SONIC REDUCER You gotta love the Bay Area, which so often sweeps in the new year with the wet, wild kiss of stormy weather. Blecch too much tongue. Still, I succumb to the call of fun: I can’t count how many times I’ve vaulted over gushing gutters, minced down streets that have morphed into streams, danced between the raindrops, hopped between soggy cardboard sheets in backyards that have turned into miasmas of mud, and jabbed firework gawkers with the bad end of an umbrella. Outta-hand winter waterworks seem somewhat fitting for our kooky, multitentacled, many-flavored assortment of New Year’s Eve entertainment offerings. So here’s a selected guide to live sounds for all persuasions, preferences, sizes, and sicknesses (we’re not even going to go into the sans pants warehouse show) let’s see what’s out there on the blessed night all those in the so-called biz dub "amateur night," the evening when most everyone feels compelled to get out and brave the puddles pooling around their doorsteps.
ROCKING LIKE A HURRICANE
Don’t bother knockin’, because the yacht-rockin’ good times are sure to be had when Portland, Ore., one-man party machine Yacht meets Oakland one-man party machine Hawnay Troof at 21 Grand; Blevin Blectum, High Places, and Bronze tan it up too. Kid606 will be swinging from there to Rx Gallery, where he performs with French beat blurters DAT Politics, delay-pedal ditherers Lemonade, and Kontrol with Dirtybird. It’s not plus tard, ‘tards! After catching the LA band eves ago at the Make-Out Room and dancing our Khmers off, we’ve got a Dengue Fever for the flava of Cambodian garage rock this year it’s at Rickshaw Stop (www.rickshawstop.com). The Lovemakers get busy with Honeycut at Great American Music Hall. At the Fillmore (www.ticketmaster.com), My Morning Jacket stoke the flames of Southern rock. Breakout ska punk critters the Aggrolites open for Hepcat at Slim’s (www.slims-sf.com). Harold Ray Live in Concert do unspeakable and delightful things to an organ at Annie’s Social Club (www.anniessocialclub.com). Balazo Gallery (www.balazogallery.com) finds Goldie faves Trainwreck Riders living it up with La Plebe. Birdmonster scare up the good times along with art-punk Boyskout at Bottom of the Hill (www.bottomofthehill.com). Crane your necks at the Stork Club (www.storkcluboakland.com) as bits of the Bobby Teens and Gravy Train!!!! come together and costume-ize for the customized Dinky Bits and the Lil Guys. Rube Waddell revamp their "Live at Leeds" or shall we say "Sexy at Sketchers" show at a wanton belly dancing, cabaret, and brass happening going down at Amnesia (www.amnesiathebar.com). And for those with hair that needs a band, there are LA Guns (playing with the curiosity-piquing Infamous Choke Chain) at Roosters Roadhouse, Alameda (groups.msn.com/roostersroadhouse). And why Y and T at Avalon, Santa Clara (www.nightclubavalon.com)? Y not?
Zion I, Lyrics Born, and Crown City Rockers put together the rap show to beat at the Independent (www.theindependentsf.com), striking trepidation in the hearts of bouncers with no-holds-barred rhymes and an all-night open bar (line up the Henny, honey). But don’t count the Coup out: so soon after the group’s recent bus crash, in which they lost all their belongings and several members and tourmates were injured, the Bay Area band gets back onstage alongside Les Claypool and the New Orleans Social Club at Claypool’s New Year’s Eve Hatter’s Ball at Grace Pavilion, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa (www.harmonyfestival.com/nye/nye.html). Also, booty, bass, and all the b’s will be bumpin’ back when Spank Rock boomerangs to 280 Seventh Street (upcoming.org/event/134159).
GROOVES AND ALL JAZZ HANDS ON DECK
Piano legend McCoy Tyner is the monster headliner at Yoshi’s (www.yoshis.com). Washing up on Anna’s Jazz Island, Berkeley (www.annasjazzisland.com), Yoruban priestess and Afro-Cuban soul stirrer Bobi Cespedes and her trio work their magic. Soul and funk trumpeter Oscar Myers blows out 2006 with Steppin’ at the Boom Boom Room (www.boomboomblues.com). Bimbo’s 365 Club (www.bimbos365club.com) wink-winks, nudge-nudges with the New Morty Show and Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums. Vocalist Kim McNalley urges you to party like it’s 1929 at her Jazz at Pearl’s (www.jazzatpearls.com); Jesus Diaz and his Bay Area Cuban All Stars light a fire under La Peña Cultural Center (www.lapena.org). And OK, everyone dug Eddie Murphy more in Dreamgirls don’t x out Jamie Foxx; he attempts to fill Oracle Arena, Oakland, accompanied by Fantasia Barrino (www.ticketmaster.com).
A YEN FOR YUCKS
Our favorite unfunny funnyman, Neil Hamburger (and former SF storage container dweller, or so he says), throws pop culture on the grill, sweats profusely, and jubilantly rolls around in a trough of bad taste for two shows at the Hemlock Tavern (www.hemlocktavern.com); astrology nut Harvey Sid Fisher ushers in the ‘Burger meister. Patton Oswalt blew that whiny David Cross off the stage when he opened for him at Cobb’s way back when now the prince of King of Queens headlines two rounds on New Year’s Eve (www.cobbscomedyclub.com).
Just remember, ya can’t stop the rain. Don’t fear the reaper. Stay metal, and be sure to strap yourself in for 2007 because judging from the way we roll, it could be a bumpy ride. *