Dear readers! Hello and welcome back to reality, assuming a good portion of you have had the privilege to be away from work for at least a few days -- days you likely filled with copious amounts of food and/or alcohol. (It's ok. That's what the holidays are for.)
Did you make any New Year's resolutions? [Ed. note: I know that's a terrible question, and I'm sorry for asking it.] If, however, at the top of your list is a bright red glaring "SAVE MONEY" -- well, let's just say you're not alone. What better way to kick off a year of entertainment on the cheap than with a week full of activities for $20 and under?
Here you are, friends. The first Cheap Date of 2016.
Wednesday, Jan. 6: Lemmy and Classic Albums: Motorhead - Ace of Spades celebration at the Chapel, SF. The dearly beloved, recently departed metal icon was a hard-partying, take-no-BS, yet incredibly endearing one of a kind -- and he would absolutely want you to pay your respects by going to a bar. This double feature includes two documentaries full of heavy metal and real-life debauchery. For free! Details here.
Thursday, Jan. 7: Goodnight, Texas at the Independent, SF. Named for a tiny town at the midway point between the songwriters' hometowns, this Americana four-piece nevertheless claims San Francisco as home base. Expect foot-stomping, whiskey-drinking, a surprisingly haunting ballad or two, and a hefty dose of humor. Openers Whiskey Shivers throw a helluva party too. Details here.
Friday, Jan. 8: Lil Debbie at the Phoenix, Petaluma. Like Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, it may be that the White Girl Mob -- the counter-intuitive Oakland crew of sh*t-talking, weed-smoking girls who brought you Kreayshawn ("Gucci Gucci") and V-Nasty, among others -- were made to fall apart. No matter: Lil Debbie charges ahead with a solo album and a brand that's, well, if not trailblazing, certainly blazing. Here she opens for Baeza, a MC from Fresno. $20; details here.
Saturday, Jan. 9: Mortified at the New Parish, Oakland. Got a high school diary just begging to be mined for comedic value? Have I got the event for you. "Personal redemption through public humiliation" is the motto at this interactive show, where adults from all walks of life share the stories that made them cringe as teens -- and will likely have you crying with laughter by the time they're over. $14 - $20; details here.
Saturday, Jan. 9: Vandella at Smiley's Schooner Saloon, Bolinas. Just past Stinson, at the edge of a piece of Marin County land its residents don't really want you to know about, lies the magical coastal land of Bolinas. And in that land, you'll find a more-than-a-century-old bar hosting one of my favorite San Francisco indie-rock/soul outfits, fronted by a dynamic male/female duo (one-half of whom is the deceptively diminutive Tracey Holland, who's something like the lovechild of Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin, minus a lot of drugs). Details here.
Sunday, Jan. 10: No Pants BART Ride, all over the Bay Area. Let's not make this more complicated than it is. While the tradition of a pantsless subway ride supposedly originated in New York City, leave to the Bay Area to take public nudity to new heights. Or depths, ie, under the Bay. You don't have to participate, but this is one instance in which, uh, you'll probably see some things -- and there's really no point in saying something. (Details for 2015's event here, stay tuned for updated info).