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Spring break can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, there’s that posse of friends who are Bahamas-bound. Then again, there are plenty of folks stuck in town or at home, wallowing with roommates or parents. Whether you’re voyaging or wanderlusting, Dive’s got some tips on how to maximize your break, be it the best traveling records or easy day-trip or weekend destinations. So don’t be blue if there are no exotic beaches in your future. Even Chapel Hill can feel tropical when there aren’t midterms clouding your outlook.

Road Records

One of the best parts about Spring Break is hitting the road and putting some miles between you and that last midterm, but sometimes the trek from point A to point B can get a little lengthy. Here are Dive’s recommendations of the best road-warrior records.

The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs’ Future Weather takes the road trip album cake because it encompasses the feeling of open space. By the album’s second track, “Baby Missiles,” the record gains a steady pulse, a driving (no pun intended) momentum that veers from hazy folk to sunny pop without blinking an eye. Part of the album’s appeal is its heterogeneity — you won’t get bored, but there’s still a sense of cohesion, as if the record has its own destination in mind. Throw this sucker on when your co-pilot starts texting and staring out the window and let yourself get enveloped in the lush folk arrangements. — Linnie Greene

Mike Cross

One-half country, one-half Celtic and one-half comedian, Mike Cross is the very best guitar-picking, fiddle-pulling University alumni you’ve never heard of. “Child Prodigy” is a quintessential road trip album for the pensive hick. Though the music rides mostly on a couple of guitars, Cross still gets miles out of the effort. He sums it all up on the heartfelt guitar-sliding track “Big City Rambling,” when he sings “I’m gonna leave Atlanta and I will not stop/’Til I get to Carolina and the friends I got.” Whether you’re outward bound or bound for a homecoming, these are songs to drive by. — Jonathan Pattishall

Belle & Sebastian

You need something to pick you up and keep you going for those long road-bound hours to the coast or the mountains, and not just any record will do. Belle & Sebastian are masters of jangly, feel good rock, and The Life Pursuit has just what you seek. The Life Pursuit’s lyrics are thoughtful but unburdening and its music catchy but substantive. Head bobbing, foot tapping tunes such like “We Are the Sleepyheads” and “The Blues Are Still Blue” are irresistible and will save you from highway hypnosis. Just picture yourself cruising down 40 with the windows down, singing in joyful chorus with your friends. — Nina Rajagopalan

Cut Copy

Cut Copy’s In Ghost Colors has the uptempo beats to keep you from falling asleep at the wheel. The album is a shimmering mass of electro-pop that energizes from the first track. The band specializes in stadium-sized epics with choruses that demand to be belted out with your fellow roadtrippers. Just try to keep your hands on the wheel or your butt completely in your seat as your jam out to the anthemic “Hearts on Fire” or the slow-burning “Lights & Music.” You can’t dance well in the confined space of the driver’s seat, but if you’ve got Cut Copy playing, it won’t be for lack of trying. — Anna Norris

Party Ideas

Your roommate’s in Mexico, your best friend’s in Florida and you’re here, spending your vacation moping on the lawn at Weaver Street Market. Truthfully, there’s no excuse for this behavior — a week of open class-free days are the prime opportunity for throwing the ultimate rager. Even if the pool of friends has diminished due to travel or trips home, you can still whip up something epically un-academic. Here are Dive’s suggestions for how to plan and spend the craziest, laziest, booziest, most inventive break on record.

1. Travel from home

If “The Social Network” taught us anything, it’s that you can do great things while sipping on a few brews alone and playing on your laptop in a dark room. Don’t let your friends have the best Facebook photo albums from break. With some simple Photoshopping to put yourself in the images of cross-continental wonders and global protests alike, you’ll be on your way to having stories to one-up everyone else’s break. — Lyle Kendrick

2. B-movie Marathon

Staying at home can be a thoroughly enjoyable, if subpar, break experience. So too are the canonical B-movies which entertain as much as they falter. Grab your most ironic friends and rifle through the trash can of cinema for all it has to offer. In the low-budget spirit of this genre, keep marathon costs down with cheap beverages and the lowest possible rental prices. Some classic viewing choices include, “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” “The Room,” “Troll 2” and “Attack of the Crab Monsters.” — Rocco Giamatteo

3. Beer Olympics

Tight on cash? Head to the Red Oak Brewery down I-40 for a tour. It only costs $5! Then check out the Fifth Season Gardening Company in Carrboro and head to their Beer Cave, where you can get a tutorial on brewing from the staff. When you’re ready to get your drink on, head to the grocery and stock up on what you can afford. If all of your friends peaced out and you can’t share the festivities, rent “Beer Fest” and enjoy the cheap thrill. — Rachel Arnett

4. Carrboro beach-a-thon

Dig that swimsuit out of the depths of your drawer and grab a beach towel — let’s hit the beach, Carrboro-style. And no, that’s not an oxymoron. The Weaver Street lawn is as sunny and populous as any stretch of sand near Myrtle Beach, albeit with less neon. If that’s not close enough to the water, head a few miles out of town to Jordan Lake, where you can soak up some rays on the sand and then paddle around in the murky brown waves. It’s no Wilmington, but it’ll do. — Linnie Greene

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If Dive’s suggestions don’t tickle your fancy, check out the Local 506 (, the Nightlight (, Cat’s Cradle (, the Cave (, The Station ( and other local venues and clubs for plenty of activities that are more fun when it’s not a school night.

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