Bumbershoot Guide

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bumbershoot 2010

Monsters of Alt

TV Pilots vs. Baboon Attacks

Previews of Every Single Thing Happening at the Festival

People's Republic of Komedy vs. People's Republic of China

The Stranger's 2012 Bumbershoot Guide!

The Stranger's 2011 Bumbershoot Guide!

Our Massive 2013 Bumbershoot Guide

Bumbershoot 2009

Gogol Bordello vs. DeVotchka

The Stranger's Bumbershoot Guide

How Does It Feel to Be Back?

Mad Ruins

The Bob Dylan Torture Test

Still a Gigolo!

Touch Me, I'm Sub Pop's Warehouse Manager

The Shins vs. Their Future

Here's What We Think of Every Damn Thing Happening at This Year's Festival

Give It to Me Easy

Rock, Chunk, or Rule

Fergie vs. Jackson Pollock

Bumbershoot 2009

Emerald Shitty

De La Soul for Life

Hari's Big Break

Friday, August 31

I'm More Than Hair

Yes, Aloha!

Let Them Bring You Brown

Countdown to Courtney

This Friday, on Bumbershoot's illustrious Bagley Wright stage, 11 freakishly talented acts will compete for an array of fabulous prizes in PIZZAZZ!, The Stranger's second annual, citywide talent show. Hosted by Stranger columnist David Schmader, judged by a panel of celebrity judges, and featuring a special guest performance by Dina Martina, PIZZAZZ! is a night sure to go down in Seattle entertainment history. Meet the competitors now, so you can say, "I saw them when...."

Illustrations by Ellen Forney

Ana Saskia

TALENT: Singer/songwriter.

TRAINING: "Singing in a dark closet. And I've had a couple of classical teachers."

INFLUENCES: "If I'm singing in English, I get a lot of comparisons to Björk, but I think Judy Garland influenced both of us. Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and Hindi music inspires me. And I love David Byrne, but I don't think it comes through in my work."

When did you first know you were talented?

"I knew when I was three, but then I forgot for a long time."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"Poverty mentality, on every level, not only financial. I think there are enough resources on this earth; we just need to learn how to work with them."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"I see myself being a spokesperson for Cochlea, a music community center, more like a hybrid between a community center and a lending library. Benjamin Franklin really got a message to the masses that literature is a necessity of human existence. I feel the same way about music. I think people should have free access to spaces where they can make sounds and listen to music in private."

Celebrity dream date? "I can't think of one."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be? "My mother."

Simone LaDrumma

TALENT: Drummer.

TRAINING: "I began studying the drum in 1986 at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. Then I caught fire, and started studying with every drum teacher I could find--which weren't many back then."

INFLUENCES: "I tend to think of myself as rather unique. The only person I saw do comedy with a drum was Andy Kaufman, and look what happened to him."

When did you first know you were talented?

"I guess when I was about five, when everyone kept telling me to lower my voice and stop showing off. I teach now, and I tell people if anyone ever tells them to stop showing off, that's a sign that they're meant to entertain."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"Getting online. How would I fix it? I would demolish all computers."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? "I'll be 79, so I'll be fucking my brains out and drumming."

Celebrity dream date? "Judge Judy."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be? "My partner, John Avenger."

Hoden Babu

TALENT: Singer/songwriter.

TRAINING: "It's natural."

INFLUENCES: "Brandy and Mariah Carey."

When did you first know you were talented?

"When I was in the fourth grade, because I was in a choir and I noticed I could hold a tune."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"Violence is the worst problem. I'd go around to the schools and talk to kids and tell them that there are other ways to solve problems than by shooting someone. Fighting doesn't solve anything."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"I see myself entertaining and singing. I see my music career taking off and touching a lot of people's lives."

Celebrity dream date? "Usher."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be?

"My mom. She's a big support for me, and if I were to become famous, she'd always be there for me."

Ernest Rhoads

TALENT: Judy Garland impersonator.

TRAINING: "I graduated from Cornish in 1989 with a BFA in design. During the day I work for a Fortune 400 company. I also have an MBA in Human Resources."

INFLUENCES: "My partner David Painter, my dog Spot, writer/producer Kelly Hughes, and actor/comedian Jason Stuart."

When did you first know you were talented?

"I knew when I was five or six years old, running around in my mom's high heels and crinoline."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"The pope not being with the program. I'd at least get him into the 18th century."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"Other than Forest Lawn? I'd like to have had at least two successful series on Comedy Central, and have worked with Amy Sedaris at least three times."

Celebrity dream date?

"Ricky Martin. I'd take him to a suite at the Astor Hotel."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be?

"Rosalind Russell. She's the queen of comedy and timing. And maybe Bea Arthur. She has a quiet reserve."

Alelle Pollman

TALENT: Haiku composition/performance art.

TRAINING: "Society, the public."

INFLUENCES: "Ginsberg, Poe, and a former love affair."

When did you first know you were talented?

"When Aleks Pollner and Michelle Scaman got together and formed their alter ego, Alelle Pollman."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"The banality that people face everyday. We don't know how to fix that."

Where do you see yourselves in 20 years?

"In school, studying."

Celebrity dream date?

"Will Ferrell."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, whom would it be?

"Saturday Night Live."

Stanley Harris

TALENT: Rapper.

TRAINING: "I've always done music. I've been in a lot of talent shows, and I was in the high school band."

INFLUENCES: "The rap pioneers: Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, Grandmaster Flash, and the Sugarhill Gang."

When did you first know you were talented?

"When I was 14, rapping was just a hobby. People were giving me compliments, but I was doing it for fun. In high school, people told me I should focus on it more. By 18, I knew it was what I wanted to do."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"People's reality is the worst problem. Everyone lies to each other and steals, and no one is honest. The most important things in the world are honesty, loyalty, and respect. That's being real."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"I'll own a record store and run my business. I'll still be fairly young then."

Celebrity dream date?

"Jennifer Lopez. She's real."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be?

"I would dedicate it to the youth of the entire world. The younger generation."

The Social Studies

TALENT: Band.

INTERVIEWEE: Jeff Rush, drummer.

TRAINING: "15 years jazz training for the keyboard player, 10 for the sax player, and I've been drumming for three."

INFLUENCES: "We all like the Pixies."

When did you first know you were talented?

"We've been playing out for two years."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"Too many condos are being built. Torching them is not the way to go about it, though."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"I think Nathan, our sax player, will find religion. Brendan, the keyboardist, will turn to drugs. Heather, our singer, will write lots of novels. I'll be that guy in Vegas who is the last surviving member of Social Studies."

Celebrity dream date? "Vince McMahon."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be? "Spiro Agnew."

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow

Players

TALENT: Band (with slides).

INTERVIEWEE: Singer, songwriter, and father Jason Trachtenburg.

TRAINING: "Rachel, our daughter, gets her training at Seattle Drum School."

INFLUENCES: "Songwriters: Cole Porter and Ray Davies. Bands: the Beatles and Led Zeppelin."

When did you first know you were talented?

"1975."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"Unequal distribution of wealth in the world. The government would have to be changed in order for the problem to change. I think the assassination of JFK was an event that changed the world. And the CIA was responsible for his death. He could have changed the world along with Martin Luther King Jr. The Green Party and the Left Democrats can make a change. The Republicans and regular Democrats are the problem."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"We want to make a living doing our act. We want to travel while performing our songs. We'd love to smudge our palm print on popular culture. In other words, we'll help influence the direction of music and art."

Celebrity dream date?

"It would have to be [KEXP DJ] John Richards."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be?

"Tina Pina Trachtenburg, my wife. She came up with the idea of the slides, and is, of course, Rachel's mom."

Megan Savitt

TALENT: Singer.

TRAINING: Piano lessons.

INFLUENCES: "My mother, because she sang when she was younger, and I think she's a very good person. In fact, both of my parents are my major influences. As far as someone who I think is talented and I hope to sound like someday, Whitney Houston influences me."

When did you first know you were talented?

"I started singing when I was five, and I started writing songs when I was six."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"I think I have a lot more learning to do before I can try to fix what's wrong with the world. As far as a problem that I feel needs to be fixed, in my life as young as I am, I see a lot of judgment and meanness, and I think it drives kids to do a lot of things--sad things, even suicide. The way I would fix that is to be as nice and helpful as I can be, because I think friendship can help a lot."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"I see myself being either a songwriter for other people, or a singer myself."

Celebrity dream date?

"A boy; he's 12 and his name is Jake Lloyd. The kid in Star Wars: Episode I."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be?

"My little sister Isabel."

Amelia "Indigo" Ross-Gilson

TALENT: Burlesque dancer.

TRAINING: "15 years of dance and an unhealthy attraction to pornography."

INFLUENCES: "'40s and '50s pinup girls and the modern burlesque performers across the world. And my friend Jennifer."

When did you first know you were talented?

"When I was five, when I got a horrific haircut but still looked fabulous."

What's the worst problem facing the world today and how would you fix it?

"Bio-engineered food. I would solve it by mandating the Slow Food movement, which could have solved the potato blight."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"I just broke up with Janet Jackson, and I'm trying to decide if I am going to buy a place on the French Riviera or just keep the villa in Belize."

Celebrity dream date?

"Queen Latifah."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, who would it be?

"Judi Dench."

The Habit

Talent: Sketch comedy.

Training: "As little as possible."

Influences: "Monty Python."

When did you first know you were talented?

"We have yet to realize it."

What's the worst problem the world faces today and how would you fix it?

"People are not wearing enough hats. We should make more hats."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

"In a mirror. Unless mirror technology, as we know it today, has been replaced by 2021."

Celebrity dream date?

"No thanks. All they do is talk about themselves."

If you could dedicate your career to anyone, whom would it be?

"This one guy in French Guiana."

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