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Originally published August 27, 2014 at 6:15 AM | Page modified August 28, 2014 at 7:16 PM

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35 top things to see at Bumbershoot 2014

From Fly Moon Royalty on Saturday morning to David von Mering and Carter Schultz on Monday night, here are music writer Paul de Barros’ picks for Bumbershoot 2014.


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SATURDAY

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Fisher Green

Seattle’s funky, neo-soul duo Fly Moon Royalty — vocalist Adra Boo and producer/emcee Mike “Action” Jackson — make charismatic, sassy music, as exemplified by their EP issued earlier this year, “Unfinished Business.”

1-2 p.m., The Playhouse

Fearless, Southern-bred comic Rory Scovel, currently starring in the TBS sitcom “The Ground Floor,” has recorded bits about racism, 9/11, Mormonism and other not-for-company topics. His current recording was released as a 12” vinyl album on Jack White’s Third Man Records.

1:45-2:30 p.m., Seattle Center Pavilion

Feel-good punk rockers Dude York play raw and loud, but also have a strong sense of songcraft, as evidenced by the band’s latest recording, “Dehumanize.”

2:30-4 p.m., Bagley Wright Theatre

Enjoy a live version of the podcast and radio show, “Star Talk Live,” with Seattle’s favorite scientist, Bill Nye, and co-host Eugene Mirman, who has recorded for Sub Pop, opened for the Shins, and released an album called “God Is a Twelve-Year Boy With Aspergers.” Surprise guests promised.

2:45-3:45 p.m., Fisher Green

In case you haven’t heard, twerking — that randy, butt-shaking move broadcast by Miley Cyrus on national television — was popularized by Big Freedia — aka Freddy Ross — the outrageous rapper from New Orleans who specializes in the “bounce” genre. Big Freedia appeared on the TV show about post-Katrina New Orleans, “Treme,” and also stars in the reality TV show “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce.”

3-4 p.m., Mural Amphitheatre

There are so few great male jazz singers that when a new one comes along it is an occasion for great rejoicing. Gregory Porter, who combines earthy sincerity and true-life stories with a big, warm voice that sits somewhere between Lou Rawls and Joe Williams, is the new jazz guy, par excellence.

3:30-4:30 p.m., SIFF Film Center

Best of SIFF: Audience Award Winners. The best short films of this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, as judged by the paying customers:

“Fool’s Day,” a comedy by Cody Blue Snider about a 4th-grade class that pulls a disastrous prank.

“The Hero Pose,” Mischa Jakupcak’s short about an 8-year-old and her dad, who is trying to sell a car that doesn’t run.

“Strings,” by Pedro Solís, about the unusual friendship of two school mates.

“Mr. Invisible,” the story of a lonely old man who goes to London and discovers that being “invisible” is an asset. By Greg Ash.

4:30-5:30 p.m., Fisher Green

Versatile Detroit rapper Danny Brown, whose provocative video “Grown Up” captures his mix of darkness and smirking humor, hit the 2013 critics’ lists with his album “Old.” At a show earlier this year, Seattle Times contributor Mike Ramos noted that no matter how famous Brown gets, he brings it, every time.

5:30-6:15 p.m., Seattle Center Pavilion

A local collaboration between drummer/keyboardist Benjamin Verdoes (Mount St. Helens Vietnam Band) and guitarist/vocalist Nathan Quiroga (Mad Rad), Iska Dhaaf — “let it go,” in Somali — makes fresh pop songs inspired by Sufi poetry and a love of language.

6:15-7:30 p.m., Memorial Stadium

Is there anything Elvis Costello won’t try? From classic three-minute punk songs to forays into jazz and classical music, the English crooner jumps head first into everything. Now the father of twin boys (with chanteuse Diana Krall), Costello still has the heart and soul of a kid. Who knows what this show will bring?

9:45-11 p.m., Memorial Stadium

The go-to show of this year’s Bumbershoot surely is resurgent hard-core rap pioneers Wu-Tang Clan, a revolutionary force in music for more than two decades. Albums such as “Wu-Tang Forever” and “The W” established the group’s elbows-out, in-your-face style. The clan’s decentralized approach to music-making, which accounts for 40 million record sales (if you take into account all their spin offs), had an equally dramatic effect on the shape of popular music.

10-11:15 p.m., Mural Amphitheatre

No stranger to Seattle audiences, the great gospel singer Mavis Staples played ZooTunes in June, but there’s always more Mavis to go around. Originally a member of the famous Staples Singers, she has forged a solo career as an R & B performer with one eye on heaven.

10-11:15 p.m., Fisher Green

Fierce Cincinnati punk-rock legends The Afghan Whigs are back at it, with their first new album since 1998, “Do the Beast,” which Seattle Times contributor Charlie Zaillian said still shows lead singer Greg Dulli has not lost his Prince-like falsetto or soul music vibe.


SUNDAY

2:30-4 p.m., Bagley Wright Theatre

Enjoy a live version of the podcast and radio show, “Star Talk Live,” with Seattle’s favorite scientist, Bill Nye, and co-host Eugene Mirman, whose has recorded for Sub Pop, opened for the Shins and released an album called “God Is a Twelve-Year Boy With Aspergers.” Surprise guests promised.

2:45-3:45, Memorial Stadium

Rapper Schoolboy Q, a founding member of California-based rap group Black Hippy with Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock, has become a critics’ darling. His singles “Collard Greens,” “Man of the Year” and “Studio” all made the Billboard Top 100 chart this year.

2:45-3:45 p.m., Mural Amphitheatre

Bumbershoot has always done right by the blues, and what better choice this year than harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite? Along with Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield, the Memphis-bred musician came up in the first wave of white blues players who learned the music in the trenches. His recent album with Ben Harper, “Get Up!” won the Grammy for Best Blues Album.

2:45-3:45 p.m., The Playhouse

From Richard Pryor to Dave Chappelle, race has fueled some of America’s funniest stand-up, no doubt because the well it draws from is so deep and dark. With 2012’s “Totally Biased,” W. Kamau Bell established himself as a comic firmly in that critical tradition. Bell is joined by Brooks Wheelan, who recently wrote for “Saturday Night Live.”

4:30-5:30 p.m., SIFF Film Center

Best of SIFF: Audience Award Winners. Best short films of this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, as judged by the paying customers:

“Fool’s Day,” a comedy by Cody Blue Snider about a 4th-grade class that pulls a disastrous prank.

“The Hero Pose,” Mischa Jakupcak’s short about an 8-year-old and her dad, who is trying to sell a car that doesn’t run.

“Strings,” by Pedro Solís, about the unusual friendship of two school mates.

Mr. Invisible,” the story of a lonely old man who goes to London and discovers that being “invisible” is an asset. By Greg Ash.

4:45-5:45 p.m., Bagley Wright Theatre

Play the Leonard Maltin Game! Comedian Doug Benson hosts the podcast “Doug Loves Movies,” in which he talks to celebrities about movies (John Lithgow, Jon Hamm, others) and/or reads the cast of a movie in reverse order to see who can name the film. Seattle fans will find Benson is right in tune with the local zeitgeist, as he also hosts a show in which he gets high with his guests and reviews marijuana products.

5:15-6:15 p.m., Charlotte Martin Theatre

It would be difficult to think of a writer more in tune with the whimsical spirit of Bumbershoot than Tom Robbins. From early works such as “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” and “Still Life with Woodpecker” to his recent memoir, “Tibetan Peach Pie,” Robbins has consistently captured an especially quirky, Northwest sensibility. For this program, which Robbins calls “The Wreck of the Omnibus,” he will read the opening passages of each of his books, with the intent, he writes, of capturing a “summation, of sorts, of my life — literary and otherwise — in this damp thigh of the woods.”

6:15-7:15 p.m., The Playhouse

Wide-eyed, 6-foot-tall comedian Carmen Lynch’s precision timing and biting irony about dating, family and other rich arenas made her recent appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” a huge success. Southern-bred comic Rory Scovel, whose current album was released on Jack White’s Third Man records, stars in the TBS sitcom “The Ground Floor” and has been known to touch on hot topics such as racism and religion. Multitalented Comedy Central regular Pete Holmes has had his cartoons published in The New Yorker but you know him more obliquely as the voice of the eTrade baby commercials.

7:15-8:15 p.m., Fountain Lawn

When Sub Pop Records Executive Vice President Megan Jasper was growing up in Worcester, Mass., in the late ’70s, one of her favorite punk (or post-punk, if you like) bands was Boston locals Mission of Burma, whose first album “Vs.” became a genre classic. The band broke up after a few years, but since 2002 has been reunited. Its loud, kinetic, elbows-out performances are legendary.

8:45-9:30 p.m., Seattle Center Pavilion

Seattle’s own KEXP DJ Kid Hops was disseminating underground electronic beats long before electronic dance music became trendy in the suburbs. Known everywhere from London to Los Angeles, the popular club and radio man was voted Seattle’s favorite DJ in 2011.

9:30-10:45 p.m., Memorial Stadium

The local acoustic powerhouse and Sub Pop darling The Head and the Heart may have left behind its humble beginnings — the group got together by playing at Conor Byrne pub’s open-mike nights in Ballard and now headlines shows across the globe — but it hasn’t lost its folksy energy or down-to-earth vibe. The group’s second album, “Let’s Be Still,” debuted in the Billboard top 10.

10-11:15 p.m. Mural Amphitheatre

The great thing about Latin rockers Los Lobos is that they never stop looking for — and finding — new inspiration. For more than three decades the band has been stirring up the Mexican music they grew up with in Los Angeles with jazz, rock, blues, Tex-Mex and whatever else they happened to feel like tossing into the pot. And then there’s that other part — they flat-out rock.


MONDAY

12:30-1:15 p.m., Fountain Lawn

The all-gal quartet La Luz suddenly became one of Seattle’s favorite bands last year, especially after the release of the Hardly Art album “It’s Alive.” Its girl-group harmonies, surf-rock good humor, sleek surface and sweet simplicity have earned the band a special spot in local hearts.

1-2 p.m., The Playhouse

From Richard Pryor to Dave Chappelle, race has fueled some of America’s funniest stand-up, no doubt because the well it draws from is so deep and dark. With 2012’s “Totally Biased,” W. Kamau Bell established himself as a comic firmly in that critical tradition. Bell is joined by Brooks Wheelan, who recently wrote for “Saturday Night Live.”

4:30-5:30 p.m., The Playhouse

Comic Beth Stelling’s subtly subversive routines about being female earned her a spot on the LA Weeky’s “12 Comedy Acts to Watch” last year. Fearless, Southern-bred comic Rory Scovel, currently starring in the TBS sitcom “The Ground Floor,” has recorded bits about racism, 9/11, Mormonism and other not-for-company topics. His current recording was released as a 12” vinyl album on Jack White’s Third Man Records.

4:30-5:30 p.m., SIFF Film Center

Best of SIFF: Audience Award Winners. Best short films of this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, as judged by the paying customers:

“Fool’s Day,” a comedy by Cody Blue Snider about fourth-grade class that pulls a disastrous prank.

“The Hero Pose,” Mischa Jakupcak’s short about an 8-year-old and her dad, who is trying to sell a car that doesn’t run.

“Strings,” by Pedro Solís, about the unusual friendship of two school mates.

“Mr. Invisible,” the story of a lonely old man who goes to London and discovers that being “invisible” is an asset. By Greg Ash.

5:15-6:15 p.m., Charlotte Martin Theatre

Needle Party!!! Not a sewing bee or a “shooting gallery” — we’re talking Space Needle here — this adventure features Seattle’s 74-time “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings and George Meyer, who has written for David Letterman, “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons.” The pair say they will explore “the lighter side of comedy.” Right.

6:15-7:15 p.m., Fisher Green

Bomba Estéreo — “Stereo Bomb,” in English — is one of Seattle’s favorite electro-world acts. The duo crosses Colombian traditional music such as cumbia with dance beats and projects an infectious sense of fun.

7-8 p.m., Charlotte Martin Theatre

Since 1988, The Onion has been publishing hilarious online parodies of news stories, skewering both the officious tone of mainstream media and gullibility of its readers. At Tu Stullus Es: The Onion Explains Why You are Stupid, the core writing staff of The Onion continues that tradition. (Unless they just made it up, of course, and aren’t really coming.)

8-9 p.m., Mural Amphitheatre

So what if a guy just started to sing about anything that came into his mind, including all his insecurities and fears? That guy would be Jonathan Richman, who has been writing songs and making records with guileless good humor for more than four decades now.

9:15-10:30 p.m., Memorial Stadium

Seems like “Pumped Up Kicks,” Foster the People’s dark breakthrough hit, was ages ago — and in pop music terms, 2011 was the Jurassic. But this Los Angeles-based trio’s merger of dance, pop and rock should get everybody up and moving.

10-11 p.m., Fisher Green

This unlikely Massachusetts duo composed of David von Mering and Carter Schultz weaves insouciant pop melodies with rap lite and reggae, per its 2012 1lbum, “The Bright Side.” The group has toured with Seattle’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, among others.



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