New Year’s Eve: Chris Robinson, Motorboats, Berry Bly, feasts

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood play Saint Rocke Saturday night.

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Saint Rocke

This booking qualifies as a musical extravaganza: Chris Robinson, who as lead singer of The Black Crowes sold 13 million records, brings his newly formed The Chris Robinson Brotherhood (curiously minus brother Rich) to Saint Rocke for a special New Year’s Eve show.

Since The Black Crowes burst on the scene with their multi-platinum selling Shake Your Money Maker back in 1989, Robinson never really had the grungier, living-out-of-your-van rock experience. He explained his decision to forgo stadium rock and industry convention itself with the new project – which has toured on and off all year and won’t record until January – in an interview with Marquee Magazine in October.

“If you have a new project, the conventional wisdom is that you make a record to start, right? But that’s not what we’re looking for,” Robinson said. “If the music business is really kind of over, like in the old ways, then how do we get an audience? Because, if you go and make an album right off the bat, you’ve already made decisions on some things that will probably change once you’ve played 50 or 60 shows. In my mind, I was like, ‘Let’s go out and see what this band is going to be. Let’s go see who we are. Let’s be a local band.’”
“In this day and age of just corporate nonsense — this apathy-driven pursuit of the middle —if you want your own ritual you have to make your own temple. And the only way to make your own temple, dude, is brick by brick. You know what I mean, man? I’ve always felt there is wisdom in the hands of the people who build the temple, as well as the people who preach there, or go there to worship. You’ve got to build it from the ground up. We love music and some people don’t get it. They go see U2 or whatever and it’s a nostalgic trip. That’s rock and roll tourism. It’s for tourists, dude. We’re locals. This is our little basement party that everyone’s invited. You’re amongst friends, so get as weird as you want.”
Tickets range from $120 to $200, and include an all-night hors d’oeuvres and an open bar (private table service at the upper end). See for info.
-Mark McDermott

Motorboatin’ bubbly at Suzy’s
The Motorboats are a new band out of El Segundo/Los Angeles, featuring Brett Hall on bass — otherwise known for his guitar, ukulele, and stomp box work in the El Segundo-based folk outfit Hang Dog Expression. But this ain’t folk music.
They describe their sound by painting a heavy picture: “We plan to extract cell nuclei from a frozen mammoth we dug up in Siberia and implant them in egg cells of the mammoth’s closest living relative, the elephant. We are hoping that the elephant will give birth to a real-live woolly mammoth. So, rock roll basically.”
Given the chance, I suggest it’s one part indie rock, 1/4 part punk, and 1/8 part pop. And yes, it is rock and roll.
Their biography reads: “When work childhood galaxies coalesce within a centroid of relative gravitational attraction (garage), the very fabric of space-time bends in new and indescribable ways only quantifiable by the unique audio signatures that are generated. Few, if any of these “wrinkles” in space-time have been detected and documented by direct observation alone, and raw data collected in the laboratory and the field is only now being interpreted and analyzed for the general public.”
Meaning: they’re jamming around town. Imminently speaking, they’re performing in a New Years Bash at Suzy’s Bar Grill in Hermosa Beach on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 7:30 P.M., with Panic Movement, E. Stern, Electric Tirade, and a surprise special guest. The event is free (no cover), includes champagne at midnight, and The Motorboats will have copies of their debut EP “The Motorboats… Shall Never Sink” available to snag. For more info on the band, see You can also listen to their EP, as well as Hang Dog Expression, on
– Jeff Vincent

Lou on the pier
Local legend Lou Giovannetti and His Big Band will headline the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce’s NYE Celebration at Pier Plaza beginning at 8:30 p.m. Giovannetti, the South Bay’s Sinatra, leads his 18 piece orchestra and will sing the iconic standards of the American big-band era. Festivities will also include a countdown to the New Year with a video replay of the ball drop in Times Square New York on a 9×12 foot video screen.

A very Berry NYE
The South Bay’s promoter extraordinaire Berry Bly has become well-known for his New Year’s Eve parties, and this year he has taken it to another level. Bly presents his New Year’s Eve Gala 2012 beginning at 9 p.m. at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, a huge celebration that features Vegas-style entertainment with multiple DJs spinning hip-hop, electro, house, top 40, old school and all your favorite dance and club tunes. The event features performance artists, dancers, laser light shows, multiple bars, two smoking patios, food trucks and a special midnight countdown. Advance pre-sale tickets are $45 (limited) and $55 for second tier. VIP tables are also available by reservation. Call 310-350-4927 or visit the website at

Sangria’s NYE Bash
Sangria is ringing in the New Year with a Las Vegas inspired party, featuring card games for prizes from 7 to 10 p.m., two dance floors and some of the best DJ’s around. Come in early for a special menu including Surf Turf and some amazing house specialties like Stuffed California Sea Bass or Beef Tenderloin. Their will be a video countdown with pre sale tickets only $20 for General Admission. For reservations and bottle service call 310.376.4412 or look up Sangria on Facebook.

Comedy Magic, Crowne Plaza, Chelsea
Crowne Plaza in Redondo Beach has established a NYE’s tradition, as well, and this year’s Annual Countdown features DJ Daddy D. Chelsea Pub and Lounge in Hermosa is establishing a tradition, with a $50 cover covering all you can drink from 9 p.m. onwards. And Hermosa’s venerable Comedy Magic Club has special night lined up, with Jay Leno, Larry Miller, and Carol Leifter bringing in the New Year’s with laughter.

Foodie’s NYE
Restaurants around the Beach Cities are throwing New Year’s eve parties with special servings for foodies. The Rockefeller in Hermosa Beach is offering chef-selected pairings with craft beers and wines and a “tapas festive” menu all night long. The menu include such items as seared duck breast, BBQ pork belly, ahi poke sliders, hamachi ceviche, Italian caprese salad, artesian cheeses, and a slate of champagnes. FishBar in North Manhattan Beach (ah, El Porto) is offering a Surf n’ Turf special that includes Canadian lobster tails and New York steak along with free champagne at midnight and $5 Absolut cocktails all night long. Lido di Manhattan has three different seatings – including a special ala carte menu with seatings at 6:30 an 8:30 p.m. and three-course celebration seatings beginning at 9:30 – and also featuring a jazz quartet and free champagne toasts at midnight. Hermosa’s newest restaurant, Palmilla, has early seating starting at 5:30 p.m. and late seating starting at 9 p.m. and a special four course menu (sister restaurant Baja Sharkeez also has a four-course, somewhat more budget-minded menu across Pier Plaza, and is also offering dancing paraphernalia for later in the evening, including glow sabers and glasses). Cousin Vinny’s Café in Torrance is offering an old school New Year’s Eve dinner, with a choice of a ribeye, bacon-wrapped fillet mignon, or char-grilled salmon with a baked potato, salad, homemade dessert, and a free bottle of champagne.

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