Everyone has their own definition of a "good day."
If you're a rapper from South Central L.A., your ideal 24 hours might involve eating a pork-free breakfast, hooking up with your high-school crush and seeing your name in the lights of the Goodyear Blimp.
For the average Portlander, it's probably something more modest—like, say, slugging a tallboy at the riverfront while rapping along to every word of a song you know as well as any nursery rhyme.
For 17 years, MusicfestNW has been like one of those fly dreams. It's taken different forms, but it's always acted as a respite from the hassles of life in a growing city. In this time of great civic angst, having that break from everyday reality is more important than ever. So this year, MFNW upped the ante, merging with Project Pabst to bring Portland the biggest festival it's ever seen. It's a weekend to put aside the skyrocketing rent and gnarled traffic and focus on the things that drew us here in the first place: music and beer.
Looks like it worked—in a year when attendance has dwindled at major outdoor festivals like Sasquatch and Bonnaroo, MusicfestNW presents Project Pabst (or MFNWpPP, as we like to call it) might be sold out by the time you read this.
It's no surprise, really, when you look at the lineup. Legacy acts like '80s synth-pop immortals Duran Duran and revived prankster-geniuses Ween share space with the likes of psychedelic masters Tame Impala and Harlem rapper A$AP Ferg, whose legacies are still being written. There are new bands like Hop Along and Sheer Mag, who are injecting rock with fresh energy and emotion, while locals like Liv Warfield, Kyle Craft and Unknown Mortal Orchestra prove that Portland is still one of the country's vital music scenes. And then there's Ice Cube, whose voice of blunt-force protest is every bit as potent today as it was when he came blasting outta Compton three decades ago.
Next week, we'll go back to arguing over apartment buildings, crawling to work on I-5 and worrying about Trump. Today, though, we're going to party hard with Andrew W.K. and Diarrhea Planet, get boozed up with Nathaniel Rateliff, and maybe even destroy a van in the name of art. Second Amendment people, keep the AK in the lock box. It's going to be a good one.
Willamette Week Music Editor
Get tickets at projectpabst.com.
Ice Cube: Original Gangster, Unconventional Activist b/w Portland Rappers' Favorite Cube Lyrics | Portland's Most Hardcore Duran Duran Fans b/w Rare Duran Duran Memorabilia | Tame Impala Weed Strains | The Cult of Ween | The Myth of Drive Like Jehu | Ask Andrew W.K. | Five Facts About A$AP Ferg | Five Facts About Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats | Tenement | The Coathangers | Liv Warfield | Parquet Courts | Hop Along | STRFKR | Unknown Mortal Orchestra | Sheer Mag | Diarrhea Planet | Kyle Craft | Awesome Things at Project Pabst That Aren't Music | Project Pabst Night Shows