Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hopscotch 2011

Hopscotch is a very large music festival in Raleigh, NC featuring over 320 bands in 3 days over 15 different venues simultaneously, day and night, almost non stop. Some of the best that indie rock has to offer, quantities of known and unknown bands. Large touring acts like the Flaming Lips and smaller, less known but no less amazing bands. Doing this festival requires good shoes, a decent pair of ear plugs and more than a couple cups of coffee.

This years festival was more selective in its appeal but no less entertaining. Having sacrificed Friday night to a friends art opening I can only speak to Thursday and Saturday as far as evening performances.

What I saw:
Lynne Blakey, Kenny Roby, The DiBonzo Brothers, Frank Fairfield, Last Years' Men, Lower Dens, The Necks, The Love Language, The Black Lips

"Power of Narrative Song" Panel with Patterson Hood, Steve Gunn & John Truscinski

Lake Isle, Future Islands, Hammer No More the Fingers, Chris Stamey Small Group at the "Future of Pop" Panel with Wayne Coyne, Rosebuds, Superchunk, The Flaming Lips, Prayers and Tears, Des Ark, Bombadill, Lost in the Trees

This is a lot of music even without a full day Friday to drink in. Some highlights have to include the visceral fury and subtle control of Des Ark at Kings Saturday night, the lovely, restive interlude of the Chris Stamey Small group Saturday afternoon. Last Year's Men were angular, aggressive and excellent Thursday evening bringing their punk but clean energetic brand of rock. I have seen the Love Language numerous times but I thought what they gave hopscotch was pretty special on Thursday night. Local bands seem to shine at this festival, more so than usual. Those that went Friday night said it was exceptional, I wish I could have attended.

Des Ark - Amy Argote

The Flaming Lips - Wayne Coyne

The Love Language - Stu McLamb

New, Old Old Camera

This is a Rochester Optical Company "Universal" Camera manufactured in 1891. I recently bought this 4x5 film camera to begin learning about large format photography. This camera originally made images on glass plate, but at some point someone added a more "modern" film loading mechanism to the back (and even that is still made of wood). This camera came with a Bausch and Lomb 1890 "Rapid Rectilinear" lens. The first lens to offer no distortion in vertical lines. The construction of the lens is symmetrical. Identical groups of lenses equidistantly apart. Its called "Rapid" because it can focus and operate at f/8, which I am sure was quite a breakthrough for 1890. Rochester Optical Company was eventually to become a little company known as Kodak! I am going to have to learn about tilt and swing and putting this camera through its paces before I can remotely claim to have mastered it. I have gotten the camera light tight and have made some test images (see below):