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
New Times New Year's Eve Guide
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.
Fiesta Bowl Block Party
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.
Cave Creek Coffee Company
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.
New Year's Eve jazz night featuring the ensemble of David Valdivia, Vic Kotner, Dick Curtis, Tim Downs, and others. Food and drink specials will also be offered. 6:30 p.m. Call 602-864-0043.
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.
7014 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
Feast on white tuna sashimi, Berkshire pork chops, and dark chocolate cake during New Year's Eve at this tony NoSco chophouse, which will serve a multi-course prix-fixe menu all evening. 4 to 11 p.m. $65 per person until 5:30 p.m., $85 afterwards. Call 480-423-7000.
15024 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Enjoy trattoria-syle Italian dining at this north Scottsdale eatery, which will offer a three-course prix-fixe menu featuring trio of crab, grilled rack of lamb, and warm chocolate Nutella cake. 4 to 10 p.m. $40 per person until 5:30 p.m., $60 afterwards. Call 480-948-2055.
Olive & Ivy
7135 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
Enjoy luxurious canal-side dining while partaking in a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu consisting of house smoked salmon, veal ravioli, and cabernet truffle torte. 4 to 11 p.m.; $45 per person until 5:30 p.m., $55 afterwards. Call 480-751-2200.
7299 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
The chefs at Roka will be pulling out all the stops for their five-course New Year's Eve menu available for $89 per person. In addition to such creations as Kumomoto oysters with caviar and fresh yuzu, the repast includes lobster tempura with wasabi mayonnaise and chili ponzu, and lamb cutlets with Korean spices. The Dan Delaney Trio will provide the music starting at 9 p.m. and the Shochu Lounge will be open for drinks and small plate munches. 4 p.m. for the lounge, 6:30 p.m. for the special menu. Call 480-306-8800.
6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale
Highlights of this restaurant's New Year's celebration includes a midnight champagne toast, party favors, prizes, a balloon drop, and music from DJ Shade. 8 p.m. $35 per person (which includes access to Westgate's party). Call 623-877-4760.
BARS & CLUBS
The Blooze Bar
12014 N. 32nd St.
Lucky 11 party with music from Rock Addix, hors d'oeuvres, a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, and more. 8:30 p.m., $5. Call 602-788-4574.
Breakroom Bar & Grill
4729 E. McDowell Rd.
New Year's party with karaoke and drink specials. 8 p.m. Call 602-267-1010.
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe
New Year's Eve bash with DJ Kid Vicious in the mix, affordable bottle service, and more. 9 p.m. $5. Call 480-894-1111.
6770 Sunrise Blvd., Glendale
New Year's Eve masquerade ball with complimentary champagne, $1 top-shelf cocktails, and more. 9 p.m. $50 presale. Call 623-877-5225.
28244 N. Tatum Blvd.
Drink specials, live music by Tickle, champagne toast at midnight, and complimentary shuttle service. 6 p.m. Call 480-538-8008.
CK's Tavern & Grill
4142 E. Chandler Blvd.
Live music from Radio Logic, food and drink, complimentary champagne toast, and more. 9 p.m. Call 480-706-5564.
3935 E. Thomas Rd.
Ring in the New Year with a few games of pool, darts, or foosball. A flat rate of $13 will be offered on all billiards tables while a champagne toast goes down at midnight. 7 p.m. Call 602-220-0859.
560 S. College Ave., Tempe
New Year's Eve party with two-for-one drinks until 1 a.m., giveaways from Three Olives and Four Peaks, music and entertainment, and more. 9 p.m. Call 480-967-2536.
Cream Stereo Lounge
4252 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
This swank Scottsdale dance emporium will transform into a Winter Wonderland on New Year's Eve, offering ice luges, falling snowflakes, ice sculptures, and a $500 balloon drop. DJ Dave Matthias will spin house music all evening and specials on Skyy Vodka will be available. 9 p.m., $10. Call 510-326-6710 for table reservations.
40 E. Camelback Rd.
The early-'90s hitmakers of H-Town will stage a New Year's Eve concert at Doc's. Expect to hear plenty of slow jams and old school R&B, including the group's chart-topper "Knocking Them Boots." 8 p.m., $25. Call 602-277-5999.
Dubliner Irish Pub
8719 E. Thunderbird Rd.
New Year's Party with party favors, champagne at midnight, music from High & Tight, and more. 9 p.m., $5. Call 602-867-0984.
Goat Head Saloon
1423 S. Country Club Dr., Mesa
If you're the sort of cat who believe AC/DC's 1980 LP Back in Black was one of the quintessential rock platters of all time, be sure to swing by Goat Head on New Year's Eve. Local tribute act AZ/DZ will be recreate the album in its entirety. Meanwhile, Mötley Crüe cover band Live Wire will also perform. 8 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Call 480-464-8030.
1371 N. Alma School Rd., Chandler
Playmate Mansion Party featuring live music, DJs, dancing, drink specials, and more. 6 p.m.; free before 7 p.m., $5 before 9 p.m., and $10 thereafter. Call 480-899-6735.
4280 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale
High Society Fridays will present a swanky celebration offering complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne at midnight, an open bar until 10:30 p.m., party favors, and DJs Kaydee and Robby Rob. 9 p.m. $20 presale. Call 602-373-0600.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale
New Year's Eve party with party favors, drink specials, music from The Walkens, a midnight champagne toast, and more. Reserved seating and VIP bottle service is also available. 8 p.m., $30 (includes admission to Westgate's block party). Call 623-772-0011.
5930 W. Greenway Rd., Glendale
Rock 'n' roll cover band Burnin' Betty will perform. 9:30 p.m. Call 602-938-9330.
The Lost Leaf
914 N. 5th St.
The downtown drinkery will host New Year's Eve performances by Sunorus and Haymarket Squares. 5 p.m. Call 602-258-0014.
Marc's Sports Grill & Nightlife
4494 W. Peoria Ave., Glendale
New Years Eve celebration featuring balloon drops, party favors, karaoke in the MarcTini Lounge, dancing in the main bar, and more. 7 p.m., free before 9. Call 623-842-1053.
7295 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale
The power-poppers of Hollywood Heartthrob will perform, with support from the Renaldo Moreno Band and Party Mcfly. 8 p.m., $10. Call 480-970-0500.
9425 W. Coyotes Blvd., Glendale
This Glendale party pub will offer a raucous celebration boasting champagne, dinner buffet, balloon drop, party favors, gift bags, and $1 drinks with premium liquors. 8 p.m., $50. (The bar will also be selling discounted admission to Westgate's block party). Call 623-872-0022.
Metro Sportz Bar
10402 N. Black Canyon Hwy.
New Year's Party with food and drink specials, billiards, and more. 8 p.m. Call 602-997-5717.
Native New Yorker
2740 W. Bell Rd.
New Year's Eve featuring karaoke all evening. 9 p.m. Call 602-863-1417.
8110 W. Union Hills Dr., Glendale
White Out New Year's Eve Party with DJs like and DJ Grund will be in the mix, drink specials such as $3 White Gummy Bear Shots, and a champagne toast at midnight. 7 p.m. $5. Call 623-825-4988.
2120 W. Guadalupe Rd., Mesa
New Year's party with party favors, Wild Turkey promo giveaways, drink specials, midnight champagne toast, music from 68 Guns, and free rides home. 8 p.m. Call 480-756-6069.
Red Onion Lounge
15002 N. Cave Creek Rd.
Drink specials, karaoke hosted by Rev. John, and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 p.m. Call 602-867-9989.
1019 E. Indian School Rd.
Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns say farewell to 2010 with an evening of blues and funk. Party favors and a champagne toast at midnight are also promised. 8 p.m. $15. Call 602-265-4842.
423 N. Scottsdale Rd.
New Year's Dance-Rock-A-Thon with DJs, drink specials, midnight champagne toast, and music from Super Stereo, Kongos, and others. 8 p.m. Call 480-947-3580.
5830 W. Bell Rd., Glendale
1010 W. Southern Ave., Mesa
Both locations will offer a free champagne toast, party favors, DJs and dancing, a raffle with $1,000 in prizes and giveaways, and such alcohol specials as $1 well drinks in Glendale and $2.50 Harp and Smirnoff in Mesa. 9 p.m. $10. Call 602-938-5300 or 480-844-1290.
401 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Duck into Rula Bula for food and drink specials, promos, giveaways, party favors, live music from The Love Brokers, and a the requisite midnight champagne toast. Opens at 11 a.m. Call 480-929-9500.
The Sail Inn
26 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe
Live music by Xtra Ticket, Flathead, and others. 8 p.m. Call 480-966-9565 for cover.
Steel Horse Saloon
1818 W. Bell Rd.
New Year's Eve bash featuring music from Phat Bastard, party favors, a midnight champagne toast, food, and more. 9 p.m. Call 602-942-8778.
2808 E. Indian School Rd.
New Year's Eve party with music from Dead Hot Workshop, Ghetto Cowgirl, and others. 9 p.m. Call 602-840-0991.
2915 N. 68th St., Scottsdale
New Year's Eve party with drink specials, free champagne at midnight, and music from TT's killer jukebox. 9 p.m. Call 480-947-8723.
What The Hell Bar & Grill
10262 E. Apache Trail
New Year's Eve Party with a midnight champagne toast, party favors, late-night breakfast buffet, music from Hardride, and more. 9 p.m., $5. Call 480-380-6000.
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11701 W. Glendale Ave.
Midnight champagne toast, drink and bottle specials, and plenty of lovely ladies. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; no cover until 10 p.m. Call 623-872-1365.