Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hopscotch Music Festival Day Two - Friday Day Parties and Night Shows (Raleigh, NC, 9/11/15)

Friday was to be a mellower Hopscotch day for me.  There was no one I was dying to see that I hadn't seen before, and I the schedule Saturday looked like it was gonna be a burner... it's all about the pacing.  As far as the day parties, I'd just seen Echo Courts the night before, and I was planning on seeing Warehouse on Saturday night.  I did, however, manage to catch a couple of local acts I hadn't seen yet, and the always great Ghostt Bllonde.

Raleigh's Adult Science were one of the locals I had yet to see live.  Their electro-indiepop sounded more rock'n'roll live.  This is a band that sounds promising to me, but I think I'll have to take them in one or two more times to really get a feel for what they do.

Adult Science...
Ghostt Bllonde are one of my favorites, and I've written about them many times before on this blog.  So I won't say much more about them here, other than the fact that they put on a stellar, and fun, set as usual.  The crowd was a big one for a mid-day show, and they were really into it.

The crowd at Pour House wait for Ghostt Bllonde...
Ghostt Bllonde...
Octopus Jones has created a lot of buzz in these parts lately, and I can now see why.  Another local act I hadn't seen, and another that I'll have to take in again before really "getting" them.  But they bring a lot of fun to the stage... and fall sort of midway on the local music spectrum between Dad and Dad and Zack Mexico.  Someone told me they're like Zack Mex with fewer guitars.  I can see that. 

Yes yes, I'm comparing everything to ZM.  I don't think I know anything but local music anymore :p.  And really, that bunch from the OBX is the best around, and I think are beginning to influence many local bands (kinda like Love Language did a while back, which you can still hear in the general vibe of the scene today).  Plus, Zack Mex put on the best show of this year's Hopscotch... more on that later.

Octopus Jones...
I have to say, although I didn't attend much of it, kudos to Younger Brother Productions for a great set of shows at the Pour House and Tir Na Nog.  

Time to pace.  Checked into an Airbnb near Person Street Bar, just in time to head over there for the end of the northernmost Hopscotch Day Party, and Winston-Salem's Judy Barnes.  A unique act fronted by a someone whose pedigree also includes being a professional opera singer, Jodi Barnes.  Her strong voice is put to very different use in this sorta minimal, but still-very-rock'n'roll, combo.  Maybe more minimal than I remember from Hopscotch 2013 because they were missing their guitarist, a slot now filled by Estranger frontman Phillip Pledger.  But with Barnes' strong voice, nice accompanying harmonies, and rather pounding drum kit, it was quite enough.  Besides Barnes' vocals, her keyboard playing also excels, and has bits of 1920s pop laced into the rock. 

Judy Barnes...
Judy Barnes had some of the crowd doing... I believe it was "Gull-robics" or something (jk, it's members of See Gulls, who would play here the next day, and helped put on the party)...
When the night kicked off, I opted to skip TV On the Radio at City Plaza.  Probably not a good move, but #nohopscotchregrets.  I started my night with Raleigh's Naked Naps, seeing them -- criminally -- for only the third time (too many good bands).  

Again, this show was back at the great Hopscotch venue, Deep South.  A nice crowd showed up to catch their always-surprisingly full sound, being only a duo and all.  Catie Yerkes' guitar meshes with John Meier's drums so tightly... they MUST practice a lot.  And the result is a very complex, and still very punk, sound

Naked Naps...
The crowd at Deep South take in Naked Naps...
I stayed at Deep South to catch the almost-debut (2nd show) by new Triangle bunch, Faults.  Faults is Mike Dillon's (Gross Ghost) new outlet, and is in a similar vein.  Maybe a little heavier and not as breezy as GG can be; but this is another band I'll have to see a few times to process.  They're fun, and Dillon's same knack with a tune is there.  The band is a bit of a mini Who's Who of local music (Dad & Dad, Human Eyes, Love Language).

Faults...
Mandatory photo of Tommy 2straws gettin' into it (this seems to pop up in my photography a lot lately... Love Language, Soon, Eston & the Outs)...
Popped into Neptunes, and out of my milieu, for a bit of a DJ set by Luxe Posh on the way back to Tir Na Nog.  She was workin' it... intently focused on what she was doing, as was Sylvan Esso's Nick Sanborn (see third photo below).  Good to see a much bigger act so into a local up-and-comer.  

Luxe Posh...
Popped upstairs to King's before heading west to catch a few minutes of another genre out of my wheelhouse... hip hop.  L.A. rapper Nocando had the full crowd in his hands, and impressive feat for an MC who uses such minimal instrumentation and is, basically, up there all on his own.  Figures for someone who still hits the battle circuit somewhat regularly, despite his success.

Nocando...
There was a lot of buzz for the show by Mitski at Tir na Nog.  She was a bit too mellow for my taste, at least on this night, and an odd pairing with the follow-up, Pile (see below).  I can and do get into her type of music sometimes, but she's largely lyrically-driven, and I wasn't very familiar with her lyrics.  Her fans were out in force, however, wrapped and enraptured around the stage.  

Mitski...
Pile was another band that came highly recommended.  They were also right up my alley, a Boston band more reminiscent of a of a lot of DC bands I used to listen to (Discord Records, et al).  Like my night's opener,  Another intense and complex indie band, with a slight tilt towards a hardcore.

Pile...
Up next, a truly memorable Saturday, with the best two sets of Hopscotch, imho.

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