The Gnome's gettin' a tattoo of a wristband so he can sneak into all the friggin' festivals that keep popping up. It starts this weekend with the Change Music or CMJ Fest or whatever it's called, and your craggy correspondent surely isn't the first to note that with all the local bands on the bill, it looks like just another weekend in Seattle. Notable out of towners include Weezer, HIM, Arling & Cameron, and that's about it. Oh, there are others, but rather than reheat some Black Eyed Peas, why not stay home and dig out that Digable Planets album, yo? Doh! The Gnome's hoppin' down to see the brilliant Sick Bees fer sure, and actually a lot of other locals make this an above-average affair: Death Cab, 764-HERO (whose new album kicks ass), Ken Stringfellow, Welcome, Botch—you get the idea.
Then the next weekend brings WOMAD USA, which you can read about somewhere in this issue of the Weekly if you can find it amid all that Best-of-Seattle silliness.
Don't forget about Bumbershoot. The 30th annual Labor Day gathering features a slew of bands, and it boils down to this: They got Abdullah Ibrahim! For anyone who doesn't know, this South African jazz legend, who for years recorded as Dollar Brand, is a spiritual heir to fellow sax-man John Coltrane. Exiled to New York during apartheid, he'd often trek to the Northwest. But since returning to his homeland in 1990, Ibrahim's visited less and less. He's comin' to Bumbershoot, so start listening to him now to better appreciate his genius. Go out and find the new Very Best of Abdullah Ibrahim on Music Club. Now!
The One Reel folks aren't exactly lighting up the skies with this year's B-shoot lineup, but it's high on indie-cred, what with Magnetic Fields, Modest Mouse, Elliott Smith, and even Big Star. The alt-country crowd can look forward to Robbie Fulks, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Sally Timms. Other biggies: De La Soul, Joan Jett, and cheesy crowd pleasers like Sugar Ray, Ben Harper, and that horrible Tracy Chapman.
As the Gnome first reported months ago, Terrastock will take over the Showbox November 3-5 with psych-rock galore by the Bevis Frond, Ghost, Damon and Naomi, and the totally amazing Mazarin (from Philadelphia) and the dreamy Windy and Carl (from Michigan). Tickets to this annual event, held in a different city every year, always sell out. Always. If you wanna be there, tickets are available at Sonic Boom, Orpheum, or www.ticketweb.com.
What else? Oh yeah, word on the street is that The Stranger's gone through yet another music editor. Seems Erin Franzman's shipping back to New York. It's rumored that her replacement will be a robot that Stranger management will chain to a desk. Or maybe Everett True will crawl back out of his hole. You betcha!
You can reach the Metro Gnome at firstname.lastname@example.org