Well, I’m no Tim Sampson. I’m just the intern, so I’ll try to be brief. Here are some ideas for New Year’s Eve that don’t involve a large pizza and a six-pack. FOOD Koto, The Restaurant: Gourmet meal, $65 per person. Seatings are at 6, 8, and 10 p.m. 22 South Cooper (722-2244) Melange New Year’s Eve Party: Four-course dinner with lots of champagne to bring in a toasty New Year. $65 per person before 9:30 p.m., $80 per after that. Apparently, someone at Melange figures that latecomers will want more booze than food. Go figure. 948 S. Cooper (276-0002) Sekisui Pacific Rim: $65 per person with seatings at 6 and 9 p.m. 4724 Poplar Avenue (767-7770) EVENTS The most obvious choice is the Beale Street New Year’s Eve Countdown Get Down. Your $20 will get you a wristband and admission to more than 20 clubs as well as Handy Park. It gets pretty crowded, but that’s cool if you need someone conveniently within arm’s reach for a kiss at midnight. The Peabody New Year’s Eve ‘00: Five gala parties at The Peabody: the Memphis Ballroom with the Jim Johnson Orchestra, the Continental Ballroom with the Tyrone Smith Revue, the Venetian-Forest Rooms with Orquestra Caliente, the Grand Lobby with the Di Anne Price Trio, and Hernando DeSoto Club Bar’s Martini and Cigar Bar. The parties start at 7 p.m. and prices start at $550 a couple, which includes entry to all parties and accommodations at the hotel. 149 Union (529-4140) Hands on Memphis 4th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball: Entertainment by Figure 8, DJ Stash, the Daddy Mack Blues Band, and Lex Bonner. The show is at the Memphis Botanic Garden and tickets are $90. 750 Cherry Road (725-2132) Gold Strike Casino: Magician extraordinaire Brett Daniels will give his farewell performance on New Year’s Eve. Tickets are $24.95 with performances at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Casino Center Drive, Tunica, MS (1-888-24K-PLAY) Bright Lights! Broadway!: At the Germantown Performing Arts Centre, come watch performances of Broadway’s biggest hits, including selections from Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Rent, Titanic, Cabaret, Cats, and Miss Saigon. Show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $40. 1801 Exeter Road (324-3627) Blues New Year Party: The Fieldstones will bring in the New Year at the Center for Southern Folklore. Tickets are only $10. 119 S. Main at Pembroke Square (525-3655) Say it with me: Flaming Stone Beer is very cool. Go to Boscos at the Saddle Creek Shopping Center for a four-course dinner, swing music with the Memphis Hep Cats, and a beer if you want it. 7615 W. Farmington (756-7310) MUSIC Hey Youse Guys who thinks theys in New York or something. Go on out to Automatic Slim’s and celebrate “Big Apple-style” with Gary Johns & His Orchestra. There are two seatings, and reservations are required. 83 S. Second St. (525-7948 The Loony Bin will host comedian Rahn Ramey for a special New Year’s Eve performance. 2125 Madison (725-5653) Playing at Dick’s Last Resort, Rockers Oysterfella. 340 Beale Street (543-0900) There’s lots happening at Rum Boogie Cafe this New Year’s Eve. The Calvin Newborn Duo plays from 6 to 9 p.m. and then James Govan & the Boogie Blues Band will perform with Rufus Thomas from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Also, in the Blues Hall Coffee Shop, Memphis James will jam from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. 182 Beale Street (528-0150) Ringing in the New Year at The Black Diamond is Reba Russell. While you’re there, stop next door to that voodoo shop to pick up a love potion. If you’re wearing that shirt, you’re going to need it. 153 Beale Street (521-0800) Why settle for the glitz of The Peabody when you can saunter over in your best duds to Bubba’s Ale House & Grille? Little Miss Lethal Lisa and the Chronix will be there. 7041 Highway 64 (937-1911) There’s always a big show at The New Daisy Theatre and this New Year’s Eve is no different. As always, the names of the bands are as interesting as the music they play, with Saliva and the Verbs bringing down the house with spit and an active voice. 330 Beale Street (525-8979) One of my favorite dance clubs, Alfred’s, will host three full acts on New Year’s Eve. First, Reid, Tutor, and Sometimes Smith will perform from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Then Nation will bring in the New Year with a set from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. D.J. Mark Anderson will end the evening with dance music until 5 a.m. 197 Beale Street (525-3711) JoJo Jeffries will be at Justin’s Grille this New Year’s Eve, playing songs from her newly released CD. Tickets are $7.50 in advance and $10 at the door. Show starts at 10 p.m. 7020 E. Shelby Dr., Germantown (758-2432) Four of the six Huey’s restaurants will host their own music on the 31st with the Roulette Brothers Band playing at Huey’s Downtown (77 S. Second, 527-2700), The Barnstormers and Sam Carr of the Jelly Roll Kings playing at Huey’s Midtown (1927 Madison, 726-4372), Chaser playing at Huey’s East (2858 Hickory Hill, 375-4373) and the Witch Doctors playing at Huey’s Cordova (1771 Germantown Parkway, 754-3885). All shows run from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. with a $5 cover, which includes a party favor and “celebratory beverage” at midnight. Remember last year’s millennium hysteria? One popular theory was that aliens would come down and take over the world. Well, you can still live that dream at The Flying Saucer and its New “BEERS” Eve featuring the band Exodus. There’s a $10 cover and table reservations are available. 130 Peabody Place (523-8536) At Newby’s, Memphis favorites Big Ass Truck along with the Kudzu Kings will perform. 539 S. Highland (452-8408) What could be better than a monkey on New Year’s Eve? How about a Blue Monkey show with The Sallymacs? 2012 Madison (272-BLUE) Start your New Year being a polite little camper at the Have a Nice Day Cafe and their Disco Ball 2001. There’s a buffet from 8 to 11 p.m. and a countdown and dropping of the Happy Ball at midnight. 349 Beale St. (529-8845) Okay, here are some other venues with shows on New Year’s. At The Cockeyed Camel (5871 Poplar, 683-4056), Backstage Pass; at the Bottom Line (1817 Kirby Parkway, 755-2481), Fall from Grace; at Patrick’s (4698 Spottswood, 682-2853), Bobby Lawson & Smokehouse; at Elvis Presley’s Memphis (126 Beale Street, 527-9036), the Dempseys; at Club 152 (152 Beale Street, 544-7011), the Kirk Smithhart Band; at The French Quarter Suites (2144 Madison, 728-4000), Todd Hale & Company; at Backtracks, Gabby Johnson; at The Inkslingers Cafe (299 S. Main, 527-3758), Crash Pattern and Bad Planet; at Legends on Beale (326 Beale Street, 523-7444), the Untouchables and CYC; at High Point Pinch (111 Jackson, 525-4444), the 5 that Framed OJ; at Hard Rock Cafe (315 Beale Street, 529-0007), the John Lisa Band; at the Hi-Tone CafŽ (1913 Poplar, 278-TONE), the River Bluff Clan; at T.G.’s Lounge (3870 Macon, 324-5967), Stuart Patterson & Company; at T.J. Mulligans on Quince (6635 Quince, 753-8056), the Plaintiffs; and at The P&H Cafe (1532 Madison Ave., 726-0906), the Ramparts. I’m sure there are a bunch more, but that’s a pretty darn big (and good) selection. Be safe, have a great time, and get out for New Year’s!

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