San Francisco singer/songwriter Mark Eitzel has made a career of playing with beauty and terror, the ugly and the sublime. Tonight he digs into his back catalog, performing songs from his band American Music Club. It's a great opportunity to revisit material from the critically lauded but commercially overlooked group. Be sure to get there early for Timber Timbre, the latest stellar act to come out of Canada's Arts and Crafts label, home to Broken Social Scene.
8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, $13
Bobby Bare Jr. might be the headliner tonight, but Seattle band The Moondoggies are the band to pay attention to on this bill. Like their brethren The Maldives, these guys know how to lay down visceral but melodic rock 'n' roll, laced with a dose of rural twang and spine-tingling backporch harmonies. They might get lost in the vast musical ocean of Musicfest this time around, but these guys mean business - and they've been turning more and more heads in the Northwest as word gets out.
9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, Dante's, 1 S.W. Third Ave., 503-226-6630, $15 or free with Musicfest wristband
Musicfest NW is full of great acts, but Australia's Youth Group is definitely worth singling out. The band's beautiful brand of alt-pop has earned it handpicked opening slots for Death Cab For Cutie, and even a cursory listen will reveal why. Singer Toby Martin has a voice that's truly lovely - solid, clear and emotional - and his bandmates support his strength with music that can be as beefy as it is delicate. If you don't swoon to songs like 'Start Today Tomorrow' and 'In My Dreams,' you probably aren't paying attention.
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, Roseland Theater, 10 N.W. Sixth Ave., 503-224-2038, $60 for MFNW wristband, all ages