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The New Year's Shuffle 

New Year's Eve was a hotbed of musical offerings here in Bend. Armed with beer-and-scotch energy, Sound Check made it to a few places before ending up at the inevitable mosh pit of drunken people that was Corey's at 1:30am.

First up was Silver Moon Brewing, which was jam packed with revelers for the Blue Moon Bash. We didn't make it in time to hear Eric Tollefson but Mosley Wotta rocked it, as he always does. Joined by his brother Eric on backup vocals, he cycled through tunes such as "Love, Pain, Growth," "Front Porch" well as a new track entitled "Big Head Small Town, during which MoWo blew up a condom to the size of a hot air balloon (always wanted to do that), presumably to symbolically illustrate the song.

After Silver Moon, we decided to make my way to McMenamins to see if Moon Mountain Ramblers were still rocking out. However, passing by M & J, we were drawn in by one of the best female rock vocalists we've heard in a while. The Sofa Kings were putting on arguably the best show of the night in that little dive, even though only a few revelers actually seemed to be paying attention. Lead singer Stephanie Slade belted out covers and originals with a smoky Janis Joplin-esque snarl, singing originals as well as reworking covers such as Sublime's "What I Got."

Also worth noting was another great show played by The Dirty Words the next night at Mountain's Edge. Again there were only a few fans at the show, which is probably why this crazy good rock band might be heading to Portland. So c'mon Bend, get out to see these musicians while you still have a chance. Who knows, maybe we can convince them that they actually have fans in Central Oregon.

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