Every year, the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena asks their audience to vote on which film they’d like to see, for free, on New Year’s Day. This year the running was tight, but the choice was ‘Casablanca.’ Winning by only six votes over Midnight in Paris, the timeless Humphrey Bogart / Ingrid Bergman classic screens free of charge, although tickets are required and available for pickup in advance at the theater. Relive the magic on Sunday, Jan. 1, at Cameo Cinema. 1340 Main St., St. Helena. Noon. Free. 707.963.9779.
It would be fiesta enough for the Los Angeles cumbia/hip-hop/dance band Ozomatli to headline a show on New Year’s Eve. But throw in high-energy openers La Santa Cecilia, and you’ve entered maximum party mode. On top of that, add famously “fluffy” comedian Gabriel Iglesias? You’re starting to build the party of the year, right there. It all happens en la casa on Saturday, Dec. 31, at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 9pm. $75—$85. 707.259.0123.
In 2009, a small group of former Phoenix Theater dwellers now in their 30s convinced several local bands from the early ’90s to reunite; they aptly dubbed their efforts Nostalgia Fest. This year, the trick apparently bore repeating. Fifteen, Siren, the Wunder Years, the Grady Sisters, Kalifornia Redemption, Mainstream Trend and Truant try to feel young again on Friday, Dec. 30, at the Phoenix Theater. 201 E. Washington St., Petaluma. 8pm. $10—$25. 707.762.3565.
Poor Man’s Whiskey may have up their collective sleeve for their New Year’s Eve show, and that’s a large part of the appeal. This is a bluegrass band who in the past has covered both “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Dark Side of the Moon; their unpredictable costumes lend a theatrical air to the surprises. Party hard on Saturday, Dec. 31, at Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 8:30pm. $30. 707.829.7300.
Tickets start at $87 to see film director play clarinet in New Orleans jazz group. Dec 28 at Regency Ballroom.
New Orleans funk and soul strutter with a huge dollop of showmanship. Dec 30-31 at the Fillmore.
The Velvet Teen
Santa Rosa’s indie heroes close out 2011 with epic night of music from new EP, ‘No Star.’ Dec 31 at Bottom of the Hill.
Sea of Dreams
Santigold, Beats Antique, Amon Tobin’s incredible ‘Isam’ show and more. Dec 31 at SF Concourse Exhibition Center.
Les Claypool’s annual New Year’s Eve show goes tropical with a ‘Hawaiian Hukilau.’ Dec 31 at the Great American Music Hall.
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While everyone else gathers beneath Christmas trees and exchanges presents, you know the old line about how Jews spend Dec. 25: with Chinese food and a movie. Congregation Ner Shalom is just bright enough to turn this annual, somewhat dreary routine into a special event with Chinese Food and a Movie, benefiting the Jewish Community Free Clinic. Including havdalah, dinner and a screening of Danny Boyle’s Millions, the night is a perfect way to gather for those who usually hit up the not-so-great Chinese buffet in town—or who just want to check out the old Cotati Cabaret building. It’s all kosher on Sunday, Dec. 25, at Congregation Ner Shalom, 85 La Plaza, Cotati. 3—7pm. $5—$25. 707.664.8622.
Pink snowmen riding horses draped in glass ornaments. Mrs. Claus holding a pie adorned with candy canes. A sleigh driven by Jesus. A towering tree covered in cookies keeping watch over a children’s choir. These are but a few of the ugly Christmas sweaters in the world, and if you’re unlucky, you might spot one at the seventh annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Other than barf-inducing garb, the night features the “teenage pregnancy music” of Frankie Boots; 8th Grader, from the band Music for Animals; and Eli, who many know as the sex-obsessed rapper Smoove-E. It gets steamy on Friday, Dec. 23, at the Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 8:30pm. $10. 707.829.7300.
With three all-ages shows under its belt already in this week alone, the Transient Lounge is swiftly establishing itself as an important new venue along Santa Rosa’s landscape. It’s not all spiked belts and leather jackets this Christmas, though, as the dingy warehouse off Santa Rosa Avenue hosts the Reggae Food Drive benefiting Redwood Empire Food Bank. The Decoyz, Counter Culture and Trevor Lyon supply the upstrokes—you supply the canned food. (The dispensary down the street supplies the . . . well, you know.) It’s good vibes for a good cause on Friday, Dec. 23, at the Transient Lounge. 400 E. Todd Road, Santa Rosa. 9pm. $10. No phone.
Unless you happen to drop by on a jam night, you’re more likely to see Phoenix Theater manager Tom Gaffey outside sweeping up than on his theater’s stage. But for the last 20 years, Gaffey has occasionally borrowed the spotlight—usually with an apple, or a broom, in hand—and it’s always a joyous event. This week, his band Thus the Buzz play with Adobe Road and the Neal Carson / Dallas Myers Band, and the timing is perfect for anyone who grew up at the Phoenix, left town and is back visiting family. For what is the Phoenix, after all, if not family? Be there on Friday, Dec. 23, at the Phoenix Theater. 201 E. Washington St., Petaluma. 8pm. $8. 707.762.3565.
One of the worst-kept secrets for lunch in Santa Rosa is the SRJC’s Culinary Arts Center, which offers delicious creations, courtesy of students, for cheap. The place fills up quickly, which for late-coming, bill-savvy diners means dejection. But alas! Under the direction of program director and chef Michael Salinger, the SRJC culinary arts program is moving to its new, relatively humongous location next year. Four times the size of its current location, it’s already causing a buzz and it’s not even open yet. The program hosts a holiday fundraiser for the move with food, wine and holiday cheer on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at the Culinary Arts Center. 458 B St., Santa Rosa. Noon—2pm. $25. 707.576.0279.