I don’t really endorse closed-mindedness.
I do, however, think that knowing what you like is an asset. One of my architecture professors was talking, once, about how all our designs build on an architectural language that’s already established, but there’s a temptation to throw out the baby with the bath water, to try and create some whole new kind of building every time. It’s just silly. “Know how you wake up in the morning and you know how you like your coffee, and that’s one less thing taking up space in your brain?” she said. “That’s the beauty of routine. You can put the small things on autopilot, and use your energy to solve new problems. Wouldn’t it be awful if we had to re-make all of those small decisions, every day? Figure out whether we like cream, or cream and sugar, or black coffee? Or just tea? We’d never be able to get out of the house.”
On a related note, it’s Hopscotch season. The beauty of Hopscotch is that there’s something for everyone. It’s an absolute madhouse of really, really good music, all kinds of genres, and it’s all happening at the same time and within walking distance, so you’d better know where you want to be. Or, not, and just see where you end up. It’s all fine. You’ll have a great time.
Since they’ve been making all sorts of announcements about schedules and day parties this week, I figured it was time to get my ducks in a row. The other beauty of Hopscotch is the number of really, really good bands you may not have ever heard of. You just trust that if they’re here at Hopscotch, they’re good.
And they are all good. To somebody. But, you know, we all have our preferences. I tend to be pretty closed-minded about music these days. Seriously, people, I have an adorable Dawg at home, and also the alarm goes off at 6 a.m., and if I am going out to see a show, he’d better be asleep already and it had better be worth how hard my 6 a.m. will be. So I’ve gotten a lot more selective. There’s so much good music around the Triangle that you can be selective, picky, even, and still find plenty to go hear. I know I do.
Sometimes I feel guilty about how rigid I am, though, and think I should shake things up a little bit, just to prove I have not become cantankerous and set in my ways. I’d like to think I COULD be open-minded about music, if I wanted to. So this week I started listening to the Hopscotch Spotify playlist, and I crashed the data limits on my phone, doing it. But it was worth it. I gave every single band on the playlist a fair shot.
I liked some better than others.
I probably could have gotten a lot of information from the names, but I tried hard not to pre-judge. I mean, Pig Destroyer, Broken Prayer, Coke Bust, and Pelt sort of tip you off to what you’re getting. I can’t even type most of the song names that had me laughing. And there are more than 8,000 songs on that playlist, so I can’t say I gave everyone a very comprehensive listen. But I did listen.
As usual, I am over-prepared. The festival is still two weeks away. I have also created a ridiculous plan.
I sorted into 5 categories, in an IMPOSSIBLE code to crack. (You don’t know that x’s mean I’m not going! You don’t know that!) But if I heard anything resembling electronica, or I-hate-women hip hop, or a funereal dirge, it is probably underneath one of those x’s. Of course there’s a category for the bands I know I’ll like, if not love, and there’s a category for bands that I think will probably be fine. There’s a category for people who weren’t on Spotify and I haven’t looked them up yet.
Probably the most important category is the last one. Bands I don’t think I’ll like, but I might go see anyway.
Because, you know, you never know. I think I should go to at least a couple of those a night, if only for a little while. I’m not going to any shows where someone keeps referring to women as bitchez, because that is so juvenile, or anything resembling jazz, because it makes me want to hit someone. Last year, though, I was volunteering, and I worked the door at the metal show at Kings, and every single person coming through there, artist or fan, was great. And I went upstairs for Altar of Plagues and kind of liked it. So there is hope for me yet.
And, that’s the whole conundrum of the festival. You can fill up on bands that are entirely your thing, or you can hopscotch about and take in as much as you can, and like some and really not like some others, and have an amazing time.
I reserve the right to change my mind up until it happens. We’ll see how it unfolds. Meanwhile: y’all tell me who you’re seeing! And how you’re coping with the choices!
We have two weeks. I think we can all come up with a reasonable strategy.
*I can’t wait*I can’t wait*I can’t wait*I can’t wait* I can’t wait*I can’t wait*I can’t wait*