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Festival Blog

Live from the 2008 music and film festivals!

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August 31, 2008 10:41 PM

Lee "Scratch" Perry and Stone Temple Pilots

Posted by andrew matson

I'll write about what I've just seen tomorrow, but I can say the following: Lee "Scratch" Perry is certifiably crazy, and Stone Temple Pilots is possibly my least favorite band in the world.

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August 31, 2008 10:36 PM

To wait too long

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

When the tour bus pulled into the backstage area, a cheer went up from the Mainstage crowd that had been waiting too long for Stone Temple Pilots. Five minutes later the band hit the stage, a half-hour late. They opened with "Big Empty," the song with the repeated refrain quoted in the headline above, and phone-cameras sprouted all over the place, held high to capture the stage action. The big, fancy video screen came on with fast-changing blotches of color as they went into the second tune, the much more powerful "Wicked Garden."
When the cheers died down after that one, lead singer Scott Weiland looked out at the massive crowd -- the biggest I've seen at this year's Bumbershoot -- and remarked how the festival had grown since he attended it with friends 18 years ago.
"In 1990 it wasn't much," he remarked, "just a bunch of freaks, really."
As the show went on, it became clear that Weiland was much better suited to the freaks in Velvet Revolver, the band he up and quit, with no warning, in March. He and the other original members of Stone Temple Pilots then got back together for the first time in six years and went out on tour, which ended tonight.
Weiland is still a powerful lead singer, and it's good to see him healthy after his revolving-door visits to rehab, but STP sounded old and dated, especially after Beck's show on the same stage the night before. I confess I couldn't take it for long and left as they were still on stage. I know, I recommended them in Friday's Ticket. Sorry about that.

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August 31, 2008 9:13 PM

The Saturday Knights

Posted by andrew matson

Seattle has only one hip-hop group that will sample Fleet Foxes in a rap song: The Saturday Knights.

The Knights just took up an hour of Fisher Green Stage time with a fun, very loose set that involved lots of other artists. In addition to sampling local group Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal," Band of Horses' "The Funeral" got the Saturday Knights treatment. Rappers Tilson and Barfly rapped over Seattle indie rock, and then were joined by a few more local rappers, Gatsby and Bruce Illest from Cancer Rising.

No wonder the Knights' new album is called "Mingle."

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August 31, 2008 8:21 PM

Bumbershoot is ... loud

Posted by Raina Wagner

bumbershootsmall.jpg

Wandering from the (loud, indie-rock) Broad Street Stage past the (loud, indie-rock) Fisher Green Stage, it was a like stumbling onto a Bumbershoot Oasis when I found myself in the midst of the Northwest Jazz Showcase, Sunday afternoon in the NW Court. Seattle jazzman Matt Jorgensen was drumming with his decade-old group, Matt Jorgensen + 451. Mind you, this was no easy listening. Jorgensen, one of the forces behind Origin Records, the Ballard Jazz Festival, and seattlejazzscene.com, is all about new sounds, atypcial rhythms and blends, and making his audience sit up and pay attention.

He accomplished all of the above in a set that ended with a guest appearance: terrific Seattle trumpeter Thomas Marriott joined Matt Jorgensen + 451 on stage. Mariott traded harmonic lines with sax player Mark Taylor as the band played a song that made me listen with two (or more) brains at once.

My brains took a break to snap a photo, above. It's Marriott with Jorgensen on drums in the background.

Matt Jorgensen + 451 has a new album to plug. Read more about "Another Morning" on his website.

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August 31, 2008 7:52 PM

Punk rock with a heart

Posted by Raina Wagner

bumbershoot shack small.JPG

I wandered over to the Rockstar/Broad Street Stage this afternoon and got introduced to The Shackletons, an indie punk band from Chambersburg, Pa. Shouting out everyone from Morrissey to Prince, lead singer Mark Redding implored the mid-afternoon crowd to get up and dance. And though few people actually did, it was hard not to enjoy the Shackleton set, which was about the most endearing punk rock I've ever heard. A lot of that was due to Redding's voice, which broke in a teen-age-boy-voice-changing way, rather than a punk-rock-screaming way.

He also sang a song called "Soft Heart," and did a sweaty little strip tease under the Space Needle. How can you not love that?

And to the left is a picture of Redding taking off his jacket.

And If you missed their Bumbershoot set, have a listen at The Shackleton's MySpace page.

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August 31, 2008 5:00 PM

T.I.

Posted by andrew matson

T.I. quickly apologized for Keyshia Cole's boringness with an hour of well-performed hardcore rap.

"Ay Seattle, whuss hattnin'?" the Georgia rapper drawled. "I'm the king, beeeeeitch!" Everybody agreed.

The wiry Atlantan T.I. rapped like a superstar (yes, he performed his verse on Lupe Fiasco's "Superstar Remix"), threw his whole body into rhymes and ran around the stage. He obviously gave his all. There were about five hype men who were supposed to assist him, but he was hype-er than all of them and did all the work on stage himself.

He tried to chop things into "gangsta" and "for the ladies" subgenres, appointing some songs this way and others that, but it was all huge bass lines, deep melodic synths and skittery Southern hi-hats.

People went wild the whole time. A bunch of small kids were dancing with their parents over here, a girl grinding on her boyfriend over there. Arms were thrown in the air and waved slowly, others pumped with military vigor. Pot smoke was everywhere.

T.I. got serious toward the end of his set and said this was the most important year of his life. I thought he was talking about his problems with the law. But he was talking about the presidential election, and said it was everyone's responsibility to vote, and that "if you ain't part of the solution, you part of the mother----in' problem!" He spoke on the importance of voting for a few moments, but didn't endorse a candidate. "I like that he didn't tell me who to vote for," said my friend sitting next to me.

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August 31, 2008 4:51 PM

Keyshia Cole

Posted by andrew matson

The scrappy R&B star from Oakland Keyshia Cole was a half hour late and then only did a half hour set. She was supposed to go longer.

She powered through songs and got over on raw emotion, but it wasn't sounding good out of the Memorial Stadium speakers. I have said this for a long time: Keyshia Cole can't sing. Women that have been in bad relationships think she can, because that's what she sings about and she does it with a lot of heart, but she can't.

She brought zero nuance to all her songs (each one is about "leave your man if he doesn't reat you right") and her band sounded clumsy, with huge drums and no mid range. She looked great in tight jeans and a snug white shirt. A female fan in the stand said to me, "What, she's a half hour late and then plays four songs? C'mon!"


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August 31, 2008 4:49 PM

It's hot

Posted by andrew matson

I don't know what Patrick is talking about. It's hot out. Real hot.

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain, but it's glorious right now.

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August 31, 2008 3:29 PM

Not-small art from Small Stakes

Posted by Raina Wagner

I like my rock concert posters and T-shirts as much as the next person (said the girl who spent $22 on an R.E.M. T-shirt when $22 was a whole lotta money) but it's always bothered me when the designs are so designed and over-the-top arty that it's hard to tell what the band or concert event is. That's why my favorite booth at this year's Flatstock exhibition is from The Small Stakes, an Oakland, Calif. design studio run by Jason Munn, who's been commissioned by the likes of Nada Surf and Bursuk Records and local faves like Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse. The simple, frequently mono-chromatic designs tend to depend on a single image and few words - but simplicity doesn't weaken their power. Check out Munn's work here.

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August 31, 2008 2:14 PM

Brrrrumpershoot

Posted by Patrick MacDonald


When the gates opened this morning the temperature hovered around 50 degrees. But by the time performances started on the outdoor stages some 90 minutes later the sun came out and it was about 15 degrees warmer. Since then it’s been partly cloudy and cool.
So before heading to the festival today be sure to bring warm clothing and an umbrella. Don’t get caught out in the cold.

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August 31, 2008 1:29 PM

View From a Chair

Posted by Misha Berson

On Saturday, we caught up with Charity, who was tooling around the Seattle Center grounds in her electric wheelchair, and enjoying the festival a lot. She plans to be at Bumbershoot all three days. And what is she looking forward to most? No contest: the big finale concert by the hot band Death Cab for Cutie.
At first glance, you might think it would be a giant hassle to navigate Bumbershoot if you are wheelchair-bound.
But plenty of people don't let that deter them from taking in the scene.
Physically disabled attendees can gain access to special seating for the big concert events at Memorial Stadium. They also can get some assistance from a crew of "accessibility volunteers" the festival has recruited. And they can buy discounted, day-of-event $15 festival tickets at two entry points: the Mercer Street entrance, near the Intiman Theatre, and the Thomas Street at 5th Ave., between the Space Needle and the Monorail.
For additional support and info, you can stop by the booth run by the Alliance of People With disAbilities, a grassroots organization with the slogan: "I dream. I can. I will." Located at the doorway to the Center House's food court area, the booth contains (among other things) a prototype of a new voting machine that makes voting easier for people with learning, visual and hearing disabilities.

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August 31, 2008 1:18 PM

Strange Fruit

Posted by Misha Berson

Those Aussies know how to draw a crowd.
Several times a day at Bumbershoot, right next to the International Fountain, four members of the circus-y, Melbourne-based performance troupe Strange Fruit are mounting 15-foot, flexible poles to sway and bob in the air to recorded music.
The two gals are dressed in garish wigs, and purple and pink frocks with long, bell-shaped hoop skirts. The two guys sport cutaway tux jackets, top hats and clownish makeup.
All four of them are pretty gutsy to be up there, cavorting. From their rubbery perches they reach out to embrace, dance a bit, swivel a bit, do backbends and basically just hang out.
It's a silly and enjoyable spectacle, rather like watching human-sized versions of jack-in-the-box dolls on high.

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August 31, 2008 1:07 PM

Duct Tape, Anyone?

Posted by Misha Berson

Overheard at Bumbershoot, in the area of the crafts booths near the Center House:
One young woman says dismissively to her friend, "Oh look at those duct tape wallets. They're like, made of duct tape, and they're, like, God, $15 I bet."
Long pause. "I'd like, totally do that."

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August 31, 2008 12:23 PM

Kelly Hogan

Posted by andrew matson

Neko Case's backup singer, who I enthused about yesterday, is called Kelly Hogan.

KellyHoganTheHideoutChicago3-2-01.jpg

Thinking back on yesterday's 'Shoot, Hogan was my favorite discovery. I know now, thanks to the music nerds in the press room, that she's famous. Like Misha Berson wrote the other day, Bumbershoot is great for learning about artists you never knew existed.

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August 31, 2008 11:42 AM

Band of Horses and Beck

Posted by andrew matson

Band of Horses came home to Seattle last night (they live in South Carolina now), and singer Ben Bridwell addressed his Memorial Stadium like old friends. "I love you!" he said, arm outstretched. "It's true!"

The story of Band of Horses in concert is that the guitar (which BoH relies on for clean-to-distorted drama) never hits hard enough and Bridwell's voice is often shaky.

But through some of the more country-sounding numbers, Bridwell upped his vocal game, threw his trademark high-pitched yelp way out front, and reached the right notes. The band stopped trying to do quiet/loud explosions and instead just held down the rhythm, doing a sort of down-home R&B. For a few songs, BoH made perfect use of its strengths and sounded like an "indie rock" version of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Then Beck came on. By that time, Memorial Stadium was full of pot and cigarette smoke. Neon mini whips swirled in the air and french fries were crushed underfoot.

Beck was weird. His new album, "Modern Guilt," is good, and he played from it a lot. He also played "Loser" and favorites from "Sea Change" and "Midnite Vultures," but even though his set and band and impressive abstract lit-up backdrop worked perfectly for the arena setting, he came of supremely detached.

He likes noise and dark moods, and when those were present next to his matter-of-fact sing-speaking, Beck & Co. were kind of like Depeche Mode. The world needs more minimalist arena rock with a depressed edge -- at least it's sincere and arty -- but Beck (and since this is a blog, it should be noted the following is IMHO) took it past cool and into cold.

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August 31, 2008 12:27 AM

The Horses Beck rode in on

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

Isn't it great when a band you used to love hearing in Seattle rock clubs goes on to become famous? Of course we've seen that happen a bunch of times now, but it still makes you proud. Band of Horses, who opened for Beck at Bumbershoot (and on a bunch of dates in Canada), was formed by members of the Seattle band Carissa's Wierd and was originally called Horses when it debuted here two years ago. Even though the band has relocated to leader Ben Bridwell's native South Carolina, it's impressive set felt like a homecoming, erspecially when they did "Detlef Schrempf" (a song that has nothing to do with the ex-Sonics star, by the way). The songs were well-crafted and beautiful, especially the harmonies. The six-piece band had a full, rich sound, with great piano/organ accents. The pop song "Weed Party" was as fun as always, "The General Specific" never sounded better and "Marry Song" was dedicated to a couple in the crowd that just got engaged. Band of Horses, whose sweet sound is directly opposite from grunge, is just going to get bigger and bigger, showing the world that Seattle still has a great music scene.

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August 30, 2008 11:25 PM

Bow down to Beck

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

OK, I'll just come out and say it: Beck is a freakin' genius. His closing Mainstage show tonight was right up there with the best Bumbershoot performances I've ever seen, going back more than 35 years. Underneath his black fedora and flowing blond hair is a mind full of appreciation and understanding of the whole history of rock 'n' roll, or at least from Dylan all the way through to hip-hop, and it all comes flowing out in his masterful soundscapes and brilliant, intriguing lyrics. And he's not half-bad on guitar, either. Even more important, he's reaching out into the future -- he and his three-man, one-woman band did two songs entirely on hand-held electronic boxes, "Ghettochipp Malfunction" and "Black Tambourine," and they sounded great. He opened with "Loser" and closed with "Where It's At" (you know, "two turntables and a microphone") and covered Dylan's "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," a rocking, bouncy version. The songs from the new album -- especially "Gamma Ray," with its timely references to melting icecaps and hurricanes, and "Modern Guilt," the title song -- put the album in a whole new light for me. "Seattle, we gotta keep warm somehow," he said before launching into "Soul of a Man." Beck, you made the cold go away, and the traffic jam, the crushing crowds, the over-priced beer, the gut-churning, over-priced burrito and the whole Bumbershoot mess. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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August 30, 2008 7:15 PM

Estelle

Posted by andrew matson

Estelle is super famous in England, and now Bumbershoot knows why.

She's supermodel hot and has lots of good songs that range from house music to hip-hop to R&B. They all went over well, thanks to her vocals (she sings and raps with force) and her band, which included a drummer, a DJ, three dancers/backup singers and a keyboard player.

But she also has a real deal personality and is very open with that. She held forth on sexual politics and swore when she wanted and talked about her feelings for an hour, and a packed Fisher Green Lawn loved it. The front of the crowd was crammed with what looked like junior high students, and they went wildest. "You're old enough to hear this," Estelle said as she talked to them about how the world is going to end -- "we've f---ed up the ozone layer, yeah?" -- so let's all just have fun, she resolved. Safely.

One of the excited kids with neon clothes jumped up on stage and did some painfully clumsy breakdancing, but it was all in good fun. "Oh, he's cute!" Estelle said. He hugged her and announced he was "Andrew! From Anacortes!"

Estelle worked the crowd hard and probably won hundreds of new fans. She closed her set with "American Boy." It's an international hit and everybody sang along.

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August 30, 2008 7:00 PM

Some things never change

Posted by andrew matson

Everybody loves...

...extreme things: The huge half pipe in the International Fountain Lawn, draped with Rockstar Energy Drink banners, is a hit. Just like the people on thirty foot stilts, the handful of Bumbershoot jugglers, and anything else that might potentially involve physical danger. Right now, as they've been doing all day, skateboarders and bike riders are defying gravity and people are screaming for them. An MC is yelling at the crowd to make some noise.

...being told to "make some noise": This is Bumbershoot's endless command, issued by artists, the people who introduce them, and the people who fill empty airspace between the two. Never at Bumbershoot do people not make noise when asked to make noise. "Whoooooo!" "Yeah!" It's the sound of America.

...Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church's food: Greek salad on a hot day? Forgetaboutit. Costs about $.50 to make, but $3.00 is a steal in Bumberbooth foodland.

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August 30, 2008 4:26 PM

Flatstock

Posted by Lynn Jacobson

Has there ever been a better time for poster art? With decades of illustrative styles to draw from -- from Peter Max's neon psychedelia to Alton Kelley's Grateful Dead album covers to Japanese manga -- poster artists are taking graphic design to new highs. Check 'em out at Flatstock in the Fisher Pavilion. And read about our local band-poster artists here.

One of my favorite artists exhibiting at Flatstock this year: Kansas City's Tad Carpenter, whose brown and blue Arctic Monkeys poster, featuring a cute little primate eating an ice cream cone, just has to bring a smile to your face.

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August 30, 2008 4:23 PM

You say "Necko," I say "Neeko"

Posted by Lynn Jacobson

Overheard on the Fountain Lawn: "We went to hear Neko Case. It was just boring." The word I would've chosen would've been "serene." You?

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August 30, 2008 3:21 PM

Grynch

Posted by andrew matson

Grynch just performed the biggest concert of his life on the Fisher Green Stage. A bunch of kids and older hip-hop fans threw their hands in the air for the young Seattle rapper, who played outside in what is now perfect Summer weather.

Local rappers J. Pinder and D. Black joined Grynch for some songs, and everyone was barely drinking age. Except for a few hard core tracks, the music was mostly relaxing and the vibe was like a lazy day in the park. People should have been BBQing.

Notably, the bass hit hard and deep at Fisher Green.

This weather is a Bumbershoot miracle. The grounds appear not as crowded as last year (which appeared not as crowded as the year before) but if you're here to enjoy yourself, that's actually a good thing.

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August 30, 2008 2:37 PM

What should I eat next?

Posted by Lynn Jacobson

You can't walk around the Bumbershoot grounds without getting hungry. The smells! The snap-crackle-pop of the deep fryers! I ate before I came this morning, but I'm not going to be able to hold off much longer. What should I have?: A gyro from Athena's? Island soba noodles? A chicken skewer from the Horn of Africa? Let me know your favorite and I may just give it a try.

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August 30, 2008 1:55 PM

Neko Case

Posted by andrew matson

Neko Case just performed a perfect set of noir Americana at Memorial Stadium. She commented on the incongruity of her brooding songs with a day that is currently bright and hot. "Here's some nighttime music in the daytime," the Tacoma native said. Her excellent band (who played upright bass, brushed drums, banjo and about six guitars, including a pedal steel) sounded great if you stood up close to the stage, muddy if you sat in the seats, but the star was Case's voice: She started notes brassy and finished them smoky.

"Thanks for coming to our show where we play bummer songs in the middle of the day," Case said. "I forgot to get wasted," deadpanned her lovely backup singer, who was attractive and exuded a grandmother's calm.

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August 30, 2008 12:53 PM

Cancellations

Posted by Lynn Jacobson

The Bumbershoot lineup has remained unusually stable heading into the festival weekend, but there have been a few cancellations. The biggest "ouch" on the no-show list is Zach Galifianakis, originally slated to perform all three days, though his pullout was announced some time ago. (David Cross, Janeane Garofalo and a "special guest" will fill his spots.) Other names crossed off the schedule:

Sunday: The Saturday Knights replace Kid Sister. And Kathleen Edwards replaces Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses.

Monday: X Levitation Cult replaces Adele. Head Like a Kite replaces Chester French. Kristen Ward replaces Joshua Morrison.

The good thing about the switcharoos is that in several cases, national acts have made way for local musicians. Onward and upward, Seattle ...

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August 30, 2008 12:37 PM

Come on in, the festival's fine

Posted by Lynn Jacobson

Just past noon and there's still metered parking a block away from Seattle Center on Roy Street. It won't last too long, though, judging by the crowds already pressing into the heart of Bumbershoot from all points on the compass. A lot of those people are docilely standing in line at this point -- hoping to be first to nab the wristbands required for tonight's mainstage headliners, Band of Horses and Beck.

One couple, overheard at the gate: "Let's get our hands stamped for reentry first," the guy said. "And then let's go get our wristbands," said his female companion. "Yeah, we'll just do our errands first," he said. Bumbershoot: Where hard work and planning are richly rewarded.

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August 28, 2008 4:31 PM

Be a talent scout

Posted by Misha Berson

One of the coolest things about Bumbershoot is seeing budding stars before they ascend, so make sure you catch some of the people whose names you don't recognize. I have a very fond memory of seeing a folky/bluesy guy playing slide guitar and singing soulfully, before a catch-as-catch-can audience on the stage by the fountain. I found out later his name was Ben Harper, and I knew he was great before a lot of people did -- thanks to Bumbershoot.

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August 28, 2008 11:15 AM

Kite in, Chester out

Posted by Lynn Jacobson

The trippy Seattle electronica band Head Like a Kite has been added to the Bumbershoot lineup. It’s a last-minute replacement for the Massachusetts pop duo Chester French, at 12:45 Monday on the Rockstar stage on the Broad Street Lawn.

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August 28, 2008 11:09 AM

Human Giant

Posted by andrew matson

My thoughts on MTV are like Barack Obama's on hip-hop: Art is cool, materialism is not. MTV mostly promotes the latter.

But sometimes it doesn't. I like its sketch comedy program "Human Giant" for the same reasons Obama likes Jay-Z. It is often (not always, but often) a good source of art, cleverness and storytelling.

human giant.jpg Aziz Ansari and Rob Huebel, two-thirds of "Human Giant."


Continue reading this post ...


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August 27, 2008 9:14 PM

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) is a band

Posted by Jeff Albertson

!!! (pronunced Chk Chk Chk) is the deftly named, dance-punk collective with members stationed in Sacramento, Portland and New York.

Their four-on-the-flour, sweat-inducing jams turn crowds on.

I caught them last year at Neumo's. The capacity crowd going bonkers leveled my belief (finally) that Seattle was a non-dancing city of uptight freaks. Phew!

I dare this band to prove me wrong again. You hear that !!!, sorry Chk Chk Chk!?!?

See them at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday at the Fisher Green Stage.
!!! (Chk Chk Chk) - Must Be The Moon (taken from Myth Takes):

The KEXP Music Lounge will be hosting and broadcasting a series of intimate shows all weekend long. The location is secret and the shows are for members only (check their website). !!! will play live on the air at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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August 26, 2008 12:00 PM

Kingliness

Posted by andrew matson

Forget about "the king." I don't want to talk about Elvis, who you already have opinions about, or the king of hip-hop, current best rapper alive Andre 3000. (Check the last 'graph if you click that link).

Right now, let's just focus on the fact that T.I.

ti.jpg

is a king. We have new evidence.

Continue reading this post ...


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August 24, 2008 12:57 PM

Plan Ahead: Bumbershoot Schedule

Posted by Jeff Albertson

Here's a link to the full Bumbershoot schedule.

Bumbershoot Lineup & Schedule

Navigating the hordes of people is hard enough without a game plan. I suggest printing out a map of the Seattle Center grounds and putting together a plan of attack well in advance.

Good luck.

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August 24, 2008 12:01 PM

Monotonix: The Most Exciting Live Band in Rock and Roll

Posted by Jeff Albertson

Monotonix are on fire. Literally. The three-piece band from Tel Aviv, Israel torches clubs with a high-wire act that is equal parts rock-and-roll spectacle (lighting things on fire) and unchecked adrenaline (shirtless, hairy dudes spitting beer all over everyone).

Live they are a feral celebration of riff-heavy rock and untamed ferocity. Their music is a fist-pumping, beer-chugging concoction of Thin Lizzy inspired guitar rock matched with the in-your-face punk rock of Black Flag.

They've toured non-stop for the past several years and currently have 58 shows booked from now until they kick off a U.K. tour in November.

The band, consisting of singer Ami Shalev, guitarist Yonatan Gat, and drummer Ran Shimoni
played a legendary show in February at the Comet Tavern that left the audience both floored by their showmanship and soaked in sweat and cheap beer.

Monotonix will play at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 1 at the Exhibition Hall Stage.

monotonix.jpg

Photo taken from: Monotonix

Read more about their show at the Comet Tavern at Sound on The Sound.

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August 23, 2008 3:40 PM

Kid Sister out, the Saturday Knights in

Posted by andrew matson

That's what the One Reel/Bumbershoot people tell me.

I've probably seen the Saturday Knights play a hundred times, and still find the group's take on hip-hop/rock not at all boring. Chris Estey, excitable lover of music and KEXP blogger, agrees. He captured a recent Knights concert beautifully here.

knights.jpg
Photo by Hillary Harris.

Continue reading this post ...


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August 21, 2008 4:25 PM

Kid Sister

Posted by andrew matson

All you need to know right now about Kid Sister
sister2a.jpg
is that she's a Chicago rapper that's quite cool and will probably get cooler.

Perhaps the poster girl for "hipster hop," a genre my friends occasionally call "gallery rap," Kid Sister inspired a guest appearance by the Mayor of the 'Go, if not the whole rap world, Kanye West. He wore a rainbow keffiyah for "Pro Nails," a song about getting pretty (blogged last Dec. on RaindropHustla).

Kid Sister plays Bumbershoot 2008 Sunday at Fisher Green Stage at 7:45 p.m.


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August 21, 2008 4:13 PM

My Bumbershoot picks: Band of Horses, Beck, Kid Sister, Paramore, Cheb i Sabbah and Vince Mira

Posted by Marian Liu

pwrfl.jpgPersonally, I'm most excited to see:

Before Bumbershoot, I'll give you more on each, but for now, I leave you with an iInterview with PWRFL Power, a Seattle mainstay (who has gone off to Brooklyn to try his luck there). Earlier this summer, he performed at the Georgetown Music Festival and the Capitol Hill Block Party.

(Photo by SARAH CASS)

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August 21, 2008 3:55 PM

John Vanderslice

Posted by andrew matson

San Francisco singer-songwriter/producer John Vanderslice makes sensitive-guy indie-rock in a mold we in Seattle ought to know well, as local label Barsuk Records is one of its primary purveyors (and Vanderslice's label, naturally).

vanderslice2.jpg Photo on Fremont bridge via Slightly North, who thanks John "for being who you are."


Continue reading this post ...


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August 18, 2008 5:46 PM

The Physics

Posted by andrew matson

Monday at 12:45 on the Fisher Green Stage is the Physics. Check out this video and tell me the truth: Did you know Seattle had hip-hop like this?


The Physics-Ready For We from The Physics on Vimeo.

Does Seattle have a "hip-hop sound?" The answer is no. But if it did, this slice of smoothness would be it.

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August 18, 2008 4:45 PM

Neko Case

Posted by andrew matson

From her Wikipedia page:

"I'm not out to become Faith Hill, I never want to play an arena, and I never want to be on the MTV Video Music Awards, much less make a video with me in it."

nekocase2.jpg Picture by way of Chad.

What, then, Neko Case, are you all about? If not fame and money, then what?!

Continue reading this post ...


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August 18, 2008 3:00 PM

Bumbershoot out one comedian - Zach Galifianakis - maybe Dave Chappelle instead?

Posted by Marian Liu

chapelle1.jpgComedian Zach Galifianakis will not be joining the ranks of Bumbershoot artists this year due to some scheduling conflicts. Galifianakis appeared in the sitcom "Boston Common" and "Reno 911!," along with the movies "Bubble Boy" and "Into the Wild." A replacement for Galifianakis will be announced soon.

What comedian do you think should replace him?

I'm thinking of a wish list and it starts with Dave Chappelle, also Cedric The Entertainer because he canceled his Seattle show at WaMu Theater August 17.

(Photo: AP)

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August 16, 2008 1:24 PM

Death Cab for Cutie

Posted by andrew matson

Remember when you used to see Death Cab for Cutie play for $5? If you don't, someone you know does. That goes for people in every NW city from Vancouver to Vancouver.

Bellingham's most sensitive (kind of like Compton's Most Wanted, but not) used to be a "local band." They made poetic, glassy-sounding guitar pop and were nationally underappreciated. They played cheap concerts all the time, and had hit songs that were only hits around here -- "405," I'm looking at you. They looked sort of like this:

dcfc1.jpg Photo via Shil.

It took years, but they became international superstars. With gestures like scoring the Kurt Cobain movie and curating the Phinney Burn to Shine DVD, singer Ben Gibbard started lording over Seattle. Now he looks like this:

dcfc2.jpg Photo via Gussifer.

Death Cab is headlining Bumbershoot, and nobody can argue with that. They deserve the dominant time slot, Monday at 9:15 p.m. on the Samsung Mainstage, if for no other reason than to inspire other local bands: things like this actually happen around here.

Watch Gibbard and guitarist/producer Chris Walla keep it real in a London taxi.

DCFC Black Cab Session:


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August 14, 2008 2:25 PM

Grynch

Posted by andrew matson

Why is DJ Nphared embarrassed in this picture?

nphared and grynch

Probably because his MC, Grynch, is making fun of him. And it's probably payback.

Nphared's the kind of antagonistic jerk who also supervises basketball at the Boys and Girls Club, a hater with a heart of gold. Recently at the High Dive in Fremont, I saw him terrorize Grynch on stage from his DJ table with an air horn sound effect. Annoying, but funny.

Video with awful sound quality after the jump!

Continue reading this post ...


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August 14, 2008 12:54 PM

Buy Bumbershoot now; prices go up Saturday

Posted by Lynn Jacobson


Got the Bumbershoot bug yet?
Get ready. Seattle's Music & Arts Festival is coming up in just two weeks, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, and Friday, Aug. 15, is the last day to buy your ticket before prices go up. More details on the Bumbershoot Web site.

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August 13, 2008 1:58 PM

BumberBritish: Estelle

Posted by andrew matson

estelle.jpg Thanks for the picture, Serhio.


Ask Kanye and John Legend: Estelle is the truth. Her song "American Boy" (feat. Kanye) was a #1 hit in her native England (she lives in NYC now), and it's getting some North American radio play, too. She sings and raps and runs a WAY wider topical range than most USA "rhythm" artists. As the kids in my apartment building would say, I'm "hecka" excited to see Estelle at Bumbershoot Saturday Aug. 30 at 5:45 p.m. on the Fisher Green stage.

The video for the song you should already know about, "American Boy":

I got into Estelle via a track she did with Hi-Tek. Check out an old Estelle post I did on RaindropHustla last January. It's not all uptempo party jams with her...

More BumberHype soon!

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