The four words in this year's guide to MusicfestNW that bring me the greatest joy are "Aqueduct in the hizzy." Granted, that's because I'm a huge dork, but don't let that taint your opinion of pop mastermind David Terry (a.k.a. Aqueduct)—or the countless other folks I'm excited to see. Which brings us to the one dark 'n' ugly aspect of MFNW: planning. Now, my colleagues and enemies alike will tell you I'm one über-organized gal (again, dorky), but making a MFNW game plan proves daunting even for me. While I'm inclined to bust out the Excel spreadsheets, highlighters and glue (don't ask), that just wouldn't be fair. Like you, I've got to sit down with that formidable MFNW schedule (available at festival venues or at and pit some of my favorite acts against one another. It's a collection of bouts whose outcomes depend on time, stamina, geography and allotted sandwich breaks (you'll see). Here's a prediction of how my MFNW will go down this time around.


After checking out

Cat Power

and opener

Bobby Bare Jr.

—who's rumored to be playing with members of the Decemberists—at the first of three incredibly rad, AudioCinema-hosted afternoon shows (presented by Nike), I will head over to LocalCut homestead the Towne Lounge. Thursday evening ushers in three local showcases curated by


and writers—the first of which is my own. I will be stoked to hear

the Crosswalks

launch into "The Trim" (after which, if I'm feeling frisky, I will ask them to play again). My face will hurt from smiling all night, but—deep inside—I'll also be battling a profound desire to run across town and see


grace the Doug Fir with his Kevin Smith-ish looks and super-infectious keyboard pop. Regardless, I'll make an attempt at trekking over after my showcase for

Shaky Hands

, who will undoubtedly blow my mind with experimental weirdness and breezy indie-pop—all in one!


Friday's kind of a no-brainer, actually. I will start out with

Kurt Hagardorn

's '70s-inspired pop and an egg sammy (the one with bacon) at Slabtown before heading over to


assistant music editor Casey Jarman's LocalCut showcase. I will finally hear


play "No Shit" live (yes!). Afterward, I'll be tempted to wander over to Jimmy Mak's for a dose of

Redray Frazier

's sultry acoustic soul, but I'll end up at the Towne Lounge for


(and if he plays "German Love" early on, I'll incorrectly sing "jungle love" over it out of habit). Much to my chagrin, I'll leave early to catch

Eric Bachmann

at the Doug Fir, hoping he'll break out some Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf tunes in addition to his broodingly awesome solo work (as he did last year). I'll want to stay for

Grizzly Bear

but will leave anyway since I caught them earlier that day at the second Nike show. Instead, I will go back to Slabtown for

Anders Parker

and eat another egg sandwich (the brat-filled one) before the

Builders and the Butchers

take the stage; if they're handing out instruments, I call dibs on the maracas!


Though the screening of new Kurt Cobain doc

About a Son

will pique my interest (as will the industry panel discussions to follow), I will be exhausted from the night before and not head out until

the Brunettes

beckon me to the Crystal. The next hour is fucking tough: I will either grab a drink and sing along (unabashedly) to

the Morals

at Tube, grab a drink and sing along (more reservedly) to

Loch Lomond

at Dante's or hightail it over to Berbati's to grab a drink and cry into it to

Damien Jurado

. From there on out, I'll be planted at Berbati's for ex-Grandaddy frontman

Jason Lytle

and what's set to be an all-time MFNW high point:

Okkervil River

. If I've got a shred of energy left in me (which I most certainly won't), I'll swing by Kelly's Olympian on the way home to drunkenly jig it up to Celtic-punkers




By Sunday, I will feel like someone hooked me up to a Maker's Mark IV, put bananas in my ears and shoved me down a stairwell. But I will still drag myself out for

Wolf Parade

's MFNW sendoff. They'll play "I'll Believe In Anything," and I will lose my shit. Then, because I'm so darn persnickety, I'll go home and compare my real-life fest notes to this here game plan and (hopefully) give myself a big, gold star.

MusicfestNW (a


production) takes place Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 6-9. Find a guide at festival venues or at or check out WW’s MFNW guide.