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Old Standbys

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on May 27, 2005 5:59PM

The Tribune's website has a big ol' package on things to do in the city this Memorial Day weekend; it includes a rundown of the "top shows" this summer. Some are a bit pricey and a few weeks away. So if you're stuck in town for the weekend but feel like trying something different, here are a few places that offer live music for little or nothing.

2005_05_27_carols.jpgCarol's Pub, 4659 N. Clark St.
This late night honkytonk is a perfect end to the evening. Party along with the house band Diamondback who play country standards and southern rock all night for free Friday - Sunday. The night isn't officially over until dancing on the crowded dance floor to "Sweet Home Alabama". Carol's is packed after 2 am, so arrive a little earlier if you want one of the coveted tables.

Sylvie's Lounge, 1902 W. Irving Park Rd.
This neighborhood bar always has up-and-coming bands playing. On a recent stop by Chicagoist was stunned by the fantastic sound system and also by the soundman's great expertise. Feeling adventurous? Play live music roulette and stop by one of Chicago's newest live music venues . The bar also features dart boards and free wi-fi.

The Wild Hare, 3530 N. Clark St.
Looking for an alternative to the same old sports bars after a Cubs victory? Head to the Wild Hare for Reggae, Reggae, Reggae! Decently priced drinks and live music. On Mondays it's Free Reggae. The band we saw played all the reggae standards we know and love. Get your reggae fix here with music every single night.

Horseshoe, 4115 N. Lincoln Ave.
This bar/restaurant is a Texas-themed bbq joint with vegetarian alternatives. Free live music on Tuesdays with The Side Runners and Thursdays with Fulton County Line. A Sunday Bluegrass Brunch is in the works which will be a hangover helper. Here's hoping the brunch begins in June, we've been waiting since late April to check it out.

Thanks, Julene!