Musicfest NW: Please Go Folk Yourself (August 21st – 23rd)

So if you like Sasquatch because of the camping and the fashion, or the mix of the two, let’s call that fashing, I don’t hate you, but we might not have too many great conversations as I judge you while you talk. Here is an example of how you might use “fashing” in a sentence, “OMG, my parents found another 1 Million dollar bill under their pile of gold, and I just found my tent(aka portable cabin) that we can hook up to my brand new Land Rover(because I love outdoors, but not the environment), so let’s go “fashing”! I’ll bring my maids.”. Okay, that was more than a sentence, but you get the point. ANYWAY, if I haven’t lost you yet, let’s talk about a festival that those of you who LIKE music will like a lot.

I lied, not all of you that like music will like this festival, mainly because the only hip hop act is Danny Brown and there is not electronica, but lots of you who like music will like this festival. This festival that I have neglected to mention so far is Musicfest NW, the largest festival in Portland. They hold this title simply because Pickathon is not in Portland, but rather the Pleasantville right next to Portland called Happy Valley. MUSICFEST NW, however, does have larger names than Pickathon, and with less stages and a smaller lineup they have less bands that you don’t know. The booking for this festival seems to be in contrast to the pop of Project Pabst and pushed for a sort of 2013 indie folk kid crowd. For those of you who have read my writing, you might have noticed that I am totally still a 2013 indie folk kid and I love this lineup. Let’s start with the smaller bands and move up.

Smallish Bands

BEAT CONNECTION! So, they are really low on the lineup, but that’s because this festival is not in Seattle, in Seattle Beat Connection is HUGE! So, if you’re sick of trying to get into their larger shows, here is a place where you might be able to see them with people who may  have never heard them, and you, you little indie kid, can once again feel like you’ve found a band before they hit it big. The other smaller band I really like on this lineup is Lady Lamb. She is one of the most interesting writers in folky music right now, and she is a tad gruesome. Her writing brushes similar writing styles to Colleen Green, Chastity Belt. With the large voice that comes out of her tiny body, she owns every second that she is on stage. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you do not miss her, ever.

Middlish Bands

Let’s move to middle sized bands. We can start with Twin Shadow. This guy has a HUGE sound, and it almost feels a little 80’s. It’s wonderful. This will be the best dance show of the festival, and maybe the best dance show of your fantastic little life! MisterWives is my next recommendation. A little bit like Broods or FKA Twigs, but in reality it’s far poppier. MisterWives is catchy and the front woman has some power behind those catchy lyrics. Another dancy show to get you ready for the headliners.

Largish Bands

Now for the ALMOST big acts. The Tallest Man on Earth. This lil’ Swedish guy will make you cry in happiness, sadness, and Nostalgia. He has one of the most unique voices in the folk game(just kidding there is no “folk game”) and this added to his fast guitar is simply brilliant. Next is Belle and Sebastian. I really don’t need to say much, because I am sure there are tons of people who bought tickets to this festival just to see Belle and Sebastian. They are experimental, weird, and beautifully talented. DO NOT MISS THEM, please, for the love of yourself, myself, and humanity do not miss them.

Largerish Bands

Now for the huge bands. The first question you should be asking is, “Marcus(my name), do you like Modest Mouse?” My answer is “Yes”. The second question is “Marcus, do you like their new album.” “No”. I am still however excited to see them. I was able to catch them at Sasquatch and their set and their fans are SOOOO WILD, like wild animals or something. I also LOVE Beirut. Beirut has its own genre and its folk, but, not for American folks. They have catchy ways with their instruments, and you should be about it. If you haven’t heard Beirut, try it out. Ryan Lewis did it, and then sampled it, and then to most of our misfortune got famous with Macklemore….

Recognize it?


There it is. Now you understand.

Things I am not sure about at MusicfestNW

I’ve heard it’s one giant stage… Not about it. That means no one gets good spots for any shows.

Foster the People… I’m over it.

Lack of Hip Hop… With only one Hip Hop artist, you could do better than Danny Brown.

Per usual, disapproving of Danny Brown and Macklemore is always a good ending point. Look out for full blog and social media coverage during the festival.

Marcus Shriver | A Can Closer | KXSU Head Reporter


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