Noise Pop: Memory Tapes, Loquat, Birds & Batteries, Letting Up Despite Great Faults @ Bottom of the Hill 2/27/10
Noise Pop has a way of billing bands you wouldn’t necessarily think compliment each other. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, maybe it didn’t work so well. Separately, each of these bands was great, but perhaps not to the projected Memory Tapes audience at Bottom of the Hill last night.
First up, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, a mouthful of a name, hiked it up the coast from LA with their melancholy new wave combinations of synth, unexpected guitar riffs, and strangely fitting percussion rhythms. It was a surprisingly delightful start to an already packed and ecstatic crowd.
Local up-and-comers Birds & Batteries took the stage with a little more of a veteran confidence, conjuring somewhat of a magnetic presence. You didn’t really know what was coming next, but you did know that you wanted to hear more. Normally sleepy, lo-fi indie, Birds & Batteries kicked it up a notch, showcasing their new EP in its entirety, Up To No Good. The electro-funk departure and bold, commanding lyrics were played flawlessly. A little bit different of a genre from Letting Up Despite Great Faults, but definitely more in the Memory Tapes vein.
Next up, SF locals, Loquat, filled the room with spooky guitars and strong vocals that carried throughout. They’re great musicians and together, compliment each other well, however, they didn’t appear to be playing to the right audience. For a bunch of electro-obsessed indie fanatics expecting heavy synths, intense rhythms and loud, compelling dance tunes, Loquat wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. With the exception of about a dozen Loquat super-fans, most everyone stood lifeless and cross-armed patiently, yet unhappily, waiting for the main event. Don’t discount them as a bad live show; we just think they would have been better suited billed at another event.
Finally, the infamous Memory Tapes took the stage around 11:30pm at an all-ages show (is there even still a curfew law?). One-man-band Dayve Hawk, normally known for his epic remixes of songs by anyone from Gucci Mane to Tanlines to Fool’s Gold, and Phoenix, etc was joined by a touring drummer. Rolling his pre-recorded backing beats, Hawk wailed on the guitar, and rolled through his album Seek Magic, colliding one song into the next. Although it seemed like the world’s shortest set (I think we timed it at 20ish minutes before encore), Memory Tapes followed through ultimately appeasing the hungry hipster crowd.