New Orleans is a liberal city when it comes to alcoholic beverages; you can walk down the street with a drink in your hand (as long as it's not in a glass container), but you can't have an open container of alcohol in your car. Best to leave the driving to someone else when out for a night of music and imbibing at local bars.
TAKE THE STREETCAR TO:
3 Ring Circus' The Big Top Gallery
1638 Clio St., (504) 569-2700; www.3rcp.com
The gallery space has become the weekly spot for the Punk Rock Takeover series, showcasing DIY artists from around town every Sunday. You'll also spot touring punk and indie rock bands and eccentric events throughout the year. Coming soon: Lightning Bolt (Aug. 26), Madeline Adams (Sept. 7) and Merchandise (Oct. 5).
3445 Prytania St., (504) 891-5773; www.prytaniabar.com
18 and older
This Prytania Street club near Touro Hospital is a launching pad for local bands of all genres. Coming soon: Coyotes (Aug. 31) and Gold & the Rush (Sept. 21).
8140 Willow St., (504) 865-9190; www.carrolltonstation.com
18 and older
Though it's a staple for live comedy at its Wednesday open-mic, the bar (named after the streetcar station across the street) hosts indie pop artists, regular singer-songwriter showcases and a weekly open mic every Tuesday. Coming soon: Sports & Leisure (Aug. 25) and Alex McMurray (Sept. 28).
1032 St. Charles Ave., (504) 588-2616
21 and older
The offbeat Lee Circle bar recently restored its live music schedule after a brief hiatus stemming from a permit-processing brouhaha. Find touring indie rock bands, local legends, young punk bands and singer-songwriters at this intimate spot. Coming soon: Vox & the Hound (Aug. 27), Eternal Summers (Sept. 24) and Missing Monuments (Oct. 1).
4332 Magazine St., (504) 891-8682; www.heycafe.biz
The Magazine Street coffeeshop near Napoleon Avenue occasionally has a band or two, though you also can scope out its record collection and the stacks of flyers for upcoming events. Coming soon: Ancient Filth (Aug. 28) and Lost Tribe (Oct. 27).
Le Bon Temps Roule
4801 Magazine St., (504) 895-8117
This large dive also is on Magazine Street and has a weekly lineup of rowdy funk, blues and brass band parties. (It also makes a good Bloody Mary, which it serves to diners waiting to eat at Surrey's Uptown next door.) Coming soon: Soul Rebels Brass Band (every Thursday).
501 Napoleon Ave., (504) 895-8477; www.tipitinas.com
18 and older
The grande dame of Uptown music clubs is named after the Professor Longhair song of the same name (you'll notice his bronzed bust by the door). Here, check out local funk and national stars (though be prepared to cram in, despite the bar's size). Coming soon: Beach House (Sept. 18), OFF! (Sept. 21), The Walkmen (Sept. 22), Dinosaur Jr. (Oct. 3), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Oct. 7) and GZA (Oct. 8).
TAKE A CAB TO:
Jazz, blues, hip-hop, bounce, funk, punk rock — it's all here. This famed street is lined with clubs, from Dragon's Den (435 Esplanade Ave., www.myspace.com/dragonsdennola) on its outskirts to the venerable Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro (626 Frenchmen St., 504-949-0696; www.snugjazz.com) at its epicenter, and is the go-to spot for a night out. You really can't go wrong, even if you only catch a gypsy jazz combo on a street corner.
House of Blues
225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999; www.hob.com
You probably have a House of Blues in your hometown, but the lineup probably doesn't include Curren$y's weekly Jet Lounge, gospel brunch or weekly comedy showcases. The French Quarter club and its upstairs stage The Parish also feature touring acts and bigger local artists. Coming soon: The Jesus & Mary Chain (Sept. 5), 2 Chainz (Sept. 12), Fiona Apple (Sept. 24) and Animal Collective (Sept. 29)
The Howlin' Wolf
907 S. Peters St., (504) 529-5844; www.thehowlinwolf.com
18 and older
This club and its adjacent The Den keep a steady stream of hip-hop, funk, brass bands, comedy and other local artists on their stages. Coming soon: Birdcloud (Sept. 10), Citizen Cope (Sept. 17) and Supersuckers (Sept. 25).
One Eyed Jacks
615 Toulouse St., (504) 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net
18 and older
The French Quarter rock 'n' roll venue with a Twin Peaks vibe attracts indie starlets, metal stalwarts and dance parties. Coming soon: Twin Killers (Aug. 25), The Album Leaf (Sept. 9), Guided By Voices (Sept. 22) and Dum Dum Girls (Oct. 30).
St. Claude Ave.
Though metal institution Siberia (2227 Saint Claude Ave, 504-265-8855) is temporarily turning down its volume due to a permitting issue, the first few blocks of the historic downtown thoroughfare will keep you busy. Alternative acts (and live theater) await at AllWays Lounge (2240 St. Claude Ave., 504-218-5778; www.theallwayslounge.com), the Stooges Brass Band lurks at Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude Ave., 945-4446; www.hiholounge.net), and late-night haunts like Saturn Bar (3067 St. Claude Ave., 504-949-7532) and off-the-avenue BJ's Lounge (4301 Burgundy St., 504-945-9256) and Vaughn's (4229 Dauphine St. , 504-947-5562) are just a cab or bike ride away from the bright lights.
Stay abreast of what's happening in the city with Gambit's music, events, art and stage calendars at www.bestofneworleans.com.