BREATH OF FRESH BELLE ADAIR: I know, it’s a bad pun. I’m sorry. But if it drew your attention to this show, all the better. Belle Adair, straight out of Muscle Shoals, is definitely worth a listen. Their sound has its roots in indie music and some traditional rock, but is a bit more smooth and mellow. It’s all well-written, well-played and just plain fun to listen to. We have a feature about Belle Adair in this week’s issue, so check it out, and if your interest is sufficiently piqued, check them out live. Belle Adair will be playing with Shoals bands The Bear and The Pollies at Bottletree Café. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7. Call (205) 533-6288 or visit www.thebottletree.com for more information.
TASTY TREATS DURING RESTAURANT WEEK: How often do you hear that Birmingham is a good town for foodies? That old saying gets tossed around plenty, but how many of you have actually gotten your hands (and maybe your napkins) dirty and found out if it’s actually true? It’s hard to live within 50 miles of town and not hear Frank Stitt’s or Chris Hasting’s name thrown around. (If you haven’t, they’re both chefs.) But when was the last time you ate at one of their restaurants? Maybe you’ve never eaten at one of their restaurants. I know, going out to eat at a fancy-shmancy restaurant is expensive. It’s hard to find the time to eat at a sit-down joint in the hustle of modern life. All of that acclaim for Birmingham’s restaurants is so much blown smoke if you can’t taste for yourself. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that Birmingham is, in fact, a good town for foodies, but to not take my word for it. Birmingham Restaurant Week is kicking off today, and you’ve got a whole week to eat at as many of the participating restaurants as you like, and at special low prices. With literally dozens of restaurants participating, you’ll be hard pressed to run out of options. Go online at www.bhamrestaurantweek.com to find a restaurant near you. There are options for all price ranges, including brunch and kid-friendly locations. There will also be a preview party at Alabama Theatre featuring samples from some of the participating restaurants. Proceeds from the preview party will go towards the restoration of The Lyric Theatre. What are you waiting for? Get out there and stuff your face with some haute cuisine! By this time next week, you’ll be a raging Stittophile.
REBEL AT THE ALABAMA THEATRE! Have you ever wanted to watch a teenager on an enormous silver screen tell his parents that he hates them and never wants to see them again? Because that is a sick fantasy, and I feel those issues should probably be addressed by a licensed psychiatrist. Anyway, if that’s really how you get your jollies, you’re out of luck. Rebel Without a Cause is playing at the Alabama Theatre, but considering James Dean was 24 when the movie was released he hardly qualifies as a teenager. Maybe if you squint really hard and pretend, the illusion will be complete. If you can’t manage that, you’re still in for a treat. Rebel Without a Cause, which was released in 1955, was the first mainstream movie to show the breakdown of the nuclear family. After moving to Los Angeles because of some problems in their old town, 17-year-old (yeah, right) Jim Stark (James Dean) is arrested for public drunkenness. After his parents bail him out, it quickly becomes apparent that his mother dominates family life while his father is spineless and weak. At school, Jim finds a fast friend in Plato (Sal Mineo), a young man who was at the police station with Jim. Local school alpha-male Buzz Gunderson (Corey Allen) doesn’t take kindly to Stark’s interest in his girlfriend, Judy (Natalie Wood). On a field trip, Buzz challenges Jim to one-onone knife fight and things go downhill from there. Now, I have a fun fact. Is anyone a fan of Futurama? Well, Philip J. Fry’s go-to outfit of red jacket, white shirt and jeans was modeled after James Dean’s outfit in Rebel Without a Cause. I kid you not. Look it up on Google. Anyways, Rebel Without a Cause will be playing at Alabama Theatre at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for senior citizens and children under 12. Call (205) 252-2262 or visit www.alabamatheatre.com for more information.
REMEMBERING 9/11: Nearly 10 years ago, two planes hijacked by members of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization out of Afghanistan, crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and tore them to the ground, leaving holes in the Manhattan skyline and the American psyche that have yet to be filled. Much of the past 10 years have been a reaction to that one day. We’ve been in two wars, had some of our rights stripped from us and were plunged into a global financial crisis. 9/11, put lightly, was a turning point in American history. Those towers and those lives we lost that day must be remembered if we are to move on and learn as a country and as a society. To that end, Alys Stephens Center will host “Remembrance,” a night of reflection through song presented by The Southeastern Chamber Orchestra with the choirs of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, Hueytown United Methodist Church and Vestavia Hills High School. Each selection will represent a place that was attacked on 9/11. Proceeds from the event will go to the Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund, a scholarship for Christian choral students in the Birmingham area. The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 for general admission and $50 for patron admission, which includes reserved seating and your name in the program. Call (205) 975-2787 or visit alysstephens.uab.edu to purchase tickets or find out more about the show.
HAVE A PUNK ROCK MONDAY: It’s been one of those sleepy Mondays. Work was slow and uneventful. You probably took a nap after you got home. So how are you going to close out the night? Turn in early so you can wake up refreshed and ready for Tuesday? Hell no! Go down to The Nick at 10 p.m. and get your ear drums pounded with punk until the wee hours of the morning. End that sleepy Monday on a high note with a few beers in your belly and a film of sweat on your skin. The Sleepies, Street Shark and Leg Sweeper will all be playing at The Nick. The show starts at 10 p.m. The cover is $5 as usual. Call (205) 252-3831 or visit www.thenickrocks.com for more information.
PULL BACK THE CURTAIN: One of the main points of “Who Shot Rock & Roll” was that the photographers who shot all those iconic images that we know and love have been just as much a part of the zeitgeist of rock as the musicians themselves. Each photo is an artistic achievement, separate from and yet intimately connected to its subject matter. Each picture tells a story and, taken as a whole, the exhibit tells the history of rock music. Sharriff Simmons, Birmingham’s own majordomo of the arts, will be hosting Artbreak to guide you through the often-tangled history of rock and roll from 1955 to today. Simmons will guide attendees through music history by relating to the images of “Who Shot Rock & Roll.” After Simmons has done his thing, attendees can enjoy a free desert at Oscar’s Café. What’s that you’re asking? No, this isn’t some mad fever dream! You can actually go and hear Simmons and have a tasty desert all for the low, low price of zero dollars. And all on your lunch break, too. Artbreak will be held at the Birmingham Museum of Art from noon to 12:30 p.m. Call (205) 254-2565 or visit www.artsbma.org to find out more.
BIG TASTIES AT STILLWATER: The name describes both the band and the drinks at Stillwater Pub. But in all seriousness, head to Stillwater. The Big Tasties’ sound comes straight from good ol’ Southern soul and blues with a little jam thrown in for good measure. In other words, it’s the perfect music to enjoy while you sip a whiskey on the rocks. The show starts at 10:30. And (here’s the best part) there’s no cover. Come get your drink on and enjoy some tunes for zero dollars at the door. Call (205) 202-5625, visit www.stillwaterpub.com or check them out on Facebook to find out more.
FOR THE LOVE OF LAND: Water conservation gets all the attention in eco-consciousness circles these days. It’s the Cadillac of environmental issues, but our land resources are just as important to the overall health of our natural resources. True, rivers and lakes are threatened by pollution more than huge tracts of land, but both sides need attention. The Freshwater Land Trust is a non-profit organization based out of Birmingham that is dedicated to protecting both water and land resources through land conservation. Bottletree Café will host Land Aid, a concert featuring John Vogel, Terry Ohms, Vulture Whale and more. There will also be a raffle. Buy a ticket for Land Aid and rest a little easier knowing that you’ve done your part to help out Alabama’s lands. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include a drink ticket. Call (205) 533-6288 or visit www.thebottletree.com to find out more about the show. Visit www.freshwaterlandtrust.org to find out more about the land trust or to donate.