Summer in the City
The Best of Bumbershoot 2014: Saturday
Our top picks in music, comedy, and culture for the Labor Day weekend fest
Otieno Terry 12:30pm, Fountain Lawn Stage – This summer Otieno Terry has been burdened with start-of-the-day set times at Capitol Hill Block Party and Bumbershoot. But judging by his talent, his days as an early afternoon act are numbered. Terry, the 2014 winner of EMP's Sound Off! (the under-21 battle of the bands), mixes spoken word, rap, and rock sounds with a dose of soulful swagger. His unique style has already drawn the attention of established local musicians like Hollis Wong-Wear and Owuor Arunga. While there's still an exploratory rawness to his songs, the potential is tantalizing.
The Lonely Forest 3:30, Fountain Lawn Stage – After nine years, four LPs, hundreds of concerts, a Sound Off! win, and major label drama, the Lonely Forest is calling it a day after Bumbershoot. The Anacortes indie act has consistently produced intelligent rock tunes with a strong emotional pull, so expect a throng of devoted fans (including an undoubtedly strong Anacortes contingent) to be singing along with every song during the band's farewell gig.
Black Weirdo 5:15, Words and Ideas Stage (Charlotte Martin Theatre) – Seattle Sub Pop hip hop duo THEESatisfaciton doesn't limit its cultural reach to music. The ladies started the Black Weirdo blog in 2008 to capture the local queer black experience and promote positive self-identification. Black Weirdo has since transformed into an artistic collective of sorts that often puts on welcoming parties that blur genre lines. At Black Weirdo's Bumbershoot panel, group members will share their stories and discuss being black and/or being queer in Seattle.
Elvis Costello 6:15, Memorial Stadium Mainstage – While Elvis Costello celebrated his 60th birthday this past Monday, he's certainly not showing his age. The singer-songwriter has been turning out acclaimed rock records since the 1970s (just last year he released a collaborative album with the Roots) and remains an active and vibrant touring musician. Costello's performances no longer seemed fueled by fiery angst he possessed as a gangly bespectacled youth, but the slightly calmer air of a seasoned veteran suits him well.
Smrt Talk with the Writers of The Simpsons 7, Words and Ideas Stage (Charlotte Martin Theatre) – Call this a case of fortuitous timing. FXX is currently in the midst of its "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon, playing all 552 episodes of The Simpsons in a row over the course of twelve days. It's been a joy to obsessively tune in and reconnect America's favorite sitcom family (sorry, Modern). While the marathon will still be going during this first day of Bumbershoot, fans should pry themselves away from their TV screens (just DVR the rest) to check out a collection of the show's writers taking audience questions and discussing the process of creating the show.
Wu-Tang Clan 9:45, Memorial Stadium Mainstage – Hip hop's most iconic collective seem to finally be on the same page again. Wu-Tang Clan hasn't released an album since 2007's 8 Diagrams, but the group's sixth record, A Better Tomorrow, is finally on the way after years of turmoil between the group's nine members. The guys even went on The Daily Show to promote it. Don't miss the chance to see Wu-Tang Clan test out the new songs and perform classics from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Aug 30–Sept 1, Seattle Center, $62–$230; festival pass $175–$575