. The FEIST movie was mainly about her, Leslie Feist making her second album, The Reminder, and the tour after, and all the collaborations. It was a great movie, even for people who nothing about Feist. It was well attended by a throng of fans who braved the weather.

The second film of the night, The Family Jams, was about an early tour with Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, and Vetiver. Kevin Barker had followed them around for this unconventional tour in alternative spaces and galleries. You think that this would be a packed house for the hometown favorites, but there was little love (Banhart has since moved to LA, and Newsom spends a lot of time in NYC). The film illustrates the early days of "the family." There was an interesting scene with Banhart meeting his estranged father. Joanna Newsom had to cancel a few dates of the tour because her best friend died in a car crash during the tour, and she attended the funeral. On the way back she had more car troubles and had to rent a van. There is also a scene with the band the Pleased, with singer Noah Georgeson, who was Joanna Newsom's boyfriend at the time. Joanna was also a member of the group, but had more success as a solo artist and had to quit. The Pleased broke up a few years later, and most of its members are now part of Banhart's backing band. There is another great scene with Linda Perhacs: Perhacs seems like some spaced out lady in a jogging outfit. The Banhart/Newsom/Vetiver group have all toured the world heavily and have had success independent of each other. This movie is like a scrapbook, and a look back at a time when these artists were first emerging on the scene.

I spent the night at the SF Independent. I caught two up and coming new bands: Voxhaul Broadcast and The Stone Foxes.

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The Black Ryder @ Cafe du Nord tomorrow

The Black Ryder @ Cafe du Nord tomorrow Feb 25th w/ TAMARYN (NOISE POP)
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NOISE POP day two

Even more rested I head into the second day of the fest. It starts out with the film THIS IS NOISE POP. Featuring Sebadoh, Stephen Malkmus, Death Cab for Cutie, The National, the Donnas, Guided by Voices, Creeper Lagoon, Beulah, Bob Mould, the Dismemberment Plan, the Shins, Britt Daniel, Modest Mouse, Granddaddy and more. This is a revival of the past ten years on Noise Pop. I was at the shows every year. While this film focuses on bands like Archers of Loaf and John Vanderslice, it does show many gigs that I attended like Stephen Malkmus, Wolfmother, Dirtbombs, Cat Power and more. In a scene early in the film, at Thee Parkside, there is some heckler talking during an Archers of Loaf gig. The filmmakers spoke out about this scene as one the key moments in the film, and how life is hard for many indie rock people. That heckler turned out to be Jeff Davies from Brian Jonestown Massacre, a band that probably never got any love from Noise Pop. This movie is neither like an Urge A Music War or a Coachella the film. It seems to be centered in some 1990s perspective when whiny homunculus would thrash out songs. Many bands are pondering the question "What is Indie Rock?" It's a little depressing when you see a band who has since broken up, or others who signed to a major label and had much success. And you wonder why you didn't see more of Graddaddy or Cat Power, who always seem amazing despite labels. I am not sure if this film answers any questions, but it does shed light on the Noise Pop event, and brings together many bands you would not think of in the same breath.

After the film, I caught two bands at Cafe Du Nord: The Love Language and Telekinesis. These seem like two new bands who both have a bright future. They bring together many elements seen in the This Is Noise Pop film, yet they seem to have more talent and great songs. These bands although they haven't been around long, already have collected some enthusiastic fans, and they play exciting music. I look forward to seeing them again. I didn't get to see Versus. It was a cold night in SF. The temperature is dropping.
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Alessi's Ark - Wire

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NOISE POP day one

I arrived in SF on Monday, so I was rested for the first day of Noise Pop. I went downtown to get a bus pass. I stopped by the Noise Pop office to pick up my badge. It was located in the same building where I worked ten years ago when I first attended Noise Pop. In fact I interviewed Simone Rubi of Call and Response. Simone is having an art opening at the Viz Theater during the Feist movie. Everything is coming round. I ran into a friend and we headed to Mini Bar to see some photography. The small event on Divisadero was nice. After that, I headed to Bender's and saw a heavy metal band. The place was packed and it was difficult to see the band. I passed on going to Oakland and checking out Yo Lo Tengo. My feet were tired after many miles of walking.
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San Francisco: Noise Pop 2011

Noise Pop starts tomorrow. Some great shows coming up this week are:

Feb 22nd: Yo Lo Tengo @ Fox Oakland
Feb 23rd: Versus @ Du Nord
Feb 24th: The Stone Foxes @ Independent
Feb 25th: The Concretes @ Rickshaw
Feb 25th: Tamaryn + The Black Ryder @ Café du Nord
Feb 26th: Best Coast + Wavves @ Regency
Feb 26th: How To Dress Well @ Café du Nord
Feb 27th: Fresh and Onlys @ Bottom of the Hill
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Surfer Blood secret show/house party

SURFER BLOOD is in town and will be playing a house party in LA. More details later.
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Suburban Lawns "Janitor"

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The Octopus Project: west coast tour

The Octopus Project Announces West Coast Tour
with Man...or Astro-man? and Devo

"The Rolling Stones of bleep-bloop." - The Onion

"If there's a such thing as a happiness seizure, be prepared to have one."
- Paste Magazine

"Unprecedented levels of bliss slapped across the faces of concertgoers... see for yourself" -Spin.com

Download and Listen to "Fugefat" off Hexadecagon

Austin based quintet The Octopus Project has announced a West Coast tour including dates with iconic new wave group, Devo, and surf rock outfit Man...or Astro-man? In October, The Octopus Project was honored to join the line-up at Moogfest 2010 with MGMT, Massive Attack, Hot Chip and headliner Devo. When Devo's guitarist suffered a hand injury and couldn't perform, The Octopus Project was asked to fill in as Devo's backing band. They all got along so well, that when it came time to schedule their make-up tour, they asked the band to join them. Perhaps a result of a shared obsession for vintage electronics, the band will be supporting Devo on their rescheduled tour dates.

The Octopus Project plans to hit the East Coast in April (dates to be announced) in their continued road support of their fourth full length album, Hexadecagon
, released in 2010 on Peek-A-Boo Records
. After the band's extensive tour, they will return to the studio to work on a new LP!

The Octopus Project West Coast Tour Dates:

2.18 - Plush - Tuscon, Arizona w/
Stareater, Treasure Mammal
2.19 - The Casbah - San Diego, CA w/ Man... or Astro-man?
2.20 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA w/ Man... or Astro-man?
2.21 - The Independent - San Francisco, CA w/ Man... or Astro-man?
2.23 - The Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR - w/ Man... or Astro-man?
2.24 - The Crocodile - Seattle, Washington - w/ Man... or Astro-man?
2.25 - Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC, Canada - w/ Man... or Astro-man?
2.26 - The Wild Buffalo - Bellingham, WA - w/ Man... or Astro-man?
2.28 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT - w/ Birthquake
2.28 - The Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT - w/ Birthquake
3.01 - The Hi-Dive - Denver, CO - w/ Le Divorce, Force Publique
3.02 - The Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM - w/ The Gatherers

The Octopus Project Tour Dates w/ Devo:

3.15 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theater

3.16 - Crystal Ballroom - Portland, OR
3.18 - Warfield Theatre - San Francisco, CA
3.19 - Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA
3. 20 - Belly Up - San Diego, CA
3.25 - Warehouse Live - Houston, TX
3.27 - ACL Live - Austin, TX

For more information, please visit:

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Esben and The Witch: Next Big Things 2011

Esben and The Witch is one of the bands in @SPINmagazine SPIN's 11 Next Big Things for 2011. Bands include Lykke Li, DOM, Esben and The Witch, Smith Westerns, MNDR.

Ebsen and The Witch will be playing in LA at the Bootleg Theater on March 22nd, 2011.
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Alessi's Ark TIME TRAVEL

Alessi's Ark will be coming out with a second album on April 25th, 2011. TIME TRAVEL will the first American release for the 20 year old Alessi Laurent-Marke from London. She has just played a show this past week with Sharon Van Etten and will be playing in Europe with John Grant. Alessi's Ark will also be at SXSW this year. And hopefully we will be seeing a world tour this year.

The first album from Alessi's Ark, Notes From The Treehouse, came out two years ago. That was a lush production done in Omaha, Nebraska with Mike Mogis. That record was done many years ago. TIME TRAVEL was recorded in Brighton and Wales. Alessi's Ark has played many shows in the past two years in the UK and Europe, and even a few in America. I got to hear this new album recently. I am not sure if I was hearing the final mixes. But even though I love the first album, I like the stripped down, direct feel of the new album too. The first album had a few songs that had orchestral parts, that were impossible to recreate live. Alessi's Ark has performed solo and with a band as well. TIME TRAVEL has songs that are immediate, bare, and raw. They could work in a solo intimate way, but also with a full band atmosphere. I imagine that all the songs on this album will somehow make it into the live set, where some early songs on the first album like "Magic Weather" and "Glendora" never made it to the live show.
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KUSF radio station 90.3 FM

KUSF 90.3 FM is an independent radio station based in San Francisco. If you spent any time in SF the past thirty years you are probably familiar with it. I have spent half my life in SF and my dad and my grandmother both lived and died there. My dad also went to Hollywood High, and went to gigs in SF at the Fillmore back during the summer of love. KUSF has a relationship to a city like no other radio station. It was the main station we listened to in the 1980s and 1990s before the internet, when you had to rely on radio as a major source for new bands.

KUSF is very similar to KXLU in LA. It is connected to a college. The DJs are both students and music aficionados. But the LA area has KROQ, KCRW, and plenty of interesting college radio stations who will play bands like No Age and Best Coast. SF only has the one station KUSF. There is some KROQ station there: it's cool if you like in Stockton. There are some college radio stations but you can't hear their signal in SF. San Francisco has a big radio vacuum.

When I moved back to SF in 1989, I worked several jobs. I lived a bohemian existence on barely any money at all. It was nice to hear a station like KUSF and win free tickets to shows in town. In the beginning of 1991, I lived on Divisadero Street, not far from the University of SF campus and the KUSF station. I would stay up late at night listen to the radio and winning tickets at 3 in the morning. I won tickets to see Superchunk, Nirvana, Psychic TV, and Soundgarden. I won a bunch of free records. The station definitely helped me.

I moved away in 1996, but a friend of mine became a DJ on KUSF. His name is DJ Stevil. I would listen to his show and look at his playlists, and there was a lot of interesting music being played on that station in the past ten years.

Recently KUSF sold it's signal to a classical radio station based in LA. If you have driven around the USA the past few years, you realize how the same corporations own all the stations and play the same middlebrow, consensual music. It's dire out there. The radio world ressembles the most monoculture envisioned by Stalin. No worthwhile bands like Arcade Fire or Smith Westerns are getting played in that scenario.

I write this all to say: I love the old KUSF. I wish that they keep the old quirky and funky format of unique voices.

--Alexander Laurence
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Joseph Arthur @ Bootleg

Fold Logo

JOSEPH ARTHUR takes over the Bootleg Theater for

Music Residency & Living, Breathing Art Exhibit, February 8th through March 1st

joe arthur

Songsmith, poet and Grammy-nominated visual artist Joseph Arthur will be transforming the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles into his workshop where he will perform, paint and curate a new, ever-evolving exhibit of his art every Tuesday night beginning February 8th through March 1st. The residency marks Joseph's return to Los Angeles following two sold-out nights at the Troubadour and three sold-out nights with Fistful of Mercy at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

A mesmerizing orchestrator of sound loops, Joseph often creates his own soundtrack to live stage painting. Listen for music from his first solo album since 2006's 'Nuclear Daydream' (more on that soon!).

Joseph will also be creating, showing and selling his art in The Fold's gallery

(2214 Beverly Blvd. - Bootleg's backstage area) for the duration of his residency. All artwork will be for sale and all performances will be recorded and sold as bootlegs immediately following the show. Peter Gabriel hails Joseph's artwork as exhibiting "strength and a visceral quality," connecting "Expressionism, Art Brut, Basquiat and the Graffiti movement," and Vanity Fair names him as "one of our most emotionally revealing and talented singer-songwriters."

Catch JOSEPH ARTHUR at the Bootleg Theater & Gallery (2220 Beverly Blvd., LA) @ 9:45pm, openers at 9pm, doors at 8pm.

February 8th w/ Tom Freund

February 15th w/ Madi Diaz

February 22nd w/ Craig Wedren

March 1st w/ Line and Circle

Tix $10 Advance/$12 Day of Show

josepharthur.com // museumofmodernarthur.com

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The Answering Machine - Lifeline (Official Video)

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Har Mar Superstar @ Satellite

At the Satellite every FRIDAY in February!!!
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Sasquatch 2011 / May 27-30th


Foo Fighters | Death Cab for Cutie | Modest Mouse | Wilco | Flaming Lips (Performing The Soft Bulletin and more) | The Decemberists | Bright Eyes | Iron & Wine | Rodrigo Y Gabriela | Bassnectar | Robyn | Flogging Molly | Pink Martini | Cold War Kids | Old 97s | Ratatat | Wolf Parade | Chromeo | Guided by Voices | Yeasayer | Beach House | Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings | Local Natives | Matt & Kim | Deerhunter | MSTRKRFT | Trailer Park Boys | Sleigh Bells | Major Lazer | Das Racist | Flying Lotus | Skrillex | Fitz & the Tantrums | !!! | Archers of Loaf | Against Me! | The Thermals | Best Coast | CSS | Surfer Blood | Jenny & Johnny | Macklemore & Ryan Lewis | The Heart and the Heart | Bonobo (DJ set) | City and the Colour | Reggie Watts | K-os | Gayngs | Tim Minchin | The Drums | Sam Roberts Band | The Radio Dept. | Young the Giant | The Antlers | Moondoggies | Sharon Van Etten | Villagers | Stornoway | Aloe Blacc | Black Mountain | Rival Schools | Noah and the Whale | Smith Westerns | Secret Sisters | Twin Shadow | Wye Oak | Tig Notaro | Wheedle's Groove | Alberta Cross | Foster the People | S. Carey | White Denim | Washed Out | Gold Panda | Dan Mangan | Axis of Awesome | The Gloves | Cotton Jones | Jaill | Mad Rad | Basia Bulat | Other Lives | The Bronx | Rebecca Gates | White Arrows | Pepper Rabbit | Talkdemonic | The Young Evils | and more

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School of Seven Bells @ Conga Room tonight

SVIIB @ conga room 9pm tonight, Feb 1st, 2011
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