Don't 'Duck' these shows
My first trip to Auburn's Strutting Duck came a couple months back, when Steve Earle's ne'er-do-well son performed in the cozy honky tonk. My buddy told me the dart boards used to be right beside the bar, until they wisely moved them to another corner before — hopefully before — someone lost an eye. But I'll be heading back tonight, to see Jason Isbell perform a set of rock and boogie. He's too good to wear the "former Drive-By Trucker" tag much longer. The show starts at 9 p.m. EDT. Tickets are $12 at the door. Go early, because, like I said, the place is small. Details: 334-821-7277.
Saturday brings us, of course, Grand Funk Railroad with opener Bowling For Soup. As a member of Generation X, I ought to be more excited about BFS, but as the youngest of four in a family of music lovers, Grand Funk's the train I'm wanting to catch. Tickets are $25, and the show's at Fort Benning's Wetherby Field. Details: 706-494-8330.
Sunday I'm off to see the inconsequential Atlanta Falcons play the incontinent Detroit Lions — thereby missing probably the only national broadcast of my favorite team, the hapless Miami Dolphins. Still, tailgating's fun, and we'll probably whip up a giant bin of tasty, warm German-style potato salad, enough to share.
— Brad Barnes
Ready, set, crawl
Hey, nightlife fans: It's time to turn your playground into a human pinball machine.
I'm referring, of course, to Friday's bar crawl, or block party, or whatever non-trademark infringing name you prefer. Either way, one cover (usually between $7 and $10) gets you into the majority of downtown Columbus hot spots.
That means you can freely bounce back and forth between destinations, annoying any friends who still have the weird notion that it's OK to sit back and tolerate a cover band that hasn't yet added Pearl Jam to its repertoire.
The next morning, enjoy Saturday lunch at the RiverMill Cafe, 3715 First Ave. The Bibb City surroundings might fool you, but this is one of the coolest lunch destinations around. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday night, head to the Phenix City Amphitheater to catch a show by country artist Luke Bryan. Not a fan of twang? Go anyway. You have to appreciate a guy who devotes part of a music video to dancing between porta-potties. The action starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $10 and free for kids 12 and younger.
— Sonya Sorich
Nothing to do
Hey, it happens. Sometimes there are weekends where there's just this 48-hour void — a blank slate across two days of empty time. Sure, I could recommend you go see some lame band in another city or wear a slinky dress while macking on random guys downtown, but I'd rather offer a slate of options you actually might do.
First, as is my wont, purchase some quality booze on Friday. This is in preparation for Sunday, when you have to visit Alabamastan in order to get the sauce. What you need is a top shelf gin, tequila or a good bottle of wine. I recommend the Arte Forma, either the Pinot Grigio or the Pinot Noir. Find it at Peachtree Package on Warm Springs Road, right next to Burt's Butcher Shoppe & Eatery.
Saturday, spend a few hours either rearranging your closet or your computer. You're going to need to get to those larger coats and long-sleeve shirts anyway, and it's past time you got rid of the older stuff on your iPod. Coldplay is out, The Decemberists are in.
Sunday, pull out that aforementioned bottle of wine, gin or tequila and make a day of it. The high is supposed to 90 degrees; find yourself a good spot at Lakebottom or Idle Hour parks, throw down a picnic blanket, a couple of camping chairs and your traveling wine kit. The weekend will make itself.
— Alan Riquelmy