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Nightlife Highlights: December 2008 

click to enlarge Paul Freeman opens for Todd Rundgren at the Bearsville Theater on December 23.
  • Paul Freeman opens for Todd Rundgren at the Bearsville Theater on December 23.

Jazz Jam With Freddie Jacobs Quartet
Dec 3, 10, 17, 24. The Corner Stage, owned and operated by guitarist Mike Quick, usually appears in this space for its blues, rock, and organ-groove bands—and because it is an especially great place to hear live music. Now every Wednesday is an open jazz jam with the sublime Freddie Jacobs on trumpet and the ever-ready Robert Kopec on bass, plus Ernie Colon on drums, and Joe Tranchina on piano. All jazz musicians are welcome to sit in and the band can probably handle any tune called by the guest players. 8pm. Free. Middletown. (845) 342-4804;

The Cover Girlz/Bar Scott

December 5. As a stocking stuffer to the annual Woodstock Holiday Open House, the Woodstock Artists Association brings some professional voices to this year’s community wassailing. Bar Scott and her trio will sing and play holiday tunes, standards, and originals in the WAA Gallery, which faces the village green. The Cover Girlz (Peggy Atwood, Elly Wininger, and the John Street Jam’s Terri Massardo) take the stage next with carols in heavenly harmony. The singers will then wander through the village’s holiday festivities to help the rest of us remember the second verse to “Silent Night.” 5pm. Free. Woodstock.

December 13. HeadSoup was born FishHeadSoup, but the name was shortened to roll off the tongue a little better. Here at Skytop Steakhouse & Brewing Company, the trio­—Nik Rael on bass and lead vocals, Steve Petrone on drums, and John Platania on guitar—share their deep and long musical roots. Rael’s gospel-tinged soul-rock conjures contemporaries like Martin Sexton and Ray LaMontagne;Platania has performed with Van Morrison since the mid-1960s (he plays on “Brown-Eyed Girl). The band also toured righteously this year with FODfest, the annual roadshow commemorating slain journalist and musician Daniel Pearl. 9pm. Free. Kingston. (845) 340-4277;

The Misfits

December 13. The gargoyles above the stage at the Chance may just have to join the moshpit for this show of nine hardcore punk bands headlined by the Misfits, one of the original touring bands to fly the punk rock banner. Hardcore heroes Murphy’s Law (a full show in their own right) opens, preceded by Left in Ruins, Soul for Sale, C*nt, the Buddah Heroes, Ja Mustache Eddies, Briarcliff, and Run Johnny Run. Madness on two stages will ensue. (WDST 100.1-FM presents Robert Randolph and the Family Band on December 26.) 8:30pm. $15, 17. Poughkeepsie. (845) 471-1966;

Todd Rundgren
December 23. Rock legend Rundgren, in an unprecedented homecoming, returns to Bearsville, where his Utopia Studio (now home to WDST radio) broke musical ground in video production, electronic music, and audio recording techniques. Rundgren’s production credits include albums by Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, the Psychedelic Furs, Meatloaf, XTC, Grand Funk Railroad, the New York Dolls, and Hall and Oates. For this tour, Rundgren is joined by his regular guitarist and Woodstock resident Jesse Gress (Uncle Funk), bassist Rachel Haden, keyboardist Kasin Sultan, and drummer Prairie Prince. Freeman opens the show. 7pm. $44.95. Bearsville. (845) 679-4406;

Thunder Ridge New Year’s Eve Party

December 31. C’mon, party people, where are all the New Year’s Eve parties this year? Everyone still hungover from Halloween? That’s how it seems sometimes, but leave it to Hudson Valley lightning bugs Thunder Ridge to lead us out of the darkness of celebratory voids. Here the band returns to its Route 28 headquarters, Hickory BBQ & Smokehouse, and is sure to turn up the heat for this year’s fete. Singer Dorraine Scofield and the fellas will surely have the locals dancing at their tables and kicking up their well-fed heels. 9pm. Call for prices. Kingston. (845) 338-2424;

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  • DJ Wavy Davy gives you the skinny on holiday-season nightlife.


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