Unless, of course, silence is the sort of thing that drives you batshit. Then you're in the position of having to wonder what the hell to do with your semineurotic, hyperactive little self. Here's a partial list of holiday relief.
For most folks, Christmas is devoid of any genuine religious sentiment -- barring the post-holiday sale at Thrift Town -- but the Grammy-winning 55-piece Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir can inflate even the most shriveled Grinchy heart with a gush of hope, joy, and unity. At least 30 of the 55 will be performing at Slim's on Wednesday, Dec. 24, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $12; call 255-0333.
A real-life heartwarming holiday story: Once upon a time the villainous owners of the Hotel Utah insisted that the bar remain open on Christmas Eve. This made bar manager Guy Carson very sad, so sad in fact that he could not bring himself to force one of his employees to work the shift. So, on the fateful night, Carson himself climbed behind the bar, where he donned a bright-red Santa's hat and began mixing up batches of rum-filled eggnog. When the concoction was complete, he gave it away freely to anyone who was there. Within hours the short and tall, big and small, and lonely and alcoholic were filled with rosy-cheeked holiday cheer. A tradition was born. You may partake of Carson's, um, seasonal spirit at the Hotel Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m. Admission is free; call 421-8308.
Christmas means tinsel, and no one loves Tinseltown more than Bud E. Luv. Every year on Christmas night, the self-proclaimed "King of Lounge" offers a special show for the kind of people who pack their own mistletoe. Luv has been honing his elevator-music chic for 10 years now; his naughty carols are sure to drive the secretaries wild. Luv puts the cheesy back in Christmas at the Paradise Lounge on Thursday, Dec. 25, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10; call 861-6906.
For those looking for something even smoother to wind down with, check out the astral jazz, drum 'n' bass, and trip-hop rhythms of Hellaphonic at the Elbo Room on Thursday, Dec. 25, with DJs Soulspot, Al Simmons, and Aural B. kicking off the night at 9 p.m. Tickets are $4 or $3 with a can of food; call 552-7788.
Here's an S.F. holiday tradition-in-the-making: For the second year, Sonic Youther Thurston Moore performs at Slim's on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas, traditionally a legal holiday in Britain) with NYC free-noise musician Tom Surgal and Bay Area percussionist William Winant. Expect big, electric, free-rein improvisation that burns flesh and moves dumpsters. Moore, Surgal, and Winant perform at Slim's on Friday, Dec. 26, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $14-15; call 255-0333.
Need still more holiday fun? "PopScene," the longtime Britpop dance night, celebrates in its WASP-y way with more Anglo dance faves than a crumpet has crannies. DJs Aaron Axelsen and Omar spin pop from Bowie to Oasis, and although for legal reasons we can't actually tell you there will be complimentary snacks, champagne, and booze, you get the hint. The "PopScene" holiday party will be held at 330 Ritch on Saturday, Dec. 27, at 10 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 541-9574.
Last but not least, "Groovie Movie Soundtracks" happily supplies us with a sampling of all the best soundtrack reissues from 1997. You know, the ones we didn't receive as gifts because all of our friends suck -- Seven Golden Men, Batman, Lady in Cement, Sweden -- Heaven and Hell, Groupie Girl, Foxy Brown, The Party, and Russ Meyer's complete collection. You can tune in to KUSF-FM 90.3 on Sunday, Dec. 28, between 7 and 8 p.m.
-- Silke Tudor