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Out with the Old, In with the New

The top New Year’s Eve events the East Bay has to offer. Plus a few in San Francisco.



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9 p.m., $27–$35.

Namaste New Year's Yoga

Every year, when that clock strikes midnight, all the hopefuls blow a resolution into the confetti-filled air, promising that this year will finally be the one in which they get it together. But as they awake with a hangover on New Year's Day, that promise is overshadowed by a headache, and the hopes for better health consciousness and work efficiency slowly dwindle. But that doesn't have to be the case. Those who want to get a good start on self-care in 2015, and could use a bit of help doing it, can enter a workshop at Namaste Yoga. On New Year's Eve, the high-end yoga studio's Grand Lake location (3229 Lakeshore Ave.) will be offering a session from 6–8:30 p.m. that will focus on building intention and making mental and emotional space for new things to come. Instructor Antonia Fokken will guide the class through posture practice, deep release poses, guided meditation, a writing session, and restorative yoga ($40). On New Year's Day, instructor Sadie Chanlett-Avery will host a special workshop from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. called "New Year's Day: Declutter and Renovate," at Namaste Rockridge (5416 College Ave.). Through yoga and meditation, attendees will clear stress, set intentions, and organize their insides to a healthy stasis ($25). — S.B.

Extra Action Marching Band

It's hard to convincingly argue that a background in high school marching band competitions is actually cool. At least, it's hard with words, but the Extra Action Marching Band, a mobile San Francisco institution of brass and drums, routinely proves its potential for unparalleled hipness in those cumbersome instruments and weird helmets that so many awkward teenagers gravitate toward for a sense of belonging. Appearing on New Year's Eve at Brick & Mortar Music Hall (1710 Mission St., San Francisco), the Extra Action Marching Band features flag spinning, varying degrees of nudity, and, if a recent sighting can be believed, fake body parts grotesquely affixed to exposed skin. Cabaret flair crossed with paradiddle glee and wheezing horns — it's John Philip Sousa's nightmare, the stifled band geek's dream, and an ensemble format typically associated with militarism and authority twisted into the service of chaos. — S.L.

9 p.m., $30–$35.

Museum of Exotica

Last week, the Express published a cover story by Anna Pulley called “The Power of No.” In part, the story described a rising culture of events that center around sexiness, but don’t involve sex. Among these events are Second Base parties and Underground Sexy parties hosted by a local duo that goes by Club Exotica. For those who were excited by our story, and want to ring in the new year by bringing their sex positivity to the next level, the promoters are hosting a new year’s party called Museum of Exotica ($40–$80). To apply for admission, each person must fill out a form that asks for a description of his or her “sexiness” level, a recent photo, and a link to his or her Facebook profile. Once in, every attendee is required to wear a playful outfit that exemplifies “full self-expression,” and would definitely turn heads on the street. The idea is to create a safe atmosphere that encourages people to play and explore with others in ways that they would normally feel uncomfortable doing, while also practicing strict consent principles. Although the location is only disclosed to those cleared for admission, the event description promises “twisted stairways, hidden coves and rooms, Balinese beds ... gorgeous carpets, and sensual altars” among other intimate décor. Guests may arrive beginning at 9 p.m., but from 11:30 on, the doors will be closed for the “ceremony” to take place. Doors will re-open from 2–3:30 a.m. to welcome people with half price tickets, then close again for continued music and performances until the experience ends with drumming at 7 in the morning. This event is obviously not for everyone, but if you’re interested in something really different this year, here’s your chance. There’s room for 400, and the promoters are sure it will sell out. — S.B.

Con Funk Shun

There's a reason Con Funk Shun has been sampled by Madlib, The Coup, and Toro y Moi, among countless others: The classic East Bay funk outfit is composed of alchemists — players who, when gathered together with instruments in a room, transubstantiate sound into the force we call "groove." Every producer wants groove on her records. Every rapper wants groove beneath his flow. Con Funk Shun made thirteen albums between 1973 and 1986 and landed dozens of singles on the R&B charts. An early hit, "Clique," showcases the act's dialed-in take on instrumental party-funk, while chatter, clinking glasses, and claps busy the background. After the group disbanded, vocalist Felton Pilate produced M.C. Hammer's early successes, effectively bridging generations of homegrown East Bay artists. Returning due to popular demand, Con Funk Shun appears this New Year's Eve to groove at Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero West, Oakland). — S.L.


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