Really, there aren't any essential shows tonight. You could go to the big-ass rave downtown, could go see a sad and obviously shattered Scott Weiland perform with Stone Temple Pilots at Club Nokia, but really why would you want to do that? Yeah, the little clubs have their indie rock and indie dance bands. The metalheads will bang into 2009, and the only difference between tonight and any other night is that they'll be drinking Champagne, which is just plain weird, first of all, and dangerous because they drink the fizzy but once a year, and get drunk and then hop into their custom vans and tear down La Cienega.
I mean, sure, you could gather your friends and hop a train to Chinatown for the Dublab DJs spinning at Hop Louie. You could doll up for Pink Martini at the Disney. The Viper Room has a great batch of DJs. Those are all good options.
But the question is, do you really want to? Is that the best use of your time?
In basic terms: You've got a four-hour timehole, this gaping maw of ??? from, say, 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. What are you gonna do with it? Four hours, the last four of the year. The pressure's on. Do you want to spend it at a bar, surrounded by strangers? By other people at all? To stand and stare at some dumb band? Do you want to get on those roads with those idiots?
Do yourself a favor: STAY HOME. We're probably not supposed to say that, because we're expected to drive the engine of the economy. But every year it's the same: what to do on NYE? And every year that we've decided to basically fuck it and stay in, it's come as a relief.
Plus: We all know that this year won't really begin until January 20 anyway. Until then, we're all in a holding pattern, all waiting for the psychic energy to be transferred from darkness to light. Tonight perhaps would be a good night to pull out a few records, pop them on the turntable, light some candles and reflect on music, on the beauty of primal rhythm and melody, of that amazing thing that happens when silence begets beautiful sound. Hang with a few friends. Relax. Release the pressure of an accumulated eight years of bullshit. Dance. Dance. Dance.
(You're not going to have more fun than them, so why bother?)