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the Music Lounge by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A & E Writer
Bumbershoot wrap-up with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Army of Me run-ins,Kelly Clarkson reschedules Seattle concert, Klaxons win Mercury Music Prize
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Bumbershoot after-thoughts, chitchats with BRMC and Army of Me
I am Bumber-exhausted from a weekend of running around Seattle Center and checking out so many great shows, which took place over the course of this year's Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival. I managed to be in the front row for Head Automatica's performance on Saturday evening at the Exhibition Hall. I was so close to the stage that I could differentiate quarters from nickels inside lead singer Daryl Palumbo's pockets, among other things. To say his pants were tight is an understatement. The band played an awesome hour-long set that included "Lying Through Your Teeth", "Laughing at You", "Graduation Day", and a banging version of "Nowhere Fast". The crowd was out of control near the front, creating a very active mosh pit.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club performed at Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and then played to an intimate audience of about 100 diehard fans and press-media inside the Eve Alvord Theatre just a few hours later. They treated us to an incredible six-song mini-set that included "Weapon of Choice" and "Ain't No Easy Way". They have a gritty blues-country-rock sound with serious-themed lyrics. I was very impressed with their performance. Afterwards, I spoke briefly with lead vocalist Peter Hayes, who hadn't yet eaten that day. "I'm a little interested in Fergie", he answered when asked if he'd be taking the time to walk around Seattle Center.

Hayes said, "everyone's welcome" when told that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has a significant gay fan base here in Seattle, including a couple of close friends of mine. Hayes was so polite, greeting every single fan that came up to him for an autograph or to say hello. He even had a five-minute conservation with two guys about the kind of work they do. He just seemed really interested in the group's fans, acknowledging them and letting them see a person behind the rock star. Hayes said he's open to a full-scale interview the next time BRMC comes through Seattle, and after listening to them perform live and seeing what a real gentleman he is, I'm all for it.

Another Bumbershoot artist I was eager to catch up with was Army of Me, a Washington DC trio who were added to the lineup a week ago. It didn't take long for fans to hear the news of their last-minute addition to the festival, as many of them showed up at Exhibition Hall on Sunday evening to cheer them on. Lead singer Vince Scheuerman, who interviewed with Seattle Gay News in June, wore super tight jeans that raised the eyebrows of female admirers and this particular writer. His jeans were so tight, I thought about puncturing a small hole to let air in. Guitarist Brad Tursi buzzed his hair, and dressed in casual pants and a melon-colored V-neck top.

Army of Me performed a riveting set of music, mainly from their newest release entitled Citizen. Among the highlights were sweeter-than-sweet renditions of "Rise", "Perfect", and "Going Through Changes" (currently receiving airplay on national radio stations). After the show, I met up with Torsi and he was really excited about the big turnout and how enthusiastic the crowd was. I complimented him on his new "do" and told him we'd be in touch about their next Seattle swing-through. Army of Me had to fly out the day after Bumbershoot to begin a fall tour with The Used, although the tour isn't scheduled to come here.

I caught part of Sean Paul's act, but wasn't too thrilled with it. Neither was I impressed with Fergie, who arrived at Bumbershoot with a skimpy skirt and bra-top, sparkly face, and a shiny tiara. Yes, a tiara! She was quite dirty onstage, gesturing her body in explicit positions. I felt bad for the parents who brought their young daughters to the show. Fergie's performance, at least the first half I caught before jetting to another show, was way over the top and silly. Plus, the girl can't rap - though she tried. This is her first solo tour, so chances are she'll improve. Let's hope.

Bumbershoot 2007 brought huge crowds and extremely warm weather on Saturday, and more suitable temperatures on Sunday and Monday. The festival received national attention from media outlets like Billboard and MySpace. There were double the number of journalists and photographers covering the event this year, now in it's fourth decade.

Kelly Clarkson reschedules Seattle show for November
Kelly Clarkson is back in the saddle. The two-time Grammy winner scrapped her summer tour when ticket sales fizzed, due to mediocre buzz surrounding her third album My December. She went back to the drawing board, fired her manager, and reconstructed her tour to play smaller venues. Initially, Clarkson was slated to perform at Key Arena. Now, she's playing the Paramount Theatre on November 12. I have no immediate ticket information yet, but it should be coming through any time soon. Stay glued for Kelly Clarkson news here in The Music Lounge.

Klaxons beat Winehouse, Monkeys en route to prestigious Mercury Music Prize
This just in. Klaxons, who sidelined me for an interview twice, picked up a very big award this week. The uber-hip punk trio claimed the 2007 Mercury Music Prize, UK's Album of the Year award voted on by an artist-journalist panel, beating out well-known favorites Amy Winehouse and Arctic Monkeys. I've sent a congratulatory note to their publicist on behalf of Seattle Gay News. They're due to perform at The Showbox on September 30. Hopefully soon, we'll seat their pretty boy asses in The Music Lounge. Until then, check out the threesome's award-winning CD Myths of the Near Future.
 

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