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Things to do in Missoula: Dec 27-Jan 2

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So we’re back again with this week's "Things to Do" article for Missoula. Hope everyone had a merry Christmas and is looking forward to New Year’s Eve and First Night Missoula. It’s their 20th anniversary and my first, and I can’t wait – so many things to do and see that night – should be a blast! Check out Karmina's new video for their single, New Year.

For all you fresh fruit and vegetable lovers, don’t miss the Heirloom Winter Farmers Market every Saturday at the Western Montana Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

First Night Missoula will feature workshops, talks, performances, more than 90 in all, to celebrate 2014. Buttons are available in advance for $15 and at the door for $17. For more info, check out MissoulaCultural.org. Among the highlights is First Night Star, a chance for local high schoolers to spotlight their talents at the Wilma, available for an additional $3. Check out the happenings at the many venues, including the ZACC, UC Ballroom, UM Recital Hall, Downtown Dance Collective, The Roxy, Missoula Art Museum, Dennison Theatre, University Center Commons, Southgate Mall, Caras Park, MCT, The Wilma, University Center Theater, Dana Gallery, Zootown Brew, Break Espresso and the University Center Atrium.

Here are a few suggestions of things to do this weekend and next week. Don't miss all the great NFL action this weekend. Catch all the college, NFL and NBA action at my favorite sports bar, Hooters. Looking forward to the Dolphins-Jets game on Sunday – all we need to do to get into the playoffs is to beat them! Meet me there!
Reading is always a great escape, and we have four great local bookstores: Fact & Fiction, located at 200 N. Higgins and in the University Center; The Book Exchange, located at 2335 Brooks Street; Shakespere & Co. Booksellers, located at 1035 S. Third Street W and Bird's Nest Books, located at 217 N. Higgins. Take some time and enjoy these jewels of Missoula, where you can catch up on some great reads and do some shopping.

It's never a bad time to catch a movie, and this weekend is no exception. This weekend at the Carmike 12 on Mullan, catch 47 Ronin at 1:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. and in 3D at 4:15 and 10:15 p.m.; American Hustle at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.; Frozen at 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.; Grudge Match at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.; Saving Mr. Banks at 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and in 3D at 1:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.; The Wolf of Wall Street at 1 p.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and Walking with Dinosaurs at 1:30, 4:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. In addition, don't miss the great documentaries at the Top Hat every Monday night. This week's showing is Comedian, profiling Jerry Seinfield and Omy Adams at 7:30 p.m. Finally, don't miss episodes 20 and 21 of Twin Peaks at The Roxy this Monday. The Roxy will run two episodes each week until February 10.

There are also great venues in town to catch the latest indie music. Check out the 8 Days a Week column in the Missoula Independent and online at Montana Live Music.

For something different, stop by Wheat Montana at Third & Reserve every Tuesday night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for some great bluegrass music with the Black Mountain Boys. The food is divine and the music sublime - it's a can't miss combination.

Here's where you can catch more live music this week: On Friday night, check out Lindsey Stormo and Sean Frenette at the University Congregational Church, Andrea Harsell and Co. at the Top Hat for Family Friendly Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m., Cat Heaven with the Scribblers, Little Gians and Pancakes at the ZACC from 7 to 11 p.m., Wild Coyote Band at the Eagles Lodge at 8 p.m., Band in Motion at the Union Club at 9 p.m., Paydirt at the Sunrise Saloon from 9:30 p.m. to close and Zeppo MT at the Top Hat at 10 p.m. Saturday night brings Kevin Van Dort to the Draught Works Brewery from 6 to 8 p.m., along with the Frederico Brothers, Squirrel Butter plays an Old Time Barn Dance Party at the Barn Movement Studio (2962 S. Third Street W) from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wild Coyote Band plays the Eagles Lodge at 8 p.m., The Medicine are at the Union Club at 9 p.m., the Holidazed blowout at the Palace at 9 p.m. and Blue Collar at the Sunrise Saloon from 9:30 p.m. to close. On Sunday, don’t miss Phish in concert at Madison Square Gardens, streaming at the Top Hat at 5:30 p.m., Mike Bader Bearjam at the Draught Works Brewery from 5 to 7 p.m. and the Badlander’s Jazz Martine Night starting at 8 p.m. On Monday night, Three Cornered Jack, Ron Dunbar and Travis Yost will play the Red Bird Wine Bar from 7 to 10 p.m., and the VFW hosts an open mic at 10 p.m. Plenty to do on Tuesday, aka New Year’s Eve. Check out the info on First Night Missoula above, as well as these fine acts: Gil and the Spills at Sean Kelly’s at 10 p.m., the 406 Band at the Sunrise Saloon at 9 p.m., the Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve Bash and Poker Party at the Daly Mansion in Hamilton, the Lil Smokies at the Top Hat as they record a live concert CD, beginning at 10 p.m., Captain Wilson Conspiracy at Finn and Porter from 8 to 11 p.m., Russ Nasset and the Revelators at the Union Club at 9 p.m., a DJ party at the Palace/Badlander complex with Shakewell, Three Eared Dog and Deadline at 9 p.m., Wild Coyote Band at Rustic Hut in Florence and the Rez-Erected Records/Spare House Entertainment blowout with Traff the Wiz, Codependents, MT Souls, Rude Max, Courtney Weaving and more at the Wolf Den in Polson at 9 p.m. Last but not least on Thursday, check out Judgment Hammer, Monks on Fire and Swamp Ritual, with Sharmana at the VFW at 9 p.m., Kristie Neumann at the Bitter Root Brewery in Hamilton from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Open Mic Night at Sean Kelly’s at 8:30 p.m., Ryan Bundy and friends at the Palace at 9 p.m., Wild Coyote Band at the Sunrise Saloon at 9 p.m. and the Best Westerns at the Top Hat at 9:30 p.m.

Don't forget iTunes, ReverbNation and YouTube - be adventurous and be the first to discover new talent - then share it with us all.

Have a great week, enjoy Missoula and we'll catch you soon with an update. Please feel free to drop me a line at lamusiccritic@yahoo.com with any comments, suggestions or questions. Also drop me a line if you or your group or business has an event you'd like to promote. I'm happy to spread the word for you.

If you enjoy my articles, you can click on "subscribe" at the top of the page and you'll receive notice when new ones are published.

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