BUMBERSHOOT REPORT: Day Two Review and Final Day Preview

By Joe Izenman on September 5, 2011

Convention is for suckers.

Convention at Bumbershoot is to wander from stage to stage taking in a dozen different kinds of pop music, from around the world and across the pop-genre spectrum - country, folk, blues, electronic, rock, punk and hip-hop.

But sometimes convention doesn't do the trick, and doesn't give you everything Bumbershoot can offer.

So I spent an hour Saturday watching bizarre short films about fairies and magic and occasional doom. On Sunday I sat in a small theater and listened to two men talk about saving lives with the Internet. I skipped all the headlining bands and watched a double-bassist from the Seattle Symphony utterly succeed at Failing, to the delight of the audience

Two years ago I followed a giant carrot into the Seattle Center fountain and broke my umbrella. Last year I watched a full-on musical. Today there will be puppets, reenacting one of the worst films I've ever seen.

With all my snarks about loop pedals, who'd have thought the first one I'd actually see this year would be in the hands of a classical bassoonist? Playing a piece about aliens? With cookies?

Throw a wild card into your day. Go see some of the One Reel Film Festival. Hit the Words & Ideas stage and experience something like Dan Savage and the It Gets Better Project. The next time the Seattle Symphony shows up to play a few numbers, take note-it's bound to happen again sometime, even if this was the first time in 40 years of Bumbershoot.

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A few options to consider for one last day on the grounds:

2:15 PM - Grand Hallway (Mural Amphitheatre)

I've written more than once before about the excellent music these frequent Tacoma visitors are making. Take my word for it, whether you want to or not.

3:30 PM - The Unexpected (SIFF Cinema)

The Bumbershoot.org description of this film set is short and cryptic, but quirky twists are a hallmark of the short film art form, and this batch promises to be a lot of fun. In a weird sort of way.

7:00 PM - Orkestar Zirkonium (Festival Grounds)

One of this year's "spectacle" pieces, a.k.a. performance art divorced from the stage, Orkestar Zirkonium had me at "Seattle's mobile Balkan brass band..." I can imagine no way in which this does not turn out awesome.

That's all for me until the festival is dead and gone. Enjoy!