Hopscotch Music Festival Photo Gallery and Coverage

Later today, I’ll have posted a gallery of my best photos from The Hopscotch Music Festival, but for now I’d love it if you’d check out my review – Ten Things, Good and Bad, About the Hopscotch Music Festival – at Glide Magazine!

Hopscotch Music Festival Preview

Our love for the city of Raleigh, NC and its music scene is well documented here and at Glide Magazine. Well, from September 9-11, 2010, we and the city will be exchanging a big ‘ol sloppy musical kiss. We’re pleased to be covering the inaugural Hopscotch Music Festival, which will take over a large swath of downtown Raleigh for three days of club-hopping mayhem and outdoor festivities. It’s safe to say that this weekend will feature the most eclectic, concentrated gathering of artists that Raleigh has ever seen, and we’ll be doing our heat-of-the-moment Twitter updates, bringing you daily photo galleries, and providing a full review after the smoke clears.

It’s not hard to imagine Hopscotch eventually incorporating the new Raleigh Boutique Amphitheater into the event, and if that happens, we’ll have a monster of a festival on our hands. But for the time being, headliners will perform on the City Plaza while 9 different clubs host the rest of the artists, and that alone should make for an interesting weekend. Friday and Saturday, the music at the Plaza starts right around happy hour before moving into the clubs around 10 PM.

There’s no music at the Plaza on Thursday, but the festival begins in earnest with a dynamite threesome at The Lincoln Theater. Triangle favorites American Aquarium are sandwiched between local up-and-comers Max Indian and the raucous Memphis rock outfit Lucero. Of course, we’ll only get to see that bill if we sacrifice a ton of other stuff – for instance, Madison, Wisconsin’s highly emotive Collections of Colonies of Bees and indie darlings Beach House playing back-to-back at Tir-Na-Nog, one of Raleigh’s finest establishments. Trailblazing Portland act Akron/Family at The Pour House should make for a nice nightcap, in any event.

Friday evening has the potential to be infinitely special, as a couple of hard-to-find headliners will grace the Plaza stage – Broken Social Scene and Panda Bear. There’s a certain anticipation building around Panda Bear’s set, so much that we’ll be interested to see just how engaged he can keep a crowd of this size. But the action really starts after those two bands have had their way with your innards. At 9 PM, one of Triangle’s finest exports, 9th Wonder, will be taking over the Lincoln Theater for what is sure to be a night of wicked lyricism and head-nodding beats with many special guests, including one Raekwon. It’s going to be tough to stay in one spot though, as music beckons from all around the city. Hardest to pass up? The Small Ponds at Deep South The Bar, Mountains at The Busy Bee, Bowerbirds at The Pour House and Fucked Up at the Berkley Cafe.

Saturday night should fly by after Public Enemy is done with their headlining set, because there’s so much to see in so little time. Tortoise at the Lincoln Theater is a must, especially since Brooklyn’s Bear in Heaven are on directly beforehand. Durham, NC’s own Megafaun promise “a seamless night of sound” with various collaborators at the reborn Kings music club, and there’s delicious juxtaposition at Deep South The Bar as local hip-hop collective Kooley High will follow the eccentric Canadian group First Rate People.

On the surface, the Hopscotch schedule appears manageable. But for an adventurous music lover, it’s a mountain of conflicts to rival the biggest mega-festivals like Bonnaroo or Jazzfest. In researching the bands that I had never heard of until I saw their names on the lineup, I found it much more difficult to plan coverage. We’ll just have to give it our best shot, see what happens, and hope you come along for the journey.

Raleigh Plays Musical Hopscotch, Plus A Festival Update

You can imagine the excitement that shot through WM headquarters when the lineup for Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival was announced. This event is in the mold of South By Southwest in that bands will perform at multiple venues in the heart of the city, and it looks like an amazing time. The headliners – Broken Social Scene, Public Enemy, and Panda Bear – will perform along with selected others at Raleigh City Plaza, the new downtown promenade that opened late last year. The lucky locals that get to warm up for the big guys are The Love Language and The Rosebuds, both of whom definitely deserve the added attention.

Venues for the festival will include The Pour House Music Hall,The Berkeley Cafe, Deep South the Bar, Five Star, The Hive at Busy Bee, Kings, Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh City Plaza, Slim’s and Tir Na Nog. Here’s the rest of the lineup!

Tortoise, Megafaun, No Age, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Fucked Up, 9th Wonder & Friends, Active Child, All Tiny Creatures, American Aquarium, Americans in France, Atlas Sound, Balmorhea, Bear in Heaven, Best Coast, Birds of Avalon, Black Congo NC, DJ George Brazil, Brutal Knights, Richard Buckner, Burning Star Core, Cannabis Corpse, Caitlin Cary’s Small Ponds with Tres Chicas, Cults, Greg Davis, Double Dagger, Double Negative, The Dynamite Brothers, EAR PWR, ExMonkeys, First Rate People, Followed by Static, Ben Frost, Future Islands, Golden Boys, The Golden Filter, Goner, Gray Young, Ryan Gustafson, Hammer No More the Fingers, Harlem, Harvey Milk, Horseback, John Howie Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff, I Was Totally Destroying It, Javelin, Jeb Bishop Trio, Juan Huevos, Kill the Noise, The Kingsbury Manx, Kooley High, Kylesa, The Light Pines, Lonnie Walker, Lucero, Luego, Max Indian, Erin McKeown, Midtown Dickens, The Moaners, The Monologue Bombs, Motor Skills, Mountains, Jon Mueller, Marissa Nadler, Ocean, Old Bricks, Pattern Is Movement, Pictureplane, Plague, Pontiak, Schooner, Sightings, spcl gst, Spider Bags, Thien, Tigercity, Treasure Fingers, US Christmas, Sharon Van Etten, Veelee, Vincent Black Shadow, War on Drugs, Washed Out, Weedeater, Whatever Brains, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Yip-Yip. More bands will be announced on April 12th. This Facebook posting has some interesting quotes and insight from the organizers.

Remember the Wakarusa Interstellar Meltdown page we highlighted a few weeks ago? They’ve gone and made it pretty and full of info. Looks like Ott, Mark Farina, James Izabella, Lotus, Boombox, Future Rock, and others will be playing a pair of stages at the event.

Oh, Osheaga – we want to go to you. The Montreal festival announced its lineup about a week ago. As previously reported here, Arcade Fire and Pavement will headline, along with Weezer, and the best of the rest includes Metric, The National, Deadmau5, The Black Keys, Stars, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jimmy Cliff, Beach House, Blitzen Trapper, and Chromeo.

April 5th and 6th will be eventful, as our big crushes Lollapalooza and Mile High announce their lineups, so be sure to check back with us!

Album Review: Tortoise – Beacons of Ancestorship

Beacons of Ancestorship brings Tortoise’s sound firmly into the future. Once known for their majestic, open-ended post-rock instrumentals, the band have turned engineer John McEntire’s fascination with breakbeats and off-kilter rhythms into an altogether new venture.

Beacons of AncestorshipThe album gives listeners a clear indication of where Tortoise’s sound is probably headed. Change is manifested in dense, bass heavy tracks like “High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In” and “Northern Something,” the latter of which manages to be tongue-in-cheek even without the benefit of lyrics.

“Gigantes” almost sounds like something from a Squarepusher or Prefuse 73 album, with squirrely synth sounds, hammered dulcimer and earthy percussion squeezed through a filter of dance music and turntable-like sampling. “Penumbra” is a brief, wholly synthesized tune that sounds unlike anything that has ever been on a Tortoise album.

Fans of Tortoise’s classic sound won’t be disappointed, though, as tunes like “Prepare Your Coffin” and “Minors” are full of the angular melodies and driving drums that have made the band underground legends. “The Fall of Seven Diamonds” touches on a particularly nostalgic, cinematic vibe that the band is partially responsible for pioneering.

Beacons of Ancestorship displays the highly evolved talents of its creators, who are suddenly staring down their 20th anniversary. Guitarist Jeff Parker can still reach for the sky or glide along with the rest of the band with equal skill. The rhythm section has become one multi-headed monster, constantly blurring the lines between post-rock, breakbeat, hardcore electronic music, dub, and hip-hop.

Tortoise is still innovating. This album is not going to have the impact of TNT or Standards, but it is a concise, thoroughly enjoyable instrumental experience.

Rating: 8.4 out of 10

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