The Devil Makes Three plays Monday, Dec. 30 and Tuesday, Dec. 31 at the Catalyst.
Having a good New Year’s Eve is like riding a unicorn. It’s magical and—oh, what’s that you say? You have never ridden a unicorn? I see. In that case, you should probably just trust us on what to do this New Year’s Eve. Behold:
LAST NIGHT DIY PARADE: Starting at sundown outside Saturn Café in downtown Santa Cruz, this “decentralized, collective, spontaneous, open, public New Year’s Eve celebration” has been irritating the police and delighting the public since 2005. Decorate your bike like a mythological beast, or something, and head on down. Always free.
THE DEVIL MAKES THREE AT CATALYST: It’s so trippy to see Santa Cruzís own DM3 performing for and being interviewed by Country Music Television, which has also been featuring the video for their new song “Stranger.” It’s part of the channel’s “CMT Edge” showcase of new artists, but of course, they’re not new here in their hometown, where they’re returning for a two-night NYE stand (Mondayand Tuesday), after two nights at the Fillmore. In fact, the new single is vintage Devil Makes Three, and in general the songs from the new I’m A Stranger Here album are likely to get a raucous reception here in the place where that title least applies. $35/$40; 9pm.
HARRY & THE HITMEN AT CREPE PLACE: Looks like Harry and the Hitmen on New Yearís Eve is becoming a thing as the Santa Cruz-based six-piece prepares to again ring in the new at the area’s favorite Creperie. Playing what they describe as a “psychedelic Motown throwdown,” these guys combine the best of Motown and Stax-era grooves, psychedelic-inspired rock and roll, and improv-driven extended jams. Not sure what that might look or sound like? Picture “Heat Wave,” “Nowhere to Run” and “Respect” being played by guys in suits who can easily drift off into musical otherworlds previously explored by the likes of the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers and Phish. $20; 9pm.
EXTRA LARGE AT CROW’S NEST: If the Crow’s Nest’s ocean views aren’t enough to make you grateful for the last year spent in Santa Cruz, then the complimentary plastic noisemakers will. Funky rockers Extra Large will be piping in the positive energy, and if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll catch frontman Russ Leal twirling his flute above his head like a baton. 9:30pm; $15.
MARTY O’REILLY AT THE TANNERY SCICA GALLERY:While The Devil Makes Three plays the Catalyst across town, two of Santa Cruz’s most promising up-and-coming Americana acts will be on hand at the Tannery when Marty O’Reilly and the Spurs breathe the spring-like freshness of their down-to-earth, soulful tunes into the new year. We have no doubt that both acts will be packing the Catalyst in their own right before too long, so catch them while you can. 8pm; $20 in advance/$25 door.
ALISON SHARINO BAND AT COCOANUT GROVE: What’s not to love about a big, fancy dress-up party on New Year’s Eve? Sharino’s band plays old rock and roll hits that everyone knows, and there’s a buffet with steak and chicken cordon bleu, along with a Champagne toast at midnight. 8pm; $84 for dinner and dance; $41 for dance only.
FIRST DAY HIKES: If going out on New Year’s Eve isn’t your thing, spend the night resting up in preparation for a guided hike in one of our county’s state parks the next morning. The California Department of Parks & Recreation will lead a number of guided hikes appropriate for various experience levels, giving everyone a chance to start the year with a literal breath of fresh air. No charge for hikes beyond parking. Visitamericasstateparks.org to search for local hikes.