Noise Pop 2012: It's 20 years for the massive music and film fest -- tender memories with Archers of Loaf, Cursive, Thao, and more
The year Kurland joined, the Flaming Lips did the momentous boombox experiment (pre-Zireka) at Bimbo's, and Modest Mouse played its first show at Great American Music Hall. In the years that followed, the organizers introduced the Noise Pop Film Festival, which screens music-enwrapped flicks, and have toyed with different music education forums. There was once Noise Pop Night School, this year, there's Culture Club at Public Works, where you can learn how to bounce with Big Freedia, or all about art, animation, and film with Aaron Rose and Syd Garon. The fest, which began a small indie music creature, is now a many-headed culture beast.
This year is a significant year for Noise Pop, as Kurland is well aware. "You only get one 20th anniversary...so for this year it was a big effort to bring back bands that have played." He and Arnold called up acts such as Flaming Lips, Archers of Loaf, Bob Mould, and Imperial Teen, all of which played early on.
There's also Thao and John Vanderslice, locals who have both separately played Noise Pops past in different incarnations, and who this year will co-headline Bottom of the Hill. At that show Thao will be testing out five to six new songs, and says "depending on the reaction, they may or may not go on the new album."
There is, however, one act that will be brand new to Noise Pop this year and yet, is still part of the tradition in a sense. Kurland has been trying to nab Built to Spill for the fest for the past 14 years, to no avail, though it did once play Treasure Island (also part of Noise Pop Industries). His annual reach-out for the act has become a tradition in its own right. "Every year it's like a joke, I call them up, and it actually worked this year!"
That Built to Spill show at the Fillmore, however, is long sold out, as are many of the big names — Flaming Lips, Atlas Sound, Imperial Teen, even comparatively newer acts like Grimes. Though those who purchased badges will still have the opportunity to check them out, and there are dozens of other impressive lineups. "It's definitely moving quicker this year," Kurland says when the rate of sell-outs is pointed out. "I think there's more attention on the festival."
"It seems obvious, but I feel every year we get a little more established," he adds. "I feel like not that long ago people who should know what Noise Pop is, didn't."
Noise Pop also inevitability brings a whole batch of artists wandering the city. Stebbins from Imperial Teen is hoping to catch Archers of Loaf at Great American Music Hall, Christie Front Drive at Cafe Du Nord, and Craig Finn at Bottom of the Hill, among other fellow artists. Interestingly, Kasher from Cursive also mentions those exact shows. Kurland, the eternal music fan, is also ready to haunt SF's venues yet again. "I'm kind of stressed about some of the nights, I'm like, okay, Saturday night I've got Surfer Blood, but also Archers of Loaf..."
Time again to start marking those schedules, fanatics.
Various venues, SF