Why: Unplugged music has a happy history here.
What: Founded in 1968 when psychedelic rock seemed to be taking over the world, "the Freight" has long stood for quality traditional music. Acts come from all corners of the world (Iraqi oud music, anyone?), but American folk (David Grisman on mandolin, Mark O'Connor on fiddle, Greg Brown on guitar and vocals, Tony Trischka on banjo, et al.) is the most common sound. The coffee house, relocated and greatly expanded from its original digs, stands three blocks west of the Berkeley campus. It operates as a nonprofit, offering blues and bluegrass jam sessions, workshops and one of the oldest open-mic nights in the Bay Area.
Where: 2020 Addison St., Berkeley, 375 miles northwest of downtown L.A.