The Comedy Bang! Bang! Experience 1:30, Bagley Wright Theatre – Scott Aukerman's Comedy Bang! Bang! first gained a following as a podcast thanks to its distinct brand of absurdist humor; namely comedians being interviewed as extremely oddball characters. Now as a TV series on IFC, Comedy Bang! Bang! features everything that made the podcast great, plus Reggie Watts as the talk show's one-man house band. At Bumbershoot, Aukerman and Watts will screen a new episode of the series, take questions, and likely throw in a comedic curveball or two.
alt-J 2, KeyArena Mainstage – There’s a lot going on in the experimental alt-pop of alt-J—and the sonic busyness is paying off. The group’s 2012 debut LP An Awesome Wave earned the prestigious Mercury Prize as UK’s top album of the year, and the band has ridden that wave of momentum to stateside success in 2013. Comparisons to Radiohead are a little far fetched, but alt-J has the talent to be a rock mainstay for years to come.
Doug Loves Movies with Doug Benson 5, Bagley Wright Theatre – Stoner comedian Doug Benson's stand-up might be a bit niche for some tastes, but his podcast/live show Doug Loves Movies has mass appeal. Part comedy chat, part film trivia game show, Doug Love Movies showcases both Benson's ability to riff off his guests' comments and his genuine enthusiasm for film. Just remember not to shout out the answers.
Superchunk 7, Tunein Stage (Fisher Green) – While Superchunk didn't invent indie rock, its hard to point to a band that more succinctly captures the underground indie movement of the early '90s. In addition to consistently turning out record after record of great raw rock, two of the group's members formed the influential label Merge Records (home of Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel, and more). The band's 2013 album I Hate Music acts as a testament to the band's enduring quality.
Allen Stone 8, Tunein Stage (Fisher Green) – It might not be the most daring pick, but it's hard to go wrong when suggesting Seattle soul king Allen Stone. Time after time, he and his band play sets that get crowds throwing their hands in the air and dancing along to the grooves. Whether its your first time seeing him or your thirteenth, Allen Stone always delivers.
The Joy Formidable 10, Tunein Stage (Fisher Green) – Welsh rock trio the Joy Formidable, led by dynamo front woman Ritzy Bryan, expertly balance long shredding rock jams with a consistent sense of melodicism. Even when songs top six minutes, nothing ever feels forced or boring. Cap off Bumbershoot 2013 by getting lost in cascading sounds of Bryan's voice and effects-heavy guitar attack.