There's one thing that seems to slowly set Hopscotch apart from other niche festival across the country. That thing is curation. SXSW is a bit of a chaotic version of something that could be described as curation, tons of underground and hyped bands playing around the City of Austin in the stretch of a week, with a few seasoned veterans marked as keynote musicians. The rest of the fests that have sparked up over the past 10 years are mostly made up of a combination of hyped and seasoned bands.
Hopscotch falls somewhere just between those, with a few seasoned veterans but mostly underground and hyped bands peering up from below the buzz cloud. But, somewhere in between those two ends of the spectrum (Flaming Lips on one end and Diamond Rings on the other) lies another zone, the seasoned underground band. The Hopscotch curators are great at finding these bands that, in my opinion, represent a certain avant garde of today's independent music sphere. With their latest announcement, Hopscotch adds another act that is sure to show that the 2012 Hopscotch lineup is going to be full of some fantastic musicians.
Following in the footsteps of last year's addition of The Necks and Swans to the lineup, Hopscotch comes out swinging from the start with the announcement of their first band, doom metal duo Sunn O))). Sunn O))) fits that bill of the seasoned underground band whose following extends far beyond the reaches of some indie bands. Sunn O))) will play Memorial Auditorium and there is sure to be a line out the door. You can read the full Hopscotch announcement here, but below is an excerpt that gives you a taste of what to expect from the band.
At its core, Sunn O)))’s music equals a sort of heavy metal gestalt, meaning that they take all of the form’s motion, dynamism and mania and slow it down until nothing seems to be happening. The delight is in the details, or in the way that the music’s inherent sense of suspense steadily sublimates into complete satisfaction. They’ve long abided by the motto “Maximum volume yields maximum results,” and live, they play through an armada of amplifiers and a sea of smoke, focusing the listener’s attention on the tiniest musical shifts. Even though Sunn O))) sometimes sound scary as hell (and look it, too, in their infamous “Grimm Robes”), every Sunn O))) piece and performance feels like the heaviest relief.
Hopscotch curator Grayson Currin interviewed Sunn O))) for Pitchfork back in 2009. You can read that full interview here.