The annual Sasquatch! Festival gathers a top-notch array of talent at one of the most beautiful sites for live music in America: the Gorge, about two hours east of Seattle, Washington. It's become the kind of event that sells out every year no matter who's on the bill, a testament to the event's perennially awesome roster, and the music-loving fans of the Pacific Northwest, who camp and revel with gusto.

1. Gorge on Great Music!

1/22

The annual Sasquatch! Festival gathers a top-notch array of talent at one of the most beautiful sites for live music in America: the Gorge, about two hours east of Seattle, Washington. It's become the kind of event that sells out every year no matter who's on the bill, a testament to the event's perennially awesome roster, and the music-loving fans of the Pacific Northwest, who camp and revel with gusto.

Check out SPIN's picks for the must-hear acts at Sasquatch! 2011, which takes place May 27-30 -- and also download some of these artists' best tunes with our FREE Sasquatch! MP3 mixtape.

CLICK HERE TO BEGIN >>>

PREVIEW BY PETER GASTON

2. Gorge on Great Music!

2/22

The annual Sasquatch! Festival gathers a top-notch array of talent at one of the most beautiful sites for live music in America: the Gorge, about two hours east of Seattle, Washington. It's become the kind of event that sells out every year no matter who's on the bill, a testament to the event's perennially awesome roster, and the music-loving fans of the Pacific Northwest, who camp and revel with gusto.

Check out SPIN's picks for the must-hear acts at Sasquatch! 2011, which takes place May 27-30 -- and also download some of these artists' best tunes with our FREE Sasquatch! MP3 mixtape.

CLICK HERE TO BEGIN >>>

PREVIEW BY PETER GASTON

3. ALOE BLACC

3/22

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles

WHY HE MATTERS: His 2010 single "I Need a Dollar" got a boost as the theme song to HBO's How to Make It in America, and now it's climbing the U.K. pop charts. Born Nathaniel Hawkins, Blacc channels Bill Withers on his most recent effort, Good Things, crafting soul music that's only "neo" in its date of recording.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: A first-generation American born of Panamanian parents, Blacc positioned Good Things as a subtly political album, covering topics like homelessness and capitalism.

LISTEN: Aloe Blacc, "Loving You Is Killing Me"

4. GIVERS

4/22

HOMETOWN: Lafayette, Louisiana

WHY THEY MATTER: Dirty Projectors took this sextet under their wing, bringing them out on the road at the height of their Bitte Orca glory. Fans got a taste of the band's bubbly pop, which falls somewhere between the nostalgic '60s vibe of Cults and the synth-y dance rock of Passion Pit.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Givers have one of those classic band-members-meet-cute stories: singer Tiffany Lamson was crashing on the couch of singer-guitarist Taylor Guarisco and the two struck up a chat about music, only later discovering that each was an aspiring musician.

LISTEN: Givers, "Up Up Up"

5. BIFFY CLYRO

5/22

HOMETOWN: Kilmarnock, Scotland

WHY THEY MATTER: When they play festivals in the U.K., like this summer's Glastonbury, they're billed just under U2 and Morrissey. Now America is starting to wake up to this heavy riffing power trio, led by Simon Neil, whose guitar work is virtuosic and whose lyrics draw inspiration from serious literature.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Neil has always told tall tales about the band's moniker, which isn't such a fantastic one. In one interview, he said Biffy Clyro was a Finnish soccer player in the 17th century. To SPIN, he said it had something to do with British Christian singer Cliff Richard.

LISTEN: Biffy Clyro, "Many of Horror"

6. FLYING LOTUS

6/22

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles

WHY HE MATTERS: Not many people have Radiohead's Thom Yorke on their iPhone "favorites" list, but Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, does. Yorke invited the esoteric beatsmith to remix a song from In Rainbows, then returned the favor with guest vocals on the mind-blowing 2010 Flying Lotus album Cosmogramma.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Ellison's talents aren't just musical: He directed a recent music video for R&B trailblazer Erykah Badu.

LISTEN: Flying Lotus, "MmmHmm"

7. SECRET SISTERS

7/22

HOMETOWN: Muscle Shoals, Alabama

WHY THEY MATTER: The genetically perfect harmonies sung by these real-life sisters captivated industry folks at a Nashville audition last year, and they were fast-tracked into the studio, but not with just any old Music City pro: T-Bone Burnett executive produced their debut, and Jack White served as a mentor. While their lovely, old-timey voices have sung mostly traditional songs so far, look for their second album to feature more originals.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: There's nothing "secret" about these ladies' sisterhood -- and it's okay to be skeptical, with noted myth-maker Jack White involved in their career. They are indeed blood sisters, and grew up in the Church of Christ, listening to the Everly Brothers and Doc Watson.

8. DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE

8/22

HOMETOWN: Seattle

WHY THEY MATTER: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden defined the '90s sound of Seattle, then Death Cab unraveled their work over the course of the '00s. Ben Gibbard's lovelorn tales soundtracked millions of angsty, unrequited walks home for a generation of sensitive types. Sasquatch will find Death Cab celebrating the release of their latest effort, the sunnier (but still captivating) Codes and Keys.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Gibbard is a huge baseball fan. He also plays fantasy baseball, with his team called the Bremelos. "It's from a song by Sir Mix-a-Lot, which talks about a particular type of woman who was prone to hooking up with sailors in Bremerton, which is my hometown in Washington State," he explains.

LISTEN: Death Cab for Cutie, "You Are a Tourist"

9. WOLF PARADE

9/22

HOMETOWN: Vancouver, via Montreal

WHY THEY MATTER: Sure, they bolstered the great "wolf band" craze of the early '00s, but this crew was hardly a short-term trend. Their duo of frontmen -- Spencer Krug, also of Sunset Rubdown, and Dan Boeckner, who does double duty in Handsome Furs -- operated like a twitchy indie-rock version of Lennon and McCartney. But it's all coming to an end this Spring, apparently: Sasquatch will be the band's next-to-last show ever.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Loosely part of the Montreal scene that begat Arcade Fire, Islands, and Stars, among others, the band's Mount Zoomer studio inhabits a landmark in the Quebecois metropolis: the former apartment of Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, who scrawled the words "Arcade Fire," along with their names, in the sidewalk outside.

LISTEN: Wolf Parade, "What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)"

10. BEACH HOUSE

10/22

HOMETOWN: Baltimore, Maryland

WHY THEY MATTER: The lush, atmospheric pop of last year's Teen Dream was a breakout hit, and by year's end, the duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally catapulted from opening slots to headlining shows around the country, catching the attention of folks like Animal Collective and Portishead, who booked Beach House for their All Tomorrow's Parties rosters, to Jay-Z and Beyonce, who were spotted at their shows.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Jay-Z and Beyonce aren't the only celebs who love Beach House: Kirsten Dunst recently told SPIN that they're her new favorite band.

LISTEN: Beach House, "Norway"

11. RIVAL SCHOOLS

11/22

HOMETOWN: New York

WHY THEY MATTER: When they formed in 1999, this quartet was labeled a "hardcore supergroup," featuring Quicksand/Gorilla Biscuits man Walter Schreifels and members of CIV and Youth of Today, but their sound was taut and radio-ready. And while they fell apart soon after they got rolling, their 2001 album United by Fate remains a beloved pre-emo fave. This year, the band returned with a long awaited second album, Pedals.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Members of the '80s hardcore scene in NYC remain close, like Rival Schools drummer Sammy Siegler and Beastie Boy Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, who still shoot hoops together. Ad-Rock recently dished out an assist to Rival Schools, remixing their Pedals single, "69 Guns."

LISTEN: Rival Schools, "Wring It Out"

12. THE THERMALS

12/22

HOMETOWN: Portland, Oregon

WHY THEY MATTER: The once-plucky indie punk trio has ascended the creative ladder with each successive release, culminating in their late-2010 release, Personal Life, their most introspective work to date. But there's still that buoyant pulse beneath it all, propped up on frontman Hutch Harris' forever-young vocals.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Harris and bassist-vocalist Kathy Foster are longtime Portland scenesters, and were show promoters before the Thermals really took off. Recently, on Facebook, Harris said that they put on the first Portland show by fellow Sasquatch 2011 performer Bright Eyes back in 1999. Hutch's favorite Bright Eyes song? "The Calendar Hung Itself."

LISTEN: The Thermals, "Not Like Any Other Feeling"

13. REGGIE WATTS

13/22

HOMETOWN: New York, via Great Falls, Montana

WHY HE MATTERS: With his zany combo of beatboxing, sampling, and offbeat pop culture commentary, the fantastically Afro-ed Watts was SPIN's 2010 Comedian of the Year. But as time goes by, he's being taken even more seriously as a musician: After seeing Watts open for Conan O'Brien, Jack White invited the comic to record an album in White's Third Man Studios.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Watts actually had a career in music before his comedy material took off, singing in bands for 14 years while living in Seattle. He even opened for the Rolling Stones as a member of trip-hop act Soulive.

LISTEN: Reggie Watts, "Fuck Shit Stack"

14. FOO FIGHTERS

14/22

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, via Seattle

WHY THEY MATTER: It's a homecoming of sorts for the Foos, whose roots run deep in the Seattle area, with bassist Nate Mendel being a member of Seattle emo trendsetters Sunny Day Real Estate and Dave Grohl having played in that '90s Jet City band you might have heard of. It's always good to come home, but even better when it's on the strength of one of your best albums yet, Wasting Light.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Could Sasquatch provide a Nirvana-esque reunion? In December, at a "secret" Foo Fighters gig in California, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic joined Grohl and Nirvana touring guitarist (and now Foo Fighter, for the second go-around) Pat Smear for a cover of "Marigold," the lone Grohl-penned Nirvana track. Novoselic still lives in Washington State -- stranger things have happened.

15. MAJOR LAZER

15/22

HOMETOWN: Philadelphia / London via Jamaica

WHY THEY MATTER: "All I wanna do [bang bang bang]." The masterminds behind M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," namely Philly-bred DJ/producer Diplo and London's Dave "Switch" Taylor, branched out on their own as Major Lazer, first with the cheekily-aimed-at-Maya title Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do, then subsequent mixtapes and an EP that fuse futuristic beats with dancehall reggae.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: The duo's about to get a big, big boost: Beyonce has sampled their song "Pon De Floor" on her new single, "Run the World (Girls)." Wonder if she knows how unbelievably dirty the "Pon De Floor" video is…

LISTEN: Major Lazer, "Hold the Line"

16. WILCO

16/22

HOMETOWN: Chicago

WHY THEY MATTER: The Fall of 2011 should see the release of the venerable, ever shape-shifting rock act's eighth album, which is tentatively titled Get Well Soon Everybody. Frontman Jeff Tweedy says the music fits into two categories: "experimental-leaning rock" and "cinematic-sounding country music…you know, folk music." Some new material should see the light of day at Sasquatch.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Wilco are curating their own festival this year, called Solid Sound, taking place June 24-26 in North Adams, Massachusetts. Thurston Moore, the Levon Helm Band, Jamie Lidell, and comedian John Hodgman are among the performers.

LISTEN: Wilco, "Kicking Television (Live)"

17. GUIDED BY VOICES

17/22

HOMETOWN: Dayton, Ohio

WHY THEY MATTER: While there's no doubt that GBV main man Bob Pollard will keep making music until he physically cannot do it anymore, this might be the last chance to catch what many consider to the band's prime lineup, who recorded 1994's Bee Thousand, which appeared at No. 26 on SPIN's 125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years list.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Bob Pollard might be one of the best athletes to ever play in an indie rock band. As a pitcher for Wright State University's baseball team, Pollard tossed a no-hitter!

LISTEN: Guided by Voices, "Game of Pricks"

18. DEERHUNTER

18/22

HOMETOWN: Atlanta

WHY THEY MATTER: Only Kanye West stood between the Bradford Cox-led act's dreamy Halcyon Digest and the top spot on our Best Albums of 2010 list. As Charles Aaron wrote in SPIN, the record was "the sound of a band finally becoming their dream... an alternative-rock utopia where record-collector geeks transform skewed underground sounds into a melodic group hug for the shit-upon."

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Cox had one of the best rock'n'roll educations possible, spending time as a boy around Athens, Georgia's famed Wuxtry record store, where the manager and his wife served as second parents, exposing him to obscure garage rock and comic books.

19. AGAINST ME!

19/22

HOMETOWN: Gainesville, Florida

WHY THEY MATTER: After two acclaimed major label releases -- including New Wave, SPIN's 2007 Album of the Year -- the politically-minded, hard-rocking quartet are headed back to basics, with plans to self-release new material, starting with two singles this June. Frontman Tom Gabel says he'd like to put out a new album every year!

YOU SHOULD KNOW: The band's drum stool has been a musical chair in recent years, but now it's filled by Jay Weinberg. The kid's got the pedigree: His dad, Max, plays with Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band, and led the band on Late Night with Conan O'Brien for more than a decade.

LISTEN: Against Me!, "Because of the Shame"

20. ARCHERS OF LOAF

20/22

HOMETOWN: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

WHY THEY MATTER: The '90s indie scene in "the Triangle" -- the metropolitan area of North Carolina consisting of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill -- is legendary, having spawned labels like Merge and Mammoth, and bands like Superchunk and Archers of Loaf. After breaking up in 1998, the Loafers popped up onstage at the Triangle's Cat's Cradle in January, and sounded as good as ever.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: After Archers of Loaf split, frontman Eric Bachmann went on to form the crooner pop act Crooked Fingers, with help from bassist Matt Gentling, who for a time worked as Superchunk's roadie and would occasionally join the band onstage to cover Archers songs.

21. MODEST MOUSE

21/22

HOMETOWN: Issaquah, Washington

WHY THEY MATTER: From their freakier origins in the late '90s and early '00s to the shocking mainstream success of 2004's "Float On" to their unlikely partnership with Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, Modest Mouse have perennially been a band worth watching and listening to. But nowhere are they more beloved than the Pacific Northwest.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Leader Isaac Brock says the band is working (albeit at a deliberate pace) on their first full-length album since 2007's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Helping out in the studio: one-half of OutKast, Big Boi!

LISTEN: Modest Mouse, "The Whale Song"

22. MSTRKRFT

22/22

HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ontario

WHY THEY MATTER: Gorgeous late nights on the picturesque grounds of Sasquatch are meant for dirty, dirty dancing, and that's exactly what this duo provides. Planning to release their third studio album this year, Jesse F. Keeler and Alex Puodziukas will play new tunes, including "Beards Again" and "Back in the USSA," which they're offering up as free downloads.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Keeler will be doing double duty at Sasquatch: His recently reformed post-punk act Death From Above 1979 will also be performing, following amazing appearances at SXSW and Coachella.