Hit the 175 bands of the Hopscotch festival

dmenconi@newsobserver.com April 18, 2012 

COURTESY OF SKILLET GILMORE

The Hopscotch Music Festival’s third edition is coming Sept. 6-8, and the lineup is out April 18. There are 175 acts on this year’s list, with ample star power. Among the biggest headliners are Philadelphia rock-rap band the Roots (whose leader, ?uestlove, plays drums in the house band for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) and the venerable Scottish alternative-rock band Jesus and Mary Chain.

But some of Hopscotch’s more intriguing bookings are quirkier. John Darnielle, frontman for the acclaimed Durham folk-rock band Mountain Goats, is doing a performance that includes a set of heavy-metal songs – played on piano. Matthew E. White from the Virginia jazz collective Fight the Big Bull will put on an extravaganza featuring a 40-piece band with gospel choir. And the alternative-folk trio Megafaun is teaming up with experimental composer/visual artist Arnold Dreyblatt to premiere a new piece.

“The fun thing about Hopscotch is we can make investments that pay off,” said co-director Grayson Currin. “Not in terms of tickets sold, but the experience of the festival. Our focus is to make it more than just 175 bands playing in 15 clubs.”

The rest of the lineup ranges from doom-metal band Sunn O))) to the stately alternative-countrypolitan stylings of Lambchop, playing in small clubs on up to Raleigh City Plaza. New Hopscotch venues this year include 2,277-seat Memorial Auditorium, Longview Center and the Contemporary Art Museum.

Ticket prices are $110 for an all-show wristband and $165 for the VIP edition. For details, including the complete list of acts, see hopscotchmusicfest.com.

Menconi: 919-829-4759 or blogs.newsobserver.com/beat

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