Noise Pop 2013
The Fresh & Onlys, R. Stevie Moore, Plateaus, and Burnt Ones
February 27, 2013
Bottom of the Hill
San Francisco, Ca


I had my first introduction to the Noise Pop festival while I was living in Chicago.  I didn’t really know about the festival, but I lived close to the Empty Bottle and some of my favorite bands were playing there during what I later learned was Noise Pop.  Noise Pop didn’t last long in Chicago, so it is a pleasure to now live where the festival was founded and see old bands that I love and get introduced to new music that I would have otherwise never known about.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it in time to see the first two bands, Plateaus and Burt Ones on this evening.  My friend, Victoria, and I went to an art show and then I had a taco craving that couldn’t be stopped. After a delectable dinner of cheap tacos, we made our way to the Bottom of the Hill and arrived just as the Plateaus were finishing up.  There was a cluster at the door and we had to wait outside for a while, but we were able to hear their last few songs.  They sounded great, but we were still pleased with our taco run.  Well, until our other friends told us that we totally missed out and the Plateaus were really good.

Tim Cohen of The Fresh & Onlys asked Victoria to bring some records for the merch table along with us.  Little did we know, the records would create excitement among the mob at the door.  People were super stoked that the records were going to be available and were a super let down that we couldn’t sell them outside.   Yeah, we were outside for a bit…

I was unfamiliar with R. Stevie Moore before he took the stage.  He was so good that I had to whip out my iPhone and go to the Noise Pop app to read his description.  The words “fifty years” and “400 cassette tapes” left me wondering how in the world this man passed me by.  His has mad vocal prowess.  The music was so good that San Francisco head nod was stronger than usual.  We all know that San Franciscan show goers are more of shoe gazers than thrashers, so it was good to see slightly more aggressive head nodding.  If R. Stevie Moore isn’t on your radar, you should hone in on him soon.

I have seen The Fresh & Onlys on more than one occasion and they bring it every time.  They opened up their set with an older song, “Dreamin is Easy”, which perfectly set the tone for the rest of the show.  The Fresh & Onlys have a mellow rock vibe, the kind of music you may want to make out to.  Off center lyrics floating above the gritty guitar, maniacal drumming and flourishing bass create an ethereal sound that delights the senses.  The Fresh  & Onlys played the way the bands play in their hometowns…you know, when they are with their friends and fans that have been down since the beginning.

During their third song “Fascinated”, Tim glanced at me from the stage and I can see why he captivates so many. I met Tim a couple of years ago. I was totally fascinated when I found out he was a walking hip-hop encyclopedia and b-ball fanatic, while sitting beside each other at a bar. I had no idea of his musical talent at that time. He was just an enigmatic dude and an interesting conversationalist. We began a platonic friendship that included drinking, talking about any topic that came to mind, and me asking Tim for advice about dudes before I met Sean. Tim’s presence on stage isn’t really surprising, but is sort of an expression of dichotomy. It reminded of an article I read awhile back about the role of music in human evolution which discusses why people are attracted to musicians. The entire band is provocative; they draw you in and keep you there throughout the entire set. I bet there were a few ladies in the audience whom’s panties nearly fell to the floor as they daydreamed about Tim, Shayde, Wymond, and Kyle.

The Fresh & Onlys - Bottom of the Hill -  February 27, 2013

The Fresh & Onlys – Bottom of the Hill – February 27, 2013

The band launched into “Summer Of Love”, then “Fire Alarm” followed by a funny exchange with the audience.  Show goers were encouraged to meet new people and give each other hugs.  He also let everyone know that if they had any issues, there was a life coach in the building.  The life coach he was referring to is Phil Manley who has a solo project, Life Coach, and who is working with the band on their new album.  Whenever I see Phil out, I try not fan out because I was totally into his band TransAm long before I moved to the Bay Area.  The Fresh & Onlys continued the set by launching into “Love & Kindness”, followed by “Waterfall”, which made us all feel like hugging our neighbors.

The set continued with “Dream Girls, “Presence of Mind”, and “Fog Machine” (an ode to San Francisco and perfect anthem for the hazy San Francisco night).  As the show drew to a close, the intensity rose. They played “Euphoria”, “Foolish Person”, “Diamonds In The Dark” and “Peacock And Wing” to end the show.  The night was over and it was evident that the crowd wanted more.  I am sure that I am not the only that left the building feeling a little more energetic and ready for their next Noise Pop show of the week.

Wymond Miles' Set List - The Fresh & Onlys - Bottom of the Hill - February 27, 2013

Wymond Miles’ Set List – The Fresh & Onlys – Bottom of the Hill – February 27, 2013

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