By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
Patti Smith dances barefoot, spits on the floor, and heckles the audience. The crotchety punk poet returns to the Bowery for her annual set of New Year's shows. The night belongs to her and leaves her plenty of room to revisit her full body of work; chances are this year's performances will include selections from the wondrous and seminal Horses (which she re-recorded last year) as well as the election year appropriate Whitman-esque democratic anthem "People Have the Power." The Rimbaud-channeling new wave priestess and ultimate New Yorker's blend of critique and celebration, coupled with her loyal audience's enthusiasm (and its expected but unusual diversity in terms of age), is just about the perfect way to end one year and start another. Doors open at 9, 6 Delancey Street, 212-533-2111, $55. K.H.
Caroline's Comedy Club
A few chuckles might help usher in the New Year. Check out the two shows at Caroline's. Both shows feature comedians Pete Correale, Rodney Laney, Wil Sylvince, Rich Vos, and Bonnie McFarlane. There's also the pre-show dinner and V.I.P. seating at Caroline's Supper Lounge (two-drink minimum). A DJ provides the tunes for a late night of dancing. But beware: Caroline's is near Times Square; be prepared to battle the crowd. At 8, 1626 Broadway, 212-757-4100, $38 for the early set, $92 for the late show.A.B.
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Line up for the Concert for Peace at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine if you're looking for a less raucous time. This year's meditative, candlelit concert, a New York tradition started by Leonard Bernstein, features opera singer Lauren Flanigan with conductor Glen Cortese and host Harry Smith. Seating for this concert is first-come, first-serve. A very limited number of reserved seats are on sale. (Tip: Those hoping for free admission should arrive early, because capacity is reduced by the renovation and cleaning of the cathedral.) At 7, 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, 212-316-7540, $55 for reserved seating, free otherwise.A.B.
Sandra Bernhard starts the year off raunchy with two shows at the Pub. But the real party is the after-party at 11:59, a downtown performance showcase co-hosted by cult drag star Dina Martina (who's known for her signature "camel toe" and Vegas outfits). The part cabaret, part rock show, part late-night/early-morning dance party sponsored by the online portal scenedowntown.com includes the Wau Wau Sisters, Electric Fiction, the Fabulous Entourage, Mike Albo, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Neal Medlyn, Bridgett Everett, Tangerine Jones, Glenn Marla, and Cintra Wilson (as the Emperor Nero). At 7:30 and 10:30, 425 Lafayette Street, 212-967-7555, $100 and $150, after-party $30 in advance, $40 at the door.A.B.
Mates of State are an organ-and-drums indie-rock duo originally from Kansas (now they're married with a kid and live in Connecticut) playing emo-pop with a new wave synthetic sound and quirky harmonies. The group +/- open for them. Also, U-melt, a jam band, play two sets at the 2 a.m. show. At 10:30, 74 Leonard Street, 212-219-3006, knittingfactory.com $20, late show also $20. A.B.
Laugh Lounge NYC
The talent lineup hasn't been announcedat this comfortable, no-frills Lower East Side stand-up comedy club, but admission to the New Year's Eve show includes four drinks and a champagne toast, a DJ, appetizers, and party favors. Shows at 8 p.m., 10 p.m., and 1 a.m., 151 Essex Street, 212-614-2500, $75 at 8; $95 at 10; $50 for the late show.A.B.
Madison Square Garden
In what's becoming a New Year's Eve tradition, the ever rotating cast of Georgia's always fan-pleasing Black Crowes and their blues-based new-classic hard rock migrate north for the holidays, supporting the release of their Lost Crowesalbum, culled from previously unreleased mid-'90s recording sessions. Two less arena-oriented acts also get time on the big stage: Along for the ride are Louisville's reverb-loving alt-country jam-band favorites My Morning Jacket and Grammy-nominated psych-tinged blues rockers the North Mississippi Allstars. At 9, 32nd Street and Seventh Avenue, 212-465-6741, ticketmaster.com, $45$65. K.H.
Peter Norton Symphony Space
The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players have been offering their interpretations of Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, and the rest of Sullivan's scores and Gilbert's wit since 1974 under the tutelage of founder, general manager, and artistic director Albert Bergeretwhen he isn't directing lesser-known Verdi operas for the New York Grand Opera, that is. Tonight the NYGASPers indulge in their annual champagne gala, pairing songs, scenes, and audience-request improv with complimentary bubbly. At 8, 2537 Broadway, 212-864-5400, $55$75. K.H.
St. Bartholomew's Church
It's everything from Bach to Broadway to the Beatles at St. Bart's on New Year's Eve. The church offers the Brandenburg Concerti with Anthony Newman and the BachWorks orchestra. Later on, William K. Trafka, St. Bartholomew's director of music, takes over on the new organ console, playing Broadway and Beatles classics as well as music by Whitlock, Buxtehude, and Neely Bruce. Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" is the musical selection scheduled for the stroke of midnight. At 8, 109 East 50th Street, 212-378-0222, $35 and $45, $20 for students/seniors.A.B.