ILLUSTRATION: Hawk Krall
We know 2009’s been a tough year—hell, the histrionic ninnies at Time named this entire decade the worst ever. But you know what? A whole lotta awesome also happened in the past 10 years in Portland, from the explosion of an epic music scene and the excitement of the women’s World Cup to the rise of food carts. So celebrate New Year’s Eve and say thanks to the things that made living in the Rose City in the aughts not so awful.
QUASI AT DOUG FIR
Ever since drummer Keith Moon’s death in 1978, nobody has been able to adequately cover the Who. But if any local band can come close, it’s Quasi, who may bring some friends along (Stephen Malkmus?) to tackle the band’s entire catalog. Janet Weiss, we bow down to you. Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $13 in advance, $15 at the door. 21+. Get tickets at ticketswest.com.
Noodles for New Year’s? Hell yes. The prospect of Biwa celebrating with five courses of funky Japanese food is enough to make us say, “Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!” (And now you know how to say “Happy New Year!” in Japanese.) Biwa, 215 SE 9th Ave., 239-8830. $55 per person, $30 additional for sake pairings. All ages.
You’re never actually alone at Joe’s, even if you’re flying solo on New Year’s Eve: The waitresses are friendly; the regulars comment on your jukebox selections; the German guy at the bar asks for help with his crossword puzzle. When the ball drops, we imagine everyone will greet it with halfhearted cheers, then get right back to their regularly scheduled lives. Joe’s Cellar, 1332 NW 21st Ave., 223-2851.
WONDERLAND AT THE NINES
Fall into a Wonderland-themed party, including a Mad Hatter tea table, a huge marching band and stilt walkers. Then retire to a hotel room that’s the same color as Alice’s classic dress. The Nines, 525 SW Morrison St., 877-229-9995. 9 pm. Party and room packages start at $299. 21+. Info at thenines.com.
A RIP CITY NEW YEAR’S
A party hosted by B Roy, L.A., Oden, Bayless and Webster? The only thing that would entice us more than the prospect of Blazers is free grub. Or a team that hasn’t been cursed by God. The Agency is actually providing the first of those things...but not the second. The Agency, 1939 SW Morrison St., 548-2921. 9 pm. $25 advance tickets, $35 at the door. 21+.
WEDNESDAY DEC. 30
Indie-pop heroes Boat, who sound like the holy union between Pavement and mid-’90s Weezer, play a benefit show for a great cause. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 8 pm. Free, but donations appreciated. 21+.
THURSDAY DEC. 31
What better way to celebrate 2010 than by looking 101,000 years into the future. Yep, the Holocene New Year’s bash is a bit ridiculous, but that’s the way it should be. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8 pm. $10 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
FRIDAY JAN. 1
[SPORTS] ROSE BOWL ON THE BIG SCREEN
McMenamins is showing the game at four locations—including the Mission and St. Johns theaters and Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom—but we think the Ducks’ strange uniforms will look best in the Bagdad movie palace. Bagdad Theater and Pub, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 236-9234. Doors at noon, game at 2 pm. Free.
[DISH] BRUNCH AT COUNTRY CAT
Kick off 2010 with a tasty artery clogger—Dungeness crab eggs Benedict, chicken-fried steak and “G’morning, Sunshine” cocktails spiked with Indio blood-orange vodka included. Country Cat, 7937 SE Stark St., 408-1414. Reservations available.
SATURDAY JAN. 2
[MUSIC] THE ROOTS
The best live band in the world takes a break from making Jimmy Fallon relevant to hit up PDX for the best show of early 2010. Roseland, 8 NW 6th Ave., 224-2038. 8 pm. $29.50 floor, $50 balcony. All ages.
[MUSIC] MAHMOUD AHMED, TEZETA BAND
Now nearing 70, Addis Ababa-based Ahmed is a revered Ethiopian jazz-pop-funk singer whose career was sidetracked during the country’s long years of dictatorship. Circadia Art Center, 4705 NE Columbia Blvd., 621-6407. 9 pm. $35.
MONDAY JAN. 4
[TV, BOOZE] MAD ABOUT MAD MEN PUB TRIVIA
Former Jeopardy! contestant Margaret Seiler fulfills her destiny by hosting Ella Street’s new Monday ShanRock bar trivia series as 2010 kicks off with a night devoted to Don Draper and the whole Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce crew. Natty ’60s threads encouraged. Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Place, 227-0116. 7 pm. Free to play. 21+.