Day two of Hopscotch brought even more activity, as we ventured to some of the free day-parties in town to check out even more of the acts on display. After the jump, our thoughts (and GIFs):
Alvarius B., Bill Orcutt, and Chris Corsano
Bill Orcutt, Alan Bishop (aka Alvarius B.), and Chris Corsano had played together only one other time before opening for the WXDU day-party at Hopscotch. The performance provided a rare opportunity to see Orcutt play electric guitar, as his previous performance at the festival was entirely acoustic. With Bishop on bass and Corsano on drums, the trio played noisy free-jazz with occasional shouts from both Bishop and Orcutt. “Here are some expired condoms; go fuck yourselves,” announced a sweaty Bishop, as the trio left the stage.
“The bad news is I have to follow that; the good news is that I don’t need coffee,” said guitarist Chuck Johnson as he took the stage. The statement was made in reference to the high-energy performance by the Orcutt-Bishop-Corsano trio that had just finished. Following suit with the rest of the humble guitarists present at Hopscotch, Johnson played a beautiful solo acoustic guitar set that cleansed the palate.
We’re hot-and-cold on his new album, but Oren Ambarchi’s set with guitarist David Daniell at the WXDU party eased any concerns we might have had. Preceding Ambarchi’s set was some drunk asshole, who jumped onto the stage and yelled for about thirty seconds about nothing particularly coherent. As security took the guy off the stage, a cup of mayonnaise fell out of his pocket and onto the ground. Poor guy was probably saving it for later.
We’re all big fans of the group, and we didn’t get the chance to see their set Thursday night, so their presence at Thrill Jockey’s day-party that afternoon felt like a chance to redeem ourselves. We then proceeded to run into members of the group throughout the night—by accident, we promise.
No GIF. Sorry.
Before arriving at City Plaza Friday afternoon, none of us had heard any material from Nick Zammuto’s first post-Books solo effort. All four of the albums he and Paul de Jong made as The Books are really solid, so we were surprised and bummed to find ourselves bored by Zammuto’s set.
The Psychic Paramount began playing right as doors opened at the Lincoln Theatre, and by the time we made our way into the concert hall the the trio was totally engulfed by fog. We couldn’t see any distinct facial features on-stage during their assaulting and fantastic 45-minute set—it wouldn’t be a total surprise to learn that they had long ago tragically melted them off with their own playing. Gnarly.
From our vantage point behind the Jimmy Johns in City Plaza, this seemed like a show a person would dig if they were a fan of The Jesus and Mary Chain. As the show ended, we could see a procession of debutantes and well-dressed southern gentry entering the hotel behind the stage; we hope they’re shoegaze fans.
Glenn Jones quietly took the stage in one of the larger venues at the festival, Memorial Auditorium. Before beginning his set, a bashful Jones quickly introduced himself and joked that everyone there to see him had not been given festival programs and were probably lost. Upon finishing his first song, he quoted Homer Simpson in saying that he “now knew what God must feel like when he is holding a guitar.” Jones, leader of the post-rock band Cul de Sac and “emissary” of the Tacoma finger-style, played a solo set of guitar and banjo music, stopping between songs to give background for each song performed. Chris Corsano, patron saint of Hopscotch, joined Jones onstage for the last song of the performance. The guy’s everywhere! (He’s actually here with us in the hotel room, as we’re writing this, gently tapping his drum-kit with mallets of various sizes. “Go ahead,” he whispers, his bald head reflecting the sunlight from the window. “Don’t stop writing.” We don’t know how he got in here. Please send help.)
After our failure with G-Side the previous night, seeing the festival’s other Huntsvegas representative was a definite priority. Chain didn’t disappoint, although the rowdy bros in the front made our position in the crowd less and less tenable. We finally retreated to the back of the bar, safe from those awful rap enthusiasts.
Dave Pajo, who performed at Hopscotch under the moniker Papa M, made the second-best use of a fog machine on Friday night (second only to The Psychic Paramount). The guitarist has collaborated with and toured with such an array of groups, it was nice to see him perform his solo work at the Berkeley Cafe; still, the set felt disappointingly short.
These dad-thrashers (including a guitarist that, swear, looked just like Alan Moore) put on a packed show at the Pour House just after midnight. People seemed into it, but we weren’t really among them; for those waiting for Dan Deacon to start, it was an odd juxtaposition. RIYL fist-bumping.
Dan Deacon’s new album America is really great. The beer-soaked nook between subwoofer and trash can where Ethan and Dan stood for his show at the filled-to-capacity Pour House was not so great. Neither was the free-floating testosterone left over from Corrosion of Conformity’s set. We came determined to hear new material but left before any was played. Oh well; hearing “Crystal Cat” is always fun, and it was a special surprise to see Al Schatz from Chicago band Wume running the soundboard.