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 â 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 fÃªtes 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.
â 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.
â Emily Hansen
Jermaine Dupri's (pictured) 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 â yes, MJ â 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.
â 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.
INTERNATIONAL JETSETTERS BALL A Polynesian celebration with Tongo Hiti, the Dames Aflame dancers, DJ Swivel and mai tais. $20-$25. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Trader Vic's, 255 Courtland St. 404-221-6339. www.tradervicsatlanta.com.
JEZOLUTION Boasts 40 bars, two live bands, two DJs, full dinner and breakfast buffets and other surprises. Sponsored by Jezebel magazine. $149-$199. 8 p.m. Grand Hyatt Atlanta, 3300 Peachtree Road. 404-237-1234. www.jezebelmagazine.com.
LIQUIFIED: COUNTDOWN TO 2K8 DJs Christian Michael, Rick Sierra and Roland Darragh spin old-school sets from the last two decades. $20-$25. 8 p.m. Vinyl, 1374 W. Peachtree St. 404-885-1365. www.vinylatlanta.com.
MJQ .007 NEW YEAR'S James Bond-themed dance party. Price and time TBA. MJQ Concourse, 736 Ponce de Leon Place. 404-870-0575. www.myspace.com/mjqconcourse.
NAKED NEW YEAR'S! No worries about dressing to impress, the Art Mondays year-end finale features live models, DJs and a performance from SKY HY. $10. 7 p.m.-12:50 a.m. Apache Cafe, 64 Third St. 404-876-5436. www.apachecafe.info.
NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION â INTERNATIONAL STYLE DJ Francisco D and DJ Eddie M cover two floors with Latin/house beats and '70s, '80s and '90s hits. $40. 8 p.m. Sweet Lowdown, 942 Peachtree St. 404-207-1324. www.exclusivenye.com.
NEW YEAR'S COSMOLAVA STYLE A ball drop, multiple DJs, champagne fountains and ice sculptures. Cover includes entry to both the Cosmopolitan and Lava lounges. $35-$45. 8:30 p.m. Cosmolava, 45 13th St. 404-873-6189. www.cosmolava.com.
NEW YEAR'S EVE 2008 A champagne toast, chocolate bar and DJ Mike Zaren. $20-$25. 9 p.m. Halo Lounge, 817 W. Peachtree St., Suite E-100. 404-962-7333. www.halolounge.com.
NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY The Breakfast Club performs upstairs while DJ Danny M spins in the courtyard. $99-$125. East Andrew's CafÃ© and Bar, 56 E. Andrews Drive, Suite 13. 404-467-1600. www.andrewsupstairs.com.
NYE IN THE ATL Toast the New Year with multiple DJs, party rooms and an open bar. "Supa-fly" dress code. $50-$185. 6 p.m.-3 a.m. Sheraton Buckhead, 3405 Lenox Road. 404-775-4118. www.nye2008.eventbrite.com.
PEACH DROP 2008 Draws upward of 200,000 revelers to watch the descent of a giant peach. This year's event features a concert from country sensation Miranda Lambert. Free. Noon-4 a.m. Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St. 404-523-2311. www.peachdrop.com.
PEACHTREE SOCIAL CLUB NEW YEAR'S EVE 2008 Eighties cover band the ADD All-Stars, DJ Jeremiah, an open bar, and a champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. $115-$165. 9 p.m. Park Tavern, 500 10th St. 404-249-0001. www.peachtreesocialclub.com/rsvp/2007/nye/.
SPIRAL ENTERTAINMENT'S NEW YEAR'S 2008 DJs, a live performance from the Zac Brown Band, multiple open bars, and a buffet. $120. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Biltmore Ballrooms, 817 W. Peachtree St. 404-962-8700. spiralentertainment.com.
URBAN SOUL UPSCALE NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY Old-school rap, reggae, neo-soul music and more, along with three martini bars, a live band and two dance floors. Covered parking included, but no jeans, athletic gear or Timberland boots. $30. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Crowne Plaza Ravinia, 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road. 770-395-7700. www.urban-soul.com.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT DRINKING CLUB NEW YEAR'S EVE BALL The seventh year for Atlanta's largest cocktail-enthusiast club's NYE party. With '80s tunes from Girlz, Girlz, Girlz. $125-$175. 9 p.m. InterContinental Hotel Buckhead, 3315 Peachtree Road. 404-946-9100. www.wednesdaynightdrinkingclub.com.
10 DEGREES SOUTH Three-course menu with four choices per course. $65. 4183 Roswell Road. 404-705-8870. www.10degreessouth.com.
ATKIN'S PARK TAVERN New Year's Eve specials include duck fat-fried potato cakes, olive oil-poached halibut, and truffled lobster bisque. 794 N. Highland Ave. 404-876-7249. www.atkinspark.com.
ATMOSPHERE BISTRO Five-course menu featuring lobster bisque, crab gallette, and beef tenderloin au poivre. $75. 1620 Piedmont Ave. 678-702-1620. www.atmospherebistro.com.
AU PIED DE COCHON Live music and a five-course prix-fixe meal with a Kir Royal dessert buffet. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $150. 3315 Peachtree Road. 404-946-9070. www.aupieddecochonatlanta.com.
BABETTE'S CAFÃ "Bubbly Specials" offered in addition to the regular menu. 573 N. Highland Ave. 404-523-9121. www.babettescafe.com.
BACCHANALIA Prix-fixe menu and a champagne tasting. Limited reservations available. $72-$115. 1198 Howell Mill Road. 404-365-0410. www.starprovisions.com.
CORKSCREW CAFÃ Oysters bienville, osso bucco, whole Maine lobster, and Bailey's and caramel cheesecake. 6 p.m.-midnight. 51 W. Main St., Dahlonega. 706-867-8551. www.thecorkscrewcafe.com.
DINING ROOM AT THE RITZ-CARLTON A four- or seven-course prix-fixe dinner with optional wine pairings. 5:45 and 8:30 p.m. seatings. $170-$435. 3434 Peachtree Road. 404-237-2700. www.ritzcarlton.com.
DISH Two seatings with a prix-fixe menu. Also, music, party favors and complimentary champagne. 5:30-7:30 p.m. and 8-10 p.m. $65-$85. 870 N. Highland Ave. 404-897-3463. www.dish-atlanta.com.
GILBERT'S CAFÃ A traditional four-course menu featuring fresh Italian cheeses, shrimp bisque, and baklava as well as a champagne toast. Stick around for a belly dancing show and the Times Square countdown. $59. 7 and 9 p.m. 219 10th St. 404-872-8012. www.gilbertscafe.com.
THE GLENWOOD Five-course prix-fixe menu, which includes a full bottle of champagne for each couple. DJs and dancing follow dinner. $75. 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. seatings. 1263 Glenwood Ave. 404-622-6066.
JOEL Five-course prix-fixe menu with optional wine pairings. $135-$175. 3290 Northside Parkway. 404-233-3500. www.joelrestaurant.com.
LIL' RIVER GRILL Features chef specials and live music from Mark Kovaly and Cliff Holcomb on dueling pianos. 179 Crogan St., Lawrenceville. 770-339-0689. www.lilrivergrill.com.
LONDZELL'S JAZZ AND BLUES CAFÃ A three-course prix-fixe dinner including herb-crusted salmon or rib eye with burgundy mushroom sauce. Also, a jazz party featuring vocalist Toni Redd. $35-$85. 2300 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite 309, Roswell. 770-992-7200. www.londzellsjazzandblues.com.
MEDIEVAL TIMES A Medieval-style celebration featuring a four-course banquet meal, a dungeon tour, and a midnight champagne toast. After the ball drops, enjoy live music, dancing and a continental breakfast. $74.95. 9:30 p.m. 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. 770-225-0230. www.medievaltimes.com.
PARK 75 Two seatings. The second seating includes live music, and a toast with Veuve Cliquot Grande Dame champagne. 6 and 9 p.m. 75 14th St. 404-253-3840. www.fourseasons.com/atlanta/dining.html.
REPAST A four- or six-course prix-fixe dinner with optional wine pairings. $75-$140. 620 N. Glen Iris Drive. 404-870-8707. www.repastrestaurant.com.
PURA VIDA Prix-fixe dinner includes three tapas, dessert and a glass of sparkling wine. $34-$45. 5:30-8 p.m. and 8:30-10:30 p.m. seatings. 656 N. Highland Ave. 404-870-9797. www.puravidatapas.com.
RIVER ROOM "Time Square in the Tavern," includes a three-course prix-fixe menu with a champagne toast. $69. 5:30 p.m. 4403 Northside Parkway. 404-233-5455. www.riverroom.com.
SHAUN'S Chef Shaun Doty offers a five-course meal with wine pairings. Dishes include zucchini lasagna with pine nut ricotta, turnip-and-apple soup with Berkshire pork belly, and homemade Kit Kat bars. $85-$125. 1029 Edgewood Ave. 404-577-4358. www.shaunsrestaurant.com.
THRIVE A four-course prix-fixe menu including tempura lobster tail, ginger-chicken pot stickers, apple fritters, and of course, a glass of celebratory champagne. $55. 5:30 p.m.-midnight. 101 Marietta St. 404-389-1000. www.thriveatl.com.
TROIS Three ways to celebrate on Trois' three floors: Dancing and DJs in the bar; regular menu on the second floor with a breakfast buffet beginning at 1 a.m.; and chef Jeremy Lieb's special menu upstairs with music from Chris Burke. Times and prices vary. 1180 Peachtree St. 404-815-3337. www.trois3.com/home.html.
TWO URBAN LICKS Holiday specials, a champagne toast and live band. 820 Ralph McGill Blvd. 404-522-4622. www.twourbanlicks.com.
VININGS INN A four-course prix-fixe dinner including a champagne toast. Live music from Theodis Ealey upstairs in the Attic Bar. 5:30 p.m. 3011 Paces Mill Road. 770-438-2282. www.viningsinn.com.