Popping Off
Originally conceived as a one-night showcase for local bands, the fourth annual "Noise Pop Festival" has grown to a four-day affair featuring multivenues and 27 bands who, by hook or by crook, have come from as far away as Boise and Calgary. The common bond among these motley crews? According to festival founder Kevin Arnold, they all write songs "rich with guitars, melody, and noise" (a description that fits 95 percent of S.F. bands). KUSF, KALX, and Live 105 (a newcomer to the event) are co-presenting, and once again Frank Kozik has designed some snazzy posters that will be available at all participating venues. But if you prefer to take your thrills vicariously, Jetpack e-zine (formerly Buzznet) is hosting a Web site at

Whew, what a schedule: Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Kilowatt with Overwhelming Colorfast, Stuntman, American Sensei, No Knife, and Spackle; Friday, Feb. 23, at the Bottom of the Hill with the Fastbacks, Bracket, Chixdiggit, and the Action Slacks; a Saturday, Feb. 24, matinee at the Bottom of the Hill with Tilt, the Groovie Ghoulies, and Maxiwagon, followed by an evening show with the Meices, Red #5, Skiploader, and Carlos!; a special Sunday, Feb. 25, waffle brunch at the Chameleon with Thirty Ought Six, Hugh, Trackstar, Magic Pacer, Creeper Lagoon, and Farflung; Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Trocadero with the Supersuckers, Tenderloin, the Clarke Nova, Alcohol Funnycar, and Peppercorn. Tickets are available in advance at most venues because most of the shows have historically sold out -- so, get poppin'!

There's nothing like an election year to bring out the Bennetts. As the notorious Philadelphia Police Department struggles with its usual corruption scandals and the recent homicides of two officers, a 4-year-old reissue by the long-defunct Michigan punks the Crucifucks has become a rallying cry for the Fraternal Order of Police because of an altered but uncredited back-cover image of a downed officer taken from a Philly police promotional poster. In Round 2, the PFOP finally attempted to serve legal papers to Alternative Tentacles, the Crucifucks' small local indie label, via a FedEx no one would sign for. The pending lawsuit recalls the 1985 obscenity charges brought against the Dead Kennedys and AT over the phallus-friendly Frankenchrist artwork, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight before the case was thrown out. "What they're doing seems more malicious than guided by any real moral agenda," AT publicist Jennifer Fisher says. "Their quotes are all about hitting us in the pockets 'for millions.' The Crucifucks' Our Will Be Done sold 1,200 copies."

By Silke Tudor, Sia Michel

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