Friday’s Hopscotch City Plaza Highlights
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DJ SALINGER — a personal itinerary for Hopscotch 2014
The kick off night for Hopscotch is going to be incredible to say the least. To start with, the first highlight of the night will occur at Slim’s at 9:30 PM when Southport, NC’s own Museum Mouth takes the stage (or shall I say rocks the stage) with all of their wonderfully emotional songs off their latest album Alex I Am Nothing. Then from there, you will want to make sure to grab a portion of The Till’s set at Pour House Music Hall before making your way over to Deep South to catch my most anticipated performance of the evening by Reptar who are making their way to Raleigh from their hometown Athens, Georgia…which is coincidentally from the deep south.
Alright, it’s already a given that all of Friday’s City Plaza’s shows will be a must see with Lonnie Walker starting at 5:45, St. Vincent at 6:50, and Spoon at 8:30 PM. Now the big question arises: Where do I go from here? Well let me just tell ya, I am really looking forward to starting the post City Plaza extravaganza with Raleigh’s own Ghostt Bllonde who will be playing at CAM Raleigh starting at 9:30 PM. After this set, I will definitely stop by to catch Loamlands at Lincoln Theater, then a little bit of the Nervous Ticks at The Hive before heading over to my most anticipated performance of Friday—Mapei. Coming all the way from Stockholm, Sweden, Mapei’s infectious songs are sure to be a must see at midnight in Tir Na Nog.
If I learned anything from last year’s festival, it’s that by the last night I am WORN OUT. Having a blast running around downtown Raleigh can really take a toll on one’s body, so come Saturday night I will be staying put in one spot to see all of my most anticipated performances for the evening; and that spot is the Fletcher Opera Theater. Starting out at 10:00 PM with the talented Asheville based folk singer Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, as part of the group Mountain Man, Alexandra’s beautiful vocals are surely not to be missed. The night only gets better with Chicago’s Ryley Walker taking the stage at 11:00 PM and then perhaps my most anticipated show of the whole festival, a solo performance by Phosphorescent at midnight. The level of intimacy Saturday night in the Fletcher Opera Theater will without a doubt be through the roof; and for that reason alone, overall, I am anticipating Saturday the most out of all the days.
By: Clint Bowman
INITIAL 2014 HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FESTIVAL LINEUP: SPOON, MASTODON, ST. VINCENT, AND MORE! 40+ BANDS WILL BE ADDED IN JUNE. TICKETS ON SALE NOW
“Hopscotch is now the premiere experimental and underground music festival in America.”—Ad Hoc
Hopscotch Music Festival, recently called “America’s (Secretly) Best Festival” and “the premiere experimental and underground festival in America,” celebrates its fifth anniversary in downtown Raleigh, N.C., this Sept. 4-6, 2014. The festival, noted for its diversity and selective programming, features nearly 160 bands in a wide range of genres. With today’s initial lineup announcement of 115 acts, Hopscotch reaffirms its commitment to showcasing North Carolina’s thriving scene alongside notable artists from around the world. For the fifth year in a row, approximately 40% of the festival’s artists hail from in-state—a figure few, if any, nationally recognized music events can claim. An additional 40 bands will be revealed in the coming weeks.
“While most of our bigger slots are programmed and now public, we chose to break up the lineup to limit information overload,” notes Hopscotch’s founding director, Greg Lowenhagen. “We’ve presented everyone at once in the past, and because the festival is still five months away, we thought it made sense to pull back and reveal artists in two stages. We hope this approach is more welcoming and makes the lineup easier to digest.”
Hopscotch 2014 will be highlighted by two nights in Raleigh City Plaza, the city’s most inviting downtown space. On Friday, Sept. 5, Spoon—prolific pop experimentalists and one of indie rock’s most commercially and critically acclaimed bands—will headline the festival’s main stage. Friday’s bill also features St. Vincent, creator of one of 2014’s best records and most captivating live shows. Lonnie Walker will open. On Saturday, Sept. 6, Mastodon—Atlanta’s perpetually evolving and consistently enthralling hard rock nonconformists—will top a bill with Detroit’s punk pioneers Death and local favorites Valient Thorr.
Some 150 other bands will perform in various clubs during Hopscotch’s three days. A sampler of these acts so far includes: Sun Kil Moon, High on Fire, Thurston Moore, Jamie xx, How To Dress Well, Tony Conrad, Deniro Farrar, Lunice, Power Trip, American Aquarium, Obnox, Lee Noble, The Haxan Cloak, White Lung, Palehound, Ava Luna, Reigning Sound, Sun Araw, Open Mike Eagle, Mapei, Phosphorescent playing solo, and one of former Ween frontman Aaron Freeman’s first performances with his new band FREEMAN.
This year, Hopscotch’s former day party coordinator, Nathan Price, was promoted to talent coordinator to help Lowenhagen book the festival. “My job was to maintain Hopscotch’s established identity and credibility while offering my take on what I thought would attract fans in 2014,” says Price. “We wanted to highlight artists—both established and emerging—who are making incredible music right now, while also presenting Hopscotch’s usual roster of unorthodox and less obvious festival choices. I think we’ve found that balance so far.”
IIII, 6 String Drag, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, American Aquarium, Artificial Brain, Author & Punisher, Axxa/Abbraxas, Ava Luna, Avers, Bedowyn, Blanko Basnet, Blursome, Body Games, Canine Heart Sounds, Coke Weed, Cousins, Dark Rooms, Davidians, Dead Gaze, Demon Eye, Deniro Farrar, Dent May, Diarrhea Planet, Drag Sounds, Death, Eagulls, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Enemy Waves, First Person Plural, FREEMAN, Free Clinic, GEMS, Ghostt Bllonde, Guerilla Toss, Helm, High On Fire, Holygrailers, How To Dress Well, Jacuzzi Boys, Jamie XX, Joe Scudda, KEN mode, Krill, Last Year’s Men, Landlady, Lee Noble, Loamlands, Lonnie Walker, Lunice, Mark McGuire, Marley Carroll, Mapei, Mastodon, Matt Kivel, Matt Northrup, Mas Ysa, Museum Mouth, Mutual Benefit, Nest Egg, New Music Raleigh Presents: Future Shock, Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, No Eyes, No Love, Obnox, Octopus Jones, Open Mike Eagle, Potty Mouth, Power Trip, Palehound, Paperhaus, Phosphorescent Solo, Prince Rama, Reigning Sound, Ryley Walker, Saint Rich, Screature, See Gulls, Soft Cat, Solar Halos, Spoon, Strange Faces, St. Vincent, SubRosa, Sun Araw, Sun Club, Sun Kil Moon, The Haxan Cloak, The Nervous Ticks, The Tills, The Range, The White Octave, Thurston Moore, Tony Conrad, T0W3RS, Valient Thorr, Virgins Family Band, Walin’ Storms, Well$, White Lung, White Laces, Wild Fur, Wing Dam, Winston Facials, Witch Mountain, Wowolfol, Y’ALL, Young Cardinals, YVETTE, Zack Mexico
VIP and 3-Day passes are on sale now at www.hopscotchmusicfest.com/tickets. Each of these passes allows entry into all festival clubs and both City Plaza headlining shows.
In June, along with the release of the 2014 Hopscotch schedule, 1-Day passes will be made available. These passes will allow entry into every Hopscotch show on a specific day and will range from $65–$85.
Individual tickets for shows in Raleigh City Plaza will be made available soon. The Friday, Sept. 5, show featuring Spoon, St. Vincent, and Lonnie Walker costs $40. The Saturday, Sept. 6, show featuring Mastodon, Death, and Valient Thorr also costs $40.
Continuing a festival tradition established in 2012 with multifaceted drummer Chris Corsano and carried on by Japanese noise pioneer Merzbow in 2013, Thurston Moore will take over the role of Hopscotch’s Improviser-in-Residence. Moore’s volume of work—from his time in Glenn Branca’s ensemble to Sonic Youth’s legendary catalog to his collaborations with Mats Gustafsson, Jim O’Rourke, Nels Cline, and countless others—makes him one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his generation. No stranger to Hopscotch, Moore visited Raleigh with John Moloney last year to play a day party produced by Three Lobed Recordings and WXDU, and afterwards, they were joined by Merzbow for a special performance. Carrying the improvisational torch to this year’s festival, he will play a full set of his own on Thursday, Sept. 4, and join other bands onstage for impromptu appearances.
MORE TO COME
In the coming months, Hopscotch will add 40 more bands to its official lineup. The festival will also bring a bevy of day parties to downtown Raleigh in September, as well as the second annual SiteWork art exhibition, a photography exhibit, and the inaugural Hopscotch Design Festival.
HOPSCOTCH DESIGN FESTIVAL
Hopscotch Music Festival and New Kind, the Raleigh-based design and community-building firm, are thrilled to announce the inaugural Hopscotch Design Festival. The first event of its kind to emerge from an acclaimed music event, Hopscotch Design Festival will gather distinguished national talent and notable local contributors to share ideas and foster conversation about how design is shaping the future. Scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 3 and Thursday, Sept. 4, in various downtown Raleigh venues, Hopscotch Design features more than 25 sessions from presenters who work across the disciplines of graphic design, user experience design, urban planning, technology, architecture, music, food, film, and more. With interactive sessions, workshops, and parties, the two-day event will blend seamlessly into Hopscotch Music Festival beginning Thursday evening.
PREVIOUS REVIEWS FOR HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FESTIVAL
“Hopscotch: perfection, indeed” —The News & Observer, Raleigh
“Like most who know of its perfection, I’m almost afraid to gush too much at the risk of jinxing or ruining the best three days of music experiences one can be given. It’s SXSW without the stress, corporate overwhelming smack across the face, and dare I say Raleigh, NC becomes the most special town in the world for this one weekend.Perfectly curated with a blind ear to any buzz, specific genre, or anything else…Hopscotch Festival can turn the biggest music snob cynic into a carefree music lover once again. The word perfect is thrown around lightly all over the place (I misuse it all the time), but that’s the only word to describe this dream of a music festival…PERFECT.”—We Listen For You, Louisville
“Hopscotch Music Festival is one of the best and most eclectic music festivals in America.” —Spin
“In Raleigh Thursday through Saturday, it was all about an extraordinarily cool roster of bands. With streets cordoned off throughout the downtown area, thousands of people … wandered among ten participating music venues, creating a Mardi Gras-like atmosphere.” —Rolling Stone
“Hopscotch Music Festival is fast becoming Raleigh’s cultural center of gravity.” —Raleigh Public Record
Let me start by saying that on Wednesday, Nov. 16, a tiny woman in massive heels brought a packed venue to its knees. As one of my English pals so articulately put it, “She makes that guitar her bitch.”
St. Vincent brought out the largest crowd that I have seen at the Brudenell Social Club (although I haven’t been to that many), and rightly so. She has come off of one of her most successful and critically acclaimed releases, Strange Mercy. With anticipations high, the tension was palpable as the stage crew tuned the guitars, adjusted the lights, and kicked the fog machines into full gear, after a wait that seemed like an eternity.
When she did come out, the tiny Annie Clark in her high heels showed that big surprises come in small packages. Playing mostly off of the excellent Strange Mercy, the powerful sound of St. Vincent demonstrated the best of the recent album. Despite the amazingly forceful performance of many of her excellent new tracks, Clark came across as incredibly modest throughout those brief moments in between songs where she gave the audience a brief glimpse into everything from her music video for “Cruel” to her recent cover of The Pop Group’s “She Is Beyond Good and Evil.”
It wasn’t all constrained to the new work, as Clark and company provided some of the greatest moments performing older hits, including an excellent cover of “She Is Beyond Good and Evil.” It was St. Vincent’s performance of “Marrow” that they were able to give a much more intense life to, which cannot be given complete justice when listened to recorded. It was the encore that stole the show with an amazing rendition of “Your Lips Are Red.” It featured Clark jumping into the audience at the most intense moments of the track, and within seconds doing a complete turnaround and calming down the song to what was the end of one of the greatest performances I have seen in recent memory.
And on that night Clark certainly made that guitar her bitch.
1. Black Lips have released details about their follow-up to 2009’s “200 Million Thousand.” The album, which has yet to be titled, is set to release sometime during the summer. In talking about the next album, guitarist Ian Saint Pé stated, “I’m already digging what we’ve got. I’ve read reviews where people say we haven’t changed, but, man, the wheel ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (via Billboard)
2. The New Pornographers have announced a new single, and a large, upcoming, North American tour in support of their next album entitled “Together.” The single, is called “The Crash Years,” and the band is planning to make a stop at Memorial Hall, on the campus of UNC, June 25. (via Pitchfork)
3. Saturday Night Live actor Fred Armisen has joined Joanna Newsom during her current tour. Armisen who helps open the show as German drumming expert Jens Hennemann, has joined Newsom during her shows in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. (via Pitchfork)
4. Concert promoter Live Nation has started testing new digital wristbands that would allow concert-goers the ability to purchase concessions and work as the ticket for a show or festival. The technology, which is used to help fight against touting, uses smart chip technology to track the audience. John Probyn from Live Nation UK states, “Your ticket won’t be a paper ticket, it’ll be a wristband unique to you.” (via NME)
5. Beck has been joined by Liars, St. Vincent, and Sergio Dias of Os Mutantes to record INXS’s 1987 album, “Kicks.” The fourth album in Beck’s project to cover entire records in one day, was recorded in approximately 12 hours. The song “Guns from the Sky” is available to listen to now. (via NME)