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The Daily
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What are you doing for New Year's in Madison?
As 2011 arrives, the clubs rock with bands and DJs
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The schedule of touring bands all but dries up this time of year. Happily, New Year's Eve is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the best in local music, whether your thing is live rock, folk, jazz, blues or DJs' dance-floor-motivating sets. Rich Albertoni and Jessica Steinhoff pick highlights for Dec. 31.

Lou and Peter Berryman
Goodman Community Center, 8 pm

Seeking a quintessentially Madison New Year's Eve experience? Look no further than the Berrymans' annual end-of-year folk bash and community-center fundraiser. Witty ditties about the Dairy State are the specialty of these nationally celebrated local residents, taking the shape of accordion-laced polkas, gleeful waltzes and quirky folk-pop yarns. In fact, with a repertoire of more than 200 original songs, they've got a tune for almost any challenge or reward life might throw your way in 2011. Consider this show preparation for both as you clap and chuckle your way toward midnight. (Jessica Steinhoff)

DJs David Muhammad, Alex
Cardinal Bar, 8 pm

Madison's longstanding dance bar is doing what you might expect for New Year's Eve - throwing an all-night dance party that doesn't end until 5 a.m. If you're determined to celebrate till 2011's first dawn and then sleep until Rose Bowl kickoff, the Cardinal is the place for you. DJ David Muhammad, with the help of DJ Alex, will keep a groove going for nine hours. That should be no problem for Muhammad, a veteran DJ of the Madison dance scene who's long been associated with his hip-hop radio show on WSUM. Madison's DJ mixes are high on multiculturalism, and Muhammad's style thrives on reggaeton, hip-hop and Latin. They're styles that often lend themselves to long dance mixes better than rock and pop. (Rich Albertoni)

Hometown Sweethearts, Mama Digdown's Brass Band
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm

Two of Madison's most beloved party bands aren't just sharing a bill; they're teaming up for at least a few numbers. Will Mama Digdown's add a funky, down-in-the-bayou twist to the Sweethearts' rendition of "Dancing With Myself" or sprinkle some Dixieland sugar on "Viva Las Vegas"? One thing's for sure: Once the ball drops in Times Square and the champagne starts flowing, anything goes. (J.S.)

Dave Austin, Live at Nine
Come Back Inn and Essen Haus, 9 pm

Double the pleasure, double the fun as the rustic tavern and Bavarian drinking hall join forces to welcome 2011. Two buffets, two bars and two dance floors open at 6 p.m., music at both venues begins at 9 p.m., and free champagne arrives at midnight. Local polka purveyor Dave Austin will get the crowd rolling out the barrel and pondering who stole the kishka, while Live at Nine will offer sassy, brassy renditions of blues and classic rock favorites, from ZZ Top's "Cheap Sunglasses" to B.B. King's "Stormy Monday." (J.S.)

DJs Mike Carlson, Kid Cut Up
Great Dane Downtown, 9 pm

For Mike Carlson, 2010 began with his house burning down. In the weeks that followed, local DJs gathered to play benefit shows for one of their most respected artists. We trust 2011 will commence in better ways for Carlson, who'll ring out the year at 9, followed by DJ Kid Cut Up at midnight. The Kid was voted Milwaukee's Best Club DJ in the 2009 Shepherd Express reader's poll. The musical styles he blends into his mixes range from hip-hop to punk. (R.A.)

High Noon's New Year's Eve Bash 2010
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm

The saloon's end-of-the-year fete is a berserk buffet of local metal, punk and ear-candy pop. Get sappy, silly and downright spazzy with the Midwest Beat and Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, practice your fist pumping to the melodic punk of the Gusto, then welcome 2011 headbanger-style to the raucous riffage of Hell Toupée, Knuckel Drager and Droids Attack. WORT's Jenni Ladd and Reverend Velveteen will provide some synapse-tingling tunes between sets. (J.S.)

Piano Fondue
Brink Lounge, 9 pm

This dueling-pianos extravaganza has little to do with melted cheese and lots to do with hot pop and rock 'n' roll hits. Request a crowd-pleaser like Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" or Queen's "We Are the Champions" to usher in the new year. (J.S.)

DJs Psychotron, Foundation,Wyatt Agard, Matt Fanale, Storm, Al Ritchie, St. Luke
Club Inferno, 9 pm

It makes sense that the biggest local DJ bash takes place at Club Inferno. The goth/industrial dance club has powered the local electronic music scene for 15 years. This year's party is a Masquerade Ball that lasts until 4 a.m. Some of Madison's BPM pioneers will be on hand, including Al Ritchie, whose WORT radio show and now-defunct East Johnson Street record store introduced Madison to a wide variety of styles. Matt Fanale has been a staple of the Inferno scene and released a CD earlier this year titled And You Will Know Me By the Trail of Vomit. Wyatt Agard started to DJ locally in 1999. The wide variety of mixes he's posted to includes "Moombahton," which he describes as "slowed-down Dutch House with a reggae beat over the top." (R.A.)

The Treats, aLETHIO
Frequency, 9 pm

It's a grab bag of danceable musical delights at the Frequency this New Year's Eve. Local trio the Treats take an "everything but the kitchen sink" approach to songcraft, mixing blues, folk, punk and more into a base of good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, while aLETHIO fuses folk and electro influences with a healthy dose of weirdness and a penchant for birds. Rescue School, Coloratura and Puffin will round out the bill by rockin' the house loud and proud. (J.S.)

Blues by 5 and 'The Final Jam'
Restaurant Magnus, 9:30 pm

Blues by 5, the local ensemble of jazz-playing scientists, will dazzle drinkers and diners with fast-paced standards from the 1950s and '60s, which may include the Red Garland tune that inspired their name. Ask for their hepcat version of Van Morrison's "Moondance" to ring in the new year with classic cool. Then stick around to toast Magnus performers old and new as they jive and jam into the wee hours of the morning. After tonight, the restaurant closes its doors for good. (J.S.)

Joel Paterson Blues Roundup with Jim Liban
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm

The Harmony is celebrating the holidays with a gust of Windy City culture. Blues harmonica hotshot Jim Liban will join hometown-boy-turned-Chicago-dynamo Joel Paterson, making the near-east-side watering hole sound like a live version of Junior Wells' classic 1965 album Hoodoo Man Blues. Meanwhile, champagne, party favors and a spectacular snack spread will remind you it's a New Year's Eve party in marvelous Madison. (J.S.)

DJ Danny El Niche
Jolly Bob's Caribbean Restaurant and Bar, 10 pm

If you're tired of spending New Year's Eve enduring frigid temperatures but don't have the money to travel south, Jolly Bob's is an escape tailor-made for you. The Caribbean restaurant and bar is a tropical oasis in the frozen North. Even its website has images of sandy beaches, sunflowers and bikini-clad ocean swimmers. Danny El Niche spins salsa, merengue, reggaeton and bachata. It's music best enjoyed with one of Jolly Bob's exotic tropical drinks. (R.A.)

DJ Nick Nice, Dirty Disco Kidz
Orpheum Theatre, 10 pm

At the movie palace Nice - as close as it gets to a household name in Madison DJs - mixes it up, in his clever way, with the house and techno sounds of the DJ collective Dirty Disco Kidz. With Team Bayside High, Radish and Clayton Colwell.

The Kissers
Crystal Corner Bar, 10 pm

Madison's Celtic rock all-stars broke up in 2008, after 10 fun-filled years as a band, then re-formed this fall with a stripped-down lineup and a renewed desire to outdo the Pogues. Whether you're doing the pogo or the jig, this show's fit for hours of dancing, beer-drenched toasts and drunken odes to the shows, songs and venues of Madison's past - and its future. (J.S.)

Mr. Robert's, 10 pm

It's an all-out hootenanny to welcome 2011 at Mr. Robert's. Local quintet SweetGrass offers a supercharged set of old-time Americana and bluegrass music. (J.S.)

DJs Jeremy Thomas, Drew Griffin
Natt Spil, 10 pm

Jeremy Thomas' soul and house mixes have an easygoing chill-out vibe. His "Summer Soul Volume One" mix brims with nostalgia for childhood block parties in the back alleys of a big city. His "Body Heat Volume One Promo Mix" layers electronic sounds over a steady beat to create a meditative feel. Drew Griffin is a Natt Spil regular whose style emphasizes techno and funk. It's sure to be cozy inside the well-appointed Natt Spil, with the light from the Capitol dome spilling down King Street. (R.A.)

WORT benefit with the Mustache
Alchemy Cafe, 10 pm

Is Shaft the inspiration for your 2011 goals? If so, this is the party for you. The Mustache, a campy nine-piece from central Wisconsin, takes the most funk-nasty of retro tunes and spins them into sweaty, soulful grooves for a new generation of booty shakers. (J.S.)

The Drain, the No & Maybe Game, the Takebacks
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm

Get drunk on post-punk at Mickey's this New Year's Eve. If history is any indication, the Drain will bid adieu to Christmastime with their kitschy light-up snowman, which serves as the perfect counterpoint to their dark, angular and twitchy rock. The No & Maybe Game will unleash their inner spazzoids - and encourage the crowd to do the same - as they make New Wave sound new again for a new year. Then get cozy with the Takebacks before you take on 2011: Proto-punk, dub and reggae are a few of the threads that bind their sweater of sound, which is as warm and fuzzy as it is scratchy and slightly unraveled. With Control. (J.S.)

DJs Tony, Tim
Club 5, 10:30 pm

DJs Tony Ritschard and Tim Walters have been making LGBT dance floors move in Madison for a very long time. Ritschard got his start at Club de Wash, the legendary West Washington Avenue music venue that was destroyed by fire in 1996. He's spun at the Cardinal Bar, Ten Percent Society dances and the Pink Party. Tim Walters is a former Z-104 host who continues his radio DJ role on, a 24/7 Internet radio station where Walters hosts a show at 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Club 5's New Year's Eve party is a black-tie affair; wearing a black tie with any outfit is encouraged. It's a night to dress up, because on New Year's Eve you never know who you might meet. (R.A.)

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