FEDERALE, THE UPSIDEDOWN, THE PURRS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Since you're fresh off seeing Django Unchained (haven't yet? See it!), you are no doubt jonesing for more amazing, trippy, operatic music from those great Italian-made westerns from the '60s. Luckily, Portland's own Federale carries the torch of Ennio Morricone high, with a swarming, psychedelic, orchestral sound that'll splatter spaghetti sauce all over your cowboy boots. NED LANNAMANN Also read our article on Federale.
CASEY NEILL AND THE NORWAY RATS, SASSPARILLA, MCDOUGALL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Despite their Scandinavian-sounding moniker, the Norway Rats are as American and blue-collar as Bruce Springsteen eating a peanut butter sandwich. Casey Neill's voice is warm and avuncular, seemingly designed for delivering hard advice and tough love, and his lyrics tend toward the evocative and memory-based. And that makes them sad, somehow, though the stories he tells aren't depressing. Unlike most bands specializing in Americana these days, there's no gratuitous banjo, but there is a sense of open spaces and solemnity that combine with Jenny Conlee's keys and accordion to give the songs a hymnal quality. The Norway Rats capture the isolation and bigness of the American West as it is now—not as that imagined, mythic place that probably never existed. 2013 will see the release of All You Pretty Vandals, their first album in three years, as well as a string of dates supporting Camper Van Beethoven. REBECCA WILSON
HANGOVER FEST: PAGERIPPERS, DANGER DEATH RAY, NASALROD, JEFFERSON DEATH STAR, & MORE
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Something's probably very wrong if you're still hung over five days after New Year's, and Slabtown's lineup for their annual Hangover Fest isn't exactly the aural equivalent of an Alka-Seltzer. Between the boozy, dad-rock-as-interpreted-by-the-Dead Kennedys stylings of local cult dignitaries Nasalrod and the guttural howl of pop-punk outfit Jefferson Death Star's Ryan Koreski (he sings about beer and cigarettes and stuff), the bands playing tonight are bound to keep you feeling groggy for the remainder of 2013 and beyond. MORGAN TROPER
BOOTY BASSMENT: MAXX BASS, NATHAN DETROIT, RYAN AND DIMITRI
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) You can still keep your New Year's workout resolution without having to go to the boring, stinky gym. Wouldn't you rather go to Holocene for this month's installment of Booty Bassment and drop that ass (and those love handles) all over the dance floor? Of course you would. MARJORIE SKINNER
RAMBLE ON, ANTS IN THE KITCHEN, RED LIGHT ROMEOS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Remember when everybody gave Prince a whole bunch of shit for changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol? Well, Led Zeppelin did it first—way back in 1971, when everyone was too stoned to notice. Each member ascribed themselves a runic symbol, and all four symbols made up the title of their fourth album, now commonly called IV, or Zoso, after guitarist Jimmy Page's totally nutso, ornate symbol drawn from his dabblings in the occult. The other three's symbols were far more modest (drummer John Bonham simply redrew the logo from the can of Ballantine beer that was no doubt in front of him at the time). Tonight, local Zeppelin tribute band play Zep's IV in its entirety, and I probably wouldn't bother telling you about it except that it is a very sloooow week for music, and because of our weird holiday deadlines, I'm writing this like three weeks in advance. Besides, who couldn't use a little more "Misty Mountain Hop" in their lives? Dance in the dark of night, y'all. NL
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