September 1, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 35
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Friday, Sep 25, 2020



Where It's At
Gay punks, blonde rockers, soul divas and Grammy-winning rappers at Seattle Center this weekend for Bumbershoot
by Albert Rodriguez, Lorelei Quenzer and Jessica Browning - SGN A&E Writers

Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival w/ various artists and performers

Saturday-Monday, September 2-4 - Starting around noon daily

Seattle Center - Tix at the gate / $30 per day, $80 for three-day pass

Seattle Gay News is proud to be part of the media covering this weekend's Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival at Seattle Center. We sifted through the three-day event's terrific lineup and picked several artists we thought you'd enjoy checking out. We'll blog twice daily from Bumbershoot, so log onto for updates, food and beverage suggestions, individual performance comments and behind-the-scenes information.

Saturday picks by Jessica Browning


Memorial Stadium, 2:15pm

What better way to kick start Bumbershoot weekend than with a rare appearance by the legendary Blondie? New wave seductress and disco icon Debbie Harry and her band haven't lost the ability to charm an audience yet. This year, Debbie and her boys celebrate 30 years since the 1976 release of the debut album, a prestigious induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and double platinum certification for the classic collection The Best Of Blondie. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Blondie ruled the charts with dreamy new wave classics and a string of Top 40 hits such as "Heart of Glass", "Call Me", "The Tide Is High", and the dance floor anthem "Atomic". Blondie is coming to Seattle. What more needs to be said? Get out there and get yourself a ticket!

Badly Drawn Boy

Backyard Stage, 9:15pm

For those of you whose taste is more pop oriented, Badly Drawn Boy is a must see. The quirky, ultra-talented Damon Gough has received accolades from critics and fans alike for his British Mercury Prize-winning album The Hour of Bewilderbeast and for being the artist hand-picked by author Nick Hornby to score the film version of his book About A Boy. Wry, witty, and thoughtful pop is Badly Drawn Boy's strong suit. He is considered by some to be Manchester's answer to Elliott Smith, while bearing a playful acoustic/electro vibe akin to Beck. As anyone who caught him live at The Showbox for 2004's release One Plus One is One can attest, Damon Gough can be an entertaining handful onstage, but will always leave you in awe of his talent.


Memorial Stadium, 9:45pm

Modern hardcore punkers AFI (short for A Fire Inside) have been a hot live ticket since the late 90s, and are sure to be an explosive closer to Bumbershoot's first day of music. Decemberunderground, a near-perfect masterpiece of anger, intensity, and fragile beauty, was released in June (Interscope) and quickly hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and Top Internet Albums. Openly Gay lead singer Davey Havok sites Morrissey, The Cure, and Bauhaus as influences as well as more traditional punk. Havok and bandmates have much to be excited about these days- as this issue goes to press, AFI is up for three MTV Video Music Awards (Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Rock Video). The VMA's are broadcast Thursday, August 31. Let's hope when AFI takes the stage at Bumbershoot, there's an award to celebrate as well.

Also recommended on Saturday: The Gossip (Memorial Stadium, 12:45pm - just before Blondie!), Halou (Backyard Stage, 3:30pm), Of Montreal (Backyard Stage, 7:15pm)

Sunday picks by Lorelei Quenzer

The Like

Backyard Stage, 2pm

Southern California-based all-girl band The Like is Elizabeth "Z" Berg, Charlotte Froom and Tennessee Thomas - all daughters of music industry veterans. But their 2005 debut album is far from industry nepotism: Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? contains 13 impressive original songs, ranging from rocking ("What I Say and What I Mean," "Too Late") to pensive ("We Are Lost," "Once Things Look Up"), all with a great eclectic panache. Check out these lovely ladies; once you've heard their mature sound you'll have a hard time believing that they're barely legal.

Matt Costa

Mural Amphitheatre, 4:45pm

Cutie Matt Costa was forced to shift gears a few years ago when a bone-shattering skateboarding accident necessitated 18 months of rehab. Instead of bemoaning the end of his career - he was about to turn pro - Costa picked up a guitar and turned his energy and passion for skating into writing and recording simple tunes, first on a mini tape recorder, then graduating to a 4-track recorder. Three years later, Costa signed onto Jack Johnson's acoustic-laden label, Brushfire, and is in the midst of a world tour. "Lullaby," a sweet duet with Johnson, can be heard on the Curious George soundtrack, and his album, Songs We Sing, is filled with radio-friendly guitar pop songs like "Astair," "Yellow Taxi" and "Sunshine."

Kanye West

Memorial Stadium, 9:30pm

From his albums The College Dropout and Late Registration, hip-hop artist Kanye West is known for his clever wordplay and creative sampling. West started his career as an award-winning producer, and his own career has garnered several Grammy awards. You're probably most familiar with his chart-topping single, "Gold Digger," and his propensity for making attention-grabbing political statements. In addition to his comments about media portrayal of African Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, West took a controversial stand against homophobia and Gay-bashing, saying that he had a turning point when he discovered his cousin was Gay. "I wanna just come on TV, and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, 'Yo, stop it.'" He also drew comparison between African Americans' struggle for civil rights and today's Gay rights movement. So get out to the Mainstage at Memorial Stadium and support a brother!

Also recommended on Sunday: West Valley Highway (Mural Amphitheatre, 11:45am), mewithoutYou (What's Next Stage, 4:15pm), Trapped in the Closet (Comedy Stage, 6pm), Great Big Sea (Mural Amphitheatre, 8:30pm)

Monday picks by Albert Rodriguez

Steve Miller Band

Memorial Stadium, 2pm

One might think the Steve Miller Band, 70s bong-friendly rockers and Washington state natives, aren't exactly the kind of thing Gay boys and girls would be into. Though, those of us in our thirties and forties can remember a time when "Fly Like An Eagle", "Rock n' Me", "The Joker" and "Jet Airliner" ruled the radio airwaves. Or, perhaps our older brothers listened to SMB tunes as they polished their Mustangs. A hybrid of older folks and college rowdies are sure to pack Memorial Stadium to see this group reunited on stage, which triggers many sing-alongs and a huge party zone for this show. Hit the beer garden before heading out to the Steve Miller Band.

Bettye LaVette

Mural Amphitheatre, 4:45pm

Diva worshippers get a "for real" treat at Bumbershoot this year when veteran soul singer Bettye LaVette takes the stage. The Detriot-based artist can turn any ballad or upbeat single into a stirring piece of music, evidenced on 2005's highly praised CD I've Got My Own Hell to Raise that features smooth R & B versions of Dolly Parton's "Little Sparrow", Fiona Apple's "Sleep to Dream", Sinead O' Connor's "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" and Joan Armatrading's "Down to Zero". LaVette's blues-influenced vocals and inventive style earned her a spot on many year-end music critics lists last year. Run, don't walk, to see this hot mama in action at the festival.


Mural Amphitheatre, 8:45pm

Between a jazz lounge and a dance floor, you might discover Canadian artist Feist crooning on a Bee Gees number. Slow and sexy, or finger snapping and ambient, this acclaimed singer-songwriter knows how to mix things up. On her newest CD Open Season, Feist offers ear tingling remixes of her debut release Let It Die including a catchier version of "Mushaboom" buffed by Sub Pop electro wizards The Postal Service. Most of the songbird's tracks are like soundtrack music for a rainy day movie, shot under a gloomy London sky or in a French countryside. Yet, some of them sound as if a disco club and piano bar merged into one. Gay fans into Cat Power and Fiona Apple should definitely make note of Feist.

Also recommended on Monday: Brent Dennen (Mural Amphitheatre, 1:30pm), CocoRosie (Northwest Court Lounge, 8pm), Metric (Backyard Stage, 9:30pm)

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