Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weekday Worker Bees, Come Out and Play

It's always easy to find something to do or somewhere to go on a Friday or Saturday night. But for those of us that work all week and live for the daylight hours on the weekends, staying up late and spending the weekend afternoons hungover is not an option. Similarly, those worker bees like myself usually enjoy indulging in the commonly desired after work cocktail during the week. Well for those in my neck of the woods looking for some week night activities, you have come to the right place.

Although the nightlife crowd in San Diego stays pretty constant downtown, up in North County, the tide is always changing. In the summer, everyone comes out of the wood works to enjoy the warm evening and drink a cold beer. During the holidays, some of the summer crowd go into hibernation, but all the out of towners come home and flood the bars. In between breaks, however, a steady and strong local crowd remains constant.

There are many facets of North County from the the beachside bourgoise of Del Mar, up to the cool comfortable village of Carlsbad, and all the sleepy surfer towns in between. Per the request of fellow blogger and fashionista Erica, I have listed my top picks for your week nights to be spent in North County:

For the hipster crowd, start off with a beer at Beachside Bar & Grill in Encinitas, and move north around 10pm to Dirty Mondays at the Daley Double Saloon. Heavy hands pour the drinks and spin the ones and twos. Resident DJ Gabe Vega has brought together quite the following, and with the Saloon's infamous industry night appropriately dubbed Dirty Monday has attracted emo kids, surfers and socialites from all corners of the city. For a more upscale evening, try Martini Monday at Delicias where bombshell bartender Lauryn serves up the most delightful drinks in town.

Taco Tuesday is a communal day of celebration in San Diego, and the options are essentially endless. To move beyond the standard spots like World Famous and Fred's, try the fresh fish tacos and a glass of chardonnay at the Brigantine in Del Mar. If you're willing to drive a bit further north, Carlsbad's Norte is the best deal in North County: $2 street tacos of any kind, and $2 Tecates. If you've still got some energy after all that food, En Fuego is the Tuesday night spot to see and be seen.

Start at Zenbu in Cardiff for some tasty rolls and $5 champagne glasses. Once you've got a healthy buzz going, head south to the renowned Jimmy O's in Del Mar for karaoke night among the locals. To avoid the glitz and glamour and masses, try a low key dive night around Cardiff. The Office and The Shanty are too old school joints plastered in surf or sport paraphernalia where you can strike up a good conversation and really savor your drink without getting a headache or a drink spilled on you.

Dedicate one of your nights to the laid back style of Solana Beach. Start with some pizza, beer buddies, and pitchers of the Cardiff Chronic amber ale to get toasty at Pizza Port before heading up to Cedros Ave where the Belly Up Tavern is nestled into one of the most unique artist districts in California. Pizza Port, a local favorite for grub and grog, boasts some of the most intricate, complex and tasty beer lists, all brewed in house. Their beer buddies are to DIE for, and are the perfect meal to be washed down with some cold delicious beer. Once you get going, head up Cedros Ave. and take a peek into some of the local furniture, clothing and gift shops that Solana Beach has to offer. About halfway down the drag, you'll hit the Belly Up Tavern, voted San Diego's best live music venue. Every night you can catch a show, and they don't just book up and coming acts or local fave's... they also feature big touring acts, amazing cover/tribute bands, and stand up comedy acts.

Attempting to Contain My Excitement, and Failing Miserably.

Every year, the anticipation leading up to music festival season is tenacious, distracting, and adrenaline pumping. The first of many renowned festivals kicks off the summer in late April in the desert oasis of Southern California. Indio, surrounded by the more populated towns of Palm Springs, Indian Wells and Borrego, is a small town centralized by the well known and loved venue for COACHELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL. Last year was my first year attending any part of the weekend long love fest, and I only got a small taste of what would be my adult spring break in years to come. The heat is pretty intense, temperatures range in the low hundreds, and only minor shade and outrageously overpriced water are present throughout the day. This year, though, the heat will not keep me from my music. Tickets to this years Coachella are three day passes only, as opposed to the option to buy single day passes like in years past. So if I am going to be dropping a car payment on a concert, I am milking it for all it's worth, baby.

This years lineup represents the hip hop, alternative, electro, indie and rock genres with heavy hitting international acts to rising stars from music rich cities like Brooklyn, San Diego, Austin and Denver. Who am I most excited to see? Although performers have been chosen, the schedule of sets has yet to be announced, and won't be until just a few weeks before the show. If I could mix and match my top picks into my ideal line-up, it would go as follows:

Little Dragon
Them Crooked Vultures
Iglu & Hartley
Vampire Weekend
Passion Pit
La Roux
Benny Benassi
Jay Z

Camera Obscura
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Corinne Bailey Rae
The Raveonettes
The xx
David Guetta
Hot Chip

The Soft Pack
Julian Casablancas
Matt & Kim
Miike Snow
De La Soul
Thom Yorke

For full listings of artists, visit Coachella's website.