Friday, September 7, 2012

Live: Hopscotch Festival (Night One)

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Page 2 of 6


With my late-evening choices set in stone, wandering over to the closest venue to catch whatever might be playing there seemed only right. At Slim's, a narrow, aptly named bar in downtown Raleigh, the first act onstage was singer Tom Maxwell, who I'd later learn was a key member of the old-timey 90s buzz band, Squirrel Nut Zippers, who I hadn't thought about as an active musical entity in at least 15 years. I wrote down descriptive notes like "honky-tonk" and "sarcastic jazz?" to describe Maxwell's tight four-piece band, featuring a stand-up bass and a full vibraphone. Which, for the penner of radio hit, "Hell", seemed about right. With Brooklyn still not fully shaken from mind, I thought about how no borough hype band would dare evoke something as unhip as the Stray Cats, let alone with an athletically arranged song about the Three Little Pigs. The fact that I was in the presence of a well-known lifer of a specific-to-Chapel HIll, N.C., music scene myopically escaped me. Despite (or defensively because of) owning and liking Hot in 1996, I would have been way more of a jerk about this in my head if I had SNZ in mind ahead of time. An honestly fun diversion, and a good anti-predjudice festival lesson for Day One.

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