SOMETHING about St. Patrick's Day makes partyers want to get an early start.
But last year's holiday was something else for Dave King, lead singer of popular L.A. Irish punk rockers Flogging Molly. "We played Molly Malone's at 7 in the morning for a radio station show," King recalls. "It was crazy. We played House of Blues the night before, then went straight to Molly's."
There's no rest for the wicked -- or the help -- on America's favorite day to pluck the green out of their closet and party with the leprechauns. At Hennessey's Tavern in Hermosa Beach, four employees will be on hand to open up the restaurant at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. to welcome the KROQ-FM morning show team of Kevin and Bean for a live broadcast. General manager Tyler Thurlow estimates that by 8 a.m., the place will be at capacity. Ouch.
Finn McCool's in Santa Monica, a bar originally built in Dublin, torn down, and reopened in Santa Monica (how's that for authentic?), starts pouring at 9 in the morning and doesn't stop until 1:30 a.m.
And with the day when everyone is Irish falling on a Friday, the festivities this year will roll on for 72 hours in many places, or until all the green beer is gone:
Shamrocks in South Bay
Give it up to the South Bay for this annual two-day celebration of the green -- Hermosa Beach's annual party has put St. Patrick's Day in Southern California on the international radar. Sure, it's not Boston (where King says his Dublin-based friends often go for the holiday), but it's still arguably the Southland's biggest event. This year's 12th annual edition finds the parade beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, with the festival -- including Irish music and dance, arts and crafts, a kiddie carnival and food court -- continuing all weekend. And Thurlow says the party will roll on in the evening to the Hermosa Beach nightlife. For instance, Saturday night, Hennessey's will welcome Dublin native Patrick D'Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club, for Irish music.
South Bay St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival, Pier Avenue and Valley, Hermosa Beach. 11 a.m. (parade) to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. (310) 376-0951.
Houses of green
For the sixth and fifth year in a row, respectively, the House of Blues venues turn into the Houses of Celtic on St. Patty's Day. At the Orange County venue, the Fenians, led by lead vocalist Terry Casey, will again unite Celtic music, jazz, and folk in their own songs and traditional Irish folk songs and contemporary covers. Meanwhile, on the Sunset Strip, the Young Dubliners figure to showcase music from their well-reviewed "Real World" album, blending roots rock and Celtic music into anthem-esque rock 'n' roll.
The Fenians, House of Blues Anaheim, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim. 6:30 p.m. Friday. $20 to $22.50. (714) 778-2583.
The Young Dubliners, House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 8 p.m. Friday. $20. (323) 848-5100.
Saving you some green
Long Beach's biggest dance club, V20, gets into the spirit of the holiday with a celebration that rewards the Irish -- not to mention the early bird -- in you. Entry to the club is free if you arrive before 10:30 p.m. and wear green. Once inside, there are $5 specialty drinks, Guinness and Shamrock shooters, as well as a Miss Shamrock contest and an array of tunes sure to fill the venue's two dance floors.
St. Patrick's Day Celebration, V20, 81 Aquarium Way, Long Beach. $20, or free before 10:30 p.m. if you wear green. (866) 402-5828.
Best of the rest
* Festivities in downtown Los Angeles are highlighted by the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade/Pershing Square Celebration. The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Main Street near Union Station, proceeding south on Main to 1st Street, west on 1st to Broadway, south on Broadway to 5th Street and west on 5th to Pershing Square -- the site of a 1 p.m. concert. Info: (310) 537-4240; www.lafd.org/stpats.htm
* Canoga Park marks the occasion with its 4th annual St. Patrick's Day Community March and Celebration, featuring drummers, leprechauns, bagpipers, a Celtic band, and storytelling by True Thomas from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at 21622 Sherman Way. Info: (818) 346-7480.
* Punk band Ollin performs a set at Spaceland, including covering the entire Pogues album "Rum, Sodomy & the Lash." 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake. 9 p.m. Friday. $8. (323) 661-4380.
* There's kitsch to mix with your Guinness at the Bigfoot Lodge, where Winkytiki holds a book release and signing party for the book "Modern Vixens (Pinup Models Running Loose)." 7 to 10 p.m., 3172 Los Feliz Blvd., L.A. (323) 662-9227.
\o7Green is their favorite color 365 days a year:
Tom Bergin's, 840 S. Fairfax, L.A. (323) 936-7151
O'Briens, 2941 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 396-4725
Molly Malone's, 575 S. Fairfax Ave., L.A. (323) 935-1577
Ireland's 32, 13721 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys. (818) 785-4031
McMurphy's Tavern, 72 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena. (626) 666-1445
Auld Dubliner, 71 S. Pine Ave., Long Beach. (562) 437-8300