A Nicodemus New Year’s Party 2K6

With six bands playing all night, it wouldn’t be fair to call the Nicodemus’ New Years Party just a “party.” “Festival” would be a better word choice. Still, the Iron Post on Dec. 31 should provide ample time for the drinking and fun that good patrons need on that night before their resolutions come into effect.

Traditionally, New Years Eve shows have remained underrated on the musical calendar. It’s too cold to hang outside at festivals or an amphitheatre, and good music usually isn’t on anyone’s mind when they’re that drunk.

Staying sober, however, affords a concert-goer some interesting experiences. Phish played a memorable show for the millennium (the highest attended concert that night) and Guided by Voices ended their long and twisted trip in Chicago a few years ago. Bands, freed from the corporate go-around of a tour, like to experiment, often playing some interesting covers.

This show should be no different. Some of Champaign-Urbana’s best will be there, including Headlights, The Beauty Shop and Shipwreck.

Headlights’ indie-pop will light up the night. Their dynamic is always interesting, straddling the line between precious and grungy. Singer Erin Fein’s voice can be harsh and shrill, but that’s part of the appeal. Their music is rough around the edges, but it has a shiny, ’80s pop pedigree beneath it.

Second on the bill for the evening is The Beauty Shop, a band that seems at times to be an exercise in irony. John Hoeffleur sings with an overly expressive baritone that often overwhelms the simple acoustic melodies. Flailing around isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s very distinctive, absolutely sure of its place.

Shipwreck is the prototypical college-rock band: slightly tuneless, feedback-driven, but very spare. Most of their songs sound like the bastard-children of the 1980s, R.E.M., with a little less lyrical dexterity and more rock and roll crunch.

Rounding out the bill are Fireflies, Coco Coca and Watery Domestic, whose praises from the indie-rock community are still forthcoming.

All promise an interesting night, especially with the obligatory New Year’s alcohol.

Ring in 2007 at the Iron Post with Headlights, The Beauty Shop, Shipwreck, fireflies, Watery Domestic and Coco Coca. The night begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15 in advance, sold at the Iron Post and Exile on Main St.

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