(Mon, 7 pm, Sky Church) 214—Seattle's Chris Roman—has become one of the country's foremost electro producers through a prolific stream of releases on labels like Andrea Parker's Touchin' Bass and Ill Cosby's Car Crash Set. Bookers in the UK have taken notice of 214's expertise, enlisting him for the prestigious Bloc festival. His "refix" of Plastikman's "Ask Yourself" smoothly transforms the ominously brooding original into a dance-floor slow burner without coating it in cheese—an incredible feat. 214's Cascadian Nights from last year stands as one of the crowning achievements of modern electro (a genre that peaked in the '80s and periodically enjoys revivals). Undoubtedly, nobody at Bumbershoot this year will deliver sexier, more robotic dance music than 214. DAVE SEGAL
(Sun, 4:30 pm, EMP Level 3) When all seven members of this guitar-happy family-feeling Portland, Oregon, outfit sing together, you kind of feel like you could get up onstage and sing along with them, if you only knew the words. (Do not do this.) GRANT BRISSEY
(Sun, 7:30 pm, EMP Level 3) You don't get a lot of breaks coming from Chewelah, Washington, but honky R&B singer Allen Stone got a chance to record his second record with Raphael Saadiq's rhythm section, so of course he jumped on it. He told online magazine TheComet.com this: "I've always really loved performing, I was always singing at church. I started leading worship at church when I was 14. I've always really loved being in front of people and expressing myself." GB
(Sun, 6:30 pm, Exhibition Hall) Are you familiar with the No Child Left Behind Act? The Underground Action Alliance? Democracy Now!? Amnesty International? PETA? Greenpeace? Do you ever go to protests? Vans Warped Tour? Have you had a Mohawk? Do you vote? Do you ever worry about fascism and/or Republicans? If you answered yes to more than one of these, you're probably already in line outside the Exhibition Hall, waiting to see these Pittsburgh punks. KELLY O
(Sat, 3:15 pm, Fountain Lawn) One of the highlights of this year's South By Southwest festival in Austin, Seattle-by-way-of-Florida rapper Astronautalis, aka Andy Bothwell, had an entire basement bar reeling with his charged and rapid-fire vocal work. At the end of a set, Bothwell will often ask the crowd to give him a predetermined number of subjects on which to freestyle. In Austin he did this, and then proceeded to absolutely kill it—smooth, speedy, and coherent freestyle for upwards of five minutes. His upcoming full-length, This Is Our Science, is due out September 13, and finds a different side of the man. He sings as much as he raps, and excels at all of it. GB See preview.
ATARI TEENAGE RIOT
(Sun, 4:45 pm, Exhibition Hall) Germany's Atari Teenage Riot are still doing their agitprop shtick, picking up where they left off in 2000 after going on a 10-year hiatus. On their new album, Is This Hyperreal?, Alec Empire and co. bust out strident gabberesque bangers geared to spur listeners into action. And they're still bellowing about too much government control, racism, corruption, corporate greed, class war, and other very bad things (plus the internet) with broad lyrical and musical gestures. Is This Hyperreal? sounds a lot like ATR's '90s records, with maybe more sampled heavy-metal guitar ballast in the mix. In small doses, this kind of thing can be exhilarating—especially if you're a rambunctious teen into old computers. D. SEGAL
(Sat, 6 pm, Sky Church) How did two guys who make their home in mossy, drippy Seattle end up creating dance music drenched in beach sweat and sun splashes? It's a mystery you need to solve in person. You may make associations to Cut Copy. You may want to tell your friends that you have their hit "In the Water" in heavy rotation. You may not miss. ELI SANDERS
(Mon, 3 pm, KeyArena) Sometimes Big Boi is like the world's cutest baby covered in the world's stinkiest shit. On one hand is his gorgeous music, which is endlessly eager to please and retains a baseline pleasure even when the talk gets stupidly tough. On the other hand is his aggressive creepiness, brought into full bloom on "David Blaine," the between-song skit on his otherwise smashing 2010 LP Sir Lucious Leftfoot... The Son of Chico Dusty, in which our Boi cracks wise about helping his friends fuck one of his lovers without her permission in the cadence of giggly schoolboy. The music and the many, many nonrepugnant rhymes win, of course. But dude's got some growing up to do. DAVID SCHMADER
(Sat, 1:15 pm, KeyArena) Generally Bumbershoot marks the end of summer—time to go back to school and pull the coats and sweaters out of the back of the closet. But Brite Futures, for the 45 minutes they're onstage, will do their best to make the most of what's left. They're a hyperactive flurry of positive vibes and fluorescent clothes, and their poppy, PG-13 dance music is sure to get your ass shaking, even if you do feel a little silly about dancing to a song about a sideways ponytail. MEGAN SELING
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
(Sun, 3 pm, KeyArena) I like to think of Broken Social Scene as the Arcade Fire that isn't above getting drunk and making out with each other. (Alternate theory: Broken Social Scene is the Arcade Fire that's too old for internationally tangible anthems and decorative BMX displays.) Whatever. Broken Social Scene shows are great because there could be dozens of people onstage, all making a glorious racket that not infrequently coalesces into songs you know and love from KEXP. D. SCHMADER See interview.
(Sun, 7:30 pm, Fisher Green) If you saw Butthole Surfers play live in the '80s, you should be stunned to hear that they're still going and performing at large festivals like Bumbershoot. Back then, these deranged Texans sowed chaos and ground out brain-blitzing psychedelic punk every time they commandeered a stage. It was common for improvising genius frontman Gibby Haynes to set his hand on fire. The Surfers' '80s catalog remains one of rock's most flagrantly strange and absurdly surreal ever. While the masses will shout for BS alterna hits "Who Was in My Room Last Night?" and "Pepper," true heads will hope for fucked-up favorites like "Moving to Florida," "Jimi," and "Cherub." D. SEGAL See preview.
CALEB KLAUDER COUNTRY BAND
(Sat, 12:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) The Country Band is the side project of Portland-based singer, songwriter, and mandolinist Caleb Klauder, who's also a member of the venerable Foghorn Stringband. The group's newest album, Western Country, sounds like it came straight out of the 1950s: Klauder, a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist, insisted it be recorded entirely without dubbing. The tone is generally light; the songs themselves are romps along the line between honky-tonk and pure country (with a little bluegrass thrown in for good measure). Boot-scootin' solos from guitarist Paul Brainard counterpoint Klauder's grainy, unvarnished voice the way a cold beer counterpoints sticky-sweet short ribs. Expect plenty of mind-boggling mandolin. KATHERINE LONG
(Sat, noon, Fountain Lawn) They're earnest, they're folkie, they have a song you may have heard of—you know, that one song, that mellow, earnest, folkie, in-the-right-circles hit that everyone's been liking? Oh, right, everyone and their well-trimmed beard is putting out a mellow, earnest, folkie, in-the-right-circles hit right now. My bad. Still: This band's hit is called "Strange Like We Are," and I would definitely sit on the Fountain Lawn and love it up. ES
(Sun, 9:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) If you've heard Carbon Leaf, you won't be surprised to hear that they've toured with Dave Matthews. These boys from Richmond, Virginia, play a kind of Appalachian-Celtic that was big among a certain college set in the late 1990s. After six years on the Vanguard Records label, they decided to return to the indie life, saying it gives them more flexibility in recording, distribution, and touring. Their namesake is pretty much all leaves, since pretty much all leaves absorb carbon and release oxygen. BRENDAN KILEY
(Sat, 2:15 pm, Fisher Green) Champagne Champagne are Sir Thomas Gray, Pearl Dragon, DJ Gajamagic. They have one, self-titled album under their belt, and a new one is soon to be released. According to Pearl, this record is going to be more rocky than hiphoppy and more complex or richer than the debut. If this album is released this year, and proves to be as good as or better than the debut, then 2011 will be the best year ever for local hiphop. Champ Champ will add to a parade of excellent albums by Shabazz Palaces, Metal Chocolates, the Physics, the Good Sin and 10.4 Rog, Katie Kate, and THEESatisfaction. The stars are aligned. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Mon, 5:45 pm, Fisher Green) Much is made of Charles Bradley's backstory, and for good reason. Born in 1948, Bradley reportedly saw a James Brown show at the Apollo at the age of 14 and was hooked, practicing dance moves on a mop handle. After decades of moving around the country and working as a chef and singing by night, he was discovered by a Daptone Records executive after returning to the nightclubs of Brooklyn. The resultant No Time for Dreaming is a solid work of R&B that wouldn't sound out of place during that genre's heyday. Also, Bradley looks damn good for a 63-year-old man. GB
(Sat, 10 pm, Exhibition Hall) Few can balance the wacky with the dark like Claude VonStroke (aka San Francisco-via-Detroit producer/DJ Barclay Crenshaw, who also runs the great Dirtybird and Mothership imprints). On releases like Beware of the Bird and Bird Brain, VonStroke gets seriously loopy (working with eccentric funkateers like Bootsy Collins and Detroit Grand PuBahs) while keeping the dance floor moving—and quite weird. D. SEGAL
(Sun, 5 pm, Sky Church) Yeah, the name's foolish, but Com Truise (see what he did there?) is a fine purveyor of downtempo electronic music. His releases for the renowned Ghostly International label—Cyanide Sisters, Fairlight, and Galactic Melt—float pretty pastel melodies over quirkily funky beats. It's not a revolutionary approach, but it is a reliable instigator of smiles, head nods, and stealthy dance moves. Com Truise (aka Princeton, New Jersey—based Seth Haley) describes his work as "mid-fi synth-wave, slow-motion funk," suggesting he could have a promising career as a critic if he ever tires of this music-making lark. D. SEGAL
(Sat, 1:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) Craft Spells' debut album, Idle Labor, churns 1980s synth pop with a Beach Boys—esque vibe to paint blurred dreamscapes like mirages fluttering over hot asphalt; the remarkably fresh songs crystallize the agony of falling in and out of love into discrete, spun-glass moments. The four-piece band out of California was originally the solo project of singer Justin Vallesteros, and it's easy to tell he's not yet entirely comfortable performing live: His voice, which on the album pours forth with perfect clarity in a throbbing, understated murmur, has trouble finding expression above the rest of the ensemble. These are problems, though, that can be worked out with time, and it's hard not to admire such a precocious first effort from an up-and-coming musician. KL
CURTAINS FOR YOU
(Mon, 1:30 pm, EMP Level 3) Seattle band Curtains for You make straight-ahead, pleasant, summery retro pop—wave after wave after wave of bright and relaxed and unfussy song structures. These five guys "stock every song with oodles of chattering keyboards, shimmery but sinewy guitars, a deft rhythm section able to shuffle between all the mid-to-late-period British Invasion bands they can evoke," Chris Estey recently wrote. Two of the guys in Curtains for You are brothers. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
DåM-FUNK & MASTER BLAZTER
(Sun, 4 pm, Fisher Green) DåM-FunK (aka Damon Riddick) is a one-man boogie-funk resurrection movement. Using an all-hardware setup, the LA producer has dedicated his professional life to rekindling the sexy-time R&B/funk that flourished in the early '80s. His productions on 2009's Toeachizown have that simultaneously stiff and elastic rhythmic feel, while the synths emit a romantic, sighing glow over the clap-enhanced beats. DåM-FunK has single-mindedly revitalized this rich, neglected niche of club music and made it seem crucial again. D. SEGAL
DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES
(Mon, 9:15 pm, KeyArena) Hall does not look like Oates. Hall is Nordic, and he is even considered one of the greatest "blue-eyed soul singers" of all time. Oates's appearance is definitely Mediterranean—black curly hair, black mustache, swarthy skin, black eyes, thick red lips. With Hall & Oates, we see the two poles of whiteness, from the north pole to the south pole, from Norway to Italy, from Viking to Roman. C. MUDEDE See preview.
(Sun, 5:45 pm, Fisher Green) Riding the hypiest mixtape-to-major release buildup since Lil Wayne's Dedication 2/The Drought Is Over 2/Da Drought 3 led to The Carter III, Das Racist follow their legendary free-for-alls Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man with next month's proper commercial debut Relax. There's no reason to think Heems, Kool A.D., and Dap will fumble the deep-comedy/pop-media-critique/brilliant-beats ball now. Great good sign: Lead-off track "Michael Jackson" comes from another musical galaxy than all of Das Racist's previous output, but remains steeped in that brain-tingling pescado smell. D. SCHMADER
(Sun, 1 pm, Exhibition Hall) Oh shiiiiit! Remember that band Menudo? That teen-dreamy all-boy band from Puerto Rico that used to harass Ricky Schroder on '80s TV sitcom Silver Spoons? They'd come over, ride the rich-kid choo-choo train onto the Silver Spoons living room set (with a then-unknown Ricky Martin), and sing their hearts out in Spanish, much to the delight of privileged white suburbia. Davila 666 aren't rich, and they don't have any synchronized Menudo dance moves: They traded both for Satan and some shitty guitars. Now they're stateside, with a whole lotta punk-rock gusto, and they wanna sing you the best dirty-poppy garage rock anthems you never heard. KO
(Mon, 4 pm, Fisher Green) Rarely do we get the chance to witness a Motown Records Funk Brother in the flesh. So relish the appearance of the legendary Dennis Coffey, a guitarist who's laid down his trademark caustically squawking tone on more psych-soul classics than you've had hot licks (Temptations' "Cloud 9" and "Ball of Confusion," Edwin Starr's "War," Funkadelic's "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic," etc.). Besides his exemplary sideman work, Coffey's penned a grip of immortal funk cuts that countless hiphop producers sample. His 1971 hit "Scorpio" remains one of the most exciting songs ever (ask LL Cool J and Public Enemy). Coffey's new guest-laden self-titled album is much stronger than you'd expect from a 69-year-old. Respect to this six-string deity. D. SEGAL See preview.
(Sat, 10 pm, Exhibition Hall) Nicaragua-born, Miami-based DJ Craze has morphed from one of the world's most skilled and heralded turntablists (he's won three world solo DMC championships) to a jock who plays high-impact drum 'n' bass and dubstep. His unbelievable decksterity and sharp ear for crowd-pleasing routines and track sequences make Craze one of the sanest choices to rock an after-party like Decibel After Dark. D. SEGAL
(Mon, 2 pm, Sky Church) It's not enough for DJ Introcut (aka Matt Moroni) to be an impresario and talent booker for Chop Suey. He also feels an urgent need to spin at the essential hiphop weekly Stop Biting and other popular events, like Trashy Trash, SNAP!, and Choose Your Own Adventure, and creates wicked, head-nodding tracks of his own. Introcut has mastered the tricky art of both putting on dope shows and performing at them. His deep crates of hiphop, electro, dubstep, disco, and boogie records (among other dance genres) have helped move thousands of bodies over the past 13 years. D. SEGAL
DJ JUSTIN TIMBRELINE
(Sun, 2 pm, Sky Church) Aah, ha, haaa! Read it again, boozebrain. It's Justin TIMBRELINE, not Timberlake. This is NOT, I repeat NOT a DJ set by the curly-headed former Star Search—then—All New Mickey Mouse Club—then—*NSYNC—then—"SexyBack"—then—SNL Hollywood heartthrob. This is a set by local NW electronica heartthrob Justin Timbreline, aka John Judge, who's following his Bumber performance with a slot at Decibel Festival. It's music you can dance to. Why don't you put that beer down and dance, fool? KO
DJ NORDIC SOUL
(Mon, 3 pm, Sky Church) That Nordic Soul—better known as Sean Horton, founder and director of Decibel Festival—even has time to DJ and produce is a miracle. Despite Decibel expanding its activities to nearly year-round gigs in addition to the five-day world-class fest in the fall, Nordic Soul maintains an active DJ schedule. Which is good news for lovers of quality dance music in myriad styles, as Nordic Soul deftly translates his exceptional curatorial skills onto the decks. From techno to house to downtempo to dubstep and their manifold variations, Nordic Soul keeps the quality control—and dancers' spirits—high. D. SEGAL
(Sun, 10 pm, Exhibition Hall) LA—based mashup popularizer DJ Z-Trip has become one of the most reliable euphoria generators behind the decks. He established his rep by combining rock and rap tracks to clever effect, and was voted America's Best DJ in 2009 by DJ Times magazine. Z was resident DJ in Las Vegas's Palms Casino Resort, and he can even make that awful depression-bringer Kansas's "Dust in the Wind" bump. D. SEGAL
(Mon, 3:45 pm, Exhibition Hall) We work with a guy named Dom—aka Dominic Holden, news editor of The Stranger—so naturally we wondered: Could some other Dom give us that same breezy summer freedom feeling, the kind of feeling that makes us want to nod our heads to the beat and stare at the sky and feel blissful, and ironically blissful, and unabashedly ironically blissful, all at the same time? Answer: YES! And so we love our new Dom—the band—too, and agree with everything it tells us, including this truth: "It's so sexy to be living in America." ES & CIENNA MADRID
(Mon, 5:30 pm, Exhibition Hall) Sometimes you want to listen to some power-poppy rock, but you don't want to hate yourself in the morning. (Seriously: Put the Better Than Ezra record down and back away slowly.) Eisley's clashing guitars and silky drums aren't going to win any underproduced album competitions, but if you listen to a recording of their acoustic sets, you can hear that they're real musicians, with an angelic chorus of vocals and a gutsy narrative through the line of a guitar. When they're not being overproduced to within an inch of their lives, they're a great band. Otherwise, they're really good, only-slightly-embarrassing power-pop. PAUL CONSTANT
(Sat, 4 pm, Sky Church) Now a regular at large festivals, Emancipator creates tasteful electronic music (I think it's called downtempo by people familiar with such phrases) that's subdued and often employs classical instrument samples, hazy brass riffs, and beats that tread very lightly. This seems like music you could dance to, or just lie back and melt into a couch. GB
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS
(Mon, 7:45 pm, KeyArena) Los Angeles—based Fitz and the Tantrums sprang to mild notoriety a couple years back based largely on the quality of their leadoff single, "Don't Gotta Work It Out," which is a damn fine revival of the soul-pop from which it descended. Now they've got headlining slots at major festivals and a KeyArena set here at Bumbershoot. Michael Fitzpatrick, the founder/singer/songwriter with the weird hair, has a decent voice and range, but the real treat here is co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs, whose onstage charisma and charm alone may be worth the price of admission. GB
FLY MOON ROYALTY
(Mon, 12:45 pm, Fisher Green) I'm so happy to report that this local hiphop/electronica/soul duo (vocalist Adra Boo and producer/rapper Action Jackson) doesn't suck at all. The world has too many sucky acts, and so it's such a relief to discover that Fly Moon Royalty is not one of them. The two actually make good and even very catchy dance tunes. Seattle is on a roll. C. MUDEDE
(Sun, 10 pm, Exhibition Hall) The chameleonic British producer Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebden) has morphed from jazzy downtempo spellcaster to folktronica icon to ecstatic post rocker to improvisational laptop wiz with late jazz drummer Steve Reid to creator of spiritual, organic techno. Four Tet's most recent album, 2010's There Is Love in You, emphasizes the latter style, so it's likely we're in store for some deep groove science and lots of sweaty highbrows. D. SEGAL
FREE THE ROBOTS
(Sat, 7 pm, Sky Church) Free the Robots (Santa Ana, California's Chris Alfaro) has become a major player in Southern California's bass-music renaissance. Besides co-running the Crosby, Orange County's most forward-thinking club, Alfaro produces phenomenal future funk for the LA-based Alpha Pup label. His debut full-length, Ctrl Alt Delete, sounds like a sleek fusion of Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing. In other words, it flaunts Free the Robots' jagged, rugged funk rhythms and his ability to forge a panoply of exotic textures, somehow freshening up tried-and-true video-game and sci-fi-flick effects for 21st-century heads. D. SEGAL
GAIL PETTIS QUARTET
(Sun, noon, EMP Level 3) Seattle jazz vocalist Gail Pettis, who has one of the sweetest smiles you've ever seen, spent 15 years in orthodontics. Toward the end of those years she began private jazz-vocal training, then started participating in Seattle-area vocal jams. In 2006, she sold her practice and began singing full-time. Last year, the Earshot Jazz Society named her 2010 Vocalist of the Year. GB
(Mon, 2:15 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Grand Hallway's delicate and gorgeous orchestral pop songs could easily get lost in all the energy and noise that comes with Bumbershoot's overwhelming megacrowds (shut up, crying baby!), so my advice to you is to get close... closer... as close as you possibly can, so you don't miss a single second of their perfectly constructed compositions of horns, strings, piano, percussion, and vocal harmonies. Swoon! MS
GRANT LEE BUFFALO
(Mon, 9:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Grant Lee Buffalo's moody, countryish rock sounds vaguely familiar, probably because they had a couple hits like "Truly, Truly" near the end of the last century, back when I was vaguely aware of the music scene going on around me. Having once toured with major bands like R.E.M. and Pearl Jam, this is Grant Lee Buffalo's first tour since breaking up in 2001. GOLDY
THE GREAT MUNDANE
(Sat, 2 pm, Sky Church) One song from Portland, Oregon's the Great Mundane—"Cubicle Porn Stars"—bears a sample of the unmistakable vocal from Zero 7's "In the Waiting Line," which goes, "Everyone's sayin' different things to me." The sample never gets past the first word of the line, but it's still soothing amid the mishmash of herky-jerky truncated samples and clipped beats that will likely be rather disorienting on a large sound system. Other songs suffer from a similar attention deficit disorder; Prefuse 73 is a reference point. GB
(Mon, 5:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) You know what I like about Greensky Bluegrass? They make new combinations of sounds, but it never sounds like they're trying too hard, forcing anything together. They have that super-relaxed-but-super-skilled coolness that's at the heart of all great bluegrass—the sense that they're taking it easy even when their banjo fingers are flying. But then out comes a horn blare and slide, straight out of jazz. Or, for just a moment, you'll swear you're listening to a country song or some pop, the singer's voice sweet and kind of plaintive, like just some guy who could be you. JEN GRAVES
HEAD LIKE A KITE
(Mon, 2:15 pm, Fisher Green) When percussion prodigy (and Stranger columnist) Trent Moorman was in Head Like a Kite, the band was an electronic indie dance groove beast to be reckoned with. Singer Dave Einmo would writhe around the stage, Moorman would impressively hold down the beats. Moorman left the band earlier this year, and I have yet to see what HLAK has become in his absence, but seeing as how Einmo still collaborates with local musicians like Graig Markel and Asya of Smoosh, it's likely to involve some special guest stars and maybe even a fuzzy panda bear. MS
THE HORDE AND THE HAREM
(Mon, noon, EMP Level 3) The Horde and the Harem have pretty four-part vocal harmonies, a piano in the mix, and an apparent hard-on for Neil Young. (You can't sound like relaxed folk-rock, and have an album named Harvest and a single named "Gold Rush," and not conjure up Neil Young.) Their latest EP, Light Rail Sessions, walks the same path as their earlier work. It sounds like the kind of music that would accompany a scene of Michael Cera riding his bike down a suburban street, looking innocent and bewildered, maybe to the lyrics of this song off Light Rail Sessions: "Hosanna/I love your summer dress/I love the way you dance/when you think you're all alone." BK
(Sun, 6 pm, Sky Church) Say "Hate Rock." Sloooow, synthetic, minimalist. Industrial, hypnotic, experimental. Vocalist Jonnine Standish and guitarist Nigel Yang came to us from Melbourne by way of London. The band lost founding member Sean Stewart (tragically) in 2010, but are forging ahead: Their new album, Work (work, work), out this month, is now trickling out onto the internet, so far a single at a time. SARA DeBELL
IAN MOORE & THE LOSSY COILS
(Mon, 4 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Onetime blues-rock guitar sensation Ian Moore left his native Austin more than a decade ago to settle on Vashon Island, where, perhaps it was our more temperate clime, perhaps it was age, his music apparently moderated too, adopting a more pop-rock sound and darker, more thoughtful lyrics. Or at least that's what a lot of reviewers seem to say. As for which Ian Moore is showing up at Bumbershoot, I can't say, as he certainly seems to switch things up from album to album. Which, artistically, I guess is a good thing. GOLDY
(Mon, 6 pm, Sky Church) If Seattle has an MVP of bass music, it's Ill Cosby. The multitalented tastemaker hosts an internet radio show on sub.fm, DJs at various club nights (including the new Street Halo monthly at Living Room bar), produces his own outstanding tracks, and runs the esteemed Car Crash Set label (only complaint: strictly digital releases, no vinyl). Cos brings vast knowledge and superlative taste to the turntables, exposing listeners and clubbers to a cornucopia of futuristic, low-end-leaning tracks that has exploded following dubstep's rise to mainstream acceptance (sorry, brah, no brostep in Cosby's sets). Cutting-edge electronic music moves mercurially, but Cos keeps abreast of it all and processes it for you with acute expertise. D. SEGAL
(Sat, 7:30 pm, EMP Level 3) Jayme Stone is a two-time Juno Award—winning banjoist. Did you get that? AWARD-WINNING BANJOIST. TIMES TWO. And he's inspired by folk dances from around the world—Brazil, Bulgaria, Norway, Des Moines, everywhere! Someone on the internet called Stone's sound "eclectic" and "unique." I bet your braless, dance-happy mother/aunt/menopausal neighbor will absolutely love Jayme Stone's Room of Wonders. Why not dance a jig and join her! CIENNA MADRID
JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD
(Sun, 5:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) It was a Sunday morning, and I turned on the radio, and I didn't know it was that horrid Garrison Keillor show. All I knew is that I was alone, and she, this woman singing "I could care less about you, care less about you, and I love the sound of you walking away," seemed to be someone, like, say, Lucinda Williams, who knows how to live right on the banks of a roaring river of sadness. Come to find out that Ohio native Jessica Lea Mayfield is, like, 22 years old. I don't care. I will never stop listening to that song; it's called "For Today." See this woman play. JG
THE JIM JONES REVUE
(Sun, 4 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Hopefully those looting lugheads over in London haven't burned up these bluesy UK rockers. 'Cause it'd be real sweet if they came to Seattle to start their own fire onstage at Bumbershoot. They were recently nominated "Best Live Band of the Year" in Brit music mag Mojo. Fans of White Stripes, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and/or the MC5—LOOK ALIVE! Go and see these guys. KO
JOE PUG AND THE HUNDRED MILE BAND
(Sun, 9 pm, EMP Level 3) These are the acts that should make you glad that Bumbershoot exists: You can go directly from a hiphop act to a country-folk act like Joe Pug and the Hundred Mile Band, and have a great day because of it. JPatHMB are somewhat hard to describe, because they're sturdy guitar work backing strong Dylan-inspired vocals. They're not retro; they're classic. There's some harmonica, too. You'd swear you've heard them a thousand times before, but they've never sounded quite this good. Go on, give them a shot. You'll like them. After all, it's Bumbershoot. What have you got to lose? PC
JOKERS OF THE SCENE
(Sat, 10 pm, Exhibition Hall) Canada's Jokers of the Scene—DJ Booth and Chameleonic—are decidedly serious about making big-room club music that makes you feel like something momentous is happening (hey, it probably is). Their disco-house tracks and remixes for artists like Jason Forrest, She Wants Revenge, and Funerals boast a cinematic sweep and majestic propulsion that will make drama queens and dance-floor kings alike swoon. D. SEGAL
KASEY ANDERSON AND THE HONKIES
(Sun, 12:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Knowing that Kasey Anderson drops tweets like "In his mind, John McCain is only saluting the white parts of the flag" and "Sometimes I'll think, 'How embarrassing for Canada that Bryan Adams is their Springsteen,' then I remember I don't have health insurance" makes listening to his perfectly adequate growly blues-rock immeasurably more fun. And the sweetly self-aware humor displayed by naming your plaid-shirt-wearing honky-ass band "the Honkies" is commendable. Listen to Kasey Anderson and the Honkies at the point in your alcohol consumption where swaying along with the music is an unconscious act, and then take a quick afternoon nap. ANNA MINARD
(Sun, 6 pm, EMP Level 3) Here's just a short list of musicians local singer Kaylee Cole has performed with: the Portland Cello Project, Bobby Bare Jr., the Seattle Rock Orchestra, and the incredible Widower. There's a reason the woman keeps appearing throughout the music scene. Her voice, though gorgeous, is breathy and fragile, complimentary to a number of affecting genres, from blues to folk to simple, sad acoustic numbers. But just because her voice sounds seemingly uncomplicated, don't think she can't deliver a punch to the metaphorical gut. The delivery in some of her sadder songs might already be what you hear in your head on lonely nights riddled with heartbreak. MS
(Mon, 1:45 pm, KeyArena) Easy-rolling West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar grew up in Compton and has worked with Dre, Snoop, RZA, and Tech N9ne. He's a quick and agile rapper, but he's all about calm. He favors soothing beats and samples (from Sigur Rós and others), and even his songs with aggressive titles ("I Hate You," "Cut You Off") are about seeking the peace. Lamar doesn't like fighting, gossiping, or friends who he thinks have wasted their lives on thugging instead of nobler pursuits. Every bio of him I could find online mentions that he was a straight-A student in high school. BK
(Sun, 9:15 pm, Fisher Green) Remember that weird Halloween when the Cramps forced themselves on the White Stripes and nine months later the Kills came out? Me neither, but you know what I mean. Anyway, if you like rock music as practiced by the Stooges and everyone who loves them, you will love the Kills. They're not doing anything new, but they've got chemistry, which is timeless. D. SCHMADER
(Sun, 12:45 pm, Fisher Green) These guys play straightforward reggae, replicating every rote hook that was first cut to vinyl by masters in the mid-1970s. Competent players of instruments, all of them, but fresh they are not. Enter the clip of a rhythm guitar, enter droning organ, enter vocals cut from the cloth of Jacob Miller, enter drums à la Carlton Barrett, here comes the sanctimonious chorus and... you have a song. But they're fine—playing a presentable reggae set, if that's what you're in the mood for. DOMINIC HOLDEN
KRIS ORLOWSKI & THE PASSENGER STRING QUARTET
(Sat, 1:30 pm, EMP Level 3) While the lyrics are sometimes platitudinous, Kris Orlowski plays highly serviceable, heartfelt new folk with the bonus of lots of strings (which are plaintive or jaunty as needed). Sometimes his heart feels a song should go on for five minutes or more, so, if your heart feels him, your ears are in luck. BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT
(Mon, 6 pm, EMP Level 3) LAKE formed incidentally at a friend's birthday party in 2006, and they couldn't have had a more fitting debut. The songs are unassuming, inviting, and mood-setting, incorporating elements of jazz and lounge music with quiet confidence. Some bands might beat you over the head sonically or emotively—putting more emphasis on spectacle—but it's easy to get the impression that LAKE just want you to hang out and listen. The group's April release, Giving & Receiving, further utilizes warm keyboard tones and the wispy alternating vocals of Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson along with a more elaborately orchestrated sound to explore the subtle wonders of day-to-day living. DAN OBERBRUNER
(Sat, 8 pm, Sky Church) Mellow house music in the Sky Church from Carlos Mendoza and Peter Christianson, who worked at Platinum Records together. BK
(Mon, 12:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) It bothers me to know that "One-Inch Plantation" might not be on every super-sentimental mix CD (or tape, or whatever you're using nowadays) made for road trips, potential lovers, and overcoming breakups since it came out in January. Legendary Oaks play a sort of yearning Americana that leans most of its weight on its rock and pop sensibilities but at times skims the surface of Jason Molina or Neil Young's dark, brooding balladry. And their debut self-titled album is full of captivating examples prominently featuring founding members, songwriter Craig Schoen and fiddler Brooke Asbury. The Seattle band has stumbled across a compelling formula for fans of the genre. DO
(Mon, 4:30 pm, EMP Level 3) They're named after a street in Poulsbo where the two women in the band are from. They met when they were both sea-kayaking instructors. Their slow, lo-fi, keyboard-and-drums songs take up topics like whale watching while it's hailing. After a recent gig at Doe Bay Fest, they "won two suckers, one bottle of ginger ale, and $10 playing dice on the ferry back to Anacortes," according to a tweet. CF
(Sun, 7:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) When I mentioned I was writing a blurb for Leon Russell, everybody in the room seemed to know his name, even my mother, so I guess he must be famous or something. The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has played with a lot of famous people too—Eric Clapton, Elton John, Willie Nelson, the Rolling Stones, etc.—hell, even I know who they are. And after listening to some of Russell's tracks (thank you, Spotify!), it turns out even I am familiar with his music. Who knew? Best of all, he has a really great beard. What's not to like? GOLDY
(Sat, 7:30 pm, Fisher Green) I have been in love with Yukimi Nagano, Little Dragon's singer, since I first heard her on 2002 electronica/jazz album Waltz for Koop by the Swedish duo the Koop. Nagano's voice struck me immediately, forcefully, permanently. It was like seeing a rare bird in an old and misty forest. I listened to these songs over and over, trying to see the details of this rare bird. But I could get only so close. I could see only so much. I saw her Japanese side (the wonderful weirdness of her phrasing), her Swedish folksiness, and her deep devotion to the rhythms of black American soul. But these elements were so mixed that I could not see where one ended and the other began. Even to this day, her tunes with Little Dragon totally mystify me. C. MUDEDE See preview.
THE LONELY FOREST
(Sun, 1:30 pm, KeyArena) It's been a hell of a year for the anthemic indie rock band the Lonely Forest. The Anacortes-based foursome, besides celebrating a number of personal landmarks (including a few marriages for some of the band members—congrats!), also signed to Trans, a major label imprint founded by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, released a stellar full-length and made their television debut on the Jimmy Kimmel show with their current radio hit "We Sing in Time." And now they cap off a summer of touring with a slot at Bumbershoot at the KeyArena? Go, Lonely Forest, go! MS See preview.
(Sun, 9 pm, Sky Church) Lusine's been making great electronic music for so long, we've kind of taken him for granted. He began in the late '90s, creating a cool-browed mix of funk, IDM, industrial, and ambient. After signing to Ghostly International in 2003, the Seattle-based Lusine (aka Jeff McIlwain) began to hone his style to a more sophisticated brand of understated techno with Serial Hodgepodge and A Certain Distance. The latter is Lusine's most overt stab at accessibility, as he contoured his emotionally deep and melodically voluptuous tracks to mesh with seductive vocalists like Vilja Larjosto and Caitlin Sherman. As his studio releases have become more refined, Lusine's live shows have gotten more club-friendly. You'll work up a classy sweat. D. SEGAL
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS
(Sun, 8 pm, KeyArena) There is no question that Mack/Ryan are now the biggest act in local hiphop, but there is also no doubt that Macklemore, as a rapper, has paid his dues. If he blows up nationally, which seems inevitable, you can't say he came from nowhere and did not build a foundation with other rappers and producers in this city. He did all of that and even dropped a couple of classic tracks that played key roles in cementing the scene in the '00s, "White Privilege" and "The Town." Macklemore is a homeboy. C. MUDEDE
(Sun, 2:15 pm, Fisher Green) If Mad Rad had a credit rating, it would have recently been upgraded from fucking insane to just insane. Their debut album, White Gold, was an orgy of high-speed, sexed-up hiphop madness. The same adjectives can be used to describe their shows: They've been banned and then unbanned from at least six Seattle venues—not bad for four skinny white guys with often-ridiculous rhymes and electro-pop beats more playful than aggro. Growing pains are evident on their sophomore effort, The Youth Die Young, where P Smoov and Buffalo Madonna occasionally take time out to consider the consequences of their hard-partying lifestyle. The reflection is superficial at best, and only serves to undercut the album's lustful, ravenous energy. Still, the synth-heavy songs are eminently danceable, and Mad Rad is a group best experienced live. Whatever happens today, you'll not want to miss it. KL
MARCHFOURTH MARCHING BAND
(Sat, 6 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Portland-based MarchFourth is totally skipping Burning Man in order to honk their horns and beat their drums and twirl their stuff at you at Bumbershoot, and it'll probably sound great out in the open air. Leave a wide berth if you want to avoid clowns (they're like alterna-clowns, but still: clowns). BJC
(Mon, 5 pm, Sky Church) Full disclosure: Mash Hall member Larry Mizell, Jr. writes a column for this newspaper. Fuller disclosure: Mr. Mizell once did me the great favor of explaining what a "nappy dugout" is. (Hint: It has less to do with unkempt baseball fields than you think.) This evening, Mr. Mizell is joined by his fellow Mash Hallers djblesOne, Emecks, and Janae Jones, along with the Mash Hall b-boy crew Them Team. I can't say I understand everything, but I enjoy the sounds. D. SCHMADER
(Sun, 2:15 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) If you own an American flag bandanna, you'll probably like Massy Ferguson. Their songs seem mainly to address what it's like to be on the road, drink in shitty bars, and run out of money. They're one of those local bands that plays everywhere, from community centers to pubs, and their songs contain a lot of Northwest references. So if you'd like your very American, very male, dive-bar-appropriate country/rock to include lines like "Baby's rough around the edges/Those Wenatchee eyes/High-heel shoes and boxed white wine," this is the show for you. AM
(Sat, 9:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Mavis Staples is a straight-up legend of rhythm and blues, soul, and general greatness. She was a voice of the civil rights movement; she had a thing with Bob Dylan (musical and otherwise); she's been sampled by Salt-N-Pepa, Ice Cube, and Ludacris. She got her start in her family band, the Staple Singers, who hit the charts over and over again in the early 1970s with the also-legendary Stax label; if she doesn't play number-one hit "I'll Take You There" at Bumbershoot—well, she will. And those in the know (Jeff Tweedy, who produced her most recent album) say Staples's voice sounds as amazing as ever. BJC
(Sat, 9 pm, EMP Level 3) Gifted San Francisco—based singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero embodies the Ethiopian musical diaspora with distinctly American verve, trading in an original hybrid of orchestral folk and East African—tinged jazz. Onstage she's utterly present, working her supple voice with soulful, brainy agility. Meklit's adventurous work with the Arba Minch Collective weaves traditional, haunting Tizita music with hiphop—and her brilliance isn't going unnoticed, as evidenced by a TED fellowship and an ever-growing pile of grants, commissions, and residencies. SD
MINUS THE BEAR
(Sat, 9:15 pm, Fisher Green) Next month Minus the Bear will celebrate their 10-year anniversary with a US tour in which they play their beloved album Highly Refined Pirates in its entirety (the Seattle date is rumored for November). Of course Pirates is their best album—it earns bonus points with song titles like "Booyah Achieved," "Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister," and "Hey, Wanna Throw Up?" But they've delivered a few more gems over the last decade. I'm not a big fan of their most recent record, OMNI, but Planet of Ice has some great moments, so now's an excellent opportunity to see them in their more recent glory, before they go back in time later this fall. MS
(Mon, noon, Fountain Lawn) Local band Motopony's slogan is "Chief Seattle's revenge channeled through a hybrid engine drone." Do you know what the fuck that painfully clever nonsense means? Because I have no idea what the fuck it means. Okay! That gibberish aside, Motopony churn out catchy pop-folk music with surprisingly simple, wistful lyrics that hold your attention. Most of the time, lead singer Daniel Blue doesn't sing so much as talk breathlessly into his microphone, à la Iron and Wine, but unlike that band, Blue works it in a way that doesn't make you want to kill yourself. Success! C. MADRID
(Mon, 2 pm, Exhibition Hall) So many really good things come in pairs—Boris and Natasha, Statler and Waldorf, Bonnie and Clyde, fish and chips. My Goodness are one of these purely all-good duos. Singer and string man Joel Schneider (also of the Absolute Monarchs!) and drummer Ethan Jacobsen make straightforward, undiluted, raw rock music. No baggage, no faux image, no bullshit. KO
(Sat, 3 pm, Sky Church) My experience with electronic music is minimal, but electronic or not, I know a good song when I hear it. (Usually. I mean, sometimes. Please don't judge me for that time I listened to Phil Collins's "Against All Odds" more than 100 times over the course of one week.) Portland's Natasha Kmeto has some good songs. Her voice is generally smooth and pretty. In "Party Girl," sexy, fuzzy beats float around starry electronic noise. "Swells Bells" is darker, more dramatic—like something you should listen to while running through outer space. MS
(Sat, 5 pm, Sky Church) Nice Nice—Portland's Jason Buehler and Mark Shirazi—are about the closest thing America has to awe-inspiring Japanese sonic transcendentalists Boredoms. On their best recording, the aptly titled Extra Wow, the duo spin exhilarating variations on genres like space rock, Afrobeat, post rock, gamelan, and minimalism. But don't worry about dilettantism: Nice Nice's cosmic mindset, keen instincts, and brute talent ensure that the band's music attains sublime heights way more often than not. Unknown to many right now, Nice Nice are going to be one of Bumbershoot's highest highlights. D. SEGAL
(Sun, 2:45 pm, Exhibition Hall) Nomeansno are from Vancouver, British Columbia, and they've been slaying bass-heavy proto-post-hardcore punk since the early 1980s, and their other band Hanson Brothers is a hockey-themed band whose bassist wears a goalie mask and spits all over himself. This is some of the smartest heavy music you'll hear in this and the last decade. RESPECT. GB
(Sat, 4 pm, Fisher Green) Tijuana, Mexico's Nortec Collective have been popularizing their peculiar fusions of traditional norteño-inflected songcraft and off-center techno since 2001. Consisting of canny producers Bostich and Fussible, Nortec Collective foster a fiesta-starting style of dance music that is not suitable for the dour of demeanor. But if you like fun, accordions, drum machines, and spicy beats, then you'll go loco for Nortec Collective. D. SEGAL
OVER THE RHINE
(Mon, 7:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Over-the-Rhine is the oldest neighborhood in Cincinnati, the seedy site where the conservative congressman's daughter goes to get heroin in the movie Traffic. It no longer has much in common with its namesake band Over the Rhine, formed in 1989, whose current members, husband-and-wife team Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist, now live on a pre—Civil War era farm outside town. They play soulful roots-ish music—they've shared stages and/or studios with Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Ani DiFranco, and once acted as "adjunct" members of the Cowboy Junkies. The stuff aches faintly, while the old neighborhood aches loudly. JG
(Sat, 6:15 pm, Exhibition Hall) Real metalheads don't even have to get the history book out when it comes to these guys. They wrote the chapter on American doom metal, forming back in ye olden days of 1971. Though their lineup has never stopped changing, their only constant member, Bobby Liebling, is a true force. The wiry, fiendishly witch-haired 57-year-old (now married to a 25-year-old) is back with a new album, Last Rites, and some new sober success. It may seem irrelevant to mention his sobriety, but Liebling's 20-year history with hard drugs makes Keith Richards's story look like kiddie stuff (see the 2011 documentary Last Days Here). If Liebling's doom metal sounds authentically haunted, that's because it is. KO See interview.
(Sat, 9 pm, Sky Church) Dave Pezzner entered savvy clubbers' consciousness through his contributions to the Seattle house duo Jacob London. Along with bandmate Bob Hansen, Pezzner helped to elevate Jacob London to international acclaim with a string of releases and remixes that playfully and humorously tweaked house-music conventions while keeping the dance floor buzzing. In his solo guise, Pezzner—when not composing pieces for American Idol, the Discovery Channel, and other high-profile clients—crafts more "serious" house tracks that possess enough off-kilter rhythmic toughness to appeal to techno fans as well; his opening set for Matias Aguayo earlier this year proved that and then some. D. SEGAL
(Mon, 8:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) There's a slight gothic darkness in Phantogram's electro-pop rock, a touch of sultry Portishead gloom in singer Sarah Barthel's voice. She also plays the synthesizer while Josh Carter plays guitar. Their songs almost lend themselves to dancing, but don't quite get up the energy. Since this show is outdoors, expect lots of stoned people lying on their backs, gazing into the sky. BK
(Sat, 6 pm, EMP Level 3) Pickwick are a somewhat-unknown Seattle band that will not remain that way for long: Channeling the nostalgic seduction of blue-eyed soul and the driving rhythms of minimalist bands Cold War Kids and Spoon, Pickwick conspire to deliver nothing less than a revival. Frontman Galen Disston lays super-suave, chocolaty-rich vocal riffs over tight pop-rock guitar (Michael Parker), drums (Matt Emmett), and keyboard (Cassady Lillstrom); Garrett Parker on bass keeps the entire machine grooving and rollicking in up-tempo blues fashion. Their three two-song EPs, Myths, Vols. 1—3, recount legends surrounding various musicians. An LP is still in the works. KL
THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
(Sat, 2:45 pm, KeyArena) Why are you reading this? It's the Presidents of the United States of America. You already know who they are, and you know what they do. They sing power pop songs about cats, peaches, and mailmen, and they've been doing it for-fucking-ever. Move along. MS
PS I LOVE YOU
(Sat, 5 pm, Fountain Lawn) Kingston, Ontario's PS I Love You—guitar wiz Paul Saulnier and drummer Benjamin Nelson—released an excellent album, Meet Me at the Muster Station, last year on Paper Bag Records. It's full of lovely, distortion-laden, wall-of-sound hooks and progressions, all by virtue of Saulnier's simultaneous guitar and pedal bass playing. The sound on the record is HUGE, and Saulnier effortlessly makes choruses, in which he sings lines like "Butterflies and boners," sound downright epic in scale. If the live show is anything like Station, this will be one of the best rock shows all weekend. GB
(Mon, 3 pm, EMP Level 3) Purity Ring are an electro indie-pop duo from New York whose song "Ungirthed" was loved across the internet earlier this year, from Pitchfork to the Guardian, which called them "a blog band." Megan James slicks high—sometimes Auto-Tuned—vocals over clicks, bleeps, boops, and glistening samples that have been squeezed and stretched. The songs sound like lullabies for robots. BK
(Mon, 1:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) They come from Denmark, and they make "sweatless, minimalist R&B," as New York magazine has it. The band calls it "electronic soul." The singer, Coco, has incredible pipes, youth, and round, sad eyes you can't stop staring at. But mostly incredible pipes. The very muted arrangements behind her are perfect—no distractions from that voice, please. CF
(Mon, 7:30 pm, EMP Level 3) Ravenna Woods, the band, are named after a 1.15-acre park right here in Seattle. But they're not another boring campfire folk band to enjoy out in nature. No! Their 2010 debut, Demons & Lakes, was laced with lovely guitar work and well-done harmonies, sure, but the lyrics were more biting than their peace, love, and understanding peers. On their new album, Valley of the Headless Men, the band's songwriting is even more impressive. And have they stopped being so pissed? Nope. Dudes still want to fight. I love it. MS
RAY LAMONTAGNE & THE PARIAH DOGS
(Sat, 9:15 pm, KeyArena) I know he dresses like an Amish cardsharp, but if you haven't already, give Ray LaMontagne a chance. His voice is warm, rough, and beyond dreamy—think kitten tongues, my upper lip, or the calloused hands of angels—and his band, the Pariah Dogs, play an uncluttered style ranging from backyard funk to stripped-down blues and folk. Seriously: This is music that will make you want to dance, take your pants off, hug a refugee, and donate to charity all at once. Also! LaMontagne won a Grammy. I hear they don't give those away to just anybody. C. MADRID
(Sat, 2:45 pm, Exhibition Hall) I hereby reclaim the term "beard rock" for badasses like Red Fang, and I have the right to do so, seeing as how I was the FIRST PERSON EVER to use the term to describe Smoke and Smoke, all the way back in 2005. Spencer Moody and the dudes from godheadSilo were sporting beards long before the current surge of folky twang that's erupted in this city. Similarly, the dudes from Red Fang sport beards, and they play heavy, chugging hard rock/metal/punk that is to music what beards are to facial hair. GB See preview.
REVEREND HORTON HEAT
(Mon, 9:15 pm, Fisher Green) Reverend Horton Heat hump the line between jokey outfit and serious rock band with a kind of satyrlike abandon. It's easy to dismiss them as a rockabilly tribute group, but you have to keep in mind that their primary gift is shredding shit to pieces in a psychotic explosion of rock. (It's Martini Time, for example, is a furious speed-fuck of a record that every rock fan should own, no matter what genre they prefer). The Reverend and his flock have been at it for so long now—over two decades!—that they're a well-oiled machine, and they've sliced their show down to nothing but pure entertainment. Go get saved. PC
SALLIE FORD & THE SOUND OUTSIDE
(Mon, 9 pm, EMP Level 3) Judging by the sound of her voice, Sallie Ford's mama was Billie Holiday and her daddy was a razor blade. With the backup of her three-man band, Ford belts out contemporary rockabilly and up-tempo jazz and blues numbers like "Write Me a Letter," with lyrics that bloom like bruises. It's impossible to tell at any given moment whether Ford is grinning or grimacing, but either way, her music's got teeth. C. MADRID
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS
(Sun, 8 pm, Sky Church) School of Seven Bells' ingredients: beats that are good for nodding to; somewhat interesting electronic and guitar melodies; identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza (pretty voices), and Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines (guitars and electronics). Zone out to it! GB
(Sat, 4:30 pm, EMP Level 3) Anyone who saw Scribes' mini documentary, Greetings: Scribes, knows that he is a solid rapper with a solid foundation in the real world—his job (managing an apartment), his hobby (being an amateur boxer), his big dream (making a name in this here rap game). Scribes' debut, What Was Lost, was released earlier this year and featured production work by the local producer/genius BeanOne, who also produces beats for Dyme Def, Framework, D.Black. C. MUDEDE
(Sat, 5:45 pm, Fisher Green) For me, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Pacific Northwest's major musical exports is the distance between the sounds: The sludgy roar of '90s grunge, the mossy olde folk of Fleet Foxes, and now, the steely minimalist funk of Shabazz Palaces all seem to emanate from different planets, despite all bubbling up from the rain-soaked soil north of Oregon and south of Canada. Watching Shabazz Palaces storm the world with their Sub Pop debut, Black Up, has been a daily delight, thanks in large part to music that can survive all hype. Impressive as shit on record, Shabazz Palaces bring the theatrical noise live. Don't miss it. D. SCHMADER
SHARON VAN ETTEN
(Mon, 6:45 pm, Fountain Lawn) She may live in Brooklyn now, but singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten was born in New Jersey and went to college in Tennessee. You can still hear that little bit of raspy grime in her tone, and that long-limbed Southern sorrow in songs that flow and dip absolutely smoothly and that lend themselves to stories with ambivalent endings. I hope she does some a cappella harmonizing with her bandmates in this appearance; it's a haunting thing. JG
(Sat, 3 pm, EMP Level 3) Folksinger Shelby Earl's voice is like Ellensburg's fabled Mel's Hole, it has an infinite depth to it, a depth that could easily kill a cow, while conversely retaining a warmth that hints at the ability to restore dead animals to life. I could say more but really, what more is there to say? If you feel the need to lose yourself and/or be restored, put your faith in Earl. C. MADRID
(Sun, 4 pm, Sky Church) Michigan hiphop outfit Shigeto bring a totally different kind of beat to their tracks than you've come to expect from the majors, or from Seattle's own sound. They layer nontraditional instruments (often the kind you'd find in those weird rain forest—themed Natural Wonders stores you used to see in malls) over slowed-down, inside-out beats to create an oddly chilled, paranoid sound that's unlike anything anyone else is making right now. PC
THE SIGHT BELOW
(Sun, 3 pm, Sky Church) Seattle's the Sight Below (aka Rafael Anton Irisarri) has become a globetrotting ambassador for a rarefied hybrid of minimal techno and shoegaze rock. Wielding a laptop and a guitar, the Sight Below conjures hypnotic drones, vaporous atmospheres, and muted hippo-heart beats for tracks that could be played at the world's most serene dance party—in the clouds... or perhaps underwater. The Sight Below's digital/analog confluence results in tracks that evoke nature and supremely satisfying meditative states. If most techno is about the rush and the bustle, the Sight Below's is about the hush and rustle. D. SEGAL
(Sun, noon, Fountain Lawn) I have predicted that 2011 will prove to be one of the best years (if not the best year) for local hiphop. Contributing to this prediction is an EP, Dear Friends, Vol. III, by young and talented rapper Sol. The beats and rhymes on this work are simply effortless. It's hiphop that flows as naturally as a tree grows in the woods. Also, check out his video for the slamming and sexy track "This Shit," which is directed by Stephan Gray. Sol has a big future in this city. C. MUDEDE
(Mon, 8 pm, Sky Church) Stranger music critic Dave Segal has described Splatinum as "techno-tribal shamans from the future" who coat their tracks in "high-gloss soot" and bring "foundation-threatening, grimy bounce" to the dance floor. Splatinum describe themselves as "the sonic adventure of two intergalactic space pimps destined to paint your mind." Live, they're supposed to be high-energy improvisers with a sense of humor. I think they sound like what would be playing in the background if a steamroller and a record player decided to fuck. BK
(Sat, 8:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) Dreamy, poppy electronica from Portland, Oregon, that you can sway-bob along to. According to their Facebook page, their influences include wizard bongs and Stevie Wonder, so obviously these guys are all right. GILLIAN ANDERSON
(Sun, 5 pm, Fountain Lawn) Tennis on the Fountain Lawn—doesn't that sound civilized? Lo-fi pop outfit Tennis have a sweet retro sound, girl-group vocalist included. They list Luddism, sailing, and collies as their interests on Facebook and note that "3 people are in our band." It's all very cute, in a good way, and ought to be very nice on a summer's day. BJC
THEE OH SEES
(Sun, 3:15 pm, Fountain Lawn) Several people whose opinion you should respect consider Thee Oh Sees to be the best live band in America. With utmost passion and skill, these San Franciscans—led by the redoubtable John Dwyer—have somehow blown away the cobwebs from decades-old lo-fi pop, garage, and psych-rock tropes to turn them into potent, sing-along-able nuggets. Dwyer's prolificacy and uncanny knack for writing ultra-catchy songs that sound at once familiar and fresh is almost unparalleled. The excellent new Castlemania album abounds with pulse-accelerating garage-psych tunes and further solidifies Thee Oh Sees as an unstoppable force in underground rock. D. SEGAL See preview.
THOMAS MARRIOTT'S HUMAN SPIRIT
(Sun, 3 pm, EMP Level 3) Native Seattleite Thomas Marriott is an award-winning jazz musician and the West Coast trumpeter on the album East-West Trumpet Summit, which blends the jazz styles of both coasts. He also made a jazz trumpet Willie Nelson tribute album, for which he should be either celebrated or castigated (you decide). He'll play here with his band Human Spirit. AM
(Sat, noon, EMP Level 3) Tomten is the funnest, most elastic young band in Seattle right now. They play their organ-tinged rock (think early Rolling Stones smashed into the Zombies, with delightfully cattywampus vocals) and vibrate all around the stage in a prance that is almost, but not quite, a parody of rock-star cool. They know how to put a show together (that's why I asked them to play my most recent band-and-author showcase, Verse Chapter Verse, at the beginning of this summer), and one day soon, they'll be at the top of festival bills. Go see them in the intimate venues while you can. PC
TORO Y MOI
(Sun, 8:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) Songwriter Chaz Bundick took what started as a bedroom recording project and transformed it into a hazily well-tuned exploration of a decades' worth of pop influences. Ten years of experimentation result in Toro Y Moi's latest, Underneath the Pine, which feels like auditory nitrous oxide. It sports all the half-asleep elements of chillwave, but gives them life with a giddy sense of excitement—where some chillwave projects might be content to leave you just bobbing your head, perhaps dozing off, Toro Y Moi's songs blend elements of funk and disco into a disorienting and nostalgic dance party. See album highlight "Still Sound" for proof. DO
TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE
(Sat, 7:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) This show should be a party. Trombone Shorty has been blowing his horn in New Orleans since he was a four-year-old growing up in Treme and his horn was longer than he was tall. Shorty has played with Dr. John, U2, and Eric Clapton, but his NOLA funk jazz band is where he lights up the sonic sphere. His hometown and influences are clear, but he's his own man, using hiphop beats, little licks from old cartoons, and all kinds of tricks and treats he's picked up during his lifetime as a bandleader and sideman. BK
(Mon, 9 pm, Sky Church) One of the Seattle electronic-music scene's most reliable good-time-enablers, Truckasauras have found an exciting way to Americanize and lively up stiff-limbed, Kraftwerk-ian electro funk. On top of their stalwart rhythms, the Truck load the sound field with an arcade's worth of Nintendo'd bleeps as well as surprisingly affecting melodies (these guys—Adam Swan, Tyler Swan, and Ryan Trudell—are musicians, not mere gadget-fiddlers). As always, their visuals dude, Dan Bordon, supplies the iconic redneck/white-trash film footage for that kitsch-in-synch effect. You'll never look at Hulk Hogan the same again. D. SEGAL
(Sun, 7 pm, Sky Church) Scott Hansen is both Tycho, maker of bright, beautiful electronic music, and ISO50, whose precise, captivating graphic design is a perfect complement to the music. His show posters and album covers will blow your mind, while his beats will put you straight into one of those indescribable music moods—alert-yet-spacey, awake-but-dreamy, reaching a higher plane of existence. I feel high already. AM
(Mon, 7:30 pm, Fisher Green) There are reasons Chicago rockers Urge Overkill will forever be best remembered for their cover of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon." First is Quentin Tarantino's use of the song in the run-up to Pulp Fiction's most memorable scene. Second, it's the best and most honest track the band's ever made, with the various runners-up ("Sister Havana," "Bottle of Fur") boasting similar classic rock-ness without the forthright credit-giving of the classic cover. Whatever your quibbles about their paint-by-numbers inspiration, Urge Overkill rock. D. SCHMADER
(Sat, 4:30 pm, Exhibition Hall) If you're gonna hurt your neck headbanging to any band at Bumbershoot, make it this one. This group of biker-gang-looking beardos claim on the world wide internet that they're really extraterrestrials who lived and had band practice on Venus. Whether this is true, I do not know, but I CAN tell you that these guys—now relocated from wherever to North Carolina—were cherry-picked by Lemmy Kilmister to tour Europe with Motörhead in 2007. Since then, they average about 250 tour dates a year and have a legion of fans that like to call themselves "Thorriors." Can you dig it? Thorriors, come and play-eeeeee-ay! KO
(Sat, 4:15 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) If Vikings and Hobbits fucked and had babies that pranced about the Shire and chugged ale, they be would prancing about and getting shit-faced to the music of Väsen. The Swedish trio play a five-string viola, a 12-string guitar, and a "nyckelharpa" (which sounds a lot like "necrophilia" but isn't the same thing). Viking Hobbits! HOBBINGS! Prance, Hobbings, prance! DH
(Mon, 7:15 pm, Exhibition Hall) Vendetta Red, who broke up in 2006, reunited earlier this year for what seemed like a one-off show at El Corazón. Even though it wasn't the original lineup (Leif Andersen, who was with the band for about year before they broke up, returned on guitar while Jonah Bergman of Schoolyard Heroes took over bass duties), the show still sold out, and the band reportedly delivered an amazing performance of their 2005 album Sisters of Red Death. Not only are VR taking the stage again, but the rumor mill reports that they've been working on new material with producer Terry Date, who's worked with everyone from the Smashing Pumpkins and Deftones to Sir Mix-A-Lot. MS
(Sat, 6:45 pm, Fountain Lawn) The San Francisco quintet plays folksy background music—the kind of unobtrusive, guitar-heavy tunes you'd expect to hear accompanying a photomontage of you and your first love making pies or scrapbooking. What I'm saying is, if you're in the mood to sit in the grass and catch up with a friend, or eat a sandwich, or even nap in the sun, this is the band you want to see. Their whispery vocals and gentle guitars will put you right to sleep. C. MADRID
(Sat, 7:15 pm, KeyArena) South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela's music is both gorgeous and politically aware. His lilting voice energizes songs about human rights, political justice, and the struggle for freedom. This is not your usual Afropop; Mahlasela's music features his acoustic guitar playing and soft, soothing melodies-—it's more like African folk music. He should fit right in with the other popular bands this year. GA
(Sat, 2:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) It's not the kind of music you'd find on my iPod, but then my iPod is mostly filled with boring NPR podcasts and stuff my parents used to listen to. That said, the few songs I checked out from the Australia-based Wagons sounded fun enough in a rock/country/twangy-something-or-other kinda way. Lots of different instruments and stuff, but no didgeridoos. Supposedly, they give a great live show, so I can imagine enjoying an hour of Wagons as I sit in the cool, September rain (pretty much exactly the same weather this time of year as in their native Melbourne, where, you know, it's winter). GOLDY
(Sun, 6:45 pm, Fountain Lawn) Soothing and desolate vocals from Warpaint members Emily Kokal (guitar), Theresa Wayman (guitar), and Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass) combine with shimmering guitars and steady but soft-focus percussion and synthesizer to form a sound that's both poppy and shoegazey; it's downright lovely stuff. "Undertow" is the most immediately striking song off last year's The Fool, but the rest of the record doesn't take long to fall into regular rotation, either. GB
(Sun, 1:30 pm, EMP Level 3) I once watched Wayne Horvitz perform with DJ Spooky. Horvitz brought his mastery of keyboards to the set, and Spooky his mastery of the turntables. The two were a natural fit because they have this in common: versatility. A composer and wide musical thinker, Horvitz has collaborated with numerous big names in the business, and he himself is a big name. Seattle should be proud to be the home of this highly regarded musician. C. MUDEDE
(Mon, 4 pm, Sky Church) Waylon Dungan is one of the city's hardest-working DJ/producers. That wouldn't mean much if he weren't also one of our most talented selectors and beatmakers—which he is. WD4D's diligent grind has resulted in a slew of residencies where he flaunts his excellent taste in advanced-level funk and forward-thinking bass-centric productions. WD4D's tracks, like those of shape-shifting West Coast producers Madlib and Daedelus, have a predilection for rhythmic brashness and inventive funkiness, while still exuding an amiable tunefulness. Dungan calls his music "post-hyphy-romanticrunk," a term that captures its paradoxical wildness and sweetness. D. SEGAL
(Sun, 1:30 pm, Fountain Lawn) Whalebones are from right here in Seattle, and they make foot-stomping, tambourine-shaking songs that are one part garage rock (fuzzy!) and one part psychedelic (swirly!). Whalebones will make you want to get a tattoo of a falcon across your back, smoke a bunch of weed, and then go protest the war. MS
(Sat, 1 pm, Exhibition Hall) With a name like Witchburn, you'd almost expect a group of disgruntled feminists from Salem, Massachusetts. These burning witches are, instead, from Seattle, and they conjure their white magic by playing heavy, modern metal that's heavily influenced by old classics—and one self-described sexual act between "Black Sabbath and Janis Joplin." If you think lead witch Jamie Nova's voice sounds eerily familiar, that might be because she used to sing lead vocals for the all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles. She gonna getcha, witch'll getcha. KO
(Sun, 9:30 pm, KeyArena) This guy was doing pretty well—you know, had a number one Billboard hit called "Black and Yellow," stuff like that—but then Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess straight blew his shit up, performing a live Khalifa cover/tribute at Neumos during a city council candidates' debate in late July. And, well, the rest is Hip-Hop Hall of Fame history. Come early. ES
(Mon, 3:15 pm, Fountain Lawn) It's hard to go to a YACHT show and not totally lose yourself in it—it's giddy, glittery electronic music performed by a giddy, glittery duo that just wants you to dance. I could have sworn the chorus on the first track of their new album, Shangri-La, went, "Topiary, topiary, topiary, topi-ahhh!" But a little research reveals they're actually singing, "Utopia, utopia, utopia, utopi-ahhh!" Ah, well. Utopias are nice, too. CF
YOU AM I
(Mon, 5 pm, Fountain Lawn) You Am I are vets. They're a classic alternative rock band from Australia (they rocked Lollapalooza, don't you know, and they've toured with Soundgarden and the Strokes), and their Wikipedia page explains that "the band's name was derived from late-night sessions under the influence of alcohol." That was back in December 1989. Now they have a whole big history and their sense of humor intact. Recently, lead singer/guitarist/main songwriter Tim Rogers made a video on YouTube in which he mocks his own song "Berlin Chair" by belting it out falsetto. JG
Yuni in Taxco
(Sat, 12:45 pm, Fisher Green) Sometimes local band Yuni in Taxco sound like the less-hyper, more plangent work of the Beach Boys, playing gentle drifts of songs with pretty oooh-oooh-oooh-ing and harmonizing. Sometimes they sound more out there than that, with the kind of echoing and fuzz you're not entirely certain isn't happening inside your own skull. If you had to pick one band at Bumbershoot to listen to while lying on your back on a blanket with a magic hand continually giving you balloons full of nitrous oxide, Yuni in Taxco would be a fine choice. BJC
AMY SCHUMER, EUGENE MIRMAN
(Sat, 6:15 pm; Sun, 8 pm; Mon, 1 pm; Intiman) Eugene Mirman is a master of perfectly pitched absurdism and probably the funniest dour Russian imp currently living (RIP, Vlady the Laughmaker). Eugene Mirman is a weirdo and a wonder. Eugene Mirman smells like a summer's day. Amy Schumer is the only female comic in this entire festival. Hey, Bumbershoot, fuck you. Love, women. LINDY WEST
THE ASHLEY JUDD COMEDY HOUR
(Sat, 3 pm, Vera Project) This local standup and sketch comedy group got its name by imagining what would happen if Ashley Judd had a comedy hour and then put all the comedy through an online anagram generator and also if Ashley Judd was secretly five dudes (Tristan Devin, Adam Firestone, Zach Gabriel, Edrease Peshtaz, and Jesse Vilacis). LW
(Sat, 1:15 pm, Vera Project) Hosted by the eternally puckish John Keister, this "Celebrity" "Open-Mic" will feature such "celebrities" as me, Lindy Lauren West, famous celebrity. I will be telling three jokes, two of which are not about yogurt. I am contractually forbidden to reveal which other incredibly famous celebrities will be sharing the stage with Keister 'n' Me (I SMELL SITCOM), but let's just say their names rhyme with Grulia Groberts, Flom Tanks, and Pill Crosby. LW
(Mon, 1:15 pm, Vera Project) Two-man sketch group Charles's full-length show, The Ace of Bass, is one of the most inspired and inspiring chunks of comedy produced all year. Noted crank Brendan Kiley wrote of that show: "Charles seems silly, but its two brains are working overtime... For years the Cody Rivers Show was the reigning avant-sketch comedy duo in the Northwest. Pretty soon, Charles is going to need its own crown." AGREED. KINDLY DIRECT ME TO THE CROWN STORE. LW
COMEDY BANG BANG PODCAST WITH SCOTT AUKERMAN AND PAUL F. TOMPKINS
(Sat—Mon, 6 pm, Bagley Wright) Paul F. Tompkins is my favorite comedian. Full stop. This show is mandatory. LW
COMEDY IS O.K.
(Mon, 4:45 pm, Vera Project) Look! It's a Portland-based comedy showcase! Founded by Mikey Kampmann, Andrew Michaan, and Paul Schlesinger, Comedy Is O.K. is like regular comedy only more Portlandy. LW
DOUG LOVES MOVIES
(Sat—Mon 7:45 pm, Bagley Wright) Oh my god, you guys. Doug loves movies sooooooooo much! Doug Benson is one of the most lovable and prolific comedians on earth (ALSO SPACE), and if you don't know that already then you must be like a human shoe or something (nonsentient, leathery). This is a live recording of Doug's podcast, in which he will talk about movies, films, flicks, motion pictures, cinemas, talkies, jinks, janks, flip-flops, shim-shams, pornos, corncobs, kinetoscopes, daguerreotypes, and ding-dongs with the help of a bunch of suuuuuuuuuper-fancy comedy guests. Also marijuana!!! LW
(Mon, 3 pm, Vera Project) Improvised comedy from Wing-It Productions! In a bucket! LW
HARI KONDABOLU, KYLE KINANE, ANTHONY JESELNIK
(Sat, 2:45 pm; Sun, 4:30 pm; Mon, 6:15; Intiman) This is a fucking GREAT lineup. It would be stupid to go to only one thing at Bumbershoot this year, but if you DO go to only one thing because you're a human freak of some kind, this is probably the one thing you should go to. LA-based Kyle Kinane is one of the smartest fuckups on the planet. He's also one of my favorite comics existing right now (and yours, too, even if you don't know yet, snail-face). He has a beard. Hari Kondabolu is a treasure, which I have explained in this paper approximately infinity-plus-one times. Anthony Jeselnik is a charming prick. LW See interview.
THE HUMOR PROGRAM
(Sun, 1:15 pm, Vera Project) The Humor Program is a monthly collaboration between a bushel of Seattle's most up-and-comingest up-and-comers—Jake Barker, David Tveite, and Devin Badoo. The show features "standup, interviews, puppets, and other silly shit." LW
THE IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
(Sat—Mon, 4:15 pm, Bagley Wright) The Chicago-based Improvised Shakespeare Company takes two things that aren't that funny (improv, which is always starving for structure, and Shakespeare, which is mostly a pun wrapped in a fart joke) and combines them into one thing that totally works. Their MySpace page lists their interests as "Swordplay, Revenge, Ambition, Forbidden Love, Mistaken Identity, Disguises, Bastards, Ghosts, Betrayal, Irony, Swashbuckling" and their favorite music as "anything crumhorn." See? Funny! LW
KITTY CATS IN PIRATE HATS
(Sun, 4:45 pm, Vera Project) This local standup showcase got its name by entering "A TRACHEA STINK PITY TITS" into an online anagram generator. LW
KURT METZGER, DEON COLE
(Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 6:15 pm; Mon, 4:30 pm; Intiman) Kurt Metzger wrote for Chappelle's Show, which means he is basically literally Rick James (!!!). Tonight, Rick James (!!!!!!!!!) appears with Deon Cole, a standup comic from the south side of Chicago, who wrote for the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, which means that he is basically literally Johnny Carson's ghost (AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!). Both are funny and deserve a better blurb than this. LW
(Sat—Mon, 6:30 pm, Vera Project) Laff Hole is the grandpa of Seattle "alternative" comedy nights—not a withered, gross grandpa like Grandpa Simpson, but a sturdy, robust, kinda-hot grandpa like Kris Kristofferson. Sunday's installment of Laff Hole features extremely special out-of-town guest Andy Haynes. True story: Andy Haynes and I went to high school together, and one time we threw a treadmill off a bridge, but we told his mom we took it to the dump. LW
RORY SCOVEL, FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME
(Sat, 1 pm; Sun, 2:45 pm; Mon, 8 pm; Intiman) Rory Scovel is a genius person. His comedy is absurd and improvisational, floating along on a faint Southern drawl and expanding into weird corners of the universe that you didn't know were there. Also, Scovel lives in Los Angeles (yes, THAT Los Angeles!), which means he doesn't live here, which means you really ought to fucking go see him while you have the chance. Also, he is about to be famous in like five seconds so GET ON THAT SHIT. LW
(Sun, 3 pm, Vera Project) Seattle's Sketchfest has brought sketches together in a sort of a fest, if you will, for the past 13 years. Participants are often brilliant. LW
WAYNE FEDERMAN, THE GREGORY BROTHERS
(Sat, 4:30 pm; Sun, 1 pm; Mon, 2:45 pm; Intiman) The Gregory Brothers are those dudes who "Autotune the News," and they made that Antoine Dodson "Bed Intruder" song, and they made that Charlie Sheen "Winning" song, and they made that "Double Rainbow" song. So, basically, they take viral internet memes and multiply them by Ebola so even your granny is all, "Hide ya kids, hide ya wife" at Thanksgiving dinner and you're like "Eeeew, Granny, enough with the rape jokes, plz." But she won't. She WILL NOT STOP. Wayne Federman is the that-guy's that guy. As in, "Hey, that guy!" but better. He is funny. LW
WEIRD AND AWESOME WITH EMMETT MONTGOMERY
(Sat, 4:45 pm, Vera Project) This tender, freaky showcase describes itself as a "combination of an awkward show-and-tell and an amazing variety show... like Ed Sullivan presiding over The Gong Show, or Donny & Marie produced by Andy Warhol at the height of the Factory." Hosted by King Mustache Emmett Montgomery and adorable wunderkind Barbara Holm, Weird and Awesome will attempt to live up to its name via a combination of standup, sketch, puppetry, storytelling, song-and-dance, dog-and-pony, singing dogs, dancing ponies, and whatever else blooms from the fertile soils of Emmett's mustache. Fun fact/adorable conflict of interest: There will be a very special old-timey jazz man performing in this installment of Weird and Awesome, and his name is MY DAD. I will be in the front row crying from the adorableness. Come say hi. LW
48 HOUR FILM PROJECT
(Sat, 2:15 pm, SIFF Cinema) This is a reality art-making show called When Humans Have 48 Hours to Write, Shoot, Edit, and Score a Film. See the results: Painted Love, Battle: Seattle, Humpty, Mein Cupcake, So Many Options, Séance Anything.
(Sun, 1 pm, SIFF Cinema) ALIVE stand for "A Low Impact Vehicle Exploration" and involves short films about getting around in a low-impact way, including "bicycle-based vehicles" and "undriving."
ANIMATION FOR ADULTS
(Sat, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema) The world is lacking in animated film festivals—they're few and far between—so when you see a collection of shorts like this, you gotta jump on the chance. Also note, these weren't curated for the whole family and contain some adult content. Films include: Loom, Vicenta, Flesh Color, Paths of Hate, Stanley Pickle, Visitation, Eye of the Storm, and Rosa.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 50 MINUTES
(Mon, 1 pm, SIFF Cinema) A quartet of short films from around the globe. Titles include Monkeys, The Abyss Boys, and We Are What We Drink.
(Sun, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema) A collection of unsettling and bizarre short films to which you should not bring kids. Titles include Interview, Carjack, and The Burning Wigs of Sedition.
BEST OF SIFF 2011 AUDIENCE AWARDS
(Sun, 4:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) The short films in this collection were voted the very best by this year's SIFF attendees. Duh. But worth noting is that the lineup includes The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, an animated short directed and written by William Joyce. He helped create characters in Toy Story and A Bug's Life—neat!
BEST OF SIFF 2011 JURY AWARDS
(Sat, 4:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) Next year, when SIFF comes around, don't bother! They'll be showing the best stuff a couple of months later at Bumbershoot anyway. So what was the best of SIFF 2011? The Eagleman Stag, Library of Dust, and Time Freak, among others.
(Sun, 2 pm, SIFF Cinema) Six shorts from around the globe about that "THING" that some say makes the world go round. Films include Connect, Want to Spend the Rest of My Life with You, Sign Language, Love & Other Unstable States of Matter, Blog Off, and Super. Full.
FACE THE MUSIC
(Sun, 5:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) Including the shorts Not Like Any Other Feeling, 100 Bands in 100 Days, Out of a Forest, Frank Fairfield, One Shoe Blues, Out on a Limb, Philadelphia Chickens. C'mon. FACE IT.
FILMS4FAMILIES: ANIMATION SHOWCASE
(Sun, noon, SIFF Cinema) The animated shorts all strung together like laundry on a line are as follows: The Lost Thing, B/W RACES, The Sasquatch and the Girl, The Yellow Balloon, DreamGiver, Karl Dahl and the Golden Cube, Eggcellent.
FILMS4FAMILY: FAMILY FUNTIME
(Mon, noon, SIFF Cinema) A collection of sweet and fun films for the whole goddamn family. Titles include Courageous Crustaceans, Snowflakes and Carrots, and Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.
FILMS4FAMILIES: THE INTERNATIONAL FAMILY PASSPORT
(Sat, noon, SIFF Cinema) Since there are no more rides or carny games for the kiddies, what besides music are you supposed to do together? I'll tell you what. Go to Youngershoot. Films include Temple Rider, Trevor, Walkin' on Snow Grass, Loser Leg, Mobile, and Precise Peter.
(Mon, 5:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) An hour of short films by women or starring women. One of the films involves a "hygiene obsessed and mentally childlike" woman who stows away on a cross-country bus, where she meets another woman running away from her marriage. We tried to dig up more information than that, but failed, frankly.
(Sat, 3:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) If you are a self-described nerd, this is the festival's annual attempt to appeal to your demographic with nerd-themed films. (Fun fact: In 2004, Bumbershoot was accused of anti-nerd bigotry for not meeting the federally mandated quota of Shatner references in a three-day festival. Nerds reached a settlement when Bumbershoot offered them six cases of 20-sided die and a mostly clean copy of Playboy from 1996—Jenny McCarthy before she went crazy, bitchez!) Short films in this program include The Dungeon Master, Monster Flu, and King Chicken.
SIFF FLY FILMS
(Mon, 4:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) Four local directors had five days to shoot and five days to edit a 10-minute film for this year's Seattle International Film Festival. After All This, Little Peter Needs to Fly, The Epiphany, and Tilting at Windmills are the results. If brevity is the soul of wit, you'll be ROFLing like mad.
SONG & DANCE
(Mon, 2 pm, SIFF Cinema) Bumbershoot attendees are invited to sing and dance along to these film musicals: Bench Seat, Sudden Death!, In Dreams I Run Wild, and Thought of You. Jesus, what a nightmare.
(Sun, 3:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) All these short films come from South Asia—India, Pakistan, Nepal, etc. One film in the collection is called Little Miss Eyeflap, which makes me giggle. But according to SIFF, it is about a young girl's attempt to "find her way in life alone, as an assimilated Pakistani who belongs nowhere," which doesn't sound funny at all.
TWISTED FAIRY TALES
(Sat, 5:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) You know what never, ever, ever gets old, no matter how many times you retell them and "twist" them, even though you already know the whole story anyway because they've been told to you literally thousands of times since you were a child? Fairy tales, that's what! This year's short fairy-tale-themed films have titles like Moving Day, DreamGiver, and Spider Fang!
(Mon, 3:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) Three short films—THE dik, Scenes from the Suburbs (directed by Spike Jonze), and Steve (directed by Rupert Friend)—that emphasize the element of surprise. It's kind of like what happens when you get a meal at Bumbershoot, but with cinema instead of food.
WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
(Mon, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema) An hour and a half of short films on the topic of love. The IMDB summary for one of them is "A male prostitute falls for a woman but is unable to confess his job."
WHY AREN'T THESE PEOPLE FAMOUS?
(Sat, 1 pm, SIFF Cinema) Here you will find a 30-minute doc on a Northwest blues icon called Who Is Duffy Bishop? And Why Is She Not World Famous? Find out! On this same bill is another film called Kevin, about which we know nothing, except that Kevin is not famous. Yet.
ALIVE: A LOW-IMPACT VEHICLE EXPLORATION
(Sat—Mon, 11 am—8 pm, Center Square by the EMP) The aLIVe project is all about "low-impact vehicles": smaller, slower vehicles that have small carbon footprints to make and operate instead of those 40-ton gasoline missiles we normally cart ourselves around in. LIVs include electric bikes, buscycles (buses powered in part by riders), the Walk and Roll (imagine a seat between two large bicycle wheels that you scoot yourself around on), etc. This will be a display—cosponsored by Great City and 4Culture—of those kinds of transportation technologies. BRENDAN KILEY
EMERALD CITY IMPROV
(Sat—Mon, 2:30 pm, wandering) This improv-comedy group will be "surprising passersby... reminding them that each day is unique, brings something new, and is a great opportunity to live." Read: Harassing children and the elderly. BK
(Sat—Mon, 11 am—8 pm, wandering) Orange Man is the alter ego of Ben Beres, member of Seattle art trio SuttonBeresCuller. He is mischievous and exceedingly orange. He will be carrying balloons. BK
(Mon, noon and 7 pm, wandering) By now, you should have heard of Orkestar Zirkonium, the dozen-odd- member brass band with Balkan style, known for musical sneak attacks on bars, grocery stores, and galleries, goosing innocent bystanders with their happy honking. Theirs is the sound of dizzy joy. BK
PAS (POTENTIALLY ANNOYING SOUND)
(Sat—Mon, 11 am—8 pm, festival grounds) Earlier this summer, Chris McMullen and Steve Withycombe assembled their PAS in a field at the Smoke Farm Lo-Fi art festival. It's an enormous contraption with big belts, gears, and bellows that blow air through pipes salvaged from an old church organ. From a distance, it sounds like a phantom train. BK
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC SOUND WAVE BAND
(Sun, noon and 7 pm, wandering) A marching band of soccer fans plays "custom arrangements of rock, funk, and pop." BK
SPURBANS (TREY MCINTYRE PROJECT)
(Sat—Mon, 5 pm, wandering) Trey McIntyre is a choreographer from Boise who has worked with the New York City Ballet and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans. He and his dancers will be prancing around the festival grounds. BK
(Mon, 3:30 pm, Center House Theatre) Joanna Horowitz's one-woman country-musical about a woman who wants to make it big in Nashville. To that end, she searches for 100 men to love and lose to increase her suffering street-cred. BRENDAN KILEY
"BIT(E), TEAR, GNAW, GULP!"
(Sat, 6:30 pm; Sun, 2:30 pm; Center House Theatre) The Bumbershoot webpage describes Bit(e), tear, gnaw, GULP! as "a hilarious, aggressively new way to enjoy performance: be a part of it." And Gesamtkunstwerk's website—which features a photo of them in front of the Fremont Troll—says the new company's goal is "to create total, unified works. To immerse; to create theatre as experience. To grasp by the throat and shake with yellowed fingers; to draw blood; to stroke your hair. To encourage sitting on the ceiling and waltzing down the walls. To suppose fearlessness, to laugh with every atom of the body. To Connect [sic]. To stutter through poetry, sob through knock-knock jokes, and sit in delirious silence. To hum really obnoxiously." I have no idea what any of that means. BK
"BONNIE AND THE ROBBERIE"
(Sat, 5 pm; Sun, 4 pm; Center House Theatre) Stranger Genius Award—winner Marya Sea Kaminski is hard at work on a new solo show called Riddled about why the image of a woman with a gun—especially Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde—is such a rich American icon. Kaminski and her band will play songs from the show and perform some of the script. BK See preview.
(Sun, 5:15 pm, Center House Theatre) Dead Parrots Society, an improv-comedy group from Western Washington University, makes a show—with your help—about a family dinner. BK
"THE LOST FOLIO"
(Sat, 3:30 pm; Mon, 5:15 pm; Center House Theatre) Seattle's venerable improv company Wing-It Productions—founded in 1996 by Andrew McMasters and Mike Christensen—does a Shakespeare-themed, audience-participation comedy. BK
"MANOS: THE HANDS OF FELT"
(Sun—Mon, 6:45 pm, Center House Theatre) Puppet This performs a puppet satire of Manos: The Hands of Fate, a famously bad horror film from 1966 about a family caught by a polygamous pagan cult in the Texas desert. BK
SPECTRUM DANCE THEATER
(Sat, 2:30 pm, Bagley Wright) Spectrum, Donald Byrd’s legendary modern-ballet fusion company, performs two works this year: The world-premiere Euclidian Space, with music from Brazilian electronica star Amon Tobin. This piece, according to Spectrum’s website “marks a shift from Spectrum’s recent repertoire of abstract geopolitical statements to the new 2011–2012 season featuring narrative, character-driven works.” The company will also perform its popular M.I.A., a kind of ballet satire set to the music of M.I.A. BK
"WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON"
(Sat, 2:15 pm; Mon, 2:15 pm; Center House Theatre) Book-It Repertory Theatre's stage adaptation of the children's book by Grace Lin. "In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions..." BK
(Mon, 2:30 pm, Bagley Wright) Whim W'Him is the new dance project by former Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer Olivier Wevers. Wevers uses the dance vocabulary he learned during his years at the ballet, but makes more conceptual and accessible work. One piece in this showcase, called Monster, is a collaboration with RA Scion of local hiphop heroes Common Market. BK
BUMBER BY NUMBER
(Sat—Mon, Seattle Center Pavilion) Paint-by-number is the funny thing that tells you what to do while convincing you that you're Doing-It-Yourself. (It was such a good ironic subject for Warhol in the early 1960s.) For this show, Seattle artists have created canvases of altered vintage paint-by-number kits, and artist Ryan Feddersen will guide audiences in creating a new version of Edouard Manet's Luncheon on the Grass (Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe), in which the men from the original scene, rather than the woman, are nude. JEN GRAVES See preview.
(Sat—Mon, Seattle Center Pavilion) Expedition is an invitation to the whole city to play the old game of exquisite corpse, when a piece of paper gets passed around and a story added to without one participant knowing what the others have done. You get 45 to 60 seconds on film to contribute something on any of the given themes—"birth, dreaming, kissing, friends, love, and magic." Everyone's contributions will be uploaded to the website of post-punk music photographer/portraitist Leslie Lyons over the course of the weekend, to create a composite story that winds its way through the intentions of strangers. JG
THE MAGIC SHOW
(Sat—Mon, Seattle Center Pavilion) Freelance curator Kathy Lindenmayer organized The Magic Show, "a multimedia exhibit that will dazzle and amaze," featuring video, photography, and sculpture that "will defy explanation and explore illusion, conjuring, levitation, and transformation." The idea seems to pick up on themes from last summer's group show at Platform Gallery in Pioneer Square, Magicality, featuring 14 artists from Seattle and around the nation. There are six artists in this summer's Magic Show: Doug Young (Brooklyn), Jason Puccinelli (Seattle), Peter Bristol (Seattle), Thomas Petillo (Nashville), Britta Johnson (Seattle), and Geoffrey Alan Rhodes (Rochester). Does magic get less magical the more you see it? The art may be good; the idea gets a D. JG
(Sat—Mon, Seattle Center Skatepark) Usually, Seattle artist W. Scott Trimble builds scenes made of pieces of wood (from toothpick to gangplank-size) that zoom around the walls and floors and pipes of art galleries. This time, working adjacent to Seattle Center's Skatepark, he's making an obstacle course that includes "a 360-degree skate pipe, skate bowl extension towers, a freestanding quarter pipe, ramps over obstacles, and more impossible structures that would taunt the most seasoned and reckless of skateboarders—if they were allowed to skate on it." The skaters will only be able to imagine what they could do. I guarantee this will be the ride of their lives in their minds. JG
THE 3 MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE TO EVER WIN a STRANGER GENIUS AWARD (AND ONE UGLY ONE)
(Sat, 1:45 pm, Leo K. Theatre) My boss, Christopher Frizzelle, will discuss my newspaper's annual Genius Awards, in which we give $5,000 each to artists in different disciplines, with previous winners Sarah Rudinoff, Ryan Mitchell, and Lynn Shelton, as well as John Osebold, who's winning one this year. It's totally conflict-of-interesty, yeah, but this is still one of the more interesting events on this program, which is frankly kind of dull since Bumbershoot decided to kill the literary programming and replace it with this wishy-washy "Words & Ideas" stuff. At this panel, at least, you're guaranteed to hear some thoughtful conversation about the state of the arts in Seattle and how our city has basically left them to fend for themselves. Maybe someone will even bring up the way Bumbershoot callously killed their literary programming rather than trying to make their literary programming into something interesting. Also, I'm told someone will be taking off their pants. PAUL CONSTANT
ANDREA GIBSON WITH YOUTH SPEAKS SEATTLE
(Sat, noon, Leo K. Theatre) According to the press release, Andrea Gibson "explores themes that deconstruct gender norms, sexuality, class, patriarchy, and white supremist capitalist culture." She will be performing spoken-word poetry with kids who are part of the excellent Youth Speaks program. PC
(Sat, 3:30 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Christopher Rice is the son of Anne Rice, who is famous for writing those fun, smutty Interview with a Vampire novels from the 1980s. Of course, now she's famous for being a crazy Catholic. He will talk about his mom for about an hour, so all you vampire nuts can ask exactly when Anne started going wrong (probably when she decided to write novels about Jesus) and how she feels about having a gay novelist son. He'll probably be happy to talk about his novels, too, which are more gay and less vampirey. They're still pretty dark, though. PC
COLIN MELOY & CARSON ELLIS: WILDWOOD
(Sat, 7 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Colin Meloy, who you know as the lead singer from the Decemberists, has teamed up with his wife, Ellis, who you know as the cover artist for the Decemberists' CDs, to write a fantasy adventure novel for young adults. Because Meloy is a literary-minded fellow (and it runs in the family; his sister is an acclaimed novelist), Wildwood is way better than any musician-written novel has any right to be. Some reviewers are calling it an American Chronicles of Narnia, which is overstating a bit, but it's still a book you shouldn't be ashamed to give to the kids in your life. PC
DAN SAVAGE & TERRY MILLER: IT GETS BETTER
(Sun, 7 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Last year, Stranger editorial director Dan Savage went from sex-advice columnist to inspirational hero. (I know; we're just as surprised as you.) With his boyfriend-in-America/husband-in-Canada Terry Miller, Savage started the anti-bullying It Gets Better Project, in which ordinary folks (and some famous ones, too) make YouTube videos telling gay youth that life will, in fact, get better after high school. It caught fire, and now there's even a best-selling book. Today, the couple will talk about the movement and share some of their favorite stories. Bring your hankies. PC
(Mon, 1:45 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Three Irish novelists come all the way from Dublin to discuss the importance of place in their novels, and how the traditional Irish novel has changed in an era of globalism. Chris Binchy, Kevin Holohan, and Claire Kilroy have six novels and a bunch of Irish literature prizes between them. This is a great opportunity to get to know three fresh voices from the other side of the globe, and it's the sort of literary event that Bumbershoot does really well, when they can be bothered to do it at all. Show some fookin' respect by showing up for this one. PC
FROM MUSIC TO LITERATURE
(Sun, 3:30 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Nathan Larson was the lead guitarist of influential prog-punk outfit Shudder to Think and is an award-winning film music compositor. Kristin Hersh is a solo artist as well as lead singer and guitarist for Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave. Nelson George is "one of the first writers to document hiphop culture." They will all talk about what happens when words and music overlap. PARTY YOUR ASS OFF. GRANT BRISSEY
HEAD TO HEAD: THE 2011 YOUTH SPEAKS SEATTLE SLAM TEAM VS. SEATTLE POETRY SLAM
(Mon, noon, Leo K. Theatre) Kid slam poets battle adult slam poets for fame and glory. PC
KRISTIN HERSH: PARADOXICAL UNDRESSING
(Sun, 12:15 pm, Bagley Wright) Unlike most rock-star memoirists, Kristin Hersh writes and speaks with total honesty about her past. She's kept journals from the days when she was a punk kid in Providence, Rhode Island, all the way through her explosive success with Throwing Muses and the aftermath of that weird pop music fame. Hersh is candid and lively and occasionally brutally honest. This one-woman autobiographical performance should follow suit; expect some bits from her compelling memoir, Rat Girl, mixed with bits of song and monologue. She's an opinionated lady—she's reimagined the music industry for the computer age and is doing quite well with it, thank you very much—who knows how to treat an audience. Expect equal parts charm and venom. PC
LIFELINES: YOUTH SPEAKS SEATTLE SPOKEN-WORD POETRY SHOWCASE
(Sun, noon, Leo K. Theatre) Poets aged 16 to 19 read new work aloud for your edification. PC
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS WITH MISS PAMELA DES BARRES
(Sun, 1:45 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Pamela Des Barres is the author of the memoir I'm with the Band, which is all about her life as the so-called Queen of the Groupies. She's kissed a whole lot of musicians—and a whole lot of body parts of a whole lot of musicians—and now she's telling. Des Barres will appear in conversation with Kurt B. Reighley, who you may know as DJ El Toro on KEXP, and she's willing and able to talk about all the times she was willing and able with any number of rock and roll luminaries. PC
VEGANISM: FROM BLACK METAL TO HIPHOP AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
(Mon, 3:30 pm, Leo K. Theatre) This is an interview with "YouTube sensation Vegan Black Metal Chef," who is also apparently a self-described "mystic." The interviewer is Greg Bennick, who is an activist and a singer in a local hardcore band. Together, they will discuss black metal and veganism as well as possibly delving a little bit into mysticism. Is Satan a vegan? Why or why not? Demand answers at this panel! PC
WHY 3-D? WHY AUTO-TUNE? WHY NOW?
(Mon, 5:15 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Astronautalis (him again!) interviews an unannounced panel of so-called experts about Auto-Tuned songs and 3-D movies. The talk will probably involve some sort of ponderous consideration about whether popular culture is becoming too sterile thanks to intrusive technology. PC
WHY CENSORSHIP? WHY REVOLUTION? WHY NOW?
(Sun, 5:15 pm, Leo K. Theatre) This is a conversation about all the revolutions going on in the world today, mixed with a conversation about whether censorship is getting worse. It's hosted by Astronautalis; it's unclear what Astronautalis knows about Arab Spring or Twitter being banned in China, but maybe his panel of (at press time, unidentified) guests will help explain what's going on, too. PC
WHY NERDS? WHY OLD-TIMEY? WHY NOW?
(Sat, 5:15 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Bumbershoot dusts off its disappointing and vague Why This? Why That? Why Now? format for a second year. This panel, which has something to do with how nerds are "the new cool," and I think steampunk, is hosted by Astronautalis, who is a musician and theater person. Bumbershoot doesn't say what other experts will be on this panel, but does it really matter? PC
THE WRITING OF "BATTLESTAR GALACTICA"
(Mon, 7 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald Moore will discuss the history of the writing of the show with a couple of other BSG writers and producers. And you know what? When the audience Q&A comes around, it's okay to ask him why the ending was so awful. PC See preview.