The home stretch! (Bloggers in order of appearance: Arya Imig, Ruth Brown, Emilee Booher, Shane Danaher, Matthew P. Singer, Robert Ham, Mark Stock, Jonathan Frochtzwajg, Nora Eileen Jones, Martin Cizmar.)


12:05 pm @ Doug Fir Lounge
I didn't attend any MFNW on Friday so that I would be well rested and awake early enough to see Dinosaur Jr. at Noon on a Saturday in a small club. Hell yeah, brother. Shortly after getting on stage, Lou Barlow lets the s-h word slip. "The one thing they said not to do, and I did it," he apologized. The legendary trio had no setlist and welcomed shouted out requests from the audience. It's a pity we were all just barely awake enough to not mosh, but there would be time for that later. (AI)

2:05 pm @ the Bing Lounge
Punctuated by earnest, honest and self deprecating banter, the Tallest Man On Earth's Kristian Matsson played a short, moving set to a packed Bing Lounge. (AI)

2:32 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square
When I ran into Starfucker's Shawn Glassford at Squarepusher earlier this summer, I teased the multi-instrumentalist that his group would have to kick it up a notch in the light show department. "We're actually working on building a light wall," he replied. On a trek from the Bing Lounge to the Dinosaur Jr. pop up shop, we stopped and caught a little of Starfucker's soundcheck. Sure enough, there was that light wall, lookin' good. (AI)

2:53 pm @ Red Bull Common Thread Dinosaur Jr. Pop Up Shop
Caffeine count at this point: tea, Guayaki yerba mate, Monster Energy drink at the Bing Lounge, and now a Red Bull. I'm kind of freaking out a little bit, talking a mile a minute, dropping my ice cream, and phone. I'm about to meet one of my favorite bands of all time, and I have a feeling I'm gonna be the Chris Farley to their Paul McCartney. ("Stupid!!!") Meet and greets are weird for both signers and people getting their stuff signed, I'm sure but how could anything be more awkward than trying to interact with the notoriously taciturn J. Mascis? It wasn't my most uncomfortable interaction of the day so it was totally worth it to get that purple J on the giant, giant posters available in store. It's going to be really interesting to see where this Red Bull Common Thread series goes next. (AI)

3 pm @ Puppet Labs
The final event of Portland Digital eXperience is a hackathon using APIs from Spotify, Rumblefish, MapQuest and Twilio. There's a big turnout and some pretty cool things are created—one uses a WW article to create a map of Elliott Smith songs and their inspirations around Portland. I hope next year's festival has way more of these hands-on sessions, and more music tech mashups. (RB)

5:08 pm @ Doug Fir Lounge
Redd Kross are ripping through a really great high energy set but this damn cell phone keeps trying to get service. The McDonald brothers make a lot of jokes about turning off iphones before Jeff finally confesses it's his iphone in the bottom of a John Lennon duffel bag that is the culprit. (AI)

5:09 pm @ Doug Fir Lounge
Redd Kross are selling cassette tapes of their new album Researching The Blues at the merch booth. Of course they are. (AI)

5:32 pm @ Someday Lounge
I agreed to watch a cell phone charging station at MFNW's VIP revitalization lounge for a couple of hours, forgetting it was right up against Starfucker's set at Pioneer Courthouse Square. C'est la vie. For the next few hours, it's like I'm a bartender, providing a service, bullshitting with strangers. I drink another Red Bull, and it's not so bad. (AI)

6:30 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square
AU is playing with a whole lot of energy, which sometimes proves to be a difficult task for opening bands performing in front of trickling, unsettled audiences. Some guy just stepped on the back of the stage and started rocking out hard with a huge smile on his face. I don't know who he is, but he's dressed so well that I feel like I should know. (EB)

7:30 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square
Starfucker's live show (which includes some fancy, synced lighting) has tightened considerably since the last time I saw the group. It's nice to see a couple thousand people lose their shit over "German Love," which is something I've been insisting should happen for a good long while now. (SD)

7:37 pm @ Someday Lounge
I'm supposed to close the cell phone charging station but a straggler's android is still plugged in and the owner is nowhere to be found. I get a friend to watch the station for a minute while I try to find the Android owner. I ask a couple of people twice if the phone is theirs before finally hearing from my friend that the owner has retrieved his phone. (AI)

8 pm @ Backspace
"This venue is the best," I overhear one of tonight's performers say. "I just played Counter-Strike." (AI)

8:05 pm @ Doug Fir
Kicking off the last full night of MFNW by drinking a beer alone in the corner upstairs at Doug Fir. I don't think I've fully recovered from last night yet, but I'm determined to power through. It's basically my job now. (MPS)


8:45 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square
The Pioneer Courthouse shows have leaned understandably toward mellower fare in past years, but Girl Talk's ability to instigate mayhem on a grand scale argues for a reversal of this policy. I'd feel pretty well served if I paid the price of admission and was only able to see his light show/toilet paper cannons, to say nothing of the courtyard-spanning dance party that sets everyone from pinnacle to pit into motion. (SD)

8:45 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
The pre-concert music is a mix of '80s hip-hop. Perfect for opening act Xiu Xiu but hilariously out of place for the headliner. (RH)

8:50 pm @ Doug Fir
Screw Girl Talk: The We Shared Milk is dropping some killer hazy-stoned jams right now. They will be ruling Portland soon. (MPS)

9:05 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
Sadly, it looks like Jamie Stewart is on his own tonight. Guess he didn't want the full band experience to overshadow the meek, quiet sound of Swans. #irony (RH)

9:07 pm @ Old Church
So pleased this place joined the long list of venues. It's gorgeous in here. Pure Bathing Culture's rubbery sound is bouncing off of the many soft walls of this beautiful chamber. The band sounds fantastic, like a girl-next-door version of Beach House. (MAS)

9:10 pm @ Holocene
Man, way to be late to Vice Device, me. VD—he he—is maybe my favorite band in Portland right now, combining my fondness for the sax and my predilection for music that scares me a bit. (JF)

9:20 pm @ Roseland Theater
J. Mascis is on stage with an acoustic guitar plugged into a lot of effects and at one point it sounds like a symphony of noise. It's the perfect weird soundtrack to the emotionally charged conversation I'm having with a friend, but I stop him when J. plays "Not Enough" from last year's solo record Several Shades of Why. (AI)

9:23 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
This is my first time seeing someone on stage hitting a gong with a slingshot. Will it be my last? (RH)

9:33 pm @ Old Church
You can't carry a Heineken out of the small impromptu bar, so I'm stuck staring at old photos of Portland buildings that no longer exist. There's an incredible light fixture in here and it's blinking when Pure Bathing Culture plays extra hard. The band is playing wonderfully together, amazed by the echo chamber that is the Old Church and what its doing to their songs. (MAS)

9:37 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
Jamie Stewart is screaming about abortions while clawing at an autoharp and a theremin simultaneously. A guy up on the balcony yells, "It'll be OK!" (MPS)

9:39 pm @ Roseland Theater
J's set is over. "Alright, thanks. See ya in a bit, " he says. I think he's actually really enjoying the Common Thread concept. (AI)

9:45 pm @ Holocene
Was planning to camp out at Holocene all night, then realized: That's not the MFNW way! Headed to Doug Fir to see this Kishi Bashi fellow the kids are talking about. (JF)

9:49 pm @ Roseland Theater
I'm continuing that emotionally charged conversation from earlier and Eric Clapton's "Cocaine" comes on over the house speakers. The dude soundchecking vocal mics intones "Cocaine, cocaine, 1,2, check, check, cocaine, check check." It's funny, trust me. (AI)

9:50 pm @ Roseland Theater
Too tired and lazy to make my way over to the Hawthorne for Swans. I'm already wearing plaid, so I may as well go see Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. (RB)

9:50 pm @ Hawthorne Theater

All the heavy-hitters of the local music scene have made it out to see Swans: Jason Urick, Sir Richard Bishop, Jed Bindeman (Eternal Tapestry), Luke Wyland (AU). (RH)

9:50 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
10 pm @ Ted’s Berbati’s Pan
10 pm @ Crystal Ballroom
10:07 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
10:10 pm @ Doug Fir
10:10 @ Ted’s Berbati’s Pan
10:12 @ Hawthorne Theater
10:15 pm @ Doug Fir
10:15 pm @ Doug Fir
10:17 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
10:18 pm @ Ted’s Berbati’s Pan

10:20 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
10:20 pm @ Old Church
10:20 pm @ Ted’s Berbati’s Pan
10:30 pm @ Ted’s Berbati’s Pan

10:30 pm @ Doug Fir

10:30 pm @ Branx
10:35 pm @ somewhere on Burnside
10:35 pm @ Doug Fir
10:38 pm @ Roseland Theater
10:40 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
10:48 pm @ Roseland Theater
10:50 pm @ Roseland Theater
10:52 @ pm Roseland Theater

10:53 pm @ Roseland Theater
Holy shit. All of a sudden I realize this might be my favorite MFNW ever. There's just been something about enjoying great bands with old friends, new friends, and colleagues that has been chill as fuck. It doesn't hurt that my experience has been bookended on either side by Joyce Manor and Dinosaur Jr., two of my favorite bands this year. (AI)

10:58 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
Swans start tearing into the title track from its new album The Seer. Nearly 40 minutes later they will end the song, riding waves of shuddering volume and dynamics, and enveloping tribal rhythms. For the band, it looks like another sweaty day at the office; for everyone here in the audience, it's a religious experience (RH)

11:10 pm @ Branx
Branx smells really fishy right now.  The things I do for you, Big Freedia. (NEJ)

11:10 pm @ Roseland Theater
Dinosaur Jr.'s drummer Murph is on stage meticulously adjusting his drum kit. That kit's had a busy day too. (AI)

11:15 pm @ Crystal Ballroom
This place is packed. People are either frustrated about a) finding a place to stand in hopes of catching even a glimpse of who seems to be the shortest man on earth, or b) trying to experience the feeling of his songs through all of the crowd chatter. C'mon people—just hug 'n' sway. (EB)

11:18 pm @ Berbati's
The Soft Moon is dark and droning, like the soundtrack to an '80s horror film. Only this soundtrack has bounce. The drummer is beating the hell out of his equipment. I'm pretty sure a splintered piece of drumstick just landed in my neighbor's drink. (MAS)

11:20 pm @ Holocene
Back at MFNW's darkwave night, Dangerous Boys Club's Aaron Montaigne is just a dancing silhouette amidst plumes of fog and fields of lasers. (JF)

11:20 pm @ Roseland Theater
Dinosaur Jr. are twenty minutes late to the stage. (AI)

11:20 pm @ Roseland Theater
J. Mascis appears to be wearing neon yellow teddy bear slippers. According to his instagram, they are actually Adidas sneakers acquired from the Adidas HQ earlier in the day: 

Needless to say, they are mesmorising. (RB)

11:20 pm @ Branx
Ass everywhere, ass everywhere. Big Freedia BROUGHT IT. The best thing about this show is watching Portlanders twerk and booty bounce. Priceless. (NEJ)

11:22 pm @ Branx
I know that majestic creature onstage in the kaleidoscope jacket!! GO JAMAL! SHAKE THAT THANG! (NEJ)

11:24 pm @ Roseland Theater
11:25 pm @ Roseland Theater
11:32 pm @ Roseland Theater
11:34 pm @ Crystal Ballroom
11:40 pm @ Crystal Ballroom
11:43 pm @ Crystal Ballroom
11:46 pm @ Roseland Theater

11:47 pm @ Hawthorne Theater
Swans seems like its far from over, but I manage to tear myself from the band's grip to haul my aching bones downtown for one final show. (RH)

11:46 pm @ Roseland Theater
J. takes another swig of coconut water. I don't even like coconut water, but I'm jealous he has something to quench his thirst. (AI)

11:50 pm @ Branx
Rather than the booty-shaking contests or the rapid-fire onslaught of club bangers, the best part of Big Freedia's set winds up being the string of hard-assed a cappella verses she delivers by way of a closer. (SD)

11:54 @ Roseland Theater
Dinosaur Jr. plays "Feel The Pain". I'm grabbing friends and strangers in the mosh pit by the shoulders and we're screaming at each other, "I FEEL THE PAIN OF EVERYONE!!! AND THEN I FEEL NOTHING!!!" This is so much fun. (AI)

11:55 pm @ Crossing W Burnside
Sorry, Dino Jr., but I must leave you for Redd Kross. It's been real. (RB)

12 am @ Doug Fir
The tap of Fat Tire ran out halfway through my cup, so the bartender gave me a whole other cup of Newcastle too. Cool! (NEJ)

12 am @ Dante's
The crowd waiting for Redd Kross to come on stage deserves to be way bigger than this. Ah well, your loss, MFNW. (RB)

12:10 am @ Dante's
The boys in Redd Kross look their age (bassist Steve McDonald will be 50 next year; his younger brother Jeff is in his late 40s), but everything else about them is as youthful as ever. The brothers McDonald hit their harmonies and swagger on the stage like it's 1984 all over again. (RH)

12:14 am @ Roseland Theater
"Are you guys ok?" asks Lou Barlow. "I just wanna make sure you guys are okay."(AI)

12:15 am @ Holocene
I see how Nite Jewel, aka Ramona Gonzalez, fits this bill, but it is decidedly the funkiest, most joyous act on it. Gonzalez compensates for her small stature by pogoing around the stage between keyboard parts. (JF)

12:15 am @ Roseland Theater
I've just been thinking how this mosh pit for Dinosaur Jr. has been the most fun I've had in a mosh since seeing Weezer in Seattle last summer. It's cathartic and raucous all at the same time. I gotta get some fucking water though. On my way to purchase it I run into Kathy Foster from the Thermals, who opened that Weezer show. As I approach the counter for a bottle of water, the band plays "Freak Scene". Of course they do. (AI)

12:20 am @ Dante’s
12:23 am @ Roseland Theater
12:28 am @ Roseland Theater
12:30 am @ Doug Fir
12:30 am @ Doug Fir
12:30 am @ Dante’s
12:39 am @ Roseland Theater
1:10 am @ Dante’s
1:15 am @ Holocene
1:20 am @ Dante’s parking lot
1:35 am @ Holocene
2:05 am @ Holocene


8 pm @ Rontoms
I've no interest in Silversun Pickups, so I'm closing out MFNW with Portland music agency Marmoset's free, all-day showcase of local bands on the back patio at Rontoms. Free beer and burgers from Violetta? Can't beat that. Although at this point of the weekend, the slow, gentle harmonizing of Pearly Gate Music is not what I want or need. I'm taking my burger home. Fare thee well, MFNW 2012! (MPS)

11:15 pm @ Missisippi Studios
The hardly-mentioned finale show featuring Earlimart is the perfect sendoff to MFNW. Deep Sea Diver may be putting on the best set of the weekend. Jessica Dobson's voice is angelic and she's teaching us all a thing or two about how to play a guitar riff. Plus, there's a guy in a sport coat playing the tambourine and a few pots and pans. (MAS)

12:00 am @ Mississippi Studios
Earlimart is cool and crisp, true pros. Aaron Espinoza has been compared to Elliott Smith his whole career and, as he sends his drummer to the bar and plays alone, it seems a pretty accurate assessment. Both are whispery vocal wizards, so introverted you wonder if they've ever seen daylight. (MAS)

12:35 am @ Mississippi Studios
I spent the day listening to System Preferences so that I could politely request new Earlimart tracks. But I can't get myself to ask, frozen by the fact that this year's festival is a song or two from over. Earlimart resumes it gorgeous brand of sublimely subdued alt-rock and I brace for the end with a cold margarita. (MAS)

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