Our second year of coexisting with Covid-19 is drawing to a close, and the cruelties of yet another holiday with covid can feel overwhelming. As Joan Didion, who died this week, wrote in “Where I Was From,” “There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.”
Even so, the moment we confront loss, hope sprouts.
And, there are some good things happening during the New Year holidays.
On New Year’s Eve:
Ride Muni free on New Year’s Eve from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
A film on New Year’s Eve
Roxie Theater will show “Transmissions: Strange Days (35MM)” on Dec. 31 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
New Year’s Eve, 1999; Los Angeles is at the brink of collapse. Devastated by personal and professional failure, Lenny (Ralph Fiennes) sells virtual reality-aided memories in the underworld. After receiving a disc from a woman on a run, he finds himself and his confidant (Angela Bassett) embroiled in a vast conspiracy involving his ex-girlfriend (Juliette Lewis), police corruption and the fate of the city.
Conceptualized by James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow, “Strange Days” captures the turbulence of the media-saturated early ‘90s: A sci-fi noir-tinged vision of the future rooted in voyeurism and racism that remains shockingly potent well into the 21st century. More information is here.
The night of music
Between 9 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, Mark Farina, The Sponges, divaDanielle & Michio will perform at 161 Erie St.
Mark Farina has solidified himself in the world of Dance Music as a trailblazing DJ, producer, tastemaker and bona fide House Music icon. After three decades crisscrossing the globe, he shows no signs of slowing down, remaining innovative, humble and firmly rooted in the underground.
The Sponges have been bringing their blend of classic disco vibes and modern day production techniques to dancefloors all over. Be prepared for the future of funk, the dukes of disco, the lords of lowend, the czars of certified bangers, the emperors of ecstasy, the rulers of the rave, the bassline bastards and the gods of groove. More information is here.
Other events and noteworthy information:
Indoor shows at The Chapel
Rolling out of the mist and dust and silence of time, Ty Segall is behind the wheel of a sleek new ride, a confetti of pages torn from his ongoing saga blizzarding into the air behind him. With “Harmonizer,” his first album in two years, Ty glides smoothly into unexpected territory, right where he likes to find himself. Responding to the challenge his new songs gave him — a synth-tastic production redesign — Ty kicks back with bottom-heavy creativity, dialing up a wealth of guitar and keyboard settings to do the deed.
The event will run from 8 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 30. More information here.
Virtual cooking class
New Year. Thank goodness! But some old challenges persist: Tired of takeout, hungry and no time for complicated shopping or cooking? Join 18 Reasons online and let Mike show you how to roast a whole chicken. Students will roast the bird on a pile of juicy, tender leeks and crisp up a rainbow of cute potatoes in the chicken fat that renders in the cooking. Maybe most importantly, as we begin cooking for more than just ourselves, Chef Mike will show you how to properly carve the bird when it is done, ready for the delicious pan gravy we make from the drippings!
The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 4. More information is here.
SF Public Library: Virtual Mission Branch meeting
San Francisco Public Library is holding a third community meeting about the Mission Branch renovation and the plans to open a temporary site for in-person service during the construction period. The meeting will cover the exact same content that was reviewed at two previous in-person meetings on Saturday, Dec. 4, and Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the Mission Branch Library.
The event will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 6. Click here for registration.
Manny’s is hiring
Donate to a musical
A new musical with an apropos title, “Coming Soon,” was scheduled to debut at Z Space this past year. Instead, Rachel Lark, the show’s writer, was given the gift of time to connect with her work and collaborate with her team.
Lark said, “As an artist who is used to doing everything herself and achieving results through brute force, I was forced by the pandemic to relax into what happens when there’s space to breathe and others are allowed into the process in a big way. Now, after two years of gingerly sitting with the material and finding a stellar team, I feel that I and the show are emerging from the cocoon, ready to take flight. I’m so excited to premiere this show at Z Space, which couldn’t be a more perfect venue for this new work, and I’m proud to share what’s been stewing for the past two years.”
Link for donation is here.
Community Music Centre sessions
“CMC Sessions: Traditions Moving Forward” will begin in January, 2022, and will showcase the talents of ten CMC faculty members from diverse classical and non-classical traditions. The online presenters will use video, audio and lecture-demonstrations to illustrate the influences and musical education that shaped them, and to highlight how their unique interests impact their teaching and performing at CMC.
The free series will be broadcast live through Zoom on Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. Students, faculty, and friends of the CMC community are welcome. More information is here.