.New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve Happenings

By Gretchen Giles

If traditional dance-party New Year’s Eve celebrations are more your cup of bubbly, there are plenty of choices. In case your mother forgets, let us remind you that most barkeeps will be happy to call a cab for alcohol-challenged drivers, and that beginning the new year with a headache doesn’t bode well karmically for the future.

The biggest new tradition is Johnny Otis’ way-cool bash up at the Luther Burbank Center. With two sets, a killer horn section, party favors, food, drink, and the ubiquitous more, this is one-stop New Year’s Eve central. Chairs have been pulled out of the way in the main theater so that danceability is at a premium high, and after five decades or more in the biz, Mr. Otis is what you might call a professional. He and his band know how to make the evening move. LBC, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $35-$40. 546-4600.

Over in Healdsburg, the Villa Chanticleer will be ringing in the New Year quite literally, with music of all kinds blaring from opposite ends of the building. Sponsored by the American Legion Post of Healdsburg, the Black and White Ball is looked forward to by all who’ve ever experienced it. Featuring a full-course dinner, this year’s event boasts the Cajun bon temps of the Gator Beat Band in one dance room, with tunes spun by DJ Derek Walters in another. Revelers are encouraged to dress in the stark opposites of light and dark, and the whole thing is for a good cause–helping to fund the Fourth of July celebration next summer. Villa Chanticleer, 415 North Fitch Mountain Road. $30. 431-7346 or 433-2102.

For a quieter celebration, head over to Murphy’s Irish Pub in Sonoma, which will begin the evening with the traditional American music of Old Hat from 7 to 9:30 p.m., and then segue into the soaring harmonies of Solid Air until midnight. There’s no cover, and the slow draw of the Guinness can’t be hurried into the mug. All is as it should be. 464 First St. East. 935-0660.

In Petaluma, the Mystic Theatre will rock with the sounds of the Pulsators, a local favorite among good-time-party bands. The Pulsators are hauling along a special guest, so the evening promises to be one of more surprises than just whom you’ll end up kissing at midnight. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. and costs $10. 21 Petaluma Blvd North. 765-9211.

Randy Rowlands’ club Heaven, housed every Sunday night at the Funhouse, plans a huge bash for the year’s end, featuring the inimitable Rowland Review Grand Illusions show, dancers, party favors, and food. This alternative-lifestyle club urges patrons to pull out their best party clothes for a night of elegant and not-so-elegant fun. Tickets are only $10 in advance–but $17.50 at the door–so it behooves you to be organized and start the new year off right. 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. 544-6653.

Magnolia’s is happy to announce the end-of-the-year reunion of one of their most popular house bands of the ’80s–SAS and the Boys–featuring Sishawna Fessenden, Bill Gannon, and Jim Fox. This dance band will be providing a jumpin’ jive down memory lane for those who followed them in the last decade. 107 Fourth St. in Railroad Square, Santa Rosa. 9 p.m. $8-$10. 526-1006.

The Old Vic welcomes the cowpunk sounds of the Feud, self-described “chicken coop misfits” whose brand of rock and rockabilly gets you on the dance floor faster than a turkey in the straw. Or something like that. 731 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 9 p.m. $3. 571-7555.

From the Dec. 21-27, 1995 issue of the Sonoma Independent

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