- AT GUSANO'S: 607 brings in 2009.
9 p.m., Gusano's. $5.
After winning the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase and releasing an album with his brother Bobby, 607 did something he'd never done before. He slowed down. The super-prolific MC — 30 albums, thousands of performances — recorded and then invited friends and family to critique his work. Rather than knock out an album in one day, as has been the norm, he stretched the process across four sessions. “I can't just be good anymore,” he told me a while back. “I've got to be great.” Fans will get their first opportunity to see if he succeeded at this New Year's Eve show, where he'll release the new album, “Mirrors of Time.” It's a synchronicity the MCs have probably been planning for years — the release of his 31st album on the 31st. As usual, Bobby, AKA Mr. Morbid, helps out on the mic and DJ Discipline mans the ones and twos.
FREE VERSE/WEAKNESS FOR BLONDES
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz and Revolution. $15 adv., $20 d.o.s.
Owning two clubs in the River Market has its perks. As they often do on special nights, owners Suzon Awbrey and Chris King host one big party spanning both venues for New Year's Eve (with one cover charge). This year's theme is Midnight Masquerade, and the clubs are handing out cash prizes for the best masquerade masks. At Sticky Fingerz, Free Verse blends prog and psychedelic rock, funk and a dash of blues and jazz. They jam. At Revolution, Weakness for Blondes does a similar, albeit more straight rockin', kind of thing. You'll want to be at Rev at midnight. There'll be two big balloon drops in different parts of the club, where $10,000 in cash and gift certificates will come raining down.
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
Just a few days before Lucero returns to White Water, another big name with a close relationship with the bar headlines. Singer/songwriter Cory Branan, originally from Memphis, has released two acclaimed full-lengths. It's been two years since he put out “12 Songs,” so look for him to show off some new ones. Blair Combest, a Memphis folk rocker of similar, but slightly twangier, ilk, opens along with Cali's the Quiet Life, which specializes in good-time country-rock.
9 p.m., Afterthought. $20.
For those who like to take their dose of rollicking gypsy folk rock seated, the Afterthought is the spot on New Year's Eve. The Munks, long one of Little Rock's finest live acts, offer a lengthy set that's sure to be filled with songs from their two fine albums, “Heartbreak Numbers” and “Sing Dirty Songs,” and a handful of tasty covers. They're led by pianist and vocalist Aaron Grimm (of the Tom Waits vocal school), with drummer Brooks Browning, pedal/steel guitarist Alex Piazza, violinist Bennett Ryel and bassist Rich Dwiggins. The cover charge includes party favors and a champagne toast. There'll also be all sorts of food and drink specials.
8 p.m., Peabody. $40 adv., $20 d.o.s.
This is where the masses will congregate. There'll be three bands and three DJs spread out in all sorts of party rooms on several different levels in the hotel. The biggest draw is sure to be the hugely popular '80s cover band Venus Mission, but Tragikly White and Crisis! always bring folks out, too. Plus, party DJs Ugly Ed and Tre' Day and Joe Snell are sure to keep it moving with all sorts of dance music. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Peabody Gift Shop. Tickets include a midnight champagne toast.
8 p.m., the Village. $10 adv., $15 d.o.s.
The Village, as it typically does, keeps it electro on New Year's Eve. This year it's a treat for the area's small but ardent rave scene. Vic, with the likes of DJ Irene, Bad Boy Bill and Keoki, helped make the New York underground club scene a global phenomenon. Lately, the DJ's trance work has taken him on tours to England, France and Japan. Don't forget your glowstick.