This post was written by Cameron Deuel
Hello Yow Yow readers!
Before I get to the acts, I want you to know that I love Bumbershoot. My apartment is lined with posters from past Flatstock events, I feel a type of way when high school students mansplain why it falls second other festivals, and I essentially moved to Queen Anne to ensure a good spot in the entrance line.
I’ve attended consecutively for the past eight years and I’ve made plenty of great decisions in how I’ve spent my time at the festival. I’ve also made terrible mistakes and missed some pretty great performances that still haunt me. To combat this, I’ve spent the last three months compiling The Bumbershoot Project, breaking down each artist performing at this year’s Bumbershoot. After meticulously searching through the lineup, I’ve found several artists that I’m proud to share with you.
With these acts in mind, know that I highly recommend the festival in general. While the machine-gun flow of Kendrick Lamar or the baby unicorn mysticism of seeing the entirety of Transatlanticism performed live are obvious choices for tons of fans, understand that part of the excitement of Bumbershoot is the chance for haphazard discovery. I accidentally saw Patton Oswalt during my first time at the festival, which may be why I still openly worship Labor Day weekend and view the festival as a holy event, complete with Shishkaberry communion.
Here are my picks for your consideration and have an incredible time at the festival!
Saturday August 31, 2013 12:30pm – 1:15pm
Fountain Lawn Stage
You’re not wrong to be skeptical of a rapper simply named, Dave B. I was until I head his MCMXCII tape from last year packed with intelligent bars wrapped in quality production that shows a level of experience beyond his age. Dave B. won EMP’s Sound Off! 2013, a local competition for musicians under 21, which earned him a spot at this year’s Bumbershoot. Although, based on his confident delivery and impressive onstage presence, he would have been a likely candidate either way. Watch here.
Saturday August 31, 2013 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Kris Orlowski, both the name of the band and the man who fronts it, recently released a 5 song EP featuring a 17-piece orchestra backing their already impressive knack for song composition. Kris Orlowski himself has been recognized locally as a strong songwriter, troubadour-type whose consistency is matched only by his accessibility. I once had brunch next to Kris at a conference and I can attest to him being a really good dude. Watch here.
Total Experience Gospel Choir
Saturday August 31, 2013 6:30pm – 7:15pm
There’s something hypnotic and beautiful about a group of people proudly singing. Regardless of your personal creed, Total Experience Gospel Choir is a powerful force and, according to their website, a longstanding establishment. They’ve worked with Dave Matthews Band and even performed for Bill Clinton. Total Experience Gospel Choir was founded by Pat Wright, who has since earned the nickname “The Idol Breeder” since three American Idol finalists came from her group. Watch here.
Sunday September 1, 2013 1:15pm – 2:15pm
Nikki Hill’s voice is not of modern era of music. She’s raspy, gritty, and still soulful while staying in the bounds of Southern twang. She grew up singing in gospel choirs but, aside from her impressive vocal control, you wouldn’t know it. Instead, she sounds as if she grew up in a house filled with 45’s of classic country and the birth of soul. The band has started to gain momentum in the past year or so, and for good reason. Classic “soul shouters” like Hill are becoming rarer every day. Watch here.
Sunday September 1, 2013 8:00pm – 9:00pm
BRONCHO is the perfect example of why I started The Bumbershoot Project. They’re essentially a garage rock band but they bring an incredible energy to their performances, and are generally new in every way possible. If you’re looking for a band to check out before FIDLAR, go to this. They cite The Buzzcocks and Iggy Pop as heavy influences on their approach to writing music and it’s apparent. Watch here.
DJ Girl 6
Sunday September 1, 2013 9:00pm – 10:00pm
EDM at EMP
DJ Girl 6’s name derives from Spike Lee’s movie Girl 6 which was about phone sex operators who used numbers to remain anonymous to their clients. Also, from her Facebook: “When she was only 15 she worked as a hotel maid to buy her then-boyfriend turntables and a mixer, only to be dumped the day before his birthday. She then spent the next few weeks scratching “f*ck you” into his parents’ answering machine. Want to know where that guy ended up? Kinko’s in Redding, CA (we looked it up!).” This set will kick your ass in a good way. Watch here.
Monday September 2, 2013 2:45pm – 3:45pm
After looking into Red Baraat, my main takeaway is this: they get down. I can only imagine that their live performance comes with the expectation that you will dance - hard. They represent what I love so much about Bumbershoot; a diverse, unique roster of entertainment that you can’t find anywhere else. Red Baraat is like Bedouin reggae funk, a genre I just made up and only scratches the surface, really. Watch here.
Monday September 2, 2013 6:15pm – 7:15pm
If you’re really from The Town, you probably know about Sol. He’s relatably humble to the collegiate set while still emphasizing his cool. The last time he performed at Bumbershoot, he was about to go on hiatus to travel the world. Now that he’s back, his appearance at this year’s festival will be a spectacle and a return for one of Seattle’s most missed MCs. Basically, check him out because he knows how to work a crowd without having a DJ play gunshot noises. Watch here.
Justin Townes Earle
Monday September 2, 2013 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Justin Townes Earle is responsible for writing award-winning songs, producing albums for legendary country icons, and also going to rehab after brawling with a club owner a few years back. Earle’s music is consistently honest, well-crafted, and beautifully executed. He’s come through Seattle practically on an annual basis for a while, so this is definitely a great opportunity to quench your curiosity. Seeing him at this stage in his career is like witnessing an icon before they officially receive the title. Watch here.