There's nothing like a Jam Cruise to kick off the new year in style, complete with free-flowing musical expression, an abundance of good vibes, and the endless partying and self-indulgence that music cruises have become so famous for. But don't bother trying to book now. The 2014 cruise is already sold out.
Fortunately, those desperate enough to consider stowing away do have an alternative option. An official preshow and a pair of postshows give the landlubbers ample opportunity to enjoy much of what the seafarers will experience onboard, minus, of course, the lifeboat drill, the towel animals courtesy of your steward, and the all-you-can-eat 24-hour buffet. And, if the weather's rough, the possibility of seasickness as well.
Inevitably, it's the music that matters most. So be warned. You can tend to your New Year's Eve hangover -- or, alternatively, keep the buzz going -- by previewing the festivities at the Funky Biscuit on January 2, with the Jam Cruise Allstars, featuring George Porter Jr., Eric Krasno, Nigel Hall, Adam Deitch, Bill Evans, Billy Iuso & the Bonerama Horns, and some surprise guests. Then bid them all bon voyage and celebrate their return a week later at Revolution with a concert by brilliant bassist and innovative instrumentalist Les Claypool.
And if you're still in the mood to fuel the funk and really let loose, you can pay the Funky Biscuit a return visit the day after and catch a double bill with the Revivalists and Monophonics. The former, one of New Orleans' best original indie bands, are known for their soulful songwriting and infectious grooves, while the latter, based in San Francisco, have mined that city's rich musical legacy with their own version of psychedelic soul. So who needs to set sail when you can party with a purpose here at home? As Santa would say: Land ho, ho, ho!
Jam Cruise Preshow. With the Jam Cruise All Stars, featuring George Porter Jr., Eric Krasno, Nigel Hall, Bill Evans, and others. Thursday, January 2, at Funky Biscuit, 303 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton. Tickets cost $25 to $40 plus fees. Call 561-395-2929, or visit funkybiscuit.com.