New Year's Eve is the most polarizing party night of the year. Some over-romanticize its noisemaker mystique while others hate the hype. But sentiment (or lack thereof) aside, staying in shouldn't be on anyone's itinerary. Whatever your party persuasion, from bro-bar blitzkriegs to sophisticated soirées, the Twin Cities have your preferred NYE nightlife angle covered.
First Avenue's annual New Year's Eve Danceteria bash pairs the rap bangers of the Get Cryphy crew with Too Much Love party-starter Sovietpanda's dance-music mélange. Ian Rans of "Drinking With Ian" plays incorrigible host and DJ Verb X and others take over the Record Room for an End of the Year Smoke Out.
8 p.m. Mon. • $5-$20 • 701 1st Av. N., Mpls. • 612-332-1775 www.first-avenue.com
Because two parties are better than one, Twin Cities Dubstep is throwing its dual-night Infrasound 3-D blowout at the Skyway Theater, with more than 60 acts gracing the four-stage fetes. British dubsteppers Feed Me and Zomboy headline the party on NYE proper.
7 p.m. Sun. and Mon. • $25-$60 • 711 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-333-6100 • www.skywaytheater.com
Bachelor Farmer, the Dayton Bros.' upscale dining destination, offers a seven-course tasting menu (reservations recommended) with wine and cocktail pairings. Walk-up patrons are welcome on the second floor from 5-9 p.m. for cocktails and complimentary hors d'oeuvres. At 9 p.m. Marvel Bar opens, with DJ Jonathan Ackerman.
5 p.m. Mon. • $75, 50 2nd Av. N., Mpls. • 612-206-3920
St. Paul's locavore-loved Heartland is rolling out a trio of prix-fixe menus, respectively catering to meat eaters, seafood fiends and those with garden-geared diets.
5 p.m. Mon. • $75, 289 E. 5th St., St. Paul • 651-699-3536 www.heartlandrestaurant.com
For dinner and a show, local jazz/blues ensemble Davina and the Vagabonds have two gigs at the Dakota Jazz Club. The early show features a five-course tasting menu, while the late show includes a $20 food-and-drink voucher and an a la carte menu.
6 and 10 p.m., Mon. • $70 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. 612-332-1010 • www.dakotacooks.com
LIVE AND LOCAL
Getting your local live-music fix in the Twin Cities is no tough task, but what better way to ring in the new year than with a sweaty, chest-exposing set from Har Mar Superstar? The indie-pop oddball and indie-rap hollerer Astronautalis make for a cool combo at the Triple Rock Social Club.
8 p.m. Mon. • $20 • 18-plus 629 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. • 612-333-7399 www.triplerocksocialclub.com
Minneapolis piano masher Mark Mallman looks to prance into 2013 with two shows at the 7th Street Entry. Rock bludgeoners Bloodnstuff also perform, with dance-psych act Umami opening the late show and Bomba de Luz the early show.
6 p.m. (all ages) and 9 p.m. Mon. (18-plus) • $10-$12 • 701 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-332-1775 • www.first-avenue.com
Punk-rock statesmen Dillinger Four prove they can celebrate more than July 4, topping the Turf Club's NYE bill with underrated punks Frozen Teens, garage queens L'Assassins, Girl Group Cover Band and Lady Heat Hot Soul Party.
8 p.m., Mon. • $10 • 21-plus 1601 W. University Av., St. Paul 651-647-0486 • www.turfclub.net
ALL YOU CAN DRINK
One of the biggest boozing nights of the year, New Year's Eve always brings out open-bar arrangements that look alluring or overpriced, depending on your tolerance. Two of 2012's newest party spots are offering unlimited bar trips (pending your intoxication level) for flat fees. Hips and joysticks are sure to swivel at arcade/nightclub Insert Coin(s) Glo-Ball NYE party.
9 p.m. Mon. • $40-$80 • 315 1st Av. N., Mpls. • 612-564-4016 www.insertcoinsmpls.com
Raucous revelry always seems to be on the agenda at Prohibition-themed party bar the Pourhouse, with a balloon drop and big-screen countdown planned at midnight.
10 p.m. Mon. • $85-$100 10 S. 5th St., Mpls. • 612-843-2555 www.thepourhousempls.com
This year Aria is going Miami gangster with its NYE affair. The North Loop event space is adopting a "Scarface" motif and encouraging guests to dress accordingly. Tickets to the cash bar event include hors d'oeuvres, coffee and music by local hip-hop duo Villa Rosa.
9 p.m. Mon. • $50-$75 • 105 N. 1st St., Mpls. • 612-460-1051 • www.ariampls.com
On the other side of downtown Minneapolis, International Market Square is being taken over by the Crystal Ball's Imagine gala, with an opening champagne reception from 8 to 9 p.m. and DJs Fresko, CXR and Chris Castle spinning everything from hip-hop to house and top 40. VIP options abound.
8 p.m. Mon. • $35-$70 275 Market St., Mpls. • 612-703-7682 www.nyeminneapolis.com
Spend "Midnight in Morocco" (well, really just Epic) with fiery performances by Dragon Fire Theater, Ignite's live mannequin models and two rooms of music at the Warehouse District nightclub.
8 p.m. Mon. • $30-$50 110 N. 5th St., Mpls. • 612-332-3742 www. epicmpls.com
KEEP IT LOCAL
If the downtown Minneapolis melee sounds overwhelming, consider a lively but largely hassle-free alternative.
Save yourself the stress (and some cash) with Lyndale Tap House's New Year's Eve festivities. Say sayonara to 2012 with various drink specials, including $3 Summit firkin pints while they last, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight at the Lyn-Lake hangout.
5 p.m. Mon. • 2937 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. • 612-825-6150 www.thelyndale.com
In northeast Minneapolis, tiki pub Psycho Suzi's is hosting its second annual New Year's Eve Shangri-La Party. "Polynesian Passports" to the escapism-centered shindig include a dinner buffet, four drinks of your choosing and unlimited photo-booth buffoonery. We recommend enjoying them in that order.
5:30 p.m. Mon. • $49 1900 NE. Marshall St., Mpls. 612-788-9069 • www.psychosuzis.com
Skirt the city limits with a suburban honky tonk at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, featuring live music and a "VIP barn," which includes an open bar from 7 to 9 p.m.
7 p.m., Mon. • $35-$65 1623 Park Place Blvd. • 763-450-9999 countrybarmn.comNew in the North Loop
Borough, a new restaurant and bar with a concept similar to Bachelor Farmer/Marvel Bar, is moving into the North Loop on Jan. 2. Beneath the American eatery led by chefs Tyler Shipton and Nick O'Leary (both Travail alums) will be a craft cocktail bar, reportedly dubbed Parlour, with Jesse Held of the Northstar Bartenders Guild taking the lead on libations. Tickets are on sale ($45) for a public preview event from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 27.
730 Washington Av. N., Mpls. www.boroughmpls.comName game
A branding beef between soon-to-be-open Northgate Brewing in northeast Minneapolis and Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub has been resolved, according to Northgate's website. Last month Northgate co-founder Todd Slininger said he had received cease-and-desist letters from Northbound's lawyers requesting that Northgate change its name. Details of the agreement were not disclosed, but we're just glad everyone can now brew in harmony.
Michael Rietmulder writes about nightlife.