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BUMBERSHOOT Music & Arts Festival – DAY 1
September 1, 20123$ - 125.00$
Since 1971, the annual Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival has been held at Seattle Center, an area that was originally constructed for the 1962 World’s Fair and is home to the Space Needle (erected for the same purpose). Throughout the mid-1990s through the early 2000s, my friends and I snuck in just about every single year. It’s been about a decade since my last visit, but we’re gonna be covering the festival this year and I’m genuinely pretty excited about it. Sure the ticket prices are astronomical again (compared to 20yrs ago) and I’m way too old and out of shape to jump a fence these days, but I’m still getting in for free like the good ol’ days, so fuck it.
But seriously folks… The reason that I’m really excited is partly because of the nostalgia and because I’ve had a lot of lifelong memories formed through this festival in the past. Bumbershoot is what you’re supposed to be doing in Seattle over Labor Day. When I moved to to King County, there was a ton of all-ages shit for kids to do to prevent them from simply stealing their parents booze, getting into fights, and breaking thangz. There were events for the community and constant reasons for us to want to ride a bus up to Seattle from the suburbs and spend the day up here with something to do. These days I live in the city and there isn’t much that excites me like it used to. I often wonder now what the fuck the youth is getting into, but through all of the changes, diminishing of all-ages venues, and funding cuts, Bumbershoot is still here for the community. It’s crowded and there are both families and skethed-out wingnuts in spades, but it’s an experience full of music, comedy, and even intimate Q & As. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing a variety of acts perform such as WEEN, David Byrne, Built to Spill, Benevento Russo Duo, Daniel Johnston, The Ramones, Tiny Tim, Public Enemy, Sam Bush, Maceo Parker, Sonic Youth, Rat Dog, and was even pulled off and beaten down after trying to breakdance on the mainstage during Beck. Even in going as a member of the media, I’m really hoping to see some hooligans trying to work their way into this festival and the looks on the faces of someone experiences an act that they would have never come in contact with otherwise, but is exposing them to something remarkable.
Each day in the suggested events page, I have included a list of recommended acts
Here’s a list for…
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1st
It’s a convention style set up with various screenprint and poster artists. Whenever you’re not doing anything and have some down time, check it out. It will be up every day. The set of complimentary WEEN posters pictured above were created by Gregg “Gigart” Gordon, who’s work we’ve featured before on Monster Fresh. Also appearing at Flatstock will be other past WEEN poster artists like Justin Hampton and Justin Santora, as well as site favorites like Nakatomi Inc’s Timothy Doyle. Go pick yourself up something nice.
Local, awesome, energetic, they like to rock, they like to roll, their name is a palindrome. WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?! How about the fact that they are all such pleasant, salt of the Earth ladies and a gent? They can afford to be that way, because there’s nothing that they can’t prove with their own musical abilities. Note to everyone else: when you’re an elitist dick it will eventually reveal itself through your music. If you want to have a good time and set the entire festival off by getting your head and energy calibrated right, get there early and hit up the TacocaT set. And, if you miss them, you can still catch them doing a brief 20 minute set from 3:30 – 3:50 p.m on the Toyota Free Yr Radio Stage at the Vera project.
Here, see how they get down live.
Skerik is a local music staple, punk-jazz saxophonist, and frequent Les Claypool collaborator who is in more projects than I could ever dream of counting–all of them really amazing. This one is, apparently, heavily influenced by both the Music of Fela Kuti and minimalism. I’ve seen him perform more times than I can count and he never disappoints. Also look for Skerik to pop up at random; he’s known to make a lot of cameos during the sets of others. It’s been a while since I’ve caught the festival, of course, but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t see him sit in with at least somebody.
King Khan and the Shrines
King Khan is known for 2 projects primarily: his doo wop and punk inspired BBQ Show and his raucous as all get out psychedelic/garage/soul outfit, King Khan and the Shrines. The latter, which will be making it’s way to the festival this year, has become notorious for it’s large sound, horns, and the scantly dressed front man’s high energy performances. While the music is great, it’s hard to bring them up without referring to them as a live act. Those with Platinum passes will have an additional opportunity to check them out during a more intimate performance in the Music Lounge at 1:15pm.
My friend Gavin is originally from Baltimore. It’s the same area that cult-filmmaker, John Waters, helped to provide some of us, who have never visited the Maryland city, with our only impression of the place–a kitschy, drag queen filmed, wonderland. According to Gavin, he had only ever come in contact with the “Pope of Trash” once and it was while he was in a liquor store back home. Apparently, as Waters was leaving the store, he accidentally bumped into some wine bottles, which then fell smashing to the ground. His only reaction to what he had done was to say, “Tell them that I did it and sell ’em for more!,” before turning back around and walking out. With absolutely anyone else, it would seem like despicable behavior, but somehow it becomes even more endearing coming from a filmmaker who launched his career by having his star eat dog feces on camera.
I’ve seen him speak before and his appearances are definitely something you’ll want to catch. Part memoir, part standup, part monologue, part lecture, part… I don’t know, I guess it’s 100% John Waters. During the last time that I saw him, he told a story about a woman yanking out her tampon to have him sign it. Odds are that, if nothing else, you’re gonna come away with something memorable.