THE YEAR (BUT NOT THE WORLD) IS COMING TO AN END!: We've survived the end of the world, only to face a year with the unluckiest number of them all in it.
One good thing you can say about 2013 is it doesn't have a 13-13-13 in it, otherwise we'd be cranking up the Doomsday machinery again. All of these post-nonapocalyptic days are just gravy now.
The way to tackle the impending '13 is to do what's always worked in the past: Go to parties, drink champagne, dance in the street, make a racket and hit the hay early in the first day of the new year, just hours before the Rose Parade begins on an invariably crisp and clear morning with the snow shining on snow-capped peaks luring another mass migration of residents of the Lesser States to Southern California.
The major bashes on Monday will be in and around the downtown area, especially on Long Beach's historic main street, Pine Avenue, from South Pine on the seaward side of Ocean Boulevard, to the main drag up top on North Pine.
Downtown Long Beach Associates is sponsoring and producing the bi-coastal New Year's Eve in Downtown, with South Pine working on East Coast time, while North Pine sticks to West Coast's famed Pacific Standard time. Got it? South is East, North is West. You might want to bring a compass.
South Pine's admission-free fest is billed as a "family- friendly" waterfront celebration, with live music kicking in at 5 p.m., with the great local rock band Paperplanes. The Phat Cat Swinger swing band takes the stage at 7:30 p.
If you want to stay on the East (South) coast, stick around at Gladstone's and catch the cop-rockers Blue Steel, playing until 10:30 p.m.
The North Pine New Year's Eve party starts at 6 p.m. and goes till 2 a.m. on Pine at Broadway. The mega-fest includes three stages of live entertainment, including the '80s-style new-wavers, the Spazmatics, the hometown funk masters 00 Soul and the AC/DC tribute band TNT.
Restaurants in the party zone are offering various specials - visit www.dlba.org - but you can stay on the street all night, with seven outdoor bars serving up spirits throughout the evening.
Advance tickets are $15 or, for $32, you get a package that includes two tickets plus VIP parking. They're on sale online at www.dlba.org through 2 p.m. Sunday and can be picked up today at the DLBA office at 100 W. Broadway from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or on Monday at the ticket booth on Pine and First Street from 2-6 p.m.
Tickets at the gate are $20.
BLUE YEAR'S EVE: A Blue Christmas is no fun, but a Blue New Year's is a blast. Just a block over from Pine (and five or six blocks northward), the blues will be rocking the MadHaus concert hall at 624 Pacific Ave. on New Year's Eve with a Blue Year's Eve Blowout.
The legendary James Harman will be headlining a strong undercard that includes Johnny Mastro & Mama's Boys and the jam-masters the Lubricators, with plenty of guests sitting in throughout the evening.
The $25 admission covers all that music, plus appetizers, party favors and a champagne toast. And it benefits the Cultural Alliance of Long Beach.
FRIDAY PLAYLIST: Good news! We've got a bad-luck playlist for you today. Play these songs nonstop throughout the coming year to ward off misfortune:
1. "Thirteen," Big Star
2. "13," Brian Jonestown Massacre
3. "No. 13 Baby," Pixies
4. "13 x Forever," Garbage
5. "13 Steps Lead Down," Elvis Costello
6. "Lucky 13," Smashing Pumpkins
7. "Room 13," Black Flag
8. "The 13th," The Cure
9. "13," Megadeth
10. "You're Gonna Miss Me," The 13th Floor Elevators