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Noise Pop's Free Block Party Hits the Mission Tomorrow

Scott Lucas | August 22, 2014 | Story Music

Noise Pop—the 20-year old indie music festival—is throwing its Block Party this Saturday at 20th Street. This year's line-up includes performances from local favorite Rogue Wave and SoCal indie pop band Cayucas, plus food from nearby restaurants, including Flour + Water and Trick Dog. "It's really simple," says organizer Jordan Kurland. "We're celebrating the neighborhood with two of our favorite things: Food and music."

Now in its second year, the free admission event grew out of Noise Pop's love affair with the Mission Creek neighborhood, where its offices have been since 2002. Though the area around 20th Avenue east of Mission Street has changed in the last decade, Kurland thinks it's still worth celebrating. "Sure, it's busier now and it doesn't have exactly the same feel," said Kurland, "but it still feels like a neighborhood."

Though Kurland helps put on the much-larger Noise Pop and Treasure Island Music Festivals, he's a fan of the more "intimate" event tomorrow, pointing to musicians like Ray Barbee and the Matson 2, who are performing with skateboarder Tommy Guerrero, as acts he's particularly excited for. Compared to last year, the event is going to be a little bigger, with a block of Alabama closed in addition to Florida. There's a second stage added, as well as an extra beer garden.

The food isn't too bad either. For instance, tomorrow is the only day of the year that Flour + Water will be open for lunch. Throw in events like a butchery demo from Salumeria and coffee from newly-opened Sightglass and it's hard to go wrong. (Except if you trying to park a car nearby. Better to take BART, Muni, or a bike.)

Kurland isn't blind to the changes in the neighborhood that have hurt the arts community. "When I moved to the city in 1995, the Mission was changing even then," he said. "Over the last couple years, it's been crazy." It's harder now for upstart musicians to afford the city, and there's always the fear that successful ones—like Ty Segall—will decamp for Los Angeles. He said that's why events like tomorrow's become more important. "The creative community is shrinking, so events like these are good to give locals a chance to participate."

It's not all doom and gloom, yet, though. The weather prediction for tomorrow is partly cloudy in the Mission. "Anyway," said Kurland, "summer is a state of mind."

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