Lotus: Float wordlessly into the new year on the liquid groove of this locally based electronica outfit. Electric Factory, 7th and Willow streets, 8:30 tonight (sold out) and tomorrow, $26.75, 215-627-1332, electricfactory.info.
Drive-By Truckers: You'll likely get a listen to new material from this Southern country-rock outfit's upcoming album "Go-Go Boots," which promises a little more soul than previous releases. That's what happens when you make a record with Bettye LaVette, kids! Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $25 and $28, 215-922-1011, 877-598-8696, LiveNation.com.
The English Beat: The ska's not necessarily the limit for Dave Wakeling, who's been doing some acoustic work recently but returns with band in a fund-raising tour for autistic children. With Bigger Thomas. Sellersville Theater 1894, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville, 8 p.m. Thursday, $29.50, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com.
Dutty Chutney New Year's Eve Party: DJs Mandip and M-Ski are offering an alternative to the pricey parties with their reggae meets bhangra jam. With the added theme of "no stress, no dress code, no VIP," this looks to be a great party for the rest of us. Fluid Night Club, 613 S. 4th St., 9 tonight, $10, 215-629-3686, www.fluidnightclub.com
Grace Little: New Jersey native has been wowing audiences with her soul/R&B/gospel performances since she was a teen. She will be doing two shows a night this weekend, so make sure you get out to at least one. Warmdaddy's, 1400 S Columbus Blvd., 8 and 10 tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, $20 tonight, $15 tomorrow and Sunday, 215-462-2000, www.warmdaddys.com.
The O'Jays: Famed Ohio group has strong Philly ties, releasing their chart topping hits "Back Stabbers" and "Love Train" on Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia International Records label. This looks to be the best way to kick off 2011 old school. Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, 3400 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 8 p.m. tomorrow, 609-340-7200, www.hiltonac.com.
Hip-Hop Showcase: An excellent assortment of homegrown talent highlighted by a performance from hip-hop band Philadelphia Slick. Also playing are trio Writtenhouse and rapping lawyer Elijah McKinley and his band, the Trees. Blockley Pourhouse, 3801 Chestnut St., 9 p.m. Wednesday, $5, 215-222-1234, www.theblockley.com.
Session: This first-Wednesday reggae party features three of the city's foremost dub, roots and culture, and dancehall DJ groups. You can expect to hear great sets from Solomonic Sound System, Ital Sound and Rascul Int'l. Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 10 p.m Wednesday, $5, 21-plus, 215-592-8838, www.silkcityphilly.com.
New Hot: A showcase of genre-bending artists and groups, this show features a headlining performance from hip-hop/rock hybrid act Government Cheaze. Also performing will be the Joe Jordan Experiment, Jim Stephens, Elliott Levin, Larry Toth and Vinchelle Woods. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Thursday, $18, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
NYE Snowflake Ball at JB's Party Mansion: If you are looking for a more civilized New Year's Eve, this is it. Philebrity's Joey Sweeney hosts and DJs with various other couples, such as Audible's Mike and Kristine Kennedy, the 700 Club's Tracy Stanton and Zita Carroll, Pattern Is Movement's Chris Ward and Maggie Good, and Blood Feathers' Ben Dickey. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 8 tonight, $5, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com
Cisco Jeeters: For a free, rockin' New Year's, the country/punk and roll band makes a rare appearance with a guest DJ. The Abbaye, 637 N. 3rd St., 9 tonight, free, 215-627-6711.
Danny Krivit: Legendary New York City disco and club DJ (also known as "The King of the Re-edit") spins. His four-decade career includes collaborations with James Brown and MFSB. Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 9 tonight, $25-30, 215-592-8838, www.ticketfly.com/tickets/event-details/?tfly_event_id=21953.
Making Time New Year's Freakout: This is the young single person's party for making out with strangers in public restrooms and public decadence at 90 Degrees, the space formerly known as Transit. With DJs Sammy Slice, Dave P, Mike Z, Dave Pak, Broadzilla, Adam Sparkles, Julian Pink Skull and the Rock T-ts boys. Plus: an all-night open bar! 90 Degrees, 601 Spring Garden St., 9 tonight, $40, 215-821-7575, www.r5productions.com.
Hands & Knees/Tigerbeats NYE: If you can't get tickets to Making Time, this is the next best thing. H & K is the monster dance party that predated the current incarnation of the Barbary, and Tigerbeats is a weekly indie pop night. Two floors of DJs, various freebies and drink specials, and a champagne toast at midnight. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave., 9 tonight, $15, www.ticketfly.com/tickets/event-details/?tfly_event_id=22917.
Hurrah New Year's Eve: For a more affordable price and a unique mix of music, there's DJs Toney M (The Magic Message), Ryan T (Robotique), Ed Blammo (Solid Good Times), and host Shawn Ryan. Champagne toast at midnight. Medusa Lounge, 21st and Chestnut streets, 10 tonight, $7, 215-557-1981, www.medusalounge.com.
Stimulus Philly: One of the big parties for queer women includes two floors of DJs spinning anything and everything: DJs Nikson, Sparkles, Jivey, Kash and Glitz. Marathon Grill, 200 S. 40th St., 10 tonight, $12-15, 215-222-0100, www.stimulusphilly.com.
The Scene: The other party for the ladies is on New Year's Day. Includes DJs Kit, Ka$h and Carl Michaels. A portion of the door goes to Manna, which delivers meals to those living with life-threatening illnesses. Voyeur, 1221 Saint James St., 3 p.m. tomorrow, $5 (with valid college ID) or $7, 215-735-5772, www.voyeurnightclub.com/nyd2011.html.
Vixens & Vagabonds: Liberty City Kings Drag & Burlesque brings its "Queer and Kinky Cabaret" to Tabu, 200 S. 12th St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $5 in drag or $7, 215-964-9675, http://tabuphilly.com.
Drive By Truckers: Nurse your hangover, Southern-style, with hair o' the dog. Preferably bourbon. Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $25 and $28, 215-922-1011, 877-598-8696, LiveNation.com.
Riff Mountain: Sweet Jane's DJ Jem is the guest host of this weekly, which features Jonathan Hodges and David Krivda spinning heavy psych, hard blues, biker rock, speedway boogie, garage, and other forms of album-oriented rock fantasy. Lucky 13, 1820 S. 13th St., 10 p.m. Sunday, free, 215-336-8467, www.lucky13pubphilly.com.
An American Chinese: Co-ed psych-folk band celebrates the release of "Utopian Tree," with power poppers Steve Goldberg & the Arch Enemies and When I Was 12. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 8 p.m. Thursday, $5, 215-291-4919, www.kungfunecktie.com.
Bootsie Barnes/Larry McKenna: What could be a more appropriate way to ring in another year of Philly jazz than the city's two favorite tenormen sharing a stage? Pianist Tom Lawton's trio will serve as the rhythm section. Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St., 8, 10 p.m. and midnight tonight, $25, 215-568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com
West Philadelphia Orchestra: The local ensemble is throwing a Balkan Dance Party to welcome 2011, with a feast provided by band members followed by three sets of music into the wee hours. Everyone who attends will receive a copy of the band's CD. Tritone, 1508 South St., 9 (feast) and 10 (music) tonight, $25 with food, $20 without, 215-545-0475, www.tritonebar.com.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue: New Orleans trombonist Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews blends the jazz of his hometown with rock and funk in an energetic, high-spirited gumbo. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 10 tonight, sold out, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Webb Thomas Trio: Drummer performs the music of Stevie Wonder with fellow all-star bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and guitarist Monette Sudler. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 8 & 10 p.m. tomorrow, $20, 215-568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com.
Matuto: Guitarist/vocalist Clay Ross formed this ensemble, which melds jazz, rock and Brazilian folk music, with NY accordionist Rob Curto and Brazilian percussionist Ze Mauricio. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Wednesday, $11-$13, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Denis DiBlasio: Baritone saxophonist/flutist toured the world with Maynard Ferguson for years and continues the trumpet legend's blend of crowd-pleasing virtuosity and heartfelt tradition with his own music. Collingswood Community Center, 30 Collings Ave., Collingswood, NJ, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, $5-$10, 856-858-8914, www.jazzbridge.org.
Pennsylvania Ballet: Tchaikovsky's perennial "Nutcracker" ballet is always a colorful emblem of the season, with its redesigned, resplendent production an annual must for many families. In its 42nd year, this magnificent staging by George Balanchine features full orchestra and the Pennsylvania Boys Choir, the battle with the Mouse King and the famous specialty dances of the finale in this final season performance. Academy of Music, Broad and Locust Streets, noon today, $30-$139, 215-893-1999, www.paballet.org
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops: For the first time, Nero's crack band will usher in the New Year with what he calls "a finger-snapping, toe-tapping extravaganza," an evening of swing. Played without intermission, in case you have another calendar-closing event to catch. Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 8 tonight, $46-$127, 215-893-1999 or www.phillypops.org
Salute To Vienna: The new year means Strauss waltzes, and 75 musicians, singers and dancers will celebrate here in their 12th annual visit. The Strauss Symphony of America led by Klaus Arp, plus soprano Katarzyna Dondalska and tenor Daniel Vadasz and the dancers from the Kiev-Amiko Ballet of Ukraine hope to make your feet move in three-quartet time. Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, $41-$101, 215-893-1999, www.salutetovienna.com.