August 25th, 2008
Ok, so let’s calibrate. We all know Bumbershoot is not what it used to be. It’s not a funky little arts festival in a quirky little hippy town with manageable crowds, pick-up hacky-sack, and stoners gorging themselves on samosas and elephant ears (ok, it still might be that last one). It’s a world-renowned, kick-ass, music and arts showcase in a growing, contemporary metropolis.
I know, I know, you might be distressed by the all big name acts AEG or whatever-the-fuck-booking-agency is doing the lineup now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a super-duper time checking out some of the local and national acts actually worth your oh-so-valuable-time. Thirty years of success can’t be wrong.
Also, how many more hyphens do you think I can fit into this here post? – - – [Answer at bottom]
Here’s who I’d be pressed up against the stage for were I a silly little music geek. Oh wait…:
Saturday is pretty good, even though it’s kinda honkey-tonk. You’ve got Neko Case and Band Of Horses sandwiching Lucinda Williams (knock it off, perv), followed by the many faces of Beck. Sunday has the Black Keys and that’s about it. Unless you want to relive the Stone Temple Pilots’ glory days like Scott Weiland does. I bet he’s extra skinny now. Monday I’d skip unless I had a crush on Ben Gibbard. Which I don’t.
Definitely gear up for Brooklyn’s !!! on Saturday. They are DOPE (if you like maniacally dancing crowds, that is). Sunday has the Saturday Knights continuing their onslaught on our sonic senses, followed by the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry. You can always count on Bumbershoot for some top quality reggae acts. A couple good hip-hop acts on Monday should get your juices flowing: local boys the Physics and Del the Funky Homoerectus—er, sapien.
I don’t see much here for Saturday or Sunday, but there’re quite a few singer-songwriters slotted, if you’re into that (which I know you are which is why I wrote that). I know leDoux likes Vince Mira (and I love Johnny Cash), so the li’l dude with the big voice gets a shout out for Monday, when you can also see the Old ’97s and Langhorne Slim.
Lotsa popular up-and-comers on the Rockstar Stage, so hang around if you can. Saturday has pleasant-pop-rockers Throw Me The Statue, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down (from D.C.!), the Walkmen (new record!), and my personal fave, Man Man (like Tom Waits on meth, they say!!) Sunday, I’d recommend some hard-rockin’, hard-workin’ types like Pennsylvania’s the Shackletons and Minneapolis’ Tapes ‘n Tapes. Both are fantastic. Seattle’s Minus the Bear headlines Monday’s lineup.
Saturday = Sweetwater at 3pm. Yes! I could relive my glory days (of high school)! Sunday boasts the Blakes trying to regain their local footing, and These Arms Are Snakes who are sure to have plenty of new material. Monday, you can see Israeli freak-rock trio Monotonix burn their shit to the ground. And some other stuff happens.
EMP Sky Church:
I’ve actually never been to this venue for a show, but they’ve got some damn fine bands lined up there this year. The new New Faces, the Girls, the Valley, and Kinski all might melt your face on Saturday. PWRFL Power and Tacoma’s Mono in VCF will lighten the afternoon mood that day. Sunday closes with a nice trifecta of Speaker Speaker, the Hands, and Thee Emergency. And it don’t stop on Monday neither. Greives raps at 1:45, the always-electric Feral Children play at 6pm and Murder City Devil sound-alikes Black Eyes and Neckties at 9pm. Better just spend all weekend here.
‘Course, if you want to bypass all my prejudiced picks, you can always just go here and decide for yourself.