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Rose City's buzz fest

MusicFestNW gives a big kiss to local rockers, stalwarts


by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF MUSICFESTNW - The Thermals and Natasha Kmeto add dashes of local flavor to this years MusicFest NW, Sept. 3-8.Jennifer Clavin, rhythm guitarist and vocalist for Los Angeles punk-pop rockers Bleached says some fans paid her lip service at a recent show.

“Twenty kids, most of them girls, came on stage and tried kissing me,” she says. “I ended up getting kissed a bunch of times. People said afterward, ‘You should probably go to the doctor and get checked.’ ”

Despite this health scare, Clavin and her lead-guitar-playing sister, Jessie, along with bassist Micayla Grace and drummer Jonathan Safley, make their way to Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside St., on Thursday, Sept. 5, to play an 11 p.m. show as part of this year’s MusicFestNW, which runs Sept. 3 through 8.

The festival will draw thousands of fans and features 177 acts, ranging from alterna-country cat Justin Townes Earle to eclectic DJ Diplo at various venues downtown.

Older alterna-stalwarts like Superchunk and Bob Mould will be on hand along with such Portland bands as Mean Jeans and The Thermals. Other acts include Ty Segall, Black Bananas, CHVRCHES, Neko Case, Cody Chesnutt and Queen Kwong.

You can learn more about all the fun at musicfestnw.com, and the

Tribune will continue its coverage of MFNW in next’s week’s edition.

Clavin says Bleached is excited to come to a town that has warmly embraced her band, and says the group’s shows “have just gotten funner lately.” That’s probably because Bleached plays one catchy, danceable single after another, including a number off their debut album “Ride Your Heart.” The singer says that while it’s no novelty anymore to see a female-fronted rock ‘n’ roll band, “people still get excited.

“I still feel like it’s very inspiring to young girls to see girls in a band playing,” she says.

‘Round the clock

Trevor Solomon directs MusicFestNW and has been working nonstop over the past few weeks getting ready for Portland to turn into the nation’s hipster central. Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Spin, Filter and Fader are among the music media that generally cover it, he says, adding this year NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daily” will film various bands performing.

“We’re doing better than last year,” he says, noting ticket sales have been brisk (and that’s compared to last year, when 85 percent of the shows sold out). “There’s been a lot of buzz about the festival.”

Speaking of buzz, Solomon expects such Portland acts as the shimmering, dreamy reverb-happy duo Helio Sequence, neo-soul act Shy Girls, and orchestral indie rockers Typhoon to draw some serious attention.

“I think they’re the next band to break nationally out of Oregon,” he adds of Typhoon, who’ve already made a splash on Letterman and shared the stage with The Decemberists and The Shins.

Fest Facts

• Shows take place at these venues: Aladdin Theater, Backspace, Branx, Bunk Bar, Crystal Ballroom, Dante’s, Doug Fir, Hawthorne Theatre, Holocene, Mississippi Studios, Dr. Martens Store (outside), Pioneer Courthouse Square, Roseland Theater, Star Theater, The Old Church, White Owl Social Club and the Wonder Ballroom.

• About one-third of the shows are open to all ages, and the festival generally draws folks from ages 18 to 45, with the core audience being fans from 25 to 35, Solomon says.

• MFNW’s “little sister” is TechFestNW, which runs Sept. 6 through 8 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, 1945 S.E. Water Ave. The festival focuses on “the technology, startups, and design culture that make Portland a digital hub.” Info: www.techfestnw.com.