If you're like me, New Year's Eve looms large as probably the year's most dreaded holiday, a chilling reminder of the cosmic meaninglessness and impermanence of all our accomplishments and progress. We are getting older. This is the end of something. And the Times Square ball will drop again like the final grain of sand in an indestructible hourglass that flips year after year, ageless, indifferent, unsmiling.
But maybe you're not like me. Maybe 2015 is your year. Maybe you'll finally quit smoking! Maybe you'll get an Apple Watch for Christmas so you can check your email without even moving. The world is an oyster. The world is your oyster! How does that saying go?
One thing is certain about New Year's Eve: None of us wants to spend it alone. That would be the worst. All over Little Rock people will be gathering specifically to avoid that intolerable scenario. Here is a list of those gatherings:
At South on Main, see the great and indomitable Amasa Hines, who will provide a sufficiently dramatic soundtrack for the close of one of the strangest years in recent memory, $15. It will be by turns radically uplifting and distressing, with saxophones. Plus, on the restaurant end of things, there's a special New Year's Eve menu starting at 5 p.m.
Singer-songwriter Cory Branan returns to White Water Tavern for the occasion, still celebrating the release of his well-received 2014 record "The No-Hit Wonder." His label describes it as "a coming to terms with the cards life has dealt you," and isn't that what New Year's Eve should be all about? Tyler Childers opens, 9:30 p.m., $10.
The Big Dam Horns headline at Cajun's Wharf, a $35 party that includes a full buffet, champagne and "complimentary party favors," 9 p.m. Richie Johnson plays at happy hour, 5:30 p.m.
Revolution's 9th Annual Fireball New Year's Eve concert features high-energy Fayetteville pop group Boom Kinetic and starts up at 9 p.m., $20 adv., $25 day of.
Next Level Events at Union Station hosts DJs Skemaddox, CJDJ and Justin Sane for its New Year's celebration. Wear formal attire for this one, which costs $35 and offers, according to the Facebook event post, "ample, well lit, and secure parking."
The Little Rock Marriott is holding a Ballroom Bash starting at 9 p.m., $50. Dave Rasico's Dueling Pianos will be on hand, as will the Big John Miller Band.
Local sketch group The Main Thing will perform its holiday production, "A Fertile Holiday," at The Joint's New Year's party, featuring a catered meal, champagne and live music, too, 8 p.m., $54.25.
Willy D's promises "THE BEST" (all caps) New Year's Eve party in Central Arkansas, with champagne, a balloon drop and more. And at Bar Louie there's no cover charge, but there are $2 Jell-O shots, half-off nachos and Top 40 hits from DJ Greyhound.
Sway is hosting Rhiannon's New Year's Eve Drag Spectacular, with a $5 cover, and Alice 107.7-FM presents its New Year's Eve Underground party at the Statehouse Convention Center with live music by Chris Henry, Almost Famous, Mid-South Revival and DJ Hipnotik, 9 p.m., $30-$40.
Flying Saucer's party will feature live music, beer specials and a midnight champagne toast, 9 p.m., $10. At the Loony Bin, actor and stand-up comedian Shaun Jones headlines two shows, at 7:30 p.m., $7, and at 10 p.m., $10.
For the late-night crowd eager to spend the very first moments of a new year getting drunk, you have options: Discovery presents its OMFG! New Year's Eve party, featuring Sno White, G-Force and Dominique Sanchez, $20, and Club Elevations hosts New Year's Eve On Tha Hill, $20.