Music

The Best New Year's Ever

Our Guide to the Best Parties in Town

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Holy dropping balls, there is a lot to do this New Year's Eve. We know better than anybody that the year-end holiday sometimes promises more than it can deliver (Alcohol! The potential for kissing! The start of a perfect, clean-slate year!), but we swear this time you're not going to be disappointed. Which is why we put together this guide to some of the best dance nights and live bands and parties and flat-out good times around town, so you can pick the one that's just right for you. We asked several of the performing musicians and DJs what we might expect from the big night. They clued us in, and shared some of their darkest New Year's secrets as well.

STORM LARGE, HOLCOMBE WALLER
Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta,
7:30 & 10:30 pm, $65-75

Storm Large's memoir, Crazy Enough, is slated to hit bookshelves next year, but in the meantime she's closing out 2011 with her patented blend of cabaret and rock 'n' roll, enlisting pal Holcombe Waller for good measure. Plus, these shows'll be your first chance to get your mitts on Large's new book.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

STORM LARGE: 1) I have, once again, conned the sweet-spirited unicorn Holcombe Waller to sing with us. 2) It will be the first place on Earth you can get a physical copy of my book Crazy Enough. 3) Alberta Rose is a chill, sit-down type of place that doesn't encourage typical amateurish NYE behavior, i.e., puking, brawling, tonguing the wrong people, and general douchebaggery.

Do you have any special plans? Cover songs? Decorations?

We have nothing solidly planned yet, set-wise. There will definitely be balloons and toys, but confetti and glitter are verboten. It costs a ton to clean that crap up, but I love the idea of a glitter cannon... violent yet fabulous.

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

My partner James always makes this drink that tastes like an Andes mint: chocolate soy milk, vanilla vodka, Kahlua, and Rumple Minze. It sounds foofy, but it is strong. Yummy and powerful date lube.

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

We're all boring and married... so we shall only be face-raping our intendeds.

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

I doubt it... I always liken that song to It's a Wonderful Life. More likely we will play "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

Best and worst: 1986-1987. My friend Hester and I hung out with Nik Fiend from Alien Sex Fiend, who was sober, so I stayed sober to try and impress him. Later, around 2 am, SOBER, driving my 1968 bald-mag-tire-havin', questionably acquired Ford Mustang through snowy Boston to pick up Hester's boyfriend, a Honda flew in front of me and I smashed into its rear quarter panel, totaling my car and sending us both spinning into the dirty snow. Lame and lamer. That'll teach me to not drink.

Do you have any resolutions for 2012?

I'm hard on myself all year about work, "I need to do more, do it better, be better, etc." I've started to sneak a little nicer voice into the bully chorus, to take it a little easier. But if I declare on January 1 I'm going to change something, and it shall thereby be changed for all time, just because—it never works. It's something I need to do all the time... like right now I'm in a mooshy hotel bed in Boston, whereupon sending this, I will go back to sleep. Happy New Year!

 

THE WEINLAND NYE SUPERGROUP, FRUIT BATS
Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $16-18

It's already becoming a tradition: At year's end, folk-rockers Weinland beef up their ranks to form an enormous, many-tentacled supergroup for a night of cover songs and guest singers. We asked Weinland's Adam Shearer, plus supergroup ringleader Dave Depper (who's also doing duty with Fruit Bats in the opening slot) as to what we could expect this time around.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes this show better than the rest?

ADAM SHEARER: Our show is like a guiltless guilt fest of crazy dance energy. We play all sorts of guilty pleasure songs, but we do it in a way that makes it okay. The end result is shit-tons of fun and you'll be shakin' it hard all night long. You'll hear some songs by artists where you can't believe someone has the audacity to cover that classic song, and do it well—like Queen, Bowie, the Jackson Five. And then you'll hear other songs where you can't believe someone has the audacity to cover such a ridiculous song, and do it well—like En Vogue, Wreckx-n-Effect, and Europe. And of course we've got an amazing guest set from the Fruit Bats and a short set of the most rawk Weinland songs.

DAVE DEPPER: This show is your 100 percent guaranteed, low-pressure, high-fun quotient evening. I was part of it last year and felt immense relief, as I realized I no longer had to agonize about where to spend my NYE—this was the place to be. It's exactly what you want out of the night: a kick-ass cover band featuring some of Portland's best singers, playing songs you've probably always wanted to hear live and never have.

Do you have any special plans? Cover songs?

SHEARER: Ha! Yes we do.

DAVE DEPPER: The evening will be ALL cover songs, so yeah! We're kind of going all out with this one, with a large gaggle of backup singers, dancers, and guitar heroes. Expect a production.

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

SHEARER: Anything plus tequila, with a twist of vodka. Maybe add some protein in there. You're going to need your energy.

DEPPER: I will be drinking my personal bevvie of choice, the Salty Chihuahua, AKA tequila and grapefruit juice with lime and a salted rim.

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

SHEARER: 100 percent. There are about 30 of us. All hot to trot.  

DEPPER: Potential applicants are encouraged to inquire two to three minutes before midnight if interested.

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

SHEARER: Yes, twice! Once before you get there and then again after you leave. It's a supergroup bonding ritual.

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

SHEARER: I've answered this a few times, so I should defer to Dave, this has got to be all you. Pulling a girl out of the crowd and dancing with her at the end of "Dancing in the Dark" by the Boss last year? C'mon!

Or maybe the best is [last year's show] when Brian J. Perez inadvertently impregnated the entire upper Southeast side of Portland whilst singing "Need You Tonight" by INXS.

Worst? One time I passed out behind a couch and was not found for several hours. Things were going great up until then.

DEPPER: I dunno, last year was maybe the most epic NYE I can recall. We had the supergroup party, and then I went and saw Cooky Parker DJ for a while, and then I ended up in the West Hills naked in a hot tub with a bunch of people I didn't know, getting home after the sun had come up. Pretty epic times.

My worst NYE memory will stay in the vaults.

Do you have any resolutions for 2012?

SHEARER: I have made an early resolution to become more of a guitar shredder. As a songwriter I haven't focused too much on my guitar playing. I'm currently looking for lessons.

DEPPER: Yes. To finish writing and recording my next solo record. Hopefully it won't take the whole year!

 

AND AND AND, BLOOD BEACH, THIS CHARMING MAN
Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick, 9 pm, FREE

Who says New Year's Eve is a night reserved for valets, soirees, and other swanky loanwords? Ring it in rowdy—it is the Year of the Dragon, after all—with the finale of And And And's traveling Underbelly Bender, the six-week affair featuring Portland's favorite local bands in the city's most hallowed dives. Drummer and Underbelly coordinator Bim Ditson tells us more.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes this show better than the rest?

BIM DITSON: Our New Year's show is the final show of the Underbelly Bender! Basically this show is gonna be Snooki.

Do you have any special plans? Decorations? Indoor fireworks?

We're starting the night off right with a very special set made just for this show by This Charming Man. After that I've heard rumors Blood Beach just got sponsored by the Goosebumps series and are expected to play accordingly. Before we go on, we're gonna have to bust Berg out of his giant piñata. Bring your own fireworks! Decorations? I didn't move right next to a Dollar Tree for the view.

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

AMFs and PBRs back and forth until you puke in the closest man-purse.

What are the odds that, at midnight, anyone in the bands will be available for kissing?

100 percent times five.

Will someone play "Auld Lang Syne"?

Only if everyone holds hands.

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

I don't remember either of those but with each I've been told dogfights were central...

Do you have any resolutions for 2012?

To get super buff and terse. 

 

TWO BEERS VEIRS: LAURA VEIRS, BLACK PRAIRIE, THE MINUS 5
LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan, 8 pm, $25

For her fourth annual Two Beers Veirs celebration, folker Laura Veirs has gluttonously hoarded the bulk of Portland's talent into one small room, enlisting members of the Decemberists and Black Prairie as her backing band. Still not satisfied, the greedy Veirs has also acquired a stellar array of special guests.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

LAURA VEIRS: I think the 50 Chippendale dancers will be a highlight for sure. Also, we're bringing in about 14 reindeer and 25 bales of hay for our annual "backwoods stage dive."

Do you have any special plans? Cover songs? Decorations? Noisemakers?

We will bring in the new year with a rousing rendition of "Carry on My Wayward Son." For this I will do an improvised interpretive dance wearing a mohawk wig. We will also play songs with kickass guest musicians Sallie Ford, Willy Vlautin, Israel Nebeker, Ritchie Young, and Kevin and Anita Robinson. We go for the barn-burning vibe.

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

I think the new year should be celebrated simply with sparkling water, so you can really take in the reality of your life with a clear, discerning eye. JUST KIDDING. I will be drinking at LEAST two PBRs, maybe even THREE.

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

All the lips are up for grabs. But all the lips are married so it's risky business.

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

If the spirit moves us, yes.

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

The best was playing six and a half months pregnant to a jam-packed LaurelThirst. The worst was throwing up on the side of my house at the respectable age of 30.

Do you have any resolutions for 2012?

To get off my damn computer and phone, to smile at people on the street, and to read classic books.

 

DJ COOKY PARKER
The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie, 8 pm, $10-12

As the host of the In the Cooky Jar soul night and the In the Detention Hall '80s night, Scott Magee—AKA DJ Cooky Parker—definitely knows how to get a party goin'. What's he got planned for the big night? He's spinning, in order, a song from every single year of the past 50 years.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes this party better than the rest?

SCOTT MAGEE: Well I don't like to speak in terms of "better," but I will say this: I believe I may have designed the world's most incredible dance party ever conceived by man or beast.

Do you have any special plans? Special NYE songs?

YES! I am DJing a 50-year history of amazing dance music from 1961 to 2011. All in a row! We will also have a 60-second countdown with a sweet ball drop at 11:59 pm. Pretty much we are gonna have a massive party that rocks all night long. The Woods will be closing soon after NYE, so we have to blow it out in honor of how amazing the last two years have been!

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

Whatever makes you dance for five and a half hours straight is what I recommend.

What are the odds that, at midnight, you will be available for kissing?

Very high, I'm single. Oh wait, that means very low unless...

Any clues as to what you will play at midnight?

My DJ set is nonstop from about 9:30 pm to 2:30 am, so we will hear whatever song from whatever year when the clock strikes 12. If I timed it right it should be Prince or Michael Jackson. We'll see!

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

All of my best ones are the night of, and all my worst are the morning after.

Do you have any resolutions for 2012?

Buy more records.

 

THE PARSON RED HEADS, WELFARE, JACOB ARNOLD
White Eagle, 836 N Russell, 9:30 pm, $10

Let it be known: The Parson Red Heads are here to guide you gently into the new year with their blithe classic-rock tunes and pervasive good vibes. Not to mention that in addition to songs from this year's most excellent Yearling, the band will be covering a very well-known album from start to finish.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

EVAN WAY: This show is going to be better than the rest for a few reasons (no offense to all my friends who have NYE shows, too). First of all, the opening acts are amazingly great. Jacob Arnold of Cabinessence will make every member of the audience fall in love with someone. And who doesn't want to fall in love? Secondly, no NYE is complete without dancing, and we are playing one of the most fun dancing albums of all time from front to back, so you are guaranteed to have plenty of dancing inspiration. Lastly, the White Eagle is just the most fun, intimate venue in all of Portland. No place I'd rather be. Did I mention I'm going to be wearing a Beatles-style white turtleneck? All are encouraged to join me in bringing turtlenecks back.

MERCURY: Do you have any special plans for this show?

EVAN WAY: Yes, very special plans! We are performing the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night album from start to finish, followed by a set of Parsons tunes. Also, Charlie's (our bass player) mother is going to join us as a guest vocalist for a song: the beautiful Lennon/McCartney tune "And I Love Her."

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

The best drink for our NYE set is a Brandy Alexander. Was known to be a favorite drink of the Beatles back in the day!

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

Probably slim, as we will be busy kissing each other.

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

I only have good New Year's memories (another reason that everyone should join us at the White Eagle—New Year's is always good when I'm involved). My best was probably last year when we covered Tom Petty's Wildflowers album from start to finish. What a challenge! But it was SO fun. That, or the night at the Echo [in Echo Park, California], when the show ended and balloons fell from the ceiling while R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It" started to play. That was pretty perfect.

 

CALEB KLAUDER COUNTRY BAND, FOGHORN STRINGBAND
The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd, 9 pm, $12

If it's whiskey and two-step for your new year, put on that pair of well-worn cowboy boots and follow country messiah Caleb Klauder's lead into 2012. There will be plenty of partners for swapping—not in a put-your-keys-in-the-bowl kind of way, unless that's your fancy—and if you're lucky, you'll find the right one by the time the clock strikes midnight.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

CALEB KLAUDER: My show will have the best honky-tonk dancing and the cheapest stiff drinks! Plus the Foghorn Stringband will open up the night.  

Do you have any special plans? Cover songs? Noisemakers?

We will have a champagne toast at midnight. Special surprises for those who brave sitting at the rack at the stage. I love the seating right in front of the band at the Spare Room. The first four times we played the Spare Room, no one dared sit at the rack. Now it seems to be a great seat.  

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

My set is definitely a whiskey set. But a good Dirty Klauder could do the trick. (Named by the bartender, Kelly, at the Spare Room. It's just a dirty martini.)

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

Hopefully we will be kissing someone and therefore not available.

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

We will. You have to! 

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

Best: I was proposed to on New Year's at the stroke of midnight. Worst: Having to catch the bus to the show and getting caught in a downpour, being late for the show, and playing in very wet clothes. Not so fun.

Does the Caleb Klauder Country Band have any resolutions for 2012?

Record a new album of all original music.   

 

RED FANG, RABBITS, LORD DYING
Star Theater, 13 NW 6th, 9 pm, $15

Sizzle Pie celebrates their first year of existence by hosting this show of volume-heavy rockers, including Rabbits, who release their new 7-inch tonight, and Portland's own champions of mighty riffitude, Red Fang, whose Aaron Beam told us what to—and what NOT to—expect.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

AARON BEAM: I can almost guarantee that at OUR New Year's Eve show, there will be no human or animal sacrifices.

Do you have any special plans? Cover songs? Decorations? Noisemakers? Indoor fireworks?

YES!!

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

All of them. All at the same time.

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

Very, very, very, very, very, very good. But I wish you would have called it "chances," not "odds."

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

Is that the theme from Golden Girls?

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

If it was my best one, then I probably don't remember it! But honestly, my best and worst are from the same night, and it involves discovering a ham in the trunk of my friend's car over a week later. That is a true story, but I am going to protect everyone who was there by not telling it.

Does Red Fang have any resolutions for 2012?

Our motto for 2012 is: "A stitch in time... shame on you!"

Thanks! Feel free to add anything else you like.

Happy New Year, Portland! We love pizza!

 

THE RESERVATIONS, BIG BLACK CLOUD, NEW YORK RIFLES,
HOLLYWOOD TANS, RED SHIPS OF SPAIN

Backspace, 115 NW 5th, 9 pm, $8-10, all ages

A stacked bill of local garage and punk bands holds down one of the only all-ages New Year's parties in town. We checked in with drummer Travis Wainwright of Big Black Cloud, who—along with guitarist Nick Capello and bassist Soo Koelbli—will offer burbling, cataclysmic rock for ears of all ages.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

TRAVIS WAINWRIGHT: We'll be giving away free 7-inches. Also, there will be a multitude of underage girls there!

Do you have any special plans? Noisemakers? Indoor fireworks?

Nope! We make enough noise on our own.

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

Thunderbird with a VCR head-cleaner chaser.

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

Pretty good if you have cash.

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

Huh?

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

Worst: In New Orleans, Nick got blackout drunk and tackled an also-blackout-drunk Soo in front of some cops, accidentally breaking her fingers. Later that evening she saved his life while he was choking on vomit in his sleep. Best: They saw some imaginary fireworks on a rooftop that night.

Does Big Black Cloud have any resolutions for 2012?

We resolve to not have to record our record for a third time in 2012.

 

THE MIRACLES CLUB, SEX LIFE, ANCIENT HEAT, SUN ANGLE,
PALMAS, DJ COPY, DJ SNAKKS, DJ HOSTILE TAPEOVER

Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8 pm, $13

If you decide to dress sharp this New Year's Eve, you may want to choose breathable fabrics before heading to Holocene's jam-packed show. The Miracles Club will undoubtedly possess you with their innovative and bombastic house music, and before your brain can catch up with your sweaty, flailing limbs, the ball will have dropped.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

THE MIRACLES CLUB: We've been thinking positively and training harder than our competition. We would like to thank god and our family for all their support.  

Do you have any special plans? Cover songs? Decorations? Noisemakers? Indoor fireworks?

All of this and more! However the specifics will be on a need-to-know basis. Spoiler alert: Holocene has been in contact with the Blue Angels. 

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

Grape chia kombucha chilled and infused with mint Skittles. Served by miniature corgis or Brussels Griffons. We hate Iams. 

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

76.4833333 percent.

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

Yes, actually we have a children's choir coming in to back us up. We're really excited! Child actors will also perform the roles of the Miracles Club.

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

The best was watching the birth of a baby elephant in Laos from a hotel in Dubai. The worst was when we missed the finale of The Simple Life while flying through the Bermuda Triangle.

Does the Miracles Club have any resolutions for 2012?

Mo' money/world peace. We'd like to thank the Goddess, God, Buddha, Allah, Jah, and Gaga and the little monsters for all the love and support. We would be nothing without you.

 

THE CHICHARONES, THE DOO DOO FUNK ALLSTARS
Ted's, 231 SW Ankeny, 9 pm, $15-20

Josh Martinez and Sleep—better known as ferociously fun hiphop duo the Chicharones—will ring in the new year alongside local legends the Doo Doo Funk Allstars, making this a celebration of funkadelic proportions. We checked in with Martinez to see what the Chichis have up their sleeves.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

JOSH MARTINEZ: Well, it's not very often that you have two powerhouse hometown heroes playing the same stage, and this being the first time for the collab, the obvious admiration each group has for each other makes this a big win no matter how you slice it. Plus a doughnut toast from Voodoo Doughnut at midnight. Nobody else is doing a doughnut toast, guaranteed. 

Do you have any special plans? Cover songs? Decorations? Noisemakers? Indoor fireworks?

It's gonna be a sexy smorgasbord of guests coming through to sing the night away. The Chichis also have a Great White-style pyrotechnics show that is just awaiting final permits, so that'll be a pretty big deal.  

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

Shots of Jäg for all the ladies, Roofie Sunrises for all the fellas.  

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

I'm available year round. Like Thanksgiving, people need to focus on being thankful year round. And kissing me. Year round. 

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

That's disgusting. Of course not. 

What is your best New Year's memory?

I spent most of my past 10 years performing on NYE, so all my memories are tied up in shows. Chicharones missed the countdown last year 'cause we were talking with a cop for an hour about his problems at home and how it was affecting his ability to do his job. I also was at a famous show in Canada that made the national news when the celebrity fiddler played his fiddle to bring in the new year. He then proceeded to call the crowd racist names on national TV, and it came out that he had speedballed crack and LSD. It was absolute magic. 

Do the Chicharones have any resolutions for 2012?

We are your hometown heroes. We will continue to grow the magic with the release of our brand-new album Swine Flew, which is set to drop April 1, 2012. Then it's on to hosting Saturday Night Live and interviews with David Letterman. No biggie.  

 

LANGHORNE SLIM AND THE LAW, THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS
Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne, 9 pm, $25-30

Folk-soul rabble-rouser Langhorne Slim hosts his second New Year's Eve show in his recently adopted hometown of Portland. Boasting a batch of tunes from his just-finished record, The Way We Move (out next May), Slim and his band the Law—plus billmates the Builders and the Butchers—are certain to strum up a party you won't forget, no matter how many daiquiris you down.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

LANGHORNE SLIM: Wait, there's other shows? That is rude. Well, I guess I'm buying everyone ponies. So, yeah, come to our show and get a pony.

Do you have any special plans? Decorations? Noisemakers? Indoor fireworks?

All that and of course the flying ponies. Yep, they fly. We also just finished recording our new record and will be playing a lot of new songs from that.

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

SunnyD or grape drink. Organic, of course.

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

I will personally be shooting for second base. I want somebody to touch my boobs.  

Does Langhorne Slim and the Law have any resolutions for 2012?

Kick ass, take names, and love like the end is coming!

 

DJ ANJALI AND THE INCREDIBLE KID
Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside, 9 pm, $15-20

Along with partner-in-crime the Incredible Kid, DJ Anjali will circle the globe with a nonstop dance party of Bollywood, bhangra, and the best international dance tracks. Your booty better bring a passport.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

DJ ANJALI: Ain't no other party hosted by DJs that promote miscegenation. Seriously, where else are you gonna hear Kollywood, Tollywood, Lollywood, Bollywood, and bhangra alongside Munich bass and Spanglish booty jams? This will be the biggest party we have ever thrown. We'll finally have enough room to fit everyone under one roof!

Do you have any special plans? Decorations? Noisemakers? Indoor fireworks?

Yes to all of the above. For the first time we will have guest dancers perform at our NYE party, courtesy of Bridgetown Revue and members of Deviant Dance. Who knows, I may even do my very own item number.

We always get our decorating crew to help us out! Think Portland grand ballroom meets Bombay school dance. Last year our man in charge of the exploding confetti machine kinda fucked up. I don't think he'll make that mistake again this year. Yes to noisemakers! No indoor fireworks, but we will have a Bollywood diya dance.

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

Classic Amitabh: Scotch and water.

Any hints as to what you will play at midnight? "Auld Lang Syne"?

Every year the Kid and I take turns playing the first song of the new year. This year it's his turn. I have a feeling it might be a Tamil banger.

Do you have any resolutions for 2012?

I'm too much of a procrastinator to believe in resolutions.

 

TALKDEMONIC, DEELAY CEELAY, BRAINSTORM, DJ FREAKY OUTY
Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, 9 pm, $16-18

Not only is there a triple bill of the best (mostly) instrumental bands in town, but DJ Freaky Outy will spin a soul shakedown dance party at the midnight hour. We asked drummer Kevin O'Connor of headliner Talkdemonic what he and violist Lisa Molinaro have put together to make this night special. As it turns out, plenty.

MERCURY: Do you have any special plans for this show? Cover songs? Decorations? Noisemakers? Indoor fireworks?

KEVIN O'CONNOR: We have some special guests playing with us and some tricks up our sleeve for the show. Fire? Yes... we've also assembled Great White as our backing band and will be playing '80s metal versions of our songs with vocals, finally. Thank God, right? Now we can sell more records and burn through the glass ceiling of instrumental music.

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

We recommend the TalkyD! Much better than the hangover champagne will give you. And tastier. The TalkyD! Jameson (Irish Kevin), Frangelico (Italian Lisa), coconut milk, two sugar cubes, and a splash of cream! Shaken and served up.

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

100 percent. We're offering full kisses to anyone who buys a T-shirt or album. If you buy our entire catalog, then you get to kiss both of us or one of us twice. If you buy a T-shirt and all of our albums, well... or you could just be in the right place at the right time, which is very close to the Cabbage Patch-looking fella on the drums.

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

So glad you asked. We're doing a version of this song with Kenny G and his son Max G live via satellite. All in memory of our late friend who passed this year, Mr. Warren G.

What is your best New Year's memory? And your worst?

Personally my New Years go from horrible to even more horrible. I pondered locking myself in a room this year with a bottle of sparkling cider. Let's go with my NYE Hall of Shame: 1) Got ditched by my Scottish girlfriend at the time, left to wander the streets of Edinburgh to the wee hours in search of a place to sleep. 2) Woke up face first on North Williams one year, after chugging champagne at will with every guest at the party, breakdancing, and then tackling a pregnant girl. 3) Last year I got alcohol poisoning and had to tend bar the next morning and puked behind the bar. Best New Memories: 1) Jamming out to Brainstorm and Deelay Ceelay and then playing a triumphant New Year's show with special guests, then dancing to soul music of DJ Freaky Outy at the Mission Theater!

Does Talkdemonic have any resolutions for 2012?

All the normal ones. We plan on dropping our combined body weight to 200 pounds. That way we can save money on gas on tour. We're also attempting to clone ourselves to do more of the instrumentation live. 

 

NURSES, RADIATION CITY, WILD ONES, DJ BEYONDA
Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $15-17

After another banner year for the avant-rock trio, Nurses cap off their exceptional 2011—which saw the release of the lauded Dracula album—by headlining Mississippi Studio's jam-packed bill of glowy, danceable pop, which sees Nurses and Wild Ones joined by Radiation City (who shall be tackling Andre 3000's half of OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below). Nurses' John Bower filled us in.

MERCURY: There's a lot going on this New Year's Eve. What makes your show better than the rest?

JOHN BOWERS: Most of all, I think the lineup is great, and I think it'll be a really good vibe. I can see everyone there being best friends after the night is over. 

Do you have any special plans? Cover songs? Decorations? Indoor fireworks?

I'm going to try and get all the bands together to do a group French kiss at midnight. Don't tell them yet—it's pretty gross, so I want them to have a few drinks before I propose it. If I can't do that, maybe I'll get some fireworks together or something. 

Champagne is traditional, but what drink do you recommend for your New Year's set?

Everyone should drink a ton of coffee and smoke some weed.

What are the odds that, at midnight, someone in your band will be available for kissing?

One in three. James is available for kissing!

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne"?

You never know...

Do Nurses have any resolutions for 2012?

I want to collaborate with the rapper A$AP Rocky real bad. He rapped over one of our songs a couple months ago and it was awesome. I want to do more collaboration. Also, there's a bowling alley in Astoria right by where I'm living and I'm determined to bowl a 300.

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