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Humdinger! Festival to bring everyone out of the woodwork

BA the Scribe, Wffls, and Yodi Mac will be performing at this year’s Humdinger! Festival. Photo credit: NW Folklore

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Even in a town as small as Tacoma sometimes feels, it's still fairly easy to lose touch with those around you, to retreat underground for long periods at a time, only to emerge, squinting at the sun and seeing your friends once again. This is not even taking into consideration the amount of artists that become too big for Tacoma, and strike out on the road to bigger opportunities. It's for this reason that the founders of the Humdinger! Festival decided to create an annual event that could keep people in touch with one another. Years later - having now changed from the original name to the exclamatory Humdinger! - the festival is back and grown up.

While earlier iterations were relatively private, the new Humdinger! comes with a new venue to allow for easier access to the public, as well as vendors and a good deal more bands. Let's run down the list of familiar names taking the stage at this year's Humdinger! shall we?

Longtime Tacoma favorites the Wheelies will be performing, bringing their mix of garage rock angularity and laid-back slacker vibe. It should be a given, after all their years on the scene, that the Wheelies are not a band to miss, especially as they seem to have slowed down recently when it comes to playing around. Also playing Humdinger! is the similarly enthusiastically punctuated Oh Dear! Their verbose indie pop meshes well with the Wheelies' less contained energy.

J. Martin, also a member of Oh Dear!, will be supplying his studied psych-folk, while Dunce will be on-hand to take your mind on a journey with a mixture of progressive rock, post-rock, and blissed-out garage pop. Tacoma's premier electronica artist, Lobsana, will bring kaleidoscopic sounds to further encourage daydreaming, gently lulling you into a trance with swirling synthesizers and bubbling drum machines. Coma Figura's eclectic indie rock is both polished and ragged, offering up a slew of identifiable influences and somehow tying them well together, while also keeping a loose feel that invites the listener in.

Breaking the string of indie rock groups is BA the Scribe, who made waves in the last few years in the Pacific Northwest hip-hop scene. He'll be joined by producer Wffls and fellow MC Yodi Mac.

With an embarrassment of riches like this, it's no longer necessary to have "getting out of the house to actually see people" as a reason to attend the Humdinger! Festival. Still, that doesn't hurt, and with the summer months winding down, people in Tacoma are primed to go back into hiding. Consider this one of the last gasps of summer, a chance to see friends in celebration, and see some great bands while you're at it.

Humdinger! Festival, Saturday, Aug. 27, 4 p.m., $20-$40, Tacoma Sportsman's Club, 16409 Canyon Rd. E., Puyallup,


Finally, a quick word about a worthy show happening on Friday: Weirdstock is a charity concert being put on by Kory Christiansen who, a decade ago, was involved in a devastating car accident that left him a traumatic brain injury (TBI), rendering him without the ability to walk or speak. The proceeds of the concert will go to two organizations: Compassion International, a mission group that helps children in poverty, and Headstrong for Life, support group for those affected by TBI. Some impressive bands are billed to play, including the psych-pop of Sporty Lee, the warm folk-rock of the Merry Way, the chamber pop of the Thoughts, performers from the Ballet Theatre School, and recently added indie rock movers and shakers Deep Sea Diver. Tickets are $10 at the door, and free for kids under 12 years old.

Weirdstock, Friday, Aug., 26, 6 p.m., $10, Temple Theatre, 47 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.2042

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