F Regis, take in live music There’s no better way to ring in a new year than with plenty of booze, loud rock and roll, a designated driver and a hangover the next day. The musicians and nightclubs of Indianapolis desire you to acquire all those things this Friday. Here’s a quick rundown of events. The Retreads will play their last show at the Mel on New Year’s Eve. PRN’s “F You Formal” The Melody Inn, 3826 N. Illinois St., will kick off the fifth year of Punk Rock Night’s New Year’s Eve with the “$5 Fuck You Formal.” The show will feature local favorites The Slurs, the Crypto-Kats and Hate the Drake, among others. Most interestingly, though, The Retreads will take the stage for their last performance, closing out both 2004 and their career together at the same time.

Said organizer Greg Brenner, “We always try to get The Slurs, and along with all the other bands, it should be a great show.” He went on to explain the “Fuck You Formal” aspect by saying, “All of these places in town want to charge $20, $40, $100, whatever, for a New Year’s show. We want to put on a good show that everybody can see for cheap. Everybody can get gussied up, have a great time, the whole bit.”

And what exactly is “gussied up” for this event? “Well, I’ll be wearing my tux … probably from the dumpster,” Brenner said. Punk Rock Night New Year’s Eve starts at 9 p.m. and will end when state law stops liquor sales at 3 a.m.

—Angela Smith-Johnson

Downtown haps • The Hyatt Regency, 1 S. Capitol Ave., will host the FOX 59 New Year’s Eve Rock ’n’ Roll Ball, with four stages of live entertainment: The Carl Storie Band, Duke Tumatoe, Film @ 11 and DJ Scott Morgan. Packages start at $45. Call 632-1234 to make reservations; tickets for the party are available through Ticketmaster.

• The Rathskeller’s New Year’s Eve party will feature Half Wired (6:30-8:30 p.m.) and Big Daddy Caddy (9 p.m.-1 a.m.). Admission is $40 in advance and $45 at the door. The party starts at 6 p.m. Call 636-0396 for reservations.

• The Slippery Noodle Inn will feature master bluesman Tad Robinson with Paul Holdman in the back room, with John Primer and the Real Deal performing in the front. A prime rib buffet is also included in the $60 admission price. Festivities begin at 7 p.m. with dinner. The Slippery Noodle will open to the public at 10 p.m. Call 631-6974 for more information.

• Champps Restaurant & Bar offers a party package for $100 per couple, which includes dinner, drinks and a performance from The Billy Wooten Ensemble. Call 951-0033 for more info.

• Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery will feature live music from Harvey & The Blue Tones.

—Steve Hammer

Broad Ripple roundup • Broad Ripple, Indianapolis’ premier party area, will be active on New Year’s Eve as usual. The granddaddy of local clubs, the Vogue, will host a Masquerade Ball with a $1,000 balloon drop, hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast. Admission is $20 in advance through Ticketmaster and $25 at the door.

• Over at the Patio, it’ll be a night of live hip-hop with a rare live appearance from the local godfathers of rap, The Mudkids, and their successors as the biggest-drawing local rap act, Hum-V and the Cleptoz.

• Birdy’s will feature an all-star bill of Battle of the Bands champions and contenders: Seven Degrees from Center, Loretta and Lunar Event.

• Not just your average cover band, the 3 Chord Orchestra will provide the soundtrack to New Year’s at Peppers starting at 10 p.m. Fronted by an ex-Vegas Madonna impersonator, Nicole Padberg, and featuring X103’s Don Stuck on guitar, the band plays a wide range of rock classics and modern cuts from AC/DC to Saliva. While the 3 Chord Orchestra played its first gig at last year’s X-Fest, Stuck is a veteran to the cover scene with his long-running band Stuck in the Night that also included Q95’s “Rockin” Ralph on vocals. “Her and I have been doing all hard rock covers for over 10 years,” Stuck said. “And we still play about three or four shows a year.”

But once Big Dumb Show host Gonzo Greg came to the X, he suggested they move in a different direction and the 3 Chord Orchestra was the result. “Greg came to some shows and was just so impressed with my guitar playing,” Stuck laughed, “that he just wanted to get involved.”

Greg can always be seen on stage with the band, but doesn’t sing or play any instruments. “He won’t sing, no matter how drunk we get him,” Padberg said. “He’s more like our MC.”

The music starts at 10 and there’s a champagne toast at midnight. “We hope to make it memorable,” Greg said. “Or not so memorable, you know, if you do it right.” Tickets are $20 at the door. —Mel Duncan


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