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Friday March 1 2024
  7:00PM doors -- music at 8:00PM
$20 in advance / $24 at the door
Noise Pop 2024 presents...
Ultra Q
 Pop Punk
 alternative rock grunge
 bubblegrunge garage rock shoegaze
Maggie Gently
 emo indie pop rock

Ultra Q
-from Oakland, CA
-One of the most fascinating things a music lover can do is witness the growth of a young artist. It starts as an inkling or a glimmer of natural talent and expands into something vast and formidable.

Jakob Armstrong — youngest son of Green Day frontman Billie Joe — began playing guitar at seven years old and honed his craft privately until about sixteen, then playing in bands in and around Oakland after meeting friends with like-minded tastes in music. Soon enough, with the memories of Ultraman action figures fighting in his head, he and a group of friends he cultivated from those years playing around and pouring over records, formed Ultra Q. Its name is inspired by an Ultraman prequel series; a deep cut for import action series lovers.

Fusing together the skyward lift of Interpol, the clever guitar interplay of the Strokes, the maudlin romanticism of the Cure, and the often impressionistic narrative gifts of Arctic Monkeys, Ultra Q's growth since their 2019 EP We're Starting to Get Along (and its 2020 follow-up In a Cave in a Video Game) has been exponential. A traditional alternative rock sound was baked by the California heat, shards of broken glass gleaming in the sunlight, spanning the distance from Berkeley to Rodeo Drive. Over blaring guitars and thunderous drums, Armstrong's voice is carried by a very familiar lilt, self-recorded by Armstrong on a whim while quarantined, could easily be slotted between the blown-out, lo-fi tones of early Wavves and the works of intentionally harsh-sounding Columbus band Psychedelic Horseshit.

Ultra Q's earlier work marked the synthesis of a songwriter's vision and his band's ability, forged through an invisible existential threat and an ever-changing world, eager to show what they've found while we were all inside. But new album My Guardian Angel soars to heights unimaginable for us lowly, earthbound beings.

Produced by Chris Coady, who has helmed classics by the likes of TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Beach House, My Guardian Angel offers a deep sonic palette to match Armstrong's artistic ambition. Wildly vacillating between widescreen pop-punk ("Klepto," the impeccably titled "VR Sex"), romantic new-wave ("Rocket," "I Wanna Lose"), and shimmering synth-pop ("I Watched Them Go"), the album displays Armstrong's songwriting talents — along with the musicianship of Kevin Judd and brothers Chris and Enzo Malaspina — conceived and recorded for maximum impact.

Emotional growing pains, sleepless nights, the ethereal allure of romance, and the notion of sound being so closely attached to memory are all wrapped up in clever guitar interplay reminiscent of the band's formative influences, but delivered in an identity all their own. The words are attached to feelings we think are going to slip away from us in the fading and tarnished pallor of adulthood; truth be told, those feelings emerge just as freshly the older we get.

And that is the gift of My Guardian Angel, the implicit understanding that growth is merely a tool we use to better process the past slipping away from us. ~ Martin Douglas

-from Santa Cruz, CA
-Raue is a paradox of ineffability, something unexplainable yet innately familiar. Led by teens Paige Kalenian & drummer Jax Huckle out of Santa Cruz, California, Raue gives their listeners a sense of déjà vu, the good kind that makes the little hairs on your arms stand up.

Raue's sound delivers a new era of 90's grunge with the thickness of alternative rock. They are a duo who stays true to their convictions by delivering a wickedly honest, slightly nostalgic performance as if they were a five-piece band from another time, be it the past or the future. On stage, Paige's calm and angelic demeanor transforms into a conductor of a great punk band. Jax becomes a drum major, encapsulating the energetic fusion of music and the essence of humanness. It becomes an entire odyssey of oneness, the coming together of all opposites and being alive.

-from San Francisco, CA
-“From the moment the drumsticks count you in, “Glass Jaw” from San Francisco’s own chokecherry will lure you into oblivion with their garage tunnel, shoegaze skull-crusher. This trio is hitting all the dopamine centers of nostalgia while simultaneously offering up uncut ingenuity with their cryptically withdrawn lyrics.

With a self-coined genre trifecta of ‘shoegaze grunge pop’, chokecherry is a revival of dark, black widow energy … “Glass Jaw” puts an original fingerprint on a historic scene. This being just their debut single that’s been out for less than 2 weeks, they’re already riding a hot streak at nearly 100k streams on Spotify alone in that time without a single editorial playlist.

Also on the docket for Seattle’s upcoming Freakout Festival alongside names including Death Valley Girls, Allah Lahs, and Levitation Room, chokecherry is crushing ceilings with this boundless debut track.” ~ Grace Holtzclaw, Fashionably Early

Maggie Gently
-from San Francisco, CA
- Maggie Gently (she/her) is a San Francisco-based indie songwriter with a fondness for wild schemes and intimate gestures. Maggie is a queer woman whose identity is important to her and the community she creates and participates in.

Maggie Gently’s music is about how making decisions for your own mental health can feel like a matter of survival. While leaning in to her pop punk and emo roots, Maggie’s new project finds moments of sweetness and quiet that draw focus to the vulnerable lyrics. After the release of her debut EP Good Cry (May 28, 2020, Brace Cove Records), Maggie Gently has been working to find community and inspiration in quarantine.

Maggie Gently’s music is inspired by the heartbreaking intimacy of bands like Snail Mail and Lala Lala, and the witchy coolness of Tancred. Maggie also finds inspiration in Meg Hayertz’ “Make It, Mean It” tarot-focused guided meditations, lesbian romance novels, and the Enneagram.

Maggie Gently’s music project was born during the dark winter days in the middle of a painful friend breakup. With the promise of a New Year/fresh start mixed in with Maggie’s Saturn Return, she started taking a good hard look at what she needed to be happy. It was a rocky, painful start to the year. She said goodbye to a friendship that was important to her, left a band that she loved, started therapy, and spent a lot of time sitting in front of the heater in her apartment writing songs about whether she was making the right decisions after all. Her music became a project for processing doubt, learning to trust herself, and eventually seeing a glimmer of a future where things are ok. Her songs became healing affirmations that you can be a thoughtful, forgiving person while still establishing boundaries and protecting your heart.

Good Cry was engineered by Grace Coleman at El Studio in San Francisco and produced by Eva Treadway (Pllush, The She’s), who also played lead guitar. Joey Grabmeier (Joy Weather, Maggie’s brother) played drums on the album, and Sinclair Riley (Pllush, The She’s) played bass.