I've been to a festival or two in my day, and while all have been enjoyable, not many come close to capturing the magic of Hopscotch. Around since 2010, this warm and welcoming festival in the warm and welcoming city of Raleigh, NC, keeps getting better and better. The lineup always features big names, buzzy names, names you probably haven't heard yet, and names you soon won't be able to get out of your head. I'm absolutely crushed not to be going this year, but have many suggestions about who to see if you're lucky enough to be heading down 9/8-10. And even if you're not going either, give these folks a listen.
Proclaiming all the right things ("scuzzy rawk and howl," "garage psych punk trash monsters"), Carrboro outfit The Wyrms has my attention. At times sounding like a monster-mashing 70s band that hit fast forward to right about now, these folks can wriggle and wail with the best of them. Plus, any band that can make a song about vampires into a tailfeather-shaker of a garage rock ditty is always going to be worth checking out. Go see them (and bring them donuts).