Bumbershoot 2015 is just around the corner, and per usual the festival’s a sonic buffet. With literally dozens of acts performing, there’s not enough time or copy space to fill you in on everyone that’s playing. We’ll be there, deep in the trenches, to give you more details. In the meantime, here are ye olde SunBreakers’ top three picks for Bumber-music this Labor Day Weekend.
Babes in Toyland (#NeverTamed Stage, 5PM on Saturday)
If there’s one thing that has remained constant with Bumbershoot’s programming over the years, it’s that you can count on at least one reunion you really want to see. This year, it’s Babes in Toyland, the brilliant pre-riot grrrl band out of Minnesota. The band played their first show in fourteen years earlier this year and reports say that they sound fantastic.
Kasey Musgraves (Starbucks Stage, 8:45PM on Saturday)
My very favorite album of 2013 was Kasey Musgraves’ Same Trailer Different Park. It had numerous catchy and well-written songs. I’ve since been hoping she’d make a tour stop somewhere near Seattle (one big downside for Seattle’s cosmopolitanism is that country musicians don’t often make stops within the city limits), and it is finally happening at Bumbershoot.
Peaches (Key Arena, 7:45 on Monday)
Did I read that correctly? Peaches, the German provocateur whose most famous song is the club hit “Fuck the Pain Away” and who has released albums called Fatherfucker and Impeach My Bush is playing in a basketball arena? That’s something I never thought I’d see, and can’t imagine missing it.
The Weeknd (Memorial Stadium, 9PM on Saturday)
I didn’t watch the VMAs, but I did re-watch this video of Kanye dancing to his performance. If he can make Yeezus dance like that, I can only image what the crowd at Bumbershoot will be like.
Robert Delong (Memorial Stadium, 3:45PM on Saturday)
Another Washingtonian! When he opened for Odesza in November, his approach to electronic music – which includes Wii controllers and an actual joystick – was refreshing. Guaranteed to be a good dance party.
Kris Orlowski (Starbucks Stage, 4:30PM on Monday)
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the singer/songwriter, but his set with the Passenger String Quartet underneath the glow of the Space Needle in 2013 was one of my favorites to date. I’m looking forward to seeing what new tricks he has up his sleeve this year.
It’s difficult not to want to acknowledge at least a dozen musical acts hitting the stage each day of Bumbershoot 2015. There’s an especially rich vein of local hip hop (Raz Simone, Nacho Picasso, Brothers from Another, and Chimurenga Renaissance), and a lot of fab homegrown acts in general (big shout-outs on behalf of Grace Love and the True Loves, Smokey Brights, and Constant Lovers, all of whom will deliver). Also, what Chris and Kelsey said.
My three picks are specifically bands/musicians I’ve never heard live before, but am exceptionally stoked to see do their thing in front of an audience.
Deep Creep (#NeverTamed Stage, 4PM on Saturday)
Local sorta-supergroup Deep Creep includes Cute Lepers guitarist Brian Yeager, Cave Singers/Murder City Devils bassist Derek Fudesco, and Pretty Girls Make Graves singer Andrea Zollo, and their sound–a scrappy, sultry, and faintly menacing blend of The Kills, Nancy Sinatra, and Blondie–is floating my boat in an epic way right now.
Lee “Scratch” Perry and Subatomic Sound System (Starbucks Stage, 4PM on Sunday)
The 2015 Bumbershoot musical roster is (quite unusually) almost entirely devoid of any artists who actually recorded in the 1960s or ’70s, but the happy exception this Labor Day comes in the form of reggae godfather Lee “Scratch” Perry. The dude’s been recording, writing, performing, and producing since before you, I, or your parents were born, and he remains a magnificently colorful live performer. Perry’s work has impacted hip hop (he invented scratching on his production of Charlie Ace’s “Cow Theory Skank” in 1973), electronic dance music, and punk (he also stepped behind the boards for The Clash). Ignore the bros and white kids with dreadlocks, prepare for a contact high whether you want it or not, and give in to the groove.
The Bots (Rhapsody Stage, 4PM on Monday)
This LA duo’s already logged in a crap-ton of live work, having been playing together since they were 12 and 15, respectively. I’m not sure if lead singer/guitarist Mikaiah Lei’s even hit legal drinking age yet, but he and his drummer/kid brother Anaiah rock their polyglot of Black Keys two-person blues, punk, and Arctic Monkeys-style glam pop like holy Hell.