The best part of New Year's Eve is getting ready for it. The worst part is usually right around 11:57 p.m., when it dawns that you just blew a couple hundred dollars to end up chugging pink Andre curbside while your best friend blows chunks in an obliging hedge/alleyway. Of course, that lamentable realization will wait until the actual night, right now is all about PLANNING and EXPECTATIONS and HAVING THE MOST FUN EVER. We've got a rundown of your parties, shows and ultra-luxe celebrations, arranged by price point. Attention, moderately-moneyed miscreants, this post is for you.
New Year's Eve Pinball at the Silver Ballroom Bills: $25 Thrills: FREE PINBALL. Swills: Open bar, champagne toast. 9pm.
Champagne Supernova: Starkillers at Europe Nightclub Bills: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. $35 for VIP revelers. Thrills: Sets by local house god Rob Lemon, Slante and Zack Jennings. A million pieces of confetti rain, balloon drop, party favors, and a "midnight embrace." Swills: Champagne toast. 9pm.
Space Invader Party at the Luminary Bills: $25 Thrills: DJ sets from Billy Brown and 18andCounting. Swills: Two free drinks per ticket, brews from Schlafly and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. Champagne available by the glass (ha!) or bottle (yes thanks). 9pm.
FML It's 2012 at the Koken Art Factory Bills: $25-60 Thrills: Music by Excision, Lazy Rich, DJ Icey, Kevin Focus, Andy B, Uncle Funk, Beau LeMaster vs. David Fields and a bunch of others. There will be dancing, laser show, and party favors in plastic baggies available for purchase (kidding!). VIPs get private restrooms, their own DJs, private bar and heated smoking tent. 9pm.
This Must Be the Band--Talking Heads tribute at 2720 Cherokee Bills: $20 Thrills: A set from Messy Jiverson alum Mikey Wehling; crying into your Jägermeister to a live rendition of "This Must Be the Place." 8pm. Pepper's Bar and Grill NYE Bash Bills: $35 Thrills: Appetizers and a twist on the midnight champagne toast: They will feed you White Castle instead. It may be the first and last time you get to cheers with a slider in public. Swills: Their 100-strong shot list is exempt, but all you can drink from 9pm til 11pm. 9pm.
New Year's Eve with Serapis and Friends at the Foundry Art Center in St. Charles Bills: $25 Thrills: Serapis with Mark Moebeck, Brian Casserly. Swills: Two free drinks per ticket, cash bar. 9pm.
New Year's Eve with Devon Allman's Honeytribe at Blueberry Hill Bills: $35 Swills: Draft and rail (also the names of my horses) open bar with party favors and champagne toast. Doors at 9pm, show at 10.
Crown Nation at Exo Lounge Bills: $20 advance Thrills: DJ Reminise, DJ Needles, hors d'oeuvres. Swills: Premium open bar until 11pm, champagne toast. 9pm.
New Year's Eve Bash with Billy Peek, at Backstreet Jazz and Blues Club Bills: $25-250 Thrills: Bluesman Billy Peek, party favors, late night buffet. $250 for a couple includes open bar and hotel room at the Westport Sheraton. Swills: Champagne toast. 9pm