We're excited about: Dr. Lonnie Smith, who absolutely killed last year's fest; the mighty Maze; French electro-geniuses Justice.

We're hoping for: A star-studded tribute to Etta James.

PDX Pop Now!, July 20-22

We're hoping for: Another great showing from Radiation City; Lifesavas, or at least Vursatyl; a headlining set from Red Fang; the PDX pop debut of the Doo Doo Funk All-Stars; lots of young bands we've never heard.

Pickathon, August 3-5

We're excited about: The incomparable Neko Case, a legend in her own time; the twangy, trippy sounds of Phosphorescent; Canadian rock duo Handsome Furs; a host of intriguing international bands.

MusicfestNW 2012, Sept. 5-9

We're hoping for: An all-out Pioneer Place dance party and warm weather.