A number of great artists will be finishing off the festival on Monday. Bumbershoot really out-did themselves this year with such a deep and well-rounded lineup. Weather be damned! Here’s a little run down:
BOBBY BARE JR. (12:30-1:30 – Broad Street Stage)
From Tennessee, Bobby Bare Jr., is not surprisingly and quite obviously the son of country musician Bobby Bare, and plays delightfully laid-back alt-country with a voice that is mostly devoid of twang despite his roots. His music comes out of laid back 70s folksy country rock, but there’s no mistaking that Bare Jr.’s music is unique in itself. It’s no surprise that he’s been a recent favorite of KEXP DJs, and this should be a great introduction to an amazing Monday of music. His most recent album A Storm, A Tree, My Mother’s Head was released last Tuesday.
THE CLIENTELE (2:15-3:15 – Broad Street Stage)
British four-piece band The Clientele will carry you away with their ethereal indie pop. Their melodies unfurl effortlessly and Alasdair MacLean’s voice sounds like it’s trying to send you off into a starry dream-filled slumber. They have threads of shoegaze and psychedelia running through their music as well, and every once in a while a distorted little guitar solo will emerge from otherwise the otherwise hazy melodies. I was borderline devastated when I missed them their last time through Seattle when they played the Tractor a few months ago, and it was a pleasant surprise to say the least to see them on the Bumbershoot lineup.
KINGS GO FORTH (4:00-5:00 – Fisher Green Stage)
Funky soul revival group Kings Go Forth released their debut album The Outsiders Are Back earlier this year, and might provide one of the most happening shows of this year’s Bumbershoot. Led by a trio of lead vocalists including Black Wolf’s unhinged soulful wail along with Danny Fernandez and Matt Nordberg, Kings Go Forth combine stunning vocal harmonies, upbeat funky baselines, uplifting strings, and forceful horns to create a wall of throwback soul that is undeniable. If this isn’t one of the most energetic audiences of the weekend to start the show, it won’t take long after Kings Go Forth start playing to make it such.
MEAT PUPPETS (4:00-5:00 – Broad Street Stage)
The Meat Puppets are most widely known for their guest appearance on Nirvana’s legendary MTV Unplugged show, in which Kurt Cobain sang vocals on three of their songs. It was a good career move to say the least, as it opened up music fans all over the world to the Meat Puppets unique sound and albums such as II, Too High To Die, and Up On The Sun. While 1984’s II is their classic and the one from which they lent songs to the Unplugged, the Brothers Kirkwood are still at it over 25 years later. After a lengthy hiatus, they released Rise To Your Knees in 2007, and on last year’s Sewn Together it sounds like they’ve barely missed a beat since their heyday in the 80s and early 90s.
THE MOONDOGGIES (5:00-6:15 – Starbucks Stage)
Unlike several other local bands running in similar circles, The Moondoggies have been absent from venue calendars around the area for the majority of the summer, as they’ve been hard at work touring the country. It’s good to see them back in Seattle to play Bumbershoot for Labor Day Weekend, and it will be a delight to once again hear their signature Rhodes organ, vocal harmonies, and folky alt-country jams. They’ll be headed right back on the road after the weekend, however, and on September 14th their second full-length album Tidelands will be released on Hardly Art. I’m nearly beside myself with anticipation and they should play a bevy of new songs that Seattle audiences have yet to hear.
BOMBA ESTEREO (5:45-6:45 – Fisher Green Stage)
Like Aterciopelados on Sunday, Bomba Estereo are from Columbia. They play sensually high-powered electronic cumbia that is made to be sweated-out in a club at 3:00 in the morning. Live, they’re a four-piece band and usually feature a video projector (always fun). Li Saumet’s vocals are passionate sexy as hell and set your mind and body on fire with desire. You might recognize the song “Fuego” from Live at KEXP Volume 6, which is basically impossible not to get stuck in your head. They’ve already played at SXSW and Bonnaroo this year, so they should be attuned to the festival crowd. Let’s just hope it’s sunny outside. If you can’t make their set, they’ll be playing live on KEXP from the Music Lounge at 2:30 PM.
JENNY & JOHNNY (6:45-7:45 – Starbucks Stage)
Jenny & Johnny is a “him and her” project comprised of Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice. Both Lewis and Rice were former actors (Rice played Roy Orbison in Walk The Line), and have extensive musical backgrounds as well, of course. M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel’s She & Him is the most immediate comparison that comes to mind, but Jenny & Johnny share the vocal duties far more than Deschanel and Ward. On “Scissor Runner”, the first song off their debut album I’m Having Fun Now (released this past Tuesday), they alternate verses and harmonize at other times, their voices flowing in and out of each other seamlessly. The music is also more energetic, poppy, and carries more behind it than that of She & Him. Jenny Lewis has always been amazing live, whether it’s been with Rilo Kiley or as a solo act, so it will be interesting to see her on stage with Rice.
WILD ORCHID CHILDREN (7:45-8:45 – EMP Sky Church)
If you’re looking to get your ass kicked and mind tripped at the same time, the Wild Orchid Children will gladly oblige you. Comprised of members of Gatsbys American Dream and Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, their music is infused with a plethora of psychedelic effects, drums beats, and Kirk Huffman’s reverberating staccato yell, resembling some exciting new tribal version of The Mars Volta, a band to whom they have drawn comparisons (like this one). While the guitar-playing and prolonged, tripped-out instrumental build-ups and digressions might appropriately remind one of Volta, Huffman’s vocals are far more reminiscent of Zack De La Rocha’s,blasting the youth’s ears open as a call to rise up and trip the fuck out. If you haven’t seen them already (or even if you have), this will be a live performance not to be missed. And if you’ve been saving that special something for a certain occasion all weekend, this is it.
DRAKE (7:30-8:30 – Main Stage) and MARY J. BLIGE (9:00-10:15 – Main Stage)
If you’re a huge fan of Drake and Mary J. Blige, these shows will more than likely be enjoyable, and shouldn’t be missed.
THE THERMALS (9:15-10:30 – Broad Street Stage)
Portland band The Thermals play simple and catchy power pop riffs and should be a fun show to close out the long weekend. They released Personal Life this year, their second album on Kill Rock Stars after spending the majority of the decade on Sub Pop, which is upbeat, catchy as hell, and a favorite of KEXP listeners. If you’re too wiped out to stick around for their late set, they’ll be playing live on the air at the KEXP Music Lounge at 3:45 PM.
Well, preview time is over and it’s time to get down to the Seattle Center and check out the first slate of Saturday early afternoon bands. Hopefully these overcast skies will open up. Have fun everyone!