The Hopscotch 5

The no-frills punk-pop band See Gulls is one of many Raleigh bands playing the Hopscotch Music Festival.

Life is full of choices. If you happen to be at the fifth annual Hopscotch Music Festival, taking place Sept. 4-6 in Raleigh, N.C., those choices would include the Dallas thrash-metal band Power Trip, supreme bummer (in the best way) Sun Kil Moon, L.A. electronic duo NGUZUNGUZU and the hooky-as-hell punk group Potty Mouth โ€” and that's just on Friday past midnight.

But what sets Hopscotch apart from other festivals is its unbridled enthusiasm for hometown artists and the surrounding North Carolina area known as The Triangle. Many music festivals include local acts, yes, but few put a premium on what's regularly happening at its venues, DIY spaces and record stores in the same breath as its national headliners.

I'll be at Hopscotch starting Thursday, so you can follow me on Twitter as I hit up as many sets as possible โ€” or, if you're there, say hi! Here are five songs from the many (many) Raleigh and Triangle-based artists I'm hoping to catch during the weekend; all are free to download, and some include profanity for those who like to know that sort of thing.

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