Saturday, September 30, 2006

Scissor Sisters heat up San Francisco's Warfield Theater

It's Albert with the Seattle Gay News, coming to you live from the H Cafe on the corner of Sanchez and 17th, in San Francisco.

Those of you with tickets to either of Scissor Sisters' upcoming concerts at The Showbox are in for a wild, highly energetic good time. Trust me, I know. I was privileged to be given a ticket to the main floor pit for last night's performance at SF's famed Warfield Theater. The show is the first of back to back, sold out concerts by the gay-adored band.

Scissor Sisters played all of their big hits from both albums, 2004's self-titled debut and the just-released Ta-Dah, including "Take Your Mama", "Laura", "Mary" and "Kiss You Off". The new track "Everybody Wants the Same Thing" was dedicated to the rambunctious crowd and the city of San Francisco, where group members Baby Daddy and Ana Matronic now call home.

But it was Seattle native Jake Shears, sexy lead singer and songwriter, who stole the show with go go boy-like dance moves and a very in-shape body, squeezed nicely into a dark leather pants/jacket combo. For an encore, he slipped into a hooded one-piece glittery ensemble, and then tore it off to reveal a super-tight uniform similar to what amateur wrestlers wear.

Seattle has its work cut out from them, as the San Francisco audience last night was ECSTATIC from beginning to end. They never slowed down, dancing and singing and shaking everything the Lord gave them. Gay boys comprised most of the crowd, with partygoing straight girls coming in second. There was also a scattering of lesbians and straight couples. Together, they turned the Warfield Theater upside down! So if you got tickets to Monday or Tuesday night's shows in Seattle, get ready to let loose. And, don't forget your boas, costume gear and Pride trinkets.

"I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" was the first song performed during the encore. And it sounded three times as amazing as the CD version.

More on Scissor Sisters gay-la in San Francisco in next week's issue of the Seattle Gay News. When visiting this very hip, very gay city, choose to stay at The Mosser Hotel, fabulously located right in the heart of downtown and on the same square block as Old Navy, Ambercrombie & Fitch and Bloomingdales. It's a five minute streetcar ride on the F line to the Casto district, San Francisco's hopping gay sector. Visit for details.

Photo of Scissor Sisters, courtesy of Universal Music Group.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Buju is back, in Seattle tonight

Spoke to soon! Apparently, Buju Banton will now perform tonight at 10 PM at Studio Seven (110 S. Horton St, Seattle; eight blocks south of Safeco Feild in the SODO District).

No word yet if any counter protest is being planned. Stay tuned.

Studio Seven's phone nubmer is 206-286-1312.

Last May, Buju Banton lead the sing-along of Boom Bye Bye in Miami. I can see it now: shoot gay men in the head, pour acid over them, and burn them alive.

Check it out: here!

Neumos: Buju Banton concert cancelled

Here's a letter from Neumos Owner Steven Severin:

After much debate, Neumos has cancelled the Buju Banton show.

Our mission of providing for the free expression of art must give way in this situation to our responsibility to the health and safety of our patrons and the community. The publication and dissemination of the lyrics for one of this artist’s songs has created the potential for violence that we will not tolerate.

To our patrons who were looking forward to this show, we apologize that you will not be able to see an artist you wanted to see. To those in the community that were deeply offended that we would bring an overtly homophobic artist to the heart of capitol hill we apologize.

We are mindful that this action comes at significant social costs. As a performing arts venue we take pride in allowing artists to freely express their views without censorship or prior restraint. We believe that dissent and disagreement are vital and healthy parts of a community. The song, “Boom Bye Bye” written by Buju Banton over a decade ago when he was fifteen clearly goes beyond such dissent and disagreement, is abhorrent and cannot be defended by anyone. We sympathize with and understand the strong emotions that the publication and dissemination of the lyrics have incited in our community. Because of this, the show cannot go on.

Steven Severin
Neumos/Wake Up Productions/Liberty Lounge
Owner/Talent Buyer

Monday, September 25, 2006

Neumos: Musician who urges death to gays to perform

Musicians who sing songs urging people to shoot gay men in the head, pour acid over them, and burn them alive is just fine for Neumos (925 E. Pike Street, Seattle), a popular Capitol Hill venue for music performances.

Apparently, Neumos thinks bringing a bigoted musician and his followers to an area with the city's largest population of gay residents and establishments frequented by Gays is a good idea. Fortunately, many disagree.

A pre-concert protest is being planned to take place outside of Neumos on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 PM. The concert starts at 9 PM.

A meeting to plan the protest has been called for Tuesday, September 26th at the Seattle LGBT Community Center (1115 East Pike Street, Seattle) at 7 PM.

HereƂ’s what the protest organizers, Seattle Stop Buju Banton, have to say:

[Buju] Banton's big hit song, "Boom Bye Bye," incites the execution-style killing of gay and lesbian people. He urges listeners to shoot gays in the head, pour acid over them, set them alight, and burn them like car tires. "Boom Bye Bye" is probably the most murderous incitement recorded by any singer in the world, and Banton still performs "Boom Bye Bye." The record remains on sale. He re-released it on his recent Greatest Hits album. Banton is still making money from his incitement to kill gay people.

Banton does not merely express his disapproval of homosexuality. He calls for all homosexuals to be killed and incites his listeners to go out and murder gays and lesbians. This goes way beyond an acceptable expression of opinion. Lesbian and gay people have a right to live their lives free from threats to kill them. Inciting violence against any human being for any reason is totally unacceptable.

By giving Banton any kind of platform, Neumos is colluding with a performer who wants gays and lesbians dead. It is our belief that no mainstream club would book performers who call for the death of other groups of people. Even if Banton agrees not to sing his "Boom Bye Bye" song at the Neumos, it would still be wrong to have him on the stage. Singers who incite the murder of gay people (or anyone else) should be shunned, not rewarded. Take the example of a singer with neo-Nazi sympathies, who had previously released a song calling for the gassing of Jews. Would Neumos host them if they promised not to sing their anti-Semitic diatribes? We think not.

Fearing violence, the Washington Association of Churches has issued its own statement calling for the cancellation of the concert:

We understand that Mr. Banton continues to perform "Boom Bye Bye" in his live performances and that violence against gays and lesbians has ensued in the wake of his appearances. Because of that, other communities and performance venues have recently canceled his performances.

We therefore urge people throughout Washington State to urge the management of Neumos nightclub to cancel Mr. Banton's performance as well.

We do not believe that our collective ethics, morality or religious values in Washington State can allow us to remain silent when someone calls a for murder to a reggae beat in an effort to disguise it as speech or art.

Mr. Banton's performance of "Boom Bye-Bye" in our community should not be protected as free speech -- because it is truly an amplified call for bigoted and hateful mayhem.


(The Jamaican patios lyrics to "Boom Bye Bye" are followed, line by line, by translations into Standard English)

Anytime Buju Banton come
Anytime Buju Banton comes

Batty bwoy get up an run
Faggots get up and run......

Boom bye bye
Boom (gun shot) bye bye (Goodbye, as in you're dead)

Inna batty bwoy head
In a faggot's head

Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Rude boy don't promote any nasty (queer) man

Dem haffi dead
They have to die.....

Send fi di matic an
Send for the automatic (gun) and

Di Uzi instead
The Uzi (gun) instead

Shoot dem no come if we shot dem-
Shoot them, don't come (to help them) if we shoot them......

Guy come near we
If a guy comes near me

Then his skin must peel
Then his skin must peel
(Note: In Jamaica, pouring acid on an individual is a common
revenge tactic)

Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel
Burn him up bad like an old tire


To contact Neumos about their decision to book Buju Banton, call 206-709-9467 or e-mail

Event organizers are also urging people to contact their local elected officials to request additional police presence on Capitol Hill during the concert.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Details for Joshua Radin's free performance in Bellevue

Great entertainment can be expensive. So please take advantage of Joshua Radin's free performance at the Hilton Bellevue on Sunday, September 24. Set time, hotel address and specifics are below.

Radin will play songs from his critically-acclaimed debut We Were Here as part of 103.7 "The Mountain"'s new "Sunday Brunch Session" series. It's possible Radin, who appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's late night talk show this week, will sign autographs afterwards, though we cannot confirm it at this time. Do take your copy of the CD, available for purchase at Easy Street and Sonic Boom record stores, to the event on Sunday just in case.

This is a top notch artist who will undoubtedly climb the success ladder in the years to come, which is why a free intimate performance is highly recommended by us here at the Seattle Gay News who strongly support Joshua Radin. Also, Radin appears on The Last Kiss film soundtrack, and autographed three copies of the CD along with members of rock group Snow Patrol for an exclusive SGN giveaway. You can enter to win one of these CDs at any Sonic Boom Records location (Capitol Hill, Fremont, Ballard).

"Sunday Brunch Session" with Joshua Radin
Presented by 103.7 (FM) "The Mountain"
Sunday, September 24 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm
Hilton Bellevue - 300 112th Avenue SE in Bellevue

Free show, free parking. First come basis. Brunch and/or drinks available for purchase.

Photo of Joshua Radin, courtesy of Columbia Records.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Joshua Radin to give free, special performance in Bellevue

Seattle Gay News is very pleased to announce a special performance by up and coming artist Joshua Radin next weekend at the Hilton Bellevue. See tomorrow's issue of our publication for specific day and time, in "The Music Lounge" column.

As part of radio station 103.7 "The Mountain"'s new "Sunday Brunch Session" in Bellevue, Radin will perform material from his debut album We Were Here, already earning a four-star review from Rolling Stone magazine.

Radin, who contributes two songs to The Last Kiss film soundtrack, has interviewed twice with the Seattle Gay News. And, he will join rock group Snow Patrol in doing something very special for us, so make sure you pick up a copy of this week's Seattle Gay News, hitting the streets tomorrow afternoon, for this announcement in "The Music Lounge".

There is no cost to see Joshua Radin at the Hilton Bellevue this weekend. Brunch will be available for purchase. Seattle Gay News is proud to continue its support of this truly gifted artist. Ear-sample Radin's music on his MySpace page:

Re-visit this blog site in the coming week for more information on this special event. We Were Here is available for purchase at all Easy Street and Sonic Boom record stores.

Photo of Joshua Radin, courtesy of Sony-BMG Records.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Grab a Jackass: Number Two movie pass tonight at Manray

You know you want it. So, come and get it.

Seattle Gay News is giving away free movie passes for the outrageous new film Jackass: Number Two tonight at Manray Video Bar (514 East Pine). Starting at 9pm, bartenders will hand them out to those old enough to walk inside. You must be 21+ to enter.

Every Tuesday is "Alternative Tuesdays", where we play music videos by the coolest alternative artists. So, we invite you to stay and watch videos by The Killers, Goldfrapp, Coldplay, Guster, Franz Ferdinand, Wolfmother, and more. Speaking of Wolfmother, they're featured on the Jackass: Number Two film trailer that we'll be showing tonight as well. The movie opens nationwide on September 22.

Besides free movie passes, admitting you and a guest to an advance screening next week, we've got other "Jackass" goodies that we'll be giving away too. Come have a cocktail with a fun, alt music-loving crowd. Gay or straight, everyone is welcome to have a good time.

Jackass: Number Two image, courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jackass: Number Two movie pass giveaway

Seattle Gay News will be giving away free movie passes to an advance screening of Jackass: Number Two, starring Johnny Knoxville and his crew of outrageous stuntmen, Tuesday night at Manray Video Bar (514 East Pine) starting at 9pm.

The film is the newest addition to the Jackass franchise, following a popular MTV series run and the first motion picture installment. Much like it's self-titled predecessor, Jackass: Number Two finds Knoxville and his all-male co-horts abandoning good behavior and taking the world on, one wild dare at a time.

Movie passes will be given out during "Alternative Tuesdays", a weekly club night for alt pop and rock fans sponsored by Seattle Gay News and Manray Video Bar. From 9pm to 1am, VJ Nik plays music videos by the coolest alternative artists, including Wolfmother, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, We Are Scientists, Head Automatica, Beck, Coldplay, Morningwood, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and Bjork.

Each movie pass admits two people to an advance screening of Jackass: Number Two on Wednesday, September 20. You must present a pass to be admitted into the theatre. Jackass: Number Two is rated "R".

Besides free passes and random goodies, we'll be showing the official film trailer with the theme song performed by Wolfmother. It's a hoot!

Jackass: Number Two poster art, courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

"The Last Kiss" free movie passes at Neighbours tonight

Free movie passes for "The Last Kiss", starring Zach Braff (TV's "Scrubs", Rachel Bilson (TV's "The OC"), Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson, two-time Emmy Award winner Blythe Danner, Jacinda Barrett and Casey Affleck, will be given away at Neighbours (1509 Broadway) tonight beginning at 10pm. Entry to the club may be required to receive a free movie pass. The film is rated "R".

A & E writer Lorelei Quenzer reviews "The Last Kiss" next week for the Seattle Gay News.

Photo of "The Last Kiss", courtesy of Dreamworks Pictures.

Friday, September 8, 2006

SGN giving away Elton John concert package

Do you have tickets to either of Elton John’s upcoming concerts at Seattle’s Key Arena, just two weeks away? We do. And we’re willing to part with them to make someone else’s day a little brighter.

Seattle Gay News wants to send one Elton John fan and a guest to see the music legend in concert later this month. But we’re not stopping there. We’ve put together a package that includes a one-night stay at a hotel close to Key Arena, a copy of John’s new CD The Captain and the Kid, and a $10 Starbucks gift card for coffee after the show. It’s a prize package valued at $300.00.

Our giveaway launches on Thursday, September 14 at a local restaurant-lounge, and you can find out which one in this week’s issue of the Seattle Gay News, in “The Music Lounge” column. Copies of the newspaper will be distributed this evening at various metro neighborhoods, including all gay bars and businesses on Capitol Hill. The contest runs through Wednesday, September 20.

Thursday, September 7, 2006


Brian Travis, running for senator of the 46th legislative district, received a zero rating from SEAMEC (Seattle Metropolitan Elections Committee) after filling out a written questionnaire and rudely declining an in-person interview.

SEAMEC's ratings, which run from 0-5, grade candidates based on their attitudes, awareness, and activism regarding LGBT issues. A rating of 5 indicates a candidate who demonstrates leadership, while a 0 is given to those who appear outright hostile.

Travis' ratings were determined solely from his handwritten response to SEAMEC's written questionnaire. Throughout the five-page questionnaire, Travis repeatedly indicated his lack of knowledge and support for LGBT issues. In response to a question regarding what actions he had taken to support the LGBT community, he wrote, "I pray for you". When asked if he identified as LGBT, Travis wrote into the margins, "Thankfully I'm normal". Travis awarded himself an A on his sentiment/sympathy towards LGBT issues and then scribbled: "I have much sympathy for you poor misguided people."

According to Travis' website,, if elected he will "Help give our newest citizens a fair start by requiring mandatory state funded English immersion classes for all new immigrants and make English the official language of Washington State. Thereby requiring all official state business to be conducted in English only after 2012, giving citizens five years to learn the language."

The site requests viewers share their issues via his e-mail address,

Travis is running against democratic incumbent Ken Jacobson, who has held the position since 1997.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

The Last Kiss movie pass giveaway

Seattle Gay News will be giving away free movie passes to an advance screening of The Last Kiss, starring Zach Braff (Garden State, TV's "Scrubs") and Rachel Bilson (TV's "The OC") this Saturday night - September 9 - at Neighbours (1509 Broadway) beginning at 10pm.

The Last Kiss is a romantic comedy about being happy in love, but unaware of what's lurking around the corner. The film also stars Jacinda Barrett (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). Watch the trailer here:

And, stay glued to the Seattle Gay News because we will soon be announcing an exclusive, extra giveaway related to The Last Kiss.

All movies passes are good for two people. The advance screening is Wednesday, September 13 (7pm), at Pacific Place. You must present a pass to be admitted into the theater. The Last Kiss is rated R.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Bumber-blog: Monday evening

The showstopper at the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival was soul-blues mama Bettye LaVette. She drew a big crowd, and they were treated to some of the funkiest, smoothest, and gosh darn amazing vocals in the business. LaVette's rendition of John Prine's "Souvenirs" was powerful and emotional. This woman can sing, and she proved it out there today.

Another great act was newcomer Brett Dennen, a red-haired kid from Godknowswhere, USA with a reggae-influenced sound that soaked up the 80s-degree weather at Seattle Center just fine. I absolutely loved Dennen's stage personality - he was confident, playful, sweet, and charming all at the same time. He's the most interesting young man, with pasty white skin and a lanky body - but that didn't stop him from boogie'ing down on stage. Dennen opens for John Mayer and Sheryl Crow later this month at White River Amphitheatre, and I can't wait to see him again.

The Steve Miller Band played in front of a huge audience at Memorial Stadium early in the afternoon under a blazing sun. This is where I got my new suntan, so thank you Steve Miller Band for getting me out there. And thank you for playing some of your biggest hits, including "Jet Airliner", "Rock n' Me", "Take the Money and Run", and an extra long version of "Fly Life an Eagle". I wasn't too thrilled with the addition of a twenty-minute blues drill in the middle of Miller's set, and this is when he lost a lot of fans who thought he'd never get to the good stuff.

There were sold out lines for Sparta, and at least one concertgoer was tossed out by security. He had no pants on, just boxers. So I'm not sure what happened. There was a lot of skin being shown at Seattle Center today, mostly by guys ready to start school tomorrow or rushing into fraternties in late September.

Funk-ska band Breakstra had the entire Bumbrella Stage crowd hopping, and sardined at least 500 to 700 people into that stage's lawn. I enjoyed a nice massage just behind the Bumbrella Stage, killing two birds with one stone - listening to cool music and rewarding myself for a long day on the job.

Well, on behalf of Jessica and Lorelei and the entire crew at Seattle Gay News, we hope you enjoyed this extra coverage of the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival for 2006. We'll do it again next year. And stay glued, because I'll be blogging later this month from San Francisco as we bring you exclusive coverage of the Download Festival with performances by Beck, Muse, The Shins, Wolfmother, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Coheed and Cambria, and more.

Bumber-blog Monday afternoon:

Hey there, it's Albert and I've just arrived at Seattle Center for Bumbershoot after spending most of my morning watching the US Open tennis tournament on TV.

So, here are some helpful tips if you're headed to the festival today:

* Take Metro's special shuttle, with direct service from downtown to Seattle Center, located at 3rd and Pike. It runs every 10 minutes, costs $1.25, and will be in service until 11:30 tonight.

* Bring cash because there are few ATMs on the festival grounds, and not many food vendors and retail booths accept debit/credit cards.

* Pack light, as you'll likely be on your feet for most of the day. It's supposed to be very warm today, so maybe a light sweater and lightweight pants/sweats to slip on at night will do you good.

The crowd is getting bigger by the minute, and already tons of folks are getting in line for the Steve Miller Band at Memorial Stadium. Also performing today, who I recommend, are Brett Dennen at the More Music Stage (he's opening later this month for John Mayer and Sheryl Crow). Dennen starts at 1:30pm. Soul diva Bettye LaVette performs on the same stage at 4:45pm, punk rockers Sparta are on the What's Next Stage at 7:15pm, CocoRosie gets busy on Northwest Court Lounge at 8pm, and Feist croons on the More Music stage at 8:45pm. And, if you're into alt-rock then you don't wanna miss Metric on the Backyard Stage at 9:30pm.

It's $30 to get into Bumbershoot, and well worth it. And the guys, ranging from high school jocks to middle-age techies, are already starting to feel the heat and losing their T-shirts. That alone is worth the price of admission. (wink)

Photo of Steve Miller Band cover art, courtesy of the artist's record label.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Bumber-blog: Wrapping up Sunday

Phew! It sure was hot enough! Today's high was 84, right between the two extremes I heard predicted this morning. Tomorrow should be even cooler still, at least by a few degrees. I'll tell you, I almost smacked myself in the head for leaving my poncho at home when the clouds started to accumulate at about 4pm. But no fears! Those clouds only meant a little more humidity. And no sunburn possibilities, since I managed to find shade at every outdoor venue. When I left you I was speeding off to the Mural Amphitheatre, which is shaded by cherry trees. Not only is there the whiff of slightly rotten fruit under the arbor, but the cherries are dry, hard, and hurt like a son of a bitch when they fall. Here's a hint for tomorrow's More Music stage shows: try to position yourself under a sturdy branch so the fruit'll bounce and hit someone else in the head; if you're subtle you can pelt obnoxious neighbors (who, moi?) with them. A hat is also a good idea, as the crows and starlings are eating the cherries, and what goes in.... ahem.

West Valley Highway drew a comparatively small early-morning (for Bumbershoot) crowd; presumably those not interested in lining up for a Kanye West pass. I'll admit: they were a little too honky in the honky tonk for me. The Amphitheatre was considerably more crowded for the next act, Electric Shades of Blue. Lead singer/guitarist Kurtis Dengler, who like most of the band's members is only 16, said he had bad news for the crowd: "We changed to death metal. We're now 'Electric Death.'" He then played a riff, gave a loud scream... and cut it short before anyone could run away, saying, "Just kidding!" They proceeded to rock the More Music Stage for an hour with their classic R&B set.

I had to leave a little early, though, to catch The Like at the Backyard Stage. The trio had literally just flown in from England and appeared a little jet-lagged despite their girly frocks. They arrived with mascara-rimmed eyes and flowing hair and played an ultra-short set of only 40 minutes. My favorites were "Z" Berg's vocals on their originals "What I Say and What I Mean" and "(So I'll Sit Here) Waiting," from the Thirteen soundtrack, and their cover of the Sex Pistol's "Submission." Maybe it's the limitations of a guitar-bass-drum combo, but their songs, although pop-py (in a good way), seemed to blend together. Hopefully next time they're in town they can come well-rested and give us a real show.

Then it was back to the Mural Amphitheatre. At 2:45 -- fifteen minutes before the show -- the lawn was so packed with bodies I seriously questioned my sanity for ever having left my cozy shaded spot for the likes of The Like. Lucky for me, my neighbors from the hour before were contemplating a brief venue change themselves. We negotiated a space-sharing treaty -- see? I can play nice -- and I was ready for more music. Sonya Kitchell's voice is like butter: rich and creamy, with just the right amount of seasoning ... okay, I've officially run that metaphor into the ground. Seriously, she reminds me of Sarah McLachlan and kd lang. And this little whippersnapper has the gall to be only 17 years old. Boy, the musicians on this stage are making me feel old! Or maybe the ache in my back is doing that. Here's wishing Sonya good luck on her tour of Japan, which starts tomorrow.

And if I thought the crowd was crazy for Sonya Kitchell, Matt Costa really turned them out. Over 2/3 of the crowd was on their feet for Matt, who came on in a safety orange touk. His 13-song set was fresh and fabulous. Most of the tunes came off of his latest CD, Songs We Sing, including the title track -- I love the song's reference to the Beatles' "Bungalow Bill" -- and one of my favorites, "Sweet Thursday." The Watson Twins, who are currently on Costa's tour, joined in the last two songs. Lucky me!! I got to hang out with Matt at the Tower Records booth after the show. He was super nice, staying for over an hour to sign cds, posters, t-shirts, arms and one guitar case. He took time to take photos with practically everyone. When I asked him what the weirdest thing he'd signed that afternoon was, he replied, "A cigarette." Well, that's one that won't be smoked next to the food court! I also asked him if he thought his knitted cap would start a safety orange trend. He chuckled, "I hope so. I want to protect people from dangers... like getting shot in the head." He seemed genuinely surprised by the massive turnout.
Folks were already on the prowl for extra Kanye West tickets -- I told you to get here early! -- offering $10 apiece. Allegedly. But, having secured another comfy spot on the Amphitheatre's slope, I decided to stay put for Newfies Great Big Sea. These Canucks had the entire crowd on their feet, playing practically everything in their repertoire. "Captain Kid" and "Concerning Charlie Horse," from their latest album The Hard and the Easy, were well-received, but the old favorites went over best. I was particularly fond of "The Night Pat Murphy Died," "General Taylor" and "I'm A Rover."

My final admission for the night: although I love Celtic music (I really, really heart Great Big Sea, guys, really!) I snuck out a little early to beat the crowds. Metro buses were free to downtown, and the one I caught in front of the EMP took me straight down 2nd Ave to Pike.

Electric Shades of Blue photo courtesy artist's website; Sonya Kitchell photo courtesy Velour Records; Matt Costa photo by Quang Le, courtesy Universal Music; Great Big Sea photo by Andrew MacNaughtan, courtesy Rounder Records.

Bumber-blog: Sunday

It's just after 11:00 am at Bumbershoot: the gates have just opened and, boy, today is gonna be a HOT one! Hopefully a little less hot -- weather-wise -- than yesterday, but no less hot musically. Hee hee. There is absolutely no free street parking left, and the pay lots are starting to fill up. If you're coming (and you know you are) then I reccommend taking Metro to Seattle Center. Not only is it easier to catch a bus, it's also way cheaper to park downtown. There's even a special service from Northgate Mall to B'shoot, every 20 minutes -- check out the details on the Bumbershoot website. But if you do take Metro please pack your patience. There are a lot of buses but right now it seems like there are even more people. Meanwhile, the lines to enter the veunue are gnarly, so they're sure to be heinous for mainstage show wristbands; I'd get my assets over here asap if you want to see Kanye West.

Otherwise, so far so good: there have been no announced changes to the schedule yet. I'll try to get back to let you know if something comes up. Right now my mission is to find a little shade, roll out my blanket and park it for a while. I don't want to schlep my stuff all over the Center in temps that could get as high as 88 -- or as comfy as 78, depending on which weather predictions you believe. Seattle's West Valley Highway kicks it off at the Mural Amphitheatre at 11:45 am with their brand of jazzy honky tonk; then I'm off to the Backyard Lawn to catch The Like at 2:00 pm. I'd better run if I want to grab anything to eat. The hordes (read that carefully, I said "hordes") are arriving!

Kanye West photo by Sarah Friedman, courtesy Def Jam Records; The Like photo by KT Auleta, courtesy Geffen Records.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Bumber-blog: Saturday part two

Just got back to the press tent after Blondie...and if you were tough enough to brave the sweaty masses and the intense sun, you were treated to a run through of some of Blondie's best. Debbie sounded great, and the band were in top form. New wave and pop enthusiasts couldnn't stop jumping up and down as they tore through "Call Me", "Hanging on the Telephone", "Atomic", and "The Tide is High". Much to my delight, Debbie introduced a cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This", which sounded fantastic and it should! Her voice was amazing throughout "Maria" as well.

But the happiest surprise of the day for me so far has been The Gossip. Hailing from Portland, and representing the "queers" (as adorable and amazing lead singer Beth Ditto put it)- this band really blew everyone away. Most people of course were gathered to see Blondie, but everyone warmed up to The Gossip immediately. I've heard much about this band but never had a chance to see them. Singer Beth Ditto is such a charmer- very charismatic and funny as well. They're very new wave with SOUL...that girl can really belt out a song. I can't wait to go pick up their newest record- Standing In The Way of Control.

If you're headed to Bumbershoot later on- don't miss the Epoxies, and later, Badly Drawn Boy on the Backyard Stage.

Bumber-blog: Saturday

Hey everyone- it's noon and I've just arrived at Bumbershoot 2006. A crowd is already building and lines are forming at the various entrances around Seattle Center. I'd suggest making it easy on yourself and taking Seattle Metro from Capitol Hill or even parking downtown, where it will be a lot cheaper than the Seattle Center lots (ranging $8-$12) and then you can just walk or take a Bumbershoot shuttle from 3rd and Pike on over to the Bumbershoot grounds. They're running every ten minutes so it should be simple and quick. If you're driving in, I found a lot at 1st and Mercer that was only $8 and very close to the grounds.

I'm going to grab a bite to eat and check out the vendors...then I'm super excited to start the day off at the Mainstage with The Gossip, followed by BLONDIE! I can hardly wait. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 1, 2006

2006 Bumbershoot: SGN music writers to Bumber-blog from Seattle Center

Seattle Gay News is proud to once again be part of the media covering this weekend's Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival at Seattle Center.

Three music writers from the SGN (myself - Albert Rodriguez, Lorelei Quenzer, Jessica Browning) will be attending the three-day festival, taking in the action and basking in the expected 80s-degree weather. We'll Bumber-blog on Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings and evenings to bring you updates, individual performance comments, artist sightings and also provide you with tips on where to park, eat, and get a nice, cold beverage. If there's anything we think you should know before heading to Seattle Center, we'll mention it here.

Jessica Browning kicks things off tomorrow afternoon, so log on sometime early in the afternoon to get her Saturday spin. And, look for our Bumbershoot preview in the print edition of this week's Seattle Gay News, distrubuted later today.

Tickets for Bumbershoot are available at the gate, priced at $30 per day and $80 for a three-day pass. For the complete lineup, visit

C-you at Bumbershoot!!!

Photo of Blondie, courtesy of artist's official website.