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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Live: Top-Notch Bluegrass from the Soggy Bottom Boys in O Brother Mode

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 4:10 PM

Soggy Bottom Boys Carolina Theatre, Durham Wednesday, July 5, 2017 “I’ll admit we did have a few problems with the law, but since they legalized a few things in Tennessee, the Soggy Bottom Boys are back in business” exclaimed Stuart Duncan, fiddler and founding member of the group. Earlier this summer, The Soggy Bottom Boys are out on the road bringing the critically acclaimed songs from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? to the stage, as well as many other songs in the same spirit, casting a new spotlight on the entire genre of bluegrass and old-time music. Just...

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Live: The National Folk Festival Pays Off Before Parting Ways

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 1:53 PM

National Folk Festival 2017 Greensboro Thursday, September 8–Sunday, September 10, 2017 This stuff can be hazardous to your health, both mentally and physically. There's too much eye and ear candy in easy reach at the National Folk Festival in Greensboro. It's not really the festival's fault; its layout is such that, if you pace yourself, you can see every act on the three-day schedule. That's the theory, but in practice it's hard. Once you get there, you want to take it all in, and by the time the day ends and you've walked from one end of the two-mile...

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hopscotch, Night Three: Solange Reigns Supreme

Posted By on Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 12:07 PM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Saturday, September 9, 2017 I didn’t make it out to any Saturday day parties, but the evening was more than enough entertainment. The Saturday of Hopscotch is always the most crowded day, as single-day passes for those who couldn’t or didn’t want to get off work Thursday and Friday are out in full force. My evening started with Big Boi, who managed to keep the crowded entertained with every other song, but only those from the Outkast oevure got the biggest reaction. “So Fresh, So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson” had the crowd going moderately...

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Hopscotch, Night Three: ILOVEMAKKONEN Cancels, But Phonte Fills In

Posted By on Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 11:33 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Saturday, September 9, 2017 Can we get another round of applause for Phonte? In lieu of a scheduled set on Saturday from ILOVEMAKKONEN that didn’t materialize, the Little Brother/Foreign Exchange member and Raleigh resident was brought in Saturday morning to patch things with a rare solo performance at City Plaza. As he hilariously framed the situation during his set: “Thank you Makonnen for canceling, you are paying for my wedding night.” There were more jokes, and also a spectacular rap set of the sort that's all too rare on larger stages in 2017. Sing-along backing...

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hopscotch, Night Two: Heavy on the Hip-Hop

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 11:32 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Friday, September 8, 2017 For night two of Hopscotch, I encountered a similar "what now?" feeling to the one I encountered on the first day. Fortunately, the schedule had enough going that it gave attendees something to go on an adventure to fulfill that query. K 97.5’s day party at Pour House was surprisingly packed, and a satisfying place to start the day. The bill featured almost everyone in local hip-hop who was deserving of an official Hopscotch slot, but didn’t make the cut this year. Stand out performances from 3am, Imani Pressley, M8balla, and...

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Hopscotch, Night Two: Making the Most of a Musical Smorgasbord

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 10:38 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Friday, September 8, 2017 Despite the growth of Hopscotch, over its eight years of existence, Friday proved that the festival’s hallmarks—its diverse smorgasbord of options and its ability to remind that North Carolina’s scene can compete on the same platform as national acts—are as intact as ever. Speaking with Nathan Price a couple of weeks before the festival, the new Hopscotch executive director mentioned his goal of trying to avoid pitting two acts of the same genre against one another as the festival grows—“you’ll end with two metal shows at the same time” and pull...

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Hopscotch, Night One: Slacking Off Pays Off

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 8:58 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 7, 2017 The first day at any music festival, especially Hopscotch, brings a collective feeling of anticipation and excitement, but with a side of hesitation and caution because they start on a weekday. There’s an unshakable feeling that you’re slacking off somehow, even if you’re attending for work. At least that’s how I feel when I start my festivities every year at Hopscotch, and I’ve been doing this for four years now. Regardless, these events are a departure from normal life for everyone, from normal attendees to the artists to the people running...

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Hopscotch, Night One: New Spaces and Familiar Faces

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 8:08 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 7, 2017 Down an inconspicuous side hallway in the Raleigh Convention Center, a pair of glowing escalators will shuttle you to and from Exhibit Hall A, also known as The Basement, Hopscotch’s newest venue. Don’t be fooled by the DIY-sounding name, though: it's no scuzzy thirty-capacity show space. Stripped of the bulky booths and partitions that large regional events like Animazement typically use, the room is absolutely massive. Upon entering, I felt as though I was walking into a cavernous City Plaza-sized industrial warehouse, buried just beneath downtown Raleigh. The space is undeniably...

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