Palm — Hopscotch 2023 will be the bittersweet first show of the virtuosic Philly noise quartet’s farewell tour. They have figured out how to play just about whatever they can imagine, and they have imagined quite a bit over the course of their recorded output. Fun fact: multitalented SC native drummer/musician/friend Garrett Burke (Kristine Leschper, Mothers, Art Contest) will be at the sound booth as their front of house engineer. Make sure to wave!
Jeff Parker ETA IVtet — This quartet is presumably named after the 2022 recording “Mondays at the Enfield Tennis Academy”, which features an all-star cast of players (Jay Bellerose, Anna Butters, and Josh Johnson) at one of their improv-heavy weekly gigs at the aforementioned club in Los Angeles. Since I’m already a fan of Parker’s other work- with Chicago groups Tortoise, Isotope 217, Makaya McCraven- he and whoever else makes up the ensemble for this tour will form the act I’m most excited to see. The fact that they are at what I think is the best sounding venue at the festival- the Lincoln Theatre- makes it even sweeter.
Irreversible Entanglements — I’ve had the pleasure of keeping up with bassist Luke Stewart’s solo and collaborative career over the years through gigs here in Columbia. But this group has never made it far enough down for me to see them, until now, and also (!) at the historic Lincoln Theatre. In lieu of an adequate description, I would simply encourage checking out their new recording coming out on Impulse! Records, but I’m sure it won’t do justice to the real thing.
ESG — Straddling that late 70’s/early 80’s blurry line between minimalist funk and punk, I first explicitly heard them on the No New York compilation, but I had (and you have) probably already heard “UFO” sampled on countless tracks. This band is a great example of a name that seems to be lurking behind every corner when you attempt to find out who your heroes’ heroes were.
Pavement — This will be my third Pavement show. I’m always hoping for lots of tracks from Wowee Zowee, but I’m telling myself I’m going to have a good time regardless of what they play. In reality, I’ll probably be secretly upset that they didn’t cater the setlist to my personal whims, just like any other normal Pavement fan would be.