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December 16th to 31st

I was one of the chosen few to experience The Arcade Fire's San Francisco debut last week at Bottom of the Hill. My complete thoughts still escape me. As a huge fan of "World Music", a notion crept into my mind: the Montreal based Fire is the perfect "French Canadian Indie Band" (like The Gotan Project is to Argentina and French Turntablism, Fela Kuti is to Nigeria and American funk music). The Arcade Fire is a French Canadian gift to music lovers worldwide. The band's ever-present squeeze box and fiddle topped off with a solid rock and roll setup gives them these northern demographics. As with all greats of transformative music, The Arcade Fire cross borders and invent sounds in their performance. Others have different and equally valid opinions why their music makes them happy. They're just that good.

The Arcade Fire have announced a third (after 2 sold out) show at The Great American Music Hall on January 12th. Tickets go on sale December 19th.

Charlie Hunter
Yoshi's Nitepot
December 14th - 19th
Prices and show times vary, check website - All Ages

Charlie was a mainstay of the burgeoning SF funk jazz movement of the early 90's. His weekly jam sessions at the Elbo Room were mandatory for any Mission hipster back in the day. Free from his mainstream record label contract, Charlie now explores his rediscovered roots on his many newly self-released albums. Yoshi's is pricey but if the second show isn't sold out, patrons of the first are usually allowed to stay on a first come first serve basis. Charlie's Amoeba instore on the 15th is canceled.

Comets on Fire with Parchman Farm and Night after Night
Bottom of the Hill
December 17th, 2004
$8 21 and over

Comets on Fire spilled much ink in the local free press a few months ago. Comets turn out loud, wavy, loopy, extended, psychedelic hard rock jams. They reinvigorate an ancient, local tradition. The Santa Cruz transplants play in support of their Sub Pop debut Blue Cathedral. The speakers will bleed tears of joy.

Sean Hayes and friends
Swedish American Hall
December 18th 8 PM
$10 advance / $12 door all ages

Sean Hayes has played out every imaginable Bay Area nitespot, Burning Man and beyond; gaining much notoriety for the title track off his self released album, Alabama Chicken. Preview tracks of his "Appalachian Ambient Folk Hop" on his website; then come on down and support your local scene.

The Red Thread, Citizens Here and Abroad and Fojimoto
12 Galaxies
December 19th, 9PM
$5 21 and over

A Festivus for the Rest of Us, hails the front page of the long running sf indie email list, as they announce this year's line up for their holiday family get together. Tonight's a fine line up of local bands favored by fans who know their indie rock. Come out, share some holiday cheer, meet new friends.

Rogue Wave
Bottom of the Hill
New Years Eve
10 PM 21 and over

Founded on Craigslist, signed to Sub Pop, this jangly indie quartet will be the main event for a night of reasonably priced festivities. Kelly Stoltz and The Herms open the evening. Please, read my extended interview for more information on this great local band.

The Reverend Horton Heat
Bimbo's 365 Club
New Years Eve 9 PM
$75 21 and over

The Good Reverend and black tie don't mix! The price is high, the party favors few and the "cocktail attire" is just plain weird but a visit by The Horton Heat is an act of faith that rewards true believers with wine, women and songs about muscle cars. Bimbo's is the place to celebrate the occasion, such as 2005!

Happy and Safe Holidaze to All, Peace.