San Francisco garage-psyche duo Sic Alps aren't necessarily what you'd call "noise," but they might be "noise-y," and certainly they're "noisy" -- and an ideal study in the function of noise in a larger sense.
The duo's aesthetic is very much about interference. The packaging of their latest offering, A Long Way Around to a Shortcut (a collection of tracks from older limited-run releases), features typewritten lyrics, songs running into one another, letters bleeding through to the other side of the insert. The form is imprecise, the mistakes crossed out rather than deleted. Likewise for the record's sound: garagey rock that recalls the weirdest of the late '60s -- think Velvet Underground and even sometimes Red Krayola, all processed through the lowest of lo-fi recording processes. (It sounds like two microphones total were used throughout.)
The duo -- Mike Donovan, of the Folding Cassettes label, and Matt Hartman, late of Coachwhips -- are already darlings of the underground garage scene, but poised to get even bigger. Thurston Moore counts himself among their fans, and their sound isn't wildly far from an act like Olivia Tremor Control, so the larger indie world has its reference points.
While some bands polish and primp and attempt to minimize the noise, Sic Alps do just the opposite: They embrace that the noise is as much a part of the communication as the signal is. Sic Alps appear at Garfield Artworks on Tue., July 22, with a brand-new release, U.S. EZ, out this week on Siltbreeze.
Sic Alps with Centipede E'est, Harangue and Dean Cercone. 8 p.m. Tue., July 22. Garfield Artworks, 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $7. 412-361-2262 or www.garfieldartworks.com
- Hair is communication, too: Sic Alps