The White Stripes. The Flaming Lips. Spoon. Modest Mouse. The Mountain Goats. Sleater-Kinney. Guided By Voices. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. These are only a handful of the hundreds of bands who have performed over the last two decades at San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival.
Many were little known when they first took the Noise Pop stage. Every February, Noise Pop returns giving music fans an opportunity to discover something new.
In 1993, Noise Pop was launched as a one-night event featuring a handful of local acts. It went so well, founders Kevin Arnold and Jordan Kurland, tried it again in 1994. They tapped punk rock band Jawbreaker to headline. The band had just come off a tour opening for Nirvana and were riding a wave of critical acclaim for their album 24-Hour Revenge Therapy. Not surprisingly, that show also did well, so the duo persisted.
Today, Noise Pop stretches over 10 days at venues in both San Francisco and Oakland. The focus continues to expose your ears to exciting new sounds of noise and pop, but recent years have seen an expansion beyond the aural to also include the visual.