Fireworks Celtic Christmas w/ The Thormahlens, Fireworks Pub & Pizza, 1115 SE 3rd St. Not free; reservation required
I certainly wouldn’t describe this event as free, because you have to buy dinner, and you need to make a reservation for that, too. But the wonderful Thormahlens will be harping out some Celtic beauty for you, and if that’s your cup of tea on Christmas Eve, I suppose I couldn’t blame you. This event is a little classier than anything I’m prepared to do. Like…
Movie & Chinese Food
I’m not even addressing those of you who celebrate Christmas and will be doing so with your loved ones. You all pretty much have it made and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that all your coolest gadgets break the day after the warranty expires. But the rest of us have some serious ghost-town chillaxing to do on Christmas Eve. Now the movie and Chinese combo is a classic, and classics are classics for a reason. But you also are keenly aware that Corvallis has a complete dearth of Chinese food restaurants that aren’t awful, unless The Show which just opened on 9th Street is a miracle-maker. What to do? Here’s a pro tip from your Grinchy soulmate supreme: a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen chicken pot-stickers, a fifth of Robitussin, and a dry, soft place to pass out. You’re welcome. And merry whatever-makes-you-blah-blah-blah.
Christmas Day Dinner, Nazarene Church, 1947 College St., Philomath. 1 p.m. Free
I’ve heard this dinner is going to be delicious. Now I know I toss around a lot of sarcasm and other genres of insincerity around here with some pretty reliable regularity. But I’m not setting up a backhanded joke here. I’m being serious. I was at a place, and I was talking to a nice couple, and the topic came around to this, and they were just like, “Seriously though? Best meal you’ll eat in a church in your life.” And I was all, “Well, I’m a Jew, and I’ve never had a meal in a church, except for that one in San Francisco where these 20-something hipsters turned an old church into an art gallery/’brunch space.’” They just stared at me like I was a Martian, but I got their point loud and clear. Apparently the lovely people from the community who come together to put on this dinner just don’t stint on the deliciousness one jot. Not one tittle. I assure you. Join me, won’t you?
Corvallis Squares Square Dance, First Congregational Church, 4515 SW West Hills Rd. $5
Grab your partner, do-si-do, then… jeez, I don’t know any of the other square dance calls. I’m shockingly ignorant of this large and historically popular American cultural institution. It would be like someone saying, “I just read about this Babe Ruth character, apparently he was really good at hitting touchbaskets.” Oregon’s a weird place where a bunch of people like me are jumbled together with a bunch of people who know how to square dance, so I can’t really do one of those “You know when…” bits, because half of you will feel me and half will very much not. But if you’re in my camp, how can you not go to this? Expand your horizons, goon.
Steve Hunter & Friends Boxing Day Special, Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 8 p.m. Free
This just in, we won the war of independence from the British. Boxing Day? Come on now. But other than my disgust at this old colonial homerism, I am totally down for this. Steve Hunter and his boys will cut loose on stage, which probably means some rocky energetic classically tinged thing, if his excellent band That Coyote is any indication. Then again, his “friends” could be a terrible influence on him and this might be a terrible British holiday-themed monstrosity. Steve, if they were your friends, you would raise them up instead of letting them bring you down. Feel me? Sage advice from a total stranger.
Majestic Reader’s Theatre: The Last Romance, Majestic Theatre, 115 SW 2nd St. 3 & 7 p.m. $10 ($8 for members, seniors, students)
Due to miraculous and wonderful circumstances, Catherine Neary actually took the reins on this production and I can’t wait to see the results. Reader’s Theatre is particularly great if you want to read a play, but hate actually reading, and don’t want to spend the money on a crazy expensive full-stage production. The only better option here would be to pay me to come to your house and read you the play while you lie in bed in the fetal position. It’s on the table, it’s just not that cheap. It’s certainly more than $10, so why not take one of two opportunities to see this show on Sunday?
Blues Jam, Calapooia Brewing, 140 NE Hill St., Albany, 4 p.m. Free
I’m going to go way out on a limb and guess your fantasy teams have already been eliminated, right? Let’s not pretend with each other, not after all we’ve been through. Since your fantasy football season is over, you might as well stop watching football and get back in the Blues Jam spirit. If you’re not at Reader’s Theatre, or if by some insane miracle you’re actually playing in the semi-final round of your fantasy football league, in which case, I hate you. Dammit I was robbed! Where was I? Oh yeah, Blues Jam… it’s great.
Bryson Skaar, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7 p.m. Free
Jeez, Christmas is over, time to wake the town back up, am I right? There’s nothing going on yet in town, huh? Oh Bryson Skaar is “going on.” How about that? Not good enough? Need something more glitzy than the hardest working piano man in town? Fair enough, but you’re out of luck. So go see Bryson. He plays jazz piano. You ever hear of that? Ever heard of jazz piano? Wait, I was kidding, but seriously, have you not ever heard of jazz music played on the piano? Wow. You really need to get to the ‘Gine and check out Bryson.
Yoga in the Gallery, The Arts Center, 700 SW Madison Ave. 6 p.m. Free
Jeez. The only way the pickin’s could be any more slim on this particular Monday is if there was a giant asteroid about to make impact with the planet that was going to wipe out all civilization and we were all huddled in our living rooms with our families and/or out in the streets debauching. In fact I’d almost prefer that to the lack of action in town on this Monday, but what can you do? You’re not lucky enough for an extinction-level event. You get yoga, and you’ll like it. In fairness, it is free, so it’s pretty great. It’s just not asteroid-great.
Community Movie Night with Ygal Kaufman, Darkside Cinema, 215 SW 4th St. 7 p.m. Free
There have been some complaints that CMNYK doesn’t hit the ‘60s oddities genre hard enough. Actually I’d be lying if I said anyone complained about our screenings. They’re pretty terrific and hard to criticize, like me. But if anyone did hypothetically have a complaint, that could be it. Well, good news for those possibly existing people: I got a real ‘60s oddity in store for you this week. It’s Curtis Harrington’s bizarre and hypnotic Night Tide, starring Dennis Hopper. Come for the Hopper, stay for the Kaufman. That’s how we do over at CMNYK.
Celtic Jam, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7 p.m. Free
Every Tuesday, we’re all a little Irish, right? By which I mean we have a wonderful history and a rich culture that has brought us many of the wonders of the world. Why, what did you think I meant? Racist. Anyway, Celtic Jam at the ‘Gine; it’s one of the best ways to celebrate your pride and/or admiration for the Irish tradition. Also I discovered that if you order a chamomile tea with precisely one teaspoon of milk, and sit in the northeasternmost corner of the room and sip on every C# the flautist hits during the third song, you’ll go back in time. I swear to God!
Space Neighbors’ New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 10 p.m. $5
Look, there’s literally not a thing worth thinking about going to on Wednesday the 30th, so I’m just going to do four things to do on NYE. You’re welcome. I don’t even know what an extravaganza of Space Neighbors even entails, but you have to imagine it’ll be pretty great. These guys are a Corvallis institution like hating on Eugene and secretly preferring Eugene. Let’s just hope “extravaganza” isn’t over selling it. That’s a band-marketing day one type of lesson. Don’t call it an extravaganza if you’re just going to bring a jamboree. I have to think Space Neighbors knows this and you’re in for a bona fide ‘stravaganski.
New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party, Impulse Bar & Grill, 1425 NW Monroe Ave. 10 p.m. Free
Are people really going to show up to this thing wearing masks? Are the people at Impulse going to provide masks? What’s the quality level on these masks? Are we talking cardboard with a bit of rubber band stapled to the back? Or is this an Eyes Wide Shut type of deal? What’s the standard socially accepted operating procedure on the next morning of a one-night stand with someone who was wearing a mask? Do you have to make/stay for breakfast? What do you make? Do you keep the masks on during the sex and then the breakfast? 8 Days a Week; asking the important questions, so you don’t have to.
Bootlegger’s Ball, Cloud & Kelly’s Public House, 126 SW 1st St. 10 p.m. Free
DJs Tooie & Modesik will be on the wheels of steel for this Prohibition-themed dance party. Which I take it doesn’t mean they won’t be serving drinks and will be lecturing about the ills of drinking and the importance of religion. Because that would obviously be just terrible. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that just means the decoration and costumes will look like Boardwalk Empire and the drink names will be stuff like “bathtub hooch,” or “down-with-suffrage pina colada.” Hey look, I’m not saying those are good names, I’m just throwing out possibilities…
Wild Hog in the Woods, Calapooia Brewing Company, 140 NE Hill St., Albany. 7:30 p.m. Free
Why not usher in the New Year with the same thing you usher out and in everything with. It’s Wildhog, b*tches. They play Albany and Corvallis and they do it a lot because they love this place and this is the only place they’d ever want to tap a toe, or play music “totapatoeto.” That’s just the long and short of it. So if you’re so inclined to count down the New Year with Americana, and lots of it, this is clearly your only option. I’ll be doing the same thing I do every year at this time: holding my eyes closed real tight and hoping each time that the next leap will be the leap home. See you next year, Corvallis.