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.
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…
Hilltop Big Band, Old World Deli, 341 SW 2nd St. 7:30 p.m. Free
Kick off your new year the right way: by forgetting about the atrocities you committed in the past year and enjoying Corvallis’s best hill or mountain related jazz band in the tri-county area. Hilltop Big is back for another season of mostly free shows and a community big band experience that puts most communities to absolute shame. Wouldn’t it be great if these guys played a big event with some old timey movies out on by a local free classic movie purveyor? The possibilities for synergy boggle the mind.
Ukulele Cabaret, First Alternative South Store, 1007 SE 3rd St. 7 p.m. Free
I love the Wallop Sisters and their whole uke-inspired lifestyle. I heard they carry a ukulele with them at all times Like all times. I heard one of them cooks an insane omelet using her uke as a spatula. They’re into it. And 66.7% of the Wallop Sisters will be hosting this open community event where ukesters of all skill levels are invited to come jam out. Warning: if any of you start singing that cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow that was so popular in the mid-2000s, I will react derisively. I know that’s not really a serious threat, but seriously, there will be mockery.
Corvallis Contra Dance, Corvallis Senior Center, 2601 NW Tyler Ave. 7:30 p.m. $7
Last week a square dance and this week a contra dance? What did we do to deserve the Corvallis Folk Society (CFS)? Without them, we’d think a sunflower growing out of a rotting banjo husk was a legit “folk scene.” They’ve got a pretty baller little schedule set up for this week. Now before you couch potato social derelicts get excited and start thinking this is a dance that celebrates either the Nintendo game about fighting aliens, or the bungled Reagan plan to bone the Commies, it’s not. It’s a contra dance. Use your google and then plan your Saturday night accordingly. They’re briging in Michael Karcher, a big name dance caller out of New York, and some fabu local musicians. I’m in.
A Gearbox Heart and Dr. Neon, Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 9 p.m. Free
Dr. Neon is a new side project from some of the dudes from Summer Soundtrack. If that sounds like a thing that will be sweet, you are in luck. Because they’ll be there. A Gearbox Heart is a local pop-emo outfit that will blow your skorts up and make you glad you spent the $0 to see them. Did they consult with me before naming their band? Obviously not. But don’t hold that against them. I mean, don’t lie to yourself or anything, do what you feel… but I’m just saying, if you’re into the style of music you’ll likely be into these guys regardless of how much better a name I could have given them.
Hoolyeh Folk Dance, First Congregational Church, 4515 SW West Hills Rd. 7 p.m. $3
Contra dance, folk dance, lambada… whatchoo want? Corvallis Folk Society has got you covered. The Hoolyeh group like to do Balkan and Israeli folk dancing and I like that. Is it because my family hails from Israel and the Balkans? No. That’s just a coincidence. It’s also a coincidence that I was the Junior National Champion for Israeli/Balkan Competitive Folk Dancing and Hard Boiled Egg Eating (JNCIBCFDHBEE) for the 1996-’97 season. I don’t mean that in the sense that I didn’t work for it and I just stumbled into greatness—I worked my little Balkan tail off. I’m just saying, it doesn’t influence my love of this event.
Blues Jam, Calapooia Brewing, 140 NE Hill St., Albany. 4 p.m. Free
Blues Jam will never not be there for you. Like me, your reliable cousin Jeffrey and your mouth herpes. Mybe you could start the new year off right with a resolution to support Blues Jam a little more? Maybe you could be the cold sore that shows up every Sunday for Blues Jam. Because I certainly can’t. I’m just too old for a 4 p.m. show on a Sunday. That’s footbath time at the Kaufman house.
Bryson Skaar, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7 p.m. Free
Bryson Skaar is in effect for 2016. At least that is what my sources are telling me, but obviously contract negotiations remain ongoing and there is no official word from either the Imagine Coffee or Skaar camps. One high-ranking Skaar associate willing to speak to me anonymously said, “It’s basically a done deal. There’s still some haggling on the rider details, but for the most part, you can go ahead and book your Monday nights. Bryson Skaar will be at the ‘Gine.” And that’s just the kind of hard-hitting entertainment journalism you could probably look forward to seeing in the paper each week if anyone cared. Bryson Skaar plays jazz piano, pretty greatly, for free.
Public Reading of Sound & Vision, Majestic Theatre, 115 SW 2nd St. 7:30 p.m. Free
5 to 1 is the theater group voted most likely to remain a theater group in 2016… by a poll of six dudes I saw smoking weed through a Coke can in the Circle K parking lot the other night. But just because they’re stupid enough to smoke out of a soda can—and I once saw a girl do that at a party in high school and then immediately vomit red, sparkly, aluminum-flecked puke—doesn’t mean they don’t know good theater. 5 to 1 is terrific and this new play, about a transgender woman’s struggles with homelessness, sounds dynamite. I’m not sure what to expect from a public reading, but I expect it to be worth the price of admission at the very least.
Community Movie Night with Ygal Kaufman, Darkside Cinema, 215 SW 4th St. 7 p.m. Free
Charles Laughton, one of my favorites, and a CMNYK veteran, makes his return after only a three-week layoff with this comic and adventurous classic. Join us for Captain Kidd (1945), the bawdy and ridiculously fictionalized account of the swashbuckling real-life legendary pirate. Well, there’s some debate as to whether he was really a pirate or just a privateer. To those for whom which this distinction is meaningless, I assure you this film is kicka*s and you will all have a great time. Fun, laughs, and adventurous action on the high seas. Let’s do this, Corvallis.
Celtic Jam, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7 p.m. Free
The ‘Gine is going to step in and fill the void left by like the only 15-minute span in this week where Corvallis Folk Society isn’t going weapons free with a barrage of folk art and other things with a folky treat for your Irish side to get down with. So bring your favorite limerick and bring your Irish spirit, and maybe wear a costume, and—I don’t know—maybe don’t make it all about you and come enjoy the music from the community members? That said, tell them Ygal sent you.
Run Forever, Looming, and Hi Ho Silver, Away! Interzone, 1563 NW Monroe Ave. 7 p.m. Free
OK, I straight up fux with Hi Ho Silver, Away! These guys are tight. I know that may seem hard to reconcile with my less than fervent endorsement of Gearbox Heart. But what can I tell you, I subjectively reward and punish, making careers and breaking dreams along the way. Come meet me in person some time and hope to be given permission to touch my hand. I love these DIY shows at Interzone, maybe you will, too? But whatever, don’t shoot the messenger.
The Cascadia Initiative, LaSells Stewart Center, 875 SW 26th St. 1 p.m. Free
The Cascadia Initiative, according to the event website, is “an onshore/offshore seismic and geodetic experiment that takes advantage of an Amphibious Array to study questions ranging from megathrust earthquakes to volcanic arc structure to the formation, deformation and hydration of the Juan De Fuca and Gorda plates.” So I think it goes without saying that this is a BYOB event and if you want anything harder than that I know a guy, and he’s really athletic. But seriously, this is amazing research and they’re making an attempt to reach out and tell you about it. Don’t be a dummy.
Open Source Improv, Cloud & Kelly’s Public House, 126 SW 1st St. 9 p.m. Free
Improv comedy. You want it, and we have it. By “we,” I of course mean we as a culture generally and Corvallis specifically. You must be pretty pleased that you’ll be getting your chance to yell out random word combinations and see variously trained locals act those things out. I plan to shout things like “cauliflower escalation!” Art. Am I right? Sometimes it just sounds like a lot of bullshit.
Marys River Grange Movie Night, Marys River Grange Hall, 24707 Grange Hall Rd., Philomath, 7 p.m. Free
The last edition of MRGMN really started to ramp things up, we saw some crossover of Corvallisites into Philomath, and I was loving it. This week we should see that trend continue, as we screen And Then There Were None (1945), the legendary and brilliant Agatha Christie adaptation. It’s a deviously funny and thrilling mystery that will thrill and entertain even the most cynical hater. The movie is fabulous, the Grange is gorgeous and welcoming, and the amazing Philomath community brings crazy good treats. This is the future of community screenings, so get used to it people. We’re here to stay.