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 whats 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 its been 20 years since Pixies bassist Kim Deals Breeders dropped 1993s Last Splash an album that initially seemed like a footnote to the Pixies but very quickly outsold anything in that bands 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 hes easy to miss. But pay attention because hes more than worth your time. His most recent full-length, 2010s Constant Companion, is a masterpiece of introspective frustration folksily rendered in tones so ethereal that the album feels like being inside someone elses dream. A new album is coming later this fall, so maybe well 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 Hills coolest bands back when the town was being touted as the next Seattle. Although the bands fame never went too far beyond the Triangles borders, they were one of the best live bands in town (and 1998s Im 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 dont miss.
MIKAL CRONIN (Pour House, 12:30 a.m. Friday)
Based on MCII (Merge Records), the latest from San Franciscos Mikal Cronin, his days as a sidekick are probably numbered. Though hes best-known as one of Bay Area psychedelic underground godhead Ty Segalls 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 dont 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.
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