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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 3, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 36
Five acts to catch at Bumbershoot
Arts & Entertainment
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Five acts to catch at Bumbershoot

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year is the homegrown Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival at Seattle Center. The lineup isn't as fabulous as those of previous years (I'm still squealing over Beck's appearance in 2008), but there are some worthy performers to check out during Labor Day weekend (September 4-6), such as rock icon Bob Dylan and soul pioneer Solomon Burke. From the three-day roster, here are my picks for five great artists to see at Bumbershoot.

Neko Case
Saturday, 7:15 p.m.
Memorial Stadium

Don't get me wrong; Bob Dylan is on many people's bucket lists, and is going to fill Memorial Stadium to the brim. But it's Neko Case that you need to see, if you never have before. The woman has Northwest roots and a kickass style all her own. Nominated earlier this year for her first Grammy, the folk-country performer can be mindblowing onstage, especially if her set list includes older goodies from Blacklisted or The Tigers Have Spoken. "Hold On, Hold On" and "This Tornado Loves You" will definitely be played, but my fingers are crossed for "Dirty Knife" from my favorite Case recording, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.

Weezer
Sunday, 9:15 p.m.
Memorial Stadium

It's hard to believe "The Sweater Song" and "Buddy Holly" came out over 15 years ago, and I never would've guessed Weezer would still be around in 2010 - not to mention headlining the middle night of Bumbershoot. But the California rock band has managed to stay remarkably weird all this time, continuing its streak with unusually groovy numbers like last summer's hit "Pork and Beans." Weezer almost always plays their familiar stuff, so the kids will get their bang for their buck with "Hash Pipe," "Beverly Hills," and "Island in the Sun," which should encourage a huge sing-along. Oh, and the irrelevant Hole fronted by the annoying Courtney Love is opening the concert.

Mary J. Blige
Monday, 9 p.m.
Memorial Stadium

Headlining the entire festival - as she should be - is multi-Grammy winner and R&B veteran Mary J. Blige. Everything about this woman screams diva, which is why a large pool of Gay men will make the trek to Memorial Stadium to see her. After a last-minute show cancellation years ago at the Paramount Theatre, Blige owes us big time, and this means she better unpack the greatest hits trunk and perform "Family Affair," "Real Love," "Be Without You," "No More Drama," and "I'm Goin' Down." If we're lucky, Blige might unleash her cover of U2's "One" or Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart." Hold onto your hats; this girl is going to belt it out of the ballpark! Arrive early to check out hip-hop sensation Drake.

The Moondoggies
Monday, 5 p.m.
Mural Amphitheatre

Forget about every other Seattle band on the festival lineup this year and focus solely on The Moondoggies, because they are on their way up, up, up. Their indie folk-rock sound may not be the most exciting to listen to on a hot afternoon, so you'll have to grab some food and take a break on the lawn to let it sink in and really appreciate it. The local quartet, led by Kevin Murphy who interviewed with Seattle Gay News on August 27, will soon release their album Tidelands, and are expected to play several cuts from it (and possibly newly written material) at Mural Amphitheatre.

Angelique Kidjo
Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Fisher Green

The Grammy-winning artist, who interviewed with Seattle Gay News while touring with Josh Groban, returns to the Emerald City, having recently wowed thousands of soccer fans at the start of the 2010 World Cup. Born in Benin, she's an explosive performer that infuses a variety of sounds from Afro-soul to Caribbean jazz to Brazilian samba, and her longtime devotion to combating AIDS in her home continent speaks of her true humanitarian spirit. "Seyin Djro," the leadoff track from 2004's Oyaya, is a testament to Kidjo's fiery, sultry world music catalog, and at Bumbershoot you can expect sore feet after her electrifying performance.

Other performers to watch: Solomon Burke, Bob Dylan, Health, Justin Townes Earle and Vienna Teng.

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picture: Mary J. Blige
Five acts to catch at Bumbershoot
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Asian Pacific Islander Pageant returns to Seattle
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Cho-Dependent a hilarious night of comedy and music
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Drag superstar Varla Jean Merman spends an evening in Seattle
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A Dyke About Town: John Hiatt rocks Zoo Tunes
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Bizet's Carmen gives tired opera another chance
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Rufus Wainwright gives emotional, complex performance
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Tripping the light fantastic: An interview with Burn the Floor's Gary Wright
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Fantasy Swan crashes into reality
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Bloody Machete goes back to the grindhouse
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The Last Exorcism doesn't close the deal
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Scissor Sisters, Dierks Bentley, Arcade Fire top September concerts
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Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
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Moondoggies look forward to playing Bumbershoot
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Northwest News
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Letters
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Scissor Sisters interview with Seattle Gay News next week
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