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YET MORE NEW YEAR'S OPTIONS!

Elsewhere in this issue, you'll find info about a few ways to spend your New Year's Eve. Just about every joint in town has some sort of party planned, so there's lots of stuff that wasn't mentioned in depth there. Here are some other noteworthy ways to usher in the new year.

Perhaps it's somewhat natural to look back at the past as we move into the future, but nostalgia seems to be in vogue at some of these celebrations. As the Rialto Theatre will be featuring an '80s/'90s video dance party, across the street, Club Congress will look even further back: The downtown mainstay will feature a trip back to disco's glory days with its Studio 54 New Year's Eve Bash.

If the '70s were about anything, it was excess, and to go along with that, the club is attempting to break a record with the construction of what they're calling "the biggest disco ball in the history of the Western Hemisphere." They've also got two stages of entertainment: disco and funk band the Boogie Oogies on one, and Retro-lution DJ Sid the Kid spinning retro tunes on the other. They'll also have a photo booth to document your experience, just in case your memory needs a little refreshing the next day. Strangely, there's no mention of piles of cocaine or Bianca Jagger parading into the club on horseback.

Tickets to the bash are $25, and there are VIP options as well. Doors open at 8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 31. For more info, head to clubcongress.com, or call 622-8848.

A sampling of other options for the night: Stand-up comic Paula Poundstone delivering the giggles at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. (foxtucsontheatre.org, 547-3040); the Pigeon John All-Ages New Year's Eve Bash, featuring a host of local rappers including Sneaky Jay, Black One and Johnny Redd, at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. (rocktucson.com, 629-9211); Neon Prophet playing live reggae jams at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave. (huttucson.com, 623-3200); the Tucson Jazz Society's Annual New Year's Eve Gala featuring performances by Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Peter White and the Tucson Jazz Institute's Ellington Big Band at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. (tucsonjazz.org, 903-1265).


CONCLUDE 2012 WITH A BENEFIT (OR THREE)

In the spirit of the season, there are three excellent benefit shows happening this week.

Salem the Bear's Food Drive, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., will be a genre-hopping good time. This year's iteration of the annual show, which benefits the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, will feature performances by five local acts: Grateful Dead cover-band Top Dead Center; country diva LeeAnne Savage; country-rockers Chuck Wagon and the Wheelchairs; jack-of-all-genres Michael P.; and blues act the Bryan Dean Trio.

The show begins early, at 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 30, and a donation of $5 gets you through the doors.

A couple of days earlier, Congress will also play host to the Kool Shades End of the Year Reunion Show. In case you're a newbie to Tucson music, Kool Shades, who regularly performed a blend of reggae, rock and hip-hop around town until they went their separate ways, won the national John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2007. They're reuniting this week to raise money for their friend Larry Dorame, who recently won his second battle with throat cancer. Also on the bill are Captain Squeegee, Steff Koeppen and the Articles, Indigo Kids, and Como Se DJ. The Kool Shades End of the Year Reunion Show begins at 9:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 28.

For more information about either of these benefits, go to hotelcongress.com, or call 622-8848.

Multi-instrumentalist AmoChip Dabney's dance-party band The Amosphere will also be part of a food drive for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona at an 8:30 p.m. show on Saturday, Dec. 29, at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Admission is $5, or $4 with a nonperishable food donation. For details, head to boondockslounge.com, or call 690-0991.


ON THE BANDWAGON

Eyes Set to Kill, A Fall to Break and Maid Misery at The Rock on Saturday, Dec. 29; The Tryst, Dylan Charles and Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl at Plush on Friday, Dec. 28; Ex-Cowboy and Alli Shepler at Tucson Live Music Space on Saturday, Dec. 29; Justin Martinez CD-release show with Spiders Can Fly at Plush, next Thursday, Jan. 3; Billy Sedlmayr at La Cocina on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Have a safe, happy and healthy new year, everyone!


SO LONG, JIMMY

I began writing for the Tucson Weekly a very, very long time ago—more than 14 years ago, if we want to be a little more precise—and in that time, I've had four editors. There was a period where they came and went with such frequency that I became a little suspect of them. The relationship between editor and writer is a tricky one, with its share of head-butting, but at its root, it needs to be built on trust. It's hard to build that trust when you get the feeling your new editor already has one foot out the door.

Which is part of why, when Jimmy Boegle, whose last issue with the Weekly you're reading right now, came on board, I thought he'd last about a year. He was an out-of-towner, an ambitious guy who I figured was using the Weekly as a stepping-stone to the inevitable next gig. Well, a decade later, I can say, gladly, that I was wrong.

Jimmy's been the bossman for so long now that most of the people who write for this paper have never known anyone different in that role. And I, for one, have a difficult time remembering what things were like before he took the position.

What seemed like quirks when he first started have become the norm—whether it's his pet peeves in his editing style that I've catered to for so long that I now can't even remember what those quirks are, or the general personality quirks that we all have in one form or another. Those are also some of the things that, over time, have endeared him to me. Also: He's a great guy, a funny, whip-smart dude who has had his writers' backs in just about every situation that has arisen (and believe me, in 10 years of editing an alt-weekly, a lot of situations will come up). I, along with most of the other music writers (a slackerish bunch), have tested his patience greatly over the years, and Jimmy was never shy about giving us a tongue-lashing when we needed it. But I always truly got the sense that he was doing it not only to make his job a little less hectic, but also for the good of the paper.

The editor position at the Weekly is one that requires an awful lot of strengths and fortitude, and Jimmy has carried it off with aplomb. Perhaps Jimmy's greatest strength is that he was so successfully able to wear so many hats at once, and make it look fairly easy. Trust me, it's not.

Over the last decade, Jimmy has become a good friend, too, and he's the only editor I've had whom I can say that about. Several years ago, when I was in the hospital with an illness, he was one of the few people who came to visit me, and I've never forgotten that.

I've known about his plan to start a paper in the Coachella Valley for at least a couple of years now, and selfishly, I always dreaded the day he actually decided to do it. Well, that day is here, and I wish him all the luck in the world. It's an ambitious plan, but if anyone can pull it off, he can.

While I'm bummed to have Jimmy leaving the paper and Tucson, I couldn't be any more pleased about his replacement. Like Jimmy, new editor Dan Gibson is also a great guy, a funny, whip-smart dude—and that's just about where the similarities end. But, like Jimmy, Dan is incredibly passionate and excited about the job, and full of great ideas. While I know changes are coming—and I'm not very good with change, frankly—they're changes I'm actually excited about. An infusion of new blood is a good thing, and I have no doubt Dan will kick much ass here.

But that doesn't mean I won't miss Jimmy, because I will. And I say to him, from the bottom of my heart: Thanks, dude.

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