Bumbershoot Monday: Picks and Notes Featuring Drake, Bacon, Meat Puppets, and More

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. • Starbucks Stage

Brent Amaker & the Rodeo  Seattle's own Men in Black will release their new album, Please Stand By, next month; expect a strong dose of their gritty brand of Americana. Amaker's booming voice and sometimes silly, sometimes dirty, cowboy-themed lyrics combine with rock influences from Devo and Bowie to create an edgy, Kill Bill–style Western feel. —Erin K. Thompson

Noon to 1:15 • Words & Ideas

MeTube  Three local artists tell the stories of their pasts, presents, and futures through compiled sets of other people's online videos. In other words, it's as self-indulgent as its name suggests. —Mary Pauline Diaz

Noon to 1 • 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF Cinema

Portrait of the Artist  Among these two shorts, the 20-minute Dig Comics shows director/narrator Miguel Cima's evident love for comic books. Here in Seattle, home of Fantagraphics, we really don't need to be sold on the medium, but Cima's geeky enthusiasm is impossible to dislike. —Brian Miller

12:30 to 1:30 • Broad Street Stage

Bobby Bare, Jr.  Nominated for a Grammy at age 8 (for a song he recorded with his father), he's been making his brand of alt-rock consistently ever since. His newest release is the highly personal A Storm—A Tree—My Mother's Head. —EKT

12:30 to 1:30 • Sky Church

People Eating People  Seeing Nouela Johnston pound her keyboard and belt out "I Hate All My Friends" should be more than enough motivation to shake off your Labor Day hangover and get to Seattle Center before lunch. Johnston's self-titled debut—which she re-released nationally this summer—is a powerhouse. She knows how to play the keys off against her voice, combining her piano's lowest notes with her own higher ones; the result is both sultry and strong. People Eating People is dark like Tori Amos' From the Choirgirl Hotel without the alienation—something about these songs feels warm and pleasant, even through all the sorrow. —Paige Richmond

12:30 to 1:30 • Fisher Green

Victor Shade  Named for the alter ego of Marvel Comics android/superhero The Vision, the collaboration between MC RA Scion and producer MTK is steeped in hardbody beats and the conflict between good and evil. —Nick Feldman

1 to 2 • 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF Cinema

South of the Border: Latin American Shorts  Peasants battle their corporate overlords in Brazil, and a kid tries to claw his way out of the slums of Colombia. —BM

1 to 2 • Performing Arts Stage

Squonk Opera See Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

1 to 2 • Northwest Court

Brian Vogan  Lots of children's music comes from onetime rockers who had kids and realized they didn't want their little ones listening to their own music, or who would just prefer to write about animals and playgrounds these days. But rock guys entering children's music can sometimes have the feel of actors entering music. Brian Vogan is actually an early-childhood educator, and a music educator, no less. In other words, he knows what's up, but parents should be warned he doesn't have quite the same adult listenability as some of those other acts (also see Caspar Babypants, Saturday, 1 p.m.). —MPD

1:15 to 2 • Fountain Lawn

Cyclecide See Saturday, 1:15 p.m. (Also 4:45 to 5:45.)

1:15 to 2:15 • Center Square Stage

JEFF The Brotherhood  Several conflicting influences are at work in JEFF the Brotherhood's fuzzy stoner punk, which may or may not be the result of residual sibling rivalry between brothers-turned-bandmates Jake and Jamin Orrall. The band's most recent release, Heavy Days, is a nine-song testament to this polyamorous partnership of distorted, meandering riffs of psych; hard, clipped punk rock; and heavy metal. Not that that hasn't been done before, but what's impressive about JEFF the Brotherhood is how big and bad these two manage to sound with just a drum kit and a guitar that rarely survives a set with all its strings intact. —Sara Brickner

1:15 to 2:15 • Comedy Stage West

"Too Beautiful to Live" Live Podcast  Get in line early to watch Luke Burbank put together one of his acclaimed new shows. The veteran radio host is a savvy interviewer who'll attract guests from anywhere on the Bumbershoot talent roster. Smart, dry, and self-effacing, he doesn't force his way into the conversation. Rather, in his self-described role as "imaginary radio host," he orchestrates the chat in a wide-ranging, intelligent direction. —BM

1:15 to 2:30 • Starbucks Stage

Trampled by Turtles  Minnesota isn't quite a bluegrass capital, but Duluth's TBT has been charting hits in that genre for years. The quintet specializes in acoustic, string-based roots music that whirls to life with a distinct rock edge during their raw live shows. —EKT

2 to 3:15 • Theatre Puget Sound Stage

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee See Sunday, 2 p.m.

2 to 3 • Sky Church

BOAT  This Seattle band makes adorable, bouncy pop with tinges of irony, singing about the strangeness of adulthood while writing instrumentals with a childlike quality. —PR

2 to 3 • 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF Cinema

Films4Families: Family Funtime  Before the "LAND" fell off L.A.'s iconic "HOLLYWOOD" sign, it was illuminated by 4,000 light bulbs, as we learn in The Caretaker, one short in this group of seven. —BM

2 to 3 • Comedy Stage North

Tig Notaro, Marc Maron See Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

2 to 3 • Words & Ideas

Why Bacon? Why Cupcakes? Why Now?  Besides "Because I'm hungry" or "Because I lack self-control," the answers to these questions remain a mystery. On this panel to discuss the trendiness of sweet and salty are Jennifer Shea of Trophy Cupcakes and Dave Lefkow of J&D Foods, a purveyor of products like bacon salt and bacon-flavored envelopes, whose jobs depend on exactly what they're talking about. If nothing else, you'll get to hear from a guy who made envelope glue a little more bearable. —MPD

2:15 to 3:15 • Broad Street Stage

The Clientele  This British quartet produces dreamy, lo-fi indie-pop songs with a signature buzzy, reverby guitar foundation. This month they'll release a record of seven new songs, entitled Minotaur. —EKT

2:15 to 3:15 • Fisher Green

Garotas Suecas  Tropicalia plays a prominent role in the music of this Brazilian sextet, but Garotas Suecas' helplessly catchy and absurdly danceable sound is also equal parts garage rock and soul. —NF

2:45 to 3 • Center Square

Circus Una Motorcycle Thrill Show See Saturday, 1 p.m. (Also 4:30 to 4:45, 6:15 to 6:30, 7:30 to 7:45.)

2:45 to 3:45 • Comedy Stage South

"The Nerdist"  Hosted by Chris Hardwick and his buddies Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, "The Nerdist" is where guys go to discuss topics that make their girlfriends' eyes glaze over in a roundtable discussion impersonating a multimedia experience with live music and comedy. —Ma'chell Duma LaVassar

2:45 to 3:45 • Northwest Court

Chris Pureka  This husky-voiced, dark alt-folk artist makes music that's heavy, hurt, and emotional. But don't think this is angry break-up music. Her songs are abstract musings over a pop-rocking twang. —MPD

3 to 4 • Comedy Stage West

New Kids  Don't think of these performers as the junior varsity squad of the People's Republic of Komedy. Rather, they're the bench-warmers who don't get enough playing time because they insist on wearing their jockstraps outside their shorts. —BM

3 to 4 • Center Square Stage

The Whigs  This Athens, Ga., rock band can do glossy, polished pop sheen and distorted, Southern pseudo–psych rock with equal skill—but the psych stuff is better. —SB

3:15 to 4:15 • Starbucks Stage

Greg Laswell  This Long Beach native is best known for his bluesy piano-and-vocals cover of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," which was featured in Confessions of a Shopaholic and The Hills. But he also writes his own musing and perceptive tunes, all about women, insecurities, and heartache. —EKT

3:30 to 4:30 • Performing Arts Stage

Dark Divas  Nu Black Arts West Theatre, a local theater group that focuses on productions and programs about the African American community and cultural heritage, revives the lives of Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Billie Holiday, and Pearl Bailey through recreations of their performances and acted scenes from their personal lives. The full cast includes dancers and a live orchestra, just as the ladies would have had at the Apollo. Players range from a 15-year-old dancer to 80-year-old Grace Holden, daughter of Seattle jazz pioneer Oscar Holden, playing legendary blues singer Bessie Smith. (See preview.) —MPD

3:30 to 4:30 • Sky Church

Helladope  This local hip-hop duo is all about space—an obsession with both the great planetary void and how to fill every moment with beats, voices, and rhymes. Their songs feel like a hundred mini-meteors happily crash-landing on a drum machine. —PR

3:30 to 4:30 • 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF Cinema

The Meaning of Life  To anyone who despises hot talk radio, whether from Beck or Limbaugh, or who dreads liberal scolding at cocktail parties, the seven-minute Slap wickedly plays both sides of the street. In Grant Barbeito's very polished, sly bit of absurdism, two garage mechanics sit down after work to talk politics. Or, rather, rant at each other with slaps as punctuation. But you'll soon lose track of which side each guy is on, right or left, Dem or GOP—which is the movie's entire point. It's one of four films on big topics. —BM

3:45 to 4:45 • Comedy Stage North

Kumail Nanjiani, John Mulaney, Nick Kroll See Saturday, 7:15 p.m.

3:45 to 4:45 • Words & Ideas ®

Kurt B. Reighley's United States of Americana Road Show  Also known as KEXP's DJ El Toro, Reighley reads from his United States of Americana: Backyard Chickens, Burlesque Beauties, and Handmade Bitters: A Field Guide to the New American Roots Movement, a look at why young folks are so into such old-timey things, why vinyl is cool again, and why college kids are raiding their parents' attics. —MPD

3:45 to 4:45 • Theatre Puget Sound

Theatresports See Saturday, 2 p.m.

4 to 5 • Fisher Green

Kings Go Forth  Today's soul revival may have made shining cities out of New York and London, but if Kings Go Forth has any say, Milwaukee will be next. This 10-piece draws from soul's decades-old roots and modern hip-hop's drum-heavy percussion while showcasing the timelessness of solid three-part harmony. Sounding straight from the '70s, debut album The Outsiders Are Back is 10 tracks of pure gold that sounds delightfully fuzzy—like a needle first touching down on wax—but never once recycled. Existing at the intersection of style and substance, Kings Go Forth are a neo-soul outfit you can't afford to miss. —NF

4 to 5 • Broad Street Stage

Meat Puppets  Like the recently reactivated Vaselines, Phoenix's Meat Puppets are most famous for having one of their songs covered by Nirvana. But after a few breakups, reunions, and replacements, the band is still up and running with their crafty country-pop, most recently on last year's Sewn Together. —EKT

4:30 to 5:30 • Comedy Stage South

Garfunkel & Oates, David O'Doherty, Nick Thune See Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

4:30 to 5:30 • Northwest Court

Lay Low The only thing Iceland and the American South might have in common is an abundance of small towns, but all it really takes to make down-home, twangy blues is feeling lonely. From Reykjavík, Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir's voice itself is reason enough to ditch that other act early and go see her. Throw that soft, sweet vocal on top of some guitar grit, and you'll hear something exceptionally raw and heartfelt. —MPD

4:30 to 5:30 • 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF Cinema

"Dreamscapes" If you see only one film at 1 Reel about cyborg pigs, that film will be E-pigs, from Slovenia. —BM

4:45 to 5:45 • Center Square Stage

Baroness  Baroness' pulsing, powerful metal manages to be melodious enough to serve as an introduction to the genre, but that doesn't mean these guys can't thrash. —SB

4:45 to 5:45 • Comedy Stage West

Bridgetown Comedy Festival Showcase  Look for Joe Frice (presumably unmasked) and more of his Portland comedy brethren to perform. Expect jokes about which city is more smug about its recycling practices, bike lanes, and organic coffee. —BM

4:45 to 5:45 • Sky Church

THEESatisfaction  Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White, a couple on and offstage, craft melodic and rhythmic hip-hop about colonialism, outer space, and cultural politics. —PR

5:00 to 6:15 • Starbucks Stage

The Moondoggies  It's been a long wait for the Moondoggies' full-length, Tidelands, to be released on Oct. 12. They've been dropping us some teasers, like the new material on the You'll Find No Answers Here EP, which hints at a more expansive and soulful growth for the local roots band. —EKT

5:15 to 6 • Theatre Puget Sound Stage

Sondheim, Weill, and Newman: a Cabaret  Which of these things is not like the other? If anyone can make the case that work by the composer of "Short People" is fit to share a stage with work by the composers of "Mack the Knife," "Alabama Song," "Losing My Mind," and "A Little Priest" (and yes, I know there's more to Newman's output than his role as Pixar's resident goo-meister), it'd be the singer/proselytizers of Black Box Opera Theater, who like to take music drama—in tasty bite-size chunks—out of the concert hall and into restaurant, cabaret, and festival settings. Put the hay down where the goats can get it, I always say. —GB

5:30 to 6:30 • Words & Ideas

Tony Millionaire  The comic artist behind Sock Monkey and Maakies, as seen on Saturday Night Live and Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim." On the latter, Maakies is known as The Drinky Crow Show, which is indeed about a boozed-up bird, and which looks just about like what you think it does. —MPD

5:30 to 6:30 • Comedy Stage North

Morgan Murphy, Chris Hardwick, Jamie Kilstein See Saturday, 2 p.m.

5:30 to 6:30 • 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF Cinema

Made in Seattle  A violent, funny study in greed and chance, Your Lucky Day—one of four locally made shorts screened here—includes Lynn Shelton and Sean Nelson among its cast. With a winning $156 million lottery ticket at stake, six people in a convenience store turn against one another, with bloody results. Director Dan Brown takes a very cynical view of human nature, and the carnage is rendered with polish and pizzazz unusual for locally made shorts. —BM

5:45 to 6:45 • Fisher Green

Bomba Estéreo  Rooted in Colombian cumbia and champeta, Bomba Estéreo's layered guitar, keys, percussion, and frontwoman Liliana Saumet's vocals make an infectiously energetic combination. —NF

5:45 to 6:45 • Broad Street Stage

Japandroids  This Canadian post-punk duo (Brian King on guitar and vocals, David Prowse on drums) broke in this country with their 2009 full-length, Post-Nothing, which earned glowing reviews for its brash, irony-laden, exuberant brand of rock. This year they've kept the momentum going with near-constant touring and a series of quality limited-edition singles—the fist-pumping youth anthem "Younger Us," the snotty X cover "Sex and Dying in High Society," and the fuzzily explosive Big Black cover "Racer X." After Bumbershoot, they'll spend the fall opening for the Walkmen. —EKT

6 to 7 • Mainstage

J. Cole  It's hard enough to catch the eye of a guy like Jay-Z doing just about anything, but to be the first artist signed to the man's Roc Nation label—as both an MC and a producer—that's impressive. To be fair, North Carolina's J. Cole deserves his own spotlight out of his mentor's shadow; as an MC, Cole can drop aggressive 16-bar flows and cerebral verses without succumbing to tired-sounding lyrical laziness, and as a producer his sound is consistently smooth and impressively nuanced. With his debut full-length, Cole World, slated for an October release, this set is sure to be filled with a solid balance of new material and the album-quality mixtape tracks that built Cole's buzz. —NF

6 to 7 • Performing Arts Stage

Nanda See profile.

6:15 to 7:15 • Comedy Stage South

Bring the Rock with Greg Behrendt See Saturday, 6:15 p.m.

6:15 to 7:15 • Sky Church

Lisa Dank  Two parts Goldfrapp, one part Ke$ha, and a dash of Kylie Minogue, Dank is what Britney and Madonna might have been without managers, AutoTune, or major record labels. —PR

6:15 to 7:15 • Northwest Court

Loch Lomond  Loch Lomond plays a kind of bookish chamber folk similar to that of Portland colleagues the Decemberists, but without Colin Meloy's obnoxious voice and with a lot more shimmering harmonies. Less narrative and more poetic, the only challenge they face here is standing out from the Northwest's overgrowth of chamber-pop bands. —MPD

6:30 to 7:30 • Center Square Stage

Anvil  Anvil is one of the O.G.s of metal; the band's been shredding for almost 30 years, and is still putting out quality, relevant music—something you just can't say about Anvil's more commercially successful, money-grubbing peers in Metallica. (See feature.) —SB

6:30 to 7:30 • Comedy Stage West

Laff Hole!  The People's Republic of Komedy will invade Afghanistan, collapse under economic stress, then undergo a wrenching period of perestroika. —BM

6:30 to 7:45 • Theatre Puget Sound Stage

"Eat My Shorts" See Saturday, 6:45 p.m.

6:45 to 7:45 • Starbucks Stage

Jenny & Johnny  Longtime sweethearts Johnathan Rice and Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis have worked together frequently over the past few years—Rice co-produced, wrote songs for, and toured with Lewis' second solo record, 2008's Acid Tongue—but this summer's I'm Having Fun Now is their first official collaboration under the almost-too-cute Jenny & Johnny moniker. Fun's airy songs seamlessly blend pop and country elements, emphasizing the couple's sweet and pretty harmonizing. The vintage surf-rock feel of "Big Wave," the slow burn of "Switch Blade," and the effortless tumble of "Scissor Runner" all mark new territory for both seasoned performers. —EKT

7 to 7:30 • Fountain Lawn

Can Can Castaways See Saturday, 8 p.m. (Also today 3:15 to 3:45.)

7 to 8 • 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF Cinema

Cops and Robbers  In this quintet of shorts, the nine-minute heist flick The One Last Time sees two rival gangs attempt to rob the same bank. At the same time. D'oh! —BM

7:15 to 8:15 • Words & Ideas

Drawing Rock & Roll: Jay Ryan and Brad Klausen  In a world where show posters and band merch are at least as much a part of a band's identity (and payroll) as their music, Jay Ryan and Brad Klausen are sweaty rock gods. Klausen was long the in-house designer for Pearl Jam, and Ryan has designed posters for bands ranging from the Flaming Lips to Andrew Bird and Fugazi. Oh, by the way, I guess David Yow of The Jesus Lizard is going to be there too. No biggie. —MPD

7:15 to 8:15 • Comedy Stage North ®

Joe Mande, Chelsea Peretti, Donald Glover See Saturday, 3:45 p.m.

7:30 to 8:30 • Mainstage

Drake  Whether seductively crooning alongside The-Dream or Trey Songz, or going in on a verse with Jay-Z or T.I., Aubrey "Drake" Graham is decidedly not teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation's "Wheelchair Jimmy" any more. And while the cosigns from game giants make it clear that the young Canadian TV star–turned–R&B rapper has hype, ultimately his silky vocals and confident lyricism prove there's skill to back it up. —NF

7:30 to 8:45 • Fisher Green

Angélique Kidjo  Renowned for her stage presence and powerful voice, this Benin native and Grammy-winning afropop singer is widely recognized as Africa's premier diva. —NF

7:30 to 8:30 • Broad Street Stage

Surfer Blood  The youthful Surfer Blood is one of the more talented acts to recently gather attention in the indie scene. The band makes upbeat music with plenty of reverb, soaring vocals, and impressively nimble guitar licks. —EKT

7:45 to 8:45 • Sky Church

Wild Orchid Children  If you gave Rage Against the Machine a bunch of peyote and dropped them in Joshua Tree National Park (without shoes) on the hottest day of the year, they would become Wild Orchid Children. —PR

8 to 9 • Performing Arts Stage

AXIS Dance Company See Saturday, 6 p.m.

8 to 9:30 • 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF Cinema

Charlie Haden: Rambling Boy  Everyone's favorite bass player is profiled in Reto Caduff's new 90-minute doc. Performance clips alternate with interviews in which Haden relates anecdotes about Coltrane and other greats. —BM

8 to 9 • Comedy Stage South

Patton Oswalt & Friends See Saturday, 8 p.m.

8 to 9:15 • Northwest Court

Laura Veirs & The Hall of Flames  On her January release July Flame, Laura Veirs gently rocks indie rock with just a faint trace of Celtic-esque folk. But that warm candle turns into a Hall of Flames with members of fellow Northwest bands Old Believers and Cataldo. If nature has its way, talk of this troupe just might blaze through Bumbershoot like wildfire. —MPD

8:30 to 9:45 • Starbucks Stage

Booker T.  Memphis master Booker T. Jones earned his blues pedigree perfecting the oboe, sax, trombone, and organ as a child, and going on to write for and play with the likes of Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and Bill Withers, as well as his own band, the MGs. Now 65, Booker T.'s still jamming on his Hammond; his latest record, last year's Potato Hole, features Neil Young on the guitar and won Jones a Grammy. —EKT

9 to 10:15 • Mainstage

Mary J. Blige  Meshing hip-hop with soul, Blige's passionate vocals reveal an affinity for rhythm, melody, and stripped-down personal discovery. After going multiplatinum with eight records, her two-decade career shows no signs of letting up. —NF

9:15 to 10 • Sky Church

The Spits  The Spits' music sounds exactly like the Ramones' super-fast, super-short, super-messy punk songs. But their stage antics—outrageous clothes, complete chaos—rival the Sex Pistols'. —PR

9:15 to 10:30 • Broad Street Stage

The Thermals  Longtime Northwest favorites, The Thermals' newest effort, Personal Life, is more of the same jumpy, moody, hyper-catchy pop-punk the band's been doing for years. Consistency is a good thing here. —EKT

9:30 to 10:45 • Fisher Green

The English Beat  This may not be the exact same lineup the '80s knew and loved, but the sound and message The English Beat pioneered—a new wave/ska fusion—are as good as ever. —NF

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow