Hard to believe after all the anticipation, but Hopscotch is only a week away. Like most of Raleigh’s music loving scene, New Raleigh is giddy with excitement for the music, parties, and general good times the weekend is going to bring. The best thing about this festival is that it’s not just our town that’s excited, but also music lovers from all over the country that will be flocking in to experience the greatness that is this line up.
With the 120+ bands that will be playing, it is impossible to catch them all. We thought it would be nice to compile a list of bands that, if you are looking for advice on what to catch, can serve as a guide of recommendations based on our various tastes. Out of all the bands playing the festival, these are the ones we are sure not to miss. We also checked in with a few members of the Triangle music community to see what they’re pumped about - start the countdown clock….now.
While the All Tiny Creatures, Birds of Avalon, Sleepy Sun and Akron Family show at The Pour House will be a very sensory filled show, I’m gonna have to vote for the Collection of Colonies of Bees, Best Coast, Cults, and Gray Young show next door at Tir Na Nog. Cults are a very young band with not much recorded music to their name but have lots of buzz surrounding their slinky summer pop sound (I just wish they were playing alongside First Rate People). Best Coast has one of the most chatted about albums of the year that evokes the youthful grunge of both Hole and Liz Phair. And Collection of Colonies of Bees wrapping up the evening should be nothing more than a spectacular display of musicianship, both visually and audially.
The 9th Wonder curated show with Raekwon at Lincoln is an easy pick for the most danceable event of the evening but a handful of other bands performing around town on Friday night will also put on a fabulous shows. The Atlas Sound, Ben Frost, Sightings and Jon Mueller show at Kings should be a show that from start to finish produces exceptional avant garde rock. Underdogs and my true picks for the evening are Active Child and Mountains at The Hive (at Busy Bee) or Harlem at Slim’s or The War on Drugs at Tir Na Nog. Not sure how to decide between each of these last picks but it’s good that Slim’s and Busy Bee are next to each other and Tir Na Nog is just a block away. Plus, the Whatever Brains, Harvey Milk, Double Negative, and Fucked Up show at Berkeley Cafe.
The Megafaun show could be one of the best venue shows of the weekend and is gonna be way sold out at Kings Barcade, which holds only around 250 people. So, the two shows I’d recommend on Saturday would be Nomo, Bear in Heaven and Tortoise at Lincoln (although I’m not a big fan of the venue, these bands should easily fill the space with beautiful music). On the other scale is the Kooley High, First Rate People, Lonnie Walker, I Was Totally Destroying It show at Deep South. With Kooley High playing, I can see this venue spilling out into the Amphitheater lot across the street so if you aren’t able to get in for Kooley at the end, try to pop in for one of the early local bands and especially the beautiful R&B pop of First Rate People, whose album It’s Never Not Happening is one of the best things I’ve listened to all year long. Oh yeah, and Woods, Dungen, Golden Filter, Washed Out and Pontiak.
Ours of course (especially the record store Local Band, Local Beer at Tir Na Nog on Friday which will be a great event and Chris Tamplin’s last LBLB at TNN). But, if not ours, then the Hometapes show next door at The Pour House with Megafaun, Collection of Colonies of Bees and more on Friday is sure to be awesome (free breakfast and nachos). Saturday’s choice would be the Raleigh Times with The Flute Flies, NAPS, The Loners, Maple Stave, Red Collar, Des Ark, The Old Ceremony.
There are so many bands playing at Hopscotch I want to see. Too many, actually. While the idea of just enjoying the musical free-for-all and going with the flow of the weekend to the shows my group wants to go to is relaxingly inviting, I will not be going with that plan of attack. I will, instead, be following a highly organized and curated schedule that will drive my more laid back friends crazy. With the schedule as tightly packed as it is, if you dawdle, you will miss the band. I will not hesitate to break off and go it alone, because there are several shows that I will not miss.
Two shows that will undoubtedly have my attendence:
First Rate People: I can’t remember a time where I have had a reaction to a song like I did to First Rate People’s Film Star (For Museum of Bellas Artes), which you can listen to here. I was instantly dancing in my chair at work. Its infectious mood translates throughout their album, It’s Never Not Happening, with songs like Girl’s Night being just as catchy as Film Star. Since this is (I think) the first show that the Canadian band will be playing below the border, it’s probably my most anticipated band of Hopscotch since I have know idea what to expect. Well, that’s not true. I expect they’ll be a damn good time.
Washed Out: Life of Leisure has been the soundtrack to what has been my beach-filled/ traveltastic summer. A few months ago, he opened for Beach House at the Cradle, but many attendees (including me) missed it due construction traffic on I-40. I was able to catch the very last song, which was much more than I expected from a guy with a laptop. While chill, it’s completely dancey at the same time, and judging by this recently released video of his past tour, it promises to be great show.
Max Indian -> 30 minutes of Best Coast -> Javelin -> Akron/Family (yes!)
Panda Bear, Broken Social Scene, Rosebuds City Plaza Show -> Sharon Van Etten -> 30 minutes of Active Child -> The War on Drugs
Whatever part of the City Plaza show that’s until 8:00 -> Megafaun -> I Was Totally Destroying It -> 30 minutes of Lonnie Walker -> First Rate People (if I could split in half, I would also be at Bear In Heaven, really bummed to miss it)-> Washed Out
Pretty excited about the Trekky Records day party because they have Lost in Trees and the Hometapes day party because they have a great line up plus nachos for breakfast (whoa, awesome potential band name). Also, looking forward to the EdMcKay Artist & Author series all three days. The North Carolina music discussion on Thursday is gonna be awesome.
Bear In Heaven
With the abundance of great bands playing at Hopscotch in such a compressed amount of time, the question for me is not “which bands do I want to see,” but rather “which ones can I absolutely not miss?” Thank goodness for the day parties, which will allow the flexibility to check out some excellent local acts that might be harder to catch after dark.
In terms of the evening shows, I’m probably most excited to see Best Coast on Thursday night, whose album “Crazy for You” has been my love-at-first-listen release of the year. Their songs are charmingly irresistible, catchy, easy, and fresh. Singer Bethany Cosentino sounds a little like Juliana Hatfield, backed by a low-fi surf pop, and her songs about post-breakup doldrums sometimes hit a little too close to home (don’t we all wish our cat could talk?). Later that evening, I plan to catch Future Islands at the Berkeley to get my dance on, where hopefully I won’t get hit in the head with a glowstick again like at their record release a couple months ago. Even if I do, the performance is sure not to disappoint.
The City Plaza shows will be awesome, but there’s more fun to be had in the clubs afterwards. Friday night there’s Harlem, for a one night stand with some jangly guitar, garage band pop. Saturday night I’m really looking forward to unabashedly cheesing it up to Tigercity’s neo-disco tunes. The Brooklyn-based band’s recent full length album “Ancient Lover” plays like the lovechild of Hall and Oates, The Cars, Duran Duran, and the BeeGees: totally fun! Following that is The Golden Filter’s seductively dreamy electropop; if you’re a fan of Goldfrapp, St. Etienne, or Ladytron, they might be right up your alley. Overall though, thanks to the great programming of such diverse acts, no matter what shows you end up at during Hopscotch, you’re most likely going to find something you enjoy.
I remember first listening to 9th Wonder while blending ice and frozen fruit at the Planet Smoothie on Hillsborough St. in the early 2000s. One of the lead emcees of the Justus League, Cesar Comanche, was the manager of the store at the time and fortunate for me, 9th was in-house producer for the group. Needless to say I was hooked. 9th gained wide recognition for his role as the main producer for hip hop group Little Brother on their debut 2003 release, “The Listening.” His work on that album lead to an eventual meeting and production for Jay-Z’s “Threat” for the 2003 “The Black Album,” followed by work on Destiny’s Child’s 2004 “Destiny Fulfilled.”
9th’s smooth, almost classic hip-hop verve, will meet with a studded line-up Friday night at the Lincoln, and as excited as I am about 9th and crew, I’m just as much for Raekwon. Albums like “36 Chambers,” “Forever” and Raekwon’s solo work speak for themselves and I’m hopeful that wherever one member of the Wu-Tang Clan goes, one (Ghost Face) or two more follow…
While I love the Rosebuds and normally never pass on one of their shows – I plan on seeing just how much jumping up and down the floors of the Lincoln can take Friday night. Luckily I won’t be too far from City Square to catch some of Broken Social Scene and then Panda Bear and be back to catch the end of what is sure to be a fan-freaking-tastic set. Whether you’re a hip-hop purist, you bought a Wu-Tang CD in junior high or simply are looking for an electric show and amped up crowd, check out the Lincoln on Friday night.
Acree Graham // New Raleigh Editor Emeritus
I’ve never seen Broken Social Scene live, and, in fact, I wasn’t too interested in ever seeing them until I heard 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record. With male and female vocals as well as about a million instruments, this newest album rocks the spectrum of stuff I like. In “Texaco Bitches” I can feel a throwback to Architecture in Helsinki. “All to All” channels my weakness for Metric. You can take this album from the club to the bed, and I’m stoked to experience that excitement and variety at Hopscotch.
Future Islands I saw just a few months ago, touring with Ear Pwr and Atlanta favorite The Coathangers. I find few activities more boring than standing and swaying along with a live band; fortunately, Future Islands will rev you up.
So will Max Indian. I saw them in 2008 at the Pour House, when they were opening for the Old Ceremony. A hip, high-energy, alt-country band, Max Indian stole the show for me when they made me dance. I’m excited to find out what they’ve been up to the past couple of years.
Broken Social Scene
Kelly Crisp // The Rosebuds
KELLY’S PARTYYY PICKS!!!
(as of today)
The Friend Island party is going to be nuts. Megafaun is coming in straight from their European tour to party like crazy assholes and play beautiful music… slick genius. They’ll be performing new material from Heretofore, their upcoming EP. It’ll be my first time seeing Collections of Colonies of Bees (who are cited as influences by Megafaun and Bon Iver so I mean GOOD LORD). Gonna be tons of running around because Cellar Seas and Bellafea are also playing parties.
Local Time party on Saturday. Flute Flies (The side-project Ivan started with friends for CyTunes). They’re really good. Like, actually and not just because I’m an Ivan fan. I’m looking forward to hearing the song “We Came Alone.”
My pals Old Ceremony and my favorite Raleigh band NAPS are also on that bill so, I mean, you know. I’m going to eat a nachos plate and wil’ out.
Problem is that the Trekky Records party is at the SAME TIME and that bill is stacked like crazy. Sharon Van Etten among others so I probably try to run back and forth.
Collections of Colonies of Bees
Brad Cook // Megafaun
Brad Cook’s guide to Hopscotch:
THURSDAY SEPT 9th
I will begin my night with the band ALL TINY CREATURES. For fans of Volcano Choir (ahem….they sort of lent the single, “Island, IS “to Volcano Choir through the luxary of shared members) , Neu, early Kraftwerk and contemporary post-rock.
From the pour house I will head over to Kings to catch LOCRIAN. Incredible Noise/Metal. We are very lucky to have them. This should sufficiently get my endorphins rolling.
This is where shit gets a little hairy. If that BEST COAST record starts to sound any better, you’ll find me at Tir Na Nog. Otherwise, I will be firmly camped out at Kings for the next little bit.
As soon as I get word that COLLECTIONS OF COLONIES OF BEES is about to begin, I will be front and center at Tir Na Nog for what is sure to be a pretty astounding and loud as fuck performance. Recommended for fans of all things powerful and pretty. It doesn’t get much better than this in regards to post-rock. As soon as they finish I will back at Kings to catch a brief part of OCEAN, Portland, Maine’s very own doom metal powerhouse.
I will conclude the first night with the one and only, AKRON/FAMILY because if I know the Akron’s, they will be playing well into the night at the Pour House and giving us all a place to blow it out at the night’s end with one of the most exciting
bands on the circuit.
FRIDAY SEPT 10th
No brainer here. JON MUELLER at Kings is where I will be catching my first sounds of the night. Jon does a solo drum and noise performance that sits on par with an Iron Man triathlon in regards to the physicality of what he does. Trust me. Not to be missed.
I will follow up that set with personal favorites, HARVEY MILK. No adjective needed. The Berkley will be pretty raw by the end of this one. Recommended for fans of all things heavy.
After sheer power of the first two bands, it’s all about SHARON VAN ETTEN. This may be one of your last opportunities to catch Sharon in a venue of this size. The girl is poised for indie stardom. Picking up where Cat Power left off, Sharon will demonstrate what it means to write amazing songs in this day and age. If you don’t feel like getting all emotional, go see BEN FROST back at Kings. Dude put out one of the most fine tuned “noise” records that came out last year. We are lucky to have him.
I will be finishing up night two at Tir Na Nog for personal favorites, WAR ON DRUGS. Been waiting a long time to bliss out to these vibesmiths. War on Drugs is mostly meditative, mostly loud, mostly pretty and mostly amazing. This will be a great way to close out the night.
SAT SEPT 11th
Now, I’d be kidding if I didn’t say we had a small hand in organizing our dream bill for this festival. The goal being that you can come in and out at any point and reset the gages via some power drone brain erase as well as the gorgeous songbird, Marissa Nadler. Don’t be scared off by the unfamiliarity of this line-up. This bill is seriously loaded with some of the most premier and highly respected talents working worldwide in the field of contemporary electronics and improvisation. In other words, THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL LINE UP. I will be sitting front and center for this whole thing. We are just here so no one has to play first or last. However, if you get there early you’ll see Megafaun like you’ve never seen us. No songs, all improvised. Come late and you’ll see our last show of the year.
Chaz Martenstein // Bull City Records
Here’s a little rundown of what I’m hoping to achieve through this year’s Hopscotch. Thanks for asking me to write something for you! Honestly, I’m planning some sort of loose schedule, but I still know I’m being way too ambitious in my planning. These things are always 100% more chaotic than what you’re already expecting. I hope to see at least one half of the bands I’m dying to see, but I’m sure I’ll catch a handful of pleasant surprises in the process of missing things on my list. Gotta just go with the flow at these kinds of festivals. That being said, whether you see them now or when they come back through town, these are some bands not to be missed (I hope to catch as many as I possibly can!). Please keep in mind, considering the caliber of this fest, I’m leaving off a ton of bands that I’d still love to see at any time.
9:30pm - BURNING STAR CORE :: Been catching word of this project for some time now from all kinds of different trustworthy directions and sources. Could this be the chance I finally catch this experimental/drone/psych wonder?? Hope so!
10pm - PLAGUE vs. MIDTOWN DICKENS :: Hometown heroes both. Do I need more crushing, evil, riffy hardcore or soul-soothing ramshackley beautiful twang??
10:30pm - DOUBLE DAGGER :: Angular, nervous-energy postpunk on Thrill Jockey. Sounds like the heyday of Dischord punk. Seen a live exorcism lately?
11pm - BRUTAL KNIGHTS vs. BEST COAST :: Brutal Knights put on one of my favorite shows of the past 5 years in a Raleigh basement not too long ago. Fast, sweaty, DIY rock’n'roll played at break-neck hardcore speed. Brutal indeed. Best Coast is the new darling of the girl group revival/beach-wave scene. Summertime pop. This one is gonna depend on my mood and I’m anticipating needing some speed.
12am - LUCERO :: How have I never seen this band? No excuse and now I think I can remedy it. Loose, raw, falling-apart, twang-riddled rock’n'roll…the closest I’ll get to seeing a Replacements show this decade. Unless you know something otherwise?
1am - AKRON/FAMILY :: Yes, I like a party. Great way to end the night.
1pm-5:30pm - JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN III / LAST YEAR’S MEN / WIGG REPORT / PINCHE GRINGO / SUPER SECRET SPECIAL GUESTS :: FREE Day Party thrown by the Layabout and Churchkey Digital. Wes Coleman is one of the songwriters for the legendary Golden Boys, and while his stuff is similar in its garage twang slant to the Boys, he’s approaching his solo work from a more acid-fried, Roky Erickson-esque angle. Blow-your-mind kinda stuff. Last Year’s Men are a new Triangle band that is about to stun the entire area. Get ready is all I can say. Fuzzed-out and fast doowop-inspired garage. Wigg Report is consistently one of my favorite Durham bands. Lofi DIY acoustic punk/garage/improv…bikes to the majority of their gigs (because they own no car, not because it’s cool)...makes up songs on the spot…prone to guerrilla shows…watch out! Pinche Gringo will fuzz and stomp the worries right out of your life, guaranteed. 60s style garage. The Special Guests are great.
5:30pm-9:30pm - PANDA BEAR / BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE / ROSEBUDS :: Duh.
9:30pm - WHATEVER BRAINS :: My crush is so huge for this band that it inspired me to press two 7"s for them. Manic, weirdo, jittery garage pop with a penchant for writing some of the fastest, hookiest songs you need to hear.
10pm - SPIDER BAGS :: Easily one of the best bands in North Carolina right now. Twangy, stomping, slightly psychedelic garage rawk. Their shows have been known to spike the surrounding air with hair-frizzing, spine-shivering electricity. I cannot describe the thrill of seeing this act live.
11pm - THE GOLDEN BOYS :: The S’Bags’ brother band out of Austin, TX. They recorded the best garage record released in 2009. Swaggery, electrifying, earth-shaking, swamp-draining rock’n'roll set out to prove that all is still not right in the world and it’s wonderful. Sleazily, heart-throbbingly wonderful. Just the thought of seeing these guys live again brings a big dumb grin to my big dumb face. Seriously, make room in your night to experience the gospel of the Golden Boys.
12am - HARLEM vs. THE WAR ON DRUGS :: This is the hardest decision of my life…this month. Harlem put out one of my top 3 albums of the year. It’s beautifully brash, immature, fuzzy, jangly, breezy rock’n'roll. The lyrics are stupidly brilliant and the melodies are childishly genius. 16 tracks were crammed unto their latest Matador Records release and there’s not a dud in the batch. The War on Drugs boasts Kurt Vile as a co-writer. I have never seen them live and stand in awe of their record. The music is drifting, Neil Young-esque twang tangled with hypnotic, kraut rock inspired psych. Holy crap…to get lost in these songs….
1am - FUCKED UP vs. MOUNTAINS vs. ATLAS SOUND :: Shit.
1pm - 5:30pm - If I can get out of work, you’ll find me running frantically between :: Mann’s World Day Party with HOG, MAKE, BLACK SKIES and DEATH CAME DOWN THE MOUNTAIN...Churchkey III Day Party with LURCH, FREE ELECTRIC STATE, LAST YEAR’S MEN and HAMMER NO MORE THE FINGERS...and Trekky Records’ Day Party with LOST IN THE TREES, MIDTOWN DICKENS, SHARON VAN ETTEN, BUTTERFLIES and EMBARRASSING FRUITS.
5:30pm-10pm - PUBLIC ENEMY / NO AGE / LOVE LANGUAGE :: Again, no need for a write up. See you all there.
10:30pm - US CHRISTMAS :: From many friends and shop regulars, I have heard about how amazing US Christmas is. I will now go see them finally and experience the heavy, dirgey amazingness of which I have been warned.
11pm - BEAR IN HEAVEN :: Hometapes Records awesomeness! Their newest record is a dark, trippy, 80s-reminiscent mess of greatness.
11:30pm-1am - DUNGEN followed by WOODS :: The pinnacle of my weekend happens in the last two hours of the festival. My entire frantic, anxiety-fueled festival experience explodes in front of my eyes as I get to see a Swedish psychedelic masterpiece of a band lead into my current favorite psych band in existence right now. Is that a little too dramatic? Perhaps. It’s nearing 1am and my eyes are blurring so I’m allowed it. Dungen’s music swirls, slides, burns and twists in free-form, hypnotic, dubby wonder. They are one of the top modern psych bands touring right now…and they don’t really tour much. Woods released what will probably end up being my favorite album of the year. This Brooklyn group layers meandering twang, blissed-out psych, rhythmic repetition and eerie drifts of white noise into starry-eyed songs full of innocence and wonder. Underneath these bleary, sun-stained melodies, there’s a strain of sadness and despair running right through their hearts, lending them a sense of inescapable brutal realism. Go see this band and buy their records.
Ross Grady // TriangleRock
des_ark (Local Time Day Party) - Sure, I’m biased; I’ve known Aimee Argote since she was 16 years old. But facts are facts. #1: The new des_ark record, “Don’t Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker” is going to knock you on your fucking asses, most particularly those of you who’ve seen both the “quiet solo” and the “loud rockband” versions & think you’ve got it sussed. And #2: For her Hopscotch Day Party show thingy, Aimee’s bringing yet another different trio, this one featuring Pissed Jeans drummer Sean McGuinness. Surprise!
Double Dagger - Their 2009 album “MORE” made my top-5, due in no small part to the endless power of “The Lie/The Truth,” featuring NC expat Sam Herring (Future Islands) on guest vocals. Hear it here: http://hopscotchmusicfest.com/band/double-dagger/ The rest of the time, they’re a bass/drums/vocals [punkrock? typography-obsessed postpunk?] trio, with frontman Nolen Strals spending as much time bearhugging random audience-members as he does singing. And yeah, the miracle is that he actually makes that shit work in their favor. Hugely so.
US Christmas - If you heard their 2008 album “Eat the Low Dogs”—layer upon layer of dense, swirling, paranoia-inducing psych-metal, frontman Nate Hall’s backwoods freakout vocals so drenched in reverb you start to feel like you’re falling—you probably figured there’d be no way they could pull it off live. You were wrong.
Double Negative - These fuckers are older than me (and twice as old as 95% of their current hardcore peers) and they just released one of the best hardcore (or, fuckit, post-hardcore, post-EVERYTHING) records I’ve ever heard, “Daydreamnation.”
Harvey Milk - Sweet Jesus.
Wigg Report (Layabout Day Party) - Durham’s best-kept secret, probably ‘cause they’d rather set up on a streetcorner or at somebody’s house than go through the hassle of booking actual gigs. Gtr/drums/sax and/or keys; popsongs about drinking & the long slow difficult process of trying to learn not to be stupid; stripped down to their essence, then expanded into effortless 8-minute workouts. Like if Yo La Tengo were the amateurs they’ve always claimed to be.
Grayson Currin // Curator, Hopscotch Music Festival
Writing about the bands I’m looking forward to hearing at the inaugural Hopscotch Music Festival feels a tad uncomfortable for two reasons. First, along with help from festival director Greg Lowenhagen, festival booking agent Paul Siler and a few bands I trust and love, I picked all of these bands. I had the great luxury, then, of drafting bands I only like a lot. This festival has, then, at times felt a little like a map of the way my brain thinks about music, and it’s hard to appreciate one portion of that phrenology without considering its neighbors.
Second, I probably won’t see most of the bands playing Hopscotch. Like Greg and Paul and the handful of other folks that’ve worked since last June to assemble these three days of music, I’ll be running around, making sure bands, fans, sound guys, club owners, stage hands and volunteers are happy. I’ll hear a lot of songs by being in a random place at a random time, but I doubt I’ll be able to stand still and watch many sets in their entirety. That said, there are four sets that I’ll try and do whatever it takes to see, for one reason or another.
A: THE WAR ON DRUGS: I ignored the first LP, 2008’s Wagonwheel Blues, from the Philadelphia band The War on Drugs for the better part of two years. At first, it sounded like psychedelic rock simply sundried on some Dylan-loving kid’s ’90s alternative rock youth. And then I noticed the way the band warped the simplest elements of rock ’n’ roll, fucking with drum beats and guitar solos and layered arrangements in imaginative, somehow profound ways. And then I noticed that frontman Adam Granduciel didn’t just sound like his lyrical heroes, but that he was actually writing stuff that compared, dropping existential, hopeful nuggets in the last brilliant verse of “Buenos Aires Beach,” the veteran of his own crises eyeing the future. No fooling, but The War on Drugs is sort of my favorite good ol’ American rock band in the world right now, and they will completely poke holes into your definition of what it means to be a good ol’ American rock band in the world right now.
B: PUBLIC ENEMY: I suppose, if griping is sort of your thing, which by trade it is mine, you might wonder why a band that put out its most legendary works two decades ago is headlining a festival that, musically, was programmed so heavily with a focus on the future. If you watch Public Enemy’s set Saturday night and you aren’t stunned by the most energetic, aggressive and charismatic hip-hop show you’ve seen maybe since the last time you’ve seen Public Enemy, I’ll possibly entertain that question. Until then… Seriously: I saw these dudes play for 20,000 kids at some über-hip festival presented by another website for which I write, and it was completely shocking. I wasn’t expecting it, and maybe now you aren’t, either, but these aged dudes still have a lot to teach modern hip-hop, especially about how to rock a show.
C: FIRST RATE PEOPLE: I’m not sure where I first heard the indulgent co-ed pop of Toronto’s First Rate People, but I do know I was immediately charmed. The band’s little seven-song introduction, It’s Never Not Happening, mixed splashy dance tracks and weepy ballads with chiming jingles and dreamy odes. I got a little obsessed with it around the time we were booking the festival, so I wrote the band and asked if they might be interested in driving south. Little did I know that Hopscotch would become their first American show, a prelude to the band’s run through the north with Born Ruffians.
D: LOCRIAN: I spend the bulk of my time listening to, for lack of a better descriptor, weird music—harsh noise and power electronics and doom metal and electronic drone and too much Current 93. Maybe that’s not the most logical starting point for booking a music festival that you hope is accessible to a lot of people, but I hope it worked well here. Indeed, one of my favorite things about the first year of Hopscotch is that, though it certainly brings loads of pop and indie rock and hip-hop and hard-nosed rock and heavy metal to Raleigh’s stages, there’s some genuinely out-there music, too. From the drone of Burning Star Core to the odd horn work of Ned Rothenberg, I hope this festival pushes some people’s expectations of sound. Few bands are doing that more for me right now than Locrian, a Chicago duo that blurs the boundaries between radiant drone, roaring noise and black metal. Harsh blends with halcyon, as the band’s love of power meets an obsession with finesse. Glad to have these guys in town.
The War on Drugs
While VIP and Club wristbands are sold out, there are still single-show City Plaza tickets and a limited number of All-Show wristbands left. Details on how to pick up your wristbands were released yesterday.
All images from the Hopscotch website