Christmas is on a Friday (aka tonight) and New Year's Eve is on a Thursday. What is there to do?
Here are a few things we thought might keep your attention between shopping, eating and napping.
Thank God, the post-hardcore marauders that never cease to amaze, will play their second consecutive Christmas-night show as Thank Goodness at The Whig. The show starts at 11 p.m. The Whig is at 1200 Main St. Free; (803) 931-8852
At 9:30 and 11:30 p.m., Columbia Alternacirque will perform its belly dancing and fire spinning at Art Bar. It's a Christmas show that will actually be spectacular. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. Free; (803) 929-0198
Art Bar will host "The Nightmare After Christmas" featuring Prognosis and No Wasted Motion, as well as DJ Evelfaery and DJ D. It might be the most wonderful goth-music extravaganza of the year at Art Bar. Even if you're not goth, the electronic music will give you a reason to get out of the house and watch other people if you need to get away from family. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. $4; (803) 929-0198
Danielle Howle will perform at The White Mule alongside Josh Roberts and Mac Leaphart. You'll hear some good songwriters playing stripped-down versions of their songs. Grab a seat and a drink. The show starts at 8 p.m. The White Mule is at 1530 D Main St. $8 in advance and $10 at the door; (803) 661-8199
NEW YEAR'S EVE
New Brookland Tavern will host its annual New Year's Cover Show. Expect some bands to play music you know - and music you'll what to get to know. The show starts at 8 p.m. NBT is at 122 State St., West Columbia. $5 for over 21 and $7 for under; (803) 791-4413
"WOW! 2010," the city of Columbia's New Year's Eve celebration, will feature plenty: theater, children's rides, face painting, karaoke and, of course, fireworks to end the night. The free festivities are 4 to 9 p.m. at Finlay Park, 930 Laurel St. For more information, visit http://www.columbiaactioncouncil.net or (803) 545-3111.
Jack Williams, a former Columbia resident, has a New Year's residency at the UU Coffeehouse - seven years and counting. Williams, a contemporary folk performer, will be joined by Susan Taylor, Cary Taylor and Danny Harlow. If something lasts seven years in this town, you know it has to be good. The show starts at 8 p.m. The coffeehouse is at 2701 Heyward St. $25, plus attendees are asked to bring a small finger dish to share. Drinks and a champagne toast are included. (888) 849-4224, ext. 4
Utopia will host a New Year's Eve party. There's nothing special planned, just good times with good people. (There's also a Christmas party - the day after Christmas.) Utopia is at 406 Howard St. Free; (803) 733-2222
The last time I saw Zach Deputy perform was at Dave and Stephanie Britt's wedding in September, and I've been waiting to see him again since. Deputy, who plays Southern soul, folky pop and street-busker jams, will play at The White Mule before and after the balloon drops. He might play well into the first day of the year. The show starts at 8 p.m. The White Mule is at 1530 D Main St. (803) 661-8199
DJ Prince Ice, the DJ who can be heard on multiple local stations, will host "The Decade Jumpoff" New Year's Eve bash at Midtown Celebrations, 3400 Forest Drive. Of course, Ice will spin classic hip-hop, but there will also be a midnight breakfast buffet, drink specials and a laser light show. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $35. For more information, call (803) 318-6708.
Patrick Davis, the Camden native who now lives in Nashville writing songs - for himself and others such as Darius Rucker, Jason Michael Carroll and Lady Antebellum - is renting out 701 Whaley for his New Year's Eve Extravaganza. The evening will include music, a champagne toast, a midnight breakfast and the chance to hear a teaser of Davis' new album, which won't be officially released until spring. Davis will be backed by his father, Rusty, on guitar and Les Hall on piano. Joal Rush and Danielle Howle will also perform. The party starts at 8 p.m. 701 Whaley is at 701 Whaley St. $25 to $50. For more information, visit http://www.patrickdavismusic.com or call (803) 713-1000.
Do you remember an era when things were simple? Maybe if you're old enough. The era I'm talking about here is when big bands played every party. Now, bands with more than 10 pieces are hard to find (though you can go to Speakeasy every other Monday and hear a stout orchestra). Dick Goodwin's Big Band will continue its New Year's Eve residency at Newberry Opera House. If you go, you'll get the big band stylings of decades past, as well as champagne, great food and fireworks. (There's also a hotel, dinner and breakfast package available.) The opera house is at 1201 McKibben St., Newberry. $55; (803) 276-6264
- Otis R. Taylor Jr.