Experience the music scene that produced Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, and Snow Patrol, among other indie bands. Brace yourself with a full Scottish breakfast at Southside café Gusto & Relish, where the traditional fry-up ($12) is served with gourmet sausage and black pudding made in-house. Walk a few blocks down to Moon Guitars, a store selling custom-built acoustic guitars preferred by everyone from Adele to Steve Earle, and ask owner Jimmy Moon if you can peek inside his workshop to watch him carve blocks of mahogany and Indian rosewood by hand. Next, head to local pop pioneer Stephen Pastel’s Mono, home to ping-pong tournaments, an on-site microbrewery, and free gigs that occasionally include surprise D.J. sets by famous indie musicians. Browse on-site record shop Monorail alongside crate-diggers looking for sixties garage punk and experimental electronica. Afterward, grab a drink at dingy split-level bar Nice ’N’ Sleazy, where you can reminisce about CBGB’s heyday while listening to homegrown rockers on the ever-changing jukebox or performing on a subterranean stage (cover $8–$16) that also hosts visiting musicians like rapper Lil B (May 6; $8). Break for dinner and take a taxi to the West End satellite of Mother India, arguably the city’s best curry house. Order from the tapas-style menu—try the lamb saag with spinach ($8) and spicy machi massala ($7)—and don’t mind the wait, as everything here is made from scratch. Around the corner is the Sub Club (cover $25–$35), which opened the doors to its intimate red-lit basement 25 years ago and is still drawing underground house spinners from Detroit to Berlin. But you’re here for longtime resident James “Harri” Harrigan, whose eclectic deep-house sets have become as famous as the club itself.
5. Oddball Day
Published on Apr 13, 2012 as a web exclusive.