In unrelated news, following the somewhat disappointing (to me at least) line-up announced for this year's Bumbershoot music festival in Seattle (Tony Bennett, Skrillex, etc.), today Portland's MusicFest NorthWest (MFNW) released their lineup for the following week.
Their headliners start strong with the "world music-tinged indie folk" of Beirut on Friday, September 7, followed by the slightly perplexing decision to headline "mashup superstar" Girl Talk on Saturday, September 8 and the somewhat pedestrian choice of LA's "shoegazing alternative rockers" Silversun Pickups on Sunday, September 9. Still, it's a far better set of headliners than at Bumbershoot this year, even if Bumbershoot's already tried to prop up its cred by adding Goyte and Eight and a Half (side project of members of Broken Social Scene), and by promising future announcements of still more artists.
I've already seen MFNW headliners Beirut during last fall's Rocktober, and saw the Silversuns open for Muse back in March 2010, but it's the undercard that really intrigues me. In addition to the headliners, this year's MFNW performers will include showcase performances by Passion Pit, The Tallest Man On Earth, and The Helio Sequence, as well as shows featuring Menomena (whom I thought had broken up), Trampled By Turtles, Typhoon (Portland's indie-rock orchestra), Black Mountain (one of my favorite bands since at least '05), Future Islands, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, John Maus (the most electrifying performer I've ever seen), Moonface, Omar Souleyman, I Break Horses, Tanlines, Trust, the spooky Chelsea Wolfe, Blouse, Julia Holter, Gardens & Villa, The Soft Moon, These United States, Daughn Gibson, Mrs. Magician (who opened for Cults at The Earl), And And And, Craft Spells (whom I saw last year at Bumbershoot), Lake (last year at Bumbershoot), Lemolo (ditto), and a whole bunch more musicians I haven't even heard of yet.
So all that certainly makes the decision to head back out west this September a lot more rewarding. While the Bumbershoot lineup, at least as announced thus far, isn't quite so much disappointing as uninspired, the following week's lineup at MFNW is inspired and strong, and I'd probably fly west just on the promise of Beirut, Black Mountain, Menomena, and John Maus alone.