* This week’s 8 Days section features many of your most exciting options for an in-tune New Year’s Eve celebration set to live music, but here are two quality stragglers: The Firm w/ special guests play Side Door Lounge, 3530 Leavenworth St. The 9 p.m. show will feature classic album covers including T.Rex, Iggy Pop, The Cure, Velvet Underground and Talking Heads, from Bill Eustice, Dereck Higgins, Joe Budenholzer, Gary Foster and others. Thunderstandable is back after a five-year hiatus for a 9 p.m. NYE gig at Duffy’s in Lincoln w/ Rent Money Big and Machete Archive. * A few weeks ago, after my It’s True tribute in The Reader ’s 2010 Music Issue, Adam Hawkins and I exchanged some messages on everyone’s favorite social network regarding the band’s current status. I mentioned in my piece the band had indicated via Facebook that it was working on new music. I can now confirm it, and you can take that from the horse’s mouth straight to the bank. Hawkins says he and a new band will release another It’s True album April 1 — save the date, no foolin’ — at a Benson venue. The evolved It’s True is comprised of 10-11 members, including several former members. The new record is all new material. An excited Hawkins says the recording will “live somewhere between the early home recordings and somewhere completely new.” He adds, “I think the live show is going to be something unique and memorable. I can’t wait to perform these songs.” We can’t wait either, Adam. * Lastly, I must divulge dear readers that this is my final Backbeat column. Ever. I have so enjoyed sharing the comings and goings of the local scene with you — from classical to hip-hop, breakups to reunions and releases, stolen gear to endowments and benefit concerts, and beyond. My favorite times writing this column were when I could report good news regarding the local music scene or an exciting just-announced show, as well as being able to endorse new acts I’d heard and thought Omaha should embrace, including my personal favorites It’s True and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns. After nearly three years in this space it is, as Boyz II Men wisely sang so many years ago, so hard to say goodbye. But I’m the type who prefers to emphasize the new beginning inherent in every end. I’m not the first to pass the Backbeat baton and I won’t be the last. Our music section will ring in the new year next week with Chris Aponick’s music musings in this space. Let’s raise a glass to New Year’s and new beginnings! Backbeat takes you behind the scenes of the local music scene. Send tips, comments and questions to backbeat@thereader.com.

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