Plan your New Year's Eve outing

As I write this, regular entertainment columnist, Sam Bauman, is somewhere in the Midwest, visiting family members and probably looking longingly for some kind of hills to ski. If the conditions are right, I wouldn't be surprised if said family members woke up one morning to the slicing sound of Sam cutting sharp turns in the fresh powder on somebody's rooftop. No matter, Sam will be back writing his column and skiing his beloved Sierra next week.

In the meantime, there's always drinking. What I mean to say is, it's never too early to begin planning one's New Year's Eve outing. Of course, in some families, New Year's Eve begins somewhere around Dec. 24.

While purists (read: Incorrigible drunks), like the late poet Charles Bukowski, advocate not drinking on the holiday and deride it as "Amateur Night," there are some interesting events coming up. And there is always an assortment of great bars here in Carson City. Speaking of which, the Lucky 7 bar on North Carson Street had a close call last week when a silver Suburban rammed into the facade, strangely enough, right under the sign that reads "Bar Entrance."

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According to owner Willy Webb, the historic Genoa Bar will be cutting the lights this New Year's Eve for the second annual Genoa Bar Unplugged Party. That means "no jukebox, slot machines, television, or even electric lights" at Nevada's oldest thirst parlor. To really turn back time, they have gotten musician Ray James to play trumpet starting at 9 p.m. The event includes a complimentary champagne toast and party favors at midnight, with no cover charge. As a survivor of the "Great New York City Blackout of 2003," I can attest the power that candlelight and oil lamps add to a few cocktails. From what I remember, it was a good time. Bars were practically the only thing open that night, and having no TV, jukebox or electrical distractions gave everything a very timeless appeal. This is, of course, put together from very vague recollections.

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There's also the New Year's Eve dance at the Brewery Arts Center, 8 p.m. to midnight. Live music by Wild Sage; potluck desserts/finger foods and champagne or sparkling cider at midnight. All ages welcome; $10 adults ($12 at the door), $6 children. Call Darla at 883-9351.

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Of course, if you drink too much, you might end up strapped in the back of an ambulance. Skip the alcohol poisoning and overindulge in my pick for rock album of the year: Ambulance LTD's self-titled debut CD. Seven of the tracks can still be heard for free online at

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Just do the world a favor ... don't forget a designated driver, or at least write down the number of a cab service. Here, I did the work for you: Capitol Cab Company serves all of Carson City. 885-0300.

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Of course, starting Saturday, you'll want to check out "The Nutcracker Ballet - All Jazz'd Up" performed by danceSpirit at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St. Reserved seating only; call 884-1066. Forget cracking nuts - this one smashes watermelons like Gallagher on speed.

Sam Bauman will return next week.


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