November Shows


Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell

by John D

 

Whew! October was a month jam-packed with great music in Birmingham. It was a rare occasion that there was not at least one show a night to see, and many nights, there were two or three. Of course, when it rains it pours, and when it comes to being able to see great acts live, that is more a blessing than a curse. Speaking of rain, it did not rain for the first (hopefully of many) Cask and Drum Festival. The weather was fantastic, and so was the festival itself. The perfect combination of well-known acts and acts you should know–plus the wine and beer tasting–made for a great time. It did not sell out this year, but if they do it again next year, it surely will; with a modest cap of 4500 on tickets, it is a great festival for people who cannot do the overly-crowded events that are the norm now. Kudos to all of the folks who helped make Cask and Drum 2013 happen!

The schedule for November does not appear to be as hectic as October’s, but that doesn’t mean Birmingham does not have a lot of great shows coming to town over the course of the next month.

The Bottletree is one of the smaller venues in Birmingham and definitely one of the more unique ones. This month will mark seven years for the little venue that could, and they will be celebrating their birthday on 11/16. In typical Bottletree fashion, it is billed as their birthday/”Twin Peaks Prom” (with the promise of coffee and cherry pie for everyone). Get out and let the folks at Bottletree know you appreciate what they have done for the last seven years. November also is the month of contemporary southern rock at the venue as Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires stop by on 11/14, and the following week The Weeks come to Birmingham (11/21). Both bands deserve far more recognition than they are currently getting and both represent the new direction of rock and roll that is all about being from the South (check out The Weeks’ “Dear Bo Jackson” to see what I am talking about.) Lee Bains is from Birmingham, and although he now calls Atlanta home, songs like “Magic City Stomp!” and “Roebuck Parkway” show that Birmingham is never far away.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires

WorkPlay had an October that was almost completely booked (a look back at their calendar shows only four days without something booked) and they have some great November shows, too. The darlings of the Americana world, The Milk Carton Kids, will be playing the Theater on 11/3, and you could not ask for a better place to catch an act like this. The intimate and cozy nature of the venue gives them a chance to shine. Singer-songwriter Stephen Kellogg stops by WorkPlay on 11/11. Kellogg normally toured with his backing band/full group The Sixers, but a hiatus in 2012 led Kellogg to go solo and record Blunderstone Rookery, which many say is his best album to date. The new songs are as much about telling a story as they are about being catchy, so expect to sit and really listen.

The city’s newest venue, Iron City, has been no slouch with the shows it has booked. Several sold-out shows for the 1400 person capacity venue have put it on the map with music fans and bands. On 11/6 they welcome Washed Out, whom you may not know, but you know their music. The theme song for the IFC show Portlandia and multiple TV placements have made their “chill-wave” the unassuming soundtrack for much of our lives. Founder Ernest Greene started Washed Out by making music in his bedroom, and it then evolved into touring with a full band, which with its roots in electronic music, is a refreshing change. Pop rockers O.A.R. make a stop at Iron City just two days later (11/8). Perfectly middle-of-the-road rock is their hallmark, and the band is known for putting everything into a live show. O.A.R. normally plays larger venues, so if you plan on going, buy your tickets now before they sell out.

 

The Weeks

The Weeks

UPCOMING SHOWS

12/5 Trombone Shorty brings his fusion of New Orleans jazz/funk/rock to WorkPlay as he tours to support a new album.

12/13 Jason Isbell @ Iron City. Isbell is from Green Pond, Ala., but it feels like he is calling Birmingham home. He’s had three or four appearances in Birmingham in the last 18 months…and no one is complaining.

12/14 Dean and Company Christmas Special Premiere @ Bottletree. If you are from Birmingham, no explanation is needed.

12/28 St. Paul and The Broken Bones @ WorkPlay. They sell out every show they play in town. Everyone complains they couldn’t get in. This is your chance, as tickets are on sale now.

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