The Shackeltons at Bumbershoot 2008 ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
Bumbershoot’s just relesed their full schedule and added a few more big name bands to the bill. As of today, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Cold War Kids will both be gracing the Mainstage on Saturday.
Even a cursory glance at the showtimes reveals some major scheduling dilemas. Notably: Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground vs. The Long Winters on Friday and Black Joe Lewis vs. Lonely Forest vs. Grand Hallway on Sunday. I’m still scratching my head over Elvis Perkins in Dearland placement on the NW Court stage, but you better believe I’ll be sitting their cross legged and enamored.
Taking a peek at the schedule certainly makes me more excited for Bumbershoot to come, so I suggest you start your planning and the difficult what-show-when debates now. Here’s the full Bumbershoot Schedule.
Inevitably festivals like Sasquatch always result in some major scheduling dilemmas, where two of the bands you want to see the most are playing at exactly the same time. This year’s Sasquatch is no different, diametrically opposing not just a few great bands, but genres.
The dilemma of Sasquatch 2009 is this: singer-song writers or screamers? You’ll have to have the great debate on both Saturday and Monday. On Saturday night it’s Bon Iver at the Wookie Stage versus the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the Main Stage. Monday it’s Fleet Foxes on the Main stage versus Monotonix at the Wookie Stage. All four bands can certainly make compelling arguments as why they are the unmissable act at that time slot and really, with these bands, whoever you see, you’re going to see a great set.
I’m having the great debate myself over these dueling acts. It’s an especially heated debate for me, because if you had to boil down my favorite types of music it would pretty much come down to singer song-writers and screamers/rockers.
For our first bout, the big Saturday night fight, we have the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the Main Stage and Bon Iver on the Wookie Stage. I’m sad to say that I haven’t caught either band live yet and they are both at the top of my list of acts I’m dying to see live. So, no easy opt out for me. The positives for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Karen O. I have never heard a single bad thing about the manic front woman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and as someone who likes antics, I am promised that Karen O. will blow my mind. Plus, I really like the spectrum of the band’s catalog, though I’m not as thrilled with their new disco-y direction. But basically, as long as they play a few older tunes as well, I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy the entirety of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs set.
Not in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs favor: they’re not Bon Iver. I like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but I love Bon Iver. I suspect that I (and the rest of you) will be listening to Forever Emma Ago long after any of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ records. Forever Emma Ago was quite possibly my favorite albums of 2008 and it is filled with some of the most beautiful songs of recent memory. The chance of seeing these stunning songs performed at a place as beautiful as The Gorge, really seems like an unmissable music moment.
So the Saturday Night Fight Winner is: Bon Iver
For the Monday early evening battle we have Seattle’s own Fleet Foxes on the Main Stage versus Monotonix on the Wookie stage. I have seen both bands before and have been impressed by their live performances. So, once again, no easy way out. Definitely playing in the Fleet Foxes favor is the fact they’re one of the biggest buzz bands in the world right now. More importantly to me, they’re a local band. A local band who is bringing attention back to the Seattle music scene and proving we’re not just a grunge rock town.
I can say from experience that The Fleet Foxes, despite their intimate sound, translate really well to a place like The Gorge. I was captivated by their Main Stage show at Sasquatch last year, where their soaring Northwest hymnal harmonies seemed perfectly matched to the beautiful natural surroundings. Fleet Foxes have basically been touring non-stop since last years’ Sasquatch and in the process have become an even tighter band, with harmonies that have become even sweeter. As we’ve previously discussed the band is also playing some new songs which I am itching to hear live for myself.
However, you won’t find me at the Main Stage on Monday at 4:55pm. I’ll be over at The Wookie stage waiting eagerly to see what insanity Monotonix is able to drum up at a festival like Sasquatch, at a venue as epic as The Gorge. I believe it’s your duty to see Monotonix any time you can before they are banned from playing every venue in your town, ala Jesus Lizard and Seattle. (Until CHBP 2009, of course.) For the same reason that venues don’t invite Monotonix back (see: fire, garbage dumping, leading crowds out of venues, drum crowd surfing, climbing and jumping off tall structures) they’re pretty much a one-time-only band for most festivals. We all know there isn’t a chance in hell that Bumbershoot is asking Monotonix back after last year, when they shut the band down after less than 15 minutes.
And it’s those things, the things that make the venues and promoters nervous, that make Monotonix a must see. I’m not saying this band is only about antics, they have some dirty punk grooves that get punks dancing and dancers moshing. But the band’s antics are so damn good, so over-the-top, so in your face, and such an experience, that there’s no way I’d even seriously entertain the thought of seeing one of the biggest bands making music today, on one of the most beautiful stages in the world, if it meant missing Monotonix’s set.
So the Monday Matinee Fight Winner is: Monotonix
MP3:“Mykonos” by Fleet Foxes courtesy of Sub Pop Records
MP3:“Ride” by Monotonix courtesy of the SXSW 2009 grab bag
Final Score: We’re all tied up at 1-1.
I’ll be enjoying the songs of Bon Iver rather than the shrieks of Karen O. on Saturday, while I’m opting for the chaos of Monotonix over the lush harmonies of the Fleet Foxes on Monday.
Rolling Stone magazines blog Rock Daily just got the new Shins album today… and they say it rocks. Can’t wait.
The Paradox, owned by Mars Hill Church, is taking back control of the Paradox. Apparently up until this point, those running the Ballard all-ages venue weren’t affiliated with the church’s membership, and were allowed to book as they pleased. Now the church wants to make the Paradox more closely affiliated, whatever that means.