While Bumbershoot may be the epicenter of all things music and art related this weekend, there's still some exciting Bumbershoot-related events happening off the grounds that are cheap and even free. Here's a sampling of events that are going down this weekend; I'll add more as they become available, and feel free to shoot me a comment if I've missed something. Please note that all these shows are 21+ (bummer).
Antics (Toyota) and Filter Magazine present: "Secret Bumbershoot Headliner", Depressed Buttons (The Faint DJ Set), DJ Sean Cee @ Neumos
Sunday, September 6, 10 PM - 2 AM, Free
Bumbershoot artists are blacked out for a period before and after the festival (ie. they can't legally play anywhere else according to their contract), but nobody can really stop a band from just showing up to play. Depressed Buttons is Todd Fink and Jacob Thiele from the Faint, who promise to steer a riotous dance party of soul and pop. And based on a probably accidental leak on Depressed Buttons' Myspace, I have a very strong premonition that the "secret Bumbershoot artist" is a group whose name I'm discouraged to put in print. The good news about this show is that it's free by RSVPing at this website.
Earcandy Presents: (F)unofficial Bumbershoot Kickoff with Victor Shade, Born Anchors, Grynch, and Redwood Plan @ High Dive
Friday, September 4, 9 PM, $10
Earcandy, a website headed by P-I music blogger Travis Hay, is not only hosting this kick-off party in Fremont, but also promises to raffle away a pair of three-day passes to Bumbershoot. The event features an equal balance of rock and hip-hop, including the debut of Victor Shade, a collaboration between Ra Scion of Common Market (who will be performing Sunday afternoon at the 'Shoot) and local producer MTK. Proceeds of the event go towards the Send-A-Kid to Bumbershoot program that enables underserved youth to enjoy the festival.
Peoples Republic of Komedy & Capitol Club Present: The Cracked Up, Bumbershoot Edition @ Capitol Club
Saturday, September 5, 9 PM, Free
While this is another show that nondescriptly advertises "national comedy acts" as code for "people who are performing at Bumbershoot," I do know that local comic Solomon Georgio, who will be co-hosting the People's Republic of Komedy's stage on Monday afternoon at Bumbershoot, is helping to organize this event. DJ Barbarella will be spinning afterwards, and again, it's free!
Members Only Presents: Grynch, The Physics, Xperience & The Productionists with DJs 100Proof and Swerveone @ The Black Lodge
Sunday, September 6, 11 PM-Late, Free
This afterparty is somewhat shrouded in mystery. This will be local production outfit Members Only's second monthly showcase, featuring Bumbershoot alums Grynch (who will have just played that Earcandy show) and the Physics along with Olympia-based Xperience and Bellingham's the Productionists. The Black Lodge is a house located close to downtown Seattle, and while I'm not privy to share the details, you can find out more by following Members Only on Twitter.