May 31st, 2010 5:33 pm | by CASEY JARMAN Music | Posted In: Columns, News

MusicfestNW Announces Preliminary Lineup (Exclusive!)

Musicfest NorthwestMFNW director Trevor Solomon likes to walk over to our desks and say things like "Major Lazer." We're, presumably, supposed to provide some kind of response. Some of these crazy ideas come to fruition (Major Lazer, for example), and some of them don't. But by this time of year, WW's annual MusicfestNW festival (Sept. 9-12) is in its "mostly figured out" phase. Headliners like the National, Sleep, the Decemberists, Okkervil River and Menomena (god, when's the last time Menomena played Portland? Last year's PDX Pop NOW!?) are the big news, but keep an eye on the fine print as well (Surfer Blood! Shonen Knife! BOAT!). There will be more surprises to come, but below is a press release detailing the first chunk of artists playing at this year's festival. This press release goes out to other media outlets tomorrow, so you'll be seeing this around.

A big change this year is that there are two shows at Pioneer Courthouse Square—one headlined by the National and one by Portland's own Decemberists—and there's some trickiness to that. If you just want to go to one of those two outdoor shows, your wristband will cost $65. If you want to go to both, you'll have to pay $90. It stands to reason that individual ticket purchases for either of those two shows will cost more than the $25 difference in wristband prices. Hopefully this isn't too confusing. On one hand, the full $90 is a significant jump in wristband pricing from last year. On the other, shows on the Square (which, from what I understand, ain't cheap to rent out) could be pretty special, weather permitting—or, hell, weather not permitting: That'd be a lot more emblematic of the Portland experience. Either way it's a pretty bold move to mark the 10th anniversary of MFNW. I'm sure there'll be plenty of discussion on it here, and everywhere. But first scroll down and skip straight to the preliminary lineup, and for god sakes get off the computer and enjoy what's left of this fine Memorial Day weekend.

Willamette Week's MusicfestNW announces 2010 festival lineup for Sept. 9-12. Bands appearing include The Decemberists, The National, Okkervil River, Major Lazer, Sleep performing Holy Mountain, Menomena, The Thermals, Wiz Khalifa, The Walkmen and more.

For full lineup, see below??.

Portland, OR (June 1, 2010): Willamette Week is thrilled to announce the preliminary lineup for MusicfestNW, now in its 10th year of showcasing the finest in national and regional music in one of the most compelling urban areas anywhere.

In a break with the past, the festival is adding to its 17-club, four-night, 160-band festival two outdoor performances in Portland's civic living room: historic Pioneer Courthouse Square, in the very belly of downtown Portland.

Two of America's peerless rock bands, local folk-rock heroes The Decemberists and critically lauded art-rockers The National, headline the Levi's Stage at Pioneer Courthouse stage on Saturday, Sept. 11, and Sunday, Sept. 12.

Since MFNW's beginning (as North by Northwest), it has aspired to put on a diverse event, one that honors one of this region's best exports—the Northwest music scene—while looking to the future beyond the horizon.

Other confirmed headliners include Austin folk-rock band Okkervil River, booty-bounce dance juggernaut Major Lazer, reunited metal outfit Sleep, Portland's beloved indie rock trios The Thermals and Menomena, emerging hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa, and New York City's effortlessly cool The Walkmen.?? Seattle's KEXP 90.3-FM—one of America's finest public radio stations and a leading authority in indie rock—will broadcast MFNW live from Portland's Doug Fir Lounge and feature in-studio performances from the festival.

MFNW is also partnering with Nike for a series of free, all-ages daytime performances at the Wonder Ballroom. Headliners and set times will be announced soon. ??MusicfestNW is a project of Willamette Week, Portland's Pulitzer Prize-winning alt-weekly, as well as members of the regional music, food and drink scenes.

Here's a very partial list of past performances: Modest Mouse, Vampire Weekend, TV on the Radio, Sunny Day Real Estate, Spoon, Girl Talk, Explosions in The Sky, M. Ward, Built to Spill, Arctic Monkeys, Cat Power, Silver Jews, and Rilo Kiley.

?Festival wristbands go on sale June 5, 2010, at two price points:

• $90 for an all-inclusive wristband that gets you into both outdoor shows and the rest of the four-day festival.

$65 for one of the two outdoors shows (The Decemberists or The National) and the rest of the fest.

Individual tickets for shows at Pioneer Square, Crystal Ballroom, and The Roseland Theater will also be on sale June 5. All ticket information can be found at

Full preliminary lineup:

The Decemberists
The National
Okkervil River
Major Lazer
Sleep performing Holy Mountain
The Thermals
Wiz Khalifa
Ra Ra Riot
The Walkmen
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
The Helio Sequence
Justin Townes Earle
David Bazan
The Tallest Man on Earth
The Gories
No Means No
Man Man
Laura Veirs
Bobby Bare Jr.
Titus Andronicus
Surfer Blood
Crooked Fingers
Shonen Knife
People Under the Stairs
Cold Cave
Frank Turner
The Builders and the Butchers
Washed Out
Black Prairie
Thee Oh Sees
Abe Vigoda
Big Freedia
Laser Sword
From Ashes Rise
Devin Phillips
The Suckers
Trash Talk
Scott Kelly
Rocky Votolato
Blue Giant
The Minus 5
Dan Mangan
Jeff the Brotherhood
Marc Olson
Red Fang
The Zeros
Let's Wrestle
Pierced Arrows
The Bellrays
Portland Cello Project
The Magic Kids
DJ Beyonda
Richmond Fontaine
Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside
Tu Fawning
Death by Stereo
White Hinterland
Damion Suomi
Y La Bamba

The National in the New York Times (a good read, that's all)
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