By the time you read this, 2014 may be little more than a handful of memories and a drawer full of credit card receipts. But why dwell on the past, when there's live music on the horizon?
Let's start with New Year's Day itself, which finds the best-known Blank Tape Records artists all gathering for a post-hangover celebration at Ivywild. The Haunted Windchimes will be the evening's headliners, with opening sets by Grant Sabin, Joe Johnson, and The Changing Colors, plus the ubiquitous special guests.
Friday the 2nd finds the previously gone-but-not-forgotten Nappy Roots at Rawkus. The Bowling Green, Kentucky, foursome's debut album rode the brief wave of Southern hip-hop that came in the wake of Nelly's first album, and you can count on them to drawl their way through "Awnaw" and "Po' Folks," the two big hits from their multi-platinum Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz debut.
From there things slid a bit downhill: Atlantic Records brought in producers Kanye West, David Banner and Lil John to produce the group's follow-up, which turned out to be a commercial disappointment. Nappy Roots have since parted ways with the major-label world, but collaborations with the Organized Noize and a Kanye feature on 2013's "These Walls Revisited" single have kept them going.
Of course, in the event that you are reading this on New Year's Eve and dying to get out of the house — or need a convenient excuse to escape whatever party you happen to be at — you've still got options.
You could, for instance, indulge your inner classic-rock child with the Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer reunion show at the historic City Auditorium. For those who haven't made his acquaintance, Winter is best known for his 1973 hit, "Frankenstein," an infectiously heavy, quasi-prog instrumental that's among the strangest singles to ever reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. He and Derringer scored a second Top 20 hit with "Free Ride" that same year, and both have gone on to become '70s rock radio staples.
Elsewhere around town on the 31st, you can catch the upbeat soul of Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds at Ivywild. Or stop by the Speak Easy Vape Lounge for Weed Pimp's New Year's Eve Party, which will feature DJ Gravity manning the turntables for emcees Che Bong, Kevin Mitchell, Dom Journey, Big Ro and other local favorites. Meanwhile, the thunderous Goya will be covering Guns 'N Roses, Rage Against the Machine and the odd Top 40 diva at Johnny's Navajo Hogan. Check the adjacent live music listings for more NYE options.
And finally, here's some good news for the more acoustically inclined: Steve Harris, who hosted KRCC's popular Grass Roots Revival up until last January, will be returning to radio with his weekly assortment of, as he puts it, "Americana, blues, folk, alt-country, rock, what have you." He'll be broadcasting live from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays on KCMJ, the new low-power FM station that's moving into its studio at the Tim Gill Center for Public Media next week. The station will continue to be online-only until early summer 2015, when you can expect to find it at 93.9 on your FM dial. Look for progress reports and complete programming information at KCMJ.org.