Posts Tagged ‘bumbershoot’

bumbershoot : what the kids were talking about

photo by Scott Cahill Rude [flickr] via our group pool [#].

For Team Metblogs, our longstanding dream of having an intern, caddy, or sherpa help us with the grueling challenge of on-the-scene coverage of full-day festival fun finally came true on Sunday when we recruited our pal Carinna to tag along as our assistant on Sunday. Throughout the day, she had plenty of time to absorb and observe the all-important teen scene at Bumbershoot. Below are some of her observations from the field:

As a high school teacher who 1) has spent a whole summer doing strictly “21+” things, and 2) has to start teaching again on Wednesday, I was keenly sensitive to the teeming presence of teenagers, many of whom were in need of stern teacher looks, at Bumbershoot yesterday.

The most important thing to know about teenagers is that they are usually so wrapped up in themselves and their buddies that they don’t know when they’re being observed. This was how I managed to avoid conversation with all of the former students I saw, and still manage to observe the movements of my normally captive creatures out in the wild.

I saw ponytailed teenaged girls benignly smiling during their first crowd-surfing experiences at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and then later being exited from MSTRKRFT for doing the same thing.

At the Fisher Green stage, pot-smokin’ teenagers freaked out so loudly about Common Market’s zombies that I had to leave to keep from chastising them. Next, a raging windstorm sent sane festival-goers inside to Flatstock, Kerfuffle, and the Art Jam, while drunken teenagers amused themselves by hurtling into the cold, wet International Fountain.

At both U.S.E. and Holy Fuck shows, I overheard teenagers talking about how weird it was that their parents “actually listen to these guys.”

But the most entertaining teenagers I eavesdropped on were sitting on the ground next to me at Todd Snider’s set. These two Nathan Hale students, the kinds who use bonus point vocabulary words to make their jokes funnier and say things like “boss,” spun absurdist tales to pass the time before the show started. Just before the music began, the boys had a conversation that I will remember for the rest of my days because it reminded me why I like my job.

“That’s my favorite kind of wolf! They shoot beams of awesomeness out of their mouths and decapitate horses!” // “Yeah, Chief Laser Fang!”

Many thanks to Carinna for playing along and keeping her ear to the ground. Have an idea for an exciting new guest column for Metblogs? Send your scheme to us at seattle.metblogs at

weekend agenda : bumberparty roundup

photo by ecityblues [flickr] via our group pool [#].

If Bumbershoot [sat :: sun :: mon] proper isn’t enough or you’re skipping the festival itself (perhaps you’re otherwise occupied with a fair, PAX, or a football kickoff?) and just want a taste or spot to meet up with your dampened exhausted Bumbershoot pals, there’s no shortage of pre-, after-, and during-parties. Here’s a brief list, I’ll add more as information surfaces.

  • Friday: Kick off Bumbershoot weekend with the pre-party at the High Dive. Victor Shade, Born Anchors, Grynch, and the Redwood Plan get you in the spirit, plus raffles for kids. $10, 9pm. [highdive]
  • Saturday-Sunday: After a day of beer gardening, Queen Anne’s Solo hits the sweet spot between dive and meatmarket within just a couple blocks from the Seattle Center campus. On top of that, stars of some of the festival’s bands will be chilling out there for DJ sets. Monday’s usually Twin Peaks night, but that might get postponed due to last gasps of long weekend revelry. [solo-bar]
  • Sunday: A reminder that the official afterparty is at Neumo’s. In addition to DJs, the headliner is a big name already performing at Bumbershoot, who, if the event is written up by more conservative media outlets, might have a few letters of their name replaced with asterisks. $free, with RSVP. [uptheantics]
  • Sunday: Another afterparty, starring U.S.E. and the premiere of their brand new music video and digital album. See you on the red carpet. [havanasocial]
  • Sunday: We skimped on the comedy recommendations in our preview, mostly because those are the shows that are often the toughest to get into and they’re mainly all worthwhile (particularly if you need a laugh in the rain). The comedy crew afterparties with almost certain hilarity. People’s Republic of Komedy hosts, Mary Lynn Rajskub (the original 24 terror-fighting awkwardly awesome computer genius) headlines. Just kidding. MLR had to cancel due to filming sone terror fighting, but other funny people will be there and the event will be FREE. 10 pm. [chopsuey]

Bumbershoot: Tips and Tricks 2009

pic by seattle daily photo [flickr] via our group pool [#].

We’ve already told you what to see [sat :: sun :: mon]; so now it’s time to haul out the advice that we post every year . We like to think of it as a classic, just revised with slightly-new content and under the assumption that surely we must have picked up a few new readers and Bumbershoot must have enticed a few first-time visitors since last time. But not a lot changes about Bumbershoot from year to year; so why not re-recycle? It’s good for the environment and for preserving our fingers for typing fresh stuff later. So, in the spirit of eco-friendliness and with thanks to everyone who ever contributed, here’s the revised and updated guide for 2009.

After the jump, our hints. Any of your own to add?


bumbershoot : the other stages

In addition to the fifteen official Bumbershoot venues packed full of music, theater, literature, and other spectacle, there are a couple of other stages on the Seattle Center grounds. In general, they feature acts performing in more prominent settings during the festival, but have the advantage of being more intimate and possibly resolving some of your thorniest scheduling conflicts.

The one to watch for is curated by Toyota’s Free YR Radio, located somewhere on the Broad Street lawn that isn’t the Broad Street Stage (confusing! right?). Throughout the weekend, they’ll have interviews, live performances, contests, and supplies to make your own SHRINKY-DINK art (magical!) [bumbershoot]. The tentative list of microsets is listed below.

Saturday Sunday Monday
12:00–12:20 TBA
1:45–2:05 Matt Braunger
2:50–3:10 The Whore Moans
3:55–4:15 Hotels
5:15–5:35 Telekinesis
7:00–7:20 Kay Kay …

12:00–12:20 MSHVB
1:45–2:05 Romance
2:50–3:10 Todd Barry
3:55–4:15 TBA
5:15–5:35 Dyme Def
7:00–7:20 DJ Spooky

12:00–12:20 The Lonely Forest
1:45–2:05 Mirah
2:50–3:10 Visqueen
3:55–4:15 Reggie Watts
5:15–5:35 Soulsavers
7:00–7:20 The Devil Makes Three

The second stage, squirreled away in a secret location and broadcast live to rest of the world via the radio and internet waves is hosted by KEXP. For a few fleeting seconds, listeners had a chance to RSVP for a spot to see them [kexp]. Now, though, they’re predictably booked. However, they’ll be running contests at the aforementioned Free YR Radio tent for last-minute chances to get inside (a huge perk, given the forecast); so drop by and cross your fingers. Otherwise, load up the Public Radio app on your iphone and listen live while you’re waiting for another set to start.

Saturday Sunday Monday
12:00 – Hey Marseilles
1:15 – Telekinesis
2:30 – Gang Gang Dance
3:45 – Os Mutantes
5:30 – Elvis Perkins in Dearland

12:00 – Common Market
1:15 – Sera Cahoone
2:30 – Vivian Girls
3:45 – Holy Fuck
5:30 – Raphael Saadiq

12:00 – Black Joe Lewis …
1:15 – The Cave Singers
2:30 – Akron/Family
3:45 – Vieux Farka Toure
5:30 – Metric

Since these aren’t on the official program, if you see something you like you’ll need to pencil them into the already crowded margins of your schedules.
And while we’re reminding you of things not explicitly listed on the printed schedule, don’t forget to bring a stack of cash and make room on your walls for some new poster art. The always amazing and bank account draining FLATSTOCK returns for another tour in the Fisher Pavilion.

bumbershoot agenda : monday guidance

photo by ankneyd [flickr] via our group pool [#]

If the real weekend of festivaling hasn’t ground you into a tired heap, there’s a reason they call it a three-day weekend. Day three has plenty of appeal even if you haven’t dreamed about kissing a girl to stoke the publicity engines.


Vampires and Robots: Kevin Emerson, Daniel Wilson (12:00 – 1:15, Leo K. Theatre) – Wilson wrote The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame and How To Survive a Robot Uprising. ‘Nuff said. [stan]

Visqueen (12:45 – 1:45, Broad Street): I would follow Rachel Flotard anywhere. She’s all swagger and voice and an hour long set is only going to feel like 12 minutes. Visqueen has some crazy magic. [samantha]

Reel Grrls (2:00 – 3:00, SIFF Cinema): Young female filmmakers from the Seattle area offer up fresh new perspectives on the world around us. [zee]

Black Eyed Peas (3:00 – 4:15, Memorial Stadium) : if you’re at Bumbershoot on Monday afternoon it would be really weird not to at least take a gawky peek inside during this show, am I right? [josh]

Jeff Jensen & the writers of LOST (3:30 – 4:45, Leo K Theatre) : Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Jeff “Doc” Jensen recaps, videoblogs, and spins inspired interpretations and finds obscure connections in the most minute threads from each week’s episode of the time-hopping fractured narrative of the hit ABC drama. Here, he sits down with the writers and producers of the show — to do what, I’m not sure — but fanboys and girls looking for breadcrumbs as the series approaches its [I can only hope] epic conclusion are sure to turn out in force to parse any pieces of the puzzle spilled on stage. [josh]

The Devil Makes Three (5:00 – 6:00, Starbucks Stage): I’m just going to go ahead and say that any band with ragtime inspiration is going to be a lot of fun. [samantha]

Made in Seattle (5:30 – 6:30, SIFF Cinema): Four unique visions of hipster parents, interconnectivity, pollution and a very special meal, from four unique Seattle filmmakers. [zee]

Dead Confederate (5:45 to 6:45, Exhibition Hall): This is some dark and dirty Southern rock, and last year’s Wrecking Ball had a lot of people getting the vapors. [samantha]

Jason Webley (5:45pm – 6:45pm, Bagley Wright) is a master of crowd participation, the accordion, and songs about drinking. Another local artist, Jason’s shows are rarely missed by those in the know. [shawn]

The Cave Singers (6:45 to 7:45, Mural): The Cave Singers have never yet done a House of the Rising Sun cover that I have seen, but I appreciate that they always sound like they’re just about to. [samantha]

Franz Ferdinand (7:45 – 9:00, Memorial Stage) : Big and danceable, lean angluar tempo switching rock from Glasgow keeps the memory of an assassinated archduke alive. [josh]

Soulsavers featuring Mark Lanegan (7:45 – 8:45, Broad Street): Rock, gospel, soul and country flavored electronica blended with one of the NW’s best voices to produce darkly beautiful songs of reflection. [zee]

Youth Speaks Seattle w/Staceyann Chin and Prometheus Brown (7:45 – 9:00, Leo K. Theatre) – If you’re not exhausted and completely sick of Bumbershoot by then, check out what the kids are doing: “Finalists and winners of the 2009 Seattle Youth Poetry Slam Series will join Staceyann Chin and Prometheus Brown (aka Geologic of Blue Scholars) to form a terrifically lyrical, relevant and thought-provoking poetry/hip-hop lineup.” After all, the children are our future and stuff… [stan]

Truckasauras (7:45 – 8:45, EMP) These local kings of lo-fi create their sound with old Commodore 64 mods, a Roland TR-808, Gameboy beats, and a distorted megaphone. [Shawn]

Metric (9:30 – 10:45, Broad Street): You know you can’t resist Metric. Just thinking about catching them live has your heart beating like a hammer… [Shawn]

3 Inches of Blood (9:30 – 10:30, Exhibition Hall): It’s too bad that 3 Inches of Blood is still living in the sound hole of the Exhibition Hall–I bet they’d be so much easier to understand outside. Still, if you’re going to get kicked in the head in a mosh pit at Bumbershoot, this is the one I recommend. [samantha]

Modest Mouse (9:30 – 10:45, Memorial Stadium): Home(ish) town heroes have cleaned up their grimy indie rock and somewhat improbably floated on to mainstream success, picking up a certain Smiths guitarist along the way. Don’t hold a minivan commercial against them as they close out the festival and the mainstage tonight. [josh]

bumbershoot agenda : sunday advice

photo by shawn [flickr] via our group pool [#]

By the second day of Bumbershoot, you’ll have reacclimated to the crowds and come to terms with the forecast. There’s a lot to recommend diving in to the middle day of the festival even if you don’t remember how or why you’d want to spell Mraz. Our suggestions follow.


Kore Ionz (12:30 – 1:30, Fisher Green): Local band fights social injustice with energetic world rhythm rock and reggae, engaging your brain and your booty with equal fervor. [zee]

Hey Marseilles (12:45 – 1:45, Broad Street) :  Reminiscent of the Decemberists before they wandered away from well-crafted orchestral pop in favor of indulgent prog-inspired epics, these locals know their way around a horn solo, string section, according, and full stage singalong. They’re also on KEXP at 12:15 (Saturday) and [josh]

The Enablers Have Spoken and You’re Fine with Spencer Moody (1:45 – 3:00, Leo K. Theatre) – Still more awesome poetry and spoken word, moderated by the nearly divine Spencer Moody (Murder City Devils). [stan]

Black Whales (2:00 – 3:00, EMP): Four cute Seattle boys making dirty pop punk music? Yes, please. [samantha]

Picture and Sound (2:00 – 3:00, SIFF Cinema): Official and unofficial music videos featuring songs by Damien Jurado, The Dutchess and the Duke, Modest Mouse, Fleet Foxes and more. [zee]

Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band (2:30 – 3:30, Broad Street): What can I say about MSHVB that I haven’t already said, right here on this very website? This band is fun and exciting and dynamic and had its own ice cream flavor. [samantha]

Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2:30 – 3:45, Memorial Stadium) : As far as I’m concerned, the most compelling reason to hit the astroturf and face the mainstage during the entire weekend. The combination of Karen O’s live-wire performances and amazing fashions, Nick Zinner’s incomparable guitars, and Brian Chase’s jubilant drumming make for electrifying shows. Despite the hour’s competitive counter-programming, this is the most unmissable set of the day, if not the whole festival. [josh]

S.E. Hinton (3:30pm – 4:45pm, Bagley Wright): Ms. Hinton hates travelling, and despises public speaking, so she rarely agrees to appear at literary events. This is a rare and special opportunity to see and hear the woman who has written some of the most important/popular/influential US Young Adult literature of the 20th century: The Outsiders (written when Hinton herself was still a teen); That Was Then, This Is Now; Rumble Fish; Tex… Worth coming out from under your rock for. [stan]

U.S.E. (4:15 – 5:15, Broad Street) : a dozen glamorous people on stage having a party just for you. [josh]

Sera Cahoone (5:00 – 6:00, Mural): One of these days, Sera Cahoone and her band are going to break out into a full on hoedown. You’ll want to be there if that happens. And even if it doesn’t. [samantha]

Vivian Girls (6:00 – 7:00, EMP) : If you liked their recorded-in-a-shoebox-lined-with-newspaper debut record (I did!), you’ll be dazzled by how much better this trio sounds with a decent sound system. The droning lo-fi is often too enthusiastic through earbuds blossom as the vocals surface in live settings and you get caught up with your neighbor’s head-bobbing while the girls take turns dashing off stage for drinks. [josh]

Zak Smith: We Did Porn (5:45 – 6:45, Leo K. Theatre)- I’m interested in pornography, the sex industry, socio-economic justice, et cetera, so this sounds vaguely worthwhile to me: “Through memoir and drawings, Smith narrates his foray into pornography and gives his readers a new understanding of the industry.” [stan]

Holy F**k (7:45 – 8:45, Broad Street): Holy F**k deserves all the expletives and punctuation they want. All of their electronic weirdness and lo-fi chaos will have you bouncing up and down and scratching your head at the same time. [samantha]

No Age (6:45 – 7:45, Exhibition Hall) : Randy Randall and Dean Allen Spunt, the two pieces of this loud once-underground Los Angeles punk-type duo make plenty of noise, but most of it is wildly optimistic and strangely refined for all of its teenage rebellion. They’re serious business, not only did Randall dislocate his shoulder in a dance off against Dan Deacon, he played through the pain at Lollapalooza. [josh]  

David Cross (8:15 – 9:30, Bagley Wright) must I even explain? [steven]

MSTRKRFT (8:30 – 10:00, Exhibition Hall) : It will be hot and loud with the bass echoing around the high school gymnasium style tilework, lasers shining in your eyes, and everyone dancing sweatily. Maybe that’s what you need. [josh]

The Twilight Zone (9:00 – 10:00, SIFF Cinema):   Nothing tops a day of standing outside in the hot sun/pouring rain like going inside a dark theater for a viewing of creepy/weird short films. [zee]

Helio Sequence (9:30 – 10:45, Broad Street) I just plain love the Helio Sequence, and I can’t think of a better place to be listening to them than at the Broad Street stage after dark. I can only imagine that this set will be a contender for Bumbershoot magic. [samantha]

bumbershoot agenda : saturday suggestions

seattle center photo by dave zombie [flickr] via our group pool [#]

It is a scientifically accepted fact that there are too many things happening at Bumbershoot at any one time to catch every notable spectacle, performance, or experience. It’s also well known that no matter how hard you plan, you’re bound to catch and miss an unexpected magical moment or two. Whether it’s of Montreal covering “Crazy”, Glen Hansard pulling a fan from the crowd to cover a song from Once, Dan Deacon turning Exhibition Hall into an uplifting team building exercise, or just the look on someone’s face the first time they meet crazy scarf guy in person, you can’t guarantee that you’ll see everything.  

Nevertheless, your friends at Metblogs have prepared a list of things that we’re going to do our darndest not to miss. We hope they help you plan your own personal agenda, too. If there’s something we need to see but forgot to mention, please don’t be shy about reminding us in the comments!


Mimi Allin (daily, NW Rooms): Mimi Allen, the Poetess at Green Lake, brought poetry to the people for a year in a meadow at Green Lake and now delivers an installation specially crafted for Bumbershoot, “A Silence More Irresistible Than…” [zee]

Snackbar (daily, NW Rooms): Become part of the Bumbershoot artistic process by contributing a drawing and receive a snack in return. Snacks for art?    I might have to be there all day. [zee]

Dyno Jamz (12:30 – 1:30, EMP) : The champions of this year’s Sound Off competition, who seem to have realized that all of those instruments could be put to better use and more appealing extracurricular opportunities in a textured hip-hop setting than in marching band or jazz club, get the chance to win more hearts and essentially open the festival on the stage where they claimed their title this spring. [josh]

Kristen Ward (12:00 – 1:00, Mural): Bluegrass, Western, folk, roots–you can call Kristen Ward’s songs by any number of labels but the one that always sticks is “worth hearing”. [zee]

Rock Prophecies (1:00 – 3:00, SIFF Cinema):   Superstar rock photographer Robert Knight is profiled in a documentary that reveals his journey from nervous newbie to recognized genuis. Followed by a Q&A with Knight and director John Chester. [zee]

Hotels (2:00 – 3:00, EMP): Some bands are just best inside, and Hotels’ moody new wave sound will fit perfectly in front of the trippy light show in the EMP. [samantha]

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head (2:30 – 3:30, Broad Street): I don’t know how many different ways I can say this: Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head are too fun to miss. Remember the video of the guy dancing alone and starting a giant dance party at Sasquatch set to “Me + Yr Daughter”? Be there for the real thing. (because dude…) [samantha/steven]

McSweeney’s New Fiction (5:15 – 6:45, Leo K. Theatre) : for Charlene Yi’s voice (have you seen this?) and Starlee Kine (This American Life supahstar) and her general writerly aura (her take on break-up songs kills me). [steven]

Matt & Kim (6:00 – 7:00, Broad Street): I have no idea how Matt & Kim manage to make such danceable sounds with just a drum kit and a keyboard. I’m sure they’re bending some laws of science. [samantha]

Gang Gang Dance (7:00 – 8:00, Exhibition Hall) : especially if these rumors of rain pan out, the just-the-right-side of mystical call of New York’s Gang Gang Dance may be just the thing to draw you into an underground cavern. [josh]

Speak, Poet! Tara Hardy, Jack McCarthy, Danny Sherrard (7:30 – 8:45, Leo K. Theatre) – Seattle has some of the best poetry/spoken word performers in the US, and this line-up features some of the most exciting: Bent founder and former Poet Populist Tara Hardy, “stand-up poet” Jack McCarthy and Danny Sherrard, 2008 World Cup Poetry Slam champion. [stan]

Telekinesis (8:00 – 9:00, EMP, also plays the Free Yr Radio stage at 1:15 and KEXP at 5:15) : Beaming from behind his drum kit, Seattle’s own Michael Benjamin Lerner is hardly a lead-singer/lead-drummer in the Phil Collins mold. Though he records as a mostly one-man-band, he still handles both roles with aplomb when accompanied by a full band for live performances, crafting light yet affecting pop songs from center stage. In reviewing their self-titled album, Carrie Brownstein likened the band to the pogo: “with the leap into the air — that hint of uncertainty, of possibility, of letting go — being the words, and the driving, perfectly crafted melody (as sturdy as anything) being the feel of your feet as they touch the ground.” [npr] This is a group that lives up to their praise. [josh]

Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground (9:30 – 10:30, EMP): It only makes sense to end the first day at Bumbershoot with the crazy gypsy carnival of Kay Kay. There will be approximately a million people on that stage, like all of the sideshow stages in the world, and it will be awesome. [samantha]

bumberprep: arts extravaganza

kerfuffle, a glimpse at the bumbershoot arts program courtesy lele barnett. more in her photoset [flickr] via our group pool [#]

With the biggest names on the Bumbershoot poster typically dedicated to music (often of the confusing mainstage variety), the most visible lines at the festival composed of dedicated comedy fans, and the most frequent accessory a buttery stick or corn or deep fried dough, it’s often easy to forget that stashed away in the northwest corner of the festival is an exceptional set of art exhibits. If you’re worried that you’ll become so overwhelmed by bands, shortbread, skateboarders on energy drink vert ramps, scrambles to performance spaces, and other forms of exhaustion, then why not add to your schedule and drop in on the art exhibits a day early?

In ancient times, Bumbershoot was an even more massive, four day festival. Now with the magical Friday evening having fallen out of favor, the day is left open to peruse the visual arts programming. Even better, you can see it all, without the massive crowds and with no admission charge from noon to 7pm in celebration of the Mayor’s Arts Awards (presented this year to Artist Trust, Jesse Higman, Speight Jenkins, Northwest Tap Connection, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras).

This year’s featured exhibits include four major presentation by some of Seattle’s finest: the Seattle-Moscow Poster Show, curated by Daniel R. Smith; Dada Economics, Greg Lundgren and Vital 5 Productions; the return of the Gage Drawing Jam; and Kerfuffle (or the Uneasy Relationship Between Humanity and the Environment) curated by Chris Weber and Lele Barnett. In addition, spectacles abound around the Seattle Center grounds. Press release with tons of information about the program after the jump.


bumbershoot celebrates its thirty-ninth birthday by kissing a girl


Thinking about Labor Day in April is kind of depressing. Here you are, wet and looking forward to the arrival of Spring and not the waning days of Summer. Yet this is what Bumbershoot asks of you with their sneak peek at the schedule for their 39th annual festival at Seattle Center:

Sheryl Crow / Modest Mouse / Katy Perry / Michael Franti & Spearhead / De La Soul / Raphael Saadiq / Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan / The Long Winters / Sly & Robbie & the Taxi Gang / World Party / MSTRKRFT / Roy Ayers / Common Market / UH HUH HER / Dave Alvin and The Guilty Women / Eric Hutchinson / No Age / Matt & Kim / Dead Confederate / The Cave Singers / Swollen Members / Vieux Farka Touré / Lenka / Gang Gang Dance / Todd Snider / Holy F**k / DJ Spooky / Iglu & Hartly / Low vs Diamond / Sera Cahoone / Eleni Mandell / Carrie Rodriguez / The Honey Brothers / Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head / Extra Golden / Cordero / Forgive Durden / Hey Marseilles / Adrian Xavier, and many more to be announced.

As usual, the some of the headliners are confusing (who, again is Michael Franti and how is it that he and Spearhead show up at every festival every year?) and the undercards are compelling mix of national and local. But hey! Modest Mouse on the mainstage! And a stadium full of teens singing along to songs about dreams of flirtation with heteroflexibility!

Of course, music is only half the story and the rest of the arts — literary, dramatic, dance, film, and food — program is looking good with installations from DJ Spooky, posters from Moscow, comedians to draw long lines, and Tom Douglas curating a literary series.

Three day passes are selling for $80, which still looks like a bargain. Get them now and read more about the lineup at

Bumbershoot: Thione Diop

Thione Diop and Yeke Yeke

In the Metblogs guide to Bumbershoot, it mentions both planning, not planning, and preparing to spend a few dollars on the excellent buskers around the event. While rushing from stage to stage yesterday, I stumbled across Thione Diop, who was happily drumming away to a small, bouncing crowd.

When I rushed past the same spot later in the day, Diop- a drummer/griot from Senegal- had garnered a pretty large crowd whose crescent shape blocked most of the walkway. He and percussion ensemble Yeke Yeke were smiling while rhythmically pounding out beats on their djembe drums, among other instruments. Before long, I was tapping my feet and dancing along with the rest of the onlookers.

So, I concur with the general Metblog consensus- see the bands you want to see, but don’t overlook the serendipity of stumbling across a great artist while wandering about Seattle Center.

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