We've been hectoring you about the upcoming Malt Ball (this Saturday, March 24! Bossanova Ballroom! Get tickets here!) but that's because we're sincerely excited about it. It's the first event in Portland that puts craft beer and bands on equal footing, bringing together the best of both worlds. Personally, I'm well beyond stoked about the great lineup of Portland bands that have agreed to play the event; they're some of my absolute favorites, and I'm sure they'll be yours, too.
So let's take a look at four of the bands that will be playing this Saturday: The Builders and the Butchers, Lost Lander, Quiet Life, and Old Junior. There will be eight other bands at the show, and there's not a dud in the bunch, so you're going to want to be at the Malt Ball from start to finish. With that many beers to try, just remember to pace yourself.
The Builders and the Butchers are closing out the Malt Ball, and if there's a better band to be playing after a full day of beer, I haven't heard it. It turns out that Justin Bier, one of the band's two drummers and bearer of the single most appropriate last name of all time, is the cellerman and assistant brewer at Gilgamesh Brewing, so this is definitely a band that knows its beer (and vice versa). The Builders and the Butchers' busk-punk is just as rowdy up on the stage, but here's a video from MFNW a couple years ago, when they played without any amplification. The Builders and the Butchers go on Saturday at 11 pm.
I immediately adored Lost Lander since last spring, when I heard a first taste of the debut album DRRT, which came out in January. It's such an excellent record, but the band that Matt Sheehy has assembled to perform the songs live is perhaps even better—a full-throated, tight-but-limber group that masters the subtleties and complexities of that very ambitious album. (MVP status might go to drummer Patrick Hughes, who's solid, steady, and heavy as a rock.) Lost Lander's record release show in February at the Doug Fir was one of the best live shows I've ever seen, and the group is coming off a batch of SXSW shows as well. Lost Lander plays at 7:35 pm.
Also just coming off SXSW, Quiet Life make the kind of classic rock that I grew up on and was likely a staple of the musical diet of your upbringing, too: A little bit the Band, a little bit Seger, certainly some Dead, plus some echoes of Bruce and some more of Neil. In addition to being a dynamite live band, they're also just great all-around guys—if ever there was a band you wanted to hoist a few beers with, it's Quiet Life. They'll be taking the stage at 8:25.
Old Junior rose out of the ashes of Old Growth, the guitar-stomping Crazy Horse-ish band that quickly became local critics' darlings. Old Junior is not nearly as well known, but it is as every bit as good. Take a listen to their debut EP above and turn it way the hell up. Old Junior are scheduled to play at 6 pm.