Local nightlife perks up post-Santa on Saturday, with Times Showcase winner Velvet Kente turning White Water into a dance club, 9:30 p.m., $5. Rising country-rock band Hwy 5 shares a bill at Juanita's with Steep Banks, 9 p.m., $7. At Satellite, promising young singer/songwriter Elise Davis performs a free concert, 9 p.m. Sticky Fingerz stalwart the Lucious Spiller Band mixes covers and originals at the club, 9:30 p.m., $5. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tonya Leeks leads her band at the Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. Johnny Otis Band vet Ramona Smith leads Ramona and the Soul Rhythms at Cajun's, 9 p.m., $5. In the Spa City, Maxine's hosts zydeco-funk act Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, 9 p.m., $5. Late night, Michael Shane mans the disco, while Balance spins in the lobby at Discovery, midnight, $10. And the Sandman hypnotizes and tells jokes at the Loony Bin (Sunday, too), 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., $12.
It's never too early to start making New Year's Eve plans, so in a slow week, here's a preview of some of the biggest happenings: The Peabody again promises to be the biggest party in town with three bands — the Ugli Stick, Crisis and Tragikly White — and two DJs spread throughout the hotel, 8 p.m., $40 adv., $50 d.o.s. The Village hosts Poyen's Justin Moore, who's fast becoming a big time country star, along with Ryan Couron, Hwy 5 and Steep Banks, 8 p.m., $25 adv., $30 d.o.s. At White Water, Lucero's Ben Nichols shares a bill with popular singer/songwriter Cory Branan and Memphis' John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives, 9:30 p.m., $15. At Juanita's, Thick Syrup presents a strong local showcase, with Frown Pow'r, the See, Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth, Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass sharing a bill, 9 p.m., $10. In the River Market district, Revolution hosts its annual Fireball party, with '80s-influenced Boom Kinetic headlining, 9 p.m., $20 adv., $25 d.o.s. At Sticky Fingerz, local folk-rock favorites Damn Bullets perform at a “Midnight Masquerade,” 9 p.m., $10 adv., $15 d.o.s. At Cajun's, the BUZZ hosts with Ritchie Johnson and Taylor Made performing, 6 p.m., $25.