What's cooler than being cool? Being Andre 3000, of course. But the rest of us have to settle for getting our coolness the best way we can. Me, I'll be heading to the Columbus Civic Center on Friday, where the ice cold rink will carry players from the Columbus Cottonmouths as they play against the Jacksonville Barracudas. The game starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $11-$21. Details: 706-571-0086

On Sunday the Columbus Jazz Society concert features Ed Cox on saxophone, and he's as cool a cat as you're likely to ever meet. The show is 6-9 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre, 821 Eighth Ave. Admission is $7. Details: 706-653-7566.

And at some point over the course of the weekend, I'll be getting my tickets to next week's “U2 3D" concert, to be broadcast at Carmike 15 for one week, Feb. 15-21. Bono used to be cool. Or maybe he still is. Or maybe it was all in his head. Anyway, tickets are $15 in advance. Details: 706-571-3456.

—Brad Barnes


You might take Phenix City nightclub Broad Street Blues for granted — but your lungs certainly don't.

The club, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this weekend, is one of the few smoke-free bars in the area. Friday and Saturday, you can get in on the anniversary festivities with giveaways, specials and live music. House band Peggy Jenkins and the Rhythm Roosters will perform beginning 9:30 p.m. both nights.

Cover is $5, and the club's at 913 Broad Street in Phenix City.

Don't worry if you're too young to enjoy the blues club's signature Texas margaritas, though. Friday also marks the start of Indie Wars, the multi-week battle of the bands at the Core, an all-ages nightclub at 1819 Midtown Drive.

It's a night of indie rock acts, but don't be surprised if some of the bands' names remind you of video games (This Sky on Fire) or Lifetime originals (Sacred Justice).

Friday's show starts at 7 p.m. Cover is $7.

If a night at the Core leaves you with a Kool-Aid hangover, avoid the club scene Saturday night and opt for a night of ice skating. The Columbus Civic Center hosts four public skating sessions Saturday, the last of which is 8:30-10 p.m.

Admission is $7, skate rental is $3.

— Sonya Sorich


You’ve made it past New Year’s, the MLK holiday and Super Tuesday and all you have to show for it is a plastic cup you lifted from Dailey’s as you stumbled outside.

You need excitement, adventure, a reason to crawl away from the television and into the burning light of day. And for some reason you came here to read our weekend picks.

Well, there’s worse you could do. First of all, why not struggle down to After 5 at 6 p.m. Friday for some poker? Even if you despise the game, you can still hang around for the, um, hot ladies that are sure to make an appearance later that night at Caliente, which is just across the parking lot at 3709 Gentian Blvd. I mean, really, you still need to find a Valentine’s date and you’re not going to do it playing World of Warcraft in your mom’s basement. I’m talking to you, Sonya. Secondly, prepare for the big day (that’s Feb. 14 to those of you not paying attention) by buying something pleasing to wear. Sure, you could hit Peachtree Mall, but don’t forget the seductive lure of Plato’s Closet at Columbus Park Crossing. And yes, they do have men’s clothes. Finally, wrap up your preparations by picking up that perfect bottle of red. Swing by the Columbus Beverage Super Store for a delicious blend named “Beeyotch” (that’s the phonetic spelling). Pop that baby open on Thursday and we’ll see just how long those new pleather jeans stay on.

— Alan Riquelmy