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Where It's At
Twelve performances worth checking out at Bumbershoot
Twelve performances worth checking out at Bumbershoot by Albert Rodriguez and Lorelei Quenzer - SGN A&E Writers

Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival
Saturday-Monday September 1-3 -
gates open at 11am
Seattle Center - $35 per day

Summer comes to a close with the smells, sights, sounds, and swirling crowds at Seattle Center. Bumbershoot, our city's premiere arts festival, takes place this weekend underneath the Space Needle with an impressive array of musicians, comedians, theatrical performers, visual artists, authors, and independent filmmakers. Aside from that, expect the usual suspects - shirtless collegiates, hippie dancers, and long lines for the most-anticipated performances. Speaking of which, we've picked twelve performances to definitely check out at the festival.

Seattle Gay News is proud to be covering Bumbershoot for a fifth straight year. We'll Bumber-blog each day (log onto www.seattlegayblog.blogspot.com) from the Alki Room at Seattle Center, bringing you exclusive day-of coverage. Look for mini-reviews and updates online.


The Shins w/ Crowded House
12:45 pm @ Memorial Stadium

At first glance, this seems like an odd pairing: Garden State's band that "will change your life" with 1980's Aussie pop wonder? But think about it: both feature exceptional lyrics and intricate orchestrations, exploring new genres and reaching out to the indie audience. Besides, I could listen to Kiwi Neil Finn read from the phone book. Here's hoping he'll do some of his solo stuff. L. Quenzer

Head Automatica
6:15 pm @ Exhibition Hall

Brooklyn-based Head Automatica not only displayed two young men kissing in their music video for "Graduation Day", they showed them tying the knot. Shortly after the video's premiere on MTV2 and Logo, lead singer Daryl Palumbo interviewed with Seattle Gay News and stated his personal approval for Gay marriage. But the main reason to love these guys is for their rapid-tempo songs, like "Nowhere Fast" and "Lying Through Your Teeth", and a sound reminiscent of Joe Jackson and The Cars. Alas, Head Automatica should not be missed at B'shoot. A. Rodriguez

Panic! At The Disco w/ Gym Class Heroes and +44
7 pm @ Memorial Stadium

The overnight success of Panic! At The Disco and Gym Class Heroes, two popular pop-rock bands, is hugely attributed to frequent radio airplay. Their singles, "I Write Songs Not Tragedies" (Disco) and "Clothes Off!" (Heroes), will be huge crowd pleasers at Memorial Stadium, where both groups share the bill with punk-light unit +44 on Saturday afternoon. Expect lots of high school-aged kids at this performance, and I'm betting Gay boy clusters will arrive just as Panic! At the Disco goes onstage. Photos of lead singer Brendon Urie and guitarist Ryan Ross making out have circulated the Internet - even th0ugh rock stars making out is soooooo passé. A. Rodriguez

Gogol Bordello
9 pm @ Fisher Green

Headline performers Panic! At the Disco may be known for incorporating circus themes into their live performances, but if I want to see a really theatrical stage show, with a heavy-duty mosh pit and fantastic Gypsy Punk music - which, by the way, I do - I'll be headed over to Fisher Green for my dose of Gogol Bordello. They've been described as "The Clash having a fight with The Pogues in Eastern Europe." Look for lead singer Eugene Hütz to drive songs like "Start Wearing Purple" and "Wonderlust King" over the punk rock edge. L. Quenzer


Kings of Leon w/ Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
1:15 pm @ Memorial Stadium

Southern rockers Kings of Leon keep it all in the family: started by brothers Caleb, Jared and Nathan Followill, named for their father and grandfather Leon, and joined by cousin Matthew Followill. Somehow knowing that makes "Molly's Chambers" feel a bit incestuous, but I'll be ready to scream out the lyrics all the same. They're joined by San Francisco's BRMC, which has a large Seattle Gay fan base. BRMC recently went back to their rock and roll roots with their latest album, but I'm hoping they'll still play something from their Americana-influenced album, Howl. L. Quenzer

Art Brut
7:30 pm @ Sound Transit Stage

You have to be in the mood for lyrically goofy, punk-pop songs wrapped in a thick English accent to sit through an Art Brut performance. Those willing to give it a go will have a blast. The London-based outfit's second album, It's a Bit Complicated, doesn't match up to last year's impressive Bang Bang Rock & Roll (SGN's Top 25 Albums/CDs, 2006), but at times it comes close. Art Brut has drawn a loyal following in a short span of time, expected to gather at this outdoor stage on Sunday evening. A. Rodriguez

John Wesley Harding
8 pm @ Northwest Court

You could see novelist, singer-songwriter and reconteur Wesley Stace at any one of three different performance venues this B'Shoot: at the Literary Arts Stage on the Nick Drake Words & Music Panel (Sunday, 3:45-5pm), discussing Clowns and Ventriloquists with Monica Drake and Brangien Davis (Monday, 2:30-3:45pm), and this one, where he'll perform under his folk nom de plume, John Wesley Harding. Bring your copy of his latest book, by George, and he'll be very impressed you bought it in hardcover - it was released just last week. Besides (as I've observed here many times before), John Wesley Harding is HOT. L. Quenzer

Fergie w/ Sean Paul
8:15 pm @ Memorial Stadium

Fergie, the Pea (not the Royal blabbermouth), has a guilty pleasure resume of hits such as "London Bridge", "Big Girls Don't Cry", and the infectious "Glamorous". Though she pickpocketed JJ Fad's "Supersonic" for her single "Fergalicious", Fergie might provide a silly-fun treat for Bumbershooters on Sunday evening. I'm looking forward to opener Sean Paul, the somewhat sexy dancehall artist who is sure to get hips swaying to "Shake That Thing", "We Be Burnin'", and "Temperature". A. Rodriguez


John Legend w/ Joss Stone
1:15 pm @ Memorial Stadium
It's difficult to decide who the bigger draw is on this double bill; both vocalists are known for being throwbacks to a bygone R&B era. Stone cancelled her fall tour last year, and her latest album (Introducing Joss Stone) didn't have the buzz her previous two releases created. Still, ya gotta love someone who names her third album Introducing&. Her edgier new image makes me hopeful that she'll mix it up in live performance - less Edie Brickell, more Janis Joplin. As for Legend, he's been performing at a lot of jazz venues lately (notably Montreaux), and I'm looking forward to feeling his, uh, vibe. L. Quenzer

Mocean Worker
6:30 pm @ Northwest Court
B'Shoot's jazz stage, the Northwest Court, isn't the easiest to get to - tucked back between Key Arena and the Literary Arts stages, it's not as big and not as trafficked. And that's just how us jazz-o-philes like it: esoteric and hard to appreciate. But the electronic music of DJ Mocean Worker (pronounced like "motion worker," real name Adam Dorn) should be worth every minute of the trek. I'm excited to hear MoWo live, since his eclectic mix of funk, jazz and big band is contagious. Reviews of his latest album, Cinco de Mowo, call it Dorn's best work yet. L. Quenzer

Wu-Tang Clan w/ Lupe Fiasco
8 pm @ Memorial Stadium

One of the freshest faces to recently emerge on the hip-hop scene is Chicago-bred Lupe Fiasco, a multiple Grammy nominee last year for his chart-topping number "Kick, Push". The breakthrough rapper enjoys the privilege of opening for veteran act Wu-Tang Clan, touring for the first time in many years. If for nothing else, show up just to hear the Clan's slick-cool hit "Triumph". Things might get a little crazy on the floor level, so grab a seat on the bleachers to experience the concert hassle-free. A. Rodriguez

Steve Earle
8:30 pm @ Mural Amphitheatre

Among the celebrated musicians of the Americana-roots sound is Steve Earle, who won a Grammy in 2004 for his brave, anti-war and anti-government album The Revolution Starts&Now. Critically acclaimed and quickly becoming a folk icon, Earle appeals to anyone with an interest in Bruce Springstein, John Mellencamp or Shawn Colvin. Alternative country lovers should flock to this show, and I suggest arriving promptly because Earle will pack the place solid. A. Rodriguez
pictures: top - Panic! At The Disco; middle - Head Automatica; bottom - John Legend

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