Our Dan Fogelberg-Free Rundown of the Best New Year's Eves in Town!
THE MALT BALL: RED FANG, THE WOOLEN MEN, HOT VICTORY, CAMPFIRES, SUMMER CANNIBALS, YOUR RIVAL, ST. EVEN, MELVILLE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) The objectively GREATEST beer and band festival returns for the third terrific year. It's the Malt Ball, and if you love sampling the BEST craft brews while listening to the BEST bands in town, this event cannot be beat. Genders, Night Mechanic, Summer Cannibals, the Woolen Men, Red Fang, and other fantastic groups are paired with delicious new brews from Widmer, Base Camp, Fort George, and many more! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Read all about the Malt Ball here!
JEREMY WILSON, EYELIDS, PETE KREBS AND HIS PORTLAND PLAYBOYS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Jeremy Wilson.
SUBTERRANEAN HOWL, BILLYGOAT, MUSÉE MÉCANIQUE
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) In October 2012, Subterranean Howl performed a live soundtrack to the 1928 Tod Browning silent flick West of Zanzibar. I've never seen that movie, but I've seen Browning's Freaks, so I'm sure it's plenty deranged. Subterranean Howl's new album—also titled West of Zanzibar, and based on work that stemmed from that initial live-soundtrack performance—certainly backs up that theory: It's the kind of album that could provide the soundtrack to quickly losing track of your remaining marbles. Eerie instrumental passages, howling graveyard folk, and Busby-Berkeley-does-Dante's-Inferno musical numbers make this a dense, unforgiving, and ultimately fascinating trip. Once you cut your way through the initial terror, what's most impressive is the thoroughly diverse array of musical settings the Portland five-piece is able to conjure, offering something that sounds both perfectly of Browning's time and entirely contemporary. NED LANNAMANN
CEREMONY OF SLUDGE: HOLY GROVE, SIOUX, BLACKWITCH PUDDING, DISENCHANTER
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) A lot of analogies seem to get thrown at expansive doom bands these days: throbbing oceans, vast deserts, towering monoliths, tipped-over jars of molasses dripping in slow motion over the edges of the countertops of space and time. While some have become clichéd, these obvious comparisons are warranted when a band's music is this incomprehensively huge and thick. Portland's Sioux is most certainly one of these bands, producing music so gargantuan that it offers no easy description. Sioux's forthcoming release The One and the Many contains six tracks of slow and steady doom. All of the tracks clock in under the six-minute mark, so there's no time wasting or pompous atmosphere building—just an abundance of sludgy, two-ton riffs spiced up with some odd, tasty progressions. ARIS WALES
LESLIE AND THE LYS, DEANE AND THE DELILAHS, WORKOUT PALACE
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Leave the pants at home—or, if you must, wear 'em tight—because it's a Leslie & the LY's power dance party. Leslie Hall is a shiny goofball, guaranteed to bring her special brand of thumpin' dance music to a mini-version of the gay-tastic Blow Pony night. Prepare to pump everything you got. COURTNEY FERGUSON
HILARY HAHN, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) While I'm not advocating the Oregon Symphony jacks up its ticket prices, the first half of tonight's program is worth the goddamned cost of admission all by itself. Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg gets the party going with the Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt, which contains both of his biggest hits. I'm hoping my impulse control is strong enough to resist bitch-slapping fellow concertgoers who will inevitably hum along with these magnificently infectious tunes. After their visit to the Hall of the Mountain King, those in the supremely lucky Schnitzer crowd shall witness nothing less than the most influential classical violinist currently residing on our planet: Hilary Hahn. She's sitting in for three glorious days with Rip City's biggest unplugged band, to bring another Scandinavian composition to life: a fiddle concerto penned in 1911 by Denmark's favorite musical son, Carl Nielsen. The work's enigmatic emotional flare and sweet-ass solo turns will dazzle with fresh intensity in the hands of this thirtysomething virtuoso. Hahn's appeal is so universal her fucking violin case has amassed 25.4K followers on Twitter, so prepare to have your tiny, weed-encrusted minds blown when you catch the owner of this luggage in the flesh. You'll need an intermission to recover. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY
LARRY AND HIS FLASK, SCOTT H. BIRAM, WHISKEY SHIVERS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Maybe I've spent too much time watching and re-watching True Detective. Maybe so much time that everything is starting to look like True Detective. Maybe. But then there's the cover of Texan Scott H. Biram's latest, Nothin' But Blood, and it features Biram, up to his waist in a river of blood, shirt open, arms outstretched. The songs are full of sex, energy, booze, and the long shadow of Southern religion. You can almost see the closing credits roll against his cover of "Amazing Grace," as the shot pans out on a body at the edge of a river. Good and evil have rarely seemed more relative. (I've been watching too much True Detective.) Whiskey Shivers, also from Austin, open, and Central Oregon rowdies Larry and His Flask headline.
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