You can do better than Chinese takeout and New Year's Rockin' Eve with Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest.
From concerts to clubs to restaurants, here are CL's picks for doing New Year's right.
New Year's Eve can be so generic – the cover bands, the crowds, the corporate parties, and those damn rubber band hats. Why wake up to '08 with a souvenir party favor when you could relish an authentic Atlanta experience? The Star Bar's Atlanta garage-rock barrage features the FORTY-FIVES, GRINGO STAR, THE BOOZE, EL CAPITAN & THE SCALLYWAGS, and GRINDER NOVA. In a year when some local rockers were worshipped as gods, it's cool to shine a little light on the ones (Forty-Fives, Gringo Star) who helped export the DIY touring machine responsible for launching the recent homegrown sound. Meanwhile, Lenny's Bar fêtes the Peach State's street-conscious rap scene with the 5 DOLLA HOLLA, featuring Athens-based ISHUES, DRES THA BEATNIK, DROPBOMBZ, RISINGSONS, MR. SOS, and party-DJ duo TECHNOLOJESUS. Star Bar: $10. 11 p.m. 437 Moreland Ave. 404-681-9018. www.starbar.net. Lenny's: $5. 11:30 p.m. 486 Decatur St. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com.
— Rodney Carmichael
There's champagne to be found almost everywhere on New Year's Eve, so 103 WEST'S NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATION is about a lot more than the midnight toast. The black-tie affair brings a little bit of Vegas glitz to Buckhead with music from U.S. Beat, such fancy food concoctions as lobster beignets, free-flowing cocktails, and blackjack, roulette, craps and poker. Here's hoping that what happens in Buckhead, stays in Buckhead. $150. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. 103 W. Paces Ferry Road. 404-233-5993. www.buckheadrestaurants.com.
— Emily Hansen
Jermaine Dupri's New Year's Eve checklist: 1) Fireworks. 2) Helicopter. 3) The Jackson 5. That's right, Dupri announced on air at V-103 (WVEE-FM 103.3) that Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Michael – yes, MJ – will perform at his Studio 72's '07/'08 party A JACKSON 5 NEW YEAR'S EVE. Here's how it's supposed to go down: Shortly before midnight, club-goers will empty out into the parking lot for a fireworks display, after which the Jackson 5 will descend from a helicopter and hit the club with sister Janet. It sounds unbelievable, especially since the last we heard, the King of Pop was chillaxin' in the Persian Gulf. Should he pull it off, it could be, as Dupri swears, "the biggest party this town has ever seen." $100. 9 p.m. 3965 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker. studio72atlanta.com.
— Debbie Michaud
ATLANTA CIVIC CENTER Maze, Frankie Beverly, Chaka Khan and Bruce Bruce. $81-$101. 9 p.m. 395 Piedmont Ave. 404-523-6275. www.atlantaciviccenter.com.
ATLANTA SYMPHONY HALL ASO New Year's Eve. A tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers with a champagne toast. $30-$65. 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org.
BLIND WILLIE'S Francine Reed, Houserocker Johnson and the Shadows. $50. 8 p.m. 828 N. Highland Ave. 404-873-2583. www.blindwilliesblues.com.
COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE New Year's Eve Celebration With Dave Koz. Special guests Nick Colionne, Paul Taylor and Joey Sommerville. $85-$107.50. 8:30 p.m. John A. Williams Theatre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. 770-916-2800. www.cobbenergycentre.com.
THE DRUNKEN UNICORN The Black Lips. If you don't know them by now... . Price and time TBA. 736 Ponce de Leon Ave. www.drunkenunicorn.net.
EDDIE'S ATTIC Michelle Malone, Andrew Hyra and Ashley Wilson. 551-B N. McDonough St. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com.
FOX THEATRE Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival. Husband-and-wife team ring in the new year with a blues/rock mix. $35-$45. 9 p.m. 660 Peachtree St. 404-817-8700. www.foxtheatre.org.
PHILIPS ARENA Widespread Panic. Legendary jam-banders continue their NYE performance tradition. $49.50. 9 p.m. 1 Philips Drive. 404-878-3000. www.philipsarena.com.
ROXY THEATRE Drivin N Cryin and Hollyfaith. Local Southern-rock all-stars. $25. 9:30 p.m. 3110 Roswell Road. 404-233-7699. www.ticketmaster.com.
SMITH'S OLDE BAR Modern Skirts. A local-music night, including Warm in the Wake and Rantings of Eva. Packaway Handle Band plays in the Atlanta Room. Bring two canned goods for discounted admission. $10-$15. 8 p.m. 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com.
TABERNACLE Sound Tribe Sector 9. Tonight's show concludes the band's four-night stint. $65. 9 p.m. 152 Luckie St. 404-659-9022. www.livenation.com.
WILD BILL'S New Year's Eve Bash with Eric Church. Also includes a free champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. $35-$100. 7 p.m. 2075 Market St., Duluth. 678-473-1000. www.wildbillsatlanta.com.
THE DOWNTOWN COUNTDOWN Legendary hip-hoppers the Sugarhill Gang headline the party, which includes DJs, stand-up comedy and more bands. $75-$225. 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree St. 800-422-7295. www.downtowncountdown.net.
FESTE 2008 A Brazilian dance party, midnight champagne toast, Latin DJ and a performance from the house band Rua 6. Free-$30. 9 p.m. Loca Luna, 114 Sixth St. 404-875-4494. www.loca-luna.com.
GROWN FOLKS NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY KISS 104.1 (WALR-FM)'s Youngblood and Mix Master Mitch host the event with featured guest Mel Waiters. $50-$100. 8 p.m. Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 678-318-1449. kiss1041fm.com/ads/grownfolks_nye2007.html.