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Rotgut Whines

(Friday, Jan. 5)

Rotgut Whines will hold down the stage at the Top Hat with only a drummer, singer-guitarist and a book of original "soul and roll." (Think finger-picked, distorted guitar plus soul-influenced vocals.) Catch them along with Matt Strachan, starting at 10:15 p.m. The free show is 21 and up.

Rooster Sauce with Motorhome and VTO

(Saturday, Jan. 5)

Rooster Sauce are hanging up their guitars, wigs and Mexican wrestling masks after more than a decade of gonzo rock.

The band features the dual guitar work of David Jones and Chris Knutson, with Adelaide Every on bass and vocals, and Kateena Bell on vocals and Aaron Soria on drums.

The group's songs are a psych-rock blend of guitar riffs and weird-yet-catchy hooks with sci-fi and horror movie references. (They all assume alien monikers, and wild stage get-ups are a given.)

Jones played in the Hermans, a Missoula rock band back in the 2000s, and parlayed his sense of humor and writing into a book, "Stalking America: The Journal of an Unknown Rock and Roll Band," that was released in 2007 on a national publisher. Knutson played with the Hermans for a spell, and also in the International Playboys, a rock band that oozed debauchery here in Missoula and on tours, including a stop at South by Southwest.

With Rooster Sauce, those two and their new bandmates kept alive the Jay's Upstairs spirit of loud, extroverted and eccentric rock that's the total opposite of the buttoned-down image of indie bands today, the type of Weird Missoula that might even weird out people who have "Keep Missoula Weird" bumper stickers. Plus, they rawked.

You can listen to a 90-minute interview and performance with KFGM's Ballroom Sessions at or check the band's latest studio recordings at

They'll play their "last show on earth" with fellow local bands Motorhome and VTO at the Top Hat. It starts at 10:15 p.m. It's free, 21 and up only.

J.W. Teller

(Saturday, Jan. 5)

J.W. Teller, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, is officially releasing a new, self-titled collection this week. See our interview with him here. He's been gigging a lot around town, and you can catch him again at Imagine Nation Brewing on West Broadway from 6-8 p.m.

Union Ballroom rock residency

(Thursday, Jan. 10)

Hiram Mariner, who plays bass with local band Jupiter Beat and promotes shows at The Agreeable Bassist, is kicking off a weekly residency series at the Union Ballroom. Each Thursday will feature local bands playing an early show, 7-10 p.m. The old monthly residencies at the VFW were a great incubator for local bands, so here's hoping this one can help do the same. First up is garage act No Request, with future line-ups to be determined. Cover is $5. 

Corb Lund with Caleb Caudle

(Thursday, Jan. 10)

Who isn't afraid to tour through Montana in early January? An Albertan. Corb Lund, a country songwriter that Rolling Stone Country called "a roots-driven singer-songwriter who balances wry humor, erudite observation and poignant lyrics in the vein of Steve Earle or Loudon Wainwright III." (For more on Lund, see this week's featured interview.)

He'll bring with him Caleb Caudle, a North Carolinan, who released an album last year, "Crushed Coins," that aims for a smoother kind of country — his producer worked with The War on Drugs, and Caudle cites Miles Davis' "In A Silent Way" as an inspiration. Those influences are mostly audible on "Coins" in the generally serene, dad-rock atmosphere that surrounds Caudle's folk and country songs.

Doors to the Top Hat open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance ( or $20 day of show. All ages.

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