TAYLOR EATS SPIDERS AT THE NICK: Taylor Hollingsworth is a staple of the Birmingham music scene. His music ranges from punk-influenced electric rock to folksy, but everything he plays has a common thread: it’s all really good stuff. Hollingsworth plays with many different bands, but Taylor Hollingsworth & The Spider Eaters, the band he’s playing with at the Nick, has a more punk-rock, blues sound that some of his other stuff. Go to the show, grab a drink and prepare to rock. Taylor Hollingsworth & The Spider Eaters will be playing with Sold Only As Curio, Gregory Mulkern and Olympic Swindle at The Nick. Cover is $5. Call (205) 252-3831 or visit www.thenickrocks. com for more information.
A (VULTURE) WHALE OF A TIME: Most of the guys in Vulture Whale have been playing in the Birmingham music scene for more than a decade. Some of them have even been rocking out since the 1980s. But don’t think this is a group of old fogies about to take the stage. The members of Vulture Whale have been able to play for so long because they know how to rock. They’re sound is definitely guitar-driven indie rock, and their new album, Long Time Listener First Time Caller, is even harder and louder than normal. The album is available for download now on their website, www.vulturewhale.com, and since tonight’s show is the album release party, there should be hard copies available. Head to Bottletree and check it out. Vulture Whale will be playing with Cosmic Snakehandlers and Real Frogs. Tickets are $8. Call (205) 533-6288 or visit www.thebottletree.com for more information.
FOOD, CRÜE & TATTOOED: Mötley Crüe has been a staple in heavy metal for the last 30 years exactly. This year marks the bands 30th anniversary. To celebrate, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Vince Neil and Tommy Lee are touring around the country this summer, hitting auditorium and amphitheaters across the country along the way. Poison and The New York Dolls are touring with the band and the whole shebang (save for Poison, which played a headline show at Verizon Wireless Music Center in June) is coming to Birmingham. Mötley Crüe last came to Birmingham back in 2009, when they played for 90 minutes to a highly appreciative crowd. This time though, they’re playing a concert with a cause. The Pelham Police Department has organized a food drive, a raffle and a silent auction to be held at the same time as the concert. Bring some nonperishable canned goods with you when you come to rock out. There will also be a guitar signed by the members of Mötley Crüe for sale at the auction. All proceeds and food from the food drive, raffle and silent auction will go to the Salvation Army to aid with tornado recovery. Tickets to the show are $20 to $85. Raffle tickets are $5. Call (800) 745-3000 or visit www.livenation.com for more information.
JAZZING UP W. C. PATTON PARK: Magic City Smooth Jazz’s “Jazz in the Park” series has barely even started. The series will run through early September and will take place every Sunday from here on out. Its a great chance to catch a few tunes in the tranquility of one of Birmingham’s beautiful local parks, so take some time out and catch one of their shows. What more could you want on a Sunday evening than to relax in a park, listening to some sweet, soothing jazz? In the second show of the summer, the Neo Jazz Collective, Roland Gresham and Kenneth Williams will play at W. C. Patton Park in East Birmingham. The event is always from 5-9 p.m. You are invited to bring coolers and chairs. Umbrellas are allowed but must be closed during sets. Consider bringing a hat and sunscreen. Not every park has adequate shade, and I don’t need to tell you that the sun is harsh and unforgiving to exposed skin in an Alabama summer. CDs of all of the artists work will be available for sale. The Neo Jazz Collective, which will play every show, will provide information at the park for anyone who would like music lessons. Call (205) 616-1735 or visit magiccitysmoothjazz.com for more information.
CASS MCCOMBS AND LOWER DEN: Cass McCombs started his career as a couch surfer. He lived in dozens of cities, and on dozens of couches and campgrounds, until the events of 9/11 sent him back to San Francisco to record his first EP. McCombs has since released four more albums and another EP and toured with the likes of Band of Horses, Arcade Fire, Deerhoof, The Descemberists and Iron & Wine. McCombs will be playing with Lower Den at The Bottletree Café. Tickets are $10. Call (205) 533-6288 or visit www.thebottletree.com for more information.
TADA, TAPAS!: It’s a Saturday night. The classy cocktail party you planned is in two hours. The caterer will be there with the entrée in an hour. You took the dessert out of the plastic it came wrapped in, and it’s chilling in the fridge until time. You went to the liquor store and carefully selected this evening’s libations yourself. And then it hits you. You’ve forgotten the most important part: hors d’oeuvres. Or in this case, tapas.
(Your party invitation proudly declared “Spanish Themed Cocktail Party.” Tapas are a necessity.) You could run to the grocery store and pick up a few boxes of frozen, microwavable treats and jazz them up a little bit with melted cheese and a few random herbs. But that’s a bit gauche. This is a classy party and, by God, a classy party needs classy tapas. But how will you ever prepare a delicious, yet fun, appetizer all by yourself in time?
Luckily, Birmingham Bake and Cook Co. has a class for just such an occasion. In their new class, Authentic Spanish Tapas, Susan Green and Ruben Raposo of Raposos Gourmet & Tapas will teach students how to whip up delightful little creations like traditional albondigas (a kind of meatball), caramelized tomato crostinis with dry-cured Spanish ham, panko fried manchego cheese with honey-brown butter and sweet smoked paprika and many more. If you manage to take this class, your dinner party doldrums will be a thing of the past. Instead of arriving to find you sobbing on the kitchen floor in despair, your guests find an assortment of tapas arranged and color coordinated to whet their appetites. Your classy cocktail party will be talked about for weeks to come, and your guests will beg you for the recipe of that whimsical little appetizer you made with ham, melted cheese and some sort of herb. If you’d like to throw the perfect dinner party, call Birmingham Bake and Cook Co. at (205) 980- 3661 or visit them online at www.bakeandcookco. com. The class will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. It costs $35 to attend, but can you really put a price on one-upping your neighbors?
HERON HOLLOW AT LITTLE SAVANNAH: In the past few years, there’s been a growing movement to know where your food comes from. Maybe people realized that food being shipped halfway across the planet before it reached your crisper at home wasn’t the best model for sustainability. Maybe people got tired of reading the laundry list of ingredients that looks more like an inventory of a chemical lab than edible food. Whatever the case, people got concerned and started buying from farmers markets, buying organic, buying anything that wasn’t from a big box supermarket. One should be able to expect that a quality restaurant would do the same as a discerning Saturday morning shopper. So Little Savannah, leading the charge, has been hosting a Community Farm Table every Wednesday since mid-May. At Community Farm Table, the good folks at Little Savannah bring in one of the local farmers who supplies them with food and present a meal designed to show off the farmer’s goods. This week’s guest will be Will Doonan from Heron Hollow Farms in Trussville. Heron Hollow Farms produces organic produce and supplied Little Savannah with some of its fresh veggies. Make a reservation for Community Farm Table and go see where your food comes from. At some grocery stores—and even at some farmers markets—you can only take the salesman’s word for it that the food you’re consuming came from where he claims. But at Little Savannah, you’ll be able to sit next to the guy who grew what you’re eating. The meal is only $35, but be sure to make reservations. Call (205) 591-1119 or visit www.littlesavannah.com.
TR3 AT ZYDECO: The Tim Reynolds Trio has a rotating lineup to rival the best of them. The one constant in the bands lineup is (of course) Tim Reynolds. Reynolds is the lead guitarist of the Dave Matthews Band and is an extremely talented, yet underappreciated, guitarist. This guy isn’t a one trick pony though. Reynolds is a multi-instrumentalist with a skill set as long as the list of past members of TR3. Check him and his band out when they come to Zydeco. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Call (205) 933-1032 or visit www.zydecobirmingham.com for more information.