Day 2 started off with a bang, featuring Springfactory, Bunnygrunt, The Orange Peels, ballboy, The Tartans, The Hot Toddies, and a bit of indie pop karaoke. And, Friday was the day our own imaginary liz popped in!
Keenan Dowers: Friday night started out with Springfactory, which was essentially just Suburban Kids with Biblical Names rotated, but much more in the loud, fast indie pop vein. I'd seen them in New York as well, and was very excited to see them again. Crazy fast and weird indie pop is pretty much my favorite thing ever, and they hit just the spot. The Swedes have a way with melody and song structure that no one else has seemed to figure out.
Steve Louie: All the festival shows start way early and I think I was late for each except the last night. Six bands on this bill – yep – six bands. Doors at 7:30PM. I ran in and saw Springfactory and I was taken aback that they were all members of Suburban Kids with Biblical Names – only the lead singer and keyboardist switching places. The sound was more raw and less pop than Suburban Kids but still all that is Swedish awesome.
KD: Here's a video of their song "Swedish Folk Highschool".
KD: Up next were Bunnygrunt a complete favorite of mine, who were incredible. They played lots of songs from their upcoming record, and by the end of their set, I looked at my friend, and we both agreed that Bunnygrunt's new record, which will be out on Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records this summer, will be their best ever record, and probably one of the best records of the year. Their boy/girl vocals, killer guitar solos, and punk rock "ba ba"s are insanely infectious and danceable. I can't wait to own the record. Here's a video of one of their older songs (I didn't quite recognize it, and was hoping it was on the new record) called "Acres of Fakers".
KD: After the 'grunt were The Orange Peels, a band I was really excited to see, featuring indie pop legend Alan Clapp. I'd been a fan of Clapp's music for a while now, and somehow didn't even find out about the Orange Peels until a friend's band said they were playing with them in San Francisco. On the drive down, my travel companion had made a Popfest playlist, which featured 10 Orange Peels songs, all in a style of very lush and beautiful power pop with excellent songwriting, which happens of be one of my favorite genres of music. They did not disappoint. Clapp's voice sounded beautiful over three guitars, bass, and drums with beautiful backup harmonies. Here's a video of their song "Something Strange Happened To Me Last Night".
KD: ballboy played next, and as a typical popfest went, I ended up missing them due to hanging out with friends. But, I did hear that "she only works in a record store" song, which I quite like. But, it wouldn't be a popfest if I hadn't missed at least one band I wanted to see because I was talking shit about pop music with friends.
KD: Following ballboy was LA's The Tartans, a band that I'd already seen and made friends with at NYC Popfest, and I was really excited to see them again. They have a sound that's a bit like a more groovier Orange Juice with a saxophone player, and despite the fact that their singer/guitar player had just had hand surgery, and their other singer had bronchitis and an ear infection, they played wonderfully, and to what I hear, impressed a lot of people. I can't wait until they come up to Seattle. Here's them playing their song "Your Favorite Song" (which may become my favorite song in the near future).
SL: I was all indie pop tired out by the time the Hot Toddies came on which was just after 1AM. Most of the crowd had scattered about and in wandering around I was in the back karaoke room where some of the bands were doing a karaoke off. I switched back and forth to see this and the Hot Toddies who were too cute to pass up.
KD: Closing out the night were the Hot Toddies, who, I know Steve watched, but right before they started, a little birdie popped over to me to warn me that all the Swede's were doing karaoke in the other room. I walked in just in time to hear one of the guitar players from SKWBN singing "Lola" (which was extra funny, considering I knew that he barely spoke English). Following that was back to back GnR with Karen from Bunnygrunt and Jenny from Tullycraft. It went on like that for the rest of the night and was well worth missing what was probably a very g
igLiz: Thanks to airline mayhem and luggage, I didn't arrive until just about this time. As the Virgin America employees were cluelessly running around looking for missing luggage, I could feel the ballboy set time slip through my fingers. Trying to salvage what we could of our first night at the Popfest, we dropped off our bags and the hotel and RAN to Annie's. Thank goodness we did. Any disappointment I had for missing ballboy and Springfactory was made alright by seeing members of my favorite indie-poppers take to the karaoke stage in the back of the venue (which is one of the most brilliant club ideas btw). This is what Popfests are all about: seeing and being a part of an indie popper Summer camp of sorts — where anything can happen. I knew the rest of the weekend is going to be rad.
Check out the rest of Steve Louie's photos of Day 2 of the San Francisco Popfest.