After four marathon days of strawberry shortcake, stroller derbies, and shows, we are just plain Bumbershot to shit. Not so the rest of the festivalgoers,>"/>
After four marathon days of strawberry shortcake, stroller derbies, and shows, we are just plain Bumbershot to shit. Not so the rest of the festivalgoers, apparently; even a $20 entry fee didn't seem to keep most of the Western hemisphere from clogging the Seattle Center grounds all long-weekend long, moving from outdoor jugglers to break-dancing circles to major stadium shows with the suicidal enthusiasm of a diabetic in a candy factory—and the speed of room-temperature molasses. As ever, amidst the general system overload, the good, the bad, and the ugly—even the great—emerged. Bad news first—the ugly, according to a bitterly disappointed Andrew Bonazelli: "In a festival where few bands had the courage to actually plug in their rock axes, Everclear should've been a gigantic, balls-out Sunday night relief. Instead, Art Alexakis and crew incompetently hopscotched through forgettable new-school singles like 'Wonderful' and 'I Will Buy You a New Life,' and even mauled the Speed Racer theme (somewhere, Sponge is gnashing their teeth) for the encore. The crowd banter reached enjoyable new lows, as Art—after admonishing a mosher for firing a shoe at him rather than the preferred 'bras and panties'—repeatedly encouraged a half-full Memorial Stadium's worth of stinking hippie degenerates to 'sing it!' only to hear . . . crickets." The good: Sonic Youth. Says Paul Fontana: "Two years after SY's last Bumbershoot appearance, grumbling about that mostly instrumental set was still reverberating like big fat waves of feedback. (Note to artists: Save your 'experiments' for the hard-core fans—the summer festival set doesn't go for that shit.) Opening with oldie-but-goodie 'Cotton Crown,' the Youth charted a decidedly more populist course this time around—the kids even got their precious renditions of 'Kool Thing' and 'Teen Age Riot.' And Thurston was really funny (in an entirely un- annoying way, even). Kiss Yr Idols!" Also
Wilco, who Bob Mehr notes "seemed less than inspired by the overcast sky and sports stadium atmosphere, but still managed a fairly brilliant, albeit short set on Monday. Clad in a yellow 'Poetry Police' T-shirt, frontman Jeff Tweedy led the band through a healthy mix of tunes off their latest, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, as well as a handful of numbers from Being There and Summerteeth, plus a couple songs from the group's Woody Guthrie collaboration. The band even previewed a brand-new pop-punk gem during the encore before closing with 'Outtasite (Outtamind).'" Other greats, according to our own highly informal poll: the Shins, who actually got the KeyArena crowd to give them the Wave (not once, but twice!); Blonde Redhead, who can do just about no wrong in our eyes; and so many other artists we were too short (literally, and also on eyes, ears, and time) to see. . . . Secret shows, of course, abounded: If you were a clever name decoder, you may have caught the Piss Tubes (Catheters) and Fuxx & Rumors (The Gossip) at Sit & Spin, as well as the Blue Ponies (Buddy & Julie Miller) at the Tractor. But it wasn't illegal to advertise Chop Suey's No. 2 show on Saturday, which starred Elliot Smith's Heatmiser cohort, Neil Gust, as well as several vets of Bumbers past, including Stephen Malkmus—working the merch table, no less—and Sleater-Kinney/Quasi drummer Janet Weiss behind the kit as part of opening act, the Shadow Mortons. . . . In completely un-Bumber-related album news, you may have heard that darlings-of-2000 Sigur Ros have completed their third release, ingeniously dubbed . . . ( ). Yep, it's untitled, as are the eight songs contained on the 70-minute disc. Even the album sleeve ascribes to their hard-core less-is-more aesthetic—the inside booklet consists of tracing paper, with no text, and fans are
asked to fill in their own. Maybe we don't get the Icelandic sense of humor? . . . Speaking of humor, the U.K.'s foremost funnymen Radiohead (god, we crack ourselves up) are heading into the studio in L.A. as we speak with longtime producer Nigel Goodrich and plan to get the record on the street by March of 2003. In the meantime, 'Head-heads can satisfy themselves with the downloadable material on www.ateaseweb.com—14 tracks from the band's 1991 pre-fame incarnation as On a Friday, featuring Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood. . . . Also, Pete Yorn (doing "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend") and Tom Waits ("Return of Jackie and Judy") have both been added to the already sparkly-with-stars roster of the upcoming Ramones tribute We're a Happy Family, which also includes KISS, Eddie Vedder, U2, Metallica, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The project's organizer, Rob Zombie, promises a release date in early November. . . . So, we know you're wondering what's happened to Zach de la Rocha post-Rage Against the Machine, and that's what we're here for, so here you go: According to our source R.P. in N.Y.C., he's collaborating with a seriously motley crew of guests, including Trent Reznor, with album assistance from ?uestlove of the Roots, Dan the Automator (of course), Roni Size, and Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs. Meanwhile, a post-Zach, post-Chris Cornell RATM have turned to the next round of their revolving- frontman lineup, stopping at the feet of none other than rapper DMX. . . . We'd like to correct a few mistakes we made in our otherwise flawless column last week: First, long-running Britpop night Parklife is not disappearing altogether, as previously reported, but merely going monthly, with dates to be announced. Also, Courtney Love is not, in fact,
starring on the British stage as Lady MacBeth, but in a film of the play, of which she says she is ready to "put a fist-size dent in the battleship that is [the] role." We don't doubt it, honeybun. In the meantime, rumors are swirling that Love plans to release a single for the legendary Alan McGee's British Poptones label, even though he denies it, and Love's battles with her American label, Universal, continue. A posting from Love attesting to this tidbit appeared on Hole's official site Aug. 29 and was promptly removed an hour later. . . . A moment of silence, please, for the several-months-old romance between Drew Barrymore and Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti. Their young love apparently died on the airport tarmac just as the actress was preparing to board a plane to join her semi-soulmate at England's Carling Festival last week. The two apparently decided their flourishing careers leave them little time for love. Why, godammit, why?
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