THURSDAY, October 28
LET’S BONE BASH: Over the course of the last month, cities from all over the country have been organizing events for the Arthritis Foundation called “Bone Bashes.” Throughout October 15, 16, 22, and 23, places as disparate as Washington, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Virginia have held the events. But Birmingham will be the only place to hold one on October 28. The Alabama Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation will be holding its third annual Bone Bash at Park Lane in English Village. And for a fundraiser, even a Halloweenthemed one, it’s going to have a surprising amount of things to do. While you enjoy catering by Kathy G. and live music from the Undergrounders, you can wander around and check out all the attractions, or what they’re calling “Freakishly Fantastic Funzies” for $5 each. There’ll be a bone dig, wheel of fate, fortune teller, wine toss—all with opportunities to win prizes. There will also be a silent auction, a costume contest, and a photo booth. Cocktail attire is encouraged if you prefer not to wear a costume. The night starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Tickets are $35 if you buy them in advance, and $40 at the door. For more information, or if you want to buy tickets online, visit this URL: bit.ly/bhambonebash.
FRIDAY, October 29
WINDHAM UP: Red Mountain Theatre Company will celebrate the Halloween season this year with a production set against a familiar backdrop, with a familiar face to boot. The story begins with a group of young friends in a sleepy southern town who venture into a supposedly haunted house. That soon turns from more familiar territory into a new story entirely, told from the perspective of Kathryn Tucker Windham. What proceeds is a stage musical adaptation of Windham’s 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, the first in her seven-book series detailing accounts of treasured Southern ghosts and other pieces of folklore. The production is directed by Abe Reybold, a frequent contributor to the Birmingham theatre scene. There will be four performances of the show starting on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will hold two performances: one at 2 p.m., that will include, for an extra $5, a small reception/costume-wearing party outside the Theatre called the “Trunk or Treat Add-On”; and another at 7 p.m., which will be followed by a “talk-back” session with the cast. All shows are $20. For more information, or to purchase tickets for any of the performances, visit www.redmountaintheatre.org. To purchase tickets for the add-on, call (205) 324-2424.
SATURDAY, October 30
IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD: Mad Men is said to average about one to two million viewers an episode. This is hard for me to believe, considering how much critical acclaim and cultural saturation it’s received since it debuted four years ago. Usually when that much praise is heaped upon a television program its cancellation isn’t far away, but everyone seems to have embraced the bold, ambiguous storytelling, the highly detailed period elements, and everything else that separates it from normal television. Then again, maybe people just like the idea of Mad Men more than they actually enjoy watching it. For some, knowing something is one of the best shows on television is enough. The Birmingham Public Library certainly finds it worthy enough to model their annual “BOO Ball” after it. The theme this year is “Mad Halloween: A Mid- Century Masquerade.” Guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite Halloween monster, or whomever, in their finest Mad Men-style garb. My best idea: Don Chaney, or better yet, Lon Draper. Everyone is invited, the folks who love the show and the folks who love the idea. The party starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until 12:30 a.m, so don’t fill up on scotch and cigarettes right away. Tickets are $45, and that includes two complimentary drinks and appetizers. For more information, call (205) 226-3600 or visit www.booballbhm.com.
SUNDAY, October 31
BLOCKROCK: The night of Halloween is actually shorter on events than the two days preceding it, but I guess that’s to be expected. Venue owners don’t want to spend their Halloweens catering to other people. Similarly, many of those people aren’t going to want to stay in one spot for all of Halloween night. Fortunately, there’s one place to go that will satisfy both concerns. Miller Lite, along with a large roster of Southside restaurants and bars (including Innisfree, The Barking Kudu, Rare Martini, and Nana Funk’s) are putting together the second annual “Nightmare on 29th Street” Halloween Street Festival. They’ll be turning 29th Street in the Lakeview District into an allout, New-Orleans-style party. There’ll be DJs performing throughout the night while you make your way from end to end and enjoy $4 16 0z. Miller Lights. It’s just freeform and big enough to make for a perfect Halloween destination. Who needs to party hop? The night starts at 7 p.m., and it’s free to attend. For more information, call (205) 252-4255.
MONDAY, November 1
DON’T EXPECT A REAL RIOT: Ra Ra Riot tend to be attributed as “baroque” or “chamber” pop, and that’s one genre that you really can’t go wrong with in a setting like Workplay. (Then again, there aren’t many genres that don’t hold up in the WorkPlay Theatre.) The band’s been around about three years, and has released two full-length albums, one that came out just a few months ago, called Orchard, which seems to have taken them in an even more epic, sweeping direction. The opening band, Givers, is similar in a lot of ways to the headliner, but with more psychedlic tendencies. Their “artist statement”, as I’ll refer to it, says that “Seeing them perform is to be overloaded with blissful information. More than one’s mind could ever hope to descramble and classify within any 24 hour period.” Exaggeration aside, it still doesn’t sound like a bad time. The music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show. For more information, call (205) 879-4773 or visit www.workplay.com.
TUESDAY, November 2
THE OTHER HALLOWEEN: One of the best things about holidays is that one is always around the corner, and you can celebrate however many you want. So this year, if your Halloween wasn’t good enough, or it was so fun that you need more right away, you might find time to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of Remembrance for the Dead, at First Avenue South. The street will be lined from Arrington Boulevard to 22nd Street with merchants and dozens of activities to enjoy. There will be live music all day long, an assortment of craft tables for kids (including mask decorating, etc.), spoken word artists, dancers, and many others. Bare Hands Gallery will be displaying art installations all day as well. The festival goes from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $3 for children ages 7-12. Kids ages six and under get in free. For more information, call (205) 324-2124 or visit www.barehandsgallery.org.
WEDNESDAY, November 3
THE FORTITUDE OF ELVES: The show this Wednesday at Bottletree probably wouldn’t be on my radar were it not for the acts it is associated with. The band is Elf Power, and they’re a part of what has become known as “The Elephant 6 Recording Company,” even though it was never actually a recording company. It was instead a collective of musicians based out of Athens, Georgia, who all started getting attention at the same time. Their status is now what some would consider legendary, spawning indelible groups like Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control, The Apples in Stereo, Of Montreal, and Beulah. Admittedly, I know a lot less about Elf Power then I do those other groups. But I have seen them play once before, at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. I’d never listened to an album of theirs at the time, and I still haven’t, but if you’re looking for something to do on a Wednesday night, you’re not going to find something better than this group. And even though I say that based on their pedigree alone, there are tons of others with more knowledge of the band who I’m sure regard them as highly as I do their counterparts. They’re certainly one of Elephant 6’s most prolific. That’s gotta count for something. The show starts at 9 p.m. with Andy’s Tea Party, another act that shouldn’t be missed. The doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 if you buy them in advance, and $12 at the door. For more information, call (205) 533-6288 or visit www.thebottletree.com.
THURSDAY, November 4
INFERNO: Since 2006, American cities have participated in events called Ignite. They are set up fairly rigidly—various speakers each get five minutes of time to present a lecture on a certain topic. Each presentation typically contains 20 slides, and participants are given 15 seconds for each slide. They are almost always free to attend, and the more popular they’ve become, the more local they’ve become. Cities are able to set them up independently and with speakers and topics of their choosing, which usually prove to be quite diverse. The lectures for the Birmingham chapter of the event, at Matthew’s Bar and Grill next Thursday, will include titles like “What are Internet Memes and How Do They Get Started?”, “How Being a Dungeon Master Has Changed My Life”, “How to Talk to Women”, “A Visit to the Urologist”, and “Fellowship of the Fresh Food Festivals.” So you don’t need to just take it from me. You can see yourself there’s something for everyone. It all starts at 6:30 p.m. and goes until 9:30 p.m. Tickets are free, but it’s still best to get one in advance, as the seating will be limited. For more information, call (205) 908-2682 or visit www.ignitebirmingham.com.