Navigating MusicfestNW can leave even lifelong Portlanders looking like common tourists, standing dazed on a street corner, trying to figure out which direction to head. Every night is a treacherous journey in which one bad decision can ruin the entire evening. Don't worry, though: WW is here to help. Plotting the perfect schedule can be overwhelming, but it's not impossible. Each night of the festival, check back here to read our music experts' suggestions for making your MFNW the best damn MFNW it can be. That way, you'll never be on the receiving end of that most painful of statements: "Oh, dude, you shoulda been there!"
Tuesday, Sept. 3
Roseland Theater, 7 pm
[ELECTRO HIP-HOP] At 24, Portland DJ Gang$ign$—aka Nick Sisouphanh—possesses a musical palate that belies his age. This is a dude who isn’t afraid to mix braggadocio-laced gangster thump with Doris Day samples, electronic fuzz, jazz, punk and indie rock, putting it all through a Skrillex- and Dre-infused filter. AP KRYZA.
Roseland Theater, 8 pm.
[FREAK RAP] Part Shabazz Palaces, part Tyler the Creator, part feral beast, Nacho Picasso proves you can get experimental without ditching all the nasty shit built into the foundation of post-gangster rap. Nacho’s beats run the gamut from hypnotically ambient to darkly stirring, punctuated by deep thumps that make the MC’s slow, steady flow all the more menacing. AP KRYZA.
Dante’s, 9 pm.
[GARAGE ROCK] Summer Cannibals’ Jessica Boudreaux doesn’t scream her anger. Throughout No Makeup, the Portland band’s debut album, Boudreaux seethes with raw tunefulness rather than open-throated rage. She leaves the aggression to guitarist Marc Swart, who plugs directly into the shared amp of the Cannibals’ Pacific Northwest garage-punk forebears, from Dead Moon through Sleater-Kinney. MATTHEW SINGER.
"Say what you will about bands that have girls in them. Actually, don't: Summer Cannibals are better than that. After Frank Black drove his car into the ocean, it crashed through the swell and washed up, a few seasons later, on the island where Summer Cannibals might be discovered." —Bim Ditson, And And And
Roseland Theater, 10 pm
[NEW CLASSIC HIP-HOP] Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ likes to keep things candid. He’ll tell you, without hesitation, that any record label that wants to sign him will have to pay him $3 million up front. He’ll also tell you that he still lives with his mom at her house in Flatbush. Welcome to the life of an 18-year-old prodigy. With his introspective lyrics and sample-based sound, many have declared Bada$$—born Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott—the savior of New York hip-hop. His debut mixtape, last year’s 1999, was a throwback to the “golden age” of the genre, when rappers used their lyrics to broadcast social ills and call for change, and beats were built on fuzzy soul samples and James Brown drum breaks. Scott not only paid tribute to the likes of EPMD, A Tribe Called Quest and Wu-Tang Clan, but he made old sounds ring fresh. Not bad for a kid who wasn’t even born when 36 Chambers came out. REED JACKSON. (Read our full Joey Bada$$ profile here.)
Dante’s, 11 pm
[POWER POP] There’s a strong case to be made for Redd Kross being L.A.’s greatest band. The long-running outfit, led by brothers Steve and Jeff McDonald, has survived everything from the “live fast, die young” days of punk to the rise of glam metal to the birth of Alternative Nation, all while resisting the urge to adjust their powerful, arena-ready pop one iota. ROBERT HAM.