Ah, New Year's Eve, when downtown hotels fill with interchangeable "balls" where 80 bucks grants access to an '80s band, and your favorite local watering hole charges a $10 cover for the same DJ they had last week for free.
But you know what? Who cares? It's New Year's. As much as you wish you were the sort to just crack a cask of tawny port and cuddle up with The Very Best of Mantovani, the only thing worse than a New Year's Eve celebration is watching one on TV. So go ahead and choose your NYE fest like a kid at a Baskin-Robbins, from a menu we've arranged according to no system whatsoever. Unless we say so, everything's 21-plus, like everything else that's fun.
ODES TO THE HOLY FLAMING BATSHIT
Neon New Year
You know what? Riff Raff's eyebrows have racing stripes, his teeth have mirrors, and the sum of his cultural contribution seems to have been inspiring James Franco's character in Spring Breakers. Hell, he might even be James Franco. But he's also a young Andrew W.K.'s worth of nothing but party, and with a $299 "Neon Icon Experience" ticket, you can hang out with the man himself and eat chips or drink rubbing alcohol or something. This warehouse party is the NYE version of scorched earth. We have no more words. Odyssey Event Space, 521 N Tillamook St., neonnewyear.com. 9 pm. $40-$299. 18kknd.
Bass Odyssey NYE 2013
We can think of nothing more deliciously aggro than the combination of Roseland Theater security guards, Greshamite dubstep fans and a Texas DJ who calls himself Bro Safari. This is the sound of meth getting in a fight with cocaine, while drunk. This is the sound of dancing using only your fists. Happy New Year! Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 971-230-0033, roselandpdx.com. 8 pm. $35. 18kknd.
DJ Khalif Diouf (aka Le1F), Shy Girls, Phone Call, PWRHAUS, Miracles Club DJs, DJ SPF666, DJ Kiffo, Radiation City DJs
This is a gripload of party. Le1f bends through both gender- and music-related stereotypes, with liberated takes on dance and hip-hop, and beats glitchy and mesmerizing—which is to say nothing of his local support, which includes alt-R&B troupe PWRHAUS; Phone Call, a spinoff of nu-disco heroes Strength; and Portland's Best New Band, Shy Girls. Oh, and Miracles Club spinning the house jams. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639, holocene.org. 8 pm. $25. 21kknd.
Reva DeVito, Hustle & Drone, Holler & Oats, Montel Spinoza
Reva DeVito, one of PDX's most invigorating live acts, returns from her new home in Los Angeles with her future-sexy blend of hip-hop and R&B in hand. We should all take advantage of this appearance—we might not have many opportunities to get this close to her. Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand Ave., digaponyportland.com. 8 pm. $15. 21kknd.
PICA New Year's Art Drop
Man, Southeast Portland is all Giorgio Moroder and electro-jams this new year—heck, you can even sneak out for a
free $5 set by DFA's Woolfy at Langano Lounge. At Rotture's PICA fest, though, Brooklyn's Light Asylum sound like a darkwave Johnny Jewel project, while Unicorn Domination proves electro-clash never died. Plus a Magic Mouth DJ set, "imbibement rituals" and "surprises" in the name of arts funding. Rotture, 315 SE 3rd Ave., 234-5683, rotture.com. 9 pm. $20. 21kknd.
DREAM OF THE '90s
Built to Spill, Slam Dunk, the Apostrophes
From his family garage in Twin Falls, Idaho, Doug Martsch and his stack of pedals and Stax pretty much invented Northwest indie guitar. No matter how many times he's threatened to quit, he's now outlasted the whole damn Mayan Calendar. Stop the year if you must, but goddamn it, don't stop the show. Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 223-4527. 8 pm. Sold out, suckers. 21kknd.
Rick Bain & the Genius Position, the Purrs, 1776
Rick Bain, like Gene Hackman, always seemed like he arrived into the world in midadulthood, complete with shiny head and mustache. For years, his deep-set eyes and 30-foot-tall rainbow scarf advertised the Gap on the side of a building near Powell's, while his smart brand of psych rock advertised time spent reading the books. Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington St., 228-3669. 9 pm. Free. 21kknd.
A Very Zombie New Year's Eve Party
Free goths and geeks in makeup. "Hunters," apparently, are invited alongside zombies, but no mention is made of victims in the press release, which leaves us wondering: Since when do the humans want to eat the zombies? Jack London Bar, 529 SW 4th Ave., 228-7605. rialtopoolroom.com. 9 pm. Free. 21kknd.
Black Pussy, Gaytheist, Diesto
This show is a massive deal for a few reasons—but mainly, it's because Black Pussy, Gaytheist and Diesto are all in one place. Also, it's New Year's Eve in Portland, and you know the rock-'n'-rollers are gonna go nuts. World Famous Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick St., 285-3718, kentonclub.com. 9 pm. Free. 21kknd.
Lovecraft New Year's Eve
Easily the dark horse of the night. With DJs like Horrid and Ghoulunatic, you pretty much know you're in for a night of unicorns and rainbows. Lovecraft Bar, 421 SE Grand Ave., lovecraftbar.com. 8 pm. Free. 21kknd.
Weinland NYE Supergroup
The world at large rings in the new year with Ryan Seacrest's big, weird smile. Here in Portland, we have the annual Weinland's NYE Supergroup cover-song extravaganza, in which the beloved indie-rock band teams with a 20-plus-strong army of secret guests, who may or may not involve Neko Case or Blitzen Trapper, plus the cream of the local karaoke scene. So suck it, Seacrest! Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663, dougfirlounge.com. 9 pm. $25 door sales only. 21kknd.
Ural Thomas and the Keplers
Ural Thomas, 73-year-old badass and soul singer, built the North Portland house he lives in. And if you think about it, he built the house you live in, too. Radio Room, 1101 NE Alberta St., 287-2346, radioroompdx.com. 9 pm. Free. 21kknd.
Pink Martini, Chervona
Lauderdale and company have graduated over the years from virtuosic lounge act to revered institution, just like Paranoid Park and the original carpet pattern at PDX airport (RIP). Every time a little girl in Portland is born without a father, her first tears taste just like Thomas Lauderdale, and her mother's heart breaks like China Forbes. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047, crystalballroompdx.com. 7:30 and 11 pm. $50-$55. 21kknd.
AM Gold '70s Soft Rock Show
In terms of dress-up fineries, evergreen schtick and dogged longevity, Tony Starlight has got pretty much everyone beat short of the immortal Darcelle XV. His dinner-jacket supperclub remains the dinner-jacket supperclub, but this time it's New Year's Eve and it's full of Jim Croce. Time in a bottle, man. Time in a bottle. Tony Starlight's Supperclub & Lounge, 3728 NE Sandy Blvd., 517-8584, tonystarlight.com. 8 and 10:30 pm. $30 cover, $20 food/beverage minimum. 21kknd.
Salsa and Afrobeat Dance Party
This concert from Nigerian band Jujuba and Cuban group Pa'lante represents a combined 20 musicians and a 6,000-mile swath through Afro-Cuban-beat-talking-drum-jazz-juju music. Proceeds benefit Mercy Corps. Red Rose Ballroom, 1829 NE Alberta St., 415-285-1285, redroseballroom.com. 9 pm-1 am. $15 advance, $20 day of show. Includes Champagne toast. 21kknd.
DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid
Bhangra in a ballroom from longtime Portland stalwart DJ Anjali, with promises of "giddha bounce, Tamil and Telugu percussion riots, the best in urban desi, and maybe even some forays into other international club bangers." Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside St., 206-7630, bossanovaballroom.com. 9 pm. $17 advance, $22 day of show. 21kknd.
Melao de Cuba
What, you don't like salsa with your pizza? Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3231, mississippipizza.com. 9:30 pm. $15. 21kknd.
Old Church Jazz Standards
Chamber jazz of the 1930s followed by a Champagne and dessert reception, with suppers served in homes around town as a cozy or totally awkward pre-funk. The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., 224-9842, focm.org. 7:30 pm. $30 concert and reception. Add $70 for home cookin'.
A Gatsby New Year
A Gatsby-themed party at a beer-bicycle bar, with a Champagne toast. That a problem for you? BrewStop, 1425 NW Flanders St., 971-400-5950, brewcycleportland.com. 9 pm. Free. 21kknd.
LAUGHING LAST, THEN FIRST
Helium New Year
Comedy from Nick Thune, magic from Hart Keene, plus jazz from Quartette Barbette. Shit, might as well be Ed Sullivan. With bubbly. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669, heliumcomedy.com. 8 and 10:30 pm. $45-$199. 21kknd.
A Very Brody New Year
New Year's Eve is a big deal at the Brody, and not just because it's founder Tom Johnson's birthday. Each year, the entire Brody ensemble shows up for an extra-long show of improv, standup and sketch, with free food and Champagne at midnight. Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227, brodytheater.com. 8 pm. $16 advance, $18 day of show. All ages.