What is this, a five-day weekend? Yup. Take it while you can before the Koch brothers and their ilk take away days off for everyone.
DJs Tipper and OTT
8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Must be 21 and over.
The local electronic dance music scene has stayed mostly under the radar but puts on premiere events in an unimaginable place, the old Cocoanut Grove ballroom on the beach.
For a long time these events were held in the woods and kept very underground. There is still little publicity for the EDM scene, and likely for good reason: remember what happened when raves went mainstream?
Santa Cruz Warriors vs the Springfield Armor
Kaiser Permanente Arena
The Warriors are really making basketball fun for families. As well as good games, the team offers giveways such as T-shirts the first night and super hero capes the second. Tonight, fans get a commemorative pin (see pictures).
They don't leave a minute to be bored. During timeouts there are tug of wars, dance contests, an amazing flying trampoline basketball team, fan shoot-offs. It's a circus as well as a game, perfect for all ages.
Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express
The Crepe Place
If Bruce Springsteen were billed as the next Bob Dylan, well, Prophet could be thought of as the next Bruce. This San Franciscan writes songs that are smart, funny and contemporary. Few who see him the first time leave the club without an armload of CDs and an update to friends: "How come I never heard of this guy?"
You may have heard his songs on TV or recorded by others. Heart did "No Other Love" and "You Did (Bomp Shooby Doobie Bomp)" was in the movie Teeth and the TV show True Blood.
The White Album Ensemble
What began as an experiment has become an institution. A group of the most talented local musicans started paying tribute to the Beatles and covering whole albums as shows, almost the way the band might have done if touring were possible for them back in the day.
Saturday's show features Rubber Soul and Let it Be. Sunday's offerings are Magical Mystery Tour and Abbey Road. Guests with the seven-piece band include Endre Tarczy, the Barry Phillips String Quartet, percussionist Steve Robertson, The Mind Over Matter Horns, and William Harvey, trumpet soloist with the San Francisco Symphony.
SUNDAY/MONDAY Dec. 30 and 31
8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Sunday. $40/adv, $45/door.
7 p.m.- 1 a.m. Monday. $79/dinner and dance, $35/$42 dance only
Local favorites the Joe Sharino Band with their 50 years of rockin' covers, hit the Cocoanut Grove for a New Year's tradition, only he's playing it a night early on the 30th. On New Year's, his daughter Allison leads her cover band for the celebration.
Both will make both nights into New Years, with a countdown, confetti, celebrations. Perfect for Santa Cruz. DejaVu Year's Eve.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadors
$27.50/$37.50 gold circle
For the fifth year these kings of the trailer park welcome in the New Year in Santa Cruz. This time it's with a show that's a hoe-down. The theme is Barn Dance and it will resemble a county fair. An artist will paint a commemorative license plate for all attendees, there will be a trailer park beauty pageant, dancing, snacks and prizes.
Oh yeah...there's music too from a band that has garnered country-style respect all over, even the likes of NPR.
The Brothers Comatose
Call it cool grass. It's string pickin' music, not string-em-up music (you bluegrass haters know what I mean). It's as twangy as one can get in San Francisco. In other words, cool, fun, smart. They are regulars at the Strawberry Music Festival.
Hip Hop New Year's with Roach Gigz
$22 advance/$26 at the door
This San Francisco hip hop artist mixes in plenty of bass and electronica and has a sense of humor. Can he rap? Check this vid here.
Harry and the Hitmen
The Crepe Place
Funk with an experimental twist. You can dance to it or get esoteric and listen to this multi-leveled horn-y rock, funk, grove band.
The Crow's Nest
Is there a band that says Santa Cruz more these days than Extra Large? They play everywhere and pack the house all the time with their feel-good, get out and dance energy. Advice for single guys: Go to an Extra Large show to meet women. They come out in droves for this band.
Start your New Year's big. Here's a video sample.