Readers: I am begging you for help. Please tell me which bands I need to hear at Hopscotch this weekend. I really have no idea. I absolutely trust your judgment. It’s Hopscotch, after all. You can’t go wrong.
The problem is, of course, an embarrassment of riches; you can’t be in one place with something amazing happening, without being filled with longing that you could also be in another place, with something equally amazing happening. It’s a wonderful problem to have. (Probably a huge life metaphor in there, but don’t let me sidetrack us with that.)
I’ve just spent an hour plugging things into my phone and comparing schedules, and it’s all one big overlap. I should listen to the Spotify playlist that everyone is talking about, but that might just make my life a whole bunch more complicated. Here’s the issue: do I go hear bands that I know I’ll love, which are largely local and more frequently accessible, or go hear imported bands whose music is not generally not my thing, but I might end up loving? My favorites last year ended up being bands I’d never heard of, and whose three-sentence blurbs were a questionable fit for my needs. I took a chance. I wasn’t sorry.
I’ll add here that I know very little about music. I just know what I like. Here are my parameters: I have a strong preference for roots music and Americana, and will always, always cheer on locals. I have an aversion to anything that veers too far into “southern rock” territory. I can’t, except in limited situations, tolerate anything in the way of a brass instrument which is not in a marching band. I absolutely hate jazz. Sorry. There’s nothing wrong with jazz. It just makes me want to hit someone, anyone, and I am a pacifist. (Bon Iver makes me feel the same way. Sorry again.) Hip hop I can handle if it’s smart hip-hop (shout out to The Beast) and I am open to any other musical genre. Also, I can’t hear any shows on Friday night, because I’m working a volunteer shift; if it’s anything like last year, it’ll be as much fun as the two nights I get to hear music. I’d totally tell you where, but I have no idea which venue until Friday night. I love a surprise.
My biggest conflicts are the day parties, because, wow. Talk about overlapping local talent. Oh, and I work for a living (hi, boss!) and have to negotiate my way out of some daylight hours at my computer. It’ll work itself out. Hopscotch magic will prevail. I have no doubt.
I get far more in-person comments than blog comments, so feel free to e-mail me*, Facebook me, or tell me in line at Third Place or the grocery store. But please. Take pity on me. Help me. Advise me. I am on decision overload.
I love this time of year.