Posts Tagged ‘bumbershoot’

bumbershoot: dan deacon

dan deacon
photo by joshc [flickr]

OK. Maybe it was being in the middle of a third exhausting day of Bumbershoot. Or maybe it was nearly being crushed to death while having my eardrums destroyed. Or possibly the sharp contrast between the vibe in comparison to Monotonix (which got shut down after 10 minutes). Or it could be my fondness for well-meaning cult figures who care about safety first. But either way, there came a time today when I was nearly certain that Dan Deacon was the best thing ever.

Expect more from us later about Bumbershoot; drop your favorite moments into the comments and please do share any photos via our group pool!

Dispatch from Bumbershoot 5

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photo by josh; bumbershoot photoset [flickr]

Our friends over at the Times’ Bumberblog managed to get to the Monotonix show before it got shut down and have already posted pictures. When I talked to the Exhibition Hall staff about it, they said that the reason for the shut down was that it was too dangerous, and perhaps also because one or the other of the guys pulled down his pants. I don’t know what else you can expect from a band who sets its things up on the floor rather than the stage. I guess now they know.

Considering how that went, I’m a little surprised that they let Dan Deacon set up on the floor as well, but I guess it helped that the house lights were on. I know that a lot of people enjoy Dan Deacon, but his whole ‘let’s-hold-hands-and-play-games-together’ thing makes me really uncomfortable. Some day, Dan Deacon is going to start a cult. Nonetheless, the crowd was completely into it, doing whatever the man instructed with total commitment and vim. He’s like the shinier side of Monotonix’s crowd compulsion dynamics.

I’ve been telling you for a while to go and see Black Eyes and Neckties, and now that I have seen them myself (twice in one day), I can say that I really mean it. Even with the lead vocalist in a wheelchair they put in a performance unlike any I’ve seen in a very long time. They jumped on and off of things, broke things, climbed on to and over each other, played from the floor, and made me constantly wince because I was sure that they would hurt themselves. I don’t want to keep comparing them to the Murder City Devils, but I can’t stop.

Battles are definitely robots. I am more convinced each time I see them. I closed out the festival with hometown boys Minus the Bear, who sound better than they have in years. I think I like them most out in the open.

Goodbye, Bumbershoot. See you next year.

Labor Day at Bumbershoot


Murry Hammond of the Old 97s, possibly having as much fun as me

Despite an unwavering desire to get to the Old 97s show at 6:45, I’d heard nothing all day but mentions of John Vanderslice, and I wasn’t disappointed. Vanderslice’s violin player is amazing, and their music- well, it’s indescribable. I think I’ll have to let one of the other Metbloggers catch you up- Vanderslice’s show, like Kathleen Edwards’ show yesterday, had the highest concentration of Metbloggers, and for good reason.

But the Old 97’s also put on an amazing show- super-energetic, and with a good mix of their old favorites like “The New Kid” and new songs like “Rollerskate Skinny.” The crowd got excited enough to request an encore, which is a rarity at Bumbershoot, where bands play to the end of their set and then move on. Their show, unlike Vanderslice’s, did produce some actual dancing (and not of the “hippy swaying” variety), but then, it’s hard not to dance at an Old 97’s show.

And onward the Metbloggers go, to Death Cab and Xavier Rudd!

Busy at Bumbershoot


Blitzen Trapper

This is my first Bumbershoot- and thus far, I’ve managed to stay so busy that I haven’t even had time to update! I’ve already taken hundreds of photos, and am looking forward to the John Vanderslice and Old 97’s show later today.

Things I’ve seen that were awesome:
The shows in the KEXP Music Lounge, which are a lot more intimate and friendly than the teeming masses outside
Blitzen Trapper, who had tons of energy and worked the crowd into a frenzy in the first three songs
Kate Tucker & Sons of Sweden, whose voice drew me in from my wandering about the entrance
The coolest buskers, an African drumming band that deserves their own post
The cutest 5-month-old kitten, courtesy of an animal rescue booth

Things I wish I’d seen:
Monotonix, who got kicked offstage by the fire marshal for being too wild

I’m sure I will have something to add to this list later, but I have to run before I’m late for JV ;)

Dispatch from Bumbershoot 4

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dita vox of thee emergency; photo by josh; bumbershoot set [flickr]

Last night I wandered from an unjustifiably empty Sons and Daughter’s set to an unjustifiably empty The Hands set, and couldn’t figure out where everyone was. Even given that a large portion of the crowd was probably at The Black Keys/waiting for Stone Temple pilots, both of those bands are good and deserved a crowd. And then I came to the Fisher Green and found everyone left at Bumbershoot watching The Saturday Knights, and that, as I have told everyone who will listen, warmed the cockles of me old seafarin’ heart. I love The Saturday Knights so, and even more when they are sampling the Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses.

Dita Vox really is the hottest girl in Seattle, and Thee Emergency owned the EMP last night. The stage was also graced by a pink gorilla and Jacob James on keyboards. I think Jacob is officially involved in every band in Seattle.

If what I heard this afternoon is any indication, Blitzen Trapper’s new album is going to be a whole lot less robot and a whole lot more alt-country rock. Seeing them meant that I missed watching Monotonix get shut down after just a couple of songs, before they even got a chance to set anything on fire. This is probably for the best, since I hear that from the very start the whole thing was insane. After the show, the band was swarmed by a crowd wanting to buy merchandise.

Sunday at Bumbershoot 2008

On the fence for Kathleen Edwards

On the fence for Kathleen Edwards

I came into Bumbershoot Sunday thinking it was a bad lineup. The schedule that had already lost some major acts and didn’t seem to have any theme or reason to it. And the evening headliner was… Stone Temple Pilots? Who were big when I was in college? What, Bumbershoot is trying to cash in on Gen X nostalgia now? Can we look forward to the Tiffany/NKOTB stadium show next year?

But then came the Saturday Knights and the Black Keys. The Saturday Knights, as mentioned earlier, were last minute filler for the green stage. And they absolutely killed. It’s been a long time since I’d seen a hip-hop group who were actually into having fun and getting the crowd pogoing. And they pogoed. So did the photographers in the front pit (which was kinda funny to watch with their big rigs bounding and them slamming into each other). Tilson and Barfly trading rhymes, DJ Suspence managing two turntables and a bunch of instruments, and a live band — with a horn section! A horn section! Samantha has been trumpeting these guys for years now, and Samantha was right. (There you go, dear, now you can print it out and pull it out any time you feel otherwise.)

The Black Keys, meanwhile, I’d never really gotten into live, because they were just a wall of cacophony in small clubs. But, lo and behold, they’re a stadium band. And they were big, loud, and incredible, especially considering they were still just a duo with a fuzzbox. Funny, too, that it drew what looked like a jam band crowd (ballcaps and beach balls everywhere) even though I’ve never seen them as a jam band. Of course, they could have been there for Stone Temple Pilots.

Other things:

  • The highest concentration of Metbloggers at any one show yesterday turned out to be Kathleen Edwards’ mural stage set. Considering the highly disparate tastes in music among the group, that was a bit of a shock. But she’s still adorable in her Canadian ways.
  • I caught the first part of Sound Of Young America Live, which apparently was the least packed of all the comedy shows, all of which were increasingly hard to get into during the day.
  • The music was one attraction, but there were big crowds not only for the half-pipe but for the Guitar Hero booth and KISW’s booth with Guitar Hero.
  • Ravens and Chimes are listed as a band that formed at NYU. And it was obvious, though they were adorable and didn’t show a lot of elitist school cred onstage, just in their lyrics.
  • My last show of the night was Tapes ‘n Tapes, and they sounded like… Tapes ‘n Tapes. They were good, but unfortunately, some of these alterna-bands the kids are into nowadays are starting to blend together. You see one drummer in Oxford shirt and 50s dad glasses, you’ve seen them all.
  • I didn’t catch a lot of Final Fantasy, but that was an interesting crowd. Old, young, people sitting on blankets like it was a picnic spread, people passing the hash pipe, looking extremely serious and thoughtful the entire time. Owen Pallett’s music is serious and thoughtful, of course, but in a day filled with hard blues, pogoing hip-hop, and slightly dramatic and twee college pop, it was a surprise to see it. But that’s the thing about Bumbershoot, isn’t it? All kinds of music for all kinds of people.

And memo to the guys smoking weed on Mercer yesterday evening: Yes, it’s a low priority for the cops to bust you, and yes, this is a 420-friendly town, but honestly, walking down a busy street crowded with pedestrians and openly toking? That’s a little gauche.

And by the time you’d made into the Center, stood in line for Stone Temple Pilots, picked up your great seats, and been happy in your bakedness… you’d be hungry. And you’d have to find food vendors. Which are all outside the stadium. Meaning you just lost your place on the stadium floor. Think before you get high next time, people.

Bumbershoot update: visual arts, etc.

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one pot, pre-dinner. photo by josh; bumberset [flickr]

I was looking forward to checking out the “One Pot in Residence” installation by Michael Hebberoy because it seemed like an interesting concept. Throughout the day Bumbershoot artist and members of the public are invited to join in preparation of a meal while film footage from other One Pot events around the world are screened on the walls. At the end of the day, people gather to share the meal and engage in discussion about the “Spirit of 68”. Unfortunately, the installation somehow manages to be both too structured and not structured enough. The theme, as expressed by Hebberoy, is a broad one and having people call for attention and stand up to present their contribution to the discussion makes it a little awkward for those who wander in out of curiosity and weren’t prepared in advance with their films, books and/or musical instruments.

“The Seattle-Tehran Poster Show” has some interesting poster art, if you’re into that sort of thing, and makes an interesting pairing with “Flatstock”.

“Drawing Jam” is a lot of fun – there are plenty of art supplies on hand as well as figure models, easels, and a comfortable environment for expressing yourself through various media. When I stopped in I saw people of all ages and all sorts of levels of ability really enjoying the chance to engage in making some art of their own.

“The Power of One” is very moving. Jackie Renn’s “Voices of Conscience”, Phil Borges’ “Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World” and Katharina Mouratidi’s “The Other Globalisation” all present powerful images of ordinary people transforming the world around them by sheer force of will are inspiring and beautiful. Nina Berman’s “Purple Hearts: Back from Iraq & Marine’s Wedding” with its photos and video of injured soldiers returned from Iraq makes a simple, eloquent anti-war statement.

Smashed Up Real Good

Outside the Seattle Fire Department at 13th and Pine.

Outside the Seattle Fire Department at 13th and Pine.


How did these cars come to their sad fate?

A) Dinner reservation-having people trying to plow through a Critical Mass ride.
B) 20 cent bag tax-induced rage.
C) Free valet service at Bumbershoot did seem a little suspect.
D) Add your take to the comments:

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