Inteview with Memory Tapes

This interview can also be found on SFist.
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(photo by Rez Avissar)

While you really can't go wrong with just about any of the Noise Pop weekend options, we are particularly looking forward to catching Memory Tapes as Bottom of the Hill tomorrow night. The solo project of New Jersey based stay-at-home dad Dayve Hawk, Memory Tapes 2009 debut LP Seek Magic was one of the most talked about and downright enjoyable albums of last year, earning a well-deserved place on endless best-of-year lists. Up until a few months ago, however, not much was known about the reportedly reclusive artist -- Dayve had yet to play a live show as Memory Tapes, and rarely seemed to sit down for interviews. We had a chance to catch up with Dayve earlier this month, where we had a lengthy discussion about his love of small shows, his desire to be a distinctly blue collar musician, his approach to remixes and much, much more. And guess what -- it turns out Dayve Hawk isn't quite the enigma people thought he was after all.

Memory Tapes play Bottom of the Hill Saturday (2/27) with Loquat, Birds & Batteries and Letting Up Despite Great Faults. Advanced tickets are sold out, but a limited number of tickets may be available at the door.

While your debut LP Seek Magic was released back in September, you just got around to playing live shows as Memory Tapes in late January. How have the shows been so far?

They have been good. The first one was in Manchester, and that was fun, because there was no stage -- I have always really liked playing at places without a stage. And then from there the shows got progressively bigger, and thus progressively a little bit weirder for me. But they have all been pretty good. Nothing terrible has happened.

I am always a big fan of those nontraditional venues, where the artist is forced to just kind of play in the crowd. Do you see yourself getting the chance to play more places like this, even if you wind up having to play them somewhat covertly?

I’d like to, and I know no one around me likes it when I say that. Coming home from England I was telling everyone that I only wanted to play shows to a 100 to 150 people from now on. [laughs] I like it better. I always like house shows and shows that are not in normal venues – it’s just more fun. It’s more like you are in a room with a bunch of people at a party or something and are playing. It’s not so much like the grind of -- you are in a bar, and you wait, and you go up on stage, and you do a sound check. It just gets boring. So I would like to be able to do that kind of thing in the future more.

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epicsauce in 7x7 magazine -- 5 Overlooked Local Noise Pop Acts

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(photo: Weekend and Man/Miracle)

We wrote an article for 7x7 Magazine's blog this week highlighting five of our favorite lesser known local Noise Pop acts -- Man/Miracle, Far, Weekend, Ghosts on Tape and The Baths. The post is reprinted below.

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The 18th annual Noise Pop Festival has officially begun, and we already got you covered on all the must-see marquee acts playing throughout the jam packed week. We thought we would take a moment, however, to introduce you to some of Noise Pop's more overlooked local treasures -- those opening this year, headlining next year acts that you will wish you caught before they blew up. While Noise Pop is always a week of extremely difficult choices, below are five rising local artist that we highly recommend checking out. Don't worry, you can thank us next year.

Man/Miracle
Easily the most crowd-pleasing of our featured artist, Oakland's Man/Miracle caught us by surprise late last year with their stunning debut LP, The Shape of Things. With ten infectiously catchy tracks in under thirty minutes, The Shape of Things is that rare all-meat, no-filler album that you will find yourself playing on repeat throughout the day, subconsciously awaiting that self-satisfying moment where the last track ends and you get to start the whole affair over again. While in no way a carbon copy or mere appropriation, the go to Talking Heads comparison can hardly be overlooked here -- the quartet are clearly children of both David Byrne's unapologetic vocal styling and the group's legendary afrobeat inspired rhythm section, proof that the unique style has hardly lost its relevancy after all these years. There is little doubt that these guys are going to find commercial success in 2010, so you might want to start name dropping them to your non-SF friends now.

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A Procrastinator's Guide to Noise Pop

You can also find our Noise Pop coverage at SFist.
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While the festival officially began last night with the previously discussed Deerhoof and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band performance at The Fox Theater, today marks the start of the conflict-ridden portion of Noise Pop, where you have seemingly infinite number of solid shows to choose from each night. But for better or for worse, the promoters made things a bit easier for those of us who slept on the initial on-sales, and didn't shell out the $150 for a all-inclusive badge this year -- a good chunk of the festival's premier events have long been sold out! But no need to worry, as there are still plenty of great options out there for you procrastinators.

Tonight (2/24)

The bad news is that both the buzz-band packed Gorilla Vs. Bear party at Cafe Du Nord and the Bottom of the Hill show with Rogue Wave and fantastic local upstarts Man/Miracle are very sold out. There are still tickets to be had, however, to what should be a great Foreign Born/The Fresh & Onlys co-headlining show at Rickshaw Stop. If you have yet to catch The Fresh & Onlys, tonight is definitely the night to do so -- the oh-so-San Francisco psychedelic-tinged garage-rock act (we have a lot of these right now) are set to embark on a two month stint with King Khan & The Shrines in March, and are likely to make a serious name for themselves in the national scene in the process. This might just be your last chance to catch them when they are still a decidedly local act.

Remaining Noise Pop options:
Foreign Born, The Fresh & Onlys, Free Energy, The Splinters @ Rickshaw Stop $12
The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger @ Independent $20
Social Studies, The Old Fashioned Way, Shark Toys @ Benders (Free)

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Interview With Deerhoof

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(Photo by phivephotography.com)

The 18th annual Noise Pop Festival begins with a bang tonight, with local legends Deerhoof opening for the star-studded Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band at The Fox Theater. We had a chance to catch up with Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier via email last week, where we discussed his love for Yoko Ono's live show, Deerhoof's difficulty jamming, the group's love/hate relationship with Kortrijk, Belgium and much more.

Deerhoof plays The Fox Theater tonight (2/23) with Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono band. Tickets are $39.50

In a recent blog post, you wrote "[Yoko] Ono's music to me is very close to total purity … I'm never moved by any kind of music in the same way I am moved by traditional folk musics, but Yoko Ono is an exception." That is quite the affirmation! Can you elaborate a bit on why Ono's music is just so special to you?

I was really talking about seeing Plastic Ono Band live. On record it's one thing, but live it's a whole other experience. She's so spontaneous. That's why I said it is pure -- because she has so little plan, she just feeds off the energy of the band and the audience. It also seems emotionally pure. Like when she starts in, her singing seems like it's 0% brain, 100% feeling. But at the same time, I'd be hard-pressed to say what emotion she is expressing. It's like all emotions at once, or none at all.

I could imagine that this being one of the premier Noise Pop shows must make the night even more exciting for you. Do you particularly look forward to these big local shows?

I don't know if "look forward" is quite right. Maybe the right word is "dread." It's one thing to make a fool of yourself in front of strangers, another thing in front of your friends. We got lucky this time, Noisepop came a-calling. How are you going to say no to Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band!

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!!! (Chk Chk Chk) / Maus Haus / Sugar & Gold / My First Earthquake Ticket Giveaway

chkchkchk_maushaus.jpg Our friend's at Noise Pop have been kind enough to hook us up with a pair of tickets to giveaway to Saturday's Mezzanine hosted dance party with !!!, Maus Haus (previous coverage), Sugar & Gold and My First Earthquake. Check out our previous coverage on what is guaranteed to be a great show.

Enter to win tickets here (contest closes Wednesday at midnight):


Like free shows? Be sure to RSVP for our upcoming FREE party with French Miami, White Cloud and Silian Rail.