The Stranger vs. Bumbershoot

Here Come the Bad Boys

The Mind's Eye

Booty Call

Intellectual Design

No Laughing Matter

Head Games

Slip of the Tongue in Cheek

The Stranger Vs. Bumbershoot

The Eternal Struggle

Comics Are Hot!

Rocket Man

Second Skin

Bookish Babes

Satan Spawn and Selma's Cootchie

Who, When, Where

As the flogging of the dead reality-TV horse continues, network executives have comfortably settled in on a new one-trick pony: programs about musicians. It's seemingly good reasoning at first, as so many pop stars already live out their lives entirely on camera. The thing about it, though, is that an exciting musical artist does not necessarily make for a compelling reality show (Missy Elliott, we're looking in your direction).

From Gene Simmons' Rock School and Rock Star INXS to Being Bobby Brown and Tommy Lee Goes to College, these shows are predicated upon thin concepts that usually wear out after only one viewing. Sometimes it takes even less, as evidenced by the millions of viewers who abandoned Britney and Kevin's ill-fated Chaotic before the end of the premiere. If the stars aren't busy giving away too much information, they're not giving enough to sustain the malnourished viewers.

Let's face it, these shows are not only bottom-feeder entertainment, they've all got a bit of mad cow disease to boot. It seems doubtful that anyone will shake up this already-dull formula anytime soon, but since the organizers of Bumbershoot take so much care to present a fertile mix of musical talent from across the genre spectrum, where better to pull top quality (televised) entertainment from? We've taken the liberty of outlining a few possible show treatments for easy cribbing:

Flogging Molly Unplugged

Concept: Purveyors of rowdy Irish punk (but not all Irish themselves), the members of the constantly touring Flogging Molly have little in common with each other save their affection for music and their love of a stiff drink. Flogging Molly Unplugged takes away the booze and the tour buses, and moves them into one house to find out what happens when people stop being drunk, and start getting the DTs.

Smoosh the Locust

Concept: One of the first rules one learns about SoCal noise terrorists the Locust is that they only play all-ages gigs, so who better to send on a nationwide tour with than the sisters of Seattle's gentle pop darlings Smoosh (Asya, 13 and Chloe, 11)? If the band can avoid scaring Asya, Chloe, and their fans with their weird, insect-like getups and scathing 60-second sonics on the whole trip, they will ultimately win $50,000 for the charity of their choice. But, they need to turn their frowns upside down and learn how to be cute and cuddly, for they will have to lose a finger each time one of the band members makes a little girl cry.

Something Phishy

Concept: Trey Anastasio always feels like somebody's watching him—and, as it turns out, he happens to be right. This clever hidden-camera show follows Anastasio on his daily quest to jam harder and longer, often until he passes out, blue in the face. Among the show's many revelations: never-before-seen footage of Anastasio's daily motivational practice sessions battling the Energizer bunny.

Zinga Live!

Concept: In this strictly adult pay-per-view series, cheeky Venezuelan dance-pop act Los Amigos Invisibles tour the sexual underground of America, performing selections from their most recent album The Venezuelan Zinga Son Vol. 1 (which loosely translates into "Venezuelan songs for fucking") for various middle-aged swinger parties.

The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze

Concept: Iggy Pop's bandmates the Stooges (brothers Ron and Scott Asheton and new member Mike Watt, who holds the place of the late Dave Alexander) pay tribute to the 1963 Three Stooges movie of the same name. As in the original, our heroes are partway through a tour of the globe before they find out that the villain—or in this case, Iggy—has set them up to take the fall for a major bank heist back home. They must return to Michigan to clear their names before the Motor City mayor issues a smackdown (because "kwame" don't play).

Crooked Letta Cookin' Wit Mavis & Bo

Concept: Nearly everyone in rock and soul owes a debt of influence to Bo Diddley (born in Mississippi) and Mavis Staples (whose dad, Pops Staples, was from there). Crooked Letta Cookin' pairs the two legends to rock in a spacious yet down-home Southern kitchen, intermingling musical performances with authentic Mississippi recipes. Best pulled pork sandwiches in town!

The Donnas Are
Garbage

Concept: As their set comes to a close, Shirley Manson mysteriously vanishes off the Bumbershoot stage in a puff of pyrotechnics and smoke. As the liable concert promoters try to track her down before their insurance premiums skyrocket, four sprightly ladies from Northern California's bubblegum answer to the Runaways compete, Elimidate-style, for Butch Vig's affections in hopes of replacing Manson as the sexy, ball-busting frontwoman of Garbage.

Extreme Funk Makeover

Concept: The collective of classic old-school soul and funk artists from Seattle that appeared on last year's seminal Wheedle's Groove compilation (including Bernadette Bascom, Pat Wright, Overton Berry, and Robbie Hill) travel in fly candy-painted Cadillacs around the city in search of people who need a little more funk in their life. Includes special office field trips and excursions, beginning with Microsoft.

Just the Two of Us

Concept: L.A. rap group the Pharcyde started up in 1992 as a quartet, but today there's only two of 'em left: The arguably least known Bootie Brown and Imani Wilcox. On Just the Two of Us, Brown and Wilcox must successfully navigate a traditional military obstacle course in order to remain together as the Pharcyde. They can make it if they try, but first they're gonna have to quit smoking the sticky icky icky (diesel fuel for their last album Humboldt Beginnings).

The Earlimart Life

Concept: The men (and lady) of L.A. indie rockers Earlimart are given glamorous, tarted-up Hollywood drag-queen makeovers on a dare, then stripped of their credit cards and wallets and dropped off in the California farming outpost from which they took their name. Earlimart's a town of under 7,000, where less than a quarter have finished high school and teetering "ho heels" aren't in high demand.

Junkie Elvis

Concept: Dutch techno producer Junkie XL (AKA Tom Holkenborg) scored his first international hit (24 countries!) in 2003 with his remix of Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation." Now, he wants to duplicate that success by remixing Elvis Costello's "Watching the Detectives." Only problem is, Costello loathes dance music and will not allow it to happen unless Junkie XL somehow converts him into a whistle-blowing, Ecstasy-eating raver. Armed with chloroform, a kidnapping is assumed at the Bumbershoot afterparty. First stop: the naked foam parties on the notoriously decadent Spanish party island of Ibiza.