Michaelangelo Matos' picks:

Southern Culture on the Skids (Blues Stage, 7:30-9pm) Thanks to an old roommate, this bad joke about the South has become


Bumbershoot 2000 Music Critics' Picks


Michaelangelo Matos' picks:

Southern Culture on the Skids (Blues Stage, 7:30-9pm) Thanks to an old roommate, this bad joke about the South has become one of my favorite lowbrow pleasures, and I still can't get "Banana Pudding" out of my head.

Jonathan Richman (Bumbrella Stage, 8:30-10pm) America's greatest living entertainer? Well, close enough, thanks to Jojo's irresistible stage persona, deeper-than-you-think catalogue, and indefatigable rhythm guitar. And oh yeah— he helped invent punk rock.

Zap Mama (Opera House, 9-10:30pm) Zap Mama mastermind Marie Daulne's Afro-Caribbean-Euro-American melting pot gives up irresistible harmonies and beguiling rhythms in equal measure. Multiculturalism lives, and breathes.

Laura Learmonth's picks:

Jen Wood (NW Court Stage, 2:15-3:15pm) Jen's style is of the indie/folk chick genre, but don't take that to mean that it's tired or overdone. Eight years into the business of writing songs and playing her guitar, she's almost always got some random element keeping her music fresh.

Pedro the Lion (BumberClub, 3:45-4:45pm) A friend of mine is truly in the running for Biggest Pedro the Lion Fan. He ends his e-mails with random quotes from Big Trucks and Winners Never Quit and he downloads guitar tabs off the Internet so he can play along. But more than that, he feels each and every one of David Bazan's thoughtful songs quite deeply. So he's going for sure, and I am too.

Mark Eitzel (NW Court Stage, 7:00-8:15pm) Anyone remember American Music Club? Mark Eitzel fronted it, and they were damn good. Even if you've never heard of him or his Club, come anyway, because there's sure to be some powerful guitar strumming and storytelling going down.

Jonathan Richman (Bumbrella Stage, 8:30- 10:00pm) The first time I heard "Pablo Picasso," I knew I had found a friend. All these years later, he's still one of my main men. But then, I do keep a pretty big place in my heart reserved for quirky, nerdy punk rockers.

Richard A. Martin's picks:

The Catheters (BumberClub, 2:30-3:15pm) They look more Detroit '75 than Seattle 2000, but this young fivesome cranks out garage-y, Stooges-like punk that's surprisingly heartfelt and authentic—especially when you find out that most of the members weren't even born in '75.

The Souvenirs (Blues Stage, 4-5pm) Despite a devout local audience and a few clubs geared to country/rockabilly acts, Seattle's produced remarkably few artists of note in the genre. The Souvenirs, however, plead their case convincingly, strumming out a spirited sort of twang and strutting across the stage like they mean it.

Marit Peters (Music Hall, 4:30-5:30pm) A local artist with a great shot at making it big, Marit Peters sings with the assuredness of a seasoned Lilith Fair vet. But this young singer-songwriter stands apart with passionate vocals and thoughtful instrumentation, exhibited on her recent CD, Dead Reckoning.


Michaelangelo Matos' picks:

The Coup (Rhythm Stage, 5:45-7pm) Vocally agile Oakland MC Boots Riley spits the most politically acute rhymes to hit hip-hop since prime Public Enemy—think class warfare. DJ Pam the Funkstress backs him up with prime old-school funk beats—think War-style fanfare.

George Clinton and Parliament/ Funkadelic (Mainstage, noon-2:45pm) The atomic dogs return. Everybody knows and loves the hits, but don't be surprised when you're just as knocked out when P-Funk drops cuts from 1998's overlooked Dope Dogs, a classic on a par with any of their '70s output.

Mark Isham & the Silent Way Project (Opera House, 1:30-2:45pm) Bay Area soundtrack composer and jazz trumpeter Isham and his electric five-piece put out one of last year's strongest reinterpretations, Miles Remembered: The Silent Way Project. Expect that alongside Isham's typical ambient fare.

Laura Learmonth's picks:

Elliott Smith (Boombox/Key Arena, 8:30- 9:45pm) I know, I know. I'm kinda over him, too. Elliott Smith just isn't what he used to be. But c'mon, you already paid your 12 bucks. And besides, he just might play something from the old days, something that doesn't scream, "I live in Hollywood and drive a Passat," something that doesn't sound like a boring Beatles rip-off. Something like "No Name #2" or "Coming Up Roses." Keep your fingers crossed.

Source of Labor (Rhythm Stage, 2:00- 3:15pm) Diversify, people. We can't live on rock and roll alone, and this local act supposedly "blows up tha spot." It's been a long time since this lady's been at a hip-hop show, but heck, I'll catch on. I hope.

Richard A. Martin's picks:

Iris DeMent (Blues Stage, 1:45-3pm) Whether singing her own songs or covering those of country and folk heroes who came before her, Iris DeMent is one of the most distinctive and endearing young voices in American music. The daughter of religious farmers, she's paid her dues, working odd jobs and fighting for respect with a series of stellar releases and frequent public displays of her offbeat charm and winsome musicality.

Freakwater (Bumbrella Stage, 3:30-4:45pm) Catherine Irwin and Janet Bean sprang from the Louisville punk scene that produced bands like Slint and Rodin, but changed gears completely as Freakwater. Their rich, homespun harmonies and fluid acoustic melodies have made them favorites on the alt-country circuit, and yet their records come out on an indie-rock/experimental label, Thrill Jockey, a testament to the duo's reach.

Sally Timms (NW Court Stage, 4:45-5:45pm) Despite her background, Sally Timms has evolved quite naturally from punk-pop singer for the British band the Mekons to a leader in Chicago's fertile alt-country scene. She could get by on her charm, but her songs, and the ones she chooses to cover, show that this vocalist and guitarist has more to offer than a cheerful disposition. No wonder why crowds flock to see her whenever she comes 'round.

The Battle of Bumbershoot: DJ/ Turntablist Competition (BumberClub, 8-11pm) This is the real shit: Twenty-one Seattle DJs competed for eight spaces in the first-ever spin-off of its kind at Sit & Spin in August, and the winners meet in this final battle. Those showing off their scratching and mixing skills will be DJs Ace, Drastic, Jonnie, Rayzor, Scene, Swami, and Tr鮍

Elliott Smith (Boombox/Key Arena, 8:30-9:45pm) The transition from gloomy, lonely indie-folk poster boy to smart major-label bandleader has been a near-treacherous one for Elliott Smith. But he's to be commended for sticking to his own vision, recording progressively fuller-sounding albums like this year's Figure 8, and breaking in a backing band to help expand his musical parameters.


Michaelangelo Matos' picks:

Ani DiFranco (Mainstage, 8:45-10:15 pm) God knows she's got a deep repertoire: DiFranco writes and records like there's no tomorrow. Even better, when she hits the stage, her string-shredding acoustic accompanied by bass and drums, she plays like there's no tomorrow.

Compay Segundo (Opera House, 9:30-11pm) The 92-year-old Cuban guitarist, singer, and Buena Vista Social Clubber produces some of the island's richest sounds: relaxed, meditative, underlined with gorgeous Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Opera House, 1:30-2:45pm and Mainstage, 7:15-8:30pm) South Africa's most famous a capella gospel troupe enter their 40th year. Expect high-kicking dance steps, astonishing harmonies, and humorous between-song patter.

Laura Learmonth's picks:

Radio Nationals (BumberClub, noon- 12:45pm) How 'bout some good old-fashioned roots rock to start off your Sunday? Hell, sleep in and skip church; you'll feel the spirit moving plenty right here. Fans of Wilco and Neil Young, prepare to meet your favorite new band.

Murder City Devils (Sun 3, BumberClub, 5:15-6:15pm, also Mon 4, Mainstage 12:30-1:30pm) I never get tired of those jean jacket-wearin', Mick Jagger-lookin', four hair product-using Marker Heads, I just love that look. This'll be good people watching, I promise.

Robbie Fulks (Bumbrella Stage, 1:30-2:45pm) His songs have names like "She Took a Lot of Pills (and Died)," "What the Lord Hath Wrought (Any Fool Can Knock Down)," and "Let's Kill Saturday Night." Get it? Go ahead and keep those shit-kickers on; you'll wanna see this country rocker.

Sleater-Kinney (Boombox/Key Arena, 5:15- 6:30pm) This one's such a no-brainer. Duh. See you there.

Richard A. Martin's picks:

Robbie Fulks (Bumbrella Stage, 1:30-2:45pm) His vitriolic anti-Nashville rant "Fuck This Town" and party anthem "Let's Kill Saturday Night" only hint at what this Chicago-based singer-songwriter can accomplish. A charismatic performer, Fulks knows how to stir a crowd without pandering; it's impossible to resist joining in his fun.

Alien Crime Syndicate (BumberClub, 2:30-3:30pm) Led by ex-Meices frontman Joe Reineke, this capable quartet regularly electrifies audiences with space-age punk-pop. A local favorite and a diligent touring unit as well, Alien Crime Syndicate plays a timeless sort of rock, always delivered with a smile.

Ken Stringfellow & Jon Auer (NW Court Stage, 6-7:15pm) One of the few Seattle bands to pre-date and outlast the Nirvana/ Soundgarden/Pearl Jam heyday, the Posies' two songwriters still weren't 30 when they split in 1998. Earlier this year, the prolific duo of Stringfellow and Auer reunited to play their old songs on battered acoustics, and found their harmonies and melodies still intact. Just back from a national tour, they're sure to be in full stride.

Ronnie Spector (Boombox/Key Arena, 8:15- 9:30pm) An inspiration to girl musicians everywhere as part of the Ronettes in the '60s, Ronnie Spector reemerged last year on an unlikely label, Olympia's Kill Rock Stars. The Joey Ramone- produced EP She Talks to Rainbows proved that this 50-plus-year-old singer's still got it, and reports of her live shows have ranged from compliments to raves.


Michaelangelo Matos' picks:

Baby Gramps (NW Court Stage, 2-3:15pm) This Kenmore-based street musician is the king of the concept song: "Palindromes," "Anagrams," and "Aptonyms" are all stuffed with plenty of their titular conceits. Plus he sounds like Popeye. Way fun.

Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos (Rhythm Stage, 3-4:30pm) New York avant-jazz guitarist Ribot's "Prosthetic Cubans," his tribute to the great Cuban bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez, create subtle, addictive, gorgeous late-night music equally good for dancing, listening, meditating, or making out to.

Laura Learmonth's picks:

Quasi (BumberClub, 5:15-6:15pm) Ex-husband-and-wife team Sam and Janet are pretty much the poster kids for everything that's right about life. You should be friends with your exes, you should continue making music with them, and you should play in a couple of other really cool bands, too. And you should make songs with smart, woeful lyrics, cynical pop melodies, and dour keyboard meditations.

Joan Jett (Boombox/Key Arena, 7:45-9:00pm) You never forget your first crush, and I'm proud to say that mine was Joan Jett. In 1981, I was just finding out about rock and roll, and hearing her scream about how much she loved it pretty much sealed the deal for me. Who knows if she's still got that howlin' rocker in her, but I'm gonna go and check out her new short blond hairdo anyway.

Richard A. Martin's picks:

Motorhead (Mainstage, 2-3:15pm) One of the most influential and enduring metal bands of all time, Mot�ad haven't lost a step on the younger, mask- and makeup-wearing competition. Bassist/vocalist Lemmy Kilmister is the only constant, but the guy's been warping teenagers' minds since the members of Limp Bizkit were wearing plaid Toughskins.

Death Cab for Cutie (BumberClub, 3:45- 4:45pm) Seattle's most beloved indie pop band have done nothing to negate their reputation; every show Death Cab plays pulses with energy that flows between the stage and audience. Their alternately moody and propulsive songs serve as perfect backdrops to singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard's determined, skillful vocals.

Martha Wainright (Rhythm Stage, 5:15- 6:30pm) An intense performer with a voice to match her ambitions, Martha may be the least-known of the Wainright-McGarrigle clan, but that's quickly changing. A superb songwriter and interpreter, she's making a name for herself as an up-and-coming star.

Kristin Hersh (Rhythm Stage, 7-8:15) Along with Tanya Donnelly in Throwing Muses, Kristin Hersh made several of the most entertaining (college-) rock albums of the '80s. She kept the band going through another productive decade after her partner split, meanwhile launching what's become a distinguished solo career. A seemingly low-key performer, her voice can rise from a whisper to a wail effortlessly, and her evocative songs give her ample room to exhibit her range.

Don't miss our five must see picks.

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow