For someone who has been featured in Bizarre magazine, the Angry Amputees' Salty Dalty is a deeply normal guy. He likes to rock out, he likes girls (and girls like him), and he likes to get drunk with his friends. Under all that normality is a resilient, bighearted, hardworking man. Sounds like your average punk band member, doesn't it? The thing is, he's a quadruple amputee, so people think he's weird. But he's not. Sure, he plays bass in spite of having no fingers (he plays with his hands), but more important, his group is loud and jumpy and the kids go nuts for it. Dalty, guitarist Stacey Dee, guitarist/lead singer Gonz, and drummer Gin put on shows that are usually packed with bouncy, happy young folks with "bad" attitudes and pink hair.
Start your year sweaty. The Hollow Point and the AAs play at 8 p.m.; Watch It Burn, Tiltwheel, the Lucky Stiffs, and the Lonely Kings continue at 9 at Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St. (at Wisconsin), S.F. Admission is $6; call 503-0393 or visit www.theeparkside.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Old-school vaudeville packs 'em in in the Bay Area, where sizable crowds show up to see lively events combining songs, skits, movement, and comedy. But two decades ago, when a group of local eccentrics invited some of their out-there performer friends to do their thing at an art gallery opening, eclectic cabaret sounded as freaky to most people as a peanut butter and petroleum jelly sandwich. Nonetheless, that first Anon Salon was a hit -- and ever since, its creators have thrown great big wonderful parties. We're particularly fond of the annual end-of-the-year bash Sea of Dreams, which in this installment boasts music from Lost at Last, Sound Tribe Sector 9, and Mutaytor (among others), along with turns by fire dancers, DJs, circus acrobats, and burlesque lovelies. The crowds cheer starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Regency Center, 1300 Van Ness (at Sutter), S.F. Admission is $75; call 864-1238 or visit www.anonsalon.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
To a Tea
Who Needs Champagne?
How is it that a ptisan-and-infusion joint seems such a guilty pleasure? T-dances, we've heard, are full of debauchery, but the atmosphere at Samovar, while lively, is pretty darn innocent. So why do we feel sneaky for wanting it so bad? Easy: It's the food. For New Year's Eve, the cafe's owners have gone all out, providing a five-course meal with matched teas. Mushroom tartlettes and Silver Needle pu-erh, maple-chocolate glazed blini with a strong Russian black -- indulge yourself. Dinnertime is 10 p.m. at 498 Sanchez (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is $48 (reservations are required); call 626-4700 or visit www.samovartea.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser