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HOPSCOTCH 2016 DAY PARTY LISTS

Chelsea Wolfe, Hopscotch Music Festival 2015

Chelsea Wolfe, Hopscotch Music Festival 2015

Hopscotch Music Festival officially kicks off on Thursday evening. If you’re planning to be in Raleigh, don’t bypass the excellent lineup of FREE day parties from Thursday afternoon through Sunday! If you don’t have a wristband, you can still see a hearty selection of acts that range from local to national. It’s also not too late to buy a wristband to the official festival! A small amount remain available for purchase through Hopscotch’s website.

Having trouble wrapping your mind around day party schedules and time slots? I’ve compiled them into a list for Thursday through Sunday*, and you can download it right here: Hopscotch 2016 Day Parties

A few highlights:

On Thursday, Gerrit Welmers (Future Islands) will be performing some of his Moss of Aura solo set 1pm at Kings. His latest album, “We’ll All Collide” was just released last week.

Also on Thursday, Miami artist/producer, VIRGO plays Ruby Deluxe at 4:15pm. Virgo’s cosmic sounds started off as compositions for a film project she was working on until she noticed their potential and turned those pieces into full-length songs with vocals.

On Friday, you can catch Bill Nace (half of Body/Head… Kim Gordon being the other half) solo 2:10pm at Kings. Nace’s list of past and present collaborations (both through art and music) is impressive and extensive. And out of all of Friday’s day parties, the Three Lobed Records + WXDU show at Kings brings such a talented crew, you won’t go wrong if you get there early or stick around late.

Stop by Slim’s on Saturday to catch Baltimore’s Wing Dam at 4:55pm as their cross-country tour continues on through the next month. They just might be the most fun band you see at a Hopscotch day party.

UPDATES (changed on PDF)
(9/7/16 11:30am) – Mac McCaughan has been added to the 1:30pm slot at OCSC’s day party Sat., 9/10 at Kings (replacing Sneaks)

*The times listed are based on a mix of times provided on Hopscotch’s website, along with the official Facebook event pages for each day party. Check those for any last minute changes.

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Cinema Soloriens ft. Marshall Allen (The Sun Ra Arkestra)

RALEIGH– tomorrow evening (9/1), James Harrar’s Cinema Soloriens comes to Neptune’s to kick off the first night of a 7-night tour! This multi-media performance features Marshall Allen, leader of The Sun Ra Arkestra. I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Allen perform at Fields Festival in Maryland a couple of weekends ago and he blew my mind. Here’s a photo of Mr. Allen playing his EVI (electronic valve instrument) at Fields. Come out tomorrow and see/hear it in person. Not to be missed! Show starts at 6pm. More details here.

Marshall Allen of The Sun Ra Arkestra

Marshall Allen of The Sun Ra Arkestra

Tribute to Tony Conrad

Almost two years later, it’s still hard to believe Tony Conrad played Hopscotch Music Festival. What a moving experience to witness such a visionary firsthand right here in Raleigh. Thanks for everything you gave the world, Mr. Conrad.

Tony Conrad performing at Hopscotch 2014 in Raleigh, NC

Tony Conrad performing at Hopscotch 2014 in Raleigh, NC

“Tony Conrad…He was always there, silent, smiling. Few words. When you said something to him, he answered with a chuckle and smile, seldom any word, or just a nod. Doing, performing, contributing, inspiring, co-working, never taking credit, as if he wasn’t even there or did nothing… FLAMING CREATURES, it wouldn’t even had taken off, if not for the sound track he did for it. THE FLICKER — a monumental work, he seldom even mentioned it, like it was somebody else who made it…Velvet Underground… Would it have happened without him? He never took any credit for it… Like Angus MacLise, the other invisible, his friend: he remained silent, invisible key co-worker behind so much that happened in the early Sixties and changed music, cinema, and us all.” – Jonas Mekas

 

Hopscotch 2015

Chelsea Wolfe, Hopscotch Music Festival 2015

Chelsea Wolfe, Hopscotch Music Festival 2015

September wouldn’t be complete without an epic Hopscotch Music Festival ravaging Raleigh. If you’re not following Loud Ballads on Facebook, I posted an album full of photos from the weekend. You’ll find some shots of Chelsea Wolfe, Flock of Dimes, Wing Dam, Lost Trail, Clang Quartet, Charming Youngsters, See Gulls, GHOSTT BLLONDE, and Wild Fur. Until next year, Hopscotch!

Magical Hopscotch Unicorn

Staycation Fest 2015

Lost Trail

Lost Trail

Experimental music and art are alive and well in North Carolina. The second annual Staycation Fest was hosted (and organized) in Burlington by Zachary and Denny Corsa of Lost Trail this past weekend. Two days of bands and artists from across the state (and Virginia) produced a great sampler of cerebral sounds and feels. Although I didn’t get to see every act, here’s what I caught from beginning to end.

Brandon Hurtado with projections by Jonas Mekas

Brandon Hurtado with film projections by Jonas Mekas

Animals Like Earthquakes and his many disembodied voices/answering machines

Animals Like Earthquakes and his many disembodied voices/answering machines

Lost Trail with kitchen projections.

Lost Trail with kitchen projections.

Bryce Eiman

Bryce Eiman, host of 919noise

Tone Burst in the kitchen

Tone Burst in the kitchen

Mark Hepp of Joules

Mark Hepp of Joules

Charles Ovett of Joules

Charles Ovett of Joules

The Sound of Square Triangles

Adrian Wilson of The Sound of Square Triangles

Eddie Garcia of 1970s Film Stock

Eddie Garcia of 1970s Film Stock

Until next year!

Until next year!

SPAZZ FEST VI / 2015

The Monday following Spazz Fest is always sort of a bummer; you go back to wherever you traveled from, you’re exhausted, your body hurts, and you go through show withdrawals. At least there’s that feeling that it was all worth every single second. Cheers to all of the kindred spirits I met (or was reunited with) over the weekend! Thanks especially to Jeff Blinder and way too many other names to list. See you soon.

1/3 of LUM

N. Maxwell, 1/3 of LUM

The Love Language, old Greenville vets

T. Simpson and S. McLamb of The Love Language; old Greenville vets

Octopus Jones ended on a cover of The Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers"

Octopus Jones ended on a cover of The Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers”

B. Corum of Lonnie Walker

B. Corum of Lonnie Walker

Joules; killer two-piece

Clang Quartet reconciling

Clang Quartet reconciling

an intense hooded Christopher Feltner

an intense hooded Christopher Feltner

Niko Grandé, smooth jams

Niko Grandé, smooth jams

Heads on Sticks in from Raleigh

Heads on Sticks in from Raleigh

DRIPPING conjuring up feels

DRIPPING conjuring up feels

Post Sun Times circa 4am-ish

Post Sun Times circa 4am-ish

SPAZZ FEST VI SCHEDULE

Spazz Fest VI Logo by Todd Cook

Spazz Fest VI Logo by Todd Cook

‘Tis the season for Spazz Fest! Officially kicking off tomorrow night in Greenville, NC, the next four days and nights will be filled with more music than what’s buried in your dead iPod Classic. As always, there will be some surprises in store (did you catch The Emotron last year?).

I’ve teamed up with Spazz Presents to create the official SPAZZ FEST VI SCHEDULE listing all of the main shows so you can plan accordingly. See you in Greenville!

Hopscotch 2014 Day Party Lists

Papa M (David Pajo), Hopscotch 2012

Papa M (David Pajo), Hopscotch 2012

Hopscotch Music Festival officially kicks off on Thursday evening. If you’re planning to be in Raleigh, don’t bypass the excellent lineup of FREE day parties from Thursday afternoon through Sunday! If you don’t have a wristband, you can still see a hearty selection of acts that range from local to national. It’s also not too late to buy a wristband to the official festival! A small amount remain available for purchase through Hopscotch’s website.

Having trouble wrapping your mind around day party schedules and time slots? I’ve compiled them into a list for Thursday through Sunday*, and you can download it right here**: Hopscotch 2014 Day Parties

A couple of highlights:

On Friday, Valient Himself (of Valient Thorr) fronts Brief Lives from Richmond, VA 2:00PM at CAM. Saw them play Neptunes a few months back and they will rock your face off.

Also on Friday, legendary Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) will play Kings Barcade with harpist, Mary Lattimore at 4:20PM. If you’re not outwardly familiar with Lattimore, she played on Moore’s 2011 solo album, Demolished Thoughts, and was part of the band during that tour. There’s an interview somewhere out there where Moore states that Lattimore is the first person he’s ever had to “fire” (begrudgingly) from a band. Transportation costs are high for harps.

On Saturday, Landlady plays Pour House at 3:30PM. Frontman, Adam Schatz has a repertoire that includes playing saxophone for Man Man as well as Vampire Weekend. Catch them at this show because it will be easier to see and the acoustics will be better than when they play during the actual festival at Tir Na Nog (no hard feelings).

Girls Rock NC will be hosting a ‘Babes in Boyland’ party on Saturday in the Warehouse District where Ex Hex will slay. If you missed them at July’s Merge 25 Fest, here’s your chance to catch them. The party runs from 12PM – 5PM, and although I couldn’t find a set lineup with time slots, I’d venture to guess they’ll headline and go on close to 4PM.

Special love to The (now defunct) Spazzatorium Galleria, as Jeff Blinder (Spazz Presents) brings another great mix to Slim’s during this year’s SpazzScotch III day party on Saturday from 12PM – 6PM. You can catch many of the bands that have played Greenville’s annual Spazz Fest. There’s one secret act on the lineup that you will have to show up to see.

 

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*The times listed are based on a mix of times provided on Hopscotch’s website, along with the official Facebook event pages for each day party. Check those for any last minute changes.

**Schoolkids Records and Humble Pie were cut from my Saturday list in order to fit everything on one page (I’m really sorry). You can view those on the official Hopscotch Day Party list here.
UPDATE 9/3/14: Schoolkids Records has added a list their day parties to their website.

Billy Corgan – The Future Embrace – 9:30 Club

A few weeks ago, I pulled some of my old band shirts down from the attic. The fibers of each shirt are made up of semi-fleeting memories, and the whole lot of them is a nbomb of nostalgia. In the pile, there was one shirt that I had almost forgotten about… one very odd choice of merch procured on an all-nighter of a roadtrip.

And this is how it began…

billy corgan TFE ticket stub

The Smashing Pumpkins were my favorite band growing up. God help you if you knew me as a teenager. While most girls my age were spending hours of time poring over makeup and celebrity gossip in the shiny pages of Seventeen and YM, I was busy soaking up every bit of trivial knowledge available online and in hard print about the Pumpkins. Listessa, Netphoria, Siva/Blamo, SPFC, and on and on. I was a walking encyclopedia of facts, rumors, news, and of course, lyrics. The band was my life. So much, that I traveled to Chicago in 2000 for their final shows and wept on the sidewalk in front of The Metro with other inconsolable fans during that last freezing and heartbreaking night in December. Somehow, when the love of your life drops you like a broken turntable, you find it in you to move on and fill the void with other things. Zwan came and went (I saw them 2 or 3 times). And somewhere around that era, I ended up making friends with a few other people who shared my love (obsession?) for The Smashing Pumpkins.

Text CORGAN for ringtones

Text CORGAN for ringtones

In 2005, Billy Corgan released a solo album called The Future Embrace. My new-ish Pumpkinheaded friends, Holly, Miranda, William, and I decided to go to the closest show on the tour. So, four days after the album was released, we woke up early in the morning, piled into William’s old gold Saturn and trekked five hours from Greenville, NC to the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. Late June afternoons in the District can be real sizzlers. By 2pm, we were lined up behind a few other fans next to the club’s brick exterior with absolutely no solace from the sun. It was one of those days where you drink obscene amounts of water, but never really need to find a bathroom because you’re just sweating everything right back out. We were given promo posters. People in line kept showing us their Smashing Pumpkins-related tattoos. A guy dressed like Flavor Flav walked by and danced for us. We ate lo mein in shifts. Until the doors opened.

Photo by M. Shipman

Photo by M. Shipman

With arms resting on the barricade, I still remember the surge of excitement when Billy Corgan and his backing band took the stage. The lights were mesmerizing; an entire backdrop of hundreds of digital tiles that all changed colors and sometimes pictures. At that time, it was the most advanced, high-tech stage set I’d ever seen, and it truly felt like being in the future (embrace, hardy har).

Photo by M. Shipman

Photo by M. Shipman

After about an hour and a half of songs off the album and a few covers, Billy ended the set with a lot of talking, and a song version of the Hail Mary. The crowd filed out quickly, but my friends and I took our time and stopped at the merch table. I chose this shirt.

future embrace shirt

Exiting the 9:30 Club, we spotted Billy standing outside and autographing things for fans. I asked him to sign a promo booklet I’d been given earlier that day. I also asked him why he never came through North Carolina with Zwan or the solo tour. He told me it wasn’t the way of the business. (Then, two years later, The Smashing Pumpkins reformed and played a 9-night residency in Asheville, NC. Coincidence?)

billy corgan TFE booklet autograph

You can listen to a streaming bootleg of the majority of this show here. The song titles in the streaming player are mislabeled, but you can match up the proper titles in the “Description” (they’re all one track off).

Upcoming: Choose Your Own Adventure!

UPDATE 4/11/14: I had every intention of having a new post up about the winner, but there has been a TIE! I am working on a creative solution to pick a winner. Thanks for voting!

Hi, all! Thanks so much for spreading the love and visiting Loud Ballads each week. I’ve been live for a month and have received over 200 views! As a big ol’ thank you, I’d like to let you choose which band you want to see from next. Here are a few random choices with a little bit of span. I’ll keep the voting open through Thursday night and will sling up a new post on Friday.

One other item of business: if you don’t know what to do with that pile of flyers collecting dust in the corner of your room and are thinking of throwing it away, STOP! I will adopt your collection if it needs a new home. Love and dirt, friends!