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It’s time for the 42nd annual Bumbershoot music and arts festival, Saturday-Monday on the Seattle Center campus. You know, where that one shirtless guy scarf-dances around the International Fountain while a hundred bands play around him.

Music isn’t all of Bumbershoot — there is worthwhile comedy, theater, film, visual art — but most of it. Here are 10 highlights:


Kendrick Lamar: God-level rapper from Compton, Calif., who excels in the studio but performs so-so. Maybe he’s evolved in that way since Bumbershoot 2011? As a believer in the art of rocking a crowd, this is my fervent desire.

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The Physics: Seattle hip-hop with a great live band, especially producer/keyboardist Sam Wishkoski. Lyrics are often dedicated to Seattle’s South End, and full of warm details.

Heart: Wanna party like it’s 1976? Or perhaps 1977? Look for satin jackets in the multigenerational audience. Those are the die-hard Heart-heads, who’ll be having the most fun, and whom you want to dance near during hits like “Magic Man” and “Barracuda.”


The Zombies: Here’s hoping the Zombies plays all of “Odessey and Oracle,” aka the other “Pet Sounds,” a genius pop album from 1968. And hopefully Fleet Foxes shows up in the audience to pay homage to where it got half its style from.

The Breeders: The group’s 1993 album, “Last Splash,” is a classic from a time when gnarly/surf rock-tinged music lit up American college campuses. The band will play the record in its entirety.


MGMT: Like true artists, MGMT followed breakout pop hits in 2007 with weirder and more confrontational music, alienating some fans and gaining others.

Sol: Sol is a deft Seattle songwriter who raps positively without worrying if that makes him “cool.” It works like reverse psychology.

alt-J: You might be surprised to see alt-J’s massive following at Bumbershoot — alt-J being the English band popular for taking spacey folktronica to arena heights. Safe money is on masses massing.

Superchunk: As a legendary indie-rock band from North Carolina still rocking hardly, smartly, with extra enthusiasm and zero pretentiousness — it’s a wonder Superchunk isn’t full of itself. But it’s good thing, since that would ruin everything.

Deerhunter: At once swirlingly “out there” and accessible, the music of Deerhunter is some of the most tasteful modern rock in America; fingers crossed for the song “Helicopter.”

Andrew Matson: or @andrewmatson

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