Category Archives: hopscotch

Favorite Shows of 2012: Special Event Edition

It is hard for me to narrow down my favorite shows of the year, mainly because I go to so many, but also because it is hard to put individual shows up against say, The Avett Brothers at Kings or any of the other extraordinary special nights (festivals or otherwise) this year. So, first, my top 5 favorite special event shows of the year.

So first my favorite of those standout nights:
The Avett Brothers, Racing the Cure, Kings, Raleigh NC, 03/23/12
1. 3/23/12 – The Avett Brothers/Old Ceremony/Filthybird/Schooner/Jack the Radio – Kings
There were two other venues participating in this one day Racing The Cure event. I’m sure those other venues were great that night too, but I was determined to get into Kings and see the Avett Brothers play a club show again. This was the only show all year where we actually sat outside the venue in queue starting at around 5 PM to get in. And the wait paid off . All the bands did a fine job leading up to the headliner. And then just a few rows from the front, it was magical to see the Avett’s like this again. photo set

Whatever Brains, Slim's, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/08/12
2. 9/6/12-9/9/12 – Hopscotch Music Festival – mostly at Slim’s to be honest
At Hopscotch this year 80% of the bands I saw this year were either locals or playing at Slim’s or both. This means I had pretty much the best Hopscotch I could imagine. I was primarily at Hopscotch to shoot video for the Indy/Hopscotch video team and the coordinator for that, the alwayS outstanding Dan Schram, gave me a schedule that played right to the things I love. It made for a wonderful bar full of great friends, great music, and alot of time standing on the stairs at Slim’s leaning out over the crowd with my camera. All Hopscotch photos here and highlights here.

Langhorne Slim, Casbah, Durham NC, 06/12/12
3. 6/12/12 – This day: Wood Ear – Bull City Records, Hiss Golden Messenger/Michael Chapman – Pinhook, Langhorne Slim/Ha Ha Tonka – Casbah
I’m a huge fan of earlier shows and this was just one of those days where everything lined up perfectly: Wood Ear’s in-store for their CD release, followed by Michael Chapman then Hiss Golden Messenger at Pinhook, and for a night cap the amazing Ha Ha Tonka opening for the wonderful Langhorne Slim. 5 stellar bands, otherwise ordinary night in Durham where all the concert stars aligned to remind me of how lucky I am to live in such a great part of the country for live music. Wood Ear pics here, Michael Chapman/Hiss Golden Messenger pics here, Langhorne Slim/Ha Ha Tonka pics here.

Janelle Monae, Obama For America Rally, ArtsCenter, Carrboro NC, 08/04/12
4. 8/4/12 – Janelle Monae – ArtsCenter, Pipe/Flesh Wounds – Pinhook
By my count there were 5 people, myself included, who went from the amazingness of seeing Janelle Monae in the tiny ArtsCenter to Pinhook to see Flesh Wounds & Pipe. And by my estimation we five were the luckiest people in the Triangle that day. Janelle Monae photos here & Pipe & Flesh Wounds photos here

Arliss Nancy, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 06/30/12
5. 6/29/12 & 6/30/12 – Death To False Hope Fest – Motorco
I love you guys. I already said everything I need to say about this weekend earlier in the week. Don’t imagine I could say it better.



Last night at Pinhook after the Spider Bags show, people crowded around phones and iPads to look at and rave about the Hopscotch 2012 schedule.

So a quick look back to last year.

Full gallery of all my best shots from last year here.

Reminder, I’m in the midst of replacing my camera, if you enjoy the photos now is an excellent time to buy prints. Thanks.

20 Favorite Photos of 2011

This isn’t about my most techically perfect photos, or the most sale-able, or the most viewed. Those lists would all look very different. These are my favorite concert photos I took this year. It’s an interesting question for me because I shot more this year for other people or with the intent to cover a show in a more traditional press photo sense. But those photos aren’t here.
If I had to pick 20 photos to remember my year in concerts by, it would be these 20.

The Tomahawks, Hungry Heart of Gold, Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC, 1/7/11
1/7, The Tomahawks, Local 506

Maple Stave, Fullsteam, DTFH Fest, Durham NC, 1/21/11
1/21, Maple Stave, DTFH Fest, Fullsteam

Tea & Tempests, Pinhook, Durham NC, 1/27/11
1/27, Tea & Tempests, Pinhook

Hammer No More The Fingers, WKNC Double Barrel Benefit, Kings, Raleigh NC, 02/05/11
2/5, HNMTF, WKNC Double Barrel, Kings

Tips for the Band, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 03/08/11
3/8, Motorco Garage

X-Ray Eyeballs, Pinhook, Durham NC, 03/09/11
3/9, X-Ray Eyeballs, Pinhook

Pink Flag, Motorco, Durham NC, 04/14/11
4/14, Pink Flag, Motorco

Future Kings of Nowhere, Motorco, Durham NC, 05/02/11
5/2, FKoN, Motorco

Red Collar, Casbah, Durham NC, 05/28/11
5/28, Red Collar, Casbah

Lurch, Save the Scrap Exchange, Casbah, Durham NC, 06/04/11
6/4, Lurch, Save the Scrap Exchange, Casbah

Onward, Soldiers,  Motorco, Durham NC, 06/17/11
6/17, Onward Soldiers, Motorco

Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Motorco, Durham NC, 07/06/11
7/6, HGTR, Motorco

Midtown Dickens, Whistlin' Dixie Premiere, Pinhook, Durham NC, 07/10/11
7/10, Midtown Dickens, Pinhook

Red Collar, Motorco, Durham NC,08/06/11
8/6, Red Collar, Motorco

Last Year's Men, Churchkey/The Layabout Day Party, Slim's, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
9/9, Last Years Men, Hopscotch, Slim’s

The Flaming Lips, Raleigh City Plaza, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/10/11
9/10, Hopscotch, Raleigh City Plaza

Red Collar, Cave, Chapel Hill NC, 10/25/11
10/25, Cave

Tayisha Busay, Pinhook, Durham NC, 11/3/11
11/3, Tayisha Busay, Pinhook

Bombadil, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11
11/12, Bombadil, Cradle

Beirut, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 12/8/11
12/8, Beirut, Cradle

Links to all year end coverage:
Year End Concert Stats
Top Ten Albums of 2011
Ten Favorite Shows of 2011
Great Moments of 2011

please don’t hesitate to cross my mind

I’m glad I got to see Drive-By Truckers with Shonna Tucker one last time at Hopscotch this year. I’ll miss seeing her with them the next time I go to a show, I look forward to seeing what Shonna does next.

This makes the second band I saw at Hopscotch this year to part ways with a band member. The first was Amy Klein leaving Titus Andronicus. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next as well.
Titus Andronicus,Tir Na Nog, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/10/11

And I really hope this trend doesn’t continue.

Hopscotch: Last Call

And that’s a wrap.

Prints of my best shots from Hopscotch are available at this link.

All the Hopscotch coverage from this blog is linked below.
Day Parties Preview
Saturday Night Preview
Friday Night Preview
Thursday Night Preview

Photo Highlights:
Thursday Highlights
Friday Highlights
Saturday Hightlights

My Hopscotch Reflections
Hopscotch Reflections: Dan Schram
Hopscotch Reflections: Magician Michael Casey
Hopscotch Reflections: Shirlette Ammons
Hopscotch Reflections: Jeremy Blair
Hopscotch Reflections: Mimi McLaughlin

I’m already looking forward to next year. It’ll be even better and a blast.

For now, though, this blog is back to normal.

This week, during the Hopscotch reflections and wind down I saw Dan Andriano & Dave Hause at Local 506, Holy Ghost Tent Revival w/ Uncle Mountain at Motorco, and Zen Frisbee w/ Bustello at Pinhook.

And tonight, Local 506 for Low Anthem w/ William Elliott Whitmore opening. That’s going to be a great one.

Hopscotch Reflections: Mimi McLaughlin

To close out my Hopscotch posts this week, I wanted to give some other folks who are a part of our music community a spot to talk about their Hopscotch.
Finally, Mimi McLaughlin who is the bassist for The Pnuerotics & The Magnolia Collective.

Here’s the interview:
How was your Hopscotch?
My Hopscotch was great. I spent some time this year listening ahead of time (thanks to Abby Nardo’s Spotify playlist), and focused in on bands I wanted to see. Last year I saw a lot of bands I already knew, but this year I made a point to see/hear more bands that I couldn’t see any other weekend in the Triangle. I ended up seeing 39 bands total, and that was a bit manic, but that critical mass of input left me really inspired and excited about music and the Triangle scene.

What band or set really knocked your socks off?
I loved a lot of what I heard, and it’s hard to narrow it down to one set/band. I loved the shows I saw at Fletcher. The guitar work of Steve Gunn was tremendous. I was incredibly proud of and moved by Bombadil who I feel have grown in humility and showmanship despite their injury-induced hiatus. I was not into Rhys Chatham, not gonna lie. The mono-note made my physiocells jangly and anxious. My dance-pop self LOVED Generationals set despite the visual hindrances at White Collar Crime. My inner twang really enjoyed the sound of Frontier Ruckus with their Barry Gibb haired Banjoist and lively trumpet. KORT was a perfect close out for the festival and what a treat to have William Tyler on the guitar for that set. Fantastic. And Guided by Voices is forever a favorite. Locally, my band favorites The Moaners, Last Years Men and Midtown Dickens were perfect as always. Shit Horse, who I had filed away as a “schtick band”, rearranged my opinion, their songs as well as their performance were fantastic.

When is your next local show?
The Pneurotics play on Sept 25 6pm at Carrboro Music Festival on the Carrboroland Stage. Magnolia Collective plays on Sept 25 at 8pm on the Southern Rail (rogue- not CMF sanctioned) Front Porch stage. Magnolia Collective is having an EP release party in early December, keep eyes out for that when we confirm details.

What upcoming show (other than your own) are you most looking forward to?
Big Shows: Steven Malkmus at Haw River Ballroom, Jayhawks at Carolina Theatre and The Pixies in Greensboro. Local shows, Red Collar with Cracker on 9/24 at Motorco. And down the line I am looking forward to the Durham local music fest yet to be created to fill the void of Troika.

What do you think makes this music scene special?
I think it’s special to have a scene at all. So many towns and places to live don’t have that. We have more bands then you can count, more venues, and its easy to feel conflicted when choosing what to do on any given night with so many musical event options. The quality of musical entertainment here cannot be beat, and the fact that Grayson, Greg and the folks at the Indy pulled off this amazing sold out festival 2 years in a row highlights that. Everywhere I wandered over Hopscotch weekend, I saw people I know and love from the music communities in the Triangle- musicians, music fans, club owners, bookers, bartenders, photographers, bloggers, college radio DJs. That’s special.

Anything else to add?
Every night of the week there are wonderful music options of all varieties, and I hope people will continue to go out and find new and old musical discoveries the full year round, not just one fantastic fun-filled weekend per year.

And a heartfelt thanks to everyone who was interviewed for this little series. First time I’ve had other people’s voices on this blog and it was a joy for me.

Full list of all the Hopscotch coverage from this blog here

Hopscotch Reflections: Jeremy Blair

To close out my Hopscotch posts this week, I wanted to give some other folks who are a part of our music community a spot to talk about their Hopscotch.
Today, Jeremy Blair who played the Saturday Sadlack’s day party with his band Effingham and is also a brilliant supporter of local bands and a music blogger.

Here’s the interview:

How was your Hopscotch?
The entire weekend, day and night, i wanted to be downtown every chance I got and while I was there I was having a blast. As evidence my Saturday began at 11 AM by setting up for the Sadlack’s day party and I got home at 4 AM after Jennyanykind. I think I had a very GOOD Hopscotch.

What band or set really knocked your socks off?
Organos. I haven’t given them enough attention. The playful, innocent, happy energy of their stage performance had me giggling. It was one of those sets that you just smile from start to finish. I also have to add our headliner Flaming Lips…I’ve seen them once before at Lolla, standing shoulder to shoulder a city block away from the stage. Witnessing it from just a few yards at city plaza was absolutely dazzling.

When is your next local show?
My band Effingham plays next at the Motorco birthday Bash on Saturday 9/24…we play in the Garage stage at 4 PM before The Wigg Report. BOOM. ty for asking.

What upcoming show (other than your own) are you most looking forward to?
The next local show I am taking in will be Greg Humphreys cd release/welcome home party at Casbah on Sunday. Greg has been in Prague touring and chilling this summer…so I’m hoping for some good stories to go with his good music.

What do you think makes this music scene special?
I believe that this music community is fueled by inspiration. For every one band that reaches a degree of notoriety and success, three bands are inspired to take the leap, write some songs, and get on stage. That engine keeps new people turning to the local music scene for their entertainment. Pretty beautiful how its working.

Anything else to add?
Hopscotch impresses me as a festival for the musicians as much as it is for the music followers. The scene downtown on Saturday was surreal…it seemed like the entire local music community had taken to the streets. Every few steps you got the chance to stop and have a chat with someone you know. Please pardon the cliche’ …there was a lot of love in the air. Also Hats off to Grayson Currin and Paul Siler and the rest of the Hopscotch organizers. I can’t fathom the degree of brain power that it must take to plan this event and then make it work. It makes my head hurt to even think about it.

Side note; I just saw Grayson an hour ago on the street. I stopped him to give a compliment and also said I couldn’t believe he was out and about this early after Hopscotch. He just smiled and said “No rest for the weary.” …If I were him I’d be on a three week vacation catching up on sleep.


Find out more about Effingham on the band blog and read more from Jeremy on his blog Secret Carrboro Ninja Patrol

Full list of all the Hopscotch coverage from this blog here