THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
RIVER PARTY: THE SEQUEL: Two weeks ago we told you about SweetWater Brewing Company’s annual campaign to raise money for the Black Warrior River. We told you that all you need to do to donate is mosey on over to your favorite (participating) bar and purchase a paper fish (or a souvenir t-shirt, if that’s more your style). We told you about the Tuscaloosa kick-off party for the Save the Black Warrior River campaign, where Rollin’ in the Hay presumably tore The Dixie up with their lightning speed Southern facilities. Well, there’s not a whole lot more to say about Birmingham’s kickoff party this Thursday at Rogue Tavern. There will be beer and good times—and Rollin’ in the Hay will show up again, presumably to tear it up B’ham-style. But just because there are two kick-off parties doesn’t mean it isn’t worth mentioning twice. SweetWater has raised $20,000 for the 178-mile waterway since 2008, and it is an undeniably worthy cause. At the very least, certainly worth the $10 at the door. So hit up Second Avenue North this Thursday and drink some beer for nature’s sake. The night starts at 8 p.m. For more information, call (205) 458-0095, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.savetheblackwarrior.com
FRIDAY, September 10
STEP INTO ART: There are a lot of reasons not to go to an art show. For one, the work could be lousy. You’re obviously not going to get much out of the experience if you don’t think the artist is talented. Secondly, exhibitions are often-times limited to one or two artists. The less variety there is, the more likely you’ll find yourself wishing you hadn’t left the house. And then there’s the art scene. What if you venture out to a gallery and even though you find the work somewhat favorable, you still have to listen to dude-bro with the faux-hawk and aviators talk about how he’s post-post-modern these days? The practice of going out and looking at art on a wall makes for quite a hit-or-miss experience. But for me, it’s worth it, particularly when there are events like Artwalk. One of the most anticipated events of the year for a lot of people, Artwalk is simply a good idea all-around. Not only does it give exposure to “the work of more than 100 visual artists, live musicians, street performers, food and drink vendors, and children’s activities” and open an outlet for mass networking, for FREE—it brings people downtown. Displaying the loft district in a festival atmosphere makes things exciting, especially for people who only see most of downtown when they’re passing it on an interstate. Artwalk reveals the potential for culture that so many people know downtown Birmingham has. Plus, you don’t need to worry about talent, or variety, or hipsters—you can always just walk away and over to the next building. It’s not like it costs you anything. Artwalk 2010 starts Friday at 5 p.m. and goes to 10 p.m. Saturday starts at Noon and goes to 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.birminghamartwalk.org.
SATURDAY, September 11
RUNNING WITH THE DOGS: Bring your dogs out this Saturday to Veterans Park on Valleydale Road to participate in the Second Annual “Paws for the Cause” charity run.The run/walk begins at 8 a.m., and it’s a 5K (3.10685596 miles for you Americans out there), so it should only take about an hour or so. Then at 9:15 a.m., there will be a one mile Fun Run and Pet Walk. Making all this possible is the Paws for the Cause Society, whose primary mission is to “minimize the necessity of euthanization of cats and dogs in Shelby County by assisting the Shelby County Humane Society with fund-raising and other issues.” The event is sponsored by the Riverview Animal Clinic, a so-called “motel for pets” off 280 that takes pride in being “part of a larger culture beyond [their] doors, relating to [their] veterinary community, [their] local communities, and people and pets all over.” To me that sounds like some folks who genuinely care about putting on a legitimate fundraiser. So come help them out. 5K run, 8 a.m; Fun Run/Pet Walk, 9:15 a.m. The 5K is $25 when you register early, and $30 when you register late. The Fun Run is $10 and $15, accordingly. Sponsorship prices range from $150-$600. For more information or early registration, visit www.shelbypaws4thecause.com, www.active.com, or pick up a race form at the Trak Shak. Register early to be guaranteed a race shirt.
SUNDAY, September 12
CELEBRATE CECIL: I think it’s safe to say that the Alabama Theatre is one of Birmingham’s most distinguished landmarks. The glowing, red and green neon letters illuminate the block, the marquee juts into the street well past all the other awnings, and the crowds that disperse from the shows pile out onto the sidewalk like mobs. Like Vulcan or Sloss Furnaces or Harbert Plaza, a distanced look at Alabama Theatre can immediately place you in the city, like a north star. So if you appreciate the place like you should, you’ll consider attending the memorial for Cecil Whitmire there. Highly proactive in the art revival scene, Whitmire was involved with the Alabama Theatre pretty much from the point he set foot in Birmingham in 1976. He acted as the theater’s principal organist through 2007, and was president of the Alabama Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society. When the owners of the theatre declared bankruptcy in 1986, he became president of newly formed non-profit Birmingham Landmarks the next year, and worked tirelessly to restore the Alabama until his death a few weeks ago. He even co-wrote a book about the place. His graveside service took place August 25, but at 2 p.m. this Sunday, a public memorial service will be held at the Theatre. For more information, call (205) 252-2262 or visit www.alabamatheatre.com.
MONDAY, September 13
FOR THE BIRDS: Birdwatching gets a bad rap. I mean, I never quite understood the appeal behind it, and I expect the same is true for most people. (If sitting in the wilderness and staring at animals for an extended period of time doesn’t also involve shooting said animals, there’s bound to be little advocation for such an exercise.) But then I considered how cool birds can actually be—who isn’t fascinated by winged creatures? And I considered the social aspect of it all—who doesn’t want to kick back with some friends (or some strangers) in the woods every once in a while? The Birmingham Botanical Gardens certainly understands the appeal, and they’re gathering enthusiasts together on Monday for their “Introduction to Birding” class. In this session you’ll learn how to select and use field guides and binoculars, as well as how to identify birds through the use of field marks, behavior, song and habitat. You’ll review the various bird families and learn the characteristics of each species. The class continues weekly through October 18. Instructed by Greg Harber of the Birmingham Audobon Society, a non-profit National Audobon Society chapter advocating the knowledge, apprecation and conservation of birds and other wildlife. 6-8 p.m. $150. (205) 414-3950. www.bbgardens.orgTUESDAY, September 14
CAUSE FOR CAUSE: I can’t tell you how often I hear something like this: “If we all were to give [x amount] to [x cause] for [x amount of time] until [x date], we could save the world.” Now, I’m not debating whether or not these people are right. In fact, we probably could save the world with some of their ideas, if that wasn’t all they were—ideas. When someone tells me they know the way to fix things, they never discuss execution, implementation—a starting point of any sort. I think we as a philanthropic race could do a lot more to simplify the charity process. And on that note—take a look at “Dine for the Cure.” Starting this Thursday, Zea Rotisserie & Grill at Colonial Brookwood Village will be giving back to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the self-proclaimed “global leader of the breast cancer movement” and “the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists.” Through October 5, every time you print out a flyer and bring it to your server, Zea Rotisserie & Grill will donate 10% of that purchase to the cause. Now I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a pretty good simplification. It’s of virtually no cost to you, and all it takes is visiting www.zearestaurants.com/site. php?pageID=120, downloading their flyer, and eating a delicious meal.WEDNESDAY, September 15
DOOM AND GLOOM: James Braziel is the author of Birmingham, 35 Miles and its sequel, Snakeskin Road. The books re-envision Alabama in the not-so-distant future, after a hole in the ozone layer devastates the Southeast, turns Birmingham into a wasteland, and divides the country between the Saved and Not Saved. The novels have been said to be incredibly dark in their apocalyptic landscapes. The Sacramento Book Review said of Snakeskin Road: “...it subtly shows the reader that this unfair world created by Braziel may not be so different from our own history and current affairs.” In August, Braziel joined the English department staff at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He will be kicking off the annual UAB Fall Writers’ Series in the Hulsey Center on Wednesday. The program is sponsored by BACHE, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Friends of the Writing program. 4 p.m. Free. For more information, call (205) 934-4250 or visit www.uab.edu/english.
THURSDAY, September 16
TAKE A LITTLE TRIP: Up for a drive? The Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa presents a showcase of independent films every week, called the Bama Art House Movie Series. Though we’ve chosen to include a film from the series this week, these movies are worth looking out for every Thursday. The Bama Theatre hasn’t failed yet in its efforts to bring quality independent cinema, regardless of the varied subject matter, to the region. (Last week was a domestic drama, the week before a documentary on sheep-herding, and before that a slapdash horror flick.) This week, they’ll be showing Micmacs, a French film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The film tells the story of a man, Bazil, who is struck by a stray bullet and on the verge of death when he meets a mathematician, a human cannonball, a contortionist, and an automaton craftsman. Together they discover the two weapons manufacturers responsible for Bazil’s father’s death and set out a course for their revenge. Also, it’s a comedy. 8 p.m. Adults $7; students and seniors $6; Arts Council members $5. (205) 758-5195. www.bamaarthouse.com