Bumbershoot 2016: Our List of Must-See Artists

With Bumbershoot Music Festival just around the corner, we at KXSU have lined up some of the artists we’re each looking forward to seeing from September 2 to 4, when Seattle becomes the place to be for anything music, art, culture, or entertainment-related. Get ready, folks, because the 2016 Bumbershoot Festival coverage is kicking into high gear!


NAKED GIANTS

Starbucks Stage (Mural Amphitheater) – Friday, September 2nd at 3:10 p.m.

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Photo by Anissa Amalia

As you step into a Naked Giants show, you’ll notice this trio’s Stranger Things-esque apparel, ground-shaking jumps and mind-boggling head bangs, and, of course, their electrifying jam sessions that makes it seem like they are a bunch of pals just playing for fun (which I’m sure they are). The first time I saw this trio was at the 2015 EMP Sound Off! Battle of the Bands, and I was hooked in an instant. Since then, they have played a ton of shows, from partnering with 107.7 The End for their Taco Truck Challenge, to gracing the stage at this year’s Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho, to recently going on tour with Dude York. In the fall, they’ll be going on one of their biggest tours yet as the opening band for Car Seat Headrest! Exciting! Although they currently only have three released tracks, all of which are highly worth a listen, I’m sure they’ll be putting on a nothing-short-of-stellar set, full of their unreleased and highly-anticipated tunes. If you’re in the mood to dance around like a fool, and simultaneously catch yourself smiling so hard because you didn’t realize you were having so much fun, meet me at their set at Bumbershoot, okay?

JOYWAVE

Fisher Green – Saturday, September 3rd at 4:40 p.m.

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I’m still internally (and sometimes externally) screaming about the fact that Joywave will be gracing the Bumbershoot festival with their extremely good music and equally odd concepts and musical themes. Most recently, they released their album, SWISH, which has received either very positive or very negative reviews, depending on how much you like to be “trolled.” This album features what one can argue is 9 copies of the exact same song, with the exception of varying opening sequences, sometimes with more drastic, static-like bass, and other times with the voice of a man teaching you how to play music. Not to mention, the titles of each track from beginning to end are: 1) “Destruction,” 2) “Why,” 3) “Be,” 4) “Credible,” 5) “When,” 6) “You,” 7) “Can,” 8) “Be,” and 9) “Incredible?” Funny, right? I personally *love* this entire album, and I think it pretty much sums up the entirety of this band—strange, ironic, with a semi-twisted sense of humor, but overall so damn good. There’s no hiding the technical and artistic skill this band has, along with their overall wicked presence. I’m hoping they’ll play the entirety of SWISH along with some of their classic songs like “Tongues” and “Somebody New.”

APRIL JINGCO | Why Be Credible When You Can Be Incredible? | Digital Music Director


ANDREW BIRD

Fisher Green – Friday, September 2nd, 8:00 p.m.

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If you’re at Bumbershoot and you hear a violin in the distance, you should probably follow that sound because it might just be Andrew Bird. He’s an indie-rock multi-instrumentalist who implements his many talents into his unique and interesting compositions. Bird’s music is complex and leaves the listener in a contemplative mood after hearing the intricate musical lines entwine in and out of each other. His career took off with his 1996 LP, Music of Hair, and continued after taking on the leading role in the band Bowl of Fire. His latest record is an 11-track LP titled Are You Serious, emphasizing the evolution of his songwriting since his earlier years. Andrew Bird has been known to implement a loop pedal into his performances, creating trance-inducing and dreamy violin parts that interweave on top of each other. I’m stoked for Andrew Bird because of how genuinely talented and creative he actually is. He utilizes unpredictable tactics to maximize the quality of his recordings, so his live performance must be similar.

TAME IMPALA

Main Stage (Memorial Stadium) – Sunday, September 4th, 7:40 p.m.

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Currents, Lonerism, and Innerspeaker are three solid albums that have helped to define the indie rock sound of the current decade, and they all come from the same band: Tame Impala. These guys are Kevin Parker, Cam Avery, Julien Barbagello, Dominic Simper, and Jay Watson, and they’re all curators of the psychedelic sonic indulgence that Tame Impala has gotten big off of. What first attracted me to the group was hearing their old single “Elephant” on what I think was a Samsung commercial. The music sounded so much like the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper years that I had to find out what it was, and sure enough, it was Tame Impala. The group has been playing large festivals like Coachella and Governor’s Ball to promote their three albums, and continue to rise in popularity and notoriety. I’m excited for their set because of the all-around good vibes their music gives off. Tame Impala is known for how their music feels in addition to how it sounds, and that feeling will be worth catching at Bumbershoot.

JASON MCCUE | Trippy Dippy Pippy Smippy | Promotions Director


JOJO

Fisher Green – Saturday, September 3rd at 7:30 p.m.

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OOOOHH, GURL. Guess who is all grown up and ready to take the stage in Seattle?! That’s right folks, Joanna Noëlle Blagden Levesque, or better known as JoJo, will be in our city this Labor Day weekend. Since 2004, after the release of her self-titled debut album, JoJo has done nothing but continue to slay with her angelic voice and down-to-earth lyrics. Can we just talk about how empowering the hit single “Get Out (Leave)” was? Or “City Lights”? Both are songs I would pass out to if she performs. It’s because of that album that ten-year-old Priscilla was ready to flip her hair and take on the town with her fellow ten-year-old gal-pals. Despite all complications with labels that was thrown her way over the years, this chick kept her head up and stayed in the game, releasing three EP’s just last year. And now she’s back, bigger and badder than ever, with her new single “F*** Apologies” featuring the one and only Wiz Khalifa. This track is *fire emoji,* and there’s no doubt her performance at Bumbershoot is going to be just as, how the youths say, “lit.”

FATHER JOHN MISTY

Main Stage – Friday, September 2nd at 6:50 p.m.

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Will we ever fully understand the mind of the man that is Father John Misty? No, but at least we know he’ll put on one hell of a show. I literally [first form definition] can’t wait to finally see Joshua Tillman, former drummer of Seattle indie-folk band Fleet Foxes, pour his heart out on stage under his recognized moniker. Never has an album made me desire the experience of such “True Affection” as I Love You, Honeybear has, released February 2015. This record is a beautiful attempt at expressing the ineffable mysteries of love while also being so truthfully cynical. And boy, does he do a good job at that. In May, Misty posted for the first time since the album, “Real Love Baby,” a charmingly melodic track released by surprise. With earnest lyrics like “I’m in love, I’m alive, I belong to the stars and sky,” how could you not want to feel that way? He feels it, and he doesn’t care who knows it. Though criticized in recent events, I actually look forward to a brutally honest and witty performance from Misty, whether it be about wholehearted infatuation, the entertainment industry, burrito money, or just his sick new Kanye-inspired merch. FJM is the realest.

PRISCILLA GAMIT | I literally [second form definition] can’t even | General Manager


MANATEE COMMUNE

KEXP Stage – Saturday, September 3rd at 4:10 p.m.

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Photo by Brady Harvey

I’ve been stuck in a Manatee Commune video hole for ages and there is no end in sight. Grant Eadie, the Washington-based frontman of this one-man band, creates a cosmic soundscape by combining complex synth music with some live orchestral elements (think viola, wind chimes, drums, etc. Listening to his music is transcendent enough, but watching Eadie perform is a whole ‘nother story. A surefire great way to contribute to your Saturday at Bumbershoot, Manatee Commune will transport you with his sweet tunes and whimsical ambiance. You deserve a little relaxing break before a day of madness and overpriced food at Bumbershoot, you know? Manatee Commune has been receiving some much-deserved attention lately, and I certainly recommend catching his set at Bumbershoot while you can, as you certainly won’t be able to see this act on a small stage like this for long.

CHASTITY BELT

KEXP Stage – Friday, September 2nd at 6:40 p.m.

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Photo courtesy of Chastity Belt

A local favorite of mine and local Seattle heroes, Chastity Belt, specialize in that classic Seattle sound: heavy guitar riffs and far-away vocals, paired with at-times brutally honest lyrics to create a unique (yet distinct) Seattle vibe. I like to listen to Chastity Belt while walking around the Space Needle in the rain, so their set at Bumbershoot seems very fitting. Check out the song “Joke” off their latest album Time To Go Home to get a flavor for Chastity Belt’s sound, and to get lost in some truly mesmerizing guitar riffs. A huge reason Chastity Belt stands out enough to become my go-to Space Needle music is because this all-female band has proved that they certainly aren’t afraid to speak their minds. Other songs by Chastity Belt include titles such as “Nip Slip” and “Giant (Vagina).” I also appreciate songs like “Seattle Party,” which questions that whole party scene and asks the question we are all thinking sometimes: “Are we having fun?” I’ve never gotten to see Chastity Belt live, but now you all have the opportunity to see them, and in their home town! Do yourself a favor and make your way over to the KEXP Stage for their set, because it’s one you will not want to miss.

JULIA OLSON | Lap(topless) | Head Reporter


MAREN MORRIS

Starbucks Stage (Mural Amphitheater) – Sunday, September 4th at 7:00 p.m.

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Photo courtesy of Columbia Nashville

About two and a half months ago, I reviewed Hero, the debut album from breakout Nashville native Maren Morris. After hearing the album, all I could ever think about was how lively and electric she must be live. Her voice narrates her songwriting in an incredibly retro and nearly-spoken-word kind of way, allowing every person listening to picture the scene she’s painting through their own lens. And, graciously enough, if they don’t have the same experiences Morris is singing about, she lets us borrow her shoes for us to step into. Between the anthemic and ground-stomping “My Church” to the absolutely killer power-ballad “Once,” Morris is full of some phenomenal tunes, and I have zero doubt in my mind that they’ll all be a part of a likely incredible set during Bumbershoot this year. If you want to see an undoubtedly-soon-to-be GRAMMY nominee (yes, I just made a prediction, and you may quote me in the future) play in front of you at an incredibly intimate and fun stage as the Starbucks Stage, then do not miss Maren Morris’ set. Repeat after me, just one more time: do not miss Maren Morris’ set. 

MARGO PRICE

Starbucks Stage (Mural Amphitheater) – Sunday, September 4th at 6:00 p.m.

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Photo by Angelina Castillo

People have actually told Margo Price that her album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, is “too country for country music.” To those people, I have two things to say to you:

  1. If you think that Price’s body of work is too authentic for the genre you’re listening/playing, then you’re not listening to the right kind of music of that genre.
  2. You’re obnoxious.

Margo Price’s album is sonic bliss. It takes topics as worn-down and written-to-death like love, heartbreak, and loss and twists them into completely new and vibrant discussions, each finished off with production that is just the right mixture of modern and traditional. Price’s roots-y sound and absolutely fantastic lyrics will make for a very homebody-like experience. If her live show is anything like what she’s put on record, prepare yourselves for material that’ll keep you engaged in stories and tangled up in her strings. Margo Price is the real deal, and you need to go see her perform “Hands of Time” live with me so we can experience something so dang perfect together.

CRAIG JAFFE | Might be the only person in the entire primary region of Seattle that loves (SPECIFIC KINDS OF) country music | Editor


BUMBERSHOOT: WEBSITE | FULL LINEUPPASSES

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