December 29, 2005
by BOB DORAN
Yes, another year has come and gone, which means it's time for the age-old question: What are you doing New Year's Eve?
As with most questions involving social situations, the answer usually depends on the clique or crowd you've been running with over the course of the last year, which is to say, you or yours may already have plans. Those searching for options have a variety to choose from.
If you're part of the jamrock/funk crowd you may want to stop by Humboldt Brews where the always funky Bump Foundation opens for Arcata's favorite jamming song stylists, Nucleus, who inform me that they have recently expanded (or re-expanded) from a trio to a quartet, adding Brian "The Swiz" Swizlo on keys.
Drummer Pete Ciotti tells me, "In 2006 the band will once again buckle down in their farmhouse studio to [record our] second record on our new label, Hellatite Records. The new record will feature the new lineup as well as all brand-new material never performed live before. The band has decided to perform a few of these tunes on New Year's Eve."
For those who prefer jams more on the folk/rock side, Six Rivers has enlisted Kulica for a groovin' NYE experience. Note that this is a change from Kulica's earlier announced plan to ring in the new at Kelly O'Brien's. Instead, the Eureka night spot once known as Rumours has Big Earl and the Cryin' Shame rockin' the night away with a taste of blues.
The new and very much improved nightclub formerly known as Club West, now known as Indigo, shifts out of their typical DJ mode with a live outfit, Internal Affairs, a rock cover band out of the Bay Area that seems designed more for corporate gigs than club dates.
Around the corner at the brand new trendy hotspot the Pearl Lounge, the jazz they've been featuring makes way for DJ Chad, but I'm guessing the music will be secondary.
Speaking of "formerly known as" nightclubs, Marcus, the new owner of the place formerly known as Brogi's, is changing the name to The Boiler Room, painting hot rod flames on the outside and inviting all to "come feel our burn," whatever that means. The NYE party there is a "Black and White Ball" -- follow the B&W dress code and get in for half the cover. Resident music man DJ Ray provides the tunes.
Want to dance to Motown and classic soul covers? Vintage Soul is at BC's. Those looking to rock in the New Year can skip Dick Clark on the tube (is he still around?) and head over to Sal's Off-Broadway where Kids For Sale play relatively hard music.
How about rockin' to the oldies and a bit of country? Merv George is out at the Blue Lake Casino in the Sapphire Palace, and if all you want is country, stroll across the casino to the Steelhead Lounge where The Roadmasters hold court.
For the polar opposite experience, you could hit the Red Lion Hotel Ballroom for the "2nd Annual Women's New's Year's Eve Dance" (the extra apostrophe is theirs, not mine), with The E.L.F.S. spinning dance music for lesbians. (Is there a more P.C. way to put that?) They'll have "Drag King & High Femme" contests and they invite you to "Enter one contest or both!" Net proceeds benefit the Humboldt Pride Festival in June 2006.
The Mateel has its Black and Red Ball with the Earl Thomas Band and Aphrodesia. The phenomenally eclectic Bayside Grange has a dinner party, a contra dance with The Contra Band, musical comedy by Gale McNeeley and friends and swing dancing to Gypsy jazz by Cuckoo's Nest. (More details about both those shows in the Calendar section.) The sedate Trinidad Civic Club's far simpler New Year's Eve dance at Trinidad Town Hall features swing music by 24/7 Jazz Quartet.
You say you have to tend bar Saturday night and were wondering if there's anything happening Thursday? The Alibi is back in action Dec. 29, with shimmering dark metal by The Hitch, and the first ever Humboldt appearance by Night Wounds, a band from Los Angeles that recently added former Arcatan Ryan Carlise as a saxophonist. Ryan explains: "Toby [guitarist] and his girlfriend Sara [bassist] moved out here from New Hampshire eight months ago and started auditioning people for the band. They found a drummer and another guitar player, then they kicked out the guitar player and went with a sax player." That's where Ryan came in, six weeks ago. The musical genre? "He calls it art gunk music," said Ryan. Part punk and part art rock? I asked, and trying to appear hip added, Maybe post-something? "No. I don't like that. Maybe Post cereal. You can quote me on that," Ryan concluded.
And for the younger set, a note from Caleb of The Dean informs me that the band is playing a house party in Arcata Friday night. "The Dean is back for a while and we're going to play music and you're going to [have] fun and have a great time and buy our new CD that we are releasing. Word," says Caleb. Check www.thedean.tk for details.
My New Year's plans? I figure I'll try to take in all of the above, or maybe I'll skip one or two, or party at some friend's house, or perhaps I'll just curl up on the couch with a good book, a bottle of champagne and someone sweet to cuddle with, or maybe I'll fall asleep in front of the TV. Maybe I'll see you somewhere, maybe not. Either way have a wonderful New Year.
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