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After all the howl-o-ween dog parades and kiddie shopping center trick-or-treat sprees, night falls and the clubs come alive with skin-crawling costume contests and the howl of live music.
This year, Hallow’s Eve falls on an unlucky Wednesday. So this weekend is when you should slip into something else and march your alter-ego around town.
From an after-dark Dead Wonderland to a post-Milli Vanilli lip-synch contest, here’s where you’ll find all the party ghouls on parade:
Last Day Saloon: Talk about a Halloween identity crisis. One band thinks they’re Led Zeppelin reincarnated with girl power (Zepperella), another is obsessed with the King of the Beats (Kerouac) and the other doesn’t know whether to sing in English or French (Dgiin). You can be sure of this: Winner of the costume contest takes home $100. 9:30 Friday, Oct 26. $15. 21+. 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. www.lastdaysaloon.com.
Mystic Theater: Ken O’Donnell and the gang weren’t content with just one blowout, so they cooked up the Halloween two-fer: The Mother Hips kick it off with spooky California soul (and MC Dean Delray) at 9 tonight ($23). And then Wonderbread 5, the jukebox party band that dresses up for Halloween every show, closes it out at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct 27. $25. 21 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. www.mystictheatre.com.
Russian River Brewing Company: Charitable owners Vinny and Natalie Cilurzo top off their month-long benefit for the Sutter Breast Care Center with a Halloween fundraiser to the tune of Pat Jordan and the undulating Wild Card Belly Dance troupe. No cover. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct 27. 725 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. www.russianriverbrewing.com.
Hopmonk: The fifth annual Cirque du Sebastopol returns with a bi-polar twist. Take your pick: Either folk music on haybales in the barnyard ($20) or pumping bass and dubstep in the Abbey ($30). The Jug Dealers and Easy Leaves supply the outdoor twang while Nit Grit and NastyNasty play DJ inside. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct 27. 21+. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. www.hopmonk.com.
Phoenix Theater: The Aqus Community Halloween Party stages the Pulsators and best of all, a lip-synch contest. Wannabe rock-stars must register at www.halloweenbashpetaluma.com. And keep in mind, no performances longer than 4 minutes. A benefit for Phoenix Theater youth programs. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct 27. 201 Washington St., Petaluma. $10. 21+. www.halloweenbashpetaluma.com.
Aubergine After Dark: Leave it to the spooky late-night vintage emporium to throw a Dead Wonderland fantasia that sends you down the rabbit hole with Z-Man, RadioActive, DJ Chango, DJ Beset, Mad Cow Bombers and Decomposers. 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct 27. 755 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. $15. www.auberginebarandcafe.com.
Flamingo Hotel: The guys in the gold chains and open collars aren’t in costume; they’re a fixture every weekend at the Flamingo. That’s why San Jose R&B outfit The Groove Foundation is the annointed band. Take a step back to the 1970s at this Halloween time capsule. 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct 27. 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. $10. www.flamingoresort.com.
Bay Area freelancer John Beck writes about entertainment for The Press Democrat. You can reach him at 280-8014, email@example.com and follow on Twitter @becksay.
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