New Year's Eve.

If you're hitting a plain old club on Saturday night, you're likely practicing an amateur's-night-out strategy. More advisable is a night out with Philly's alternative elite - the skinny-

jeans-wearing rockers, baggy-pants electro-programmers, and classy-costumed performing locals who bare their souls for maximum pay on the last day of 2011. The flashiest of New Year's Eve parties occurs at MilkBoy's Center City outpost when Johnny Showcase meets El Malito. Showcase (known to his mom as David Sweeny, a Philadelphia actor and musician) always lets his freak flag fly as an electric, eclectic Engelbert Humperdinck-like persona whose energetic disco band puts the fun in "Funkadelic." Think his New Year's Eve show will be less kitsch? I think not.

But you better get to MilkBoy early for Les Rivera, the filmmaker and dancer better known as El Malito, this scribe's pick-to-click for 2012. El Malito's brand of dubstep-salsa and Latino electro-hop comes with smartly rousing anthemic lyrics in which the outsider looks for acceptance (e.g. "Platypus," "Patrick Henry") with heritage and history to guide him. Yet it's his Spanish language sing-song raps, his abrasive but winning production (courtesy of Aaron "Kosherican" Levinson, who'll DJ that night), and his cartoony floor show that make him the best Malito he can be. World domination next year, Chestnut Street this year.


First Night Burlington County 2012 Year of the Dragon.

This night out offers performances, dancing in the streets, a pet parade, fireworks, and more. Events are scheduled from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday in downtown Mount Holly along High Street. There will be fire dancing by Adano Ignis at 6:45, 7:30, 8:15, and 9. The High Street Art Gallery will host an art contest from 7:30 to 9 for children ages 6 to 14, celebrating the Year of the Dragon. Musical performances will be offered at venues throughout downtown.


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

***1/2 (out of four stars) David Fincher's beautifully taut, terrifying adaptation of the Stieg Larsson mega-seller is faithful to its source, and offers a star-making turn from Rooney Mara as the asocial, bisexual, genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Daniel Craig is Mikael Blomkvist, the bookish investigative journalist who partners with the pierced, punked-out heroine to dig into a decades-old murder case. R (violence, sexual violence, nudity, sex, profanity, adult themes)