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1984 NYE 

When: Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m. 2011
Price: free

That's right, folks: time to party like it's 1984. Lest you doubt the catchphrase, consider what music was popping back then. Prince, Van Halen, and (gulp) Lionel Richie had the biggest hits on the radio. "Ghostbusters" ranked number ten on the Billboard Top 100. Cell phones didn't exist yet, and neither did WiFi or the Cabbage Patch. A particularly erudite commercial for the first Macintosh computer referenced Orwell and Fritz Lang's Metropolis. And people had a totally different interpretation of the phrase "Free your mind, and your ass will follow." You can still relive the era in all its glory even as you ring in 2012. Just go to the 1984 New Year's Eve party at Mighty (119 Utah St., San Francisco), which promises live video-mixing by Mark Andrus, Jim Hopkins, and Rafael Fierro. It starts at 9 p.m. -- early arrival suggested. Free. Mighty119.com

— Rachel Swan

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