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December 21st, 2011 BEN WATERHOUSE | Culture Features
 

Bring On the Apocalypse

The 29 best New Year's Eve parties in Portland

culturefeature-2012_3807ILLUSTRATION: Katie Daisy
In a mere 10 days, 2011, with its awful progression of disasters and revolutions and crackdowns and more disasters and dickish politics and more revolutions and more crackdowns will finally come to a close, never again to haunt us. While there will doubtless be plenty of misery to come in 2012—along with some sort of crystal evolution thing, if I’m reading my appropriated Mayan astrology correctly—we are granted one night of respite, at the turning of the year, before the next catastrophe sets in. We’d better make it a good one. Fortunately for us, this year brings an unusually large crop of really great New Year’s Eve parties to Portland. Here are the best 29 of them, organized by your favorite means of coping with misery.

I Just Wanna Dance


80s Video Dance Attack
VJ Kittyrox plays the early MTV oeuvre. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 284-8686, wonderballroom.com. 8 pm. $17-$22. 21+.

Cooky Parker Presents: One Possible History of Dance Music 1961-2011
Parker DJs a survey of modern dance music, all played from the original LP with the exception of an MTV segment, with videos from 1980-89. The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie Ave., 890-0408, thewoodsportland.com. 8 pm. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. 21+.

Roaring Twenties Havana New Years
Contigo, Melao de Cuba and the Shanghai Woolies headline a formal-dress bash celebrating the good (for Americans) ol’ days between Cuba’s independence and its takeover by brutal gangster politicians. Cuban food will be served. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Tears of Joy Theatre and Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra. TA Event Center, 300 NE Multnomah St., brownpapertickets.com. 8 pm-1:30 am. $75-$100. 21+.

The Miracles Club, Sex Life, Ancient Heat, Sun Angle, Palmas, DJ Copy, DJ Snakks, DJ Hostile Tapeover
Hypnotic house, cheesy electro-pop, nouveau disco and whatever the hell Copy does—this is gonna be the second-best dance party in town, after Talkdemonic. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639, holocene.org. 9 pm. $13. 21+.


I Just Wanna Rock Out


Blood Beach, And And And, This Charming Man
An evening of, uh, let’s call them unusual vocals. And a Smiths cover band, for variety. The World Famous Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick St., kentonclub.com. 9 pm. Free. 21+.

Caleb Klauder Country Band, Foghorn Stringband
The old-school country singer and roots band take the stage of Portland’s best bar. The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd Ave., 287-5800, spareroompdx.com. 9 pm-2:30 am. $12. 21+.

The Chicharones, the Doo Doo Funk All Stars
The best rap duo in the world and the best funk jam in Portland play the formerly best club in town. Teds, 231 SW Ankeny St., berbati.com. 9 pm. $TK. 21+.

Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons, I Can Lick any SOB in the House
Two of Portland’s best live bands get hellish. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., 226-6630. 9 pm. $30 in advance, $35 day of show. 21+.

Langhorne Slim and the Law, The Builders and the Butchers
Like a dark heart in a wicked town of red-dress preachers who sink and drown, it’s the Builders and the Butchers! Bagdad Theater & Pub, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., cascadetickets.com. 9 pm. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. 21+.

Nurses, Radiation City, Wild Ones, DJ Beyonda
That’s some real good indie pop! Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., mississippistudios.com. 9 pm. $17. 21+.

The Parson Red Heads, Welfare
The Beatles’ album A Hard Day’s Night will be played in its entirety. White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St., cascadetickets.com. 9:30 pm. $10. 21+.

Pierced Arrows, the Bloodtypes, Iron Lords
Fred and Toody and Kelly are the best. Go party with them. Ash St. Saloon, 225 SW Ash St., ashstreetsaloon.com. 9:30 pm. $10. 21+.

Quarterflash, Jon Koonce
Hell, yes, they’re back. Oregon’s biggest band of 1981 reunites for the 30th anniversary of its Billboard-topping single, “Harden My Heart.” Scoff all you like—have you ever toured with Elton John? Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., aladdin-theater.com. 9 pm. $35 in advance, $40 day of show. 21+.

ILLUSTRATION: Katie Daisy
Red Fang, Rabbits, Lord Dying

Sizzle Pie celebrates its anniversary in the most metal fashion possible—with Rabbits’ thunder and scream. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., startheaterportland.com. 9 pm. $15. 21+.

Freak Mountain Ramblers
The rockingest bluegrass around. Kennedy School, 5736 NE 42nd Ave., cascadetickets.com. 9 pm. Free. 21+.

The Reservations, Big Black Cloud, New York Rifles, the Hollywood Tans, Red Ships of Spain
Rex Marshall’s sleazy psychedelic fuzz quartet headlines an all-ages evening of snarling garage rock. Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave., backspace.bz. 9 pm. $10. All ages.

The Scott Pemberton Superband, The Soul Stew DJs
Guitarist Scott Pemberton makes up for his jam-band tendencies with jaw-dropping virtuosity. Here he appears with a doubled-up version of his usual trio, with two drummers, two bassists and two guitar players. For the dance-averse, DJs will spin upstairs. The Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark St., thegoodfoot.com. 9 pm. $10 for DJs, $15 for Scott Pemberton. 21+.

Talkdemonic, DJ Freaky Outty, Deelay Ceelay, Brainstorm
Our 2005 Best New Band survey winner headlines a very arty dance party with fellow dance duos Deelay Ceelay, who make their own video projections, and Brainstorm, who are so rockin’ they sometimes deploy a tuba. Mission Theater, 16241 NW Glisan St., cascadetickets.com. 9 pm. $16 in advance, $18 day of show. 21+.

Tragedy, Night Nurse
Hardcore trio Tragedy is a real big deal just about everywhere but Portland, the Memphis-born band’s adopted hometown. Plan B. 1305 SE 8th Ave. 9 pm. $5. 21+.

Two Beers Veirs, Black Prairie, The Minus 5
Laura Veirs reprises her annual year-end gig at the LaurelThirst, backed by Nate Query, John Moen, Christ Funk, Jon Neufeld and Annalisa Tornfelt, with guest appearances by Willy Vlautin, Sallie Ford, Ritchie Young, Israel Nebeker and Kevin and Anita Robinson. LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan St., 232-1504. 8 pm. $25. 21+.

Weinland New Year’s Eve Supergroup, Fruit Bats
For the third year running, Weinland and the band’s many friends—Ritchie Young, Brian Perez, Eric Johnson and too many others to list—perform killer covers of Heart, Bowie, Van Halen, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Queen, Prince and the like. Guaranteed to be killer. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., dougfirlounge.com. 9 pm-2 am. 21+. $16 in advance, $18 day of show.

The Winebirds, Tango Alpha Tango
The Winebirds are a moody pop sextet that learned all the right lessons from Pink Floyd and the Cardigans. Tango Alpha Tango sounds kind of like Muse jamming with Matchbox Twenty, without the most annoying parts of either band. Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., somedaylounge.com. 9 pm. $15. 21+.


I Just Wanna Eat


Aviary
The innovative Alberta Street restaurant rises like a phoenix from the literal ashes (it was closed by a roof fire July 4) with a new year’s menu featuring duck roulade, slow-poached sturgeon and—ooh!—“quince, cranberry, chamomile anglaise.” 1733 NE Alberta St., 287-2400, aviarypdx.com. 5-11 pm. $65 per person, $90 with wine pairings.

Gilt Club
A five-course dinner featuring trumpets of death gnocchi and music from DJ IZM. 306 NW Broadway, 222-4458, giltclub.com. 9 pm. $75. 21+.

Lincoln
Jenn Louis prepares a three-course menu featuring a rabbit-lamb cassoulet. 3808 N Williams Ave., 288-6200, lincolnpdx.com. Dinner 5:30-10 pm. $50.

Teardrop Lounge
The cocktail bar offers a multiple-course dinner with cocktail pairings. 1015 NW Everett St., 445-8109, teardroplounge.com. 5:30-8:30 pm. $100. 21+.

Pix Pâtisserie
The sweet shop brings back its annual chocolate buffet. The first 100 customers who purchase a beverage after 11 pm at either of Pix’s two locations get free chocolate mousse, ice cream ganache, meringue, beer and so on. 3901 N Williams Ave., 282-6539; 3402 SE Division St., 232-4407; pixpatisserie.com. Buffet begins at midnight. 21+.

Wafu
Chef Trent Pierce will serve a six-course menu of Japanese fare, followed by a party DJ’d by sous chef Lady J featuring $2 beers and $4 punch. 3131 SE Division St., 236-0205; wafupdx.com. Dinner seatings 5-7:30 pm, party 9 pm-1 am. $50 for dinner, $70 with sake pairings. The party is free. 21+.

I Just Wanna Play


Ground Kontrol
One ticket gets you unlimited play on the arcade’s 80-some games. 511 NW Couch St., groundkontrol.com. 5 pm-2 am. $15. 21+.
 
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