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Independent Weekly: Remember the Province, New Musical Visions of the South

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Illustration by Chris Williams/ Plastic Flame Press
I was fortunate enough to contribute to the guide for the second Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC, which begins tonight and runs through the weekend. The piece I wrote is something I’m pretty proud of because I’m just unabashedly shilling for the fest’s really sick line-up but also because it’s something of a tribute to my two years living in Raleigh. I learned a lot there and figured out how to chill out about lots of things and met a ton of great people and well, in a lot of ways I still wish I was there. This sorta explains why.

One theory often floated says that the best art rarely ever comes from a major cultural center. Shakespeare was from the small-ass town of Warwickshire. Marlon Brando and Bob Dylan? Both Midwesterners. Sure, provincials eventually end up in a supposed hub of culture, or their brash styles leach into hipper (but, paradoxically, less interesting) locales, but that isn’t where the really excellent, lasting stuff seems to get its start.

With its focus on the local and regional, a citywide music festival like Hopscotch makes a strong case for this pro-provincial theory. More specifically, the second Hopscotch celebrates the full spectrum of the South, flipping the frustrating stereotypes and played-out clichés that don’t need to be explained to anybody kicking around in the Triangle but that, nevertheless, persist elsewhere whenever the area’s invoked…

Written by Brandon

September 8th, 2011 at 4:50 am

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