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New Year's Eve on a Friday night? Woohoo!

There's something familiar about the eve of 2011.

Perhaps that’s because many of the events feature old favorites – mostly notably ’60s garage rockers The Sonics, but also the likes of Syd Potter, Scott Cossu and DJ Dead Air, known for his love of ’80s New Wave.

Or more likely, it’s just because New Year’s Eve is on a Friday night.

“It’s the weekend, so people are trying to make the most of it,” said Audrey Henley, manager of the Capitol Theater. “They are putting on big shows.”

The theater is hosting The Sonics’ show, which is far from just your typical Friday-night concert.

“We are pretty ecstatic about it,” she said. “Their last show was in 2008, but before that, it had been almost 30 years since they’d played a concert.”

The band, which has a new EP out, has been playing in Europe. This is only the second Western Washington show since the group re-emerged in late 2007, and so far it appears to be the only show planned in the United States this year.

“It’s an historic event,” Henley said. “We anticipate selling out.”

Whether it’s because of that show or because there are lots of options this year, South Sound folks seem more excited than usual about going out for New Year’s Eve.

“I think people are excited that there’s more than just a couple of bars open downtown this year,” said Pit Kwiecinski, owner of the Brotherhood Lounge. “I think that’s going to bring more people out than the typical New Year’s Eve.”

The Brotherhood is celebrating New Year’s Eve in its traditional style with DJ Dead Air, who has played all but one of the New Year’s Eve parties at the Brotherhood and played for several years before that at Kwiecinski’s previous club, Thekla.

“Dead Air usually plays something fun, like ‘Age of Aquarius’ from ‘Hair,’ as the first song,” Kwiecinski said.

And this year, it seems that the bar owner is feeling a bit more festive than usual himself: He’s planning a balloon drop at midnight.

“That’s exciting,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve been at a balloon drop in awhile. I’ve been thinking about doing it for a few years, and I’m finally going to get it done this year.”

Here’s a rundown of other options to consider as you make your plans:

Noon Year’s Eve Party, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 31, Hands On Children’s Museum, 106 11th Ave. S.W., Olympia. $10.50 per child, $8.50 per child member, accompanying adult free. 360-956-0818 or www. hocm.org.

The Sonics, Dirty Birds and November Witch 9 p.m. Dec. 31, Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia. All ages with a mezzanine beer garden for ages 21 and older. $25 general admission, $20 for Olympia Film Society members at www. brownpapertickets.com, Rainy Day Records and the box office the night of the show. 360-754-6670 or www.olympiafilmsociety.org.

USA Dance Olympia’s New Year’s Eve Ball with the Johnny Lewis Band 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31 to 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1, The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. N.W., Olympia. $35 at Music 6000. All ages. 360-561-4872 or tunafishers2003@yahoo.com.

Daven Tillinghast Trio with Syd Potter and Vince Brown 8 p.m. Dec. 31 to 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1, Swing Café & Wine Bar, 825 Columbia St., Olympia. Free; reservations recommended. 360-357-9464 or www.swing winebar.com.

Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band and High Ceiling 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31 to 2 a.m. Jan. 1, Olympia Eagles Ballroom, 805 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. All ages. $25 per person, $45 per couple. A portion of proceeds benefit the Eagles Diabetes Foundation, and organizers request that attendees bring a bag of food for the food bank. 360-970-5550 or www.clintonfearon.com/bio.php.

Scott Cossu with Steve Banks and Jessica Blinn 9 p.m.-midnight Dec. 31, Dockside Bistro, 501 Columbia St. N.W., Olympia. Free; reservations required. 360-956-1928 or www.docksidebistro.com.

New Year’s Contra Dance, with the Young Geezers and Riffraff 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31, South Bay Grange, 3918 Sleater-Kinney Road N.E., Olympia. $12. All ages. Bring a dessert for the dessert potluck. www.olympiadance.org.

Singles New Year Dance, hosted by the United Singles Club of Olympia 8 p.m. Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. Jan. 1, Benoschek Hall, Thurston County Fairgrounds, 3054 Carpenter Road S.E., Lacey. $10. For ages 21 and older only. 360-870-2956, dares2dance@hotmail.com or www.unitedsingles.org.

New Year’s Eve Party with DJ Dead Air 9 p.m. Dec. 31 to 2 a.m. Jan. 1, The Brotherhood Lounge, 119 Capitol Way N., Olympia. $5. Fifty percent of the cover charge goes to Safeplace. 360-352-4153 or www. thebrotherhoodlounge.com.

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