Hopscotch CODA: An Organic Synergy

Hopscotch CODA: An Organic Synergy
by Lucas Amick
Intro by Rob Leonard

Rob:
I’ts been a week since the first full day of Hopscotch festivities and four full days since it’s conclusion on Saturday. This was just enough time to recap the weekend’s events and each performance – and also shake the lack of sleep. Hopscotch was fantastic for having us and the nature of our group thrived in the artistic bubble that was created in downtown Raleigh – it was brief and never risked over extension. Lucas has taken some time to write his conclusions of the event and Bree took a million beautiful photos that can explain what may be hard to convey with words, which will be in another post. Here is part one of the finale of our Hopscotch posts and the return to normalcy.

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Op-Ed: Living and Doing

There’s a sentence that’s deeply dreaded by those among us who try to get right with polydidacticism, whether in person or on dating profiles: “I listen to everything except country and rap.” Country and hip-hop—the two American musical forms with the longest and densest evolutionary tracks—are the genres most prone to criticism leveled against their supposed inauthenticity, the two genres that demand (or are perceived to demand) genuineness at an unprecedentedly granular level. Any medium or genre has, in the minds of cultural gatekeepers, to pass litmus tests; country and hip-hop have to pass an entire battery. Even the creators have to reaffirm their credentials to ensure that they’ve lived through their creative catalysts; notice how our subcategories are based on lifestyles, are “gangster rap” and “outlaw country.” Aside from the relevance-terriers like Taylor Swift and Drake, whose evolution is catalyzed solely by market share rather than creative shift, there’s no point in dissecting whether something is “lived” or “created.” We, as listener, allow a certain creative flexibility to our creators for most art (no one, after all, demands that speculative fiction authors be astronauts in addition to writers), but we have a hard time making that logical leap when it comes to the quintessentially American music of folk and hip-hop, two genres that have created full synthesis out of generations of elements without losing focus. Continue reading

Album Review: Thunderbitch, Self Titled

Thunderbitch Thunderbitch
(Self – August 29, 2015)
(Rock)
Review by Will Flourance

Thunderbitch is a self-titled surprise release from Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. With only two major label records prior in under 4 years, Howard and her bandmates have reached considerable acclaim and enough high profile recognition that Howard herself even shared the stage with Sir Paul McCartney at this year’s Lollapalooza. The exhilarating surge of stardom would leave most in shambles, ravaged by relentless touring and the exhaustive, fiery heat of the spotlight. Yet somehow, amidst the gauntlet of fame, Howard still finds time to hammer out a battle axe of a record in her creative forge. Thunderbitch is a raucous and fist-clenching romp through Howard’s hot-off-the-skillet specialties. This record dropped with guns blazing just when recent entries in her repertoire had indicated a more refined brand of rock for the more populous palate. With its no-nonsense bat-swinging and Jerry Lee Lewis chug alongs, this mode finds Brittany revving the loud pipes on her brand new hog. We always knew she could beat her way through a crowd, but now she’s doing it with a swinging chain a handful of brass knuckle. Continue reading

Hopscotch: Day 3

IMG_3190Lucas:

Warehouse — a bonafide Hopscotch gem — needs to package warning labels with their records. In addition to “INVOLUNTARY EARGASMS” I also propose “NOT FOR USE WHILE DRIVING.” There’s something to be said about music so immersive that it almost gets you into a car accident. My deepest apologies, Rob and Bree — nearly killing your friends goes beyond bad journalism. Continue reading

Hopscotch: Day 2

IMG_3063

Lucas:

We were in a coffee shop earlier today. Hardly recognizable within the collage of freshman-year-graphic-design band fliers was an event schedule for the month of September.  Wednesday, September 8th read: “Hopscotch: Mental Preparation Day.” I hope it was enough to brace the employees for the onslaught of hipsters (and awesome).  Continue reading

Hopscotch: Day 1

Good music, good vibes, and good friends: checking off the essentials for a solid road trip was a breeze for the three of us. Hopscotch loomed a few hundred miles in whichever direction as Death Cab’s Transatlanticism carried us through our transition between the Carolinas. The eclectic value of our eccentricities made three hours feel like three minutes. One look out the passenger seat window and there it was: The Raleigh skyline, teasing memories and inevitable nostalgia with building façades spanning an entire spectrum of colors. Continue reading