It's an out-of-town week for me. Too bad, since there's lots of great stuff going on.
The free downtown concerts are priced just right. And this week, the Neal Lucas Trio and Jon White are the featured performers, starting at 7 p.m. tonight. If you're there for the music more than the networking, don't forget a chair or blanket for the lawn, which might still be damp. It's at the 1100 block of Broadway and ends around 10 p.m., which is just in time for you to head up the street and make it to...
The SoHo Bar & Grill hosts Athens act The Winter Sounds with Slow Motion Crash, starting around 10 p.m. tonight. It's melodic alternative rock, with influences like Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab for Cutie and The Cure. Good stuff. Cover's $5. Details: 706-568-3316.
This weekend also offers an interesting overnight backpack trip along the Pine Mountain Trail's Wolfden Loop. Hikers set out at 10 a.m. Saturday and wind up about 3 p.m. Sunday. It's a great hike with stream crossing and small waterfalls. To see if there's room for you to join the group, call 706-663-4858.
— Brad Barnes
We're approaching the end of the seventh season of "American Idol," which means I'll soon have to put my passion for glorified karaoke on hold.
Still, "Idol" maniacs should use this weekend to go out on a bang. (Get your mind out of the gutter, David Hernandez.)
Start Saturday night by attending the finals of "Columbus Idol," a competition to find the opening act for the upcoming Dierks Bentley concert. The action begins at 6 p.m. in the Columbus State University Gymnasium. Tickets are $10.
Or, head to the Phenix City Amphitheater Saturday night. You can catch a show from Brian Howe, former lead singer of Bad Company. As he and his band play all the British rock band's classics, you can think about how much better this season of "Idol" would be if Archuleta covered "Feel Like Makin' Love."
The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10. Kids 12 and under are free.
Finally, end your weekend on a (possibly off-key) high note by watching karaoke Sunday night at the Saloon & Oyster Bar, 6005 Macon Road. The fun usually starts around 8:30 p.m. There's no cover.
And don't disregard that guy botching a Journey classic. He could be the next Sanjaya.
— Sonya Sorich
KISS KISS, BANG BANG
A hellish week has just ended and a gruesome weekend is about to begin. Join me in my quest to make it a little less despairing and get yourselves some sweet deals in the process.
Start at the BID (that's bidness improvement district) garage sale Saturday from 7-11 a.m. Held at the RiverCenter parking garage, you'll find a vast array of trinkets and baubles you don't need but on which you'll spend cash.
Move from there to Gray's Bar, 1698 S Lumpkin Road. They're having NASCAR days, and this is a party you don't want to miss. You could arrive at 9 a.m., when the place opens, but a better bet is to get there in the afternoon when the food and Keno are in full swing.
Saturday plates of food are $5.
Finally, do something good for yourself and a friend. I'm going to burn Season 2 of “Torchwood” to a data DVD disc and ship it to my friend in South Carolina. It's a way of keeping our friendship strong.
You could, say, write me a check for $20 and send it to the Ledger. Aren't we pals?
— Alan Riquelmy