"By Josh Flynn, Jeff Napier, Paul F. P. Pogue and
New Year’s Eve might be that night that you finally bite the bullet and have that clone (or two) made of yourself. There’s so much going on, so many fantastic shows and parties, and you can only make that final countdown in one place. Without that genetic copy, you’re going to have to make some tough choices: If you spend your night at the punk reunion show at the Melody, you’re probably going to miss Rev. Peyton’s return to Indy at Spin; or if you kick it at NUVO’s New Year’s Eve Rock ’n’ Roll Ball at the Hyatt, you’re not going to have the time or the outfit for the Masquerade Ball at Union Station.
So pick wisely, intrepid reader: First impressions count for a lot, and the whole year may depend on where you choose to begin it.
New Year’s Eve Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball
Hyatt Regency, 1 S. Capital Ave.
NUVO stage: Mudkids, DJ Helicon,
X-103 stage: Virgin Millionaires,
The Why Store, X-Ray Roger Jimmy
Grand Ballroom: Carl Storie
Comedy stage: Scott Long
8:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.; $49
general admission, $79 VIP package
per person (not including a room); 21+;
for room reservations, call 800-233-1234
If you’re looking for serious Indianapolis music legends, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more high-profile lineup than NUVO’s New Year’s Eve Rock ’n’ Roll Ball, starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency.
For entertainment, you’ve got your pick of four stages. At the X-103 Atrium Stage, you can check out The Why Store, The Virgin Millionaires (who picked up a recording contract earlier this year and still seem poised for their climb to the top) and X-Ray Roger Jimmy. Over on the NUVO stage, you’ve got the Mudkids and DJs Helicon and Rusty. Carl Storie heads up events in the Grand Ballroom all night long. And for those more inclined to laughs than rhythms, Scott Long will provide comedy on a separate stage.
If you want to drop some fantasy cash, or, more optimistically, welcome the year with a full fantasy wallet, the “Player’s Lounge” fantasy casino is open all night long. And lest we forget the reason for the season, there’s the midnight balloon drop to mark the witching hour.
It’s a big event: General admission is $49, with VIP packages for $79 per person. If you want a room in addition to all the fun, it’s $339 (which includes tickets for two); $449 gets you the Eagle’s Nest package, including a four-course dinner. Ages 21 and over only. For more information, check out www.bigcreekevents.com or Indianapolis.hyatt.com.
—Paul F. P. Pogue
Punk Rock New Year’s Eve
Toxic Reasons, Acid Green,
Crypto-Kats and The Fuglees
$10 advance, $12 day of show; 21+
When it comes to punk rock in Indianapolis, Greg Brenner and his enablers at the Melody Inn have the market cornered. Aside from providing an outlet for touring bands that Indianapolis would normally never see, Brenner’s Punk Rock Night also breaks down the barriers of what is and isn’t considered punk rock. Rather than bringing in a slew of similar bands and sounds, PRN looks for a unifying attitude, an in-your-face, DIY, us-against-them ethos regardless of what the music sounds like. True to form, the Melody’s New Year’s Eve celebration will offer up fine examples of everything that is good and righteous about Punk Rock Night.
Perennial Melody Inn favorites The Fuglees are on the bill and will provide a wacky, feel-good, off-the-rails performance jam-packed with such standards as “David Lee Roth,” “Prozac” and the always delicious “Crazy Girls.” Their tough power pop sound is the sum of the tight-as-a-platypus’s-bunghole trio of main dude and bassist Andy Kuhn, drummer Tom Knapp and guitarist Erich Andersen.
Andersen and Knapp will pull double duty when their psycho-billy outfit, the Cryptokats, takes the stage for the first time in a year.
Then come the behemoths on the evening’s lineup: Acid Green and Toxic Reasons. Those lovable, greasy, unpredictable scamps in Acid Green will tear the place up with loud-as-God noise-punk. Closing out the night is the legendary Toxic Reasons, led by Capt. Bruce Stuckey, who is also pulling double duty that evening, playing with the Giggies over at the Local’s Only bash before heading to the Melody Inn to rock every testicle in the place. Filled out by Indy heartthrob and drummer J.J. Pearson, German guitar wonder Kurt Harley and bassist Jason Pizzleman, Toxic Reasons will undoubtedly bring all of the history, sweat, blood and asphalt that has passed under its wheels, bringing in 2008 with a white-hot set.
Big Damn New Year’s Eve Party
Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band,
Mandy Marie and the Cool Hand Lukes,
7 p.m.; $15; 21+
During the course of their never-ending 2007 coast to coast tour, the wildcats in Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band played just about every bar, tavern and hippie festival in the lower 48. They also found time to record a fine gospel album while enduring incidents worthy of a goofy sitcom, from the time they adopted a chicken, to when they almost got killed by a psycho-killer, to when they found out their drummer is banned from Canada. That’s three plots right there, with no need to settle the writers’ strike. All of these stories are chronicled on their excellent MySpace photo blog.
The good Rev. Peyton and his wife Breezy, plus his too-dangerous-for-Canada brother Jayme, turn delta blues into musical magic. Their interpretation of the blues has garnered a rabid nationwide fan base and has helped them put more miles on their Econoline in 2007 than most of us ever put on a car in a lifetime. This, their second hometown gig of the year, will take place at Spin, and will provide a bit of a taste of their up-coming Paul Mahern-produced live album.
Joining the Big Damn Band will be Mandy Marie and the Cool Hand Lukes. The Lukes have been doing a bit of traveling themselves, recently getting back from Nashville, where they recorded their next album with some of Nashville’s honky-tonk legends. Besides boasting a killer lineup featuring what may just be the best rhythm section in town in daffy drum hellion Glenn Hopkins and double bass maestro Mo Foster, Mandy Marie also has a sweet way with songwriting. Her “White Line Fever” is a stunner, and is one of the best local songs of the year.
Joining the festivities is Jason Webley, a Seattle-based accordion player who has become an Indianapolis favorite thanks to his incendiary live shows.
New Year’s Bash
Latex Novelties, Atomic Bombay,
Doors 8 p.m.; $15; 21+
Locals Only will be the place to be on New Year’s Eve for a historic night of punk rock goodness. Indiana’s iconic punk bands Latex Novelties, Gizmos and the Slammies are reuniting for the evening, while Frankie Camaro’s slightly younger Atomic Bombay project hitches a ride.
The Slammies came into being in the fall of 1979 when brothers Ricky and Rapper met a guy named Deano who had a drum kit. Their first gig was opening for The Call, when The Slammies played 35 songs in a 50 minute set. For their reunion show, Ricky (now Otto the comic) promises “a sight and sound sensation. And don’t forget it’s punk rock old style: fast, loud and tight.”
Atomic Bombay’s Frankie Camaro is a veteran of the early Indiana punk rock scene, splitting his formative years between Bloomington and Indianapolis. After stints with the bands QAX Pistols and Mars Needs Women, he started Moto-X, eventually moving the band to Austin, Texas. Not content to just play the tunes, he had a radio show on WQAX (Bloomington) in 1979. And he’s renowned nationally as well: Camaro was nominated for a Grammy for a song he wrote, “Guitar Army.”
His current project, Atomic Bombay, plays “the same mix of punk, garage, pop, psychedelic blues that I’ve always tried to do,” Camaro says. “I think these are my best songs yet.”
Camaro weighs in on the bands he’ll be sharing the stage with: “The Gizmos sound better than they ever have. Latex Novelties just sold out of their record in Europe this summer. This is a real punk rock show with the original punk rockers.”
New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball
Hosted by Indianapolis New in Town
Jonathan Clay, Luce
Grand Hall in Union Station
The Budweiser Select New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball, hosted by the social networking group Indianapolis New in Town, will feature musical acts, circus-style performers and a glittery mask or two. Musician Jonathan Clay and the band Luce will perform amongst recently arrived Hoosiers getting to know one another.
The ball is the brainchild of Danielle Beck, an organizer of Indianapolis New in Town, a group for people who are new to the city or want to explore Indianapolis. Earlier this year, she ran across a community yard sale benefiting Lauren Seiders, a local girl who had been through two liver transplants. After seeing photographs of Lauren, Beck took a course of action: “I immediately made the decision that I was going to do something to help.”
Beck tells how the event came to be: “Putting my desire to help Lauren’s family and the idea of throwing a New Year’s party together, I started planning the Indianapolis New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball. I put a plan together, contacted COTA [Children’s Organ Transplant Association], put a deposit down on the historic Grand Hall of Union Station.”
But a New Year’s Eve party is nothing without music. “My biggest concern was getting a good band,” Beck continues. “One day as I was listening to iTunes, one of my favorite bands came on: Luce. On a whim, I looked them up and e-mailed their booking manager. Within 24 hours, I had an e-mail back from not only the booking manager but from lead singer Tom Luce, saying that they would love to perform at the event.”
Beck explains how she picked up the other performer on the bill. “I also contacted Jonathan Clay — a guy out of Austin, Texas — that is an up-and-comer that I became a fan of via MySpace. He’s a singer/songwriter with an incredible voice and ability to play the guitar.”
VIP tickets include access to a special lounge, hors d’oeuvres buffet, champagne punch, drink tickets and the opportunity to mingle with the musicians.
Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub
Fishers Town Commons,
8211 E. 116th St., Fishers
Free, all ages
Ring in the new year with the Irish — first at 7 p.m. with a champagne toast when 2008 comes to the Emerald Isle, then at midnight when the new year starts in Indiana. Fionn McCool’s is the place to be for fans of Irish music and good craic — that’s Gaelic slang for a fun, friendly and exuberant environment.
The night truly begins when kilt-rock band Mother Grove hits the stage at 9 p.m. Mother Grove combines original rock music with traditional and not-so traditional Celtic instruments to create their unique high-energy sound. Their songs are clever and just plain entertaining. The five-member band adds bagpipes, pennywhistle and fiddle to traditional rock instruments to create the kilt-rock goodness. Fionn MacCool’s General Manager Bill Pemberton is looking forward to Mother Grove performing “because they are so fun.”
Fionn MacCool’s will feature dinner specials, those Irish and Hoosier champagne toasts, party favors and drink specials. Reservations are accepted for parties of eight or more. All ages are welcome.
30th Anniversary Party
Here Come The Mummies, DJ Marcus
9 p.m.; $35 advance,
$40 day of show; 21+
Over at the Vogue, Dec. 31 is more than just another New Year’s party; it’s the night that the Vogue celebrates 30 years in Indianapolis! And to enshrine the memories, they’re bringing in the funk-R&B band Here Come The Mummies as the headline act. The Mummies go on stage at 11 p.m. and play through the midnight hour, while DJ Marcus offers dance club/retro/funk/rock music the rest of the night (9-11 p.m. and 1-3 a.m.).
To keep the entertainment goin’, your admission includes party favors, a cash balloon drop and a free champagne toast at midnight. Also, every 30th guest gets a free bottle of champagne, so you’re in luck if your group is composed of 30 or more.
Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 day of show. If you’re looking for VIP tables, give Nichole a call at 317-525-3728.
—Paul F. P. Pogue
Creepin’ Charley &
The Boneyard Orchestra,
The Joint Jumpers
8 p.m.; $10; 21+
2008 is looking to be a banner year for Creepin’ Charley and the Boneyard Orchestra. They’ve been recording a new album in a converted church in Southern Indiana next to a cemetery (yes, an actual boneyard) with Sir Paul Mahern behind the board. Expect to hear some killer new songs when Creepin’ Charley rock out NYE 2007 at their spiritual Eastside home, Zanies Too.
Drum king Andy Fark and dashing Chad Pollack make for one of the best balls-to-the-wall rhythm sections in town. Guitarist “Excitable” Eric Grimmett is in fighting mode. But Shelby Kelley, he’s the dude. Probably the most unrated frontman in the city, Kelley is always seeking out new and weirder ways to rock your brain.
Opening the show will be The Joint Jumpers, featuring the legendary Captain Steele on guitar.
New Year’s roundup By Josh Flynn
The Beer Sellar
The Beer Sellar welcomes the alt-rock band Raging Vegas to their New Year’s Eve celebration. The group will bring 2007 to a close, then rock into the early hours of 2008 with a performance that lasts from 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. The Beer Sellar will also have several food specials from 8-10:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $20 by calling 317-849-2739 or can be purchased at the door on New Year’s Eve"