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The Noise Pop festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary next month, February 21st -26th, in San Francisco, CA. Noise Pop is an annual event held at the beginning of the year that focuses on art, film, and largely indie music and provides fantastic exposure for some of the most exciting and talented emerging artists of the year. While the festival largely features lesser known bands, it has also served as a launch pad for some of the most popular indie artists of the past two decades. For instance, Noise Pop 2001 featured Bright Eyes, Spoon, The Shins, Jimmy Eat World, and The White Stripes.
The first Noise Pop festival was held in 1993 with 5 bands in one day at the Kennel Club. Since then, it's expanded into a weeklong event with over 100 bands playing at 16 venues around the city, including historic music spots like The Fillmore, The Regency Ballroom, and The Fox Theatre. Attendees can purchase individual tickets to the shows or a Noise Pop badge for $150 that grants entry into all general admission shows during the week. I'd recommend getting the badge and bouncing around San Francisco listening to great bands for a week, but if you can only check out a few, here are my recommendations.
Spin Magazine made an interesting announcement this morning regarding it’s reinvented views on their core business. Spin is a 26 year veteran of music journalism, a large portion of which revolves around music reviews and criticism. Today, they introduced a new Twitter feed, @SpinReviews, which represents their new outlook on music discussion and gatekeeping in the modern music space.
Everyone is about to release their picks for 2011 and looking back I'd like to say it was a good year for new music, but it really wasn't. There were, however, a few notable records worthy of your attention in the past year.
Just a quick note...I'm borrowing a page from the Grammies, who push late arrivals from the previous year into subsequent awards ceremonies, by including a few late arrival picks of my own from 2010 for this top 2011 album list...especially in terms of their impact being primarily felt in 2011.
There’s been a lot of press about a joint NPD Group/NARM study dealing with music discovery. The headline was that traditional radio still leads the way in music discovery. According to the survey, FM radio was the #1 way that respondents discover new music. Word of mouth came in second. YouTube was moving up fast, coming in 3rd, but other digital platforms lagged behind.
While traditional radio can be proud of its continuing leadership in this area, what does it really mean? Does this really surprise anyone? If so, that reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the state of media. Despite the growth of various digital forms of entertainment and media, most traditional media continue to show enormous reach. In the US, over 93% of all people over the age of 12 listen to the radio each week. According to Arbitron, in the most recent period surveyed, that translates to a weekly reach of 241.2 million people.
Now compare traditional radio’s reach to that of some of the other, newer ways for people to experience music: