As September inches closer by the day, the city of Raleigh starts to prepare itself for that one magical weekend of the month known as Hopscotch Music Festival. This weekend, happening Sept. 7-10, takes over downtown Raleigh as music fans from just about everywhere descend upon the city’s many venues, some even makeshift just for the festival. We here at WKNC look forward to the festival every single year and would like to share with you some of our most anticipated acts for this year in our special Hopscotch kickoff!
Run the Jewels
Over the past four years, Hip-Hop has been turned on it’s head by the genre’s super-duo Run the Jewels. Comprised of emcee Killer Mike and producer/emcee El-P, the pair have created an undeniable sound for themselves that originates in their self-titled debut, and has been reinvented twice over on their 2nd and 3rd LP’s. But even more exciting than their studio albums, is the sheer legendary live performance that Run the Jewels has put on for fans all over the country. It only makes sense that Hopscotch would want in on this action, and out of all the amazing acts on the festival’s line-up this year, I am most excited to see RTJ hit the stage.
My favorite tracks from each album include “Banana Clip feat. Big Boi” (Run the Jewels), “Love Again” (Run the Jewels 2), and “Legend Has It” (Run the Jewels 3).
Killer Mike has always been a staple lyricist in Hip-Hop, representing a unique spin on the Atlanta-sound. But after having El-P produce his 2011 album R.A.P. Music, and featuring on El-P’s album Cancer 4 Cure, the two realized the chemistry was perfect, and they toured together to promote these projects. This of course led to 2013’s first release under their new moniker, Run the Jewels. Ever since, they have put on unbelievable live performances, arguably thriving the most successfully at festivals (which is good news for Hopscotch goers).
As Underground Music Director, I have of course promoted every Run the Jewels project, and they continue to be in regular rotation at WKNC, because they encompass the ultimate “Hip-Hop” sound, yet they also reshape it. This year’s performance will be a special treat for me, as I have yet to see them live. The exciting part about seeing a duo is the way they transfer energy back and forth throughout their performance, and I can only assume they have mastered their craft over the last 4 years of touring together. To me, the show just might be, as Run the Jewels would put it, a “Christmas F**king Miracle!”
Run the Jewels will be performing Friday night at 8pm at Red Hat.
-John Wilson, Underground Music Director
Los Angeles’s Cherry Glazzerr is upbeat indie rock with garage rock, punk, and synth pop influences. The band features songwriter Clementine Creevy on guitar and vocals, Tabor Allen on drums, Sasami Ashworth on synth and formed in 2012 when Creevy was just fifteen years old. Their music is an honest display of self expression and offers a modern spirit of the rriot girl movement with frontwoman Clementine’s songwriting themes of feminism and empowerment which can especially be heard in their second album Apocalipstick which came out earlier this year.
Tracks like “Nurse Ratched” feature upbeat garage rock influenced guitar laced in synth, powerful drums, and strong smooth vocals with socially charged lyrics “She’s a wild one in a land that’s supposed to be free”.
Other tracks have a more self reflective feel such as “Told You I’d Be With the Guys” a reflection of youthful friendships. As well as a more punk influenced sound as Clementine croons with the ferocity of Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) “ I told you, I told you I’d be with the guys, but I know better now than to be with the guys”. Apocalipstick was recorded with the talent of Joe Chicarelli (White Stripes, The Shins, The Strokes) and Carlos de la Garza (Bleached, M83, Tegan and Sara) and released on Secretly Canadian! records.
They are a band not to miss at Hopscotch and will be closing out the Pour House at 12am with a energetic, head-banding, feel good, empowering set.
For fans of: Speedy Ortiz, Diet Cig, Screaming Females
-Mariam Marand, Local Music Director
Pie Face Girls
Raleigh based trio Pie Face Girls is comprised of Dani Hoffpauir on lead vocals and guitar, Tiffany Huff on bass and Klay Misenheimer on drums. Kicking off the high-energy lineup at Pour House on Saturday, they are sure to cause a stir. Their music is politically motivated with goals aligned against the patriarchy, the “alt-right” and any of their sympathizers. Join these warriors as they tear Trump a new one whilst infecting onlookers with the urge to aggressively move their bodies in solidarity. Their sound is very pop-punk and energizing, some of my favorite songs are “Get On The Floor”, “Dude Yr Girlfriend Sux” and their Peaches cover of “Fuck the Pain Away” (found of their Bandcamp). The Pour House is THE venue to attend Saturday of Hopscotch, with Pie Face Girls getting things started at 9PM and Cherry Glazerr ending the night at midnight.
-Farah Hamouda, DJ sPaRr0vV
I have already seen serpentwithfeet open for Perfume Genius at Cat’s Cradle, but his performance was transformative for me; Josiah Wise, the artist behind the enigmatic music project, weaves together R&B and gospel, creating songs that sound like prayers. Wise is able to piece together the experience of queer love and heartbreak in both a theatrical and intimate way for his listeners. I’m excited to see what he brings to the stage for Hopscotch, since his stage presence demands to be felt, and I couldn’t get enough of his voice. One of the songs I’m most excited to hear (again) is “four ethers” ,an orchestral masterpiece filled with runs of Wise’s voice. During his actual performances, he tend to improvise a lot of his runs, making every show a unique experience.
serpentwithfeet will be performing Saturday night at Nash Hall, 12 p.m.
-Cas Saroza, Program Director
You probably heard about the woman who free-bled at the London Marathon, right? She’s also a really neat musician and activist named Madame Gandhi, and she’s playing Hopscotch! Although it was tough to choose with the lineup this year, I’m probably most excited to see Madame Gandhi because I’ve been following her for a couple of years now, and she’s inspired me the whole time. She went on a world tour drumming for M.I.A. while simultaneously attending Harvard Business School through 2015, and she released her first EP, Voices, in late 2016. Additionally, she works with Thinx, a company which makes period underwear, and AfriPads, which produces reusable menstrual pads for people who do not have such products readily accessible. If you’re interested in activism, electronic music, hip-hop, and/or lyrics that *really make you think*, give Voices a listen! The EP is more relaxed than most music that I listen to, but I really enjoy the arrangements throughout it. I’m eager to see what her music is like live and to hear what she has to say. She plays on Friday, September 8, at 11:30pm at Nash Hall. Top tracks include “The Future is Female” and “Yellow Sea,” but they’re definitely all worth checking out!
-Ciera Cipriani, The Fuzz
When Hopscotch 2017’s lineup came out, there are obviously going to be bands that everyone more or less knows. Then there are those bands that one must discover before the festival. For me, that band was The Make-Up. For many, this band might be one of those bands everyone knows, if you’re of a certain age. The Make-Up released their first album Destination: Love- Live! at Cold Rice the year I was born on the infamous punk/hardcore label Dischord Records. Funny enough, this album isn’t exactly what one might think of when they hear the words punk/hardcore. This album was released on Dischord given the band’s interesting history. Frontman Ian Svenonius and multiple other members of the Make-Up made up 80’s notorious DC hardcore band The Nation of Ulysses. Politically, both bands share a very similar message. Sonically, they are in two different playing fields. The Make-Up will be a band to witness this September at Hopscotch as politics are their bread and butter, right next to making a unique blend of funky, gospel tinged post-punk. They wear their communist, leftist leanings well on their sleeves and are sure to have a few things to say about the current political landscape plaguing America right now. Rest assured, they will still sound amazing with their special live show that calls for audience participation and takes many cues from gospel performances. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this band as they take the City Plaza stage Friday night right before local legends Future Islands.
-Jamie Halla, General Manager
Make sure you check back in with us on Friday for Part 2 and throughout the next couple of weeks for more coverage!