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Hopscotch 2014 is officially in the books. It remains to be seen whether the organizers made it into the black on this run, but from my perspective, with the festival’s profile higher than ever, they continue to offer a musical experience unlike anything else in the country.
With daylight still burning, I arrived during Death’s set at the City Plaza. There’s been a resurgence of interest in the Detroit 1970s proto-punkers after the success of the 2012 documentary A Band Called Death. The band’s funky aggression went over well with the crowd. Bassist and vocalist Bobby Hackney talked of Death’s difficulty finding music industry support when it started out (the band’s name, not surprisingly, was a problem), as well as its plans for releasing new music. Although the trio sounded pretty good, I was most taken by the onstage attire of its members, which I can only describe as something that might have been found on a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome-themed Rick James video shoot.
After Death finished its set I wandered the plaza and ran into the guys from Fabricoh Magazine. Our conversation ranged from the Sun Kil Moon incident of Friday night to (for some reason) Gene Simmons’s infamous 2002 Fresh Air interview. They were a lot of fun and were clearly having a good time.
First at 6:00 tonight: Thursday is the 13th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Three years ago, on the 10th anniversary, WNYC’s Radio Rookies, a Peabody Award-winning youth journalism program, produced a documentary focused on the experiences of young people who were children on that day. In “Radio Rookies - Our 9/11: Growing Up in The Aftermath,” we hear from six of those children, 10 years later, on how September 11 shaped their lives.
WXDU News is at 7:00. Tonight’s stories include:
Having survived the first day of the festival more or less intact, I approached Friday night’s festivities with a more relaxed attitude. Loosely planning the concerts I wished to see, I strolled into Raleigh’s City Plaza during St. Vincent’s set as cool breezes combated the already relatively mild humidity.
St. Vincent’s choreographed dance moves were of the love it or hate it variety (I was mostly into it). The real draw was her driving guitar work; there are few things more satisfying than listening to some ace rhythm guitar work, and Annie Clark is a master of it.
After a break of about 30 minutes, which gave me time to mill around and chat up some fellow festivalgoers, Spoon hit the stage and played an hour-plus set that expectedly stuck to mostly recent material—nothing from before 2002’s Kill the Moonlight, for instance. I could have gone for the slinky groove of “Fitted Shirt,” but what are you going to do? The performance was good, not great, and seemed to flag in energy from time to time. Still, I hadn’t caught Spoon on tour since the Gimme Fiction era, and it was nice to see that the band remains vital after 20 years.
Greetings from your intrepid reporter of the concertgoer experience for WXDU at this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh.
Days ago, I began to feel a vague, somewhat overwhelming feeling. What was this anxiety? It was the sense that the festival was rapidly approaching and I had done very little to plot out my schedule. This is my first Hopscotch. If not approached with the right frame of mind, I thought, the festival is destined to leave me with a sense of disappointment, as I will be able to attend only a fraction of the shows I would like to see. For example, Thursday’s 12:30 slot was ridiculously strong—and impossibly tempting—with Diarrhea Planet, The War on Drugs, and Tim Hecker playing sets (while Thurston Moore was finishing his). Almost immediately after I started to plot my strategy, I realized that it’s pointless to slavishly plan out my schedule ahead of time. I must leave room for contingencies—such is the fun of Hopscotch!
Keep up with WXDU DJs this weekend at Hopscotch!
We'll be on social media, so look for us with the hashtags #WXDU and #Hopscotch14.
Our DJs will post about their show recommendations and the bands they're most excited to see right here on our website. Also, look for daily fest recaps!
And you don't want to miss the Day Party we're hosting with Three Lobed Reordings Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at King's. Can't make it to the show? We'll be streaming it live on air, so make sure you tune in!
Then next Sunday (9/14) night, tune in for show reviews and interviews in our Hopscotch wrap-up coverage!
Hopscotch is finally here. Be sure to check out the top five bands WXDU DJs are most excited to see at Hopscotch this year! Let us know who you are most excited to see and keep us up to speed on all the cool things happening this weekend by using the hashtags #WXDU #hopscotch14. See you at the fest!
1. Circuit des Yeux- Friday, 10:00 PM Tir Na Nog
2. Tim Hecker- Thursday, 12:30 AM King's Barcade
3. Tony Conrad- Friday, 11:00 PM Vintage 21
4. Obnox- Friday, 9:30 PM Slim's
5. Sun Kil Moon- Friday, 12:30 AM Lincoln Theatre
if you've ever considered working at wxdu, now is your chance
we are hosting a new deejay information session tomorrow evening
join us at the duke coffeehouse at 7 p.m. -- no prior radio experience is required
pizza from Lilly's will be served
as our audience is comprised of both duke students and durham community members, so is our staff. the information session open to both :)
join the facebook event for more information and updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/290446381149451/
this information session is for both those who are interested in musical programming (deejaying) and those who are interested in non-musical programming (radio journalism, sports, etc). if you're not sure which of those you're interested in, you can take part in both :)
At 6:00 tonight, we'll join Bending Borders for "24 Hours: A Day in the Working Life." This documentary explores the lives of workers who typically go unnoticed, including a diner waitress, a stripper, a church janitor, and a bus driver, as many of us take a break from work this Labor Day weekend.
Next at 7:00, ahead of the start of the Hopscotch Music Festival next week, Ben Cox talks to two artists on the bill. He sits down with Haley Fohr from Circuit des Yeux, and Jamie Hepler, of Asheville's Nest Egg. Circuit des Yeux will play Friday night at 10:00 at Tir Na Nog, and Nest Egg is scheduled for Saturday at 11:30 at Slim's. Hopscotch runs from Thursday, September 4, through Saturday, September 6 in Raleigh. Find more info and the entire lineup at hopscotchmusicfest.com/
WXDU will have more coverage of Hopscotch leading up to the festival and during the shows, and look for more when we air a Hopscotch wrap-up report after it ends. Keep an eye on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
And remember WXDU is hosting a Hopscotch Day Party with Three Lobed Recordings on Friday. Get more details here: www.facebook.com/events/512439632222273/ WXDU is a proud media partner of the Hopscotch Music Festival.
At 6:00, we'll be talking to Greg Lowenhagan, founder and director of the Hopscotch Music Festival, and Nathan Price, co-director and former day party coordinator. We'll discuss festival details, like the Hopscotch Design Festival, Posterscotch, and the SiteWork art exhibitions, and be playing music from Hopscotch artists. WXDU is a proud Hopscotch media partner, and we're excited to bring you this preview ahead of the festival and our post-show coverage. Learn more at hopscotchmusicfest.com/
And at 7:00, John Davis will be in studio talking about his latest project. John is a solo artist and former member and co-founder of the Folk Implosion. He's moved to the Triangle and is working on a new album produced by Scott Solter. The new album goes in a different direction from his 2013 release Spare Parts, and is, as John describes it, "an album of political songs that satirize the presence of empire in our daily diet here in the U.S." John will be talking about his music history, what he's been up to since leaving the Folk Implosion in 2000, the new album, and the Kickstarter campaign he's set up to support it. You can learn more about John and his work at his blog: johnhdavis.com/.