Since, according to the ancient Mayans, this may have been the last New Year's Eve ever, I wanted to mix it up a bit and start at a new place, and end up at a comfortable old friend. Feeling a bit nostalgic for Zanies Too, I started the night off at Daddy Real's The Place on 96th Street. This was where Gene Deer, a Zanies' institution, was holding court. I would end the night at the historic Melody Inn with Raw Meat, time-proven porn-core pioneers, whose guitarist, Capt. Steele was a long time sound man at Zanies Too.
Daddy Real's The Place sits nestled among the car dealerships, meat markets and upscale casual dining establishments of the Keystone Ave./96th Street area. It sits behind a fake Irish bar, and next to a Subway. However, when you walk into the place, it's got a comfortable vibe with a clean layout and a friendly staff. The specialty seemed to be tricked-out martinis for the ladies, and steaks for the men. The Steak Diane I had was perfectly cooked and featured a piece of beef as good as what you would get across the street at Eddie Merlot's (and at half the price).
Gene Deer (who has a new record produced by Paul Mahern in the pipeline) rocked a nearly full house, pulling out tasty originals like "Everybody Knows (The Blues Got Soul)," "Don't Turn Your Back On The Blues" and "Too Far Gone." He mixed those with rowdy covers by Van Morrison, Santana and more. With a full schedule heavy on blues and roots artists, but also featuring people like The Elect and Danny Thompson, The Place is making a scene that has the best shot in ages at being a success. They're bringing original, live music to the land of cover bands like Zanna-Doo and Dave and Rae.
After high-tailing it to 38th and Illinois, I got to the Mel right at the stroke of midnight. The air was filled with the sounds of thousands of gunshots (I think I even heard a uzi or two). It was a trippy way to start off the new year. Then, I was in the sweet, warm bosom of Punk Rock Night, where there were smiling faces all up and down. DJ Jewy Ramone was spinning some groovy tunes, and Dave and Rob presided over a bar teeming with a rowdy crowd that was letting it all hang out. Ah, yeah. I felt right at home.
The Down-Fi pulled out a nice set of power-trio goodness that was highlighted by a grand version of "So Cold." Then, it was time for the return of Raw Meat. Full of local legends like Captain Steele, Rapper Slammie and Buddy Ingram, these guys let loose a tight set of flithy Raw Meat raunch. Tunes like "Janitor in a Women's Prison," "Butt Juice" and "Mercy Fuck" set the place on fire. By the time they ended the night with their hit, "I Wanna Fuck," it felt like the ghost of the eighties and nineties-era Patio had taken over the Mel. Here's to hoping for a lot more of the same in 2012.