15 concerts to count down New Year's Eve in Atlanta 

F@#$ Da City Up! No really, T.I. says it's OK.

It's been a long, strange trip for Gainesville, Fla., rock outfit Against Me! — from scrappy crust punk idols to mainstream-skirting mainstays in a matter of a decade. Throughout, the band has maintained a heroic tour regimen and built a legion of loyal fans from all stripes of life in the process. No longer merely a fixture of the DIY/house show underground, Against Me! now operates on a much larger scale. The band headlines a New Year's Eve pop-punk spectacular at the Masquerade, the aging and charmingly derelict venue being a perfect spot for the group's refined — but still edgy — rock 'n' roll vibes. With Fake Problems, Ninja Gun, the Wild, Franz Nicolay. $20. 8 p.m. Masquerade, 695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. — Gabe Vodicka

click to enlarge Balkans - CHAD RADFORD

If ever there was a locale tailor-made for NYE party ambiance, it's the Highland Inn's antique ballroom. Local punk brats Balkans headline a show that offers the biggest bang for your buck. Openers Red Sea build a balance of noisy pop tones billowing in a haze of reverb. Small Reactions pick up the pace, combining the raw energy of garage rock yearning and art-punk melancholy. Deerhunter drummer Moses Archuleta DJs the party till it's time to shut it down. $12-$15. 9 p.m. The Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge, 644 N. Highland Ave. 404-874-5756.
— Chad Radford

click to enlarge Cake - ROBERT MCKNIGHT

Sacramento, Calif., oddballs Cake have managed a 15-year career while maintaining an understated profile, despite their various excursions into the collective consciousness — like the one-time omnipresence of breakthrough single "The Distance." Maybe it's the music, droll and rambling and seemingly always at odds with the zeitgeist, or maybe it's frontman John McCrea's anti-frontman aura. Clad in a baseball cap and '90s coffee-house goatee, McCrea is a normal guy in a business where it's normal to be weird. Either way, there's something appealing about the group, which anchors a NYE festivus at the grand ol' Fox, an event sure to draw from all ages and persuasions. $55-$100. 9 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-881-2100. — GV

click to enlarge DUSTIN CHAMBERS

Funk and soul big band Cherry Royale headlines a bill with the finest of Atlanta's indie hip-hop delegates. DJ Rock Most sets the mood for a bill stacked with local favorites Boog Brown, Clan Destined, Grand Prize Winners From Last Year, the 16 Bars Hip Hop Orchestra, and Tru.Ski the Transmitter. $10-$12. 10 p.m. Apache Café, 64 Third St. 404-876-5436. — CR

click to enlarge Cousin Dan - JOEFF DAVIS

Atlanta's Constellations followed up a breakout 2010 — and the release of Virgin debut Southern Gothic, an album that spawned crossover radio smash "Felicia" — with an equally eventful 2011. The year saw the group touring and working on a sophomore album amid the scuzzy glitz of Los Angeles, undoubtedly the perfect backdrop for the Constellations' groovy, slightly seedy tunes. But it wasn't all hugs and drugs, frontman Elijah Jones found the time to get involved in Occupy Atlanta, penning a piece for CL's music blog on the budding movement. Along with uncategorizable synth satirist Cousin Dan, the group welcomes 2012 with a wild night in store. $25. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. — GV

The Godfather of booty is on duty for Clermont Lounge's NYE bash. DJ Romeo Cologne and his sidekick Quasi Mandisco freak the funk and disco classics in Atlanta's longest-standing (ahem) gentleman's club. It's the eve of 2012 and if you believe in all of this Mayan calendar doom and gloom, then there's no tomorrow, so you might as well go dancing. $6-$10. 10 p.m. Clermont Lounge, 789 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-874-4783. — CR

click to enlarge Gentleman Jesse - JOEFF DAVIS

The last time Gentleman Jesse and His Men played a show that wasn't a wedding was last July. For that reason alone the show is worth hitting up, just because his hometown appearances have been so few and far between this year. Now armed with new bass player Joseph Plunkett of the Weight and King Tuff fame, the group will tear through a set of its punk and power-pop classics, along with a handful of new numbers from Smith's forthcoming sophomore album, Leaving Atlanta: Feel Good Songs for Bad Times. Upstairs: DJs Prince Presto and Klever are on the turntables. $10. 10 p.m. The Basement, 1245 Glenwood Ave. 404-662-8686. — CR

click to enlarge Kylesa - GEOFF L. JOHNSON
  • Kylesa

Late last year, Savannah metal heads Kylesa released their mammoth fifth album, Spiral Shadow, an accessible long-player that found the band's noisy past intermingling with more traditional alternative rock stylings. Led by "Don't Look Back," the band's most anthemic song to date (think: Foo Fighter's "My Hero" on steroids, punching you in the face while you watch a blockbuster-movie montage), Spiral Shadow was an epic thing indeed, earning kind words from the likes of Pitchfork, Spin, and Revolver. A couple weeks after this show, Kylesa will head to Europe until the end of February. After that, one can only hope the group will get back in the studio — because, seriously, have you heard Spiral Shadow? With Royal Thunder, Whores. $13-$15. 9 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals. 404-522-3950. — Austin L. Ray

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