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Noise Pop Festival rolls into closing weekend with marathon of shows

Celebrating its 31st year, the annual Noise Pop Festival ramps up its schedule of local and national acts with dozens of concerts through through the expansive San Francisco music celebration's final day on March 3.

A San Francisco institution ever since it began as one night of loud, tuneful local bands back in 1993, the festival has expanded this year to ten days of music, film and art featuring some of the most respected names in independent music. While the focus remains on the cutting edge of indie rock, the eclectic festival also features modern R&B, global grooves and even avant-garde electronic music. Noise Pop will also be presenting shows at unusual new venues with multiple events at Grace Cathedral and Mission District art space Gray Area.  

Noise Pop Festival 2024
Noise Pop Festival 2024 full line-up. Noise Pop Industries

In addition to the busy schedule of concerts at venues across the Bay Area, the festival will also be hosting free happy hour events at Bender's that will include band line-ups put together by local promoters. On Wednesday, Trixie Rasputin Presents brings SF garage-punk band Scary Scare, indie-rock trio Nina Durango and songwriter Marika Christine to the venue, while Talent Moat offers up top-shelf underground punks the Losers, noisy experimentalists Croissant and rising Oakland synth punks Fog Lamp early Friday evening. On Saturday, RWS Presents hosts post-hardcore band Ex Everything (featuring current and former members of Kowloon Walled City, Early Graves, and Mercy Ties), psychedelic punks Gravedodger and noise outfit Kim.  

Wednesday evening, the festival's increasingly busy schedule of shows continues with multi-instrumentalist Louis Cole headlining August Hall. Half of the jazzy future-funk ensemble Knower, the Los Angeles musician and producer has built a huge following with his irreverent viral videos that showcase his prodigious drumming and soulful voice. He appears with like-minded talents Nate Wood, Chris Fishman and Genevieve Artadi for a night of propulsive grooves and hook-heavy pop funk.

F it up - Louis Cole (Live Sesh) by louiscolemusic on YouTube

Also of note Wednesday is an appearance by synthesizer player and Nine Inch Nails member Alessandro Cortini at Gray Area that will feature his imposing arsenal of modular keyboards for a night of expansive electronic music. Ambient/shoegaze guitarist Rachika Nayar and DJ Experimental Housewife also appear. Meanwhile, pianist and soundtrack composer Emile Mosseri ("The Last Black Man in San Francisco," "Minari," "Kajillionaire") will headline the Swedish American Hall.      

Thursday will see the first in a series of shows at the SFJAZZ Center's intimate Joe Henderson Lab where pianist Holly Bowling plays two sold-out shows featuring her solo reimagining of songs from the Grateful Dead and Phish catalogs. Chicago indie-rock trio Dehd tops the bill at the Great American Music Hall with local hero Brontez Purnell, while fellow Chicago experimental rockers and former Red Red Meat frontman Tim Rutili's band Califone plays the Kilowatt with Caleb NicholsCredit Electric and Fake Your Own Death and LA-based rock band Cherry Glazerr headlines August Hall. The festival also partners with the Museum of the African Diaspora to present jazzy spoken-word artists Aja Monet and Tongo Eisen-Martin at the Swedish American Hall as Gray Area hosts another forward-thinking electronic show with Ninja Tune artist/producer Actress presenting a unique audio/visual performance with support from Bolivian-American experimentalist Chuquimamani-Condori, Oakland artist Mars Kumari, and Bay Area producer Eileen Sho Ji.  

Friday's line-up is anchored by the festival's ostensible headliners, '90s hip-hop/soul legends Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, who play the Curran Theater. The Cleveland group's signature mix of singsong rapping and vocal harmonies first hit the charts with their breakout hit single "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" in 1993. The song from the group's debut EP Creepin on ah Come Up on gangsta icon Eazy-E's Ruthless Records put Bone Thugs on the map. More hits followed, including "1st of tha Month" and "Tha Crossroads," which paid tribute to Eazy-E after his AIDS-related death and scored the quartet a Grammy Award in 1997. Their most recent effort New Waves came out in 2017.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Thuggish Ruggish Bone (Official Music Video) by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on YouTube

The festival returns to Grace Cathedral Friday night for a special solo acoustic performance by John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats who will be joined by singer/songwriter Rett Madison for a show co-presented by the Great American Music Hall, which will be hosting Lindsey Jordan's indie-rock project Snail Mail for her curated "Valentine West" event that will feature the artist headlining over a specially curated line-up of acts including Dallas-based shoegaze-metal band Narrow Head and songwriters Greg Mendez and Stephen Steinbrink on Friday and Cola, The Reds, Pinks & Purples and The Softies on Saturday. Long-running indie dance party Popscene teams with the fest to present French Canadian soul singer Shay Lia -- who is best known for her extensive collaborations with Kaytranada -- and leftfield Toronto rapper Cadence Weapon at the Rickshaw Stop and the Bottom of the Hill offers up a show with Oakland emo/post-punk band Ultra Q with rising San Francisco shoegazers chokecherry.

On Saturday, Noise Pop goes into overdrive early, kicking off with the free two-day rock poster show Flatstock. Held in partnership with the American Poster Institute, the show being held starting at noon both days at Social Hall SF below the Regency Ballroom on Sutter Street will feature a wide array of local, national and international poster artists including San Francisco mainstays Lil Tuffy (aka Terrence Ryan), Chris Gallen and Secret Serpents co-founder Justin McNeal, along with Dave KlocIshaq Fahim, Barry Blankenship and many others. The Swedish American Hall hosts an afternoon show with Charlottesville, Virginia-based folk singer and Ghostly International artist Kate Bollinger at 4 p.m., while the Joe Henderson Lab at SFJAZZ presents the first of two performancess by Oakland Afrofuturist funk sextet The Seshen at 7 p.m.

Laetitia Sadier "Panser L'Inacceptable" (Official Music Video) by Drag City on YouTube

Other highlights on Saturday evening include a solo show by Stereolab's talented keyboardist and singer Laetitia Sadier at the Chapel, playing songs from her spiritually restorative new effort Rooting For Love with local openers SeabliteReverend Kristin Michael Hayter -- the new incarnation of the experimental pianist/vocal artist formerly known as Lingua Ignota now using her real name -- playing traditional hymns and gospel-tinged original songs from her latest harrowing latest album SAVED! at Grace Cathedral, Canadian garage-punk guru Mark Sultan (aka the BBQ in collaborative duo the King Khan and BBQ Show) at the Kilowatt and NYC songwriter and soul siren Kendra Morris, who headlines the Bottom of the Hill

On Sunday, the sprawling festival comes to a close with one final surge of events. Acclaimed Los Angeles lowrider soul act Thee Sinseers headline an early afternoon matinee at the Bottom of the Hill with SF psychedelic soul/hip-hop maverick James Wavey before multi-instrumentalist and singer Melanie Charles plays the first of two early shows at the Joe Henderson Lab at 6 p.m. Later, Ethiopian-jazz keyboard great Hailu Mergia -- who came to fame in his native country playing with Addis Ababa instrumental jazz-funk band the Walias that grew wider with the reissue of such classic albums as Tezeta andTche Belew -- plays songs at the Great American Music Hall with support from the Orchestra Gold Trio, a three-piece version of the popular Oakland psychedelic Afrobeat band featuring Malian lead singer Mariam Diakite (the group will also collaborate with Jamaican dub legend the Scientist, who will do a live mix of the band during a special show at the Chapel Friday night that is not affiliated with the festival. Meanwhile LA punk band Militarie Gun teams with SF favorites Spiritual Cramp at the Rickshaw Stop and the Kilowatt hosts a huge eight-band bill including local acts Analog Dog, Pure Hex, Thank You Come AgainGrooblen, Mayya and more. Additional details about Noise Pop's full schedule of events, tickets and festival badges can be found at

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