Your usual lackadaisical approach to New Year's Eve — just see what happens and go with the flow — is not going to cut it this year. Sure, the end of this decade may not have the same kind of new-millennium pressure riding on it as the last one, a moment that sent you either scurrying to your basement Y2K bunker or out on a Strange Days–like celebration of impending global collapse. But the plunge into 2010 is a milestone nonetheless. So to help you make this one count, we sent a team of future-thinking predator drones on a reconnaissance mission to sniff out any NYE happenings within a 10-mile radius. We threw the results in our data centrifuge to spin out the good from the lame. And from that, we've distilled the 50 best goings-on.
Tonight, dance-party consortium Basstown levels up into a new decade of DIY with THUNDERDOME MMX (10 pm–2 am; $25, $20 in formal dress) at the Villa Victoria (85 West Newton Street, Boston; 617.927.1735; myspace.com/onemanleaves), which — if the past is any indication — they will be stuffing with LCD screens, an outrageous audio-sound system, and a ravening horde of kids ready for their post-apocalyptic electro cage match against regular DJs Mistaker, Red Foxx, and David Day, with Robotkid and VJ Matt Boch (of Harmonix fame) providing the brain-hijacking visuals. NYE bells and whistles include a special guest appearance by Kompakt artists Gatekeeper, three countdowns ("because that's the best part anyway"), and a midnight PBR toast.
Over in DTX, promoters Future Classic present CARPE DIEM at Ivy (49 Temple Place, Boston; 617.256.4093; futureclassic.net), featuring cratedigger extraordinaire DJ Kon on deck. Your $90 (or $300, if you prefer to roll VIP) gets you high-class munchies, a Champagne toast, and . . . a $10 gift certificate to Karmaloop. (Paradoxical is the cover charge you pay to yourself.) But if the "sexy, gothic European night lounge" air gets a little too rarefied for you, mosey over to the Good Life (28 Kingston Street, Boston; 617.451.2622; goodlifebar.com) for FESTIVUS MAXIMUS. In addition to DJ sets by Mac Machine, Saucy Lady, Knife, and Paul Foley, the Good Life will be doin' it live, with appearances by Ninjasonik, Passion Pit remixers Bodega Girls, and Paul Foley/Nabo Rawk team-up Wasted Talent. All that and a Champagne toast for $35, from 9 pm to 2 am.
Prefer your throwdown to be fringier still? Then check out Cash 4 Gold's MAXIMUM PARTY at the Milky Way (284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain; 617.524.3740; milkywayjp.com) with wrecking crew Just Joan and Monster Carl, who're bringing their Midas touch to the party . . . and expect no less from you. According to the flyer, the place will be crawling with LOTS OF PEOPLE DRESSED TO THE GOLDEN HILT, so bling it up, kids. What's a $15 cover when you get to frolic in a "golden wonderland" from 10 pm to 2 am? Also not to be missed is FTW's PORTERHOUSE 2010 (8 pm–2 am; $15) at Flat Top Johnny's (One Kendall Square, Cambridge; 617.494.9565; flattopjohnnys.com), with Steve Porter, Repeat Offenders, Fantastadon, Yes & No, and Riot Now, with a STEVE PORTER AFTERPARTY (1–7 am; $15 for members, $30 guests) at Rise (306 Stuart Street, Boston; 617.423.7473; riseclub.us).