BUELLER…BUELLER… This month, the Alabama Theatre has set aside each Thursday night for what they’re calling “Totally Awesome ‘80s Movies.” Though they might as well just call it “Totally Awesome John Hughes Movies,” as three out of the four films being screened were made by the famed director. The first screening on March 10 saw The Breakfast Club—no doubt an interesting film, but probably not the one I’d start with, if I’d never been exposed to Hughes’ work. No, I’d probably start with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which screens this Thursday. While The Breakfast Club tries to present a microcosm of the high school experience, Bueller is more concerned with all the feelings and frustrations that come with adolescence. Hughes was alright when he tried to work conceptually, but far superior when he just focused on a simple story, with a strong cast of characters. Look for the upcoming films Sixteen Candles and Dirty Dancing, on March 17 and March 24, respectively. As part of the event, the Alabama Theatre will hold contests for the best ‘80s attire each Thursday. So if you’re really feeling nostalgic, you can watch these films and pretend you’re still of the same era. This week’s film starts at 8 p.m. All seats are $7. For more information, call (205) 252-2262 or visit www.alabamatheatre.com.
FIREY FISH FUN: There are a few other places in town you can go to learn the trade of metal art, but if Sloss Furnaces is holding a class, there’s no reason to go anywhere else. While many of the landmark’s events are geared toward students, it’s also been known to organize workshops for the general public. This week, on Thursday and Friday, Sloss is giving participants the chance to make their very own pieces of jewelry or small sculptural objects with “Cuttlebone Casting in Bronze.” Since I know very little about what it takes to cast the bone of a fish, I’ll just let the description from Sloss do the talking: “The process is simple: the student carves a design into the cuttlebone, adding a channel for the molten metal. The metal is melted in a small crucible and poured into the mold through the channel. When the metal is cool, the channel connection is removed and voila—you’re all done. The beauty of the process is its speed and simplicity.” Thursday’s class goes from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday’s goes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. All tickets are $75 (with a $6 convenience fee if you order online). For more information, call (205) 324-1911 or visit www.slossfurnaces.com.
FACE-MELTERS UNITE: Expanding your musical horizons can be a very hard thing. Most people can remember growing up with specific music—things their parents would recommend or play while they were in the room. But these influences only sometimes carry over into adolescence, when children start fending for themselves. Once they reach a certain age, they start looking to their friends for things to listen to. This is where many people veer off track. Because much of our motive in life as a kid is influenced by being “cool” or “popular” or even just “accepted,” we gravitate towards what the majority likes. And the majority is just about the worse place you can look to broaden anything. Typically, when people fall into listening habits based on others’ taste, they pigeonhole themselves into one or two genres. I’m of the opinion that listeners should try and explore every single genre out there if they can, regardless of how difficult it is to get into. The problem is that so many genres earn themselves a bad reputation based on the scene at the time, or a few bands that gave the whole thing a bad name. I thought I hated jazz until I heard latter -day Miles Davis. Electronic music as a legitimate genre was a completely foreign concept to me, until I heard Radiohead. I maintained for a long time that hard rock was nothing more than angry, screaming idiots trying to come off as macho. This was until I heard Queens of the Stone Age. Wikipedia lists their genres as “Hard rock, alternative rock, desert rock, psychedelic rock, stoner rock” (lead singer Josh Homme has taken offense to the “stoner rock” label in the past, if only to assert that cocaine is much higher on the band’s priority list), but that’s taking it a little further than it needs. The band is hard rock, through and through, but they’ve got pop sensibilities out the wazoo. And I suppose that’s what drew me to them. Sometimes you need something familiar to enjoy something unfamiliar. In any case, Queens of the Stone Age is an unbelievably consistent act, and I can only imagine what seeing them live is like. Luckily, I’ll get the chance this week when they come to WorkPlay on Saturday. Seeing the band in Birmingham is a hell of an opportunity, especially in the WorkPlay venue. The show starts at 9 p.m. with opening act The Dough Rollers. Tickets are $30. For more information, call (205) 879-4773 or visit www.workplay.com.
COME ON DOWN! If you frequent The Weekly’s calendars each week, then you’re familiar with the weekly trivia events listed. But sometimes, trivia just isn’t enough. It can be fun to rack your brain for everyday questions in a bar setting, but it can also get kind of dull, if you’re used to it. Which is why I feel the need to recognize “Game Show Night.” Usually presented at the start of each month at Crestwood Tavern, they’ve also added a regular game on a different day (third Sundays) and at a different venue (Rojo). Anyone familiar with Rojo’s side room should know it’d be a good place for this. “Game Show Night” is a series of interactive games based on classic television programs, and the thing that really sets it apart from your everyday trivia game is how much participation is required. The games are designed to get you off your feet and into a fun mindset by creating an atmosphere reminiscent of game shows on T.V. Much of the atmosphere-setting is courtesy of the long-time host, Barb Barker. This week’s event begins at 5 p.m., and goes until 8 p.m. There will be prizes given away throughout the night. All ages are welcome. For more information, visit www.comeoutandplaygameshows.com.
ARTISTIC SURVIVAL: We all know creating art is hard. Even harder is getting that art noticed. You could argue that with the advent of social media, it’s easier these days than it’s ever been before. But I think most of us are also aware that whole situation is a doubleedged sword. More people may see the work I’m producing, but getting them to appreciate it is harder than ever. It may seem too easy to seek out a lecture on the subject, but in my opinion, that’s probably the best thing you can do. Some artists can get by on their art alone, but the vast majority also have to be savvy. And becoming savvy requires listening to others that know what they’re talking about. This week, Christopher Dryer, director of Matt Jones Gallery in Lakeview, will make an appearance at the Homewood Public Library to talk up the Birmingham Art Association. The organization has been invaluable in propelling Birmingham’s art scene forward by spotlighting artists that no one else would have given a chance. Dryer will discuss what it takes to put your art out there—how to approach galleries and grow your name. The lecture starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call (205) 324-9127 or visit www.birminghamartassociation.org.
CELEBRITY FORNICATOR: The concert at Bottletree this Tuesday is by a band called Starfucker. So let’s clear two things up about Starfucker. 1. Starfucker is a terrible name. 2. Starfucker is not a terrible band. Before releasing their second album a few weeks ago, the group had tried to change their name. But I suppose there’s just not enough marketing in the world to help people forget. They’re stuck with the terrible name, so they might as well just embrace it. And oh yeah, the music. The group is a pop band at heart, but they veer towards electronica much of the time, with one super-dancey track after another. I don’t own either of their albums, but based on the minute-and-a-half song clips on iTunes, I know this is a concert worth seeing. Bottletree’s doors open at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 9 p.m. with opening act Casiokids. No one under 18 will be admitted. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show. For more information, call (205) 533-6288 or visit www.thebottletree.com.
DOUBLE, DOUBLe:Losing Bare Hands a few months ago left a gallery-sized hole in the heart of Birmingham. Let’s consider ourselves lucky there was someone there to start something new, almost right away. I’m talking about Cauldron Projekts, the new gallery in the Bare Hands’ former spot on Richard Arrington Boulevard. They’re continuing their second-ever exhibition this week, entitled “Homegrown: Contemporary Art from Alabama.” The show features works by area artists Tony Bingham and Jim Burnett. Even if you don’t know those names, it’d certainly mean something just to go check it out anyway to support a spot that’s had trouble thriving in the past. For more information about times or prices, visit www.cauldronprojekts.blogspot.com.
PARTY FOR THE GIRLS: Speaking of new additions to the city, Pale Eddie’s Pour House will be hosting the “Kick-Off Party for Cajun Cook-Off” in their venue next Thursday. The event is a pre-party for Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama, who will hold a “Cajun Cook-Off” in Railroad Park next month. Attending is a good way to show your support for either organization. The party starts at 5:30 p.m., and will go until 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. For information, call (205) 297-0052 or visit www.paleeddiespourhouse.com.