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Take it from us: WXPN’s XPoNential Fest will be a marathon, not a sprint. Sure, if you’re super-parched to discover a new band or stumble upon a set that catches you off guard, by all means, zig-zag and sprint from stage to stage at Wiggins Park and to the Susquehanna Bank Center across the Camden, NJ riverfront. But as a veteran attendee and new-music superfan, I offer a subjective itinerary for your consideration.

Friday, July 24

* Go ‘head and get out to the JerseyArts.com Marina Stage for Milton (6:10pm), a local up-and-comer who nails sultry, smooth R&B. His smoky, agile voice is enough to get you across the Delaware for the first night, which goes off without a technical headliner at Susquehanna Bank Center.

* Dawes (10:05pm) helped kick off the first night of big names at last year’s fest, opening for Jenny Lewis and Ryan Adams. These sun-kissed canyon-dusted boys, founded in part by brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, always deliver with their pretty, romantic folk rock. Songs about heartbreak and longing never go bad.

Saturday, July 25

* The River Stage is packed with ringer after ringer this afternoon and gets set off just right with the righteous Hop Along. We’re still listening to the May-released Painted Shut. They’re enough to get us up early to get a good spot for their 12:30pm set time. But then comes Calexico (1:50pm), First Aid Kit (3:20pm), Lord Huron (4:55pm) and Delta Rae (6:40pm). It’s gonna be hard to pull ourselves away from this stage. But we must.

* My body is ready for church at SBC. My queen, St. Vincent (8pm), from where I sit, is one of the coolest acts in the game. All five of her records are literally flawless, and in support of her self-titled last one, she stopped through Philly at Union Transfer and left the place in ruins. She’s a sickening guitar player and a gifted songwriter.

* Fine, if Annie Clark must be condemned to a 75-minute set, if it’s to accommodate My Morning Jacket, we’ll keep it chill. Jim James’ brilliant psych-rock band may have hooked in a huge fan following with 2005’s Z, but 2011’s Circuital made me a convert. I’d personally be happy if they just performed Circuital cover to cover, but that’s probably not gonna happen.

Sunday, July 26

* Another early day! Sheesh. Start with emerging local weird rockers Pine Barons (Noon) at the River Stage. A must. I’ve been wanting to see them again since they opened for buddy-band The Districts earlier this year.

* But, but… try to hustle over to the Marina Stage for Cheerleader (12:30pm), an infectious, Cali-flavored power pop band that specializes in big, happy sounds. Not sure how they’re from Philly and capable of such positivity, but hey, we’re not complaining. Unless you want to tear yourself away for Buckwheat Zydeco (1pm) at the River Stage, which is not unadvisable, stay put for Israel Nash (1:40pm), the extremely talented guitarist and songwriter who’s done outstanding work for Midlake, among others.

* Yes! I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while: Courtney Barnett (3:55pm), you guys, is the real deal. She sold out Union Transfer not too long ago, and I wouldn’t have been so heartbroken if I’d known she’d be a perfect mid-afternoon River Stage set this weekend. I’m still listening to Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. It’s five months old, but a clear contender for album of the year.

* Pleasant surprise, but Sunday night’s SBC night brings in two more openers: Rayland Baxter (5:30pm) and The Wailers (6:30pm). But we’ve always been on board for George Ezra (8pm) and a fest-closing Grace Potter (9:30pm). I mean: “Budapest.” And Potter’s set at the Welcome America 4th of July Jam in 2013. Two excellent reasons to listen ’til the last note rings out.

Fri., July 24-Sun., July 26. $30-$150. Wiggins Park and Susquehanna Bank Center on the Camden Riverfront, Camden, NJ. 215.222.1400. xpnfest.org

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