Wednesday, April 18, 2012

HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FESTIVAL EXPANDS AGAIN, BRINGING 175 BANDS TO DOWNTOWN RALEIGH SEPT. 6–8, 2012The Roots, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Built to Spill, Yo La Tengo top lineup

The Independent Weekly proudly announces its third annual Hopscotch Music Festival, North Carolina’s biggest and most diverse music festival that has, once again, gotten just a touch grander. Scheduled for Sept. 6–8, 2012, in downtown Raleigh, with 175 bands in 15 venues, Hopscotch has grown to offer fans more local, national and international choices in just about every genre imaginable—from classic indie rock and emerging hip-hop to experimental heavy metal and gospel-blues orchestras. Three new venues—the majestic Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh’s beautiful Contemporary Art Museum and the historic Long View Center—add another exciting dimension to the festival and its lineup. Along with the updates, Hopscotch continues to thrive on the variety and quality of its bands.

Tickets are on sale now through and

The festival will be highlighted by two nights in Raleigh City Plaza, the city’s most captivating downtown space. On Friday, Sept. 7, two rock legends will share the stage, as Built to Spill joins The Jesus and Mary Chain. And on Saturday, Sept. 8, possibly the best live crew not only in hip-hop but all of music, The Roots, headline with New York disco force Escort. Some 165 other bands perform in 14 clubs during the festival’s three days. A sampling of these acts includes: Yo La TengoLiarsSunn O)))Danny BrownThee Oh SeesBaronessDeath GripsDeerhoof,Damien JuradoFlosstradamusZola JesusLaurel HaloPallbearerYoung MagicLambchopCities AvivOneidaWye OakSamantha CrainGlenn JonesThe Spits and Colin Stetson.

Hopscotch has once again selected the best Triangle talent to accompany this strong mix of national and international guests. This year, locals representing the depth of the area’s rich music scene include special engagements by The Mountain Goats and Megafaun, plus Corrosion of Conformity, Valient Thorr, Midtown Dickens, Heads on Sticks, Gross Ghost, Black Skies and Whatever Brains. While the festival has grown, its commitment to community—the fans and bands upon which the local music scene is built—remains.

“We’ve added three larger rooms, but we’ve also kept the walkable downtown footprint,” says Hopscotch founder and director Greg Lowenhagen. “It should still feel like Hopscotch weekend here in Raleigh. The festival just features more national names mixed in with local favorites.”

These new rooms don’t only allow for more bands; they’ve also allowed Hopscotch to grow the breadth of its talent and the range of sounds that can be offered. In the Long View Center, for instance, local folk-rock heroes Megafaun will pair with old collaborator and minimalist legend Arnold Dreyblatt for updates on old pieces and the world premiere of a new one. In Memorial Auditorium, Sunn O)))—one of the heaviest acts on the planet—will be able to fill a rightfully enormous space with their unspeakably enormous sound.

“The programming at Hopscotch continues to be about projects that we find interesting, about music and ideas that will excite and inspire an ever-wider array of fans come September,” says Hopscotch co-director Grayson Currin. “The new rooms have simply allowed us to do more of that—to take more risks, to commission bigger productions and to think a lot about putting these artists we love so much in spaces that seem most appropriate.”
This fall, Hopscotch aims to build upon the solid foundation of its first two years. The festival turned a small profit for the first time in 2011 and sustainability, in terms of both finances and public participation, remains the goal.

Concludes Lowenhagen: “Each year, we think we’re producing an event people want to attend, but we never know until we release the lineup and gauge reaction. We’re grateful for the support and look forward to doing this as long as the bands and fans keep coming.”

For the first time, Hopscotch 3-day wristbands went on sale in December, prior to the lineup announcement. With only 200 VIP wristbands remaining, the reaction has been overwhelming.

Admission to Hopscotch is designed to suit a wide range of fans. The remaining $165 VIP wristbands and the festival’s most popular option, the $110 All-Show wristbands, are on sale now. Each of these wristbands allows entry into all 14 festival clubs and both City Plaza headlining shows.

In July, along with the release of the 2012 festival schedule, 1-day passes will be available for the first time. These passes will allow entry into every Hopscotch show on a specific day and will range from $55–$75.
Individual tickets for the shows in Raleigh City Plaza will also become available in July. The Friday, Sept. 7, show featuring The Jesus and Mary Chain, Built to Spill, and Zammuto costs $34. The Saturday, Sept. 8, show featuring The Roots, Escort, and Shirlette and The Dynamite Brothers also costs $34. This year, based on 3-day wristband sales, a very limited number of 1-day passes and individual City Plaza tickets are expected to be available.

In cooperation with sponsor Etix, Hopscotch Music Festival is offering wristbands and tickets to all fans with reduced service charges. To purchase tickets and wristbands, or

Airstrip, Altar of Plagues, Altos, Alvarius B, Amen Dunes, Arnold Dreyblatt & Megafaun, Balam Acab, Baroness, Big Troubles, Bill Orcutt, Bio Ritmo, Birds of Avalon, Black Skies, Boy Friend, Built to Spill, Burglar Fucker, Calico Haunts, Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan, Carlos Giffoni, Charlie Parr, Charles Latham, Cheater Slicks, Chelsea Crowell, Chris Corsano, Chris Forsyth & Koen Holtkamp, Chuck Johnson, Cities Aviv, Class Actress, CO LA, Colin Stetson, Corrosion of Conformity, Curtis Eller,Damien Jurado, Dan Deacon, Danny Brown, David Pajo/Papa M, Death Grips, Deerhoof, Delicate Steve, Doldrums, Donovan Quinn, Dope Body, Drique London, Duchess Says, Ducktails, Elephant Micah, Escort, EXITmusic, feltbattery, Field Report, Flesh Wounds, Flosstradamus, Free Electric State, Frustrations, G-Side, Glenn Jones, Grohg, Gross Ghost, Guardian Alien, Guinea Worms, Hacienda, Heads on Sticks, High Wolf, Hiss Golden Messenger, Holograms, Hubble (Lag World Premiere), Hume, Hundred Waters, ITAL, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Jacaszek, Jackie Chain, Jane Jane Pollock, Jason Kutchma & the 5 Fifths, Jenny Besetzt, Joint D≠, Jon Mueller’s Death Blues, Julia Holter, Kenny Roby, Kevin Drumm, Lambchop, Lazy Janes, Laurel Halo, Left Outlet, Liars, Lilac Shadows, Lizzy Ross Band, Little Hollow, Mac McCaughan, Marc McGuire, MAKE, Matthew E. White: One Incantation Under God, Mark Holland, Midtown Dickens, Minor Stars, Mirel Wagner, My Best Fiend, Nails, Naked Gods, Nerves Junior, Nests, Nick Catchdubs, No BS Brass Band, Nobunny, Odonis Odonis, Oneida, Oren Ambarchi, Paint Fumes, Pallbearer, Phil Cook & His Feat, Pipe, Pop. 1280, Quiet Evenings, Roman Candle, Roomrunner, Samantha Crain, Savage Knights, Say Brother, Screaming Females, Secret Cities, Secret Mountains, Shark Quest, Shirlette & the Dynamite Brothers, Shovels & Rope, Silver Swans, Sinful Savage Tigers, Sister Crayon, Some Army, STAG, Starlings, TN, Strand of Oaks, Sunn O))), Sutekh Hexen, T0W3RS, Tomas Phillips & Craig Hilton, Tom Maxwell, Tenement, Thee Oh Sees, The Atlas Moth, the band in Heaven, The Beast, The Beat Report, The Bronzed Chorus, The dB's, The Future Kings of Nowhere, The Hot at Nights, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Mountain Goats, The Roots, The Spits, The Toddlers, Toon & The Real Laww, The Weather Station, Valient Thorr, Vattnet Viskar, Versus, Whatever Brains, White Hills, Withered, Wood Ear, Work Clothes, Wowser Bowser, Wye Oak, Wylie Hunter & the Cazadores, Yo La Tengo, Young and in the Way, Young Magic, Zack Mexico, Zammuto, Zeus, Zola Jesus

EXCLUSIVE BOOKINGS: There’s a lot happening at this year’s Hopscotch that you won’t see anywhere else. The Mountain Goats, for instance, will play a solo set in Fletcher Opera Theater—first, a set of rarities on acoustic guitar, followed by John Darnielle’s first-ever all-covers set, featuring heavy metal numbers played on piano. German composer Arnold Dreyblatt and North Carolina folk-benders Megafaun toured together years ago, but they’ll reunite in Raleigh to premiere a new work. New York guitarist Ben Greenberg, who performs as Hubble, will offer the world premiere of a piece called Lag, in which he uses the Internet as a delay pedal. Hopscotch presents a one-time performance of the incredible forthcoming record by Richmond songwriter Matthew E. White, complete with horns and strings and a full choir. Pop teasers Deerhoof based a tour around Hopscotch, as have California noise lords Sutekh Hexen. Sunn O))) hasn’t played North America sine 2010, and Cheater Slicks haven’t performed in Raleigh since 1993. That’s just the start, really.

IMPROVISER IN RESIDENCE: From Björk to Jim O’Rourke and from Death Unit to Jandek, the impressively inclusive drummer Chris Corsano boasts an incredible résumé of collaborators. For the first time, Hopscotch will host an Improviser in Residence for the length of the festival with the aim that he’ll not only play his own set but he’ll also jump in on other bands’ sets throughout Hopscotch. This will make several more performances at Hopscotch 2012 once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Keep an eye out for the guy who treats the drum kit like few you’ve ever seen.

INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS: This year’s Hopscotch certainly ups the ante on talent from abroad: Polish producer and composer Jacaszek heads to Raleigh with special funding from his country, while Berlin composer Arnold Dreyblatt flies to Raleigh to perform with Megafaun. Oren Ambarchi visits from Australia, while stunning singer-songwriter Mirel Wagner is an Ethiopian emigrant living in Finland. The Weather Station visits from Canada, while Altar of Plagues arrives from Ireland. For the first time ever, one of Hopscotch’s headliners is European—Scotland’s The Jesus and Mary Chain.

BAND-CURATED BILL: This year, Hopscotch again asked one of its favorite local bands, Raleigh’s Whatever Brains, to curate its own show, and again, they built a five-act bill. Fabled garage miscreants The Spits will fly from Seattle to headline the show at Slim’s Saturday, Sept. 8. Whatever Brains join the bill, supported by an undercard bound to blow the doors off of the 100-capacity club: Winston-Salem’s Burglar Fucker, Detroit’s Frustrations and Charlotte’s Joint D≠.

MORE TO COME: In the next several weeks, Hopscotch will announce the return of its highly successful Edward McKay Used Books & More Cultural Series, at Raleigh City Museum. During the last three years, the three-day set of discussions has included Public Enemy’s Chuck D, The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, The Foreign Exchange’s Phonte Coleman, composer Rhys Chatham, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, Broken Social Scene’s Andrew Whitehead and many more, plus performances by Arborea, Phil Cook of Megafaun and Chris Stamey of the dB’s.

Hopscotch Music Festival is located in downtown Raleigh. Three venues—Memorial Auditorium, Contemporary Art Museum and the Long View Center—have been added this year, bringing the total to 15. All venues are encompassed within eight blocks. The venues returning to Hopscotch are The Berkeley Cafe, Deep South the Bar, Five Star, Fletcher Opera Theater, The Hive at Busy Bee, Kings Barcade, The Lincoln Theatre, The Pour House, Raleigh City Plaza, Slim’s, Tir Na Nog and White Collar Crime.

“Hopscotch: perfection, indeed” —The News & Observer, Raleigh
“The festival is like a younger cousin to SXSW or CMJ... However, where the enormity of cities like Austin or New York make it all but impossible to jump between bars without spending your entire festival en route, Hopscotch is small enough that skipping between shows actually makes sense. Plus, roaming the streets between can’t-miss acts leaves lots of time to run into new friends, get sidetracked into unexpected shows or end up on a random adventure. And there was plenty of that.” —Mountain Xpress, Asheville
“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

Steve Schewel and David Birkhead, both longtime Durham, N.C., residents, dreamt of founding an alternative newspaper in the South during the early ’80s. In 1982, they hired their first editor and did just that, publishing the first issue in April 1983. In the 29 years since that debut, the Independent—or the Indy, as it’s often called—has helped change the state’s press coverage and political culture by influencing the mainstream media, pressuring political leaders and moving its readers to positive action.

The Independent has also served as a consistent and strident cultural critic in North Carolina for decades, regularly winning awards for its arts and music writing, not to mention its long legacy of award-winning news coverage. Greg Lowenhagen has worked at the Independent Weekly since 2009 and served as its Marketing Director since 2010; Grayson Currin has served as the paper’s Music Editor since 2006.

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