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New Year's Eve! Again! Again!

The rain was super annoying, especially when it got me worrying about electrical lights and cute children being in the same vicinity during the PARADE DOWN PACIFIC AVENUE. And yet I have to say that by the end of the night Friday I'd had the most fun I've ever had at FIRST NIGHT SANTA CRUZ.

A big part of this was having a cool 13-year-old kid to take around to all this stuff. For one thing, I got to take him to his first punk rock show, which is, as TENACIOUS D would say, a special thing. It didn't hurt that the punk rock was provided by one of my local favorites, HERE KITTY KITTY, who held down the fort early on at the Vets Hall, our first stop on the First Night entertainment map.

The band seemed to be enjoying themselves, too, perhaps because a small army of little girls greeted the end of each of their songs with screams of "Again! Again! Again!" Frontwomen ARICKA SCARBOROUGH and MIKALA SCARBOROUGH indulged them rather cleverly by announcing several impending songs with "This one's called 'Again.'"

Meanwhile, the aforementioned cool 13-year-old, CHRISTOPHER, liked 'em so much he wanted their CD. Any attempt by me to top that endorsement would be pointless.

Over at the Del Mar, Chris was also impressed by RICK WALKER, who was a tireless AMBASSADOR OF LOOPING as he spent the entirety of his time between shows explaining to wowed kids and adults exactly how all that high-tech stuff works. One woman complained that Rick should explain all of that at the beginning of the show, but Chris was having none of this mystique-destroying nonsense.

"She's worse than my mom," he said, with a quintessential teen eye-roll.

Led by Chris and his pops, DANA, we then tore through the EXPENDABLES at the Civic and two sets of UM ... GEE ... UM's improv at Louden Nelson, before cutting out to the Clock Tower for the midnight festivities. Rain plus explosives make Steve somewhat nervous, but damn, the fireworks were pretty cool. Again! Again!

Steve Palopoli

Upcoming

In addition to our regularly scheduled programming on the music calendar, we'd like to point out another show, for it occurred to us that, what with all the rain of late, we could all use a head change from the everyday terrestrial sounds of the mainland. And so, like the giant eye of Sauron, except way nicer, our attention turns to two island paradises--Hawaii and Jamaica.

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, the REVEREND DENNIS DAVID KAHEKILMAMAOIKALANIKEHA (DISTANT THUNDER IN THE HIGHEST HEAVENS) KAMAKAHI and his son DAVID 'IOLANI-O-NAOO SHUNICHI KAMAKAHI come to Henfling's laden with the names long enough to put them in serious trouble should they ever fall into a well, as did the boy TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO-NO SA REMBO-CHARI BARI RUCHI-PIP PERI PEMBO, who nearly died while his brother CHANG struggled to pronounce his name while getting help. Luckily, we all know that only children fall into wells, and apparently these two Hawaiian gentlemen were too busy learning how to play slack-key guitar and the ukulele to be playing near any holes in the ground--Dennis took up the uke at age 3 and the guitar at age 10, and the cool thing about David is that, chances are, he can totally kick your ass with karate from here to Tiananmen Square, but he also plays a mean ukulele. Together, the father and son duo play a mix of traditionals and originals, with a Hawaiian-flavored cover or two of classics like COLE PORTER's "Begin the Beguine."

For a hippified interpretation of Jamaican roots reggae, check out Innerlight Ministries mainstays LOVE ETERNAL, supported by the angelic a cappella trio DIS MOI, when they perform at 120 Union on Saturday, Jan. 8.

Mike 'A'a i ka hula waiho ka hilahila i ka hale Connor

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From the January 5-12, 2005 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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