Hey, Kharma police: Only the martini's hot

I'm a creep, I'm a loser, but I'm getting out of work at 4 p.m. on a Friday for, uh, "pop culture research." I'm talking about the lecture on the music of Radiohead presented today by Carlos Rafael Rivera, an L.A.-based classical composer. His thoughts on the most interesting band of the last two decades is sure to make me fitter, happier, more productive. It's at 4 p.m. in Room 1714 of RiverCenter's Schwob School of Music. Details: 706-545-4021.

The rest of my weekend will be spent across the river and upstream. Cory Brannan, a raucous guitar slinger who's sort of a cross between Todd Snider and the Old 97's, performs tonight at Opelika's 8th and Rail. Entertainment aside, check out the place's martinis — including a jalapeño-infused vodka and Tabasco one. And Stella Artois and Sweetwater is on tap. The show starts about 10:30 p.m. EDT. Don't get there late, or you won't get in. Details: 334-745-5456.

Saturday, the 200-head town of Waverly, Ala., some 10 miles north of Auburn, hosts one of the best low-key, free, festivals you'll have the chance to attend. The Old 280 Boogie offers artwork, old-timey cakewalks, horseshoe pitching and food. The eclectic music and the lawn-chair-and-cooler vibe is the real draw. Band highlights: Martha's Trouble (11:30 a.m.), the Pine Hill Haints' "Alabama ghost music" (2:45 p.m.), and a band recommended by name alone, Peewee Moore & the Awful Dreadful Snakes (4 p.m.). The Boogie is 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. EDT (rain or shine). Details:

— Brad Barnes


Spring means more than pale skin once masked by sweatpants — it's also time to dust some of the predictability from your to-do calendar.

Start by revamping your bar-hopping regimen Friday night. Hit up the pre-launch party for Aqua Nightclub, formerly Memory Lane, at 1812 Midtown Drive. Tickets to see all-girl country rock act Mustang Sally are $10, and the show starts at 9 p.m. Call 706-569-1165.

Next, fine-tune your warm-weather physique while enjoying a leisurely afternoon on the Columbus Riverwalk. Pack a picnic lunch or test the nutritional benefits of cuisine from the Chattahoochee (not recommended).

Finally, spend the remainder of the weekend performing "spring cleaning" in its literal sense.

Don't worry, I'm not endorsing any actions that would jeopardize your manicure. Instead, just head to Pier 1 Imports (5555 Whittlesey Blvd.), pick up an aromatic candle and sit back while the pungent scent of dirty dishes is temporarily erased.

So fresh, so clean, so fun.

— Sonya Sorich


That's right. I can't get enough of the various yard sales, break-the-bank bonanzas and general springtime craziness that comes with a federal tax refund and a fifth of tequila. I'm getting my 2008 Christmas shopping done early this year, and that means my first stop this weekend is Sam's Club.

Sure, laugh it up, fur ball. Meanwhile, I'm cruising the sleek aisles of Sam's Club on a weekend where you don't need a membership to shop. Friday through Sunday, just rock on up to the front doors, present the Sam's Club flyer that came in this past week's Ledger-Enquirer and enter a world of make believe and free finger foods.

And I'm not talking about the Cat Walk. That's for later.

Saturday, I'm continuing my sinister shopping design at the City-Wide Super Spring yard Sale, 8-3 p.m. at George Washington Carver High School. Can you still give it as a gift if you bought it used? If you're as cheap as me, you can. "Gently used furniture" is grandma's newest ottoman. Move over "Antique Road Show," I'm looking for something tackier.

On Sunday, see what the dregs are at the Columbus Museum's Art and Antique Show. Held at The Rivermill, 3715 First Ave., the show is open from noon to 5 p.m.

See you there, reprobates.

— Alan Riquelmy