Poor Danny Norton, VJ of the Eye Candy nights-he shares a birthday with Jesus, so you can only imagine the rivalry he must feel every year. This year his ventriloquism dummy, Lester, is throwing him a dummy-duet karaoke party in honor of his special day. So make a sock puppet, grab your Karaoke for Dummies book, and toast Danny with your best rendition of "Ebony and Ivory." CF

Grand Café, 832 SE Grand, 7-9 pm, FREE, BYOP (bring your own puppet)

Don't you get tired of the same old holiday tunes? Break the mold this Christmas Day by dropping in for a Christmas hiphop party/birthday party for Pale Soul, featuring loads of local rhyming laureates. Give your holiday some bounce. RJP

w/Sleep, Destro, Nio Supreme, NightCrawlers, DJ Zone, Sick Aura, Atlas; Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy, 9:30 pm

How's THIS for a movie idea: Tom Cruise in a badass eyepatch, sneakin' around Nazi Germany and engaging in espionage to kill Hitler? Awesome, right? Valkyrie is a tense, true-story thriller that's definitely worth checking out. EH

Various theaters, see Movie Times for showtimes


Tonight take some of that hard-earned Christmas cash to the Doug Fir for Breakout Showcase #1. It's a night of hiphop presented by POH-Hop, Northwest Breakout Show, and Jammin 107.5, so you know it's going to be good. Catch Illmaculate of Sandpeople, Liv Warfield, MY-G, Soul P, Alphabet Soup, Jae-Lava, and more. LS

Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $8-10

Psst! Everyone's trying to be nice about it, but all those holiday cookies and egg nog are starting to show. Hopefully it's not as bad as the time your mom gave you Suzanne Somers' diet book, but fear not, that's what the super-sized '80s Video Dance Attack is for. Dance to your favorite videos and some radical guilty pleasure songs tonight at the Crystal. Shake it, chunky! CF

w/VJ Kittyrox; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 9 pm, $5, 21+

It's worth the trek to Hillsboro for the first day of the Les Schwab Invitational, in which 16 teams compete in a boys' high school basketball tournament, featuring three-point and slam-dunk contests. Past participants include Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Tyson Chandler, and Kevin Love. MD

Liberty High School, 21945 NW Wagon Way, Hillsboro, 9 am-10 pm, $7-16 session ($66 for tournament pass)


Think you had a good year? It's nothing compared to the meteoric rise of DeVotchKa. The Colorado band has been riding the stylish gypsy haunt of their A Mad & Faithful Telling record all the way to bigger venues with each and every visit to Portland, and has snagged their rightful place atop many a critic's year-end list. EAC

w/Norfolk & Western, Vagabond Opera; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 9 pm, $19.99-23, all ages

It's a heaping dose of spasmodic party rock, with a quartet of Oregon's finest, nuttiest bands throttling your brain into submission. Get stupid to the darkly skewed garage rock of the Intelligence, open wide for the drilling of Experimental Dental School, get pummeled by Fist Fite, and blow up with Eugene's the Blimp. Didn't get what you wanted for Christmas? The goods are here, so stop your sobbing. NL

Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th, 9 pm, $7,

Nothin' shakes off a week of wholesome family "fun" like shaking what God gave you at Double Down, Holocene's sweaty queer dance night. SM

Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 9 pm


Silly name aside, the Tallest Man on Earth (actually Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson) is making breathtaking, spellbinding music with just an acoustic guitar and vocals. Once you get over the inevitable Dylan comparisons, you'll be captivated by his heart-wrenching balladry, which is as timeless and deathless as the very best folk music. This guy is truly great; do not miss this show. NL

w/Mimicking Birds; Rontoms, 600 E Burnside, 9:30 pm, FREE

Another local band braves the unforgiving chill of the holidays and the icicles to lay musical waste to your ears... with brass! Blue Cranes absorb the tinny din of grimy jazz and noodly improv with a nightmarish plunge into bizarre. Brush the sheen off your shoulders and get weird one more time before '09. RJP

w/Andrew Oliver Sextet; Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $8, all ages

Part of NW Film Center's "Black Christmas" film noir series, The Big Sleep is the perfect cynical antidote for the feel-good holidays. Humphrey Bogart plays Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, who gets entangled in a web of betrayal, lies, and gorgeous (but deceitful) dames. WSH

Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park, 7 pm, $8


This year the orchestral, cosmopolitan Pink Martini are breaking with tradition: Instead of playing a hometown Portland show on New Year's Eve, they are going to be in LA. That means tonight's show (added after Sunday's show sold out) is your last chance to see these traitors in 2008! MS

w/Foghorn Stringband; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, $27.50-30, all ages

John Carpenter's 1988 horror flick They Live stars "Rowdy" Roddy Piper as a construction worker who, by wearing some magical sunglasses, discovers an alien invasion. For chrissakes, what the fuck else do you need to know?! EH

Clinton St. Theater, 2522 SE Clinton, Sat Dec 27-Tues Dec 30, 7 & 9 pm, $4-6

A little bit blues and a whole lotta bluegrass, Railroad Earth brings their Band-circa-Big Pink goodness to the Aladdin for a three-night stand, beginning tonight. Banjo and a brass section can't be beat. PAC

Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 9 pm, $30, all ages


Former Guns N' Roses hired axe Brian Patrick Carroll shreds under the nom de rock Buckethead, because he, well, wears a fried chicken bucket on his head. The Portland Cello Project collaborates with local musicians on gentle indie rock songs, but tonight they're promising to go metal (Pantera on the cello!) in honor of the headliner. Should be an interesting night. AH

Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, $20-25, all ages

The Israeli garage punk band Monotonix is legendary live, a spectacle of fire, destruction, and mayhem that has been raging circles around the world after being banned from most of Tel Aviv. The subterranean confines of East End will bravely attempt to contain them tonight, where they will likely make the local openers look like choirboys. MS

w/Panther, Thrones, DJ Spencer Doran; East End, 203 SE Grand, 9 pm, $10-12

The last time the Blazers met the Boston Celtics, it was ugly. Kevin Garnett got on all fours and "barked" at Jerryd Bayless, Glen "Big Baby" Davis cried, and the Celtics won by 15 points. Look for the Blazers to get their revenge tonight and give Garnett and Davis something to really cry about. EAC

Rose Garden, 1 Center Court, 7 pm, $10 & up


There are a poop-ton of awesome New Year's Eve parties for you to attend, but I'm putting my money on the Doug Fir's annual Fir Ball. Dig this luscious indie rock lineup: You can rock out with the Builders and the Butchers, Nick Jaina, and Bark Hide and Horn-or dance in the new year with DJ Safi on the heated, covered patio! WSH

Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $15-17 (FREE on the patio!)

The LaurelThirst is not a huge place, so imagine the capacity it will swell to when the mighty Two Beers Veirs (backed by the 6 O'Clock Shot Get-Along Gang Band) performs a pair of sets on New Year's Eve. Led by Laura Veirs and featuring an all-star lineup of performers, it might be your best way to say good-bye to the past 12 months, even if it means braving a very packed house. EAC

w/Scott McCaughey, Little Sue, Casey Neill, Kevin & Anita Robinson, Ashleigh Flynn, John "Spider" Moen, John McDonald, Annalisa Tornfelt; LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan, 9:30 pm, $10

Where do the kids go on New Year's Eve? Chances are they're going to Backspace to move to Portland's blip-pop icons Starfucker and herky-jerky popsters Blue Horns. And what's more, the entry fee will also get you into the party at Ground Kontrol (21+ only). Music and videogames to go with your Auld Lang Syne? Hell yeah. PAC

w/the Hugs; Backspace, 115 NW 5th, 8 pm, $10, all ages; DJ Tigerstripes, DJ I Heart You; Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch, 7 pm, $10, 21+


If there's a better way to welcome in the new year than by watching classic Three Stooges shorts, we sure haven't heard about it! Today at the Clinton St. Theater, illustrious thespians Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp, et al. smack each other around, fall down, and show why they're still some of the funniest guys who ever stepped in front of a camera. Plus, it's educational: You will learn valuable eye-poking skills! EH

Clinton St. Theater, 2522 SE Clinton, 3 pm (all ages) & 7 pm (21+), $6

Your resolutions should definitely include having more strong, curvy women in your life, so head on down to the lounge next to the Hawthorne Theatre for some New Year's Day naughtiness. What's more, Burly Girl Burlesque also feature super sexy shoes. SM

Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE 39th, 8 pm, $10, 21+

The infamous "Hangover Run" is back in St. Helens, offering 4x4 off-road fun in the mud. If you're interested in participating, sign up early: There's a 200-vehicle limit for "safety concerns," whatever those are. MD

28186 Pittsburg Rd, St. Helens, $25 to participate, $5 to watch, go to for details


Brought to you by the folks that put together the Children of the Revolution festival, here's a jam-packed bill with music that's just a little left of center. Past Lives features former members of Seattle screamers Blood Brothers, and Meth Teeth and White Fang are two of Portland's grimiest, funnest bands. And there'll be artwork by Sohale Kevin Darouian, Andrew Smith, and more! NL

w/DJ Spencer Doran; Rotture, 315 SE 3rd, 9 pm

Portland's got the blues waaaay too early in 2009. Luckily, it's the blues of Today's River City Artists, celebrating the release of the new compilation album Firewater. Feel the slickness and the rawness of Portland's best blues, at one of the city's best venues to boot! RJP

w/Kolvane, Colin Lake & Wellbottom; ,a href=>Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 9:30 pm, $8

Probably the most eagerly awaited release of the holiday season is director David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which stars Brad Pitt as a man who ages in reverse. Expect creepiness, beauty, and-if Fincher's past films are any indication-an exacting, affecting command and tone. EH

Various theaters, see Movie Times for showtimes


Proving you can't keep a good post-punk band down, the Prids return to the stage after a brutal car accident while on tour in July. Welcome them back tonight, and re-appreciate their moody, dark, and danceable new wave. MS

w/Lookbook, Mint Chicks; Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $8

You know 'em, and you love 'em-they're the wildly talented kids from the Paul Green School of Rock. But now you're about to love 'em even more as they present two special early evening performances entitled "Best of the '80s from A-Z." What will they play? Who freaking knows, and who freaking cares? I only have four words: I... am... so... there. WSH

Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd, 2 & 6 pm, $10-12, all ages

The folks from Portland's premier "film bands performing in weird places" video podcast bring a handful of the bands they've filmed to the weirdest place I know: Holocene. PAC

w/Sleep, World's Greatest Ghosts, Dirty Mittens, Ryan Dolliver; Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 9 pm, $5


My House, Your Noise is a rockin' benefit for TrackersNW, Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, and the Portland Waldorf School. Produced by Waldorf senior Phoebe Lifton, the night promises to be a good time with performances by Olympia's the Nextdoor Neighbors, newbie Portlanders Kusikia, an Indonesian dance performance, and a rap/poetry reading. Fun for a good cause! (Three, in fact!) CF

w/Pez Demente; Backspace, 115 NW 5th, 7 pm, $10-12, all ages

A musical version of Alice Walker's The Color Purple really just sounds like the most maudlin thing ever, doesn't it? But if you're in need of a good post-Christmas cry, the Broadway touring production of the Oprah-approved musical hits the Keller for six days this week. AH

Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, Tues Dec 30-Sat Jan 3, 7:30 pm, plus Sat Jan 3 at 2 pm & Sun Jan 4 at 1 & 6:30 pm, $34.25-$82

If you love "Blaxploitation." then you'll flip over this hilarioso 1988 parody. I'm Gonna Git You Sucka stars Keenen Ivory Wayans as Jack Spade, who returns home to clean up his neighborhood alongside such blaxploitation giants as Jim Brown, Isaac Hayes, Antonio Fargas, and more! WSH

Laurelhurst Theater, 2735 E Burnside, starts Jan 2, $3, see Movie Times for showtimes


Yes, folks, it's the second most-hotly anticipated inauguration event of January 2009, in Portland, Oregon... Sam Adams becomes the mayor! There's a boring, official swearing-in ceremony at Parkrose High School at noon, or you can check out the city hall celebration party from 5 to 7 pm. Both events are free and open to the public. MD

Parkrose High School, 12003 NE Shaver, noon, FREE; Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th, 5-7 pm, FREE, see for details

Need a reminder that in this economic downturn, things could be worse? Nami Mun's promising debut novel, Miles from Nowhere, is set in the gritty Bronx of the 1980s, and follows the coming of age of a teenage Korean immigrant as she struggles to survive after running away from home. AH

Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, FREE

The sweepingly dramatic music of Symmetry/Symmetry certainly has some echoes of Radiohead, but their complicated arrangements and curveball songwriting come together for a thoroughly modern brand of rock that feels entirely right and wholly original. NL

w/Sleepwalk Kid; White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell, 8:30 pm, FREE


The bizarre, fantastic films of legendary director Takashi Miike are always unmissable and unclassifiable-and his latest looks to be no different. Sukiyaki Western Django is a Japanese spaghetti western/action flick, and it costars (wait for it...) Quentin Tarantino. Sign us up. EH

Clinton St. Theater, 2522 SE Clinton, $4-6, see Movie Times for showtimes

Be sure to catch Wendy and Lucy, a film about a woman and her dog traveling through the Pacific Northwest en route to Alaska. According to the New York Times, the film's R rating "seems to reflect, above all, an impulse to protect children from learning that people are lonely and that life can be hard." So: not the feel-good movie of the year, but a good one nonetheless. LS

Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st, starts Fri Jan 2, $6-8, see Movie Times for showtimes


Warm up your chilly bits at Big Top Bottoms Up, a night of music, burlesque, and bellydancing, all under one roof. Come for the jiggling ladies, and stay for tarot readings and a pinup art show. AH

a href=>Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington, 8 pm, $5

Electronic music nerds battle it out laptop-a-laptop, at another installment of the compelling computer composition competition. There'll be button pushing, beat making, and sound sampling to fill Holocene with some seriously hot noise. SM

Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 9 pm, $5

The Detroit Pistons come to Portland only once a year, so don't miss the epic battle between "Li'l 'Sheed" LaMarcus Aldridge and the one and only (former Blazer) Rasheed Wallace. EAC

Rose Garden, 1 Center Court, 7:30 pm, $10 & up