Atlas Sound will play Noise Pop 2012.

Noise Pop 2012 – its 20th anniversary edition – is shaping up to be something fierce. Atlas Sound is the final headliner to be announced, joining The Flaming Lips (who will play The Soft Bulletin in its entirety), Built to Spill and Cursive atop the bill.

To that end, Noise Pop has dropped their 2012 schedule, and we’re already putting targets on the shows we’d like to see. Because “all of them” is not particularly helpful advice (though it’s an option we support, if you have a handful of clones at the ready), we’ve picked the one concert per day that we think will be exceptional (which was absolutely not easy to narrow down, by the way).

Shows are 21+ unless otherwise noted, and festival badges get you into every event except The Flaming Lips and Die Antwoord.

Class Actress / Painted Palms

Academy of Sciences
2/16/12 @ 6pm
$12 (Tickets)

The Noise Pop pre-party at Academy of Sciences (this awesome place) will feature a live set from Class Actress, as well as DJ sets from Painted Palms and the Epicsauce DJs. This collides rather serendipitously with Beer Week, where breweries such as Speakeasy, Trumer, 21st Amendment, Anchor Steam, Mad River Brewing Company, Drake’s Brewing, Bear Republic Brewing and more will be sampling to the crowd. A fine way to kick off the festival.

The Flaming Lips

Bimbo’s 365 Club
2/21/12 @ 7pm
Sold Out (entry still available with badge purchase)

This one needs no explanation. The Flaming Lips are one of the most extravagant, freaky shows in the whole industry right now, and The Soft Bulletin – which they’ll be playing in its entirety – is regarded as one of the best albums of the 90s (it’s leaning up against Snoop’s Doggystyle on my mental shelf). They usually rock arenas, and Bimbo’s is a shoebox in comparison. This show is going to be intimate, and it’s going to melt faces. Release the Sunbird will open in support.

Die Antwoord

The Regency Ballroom
2/22/12 @ 7pm
$22.50 (Tickets)

When Die Antwoord’s videos hit the Internet, we were like, “oh man, this is so zany! Well, now I know that this exists.” We should have been a little less dismissive, because these South African badasses are for real. After giving Interscope the middle finger and counting Coachella 2010 as the very first of their many face-melting US shows, Die Antwoord are a bastion of weird, aggressive integrity in today’s music climate. And their scarcity on the US tour circuit makes this show doubly essential to see.

Built to Spill

The Fillmore
2/23/12 @ 8:30pm
Sold Out

How convenient – Noise Pop’s 20th anniversary is Built To Spill’s as well. Doug Martsch formed the band in 1992, and they firmly established their place as one of the strongest representatives of the indie rock world before the decade ran its course. They’ve held that perch for 15 years and should draw one of Noise Pop’s most diverse crowds to The Fillmore on February 23rd. Watch the video for “Hindsight” (above), which pokes fun at their own longevity.

Matthew Dear

Public Works
2/24/12 @ 8:00pm
$16 advance / $18 door (Tickets)

Electronic textures will show up everywhere at Noise Pop 2012, from the psychedelic extravagance of The Flaming Lips to the eerie spaciousness of Grimes, but Matthew Dear is the most clear-cut DJ/producer of the bunch. I hate to live in the past, but every time I think this man’s name I’m immediately compelled to put on 2007’s Asa Breed, which will not-coincidentally be my soundtrack on the BART ride home tonight. That album is beautiful and honest in a way only a Ghostly International-housed, Bowie- and Eno-influenced producer could conceive.

Atlas Sound

Bimbo’s 365 Club
2/25/12 @ 7pm
$20 advance / $22 door (Tickets)

Atlas Sound houses the musical spillings-out of Brandon Cox which don’t find their way into Cox’s more well-known project, Deerhunter. Fans of either project tend to dig the other, but Atlas Sound is responsible for exploring murkier, more far-out territories. Plus, we’re excited about this show for reasons we can’t announce yet – though we can hint.