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How to do Noise Pop 2013 on the Cheap

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Hello my young, broke and beautiful “friends,” would you like to join me for a party? It spans 7 days, has 52 shows, tons of bands, and hundreds of hours of enjoyment.

Naturally you’d be crazy to say no … but I feel like I should tell you more. I know what you’re thinking, there is no way this party exist!!! Oh, but it does!!! Here in SF we call said party, Noise Pop, and it’s been around 21 years, and it’s been helping people party like they’re 21 for all twenty one of those years. Each year the last event starts on Tuesday and ends on Sunday eve, and every Sunday eve I think, crap 358 days till the next one. Each year I look forward to the next Noise Pop from the moment the previous event ends.

Deciding whether or not you’re going shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you love indie music as much as I do, you’ll find that the hardest part of Noise Pop is who to see. With 52 shows I always have a severe case of FOMO. Thus I generally take a YOLO approach to the week. My first year experiencing Noise Pop I bought the badge, however it doesn’t work for me … it doesn’t guarantee entrance to all the shows you wanna see!!! I recommend buying individual tickets to each show you want to see. This guarantees your entrance and won’t have you stuck outside waiting for space to free up. Lots of shows do sell out, if you must see one of these, and scalping a ticket at the door isn’t an option… then get the badge. BUT SHOW UP EARLY. Having a badge doesn’t guarantee you SHHHHH anything!

For my young, super broke and beautiful … I know what you’re thinking 7 days of entertainment, 52 shows, tons of bands, hundreds of hours of enjoyment … that sounds expensive!!! For you I say: “It is!!!” Thus I suggest you stick to my favorite tried and true approach: Happy Hour. HH is a great way to be social and see amazing bands on the cheap. This years HH is at Benders, Benders can fill up fast, which sucks. On the up side it offers a super intiment viewing experience of the band!

Happy Hour starts early …  thus you may find yourself super hungry … may i recommend to you my favorite get fat quick Elvis style sandwich!? You must order the Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich. It’s good “as-is” but if you want to make if super amazing … VERY ELVIS … Add bacon … actually scratch that … NOT ADDING BACON IS NOT AN OPTION. If you’re going to do it… you need to do it right, order it with Bacon! Make my uncle Elvis proud!


There are five free happy hour shows. I am going to see them all, however some of you aren’t willing to commit that much of your week to music. Thus you will pick only one show, and I recommend that one free show be Nova Albion. (Formerly known as Music For Animals) In my opinion Nova Albion, playing with Great White Buffalo and Down And Outlaw, is too big for Bender’s, thus is going to be AMAZING!!!


Like I said earlier … with 7 days of entertainment, 52 shows, tons of bands, and hundreds of hours of enjoyment you may have become overwhelmed by the shear number of option. Thus I have created a to-do list on DO415. This is a list of shows I would do. I hope it helps inform your choice for each night.
(View my list and follow me!)


I remember my 21st like it was yesterday … or wait … I mean I’ve been celebrating my 21st like it was yesterday!!! Either way … this Tuesday Noise Pop is giving us the opportunity to celebrate their 21st with them for the twenty first time. You better believe I will be there.  However, Tuesday is still 4 days away, so while you’re waiting for live music … please enjoy this Noise Pop play-list I created on Spotify. I hope this play-list  helps you decide which bands you’d like to see this upcoming week.

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Stefan Aronsen

Stefan Aronsen

I am the co-founder of Balanced Breakfast, a meetup for music industry professionals. No, I do not sing or play any instruments ... but I have tried! My passion for music began at 7 when my parents bought me a drum set. I was BAD at drums. So I moved on, joined the school band, and played clarinet. I was BAD at the clarinet. Trying and failing at instruments continued through elementary school and into college. It turns out that while I could recognize good music; I lacked the skill to make it.

Now I'm broke, beautiful, and writing about music for Stuart...