Here's What We Think of Every Damn Thing Happening at This Year's Festival
- Love Advice from Heart! Teenagers on Kendrick Lamar! An Interview with Patton Oswalt! And Words About Every Single Band Playing This Weekend!
- Here's What We Think of Every Damn Thing Happening at This Year's Festival
- When Love Runs High for the Zombies
- The Extreme Greatness of the Breeders
- Relationship Advice in Heart's Lyrics
- Fun. Is the Band You Like Before You Like Good Bands
- What Do the Teens at Southcenter Mall Know About Kendrick Lamar?
- !!!'s Nic Offer Talks Celebs, Acid Trips, and Ratt
- Don’t Pretend You’re Not Still Swooning Over Tegan and Sara
- Megan Seling Talks to Mac McCaughan of Superchunk About Hockey
- Never Heard of 'Em vs. Heard of 'Em: Gary Numan
- The Flavr Blue: What Happened When a Trio of Talented Rappers Decided to Do Something Different
- An Interview with Patton Oswalt, King of Comedy and Cartoon Rats
- The Best Events on the Words & Ideas Stage Have Ties to The Stranger
- Barsuk Employees Tell Us About Their Favorite Barsuk Releases
- Bumbershoot Comedy: Three Straight Days of Almost Peeing Your Pants
- Fashiony Fashions at Bumbershoot
- Bob Mould or Actual Mold?
(Sat, 6:15 pm, Fisher Green) Say what you will about their patchy albums, these transplanted New Yorkers have nailed the punk-funk-disco inferno thing in live contexts. Led by limber dance motivator extraordinaire Nic Offer and his wisecracking, lewd lyrics, !!! (Chk-Chk-Chk) lay down spiky guitar riffs, libidinous bass lines, and propulsive rhythms geared for maximum sweat production. DAVE SEGAL
(Mon, 8 pm, Fisher Green) On record, Allen Stone's R&B treads a little too close to the Jason Mraz line—a bit, eh, unexciting. But when Allen Stone is performing live, the long-haired crooner from Eastern Washington somehow summons the funky soul power of Stevie Wonder, and HOT DAMN, it is great! MEGAN SELING
(Mon, 2 pm, KeyArena) The massively popular Alt-J create a rickety, vaguely inspirational breed of rock that inevitably draws adjectives like "homespun" and "warm." They remind me of a less ambitious James (ask your dad). Singer Joe Newman has one of those high, earnest, nasal voices that make you want to set your ears on fire—a prospect that someone in my line of work just can't risk. Have fun, rest of the world. D. SEGAL
(Mon, 1 pm, Fisher Green) Aurelio Martinez is a Honduran musician and politician (he served as a member of the National Congress of Honduras) who mixes the traditions of the Garifuna community—a vibrant African/Caribbean culture—with Latin and modern influences to create masterful, hip-shaking music. I can't think of a better way to dance off the weekend's beer and fried delights! EMILY NOKES
(Sun, noon, Mural Amphitheater) Some call this new Northwest trio "power blues-rock," others say it's alternative blues with a blend of rock, hiphop, and soul. The band describes themselves on their website as "Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Nirvana," and Stranger music writer Megan Seling says of Ayron Jones: "Dude can fucking shred!" So, based on this wee bit of information, sounds like you should go see these dudes! Their debut album is almost finished and is being recorded by hometown hero Sir Mix-A-Lot. KELLY O
(Mon, 5:15 pm, Fountain Lawn) There's not a lot of heavy rock at this year's Bumbershoot festival, so if you prefer to feel the bass in your chest, do not miss Baroness. The Savannah, Georgia, quartet isn't the most brutal band in the land, but their pummeling beats will definitely give you some opportunities to whip your hair back and forth and wiggle those metal fingers. MS
(Mon, 9:45 pm, KeyArena) In preparation for this blurb, I listened to the number-one most played Bassnectar song on Spotify, an athletic, 6:29-minute number called "Bass Head." Here's what I came away with: bip bip bip dip dip dip [robot voice] BASS HEAD chip choop chip chip, [whisper] BASS, vrooooooooooooom urrreeeah ah ah ah YOOOOOUUUUW WUH WUH WUH BWOOOOOAAAAWW whuruh-whuruh-whuruh-whuruh GHOOWWWOO ROBOT-BOT-BOT-BOT BAAASSS. Goes great with neon dreads and baseball-bat-sized ear gauges. Rave while you can, brother. EN
(Sun, 8:45 pm, Fountain Lawn) This Oakland trio makes steampunky, multi-culti, goth-circus-sounding electronica, and one of them, Zoe Jakes, is a "world-renowned belly dance performer/producer," according to the band's Facebook page. It appears that we at Bumbershoot will be treated to the band's "big beat arrangements," with live horns, accordion, glockenspiel, viola, string quartets, kalimba, clarinet, and "various unusual instruments," plus pretty/punky women in spangled brassieres with bindis (and maybe pom-poms!) who are not from India. BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT
(Mon, 12:15 pm, Fountain Lawn) Three parts beardo and 50 percent married couple, this band hails from Anacortes and plays honeyed, bouncy indie rock that might inspire you to disrobe with someone special and prance through a mossy forest. EMILY KLEIN
(Sun, 6:15 pm, Fisher Green) Performing at the Showbox late last year, Bob Mould busted out the whole of Sugar's beloved debut, Copper Blue, in order, and that was just the beginning. What followed was a mix of songs from Mould's then-brand-new solo release Silver Age alongside more Hüsker Dü classics than any fan has a right to expect. Mould clearly loves these songs as much as we do, and here's hoping his Bumbershoot gig traverses similar new-meets-old territory. (The man still sings "Chartered Trips" as if his life depends on it.) DAVID SCHMADER
(Sun, 8 pm, Fisher Green) Though 20 years have passed since the Breeders released their glorious noisy/poppy masterpiece Last Splash—you know, the record that gave us alt-indie anthem "Cannonball" and the bass line to end all '90s bass lines—it still holds up, as does the band, as being unfuckwithably excellent. The chiming riffs, strange feedback, and ever-sweet harmonies of Kim and Kelley Deal just can't be touched. So take note, dear Bumbershooter: This is your chance to witness the Breeders in complete Last Splash lineup (the Deal sisters, Jim Macpherson on drums, Josephine Wiggs on bass) playing every gem on the album. EN
(Sun, 8 pm, Plaza Stage) This newish band of dudes, who may or may not enjoy horseback riding in their home state of Oklahoma, kind of sound like garage rockers the Strange Boys if they were a little harder and a bit more '70s punk à la the Buzzcocks. They also sound a bit like early Ty Segall, if you stripped away some of his trademark skuzzy fuzziness and replaced it with a slicker final recorded sound. Like any good punk band worth their salt, Broncho's 10-song debut, Can't Get Past the Lips, clocks in at less than 20 minutes, with one of the record's best songs, "Blown Fuse," a mere shotgun blast at one minute, 47 seconds. Kapow! KO
(Mon, 11:45 am, Fisher Green) Remember when Ace of Base, a Swedish reggae act, sang about fertile, sexually promiscuous women? And they were wildly successful? And "All That She Wants" is stuck in your head right now? And it's another baby? Of course! In that vein, Cascadia '10 are a Northwestern gaggle of nine who make a rough approximation of Fela Kuti's Afrobeat. They're great—don't hate just because Cascadia is about as far from West Africa as you can get without being in the Pacific Ocean. DOMINIC HOLDEN
(Sat, 8 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Charles Bradley released his debut album on Daptone Records (home of soul greats Sharon Jones and Lee Fields) at the age of 62. Let me repeat that: 62! Now 65, Bradley is a MUST-SEE at Bumbershoot. If personal experiences lend anything to the depth and range of a soul singer, Bradley has these in spades. A James Brown impersonator at age 14, he ran away from home and extreme poverty; he endured years of homelessness, illness, and the murder of his brother. The whole incredible story of this man, with the nickname "The Screaming Eagle of Soul," was the subject of the documentary titled Charles Bradley: Soul of America. Seriously, don't miss a chance to hear this amazing man sing his heart out. KO
(Sun, 5 pm, Plaza Stage) The Comettes make intimate, chiming, faintly psychedelic rock that could make you shiver sweetly under the right circumstances—like if the sun's rays are slanting and bursting off your soul mate's sunglasses during an especially moving chord progression, or a swirling organ tone triggers memories of an especially vivid acid trip. Like that. D. SEGAL
(Sat, 11 pm, EMP) C is for cookie, and that's good enough for the poor kids who couldn't afford to go see Skrillex last year. CALLAN BERRY
(Sat, 10 pm, Fisher Green) Toronto-based duo Crystal Castles evolved from a punk Ladytron cover band to full-blown, synthesizer-goth party-rocking types in a mere three albums. Track names like "Plague," "Wrath of God," and "Child I Will Hurt You" don't seem to portend fist-pump-worthy beats or oodles of grimy/sexy bass, but plenty of both can be found on their latest record. Slap on your black leather and go flail the night away. KYLE FLECK
(Sat, 10 pm, EMP) Joining us from the Netherlands, DJ/producer/self-hyper Dannic has the steely gaze of a heartthrob you might see on an HBO-ish chiseled-vampire series. Just look at this sexy sentence from his gray-on-dark-gray website: "From mashups to high-profile collaborations to tours and residencies in some of the world's hottest venues, there is plenty going on in Dannic's universe." No doubt. Dannic's dance tracks sound like jet engines on ecstasy in a constant state of takeoff, and the man can wear distressed denim like his Facebook likes depend on it. EN
(Sat, 12:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) Seattle's young up-and-coming rapper/producer Dave B won 2013's Sound Off! competition (one of just two hiphop acts to have done so in the 12 years that EMP has been putting on the event). And he has been hitting local shows and festivals this summer, impressing folks left and right with his soulful, charming, and quick-witted rap style that goes nicely with his fresh-faced (clean but not squeaky) appeal. EN
(Sun, 3:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) Few songwriters can write such beautiful songs about such horrifying things the way David Bazan can. He's sung about husbands being stabbed, women being murdered, and all kinds of other physical and emotional betrayals. What makes it even more chilling is the smooth, often gentle indie-rock delivery of such terrors. It's creepy, but great. MS
(Sat, 3:30 pm, Plaza Stage) The sawdusted country licks and good-natured, gravelly croon of Davidson Hart Kingsbery are perfect for a shot of decent whiskey and some late-night do-si-do with your sweetie in a warm saloon. Come for the lovesick toe- tappers, stay for the "Nyquil and Wine." EN
(Sun, 9:45 pm, KeyArena) Oh, how I wish Bumbershoot still hosted headlining artists at Memorial Stadium. How spectacular would it be to hear Death Cab start into Transatlanticism's heart-tugging title track just as the cool air was reaching twilight, with the brightest stars starting to sparkle above? Alas, the magic will be confined to the less naturally spectacular KeyArena, but it will most certainly still be a sight to behold. MS
(Mon, 9 pm, Fountain Lawn) Deerhunter guitarist/vocalist/provocateur Bradford Cox sings the sweetest "I hate you" in indie rock. That paradox informs the Georgia group's sound—gauzy shoegaze that stings lyrically. Deerhunter's sixth and newest album, Monomania, sums up their approach: a relentless exploration of Cox's compellingly twisted psyche and dreamily melodic rock tunes that envelop you in a clarifying fog. D. SEGAL
(Mon, 6:15 pm, Mural Amphitheater) God bless this country and its ability to produce a seemingly endless supply of pretty siblings with decent musical talent who, in turn, churn out a seemingly endless supply of pretty-sounding music. CB
(Sat, 2:45 pm, Fisher Green) Rainbow eye shadow, heavy '80s-style rouge, angular clothing and hair—John O'Regan looks like a million bucks rolled in glitter and then airbrushed to look like a Miami sunset. His deep, nonsingy singing voice is a little shy and a little introspective, but the insistent drum machine and sparkly synth keep Diamond Rings from being anything but danceable. EN
(Sun, 9 pm, EMP) The former-Seattleite-turned-Vegas-party-starter returns to her old stomping ground to break out an electronic-heavy set for EDM at EMP. D. SCHMADER
(Sun, 7 pm, EMP) According to his online profile, this KISS FM DJ's favorite place to party is "wherever there is Jäger and a few cans of Red Bull." His favorite famous person is "Stewie [from] Family Guy," and if he had to be tied to someone for 24 hours it would be "any hot blonde... brains optional. Or Megan Fox will do." DJ Phase spins pulsing, obvious beats that are the aural equivalent of alcopop and will probably appeal to a similar constituency. EK
(Sat, 7 pm, EMP) You may know DJ Tyler Brown from the Saturday night show The Vortex on C89.5, and if so, you're probably familiar with his deep crates of bass-heavy, occasionally melancholic electronic music. He's got eclectic taste, so it could be more house or it could be more dubstep that he spins—all I know is that it'll sound pretty damn nice pumping out of proper sub-woofers instead of your car's tinny-ass speakers. KF
(Sun, 10:45 pm, EMP) Paul Blair is DJ White Shadow, and DJ White Shadow produced Lady Gaga's Born This Way as well as her upcoming album ARTPOP. He's also apparently disc-jockeyed for the highest of profiles: Louis Vuitton, Google, Marc Jacobs, President Obama... and now you! As far as his own music, Shadow's three-song EP titled Pussy Drugs Fear was released last month and offers standard-issue bleep-bloop for your sweating pleasure: chopped-up rap samples, creepy latex squeaks, twitchy stuttering, etc. EN
(Sat, 2 pm, Plaza Stage) I listened to this local funk band for the first time this morning (it's somewhere at the beginning of the last month of summer), and what's been said about them by Dave Segal ("Super-competent players and singers all") and Grant Brissey ("These guys can bring the goods") is actually as true as true can be. These cats are talented and have wonderful amounts of rocking energy. I'm really surprised it took so long to get with this program. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Sun, 3 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Legendary guitarist Duke Robillard has played with everyone from Tom Waits to Bob Dylan, and he is consistently nominated for best blues guitarist at the Blues Music Awards. He's been at it for some time—like half a century—so expect a well-honed and technically outstanding set of good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll squall. KF
(Sun, 4:45 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Eric Burdon ain't the gruff garage-soul belter he used to be, but at 72 he's still relatively robust. He's the only original Animals member still in this unit, but that's a trifling matter when you have a bushel of classic tunes like "Don't Bring Me Down," "When I Was Young," "A Girl Named Sandoz," and maybe even the supersexy hit Burdon cut with War, "Spill the Wine." D. SEGAL
(Sat, 1:10 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Ernie Watts is a Grammy-winning former session musician who plays golden-toned, technically stupendous jazz saxophone. He's been featured on numerous classic Marvin Gaye albums (!), the Grease soundtrack (!!), and the Night Court theme song (?!). His performances inspire fans to write weird, intense poetry ("Ernie got visceral/Vivisected himself right onstage... You know/Where the alien baby comes out... scary shit... only this baby's beautiful"), which he posts on his website. EK
(Sun, 2:45 pm, Fisher Green) Do you like songs about farts? Or songs about being fucked up, young and dumb, and/or totally broke? Have you ever wake-and-baked? Have you ever woken up, still drunk, floating in a bathtub full of empty Pabst cans? Do you think that dude Nathan Williams from the band Wavves is kind of a dick? Do you ever wonder what a child fathered by skate punks the Spits and birthed by garage-rocking rabbit-man Nobunny would sound like? If you say "YES!" to any of this, then write this band's set time on your forehead with a Sharpie and DO NOT MISS THIS! FIDLAR is your new favorite band, and you can't believe Bumbershoot even booked them. KO
(Sat, 11:45 am, Fisher Green) A trio of stupid-hot Seattleites making hollowed-out club music, the Flavr Blue seem to have a genuine hit on their hands with single "F x F." The rest of their debut album, Pisces, doesn't quite hit that song's sweet spot between dirty and catchy, and I'm not sure how their nocturnal vibe will go down before noon, but it should be interesting to see how it translates to the stage. KF
(Sun, 3:30 pm, KeyArena) All I know about fun. is their "We Are Young," radio earworm, so I obviously imagined them to be a band of 15- or 12-year-olds. Turns out they are my age, which, at the time of this typing, is pushing 30 in two years. Young, but not young. Then I read the lyrics and realized this megahit is very much a thirtysomething song after all. Sitting at a bar, thinking about your failed relationship at the bar, doing drugs in the bathroom of the bar, almost falling apart at the bar, pulling it together at the bar, then raising your glass and wastedly telling everyone how young they (we) are. Can't wait for them to belt this one out at their reunion show! EN
(Sat, 8 pm, Fisher Green) Yes, "Cars" is an all-time jam and that may be your main reason for catching this British synth-rock icon. But there's much more to Gary Numan than that 1979 hit. The man's tremulous, anomic voice still compels, and his catalog teems with songs that boast a bracingly frigid elegance and beats to which you can bust your finest robot dance moves. D. SEGAL
(Sun, 6:30 pm, Plaza Stage) Some band names are so fitting, they basically render a music writer's job meaningless: The adjectives "grizzled" and "mighty" are all you need to know about how this pummeling, heavy Seattle rock group sounds. And lord knows the Pummeling Heavy is a shitty band name. KF
(Sat, 2 pm, Fountain Lawn) Seriously, if you don't know who the Ballard-raised rapper Grynch is, if you have never come across his name even once in your life, if you've never heard even one of his tracks on the radio or in some cafe like Beacon Hill's The Station, then you either arrived in Seattle yesterday or you really do not give a shit about 206 hiphop. Grynch has a couple of local classics under his belt and has rapped with and worked with every big name in town. CM
(Mon, 8:15 pm, KeyArena) Do you like your collared shirts loud and buttoned all the way up? Does your daily routine involve more than two energy drinks? Is a Chihuahua–Jack Russell cross your ideal puppy? Are peach gummies your go-to road trip snack? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might like GTA's aggressive, housey dance jams. EK
(Sat, 5 pm, Plaza Stage) Gus Wenner is the son of Jann Wenner (the founder of Rolling Stone magazine), and Scout Willis is the daughter of Bruce Willis (the voice of Spike in Rugrats Go Wild) and Demi Moore (Punk'd). Gus + Scout were childhood friends and started their alt-country/folk band after reuniting at Brown University. They almost gave up after years of agonizing hard work attempting to break into the music scene, until they finally caught a break when Seattle's Bumbersho... oh wait. EN
(Sun, 10 pm, EMP) This GUY is a local DJ who was nominated for D List magazine's "Top Local Male DJ of the Year" award. (Are male and female DJs really so different?) He didn't win, but from what I can tell from tediously internet-searching combinations of our two- and three-letter hints, GUY will most definitely be bringing you some "high-energy" mixes that will make you "dance." Ain't nothing wrong with that! EN
(Sat, 9:45 pm, KeyArena) This band formed the year I was born. As a wee kid, I sang along to the ballads on Dog & Butterfly with my divorce-dad during the long car rides after he'd pick me for weekend visits. I spent my preteen years singing in the mirror and trying to look cool to "Barracuda," and much of my later teens roller-skating and flirting with boys to the tune of "Crazy on You" or "Magic Man." Though the Northwest is home for these Hall-of-Famers and Grammy winners, they've never-ever-never played Bumbershoot before (sing it: "Neee-vah! No, Neee-vah!"). DO NOT MISS THE SISTERS! KO
(Mon, 11:45 am, Mural Amphitheater) Hot Bodies in Motion are a great, bluesy, fiery rock band from right here in Seattle (check out their song "Old Habits" for proof). Their sound would be more appropriate for a smoky dive bar than an outdoor stage at high noon, but what's Bumbershoot if not a great place to watch a bunch of hungover, pale rock 'n' roll fans awkwardly dance while also trying to keep the blinding sun out of their eyes? MS
(Sat, 12:30 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Thomas Marriott, Mark Taylor, and Matt Jorgensen—who've each made a bunch of albums as band leaders—play jazz together as Human Spirit. According to Wikipedia, "The human spirit includes our intellect, emotions, fears, passions, and creativity," giving these guys a helluva lot to live up to. EK
(Sat, 9 pm, EMP) This Seattle DJ comes "armed with multiple genres and a mission to give you a reason to throw your hands up." He furthermore pledges to "deliver what it takes to rock the party." BJC
Sat, 4:30 pm, Fisher Green CANCELED ) Two impeccably fashionable ladies making thumping, club-ready pop in the vein of fellow Swede Robyn, Icona Pop made a big summertime splash in 2012 with their hit single "I Love It." Though they've yet to top the sugar-dizzy high of their signature anthem, a new album is poised to drop in September, and the leaked tracks seem to promise a bounty of unabashed, maximalist bangers. KF
(Mon, 7:30 pm, Plaza Stage) Local Dostoyevsky-named group Ivan & Alyosha are participants in this new wave of multi-part harmony and tinkling/beachy guitar music that sounds like a soundtrack to something. That stuff sounds good, right? This is more of that stuff. ANNA MINARD
(Sat, 8:30 pm, KeyArena) Imagine how daunting it must be to have sprung from the loins of Led Zeppelin's drummer. Jason Bonham said, "It ain't no thang," and followed in his pop's hugely influential drum-kit-bashing steps to carry on Zep's legacy with cymbal-splashing panache. This set is your best chance of witnessing Led Zeppelin's best work replicated live. The song remains... slightly altered. D. SEGAL
(Sat, 2:45 pm, KeyArena) Of all the music-biz types using $ in their name, Joey Bada$$ is the best. Our resident rap experts Larry Mizell Jr. and Mike Ramos aren't really feeling the 18-year-old Brooklyn MC, but I'm a sucker for hiphop that reeks of '90s Big Apple. Joey puts that boom into the bap with gruff authority. He may not have an Illmatic in him, but maybe a Reel to Reel? D. SEGAL
(Mon, 10 pm, Fisher Green) For those who find the xx too reserved to compel full engagement, the Joy Formidable are here to fill your guitar-based art-pop hole with an impressive droney racket. The former duo is now a trio, with drummer Matthew James Thomas joining real-life couple Rhiannon "Ritzy" Bryan (vocals, guitar) and Rhydian Dafydd (vocals, bass). And while Bryan has a questionable habit of casting herself as an archetypal Manic Pixie Dream Girl (and she's not yet doing anything interesting with the role thematically), she does help make that impressive racket, which is enough for now. D. SCHMADER
(Mon, 8 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Justin Townes Earle is heartily accomplished, having won the 2011 Americana Music Award for song of the year, as well as touring with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings and Old Crow Medicine Show. He is also very, very good at wearing clothes. EK
(Sun, 4:30 pm, Fisher Green) The ever-fab Katie Kate is a local rapper, producer, classically trained musician, and 2013 Stranger Genius Award finalist. On album, her fully impressive avant-pop weaves tenacious beats and majestic hooks around her versatile voice (she can croon, she can rhyme, she can wail). Live, expect her to blow you away with more of that voice, those moves, and some incredible outfits you only wish you could pull off. Don't miss her set, for serious. EN
(Sat, 4 pm, KeyArena) From what I can tell, Kendrick Lamar drives humans under the age of 18 absolutely wild and gets controversially competitive with other rappers in verse and on Twitter. Lamar's music tells elaborate stories punctuated with strange alliteration; he raps with a distinct, choppy flow. His voice is smoky, older-sounding-than-he-really-is, and sometimes warped through a Martian/helium-duck filter. I'm not so sure his albums quite match his self-aggrandizing, but then he'd probably tell me, "Bitch, don't kill my vibe." Uh-huuhhh. EN
(Mon, 4:30 pm, Fisher Green) Man oh man! Try to Google Image search THIS band's name, and lemme tell ya, you'll be immediately scrolling through pages and pages of ball gags, spankings, and blindfolds! It's better to search "Kinky + Latin America" because this Kinky is five-piece rock-electronic band from Monterrey, Mexico. They sometimes sing in English, but mostly they're a Spanish-language band with a huge, bouncy dance-rock sound. Their album Barracuda was coproduced by Money Mark of Beastie Boys fame. Expect to dance. KO
(Sun, 11:45 am, Fisher Green) Kithkin are the only band in Seattle that can send me their new album along with a bunch of rocks and sticks and still make me love them. They're a whirlwind of wild percussion, warrior calling, and pop hooks, and they describe themselves as "treepunk," which is absolutely the perfect label. MS
(Mon, 4:30 pm, Plaza Stage) A big ol' finger-snapping hand-clapping "family band" (not an actual family), the Kopeckys play solid multi-instrumental contemporary Americana. Do you like all the bands that are popular at music festivals right now, face-painting and camping, and summertime? You will like the family band! AM
(Sat, 8 pm, Plaza Stage) If you feel that your nice-guy indie rock has been sorely lacking in flutes and oboes, you have found your man. KF
(Sat, 6:30 pm, Plaza Stage) Glasses and bangs and rolled-up pants! Their website bio says they all like the same songs! It's "Dive" not "Drive"! There's a trumpet AND a bass! It's jazzy AND indie! Your parents just might cut a rug at the back of the concert! Aww! CB
(Mon, 2:45 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Lissie is a singer-songwriter who sports a pained, earnest expression in her videos and press photos. Her lyrics focus on unrequited longing and the everyday assholery of boys, and pose penetrating questions like "Does anyone love anyone anymore?" and "Will I see him again soon?" Angsty tween girls who are too cool (or too hung up on actual vocal ability) for Taylor Swift will love her. EK
(Mon, 9 pm, Plaza Stage) It's heartfelt country music made by a trio of great-looking people from the small towns of the American South by way of Park Slope, Brooklyn. The Lone Bellow are darlings of NPR, and the New York Times pretty much gushed about them in a long article in January, praising the band's "close harmonies: three singers whose timbres meld seamlessly even at full volume," and comparing them to Mumford & Sons. BJC
(Sat, 9:45 pm, Mural Amphitheater) It's getting late in the game for Maceo Parker, and you don't want to say you missed your chance to see the force of nature who blew soulful, saxophonic vitality into classic tracks by James Brown, the J.B.'s, Funkadelic, Prince, De La Soul, Deee-Lite, and many others. Even at 70, Parker seems like he can still be the life of the party. D. SEGAL
(Mon, 1 pm, Mural Amphitheater) The Maldives have been kicking around Seattle for some time now, their patented brand of soaring, melodic alt-country winning them awards and accolades from fans and critics alike. The level of craftsmanship displayed on their most recent album, Listen to the Thunder, seems to indicate these guys may finally get the national attention they deserve. KF
(Mon, 6 pm, Plaza Stage) Broody-moody country musician Mark Pickerel has walked—and played—alongside some of the greats of Northwest noir, from Kurt Cobain to Neko Case. He used to drum for the Screaming Trees, is on Bloodshot Records, and some critics have (correctly) compared his low, velvety-with-a-hint-of-broken-glass voice to Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave. But a speck of brightness, a touch of hope, floats in all that inkiness. Pickerel is a survivor. BRENDAN KILEY
(Sun, 5:15 pm, Fountain Lawn) This glasses-wearing straight-married couple is universally described as an "indie-pop duo," whatever that means anymore. Their music sounds like two people who know each other; sometimes it's fun to be in on the in-joke and sometimes you wish someone else was editing it a little more harshly. AM
(Sun, 10 pm, Fisher Green) Matt and Kim make keyboard-and-drum-based pop complete with over-the-top earnestness and "woo-ee-oo" choruses. They had a pretty good single like six years ago, and made a sort-of-cute video once, but the total lack of any hard edges in the music causes it to melt into a puddle of sugary goo, not unlike a Slurpee dropped onto a hot sidewalk. KF
(Sat, noon, Mural Amphitheater) Drummer Matt Jorgenson makes grounded jazz. This is no simple matter of just being a competent, trained musician—more importantly, it's about being able to make music that still sounds fresh. One must always keep in mind that jazz is about to reach the century mark in age and has seen some of the greatest minds in American music come and go. So any musician who decides to make jazz must be a part of this solid history while at the same time imprinting their identity on it. If you listen to Matt Jorgenson's new Tattooed by Passion: Music Inspired by the Paintings of Dale Chisman, you will hear exactly his imprint on jazz. CM
(Sun, 9:30 pm, Plaza Stage) Poor dude is getting rudely treated by the Bumbershoot people, whose bio for Matt Pond brags about his work in a Starbucks commercial and on The OC. C'mon guys! After years as the band Matt Pond PA, the PA-less Pond is tougher than that—he opened for Superchunk and Bikini Kill back in the day. Sometimes you can't help mellowing out and buttoning it down with age. AM
(Mon, 1:45 pm, Fountain Lawn) This Brooklyn post-punk five-piece is kind of like a big, messy bowl of goulash that your sweet old babcia (Polish grandma) used to make with all the leftovers in the fridge. The Men's recipe is random: little bits and sounds cooked up by other bands—really good groups like early MC5, Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, Butthole Surfers (with the tiniest dash of the Stooges). And while leftovers can be cold and boring, the Men's nostalgia is pretty, new, and downright tasty when remixed and reheated. KO
(Mon, 3:30 pm, KeyArena) Just like the time everybody pointed and laughed at me when I ordered a "Bah-jah" chalupa (it's "Bah-haa" as in Baja, California) at the long-gone Broadway Taco Bell, I once pronounced the name of this band as "management." After being laughed at again, I was told you say: "Em-gee-em-tee." Whatever, jerk-offs! Tons of people just LOVE this smarty-pants synth-pop "indietronica" neo-psychedelic band that was formed back in 2005 when two dudes named Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden met at Wesleyan University. You'll probably love them, too! (Just don't ask me to pronounce that Andrew dude's last name.) KO
(Sun, 3:30 pm, Plaza Stage) We've been droning on for years about how potent Midday Veil's brand of Sturm und Drang kraut/psych rock is, and finally the Bumbershoot gods have tapped them to bedazzle the festival's verdant grounds. Riding high on their newly released sophomore album, The Current, Midday Veil combine flamboyantly beautiful melodies with a telepathic aptitude for transcendent jamming, making for an essential live experience. D. SEGAL
(Sun, 1 pm, Fisher Green) Add the Mowgli's to the growing family tree of exuberant, many-member groups that ride the line between indie folk rock and neo big band (Hey Marseilles, Of Monsters and Men, and the rest). Like their contemporary cousins, the Mowgli's also ride the line between somber and happy-go-lucky, frequently starting a song in one of those two moods before building into swelling, triumphant conclusions that roll over your ears like the big waves of the California coast they call home. But their yearnings aren't just personal—24-year-old frontman Colin Dieden told a music blogger recently: "We're trying to create a movement based on love, to make art for the purpose of love to better this planet and our species." The Mowgli's are full of earnest hope. BK
(Sat, 1:15 pm, Fisher Green) To say that Seattle's Nacho Picasso, aka "The Tat in the Hat," is blowing up would be putting it, uh, lightly. He was included in XXL's "The New New: 15 Seattle Rappers You Should Know," Pitchfork dubbed his second solo mixtape, For the Glory, "one of the best rap debuts of 2011," and Forbes put Lord of the Fly/Exalted on its list of the "Best Free Albums of 2012." Stranger hiphop columnist/KEXP Street Sounds DJ Larry Mizell Jr. once called him a "larger-than-life stoner-goon," and Spin described him as a "prolific, nerdy nihilist." All of this hype for some cocky songs about comics, bitches, and chronic. Funny how that works. I can't wait to see what he does next. KO
(Sun, 1:15 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Nikki Hill and her guitarzan husband, Matt Hill, tear up some old-school, twangy rock 'n' roll. Her booming, gospel-inspired vocals are upstaged only by the band's supercharged showmanship. DH
(Sat, 5:15 pm, Fountain Lawn) The Physics, a trio that recently relocated their studio from Pioneer Square to Belltown, are one of the leading hiphop acts in the 206. The three (Thig Nat and Monk Wordsmith on the mics, Justo on the beats) have released no less than five albums over a period of six years—the most recent album being Tomorrow People, which was dropped last year and contains the jewel "So Funky." Again, if you do not know who the Physics are, it can only mean you do not come from this city or you hate local hiphop. CM
(Sun, 1:45 pm, Fountain Lawn) Ramona Falls is the brainchild of Brent Knopf, whom you may know from his former gig as one-third of Menomena. His new material has a dash of that group's shape-shifting prog tendencies, augmented with meticulous production and an undercurrent of digital detritus floating through. He is also not afraid to simply rock the fuck out, should the occasion call for it. KF
(Sun, 8:15 pm, KeyArena) Ra Ra Riot play starry, electronically inclined dance songs that will make you twirl around and probably fall in love with the person next to you at the show. Stand next to someone cute! MS
(Mon, 2:45 pm, Fisher Green) According to their press release, Red Baraat are "the first and only dhol 'n' brass band of its kind in the States," mixing traditional Indian percussion with brass instruments to create loose, improvisatory jams as well as Bollywood covers. This has the potential to be the most pleasant surprise of Bumbershoot. Twerk it out to some bhangra funk, y'all! KF
(Mon, 3:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) The seminal LA punk band with the eternally revolving roster of musicians got back to serious business in 2006 when they performed a career-spanning set at L.A.'s REDCAT theater. Officially re-forming in 1997 and touring sporadically ever since, the current iteration of the band released the pop-punk-packed Researching the Blues last year, and it's a delightful blast of grade-A pop punk. Live, expect moshtalgia. D. SCHMADER
(Mon, 1:30 pm, Plaza Stage) Do you like Squeeze, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Alex Chilton, Garland Jeffreys, Graham Parker, and/or Steve Forbert? If so, local band Red Jacket Mine recommends itself to you as it "marries vintage soul and '70s British pub rock in taut, sub-three-minute pop gems." Their latest album, Someone Else's Cake, is KEXP endorsed, and the title track is very much styled after Elvis Costello. BJC
(Sun, 12:15 pm, Fountain Lawn) Dance punk band the Redwood Plan are from Seattle, but that doesn't mean you should skip their set with a lazy "I could see 'em anytime" attitude. Every Redwood Plan performance is worth seeing—the group is a fireball of fierce and contagious energy that's as cathartic as it is fun. MS
(Sun, 7:45 pm, EMP) Sometimes you gotta throw on a pair of goggles, an assortment of candy necklaces, and your mother's finest fur, and just DANCE. CB
(Sat, 2:45 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Anyone who watched Robert Glasper perform during the 2013 Earshot Jazz Festival knows that this brilliant pianist has done the impossible: combined the great and old tradition of jazz with new and still-popular methods of hiphop into a convincing whole. Glasper can play the piano like a jazz master and also like a hiphop producer. He is a man of our times (which is all about surfaces), and also a man who understands the past deeply. Glasper can also rock a Nirvana or a Radiohead tune. CM
(Sun, 1:45 pm, Plaza Stage) The Round is a long-standing, magical part of Seattle's music community. For years, the intimate monthly night has been bringing musicians, painters, and poets together, with past bills including famous and nonfamous folks like Damien Jurado, Star Anna, John Roderick, and Shenandoah Davis. For their 100th (woo!) show, the Round has invited Le Wrens and Shelby Earl to share the stage, ensuring more memorable magic. MS
(Sat, 9:30 pm, Plaza Stage) Everyone who writes about SF&TSO wants to come up with a new metaphor for Sallie Ford's insane voice, and I don't know how to add another one. Something about whiskey and cigarettes doesn't cut it—more like a cheese grater and honey? Shit, I dunno. Just give in and let her crazy scratchy feline yell-singing and her rockabilly backing band put you under their spell. AM
(Sat, 8 pm, EMP) Booty-shaking bass quakes, and the slightly sleazy electronic music the phrase "booty-shaking bass quakes" implies, are what can probably be expected from this set by DJ Sean Majors, who hosts the popular Just Got Paid Fridays at Barboza. KF
(Mon, 4:30 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Though they come from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Sheepdogs play their guitar-bass-drums rock 'n' roll with a loping, 1970s Southern-rock ease. (The band toured with John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival in 2012, making them unavailable to accept their Juno Awards in person last year.) They sound like a certain kind of summer band, one that brings to mind the smells of pot smoke and hay, but they put slightly more emphasis on bluesy, sometimes even funky drum and bass lines, giving them a little more texture than your garden-variety Southern-rock quartet. BK
(Mon, 6:15 pm, Fisher Green) Sol's career as a local rapper was pretty much launched two years ago at Bumbershoot. The next year, 2012, he released some slamming EPs, some albums, and a local hit called "Stage Dive," and then he left the city for a trip around the world. His performance at Bumbershoot this year will mark his return to the scene—we will see and hear the new Sol, the Sol who has seen a big chunk of the world (Africa, Asia, South America), the Sol who is older and certainly wiser. Welcome back. CM
(Mon, 3 pm, Plaza Stage) Inspired to begin writing songs about his grandfather's experience fighting in World War II, Benjamin Doerr's St. Paul de Vence project has a bit of Beirut's sepia-toned Old World feel and esoteric instrumental choices (concertina!). Filled to the brim with super-sincere lyrics and swooning harmonies, their debut album was just what the plaid-wearing types needed to hold themselves over until the Fleet Foxes' new record. KF
(Mon, 7 pm, Fountain Lawn) The Chapel Hill band that could! Forging ahead since the 1990s, Superchunk are prolific makers of yowling/buzzing indie rock, the founders of Merge Records (Neutral Milk Hotel, Arcade Fire, the Magnetic Fields, etc.), and a testament to where a singular DIY mind-set can take you if you refuse to settle. Superchunk's 10th studio album, I Hate Music, came out this month and was their first release since 2010. EN
(Sun, 8:15 pm, EMP) Supreme La Rock (Seattle's Danny Clavesilla, the catalyst for the Wheedle's Groove compilation) is one of those analog-for-life DJs who needs to buy a separate house just to store his records. It's a case of quantity and quality, as Supreme has an abundance of great cuts suitable for just about any funk/soul/disco/boogie/etc. dance-club scenario you can imagine. Couple that with on-point transitions and you have a serious party. D. SEGAL
(Sun, 7 pm, Fountain Lawn) Searching for just the right thing to plop down on the grass and bliss out to? Look no further—Tamaryn's fizzy, lethargic voice and vast, shapeless guitar drone will have you dozing off in your fashionable lover's arms in no time. Not sleepy? This is also good music to close your eyes and spin around in a circle to (it's a festival—go ahead and be that person, YOLO) while wearing a long skirt or fringed vest or both (I said YOLO). You could also discreetly cry on a train to Tamaryn. The possibilities are literally endless. EN
(Sun, 2 pm, KeyArena) Twin sisters Tegan and Sara have a knack for writing hook-filled pop songs for all of life's moments. Trying to get through a breakup? Try "Alligator." Want to have a dance party in the sun? That's what "Speak Slow" is for! And their latest album, Heartthrob, fulfills my occasional craving for sugary pop without the guilty aftertaste. MS
(Sat, 3:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) Thao & the Get Down Stay Down deliver playful, banjo-laced folk-rock songs that sound like the tunes you'd want your musically inclined best friend to come over and play for you when you're feeling down. Also: Frontwoman Thao Nguyen almost always wears great cowboy boots. MS
(Sat, 6:30 pm, Mural Amphitheater) If you want to experience a rollicking, traditional American gospel choir without having to sit in a butt-numbing pew and endure the sanctimonious rants of a superstitious nut (aka all Christian pastors), the Total Experience Gospel Choir and its perennial tour on the festival circuit is made for you. Which isn't to say that they sing Jesus-free songs. Secular gospel would be even worse than Christian rock—and this is solid, boisterous godliness (set to music). DH
(Mon, 9:45 pm, Mural Amphitheater) If I got to choose the way I was going to die, I would definitely consider being trampled to death by turtles, because they're just so goddamn cute, it'd be hard to be upset over the whole ordeal. It'd probably tickle, even! The bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles has nothing to do with that. They're straight-up Americana/bluegrass with effortlessly quick fiddle and banjo work that'll make your head spin. MS
(Sun, 10 pm, Mural Amphitheater) This Tacoma native recently signed to Republic Records following a series of CeeLo Green–approved performances on The Voice. Her single "Come Along" mixes a nicely funky little blues riff with the sort of Pro-Tools'ed-to-death overproduction that threatens to completely squash her strong, soulful voice (and Green's brief guest verse). For fans of arena pop with local flavor, I guess? KF
(Sun, 6:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) You know those sepia-drenched shotgun/feather boa/cowboy hat/Wild West photos you can pose for while vacationing through some touristy ghost town? Well, as the name might indicate, Vintage Trouble are the band version of those photographs. Their look is calculated old-timey, never bending from their handsome shtick for even a second. The music is big—red, white, and blue guitar solos, splashy drums, and wailing soulful vocals. They are managed by Doc McGhee (Bon Jovi, Hootie & the Blowfish), and their rabid fans are known as TroubleMakers. EN
(Sat, 9 pm, Fountain Lawn) Like floating through a mimosa lake on an air mattress, Washed Out's sleepy synth-pop is chiller than a stoned penguin. Georgia's Ernest Greene is the electronic-music maker behind these bliss waves—a project he began after moving back in with his parents when his library-science degree didn't pan out. Well, you know what they say: When life hands you library-science degrees, make atmospheric dream tunes! EN
(Sat, 7 pm, Fountain Lawn) Watksy is a youth poetry slam champ turned rapper. Our own Larry Mizell Jr. called him "Paul Barman with no charisma and a twelfth of the sense of humor." (Burn.) Somehow he manages to strip "rapping" of all its edge, e.g.: "If life is a woman/She's got some epic titties/And I wanna get up in it and live it and motorboat 'em." But nerd out, homes. AM
(Sun, 8:15 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in the summer of 1967, Odessey and Oracle stands as a pinnacle of baroque pop. Don't believe the boomer hype—the Zombies' masterpiece is, song for song, better than Sgt. Pepper's. Odessey and Oracle's 12 songs exude a delicate beauty that will outlast us all. Expect to hear plenty from that classic LP, plus new songs and material from godhead songwriters Rod Argent's and Colin Blunstone's solo careers. D. SEGAL
(Sat, 4:45 pm, Mural Amphitheater) Pros: She sounds like the love child of Ingrid Michaelson and Adele, with the spunk of B. B. King thrown in for good measure, and she always wears neat hats. Cons: Her name is ZZ and she doesn't even have the courtesy to grow a beard? C'mon! CB
(Sat–Mon, Seattle Center Pavilion) This Reel Grrls–curated show may be the highlight of all the visual art programming at this year's festival, and it's certainly the creative, inclusive, humor-filled antidote to the sausagefest that is music, that is this summer's music, and that is... some of the other art shows at Bumbershoot. Reel Grrls is the great local nonprofit that teaches media literacy and production—filmmaking especially—from the perspective that things ain't yet gender-fair, and taking things into our own capable and curious hands is the solution. The lineup includes live performances and workshops: Anna Oxygen (Sun, 4 pm), Gender Failure (Sat, 4 pm), Tender Forever (Fri, 7 pm), and Molly Mac (Mon, 4 pm), each one opened up by new works from participants in Stranger Genius Award winner Wynne Greenwood's video and performance classes. As the Canadian trans artists Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon point out in Gender Failure (which includes animation by Seattle's Clyde Petersen), the gender binary is a two-ring circus—the two-ring circus we live in. JEN GRAVES
(Sat–Mon, Fisher Pavilion) Jonathan Schipper was born in Chico, California, in 1973 and has shown his big, moving sculptures in places including New York; Berlin; Marfa, Texas; Abu Dhabi; Slovenia; and Sheboygan, Wisconsin. In 2010 he exhibited at the Tinguely Museum in Basel, Switzerland, which seems like his most natural home: Late-20th-century Swiss artist Jean Tinguely built big, moving sculptures made to self-destruct—sad, noisy marvels. For Bumbershoot, Schipper is showing a new machine. His description of it: "An artificial continuously changing environment based on trash, salt, human will, and hot water bathing. The piece will consist of a few tons of salt. There will be a mechanism that will be suspended by four cables. By varying the length of the four cables the mechanism will be able to move to most locations within the room. The mechanism will have the ability to extrude crude representations of average objects from salt. These objects will be things like old chairs, toilets, tires, washing machines, and many other human-specific objects we take for granted as part of our world. The viewer will be able to view these objects being created from the comfort of a hot water tub." After reading that last sentence several times, I still do not know whether you should bring a bathing suit. JG
(Sat–Mon, Fisher Pavilion) Continuing the artists-and-machines theme, this group show curated by Seattle's Jana Brevick and Shelly Leavens includes new works and old, pieces made by machine and pieces about machines. Artists include Claude Zervas, who tinkers with LEDs and microorganisms; Maggie Orth, whose hand-woven textiles are sensitive to your warm presence (for real); Thomas Wilfred, Danish father of light art (1889–1968); and Fischli and Weiss, creators of everybody's favorite disaster art video, Der Lauf Der Dinge (The Way Things Go). (Der Lauf is findable on YouTube but will be worth seeing bouncing off all this other stuff.) JG
(Sat–Mon, Fisher Pavilion) If you don't know Erika Dalya Massaquoi, you will after this. Fashiony is her three-gallery exhibition of emerging African and Asian fashion influences, hung thickly salon-style, with tear sheets, video, and visuals of the latest in fashion drawing, photography, and textile/surface design. Massaquoi recently moved to Seattle from New York. Here's her insane résumé, worth reading in full: "Erika Dalya Massaquoi is a Consultant Curator for the Seattle Art Museum. Prior to her move to the Pacific Northwest, she was the Assistant Dean of the School of Art & Design at The Fashion Institute of Technology. Erika has taught classes on new media, cinema, contemporary art, and music at Yale University, New York University, and The New School for Social Research. As a curator, her work has been exhibited at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) List Visual Arts Center and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She has held curatorial positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the American Museum of the Moving Image. Massaquoi received her Ph.D. from New York University and undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago. Additionally, she is a Board Director of The Feminist Press (New York, NY) and a Board Trustee of Pratt Fine Arts Center (Seattle, WA)." Um: Massaquoi for mayor. JG
(Sat–Mon, Seattle Center Pavilion) How do found and repurposed objects relate back to nature? That's the subject of this group exhibition of sculptures, collages, and videos by Northwest greats including Howard Barlow, Justin Beckman, Matt Browning, Scott Fife, and Shaun Kardinal. The rest of the published show lineup is Animal Charm, Craig Baldwin, Guy Laramee, Jason Mecier... and Sayaka Ganz. Which means that evidently the theme of found and repurposed objects relating back to nature can be almost entirely handled by dudes. Okay! JG
Words & Ideas
(Sun, noon, Leo K. Theater) The fancy small record label celebrates 15 years—isn't that the latex anniversary?—with a retrospective/forward-looking panel featuring Sean Nelson, Barsuk artists John Roderick and David Bazan, and Barsuk cofounder Josh Rosenfeld. There may not be a whole lot of sex and drugs onstage, but there will probably be some talk about rock 'n' roll. PAUL CONSTANT
(Sun, 4 pm, Leo K. Theater) Allie Brosh, the big brain behind the (intentionally) poorly illustrated blog Hyperbole and a Half and an upcoming book of the same name, will talk with incredibly gifted local cartoonist Ellen Forney about the power of cartoons to share personal stories, as well as a bunch of other stuff that will probably be a lot funnier. PC
(Sat, noon, Leo K. Theater) The Better Bombshell is a new anthology that sets out to achieve no less ambitious a goal than creating a new female role model for a new age. Bring your daughters and your sisters to this event, in which Charlotte Austin, Roxane Gay, and Siolo Thompson all discuss the importance of the book and whether they believe it's already made an impact. PC
(Mon, 4 pm, Leo K. Theater) Some excellent local writers, including Kevin Emerson, Karen Finneyfrock, Corinne Manning, and Sierra Nelson, will read new work about the problem and blessing that is compound words. These writers all participate in Seattle Arts & Lectures' excellent Writers in the Schools program, and their students will also read work on the same subject. PC
(Sat, 6 pm, Leo K. Theater) This event, which is put on by the best damn publisher of funnybooks in the U S of A, is structured like a talk show and features local cartoonists including Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney, Kelly Froh, Eroyn Franklin, and Danny Bland as well as the musical stylings of Peter Bagge's pop band Can You Imagine. PC
(Sat, 4 pm, Leo K. Theater) Novelist and short-story writer J. Robert Lennon teams up with beloved poet Ed Skoog to bring their front-porch-friendly podcast to a live taping at Bumbershoot. This episode's guests include the very funny, mildly dirty Portland poet Matthew Dickman and musical guest Abilene Slim, who is utterly un-google-able. PC
(Mon, 6 pm, Leo K. Theater) Two authors and a spoken-word poet discuss a new book about marijuana. PC
(Mon, noon, Leo K. Theater) We're all getting over TED Talks, which used to be a good idea, but then turned into another occasion for the smug 1 percent to smugly pat themselves on their smug backs over how smart (and smug) they are. This is a TED Talks riff featuring Andrew Russell, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Cienna Madrid, and Dominic Holden discussing things that you shouldn't talk about around the dinner table. PC
(Mon, 2 pm, Leo K. Theater) Why this? PC
(Sun, 2 pm, Leo K. Theater) Just why? PC
(Sat, 2 pm, Leo K. Theater) Why bother? PC
(Sun, 6 pm, Leo K. Theater) In addition to talking about what it's like to be the people who tell Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, and Tom Haverford what to do, the Parks & Recreation writing team will discuss their process, their non-TV lives, and whether or not Twitter is the Worst Thing in the World. PC
(Sun, 5:15 pm; Mon, 7 pm; Center House Theater) Local playwright, actor, and director (and former Stranger theater editor) Bret Fetzer sidled up to musician Peter Richards (of the band Dude York) to create "a rueful comic musical about sex, traffic lights, bad language, singing penises, and broken hearts." This story about two young straight kids who meet at a gay dance club and wake up in bed together includes the songs "Every Dick Is Different," "Let's Dive In," and "Jam Out (With Your Clam Out)." BRENDAN KILEY
(Sun, 3:45 pm; Mon, 2:15 pm; Center House Theater) Unexpected Productions has been performing improv-comedy shows at the Market Theater (beneath Pike Place Market) since God was a tween, on just about every theme you can imagine: from traditional TheatreSports! to Edgar Allan Poe, from the Survivor TV series to Seattle's frontier-town history. In Impromptu, longtime improvisers who are also musicians (typically eight performers who play 20 instruments) make "scene-songs." BK
(Sun, 2 pm, Center House Theater) Local storyteller—and auctioneer—Matt Smith once again revives his monologue about growing up Catholic on Capitol Hill in the late 1960s. People love stories about nuns, naughty eighth-grade boys, and the first glimmerings of preadolescent confusion and angst, and this one has it all, including (when I last saw it several years ago) a leitmotif about trying to form the perfect loogie. The stories are a Seattle-based bildungsroman, and nothing entirely surprising, but Smith's pacing and delivery are a master class for anyone who likes to tell stories. BK
(Sat 3:45 pm; Mon, 5:30 pm, Center House Theater) NERDprov is geek-themed improv comedy with lots of references (nerds love references!) and lots of audience suggestions (nerds love suggestions!). Expect Harry Potter stuff, steampunk stuff, sci-fi stuff, Star Trek stuff, video-game stuff, Magic: The Gathering stuff, computer stuff, and other stuff in this casserole of semispontaneous nerdiness. Several of the cast members have lengthy improv résumés that include stints in Where No Man Has Gone Before, a Star Trek–themed improv show. BK
(Sat, 2:15 pm; Sun, 6:45 pm; Mon, 4 pm; Center House Theater) The folks at theater simple (they prefer lowercase) specialize in creating vivid shows with minimal resources. Their regularly remounted 52 Pick-Up, which they've also performed at Bumbershoot, begins with two actors (one male, one female) flinging a deck of cards across the stage. Each card, picked up at random, cues a brief scene from a love affair. Their Owl & Pussycat, first performed in 2012, pounces on the famous Edward Lear poem ("The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea/In a beautiful pea-green boat/They took some honey, and plenty of money/Wrapped up in a five-pound note") and roots around between its brief lines to find out what else might have happened during the journey and why. It involves two actors and a ukulele. BK
(Sat, 5:15 pm, Center House Theater) A local group called the Performers' Forge, which has been hosting monthly "fight nights" in rehearsal rooms at Theater Puget Sound, presents "a theatrical representation of violence with scenes varying from the historically accurate to the wildly inappropriate." Basically, it will be a bunch of fight scenes of various styles and from various eras during which human beings dramatically murdered each other, both in real life and for artistic purposes. BK
(Sat, 7 pm, Center House Theater) For the past several years, comedian and man-who-paints-paper-bags-to-turn-them-into-puppets Emmett Montgomery has hosted Weird and Awesome at Annex Theater, an event that isn't quite comedy and isn't quite tragedy and isn't quite variety show, though it has elements of all three. He asks people who are good at one thing to come onstage, step out of their comfort zones, and do another thing. (Though jokes are key, and some comedians do perform traditional sets.) The result is always unexpected, oftentimes even to Montgomery. The thrill of surprise keeps people coming back. BK
Curated by SIFF, the 1 Reel Film Festival is Bumbershoot's annual "celebration of cinematic brevity," this year featuring dozens of short films from around the globe, running continuously—in a room containing air-conditioning and comfortable chairs—throughout the festival. Every hour brings a new program (full list of programs below). All showings at the SIFF Film Center. DAVID SCHMADER
(Sat–Mon, 4:30 pm) A collection of the best short films of SIFF 2013, chosen by SIFF audiences, and including selections from Rwanda, South Korea, Brazil, and the United States.
(Sat–Mon, 3:30 pm) Another collection of the best short films screened at SIFF 2013, this time chosen by SIFF jurists and including one film each from Canada, Australia, and Spain.
(Sun, 7 pm) New short films from Northwest filmmakers Mel Eslyn, Wade Jackson, and Mandy Hubbard.
(Sun, 1 pm) Two short films about dance (one of which is a documentary about Pilobolus!).
(Mon, 1 pm) A collection of music-themed shorts, featuring such subjects as the Postal Service and Kimya Dawson.
(Sun, 8 pm) A collection of short films exploring ambiguous weirdness. Some adult content!
(Mon, 8 pm) Short films designed to thrill adults who like short films designed to thrill adults.
(Sat, 8 pm) A collection of short films that promise to amaze and unnerve. Also some adult content!
(Sat–Mon, noon) Films selected to delight both kids and adults, with a new program each day.
(Sun, 2 pm) Short quirky romances, including A Little Something on the Side by Stephen Tobolowsky.
(Mon, 7 pm) Short films with a comic bent, covering such topics as thumbs, sleepovers, and celibacy.
(Sat, 1 pm) Music for your ears, treats for your eyes. Featuring Die Antwoord, Killer Mike, and more.
(Sat, 5:30 pm) Short films that are probably not for kids (unless your kids are into mobile homes and XXX).
(Mon, 5:30 pm) A collection of short films from around the world.
(Sun, 5:30 pm) New short films by a collection of local directors—including Curtis Taylor, Ryan Abe, Amy Ensler, and Julia Hechler—who were given five days to shoot, five days to edit, and a bevy of creative limitations as part of the annual Fly Filmmaking Challenge.
(Sat, 7 pm) Short documentary films about brains, bugs, and more.
(Sat, 2 pm) Short blasts of sci-fi from around the world.
(Mon, 2 pm) Short films involving animals, including the enticingly named Seattle Internet Cat Video Favorites.