By Kathleen Vanesian
By Amy Silverman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Jim Louvau
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Benjamin Leatherman
By New Times
By Becky Bartkowski
Local musician Michael Red is giving up smoking. Turntablist William Fucking Reed hopes to get more socially active. And Silver Medallion's Oren J. plans on taking up painting. So what's your New Year's resolution? Better get thinking, as 2011 is mere days away. In the meantime, peruse our annual compilation of the biggest and best parties that will be taking place on Friday, December 31.
The Comedy Spot
Epic Red Cup Massive: The freaks and geeks from Warsaw Pact Entertainment are moving up in the world. Over the past two years, their Epic Red Cup Massive was held out in the barren desert or at a tony mansion. This time around, however, they're making like the Jeffersons and moving the event on up to deluxe digs of The Venue Scottsdale, 7117 East Third Avenue. The entertainment lineup's also been upgraded this year and will feature a bizarre bazaar of sideshow acts like the Strange Family Circus, performance artists, and other freaks of nature. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is $25-$100. See www.warsawpactaz.com.
The Love Me Nots: If anyone is happy to put this year in her rear-view mirror, it's definitely Nicole Laurenne. The lead singer of revered Valley retro-rock act The Love Me Nots received troubling news over the summer when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Laurenne fought the good fight and is now both cancer-free and looking ahead to a better and brighter days in 2011 (including releasing the band's newest album) but not before the Love Me Nots say goodbye to 2010 with a big-time blast at the Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue in Tempe. Grave Danger and The Breakup Society share the bill. The music starts at 9 p.m. and there's no cover. Call 480-967-4777.
West Valley New Years Party: The folks behind this annual West Valley New Years wingding are planning plenty of entertainment and distractions for the event taking place at the Westgate City Center, 1 Coyotes Boulevard in Glendale. The lineup includes live music from Metalhead and Rock Lobster, games, arts and crafts, and other fun. The centerpiece of the party, however, will be a marriage ceremony performed for 11 different couples at the stroke of midnight. Be sure to bring some rice. The party starts at 7 p.m. and admission is $15-$25. Visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Authority Zero: Jason DeVore and the rest of the punks of Authority Zero will be celebrating New Year's Eve in front of a hometown crowd when they take over the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe, during Auld Lange Syne. SoCal skate-punkers Strung Out are also scheduled to perform, along with locals Fayuca, Westcott Ave, and DCVD. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $10-$22 in advance, $25 day of show. Call 480-829-0707 or visit www.luckymanonline.com.
7117 E. 3rd Ave., Scottsdale
Though Andy Warhol stated that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame, Z-List personality Kato Kaelin has been attempting to squeeze out a few extra minutes over the past decade and a half. His latest gig? Serving as host of the Comedy Spot's New Year's Eve laugh-fest, which will feature yukster The Greg Wilson. 8 and 10 p.m. $20-$40. Call 480-945-4422.
The Compound Grill
7000 E. Mayo Blvd.
Brooklyn-based funk act Pimps of Joytime will offer a special performance. An optional $15 dinner buffet or bottle of champagne will also be available. 10 p.m. $25 general admission, $30 reserved seating. Call 480-585-5483.
Mill Avenue District, Tempe
The 2010 version of the event will be feature a performance by local boys Jimmy Eat World, as well as more than three dozen Valley bands. There's also magic shows, food courts, dance clubs, beer gardens, fireworks, sports bars, street performers, a "Legends of Rock Lane," and — of course — the countdown at midnight. 4 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. $20. See www.fiestabowl.org.
Fort McDowell Casino
10424 N. Fort McDowell Rd., Fort McDowell
Celebrate New Year's Eve with party favors, a midnight champagne toast, free appetizers, live music from Furious George at 9 p.m. in the Lucky 7 Saloon, and more. 7 p.m. Call 800-843-3678.
Scottsdale's Ultimate Block Party
Craftsman Court Entertainment District
4209 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale
Rock fans of every stripe will likely be satisfied by the slate of bands scheduled to perform at this annual Old Town affair: SoCal group Rx Bandits rock an alt-prog/reggae vibe, Breakdown offers tribute to Tom Petty's musical oeuvre, Unskinny Bop serves up Poison's greatest sleaze metal hits, and the boys from La La Lust do their electro/hipster thing. This massive Auld Lange Syne event, which encompasses Craftsman Court and such bars as The White House and Dos Gringos, will also feature eight different DJs, beer and wine vendors, and more. Gates open at 6 p.m. and general admission is $20-$35. A VIP package is also available for $100 per person and includes a hosted food buffet, drinks, and a special view of the stage. See www.scottsdalesultimateblockparty.com.
225 E. Adams St.
Viennese conductor Loras John Schissel will lead the Phoenix Symphony through a performance of audience favorites, including Suppé's Overture to Die schöne Galathée, Ziehrer's Hereinspaziert, and Strauss' Kaiser-Walzer. Soprano Anna-Lisa Hackett will also accompany the orchestra. 7 p.m. $27-$83. Call 602-495-1999 or visit www.phoenixsymphony.org.
930 E. University Dr., Tempe
Comedian Paul Rodriguez cracks wise and slings yuks during a pair of New Year's standup sessions. $60 for the 7 p.m. show, and $65 for the 10 p.m. show. Call 480-921-9877.
Blanco Tacos + Tequila
6166 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Satisfy your taco cravings with a prix-fixe dinner that will be served at this swanky south-of-the-border joint during New Year's Eve. Highlights include seared ahi tacos and mixed-berry margaritas. 5 p.m., $40 per person.
8877 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Dungeness crab chowder, roasted rack of lamb, and peanut butter baileys mousse are the highlights of Bloom's three-course prix-fixe menu on New Year's Eve. 4 to 10 p.m. $45 per person until 5:30 p.m., $55 afterward. Call 480-922-5666.
6033 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek
Can't afford a trip to Times Square? Then check out C4's "It's Midnight In New York" New Years Black and White Ball offering a three-course menu that features such delights as butternut squash soup, cinnamon crème fraîche, bacon-wrapped scallops, and herb-crusted rack of lamb. Reservations required. 5 to 10 p.m. $35 per person. Call 480-488-0603.
The House at Secret Garden
2501 E. Baseline Rd.
Locavores will delight at the special five-course New Year's Eve menu being planned by chef Pat Christofolo, which includes marinated beef loin with queen creek aged balsamic, organic sage and butternut squash soup, and roasted beet and arugula salad garnished with hazelnuts and Salem blue cheese. Reservations requested. Seatings are at 5 and 7:30 p.m., $65 per person. Call 602-243-8539.
Los Compadres Restaurant
2350 W. Northern Ave.
4338 W. Bell Rd., Glendale
A dinner buffet featuring such selections as blackened salmon, shrimp jambalaya, and prime rib will be served during Padre's New Year's Eve party, which will also feature music from Knight Flight, hats and party favors, reserved tables, and a midnight champagne toast. 7 p.m. $25 per person. Call 602-547-9406.
Matador Mexican Restaurant
125 E. Adams St.
Ritmo Latino Entertainment puts on its New Years Eve Bash with live bands, Latin dance music from DJ NERD, giveaways, and such drink specials as $1 Adios Mother Fuckers and Bud Lights. 8 p.m. $10 pre-sale, $15 at the door. Call 602-254-7563.