RELAX ON THE PORCH: Are the stresses of the city getting you down? Are you starting to wonder if the weekend will ever come? Have you been asking yourself, “Is it all really worth it?” Well, calm down, buddy. You’ll be okay. Just to be safe, maybe you should go to Jazz on the Porch at Rucker Place. Put your feet up, have a drink and enjoy a tasty meal as you drift into a comfortable stupor. Really, just do whatever it takes to relax. Jazz on the Porch will take place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is $5, and the wine tasting is $5. Food is $6-$10. Call (205) 558-2485 or visit www.ruckerplace.com for more information.
GOOD OLD FASHIONED WRASSLIN’: Professional wrestling may, at times, seem like a strange form of entertainment.
Part narrative and part physical contest, pro wrestling is certainly a unique beast. Pro wrestling has a long and storied history, particularly here in the South. “Wrasslin’” caught on big in the 1950s and 60s in Memphis, creating some of the most intense stories in the spectacle’s history. The documentary film, Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’ tells the story of the men who, in their younger days, battled in the ring and brought a new swagger to life in the South. Memphis Heat will play at Alabama Theatre at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8. Call (205) 252-2262 or visit www.alabamatheatre.com for more information.
STONED COBRA: What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Stoned Cobra”? Because I honestly have no idea. Would the snake end up lying in the sun, eyes wide and red, intensely contemplating its own tail? Or would it loll about under a tree, lazily trying to sink its fangs into a double rat burger with cheese? Who knows? But Stoned Cobra will be playing at The Bottletree Café, so you’ll at least be able to find out what one sounds like. You would never guess this from their name, but Stoned Cobra plays stoner rock. There’s also some metal and blues influence in their sound, but with a name like that the balance of the music is going to be heavy and hazy. Now, I have a secret for you, dear reader. I don’t go to every event I list in Eight Days. Shocking, I know, but it turns out it’s harder than you might think to go to a $40 cooking class or five-hour festival every day of the week. (Twice on Thursdays.) But, dear reader, I plan to go to this one. So believe me when I tell you that this is the place to be Saturday night. Stoned Cobra will be playing with The Dirty Lungs and The Great American Breakdown. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 9:30 pm. Tickets are $8. Call (205) 533-6288 or visit www.thebottletree.com for more information. See you there!
THE VON TRAPPS IN THE THEATRE: I’m sure most of you know by now that the von Trapp family that was made famous by The Sound of Music was a real family that really lived in Austria and really fled to the United States to escape the Nazis. Even if you’ve never actually seen the movie, The Sound of Music is so well known and that little bit of trivia is so widespread that it’s hard not to have some passing knowledge about the von Trapps. Their story, however, from their real lives to The Sound of Music film, has a pedigree as long as some show dogs. The Sound of Music is a film adaptation of the popular stage musical of the same name by Rodgers and Hammerstein. In turn Rodgers and Hammersteins’ musical was adapted from a German film called Die Trapp-Familie (The Trapp Family). Die Trapp-Familie was based on the memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta van Trapp, the matriarch of the Trapp family who would one day be played (in a fictional version) by Julie Andrews. Did you follow all that? It went from real events, to memoir, to film, to musical and finally back to film. Like an enormous game of Telephone, more and more was changed, cut out or fictionalized in later versions until we ended up with the Technicolor romp through the flowers that is the 1965 movie. Still, why complain? Half an hour of an Austrian family discussing the logistics of touring with their singing act wouldn’t be terribly entertaining. Instead, we’re treated to the story of Maria van Trapp (Julie Andrews), Georg van Trapp (Christopher Plummer) and their seven children as they grow closer as a family and work together to avoid the impending encroachment of Nazi Germany. The Sound of Music will be playing at The Alabama Theatre at 2 p.m. Tickets will be $7 for adults and $6 for seniors or children under 12. Call (205) 252-2262 or visit www.alabamatheatre.com for more information.
SWEETWATER AT LITTLE SAVANNAH: I know what you’re worried about. “I want to drink an unreasonable amount of beer, but I want to feel environmentally conscious while I do it,” right? Burning through a Dirty Thirty on a lonely Saturday night can’t exactly be ecofriendly. There’s the physical waste you create in the form of 30 empty aluminum beer cans and a battered, slightly damp cardboard box. Then there’s the fact that shipping macrobrew beer halfway across the country means plenty of fuel was burned to get it to your local big-box store. And something tells me that Natty Light doesn’t exactly use the most high-quality, environmentally friendly ingredients out there. So we’re back to the impasse.
How can you put away as much beer as your whimpering liver can handle while still helping out the environment? Ladies and gentlemen, there is an answer! Little Savannah will host a Sweetwater Beer Dinner, featuring a delicious four-course meal from Birmingham’s Southern bistro and five beers from SweetWater Brewing Company, a craft brewery just down the road in Atlanta, Ga. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Black Warrior Riverkeeper, a non-profit environmental advocacy group that protects and maintains the Black Warrior Riverkeeper. SweetWater Brewing actually has a history of working with the Black Warrior Riverkeeper to protect water resources and ensure that the water that goes into their beer is the very best. So there you have it. Beer from one state over, made from good, clean ingredients by a company that not only practices environmentally friendly business but actively works to protect our natural resources. Chug-a-lug, baby. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. The total cost of the meal and the beer will be $65, tax and gratuity included. Call (205) 591-1119 or visit www.littlesavannah.com for more information.
A LUNCH BREAK IN FAIRYLAND: Okay, so it’s ceramics, not really Fairyland. Wedgwood is known for ceramics, in particular their minimalist, Romaninspired collections. But it’s not all clean lines and monochromatic pieces from this old firm. Fairyland Lustre is a rare line of Wedgwood ceramics that feature colorful landscapes and whimsical creatures that look like they come straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Each piece also tends to go for a few thousand dollars a pop, since they were made back in the 1920s and are extremely rare. Nicole Jordan will discuss Fairyland Lustre at this week’s Artbreak. Head to the museum for half an hour, enjoy the talk and get a free dessert at Oscar’s Café afterwards. Artbreak will be held from noon to 12:30 p.m. It’s free to attend. Call (205) 254-2565 or visit www.artsbma.org for more information.
POSSIBLE CROCODILES: Barry Mark’s new book of poetry, Possible Crocodiles, was awarded Book of the Year 2010 by the Alabama State Poetry Society. Not bad for a writer, essayist and attorney. Still, though his job title really is “attorney,” Marks has had work published in nearly 100 journals, magazines and periodicals. He was also the 1998 Alabama State Poetry Society Poet of the Year. Marks will be signing copies of his new book at Reed Books, one of the coolest little book/curio shops in Birmingham. Head down and meet one of Birmingham’s most celebrated poets. Barry Marks will be at Reed Books/The Museum of Fond Memories from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call (205) 326-4460 or visit www.jimreedbooks.com for more information.
BOOZIN’ WITH BEGONIAS: Have you ever had an intense desire to drink in public botanical gardens? Well now you can finally fulfill your strange fantasies. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are hosting Cocktails in the Garden, a night of food, drinks and music in the beautiful Hill Garden. Singersongwriter Jon Black will provide live music and Imperial Catering will provide a “Surf on the Turf ” themed meal. The signature drink for the evening will be Sea Breezes. Head to the Botanical Gardens, have a drink or two and enjoy the tunes. Cocktails in the Garden will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free for members and $15 for non-members. Call (205) 414-3900 or visit www.bbgardens.org for more information.