Yes, they scaled back a day. No, I don't think Sasquatch! is worse for it. I think it's worse for other reasons. Originally designed as a Northwest festival featuring Northwest acts, it's grown over the years to be one of the best regional music showcases each summer, easily comparable to Coachella and Lollapalooza. (SxSW remains in a class by itself.)

For a while, the concert designers managed a precarious but thoughtful equilibrium between big established acts, national "It" bands and local buzz-makers. This year, that tripartite balance tipped decidedly toward big old bands. I love Bjork and the Beastie Boys and Manu Chao, but where's Tapes 'n' Tapes? Where are Peter, Bjorn & amp; John? For God's sake, where's Cyrus Fell Down? For that matter, where's any Northwest band from east of the Cascades?

This is still an upper-echelon festival, but it's starting to feel very corporate, by which I mean safe and expected. Seriously, the Dandy Warhols? Why not Everclear? C'mon. Safe in the indie festival world spells slow, plodding death. Lollapalooza was a wandering, money-hemorrhaging pariah before it settled in Chicago and revitalized. Sasquatch! isn't there yet but Audioslave on the Mainstage doesn't feel far off.

That said, I'll still be there, dancing, sweating, expanding and contracting under that hot-ass sun amid that sea of humanity. I'm going to go and see all the bands I've loved for five and 10 and 15 years. Next year, though, I want more of an opportunity to discover bands I'll be loving five, 10, 15 years from now. -- LUKE BAUMGARTEN

Indie Pop
Saturday, 6:30 * YETI
Originally a one-man band from Tulsa, Okla., Aqueduct has expended beyond founder David Terry to include Matt Nader on drums, guitar, keyboard, vocals and bass; Noah Ritter on bass; and Chris Whitten on drums. As they've swelled in size, they've also become far more interesting and complex, earning praise for their use of pairing synths along sidemore traditional instruments. (Cortney Harding)

Saturday, 9:15 * MAINSTAGE
The Montreal indie juggernaut's latest release, Neon Bible, didn't get nearly the rave reviews garnered by their 2004 smash hit, Funeral. Nonetheless, it was enough to start music geeks wondering if they're the biggest, best band in the world. Superlatives aside, the good news is that they're not just a good studio band. I peg their 2005 performance at Austin City Limits as one of the best shows I've ever seen. They're utterly electrifying, with a big, urgent rock sound. And if recent shows are any indication, you shouldn't be surprised if they hit you up for some pretty interesting audience interaction (think mandolins and megaphones). (Joel Smith)

Reunion Tour-O-Rama
Sunday, 3:00 * MAINSTAGE
I liked TV on the Radio better when they were called Bad Brains. The OG DC hardcore dudes are back and ready to kick some ass. Be sure not to taunt lead singer HR -- he once smashed a Kansas fan in the head with a mic stand after the kid heckled him. At this point, the Brains are probably the only people left who are glad to have Bush in the White House, and that's only because they don't have to update any of their lyrics. (CH)

Sunday, 10:30 * MAINSTAGE
High-minded pop critics will tell you the Beasties are cultural connoisseurs, that Adrock, MCA and Mike D are subversive educators, that sneaky incorporation of influences like Bad Brains and Lee "Scratch" Perry shows the Beastie Boys' artistic vision is much wider than any of their early Def Jam peers. But it is their love of the live show that keeps them relevant. With their three-way rhyme attack as explosive as ever, and a superstar DJ who likes to drop surprise RZA tracks under the B-Boys' classic raps, the Beastie Boys' music -- in a stadium, club, or amphitheater -- is crucial. Plus, they're swearing again. Grabbing your nuts and freeing Tibet at the same time? Awesome. (Andrew Matson)

Funk, etc.
Saturday, 7:15 * WOOKIE
When the Beastie Boys pick up their instruments, everybody hopes they play "Sabotage." But that left-field, rap-rock mega smash has almost nothing to do with the majority of their instrumental output -- mainly punk or funk and unanimously not enjoyed by fans as much as their hip-hop. That's too bad, because while the Beasties' fast, dirty hardcore and cowpunk won't swing any new fans, their funk/bossa nova/drone experiments deserve more recognition. (AM)

Swans! Whaling Ships! Matthew Barney
Saturday, 11:00 * MAINSTAGE
Bjork needs no introduction. She got hung in Dancer in the Dark. She and Matthew Barney chased each other around a whaling ship in what essentially amounted to a home-made porno that was screened in theaters (Drawing Restraint 9). She wore a swan to an awards ceremony. She's totally insane and has the most amazing voice ever. All my friends who saw her at Radio City Music Hall said she was awesome, and I don't doubt it. Her new album, Volta, isn't much of departure from her older stuff, but that's all right -- why mess with perfection? (CH)

Spacey Rock
Sunday, 6:10 * WOOKIE
The Black Angels are a pretty new Austin outfit that stands in the shadows of giants like Spiritualize and the Warlocks, hiding behind walls of sound and droning vocals. Let's just hope they go on late at night -- while their sound is excellent for lulling listeners off to sleep, there is a real possibility they'll fall flat in the afternoon sun. (CH)

Sunday, 1:50 * MAINSTAGE
Rapper Gift of Gab is an amazing force of nature, a rap innovator in the phonic sense. He is in love with the cadence, the flow of words, and the organization of sounds. When he rocks the mic -- at the speed of light, or deliberately slow -- people come to an awareness that the future of this thing, rap, rests in the hands of emcees who work at it like master craftspeople, constantly aiming at perfection. They are impressed at all that is possible with rhyme and meter, and that's the point. Oh, and Chief Xcel's beats are beautiful bits of chromium soul. Blackalicious lives on the proverbial next level. (AM)

Garage Rock
Sunday, noon * YETI
The Blakes are darlings, and they deserve a huge and adoring audience at Sasquatch!. They're the real rock 'n' roll deal -- dumpster-diving, couch-surfing, driving-a-busted-van, DIY bad-asses. These dudes rehearsed in truck stops, people! Anyway, they play unhinged, super-high-energy rock, and their drummer is a sight to behold -- you think his arms are going to fly right off. (CH)

Indie Pop
Saturday, noon * YETI
Blitzen Trapper is totally nervous breakdown-inducing in its catchiness. Blitzen burst on to the Portland scene in 2003 with an awesome, hook-laden self-titled debut, and the group has continued to make waves with its two subsequent records. The band is now preparing to head out on the road with indie troubadour darlings The Hold Steady, and they've been making waves in the blog world in recent weeks -- two signs that point to great success. (CH)

Feminist Glitch Pop
Saturday, 2:10 * YETI
I luh-huv the Blow. Khaela Maricich talks about male-female dynamics the way I imagine Mr. Rogers talks about cardigans -- and she does it with a simple, child-like sweetness that belies insights so sharp it takes a second or two to realize that she has cut through your lazy oversimplifications of things like fidelity and feminism. Teaming with spaztronica-virtuoso Jonah Bechtolt to lay an ironically twee bed of thumps, chimes and Peaches samples, it's like Sesame Street with twice the cynicism and three times the hope. (Luke Baumgarten)

One-Man Band
Saturday, 4:40 * MAINSTAGE
Clarence Greenwood is a busy man. Under the name Citizen Cope, he plays keyboard, guitar, sings, and DJs. He's also an accomplished record producer. Not bad for a Southern boy who got his start as the DJ for Basehead. His early hip-hop roots have certainly influenced his current sound, which also includes influences ranging from folk, blues, reggae and rock to R & amp;B. While you might not recognize his name, you've heard his music before; he's had tunes featured in a Pontiac commercial as well as on episodes of Scrubs and One Tree Hill. Not the coolest, but you can't blame a dude for wanting to make a living. (CH)

Sunday, 4:20 * YETI
If ever a group existed that could shut up Oprah, Cosby, and Bill O'Reilly in the middle of a heated "hip-hop is killing society" rant, that group is Common Market. Emcee RA Scion spits precise, flawlessly articulated rhymes about getting involved in his community, caring about the next-gen Earth footprints, and, whenever he can, keeping in mind the life-and-death stakes of ordinary peoples' daily struggles. Un-hate-able. (AM)

Wishing It Was Still '97
Sunday, 7:40 * WOOKIE
The Dandies haven't had a hit in 10 years, really, not since they were surrounded by dancing syringes on MTV. Their last record was purchased by approximately three people and the over-under on them getting dropped by Capitol is sometime this fall. That said, they're a solid and entertaining live band, though I have my doubts about them playing a festival. The first time I ever saw them was at Ozone Records in 1995, and they explained away a shaky set by saying the 2 pm slot was the earliest they'd ever played. Good thing they're scheduled for the evening. (CH)

Sunday, 1:10 * WOOKIE
Earl Greyhound's sound recalls the Radiohead lyric, "I wish it were the 60's, I wish we could be happy." If time and space weren't an issue, then these bluesy New York retro rockers would fit in perfectly opening for Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix. Expect to hear the kind of heavy, fist-pumping, foot-stomping, good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll that's ideal for a buzzed summer day. (Katie Peifer)

Saturday, 3:30 * WOOKIE
No Shouts, No Calls, the new record by Electrelane, is eerily similar to "No Alarms, No Surprises." Like Radiohead, Electrelane have a definite political agenda, and, like Thom Yorke and company, the band prefers not to be overt about it. While their smart, feminist politics infuse almost every track, they've only produced one song that can be classified as a "protest song" to date. The rest of the time, they sound like a nice mix of Sonic Youth and the Velvet Underground -- hazy, lazy, but always biting and smart. (CH)

Saturday, 1:05 * YETI
"Gee-Teezy" is one-third of Seattle's Mass Line Media conglom. With Blue Scholars and Common Market, Teodros walks a party line that sees failure in the White House, racism in the media, and nervous struggle in the neighborhood. It's revolutionary music, albeit the kind of revolutionary music that would be at home on a Starbucks CD rack. He's in love with rapping, and it shows, but love for humanity is most audible over the course of his recent smash debut, Lovework. (AM)

Saturday, 4:40 * WOOKIE
In an effort to please both their electronic and rock leanings, this two-man Austin band performs funky grooves peppered with electronic wallops. Front man Aaron Behrens has drawn comparisons to both Freddie Mercury and Prince, and Ghostland's live show is said to be an energetic combination of past influences, gyrating stage presence, and futuristic beats. (KP)

Freak Folk
Saturday, 5:50 * WOOKIE
An open-air, sunny-day festival might not be the most ideal milieu for a Brooklyn-born outfit playing down-tempo, minor-key, psychedelic folk music... unless you have some mushrooms. The band's music is weird and a little dreamy. The strange sounds and layers and layers of vocals will wash over your dome like barges across the East River. (JS)

Sunday, 3:15 * YETI
Helio Sequence makes alternative rock. The band's impact is refreshingly straightahead, resting on Pablo Honey-era Radiohead guitars for atmosphere and driving drums for solidarity. They make a big impression live, which the annoying hipster standing next to you will tell you is "totally because they got Modest Mouse's old drummer." Ignore him. See Helio Sequence. (AM)

Saturday, 1:30 * MAINSTAGE
I've honestly never seen a more electric (or sweatier) half-hour than The Hold Steady set at the Middle East in Cambridge. Never. Singer Craig Finn was swilling and gesticulating his way through much of the band's second LP, Separation Sunday. While their latest, Boys and Girls in America, doesn't set the aching search for religious and narcotic epiphany along parallel paths as shockingly as Separation Sunday, it's just as good at capturing the panicked search for a party as good as the last one. Harrowing and danceable, they kick ass. (LB)

Joy Division Cover Band
Sunday, 8:45 * MAINSTAGE
An esteemed rock critic whose name I am too lazy to look up once described Interpol as "sounding incredibly happy to be depressed." They scurry around the Lower East Side of New York like rats with expensive haircuts and extensive record collections, showing up in bars and the Sunday Style section, looking pleased as punch that Ian Curtis hung himself and they grabbed the crown. Still, they're usually pretty entertaining (see the "Carlos D. has herpes" scandal of a few years back) and they might melt in the sunshine. (CH)

Sunday, 6:30 * YETI
Jesse Sykes has one of the sweetest voices around, and she is ably backed up by The Sweet Hereafter, which features Phil Wandscher (late of Whiskeytown) on guitar. Her latest record, Like, Love, Lust and the Open Halls of the Soul, is a stunning collection of beautifully crafted alt-country folk songs. For a slightly different take on her voice, check out her vocals in the song "The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)," from the SunnO)))/Boris collaboration album Altar. (CH)

Swedish Joy
Saturday, noon * WOOKIE
Loney, Dear is Swedish multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanangen along with three or four of his compatriot friends. A bedroom recordist since 2003, Svanangen's latest full-length self-release, Loney, Noir, was picked up by Sub Pop and re-released Stateside in 2007. Thank God. The album is packed with lovely, high-pitched melodies, sweet, creaking organs and songs that start modestly and then shoot like bottle rockets into a world of dancey pop. A perfect Wookie act. (JS)

Saturday, 7:35 * MAINSTAGE
Manu Chao is the trickster imp of world music. For the last decade or so, the French Spaniard has hitched from country to country, continent to continent, picking up scraps of music everywhere he goes and whipping them into a frenetic, tongue-twisting, left-leaning, slightly thuggy, slightly gutter brand of Euro/Latin/Afro-Pop. Big pretty much everywhere but in the States (until his recent production of Malian couple Amadou and Mariam's Dimanche a Bamako in 2004), it's rare to catch him here. Perfect music for a sunny, dancey afternoon in the Gorge. Especially when paired with M.I.A.. (JS)

Reggaeton Rebellion
Saturday, 6:10 * MAINSTAGE
London-bred singer/producer/Tamil Tiger rebel cub M.I.A. has a smoldering sex appeal that she uses for the most devious ends. She uses her sultriness to decry inequality, threaten politicians, upbraid the apathetic and -- most powerfully, yes -- even identify with the plight of children, forcing the appearance of arousal to sell their bodies in order to eat. The dance hall/reggaeton flavor and hard themes work as well in a festival context as they do at home on headphones with your goosebumps going. (LB)

Political Hip-Hop
Sunday, 7:05 * MAINSTAGE
This is why I love Wikipedia. While searching for biographical information on Michael Franti, I came upon this factoid: "Since 2000, he has been walking through life barefoot except, occasionally, for going on an airplane or into a restaurant when he wears flip-flops. Franti feels there is a division in the world between the consumer nations who buy shoes and the nations where people make shoes but can't afford them. He initially decided to go for three days without shoes, and has done so ever since." Nice sentiment, whatever, but eww. I now take back all my whining about Rage Against the Machine; while they're equally annoying, didactic, and Nader-supporting, at least they wear shoes. And, in the case of the non-Zach De La Rocha members, sell out in spectacular fashion as well. (CH)

Sunday, 2:10 * YETI
With their frenzied guitar riffs, light and airy harmonies, and tongue-in-cheek lyrical prowess, Minus the Bear seems to fuse multiple highlights of indie-rock mainstays such as Pinback, Death Cab for Cutie, and Modest Mouse. But it's the Seattle band's fantastic instrumental abilities that will really make them worth checking out live. (KP)

Oly Chic
Saturday, 5:25 * YETI
Every pit-hair-bearing girl within a 100-mile radius of the 98501 ZIP Code has Mirah on her list of favorite acts. The Evergreen grad -- cute, feminist, tough -- sounds something like Laura Veirs, Beth Orton and Liz Phair -- with a sweet voice, crunchy guitars, and a lot of spacey beats and samples -- and a lot like the Microphones' Phil Elvrum, her friend and frequent collaborator. (JS)

Saturday, noon; Sunday, 12:50 MAINSTAGE
Mix Master Mike is an amazing DJ. His movie-stealing section in the great turntablist documentary Scratch reveals that he thinks he can communicate with aliens through blending records, and once even air-traffic-controlled a spaceship's landing at the high school football field next to his apartment -- using sonic instructions from his turntables. What do you do when you reach the absolute pinnacle of your art form? Mix Master Mike has faced the problem of how to keep going up by going out. Of this world. (AM)

Sunday, 3:30 * WOOKIE
Tapped by the Beastie Boys for his prodigious ability to play every instrument ever, as well as think on piano keys clearer than most see through their glasses, Money Mark has shown up on multiple B-Boys albums but also maintains a solo career. Alone, he loops himself on drums or bass or guitar, plays improvised lines with multiple instruments over his loops, and runs everything through digital equipment, constantly playing with real and recorded time. It's bedroom pop from a guy whose idea of a bedroom is more like an airplane hangar. (AM)

Country Noir
Saturday, 3:40 * MAINSTAGE
Neko Case was unbelievably good for the 20 minutes she played last year before a freak hailstorm drove her offstage and brought the festival to a standstill. Sasquatch! is making it up to her -- and she's making it up to her legions of fans in the Northwest -- with another appearance this year. It should be electric. Tacoma-bred Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood was one of last year's best albums, and her hollering loud voice fills the Gorge like nobody else's. (JS)

Saturday, 2:30 * MAINSTAGE
Ozomatli blends Latin rhythms and accordion with hip-hop, rock, funk and jazz, sings in Spanish a veces and leans heavily toward Cesar Chavez-ian politics. (They came together in the late 90s at the Peace and Justice Center of Los Angeles and played their first gig for picketers during a strike.) Though they've stayed true to their political sensibilities, the explosive rawness of their 1998 self-titled debut is less evident on their most recent cut, Don't Mess With the Dragon. Still, they put on a hell of a show. (JS)

Sunday, 2:20-3:10 * WOOKIE
The lyrics from the title track of Patrick Wolf's recent album, The Magic Position, say it all: "It's gonna be a beautiful day, so do the bluebirds say, as I take your hand, and you take my kiss, and I take the world." On a similarly beautiful day in the Gorge (here's hoping), Wolf's recent transformation from his formerly brooding and self-serious musical sensibilities to a more gleeful and effervescent pop approach couldn't be more appropriate. The update continues to highlight the Londoner muliti-instrumentalist's penchant for baroque piano and string numbers, as well as his stunning baritone. Yet his considerable talent and potential star power are now front and center -- in even brighter Technicolor. Seeing Patrick Wolf live is a must, not only because he'll be performing many of the delightfully inspired new tracks from The Magic Position, but also because it's his only stop in Washington on his U.S. tour. (KP)

Mass Appeal
Sunday, 4:20 * MAINSTAGE
There's a reason you don't see too many solo singer-songwriters at festivals. With the attentions of thousands of people to hold, and so much physical space to fill, bigger is better. Mathematically speaking, then, Polyphonic Spree may be the best indie festival act ever. The Dallas-born ensemble features 24 members, including a 10-person choir and 14 other people playing trumpets, flutes, guitars, organs, harps, violins, drums, pianos, trombones -- you name it. Though surely a nightmare for sound guys, they play big, dreamy music -- the kind of thing you'd hear, maybe, in a dream about overcoming adversity to win a difficult foot race. (JS)

Saturday, 12:45 * MAINSTAGE
These Seattle rap artists raise eyebrows when they take the stage. Why? Because they look like three Falstaffs. To the eyes, TSK is a hip-hop truck driver (MC Barfly), bohemian oaf (MC Tilson), and big, bespectacled backbone (DJ Spence). To the ears, they are sure-shot party rockers, devilishly secure in their skills but more than willing to act like they have none. Don't sleep. The Saturday Knights' mix of hip-hop, rock, and flippant wit has never been attempted by such seasoned, skilled, sound-slingers. (AM)

Indie Rock
Saturday, 1:10 * WOOKIE
The Slip have been getting lots of love lately, including huge props from My Morning Jacket's Jim James, who praised them for "reaching out... They're taking what we know of music and trying to twist it to a different place." Not bad for a trio of Berklee dropouts, who have also managed to develop a cult following in Japan. The band draws many of their influences from the Boston indie rock scene, and you can hear echoes of the Lemonheads and Blake Babies floating around in even their most avant-rock compositions. (CH)

Kid Rock (seriously)
Sunday, 5:25 * YETI
Oh my God! So cute! Smoosh are two middle school-aged sisters who can really rock their instruments. Mentored by Death Cab drummer Jason McGerr after a chance meeting in a record store, the girls have since opened for Sleater-Kinney and Pearl Jam, among others. It's totally awesome and pop-tastic. (CH)

Sunday, 5:40 * MAINSTAGE
Any band that can pendulum between sprightly, piano-driven melodies about drug malaise ("The Way We Get By") and downbeat rhythm experiments repenting the male impulse to be a master rather than a partner ("Paper Tiger") ain't all bad, especially when you got a dude who sounds like a 12-year-old on the mic. Most of the time, Britt Daniel plays the allergy-plagued day camper, singing about subjects that are far too old for him through a bucket of hay-fever phlegm. His solo work is compelling by itself, but the way the band's clarity of tone plays off his vocal muddiness is nothing less than iconic. (LB)

Sunday, 12:00 * WOOKIE
St. Vincent is Annie Clark, veteran guitarist for the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens' touring band. On tour to promote the July release of her solo debut, Marry Me, the soprano and multi-instrumentalist will be performing a unique blend of guitar, bass, horns, strings, keyboards, and electronic beats. Her songs alternate from bass-thumping, fuzzy orchestral rockers to mellow and sweet piano crooners. In all, the lavishness of her songwriting and production underlines her serious talent and potential. (KP)

Sunday, 1:05-1:50 * YETI
Any band that's named after a Belle and Sebastian song is worth checking out in my book. Despite the fact that Stars of Track and Field's electronic leanings are a far cry from their namesake's twee indie pop, the Portland band's sound is still glittering and full of character. The group's sonic aura emerges through their vocal harmonies, subtle guitar solos and a hint of shoe-gaze, resulting in a highly atmospheric sound. (KP)

Yep, Indie
Sunday, 4:45 * WOOKIE
Fuzzy Bass, glitchy keys, trashy drums, beat machines, idiosyncratic male lead vocals, syrupy female backup: Yep, that's indie. The band sets itself apart -- aside from being Canadians who don't hail from Montreal -- by taking those elements and breaking them into bits, the components entering and leaving quickly. A key strike here, a drum fill, a quick bass line create songs that feel less like beginning-to-end progressions than chunkily stitched patchworks of sound. It's frenetic without being panicked. Good stuff. (LB)

Sunday, noon * MAINSTAGE
When the Seattle School District removed gospel music from its curriculum 32 years ago, Total Experience Gospel Choir's founder Pat Wright refused to go down without a fight. She formed her large choir, with members ranging in age from 6 to 65, and the group has exponentially gained in popularity and international recognition, not to mention night after night of standing ovations. Surging with "joy, love and enthusiasm," their presence will provide a fitting tribute to the majestic surroundings of the Gorge Amphitheatre. (KP)

Blues Rock
Saturday, 2:20 * WOOKIE
Two Gallants do the guitar and drums, White Stripes, Delta blues thing. They're certainly passable and fun to watch, and sparked an amazing riot at a Houston club last year. Officers responding to a noise complaint beat the stuffing out of the band members and Tasered a 14-year-old boy, who was then hospitalized with a seizure. All this is basically my way of saying that the band is OK, but if the rent-a-cops start getting itchy during their set, start running. (CH)

Power-Pop for Now People
Saturday, 4:20 * YETI
Visqueen haven't been the same since founding member and former Fastback Kim Warnick left in 2004, but they carry on the power pop torch admirably. Named after a brand of polyethylene film that United States Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge once recommended as a defense against bioterrorism, the band is sweet and upbeat, with plenty of hooks. Entertain yourself during the set by shouting out requests for "Vaxxine," which has received frequent airplay on U.S. independent radio stations, or yelling questions about love at Rachel. (In her spare time, she writes a love advice column for Seattle-based Website Three Imaginary Girls; it's called "Love Is Hard with Rachel Flotard.") (CH)

Saturday, 3:15 * YETI
Husband-and-wife team Kevin and Anita Robinson make music together, and the result is bluesy, Velvet Underground-y, and darkly psychedelic. There is a sexy edge to their work, as V. V. songs mostly nudge, rub, and tease the edges of full-on, tripped-out LSD rock, never quite breaking down into insanity, content to walk through its fiery wild side. Viva Voce's latest album, Barsuk Records' Get Yr Blood Sucked Out, smells like cigarettes and sounds like a lava lamps. (AM)


WOOKIE Saturday
YETI Sunday
How big is Aziz Ansari? In the eyes of MTV, he and his comedy troupe, Human Giant, are big enough to be given 24 uninterrupted broadcast hours to do as they please. That's Dave Grohl big. Courtney Love big. Well, a little smaller, considering the eponymously titled Human Giant is MTV's latest stab at a sketch comedy show. Yet, in a way, a little bigger. Dave never had his own show, right? Puts Ansari and crew up there with Nick Cannon. (LB)

YETI Saturday
Michael Showalter is one of those comedians constantly being called "too smart for TV." That's why his The Michael Showalter Show program on Comedy Central, like Zach Galifianakis' VH1 effort, HBO's Mr. Show, and even FOX's Arrested Development, is off the air. His work in Wet Hot American Summer secured fans aplenty, but YouTube his old TV shows and see why he should be way more famous. (AM)

Mainstage, Saturday and Sunday
"I was raped by a doctor, which is sooo bittersweet for a Jewish girl," says Sarah Silverman in one of her less controversial one-liners. The rest are white supremacist standards against Jews, blacks, "Chinks" and women, all told with the tone of a pampered Jewish princess. The shtick is ironic and funny, but the thing that makes her a potent critic of hate speech is how damn cute she is. Racism isn't transferred by neo-Nazis, but by sweet, dumb people who don't think about the impact of their words. (LB)

Iron Maiden, Trivium @ Spokane Arena

Fri., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.
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About The Author

Luke Baumgarten

Luke Baumgarten is commentary contributor and former culture editor of the Inlander. He is a creative strategist at Seven2 and co-founder of Terrain.