It's like the perfect lack-of-storm. Looks like a quiet weekend in Columbus, as everyone gears up for next week's New Year's parties. Even party-centric Auburn looks to be only offering the sound of crickets, as students have cleared out for their winter breaks.

First on my weekend agenda is planning my own New Year's, so I can make a reservation. Will it be steak and champagne at Broad Street Blues, the three-way soiree downtown (Big City Club, Uptown Tap and The Vault), or bowling and bubbly at AMF Peach Lanes? Decisions, decisions.

It's also a good time to scrounge around for the best wrapping paper, scotch tape and Christmas cards for next year's holiday, while stores are clearing them out at half-off or more. Watch out Kmart. Martha Stewart, I'm coming for you.

And Saturday night, I'll check out Atlanta blues act Delta Moon at The Loft. This is a show any roots blues lovers should be at, as the band's two frontmen can fill a room with sweeping slide and steel guitar. Showtime’s 9:30 p.m., and the cover is $5. Details: 706-562-9792.

— Brad Barnes


Skipping out on the club scene this weekend to prime yourself for a bigger-than-ever New Year's Eve is a bad idea.

Set your expectations that high and you're positioned for a major letdown. So I recommend going all out this weekend — that way, you can at least attribute your failed Dec. 31 to exhaustion from excessive advance partying.

Friday, start your weekend with the first of two back-to-back performances by local band Seven Zero Sixx at Daileys, 1039 Broadway. If your trip to this downtown bar is anticlimactic, just take comfort in the fact that it will be a totally different scene when champagne is served there New Year's Eve. Or maybe not.

Saturday, savor the dwindling days of the current ownership at Muldoon's, 6499 Veterans Parkway. The bar will take on a new feel come January, and many regular customers fear it will no longer be the No. 1 destination for older partiers. So savor the mullets and Wrangler jeans while you can.

Finally, end your weekend with a trip to the Saloon & Oyster Bar, 6005 Macon Road. I learned last weekend that this hot spot hosts karaoke every Sunday starting at 8 p.m., so it's a perfect place to unleash all your urges to sing Garth Brooks classics to a forgiving audience.

Because nobody wants to ring in 2008 with your take on “Friends in Low Places." Trust me.

— Sonya Sorich