For the last month, the boys in local five-piece rock band Railer have been touring the country on their New National Anthem tour and delivering a message to the good people of America. Is it a message of the salvation found in the rattle of rock 'n' roll? No. Is it a message of finding the light of divinity in a world so dark? No. Is it an ambiguous plea for peace? No. These guys are rockin' "[t]o amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require a voter-verified permanent record or hardcopy under title III of such Act, and for other purposes."

It doesn't quite roll off the tongue, but the message above comes from a House of Representatives bill the band has been promoting and preaching to crowds throughout its tour. Essentially, the bill calls for a system of verification wherein voters can double-check their decision, and polling locations with electronic voting machines can keep a hard copy of each vote in case of a manual audit. The goal is to keep electronic voting machines, which numerous news organizations have reported to have some serious flaws, in check. Yeah, it's a bit more complex than getting onstage and yelling out, "World peace!" But Railer leadman Randall Scott believes it is the most important issue facing the nation today.

"No matter what your thoughts are on the environmental policies, or campaign finance or whatever, it matters," he says. "All of those problems are symptoms of people not getting their votes counted."

The band's efforts have gained it exposure on wired.com and the BBC. The group will be returning to Portland for a Friday, Nov. 21, show at Paris Theatre (6 SW 3rd Ave., 224-8313. 7 pm. Cover. All ages).


Those who hit Lola's Room Friday or Saturday night for DJ Gregarious' twice-weekly Shut Up and Dance night already know the sad news. But for all you slackers out there, here it is: DJ Gregarious' night of dancing fancy will no longer take place at Lola's Room. There seems to be some bad blood, a disagreement of sorts, that fueled the breakup. Gregarious, who plays all sorts of delicious '80s New Wave and dance tracks, plans on relocating to another club. There is no news on which lucky club that might be. Lola's has replaced Gregarious' Friday-night party with a similar '80s dance night called Dance and Tell with DJ YesNo.

In a similar groove...much-loved DJ P will be spinning his wheels of steel at Berbati's Pan for the last time on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The next morning, the DJ will be spinning a different set of wheels as he moves out of town to take care of a personal matter.


The bar formerly known as Cal-Sport will be celebrating new ownership and a new name with a party on Saturday, Nov. 22. Telephone and a special guest will be playing the shindig at the newly christened Slabtown (1033 NW 16th Ave., 223-0099. 10 pm. $5. 21+). New owner Morgan Smith and assistant manager Matt Simons are hoping to turn the popular Northwest drinking spot into a regular player in the concert market with shows every Friday. There are also more big-screen TVs--for super-huge karaoke, we suppose.