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Bumbershoot 2008: Sunday
Review by Elena Goukassian

Posted September 3, 2008

            I had wanted to go to Bumbershoot since I was fourteen years old, but, for some reason, I never happened to be in town at the time, I had no money, or the bands didn’t appeal to me that much. Now, eight years later, I am glad to say I finally made it.
           A friend and I started off the day with Apocalypse in Coney Island: A Bumberlesque Cabaret, featuring a hilarious MC with phocomelia (flipper-like arms), an amazing trapeze duo, and a random audience-member taught to twirl pasties onstage by one of the professionals. It was all very enjoyable, with the trapeze artists the Wau Wau sisters as the indisputable highlight. They not only twisted, turned, and balanced every which way--strategically removing clothes here and there, of course-- but they managed to do it all as ridiculously in character as possible, first as churchgoing schoolgirls (in honor of the lord’s day), and then as ‘80s headbangers.
           Next, we found ourselves at Your Little Hoodrat Friends: Joshua Furst, Jeff Parker, with Leslie Wood. The two authors read from their books, with Leslie Wood playing a song or two in-between. Jeff Parker was my favorite. His book, Overman, recounts the story of a 20-something who works crappy jobs, is the most unpopular member of a terrible band, and gets into funny-but-horrible drunken situations he doesn’t remember the next day. The writing style is hilarious, as are the ridiculous-yet-completely-plausible situations the main character gets himself into.
          We left the reading a little bit early in order to catch Australia’s Strange Fruit, a group of two men in suits and top hats and two women wearing long evening dresses, each perched atop a flexible pole fifteen feet high and swinging back and forth and side to side. It was beautiful and original. The performers would all interact with each other kind of like mimes while swinging to every kind of music, from opera to a gypsy band.
           The day ended with a performance by the Black Keys, the very reason I had bought the festival ticket in the first place. The drum and guitar bluesy rock-and-roll duo from Ohio played a good variety of old and new songs one after the other, and I left the stadium very pleased with their technique and more-music-less-chit-chat attitude.
          All in all, I really enjoyed spending Sunday at Bumbershoot. There were a lot more interesting and imaginative things to see and hear than I had expected, making it well worth the $40 ticket.

Did you go to Bumbershoot 2008? If so, we would like to hear from you. Send us your comments to




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