Los Angeles and Hollywood are known for their music venues, such as the Music Box and the Pig ’n’ Whistle. With all of their lounges and clubs, it’s easy to find live music from local and up and coming artists.
Yet you don’t have to venture too far into the big city to find live music, drinks and a great atmosphere. There are many music venues around CSUN in studios, cafes or restaurants, all offering different types of music and all giving out a different vibe.
Casey’s Tavern, located in Canoga Park, is a home for local jazz players and jazz music lovers. Casey’s Tavern is a 21 and over “dive” bar and venue with live music every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. With drinks at an affordable price, they welcome an audience as late as 1 a.m. on the weekends.
Café Cordiale is another home to jazz musicians, but it also hosts many artists from a myriad of genres. Café Cordiale is a more formal restaurant located in Sherman Oaks, and has an atmosphere that is perfect for special occasions. First opened in 1985 and later destroyed in the Northridge Earthquake of 1994, Café Cordiale went through two years of redesign that has transformed the restaurant and given the place a relaxed vibe, accompanied by their live music consisting of jazz, R&B, acoustic and much more.
A setting that provides live music in a less formal environment is CIA, or the California Institute of Abnormalarts. The name says it all; this venue in North Hollywood has performances that range from magic shows, comedic stand-up and concerts. The CIA is open to all ages, and the music is as diverse as its event calender, ranging from rock to alternative. It is a place for those who wish to escape to a different setting, and where people can feel welcome no matter their age (alcohol is served for those over 21+).
For country lovers, there is the Cowboy Palace Saloon, a place for over 21 cowboys and cowgirls to hear some of the local country tunes. This place is known to be as their slogan says, “the last real Honky Tonk,” this country bar has been featured in films like Terminator 3 and La Bamba. This saloon has live country music every night and every Sunday there is a free buffet (with the purchase of one drink). Happy Hour is from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The saloon also offers free dance lessons every day, in order to teach their customers line and swing dancing and the waltz, preparing them for the nights music.
Kulak’s Woodshed, founded in 1999 and located in North Hollywood, is a different kind of venue in that it serves no food and no alcohol and showcases local music of all different genres. Kulak’s Woodshed offers live performances and video webcast, it is a studio that is run by volunteers and funded by donations. Normally closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, Mondays are devoted to a singer/songwriter open mic with a “one song lottery,” where the host pulls out names of each performer one at a time.
The Guitar Merchant is located in Canoga Park and it is a guitar store that sells guitars, gives music lessons and allow musicians perform every week. Every Wednesday is open mic from 7 p.m. to midnight, with a $4 donation. They celebrate diversity through a multitude of musical talent, such as ukulele performers and feminist music acts. The Guitar Merchant has a great selection of guitars for those who wish to buy and they offer lessons for those who want to learn to play guitar, bass, violin and piano, to name a few.
Whether you are looking for a place to relax, a place to learn or a place to celebrate a special occasion, their are musical talents that are waiting to be heard that are not only playing in L.A. Venturing out for music does not require you to drive far, just open your eyes and ears for great places that provides great music for you.