Everyone copes with stress in his or her own way. When pay cuts were recently announced at my day job, I handled the news much differently than most people may have. Instead of getting weepy and whiny about it, the news galvanized me.

I decided that if I were going to be poor and destitute, I’d do so with a smile on my face and a party in my heart. Thus began my quest for the perfect guilty pleasure.

Guilty pleasures can best be defined as a little diversion that is incredibly tantalizing, despite the fact that you kind of feel crazy for enjoying it. I’m a creature of habit – I tend not to stray from anything familiar. But there are great offerings out there that are certainly worth the exploration.

Take Bardot (at the Spider Club, 1737 Vine St., Hollywood; bardothollywood.com). This club is old Hollywood, but for a new generation.

I’ve often strayed from doing anything in Hollywood because I loathe the pretentious “wait-at-the-door-to-get-in” B.S. But now that everyone’s adopted that philosophy, I’ve relented a bit.

There is so much to see and do here. Monday nights are excellent if you love live bands; Bardot’s late-night performances rival events like Jazz Fest in New Orleans or similar events at the Hollywood Bowl. Wednesday night is incredibly killer; that’s when all the hipsters head out to dance to tracks like “Under Pressure” by Queen featuring David Bowie, or more random offerings like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” or “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon. Yes, I’m shocked to say, even I danced to the latter and loved it.

Saturdays are also a blast. The place is packed on the weekends, but if you’re into that, then that’s more fun for you. The best aspect of Bardot is that you’ll see all the great stars of today such as Har Mar Superstar, Devendra Banhart, Janet Jackson and even Kirsten Dunst.

Another excellent way to have off-the-beaten-path fun is to kick it at the Kibitz Room (419 No. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood; cantersdeli.com). I first ventured here three years ago when a buddy of mine was playing an open mic night. As soon as I saw the flyer, I thought, “You’re playing in a room right next to Canter’s Deli? How very L.A. of you!”

That’s right; Kibitz is located just off the dining room at one of the most renowned eateries in the country. So now, you can feast on brisket and matzo ball soup and then jellyroll yourself next door to enjoy live music from some very cool local talent. It may seem an odd way to enjoy a show, but it really does grow on you.

Finally, my newest and most prized guilty pleasure would be the band, Purplemelon. Now, these immensely talented boys from Great Britain might object to being called “a guilty pleasure.” But for someone like me, whose music collection is a who’s-who of indie rock’s finest, they are an interesting choice. And Purplemelon will perform June 26 at the Kibitz Room!

Purplemelon combines all the things I loved about bands like Poison and Mötley Crüe (when I was a young headbanger growing up in Louisiana) with the soulful, melodic goodness of groups like the Black Crowes and Jellyfish. Aside from that, you won’t find four more attractive guys in this town, even if you tried. My personal favorite is guitarist Eric Joyce. Let’s just say I appreciate a dude with an outstanding sense of humor who has absolutely no aversion to ripping his shirt off during performances.