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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 31 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 35
Bumbershoot best bets
Arts & Entertainment
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Bumbershoot best bets

Eight musical acts not to miss at this weekend's festival

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Summer's exit from Seattle means it's time once again for Bumbershoot, our city's premier music and arts festival, taking place September 1-3 right under the Space Needle. Aside from musicians, the three-day event boasts comedy acts, performance artists, authors, and maverick filmmaker John Waters. Of the dozens of bands, singer-songwriters, and DJs taking part in Bumbershoot, here are eight 'musts' to circle on your program.

Gotye
KeyArena
Saturday, 3:15 p.m.

It may seem premature to label Gotye a one-hit wonder, although he hasn't landed on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart since 'Somebody That I Used to Know' shot to the top last spring. The Belgian-Australian newbie is still enjoying a banner year with the success of that one song, and he's a definite contender going into December's Grammy nominations. Despite his lack of familiar material, Gotye (real name: Wouter De Backer) should draw a sizeable audience to KeyArena on Saturday afternoon, in his first Seattle appearance since selling out The Showbox SoDo in April.

Tony Bennett
KeyArena
Sunday, 3:15 p.m.

You have to give props to Tony Bennett. At whatever age he is (and I don't really want to know), he remains a force to be reckoned with. A jazz-pop legend, he's one of the remaining true vocalists in music of any genre. While everyone has their favorite Bennett tune - 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' and 'Because of You' are often cited - I still cling to his 1990 collection of songs, Astoria: Portrait of the Artist. There's no doubt in my mind Bennett will pack KeyArena on Sunday afternoon, and you simply shouldn't miss this iconic figure at Bumbershoot.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
KeyArena
Sunday, 1:45 p.m.

Here's another reason why the Tony Bennett show will be packed: Vintage soul mama Sharon Jones and her usual suspects, the Dap-Kings, are set to open the concert and they always draw a crowd. The New York native delivers a saucy, funky mix of R&B that began with 2002's Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. She might pluck a few tracks from that album for Sunday's set list, but we'll probably hear several numbers from the ensemble's latest effort, last year's Soul Time!

Keane
Fisher Green Stage
Sunday, 9:15 p.m.

Sneaking back onto the music scene is Keane, once considered the likeliest act to follow in Coldplay's footsteps. But the quartet hit a bump in the road when lead singer Tom Chaplin admitted himself to rehab for alcohol and drug problems. Strangeland is the newest album by Keane, better known for their earlier hits like 'Somewhere Only We Know,' 'Everybody's Changing,' and 'Bend and Break.' They're appearing on a smaller stage, so arrive early Sunday night for a good place to sit or stand.

M83
KeyArena
Monday, 3:15 p.m.

You oughta know French electro-pop unit M83 from their transatlantic hit 'Midnight City,' which has been used in a variety of TV shows and ads for the likes of Victoria's Secret and Gucci. And while the Antibes-based sextet is having its best-ever North American run in 2012 with sold-out gigs everywhere, including Seattle, and a gold-certified album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, they've actually been at it for 10 years already. Look for good energy to seep out of KeyArena on Monday afternoon when M83 takes the stage.

Skrillex
KeyArena
Monday, 9:30 p.m.

Twenty-four-year-old Skrillex is, hands down, the biggest story to come from electronic music in the past five years. The dubsteb-industrial DJ, also a producer, was nominated for five Grammy Awards last year and won three, beating out rival Deadmau5 in three different categories. The Southern Californian was so anticipated in Seattle last winter that he not only sold out The Showbox SoDo, but the concert was moved to WaMu Theater to accommodate the overwhelming demand. Skrillex (real name: Sonny John Moore) will have no trouble bringing in the fans for the final headlining gig of Bumbershoot.

Kina Grannis
Mural Amphitheatre
Monday, 6:15 p.m.

YouTube sensation turned recording artist Kina Grannis makes her Bumbershoot debut this year and her second Seattle visit of 2012 (she played The Neptune last spring). She earned her recording contract by winning a corporate-sponsored contest that coincided with the Super Bowl. Though she hasn't made a mainstream breakthrough, her songs 'In Your Arms' and 'Valentine' have frequently been used on wedding and engagement proposal videos. She's definitely on the rise, so catch Grannis before she becomes a household name.

Passion Pit
Fisher Green Stage
Monday, 9:15 p.m.

With a current Top 10 album, Gossamer, I'm surprised Passion Pit is appearing on a side stage at Bumbershoot. The New York group, who interviewed with SGN about three years ago, filled the Moore Theatre to capacity back in 2010. Not only does Passion Pit have their own music to push out to Bumbershoot fans, but they also have several remixes (Katy Perry, Beastie Boys, Bruno Mars) that they can surprise with. Regardless of what they perform, it'll be an all-out dance party Monday night at the Fisher Green Stage.

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