The Bright Side

So, I've started writing this thing about eight times now, each time trying not to inject my tiresome doom-and-gloom outlook on New Year's Eve into the piece and each time failing. But this time, if it kills me, I'm going to try really hard to pull a smile and focus for once not on the shortcomings of the year past and the all-but-guaranteed disappointment of the year to come, but instead on how genuinely fun it is going to be to get so drunk that temporal distinctions like past and future cease to have any meaning. I'm not normally one to encourage such irresponsible behavior, but it's New Year's, and if you've secured a sober ride home, then drink 'em if you got 'em. After all, I think it's important to remember that the Native Americans (some of them anyway) used to say that vomiting from indulgence of “spiritual” intoxicants was not “getting sick,” but rather “getting well.” I think they were referring to drugs such as peyote—not Jäger—but it's at least a good line to use on your date as he's holding your hair back in the parking lot.

So, yes, by all means, celebrate!

But what if you're tired of all the glitz and glamour of Orange County? What if you want to experience a New Year's Eve slumming it with those hip and thrillingly dangerous punk rockers in Long Beach? Won't your friends be astounded at your bravery as you rub shoulders with the kind of rough trade one would usually associate with some kind of lawless Casablancian border town?

Well, I guarantee the most fun you could possibly have on New Year's (for under 50 bucks) will be found at Alex's Bar, Long Beach's venerable punk-rock tavern, as the New Year is rung in by some of the best DJs you'll see this side of the South Coast Plaza Nordstrom. It's free, the drinks are cheap, and the music will be amazing as DJs Dennis Owens, Chronica and Ikey Owens spin music that will literally pick you up by the waist of your jeans and spin you out onto the dance floor. Just be sure to designate a driver. The cab fare back to Irvine's gonna kill you.

Dance Party 2006 featuring DJ Dennis Owens (Goodfoot), DJ Chronica (Bitches Brew) and DJ Ikey Owens (Mars Volta) at Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292; Sun., noon-2 a.m. Free. 21+.

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