THURSDAY, October 21
MUSIC FOR MUTTS: Moonlight on the Mountain, a revival of the former Moonlight Music Café, has been up and running for many months now. And in that time, their schedule has grown exponentially. A typical week used to see about two or three shows; now you can catch one close to every night. And while Moonlight often sticks to singer-songwriter-type shows, sometimes they’ll allow for a special event. This Thursday, they’re throwing a fundraiser for a program called “Save Our Strays.” The organization is a no-kill, non-profit institution that works for homeless animals, whether that means picking them up, sheltering them, feeding them, finding them a home, or offering low cost spaying and neutering. Since their inception, they’ve found homes for over 700 pets, and over 300 are currently in their care. The benefit is simply to provide proceeds for their ongoing operations. Come by Moonlight and treat yourself to some snacks and beverages while you browse through some donated items for sale, or listen for your name in the door prizes. Or just come for the live music from The Nathan Peek Band. The night starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. Admission is $10, plus whatever else you might feel like donating. For more information, visit www.saveourstrays.org or www.moonlightonthemtn.com.
FRIDAY, October 22
HIGH-BROW BREWS: The success of Free the Hops has made quite a lasting impact on the food & drink world here in Birmingham. With what seems like double the amount of brews, our scene has become far more vibrant and eclectic. I hear people champion beer like I’ve never heard before. Bars and restaurants that wouldn’t normally receive recognition are ever-growing in popularity because of their beer selection. Other locations have used the legislation to their advantage by incorporating their high-gravity beers into high-profile events. One such event, a gourmet beer dinner, is going down this week at John’s City Diner. Beer dinners are one of the best examples of Free the Hops’ effect. They are laid out like any other fine dining meal, separated in three to five courses, with appetizers, the main dish and dessert(s). But in these dinners, the restaurant also picks specific beers to go with each course, beers that will best complement each dish. And patrons meet these choice brews with all the enthusiasm they would wine. On Friday, at John’s, they have selected beer from Good People Brewing Company, our popular brewer here in town. They will be starting off with a Good People Pale Ale, then pairing the Indian Pale Ale with bratwurst stuffed portobello mushrooms. After that you’ll get to try the Good People Octoberfest, complimented by pan-sautéed veal medallions, mushrooms, bacon, and capers; followed by the entrée, “Sauerbraten” style beef short ribs paired with Good People Oatmeal Stout. For dessert, pumpkin cheesecake. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., and it’s $59/person, plus tax and gratuity. Reserve a spot now by calling (205) 322-6014. For more information, visit www.johnscitydiner.com.
SATURDAY, October 23
DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND GOOD TIMES!: Looking for a Halloween celebration, but don’t actually want to wait for Halloween to come (it is on a Sunday, after all)? I’d suggest heading down to Second Avenue North, the coolest street in downtown right now, and taking part in the annual Magick City Witches’ Ball. The event, which took place at The J. Clyde last year, has been expanded to include two decidedly bigger locations, Rogue Tavern and the FDSK German Culture Club. Having attended last year’s Witches’ Ball, I can say that if these two venues can convert the atmosphere of last year’s celebration to a sprawling block party-style event between two bars, they’re going to have a lot of success. The J. Clyde was a good location because it allowed for decorations in every nook and cranny, making the party more immersive. But it was ultimately too small. Of course, Rogue Tavern is already far more of an open area—after you combine that with the entirety of the German Club, you’ve got room for a hell of a lot more people. So put on your best costume, and make your way downtown. There will be Halloween-themed drinks, refreshments, and a collection of other activities. For more information, call (205) 324-5949 or visit www. witchesball.magickcitypagans.org.
SUNDAY, October 24
HAVE A JAZZY FUN DAY: We’ve told you about “Jazz in the Park” before. Over the summer, Magic City Smooth Jazz presented a series of concerts in six different Birmingham area parks, all showcasing our most popular jazz artists. And while those offered a relaxing afternoon, some chilled out tunes and a few refreshments, the event this week is really worth your attention. “Jazz in the Park” will take place in the newly opened Railroad Park, a location sure to see event after event throughout the years. And the line-up will contain many of the artists who played in the summer series—Roman Street, Keith Williams, Dwight Houston, Vann Burchfield, James Crumb, Jr., and Scrollworks (Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Central Alabama). If you’re looking for more than music, the event has also been dubbed “District Five Fun Day.” You can browse some of the information and neighborhood booths set up by non-profit and civic organizations, such as the YWCA, the Birmingham Police and Fire Department, the NAACP, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and AIDS Alabama. They’ll be on hand to provide services and give you a chance to mingle. If that still isn’t enough, you can bring your kids and let them loose in the array of activities available. There’ll be a miniature corn and haystack maze, a face-painting booth, sack races, bean bag tosses, pumpkin decorating, a scavenger hunt, and stands for popcorn and cotton candy. Many of the organizations will also have prizes for trick-or-treating (children will be given their own trick-or-treat bag). At the end of the day, awards will be given to the neighborhood with the best attendance and the neighborhood with the most spirited table. The event is sponsored by Councilor Johnathan Austin, whose district oversees Railroad Park. Everything starts at 5 p.m., and goes until 9 p.m. For more information, call (205) 202-6023, visit www.thegrodnergroup.com, www.railroadpark.org, or www.magiccitysmoothjazz.com.
MONDAY, October 25
THE FINE ART OF SPOOKERY: So it’s Monday. A little less than a week until Halloween. You’re off work and have nothing productive to do. You’re excited about the upcoming holidays, though, and you don’t want to spend the rest of the evening bored out of your mind. So you may as well hit up Rojo. If you’re not hungry and you don’t need a drink, there’s always the patio to sit out on. Or the art to look at. Specifically, the Halloween art. Rojo, for the last few weeks, has been displaying an exhibition entitled “Walk Among Us”. The works deal in cultural aspects of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, incorporating traditional imagery, like jack-o-lanterns or skeletons. But all the pieces have a distinct style and personality to them. Many of them are humorous in how the artists portray a classic character or mood. Many are just plain creepy. But all are worth a look. The featured artists include Krissi Sandvik, Mike Egan, Travis Smith, Veronique Vanblaere, Brad Barker, Clayton Hood, Traci Lynn and more. They’ll be on display until November 2. For more information, call (205) 328-4733 or visit www.rojobirmingham.com
TUESDAY, October 26
I’LL TAKE FUN EVENTS FOR 100: I’ll admit, I don’t know many diehard trivia fans. That is, people who seek out trivia events, as opposed to those who just enjoy random facts. But know there must be some people out there just itching for the next one so they can stomp the competition with their lightning fast fact regurgitation. So, calling all-trivia obsessed: if you’ve never heard of the Barking Kudu’s trivia challenge, now’s the time to keep reading. Every Tuesday the Barking Kudu holds “$2 Tuesday Trivia With Amber.” Amber Yeackle, a radio personality who worked on the now-defunct Live 100.5, hosts the series of games. Every week, they give away their grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant and bar. And they charge just $2 for tacos, well drinks and High Life beers. The night starts at 8 p.m. and goes until 11:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (205) 328-1748 or visit www.barkingkudu.com.
I CAN SMELL THE DIGITAL: Paste Magazine has recently suspended the production of its print publication, opting instead for an expansion of their digital “assets”, namely, PasteMagazine.com. But that hasn’t stopped them from embarking on their very first “Paste Magazine Tour.” Started on October 16, the tour has made its way through the Northeast and parts of the Midwest and now it is taking on the South. The Tour will play Bottletree this Wednesday, in a show that is absolutely certain to sell out. The artists are Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, a sideproject from the former member of Drive-By Truckers; Langhorne Slim, a singer-songwriter that blends Americana and poeticism; Jesse Sykes & Phil Wandscher, guitarist and vocalists for the Sweet Hereafter; and Mimicking Birds, a folk band from Portland, Oregon. Ages 18 and older. The doors open at 7 p.m., and the music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, call (205) 533-6288 or visit www.thebottletree.com.
THURSDAY, October 28
VAMPIRES CAN REALLY PARTY: Next Thursday, things start really gearing up for Halloween. At 6:30 p.m., the Alabama Theatre will host the junior boards of Alabama Ballet and the Leukemia Society of Alabama in something they’re calling a “Vampire Bash.” Come to the Theatre in costume and get the chance to win all sorts of prizes. They’ll be serving themed drinks while you talk and mingle before you make your way into the theatre at 7:30 p.m., where the Alabama Ballet is set to perform their adaptation of Dracula, with the original choreography by Roger Van Fleteren and Wes Chapman. Thomas Helms has composed live organ music for the production, and all signs point to a truly spooky experience. The show runs on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and on Halloween day at 2:30 p.m. Tickets will run you between $25 and $55. For more information, call (205) 252-2262 or visit www.alabamaballet.org.