Is Bumbershoot Too Much Excitement For You? MusicFest NW Lineup Features The National, Okkervil River, Menomena and the Thermals

Renee McMahon
The National--seen here at Sasquatch! on Saturday--is just one of 160 bands playing MusicFest NW Sept. 9-12.
If spending three days at Seattle Center with big name acts like Bob Dylan and Weezer sounds like too much festival for your taste, there's always the more localized MusicFest NW on Sept. 9-12. Opening just three days after Bumbershoot ends, MFNW is Portland's city-wide annual music festival, featuring a combination of up-and-coming Pacific Northwest bands and bigger indie acts. Shows are spread out around the city in different venues, sort of like SXSW on a smaller scale.

MFNW just announced a partial lineup yesterday, and while there's no Hole or Mary J. Blige, these acts could attract music fans with more discerning taste away from Bumbershoot. Menomena--whose long-awaited album is out July 27 on Barsuk--is one of the main draws, along with The Decemberists, The National, Okkervil River, the Thermals, and dozens of local Portland acts. Seattle bands are making a good showing this year, too: David Bazan, Rocky Votolato, and BOAT are among the Emerald City acts playing MFNW.

But the lineup's not complete yet, so there's always the chance for an unexpected band to sign on. Last year, for example, the festival was the kickoff for Sunny Day Real Estate's reunion tour, where the band debuted their first new song in 8 years.

Check out the partial line-up here.

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