We Recommend: A Theoretical Bumbershoot Itinerary

For those who just can’t make up their mind, we offer the perfect Bumbershoot schedule.


The Flavr Blue/11:45 a.m., TuneIn Stage

The first decision you will face is when to arrive at Bumbershoot. Might we suggest “as early as possible.” Though its festival brethren have expanded their fests to extra days, Bumbershoot has thankfully given everyone Friday night to rest up, which means there is no reason you can’t catch the electro-hip-hop act Flavr Blue. The group is on the come-up in the Seattle scene, usually leading late-night dance parties, but there is no reason to believe that the party will not extend into this morning set. Frontwoman Hollis Wong-Wear is probably the hardest working 20-something in the business. And her job this a.m. will be to get you moving.

Dave B/Noon, Fountain Lawn Stage

It’s always good to witness an artist who really earned his or her way onto the bill. That’s the situation with Dave B, a young MC who won EMP Museum’s underage battle of the bands, Sound Off!, to earn the right to perform.

Mike Vecchione & Marc Maron/1 p.m., Comedy at the Playhouse

The toughest ticket all weekend long will be the comedy stage, which every year draws a snaking line of festgoers who try hard to not think about everything else they’re missing. If comedy is on your to-do list but you aren’t partial to the personalities onstage, this is your best bet to get in early and take in two very talented comics.

Nacho Picasso/1:15 p.m., TuneIn Stage

It should be noted that Joey Bada$$ takes the KeyArena mainstage at 2:45 p.m. without an album to his name, but with much hype for his work nonetheless. But he’s not the only up-and-coming artist with “I saw him when” written all over his raps. Give Nacho Picasso a chance to set the bar. A conversely playful and sinister MC with a syrupy delivery and a proclivity for blunts and surrealistic imagery, Picasso might not be the best choice for folks on the family plan, but is otherwise a should-see.

Why Froyo? Why YOLO? Why Now?/2 p.m., Words and Ideas Stage

The segue from Nacho Picasso’s edgy death-defying poetics to this discussion of acronymized catchphrase “You Only Live Once” is perfect. How frozen yogurt plays in is less clear, but since this, the first of three “Why Now?” panel discussions, features the owners of Zoeyogurt—along with webcomic creator Joel Watson—we’re guessing there will be samples. And if not, feel free to start a riot. YOLO!

Kendrick Lamar/4 p.m., Mainstage

A quick-lipped young MC with an impressive pedigree, Lamar will serve as the hip-hop headliner of Bumbershoot. His 2012 major-label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, is not the stuff of daytime drama. Rather, it delves into the dark recesses and excesses of his Compton youth, where Lamar swam in metaphorical pools of booze. Stick around; his music is deeper than those pools.

Thriller Flashmob/4:30 p.m., Festival Grounds

Throughout Bumbershoot, you’ll witness roving zombies, courtesy of the folks from Seattle Thrillers and Nightmare at Beaver Lake. These dead-eyed hordes can easily be confused with the line for the comedy stage (hint: The zombies have blood around their mouths, rather than powdered sugar, and they are actually moving). Before the zombies become commonplace, witness an organized performance of their native dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

!!!/6:15 p.m., TuneIn Stage

Leader Nic Offer will wow you. He also might take his pants off and dance with you while screaming in your face.

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires/8 p.m., Starbucks Stage

A former James Brown impersonator whose personal story of struggle and redemption has been immortalized in a recent and riveting documentary, soul singer Bradley promises an entertaining and likely emotionally revelatory experience. At Sasquatch! last spring, he wept at the end of his set. He wasn’t the only one.

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside/9:30 p.m., Plaza Stage

Nobody has a voice like Sallie Ford. Nobody. Backed by a tight Portland combo that can swing like Ali, Ford’s sour sass will move you in unexpected ways.

Heart/9:45 p.m., Mainstage

See “Sisters to the Front.”

Cookie Monsta/11 p.m., EDM at EMP

So you’ve gone the entire day without entering the EMP, where the Electronic Dance Music doth play. It’s time to remedy that with this late-night set by Cookie Monsta, the UK purveyor of dubstep whose creations are both juvenile and sinister, as his moniker portends. It’s an acquired taste, but if you don’t like it, you can always leave knowing that there really was nowhere else to go.


Visual Arts in Fisher Pavillion/Fisher Pavillion, opens at 11 a.m.

If you arrive today with a dub hangover, it’s a good idea to start your second day at Bumbershoot with a little contemplation at the Visual Arts exhibit at the Pavilion (one of two VA locales), where machinery is the focus. Take in the kinetic sculptures of Jonathan Schipper in Detritus We Value or a larger artistic overview of the relationship between machinery and art in The Enigma Machine.

15 Years of Barsuk Records/Noon, Words & Ideas Stage

Today, Seattle’s Barsuk Records kicks off its 15th anniversary with a slew of performances from its roster, which will culminate with Death Cab for Cutie’s performance of its final Barsuk release, Transatlanticism, in full on the Mainstage. Before taking in all the music the label has helped make possible, find out what makes the label possible by attending this roundtable discussion with co-founder Josh Rosenfeld and a few of Barsuk’s very witty and thoughtful artists, including host Sean Nelson, the Long Winters’ John Roderick, and David Bazan.

Kyle Dunnigan & Doug Benson/1 p.m., Comedy at the Playhouse

You can only do one of these comedy things a day. Benson is a Bumbershoot mainstay. He knows what the funnel cake-fed crowds want.

The Round 100/1:45 p.m., Plaza Stage

The Fremont Abbey started the Round a little over eight years ago, and every month since has brought at least three different musicians to the stage to share a song, maybe tell a story, and then pass the mike to the songwriter on his or her left. That each month brings worthy acts to the stage is a testament to the musical talent Seattle holds. That this will be the 100th edition is a testament to the fact that organizer Nathan Marion is a bit of a nut. This, the first of four centennial Round celebrations this month, will feature Le Wrens and the always-entertaining Shelby Earl.

Tegan and Sara/2 p.m., Mainstage

See “Sisters to the Front.”

Best of SIFF: Audience Award Winners/4:30 p.m., 1 Reel Film Festival

Here, at the halfway point, is about the time this ambitious schedule will begin to weigh heavily on your feet. The idea of sitting in a dark room and staring at a screen may feel like something you could have done at home without springing for a festival ticket, but this is a show you should catch: a beautiful and melancholy collection of three shorts, jury award winners from last spring’s Seattle International Film Festival.

Eric Burdon & the Animals/4:45 p.m., Starbucks Stage

You are not going to catch this entire set, but you should cruise past after the movie lets out and pause for a moment, as there is a good chance that you will catch a classic sung by one of the greatest R&B voices of the ’60s. It might be “House of the Rising Sun,” it might be “We Gotta Get Outta This Place,” but it will be memorable.

Audrey & Nelson: A Puppet Sex Musical/5:15 p.m., Theatre Puget Sound Stage

This is a musical about puppets having sex and then talking about having sex with music written by Dude York’s Peter Richards. Did we mention the puppet sex?

The Breeders/8 p.m., TuneIn Stage

See “Sisters to the Front.”

Beats Antique/8:45 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

There are a few acts this year with which you can enjoy the essential Bumbershoot experience of dancing to world rhythms. But if you are only going to pad barefoot in the grass to one group, Beats Antique is it. The band’s brand of electro-acoustic tribal fusion will make for some unexpected twists in your step, and the timing—sunset—will make it feel like a ritual, which it kind of is.

Death Cab for Cutie/9:45 p.m., Mainstage

See “Something Old, Something New.”

Matt and Kim/10 p.m., TuneIn Stage

If Death Cab leaves you a worthless puddle of tears and you must reconstitute your beating heart and rebuild your spine, you have to catch Matt and Kim, whose tireless hipster optimism will give you life again before you call it a night.


Cascadia ’10/11:45 a.m., TuneIn Stage

Hot Bodies in Motion/11:45 a.m., Fisher Pavilion

Monday is always a tough one for the full-ticket Bumbershoot attendee. It’s difficult to get up and get going after two solid days of festing. The organizers know this, and so they’ve scheduled two different acts to start the blood flowing. From the entrance, head to the TuneIn Stage just north of the Fisher Pavilion for the Pac Northwest Afro-beat ensemble Cascadia ’10. If their horns don’t get your heart pumping, you might be dead. But to make sure, head south to the Starbucks stage, where Hot Bodies in Motion will be executing their titular mission with an updated old-school R&B sound.

Films4Families 3/Noon, 1 Reel Film Festival

Maybe you accidentally took your kids to the puppet-sex show the day before and are looking to redeem yourself in the eyes of society. This is your ticket, a series of brilliant shorts for short attention spans featuring lots of animals and colors and songs to sing along with.

BellaMaine/12:15 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

The small port town of Anacortes, just a few clicks north, has been experiencing a pop movement of late, with both The Lonely Forest and Cumulus earning buzz in the Seattle scene and beyond. Something is in the water up there, and this band drinks deep, creating shimmering, dreamy pop anchored by the harmonies of husband-and-wife duo Nick and Julianne Thompson.

The Comedy Bang! Bang! Experience/1:30 p.m., Comedy at the Bagley

See “The Interstitial Artist.”

Why Board Games? Why Zombies? Why Now?/2 p.m., Words & Ideas Stage

By this point you’ll have had your fill of the undead, perhaps going as far as to take shelter in a drum circle to avoid the zombie flash mobs that are scheduled to continue throughout the festival. But something will be gnawing at your brain. You will want to hear someone wax honest and intellectual about them. Fortunately this final “Why Now?” panel features Isaac Marion, the author of zombie novel Warm Bodies and a consummate wit and reluctant expert on pop culture’s obsession with the walking dead.

Redd Kross/3:30 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

See “One-Hit Wondering.”

Kinky/4:30 p.m., TuneIn Stage

While grunge was beginning to fall out of fashion in the States, the Avanzada Regia movement was just getting started, moving the center of Mexico’s pop-music universe eastward from Mexico City toward Monterrey. Electro-rock group Kinky was one of the groups that emerged, making them a kind of kindred spirit to Seattle’s decentralizing musical moment. Something to think about while you dance your ass off.

Hot Comedy With the Spicy News/4:45 p.m., Comedy at Vera

In a premise that rivals yesterday’s puppet-and-sex combo, Hot Comedy With the Spicy News pairs comedians with hot peppers and celebrity gossip. It’s worth a pop-in at the very least.

Baroness/5:15 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

See “Past the Crash.”

Sol/6:15 p.m., TuneIn Stage

A University of Washington alum and Seattle hip-hop native, Sol Moravia-Rosenberg went on sabbatical just as he was gaining momentum, traveling the world for a year and collecting ideas and answers that will make their way into his fittingly titled September full-length Eyes Open. This show is his homecoming, so expect a heightened performance.

Superchunk/7 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

This is really a can’t-miss if you are at all interested in indie-rock royalty. This band of Chapel Hill, N.C.-stalwarts has always had tremendous spunk, but its skill at delivering high-energy, hook-laden songs with punch has only deepened with each of its 24 passing years.

Justin Townes Earle/8 p.m., Starbucks Stage

The son of alt-country king Steve Earle and the namesake of Townes Van Zandt, Earle is a showman with performance in his blood and a natural edge that makes even his most old-timey tunes sound like they’re on the bleeding edge of the musical zeitgeist.

Deerhunter/9 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage

Deerhunter’s lead singer and main creative force Bradford Cox played a solo show at Neumos last week, and, by way of a preview of his band’s Bumbershoot set, told the crowd “It’s going to be like a puppy fucking a puppy fucking a puppy.” I don’t know what that means, but morbid curiosity beckons me.

BASSNECTAR/9:45 p.m., Mainstage

You might not have liked Cookie Monsta the other night, but there’s no chance that BASSNECTAR’s big drops will not move you deep in your bowels. If you’ve spent your weekend storing up glowsticks (and why wouldn’t you have?), this is your chance to throw ’em.

The Joy Formidable/10 p.m., TuneIn Stage

There is also a Zombie Walk happening at this time, but you’ll be able to see something similar when you join the hordes of tired fans heading for their cars. Stick around for this British pop group, who will send you off with dramatic pop flair.

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