Well, Christmastime is here and a new year is just around the corner. Time for hanging with friends and family, preferably in a warm home sitting around a glowing Christmas tree with a cup of eggnog or a hot toddy or some other festive beverage. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are not typically a time for hanging out in nightclubs listening to music. Of course not everyone has family nearby and some folks commune with their friends in bars, so there are in fact a few places open for business over the holidays.
Saxophonist Chris Noonan tells me the Jambalaya's weekly Liquid Lounge will go on sort of as usual Christmas Eve. "PC and I will be playing and I wanted to extend an invite to any musicians still in town that wanted to join us, sit in at the show this Thursday," said Noonan, assuming you'll know that PC is drummer (and Jam owner) Pete Ciotti. Drums and sax are a start. Any guitar players and/or bassists out there looking for a session?
An expected exception to the no-live-music-for-Xmas rule is the world of casinos, which seem to operate 24/7, 365 days a year.
Thus we have Jimi Jeff and the Gypsy Band doing their Hendrix-esque blues and funk thing out at Bear River Casino on Christmas Day (at night). Did Hendrix do any Xmas songs? I can't think of any.
The Wave at the Blue Lake Casino is actually bringing in a band from out of the area for Christmas night. The Southern Comfort Band plays country music. I think they're from Modesto, but I must admit I'm not sure -- there are a lot of bands named for that sweet bourbon Janis liked so much. One way or another, they've come from afar so make them feel at home.
The other casino, Cher-Ae Heights, has no music for Xmas because their Firewater Lounge is closed for renovations. The new improved lounge is set to reopen New Year's Eve. Details next week.
Dub Cowboy, perhaps the hardest working DJ around, will not be taking the weekend off, not at all. He'll be doing his video-mixdown thing and spinning those Serato discs Thursday (Christmas Eve) at Sidelines and Friday (Xmas) at Ragg's Rack Room. Then he returns to Sidelines for another danceathon Saturday.
But that's not all. As he notes on his Facebook page: "Jambalaya has asked me to sub in for Deep Groove Society on Dec, 27 (Sunday). Of course, respect goes to all the DGS family. 10 years in 2010!! I'll be playing as MXMSTR KRSHN2N (revamp of the Mixmaster Crushington alias) and will be mixing classic vinyl along with the absolute latest in technology (beta testing new top secret hotness). Gonna bust a whole range of music all while keeping the electronic edge." And don't forget, Mr. Dub will also host the weekly KHSU reggae show, Friday Jamdown, from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 25, with a special Christmas edition. And of course he'll be laying down dance tracks again for New Year's Eve, and Jan. 1, and probably the next night too.
Since there's not a whole lot else happening this weekend, let's take a quick look at some of your options for that big nightlife holiday NYE, next Thursday.
The Humboldt reggae massive will gather at Humboldt Brews where Ishi Dube and Massagana bring irie vibes with special guests Winstrong and Vidagua. The New Year's Eve Bash at Central Station features the band Journal readers chose as Best of 2009, Saint John and the Sinners, laying down blues and such. (Bonus: free admission.) The party at Blue Lake Casino has NightHawk playing blues and rock in the big room, the Sapphire Palace. The Michael Paul Band is back for an evening of country rock at Bear River Casino. Riverwood Inn has the Back In The Daze New Years Eve Party with "old skool rock ’n' roll" and Loreen's famous midnight buffet.
You can read about a few more NYE bashes of widely varying types in the calendar section. (To my taste the Arcata Playhouse shindig with the D-Nats and Rooster McC sounds best of those three.) There's undoubtedly much more happening next Thursday, but this being the end of the month and the holidays and all, we have not yet heard from some of the clubs and cafes likely to be throwing parties. We'll have more details next week. Incidentally, if you're seeking uninhibited wildness, you can always just stop by the Arcata Plaza where Wild Bill McKinley has become a magnet for raucous behavior.
And don't forget, this is not just the end of a year, it's the end of a decade -- the Oughts, or the ’00s or whatever. Time magazine called it "the worst decade ever," but I'm not certain I agree. Sure we went through a lot of bad stuff -- wars, fear and loathing galore, the financial collapse and so on -- but there were plenty of good things happening too, at least there were in my life. If I can just kick this cold that's grabbed hold of me as the year draws to a close, I'll be ready for a better brighter decade ahead. That's how I feel today anyway; then again, maybe it's just the cold medicine talking. Anyway, best wishes for the holidays. Keep humming.