(Mon, 7:30 pm, Fisher Green) Her full name is Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kango Manta Zogbin Kidjo. That's a hell of a name. The Grammy-winning Beninese singer-songwriter makes a mix of Afropop, reggae, jazz, and gospel. Sometimes she dyes her hair blond. It's a hell of a do. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE


(Mon, 6:30 pm, Center Square) I can't decide if seeing the 2009 documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil is a prerequisite for seeing Anvil play live or if you should just experience the band innocently and objectively. Ah, fuck it. Go rent it! And do it now! You'll fall in love with these guys. No joke. Their struggles and triumphs as a small-town heavy-metal band that formed in the 1970s when two 14-year-olds picked up some cheapo guitars, their highs (playing with the likes of Scorpions and Whitesnake in the 1980s) and their lows (best illustrated in footage of Anvil playing a tiny Canadian sports bar for a bunch of rednecks on singer Steve "Lips" Kudlow's 50th birthday) could be the story of any band, EVERY band. The film would be kitschy and laughable if these guys weren't actually talented. That's the beauty—they are. Prepare to get rocked. KELLY O


(Sun, 7:30 pm, Fisher Green) Bogotá, Colombia's Aterciopelados (in English: the Velvety Ones) make amiably melodious rock marked by Andrea Echeverri's duskily beautiful vocals (think a more technically proficient Patti Smith). Aterciopelados are a pretty big deal in the Americas, where, with Café Tacuba and a handful of other Latin American bands, they have spearheaded the Rock en Español movement while also lending their cultural might to activist organizations like Amnesty International and the Destierro y Reparación (Displacement and Reparations) project. Bassist/producer/songwriter Héctor Buitrago leads this smart, eclectic group through well-crafted compositions that artfully blend Anglo and Hispanic elements without watering them down into flavorless mush. Aterciopelados are something like Colombia's U2 and Radiohead combined into one populist-yet-arty unit. DAVE SEGAL

recommendedATLAS SOUND

(Sat, 4 pm, Broad Street) Atlas Sound reveals the more personal side of Bradford Cox, leader of Atlanta bliss-rock janglers Deerhunter—which means it's pretty fucking personal. In Atlas Sound, a guise under which Cox has been creating since childhood, he writes in a stream-of-consciousness manner and suffuses his rock songs in a dewy, spectral haze. Cox's peculiar upbringing (he spent a huge amount of time alone after his parents divorced) and difficulties with Marfan syndrome have provided fertile ground for his muse. Atlas Sound's two albums—Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel and Logos—are gauzily refulgent headphone listens. Live, Atlas Sound expands to a full band, and inevitably some of the crucial intimacy of the recordings gets diffused onstage. Still, Cox's heart-on-sleeve lyrics and tender, hypnagogic melodies can send chills down spines, even at outdoor summer concerts. D. SEGAL


(Sat, 7:30 pm, Fisher Green) Balkan Beat Box put a welcoming, celebratory spin on the sort of global-electronica stylistic promiscuity championed by DJ /rupture and ex-Seattleite Maga Bo. As evidenced on their latest album, Blue Eyed Black Boy, BBB want you to party to foreign sounds, but they don't want you to get too lost in the unfamiliar. Consequently, they're cheerful ambassadors for uplifting rhythmic musics from the Middle East and, duh, the Balkans (Belgrade Gypsy ensemble Jovica Ajdarevic Orkestar contributed to the new full-length) while also giving hiphop and dub fans something to blaze to. Horns flare triumphantly, beats shuffle and undulate hyperkinetically, bass booms sensually, and voices ably rouse spirits—BBB throw a party that the United Nations could endorse. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 4:45 pm, Center Square) I'm guessing there's something to the heavier-than-lead summer heat in the fine Southern state of Georgia that keeps turning kids into total f-ing metalheads. Contemporaries of other modern metal Georgian heavies such as Mastodon, Kylesa, Jucifer, and Harvey Milk, Baroness are known to bring serious heat to their live shows—playing with nary a breath or pause for hours, just so they can turn you, your sister, your grandma, and whoever else is sweating it out with them into fist-pumping, mosh-pitting juvenile delinquents. Also, don't tell your grandma, but a high-energy metal show, paired with a toasty elephant ear and some of that "wacky tobacky," all under a nice blanket of hazy-lazy Seattle sunshine, will make you a little cray-cray-CRAZY. Um, a "good" crazy. KO See preview, page 23.


(Sat, 11:45 am, Mural Amphitheatre) If Brian Setzer's orchestra were stranded at a Texas truck stop for a decade or so, and Setzer himself were dunked in barbecue sauce and granted a bigger voice, the end result would be Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin' Daddies. They've blown enough saxophones to get them off the Texas truck-stop circuit and before a national audience, but the Olympia-based band is still marked by heavy guitar breaks and long instrumental riffs that highlight its Texas blues and Southern jazz influences. CIENNA MADRID

recommendedBILLY BRAGG

(Sun, 8:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Like everyone else my age, I fell in love with Billy Bragg thanks to his collaboration with Wilco on a handful of unpublished Woody Guthrie songs. And the two Mermaid Avenue albums really do showcase Bragg at his best, delivering impassioned, political lyrics soulfully and with wit. But eventually, even those two brilliant albums become way too familiar, and you have to do some digging into Bragg's work. Luckily, he's prolific, and equally lucky, he's an excellent songwriter in his own right with a huge body of work that would take years to explore. And he's not showing any signs of quitting anytime soon. PAUL CONSTANT


(Mon, 2 pm, EMP) Now these guys are fun. They aren't reinventing rock music, but they are totally your guys if you don't care about the reinvention of rock music. They'd rather spend time making giant cardboard Diet Cokes in their garage to wave around onstage and writing songs that require D. Crane's guy-next-door voice to break and slide around, and if there is any excuse to let some idiot who doesn't know how to play a xylophone come up and plunk out a xylophone solo, they will totally let him do that. Also, sometimes there is confetti. CF

recommendedBOB DYLAN

(Sat, 9 pm, Memorial Stadium) Bob Dylan is so great it's ridiculous. He's so great that his should-be-sucky-or-at-least-perfunctory late-career works—1997's Time Out of Mind, 2001's Love and Theft, and 2006's Modern Times—not only reaffirm his brilliance but also find him conquering entirely new terrain. Bob Dylan is so great it took five Hollywood superstars and one up-and-coming child actor to represent him in a biopic. He's so great that it's impossible to declare any of his great albums the greatest. (Eternal front-runners: Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks. Late-breaking contenders: Love and Theft, Modern Times.) Bob Dylan is so great that he's been playing ridiculously ramshackle shows—where all the songs sound like the same Chuck Berry ramble and even the hits aren't recognizable until the chorus—since at least the early '90s, and no one cares, so grateful are we to have this invaluable poet/writer/rock star/thief still among us. DAVID SCHMADER See preview, page 5.


(Sat, 6:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Bob Schneider's music is as eclectic as his lifestyle: He was born in Michigan, raised in Germany as the son of a traveling opera singer, dropped out of college in Texas, and then was dumped by America's Sweetheart™ Sandra Bullock. Schneider dabbled in funk and rap before planting roots in folk and country music (while incorporating xylophone and ukulele into his songs, in addition to the banjo and harmonica). His dynamic tunes have rightly made him the reigning pauper-prince of Austin's folk-music scene. C. MADRID


(Mon, 12:30 pm, Broad Street) Did you know that Nashville son Bobby Bare Jr. was nominated for a Grammy, with his Papa Bare, for a sweet country duet called "Daddy What If" when he was only 6 years old? Did you know that Bare Jr. now has two children of his own (one of whom he almost lost in an accident, as described in his song "The Sky Is the Ground")? Did you know Bare Jr.'s brand-new album, A Storm, A Tree, My Mother's Head, is so called because he almost lost his mother in a freak thunderstorm accident at their family home in Henderson, Tennessee? This roots rocker has a lot of family history to write songs about—songs of heartache and humor and real life. KO

recommendedBOMBA ESTÉREO

(Mon, 5:45 pm, Fisher Green) The Bogotá, Colombia, quintet Bomba Estéreo—founder/bassist Simón Mejía, singer/chanter Liliana Saumet, drummer Kike Egurrola, guitarist Julian Salazar, and percussionist Diego Cadavid—are a perfect late-model festival band. They play an aggressively catchy mélange of cumbia, reggaeton, dub, electronica, and rock, and the group's hit "Fuego" has the kind of savvy you hear in M.I.A.'s best work. Not coincidentally, "Fuego" has caught on everywhere from MTV Tr3s—the cable network's Latin-music arm—to KEXP, which has pumped the band's 2009 release, Blow Up (on the Nacional label), for over a year. The album is so immediately appealing that anyone who'd go to Bumbershoot—or any of the other festivals Bomba Estéreo have spent the summer playing (Bonnaroo, for one)—should find it easily accessible. MICHAELANGELO MATOS See preview, page 18.


(Mon, 8:30 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) As a key architect of the Stax Records sound and leader of one of the greatest soul bands ever (Booker T. & the MG's), this keyboardist/composer possesses an awesome arsenal of classics that have weathered the decades with great vigor. (Seriously, "Green Onions" was the best song of 1962 and it still kills.) In 2009, Booker cut an album with Anti- Records called Potato Hole that, while not up to the sublime heights of his '60s and '70s output (not much is), reveals that his playing and songwriting chops remain vital. The cover of OutKast's "Hey Ya" is a surprising triumph, as is the deeply funky title track. But if Booker busts out "Melting Pot" (or "Soul Clap," or "Time Is Tight," or...), expect all heaven to break loose. D. SEGAL


(Sat, 2 pm, EMP) Seattle's Born Anchors recently released their second full-length, Colorize the Grey (a follow-up to last year's impressive debut, Sprezzatura), but the band never had an official CD-release party, so consider this Bumbershoot performance cause for celebration. On Colorize the Grey, Born Anchors flirt with a darker sound than on their guitar-driven debut, and while it definitely suits them, here's hoping they don't completely abandon faster stuff like "Deep Cuts." The new album also comes with a new band lineup, as they've expanded their live show to include a second guitarist as well as a backup vocalist. MEGAN SELING


(Sun, 4:45 pm, Center Square) Everything you need to know about the Bouncing Souls you can learn by listening to their song "True Believers," the epitome of pop-punk anthems. The chorus: "We live our life in our own way/Never really listened to what they say/The kind of faith that doesn't fade away/We are the true believers." Shakespeare it is not, but the Souls have been practicing what they preach for more than 20 years, touring the world and playing the same high-energy songs about riding BMX bikes, crushing on the Quick Chek cashier, and loving punk rock music till the day they die. And God bless 'em for that. MS


(Mon, 11:45 am, Mural Amphitheatre) In case you have been living under a gol-durned rock for the last five years, Brent Amaker is the man who writes the goddamned country hits. (See "I'm the Man Who Writes the Country Hits," off 2008's Howdy Do!) The silver-tongued Amaker, a native Oklahoman, is backed by the very capable Rodeo, who go by names like Tiny Dancer and Sugar McGuinn. Expect high-quality stage banter in between the high-quality country jams. GRANT BRISSEY


(Sun, 4:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) For 40-plus years, Brian Auger's been making his Hammond organ purr, snarl, roar, and burble in a slew of jazz, R&B, rock, and funk songs that all sorts of producers have sampled (check out Bentley Rhythm Ace's use of the stunning "Tiger" in "Midlander [There Can Only Be One]"). The British keyboardist excels at high-energy dance music, but, especially with singer Julie Driscoll, he has displayed a supple melodic sensibility, too. At age 71, Auger may not have the vigor of his prime, but his repertoire abounds with thrilling cuts, and recent videos prove that this ivory tickler hasn't lost his swift, deft touch. The latest incarnation of Oblivion Express includes Auger's son Karma on drums and daughter Savannah on vocals. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 1 pm, Northwest Court) Seattle's Brian Vogan can and should take credit for inventing a new genre of kids' music called "kindie rock." His 11-song debut, Little Songs, is directly inspired by all the cool and weird things that happen when you spend lots of time with little kids because your day job is working with preschoolers as both a music educator and a music therapist. Don't let the heavy-sounding "therapist" title fool you—Vogan writes fun songs in the spirit of author hero Shel Silverstein, with titles like "Animal ABCs," "High Five," and "That's How a Pumpkin Grows." KO

recommendedTHE BUDOS BAND

(Sat, 5:30 pm, Fisher Green) The Budos Band consist of 10 people who all lock into sync with the military precision of James Brown and Fela Kuti's tightest '60s and '70s ensembles. Like those sprawling units, these Staten Island Daptone recording artists possess an innate feel for the deepest funk rhythms and the most rousing Afrobeat arrangements. Because they use no vocals, the onus is on the Budos Band's instrumental prowess—of which they have a surplus. On their new, third album, The Budos Band III, they mute the euphoria a smidgen, opting for a more brooding, psychedelic sound that suggests some of Ethiopian jazz maestro Mulatu Astatke's influence—and they do a pretty gloomy cover of "Day Tripper." Nevertheless, this isn't music to furrow brows to; this is primal, percussion-heavy music that'll make your soul sweat. D. SEGAL


(Sat, 1 pm, Northwest Court) Almost any Presidents of the United States of America song could be interpreted as a kids' tune (save for that "Mixed Up S.O.B."—not entirely kid-appropriate). But Presidents frontman Chris Ballew has taken his knack for goofy, upbeat rock to the next kid-friendly level with his side project Caspar Babypants, in which he plays sing-along songs about pennies, spiders, dogs, and, well, lots of other stuff the Presidents could've very well written songs about. But these songs are specifically for the Pull-Ups-wearing crowd! MS


(Mon, 2:45 pm, Northwest Court) Chris Pureka is a singer-songwriter out of Massachusetts blessed with an awesome voice and a striking persona. "Pureka identifies as genderqueer and cultivates an androgynous appearance," Wikipedia informs us, adding: "Pureka's music does not deal explicitly with LGBT issues, focusing instead on emotional interactions between individuals." Great, but what you'll care about is The Voice, a deep, rich wonder of a thing that's surrounded on record by a dramatic racket of borrowed Americana. Her latest record, How I Learned to See in the Dark, was coproduced with the reigning queen of high-drama lo-fi, Merrill "tUnE-yArDs" Garbus. Live, Pureka is alone with her guitar and talented enough to make something momentous of it. D. SCHMADER


(Sat, 4:45 pm, Center Square) Civil Twilight are just not very interesting. The band comes from Cape Town, South Africa, and I guess that's neat because there are rhinoceroses in South Africa and rhinoceroses are awesome, but other than that, they just sound like a less remarkable version of Muse. Their vocals soar, their guitars shimmer, and their songs swell with fervor, but somehow, mysteriously, they manage to feel completely empty, making Civil Twilight a perfect accompaniment to "touching" moments on crappy TV shows like One Tree Hill, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Sober House with Dr. Drew. MS


(Mon, 2:15 pm, Broad Street) Reviews of early Clientele records uniformly talk about reverb and space and atmosphere; the reviews of their later albums all attempt to come to grips with the loss of those traits while still singing the band's praises. To this latecomer to the band, with no wistful nostalgia in tow, their most recent album, Bonfires on the Heath, sounds like fine, spacious indie pop, with lots of piano, some distant echoing slide guitar and muted string arrangements, and always lead singer Alasdair MacLean's sighing, reclining voice. It's mostly mellow stuff, but Bonfires also offers the slight funk twitch of "Share the Night." Throughout, seasons and times of day and their attendant shades of light color the album (apparently another classic Clientele touch). I'm sure I'm missing out on their most mind-blowing album, but Bonfires on the Heath seems as good a place as any to pick them up. ERIC GRANDY


(Sat, 2 pm, Fisher Green) The Constellations, from Atlanta, Georgia, sound like Gorillaz but with a Southern-goth swagger and a lot of tambourine. For example, check out their song "Felicia," which is about a romp with an S&M-loving sexpot—it sounds a whole lot like "Feel Good Inc." only performed by horny, whiskey-soaked barflies instead of smooth-talking cartoons who are friends with De La Soul. The Constellations talk tough, they dabble in hiphop as much as they do funk, sometimes they throw in some dirty synth riffs, and there will probably be a lot of marijuana smoke in the air during their set. MS


(Sun, 6:30 pm, Northwest Court) The anxiety of influence might hang kind of heavy with this threesome. The members' pops are jazz luminaries Larry Coryell, Brian Auger, and Joe Sample. However, guitarist Julian Coryell, drummer Karma Auger, and bassist Nicklas Sample seem to have not let those long shadows impede their skills, which are considerable. Together, the trio flaunts a fluent, flamboyantly proficient brand of jazz rock that proves these players have made excellent use of their generous genetic gifts. Check out their track "GoGo Blues" for a scorching example of their fusion-y prowess. D. SEGAL


(Sun, 3 pm, Center Square) L.A. trio Crash Kings thought it would be a good idea to muck around in the blues-rock mire where the White Stripes and the Black Keys have struck gold. (Maybe they should've called themselves the Gray Strings...) Like their aforementioned contemporaries, Crash Kings' bassist Mike Beliveau and drummer Jason Morris wear Led boots, revealing their Jones for hitting rock Bonham, and vocalist/pianist Tony Beliveau full-throatedly Plants his cords in the upper registers. Luckily for Crash Kings, many thousands of people will never tire of bombastic blues rock that aspires to fill stadia with lighter-waving dudes and dudettes. D. SEGAL


(Sat, 8:15 pm, EMP) Earlier this year, the Cute Lepers released Smart Accessories, the best album of their career. The title track is a fast, upbeat, punk-rock song with horns, bratty vocals, and a catchy chorus. "What Happens Next" is more laid-back, with feel-good harmonies and a touch of Elvis Costello, while "No Escape" will surely be loved by any fan of Screeching Weasel. The Cute Lepers have something for everyone! So long as "everyone" refers to fun-loving pop punks who like to dance and pogo. MS


(Sun, 9:15 pm, Broad Street) The Dandy Warhols emerged from the major-label meat grinder—and harrowing close encounters on tour with Brian Jonestown Massacre, as documented in the film Dig!—pretty much how they entered it: as a dreamy, sexy psych-rock group with an unerring knack for sugarspun tunesmithing and the occasional excursion into deep drone space to keep the true heads contentedly humming. Courtney Taylor-Taylor has led the Portland quartet (which includes keyboardist Zia McCabe, guitarist Peter Holmström, and drummer Brent DeBoer) over 17 years of velvety overground rocking. That they keep making practically the same record over and over is somewhat troubling, but it's a pretty good record, even with all the obvious psych signifiers and blatant homages. D. SEGAL


(Sun, 4 pm, Broad Street) Bazan's Barsuk release Curse Your Branches is his first solo full-length since the dissolution of Pedro the Lion in 2005, and it's a first in other ways as well. Whereas Pedro the Lion frequently used fiction to explore the corners of faith and the human condition, Bazan has said that the new record is largely autobiographical. And it covers some pretty dark personal territory, exploring Bazan's falling out with his former evangelical Christianity and his subsequent attempts to drown out his newfound agnosticism with alcohol. The songs were reportedly well received at this year's Cornerstone Christian music festival (from which Bazan was cast out in 2005 for drunkenness). Bazan seems largely concerned with ethics, with the struggle to be good, moral, and righteous, and his songs palpably sag with the guilt of inevitably falling short of such high, holy standards. His songs are alternately repentant and flagellant, acknowledging his own shortcomings (the line on "Bless This Mess" about kissing his baby's forehead with booze on his breath is especially brutal) as much as he lashes out at the hypocrisy and wickedness of politicians or (ahem) the nastiness of critics. EG


(Sat, 5:30 pm, Memorial Stadium) We've all seen the modern pop-music cycle repeated ad nauseam: Band hits it big, band suffers backlash, band disappears. But do you know why the backlash against the Decemberists never really took off? Because the Decemberists are totally fucking awesome, that's why. They've got a huge, varied sound that's always testing genre limits—if they were just "that sea chantey band," you might make a case against them, but then they put out a rocker like "Repaid" and you're in love all over again—and Colin Meloy's thoughtful lyrics make that rare leap from "literary" to "literature." You can't lash back against quality. PC


(Sun, 7:30 pm, Broad Street) Possibly, when you're a band based out of Barcelona, just a blue patch of Mediterranean Sea away from the rave resort island of Ibiza, a certain amount of old-school house music just filters into your indie rock as if it floated in on the breeze. That certainly sounds like the case with Delorean, a Spanish four-piece originally from the country's Basque region. Delorean make keyboard and drum-loop-driven pop songs that shimmer around the edges with an ecstatic but extremely breezy Balearic vibe. (Alternately, when your band is called Delorean, perhaps you can't help engaging in a little musical time machining.) Their 2010 full-length debut, Subiza, is full of sun-bleached, effervescent songs led by bassist/vocalist Ekhi Lopetegi's distinctively accented, lighter-than-air singing. If you can't wake up naked on the beach in Ibiza in 1988, Delorean provide an utterly pleasant approximation. EG


(Mon, 7:30 pm, Memorial Stadium)

Drake has a lot going for him: He's television famous, thanks to a starring role in Degrassi: The Next Generation; he's endorsed by Young Money, the label that gave us the uncontainable mixtape flows and world-eating weed appetites of Lil Wayne; and he's handsome enough to grace the inside of lockers (or iPhone backgrounds or whatever the kids do these days) of high-school girls everywhere. What Drake doesn't have going for him is a particularly impressive rap flow of his own or an R&B voice that stands out much from the Auto-Tune treatment slathered all over it. If anything, his debut album, Thank Me Later, is most notable for being graced with great, emotive productions by Noah "40" Shebib and Boi-1da and high-profile guest appearances from the likes of Jay-Z, T.I., and The-Dream. It's a fine package, but it's strange that Drake is the pretty face to sell it. EG


(Sat, 7:30 pm, Broad Street) Oh, man. You know what song America can't get enough of? That "Home" song by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. It's all the rage at weddings and in movie trailers and on YouTube. And it's a great song—catchy and gimmicky in a satisfying, clap-along way—but it's a great opportunity for those of us who bought Up from Below, their 2009 debut album, to experience that rewarding glow that comes from saying, "I was there first." Now all you latecomers will get the Magnetic Zeros experience for the first time: Yeah, it does sound like Queen smashing into a folk band at a hippie orgy. Isn't it great? PC


(Sun, 12:30 pm, Fisher Green) Seattle 11-piece Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme follow in the uproarious tradition of expansive funk ensembles that have been raising roofs since Nixon was befouling the Oval Office. The seven songs on their Us Is What Time It Is CD flaunt a fleet, fiery funk bolstered by soaring orchestrations, tight arrangements, and groin-grinding rhythms. Vocalist Eldridge Gravy recalls Stevie Wonder's youthful, animated tenor, ably conveying the soulful inspiration upon which these units thrive. Sweet, sweaty times await you. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 9:30 pm, Fisher Green) Thanks to a fluke of iPod shuffle, I was recently brought back into contact with Special Beat Service, the (English) Beat's third-and-final album, released in 1982. Best remembered as the source of the band's biggest American hit—the '80s pop standard "Save It for Later"—Special Beat Service revealed itself as a record of across-the-board brilliance, bookended by two extraordinarily beautiful songs: the fitfully ravishing "I Confess" and the elegantly ravishing "End of the Party," both of which find the Beat reining in their legendary ferocity to make the most of Dave Wakeling's rich romantic dramas. Speaking of Wakeling: He's what you get when you see the English Beat in 2010. (Ranking Roger's working his own Beat back in the UK.) D. SCHMADER


(Sun, 9:30 pm, EMP) Fatal Lucciauno, a local rapper who has released one album, The Only Forgotten Son, is a member of the Sportn' Life camp and is the strongest and most prominent bridge between Seattle's more street-oriented hiphop and the hipster hiphop that is currently (and rightly) all the rage these days. Though his raps are blunt, and sometimes packed with heat and drugs, Fatal never loses his sense of humanity and dignity. Street life is not about being glamorous (or ghettofabulous) but about making nearly impossible ends meet. CHARLES MUDEDE


(Sun, 6:45 pm, EMP) We all love a singer-songwriter with his heart on his sleeve, but what about a singer-songwriter with tats all over his face? Fences' Chris Mansfield is both—a capable singer and musician whose songs ache with all the usual sad-sack subject matter, and an inky human canvas whose markings allude to a grittier side, a past clouded with trouble (he did a stint in rehab in 2009) that can't help darkening the more contemplative corners of his songs. Which is not to say his music is a wholly depressing slog; his sentiments may get grim, but his simply arranged music (with production help from Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara) and poppy melodies keep things light and catchy. One of Seattle's underrated talents. EG


(Sat, 5 pm, EMP) Feral Children's latest album, Brand New Blood, sees the Seattle band settling down somewhat, sublimating wild howls for ghostly choruses, ragged rhythms for distant drum rumble, and drunk, heavy piano for queasy keyboards and soft Twin Peaks synth pads. The vocals still range from strangled yelp to drawled, menacing mumble, with some tunefulness in between, but the occasional off lyric sticks out a little more here. Still, there are some fine moments: the rousing, almost sweet chorus on the latter half of "Universe Design"; the drifting choral ballad "Inside the Night"; the semiacoustic, folky "Woodland Mutts," with its swells of something sinister underneath fluttering strings; the undertowed surf guitar that opens "Enchanted Parkway." EG


(Sun, 2:15 pm, Fisher Green) There is a good chance that Fresh Espresso (the duo of Rik Rude and P Smoov) will replace Blue Scholars as Seattle's biggest hiphop act. The word on the street is that the duo's new material surpasses the great material on their debut album, Glamour. If this turns out to be true, if Rik Rude (rapper) and P Smoov(rapper/producer) can top tracks like "Diamond Pistols" and "The Lazerbeams," then we expect their fame to increase to a size that's comparable to or larger than the Blue Scholars'. Time will tell. C. MUDEDE


(Mon, 2:15 pm, Fisher Green) This band sings in Portuguese, so I'm in no position to judge their songs. But they have something of a reputation in Brazil and they're hoping to impress the American audience with their blend of soul, funk, and '70s rock. The band's name, which means "Swedish girls," has something to do with football. Enjoy! C. MUDEDE


(Sun, 4 pm, Fisher Green) Since her debut EP in 2006, Worthnothings, Georgia Anne Muldrow has dropped a total of seven LPs—Cosmic Headphones is a collection of dreamy hiphop instrumentals; SomeOthaShip is a collaboration with her husband, the rapper Declaime; Ocotea, is a voyage to the psychedelic and dubby limits of avant-garde jazz. When Muldrow sings, it sounds like a wind is blowing through the music. Suddenly she is high, suddenly she is strained, suddenly she is frantic, suddenly she is low. And the content of the songs (which is often fragmentary) seems to have little to no influence on these fluctuations. As a consequence (and this is certainly the desired effect), her singing feels less emotional than purely natural, a breeze blowing through the leaves without a rhyme or reason. C. MUDEDE See preview, page 17.


(Sat, 12:30 pm, EMP) Great Waves probably include some of the youngest musical performers at this year's festival—they made their way onto the prestigious lineup by winning Sound Off!, the EMP's annual underage battle of the bands wherein no performers are allowed to be over the age of 21 (and many are still in high school). This year's competition had an impressive array of talent, but Great Waves ultimately wowed the panel of judges (and the crowd) with their flawless and sweeping indie rock featuring gorgeous piano and strings, and just a touch of folk. MS


(Mon, 3:15 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Greg Laswell's songs sound like lazy summer afternoons spent driving along a country road with quiet indie guitar ringing from the car stereo. Several tracks from his album Three Flights from Alto Nido have been featured in the television shows True Blood, Dollhouse, Grey's Anatomy, Castle, and 90210. "Comes and Goes (In Waves)," "How the Day Sounds," "Sweet Dream," and "And Then You" all have the polished sound of Sony's Vanguard Records while maintaining the hopeful arc of a struggling artist. C. MUDEDE


(Sun, 1:15 pm, Northwest Court) If The Stranger music department doesn't get at least three e-mails a day telling us what Greta Matassa is up to, we start to get worried. It's possible that the versatile jazz singer has cloned a few velvet-voiced Greta Matassa androids in order to perform as much as she does while still maintaining her vigorous e-mailing regimen. My father recently saw her (or one of her clones) perform and described her voice as "very soulful—with a great depth," and he's a pretty picky dude. GB


(Sat, 12:15 pm, Fisher Green) One of Grynch's many achievements is to put North Seattle on the hiphop map. Before him, there was nothing, not even a beat coming from that side of town. Since 2005, the year of his arrival, he has released two albums and a number of EPs and contributed to tracks by almost all of the major local acts. Grynch not only is a member of the local hiphop elite, he also has a dedication to the art that is flawless. Many of his raps are about maintaining fidelity to the founding values of the art. C. MUDEDE


(Sat, 3 pm, Center Square) Central figures in the once-hot scene based around L.A. DIY venue the Smell, HEALTH began life as cantankerous noise wranglers. Their 2007 self-titled debut album features incongruously mellow vocals (think Kevin Shields's narcotized coo) over splenetic beats and rusty-metallic guitar squalls. But on their 2009 follow-up, Get Color, HEALTH inject more melodic beauty into their artful rock brut. The band's not-so-secret weapon is the Zoothorn, a simple yet effective device that comes from taking an effects pedal and replacing a guitar with a microphone that has an on/off switch. Rather than coming off as a gimmick, though, the Zoothorn lends HEALTH's tracks a kind of fibrillating metallic veneer that eludes most rock bands. Abrupt shifts in direction and tempo keep you on tenterhooks, while the songs' hooks come adorned with bracingly caustic textures. Hey, Trent Reznor's a fan. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 3:30 pm, EMP) Helladope are a Beacon Hill duo consisting of rapper Jerm and producer/MC Tay Sean. With Helladope's Return to Planet Rock, the theme is space travel, rocket science fiction, distant galaxies, stars, and moons. On this album, a rapper is not human but an alien who happens to be in the form of a human. We also hear a race of rappers declare: "This is my planet!" But we do not know on which planet they dwell. There is also a chill "Cosmic Voyage" with THEESatisfaction on a pimped-out spaceship. And on "We Come in Peace," dark energy makes an appearance and throws down a rap to a disco beat: "We are the energy causing your planet to rotate." Musically, Helladope keep it low-tech, with cheap-sounding synths, old-school drum-machine rolls, and electro-funk beats. Theirs is not the future as we see it today (which is a biotech future), but as it was seen in the past, in the '70s and '80s (man machines, space suits, radio transmissions). This is the future of yesterday; this is a return to Planet Rock. C. MUDEDE


(Sun, 2:15 pm, Broad Street) We're all waiting for the other shoe to drop. We know it's going to happen someday soon: Some music-industry bigwig (the music industry still has bigwigs, doesn't it? Somebody has to sell the songs to advertising agencies, right?) is going to hear Hey Marseilles' orchestral folk-pop and steal them away from Seattle forever. It's only a matter of time; a band can't write songs this perfect and dramatic and universal and stay a local act. Enjoy them while they're here: Someday soon, Hey Marseilles are going to belong to the world. PC


(Sun, 7:30 pm, Memorial Stadium) Every good carnival needs a freak show, and Bumbershoot 2010's comes in the form of Courtney Love and whatever sad sack of studio hands passes for Hole these days. It's been well over a decade since Love has made an album worth giving a damn about, but she's kept busy in that time by embarrassing herself on Twitter, hawking her late husband's diaries and likeness, and losing custody of her daughter. Sigh. Look, everyone would love for this Hole reboot to be some kind of redemption story for Love, but reviews of recent shows aren't very encouraging. The New York Times: "She spent less than 50 minutes onstage, barely engaged the audience, stood in place and sang largely by rote." The Washington Post: "Make no mistake—this was an astonishingly awful performance that had few moments of redeeming musical value." So, come for the self-immolating (or just stultifying) spectacle, stay for the potentially still untarnished, raw, screaming power of classics like "Miss World," "Violet," and "Live Through This." EG See preview, page 8.


(Sun, 1:15 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) This four-piece band from Portland, Oregon, takes folk music back to its American gothic roots with traditional instruments like violins, mandolins, and well-played saws. In fact, lead singer Justin Ringle wields his voice like a rusty saw, delicate and sometimes trilling. Local audiences have loved Horse Feathers for years—here's your chance. C. MADRID


(Sat, 1:15 pm, Center Square) It's been quite a while since we've seen Idiot Pilot's name on any lineups—the Bellingham duo never officially broke up, but they did put the project on the back burner for a couple of years while members Michael Harris and Daniel Anderson focused on side projects. Then, just a few months ago, Idiot Pilot returned with an impressive new song, an optimistic attitude, and news that they've added a permanent live drummer to their lineup. They've always had an exhilarating live show, but now their melodic electro-rock will be even more so. MS


(Mon, 6 pm, Memorial Stadium) This Jay-Z protégé has one track I have hardcore hiphop feelings for, "Simba," which is produced by By Any Means and Say Uncle. If by "simba," Cole means "lion," well, good. It's always a plus to use an African word in a hiphop track. Also, the video for the track, directed by BBGUN, is pure urban: concrete, street, alley, buildings, windows, fire escapes, storefronts. I think there is not one fucking tree or plant in that whole video. C. MUDEDE


(Sun, 6:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) The central image on the James Cotton "Superharp" Blues Band's website—we live in an era when elderly bluesmen have websites—is a flaming harmonica. It looks like a normal harmonica, except it's on fire and emblazoned with the words "James Cotton, Superharp." Since the 1950s, Cotton's distinguished himself as one of the world's great masters of the mouth harp, entering into influential mentorships under Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf, opening for Janis Joplin and Big Brother, and supporting the great Muddy Waters with the James Cotton "Superharp" Blues Band. Now in his 66th year in showbiz, James Cotton hits the stage at Bumbershoot. Expect flaming harmonicas. D. SCHMADER

recommendedJAMIE LIDELL

(Sat, 5:45 pm, Broad Street) English vocalist/producer/beatboxer supreme Jamie Lidell holds the talent to revolutionize soul music for the new millennium. Sadly, he doesn't always harness his phenomenal rhythmic convolutions and vocal acrobatics to their fullest potential. Sometimes, like on 2008's Jim and parts of the new Compass, Lidell adheres too closely to the mannerisms of his idols (Otis, Stevie, Marvin), which can actually be fine, as a white Brit who sounds like those immortals has inherent novelty and entertainment value. But Lidell is capable of much loftier achievements, as his shows around the time of his 2005 career peak Multiply proved. As Jim and, to a lesser extent, Compass show, Lidell has aspirations to become an angsty R&B loverman in the vein of Gaye and D'Angelo, with sonic innovation receding in importance. That's probably a wise career move, but it's not the most interesting use of Lidell's prodigious gifts. Let's hope he brings the musical heat that resulted in his radical sound causing an amp to burst into flame at 2006's Bumbershoot. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 5:45 pm, Broad Street) It's difficult to summarize Japandroids better than colleague Michaelangelo Matos once did: "If you've heard No Age or Cymbals Eat Guitars, you'll have the idea well in advance. But Japandroids' speed-paradiddles and mock-heroic guitar, as well as lyrics along the lines of 'I don't wanna worry about dying/I just wanna worry about sunshine girls/Auuuugh!'... give them a winning, fresh-faced quality it's damn hard to dislike." And that's just the thing: Japandroids strike at your rock reptile brain so hard that you can't help but come unhinged. GB See preview, page 20.


(Sun, 5:45 pm, Fisher Green) Let's just get this out of the way: Jay Electronica is an unforgivably bad name. "Electronica" being a media buzzword used to sell mid-'90s techno for car commercials, it's like calling yourself Jay Alternative or Jay Swing Revival or something. NAGL. Nevertheless, the New Orleans MC's East Coast–flavored raps are commanding and impressively crafted, hard knocking yet tongue twisting, and his associations (J Dilla, Nas, Erykah Badu) attest highly to his hiphop bona fides. So, too, do his scant two official singles, "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit C," as well as the crazy introductory epic "The Pledge," on which he raps about rap, UFOs, and the Abrahamic religions over nine and a half minutes looped from Jon Brion's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind score. Call him Jay Spotless. EG


(Mon, 1:15 pm, Center Square) WTF, JEFF the Brotherhood? How—and more importantly, why—do these Nashville bros (Jake and Jamin Orrall on guitar/vox and drums, respectively) make the long-moribund grunge genre sound so damn good? Maybe it's because JEFF the Brotherhood possess the nonchalantly brilliant hook-mongering abilities of Fluid (one of Sub Pop's greatest and most overlooked signings) and what can only be called a light heaviness that eludes the grating macho posturing of so many musicians who fancy themselves as hard rockers. Or it could be something more intangible... or even something as seemingly mundane as good facial bone structure, which has been known to help many a rock group get over. Whatever the case, JEFF the Brotherhood have something special going and you will surely discover what that special thing is at Bumbershoot. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 6:45 pm, Memorial Stadium) I'm sorry, I know it means that I'm hopelessly hung up on the past and childhood nostalgia and all that, but I can't recalibrate my brain so that Jenny Lewis is a singer-songwriter and not the moppet sidekick from The Wizard or the precocious protagonist of Troop Beverly Hills. I have tried and tried again. And it's no failing of hers as an artist—her voice is sweet and deliberate, her songs sharper than you'd expect, and her stage presence that of someone long at ease in the spotlight. Her latest endeavor has her paired with beau Johnathan Rice, also an actor as well as a musician (he played Roy Orbison in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line). Their single extant song, "Scissor Runner," suggests that they'll be making breezy, sunny jangle pop not too at odds with either of their previous works—as musicians, not moppets. EG


(Sun, noon, Northwest Court) Seattle's Johnny Bregar makes music-for-kids that won't make adults wish they'd aborted. Forsaking the diabolical baby-talk repetitiveness of Raffi, Bregar writes sprightly bluegrass tunes that wouldn't be out of place at the Tractor Tavern, where Bregar's song about smearing his face in his mama's delicious pie would take on distinct adult overtones. As it is, Bregar's "Blackberry Pie" is just about how much fun it is to eat like a pig. D. SCHMADER


(Sat, 4:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) "Lord, I'm going up town/To the Harlem River to drown/Dirty water gonna cover me over/And I'm not gonna make a sound." Nashville native Justin Townes Earle is a lanky white guy who captures the essence of old gospel in "Harlem River Blues." His other tunes, while decidedly more folksy than bluesy, are nonetheless satisfying soul food. C. MADRID

recommendedKINGS GO FORTH

(Mon, 4 pm, Fisher Green) Not all musical resurrections are created equal. Modern acts harking back to '60s soul have an advantage with regard to their retro actions. Why? Because '60s soul is one of the greatest-sounding genres ever. (Disagree? I'd love to hear your arguments.) On their Luaka Bop Records debut, The Outsiders Are Back, Milwaukee's Kings Go Forth—featuring the gruffly silky vocals of fiftysomething force of nature Black Wolf—evoke a virtual peak-time Motown/Atlantic/Curtom/Philadelphia International aura without coming off like cloying ventriloquists. Similarities to the Daptone roster abound, too, but KGF radiate a bit more rawness and Latinized rhythmic verve than do their East Coast counterparts. Fans of ecstatic romancin' music from the analog era have yet one more reason to rejoice. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 8 pm, Northwest Court) Jesus Christ, have you heard the latest Liz Phair album? It's so bad, it makes her last two (atrocious) albums sound like Beatles records. And it really, really makes me appreciate Laura Veirs, who has been putting out deeply personal and wildly tuneful albums to almost no hype when compared to the accolades Phair received with her debut. And if a greater appreciation for Veirs as one of the finest solo female recording artists in the business today is what I get out of Phair's insane freak-out, that's good enough for me. PC


(Mon, 4:30 pm, Northwest Court) How is it that the island of Iceland seems to constantly manufacture adorable little wood sprites who in turn manufacture lovely, enchanting music that makes you want to move to Iceland and live in the woods with them? Does Iceland even have woods? GB

recommendedLISA DANK

(Mon, 6:15 pm, EMP) How can you not find any pleasure in the way Lisa Dank's body and voice generate erotic energy? Her singing, her soaring, her dancing, her fits and shakes, her often-brilliant costumes, and her tireless processing of bad pop (mainstream hiphop, R&B, new wave disco) into a posthumanist froth—all of this kind of stuff is very agreeable to us, the inhabitants of a world that has no truths or religion. Dank is one local artist who deserves more of our attention. C. MUDEDE


(Sun, 9:15 pm, Fisher Green) In the summer of 2009, two willfully dumb, powerfully repetitive novelty rap songs proved impossible to escape: Das Racist's "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" and LMFAO's "I'm in Miami Bitch." At first, these songs, and their creators, seem cut from the same cloth, but a moment's consideration reveals them to be dramatic opposites. LMFAO's Stefan and Skyler Gordy are literal heirs of Motown's Berry Gordy; Das Racist's Victor Vazquez and Himanshu Suri were born to first-generation immigrant parents. When LMFAO name-check Red Bull and Vans, it reads as blank-faced endorsement; when Das Racist talk about Taco Hut and Pizza Bell, they're examining how a "space is transformed by a corporate language from one single physical space to a number of illusory spaces... to expand the illusion of choice" (as they wrote in the Village Voice). LMFAO collaborate with Lil Jon; Das Racist reference Edward Said. In short: LMFAO are thoughtless celebrators; Das Racist are celebratory thinkers. LMFAO are playing Bumbershoot 2010; Das Racist are not. EG


(Mon, 6:15 pm, Northwest Court) Loch Lomond's newest EP, Night Bats, is their best output yet. The closing track, "Wax and Wire," is especially good, a loopy waltz that begins quietly and explodes into a cascade of bold strings. Lomond's earlier work was great, if a little tentative—"Blue Lead Fence," to choose an example at random, had all the elements of a fine song (a driving beat, a catchy chorus) but felt in the end as though they were holding something back. Now they're at the height of their powers, fully aware of what they can bring with their strings and heavily ornamented instrumentation. PC


(Sun, 2 pm, EMP) The 1970s-rock record bins of Port Angeles must be dusty and vacant—the five boys of the Lonely H plundered them all. You can hear the long nights of grooving to Bob Seger, the Eagles, and the rest of those geezers in the Lonely H's cocaine-Clapton guitar licks, Hammond chords, and rambling country-rock song structures. And the lyrics! "I'm a singer/I'm a vagabond/Tradin' verses for a tear/I'm a singer/Livin' close to dead/Open roads and empty beds." They look too fresh-faced and rosy-cheeked for that kind of talk. But they've got the hair—and some of the best local talent directing their music videos: Lynn Shelton, Ben Kasulke. Rock! BRENDAN KILEY


(Sat, 3 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Seattle's favorite nine-man folk band is led by vocalist and alpha beard Jason Dodson, whose voice harnesses more natural twang than 1,000 guitar strings. Their 2009 sophomore release, Listen to the Thunder, has taken them on tour around the U.S., which is like watching one small town invade its neighbors, conquering lesser-bearded skeptics with the sheer force of their down-home drawls. Offer yourself up for sacrifice before they hunt you down and force their thunder upon you. C. MADRID

recommendedMARY J. BLIGE

(Mon, 9 pm, Memorial Stadium) From the minute she recorded the karaoke version of Anita Baker's "Caught Up in the Rapture" that would serve as her demo, Mary J. Blige has been a star. But who knew she'd get to be this big of a star? Power-balladeering with Bono? Naming her album No More Drama (complete with "Nadia's Theme" sample) then beating up her husband in public for allegedly flirting with a waitress? Releasing nothing but platinum albums since 1992, when most "hiphop soul" wannabes can't even manage two hit singles? That's the kind of "Queen of the Universe" shit not even Streisand can pull off. Hail Mary. D. SCHMADER See preview, page 15.


(Sun, 4:45 pm, Northwest Court) Matt Jorgensen is a Seattle jazz drummer who's made a name for himself with his musical adventurousness. Jorgensen's recordings range from moody atmospherics to jazz funk with power chords to covers of Led Zeppelin and Radiohead. He'll be playing music from his new album just out, based on the art of Dale Chisman, joined by saxophonist Mark Taylor, trumpeter Thomas Marriott, guitarist Dan Balmer, and bassist Dave Captein. D. SCHMADER

recommendedMcTUFF TRIO

(Sun, 3 pm, Northwest Court) I could cook up some new blurb about Seattle jazz combo McTuff, but it could never communicate as much as Christopher DeLaurenti's 2007 Stranger write-up: "Skerik inspires cultish devotion; the physiological reaction by rabid males to his berserk sax attacks is known as a 'Skerection.' He might be the marquee name in McTuff, but the soul-jazz quartet really belongs to Joe Doria and his B3 organ. Doria never lets his immense chops get in the way of momentum or soul, just as guitarist Andy Coe reels in his extended flights for glistening, razor-sharp solos. Backed by D'Vonne Lewis—previously named as Seattle's best young drummer." D. SCHMADER


(Mon, 4 pm, Broad Street) Even during the all-embracing golden era of Amer-indie, when doing it wrong was doing it right, the Meat Puppets' SST-endorsed country punk was weird as fuck. Time has only made it weirder. Hailed as a holy object by pop deity Kurt Cobain, the Puppets' second record, Meat Puppets II, now seems like an audio time capsule of an Arizona acid trip navigated by three eerily talented musicians who know exactly where they're going; there's nothing else like it. Ensuing years have brought hiatuses, breakups, and reunions, and tonight's show should be a highly musical mindfuck. D. SCHMADER


(Mon, 5 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) It's impossible to hear the Moondoggies' special brand of honky-tonk and not give in to the urge to stomp and drink and wail along. Their simple hooks in songs like "It's Hard to Love Someone" are irresistible, but it's their plaintive four-part harmonies that truly separate them from their folk brethren and stamp them as a local treasure. C. MADRID


(Sun, 6:30 pm, Center Square) Minneapolis's Motion City Soundtrack traffic in Weezery power pop of negligible distinction. "The band's musical style is widely recognizable by its unique blend of pop punk with the moog synthesizer," says Wikipedia. Proceed as you will. D. SCHMADER

recommendedNEKO CASE

(Sat, 7:15 pm, Memorial Stadium) I'm one of the tiny minority who didn't really enjoy Neko Case's 2006 album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. I could appreciate that it was musically an exceptional work, but I think my issue had mainly to do with the fact that I love her earlier, big, blowsy country numbers—Tammy Wynette by way of pulp-fiction crime novelist Jim Thompson—so fucking much that it hurts. But Case's newest album, Middle Cyclone, combines the folksier feel of Fox Confessor with her earlier vocal energy. She's ready again to lead the listener to deep pits of despair and to open her soul in a beautiful, aching howl. Both sides of Case, the country chanteuse and the more obtuse artistic songwriter, have been amalgamated into one beautiful being here. It all makes sense now. PC


(Sat, 9:30 pm, Fisher Green) I will begin with a line from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake: "Here comes everybody." Something similar can be said about Ozomatli, a 10-piece band from L.A.: Here comes every type of music you can think of—hiphop, Latin hiphop, rock, Latin rock, Chicano rock, jazz, jazz fusion, samba, salsa, funk, disco, soul. Almost everything is coming out of this band, and some of it sounds good and some of it not so good. C. MUDEDE


(Sat, 3:30 pm, EMP) Vancouver, BC, quintet Parlour Steps make ebullient, ornate pop that has no truck with frowns. Their peppy tempos and sparkling melodies insistently tug the corners of your mouth upward and get your skeptical feet and head tapping and nodding. I know what you're thinking: You're too cool and aloof to allow yourself to be seduced by such blatant appeals to your withered earnest-pop instincts. And maybe you are. Regardless, Parlour Steps will steadfastly and cheerfully do everything in their power to charm your trousers off—and then wash and dry them... maybe even iron 'em. That's how nice and accommodating they are. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 12:30 pm, EMP) What to call the music local singer-songwriter Nouela Johnston makes with her latest act, People Eating People? Her sometimes rocky, sometimes R&B-ish piano balladry straddles an awkward divide that few if any of her peers can explore without descending into coffee-shop innocuousness; her singing is sweet and tuneful and her songs effectively heartstring-tugging enough for major radio play (in Bizarro World, she would be singing the hooks on wide-screen Jay-Z singles); but, after some bad business with an old label, her attitude is stubbornly independent. You could call it indie pop, only that label evokes all that twee C86 Brit jangle, and Johnston's nimble piano melodies, resounding chords, and strong, belted-out choruses are worlds away from that stuff. DIY R&B? Whatever you wanna call it, it's well worth your time to check out. EG


(Sat, 6:45 pm, Northwest Court) If Woody Guthrie made love to Billie Holiday and their love-baby was delivered by a gospel choir who also babysat on weekends, that love-baby would sound a lot like Pete Molinari. His latest album, A Train Bound for Glory, hits all the right notes and then some—within each song is hidden the blueprint of a classic, from Roy Orbison's "Crying" to Bob Dylan's "You're a Big Girl Now." On this glory train also ride collaborators like the Jordanaires and Chris Scruggs and the McCrary Sisters. Hot damn! C. MADRID

recommendedTHE PHYSICS

(Sun, 8:15 pm, EMP) How long have the Physics been together? Three years? And while Seattle media outlets have been so busy for the last half-decade naming the biggest hiphop acts in town—Common Market, Blue Scholars, Mad Rad (?!?), Shabazz Palaces—is it really possible that we never considered the Physics to be the best among us? Is it their laid-back beats? The way that they bring very little drama to their gigs? They've been keeping their heads down and working the whole time, and these guys are getting really good; it's only a matter of time before they come out on top. PC


(Sat, 2:15 pm, Broad Street) There's a certain theatricality to Plants and Animals, the same this-could-be-in-a-musical feeling you get from, say, Mika. "Bye Bye Bye" is an enormous, tragic set piece of a song that practically writes a scene by itself—something urban and romantic and red-velvet sad. "The Mama Papa" is a jittery, show-starting number with a hand-clap-ready breakdown that sets the stage for a huge romance. Your life seems more dramatic—more daring, more exciting—when you're listening to Plants and Animals; they make any moment seem fraught with peril or glory. This is music that can practically force you to fall in, or out of, love. PC

recommendedRA RA RIOT

(Sun, 5:45 pm, Broad Street) Syracuse, New York's Ra Ra Riot bear some resemblance to Vampire Weekend, but calm down, everybody—you won't hear any songs about horchata and balaclavas here! What you will hear is a deft combination of upbeat pop and string-section lushness. Their latest, The Orchard, dropped August 24 and should further secure their place in the canon of NPR-approved chamber pop. GB


(Sat, 9:30 pm, Broad Street) The Raveonettes are a Danish duo, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, with a sweet tooth for Phil Spector's bubblegum pop by way of the Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy. The posture is effortless cool, the production is Crystals clear yet fuzzy at the edges, the songs are simple guitar-pop pleasures. Best of all, on last year's In and Out of Control, the Raveonettes apply this timelessly satisfying formula to surprisingly, seductively dark subject matters on songs like "Suicide," "D.R.U.G.S.," and "Breaking Into Cars." There's the swaying, cooing "Last Dance" ("Every time you overdose, I rush to intensive care... if this is the last dance, then save it for me, baby"), the tear- and tremolo-stained ballad "Oh, I Buried You Today," and the ridiculously righteous, angel-voiced sing-along "Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)." Now why didn't Spector think of that one? EG


(Sun, 3:30 pm, EMP) The Redwood Plan have drawn a lot of comparisons to Gossip in the local media over the past year, and it's an understandable if damning comparison. Understandable because the Redwood Plan use synthesizers in their rock music and encourage their audiences to dance, and frontwoman Lesli Wood definitely aims for the sort of impassioned, liberatory wail that Gossip's Beth Ditto does so well. Damning because the Redwood Plan fall so far short of that band. Where Gossip do stripped-down garage punk and blues or smooth electro and disco, the Redwood Plan hit a middle ground of overstuffed, overpolished, radio-ready alt-rock with just some tacked-on disco shuffle or synth arpeggios; where Ditto's lyrics are instant anthems, Wood's are clunky or cloying; where Ditto has those soul-power pipes, well, you get it. Maybe more like a clubfooted Erase Errata. EG


(Sun, 5:45 pm, Memorial Stadium) We're Rise Against! We called ourselves that because it kind of makes you think of Rage Against the Machine! We Photoshopped a picture of an angry bear's head onto the body of a dude wearing a business suit and put it on our MySpace page because it looks punk rock! And it makes you think of that Bad Religion album cover! Which is another band we wanna be like! And even though most of our music is pissed-off but radio-friendly punk rock, we also have an acoustic song about war, written from the perspective of a soldier, even though none of us have ever been in the army, so we have no idea what it's like to actually kill someone in the name of freedom! Grrr! Mosh! MS


(Sat, 4:30 pm, Northwest Court) For years, the Round has been gathering local musicians, poets, and painters, and putting them together in the same small room for free-spirited evenings of artistic collaboration. Some of Seattle's musical greats have participated—Ken Stringfellow, Damien Jurado, Sean Nelson—and the spontaneous results are always charming, if not completely amazing. This year, the Round comes to Bumbershoot with Goldfinch, Tomo Nakayama (of Grand Hallway and Asahi), and the golden-voiced Shenandoah Davis. Slam poets will perform between songs, and live painters will be creating works inspired by the music (the art is usually for sale after the show). MS


(Sun, 12:30 pm, EMP) Kids who want to grow up to be Led Zeppelin do their best Led Zeppelin impressions. "The Seattle-based School of Rock is the nation's premier rock music program, accepting students from ages 8–18 and turning them into rock stars," according to festival organizers. CF


(Sat, 6:45 pm, EMP) The title track of See Me River's new album, The One That Got a Wake, takes frontman Kerry Zettel's appealingly droning, low-yet-nasal voice (the band's most constant feature) and adds to it a mess of musical ideas: drunken slow-dancing rhythm, twangy guitar, some uneasy honky-tonk piano, and enough cymbal clatter to choke out every breath of air. There's a bit of a Tom Waits fairy-tale bender vibe, but with a pretty beat-up mix. Throughout, the prolific band's fourth album in as many years sees them expanding their dirgey, rootsy sound—with touches of harpsichord and brass on "Heroine" and "Baba Yaga," and with an overall inclination toward psychedelic pop tropes. It's not a flawless album (the odd pop-culture history lesson of "A Summer to Remember" might strike some as a bit much), but it's another fine showing from this underrated local act. EG


(Sat, 8:30 pm, Northwest Court) Shawn Lee is a ridiculously prolific multi-instrumentalist who can seemingly create in any style or cover any song in the universe. He exists in the tradition of those session players who used to cut tracks according to specific specs for library music labels, and consequently, he's had many of his tracks appear in television shows and films. With his Ping Pong Orchestra, Lee has applied his soulful, funky, Nixon-era methods to Christmas tunes (A Very Ping Pong Christmas miraculously makes Xmas music sound good), radio smashes—including "Get UR Freak On," "Rehab," and "Clint Eastwood" (Hits the Hits)—the full monty of his repertoire (Miles of Styles), and a host of others that soundtrack practically every conceivable (and inconceivable) mood. Lee really is the ultimate studio Zelig; it should be interesting to see if he can execute all that eclectic, analog-studio magic in a live setting. D. SEGAL


(Sun, 3 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Sista Monica—the singer, songwriter, and musical director for First Congregational Church in Santa Cruz, California—is gonna belt out loud, soulful, I've-been-through-some-shit-and-I've-been-singing-since-I-was-7-years-old gospel music. Festival organizers describe her as a "fierce vocal powerhouse." CF


(Sun, 5 pm, EMP) Slender Means' effortless pop rock is so buoyant it works regardless of your mood. If you're bummed, it's likely to fix that; if you're happy, it's likely to amplify it. Also, I went to junior high with the bass player. Hi, Paul! GB


(Sat, 8:45 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) The problem with these hip revivals of old-school talents is that as soon as the luster of coolness has disappeared, the old-school musician is sent away until another revival comes along. (Where did Loretta Lynn go? Was she just good for that one project with Jack White, really?) Solomon Burke's 2002 Don't Give Up On Me had all the hints of one of these pick-up-and-throw-away revivals—celebrity guests and indie cred up the wazoo—but Burke is canny and all-out awesome enough to make it stick. His new album, Nothing's Impossible, is a pure statement of Solomon Burke–ness. His revival didn't change him one bit; he's just happy to be here, dishing out heaping bowls of R&B, the way he always has. PC

recommendedTHE SPITS

(Mon, 9:15 pm, EMP) Man, it's been quite the year for the Spits. The Seattle-via-Kalamazoo skate-punk terrorists have been on the move—touring almost nonstop, in the U.S. and Europe; releasing a new album, Self-Titled #4; and recording another new full-length, due in December, for In the Red Records, along with a split-single with NOFX, due in the fall. They've shaken the hand of one Bill Clinton, they played a private Hollywood party for Paris Hilton ("She fucking loves us!") with professional fire-starter King Khan, and now they're playing Bumbershoot. It's about time people woke up and smelled the punk rock. KO


(Sat, 1:15 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) Star Anna & the Laughing Dogs are one of Seattle's best-kept secrets (or, I guess, one of Ellensburg's best-kept secrets, but Ellensburg is less of a secret and more of a half-forgotten mishap). Whereas the minute we realized how lucky we got with Neko Case, she was swept away on a wave of fame, Star Anna is still here making noirish country songs that linger in dark places that sound like they were lifted from Case's songbook. Star Anna's songs are good enough to get her swept away in a Case-inspired major-label buying spree, but let's try to keep her for a little bit longer, okay? PC


(Sat, 12:30 pm, Broad Street) The Submarines are the L.A.-based duo of John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard. They used to date. They broke up. They separately wrote a bunch of songs about breaking up and missing each other, which they still recorded together at Dragonetti's home. So of course they got back together and got married. The most obvious analogue here is also the most apt, as the Submarines' sickly sweet, love-stoned pop songs recall nothing so much as the less manic moments of Mates of State, although Hazard occasionally sounds like a less subtle Mirah. Their latest, Honeysuckle Weeks—which ranges from the odd dub lope of "1940" to the manicured hand-wringing of "You, Me and the Bourgeoisie"—is as glossy and broadcast-ready as you'd expect from a band whose work has appeared on Weeds, Grey's Anatomy, and Nip/Tuck. EG


(Mon, 7:30 pm, Broad Street) Did you know Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys not only never went surfing but in fact hated the ocean? It's true! He was terrified of it. To him, every cresting wave looked like a potential incoming slap from an abusive stage father of fathomless size and power. Then he got a note from his shrink and tentatively waded into the Pacific on camera for some A&E biography. Fresh-faced Floridian band Surfer Blood probably have no such phobias, judging by the carefree, occasionally boisterous rock songs on their promising debut, Astro Coast, but they perhaps should be afraid of drowning in the past year's seemingly bottomless sea of littorally named bands (your Wavves, your Best Coasts, etc.). Still, they're young and capable; they should be able to ride the wave out. EG


(Sun, 1:15 pm, Center Square) Sweet Water made a comeback last year, releasing their first album in over 10 years, but they're probably still (and will forever be) best known as the band that wrote that one "Superstar" song in the mid-'90s. You know the one: "Do you wanna be rich?/Do you wanna be a superstar?/Well, honey, you already are/You already are." Now it's stuck in your head, isn't it? Anyway, they must know their fans likely love the old stuff more than their newer songs (though those aren't bad!), and they're certain to play their best-known hit today. Just like they did at Bumbershoot '95. MS


(Mon, 4:45 pm, EMP) The name of one of the three most interesting and creative hiphop bands in Seattle is THEESatisfaction, THEE Stasia and Cat Satisfaction. Though the duo's first album, Snow Motion, is a local classic, their real work of genius is THEESatisfaction Loves Stevie Wonder, the second EP in their "Why We Celebrate Colonialism" series. Each track in this work is singular and transports the listener to zones, ideas, and concepts that feel completely new and raw. The rawness of the groove is never sacrificed in the art in their music. Seattle cannot lose this group; as a city, we must do everything we can to keep them here and keep them busy. C. MUDEDE

recommendedTHE THERMALS

(Mon, 9:15 pm, Broad Street) The Thermals exploded out of the gate with two albums of short, fast, raggedly anthemic punk pop: More Parts Per Million and Fuckin A. The riffs were simple and addictive, the recording was redlined and raw, and though singer Hutch Harris's clever wordplay showed a sharp lyrical wit, their incendiary songs were largely just calls to carpe fuckin' diem because there might be no future. The Body, the Blood, the Machine retained the band's ballistic energy while more thoughtfully exploring themes of politics, religion, and humankind's seemingly accelerating march toward extinction. Its follow-up, Now We Can See, played out like a postmortem, all that frenzied and worried lust for life safely confined to a kind of passive past tense. The band is at work on a fifth album; here's hoping there's some life in them yet. EG


(Sat, 6:30 pm, Center Square) It's 2010, but This Providence are still rocking the emo swoop hairstyle that was laughable back in 2006. But at least they've modernized their sound. A little. I guess. Before, they played Panic! at the Disco/Fall Out Boy–inspired bullshit; now they've moved on to a more sensitive, Owl City–inspired vibe (but without being a complete rip-off of the Postal Service, so I guess props for that?). If you like bands like Paramore, Cute Is What We Aim For, and Owl City, then you'll be stoked about This Providence's set. And that's okay. The heart wants what it wants. MS


(Mon, 1:15 pm, Mural Amphitheatre) This Duluth, Minnesota, band defies its namesake animal by playing bluegrass fast and dirty, with lively violin and mandolin trills, in songs like "Feet and Bones," that ride up your spine and rattle around your brain, and vocals that will hound you for days. Meanwhile, the harmonica riffs in slower songs like "Bloodshot Eyes" prove they know how to keep things interesting while taking it slow. C. MADRID


(Sun, 11:45 am, Mural Amphitheatre) An impressive lineage goes into the Tripwires' happy-go-lucky, ramshackle pop rock. Frontman John Ramberg has done time along with Peter Buck et al. in the Minus 5, as well as handling singer-songwriter duties for Seattle pop-rock mainstays the Model Rockets (who've been around since 1992). Guitarist/vocalist Johnny Sangster has been a producer and engineer in this city for longer than most contemporary bands have been around, brother Jimmy Sangster has played bass with the Young Fresh Fellows since 1983, and drummer Mark Pickerel was the original drummer for the Screaming Trees and recorded with Kurt Cobain. Put that in your indie band and smoke it! GB


(Sun, 12:30 pm, Broad Street) Unnatural Helpers' songs—usually smart, funny, self-deprecating tunes detailing love gone awry—are sometimes frustratingly brief. Often you're just getting into them and then—pfoom—they end. And you're left thinking, "I wanted that to go on for another two minutes." Albums like Wire's Pink Flag and Guided by Voices' Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes impacted drummer/singer Dean Whitmore's songwriting approach, and the Helpers' Kurt Bloch–produced Cracked Love & Other Drugs deserves inclusion in that canon of catchy concision—its 15 songs clock in at 26 minutes. Cracked Love highlight "Sunshine/Pretty Girls" has potential to be a hit; it's as irresistible as anything GBV have written, but it rejects traditional pop-song verities (the titular subjects) in favor of painful vices. D. SEGAL


(Mon, 12:30 pm, Fisher Green) MTK and RA Scion are Victor Shade, a marriage between comic books and hiphop. Their album is one of the best releases of 2010 and displays RA Scion's ability to work way outside of the political and beat parameters set by his solid collaborations with DJ Sabzi, Common Market. The Victor Shade project has also exposed a new producer to Seattle, MTK, who is from Everett. Indeed, neither Bellevue nor Tacoma have anything like an MTK, a presence who commands this city's attention. C. MUDEDE


(Sun, 8:30 pm, Northwest Court) Vienna Teng sings, writes songs, and plays piano. She's a "triple threat." She lives and eats and sleeps in Brooklyn, where she comes up with the pretty melodies and pretty lyrics of her piano-driven, folksy pop songs. CF


(Sat, 9:45 pm, EMP) Visqueen traffic in a highly pleasurable blend of hard-crunching melodic guitar rock—imagine a woman with the voice of an angel and a Cheap Trick fixation hijacking the Fastbacks (whose Kim Warnick once played in the band) to re-create the Muffs' cover of Kim Wilde's "Kids in America," and you'll hear Visqueen. What makes the band unique is Rachel Flotard's voice, an unassumingly awesome instrument with what seems like half a piano's worth of notes at its disposal. High notes that would tempt Corin Tucker to herniate herself, Flotard snatches from the air with ease. And in a live setting, you see how effortlessly it all comes to her—even when hollering, she's smiling, breezily navigating any vocal melody she sets for herself. Between her band's impeccably executed blasts of music at one show, Flotard made cracks about the rain-splashed mic providing complimentary electrolysis for the sea-hag hairs on her chin. (Along with the angel voice, Flotard is known for her freewheeling stage banter.) D. SCHMADER


(Sun, 9:15 pm, Memorial Stadium) If Rivers Cuomo had gone into hiding following Weezer's 1996 sophomore album, Pinkerton, he would be revered as a god, worshipped on a par with Neutral Milk Hotel hermit Jeff Mangum or the late recluse J. D. Salinger. But, no, Cuomo had to come back out of hiatus and Harvard to front Weezer 2.0: Shitting All Over Your '90s Adolescence, the Ride!TM Sure, this sequel had some of the same traits as the original—three out of four band members (miss you, Matt Sharp), shamelessly slick power-pop hooks—but they decided to replace flesh-and-blood Cuomo, a human capable of writing emotional, affecting songs for humans, with a CGI stand-in who increasingly writes anodyne music only a cyborg could love. (True fact: Ever since getting his robot heart, Dick Cheney loves "Beverly Hills.") EG See preview, page 11.


(Sat, 3:45 pm, Fisher Green) Let's take the faulty but in this case true adage that a band is as good as its name: Nothing, then, could be better than the bands Cold, Bold & Together; Cookin' Bag; and Black on White Affair. These are among the completely awesome bands of Seattle's tragically all but unknown 1960s and '70s funk and soul scene, which has been resurrected in recent years, with help from fine local label Light in the Attic, with a new compilation, a documentary, and reunion performances like this one, thank goodness. The old guys and girls still got it (even without Kenny G, an OG member of CB&T). Do not miss. JEN GRAVES


(Mon, 3 pm, Center Square) Athens, Georgia's the Whigs have been called everything from garage to Southern rock to grunge (and in fact those are the three genres listed on their MySpace page). In truth, they're a fair shake cleaner than any one of those descriptors implies. This stuff lies more on the alterna-arena spectrum, even if the bass does sometimes sound kinda weird. The Whigs do their thing quite well, which is likely why their current tour includes much bigger venues than today's Center Square Stage. GB


(Mon, 7:45 pm, EMP) Detractors of Seattle quintet Wild Orchid Children are quick to slight them as nothing more than a Mars Volta rip-off. It's an easy mistake to make until you give the stuff a harder listen. For starters, elements of prog are few and far between with WOC—it's all fire-charged punk and blues abandon, even if the songs are longer than is typical of those genres. What's more, dudes are an absolute blast to see live, and while the EMP Sky Church might not be the ideal venue in which to see them, it's a fine place to start. GB

recommended recommended recommended recommendedrecommended

(Sat, 2:45 pm, Northwest Court) Would you consider it an insult if I called Zoe Muth the Dolly Parton of Ballard? She doesn't resemble Parton physically—Muth is lovely, and presumably plastic-surgery-free—but her voice has that same pitch-perfect mixture of willfulness, sadness, and yearning that Parton's has. And her tendency to linger on the bluegrass end of the spectrum is decidedly Partonesque, too. This is the sunny afternoon concert to beat; put aside the touring acts for a bit and come fall in love with a local girl. PC

Visual Art


(Sat–Mon, 11 am–8 pm, Northwest Rooms) Jonathan Brilliant (wow) builds an installation made of thousands of wooden coffee stir sticks held together only by the tension of their interlocking placement. Making reference to British artist Andy Goldsworthy's temporary interventions in nature—a pattern of rocks, a floating pad of leaves—Brilliant instead imagines a coffee shop as a natural environment, and he's foraged from there. JEN GRAVES


(Sat–Mon, 11 am–8 pm, Northwest Rooms) An establishment show for the alternatives?! SELLOUTS! Just kidding. What the hell else to do when the world's best comics publisher is here in Seattle? Fantagraphics' Larry Reid curates this overdue show, starting with Lynda Barry's work circa 1980 and running up through the drawers of today, with Charles Burns, Peter Bagge, Jim Woodring (this year's Stranger Genius in Literature), Ellen Forney, Patrick Moriarty, Mark Zingarelli, Roberta Gregory, Megan Kelso, Jim Blanchard... oh, just go. JG


(Sat–Mon, 11 am–8 pm, Northwest Rooms) Security guards at museums are always artists, and therefore they're always, during daytime hours, creatively underemployed. To ease this plight, Ryan Molenkamp developed "Portrait Challenge," in which he and fellow security workers behind the scenes at the Frye Art Museum would sketch to see who could draw the best picture based on an image of some notable model—say, Mr. T. Here at Bumbershoot, the gambit is open to anyone willing to put pencil to paper, and participants can volunteer as models, too. Make a lowdown caricature or a conceptual rendering; it's all up to you. JG


(Sat–Mon, 11 am–8 pm, Northwest Rooms) A fine-art-European-style biennale for street artists?! SELLOUTS! Just kidding. This actually gives you the chance to see creations that probably already live in your head from having passed them on streets all over the city, this time gathered in one place. You'll see big pieces made just for the occasion by respected Seattle street painters including Katsu and Ego, plus smaller pieces by a whole lineup of locals including No Touching Ground, 1+1=3, Pars, Blink, Specs One, and Gretchen Bennett (a crossover artist who works on the street and in fancy galleries). Wear a gown, I dare you. JG

recommendedSOUNDS HUMAN

(Sat–Mon, 11 am–8 pm, Northwest Rooms) Whoa: In this show devoted to sound in new media, "artists seek to create independent beings so evolved that they are able to communicate with humans in shared terms." Be scared, and excited. The artists include MacArthur winner Trimpin, Stranger Genius Victoria Haven, Hugo Solis, Paul Rucker, Gil Weinberg (with Shimon the Improvising Robotic Musician), Signal to Noise, Ryan Nikolaidis of Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology, and Roberto Aimi of Alium Labs. JG



(Sun–Mon, 2 pm, Center House Theatre) Did you know there are Putnam Counties in Indiana, West Virginia, and Tennessee? And that the latest news (as of this writing) from each, respectively, is that a "synthetic marijuana" called K2 has caused some deaths, a sex offender who abused the daughter of a close family friend (maybe even a stepdaughter—the news reports were ambiguous) has been sentenced, and floods have floated a home off its foundation and washed out a bridge? Putnam Counties sound depressing. But The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a lighthearted musical about kids who've dodged synthetic drugs, horrible abuses of trust, and floods so they can compete in a spelling bee. Go with God, Putnam Counties. BRENDAN KILEY


(Sun, 6 pm, Bagley Wright Theatre) Urban and contemporary dance founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, with guest choreographers such as Amber Funk Barton and Maiko Miyauchi. They combine rigorous modern technique with b-boy moves and MTV pop. They live in the middle of the Venn diagram between populism and rarefied dance, along with local companies like the Castaways and locust. BK


(Sun, 3:30 pm, Bagley Wright Theatre) A showcase of work by the "underserved" kids of Arts Corps (a local arts-education nonprofit profiled by Jen Graves in The Stranger earlier this year), who live by the rule "Make art anyway." This afternoon will bring you hiphop, singer-songwriters, b-boys and b-girls, and a bangin' percussion band. BK


(Sat 6 pm, Sun 1 pm, Mon 8 pm, Bagley Wright Theatre) A remarkable dance company for performers in wheelchairs, on crutches, etc. who perform work by David Dorfman and other acclaimed choreographers. They use their wheels, crutches, supports, and other extensions of the human body in surprising and thrilling ways. BK


(Sat–Sun, 5:15 pm, Center House Theatre) An innuendo-packed (get it? In-you-endo-packed?) musical about a naif who shows up to college and gets his innuendo packed. Or something like that. BK


(Sat, 8 pm, Bagley Wright Theatre) As we've written in The Stranger several times already, the physically powerful and aesthetically exhilarating Castaways trick Seattle audiences into watching modern dance every week. They do a little light stripping and some acrobatics (with chains, ropes, spinning turntables, and suspended platforms), but mostly they seduce their audiences with hot, populist modern dance choreographed to MGMT, Lady Gaga, the Kinks, Diplo, Gogol Bordello, the White Stripes, and other music people like to hear. The Castaways put most burlesque to shame and threaten to revolutionize Seattle's modern-dance scene. BK


(Mon, 3:30 pm, Bagley Wright Theatre) A Harlem, Apollo Theater–style showcase of songs by Pearl Bailey, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and other empresses of the blues. Performed by award-winning, Brooklyn-raised singer Ranee Lee. BK


(Sun, 3:45 pm, Center House Theatre) An improvisational comedy group whose name either connotes "revolution" or "convolution" and is an anagram for "uno vitriol mop" and "rump violin too" and "toil or nip ovum" and "vomit on our lip." BK


(Sat 3:30 pm, Sun 6:45 pm, Center House Theatre) A play about a 1950s dude who "believes he should leave his factory job and girlfriend to join the roller derby." BK


(Mon, 6 pm, Bagley Wright Theatre) Such cute boys... and so handy with the kung-fu swords. Nanda was born somewhere between these guys' Port Townsend home and a hippie neo-vaudeville festival called the Oregon Country Fair. They're goofy martial-arts acrobats who have a thick river of vaudeville running through their veins. The girls love them; the boys envy them. BK


(Sat, 1 pm, Bagley Wright Theatre) A dance company that embraces yoga, aerial work, acrobatics, video, and intricate lighting and technical elements, Ricochet has won awards from France to New York. BK


(Mon, 5:15 pm, Center House Theatre) Finally, Randy Newman is getting his due—not as the Hollywood song-whore, nor as the novelty songwriter of "Short People" (I bet he really regrets how that song has haunted and stunted his career), but as a phenomenal songwriter of the first order, alongside geniuses like Stephen Sondheim and Kurt Weill. I know nothing of the performers, so anything goes, but the material should be some of the finest storytelling-via-song of the 20th century. Add Roger Miller and early/middle Tom Waits, and you'd have a full set of Western civilization's finest songwriters. (No, I haven't forgotten Bob Dylan. I've purposefully excluded him.) BK


(Sat 3:30 pm, Sun 8 pm, Mon 1 pm, Bagley Wright Theatre) A pack of musicians, puppeteers, dancers, videographers, and gadget makers who create goofy, surreal, and above all accessible operas: the minotaur myth set at a rodeo, a Pennsylvania mine fire folded into Dante's Inferno, and Night of the Living Dead. They have a Cirque du Soleil flavor that some consider thrilling and some consider cheesy. Kids, supposedly, dig 'em. BK


(Sat 6:45 pm, Mon 6:30 pm, Center House Theatre) A collection of new 10-minute plays. This event has been bizarrely underreported: Nobody that I can find has reviewed it during its run at Open Circle Theater, and even the OCT website doesn't list the writers, actors, directors, or themes. Eat My Shorts could be anything from an undiscovered goldmine to an undiscovered crapmine. If you do go, would you let me know what it's like? I'm curious. But not curious enough to actually show up. Life is short, yo. BK


(Sat 2 pm, Mon 3:45 pm, Center House Theatre) Give me a noun. Machete? Okay. Give me a verb. Vote? C'mon, you guys can do better. No? Vote? Huh. Fine. Okay. Give me a location. In my skull? You want to vote with a machete in my skull? Ooooh, I get it. Well fuck you, too. BK



(Sun, 4:45 pm, Vera Project) These Blood Squad fuckers are good at what they do. And what they do sounds like it could be awful, but it is, in fact, wonderful! Hooray for us all! First, Blood Squad receives a slasher-film title from the audience. Like, say, Prom Night at Stab Stab High. And then they improv the SHIT out of it, moving and sliding deftly between horror-movie tropes like the fucking three-headed Kristi Yamaguchi of horror-movie improv. Or more like Stabby Yamaguchi! GET IT!? See, this is why I am not a member. Plus, "some of the best and freshest comedy and improv duos in Seattle!" Not all of the best. Just some. Don't get greedy. LINDY WEST

recommended recommended

(Mon, 4:45 pm, Vera Project) The Bridgetown Comedy Festival—which takes place in Portland every year and was the brainchild of local comic Andy Wood—is a comics' comic kind of festival: intimate, tastefully booked, and refreshingly industry-free. This showcase features some of Bridgetown's finest. LW


(Sat–Mon, 6:15 pm, Charlotte Martin Theatre) You might think that Greg Behrendt is just that frosty-tipped douche who got all famous by explaining to stupid, stupid women which guys were Just Not That Into Them—but that's because marketing is a dick. In actuality, Behrendt's standup is charismatic and vulnerable and honest and funny. This show features "compelling and often hilarious stories from comics and musicians about the music and bands that rock them," which, like Behrendt, sounds terrible but probably isn't. LW


(Sat–Mon, 4:30 pm, Charlotte Martin Theatre) Born and raised in the Northwest, comedian/musician/actor Nick Thune eventually struck out for L.A., where he honed his comedy (scoring two Tonight Show appearances and a Comedy Central special) and pursued acting (playing a small but important role in Knocked Up). His music—typically produced by singer-songwriter Thune and his acoustic guitar—is closely linked with his comedy, which ventures into Flight of the Conchords/Lonely Island territory but with a goofy sweetness all his own. Garfunkel & Oates are adorable. David O'Doherty is—I do hope you are sitting down—Irish. D. SCHMADER

recommended recommended

(Sat, 2:45 pm, Charlotte Martin Theatre) Never Not Funny is one of the oldest and biggest and best comedy podcasts in existence. Host Jimmy Pardo and producer Matt Belknap know how to turn ordinary conversation—about "life, parenthood, and most importantly, Jimmy's love of awful music"—into bona fide entertainment. It's like medieval alchemy, only with more stupid questions and less wizards. It is so good, in fact, that people pay actual money for it. Like, real American dollars. Not that "gold" you made out of clay and garlic and virgin tears, Gandalf. Virgin. LW


(Mon, 2:45 pm, Charlotte Martin Theatre) You might remember Chris Hardwick as that guy who used to stand next to Jenny McCarthy's boobs and, later, Carmen Electra's boobs. But did you know that he is also funny? And a famous podcasting nerd? All true! The Nerdist also features comics Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. They will be discussing things both nerdy and comedic. LW


(Sun, 2:45 pm, Charlotte Martin Theatre) Marc Maron's WTF podcast is like a comedy master class, only more abusive and not at all encouraging. Maron and his neuroses interview comics about their lives, their acts, their pasts, their philosophies on comedy, and why their success annoys him so much. Also, cats. Maron is a treasure. LW


(Sun, 3 pm, Vera Project) The brainbaby of Solomon Georgio (Stranger Gong Show winner and chocolate gazelle) and James Parkinson (like the disease), the monthly local showcase the Cracked Up is a consistently well-curated presence in Seattle's comedy landscape. This showcase will contain the bodies of local comics with, one assumes, jokes coming out of them. Full disclosure: It will also contain me, unless I die of anxiety (or gin poisoning!) sometime between now and Bumbershoot. LW


(Sun, 1:15 pm, Vera Project) The Famous Mysterious Actor is a frightening specter. It has long hair, like a woman or a hippie. It has a high-pitched voice, like a woman or a wild bird of some kind that speaks human language. It has a thing about Pixy Stix, like most women, and it wears a mask like Eric Stoltz in Mask or Jim Carrey in Look Who's Masking Now. Or a Mexican wrestler. It is very mysterious. It comes from Portland. LW


(Sat 3:45 pm, Sun 5:30 pm, Mon 7:15 pm, Intiman Theatre) In the order of how much I like these people from least to most: Joe Mande is that guy who wrote Look at This F*cking Hipster. Chelsea Peretti is on Louis CK's show Louie. Donald Glover plays Troy on Community and, it must be noted, has been called a "comedy wunderkind." And who are you to snub a wunderkind? Some stupid fucking hipster or something? LW


(Sat, 3 pm, Vera Project) A production of the People's Republic of Komedy, this "Kabaret" showcases the best in olde-timey amusements "from ventriloquists to fortune-tellers." Plus, burlesque, and you know what that means! (BOOBS. IT MEANS BOOBS, IN CASE YOU DIDN'T ACTUALLY KNOW.) LW


(Sat 7:15 pm, Sun 2 pm, Mon 3:45 pm, Intiman Theatre) I can't possibly recommend enough that you go see this show. First of all, because everyone on earth deserves to see that bit John Mulaney does about Jerry Orbach's eyeballs, and second of all, because I am currently fixated on Nick Kroll to a slightly Single White Female degree. And if I'm Jennifer Jason Leigh and Nick Kroll is Bridget Fonda and John Mulaney is—I don't know—the apartment, then I guess that makes Kumail Nanjiani Steven Weber. And who doesn't love Steven Weber!? Dicks, that's who. Go see this show. All must attend or I'll throw your puppy out the window. LW

recommendedLAFF HOLE

(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. Created five years ago by the People's Republic of Komedy, it's been a consistently well-curated weekly showcase featuring local and formerly local treasures. And not the kind of treasures you might find in Grandpa Simpson's underpants (poops!), but the kind you might find in Kris Kristofferson's sock drawer (weed!). This metaphor is getting complicated. Like my feelings for Kris Kristofferson. LW


(Sat 2 pm, Sun 3:45 pm, Mon 5:30 pm, Intiman Theatre) Morgan Murphy has red hair and a really good joke about cell phones and pirates and eyeballs and jizz. Chris Hardwick, as far as I know, has never deliberately jizzed in a woman's eye for business or pleasure. Jamie Kilstein is a Somali pirate who will jizz in your eye in exchange for a cell phone. Jesus Christ, I am so fucking tired of writing these blurbs. Just go see the comedy. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. LW


(Mon, 3 pm, Vera Project) Jon's the shy one, Joey's the cute one, Jordan's the sexy one, Donnie's the tough one, and Danny's the one who looks like a gorilla chewing on a fucking microwave! "Hang tough" while these "New Kids" "showcase their fresh and hilarious perspectives" for you. Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh! LW


(Sat–Mon, 8 pm, Charlotte Martin Theatre) Patton Oswalt is a funny little squeezy-toy of a person whose standup—cheerfully brutal, sprawling yet precise—is sooo fucking good: a giddy, rambling, drunken masterpiece filled with pathos and gravy and Easter eggs and apocalypse and ice-cream cake and heavy metal and perfectly pitched details. He is every reason to love live comedy. I don't know who Oswalt's "friends" are, but I would go to this show even if they were bleach and whatever that other chemical is that turns into poison gas when you mix it with bleach. LW


(Sat, 1:15 pm, Vera Project) Graham Clark and Dave Shumka's Vancouver-based podcast Stop Podcasting Yourself promises "entertaining" guests as well as discussion ranging from "funny things overheard on the street" to "anything else that comes up." They guarantee that, unlike other podcasts, there will be no shitty guests, boring things overheard indoors, or a refusal to address things that come up. LW

recommended'TBTL' LIVE PODCAST

(Mon, 1:15 pm, Vera Project) Too Beautiful to Live, Luke Burbank's mysterious, magical, personal, expansive, weird, intimate, funny "imaginary radio"/podcast sensation will be recording live onstage to its adoring tens of fans. Guests: TBD. The real star: Burbank's preternatural knack for drawing a story out of anything or nothing. LW


(Sat 5:30 pm, Sun 7:15 pm, Mon 2 pm, Intiman Theatre) Tig Notaro—you'd probably recognize her from the Sarah Silverman Program—does sharp, deadpan standup that never sucks. Marc Maron is a neurotic, acerbic, and oddly hot genius. This show will be painful and great. LW


(Sat, 4:45 pm, Vera Project) Ubiquitous They makes cuckoo, conceptual sketch comedy about things both funny and not-funny: like tickling and stabbing and mammograms and getting laid off from the blowjob factory ("Whole blowjob industry's goin' overseas"). Good sketch comedy is hard. Shitty sketch comedy is common. Ubiquitous They is good sketch comedy, somewhere between grounded raunch and the silly, freewheeling heights of similarly structured acts the Cody Rivers Show and the Pajama Men. It's a good place to be. LW



(Sat, 3:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) From a description of a South African short, Superhero, in this global section of the festival: "A guy wakes up in the middle of an arid landscape dressed in a superhero outfit and has no idea who he is or how he got there." This man has to be Nelson Mandela suffering from amnesia. CHARLES MUDEDE


(Sun, 4:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) Because the films in this section were very much loved by the audience of this year's SIFF, we can expect them to be mediocre. Audiences are the worst judges of anything even remotely related to the arts. CM


(Sat, 5:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) From 150 films to the very best, this series presents the jury award winners from SIFF 2010. Because the films in this section received praises and awards from a jury at this year's SIFF, we can expect them to be above mediocre. Juries tend to pick better films than the general audience, the coarse plebeians. One short, White Lines and the Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug, is probably the best film you will see in this festival. CM


(Sun, noon, SIFF Cinema) The premise of one of the many films in this collection: "Everything was fine until he noticed the crumb." CM


(Mon, 8 pm, SIFF Cinema) This documentary is about the man who will always be known to the writer of these lines as the bassist at the center of the revolution that happened in jazz at the end of the 1950s. Charlie Haden was Ornette Coleman's bassist, and he continues to make music with the Liberation Music Orchestra. If you have never heard of The Shape of Jazz to Come, then you are not fully human. You are some kind of animal. CM


(Mon, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema) My favorite description of one of the shorts (The One Last Time, which is directed by Scott Weintrob, and is nine minutes long) in this section of films that are linked by the theme of crime and law enforcement: "Two groups of robbers rob the same bank, on the same day, at the same time, after being given the same tip." CM


(Sun, 8 pm, SIFF Cinema) Any movie about New York City in the 1970s means only one thing to the writer of these lines: the birth of hiphop. CM


(Mon, 4:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) Films about dreams are basically films about crazy shit like girls becoming starfish (Kapsis), pigs giving birth to "cyborg piglets" (E-pigs), and houses that have imprisoned you (The Closed Door). CM


(Sun, 2 pm, SIFF Cinema) Ormie, one of the films in this section—which is dedicated to the institution of the family, an institution that is supported and controlled by the most powerful capitalist forces in our society—concerns a pig that wants to get at a jar on the top a fridge. CM


(Mon, 2 pm, SIFF Cinema) Lots and lots of shorts for the whole family. Indeed, a short is the ideal form of film for a very young child and a very old person. All in the family! CM


(Sat, noon, SIFF Cinema) The family, an institution of the ISA (Ideological State Apparatus) must be entertained. One of the films that the people behind this festival have selected to keep the basic American family distracted is Hajar's Wedding, a film about Iranian "wedding culture, traditions, and customs." This is the kind of movie the state highly recommends for the entertainment of all American families. CM


(Sat, 8 pm, SIFF Cinema) If you live in Seattle and have no idea who the late poet Steven "Jesse" Bernstein is, then you are not a citizen of this town but merely an inhabitant. The city for you is just a collection of roads, buildings, and homes. Sometimes you are on one of these roads, other times you are in one of these buildings, other times you are in one of these homes. This is all Seattle means to you, an inhabitant. CM


(Sat, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema) We are born, we go to school, we fall in love for the first time, we marry, we have kids, we divorce, and we die alone. That's certainly one way to look at it. Another and completely different way to look at the story of love is the three-minute short Fancy: "A handsome Cad meets his Fancy (a tale of romance told entirely through dance)." CM


(Mon, 5:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) The subjects in these shorts by local directors (Lautaro Gonda, Barbara Mones, Cassidy Dimon and Katie Gregg, Dan Brown) range from vampire hunting to "the underground world of guinea pig fanciers." CM


(Mon, 3:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) One of the films (Charlie and the Rabbit) in this collection of shorts about the human condition, which is an existential condition, does sound perfectly existential: "Charlie, a 4-year-old who loves Bugs Bunny, decides to hunt a rabbit of his own." CM


(Sat, 1 pm, SIFF Cinema) The films here were made by our neighbors to the north, Canada. One of the shorts in this section, Tungijuq, is a meditation on seal hunting. CM


(Sun, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema) Here you will see a film about a suicidal parachute instructor (Drop Dead!), an evil corporation (Hector Corp), and global warming (Mister Green). CM


(Sun, 5:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) This sounds like one of the more interesting collections of shorts in the film festival. For example, one of the videos is about a neighborhood in Amsterdam (Amsterdam Southeast) that is known for its high crime rate. Indeed, it's a surprise to learn that crimes happen in the Netherlands. CM


(Mon, noon, SIFF Cinema) From a description of one of the two films in this section, Dig Comics: "When most people think of comic books, they think of lowbrow entertainment for duller minds. In truth though this art form is one of the most exciting and vibrant mediums happening today." Do people still think comics are lowbrow? Is this still even an issue? It ain't. The battle between comic books and high art came to an end a very, very long time ago. CM


(Sun, 1 pm, SIFF Cinema) Everything is in this collection. And what ties everything together is the city of Seattle. CM


(Mon, 1 pm, SIFF Cinema) One of the two films here, The Bizarre Friends of Ricardinho, is from Brazil. Now, that's pretty fucking far from our border in the south. CM


(Sat, 2 pm, SIFF Cinema) The lovely Jennifer Maas will show outtakes from her very informative documentary on Seattle's forgotten 1960s and '70s funk and soul scene, Wheedle's Groove. CM


(Sun, 3:30 pm, SIFF Cinema) Three sisters are doing it for themselves: Lisanne Skyler, with Capture the Flag; Scott Tuft, with Make Up; and Amy Adrion, with Shoegazer. I have no idea why one of these female directors has a male name. CM

words & ideas


(Mon, 7:15 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Jay Ryan is a celebrated poster artist whose rock-show advertisements have become collectible works of art. Brad Klausen has worked as the in-house designer for Pearl Jam. Together, the two will talk to Jesus Lizard frontman and graphic designer David Yow about screen-printing and making show posters that don't completely suck. (Hint: It's harder than you'd think.) PAUL CONSTANT


(Sat, 5:30 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Author Rick Moody tends to be wildly hit-or-miss. The Ice Storm and certain stories in Demonology were indisputably home runs; The Diviners and The Black Veil were strikeouts. The Four Fingers of Death—a novel about a space traveler and a murderous severed hand, based loosely on an old sci-fi movie—appears to lean toward the hitting-it-out-of-the-park side of things. Reviewers have swooned, and Moody seems to be having more fun than he's had in years. PC

recommended recommended

(Sun, noon, Leo K. Theatre) Stranger news writer Cienna Madrid will read from her unfinished novel about what might be the saddest town in Idaho while photos of the town fade in and out above her head. Cheap Wine & Poetry and Cheap Beer & Prose curator Brian McGuigan will tell stories about being a fat kid. The interplay between McGuigan's awkward, hilarious story and the images he uses to tell his story will—trust me—haunt you forever. PC


(Mon, 3:45 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Stranger contributor Kurt B. Reighley has put together a book explaining how young Americans are turning away from plastic, mass-media junk and creating more sustainable, personal communities. He'll celebrate that new-Americana culture with burlesque performer Poppy Daze and Mat Brooke of Grand Archives, among others. PC


(Sat, 3:45 pm, Leo K. Theatre) For decades, Pat Thomas has collected aural documentation of the Black Power movement, including poetry, interviews, and music. Today, Thomas will play some samples from his collection and discuss the importance of the movement. If you pay attention to popular media, you'd almost think that America has gotten whiter in the years since the 1970s; Thomas will discuss why it's important to keep memories of the time alive. PC


(Sun, 5:30 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Adam Levin's The Instructions is one of the most eagerly anticipated novels of this upcoming fall book season. It's such a huge, sweeping book that even people who love it have a hard time describing it (it involves a 10-year-old boy who gets sent to juvie and starts a revolution). You can get a leg up on the buzz book of the fall at the always-popular-at-Bumbershoot McSweeney's Program with several other McSweeney's stalwarts, including Eli Horowitz, Mac Barnett, and Brian McMullen. PC


(Mon, noon, Leo K. Theatre) The idea of three people curating videos to represent their past, present, and future is a pretty good one, probably allowing for all kinds of pop-culture insanity. But when the three people include the Fastbacks' Kim Warnick, The Stranger's own David Schmader, and brand-new 2010 Stranger Genius of Literature Jim Woodring, that elevates this to "must-see" status. Expect hilarious and weird things to unfold. PC

recommended recommended

(Sun, 7:15 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Wait a minute, TV writers are writing books now? Isn't that kind of backward? And how did writers of TV shows—even TV shows as good as The Office, Late Show with David Letterman, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock—get so good at writing novels? Awesome local writer Maria Semple (This One Is Mine) and other TV defectees including Seth Greenland (Shining City), Steve Hely (How I Became a Famous Novelist), and the hilarious Simon Rich (Elliot Allagash) will be interviewed by local insipid book-hack Paul Constant. PC


(Sat, noon, Leo K. Theatre) PowerPoint changed the way literary readings could happen. No longer were writers forced to rely on rickety old slide projectors; their talks could become multimedia performances. Pecha Kucha uses some constraints—each speaker gets 20 images, which change at a rate of one every 20 seconds—to push the idea a little further. The one to watch here is Niko Vassilakis, who uses his poetry to not just push at the edges of language, but to explore the very idea of letters as symbols and works of art in and of themselves. PC


(Sat, 7:15 pm, Leo K. Theatre) If you've ever gone to a Yeah Yeah Yeahs show, Nick Zinner might have a photo of you. Way back in the band's beginnings, when they were opening for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, he would take photos from and around the stage. Guest List is a collection of Zinner's photos, showing the sadder side of rock and roll (including a succession of empty rooms that look like they were decorated for a party 20 years ago and then abandoned). Zachary Lipez's essays about the seamier side of bartending bring pathos to the comically cheesy settings. PC


(Sun, 3:45 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are the Siskel & Ebert of music criticism. They're from Chicago, they work (or in the case of DeRogatis worked) at competing dailies the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, and they come together to host a weekly radio show, Sound Opinions on NPR, that brings music crit to the masses in the form of playfully sparring conversations. Today, they're slated to discuss "the future of music," which presumably involves more robots, radio shows beamed directly into your brain, and critics reduced to an untouchable caste of Twittering slaves. (Okay, that last one is actually from the present.) ERIC GRANDY


(Mon, 2 pm, Leo K. Theatre) Jennifer Shea (whose Trophy Cupcakes are perhaps the best in the city) and Dave Lefkow, creator of Bacon Salt and Baconnaise, will discuss why certain kinds of food become cool all of a sudden. We are told to expect "poetic analysis" of the respective foods. Perhaps our speakers will take the opportunity to announce a new bacon-flavored cupcake. PC


(Sat, 2 pm, Leo K. Theatre) On its worst days, the internet can feel like a never-ending battle between videos of dumbasses shoving lit fireworks down their pants and cat photos with misspelled captions. Today, Cheezburger Network muckety-muck Scott Porad and filmmaker Britta Johnson will take sides and debate the most important issues of our time. PC


(Sun, 2 pm, Leo K. Theatre) It's the battle of the century when two Abraham Lincoln experts—the author of a book titled 101 Things You Didn't Know About Lincoln and an Abe "enthusiast" named Barry Wright—battle two teenage girls (who are, presumably, because they are teenage girls, Twilight fans) and someone who works for a local film production company (um?) to determine the all-time winner of this essential question. It's so crazy, it just might work. PC