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Whether you worship the sweet little baby Jesus, grown-up zombie Jesus, or a magical fat man in red, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. It's Christmases (Christmasi?) like this, where the money is tight (or nonexistent), but the dog doesn't die, or the plane doesn't blow up, that make you appreciate the important things in life. I for one, however, don't think I'll be missing 2009 all that much.

I will, on the other hand, miss the Rocket Room a whole hell of a lot. Pay your respects, and your tabs, Thursday, Dec. 31 with New Beard's Eve Spectacular, one last night of dank and dirty rock 'n roll tomfoolery, hosted by a most distinguished group of party throwers, the Kiowa Kartel. Dance contest, give-aways, etc. ... Rocket Room, R.I.P., your mission may have been aborted, but the fetus of rock 'n roll lives on!

In other news, the Modbo hopes you'll join them in the alley (yowza!) on New Year's for an alt.rockin' good time with co-owner Brett Andrus' band Aria Tari as well as Velvet Radio and Denver's gothicana monster, Munster Boogie. If not, you will certainly want to catch up with them on Jan. 2, as they will be presenting an intimate Saturday evening with contemporary bluesman John-Alex Mason. One of just a handful of area shows from the former Springer, this is a seated affair, limited to just 40 lucky guests, so I suggest calling 633-4240, posthaste, to reserve your spot.

Looking to spice up your new year? They are throwing a New Year's Eve Samba Party at Cucuru Gallery (2332 W. Colorado Ave.). "A nice amiable affair," promises guitarist and vocalist Barbara Ernst, best known locally for her work with Mistura Bela (Beautiful Mixture), "like having a party at your own house, but no worries, no clean-up!" The $25 cover includes an evening of dancing (tango, swing, salsa) in between sets of Brazilian, Spanish & jazz standards by Ernst, who will be joined by guitar virtuoso Wayne Wilkinson, as well as party favors, tapas, and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Further up the Avenue, there are two notable New Year's parties in Manitou, which, with a little encouragement, could easily become a national hotspot for a booming alt/anti/folk movement. First up, Tenderfoot Bluegrass is staking a claim at the Keg Lounge (730 Manitou Ave.) with an evening of traditional bluegrass, originals and "grassed up rock 'n roll." Then, in what could prove to be the wildest rumpus in town, the Ancient Mariner hosts a full-blown brouhaha (or hullabaloo, if you prefer) starting at 8 p.m. with the Wagon Tongue String Band, followed by the Jack Trades. Creating a Newsense will take over from there. Manitoids can crawl home, the rest of you better call a cab.

On to the New Year, Jan. 1 is the closing reception for the 20.09 show at Rubbish. Serving also as a hair-of-the-dog "hangover recovery party," they will feature "The Dudes of Folk," not a band, mind you, but a collective of, um ... dudes, most of whom perform not as individual dudes, but as "one-dude" folk bands. Included dudes include John Stelec, Briffaut, Tiny Coffins, Roger Brought His A-Game, Tall City and the Pachisi Champion. Dudes. Not bands. Confused?

Me too! Smell you next year.

Send news, pix and belated Xmas cheer to adam@csindy.com.

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