We are finally at the end of the year, which generally means exorbitant cover prices, elbows in your ribs, and drinks that could stand to be a lot stronger. Never fear; the only other option isn’t merely to sit on the couch and watch the ball drop in Times Square (unless that’s your thing – we can’t judge; there’s only so many crowds a person can stand). Instead, we’ve gathered together the most awesome acts we could find in an area near you that won’t break the bank and will send you off in as good spirits as any. Stay safe, be merry, and enjoy the show… check out our picks for the final weekend of 2011 below.

  • Gothic Tropic | Friday, December 30 | 8:30 pm | 21+ | $5 | The Satellite, Los Angeles, CA – Map | This particular Echo Park-based indie band is more-than-quirky atop a solid lo–fi rock foundation to remain interesting and functional. Still, what we’d say differentiates them from the quintessential indie rock band is a blend of percussion that draws from other reaches than West Coast American. The universal understanding behind music is apparent in rhythm as well as vocals, and plainly overall (strings included) – nice to know someone knows their history. Gothic Tropic’s motto might as well just be “Out with the same-old; in with the relatively new”. Or something. With Masxs, Waterstrider, Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel – Buy Tickets
  • The Growlers | Friday, December 30 | 8:30 pm | 18+ | $13 | The Echo, Los Angeles, CA – Map | The Long Beach, California-based indie rock/pop group have been on the scene since 2006 and are entering their sixth year with their brand of groove and quirk that keeps fans interested. We’re talking harmonies, switching off of rhythms and taking on different tempos – in short, they’re far from standard and they (as well as we) like it that way. So there. Close out the year right with something less cookie-cutter and more eclectic. With Allah Las, TRMRS – for more information, call (213) 413-8200.
  • Murder By Death | Saturday, December 31 | 4:00 pm | All Ages | Free + BYOB | Saki, Chicago, IL – Map | With the cello as their base musical component and a steady rhythmic reverberation like none other, it is no wonder that the Bloomington, Indiana-based rock band has been in the business not only as long as they have been, but in association with the acts that they have been. (Take their seven-album series, having done one with Amanda Palmer – as in, the one and only.) Their extensive discography was recently capped off by their latest album, Investigate, Infiltrate, released this past July. For more information, call (773) 486-3997.
  • Fergus & Geronimo | Saturday, December 31 | 8:00 pm | 21+ | $5 | The Gutter, Brooklyn, NY – Map | Andrew Savage and Jason Kelly make up the Brooklyn-based by way of Denton, Texas, experimental rock duo, who have fused a blend of garage punk and surf rock to psychadelic and pop rock much to their and our advantage. Nothing appeals to our ears like the Jack of all trades/Renaissance man approach to music, especially when done in a strategic and functional sense. Their latest album, Unlearn, was released at the top of the year, so expect to hear a few tracks or perhaps (fingers crossed?) some new ones. Perhaps. Seriously, one can only hope. Come for bowling and the show; leave with the champagne toast at midnight! And a Happy New Year to you, too. With City Streets, NT, My Teenage Stride –  for more information, call (718) 387-3585.
  • Herzog Rising | Sunday, January 1 | 9:00 pm | 21+ | $8 | Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY – Map | Starting off 2012 with a bit of unapologetic, rough-house, harder rock that you can still wrap a sizable structure around isn’t too bad an idea in our book. Most especially as it concerns local talent, the Brooklyn-based band draws their inspiration from, quite obviously, alternative rock , punk, and the blues, which can be heard plenty on their demo four-track EP released this past Halloween, which you can listen to here. With PC Worship, Nerve City – for more information, call (718) 609-0484.
Happy New Year! Sayonara, 2011! Yep, those are our picks and we’re sticking to ‘em. Who’s on your To See List this weekend?
Photo by David Greenwald