Spitfire pseudo-preachers, sexy-spastic frontwomen, ghosts and dream weavers—they're all here in Willamette Week's fifth annual Best New Bands issue. But first things first: Just so we're clear, WW does not pick the winner, or even the top 10. Neither do most of you. That task is left to a very unscientific pool of local music industry peeps (read more about the Best New Band voting process in "The Downside of Up"). Each year, WW polls everyone from club bookers and radio DJs to label heads, show promoters and area music critics in an effort to see who's tickled their sonic fancies over the past year—in other words, who Portland's professional music community (this year 129 voters strong) feels is our town's "Best New Band." This time around, a whopping 297 artists were sent back to us, 10 of whom you're about to get way more acquainted with. Don't think of it as a meeting of music snob minds. Think of it as a fan club!