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Saturday March 2 2024
  7:30PM doors -- music at 8:30PM
•••  21 AND OVER
$18 in advance / $20 at the door
Noise Pop 2024 presents...
Kendra Morris
 hip hop pop jazz lo-fi orchestral psychedelic
Dani Satin
 blues, pop, classic rock, Americana and R&B
August Lee Stevens
 Indie Soul and Folk
 Spinning tunes

Kendra Morris
-from New York, NY
-There’s something undeniably out-of-time about both Kendra Morris and her indelibly cool new album I Am What I’m Waiting For (Karma Chief Records). It combines rough-hewn powerhouse vocals with arrangements that betray both an extensive record collection and a whimsical instinct for joyous noises — think Dusty Springfield fronting Spoon circa Kill The Moonlight or a 60s girl group creative directed by Nick Lowe and PeeWee Herman. It’s vibrant and varied and packed with personality.

“How do you put yourself into a record? Torbitt and I wanted to make it feel like you cracked open the ooze in my head,” Morris says, referring to her co-writer and producer Torbitt Schwartz AKA Little Shalimar (Run The Jewels). Morris is an accomplished visual artist and stop-motion animator, so it’s appropriate that I Am What I’m Waiting For takes a collagist approach, mischievously recombining all sorts of rock and roll ingredients — the sass and swagger of Ronnie Spector, the more acid-fried corners of the Nuggets compilations, post-modern interpolations of mid-century exotica music, the cracking snares and sugary urbanity of ESG — while offering moments of vulnerable insight from a life spent in pursuit of creativity.

Morris was a musically precocious child and, after playing in Florida bar bands, moved to New York to chase the dream. Thus began a formative 13-year stint bartending at the beloved Lower East Side dive The Library, which thrust Morris directly into the heart of Manhattan’s fertile post-Strokes creative scene. Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe lived upstairs, music journalist Marc Spitz was a regular, and touring acts would come through to carouse after playing Bowery Ballroom. During those moments, Morris yearned to join the rarefied air of the musicians on the other side of the bar.

All the while, Morris pursued her music dreams. “It was pure, 100% DIY. I never took no for an answer. If I didn’t have the money, I figured out how to make it happen: Videos, artwork, whatever.” After the dissolution of her first band, she recorded 8-track demos and performed solo shows backed by cassette recordings of her own vocal harmonies. Through these shows she connected with longtime producer Jeremy Page. It was kismet.

“I worked with Jeremy for the next 10-plus years,” says Morris. “We worked together through some of the most beautiful and hardest life things I've ever gone through.” It was a fruitful partnership: Morris signed to Wax Poetics for the release of her “seductive, soulful” (Rolling Stone) 2012 debut Banshee and 2013’s Mockingbird, self-released her 2016 EP Babble (reissued earlier this year), and signed to Karma Chief for 2022’s “beautifully sung” (MOJO) Nine Lives. She’s linked up with a murderer’s row of collaborators, including DJ Premier, MF Doom, Ghostface Killah, and David Sitek. Interview Magazine called her “a modern day Janis Joplin,” and NPR praised her “lush, moody mix of neo-soul.”

Despite her strong professional and personal relationship with Page, Morris knew that she needed to change up the energy for her next project. “When my birthday arrived in April of last year, I had this ‘aha’ moment. ‘Oh shit, I’m halfway to the age of average human life expectancy! I wanna shake myself!’ Jeremy and I could write songs with our eyes closed…but if you’re chasing evolution then you can’t be comfortable.”

She connected with Torbitt Schwartz and set about making I Am What I’m Waiting For. Morris was eager to break out of old habits: She started playing guitar again live, realizing that where she saw tics developed to cover up a lack of technical ability, others saw a musician with a distinct and stylish rhythmic signature. She pulled old songs out and reworked them. Less-than-perfect takes were tolerated. She put a moratorium on love songs. As she put it: “I needed to scare myself into growth.”

Luckily, the risk paid off. I Am What I’m Waiting For is not only a sophisticated and joyful sonic reinvention, but an unfiltered expression of Morris’s idiosyncratic worldview. Take “Special,” which takes a bleak approach to coping with fear and statistical unlikelihood. Says Morris: “I hate flying. I have no control over it and that's something that makes me crazy. So something I tell myself when I'm flying a lot is the statistic that your plane has the same chances of crashing as you have winning the lottery. I have never won anything.” It’s an anthem that revels in contentment, in enjoying the small experiences that texture your life — a salve against self-improvement hacks and motivational influencers infiltrating your feed.

Elsewhere, the bell-laden “Dominoes” turns the mundane conflicts of domesticity and cohabitation into a Ronnettes-worthy rallying cry and the exotica-steeped “All Your Jokes” examines what Morris describes as “the need for vulnerability in a relationship when you have something to lose.” There’s even the smoky, doo-wop-tinted “Birthday Song,” a valiant attempt to expand the birthday song canon.

The almost-title-track “What Are You Waiting For” encapsulates the album’s spirit: Stabs of guitar yield to sirens-and-bongo breakdowns as Morris champions realness and self-reliance. It hits like a conscious statement against algorithmic optimization. “When you introduce yourself to someone,” says Morris, “you can yada yada the broad strokes of your life. But it’s the textures and specific details in life, music or art that gives it meaning.” Fittingly, I Am What I’m Waiting For bravely luxuriates in the little details. It’s the rare record that doubles as self-portrait, unvarnished yet thrilling because of its imperfections.

-from San Francisco, CA
-Elbows AKA Max Schieble is a Bay Area-born, San Francisco-based singer, songwriter, producer, and visual artist. In 2021 he released his debut album Tales From The Old Mill (EveryDejaVu Records), an expansive audio-visual project that explored the concept of “home” as a physical place, a memory, and a desire. Across the album Elbows chronicled his return to the Bay Area after a decade of living in New York, recounting tales of missing parents, debauchery in the upper middle class, and a fateful train trip up north through a warbling concoction of psychedelic pop, jazz, hip hop, funk, and electronic. The album was accompanied by a thirty-page illustrated lyric book and a companion short film, Winterlude, inspired by the themes and music of Tales From The Old Mill. In 2022 Elbows premiered the self-directed and produced 18-minute short at New York's Snowtown Film Festival.

The road to The Old Mill began with a literal journey home, as a group of core-collaborators traveled with Elbows from New York to the Bay Area, where they recorded at Studio P, the home studio of Schieble's childhood neighbor. With physical location being a crucial element across Tales, it was important for Elbows’ friends and collaborators to experience the places and landmarks that inspired the stories and songs of the album. Culled from the same initial album sessions were Elbows’ first two EPs, Corduroy (2017) and Sycamore (2018). Together the two releases received praise from Bandcamp Weekly, IMPOSE Magazine, Okayplayer, and others.

Elbows has appeared live with Grammy Award winner Natalia Lafourcade, Nick Hakim, L’Rain, and Benee, and has performed throughout North America. He is currently completing a collaborative album with New York emcee SKRD and in 2024 is set to release the Winterlude short film along with a new EP of the same name.

Tales From The Old Mill is now available on EveryDejaVu Records.

Dani Satin
-from. the Bay Area, CA
-Dani Satin and the Velvet is a Bay Area indie rock band that combines flavors of blues, pop, classic rock, Americana and R&B to create raw, hard-hitting and vibey live performances. Silky smooth vocal harmonies will have you in your feels one moment and slick instrumental licks will have you groovin’ the next!

August Lee Stevens
-from the Bay Area, CA
-August Lee Stevens is an emerging Bay Area based musician and singer-songwriter with an atmospheric range of Indie Soul and Folk. Her dynamic sound merges the lyrical rawness and simplicity of Folk songs with the lush melodies and vocals of Neo Soul. A lover of storytelling, she uses music to cut into the heart, inviting people to look in on some of her most intimate moments. Her music showcases that there is strength that comes from vulnerability, and through the sharing of music hopes to provide a soundtrack to the more delicate moments of life.

She just finished recording her debut EP with Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) to be released 2024. Her latest single ‘In My Head’' is out now and available everywhere. You can find her latest releases and performance on her website and all social media platforms.

-from the Bay Area, CA
-A 30 year veteran of the music industry, Platurn has traveled the world many times over bringing quality music to multiple corners of the globe. With a client list that includes Red Bull, Netflix, Toyota, HBO, Adidas, Pixar, Puma, Hulu, Monster Cable, MTV, and the Golden State Warriors (to name a few), he’s built a reputation as a music man with vision plus a deep sense of community, and in turn preserving crucial aspects of DJ and music culture. Founder of Platurn Productions, The 45 Sessions, & the Oakland Faders, Platurn has solidified himself as a force to be reckoned with in the ever changing entertainment industry landscape.