It’s that time of year again: artists, hipsters, food connoisseurs, party animals, tourists, aging hipsters, punks, Eastern Washington small town families, drunks, big city power couples, musicians, local celebrities, and occasionally farm animals all flock to the Seattle Center to hangout for one of the Emerlad City’s oldest and finest traditions…Bumbershoot.
After the festival this Labor Day Weekend, you’ll surely have a water cooler story for your coworkers that’ll leave them jealous and bitter they chose to play 36 holes of golf instead. More importantly, this story that draws a small crowd around the water cooler won’t have anything to do with some dumb, second-rate TV show that aired the night before. No, they’ll be endlessly envious that you made it through the three-day gondola of live music, comedy, art, exhibits, movies and more. They’ll be wishing they had the bags under their eyes you have. They’ll be wishing they had the wristbands you haven’t clipped off your wrist yet. And, they’ll wish they were the ones who ended up backstage with Wanda Jackson talking about the good ol’ days and who’ll win this year’s general election.
The power to be the coolest person in your office on Tuesday isn’t simply acquired by buying your ticket to the festival and doing a casual walk-around each of the three days, my friend — you need to study up for this party. And, that’s where we come in. From now until Friday (also known as Bumbershoot Eve) JACK is going to fill you in on the things you simply cannot miss at this year’s festival. Take notes!
Saturday, September 1st – Day 1
The “Can’t Miss” Local Bands: THEESatisfaction, The Helio Sequence, TacocaT
THEESatisfaction – 5:15pm @ The Sub Pop Stage
It’s tough to ignore when THEESatisfaction has a show in the greater Seattle area; partly because the hip-hop duo is on the infamous local label Sub Pop, and partly because the music is brilliant. Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White’s have a remarkable collection of “significantly-memorable-after-first-listen” songs that capture what many are calling funk-psych.
The Helio Sequence – 8:45 @ The Sub Pop Stage
Singer-guitarist Brandon Summers and drummer-keyboardist Benjamin Weike of The Helio Sequence are releasing a brand new album in September (also on Sub Pop….hey, we support our locals, okay?) called Negotiations. We’re told the album is centered around their longtime Portland rehearsal space flooding a few years back. Both Summers and Weike had to relocate physically — but say the move was also a chance for them to regroup creatively. Fans of Pavement and The Walkmen will dig on these guys, and you kids that love The Arcade Fire will likely lose yourself in the band’s live set.
TacocaT – 12:15pm @ The Sub Pop Stage
This female-powered punk quartet (there’s a dude in there too…sorry, man) pops up every now and then on a killer bill somewhere around town and typically steals the show. But this isn’t your “anarchy in the U.K.” punk — this is rambunctious, “let’s get intoxicated and make poor choices tonight” punk. The rockin’ tambourine attack coupled with humorous and charming lyrics — and the occasional Misfits cover — will set the bar pretty high right off the bat Saturday afternoon.
The “Can’t Miss” National Acts: Heartless Bastards, King Khan & The Shrines
Heartless Bastards – 5:45pm @ The Starbucks Stage
Austin-based Heartless Bastards’ raw alternative country finds its footing in frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom’s matchless voice. Equal parts primal and pleading, heartfelt and heroic, they’ve gained great momentum in the last year while opening for Drive-By Truckers and promoting their fourth album, Arrow.
King Khan & The Shrines – 4:15pm @ The Tuneln Stage
Led with great gusto by their unabashed and wildly fun front man, King Khan & The Shrines are more than a psychedelic rock and soul band with a spectacle of a stage show (though they most definitely are that). At this juncture in their decade-long career, they are a cult musical phenomenon with a fiercely loyal fan base of fervent punk, soul and garage rock aficionados.
The “Can’t Miss” Exhibit/Display/Presentation Thing: Modernist Cuisine: Food from a New Perspective (1:45pm @ The Words and Ideas Stage)
Let’s face it, more Americans are getting pickier (and perhaps snobbier) about what shows up in front of them on a dinner plate. Because Food Network shows are clogging DVR’s around the country, restaurants are having a tougher time impressing their clients — and it’s even getting harder for people to please themselves with home cooking.
In an effort to solve this problem, a team of chefs, scientists and food lovers that make up the Modernist Cuisine have created what they say is “a cookbook to end all cookbooks.” That’s pretty intense, hah? During a presentation, the team will show you how to push boundaries by pairing wild creativity with cutting-edge technology — and no, you won’t be eating something like a T-Bone with a side of spare iPad parts. In all seriousness, if you’re looking to take your cooking to the next level, get front row and center to this spectacle…and bring a bib.
The “Can’t Miss” Film Feature: Nerds Unite (5:30pm @ The 1 Reel Film Festival/SIFF Film Center)
This animated, experimental drama is an immersion into Stanley Kubrick‘s obsessive fascination for Napoleon Bonaparte and the movie that he might have made about the emperor’s life.
The “Can’t Miss” Comedic/Visual Arts Performance Thing: 7 Minutes in Heaven (7:00pm @Various Locations)
7 Minutes in Heaven is improv comedy speed dating rife with bizarre characters and loads of awkwardness (something we hold dearly to our hearts at JACK). The premise is simple: eight people show up to a speed dating event hoping to find that special someone, except the actors are not aware of who all the characters are prior to each show and must rely on true improvisation. If you’re in the audience, you’re encouraged to get up and walk amongst the actors as they search for “love.” Talk about being uncomfortable…AWESOME!