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Jordan Kurland's Top Five Noise Pop Memories 


Jordan Kurland partnered with Noise Pop founder Kevin Arnold in the festival's sixth year. Here, he looks back on some of his favorite Noise Pop sets.

5. A three-way tie:
Yoko Ono at the Fox Theater, 2010
Meeting Yoko automatically qualifies as a highlight of the festival, as well as of life. I just wish Kevin and I didn't look so uncomfortable in the photo we took with her.

Joanna Newsom at Swedish American Hall, 2005
We booked one of Joanna's first-ever shows when she played first on a bill opening for Cat Power in 2002. Seeing her come back three years later and play two very sold-out solo shows was moving on so many levels.

Bob Mould at Bimbo's 365 Club, 2000
Bob is whom Kevin and I point to as both musical hero and the starting point for all things Noise Pop. Needless to say, having him perform at our indie rock love-in of a festival was a huge coup.

4. Eric Bachman at Thee Parkside, 2002
After opening for Catpower at Bimbo's, Eric headed over to Thee Parkside, where he played a somewhat drunken midnight set for an even more drunken audience. One highlight was a sing-along to the Archers of Loaf classic, "Greatest of All Time."

3. Frank Black and John Doe at a now-closed restaurant on 16th Street in the Mission, 1998
I drove Charles (aka Frank) and John to play a couple songs on Live 105 and then had the pleasure of eating breakfast with them. I definitely was the coolest 25-year-old in the restaurant, if not all of the Mission, for that hour of my life.

2. Flaming Lips at Bimbo's 365 Club, 2006 (Festival opening show)
Wayne Coyne performed his civic duty by presenting Kevin and me with a "Noise Pop Week" proclamation from then-Mayor Gavin Newsom.

1. Guided by Voices at Bimbo's 365 Club, 2002 (Festival closing show)
After an amazing, long, and drunken set (duh), Robert Pollard and company returned to the stage for an epic encore consisting of the first eight songs, in order, from the most celebrated GBV album, Bee Thousand.

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