Herman's Picks

O'er this fortnight of blessing and cheers there will be stiff drink and music to be had every single merry day. Treat these calendars in this issue as a rough guide for your party planning into the New Year. Once we go to print and distribute the current issue, I will be at home in my wireless kerchief updating the calendars online every day at www.jacksonfreepress.com . Check back often for the most up to date information in town.

After your stocking has emptied the first must see show is a W.C. Don's on Sunday, Dec. 26. The Jackson/Oxford college pop protégés of Neilson Hubbard, aka. Trent Dabbs and Betsy Roo will lay down their luxurious vibe of heart aching acoustic harmony for this 18 and up show. Their separate solo CD releases of 2004 were among the most organic and original singer/songwriter discs from the modern south this year.

The next post-Christmas treats on Wednesday, Dec. 29 are discounted with advanced tickets at Be-Bop. Gerald Levert and his dad Eddie Levert of legendary O'Jays fame will bring soul to the Jackson Coliseum. Tickets for this spirited R&B transformation are also available at the door. Just up the road at Hal & Mal's the North Mississippi Allstars return to liven up the big back room at 8 p.m. $14 tickets at Be-Bop, or add a few bucks on the day of show at the door. Also on this jam packed hump day you'll find the New Orleans Southern Jam Funk-Rock of Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives for free at George Street. Before Billy formed the acclaimed "Brides of Jesus," he was in a Grateful Dead cover band at 17, having been weaned on the Age of Aquarius by his parents who were at Woodstock. Billy Iuso and his Restless Natives will be performing new material from his solo CD out this month, in all the funky jam stylings that the Brides are famous for.

Start your New Year's Eve off early. You'll find venues all over town with several bands slated to rock the night beginning at 7 p.m. and going well into the early morning hours. There will be music upstairs and downstairs at George Street. Lynn Drury and the Kool Filter Kings kick things off downstairs from 7-10 p.m. Local southern rock favorites Taylor Grocery Band, Cary Hudson and friends take charge upstairs starting at 10:30 p.m. Downtown the Joint will host a quadruple 93.9 heavy rock and metal bill with Cheating Elvis, Bullet Well Spent, Severed Offering, and Beneath.

W.C. Don's will host two shows on New Year's Eve. The 7 p.m. show is an all-ages alt.rock show with Misha Hercules, and At Cliff's End, and guests. The Canadian born newcomer to the Jackson scene, Misha Hercules returns to kick off the Don's 21 and up show at 10 p.m. Misha's sonorously deep voice of suave wallpaper echoes an edgy high-energy, guitar driven alt.rock blend of Iggy Pop, Gino Vannelli, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and early INXS. He does a mean cover of "Five to One" by the Doors, and "Only Shallow" by My Bloody Valentine. His new band is getting really tight, pulling in talented musicians from all over the tri-state area. Misha Hercules is the artist to watch in 2005. Following Misha on the late show is rock and rollers Lately David.

The All-Ages rock shows continue to grow huge as we kick off 2005 with the next evolution of Fletcher, Colour Revolt will be joined by Anathallo at the Joint downtown on Monday, Jan. 3. See what all the kids are talking about.

We understand the need to celebrate the old away and the new in with great enthusiasm. The JFP and Budweiser are sponsoring your New Year's Eve safe ride home should your designated driver give in to temptation or bail out on you. Don't drive; the bartenders at most of the local bars have cab faire vouchers and will call the free cab for you, to keep the start of your new year happy.

Afroman is slated to perform at 105 Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 6. Call or check online before you go. Weeknight Afroman and 105 shows often get shuffled to the weekend. As I get more info I will be updating the online loungelist and music calendars, so keep checking in for the latest offerings for your party pleasures.

Herman Snell


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