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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

August 30, 2014 at 8:30 AM

13 things not to miss at Bumbershoot Saturday

The Wu-Tang Clan plays Saturday at Bumbershoot 2014 (Courtesy of Bumbershoot)

The Wu-Tang Clan plays Saturday at Bumbershoot 2014 (Courtesy of Bumbershoot)

Bumbershoot 2014 is upon us! The annual mash-up of arts, comedy and music starts today at Seattle Center. We’ve put together a list of must-see acts for Day 1 enjoyment.

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-inch 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 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.

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.

11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Saturday-Monday, (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) at Seattle Center (206-673-5060 or bumbershoot.org).Tickets:  $70 any day; $199 three-day pass; $150 Monday “gold” ticket.

Comments | Topics: Bumbershoot, Elvis Costello, Mavis Staples

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