HOPSCOTCH: September 5-7


The early ’90s brainchild of Hoboken roommates David Berman, Bob Nastanovich, and Steven Malkmus, the Silver Jews are one of a handful of rock bands that, along with Malkmus’ other project, Pavement, defined the sound of indie rock in that decade. Known for Berman’s witty lyrics and tight songcraft, they released six critically lauded long-players before bringing the project to a close in 2009, with a final gig in a cave in Tennessee (Berman picked the entirety of the setlist based on personal favorites).

Unbeknownst to many Pavement fans, it was Berman who invented the phrase “Slanted and Enchanted,” which eventually became the title of that band’s 1992 debut LP. He’s as much a songwriter as he is a poet. Take, for example, this couplet from “Random Rules,” a track from the Silver Jews’ classic third album, American Water: “I asked a painter why the roads are colored black. He said, ‘Steve, it’s because people leave and no highway will bring them back.’”

Purple Mountains — “Darkness and Cold” from the self-titled album

Since that final gig, Berman has mainly stayed out of the public eye—though he recently announced the existence of a new project called Purple Mountains, along with two singles, “All My Happiness is Gone” and “Darkness and Cold.” The songs bear a striking resemblance to Berman’s canonical work with the Silver Jews, and they doubled as an announcement for a self-titled forthcoming LP and set of US tour dates, Berman’s first since bringing that project to a close. Recorded with singer-songwriter Anna St. Louis and New York indie rock favorites Woods, the new twelve-track effort is out today via Drag City.

“All My Happiness is Gone” opens with sparse acoustic guitar plucks and haunting, wordless humming before morphing into a galloping open-road rocker that recalls Leonard Cohen and the expansive arrangements of Electric Light Orchestra. The instrumentals are lush and cinematic, but Berman’s sing-spoken vocals feel like that of a long-lost friend, warming the heart even as he sings about his unhappiness. Purple Mountains marks the artist’s long-awaited return to the stage, breathing new life into his sardonic poetry with the help of a younger generation of indie musicians.

The Cult Musician Who Went Away for 10 Years – Washington Post
The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
Purple Mountains Album of the Week – Stereogum
Purple Mountains ‘Purple Mountains’ Best New Music – Pitchfork

Listen to Purple Mountains on Spotify or Apple Music and see them at Raleigh City Plaza with Jenny Lewis and Tyler Ramsey on Friday, Sept 6
The Listening: The Story Behind Little Brother’s Debut Album

Started in a college dorm room by a group of North Carolina Central students in 2001, the Justus League collective and offshoot trio Little Brother defined the sound of Durham hip-hop for years to come, constructing a style altogether distinct from everything to the north and south. This level of innovation turned heads with some of hip-hop’s biggest names, and the members of Little Brother (9th Wonder, Big Pooh and Phonte) have gone on to work with superstars like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Questlove, who appears in the documentary.

Through the use of extensive interviews with the group and never before seen archival footage, The Listening chronicles a key moment in Little Brother’s past and present: the creation of their first album.

It is the first of two short films about the group directed by Holland Randolph Gallagher, creator of the web series Hype, and is the latest in a long line of projects commissioned by the North Carolina Arts Council as part of their Come Hear NC initiative with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Check out the premier at Okayplayer: Little Brother ‘The Listening’ Mini-Doc

Submissions now open for all vendors & makers
Submit to be a vendor and join the crew as a part of our 10th annual Hopscotch Day Party festivities! The Day Party will be on Fayetteville Street between Martin and Davie on Saturday, September 7.

Submissions open now: Hopscotch 2019 Day Party

VIP & 3-day passes onsale now!
Tickets for Hopscotch’s 10 year celebration are now on-sale! Thanks to everyone who got theirs early and helped make this our 2nd highest ticket on-sale to date! If you have’t secured your tickets for this year’s Hopscotch get yours today:
Hopscotch 2019 Tickets

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