Noise Pop ’09: Flosstradamus Interview

1 03 2009

Chicago natives Curt Cameruci (aka Autobot) and Josh Young (aka J2K)
together comprise DJ outfit Flosstradamus. On Saturday night, the two
saturated The Mezzanine with bass and beat samples taken from contemporary club tracks and old-school Cali-rap classics. They sat down
with us before the show to discuss mix-tape culture, success sans full length album, and the enabling power of the Internet. Click the image below to watch the interview.


Noise Pop ’09: A.C. Newman

1 03 2009

Barely begun touring to promote his recently released album Get Guilty,
A.C. Newman (of New Pornographer’s notoriety) spoke with us before taking
stage at The Independent on Saturday. Click the image below to watch our interview.

Noise Pop ’09: Thee Oh Sees @ Cafe Du Nord

27 02 2009

In contrast to the high rafter roofs of many venues, Cafe Du Nord’s red-light, low-ceiling basement stage well suited the garage post-punk performances of the night. Headliners The Oh Sees’ sound expanded this closeted space through cosmic vocal reverb into an infinite echo chamber. Their trifecta-plus teams curly haired tambourine playing vocalist Brigid Dawson with nerd tatted guitarist Petey Dammit, stoic drummer Mike Shoun and Marlboro-rough frontman John Dwyer.

The sweetness of Dawson’s voice overrode vocal effect to pair well with Dwyer’s gain distorted delivery, the mic swallowed into his mouth. Such oral fixation hardly ended there: ceaselessly soliciting drinks from the crowd, Dwyer called off the encore after spending the set playing guitar with a beer hanging handless from his mouth. Characteristic of his sharp sociability, Dwyer’s guitar bore the bumpersticker “Thank You” on the bank, simply so he wouldn’t have to say so.

Click the image below to watch our entertaining interview with the band.

Noise Pop ’09: Matt Costa Headlines Slim’s

26 02 2009

Ian Ferguson San Francisco, CA
Matt Costa and his band play a few instruments well, and a number of instruments sort of well. Well enough, at least, to make music. Slim’s on Wednesday staged this generous music, where a trumpet’s slippery blare or a vocal’s wavering run sound less mistakes than creative additions, allusions to loose-lipped dixieland or the fine slides through microtonalities of High Catskill folk.

photo by Adam Planas

With itinerant additions of trumpet, mandolin, harmonica, and lap steel guitar along with standard issue guitar, bass, drums, and keys, the instrumentation imparts an alienness which incorporates these performance ‘accidents’ into the larger arrangement. That Costa’s music draws its inspiration from a variety of musical styles further locates the listener simultaneously in allusion and alienation as genres collides.

Costa began his set with the finger-picked guitar and minor harmonies of a stripped-down country sound, then morphed through zydeco and Africa-via-Paul-Simon influences before ending the set with the downbeat rock density of his new album, Unfamiliar Faces. For the encore, he appeared onstage with an acoustic guitar to  accompany a new, appalachia affected song. The full band returned for the southern rock final number.

Noise Pop ’09: Deerhunter Open Fest

25 02 2009

Deerhunter packed the Mezannine for a free concert at the opening night party of Noisepop on Tuesday. A depressing performance by opening act Lilofee, who’s sound strangely marries Depeche Mode’s snyth sounds with the reverb loops and electric rhythms of experimental rock, led the crowd to booze and mingle in anticipation of the marquee act. As fans jockied for position before the show, a video graphics display of epileptically distorted clips from tiger attacks, explosions viewed in rewind, and the films Logan’s Run and The Warriors entertained the crowd.

photo by Adam Planas

The Deerhunter set began as their songs often do: quietly, with an atmospheric undulation of timbre, the shadow of reverb looped before gradually ascending towards the heights of experimental intensity. The gaunt, pale figure of lead singer Bradford Cox embodies this aesthetic. His arms spindly and skeletal, his eyes sunk, his cheekbones pronouced, he looks as if his body will soon pass into ether. Cox grounds this tenuously connected whisper of self with a maudlin mouth and frenetic sense of stage humor. As the end of the show approached, the band amplified the equalizer’s high to earsplitting effect, the looped reverb now a concussive ringing. This sound underlay the entire 15 minute encore, a tantric tinnitus ringing in audience ears long after the band’s final exit.

Deerhunter Photo Gallery

25 02 2009

Cal-Berkeley student Adam Planas checked out Deerhunter’s opening night set at Mezzanine last night, and captured these great shots of the Atlanta indie-rockers.

Noise Pop Kicks Off Tomorrow!

23 02 2009

Our team of UC-Berkeley students, Ian & Adam, will be traveling across the bay to cover the Noise Pop Festival for the rest of the week. The fest kicks-off tomorrow night @ Mezzanine with the “Opening Night Party” featuring Atlanta indie-rockers Deerhunter

and SF electro powerpoppers Lilofee playing a hometown gig.

Photo By Jared Harrel