The Malt Ball is coming! The Malt Ball is coming!

It's coming Saturday, March 24 to the Bossanova Ballroom, and there will be a dozen amazing Portland bands PLUS 17 great Oregon craft brewers. You'll be able to read plenty about the beers in this week's new Mercury, but I want to tell you—and show you, because the internet is magic—more about the bands, because they're all fantastic. I started on Monday with a batch of four of the Malt Ball bands, so let's continue with four more: Mission Spotlight, Lord Dying, the Golden Bears, and Wow and Flutter.

(Don't forget your tickets!)

Mission Spotlight are bravely kicking things off on Saturday afternoon, being the very first band to ever play what is destined to become a historic (and recurring) occasion. Their high-and-lonesome country sound is easy on the ears while it tugs at the heartstrings, and they're releasing their debut EP, Everything That Floats, very soon. They start the whole shebang at 2:15 pm.

Lord Dying is not for the faint of heart. Their howling sturm-und-drang metal is brutal and relentless. You're gonna need at least one beer (and likely more) to fortify yourself for their torrential onslaught, so when they blast your face off, don't say we didn't warn you. Lord Dying will pulverize the masses at the Malt Ball right around 9:15 pm.

Lightning by goldenBEARS
My word, how I love the Golden Bears. Their debut, Wall to Wall, was one of my very favorite Portland records of all time, so it was an absolute delight when I discovered I loved their new, long-anticipated second disc, Write It Like You Find It, just as much. With a nod to '60s mod and psych, and with folk overtones that wrap around their nuggety pop melodies like tendrils, listening to the Golden Bears is like a warm embrace and a hot mug after a cold day out in the rain.

And we couldn't have a beer-and-music festival without inviting Wow and Flutter, who released their latest EP of dense, heady, complicated rock as a 22-ounce bottle of beer. Really: Double Deuce is both a beer and an EP. Why choose one when you can have both? Wow and Flutter's pioneering approach to releasing music (and beer) might be the very best summation of the attitude of the Malt Ball that I can think of. It wouldn't be the Malt Ball without them.