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Kick-start ’05 

Ringing in the New Year can be a daunting experience. Some use the holiday as an excuse to lament the mediocrity of their existence; others see it as a way to rejuvenate and “start again.” Then there are the rest of us who seize on another excuse to party down and boogie.

We at Night & Day understand that the opportunities for merrymaking are vast and varied, so we’ve drawn up a list of hot offerings for New Year’s Eve 2004.

There’s an evening of jazz with the Spencer Barefield Quartet — for the first time featuring the venerable Donald Walden on sax. In addition to the sonic grooviness of these jazzheads, the $45 admission snags partygoers a soul food buffet and Champagne at midnight. At the Serengeti Galleries, 2757 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-963-8099.

If jazz isn’t your bag, there’s always the old-time roots sounds of Blanche, Nathaniel Mayer & the Shanks and the Greenhornes. Admission is $15 and includes party favors and a Champagne toast. At the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. (DJs Brad Hales and Scott Craig host an after-party at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, formerly detroit contemporary, 5141 Rosa Parks, Detroit; 313-899-2243.)

Feel like dancing 2004 away? Then enjoy a spectral offering of hip hop, R&B, deep house, techno and old-school from master DJs Eddie Fowlkes, Norm Talley, Alton Miller, Bruce Bailey and Art Payne for the Sense of Balance-New Year’s Eve 2004. At the BAT Lounge, 1326 Brush, Detroit; 313-961-1370.

For clublovers, Plus 8 Records’ John Acquaviva will spin a four-hour set of his now-famous brand of electronica. Tickets are $40 in advance and can be purchased at groovetickets.com. Admission includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and sushi and a champagne toast. At Bleu, 1540 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-222-1900.

Hard rockin’ more your speed? Then get your ass over to the New Year’s Eve Craptacular event featuring the Skeemin’ Nogoods, the Sirens and Wolfbait. At the Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668.

Please remember not to drink and drive. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will be offering free car rides on New Year’s Eve night. Write down this phone number and put it in your wallet: 877-NYE-MADD (877-693-6233). Remember — somebody out there loves you.

Send comments to edoster@metrotimes.com

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