Bumbershoot http://bumbershoot.org Art in the Great Northleft Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:37:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 Discover Kishi Bashi http://bumbershoot.org/2014/08/19/discover-kishi-bashi/ http://bumbershoot.org/2014/08/19/discover-kishi-bashi/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:52:37 +0000 http://bumbershoot.org/?p=13969 read more]]> Imagine walking onto Fisher Green inside Seattle Center where, instead of hearing the pluck of guitar strings, the beat of drums, or the ring of an artist’s voice, you hear the majestic sound of a violin weaving back and forth. The sound catches your attention just long enough for you to pause and think, “Classical? Of course! Bumbershoot and its diverse umbrella of music.” Then you hear a sound that’s difficult to describe at first—a low hum, a buzz, a breath—and you realize it’s the sound of someone beatboxing. Quickly, the beatboxing man steps on a pedal that loops his sounds into a bass line. Next he sings, pressing the pedal again to loop his voice into a chorus. As the song gains momentum, the majestic sound bursts with energy as his violin dances back and forth vigorously. Within minutes, you are witness to an impeccable feat: one individual creating an ensemble of sound that is as foreign to your ears as a wild hippopotamus is to the Northwest.

Meet Kishi Bashi. Part experimental, part indie, part electronic, part acoustic, and completely unpredictable. Kishi Bashi is a musician whose background is as eclectic as his sound. With a heavy dose of classical influence in his early life, Kaoru Ishibashi, who performs as Kishi Bashi, began his personal journey as a classical violinist.

Clearly Kishi Bashi is not a fan of musical borders. In high school he listened to heavy metal and rap before delving into jazz and world music. Next came an exploration of drum and bass. It’s safe to say his musical taste combined with being classically trained has influenced his own music. Who else plays violin, beat boxes, sings, and presses a foot pedal to loop it all within one song? It’s almost like there’s a Kishi Bashi stamp of novelty on his product.

No matter which genre his unique product falls under, Kishi Bashi’s music has been picking up momentum. His reputation for thrilling live performances quickly spread from the United States to Europe and across the globe to Japan. When an artist like Kishi Bashi starts to make this kind of buzz, it can be rewarding for a music enthusiast, like yourself, to share your discovery with someone else. When that time comes, here are three elements that separate him from the pack:

  • In the words of the man himself: “I’m a pop musician, but I’m classically trained, and I kind of view myself as an experimentalist.”
  • He sings in both English and Japanese. Here’s the fun part: he tends to sing in English when delivering a message through a verse. Then he’ll sing a chorus in Japanese that makes no sense when translated literally but sounds beautiful to the foreign ear.
  • Kishi Bashi is both a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who loops his singing, beatboxing, and violin to create a phenomenal orchestra of sound.

Now, the rest of the discovery lane is ahead of you. “Philosophize in it! Chemicalize with it!” as Kishi would say, then make sure to complete your exploration by experiencing his performance on the Fisher Green Stage at 3:00pm on Sunday.

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Starbucks Around Town http://bumbershoot.org/2014/08/18/starbucks-around-town/ http://bumbershoot.org/2014/08/18/starbucks-around-town/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:43:45 +0000 http://bumbershoot.org/?p=13964 read more]]> Starbucks has been the official coffee of Bumbershoot and the Seattle arts scene for 43 years and counting. Be sure to check out the lineup on the Starbucks Stage and take a look at what else Starbucks is up to around town.

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Discover Project Vera @ The Vera Project http://bumbershoot.org/2014/08/06/discover-project-vera-the-vera-project/ http://bumbershoot.org/2014/08/06/discover-project-vera-the-vera-project/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 17:30:04 +0000 http://bumbershoot.org/?p=13895 read more]]> For the past few years, The Vera Project has hosted our local comedy lineup at Bumbershoot, but this year, Seattle’s favorite youth-driven music and arts venue plays a new role at the Festival. Come check out Project Vera @ The Vera Project to take part in workshops, listen to music, or just to hang out. The goal of Project Vera @ The Vera Project (or PV@VP for short) is to provide programming that is aimed specifically at the 21 and under crowd and to provide a space that is comfortable for all ages.

Programming will include music provided by Hollow Earth DJs, FLIP workshops, and interviews and performances with Bumbershoot artists. Hollow Earth DJs will join us from Hollow Earth Radio, a Pacific Northwest freeform online radio station with a mission to present a, “forum for underrepresented music, sounds and perspectives.” Their music will set the ambiance throughout the day at PV@VP.

FLIP workshops will take place as well, FLIP is an acronym for Forum of Local and Independent Producers. Marco Collins, a prominent American radio personality, will MC this workshop about music sampling (casually referred to as “flipping”). Panel members will give demonstrations of their equipment and technique that they use to produce music.

FLIP panelists include a diverse group of producers with experience in several different niches. On Saturday, DJ Kid Amiga & The Vera Project DJ students will join us. DJ Kid Amiga instructs The Vera Project DJ students in a beginner-to-intermediate course where students learn basic DJ skills, are introduced to equipment, and hone their skills. Sunday brings three more producers to PV@VP. Starting with BeanOne, a dedicated father and veteran in the Seattle hip hop scene who has produced songs for Jurassic 5 and Black Sheep. Next, Wizdumb, a producer and former youth counselor and art director at KTUB, who uses analog producing techniques similar to hip hop legend and producer, J Dilla, will join us. IG88 will round out the group, he is a producer with an electro-ambient style who recently collaborated with soul singer (and 2014 Bumbershoot performer) Shaprece. On Monday, panelists include Spekulation, Vox Mod, and Katie Kate. Spekulation is most famous for the “Beast Mode” remix that was played on national TV during the Super Bowl. Vox Mod is a producer who combines psychedelic elements into his brand of electronic music, and recently shared his perspective with Seattle Weekly on the immense significance of music in our lives. Katie Kate will complete the three, she is a multi-talented and classically trained female rapper and producer with proficiency in 15 instruments and a fiery personality.

Interviews with Bumbershoot artists will be conducted by bcc (Bumbershoot Creative Core), a hands-on training program for high school students who are aspiring filmmakers. Students conduct interviews with Bumbershoot artists, film performances, and capture the essence of the Festival.

Whether you’re looking for a place to hang out, to discover a new artist, or to learn more about music production, the PV@VP welcomes you. Join us on any day, or all three at Bumbershoot 2014.


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Discover The Both http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/30/discover-the-both/ http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/30/discover-the-both/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:01:18 +0000 http://bumbershoot.org/?p=13839 read more]]> Meet Ted. Meet Aimee. Now say hello to The Both. Whether by chance or destiny, the two stars collided in 2012. At the time, Aimee and Ted were touring together as individual artists. At Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Ted opened for Aimee. As Ted performed “The Gambler,” Aimee listened and playfully thought, “I really want to play bass on that song.” By the end of the evening this thought evolved into a bigger and better idea. The two discussed collaborating, and within a month began to work on an EP. The evolution continued and their EP morphed into a full-length album that was released earlier this year.

The two deserve introductions individually just as much as they do together. Ted Leo is an East Coast punk rocker with a knack for songwriting and is best known for his time spent with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Aimee Mann is a rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, who first gained a following while part of a Boston-based band named ‘Til Tuesday in the 1980s. She then went solo in the 1990s and received both an Academy nomination in 1999 and a Grammy nomination in 2001 for her song “Save Me”, which she wrote for the soundtrack to the film Magnolia. Just last year, Ted and Aimee made their collaboration official, dubbing themselves “The Both”.

Aimee and Ted skillfully switch from singing individually to singing in harmony. The two are songwriters at heart and it shows as their voices intertwine like yin and yang, balancing each other out perfectly. During their session with NPR (see above video), you can feel a sense of new energy in the room. As musical partners, their collaboration is like an experiment, both artists anticipating what the result of their combination might be, but the expression on their faces lets the audience know they’re delighted with the result.

Although both are enthusiastic songwriters, they have their differences. In a video released by SuperEgo records, Ted recalls when Aimee sent back his work for the first verse of “You Can’t Help Me Now”.

Whether it’s a difference in Ted’s approach to songwriting or Aimee’s personality, one of their greatest strengths as a duo is their ability to laugh at one another. If you think the two gel musically, you should see their dynamic as friends. They already have a reputation for playfully bantering in between songs when performing live. Ted has been labeled the extrovert while Aimee the introvert. It’s evident the two have personalities that complement each other’s sense of humor. In a Sound Advice interview with “media coach” Janessa Slater, Aimee and Ted attempt to save each other from Janessa’s grilling questions, but to no avail, end up laughing at each other’s miserable answers instead. Janessa capitalized on the duo’s tendency to be self-deprecating as individuals, mocking Aimee’s Twitter bio which reads, “Oscar loser, singer/songwriter, wanna-be musical writer.” It helps that the two laugh at themselves as easily as they laugh at each other.

In addition to accepting each other’s differences, the two are willing to accept each other’s influence.

Similar to music videos he has been a part of in the past, like “Bottled In Cork”, Ted has implemented his trademark opening sketches and comedic captions into the music video for “Milwaukee”. It looks like the two welcome the challenge of creating videos and enjoy pioneering new territory together.

You can catch The Both for an energetic performance on the Fisher Green Stage at 8:00pm on Saturday. If you’re a Platinum Pass holder or if you go to our Music Lounge page to make a reservation, you can experience The Both in a more intimate setting when they perform inside the Bumbershoot Music Lounge presented by KEXP.




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Discover Black Weirdo http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/28/discover-black-weirdo/ http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/28/discover-black-weirdo/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:33:08 +0000 http://bumbershoot.org/?p=13818 read more]]> Coming to Bumbershoot 2014’s Words & Ideas stage is Black Weirdo. For those intrigued by anything atypical, those who indulge in conversations surrounding diversity, and those who appreciate multidisciplinary art, this may be the perfect surprise you didn’t know you were waiting for.

Black Weirdo is a collective that, oddly enough, started as a blog on tumblr. Pioneered by the duo named THEESatisfaction, they originally created the blog as a tribute to their favorite musicians, visual artists, photographers, and dancers. Now Black Weirdo’s mission statement identifies the collective as, “An entity which allows blackness to be celebrated and appreciated in all facets on earth and throughout the universe.” Black Weirdo is full of artists and advocates that break boundaries, stereotypes, and any other kind of box you try to fit them in.

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 At Bumbershoot 2014, the creators of Black Weirdo and an eclectic mix of talented artists will join us on our Words & Ideas stage. They will share their stories, similarities, and differences centered around what it’s like to be black, queer, and in Seattle.

Let us introduce the collective, beginning with Stas and Cat, the two musical partners who make up THEESatisfaction and are also the creators of Black Weirdo. Stas and Cat met performing at open mics while Stas attended the University of Washington and Cat attended private school for music. Since then, they have blossomed into THEESatisfaction, collaborated with the experimental hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces, and gained a large local and national following. The laid-back dynamic between the two creates an atmosphere of curiosity and openness.


Joining Stas and Cat will be the oh-so-sweet DJ Riz Rollins, “a DJ for eternity at KEXP,” as the Seattle Times puts it.  DJ Riz, aka Papa Riz, has no favorite genre of music, doesn’t take requests, and is a self-proclaimed talker. From working in record stores and radio stations to DJing at private parties and gay clubs, he has been a part of every aspect of the Seattle music scene.


In addition to DJ Riz will be Storme Webber, a writer, performer, and interdisciplinary artist. Storme has taught locally at the University of Washington and been recognized on THEESatisfaction’s website as “Black Weirdo of the Week”.

Also joining the lineup is Erik Blood, who was recently nominated by The Stranger for the “2014 Genius Music Award”. As The Stranger puts it, “Erik grew up in Tacoma in a family as racially mixed as the music he engineers and produces.” He has produced music for Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, and several other artists and bands. Erik attended the Art Institute of Seattle and is currently a producer, mixer, musician, and composer.

DJ Riz, Storme, Erik, and THEESatisfaction will be joined by handful of others in their discussion of exploration and revelation. The panel will provide insight into the Black Weirdo parties as well as the concept behind it. Larry Mizell will host, there will be a Q&A at the end, and DJ Mursi Layne will provide groovy jams along the way. Join us on Saturday, August 30th from 5:15-6:15pm to experience Black Weirdo.


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Discover Naomi Wachira http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/15/discover-naomi-wachira/ http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/15/discover-naomi-wachira/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 00:01:47 +0000 http://bumbershoot.org/?p=13750 read more]]> Every once in a blue moon, I run across an artist who makes me pause and take a step away from everything I’m doing. When I hear a sound this great, it’s like I have a remote control that pauses time and the noise around me ceases to exist. I forget about the cell phone buzzing in my pocket, the noise of traffic outside, the distraction of ads on my computer screen…and I’m able to hone my focus in on exactly one thing.

This “one thing” is the sound of Naomi Wachira’s voice. Her voice is warm, bold, poised, and full of passion. Not only does Naomi’s beautiful voice send shivers down your spine but her lyrical content is purposeful and set on sharing her experiences. Like someone who walks with a purpose, Naomi sings with direction.

In “I Am A Women”, Naomi unveils what makes her extraordinary. From the start, her voice is steady, low, and confident, yet her lyrics are filled with vulnerability. As the song progresses, it becomes clear her lyrics challenge aspects of living in a patriarchal society, and express the feeling of struggle she and other women share. After acknowledging this pain, she then injects the song with hope. This is the kind of person Naomi is; one who acknowledges what bothers her but does not sit down or wait for change, her music embodies action and initiative.

 Just one year ago, Naomi stood on the TEDx stage in Seattle voicing her desire to positively impact the world through her music. She references Chinua Achebe’s quote in her speech, “Write the kind of music that is not in the service of oppression, destruction, evil– but that seeks to make the life of the community easier, not more difficult,” to emphasize her point before gracing the audience with a performance. Equipped with a voice that is aesthetically pleasing, a soul that is constantly searching, and a beautiful mind that produces lyrics full of meaning, this toolbelt separates Naomi from the pack.

After moving from Africa to America, balancing work and music, and going through several transitions, it looks like Naomi is ready to takeoff. 2013 was an incredible year for Naomi– she gained U.S. citizenship, produced her own music video for “African Girl”, and was named “Best Folk Singer in Seattle” by Seattle Weekly.

Naomi overcome with happiness at her naturalization ceremony in Seattle (2013).

Recently, Naomi has harnessed all her energy and passion, and is channeling it towards her musical endeavors. This summer at an Out to Lunch Concert Series on July 11, the crowd cheered boisterously as Naomi told them she had quit her job eight months ago to fully pursue music with all her might. After performing several songs from her self-titled debut album, she expressed her excitement to perform at Bumbershoot 2014. Come experience Naomi Wachira’s soulful music and down-to-earth personality. This is one way you can guarantee a smile on your face and music that’ll take your breath away.


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Discover Award-Winning Short Films http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/09/discover-award-winning-short-films/ http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/09/discover-award-winning-short-films/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:45:30 +0000 http://bumbershoot.org/?p=13601 read more]]> The 1 Reel Film Festival is truly a gem within the treasure chest of Bumbershoot. Curated by Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), a plethora of compelling short films that have captivated audiences across the world will be shown all three days at this year’s Festival.

From programs like Tales of Science Fiction to Love…In the Afternoon, these snack-sized shorts fall under a wide range of genres that will evoke the interest of imaginative thinkers and romance seekers alike. The 1 Reel Film Festival has a diverse arsenal with something in store for everyone. Watch Fool’s Day if you’re in the mood to cry — not because you’re feeling sad, but from laughing so hard it hurts.

Cody Blue Snider directs this light-hearted yet dark comedy about a 4th grade class who pull an April Fool’s prank on their teacher that goes incredibly wrong. Fool’s Day is listed as #6 on Buzzfeed’s 13 Films You Haven’t Seen But Must See in 2013.

If you’ve been watching the World Cup, you’ll be interested in watching Baghdad Messi.

The main character in this film is a young, one-legged boy with a heart-pumping passion for soccer. Although he shares the same excitement for soccer as the other boys, they bully him for his unequal playing abilities. But being an amputee doesn’t stop him from playing or joining the other boys in their cult-like attention to the Champions League Final.

In addition to SIFF’s meticulous picks are the Best of SIFF 2014 Audience Award Winners. If you tend to follow your friend’s recommendation rather than a movie critic’s rating, these short films are perfect for you. Films that fall under this category represent the audience’s voice!

Mr. Invisible is an awfully intriguing film about a lonely old man who seems invisible to the world around him.

In downtown London as he takes care of monotonous errands, chaos strikes the city and it appears that being invisible could be his greatest weapon.

For adult viewers with a futuristic lens, EFFED! is comical dystopian film that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat for two reasons. One, you’ll be grabbing your side from chronic laugh-attacks. Two, you’ll have no idea what’s next.

EFFED! depicts two best friends navigating a post-apocalyptic world with a dynamic eerily similar to Brennan and Dale from the movie Step Brothers. The two banter back and forth as they face numerous trials and tribulations, all involving unusual encounters and disturbing characters.

With films picked specifically for adults and films chosen carefully for families, the diversity of this year’s short film lineup is a delight for all. Tales of the Planet is another program which contains films that explore topics concerning our planet and environment such as urban farming, how we get food from the sea and into a can, and — of course — ranchers herding buffalo.

Ripped from the Headlines is a program with films that tell the tales of extraordinary individuals changing their world. And if you came to Bumbershoot for the music, come to the 1 Reel Film Festival and watch some films from the Face the Music program. Watch musicians explain, discuss, and tell us their stories about the meaning, significance, and making of music.

Make sure to catch this year’s 1 Reel Film Festival. Admission to the SIFF Film Center is on a first-come, first-served basis during Bumbershoot, except for those patrons who have purchased a Platinum Pass. Enjoy a 1 Reel Film Festival sneak peek at our preview event on Friday, August 30 at 7pm (also at the SIFF Film Center), just one of our free, public events happening the day before the Festival.

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Mainstage Survival Guide http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/08/mainstage-survival-guide-2/ http://bumbershoot.org/2014/07/08/mainstage-survival-guide-2/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 21:06:37 +0000 http://bumbershoot.org/?p=13452 read more]]> Bumbershoot is just around the corner and we’re here to make sure you’ve got all your questions answered before Labor Day weekend. Most especially, we want to make sure you’re set to get the most out of Bumbershoot’s biggest and brightest stage.

Where is the Mainstage this year?

We’re so glad you asked! After three years at KeyArena, the Mainstage is shifting back to Memorial Stadium in a fresh configuration designed to better serve our fabulous patrons. The new layout, which features the Mainstage on the north side of the stadium rather than the western end zone (where it was located in years past) is planned to allow for better sight lines, so you can SEE all your favorite bands.

How do I get into the stadium?

The entrance into the Mainstage will be located on the east side of Memorial Stadium via the parking lot entrance off of Harrison Street and 5th Avenue. To get to Memorial Stadium from any part of the Festival, find Harrison Street and head east. Memorial Stadium is the furthest landmark to your left when walking east, and we’ll have plenty of signs in place to point the way.

Do I have to wait in a long line?

The move back to the stadium means a lot of things for us, but most importantly it means the elimination of a pre-formed line. This year, the venue will be open all day to allow patrons to “come whenever” and “leave whenever” you want. The stadium will open at noon each day and it will close after the last Mainstage performance of the evening.

Is there bag check?

Not at the stadium. Bag check will take place upon entry into the Festival at both Festival gates, and lockers will be available nearby for you to store any belongings.

Can you tell me more about the secondary stage?

In addition to the Mainstage, there will be a secondary stage, called the End Zone Stage, located in the southwest section of the stadium floor. The End Zone Stage provides entertainment from both local and national touring bands which are scheduled in between headlining acts on the Mainstage. Never a dull moment in Memorial Stadium!

If I leave my spot on the main floor can I re-enter?

Yes. If you leave your spot on the floor, or if you leave the floor completely, you can get back onto the floor. Please note though, that while there are several exits, if you leave Memorial Stadium you will have to re-enter through our entrance on the east side of the stadium.

How do I get to the floor from the entrance?

From the entrance, walk west and go down any flight of stairs to get to the floor. There are two main flights of stairs just to your right upon entering through the gates, but if you happen to miss those, any flight of stairs in the stadium will take you to the floor.

What if I don’t want to stand? Is there seating available?

Seating is available on the south side of the stadium facing the Mainstage, just in front of you when you enter via the main gate. There is also a special reserved seating section for Platinum & Gold ticket holders.

Do I have to exit after every Mainstage performance?

No! Stay as long as you’d like and catch all your can’t-miss acts! Patrons can come whenever and leave whenever… except you can’t sleep here!

Is food available/permitted? 

Yes, food is available and permitted inside the stadium via multiple food vendors, along with Festival merchandise.

Is alcohol permitted?

As the stadium is owned and operated by Seattle Public Schools, alcohol is not permitted inside. That’s why we have created a beer garden in the Next 50 Plaza, just outside of the stadium entrance, so you can fill up on refreshments beforehand. All Mainstage performances will also be simulcasted in the Next 50 beer garden, so you can catch each performance start to finish while finishing your drink.

What about water or soda?

Reusable bottles are permitted at the Mainstage; however single-use, plastic bottles will not be allowed to enter the Mainstage, so plan your hydration accordingly!

What’s the capacity of the MainStage?

Memorial Stadium allows for increased capacity over KeyArena –  it will accommodate approximately 15,000 people overall. The main floor also offers increased capacity for those who want to get close.

Is there anything else I should know before I head to the Mainstage?

Just that your ticket into the Fest and your whole-hearted enthusiasm are what’s most important for an enjoyable experience. Now that you’re equipped to take on Memorial Stadium visit our FAQ page to find answers to your other Festival questions, and be sure to download the updated Bumbershoot App, free to all patrons. Happy Bumber-planning and we’ll see you Labor Day weekend!

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