I suppose, since the liberal dimwits behind Bumbershoot decided to headline their festival with a duo of mustachioed men who haven't been popular since the 1970s, it should be no surprise that The Stranger's staff would follow their lead while assembling their coverage. Like Bumbershoot itself, this guide is composed of nothing but irrelevancy couched in a thick, unctuous layer of irony.
The ringmaster of this circus of mediocrity is the always-insufferable CHARLES MUDEDE, who attempts (and fails) to argue that the aforementioned Caucasian nostalgia act, Hall & Oates, are actually black. This racial muddling to advance an inscrutable cause in service to a wine-sotted deadline is classic Mudede. No doubt, Bumbershoot Guide editor GRANT BRISSEY is wagering that festivalgoers will be too drunk or stoned to discern that there is no method to Mr. Mudede's madness.
Speaking of Mr. Brissey (which is to say, speaking of being too drunk or stoned), in an attempt to impress his betters, the usually lazy editor interviews two whole musical acts. How he managed to stop picking at the smoked meat trapped between his crooked teeth long enough to conduct one interview, let alone two, is beyond me. What does not surprise me, though, is that the interviews are obsessed with genitals and inevitably confuse clamorousness with musical aptitude. As usual.
Equally unsurprising? The fervid, fannish scribblings of MEGAN SELING, this time about a cacophony of caterwaulers called the Lonely Forest. A few seconds' research has revealed to me that Miss Seling has babbled about these "musicians" not less than one hundred times in the recent past. Perhaps the precious little thing has developed a crush on one of the performers? If—heaven forfend—I were one of the dirty young men in this musical group, I would immediately see about procuring a restraining order against Miss Seling's moon-eyed attentions before they inevitably turn violent.
The rubbish doesn't seem to end; the guide continues with hundreds of monosyllabic descriptions of every single terrible thing at the festival—from insipid visual art exhibitions and films to the alleged "comedy" stylings of hipper-than-thou inebriates. There are even several "blurbs" dedicated to literature-minded events, as if anyone attends a music festival to listen to a baby-voiced hippie murmur a haiku about her father's lack of interest in her haiku. (Leave it to the artless illiterate and chronic masturbator known as Stranger books editor PAUL CONSTANT to make the featured literature event an interview with a writer for what, as best I can determine, is a television show for children that follows in the footsteps of claptrap like Flash Gordon and Star Tracks.)
In a futile attempt to be comprehensive, The Stranger blathers on and on, as though they haven't yet realized that no one can be bothered to read a newspaper while weaving through Bumbershoot's maze of $1,000 strollers, half-eaten plates of greasy, flavorless noodles, and drugged-up boors hammering away at their (hopefully) emptied-out waste buckets in so-called "drum circles." Describing the indescribably awful to the hopelessly apathetic—that is about as perfect a definition for The Stranger as I can imagine.