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Warped Time

Local musicians look back at sunnier New Year's Eve gigs

By Sarah Quelland

I CAN'T WAIT TO see this year end. The events of 2001 certainly put things in perspective, but what an inglorious way to start the 21st century. The first day of 2002 just can't come soon enough for me, and I wonder how the rest of America feels. Will citizens come out in droves to usher in 2002? Or will they hold more intimate celebrations with their families at home? Last week's comprehensive guide to holiday events around the Bay Area shows that the parties are there for those who want them (search calendar.metroactive.com for even more listings). But in the spirit of these reflective times, we decided to invite local musicians to share some of their New Year's Eve memories from years past.

JIMMY ARCENEAUX, talent buyer for the ICON NIGHTCLUB and frontman for LOS BASTARDOS DE AMOR, revisits his craziest New Year's Eve: "Oh man, Farmington, New Mexico, at a Best Western Motel Nightclub. Known as a reservation town, there were little businessmen getting tanked with huge blue-collar cats. Culture shock at its finest. I didn't even drink back then; everyone but the band was trashed! Customers were tipping the band big money to play a song again and again. The funny part was having to drive up on the sidewalk to get around people passed out and laying in the street."

Jazz saxophonist ANTON SCHWARTZ recalls: "Well, there's the time I was playing a five-hour gig as a sideman with a band where the vocalist--a gruff, jaded woman--brought an Evian bottle filled with vodka to help her through the night and she offered some with a wink to the trumpet player who, not catching on, started gulping it down like water and had to spit it out all over."

KRENSHAW guitarist RYAN LANDES remembers, "Last New Year's was a lot of fun. My band played at the Usual, and then we ran over to the Cactus and played again, just so we could feel like we were on a minitour. Besides my feeling sorry for the Christians that spent so many years telling us that the world was going to end because of our sins, and the Jagermeister that later on New Year's forced its way out of my nose and mouth at the same time, I had a great time last year. I just hope that in 2002 we can try to sin a little harder for the sake of the churchgoers. It's been two years since the end of the world was to take place--this is getting embarrassing."

Bluesman TOMMY CASTRO played Slim's when 1999 rolled over to 2000 and says, "[With] the Y2K scare and the media promoting stay-at-home New Year's celebrations, the biggest New Year's Eve party of all time never happened. The police in San Francisco were prepared for rioting in the streets, and nobody even so much as jaywalked that night. It was hilarious."

Referring to New Year's Eve as "Amateur Drinking Night," DJ KING RAFFI remarks, "With almost 3,000 gigs under my DJ belt, I've been a part of some of the most interesting New Year's Eve parties. As a DJ who doesn't drink (at all), I have very vivid memories of past New Year's. Some I don't want to remember."

Then Raffi offered up his list of things not to do on New Year's Eve.

1. Try to do the Macarena to Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole" (could cause a riot)

2. Take your clothes off hoping to get a song played (never works!)

3. Suck face with strangers (would you do this on Jan. 2?)

4. Mix your alcohol (it always makes its way back out) ... leave mixing to the DJ

5. Drink for the whole 408 area code (it looks painful by midnight)

ALL THE NEWS: Members of the NEW SKOOL TA2 COLLECTIVE are holding a bodysuit art show at the WORKS GALLERY in San Jose. The exhibit opens Jan. 2 with the reception set for Jan. 4. Local rock bands are scheduled to play the WORKS that night, and an afterparty, featuring a special performance by Insolence, will be held at the CACTUS CLUB. ... On Jan. 25 the FACTION returns to play the USUAL with CLAY WHEELS and OUTTALINE.

PLAN AHEAD: MELATONES and MIKE FREITAS, Dec. 27 at the Cactus Club; the EYESORES, Dec. 27 at the Usual; LORDS OF THE MANOR, Dec. 28 at KIMO'S in San Francisco.

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From the December 27, 2001-January 2, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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