From Hot Tunes to Hilarious Tongue-in-Cheek Chat

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Sometimes you want the party hats and the horns and the little metal shakers (what are in those things, anyway?); sometimes you want a diversion. Diversions take many forms around town on New Year's Eve, but we think a concert or a comedian is an ideal way to spend the holiday. Get your dancing shoes (or laughing shoes?) on and head on out on Wednesday, December 31 for...

CONCERTS

Stone Temple Pilots: There are few rock 'n roll showman like Mr. Scott Weiland, and there are few acts who really owned that '90s pop-rock heat like this SoCal fave. Catch them at Club Nokia.

Toad the Wet Sprocket: "Walk on the Ocean" is still one of the finest folk-rock ditties around. Plus we've always admired these guys for taking their name from Monty Python. Mellow, meaningful tuneage at the Canyon Club.

Gridlock LA: Anything on the Paramount lot always feels glamorous. The addition of chanteuse Katy Perry, who made what arguably the splashiest debut in '08 (thank you, "I Kissed a Girl"), ups the glam by a zillion or so glam units. She sings at midnight, and there's a "Hollywood Star Rising," Tinseltown's tres local answer to the ball drop.

Pink Martini: This little orchestra from Portland makes a lush 'n large sound when they play two concerts (in one night!) at Walt Disney Concert Hall. "Hey Eugene" remains a favorite album, but we like everything they do. Why? Cool, global, slightly retro flavor.

COMEDY

George Lopez: Sitcom star, thoughtful wit, great observer of everyday life. Laugh a lot at The Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live (his final night of a multi-night run).

Joe Rogan: "Fear Factor"? No fear here, unless you're afraid of winding down 2008 with some sharp-edged comedy from the well-known stand-up and television guy. He's at The Improv.

16 Comics: Few pauses, few moments to slip to the restroom, no time to bellyache about the year that has just passed; rather, expect a constant stream of cut-ups taking the stage at The Comedy Store. Will you find a new favorite in the bunch?

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