NYE party planner 

A survey of the best bets for ringing in the New Year.

If you're stepping out on New Year's Eve beyond dinner, you're likely headed to one of two sorts of shindigs: a big-ass party or a concert. Find out below where you fit in.

Do you enjoy congregating with mass chunks of humanity? Need to hear music you know when dancing? Like to have room to roam at your get-downs? Then you're headed to a big-ass party. And there's none bigger than New Year's Eve at The Peabody (8 p.m., $45 adv., $55 d.o.e.), with four bands and two DJs spread throughout the hotel's bars and ballrooms. The party starts in the hotel lobby, where Power 92's Tre' Day and jack-of-all-styles g-force spin hip-hop and pop in a DJ battle. From there, find Southern rock cover band CRISIS, party act Tragikly White or local jazz king Rodney Block in the ballrooms, or hang with the cigar smokers in Mallard's for sax and keyboard duo Wine and Roses. In the Peabody penthouse (9 p.m., $20), the High Society crew is throwing an exclusive party with DJ Hollywood, Spencer Rx, Big Brown and Chelsie's Angels Burlesque Troupe. Tickets are limited and available exclusively via RSVPsociety.com.

Other big-ass party options: Cajun's Wharf (4:30 p.m., $25) is counting down the New Year with The Buzz 103.7; a complimentary appetizer bar opens at 7 p.m. and arguably Little Rock's finest cover act, Cody Belew and the Mercers, does pop and R&B hits, beginning around 9 p.m. Chris Bowen and One Stone Productions always draw huge crowds wherever they throw events. On New Year's Eve, they're teaming with Infamous Events and B Dot to host a big soiree at the War Memorial Stadium Letterman's Club (8 p.m., $25 adv., $50 VIP), with live music by Tawanna Campbell, James "J-Dubb" Williams and Jeron and DJ Mike Blaze; the dress code is semi-formal. West Little Rock's favorite place to drink and sit in comfortable chairs, West End (10 p.m., $25), has modern rockers Pop Tart Monkeys and a balloon drop.

On the north side of the river, Fox and Hound (10 p.m., $15 or $25 per couple) hosts primo party band The Gettys for '80s night; dress in'80s style and entry is free. If all you want to do is dance, you're headed either to Electric Cowboy (7 p.m., $10) for a $1,000 balloon drop at midnight and the cha-cha slide, to Discovery (10 p.m., $25) for seasoned Vegas DJ Stellar, drag queens and the best New Year's Eve give-away around (a 2010 Mercedes Smart car) or to Juanita's (8 p.m., $10 adv., $15 d.o.s.; $25 adv., $30 d.o.s VIP) for contemporary EDM from Little Rock's biggest crews, Cool Shoes and Cyber Tribe.

If cover bands, balloon drops and DJs from Vegas sound like the seventh circle of hell, maybe a concert? The standout of the night is singer/songwriter Hayes Carll, a Texas native and Hendrix College alum who appears to be the heir to twang-y Texas songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle, who made careers out of striking an anti-Nashville pose. Armed with new songs from his upcoming album "KMAG YOYO (and Other American Stories)," Carll comes to Revolution (9:30 p.m., $20, 18 and older) with Memphis singer/songwriter Grace Askew and Oklahoma folky Travis Linville supporting.

Other concert options: St. Louis pop-soul act Fundamental Elements is at Stickz (9 p.m., $10 adv., $15 d.o.s.) with Scratch Track opening. At White Water Tavern (10 p.m., $5), Jonathan Wilkins plays good-time barroom rock built on a folk foundation. In Spa City, Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth celebrate the release of its new album, "Hell's Angles" and share the bill with Man Against Fire, Flameing Daeth Fearies, The Vail, Afternoon Delight and PWK at Maxine's (8 p.m., $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.). Rockers White Collar Criminals play Markham St. Grill (9 p.m., free). Long tenured local musicians make up the experimental rock act Ugly Stuff, which plays Union (11 p.m., free). North Little Rock country-tinged rockers NeverTrain perform at Flying Saucer (10 p.m., $10-$15). Local metal and post-grunge heroes Four on the Floor bring their faithful to Underground (10 p.m., $10). Denton's (9 p.m.) hosts party band Typhoid Mary. Rockers Embrace the Crash and The Supporting Cast are at Cregeen's (8:30 p.m., $10). William Staggers and co. do funk and soul at the Afterthought (9 p.m., $20). Prog-rockers Joey Farr and the Fuggins Wheat Band return to Midtown (11 p.m., $8), where all the downtown partygoers will start to filter in after bars close at 2 a.m.

Finally, they're not big-ass parties and they're not concerts, but they still deserve your consideration: New bar/multi-purpose space Mediums (7 p.m., $15-$20) screens Berry Gordy's martial arts film "The Last Dragon" and offers an oxygen bar. Intimate dance club Sway (8 p.m., $10) hosts DJ Silky Slim and offers a VIP champagne package. Hillcrest hangout The House (10 p.m., free) stages a dance party with Dr. Mysterium DJing. And Town Pump doesn't have music or special event, but it is setting up a peanut butter and jelly bar.

Be safe.



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