Noise Pop 2010: Scout Niblett, Sonny and the Sunsets at Cafe du Nord


More impressions of Noise Pop, comin’ right up.

Blame it on a lingering head cold but I was bummed that I had to skulk off before Citay took the stage on Feb. 25 at Cafe du Nord. I got there just in time for Niblett, however: the Portland, Ore., performer was a solo powerhouse, conjuring estrogen-fueled might with a plaintive wail and some blissfully crunchy riffs for a packed house. At the risk of waxing rockist, I only wished it were even louder and harder.

The next day Sonny and the Sunsets hit the sweet spot at Cafe du Nord with some great garage rock. Why aren’t we all listening to “Death Cream” and “Stranded” on some fantastic, nonexistent radio station? And how much more fun can this Sonny Smith project -- part Kelley Stoltz band, part Citay, part Fresh and Onlys -- get? Smith’s songs hark to some of my favorite veins of ‘50s sentimental pop and ‘70s dirty rock, and with this lineup the stars appear to be aligned. Need more proof? The back of the room was riddled with girls dancing among themselves, swaying to the music.

The Growlers -- sprawling and shaggy, with plentiful volume -- had the misfortune of following S&S, but don’t feel to sorry for them. A good portion of the crowd -- supporters and family, no doubt? -- bellied up to the front to document the proceedings.

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