The House of Tudor

In Scotland, there is no holiday more important, or dire, than Hogmanay. We're talking Scots drunk on glug (an unhealthy combination of fruit, red wine, and vodka), eating haggis (a more unhealthy combination of lung, liver, and heart shoved into a sheep's stomach), reciting poetry to bagpipes (a still more unhealthy combination that does not include wearing underpants). Nurse! Hogmanay will be celebrated as always at the Edinburgh Castle on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 885-4074.

By this time next year you will be so sick and tired of Prince's "1999" that you'll want to string up the forward-thinking Artist by his 5-inch lifts and lash him into unconsciousness with his own silk-braided tassels. As for now, we can think with fondness on the inevitable welcoming song of the new millennium, so why not beat the rush and party with other overeager Prince fan-club card holders at a Purple New Year's Eve Party. You can watch Purple Rain and listen to "1999" until your eyes bulge out at the Casting Couch (950 Battery, between Green and Vallejo) on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15-19.99; call 986-7001.

Begun in the home of promoter Maurice Salinas -- with just one DJ and a potluck dinner -- the 18th annual Baile de Ano Nuevo now encompasses four ballrooms, four DJs, and eight hours of continuous live international music provided by El Salvadoran chart-topper Marito Rivero, Colombia's "King of Cumbia" Aniceto Molina, Uruguay's Los Iracundos, and Honduras' Garifuna Boys, along with San Francisco's own Orchestra Caliente, Orchestra Catkna Roja, Orchestra Julio Bravo, and Orchestra Sabor Latino. Baile de Ano Nuevo will be held at the Holiday Inn (1500 Van Ness) on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40; call 826-9446.

Last year, the "G-Spot" was unable to secure a New Year's Eve location for the first time since its inception. This left hundreds of gals wandering the streets without poppers or champagne -- a travesty that will not be repeated at the 10th annual G-Spot New Year's Eve Bash, which returns to its proper home at the Endup on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20-25; call 864-1457.

Discovered by Herb Alpert while doing Brazilian renditions of Beatles and Burt Bacharach songs, Sergio Mendes and his group Brasil '66 were among the quintessential leaders of the international cocktail music jet-set in the mid-'60s. Through the decades, Brasil '66 transmuted into Brasil '77 and Brasil '88, swinging the hips of highball tinklers worldwide. Join Mendes for the introduction of Brasil '99 at the Fairmont Hotel on Thursday, Dec. 31, with Vivendo de Pao opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $99; call 772-5021.

After an endless night of New Year's boozin' I can think of nothing more invigorating than an early morning jaunt down the coast, surrounded by exhaust fumes and the rending roar of several hundred choppers. Apparently, I'm not the only one: For 18 years, Harley lovers have been converging on the local Dudley Perkins Co. for coffee, doughnuts, and Dudley's New Year's Day Run, which thunders down the Peninsula, over the mountains, and into Santa Cruz where (you and) several hundred leather-clad bikers can sit down to brunch. No kidding. It's worth it if you can get to 66 Page on Friday, Jan. 1, by 8 a.m. Tickets are $20 and include coffee, doughnuts, a run pin, and brunch; call 703-9480.

Henry Darger was a polite, reclusive gentleman who worked at the same job and lived in the same apartment most of his life; it seems he had few friends and few needs. When he died, his landlord set upon the task of cleaning out Darger's apartment. Behind the door he found an alternate universe: hundreds of watercolor paintings and a 19,000-page narrative -- including charts, maps, battle plans, political alliances, and family histories -- that details the rich, and nearly complete, history of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War. If you are one of the few folks who spent no less than six to eight hours exploring Darger's chimerical world at the Yerba Buena exhibit last year, and if you have an untenable love of all things released on Skin Graft Records -- the Chicago now-wave label ingenious enough to lay claim to Flossie & the Unicorns, the Flying Luttenbachers, and Strangulated Beatoffs -- then you just might be able to glean Zeek Sheck & the Cloud People. Sheck is a rather frightening paranoiac with laptop, a clarinet, and a slew of robotic pets that dance to the mutilated opera their lady-creator forms with a slew of other slightly frightening, but terribly gifted, musician types. On Good Luck Suckers, Sheck (aka RPM the Fast) warns the unenlightened about an approaching Beeper, a giant fuzzy purple ball with eyes that has been reprogrammed by the evil Cloud People to bring chaos, destruction, and doom upon the planet Earth. Of course, there's more to it than that -- a telepathic tracking device called Snoothead the Snail, a gestalt amalgamation called Piggy the Finders, a volcanic green dragon, a fraudulent angelic coupling, a cyclotronic glider, semitamed eels, dream snatchers .... There's also more to the Best Big-Ass Bizarro Show of 1999 (brought to us by the lunatics at Vaccination Records): Rube Waddell with Porno Puppet Theater; Nine Wood with a full band; Two Dimension (Nils and Dawn "The Fawn" McCarthy) with tea; Tullulah Whippenfetch with blazing torches; Mark Growden with a washbasin, a banjo, and several old record players; Grand National Knives with ex-members of Fibulator, Giant Ant Farm, Molecules, and Din Triptych; Professor Pin's Puppet Show with Tina and her Billy Idol fetish; Toychestra with its first toy composition in over nine months; the Handshakes with their unicycles; and a whole lot of other very alarming things. The Best Big-Ass Bizarro Show will be held at the Paradise Lounge on Friday, Jan. 1, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8; call 861-6906

--Silke Tudor

 
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