Hangout Handbook My Regina

Hangout Handbook My Regina
In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists to discuss the hidden gems in their hometowns. Here, Library Voices' Michael Dawson outlines his picks for Regina.

What's your favourite breakfast/brunch spot?
Paul has a job that lends itself to going out for breakfast constantly. I think he's tried everywhere in the city and he always takes me to Nicky's Café (1005 8th Ave) so I have to trust him that it's the best.

What's your favourite coffee/daytime hangout?
We share a rehearsal space with Rah Rah above a spot called The Artful Dodger (1651 11th Ave.). The serve both Intelligentsia [coffee] and beans from a great local roaster called 33 1/3.

Where's the best dive bar?
Leopold's Tavern (2330 Albert St.) It's a new spot in the city — maybe not a dive bar in the traditional sense, but it's got a great little hidden deck out back and is the perfect spot to get a cheap pint and a deep fried pickle.

Where do you go for a fancy dinner?
Does Red Lobster count?

What's your favourite park?
Les Sherman Park is probably my favourite park in the city. It's located next to a great little arts center and although the park doesn't really have much to offer other than a giant and strange statue of a beaver, we lived in such close proximity to it for so long that it holds a special place in my heart. Parts of our video for "Generation Handclap" were filmed there.

Where's the best movie theatre?
The RPL Film Theatre (2311 12th Ave.) It's located in the basement of the public library and does a great job of bringing things to Regina that would have otherwise skipped by. I saw a couple of my favourite films (End of the Century and The Science of Sleep) there for the first time.

What's the signature annual event/festival/community gathering in your city?
The Regina Folk Festival. It takes over downtown for three days every summer and is always a wild time, complete with crazy after parties.

Where's your favourite stage?
Definitely the Exchange (2431 8th Ave.) Full disclosure, I was the artistic director there for a number of years so I might be slightly biased — but it's just a great old room in the warehouse district. I'd estimate that 90 percent of the Library Voices shows we've played in Regina have been there. I've also seen a ton of amazing shows there, from Feist and Broken Social Scene to Magnolia Electric Co. and Hayden.

Where's the best place to dance?
O'Hanlon's (1947 Scarth St.) Sure it may be an Irish pub by day, but on Thursday and Saturday evenings it transforms into a dance party while doing its best to avoid a "club" vibe. Members of Despistado, Rah Rah and Library Voices have all put in some hours DJing there.

What's your favourite record store?
X-Ray Records (2323 11th Ave.) has been a long-standing staple in the city. If Dave doesn't have what you're looking for, he will find it for you.

What's your favourite underground/out of the way bar/drinking establishment?
The German Club (1727 St John St.) It's everything a bar should be. It's like walking into a time machine with charming décor, cheap drinks, shuffleboard, and rock'n'roll shows.

Michael Dawson is a member of pop folkies Library Voices. Their most recent EP, For John, came out this summer.