Tuesday: Our first Noise Pop night was on Opening Night at the Rickshaw Stop, which was available to badge-holders, staff, and volunteers. We got there right when the doors opened and went straight up the stairs toward the complimentary Blowfish Sushi, which we loaded onto our cocktail napkin that soon became soggy with wasabi and soy sauce. (We gave all but two of these rolls to our spouse who was working the merch table all night.) We helped out at the table for a while, but we unfortunately couldn't stay for the bands.

Thursday: We were at Cafe Du Nord, where the line-up was The Dodos, Or, the Whale, Bodies of Water, and Willow Willow, a fun, sexy night of '70s-esque rockin'/folkin' guy/girl harmonies. The crowd was really nice, and three out of the four bands were too. Most of them had their own people watching their merch, and we were happy to handle their stuff here and there, in between selling the Noise Pop stuff. One band just assumed we would watch their stuff for the entire night, which was especially stressful when their merch started selling like hotcakes toward the end of the show. Not a please or thank you was uttered. but we don't think they were even aware of their rudeness, for what it's worth. LESSON: Bands, take your merch seriously, especially when lots of people want to buy it.

Friday: We took a break from volunteering and attended the Mountain Goats show at Bimbo's, accompanied by Jeffrey Lewis & the Jitters, Okay, and Aim Low Kid (disclosure: they're fronted by our spouse). It was another stellar night with a really happy crowd and happy and talented bands. We were thrilled to see the Mountain Goats live, and we are now even more enamored with John Darnielle. Behind his awkward storyteller persona, he is a charismatic and top-notch entertainer, and his drummer and bass player amazed us as well.

Mountain Goats/Noise Pop poster by Lil Tuffy