GBV, Flaming Lips Set To Rock Noise Pop Fest

Among other bands to play the seventh annual indie-rock gathering are Creeper Lagoon, Grandaddy and Beulah.

Indie acts Guided By Voices, Flaming Lips, Creeper Lagoon, Grandaddy, 764-hero and Beulah are among the first rock bands to sign on for the seventh annual Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco this winter.

These artists are among 35 nationally known and local acts that will be scheduled to play around the city by the Bay during the five-day, eight-show festival, which begins Feb. 23 and runs through Feb. 28.

"What I like is [that] it's a great opportunity for local bands to reap some attention from playing with bands with national recognition," 29-year-old Beulah frontman Miles Kurosky said. "I'm always excited to see who's going to be on [the lineup]. This year seems to be even bigger than last year."

Other bands set to play the music festival -- designed to give exposure to indie bands that don't regularly draw large crowds -- include Death Cab For Cutie, Sunset Valley, Oranger, Murder City Devils, Red Stars Theory and the Push Kings.

After their original, one-day show at the now defunct Kennel Club in December of 1993, Noise Pop blossomed last year with a five-night stand featuring such high-profile noise rockers as X's John Doe and former Pixies frontman Frank Black. Some lesser-known pop acts included Modest Mouse, Apples In Stereo and a live conduction of the Flaming Lips "Audio Experiment." The experiment involved the simultaneous playing of numerous boom boxes.

"Both Kevin [festival co-organizer Kevin Arnold] and I are super excited about [the lineup so far]," festival co-organizer Jordan Kurland said. "Certainly, Guided By Voices are huge and having the Flaming Lips back and playing an actual show is going to be great."

With the festival set to hit such popular San Francisco clubs as the Great American Music Hall, the Bottom of the Hill and Bimbo's 365 Club, Kurland said his and Arnold's biggest pressure was duplicating last year's success.

"We always look for the same type of lineup. Last year was such a success, we were both feeling a lot of pressure to not only build on, but even match what we were able to accomplish last year," Kurland said. "That was something that was a) driving us and b) freaking us out a little bit. We wanted to make sure we could offer the same type of festival."

Kurland said he and Arnold are eyeing a number of local acts to complement the nationally known bands already booked.

"The main thing is [that] it's nice to see it grow; granted I'm sure they have no intention of turning this into South By Southwest or CMJ," Kurosky said. "It's nice to think it's becoming more of a national showcase rather than just a local one."

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