Noise Pop 2012 – Culture Club

I never feel as much like a hipster as I do when I go to a Noise Pop event. After a year’s absence from the festival, I needed my fix again. Granted, by the time I got my act together for tickets not only were the tickets I wanted all sold out, but the tickets of the bands that seemed enjoyable were also sold out. It all worked out, however, because Mia managed to snag tickets to the Culture Club through her internship. Not having been to Culture Club before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was kind of like Chuck E Cheese for hipsters. I’ve never felt more like a hipster than I did on Saturday. That being said, I also had a lot of fun.

This is going to be a long picture filled post, so I’ll cut…

We got to make art. A local artist had a set up on the upper floor and we made sustainable art with bottles and other trash. The person running the booth did most of the hard work (like cutting up the bottle and attaching it to the board), but the arrangement and the placement was all us. It was fun and now we want to do more. We’ll see how that turns out. I’m quite proud of what I came up with, just need to figure out where to put it.

In an attempt to watch another panel, we accidentally stumbled upon a panel on Art, Animation and Film with some filmmakers from LA. It was a lot of fun and we got to see clips from a range of pieces, ranging from hilarious to dark to completely strange. My favorite video was an interpretation of a Christian fundamentalist comic. It was hilarious.


What I went to see were the scorings of the classic film A Trip to the Moon. They were showing two, one that had been already recorded and scored by the band Air and the other that was being performed live at the event. We managed to catch some of the Air screening and it was fun. I’ve been listening to their album kind of obsessively since then. Unfortunately, however, the events on the lower level were not in sync with the schedule, so the live scoring happened while we were trapped in a panel on public radio. It sounded pretty, though.

The radio panel was a lot of fun, though. A lot of local musicians were there talking about how public radio really helped spread their music and helped them make names for themselves. They talked about some of the challenges that public radio is currently facing and offered some suggestions for how to bring things up to speed and save it. Now, I knew that artists like Thao Nguyen and John Vanderslice would be there. That’s why I camped out and missed the live scoring to see them. However, I did not know that artists like Jhameel (who I did not know was part Korean) and one of the members of Rogue Wave were also going to be there. A lot more awesome than I expected. They also finished the event with a live performance of Video Killed the Radio Star.

There was one other event that I was looking forward to and it was scored Live Art event where comic artist Jamaica Dyer painted to live musical accompaniment. Now, it was supposed to be one of the final events, but I guess we must have missed the memo at some point that they were moving it not only to a different stage, but changing the time. So while we camped out on the second stage watching a tutorial on making dub step…

…the music we were hearing downstairs was not the Bounce panel but actually the Live Art event. Fortunately, we managed to make it down in time to catch the last fifteen or so minutes. While I was upset that we missed a lot of the event, it was so cool to see. I’m glad we didn’t manage to miss all of it. And while I am not a fan of dub step music, it was actually really cool to see how it was made.

Other than the events and the sustainable art, there were a lot of other interesting things going on. There was a booth doing wine tasting from a local vineyard. They do cheap wine tastings every month, so I jumped onto the mailing list. Barefoot Coffee, a San Jose coffee shop, was there selling coffee. Mia said the coffee was very good ,but she can’t take me there because she faked a British accent when she was there or something. The coffee was so good, though. 😀 There was a remix room that was kind of awkward to be in.

There were also comic- inspired record covers and an art gallery by Grimes.

We got free shirts and cowbells and took pictures in a photo booth.

There were some amazing food trucks outside. I finally tried the Magic Curry Cart. Got some Thai green good.

Like I said, the event was like Hipster Chuck E. Cheese. Barring for the programming changes and missing the Live Scoring of A Trip to the Moon, it was a lot of fun. Hopefully the lawyer life won’t prevent me from doing this and an actual show next year.


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