With a hushed announcement on June 8th, the organizers of PDX Pop Now! opened the online voting polls for its second annual festival--or rather, opened the floodgates. "We got 3,500 votes [so far]--and freaking 1,500 votes on the first day alone," explains Matt Wright, one of PDX Pop Now!'s founding members, and co-chairman of the festival's booking committee. "The voting has been going insanely well. The main surprise is the level of enthusiasm we've seen--people have been telling their friends and spreading it word of mouth. It's pretty awesome to watch."

Of course, it probably didn't hurt that pitchforkmedia.com mirrored the populist festival's announcement, but regardless of the source, it's clear that this year's scarily well-organized DIY event is already off to a remarkable start. For the unacquainted, PDX Pop Now! initially evolved from Portand's infamous PDX Pop mailing list as a means to celebrate the city's crazily vibrant music scene, its line-up decided largely by the online democracy of its constituents. With last year's three-day, 40-plus band schedule going off pretty hitchlessly (they had walkie-talkies, for christssakes), coupled with the fact that it's totally free, the festival is virtually infallible--enough so that the organizers are largely sticking to the script.

"Honestly, aside from a few isolated blips, I felt like last year's festival was a total success," continues Wright. "A big part of what we do is about getting people who wouldn't check local music out normally to come see what's up, and I think we did that pretty well."

As with last year, the three-day event (August 5-7) takes place at 320 SE 2nd Ave (then Meow Meow, now Loveland), and will be accompanied by the release of PDX Pop Now! 2005, a two-disc CD compilation featuring the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Glass Candy, the Blow, The Gossip, M. Ward, and the Decemberists. In addition to the online voting polls, organizers have begun planting ballot boxes in the city's usual retail haunts, and will continue collecting votes until the June 30th cut-off date. Visit www.pdxpopnow.com for full details.