New Year’s Eve: Live Music


Terminal 5

You might want to make Terminal 5 your base of operations this New Year’s weekend. Though the Drive-By Truckers recently cancelled the remainder of their Northern European tour dates due to the collapse of lead singer Mike Cooley from exhaustion, you should still buy the tickets for their December 31 show and pray for his speedy recovery. This alt-country band is no joke. Then, once you’ve had your midday nap and a warm cup of snugglepuss tea, gut up and catch Gogol Bordello the next night. If you haven’t seen this band yet, you’re clearly not living every day like it’s your last. Their energy is infectious, and their frontman, Eugene Hutz, has an almost supernatural effect on his crowd. Picture a platoon of electrified, drunken gypsy pirates barging through your front door for Christmas dinner at Nana’s house, and you’ll come close to how much of a blast you’ll have. If only these two bands were playing together. . . . Drive-By Truckers’ December 31 show starts at 10 p.m., $35–$60; Gogol Bordello’s January 1 show at 8 p.m., $35; 610 West 56th Street, 212-582-6600,

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Years ago, a dirty old man I loved and admired told me about the greatest show he’d ever seen. It was 1987, and this weird little band from Austin had booked a show at a Ramada Inn somewhere in Connecticut. Onstage was a dancer named Ta-Da dancing in a glass tube to the music. As they began to play, a slime began to drizzle down on her from above, while a strange video played behind a crazy-looking frontman named Gibby. By the end of the show, the goo had reached the dancer’s chin, and everyone realized that they’d just seen a sex-change operation on the screen. That band’s name was the Butthole Surfers, and they play Brooklyn this New Year’s Eve. 66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718-486-5400,, $60


It’s getting cold outside. Nothing would be better than an impromptu island-hopping flight around the Caribbean on New Year’s Eve soaking up some sun with friends and a tall glass of Dominican rum on the rocks. But that ain’t happening. Fortunately, S.O.B.’s has the next best thing: Singer and percussionist Nanny Assis kicks off the night with his Bahia-inspired Afro-Brazilian beats, followed by the classic salsa sounds of Bio Ritmo. The night stops off in Haiti when Carimi takes the stage. $160 gets you a table, five-course meal, and a champagne toast. After midnight, admission drops to $30—and if you make it till dawn, they’ll serve you breakfast. 204 Varick Street, 212-243-4940,, $30–$160

Brooklyn Bowl

New York and Philadelphia need to just hook up and get it over with already. We’re both creative, forward-thinking, attractive, and available, and we’ve known each other for the longest time. That’s why it’s kind of a big deal that the Roots have decided to spend New Year’s Eve at our guesthouse in Brooklyn. This rough-and-ready sextet are the perfect middlemen for making all of this happen—they actually understand our dilemma (and they’re far smoother than any Pakistani matchmaker we’d be forced to hire). Once the deal is done, we’ll colonize New Jersey together and give birth to a glittering megalopolis called New Philadelphi, where our children will have their own unique hip-hop soundtrack and hoverboards will be the primary means of transportation. Doors open at 8 p.m., show begins at 10 p.m., open till 6 a.m., 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-963-3369,,, $85 and up

The Bell House

New York’s party scene is beginning to look and feel a lot more like it did back in 1977 when landlords were torching their buildings to the sounds of Motor City soul music. Those dark days should serve as a reminder that sometimes things can get so awful that the only thing you can do is ignore the smoke and sing your ass off. This New Year’s Eve, the Bell House is bringing you Dig Deeper, with performances by “Soul Sister Number One” Marva Whitney and Billy Prince of the Precisions, backed up by Brooklyn’s very own Sweet Divines. This is only the second show Whitney and Prince have played here in more than 40 years, so bust out your 45s and get your tickets now. Party starts at 8 p.m., 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, 718-643-6510,, $30–$35

The National Underground

Part of the excitement of not keeping normal hours is that I never know what I’ll come across at four in the morning in the Lower East Side. Usually, I find myself listening to the ravings of the homeless, since, coincidentally, their sleep patterns coincide with mine. But then, the other night, I heard an exquisite voice pouring out from an all-night café. It was like watching the sun rise in the west, something you would never have expected but still feel fortunate to have witnessed. Mikki Hommel will be at the National Underground this New Year’s Eve. Doors open at 8 p.m., 159 East Houston, 212-475-0611,,


Queer celeb and local entertainment demigod Murray Hill is hosting his annual New Year’s Eve variety extravaganza. Take his strong
and steady hand as he guides you through a sea of singers, DJs, performance artists, and live acts, delivering you and yours safely at 2011’s doorstep, wasted as shit and a little violated. Polyester and burlesque will definitely be in full effect as Mr. Showbiz himself has you dancing till dawn. The after-party promises to be memorable and intimate. Show starts at 10:30 p.m., 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-230-0236,, $45 and up

Blue Note

This New Year’s Eve, trumpeter Chris Botti will perform two shows as part of his three-week-long residency at Blue Note, which,
in the New York jazz world, is akin to having box seats to a Subway Series left under your pillow. Since 2004, the commercially successful Botti has been at the epicenter of American jazz and, unlike many of his contemporaries, he has managed to cross over seamlessly into the world of pop music with his seriously slick PBS specials. The guy is a road warrior: He spends 250 days a year touring the globe, a schedule that would make Henry Rollins blush. Accompanying him that night is the stunning violin virtuosa Chee Yun. The Jon Batiste Band takes over at 1 a.m. 131 West 3rd Street, 212-475-8592,, 7 p.m. show, $85 bar, $150 table; 10 p.m. show, $95 bar, $195 table