Friday, August 23, 2013

omn’s guide to bumbershoot 2013

OMN may have taken Bumbershoot off last year, but we're heading back up north this time to catch the 43rd edition of not just Seattle's but "the nation's largest arts festival, attracting over 100,000 people to Seattle Center every Labor Day weekend," as the fest officially says.

Featuring comedy, dance, film, theater and more alongside rock stars and notable talent from our own backyard, this year's music and arts festival takes place from Saturday afternoon on August 31st until almost midnight on Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd, all in the shadow of The Emerald City's iconic landmark—the Space Needle.

With a family-friendly atmosphere, the Bumbershoot lineup usually skews a little older (especially in the world of multi-day music festivals), but nevertheless overlaps enough to rival Portland's MFNW, which follows immediately on its heels this year (kicking off on September 3rd after, yet again, adding an additional day), and always draws a diverse crowd.

Something notable about this year's fest is the scheduling of some pretty big names in midday time slots—catch mainstage performers like Kendrick Lamar at 4pm on Saturday, fun. a half hour earlier on Sunday, and MGMT also at 3:30pm on Monday.

Now, your head might spin if you look at the hundreds of activities all at once. So to avoid sensory overload, we've done you a favor and sifted through the musical offerings (and then some) each day to tell you what's piqued our interest—we hope it'll galvanize yours as well.

Saturday, August 31st

Although Portland's rockabilly daughter (and her men) are up against some tough competition on Saturday night, we couldn't be more proud to see Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside closing out the Plaza Stage from 9:30-10:30pm. (Starfucker did the same a few years back with an amazing and well-received set and we're sure Sallie can match that.) Full of feminine bravado, the front woman has really found her own brash, confident self on the group's second album, Untamed Beast. And much like the record's title suggests, Sallie Ford swiftly spits the following on the punk rock-tinged "Rockability":
They’re telling me I’m like the rockabilly queen
Won’t you tell me who the hell is she
I just want rockability
Won’t you listen to me
I’m not part of any scene
I can’t wait to see the day
When all the genres melt away
So sick of being in the box
Exuding sexuality alongside endearing gawkiness, Sallie is just being herself—and in the process becoming a rock 'n' roll badass. Just take a look at the NSFW album art if you need any further proof. (It's—pardon the pun—totally tits in the enlarged LP format, so buy a copy!) 9:30pm @ Plaza Stage

Speaking of kicking ass, check out Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside's video for "Party Kids":

!!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) is guaranteed to be a jammy, funky, disco dance party—every time. Currently supporting their fifth studio album, THR!!!ER, peep their vid for "One Girl/One Boy" to understand how easy it is for them to get engines revved up. 6:15pm @ Fisher Green

Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaries will move you. Which direction? Most likely to tears. Or heartbreak. And then some suave sashaying of your hips. He induced all of the aforementioned the last time he played Bumbershoot, and since then, the 65-year-old soul and R&B singer has released a second album, Victim of Love. Just as genuine as his debut, this man has no shortage of life experience upon which to draw. 8pm @ Mural Amphitheatre

Plus, he's such an amazing, interesting, passionate character that a documentary on him, Charles Bradley: Soul of America, will be screened at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland on Wednesday, August 28th:

Get the rest of our Bumbershoot picks on OMN.

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