It’s New Year’s Eve, and you know what that means—an excuse for bars to jack up their drink prices and charge ridiculous covers because some shitty band will be butchering other bands’ music all night with a complimentary champagne toast. But have no fear, my fellow Portlanders, for if you sift through all the NYE bullshit, you will find gold. Below are some fantastic local NYE shows that will be worth the cover charge.
Doug Fir: The first time I read about this, I had to do a double take, but yes, Quasi is performing The Who for New Year’s Eve, and it’s going to be epic. What makes this show even more epic is the fact that other local folk monsters The Shaky Hands and indie darlings, Inside Voices, will be accompanying them. If you want to chill out and listen to some amazing Portland folk music (and good covers) this is the NYE celebration for you! Show starts at 9 p.m. $15.
Holocene: The theme of this New Year’s Eve bash is “NYE 102,010,” as in it’s set 100,000 years in the future. Portland’s spacey electro-pop trio Reporter’s synthesized beats paired with Guidance Counselor’s gritty, lo-fi electronica, not to mention a mess of local DJs, is a fitting lineup for such a premise. If you want to get hot and sweaty with people dressed like robots, or spacemen, or Neanderthals (you never know, the apocalypse could happen in the next 100,00 years) then this is the NYE celebration for you! Show starts at 8 p.m. $15.
Mission Theater: Two of Portland’s more melancholic indie bands, Weinland and The Dimes, are doing something very out of their element (or seemingly so) this New Year’s Eve. The bands have promised a dance off, where they will be performing “some of the best dance music of the last 40 years,” and though neither band seems to fit the mold for “dance music,” they each do an extremely good job of incorporating pop and melody into their music. If you want to witness quite possibly the most awkward (or surprisingly awesome) dance party of 2009, then this is the NYE celebration for you! Show starts at 9 p.m. $15.
Mississippi Studios: Portland’s morbid Americana-ers, The Builders & The Butchers, have been playing nothing but large venue shows this year, and though I wish them nothing but success in 2010, they are the type of band that is much more impressive in intimate settings where they can get the audience involved, so the quaint Mississippi Studios will be a perfect place for them to ring in the new year. Fellow swamp stomping blues boys Dr. Helicopter are also on the bill. If you want to feel like you’re celebrating the turn of the century in Louisiana, then this is the NYE celebration for you! Show starts at 10 p.m. $15.