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Here's Hoping... 

Prediction: In 2009 all hip-hoppers will follow Mosley Wotta's head gear trend.It was a call and response of the strangest and most hilarious sorts as Mosley Wotta, wearing some sort of lioness headdress bounced atop the Old Stone Church stage yelling "I love myself! I love myself!"

And people, all of whom apparently love themselves, shouted back as Wotta fired off a long line of chants as the members of El Dante jammed on behind him. Soon, he began chanting "2-0-0-9, 2-0-0-9" and soon enough it was in fact, Two oh, oh Nine and the band played on. And so was the scene at the Source Weekly's Wig Out party at the Old Stone. Earlier in the night, Wotta and collaborator Mud were on stage playing their tasty brand of eclectically influenced hip-hop and dishing tracks from Wotta's Scrap Mettle EP and beyond to a wigged audience that was all but licking the floor for more tastes of Wotta.

Side note and mainly a mere attempt to mask any potential bias directed toward our own party: Just an hour earlier, Sound Check was claustrophobically taking in starkly different tunes inside a cramped Father Luke's Room on the McMenamins campus where the Moon Mountain Ramblers were welcoming 2009 with their increasingly funky take on bluegrass.

But back at the Wig Out, just after El Dante and Wotta took us into the New Year, the members of Empty Space Orchestra gradually made their way onto the stage, adding percussion and instrumentation to the blend. Soon the members of El Dante dissipated, leaving ESO on stage for what was technically the instrumental powerhouse's first show of 2009. They soared through cuts from their soon-to-be released record, entered a fierce percussion jam and wore some outrageous wigs and costumes. If this night was a sample of what we'll hear in 2009, then it should be a pretty damn good year. Here's hopin'.

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