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Hot vs. not? 

That's so 2007! Where the kids are playing in '08

Last year was swell and all, but we've moved on. Here's a rundown of 2008's hot spots, parties and bands next to their 2007 counterparts.

Club with the best dance floor

2007: MJQ

2008: Masquerade

The Masquerade's not only one of the city's best live music venues, but it also hosts weekly events on each of its three levels (Heaven, Hell and Purgatory) for the 18-and-over crowd – perfect for college students who are old enough to party, but not to drink. We love Old Wave on Thursday nights in Hell, featuring '80s classics. But if you want something funkier, check out Purgatory's Bootylicious party on the same night. Both Afterlife, the best of counterculture, and Tilt, a wink at the old-school nightclub experience, take place every Saturday. The last Friday of each month is home to Apocalypse, where the industrial crowd comes out to play.

Hottest party scene

2007: Decatur Social Club

2008: Fringe Factory

While Decatur Social Club will forever hold a place in our hearts, the new hot party on the block is the psychedelic wonderland that takes place the last Saturday of each month at the Highland Inn Ballroom. The classic nostalgia of the Ballroom is transformed into the all-out trippy experience that is Fringe Factory, thanks to film projections, crazy lights and a total Warhol-esque vibe. DJs spin old-school rock 'n' roll (think the Velvet Underground) and party-goers are encouraged to get decked out in their hottest retro-mod gear. Pour on the black eyeliner and lasso up a designated driver – party starts at 9 p.m.

Hottest music act in town

2007: Deerhunter

2008: Hollyweerd

Whether you love the label or hate it, hipster-hop's arrived on the Atlanta music scene, and Hollyweerd's leading the revolution. The group's funky mashup of '80s b-boy appeal and OutKast swagger is part of a new wave of geek chic that's packed venues around town from the Compound to the Drunken Unicorn. The Love Crusader, Tuki, the Dreamer and Stagolee make up the fresh take on a sound that's redefining Atlanta's, dare we say, hip underbelly.

Hottest 'hood to live it up

2007: Little Five Points

2008: East Atlanta

All the young and hip are moving east – East Atlanta, that is. The Village has an aura of cool, and its grub and party spots are some of the city's best and most affordable. Catch a show and a brew at the Earl, check out Toe-Tag Thursdays at Graveyard Tavern, head over to Mary's for the best karaoke in town, or hang out on the patio at Holy Taco. EAV is the 'hood to do some heavy-duty damage – and by damage, we mean the fun-filled debauchery.

alicia.wages@creativeloafing.com

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