Downtown Knoxville might not be having its usual blowout this year, but there's no shortage of ways to blow out the old year and ring in the new one. A significant number of people prefer to do their New Year's Eve celebrations early, rather than deal with drunken crowds on New Year's Eve. Those folks sniff and say they "don't go out on amatuer night."
Here's a list for both types of celebrants. For more check out the Cafes and Clubs grid:TonightMic Harrison & the High Score, Ian Thomas, 10 p.m. Preservation Pub, 28 Market Square, $5
Two of Knoxville's most popular Americana acts on one bill for $5? How could you pass it up? It's also a good time to pick up Harrison's new album "Still Wanna Fight" (one of the best releases of 2012) as a late Christmas gift to yourself.
10 Years: Acoustic & Electric, 8 p.m. Tennessee Theatre, $25
Knoxville rock band 10 Years grabbed the nation's ear in 2005 with the the Modern Rock hit "Wasteland" — a title that pretty much describes the post-New Year's Eve house party scene many of us try to avoid. After a run on major labels, 10 Years is back calling its own shots — part of which is this show which will give audiences a taste of the full-scope of the band's talents.
Dirty Bourbon River Show, 10 p.m. Boyd's Jig & Reel, 101 S. Central St., free
New Orleans brass gets in a big brass bed with Americana and makes sweet musical love and, don't worry, it's OK to be in the same room. Expect to get hot and sweaty, though.
New Year's Eve
The Dirty Guv'nahs, A Thousand Horses, Neal Carpenter, 8 p.m. Tennessee Theatre, $32
The classic-rockin' Dirty Guv'nahs currently sit atop the heap for most popular Knoxville band. Their songs are showing up in TV shows ("Nashville," "Criminal Minds") and the members' enthusiasm and energy would make any New Year's Eve better. This is one of the few celebrations parents can enjoy with their kids.
Jenna & Her Cool Friends, 9 p.m. Knoxville Museum of Art, 1050 World's Fair Park Drive, $30-$60
One of the city's great party bands with a dinner and breakfast buffet in one of the most beautiful spots in the city.
King Super & the Excellents, LiL iFFy, Tom Ato, JoJax, Jordan Knight and the Daze, 6 p.m. Preservation Pub, 28 Market Square, $20
The Preservation Pub will probably hit capacity on New Year's Eve. The roof will be open to watch the ball drop on Market Square, but considering the music on the two lower levels (including crazed cover act King Super and wizard rapping party animal LiL iFFy), the roof may be blown off before midnight.
Magpie Suite Reunion, Daniel Miller, 9 p.m. The Well, 4620 Kingston Pike, $7
It was once common to spot Magpie Suite at Knoxville nightspots. However, for the past few years there have only been a few sightings of this Matt Woods-fronted creature. The last report was 2010, changing the category from "extinct" to "rare." Check them out while you can.
Jamie Laval, 10 p.m. Boyd's Jig and Reel, 101 S. Central St., free
Stylish Irish fiddler Jamie Laval makes Boyd's Jig and Reel live up to its name. Only thing is, I hear those Irish aren't known for drinking and partying very much ... uh, yeah.
NYE Bash with DJ Joseph and Dirty Cherry, Tin Roof, 1915 Cumberland Ave., free
To paraphrase and old song, school is out and the time is right for dancing (nearly) in the street. The Tin Roof is the most visible party on Cumberland Avenue (it feels like you're in the street even if you're not) and on New Year's Eve it's free.
Spanky Brown, 7:30 p.m. Side Splitters, 9246 Park West Blvd, $15
If you'd like to start your evening out early with some laughter (and you better stock up for 2013), check out the early show by comedian Spanky Brown, which will include a mock midnight countdown well before midnight. That will either let you pretend you stayed out late or give you practice for where you go afterward.
New Year's Celebration, 9 p.m. Tennessee Riverboat Company, Volunteer Landing, $69.95
If you hanker to spend New Year's Eve on the water, the Tennessee Riverboat is the place to party. On board will be dancing, hor d'oeuvres, party favors, games, prizes and a midnight toast.
Dance With the Sharks, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg, $149.99 per couple, $79.99 single
Maybe you'd rather spend the night under the water. While sharks swim around them, partiers will listen to Kevin McGuire & Friends, enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres and be able to slip out for the Gatlinburg fireworks at midnight.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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