Singer-songwriter enjoys a good happy hour, fellow local musicians and live storytelling

New Jersey native Sean Marshall began performing songs in the bars of New York City, and after a few years taking different roles in other bands, he has found himself here in Columbus, resuming his solo songwriting efforts and performing with his band, the Near Miss. He will release his second LP, Practical, on Friday, April 12, at the Shrunken Head. Here are a few things he loves.

Story Club Columbus
Held at Rambling House on the first Tuesday of every month, Story Club Columbus is about as intimate as it gets. Host Samantha Tucker is hilarious, but underneath her irony and comic tangents are some very deep, true and real stories. When you force yourself to sit, listen and look at something other than your smartphone, you are going to connect with people. These days, that's about as memorable as it gets.

GoreMade Pizza happy hour
Most busy spots in town don't do happy hours on Fridays, let alone ones as generous as this. If you can round up two friends and get to this cozy spot on Fourth Avenue before 6 p.m., one beer each gets you a free gourmet plain or pepperoni pie. Mix it up by adding a Chef's Choice pie to your order and you've got the best-tasting happy hour in town — on the cheap.

The Light of Seven Matchsticks
This tiny speakeasy-themed bar is always packed, so either plan to wait or get there early. It's worth it. The bar's cocktail names will make you laugh, the tastes will surprise you, the vibes will delight you and the Duckfat Popcorn will turn any bad day into a better one.

Yellow Paper Planes
More than just my favorite local rock band: smart-guy songwriter and lead singer Joshua P. James isn't just writing great songs — it seems he's always got some bigger ideas in the works; bassist Pete Mendenhall is always out and about, and Jeremy and Brandon aren't far behind. Their commitment to the scene and their craft, and their relentless dedication to creating, redefines what it is to be “in a band.”

Columbus parks and libraries
As a native East Coaster, it's so refreshing to see a city that maintains and cares for its public programs and facilities. Check out Thompson Recreation Center for its exercise facilities and basketball courts, Whetstone for its library, or just find the public facility that is most convenient for you. And, although I admittedly haven't visited yet, the new Northside library looks incredible.