Old Acquaintance, Not Forgot
Ringing in 2009 with the Eugene music scene
by Molly Templeton
It’s possible, isn’t it, that 2009 is even more new-centric than most new years? New president, new hopes, new challenges, new this and that. But 2008 isn’t quite ready to let go yet. It wants you to remember that it wasn’t all bad. It wants you to kiss it goodbye to the strains of tunes you may already know: New Year’s Eve is ablaze with Eugene regulars. There’s barely a not-local band in the mix! So get out there and support your friends, your neighbors, your second cousins and ex-boyfriends as they usher in ’09 with a song.
|Sid and Fancy|
At Sam Bond’s, ring the year in with the reader-voted Best Jazz Band in town, Eleven Eyes — a NYE staple of sorts — and Disco Organica. (9:30 pm, 21+, $8-$10). Speaking of staples, it wouldn’t really be New Year’s in Eugene without a Satin Love Orchestra show, would it? You’ll find them at the Valley River Inn this time around. The clearly beloved in Eugene Floydian Slips celebrate another holiday with Eugene at the McDonald Theatre (9 pm, all ages, $20/$25). The Hilton Ballroom, another NYE standard, hosts The Essentials and their funk, soul and R&B originals and covers (9 pm, 21+, $25)
Blues fans have two choices in one building: Head over to 16th and Willamette for Big Monti at Mac’s at the Vet’s (9 pm, 21+, $10), or The Vipers featuring Deb Cleveland at the Vet’s Club Ballroom (8 pm, 21+, $15/$20). The ballroom show also features The Michael Tracey Band; ticket price includes a light appetizer buffet.
If you’re in one of those charming hamlets near Eugene and don’t feel like making the drive in on this particular evening, you might be in luck: Venetians and Elmartians can meet at Macenzi’s Too for a night with Eagle Park Slim or at Yukon Jack’s with Go 2 11. Down south in Cottage Grove, the Axe & Fiddle hosts the Guitar Recovery Project (who list their influences as Bob Dylan and Chaka Khan), the dapper-dressing multi-instrumentalists of Glutton Mouth and DJ Donald 5 Pennies (8:30 pm, 21+, $5). In Junction City, Earl’s Juke Joint is home to Normal Bean’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Downtown Eugene and its surrounding environs offer a plethora of musical options. At the WOW Hall, Lafa Taylor and Medium Troy are the stars of a “mustashio bashio” — get growin’, fellas! At this show, should you tire of dancing, you can find the resolution wall and scribble down some thoughts for the last year of the aughts (9 pm, all ages, $16/$20). The extraordinarily mobile percussion ensemble Samba Já doubtless won’t stick to just the stage at Cozmic Pizza, where they share a bill with Vega (9 pm, all ages, $10). At Luckey’s, you get “pirate rock” from Manoverboard as well as The Dead Americans and the footstomping Sid and Fancy (9:30 pm, 21+, $5). At Oak Street Speakeasy, catch genre-hopping Bazil Rathbone and jazzy-funky Basin and Range (9 pm, 21+, free).
If you just wanna dance, head to John Henry’s for the oldie but goodie reggae vs. hip hop night (10 pm, 21+) or to the Indigo District for “old school/new school music” from DJ Billy and DJ Food Stamp and their four turntables (21+, $5, free with student ID). You can doubtless get some good groves on at the Downtown Lounge’s Studio 54 party, which features DJs Supa J and Ceezer as well as appropriately funky music from Jesse Lee Falls (9 pm, 21+, $7).
New Zone Gallery goes experimental with Cymbaline, Honey Vizer, I DIED and Hobby Knife (7 pm, all ages, $2-$5). At Max’s, Yardbirds tribute band The London Flush and jug band Whiskey Moon compete for floor space with drinkers (9:30 pm, 21+, $4). Acoustic duo Bajauna Tea celebrates the release of their new CD Take a Sip at the Agate Alley Bistro (8 pm, all ages, free). In west Eugene, Rob Tobias and Ralph Novak entertain folks at Koho Bistro’s Azul lounge (9 pm, free), and The Astoria is the place to rock, with Face of Order, Issa, Lyckwyd and Hyding Jekyll (9 pm, 21+, $5).
Since the Eve is still a week away, doubtless more possibilities will arise between now and that moment when everyone starts kissing strangers and singing out of tune. This week’s Nightlife section is an expanded eight-day calendar to make planning easier, but check it again on the 31st — there might be more!