Third day of Bumbershoot 2013 seems like a zappy apex and a totally chill epilogue; the outstanding extra-musical affairs continue around the big musical bomps, but in the meantime some changes have occurred since the schedule was first posted (please note!):
Seattle Arts & Lectures presents The Lunchbox Podcast Live: Literary Pleasures and Musical Shenanigans, featuring fiction writer J. Robert Lennon and poet Ed Skoog, with Portland poet Matthew Dickman and musical guest Abilene Slim. A variety hour for the 21st century, the presentation will feature music, poems, and sparklingly irreverent conversation on the literary world and beyond. (Words & Ideas Stage, Saturday)
TIG Comment: These are becoming one of the very best things about Bumbershoot every year for me; I always walk away with a few new books and/or zany notions for tracking down crisp thinkers in our culture after seeing these cabaret-of-thought hullabaloos!
Zoeyogurt owners Katie, Donna and Tom Hudson and Joel Watson (creator of the web comic Hijinks Ensue) ponder Why Froyo? Why YOLO? Why Now? with moderator Corn Mo. (Words & Ideas Stage, Saturday)
Karen Finneyfrock (Author of The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door) and Sharon Cumberland, Ph.D. (Ph.D. Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University) are Corn Mo’s collaborators in discussing Why Fan Fiction? Why YA? Why Now? (Words & Ideas Stage, Sunday)
Seattle Arts & Lectures presents Allie Brosh of “Hyperbole and a Half.” Brosh — of the beloved blog and forthcoming book Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened — will speak, show slides, and converse with cartoonist Ellen Forney. The program will open with brief readings by local writer Michael Overa and his Writers in the Schools student from TOPS K-8. (Words & Ideas Stage, Sunday)
TIG Comment: Seattle artist and The Stranger Genius winner Ellen Forney's Marbles was one of the very best graphic novels from last year. This interview and multi-media examination of her work will probably be a highpoint of the festival this year for me, as I was absolutely floored by her deliciously delineated autobio comic about being bi-polar, and how she coped with it. From her glittery, giddy early adventures in the local music and art scene, through her punishing years of artist's block and meds change-ups, and into a brave future of self-acceptance and creative perseverance, it's a golden tale. I've seen Ellen do slide shows and spoken word around her comics before at the Hugo House, and you don't want to miss her deep dazzle, as much in person as it is in writing and illustration.
Warm Bodies author Isaac Marion and game designer Charley Miller join moderator Corn Mo to delve into the reasons behind Why Board Games? Why Zombies? Why Now? (Words & Ideas Stage, Monday)
TIG Comment: And Why Not More Board Games About Zombies, Dagnabit?! You BET I'm asking. Gimmee that mic!
Seattle Arts & Lectures presents Writers in the Schools: Compounded. Writers in the Schools K-12 students and Teaching Artists tackle the “problem” of compound words in original poems and stories, read in tandem from stage. Featuring Daemond Arrindell, Emily Bedard, Aaron Counts, Kevin Emerson, Karen Finneyfrock, Rachel Kessler, Corinne Manning, Sierra Nelson, Katie Ogle, Ann Teplick and their students. Musical interlude by The Drop Shadows. (Words & Ideas Stage, Monday)
TIG Comment: LOVE it. Whenever I hang out with a young writer who's frazzled trying to think about what to write about, plopping open the Dictionary and picking out a random word they can connect to Proust-stylee always seems a good kick in da scribe-pants. This seems to go that game more than once better and I can't wait to hear what these students came up with!
Throughout the 2013 fest:
This year for the first time the long running Fine Arts Poster is being presented as part of the Visual Arts exhibitions. The 2013 Poster artist is 2009 Stranger Genius Award Winner Jeffry Mitchell, who is the focus of a 2012 solo retrospective at the Henry Art Gallery. This year’s poster is a collection of his porcelain figurines. "Mitchell’s Bumbershoot exhibit showcases the diversity of Mitchell’s practice, including the poster's cast of characters that reflect the unique and festive atmosphere of Bumbershoot." (Fisher Pavilion)
Monday morning closing in on me — whatta I wanna see? 9/2:
Visual Arts in Seattle Center Pavilion (11 a.m.): After The Riot
This is when I will be checking out this awesome-sounding exhibit based on gender identity, feminism, and body image, which rages on the inclusivity tip whi I utmost dig. It is catalyzed by Wynne Greenwood! Of Tracy and The Plastics! And includes artists Anna Oxygen, Gender Failure, Tender Forever, and Molly Mac — who has a special presentation at 4 p.m. today herself here — "as well as presenting new work by Reel Grrls participants in Greenewood's Video and Performance classes." I would have done Bumbershoot just for this action, considering Wynne's presentation at the EMP Pop Conference just a few years back.
Put It All On The Table: Inappropriate Lectures By Irreverent Artists and Spoiled Children (1 p.m., Words & Ideas Stage)
A satire of TED Talks with Stranger-affiliated feral funnymakers! Sweet. Taboos apparently are taken out into the woods and told there is a birthday party for them but really a sad dirty clown plays a vintage cracked Schadenfreude. Featuring Andrew Russell, Cienna Madrid, and Valerie Curtis-Newton, plus a surprise host.
BellaMaine (12:15 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage)
A weird little trick to know about Bumbershoot is that a lot of the best new music happens at noon every day every year. This group is Straight Outta Anacortes which means they're fingerpainting-licking arty but as fun as an on-nitrous Twister party! Indeed their new EP is called Anxious Mind, produced by John Goodmanson (Nada Surf, Death Cab). Lady and dude vox, keys and geetar hoodoo everywhere, call Hook Control to come wrangle that chorus that has crawled behind the wall and won't stop entering your sleep patterns.
Corn dogs (12:58 p.m., stand where they sell the corn dogs)
Bumbershoot sells a lot of tasty treats and meals at its booths, a bit down from the Mercer entrance and before you get to the outside the first main bathrooms where the couples wait outside for each other kinda pissed off and smoking. Everything at the grub-hubs look so good but I am usually crawling from music event to lit even to comedypalooza so right about now I soak up some beer garden with deep fried pigearlobesandarmpitsonsticks. No mustard for me, thanks — I'll be sitting near people for the rest of the day.
Face The Music (1 p.m., 1 Reel Film Festival)
Highly recommended short films for the rockarollas! WFMU's hilarious Tom Scharpling documents the "10 Years of the Postal Service"! "The Hard Day Knights" about a Beatles tribute band's blues! "Ouverture" about some kind of musical heart condition! Some more oblique strange cinema arts till Kimya Dawson chats SIFF/Vera workshop triumphs! Killer hour, this.
The Maldives (1 p.m., Starbucks Stage)
You have to take in The Maldives at Bumbershoot though. Seriously, you can't miss this mutli-member soul-fire fandango. Lynn Shelton is probably making plans for a Last Waltz for 'em now when band-herder Jason Dodson decides to take over Hollywood and make every soundtrack for films that don't feature flying zombie robot board games fighting. The Maldives are in their twelve year Scotch period now; but there's still a tang of bourbon in the cask. Be Seattle, see The Maldives.
Red Jacket Mine (1:30 p.m., Plaza Stage)
Played the bittersweet frosting off of Someone Else's Cake last year after seeing Red Jacket Mine at Barboza and picking up a copy of it, their latest full-length. "Nickel & Dime" and "Ron Nasty" were just two grit-garage-formed diamonds in a mine of 'em throughout; my iPod had to hire James Bond to keep them from getting stolen. They put on a power pop presentation that pounces as much as it's pro, making you believe that rock and roll can be adult and never lose steam while taking care of the house. Don't miss 'em.
Lissie (2:45 p.m., Starbucks Stage)
Now this is going to be interesting. She's opened for Brooooooce (Springsteen, that is), T. Petty, and Lenny "Are you by chance heading in a similar direction to my own, dear?" Kravitz, done a TED talk herself (thus spaken ze TED, again), and is rumored to sound as hype as Vietnam-era soldiers had the best Thai sticks. It's probably going to be sticky and sweet and a little disturbing, which I like my dark horse divas to smoke me out-like.
Mike Drucker, Joe Mande, Reggie Watts (2:45 p.m. as well, alas, Comedy at the Playhouse)
This is probably the heralding of the Golden Age of comedy at Bumbershoot show. As popular as Reggie is getting, with the IFC Comedy Bang! Bang! teevee post-pod buzz, there will still be plenty of confused tourists hitting this show before the mainstage rock events who will wonder who let the mad fierce-afro hobo in to horrify their children's minds with thought-fuckery and jackasshenanigans. That would be Reggie, who is always two years ahead of every other alt-comedian, whether using voice-loops to sound like the battle-drums from a war on Venus, to piling up pins your quantum physics twin three times removed will never "get." Mande is one of those Parks & Recreation writers, has written for Delocated on Adult Swim (yes!), and now I realize I have to check his Comedy Central stand up two weeks before yesterday. Mike Drucker is from The Onion and McSweeney's, and specializes in "sad jokes" one of which won the Joke Of The Year Award last year from Time Out New York. Jesus Mary Mother Moses! This is quite the line-up.
Redd Kross (3:30 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage)
My personal favorite punk-era-spawned band at Bumbershoot 2013, Redd Kross had a lot more to do with the sounds of Seattle than a thousand 107.7 listeners might be able to guess. Their grass-ass-or-pass classic wee pre-grunge era album Neurotica was an essential late 80s party purchase, heavy on the Blue Cheer meets Partridge Family fear-pop. They started in bad boy thrift store hardcore lite as virtual infants, and eventually made metal thunder steppenwolfin' again with a little sugar sugar sugar. If you really think you know everything there is to know about Pac NW alternative rock (even though they slayed from El Lay) and have never seen Redd Kross, you're embarrassing yer mom.
Doug Loves Movies With Doug Benson (5 p.m., Comedy at the Bagley)
I love movies, I love making fun of movies, I have all of that in common with heshery slackery trivia-lovin' comedian Doug Benson and his fellow laugh-stud pals. Always a live podcast highlight of B'shoot, which I always listen to again later on after its archived.
Baroness (5 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage)
The Flannery O'Connor-meets-Lord Baltimore of modern metal, the mosszu of their kudriffs entangling the world straight from the plains of Georgia, as Southern as BBQ'd frogs, Baptist-Masonic picnic cults, and Black Sabbath at "16" on a Sunday. Metal pick of the year, keeping their shit together after a horrible bus accident, ready to burn down Bumbershoot. Literally, they want to, glad this is near the fountain.
Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands (6 p.m., Plaza Stage)
Stumbling into this port town after hours with stories and scars from run-ins with the law, Mark used to blast psyche-skronk in the early 90s before the bust years, but now is hollow-body busking his bour-ballads to the weepy toughs who've thorn-piled up alongside him in the Pac NW. A superb songwriter, sterling singer, a great showman, and a reason to believe.
Audrey & Nelson: A Puppet Sex Musical (7 p.m., Theatre Puget Sound Stage)
A lo-fi sock (puppet) opera to naughty pit-stain eros and seductive anthropomorphic laundry skits, all the young kids brought to this should– jiggers! The cops! Shut this down!
Emily Heller and Doug Benson (8 p.m., Comedy at the Playhouse)
Emily has been on Conan (the Irishman, not the Barbarian), has done stand-up with John Oliver … wait, that there is all I need to know. But San Francisco awarded "funniest person in town" so that's another thing to consider; with rents that high she makes 'em all forget with the gutslappers and kneeaches! I'm there. So's Doug Benson, after he apparently puts out the vegetarian deli trays for Baroness and mops up after the sex puppets.
Allen Stone (8 p.m., TuneIn Stage)
You are 17 years old. It is your birthday. You have just had your long-aching wisdom teeth taken out and the sweet blur of Vicodin kicks in for the first time just as the prettiest redhead in class kisses you in the churchyard by surprise. Your mom has made a German chocolate cake, warm and waiting at home, and your dad bought you that weighted piano and vontage tube amp, and you're going to the best art college in the country in the fall. When this day is through, you're going to crack open Sweet Thursday and put something perfect on the turntable in the basement. It will probably be this sweet dude's first LP, bought with money your funny beatnik grandma gave you. You could listen to it with her. You could listen to it with all of them, and be very happy. Post-script: In 2014, Allen Stone releases a record that will be the tastiest culmination of musical influences that have been brewing and steeping in the area for years; it's called evolution.
The Joy Formidable (10 p.m., TuneIn Stage)
"Never until the mankind making / Bird beast and flower / Fathering and all humbling darkness / Tells with silence the last light breaking. / And the still hour / Is come of the sea tumbling in harness." – Dylan Thomas. "7 new varieties of Purina, because Eno's cat thinks six are terribly boring." – Dangerous Minds paro-ad-y about Brian Eno. Poetic rumination + near death disco dancing = perfect love hangover, Bumbershoot 2013! See ya next year, dears.