Acts worth seeing at Raleigh's Hopscotch Music Festival

dmenconi@newsobserver.comSeptember 5, 2013 

  • Details

    WHAT

    Hopscotch Music Festival

    WHEN

    Friday and Saturday

    WHERE

    Various venues, downtown Raleigh

    COST

    $40-$125

    INFO

    hopscotchmusicfest.com

This weekend brings the fourth annual Hopscotch Music Festival to Raleigh, with more than 170 acts playing all over downtown. The schedule is a bit overwhelming, but here are some suggestions for what’s most worth catching. Check hopscotchmusicfest.com, and we'll see you around and about.

BREEDERS (City Plaza, 6:50 p.m. Saturday)

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Pixies bassist Kim Deal’s Breeders dropped 1993’s “Last Splash” – an album that initially seemed like a footnote to the Pixies but very quickly outsold anything in that band’s catalog. From the left-field hit “Cannonball” on down, “Last Splash” has aged better than most grunge-era artifacts, thanks to its chewy-candy pop hooks. The Breeders’ current tour is their first with the “Last Splash”-era lineup since 1994 and features them playing that album in its entirety.

DOUG PAISLEY (Deep South, 12 a.m. Saturday)

This Toronto singer-songwriter is so quiet and understated that he’s easy to miss. But pay attention because he’s more than worth your time. His most recent full-length, 2010’s “Constant Companion,” is a masterpiece of introspective frustration folksily rendered in tones so ethereal that the album feels like being inside someone else’s dream. A new album is coming later this fall, so maybe we’ll also get a new song or two.

ZEN FRISBEE (Five Star, 11:30 p.m. Friday)

Speaking of the alternative-rock-is-the-new-mainstream era, Zen Frisbee was one of Chapel Hill’s coolest bands back when the town was being touted as “the next Seattle.” Although the band’s fame never went too far beyond the Triangle’s borders, they were one of the best live bands in town (and 1998’s “I’m As Mad As Faust” remains one of the great unheralded Chapel Hill albums). Zen Frisbee is a part-time and occasional occupation for its members these days and shows are rare, so don’t miss.

MIKAL CRONIN (Pour House, 12:30 a.m. Friday)

Based on “MCII” (Merge Records), the latest from San Francisco’s Mikal Cronin, his days as a sidekick are probably numbered. Though he’s best-known as one of Bay Area psychedelic underground godhead Ty Segall’s regular collaborators, Cronin makes a major move upward on “MCII,” a glorious buzz-saw pop workout that takes wild emotional mood swings.

THURSTON MOORE/JOHN MOLONEY CAUGHT ON TAPE DUO (Kings, 4:30 p.m. Friday)

Even if you don’t have a Hopscotch ticket, you can still partake of the free day parties happening Friday and Saturday. So play hooky from work and take a walk-about, and be sure to make it over to Kings for this late-afternoon experimental-noise set featuring Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore.

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

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