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The New

Absynth Q, Club Shampoo, Va Va Voom, Potluck, Naive Melodies, Mud/Trouble, Space Biscuit and other Eve parties



Well, we all survived the end of the world, and Xmas, and whatever other holiday you might have celebrated. (Is Kwanza over?) All right, on to the next round of themed parties.

It's not quite as cataclysmic as the Mayan end times, but Monday marks the end of another year and the beginning of a new one, which is always a good excuse for heading out for a night on the town dressed in cool duds, perhaps accentuating your outfit with a funny hat or a faux tiara. Happy New Year!

Absynth Quintet is once again taking over the Arcata Theatre Lounge for a bigger than ever New Year's party including what's alleged to be Humboldt's biggest balloon drop (500 plus balloons). It will also have a couple of flying fish, laser lights and other visual effects by Beams, the usual champagne toast at midnight, Times Square's ball drop projected on the movie screen and what drummer Tofu Mike describes as "a few more delightful surprises." Along with AQ's patented "traveling-gypsy-circus-indie-grass" there's a set by electronic tribal surf combo Likwefi, a trio with organ, drums, percussion and digital-fx. "And the guys from Likwefi will probably sit in on a few tunes with us," predicted Tofu. He declared 2012 Absynth's "best year yet," noting, "We got to play in front of more different people than ever, from the Strawberry Festival to String Summit to Gaia with the Oregon County Fair in between." And before all that there was the band's now yearly April excursion to Minnesota (of all places) for the Sweetwater Shakedown, a recurring fest gig prompted by airplay on the syndicated radio show Undercurrents. "Overall, we got out of the Humboldt bubble in a way we haven't before," Tofu concluded. Be forewarned, last's year's ATL party sold out and this one will probably do the same. Get your ticket ahead of time.

The Arcata Playhouse continues its tradition of ringing in the new with a musical Club Shampoo, featuring Playhouse Princess Jackie Dandeneau and the Playhouse Players, Tim Randles, Tim Gray and Marla Joy. This year's special guests include Siena Nelson, Julie and Curtis Thompson (of Kulica), Gregg Moore and SquarPeg, The Brendas, Three-Oh (an a cappella trio from the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir) and a horn-augmented version of The Bayou Swamis dubbed Swami Love Child. Yes, champagne at midnight.

Nocturnum has Midnight Masquerade, a red carpet affair where you can say goodbye to 2012 with those sexy stripping starlets the Va Va Voom Burlesque Vixens and dance the night away with Pressure Anya. The Forget Me Not photobooth will be there, so get dressed up -- cash prize for the top "masquerade royalty."

For a tribute-ish NYE hit the Jambalaya where Naive Melodies will be dropping Talking Heads tunes following an opening set by The Foggy Bottom Boys. The psychedelic pedal-steel blues and rock band includes Piet Dalmolen and Pete Ciotti from The Nucleus, with Kaleb Duncan on steel. Influences: Derek and the Dominos, Allman Brothers, Dylan, Clapton, Neil, The Band -- you know, the classics. Eighties formal wear encouraged; again, the obligatory champagne toast at midnight.

The newish funk, blues, soul, jazz, "super awesome funland band" River Valley Mud allegedly formed after a chance meeting in a dark alleyway under a full moon, where members discussed methods of political intrigue. The Mud is breaking in the New Year at Humboldt Brews with ace neo-Americana outfit The Trouble, who, like The Foggy Bottom Boys, cite Dylan, Neil and The Band as influences, adding XTC and Tom Waits to the mix. (It's also a songwriters' band.)

For a hip hoppin' New Year's Eve Party try the Red Fox Tavern. Humboldt's premier rap duo Potluck, with 1-Ton and UnderRated, is home for the holidays after spending the year bouncing around the states spreading the word about Humboldt weed on a tour co-headlining with D12. "If you listen to Potluck you will know what it's like to live in the Mecca of marijuana and how it changes your way of thinking way beyond smoking blunts," says UnderRated. "We got a whole Potluck movement going on across the country," says 1-Ton. "If someone doesn't know about Potluck, they just don't know what's been happening on the underground." Bump Haven and Aaron Dean join Potluck to welcome in the New Year.

So you're looking for the "phatest" New Year's Eve party? Try the Far North Climbing Gym in Arcata where Phantom Wave Records presents Phat Party 01 with DJ Red, who plans on "throwing down the funky house vibe. I'm all about the bass lines." He's joined by Itchie Fingaz in Razle Dazle EDM mode, Deep Groover DJ Touch and Phantom Wave recording artist Estkowski with Wrye providing visuals (beer from Redwood Curtain). Party on!

The Mad River Brewery Taproom has one of the few all-ages parties, ringing in the new with fiddles, banjos and guitars, acoustic and otherwise, played by Kindred Spirits and The Sierra Rose Band. While the Taproom usually closes earlier, it's open until 1 a.m., with "Hoppy Hour" all night.

Space Biscuit, a new band with Tamaras and friends, welcomes the new at the Eureka Woman's Club with an all ages "Humboldt Faith Equality Fun-Raiser LGBT New Year's Eve Alcohol-Free Dance." It starts with an organic dinner from 7 until 9 p.m. Then there's dancing until midnight to Space Biscuit's neo-cabaret queercore rock/electronica "galactic dance journey."

James from Splinter Cell alerts us to a "trashy rock 'n' roll" NYE thing at the Lil' Red Lion with his band and The Hard Ride. The party is sponsored by The Mob, a local motorcycle club, and will include a dinner option.

The Barfly's New Year's bash on the waterfront features heavy rock by Last Match followed by Enceledus, with no cover and food served until 1:30 a.m.

Jimi Jeff and The Gypsy Band play Hendrix tunes etc. way out Highway 299 at Simon Legree's.

Lori O and The Knights rock out at the Ivanhoe in Ferndale.

Shamus T Bones has a big band New Years Eve party with Eureka Brass playing for your dancing pleasure.

The Riverwood Inn celebrates its 18th annual New Year's Eve bash with champagne, hats and horns, Loreen's special midnight buffet and blues music by The Uptown Kings. And it's not until the next weekend, but you might want to get advance tickets to some part of the four-night run by Canadian honky-tonk/ragtime/swing band Petunia and the Vipers, who are taking over the Riverwood from Jan. 3-6 to record a live album.

There are a few choices for those in a holiday mood looking to party after Christmas and before New Year's Eve. You're invited to "thrash into a New Year" a little early at the Lil' Red Lion with local heavies Locust Furnace, Miasmic and Burning Hash providing fuel for headbanging on Saturday night.

Friday night Eureka's "girl group gone to space," The Monster Women, join the "cutesy ball-busting all-girl synth pop" quartet Blood Gnome, busting the music cherry of Five Eleven, the cool new restaurant that's filled the space once occupied by Hurricane Kate's.

Motherlode funks things up Afrobeat style in Blue Lake Casino's Wave Lounge Friday night (where there's never a cover charge).

Pressure Anya DJs are at Six Rivers Brewery Friday night.

Fun with Games hosts a Winter Wonderland Dance Party at Nocturnum Friday promising "enchanting decorations, mad music collaborations and booze" (it is a bar after all). Expect thumping EDM from Zucco of Digiraatii, Razle Dazle (see above) and Snoflake, which may be a seasonal name. The attire is seasonal too, says Fw/G: "We encourage you all to dress up in formal attire or at least wear that ugly sweater you just picked up at the thrift shop." Or the one you got for Christmas and were thinking of taking to the thrift store. Have a happy holiday.

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