of us not busy purpling in academia’s headlock will be delighted to hear that Noise Pop XVI kicks off in San Francisco today and runs through to the end of the week. This year, the annual music festival – which, to its credit, stages a number of art and film exhibitions, as well – features bands like The Walkmen, Stellastarr*, The Magnetic Fields, Holy Fuck, The Mountain Goats, British Sea Power and MSTRKRFT (good luck pronouncing that one).

The word “festival” may be a bit of a misnomer, though, given the fact that the sets are staged at actual venues instead of the hastily constructed outdoor stages shaded by flimsy tents so characteristic of other festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella. So unless you pay out of your nose for the $180 festival badge, you’ll need to shell out a cover fee for every band you see. But to be fair, who wouldn’t want to pay an exorbitant 12 bucks to bop all night long to electrostompers like LA Riots and Lazaro Casanova? Among, ahem, other innocuous verbs.

The Clog says go for it: what’s a festival if not the chance to rub up against sweaty, filthy, scantily-clad teenagers and call it a good time? And by that we mean sway tipsily to John Darnielle’s erudite serenades–which, by the way, have prompted the usually sniffly New Yorker to refer to him as “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist” in a past issue. Whoa. English majors represent!

The Noise Pop Website lists over 100 bands in attendance. For a schedule, look no further than this sentence.

Image: Danica Li
Noise Pop XVI [Web site]
John Darnielle [Wikipedia]
The Declaimers [The New Yorker]


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