Why do humans like to party on New Year's Eve? Some perhaps mourn the passing of another 365 days and nights, the countless missed opportunities, missed connections, unfulfilled...

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Why do humans like to party on New Year’s Eve?

Some perhaps mourn the passing of another 365 days and nights, the countless missed opportunities, missed connections, unfulfilled potentials that go into a year. Those with more optimistic spirits might be celebrating the victories, large and small, the things that go right, the seeds perhaps just starting to grow, the hope for 2005.

Or perhaps might we be celebrating the idea that, despite our seemingly incessant self-destructive urges, the human race is still here?

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Or are we simply toasting the inherent yet staggering symbolism, the endless cycles that define not only our existence, but all existence?

Contemplating all that, no wonder we need a cool, soothing beverage. … There will be plenty of liquid flowing this New Year’s Eve, as there has been probably since the intersection of timekeeping and fermentation — yet that’s not all. This being Seattle, there will be plenty of music, for those who like a soundtrack to their revelry and for those who push music to the foreground.

The cover charges are wide-ranging, from free (the Mars Bar, the U District’s Blue Moon, countless other neighborhood bars or staying home) to $5 (Ballard’s Sunset Tavern, punk clubs the Funhouse and Lobo) to $10 (top-of-Queen Anne make-out spot the Paragon) to $15 (Belltown’s Rendezvous, Fremont’s Tost) to $20 (Capitol Hill Arts Center, Belltown rock club the Crocodile, Pioneer Square mechanical bull-bar Cow Girls) to $30 (general admission to Element or, across the street, EMP) to $35 (Club Medusa) to $39 (Pier 66 blowout, with Dudley Manlove and others) to $40 (Neil celebrators Super Diamond at the Showbox, dancing only at Century Ballroom) to $45 (Queen Anne dance spot Mr. Lucky, all-night First Avenue rave scene
Contour) to $50 (dessert package at Triple Door) to $75 (dinner package at Triple Door) to $90 (dinner/dancing package at Century Ballroom) to $200 (V.I.P. admission at Element).

It should be noted that New Year’s Eve cover charges, depending on the size of the crowd, can get jacked up or plummet, not unlike the stock market.

Here are some of the places around Seattle where humans will be huddling, toasting, hugging:

• The hot local hip-hop duo Blue Scholars, who bring intelligent, creative, Jurassic 5-like beats and rhymes, will be on stage at Fremont’s Suite G ($12).

• Alki’s Bamboo Bar & Grill has DJ Pooh spinning party cuts (free). From the deck, if it’s clear, you can see the Space Needle fireworks. If it’s clear.

• Capitol Hill’s elegant Century Ballroom has live Afro-Cuban salsa rhythms, as well as swing and tango DJs ($95 with dinner, $40 dancing only).

• The female AC/DC cover band Hell’s Belles rock out at Graceland ($20).

TED S. WARREN / AP

Maktub — bassist Kevin Goldman, left, lead singer Reggie Watts, guitarist Thaddeus Turner, keyboardist Daniel Spills and drummer Davis Martin — headlines at Experience Music Project.

Maktub, the soul/rock band led by the electric, human party streamer Reggie Watts, headlines at Experience Music Project ($25 members, $30 nonmembers).

In Pioneer Square, cover, rock and blues bands will be playing, and DJs will spin hip-hop, Top 40 and techno at the Central, Doc Maynard’s, Fenix, Juan O’Riley’s, J&M, Last Supper Club, New Orleans and Tiki Bob’s ($25 joint cover).

• Georgetown’s Studio Seven has an all-ages rock show, with rising local bands Gatsby’s American Dream, Schoolyard Heroes, Kane Hodder and Dolour ($12).

• Fremont’s relatively new club Nectar has Jon Lemmon and other DJs, in addition to fire performances ($35 general, $50 VIP).

• That dive to end all dives, the Blue Moon Tavern, has blues, soul and rock bands (no cover).

• At the Crocodile, local underground star Nick Garrison performs a special “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” a musical about a decadent, glammy, Bowie-esque rock star. Cirque De Flambe (jugglers, accordion players, a ringmaster, etc.) will also perform at the Crocodile ($20).

• Capitol Hill girls club the Wild Rose celebrates its 20th anniversary on New Year’s Eve, with DJ LadyJane ($5).

• The unlikely pairing of Aberdeen heavy rockers the Melvins and former Dead Kennedys holler-man Jello Biafra delivers what might be called preach ‘n’ roll at Neumo’s. The Makers, the fine glam-rock band that came to Seattle from Spokane a decade ago (and have since moved on to Portland), are also on the bill ($16).

• Lower Queen Anne neighbors Tini Bigs and Watertown join forces, as martinis meet Top 40/house/hip-hop DJs ($35).

• If you think you see Sarah Jessica Parker, you’ve probably had one or two Cosmos too many; even so, Club Medusa is putting on a “Sex and the City” style party, with NYC DJs and a performance by Manhattan trance duo iio, most famous for club hit “Rapture” ($35).

• BluWater Bistro, a cozy restaurant and mini-club on Lake Union, has DJs (Leopold Bloom, Brandy Westmore) and bands (Phat Sidy Smokehouse, Nasty’s Funk Club) generating music indoors and outside ($25).

Element, the way-glitzy new club that took over from the way-cheesy Polly Esther’s, has Florida’s “king of funky breaks,” DJ Icey. He’ll crank out the jams, after warm-up sets by Dig Dug and Mea ($30 general, $200 VIP).

The Capitol Hill Arts Center (CHAC) has electro-rockers the Fitness and hip-hop crew the Saturday Nights, with art installations and DJs on two levels ($20).

Harvey Danger, United State of Electronica and the Capillaries get down and jam at contemporary art studio ConWorks‘ “Heaven and Hell Ball” ($35).

• A batch of DJs spin a “New Year’s Sleaze” party at Chop Suey ($10).

• Local blues-pop band Left Hand Smoke and Tom Landa (of the Paperboys) are on the bill at the Tractor Tavern ($20).

Tom Scanlon: tscanlon@seattletimes.com