A rock festival called Noise Pop is celebrating its 20th year, spread around innumerable venues in The City.
In 1992, I happened to work beside the festival's founder, Kevin Arnold, at a company that monitored televised news feeds to sell spots back to entities mentioned, whether in a good or bad report, so they could track positions in various national markets. I didn't know Kevin well, and he certainly wouldn't recollect me, but over the ensuing years I'm pleasantly reminded of his small side project that has since become one of the country's best just-under-the-radar music exhibitions.
Last Tuesday night, I met a friend for a Noise Pop show at Brick & Mortar in The Mission District, particularly one he had seen recently called Chapter 24 from England. They buzzed along in a Siouxsie & the Banshees, high energy sort of punk pop way, fresh as any band with 24 in its name.
The venue was perfectly-sized, affordable, and not over-designed. Brick & Mortar's crystal chandelier is a welcomed bit of elegance after decades of disco ball dominance.
Other bands on the bill -- Carlotta Sue Kay, Bare Wires, and the terrific local outfit Dirty Ghosts -- fit nicely together. I especially enjoyed Dirty Ghosts. Turns out the show was their record release party for Metal Moon. Look out for them.
We are spoiled for showcase music events in San Francisco from the huge Outside Lands Festival, the magic of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and micro-fests like BYOQ, but Noise Pop has become as robust, accessible & reliable a week of music as any in the country. Thanks Mr. Arnold for twenty years of the good stuff.