Thursday, September 27, 2012

HOPSCOTCH Music Fest pics 2012

Only got in 1 out of 3 days @ Hopscotch, but it was a great day!

My buddy Dwight & I started out at the fab (and FREE) day party put together by Three Lobed Recordings and good ol' WXDU:

Got there too late to see Bishop, Orcutt, Corsano ... unforch. But, I hear Three Lobed will probably formally release a recording of that. Chuck Johnson's acoustic set was great but we were way in the back, so no good pics.   BTW, King's Barcade was packed with people the entire afternoon!  Awesome.

Here's (this incarnation of) Hiss Golden Messenger.  M.C. Taylor (right) supported by Scott Hirsch (guitar) and Nathan Bowles (banjo).  Hopscotch "Band-by-Band Compendium" describes HGM like this:  "The vehicle of Bay Area import M.C. Taylor, this outfit released the wondrous Poor Moon last year.  Somehow, that album retained ample '70s country rock flavor while adding elements of spooky Southern soul and ambling roots rock." 


Between sets there were brief periods of old-timey unamplified interstitial tunes from Nathan Bowles and fiddler Mike Gangloff of Black Twig Pickers.

Above 3 photos:  Oren Ambarchi (top), David Daniell (guitar), Chris Corsano (drums).  One huge long drone / noise piece.  Dwight & I were particularly taken w/Corsano.  A highlight!

The Compendium on Corsano:  "A drummer who is busy behind the kit, having collarborated with a range of experimental luminaries from Bj√∂rk to Jandek, Hopscotch's 2012 Improvisor in Residence is a master of dynamics and versatility. As capable of washing through spaces as he is exploding into them, Corsano is a situational expert."

On Ambarchi:  "The wildly productive Australian sound artist and multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi is nothing if not a master of tone. Whether riding almost silently alongside Thomas Brinkman or sounding massive with Z'EV, Ambarchi's guitar manipulations dance in every corner of any given space."

Festival website on Daniell:  "Such an active collaborator and curator, it's easy to think of him in relation to other musicians first and as a solo artist second. His work in the trio San Augustin, his partnerships with Loren Connors, Rhys Chatham, Douglas McCombs, and Jeph Jerman are all filled with excellent exchanges and uncanny, almost telepathic communication.But it would be impossible to forge such fruitful partnerships without being a skillful artist in one's own right, and Daniell's solo career has been just as impressive, if not as recognized. All five of his solo albums are thoughtful explorations of his ideas and instruments. He plays drums, guitar and dulcimer, running them all through electronics to create tall, thick waves of sound."

Above:  William Tyler's set.  As you can see from the banner, we're still mid-afternoon at the WXDU / Three Lobed showcase.  "Perhaps familiar as a sideman with Lambchop and Silver Jews, it was Behold The Spirit, Tyler's 2010 debut for occasionally accompanied acoustic guitar, that suddenly turned attention. Graceful and glorious, Tyler's pieces open into teeming worlds of adventure."  Stream this performance HERE!

Wooden Wand. BBC sez: "Wooden Wand is one moniker of singer-songwriter James Jackson Toth. The style of music recorded by Toth and his many incarnations has drawn on a variety of both conventional and experimental folk and rock influences, including psych folk, acid folk, freak folk, free folk, and indie. Though he was significant player in the New Weird America trend of the early- to mid-2000s along with Devendra Banhart, Akron/Family, Joanna Newsom, and collaborators The Vanishing Voice, Toth has been difficult to pigeonhole in one genre; recent releases have been identified as acid folk, free jazz, outlaw country, and country-tinged rock."

Above 3 photos: Steve Gunn (guitar) and John Truscinski (drums). Three Lobed sez: "For those new to the Gunn-Truscinski duo, Steve Gunn is one of the most exciting American guitarists working today. Percussionist John Truscinski is a stalwart of the American underground in his own right." They cover "a great deal of sonic territory. For all of the slow, furious build, there are also tracks featuring a substantial bit of playful and hypnotically mesmerizing phrasing, acoustic twelve string–centric strolls..."   Thus ended the XDU/TLR showcase.   Excellent stuff.

After a dinner break, it was out to City Plaza on the Fayetteville St. Mall.   We caught Built To Spill first (that's Doug Martsch above).  Enjoyed a few songs but they played tooo long.  Liked them a lot better a few years ago when they played a show with Meat Puppets in Charlotte.

Next up on the outdoor stage was The Jesus and Mary Chain.   Never had seen them before, though I probably have had a few chances since they're been around nearly 30 years.  I figured I would enjoy them but BOY, they were terrific.   Great set!  The Compendium's description of this Glasgow band:  "The Reid brothers' subversive reimagining of rock combines the sonic allure of early Beach Boys and girl-group pop, only immersed in a caustic bath of feedback and distortion."  Here's to that!  

Next we dropped in on Raleigh's Contemporary Art Museum for a peek at the building -- I'd not been in there yet.  Beautiful!  The above four shots are from there.  Checked out a bit of the set from Zack Mexico, from the Outer Banks of NC:  "Reckless, surf-meets-garage-meets-lounge lizardry."

Finally, over to Deep South Bar for a pair of bands from Columbus, Ohio.  First was Guinea Worms (above).  "These worms root through entertaining garage-rock muck, writhing with a deranged sense of sarcasm and deliriously dingy style."

Then the band I wanted to see most all day, Cheater Slicks (the rest of the shots below).  "The 24-year-running garage vets built their racket on a sturdy foundation of Stooges sinew, Stones swagger and Sonics boom, with enough left-field detours to keep things predictably unpredictable."

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