Hot, hot heat

New Year's Eve is just a warm-up
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 30, 2009

BACK FOR A SHOW BMP winners Kino Proby, at Port City Music Hall January 8. Photo: MARGO ROY

Is New Year's back? It seemed to have been taken away from us, by a general and hard-to-pin-down sentiment that it ought to be some kind of family holiday. Fuck that. No wonder New Year's Portland just sort of went away. Why on god's green Earth would you want to bring children out of doors when it's five degrees in the middle of the night?

New Year's is an adult holiday for people who like to act like children, and there's no shortage of venues to let you pogo up and down, bang your head against the wall, and talk gibberish. And it is the responsibility of Portland's biggest bands to give y'all the appropriate music by which to do so. Kudos to RUSTIC OVERTONES for headlining the Port City Music Hall, and to Gypsy Tailwind and Headstart! for playing support roles. It's sold out, so you don't care about any of that, but there's a pecking order that needs to be observed for everything to work out right. Rustic sells out Port City so that SIDECAR RADIO can sell out the Big Easy and COVERED IN BEES can sell out Geno's and the Awesome can sell out the Asylum and SPENCER AND THE SCHOOL SPIRIT MAFIA and OLAS can give a go at selling out $50 tix at SPACE (there's gonna be good nosh, though, and Mark Bessire and other artsy types are hosting). Even so RACHEL EFRON can come home from San Francisco for an NYE gig at Slainte, where 25 people is a packed house — though reports from the Bay Area say she's worth considerably more attention.

If Rustic decide to sit on the couch or take a gig out of town, everything gets all bollixed up. Port City has to go hunting on the national or regional market in a very competitive atmosphere for a headliner that may or may not pack the place, or else take a chance on another local band with less of a proven local track record. But Rustic have shouldered their load as leaders of our little local scene and New Year's Eve stands to be one seriously rocking night. I'm not sure I remember a better line-up. The only thing missing is some national band playing the CCCC, but I'm not sure there are enough people in the greater Portland area to support all of that.

And the rest of January, often fallow while local musicians hole up and write, is shaping up to be as active as any bright summer month. January 8 sees everyone's favorite Russians KINO PROBY return to town yet again for a live-disc release show at Port City (is that irony? Going to the Port City to celebrate a disc recorded at the Big Easy?), and the next night sees PETE KILPATRICK return to town after stints at western ski areas and down in Boston to celebrate the release of Shapes and Sounds with a gig January 9 at SPACE. Old friend Hutch Heelan helps out.

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