Noise Pop, San Francisco’s very own fiesta of independent music, film, art and culture, celebrates its Sweet 16 this year.
The festival, which runs through Sunday, has brought together top-notch indie rock acts with local favorites since the early 1990s. True to form, the folks at Noise Pop have created another weeklong extravaganza of rockin’ tunes.
Here are five shows to check out.
The singer-songwriter is a one-man recording machine known for churning out retro lo-fi pop rock that pays homage to the likes of Brian Wilson, Nick Drake and the Velvet Underground. The Sub Pop-signed multi-instrumentalist is a regular around town — he both lives and plays in The City by the Bay — and has a new record under his belt, “Circular Sounds.” Catch Stoltz at 8 p.m. tonight at the Independent, 628 Divisadero St. $14.
Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp are more than just an indie rock duo — they’re also husband and wife. The North Carolina couple serve up songs rife with catchy hooks and romantic introspection, but without the taste of saccharine-laced clichés. The married melody makers perform 9 p.m. Friday at the Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St. $15.
“Happy Hollow,” the 2006 effort from the Omaha-based quartet, explores broken American dreams, the dissatisfaction that surrounds living in a small-town and the troubles of religious dogma and hypocrisy. Tim Kasher and company grapple with small-town life at 8 p.m. Friday at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St. $18.
The man himself may be gone, but his legacy certainly lives on in “Pictures of Me: Rare Photographs of Elliott Smith.” Revered for his intimate and melancholy pop songs, Smith left an indelible mark on fans and music critics alike; his memory continues to live on even after his tragic death in 2003. Through photographs taken by friend and photographer Autumn de Wilde, Smith enthusiasts get a glimpse at an often unseen side of the late singer-songwriter. Limited edition prints will be available of de Wilde’s work at the opening reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday at Queen’s Nails Annex, 3191 Mission St. The exhibition runs Friday through Sunday.
She & Him
Indie cinema’s “it girl” Zooey Deschanel and folk maestro M. Ward joined collaborative forces in 2006 after learning of each other’s appreciation for the sound of early analog recordings. “Volume One,” set to be released in March, marks the twosome’s country-sprinkled pop debut. The boy-girl pair closes the Noise Pop festivities at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St. Admission with festival badge only, $175.
IF YOU GO
Noise Pop 2008
When: Today through Sunday
Where: Various locations including 12 Galaxies, Artists’ Television Access, Bimbo’s, Bottom of the Hill, Cafe Du Nord, Great American Music Hall, The Independent
Contact: (415) 375-3370, www.noisepop.com