n On New Year's Eve, Café Kanichi-Wa (1117 S. Grand Ave. E) presents, exclusively for your entertainment pleasure, a wild and ferocious battle of the bands pitting Springfield Shaky against Perfunctory This Band for a fight to the finish from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Audience members are asked to drink to their chosen point of inebriation and to be prepared for nonstop music as these two titans of the local music scene duke it out, set by set, song by song.
n What's this -- are we becoming cool and hip here in the capital city? The Warehouse (2548 S. First St.) features Copper on New Year's Eve, and Club 217 (3075 Normandy Rd.) hosts Magna-Fi on Monday. Both bands are hot on rock radio and will come ready to blast out the jams and show the world that they're prepared to wear the mantle as the latest and greatest band to sing sweetly and rock hard. Visit wqlz.com for Copper info and springfieldconcertweb.com for the lowdown on Magna-Fi; I really doubt that you'll find any cross-information on the Web sites. More on that later.
n Your MOM wants you to be at Floyd's Thirst Parlor (212 S. 5th St., 217-522-2020) every Monday to listen to good music and to behave yourself while having a pleasant time. What's wrong with this idea? Nothing, if you've got a mom like that, but if you don't (and who does?), just play along, understanding we're talking about Your Monday Open Mic. The weekly event, hosted by Eric Welch and the Disputes, features a different artist each Monday in a half-hour set before the stage is opened up to all comers. Sara Schneider is the honored guest for Jan. 3.
n First Night Springfield hosts another fine collection of area musical groups making the last difficult decision of the old year deciding where to go. The event has something for just about everyone, featuring folk, bluegrass, blues, jazz, gospel, youth, and classical music. We have received no confirmed reports of any zany zealots on zithers and xylophones or dancing debutantes on didgeridoos from Timbuktu, but maybe that's a good thing. Many of the shows are being presented in the Hoogland Center for the Arts; others are scattered around downtown at various venues within walking distance of the center. Happy Gnu Year to you, too.