San Francisco's Noise Pop Festival has celebrated indie music and culture since 1993. This year marks its twentieth anniversary, and the lineup is appropriately epic: innovative up-and-comers join returning performers like Archers of Loaf, Bob Mould, and The Flaming Lips. The citywide takeover officially began on the 16th with Class Actress at Cal Academy of Sciences, but venues across San Francisco will be inundated with music lovers starting on the 21st.

The entire week is filled with amazing artists and events; check out the full schedule here. And don't miss Saturday's Culture Club, an 'event within an event', where you can bounce with Big Freedia, chill with Churches, and view Vincent Moon's film journey (among other activities).

If you're stuck trying to come up with your schedule, take a peek at the artists below for some Noise Pop inspiration.


Die Antwoord

The South African rap-rave crew is bringing its freaky/fabulous sounds to the Regency Ballroom on February 22nd. Don't miss the energy and sheer spectacle guaranteed by a Die Antwoord performance; songs from new album TEN$ION and earlier hit $O$ alike will leave you clamoring for more--or totally exhausted. (Most likely both.)



The entire lineup at Rickshaw Stop on the 22nd is droolworthy. There's no question that Grimes is one of the artists to watch in 2012, but she's joined by oOoOO, Born Gold, and Yalls. To all the early birds who managed to get tickets, pat yourselves on the back--this gig is one of the festival's hottest.


Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells are perfect for Noise Pop: they are noise pop. They're also earning rave reviews for sophomore album Reign of Terror, and just rocked SNL. The volume and energy that turned heads in 2010 is back in spades, and the band is as captivating as ever. Besides--you know you want to be in the same room (in this case, the Regency Ballroom on February 23rd) as indie crush Alexis Krauss.


Sea of Bees

Performing at the Independent on the 24th, Sea of Bees precedes the wonderful Wye Oak--but this is one opening act not to miss. The Sacramento singer is enthralling on stage, and you can't help but be swept up in her brand of lofty folk. Do yourself a favor and listen to 'Skinnybone' right now.


Veronica Falls

For any fan of girl groups and/or dark garage pop, the Veronica Falls show at Rickshaw Stop on the 24th is a must-see. They cap the lineup of lo-fi rock groups, which also includes Bleached, Brilliant Colors, and Lilac. It's just a little bit retro, but a whole lot of fun.


The Dodos

Noise Pop does a brilliant job showcasing local bands, so it makes sense to hit up the closing show with hometown heroes The Dodos. They're headlining Great American Music Hall on the 26th, and will surely send the festival out with a bang--albeit a softer one, with lots of acoustic instruments and sophisticated rhythms.