Category Archives: music

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra plays Carnegie Hall

During intermission at the ASO Bon Voyage concert in 2012No, this isn’t a photo from Carnegie Hall; this was taken during intermission at the Alabama Symphony Orchestra‘s Bon Voyage concert on May 3 at the Alys Stephens Center.

The ASO does take the stage tonight (May 10) on historic Carnegie Hall‘s Perelman Stage in New York City beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT. The concert will mirror what was played during last week’s performance on Southside.

If you aren’t one of the 700+ patrons currently up in The Big Apple preparing to see their premiere performance, you’ll still be able to listen to the ASO Spring for Music concert via a live stream available from New York’s classical music station, WQXR.

The ASO’s new director of development, John Stone, sent out an email today announcing a Chariman’s Challenge fundraising effort. The vice chair of the board, Corbin Day (of Jemison Investment) announced he’ll match 100% of any gift that is made between now and June 15, 2012 (up to $50,000). The email also announced that the symphony’s Twitter account would be providing updates throughout the evening.

Just think of it as Birmingham’s invasion of The Big Apple continuing from earlier this week

UPDATE: Reports suggest We Have Signal may cease production

We Have Signal logoUPDATE 1 4:35 p.m., 6/28/2011: The show’s producers have posted a note on Facebook this afternoon announcing that next season will go ahead as planned starting in October. For those not on Facebook, we’ve published the note over on Timetable.

Early this morning the Montgomery Advertiser posted a piece to their website that announced the pending closure of Alabama Public Television’s Montgomery bureau at the end of July due to budget cuts at the state level. The report points out that APT will be making reductions statewide to deal with the $1.3 million lost in funding.

One of the losses of significance to folks here in Birmingham is the announcement that “We Have Signal” will potentially cease production. The musical performance series launched in late 2008 and is recorded here in Birmingham exclusively at The Bottletree in Avondale. The show has won Southeast Emmys in 2009 & 2010 and had been nominated again this year.

According to the show’s fan page on Facebook, episodes were shot this spring and scheduled to air this fall. We’re looking into whether these new episodes will be aired. We’re also waiting to see an official statement from the show’s producers about their plans for the future. According to a tweet earlier today and an email exchange with the show’s producers, the first they learned about the potential situation was from this morning’s story in the Advertiser.

Dan Sartain = NPR Song of the Day

dan sartain. fishplums/FlickrBirmingham’s rockabilly export Dan Sartain has landed the fun distinction of having a track off of his latest album, “Dan Sartain Lives” – “Walk Among the Cobras IV” picked as NPR’s Song of the Day for December 22.

The accompanying piece refers to Sartain as “an old-fashioned kind of cool” channeling  “the raw quality of surf rock.” Sartain did an interview with J.R. Taylor for a story in Black & White earlier this year, talking primarily about how much success he’s enjoying internationally, perhaps also hinting at what he hopes people actually get from the work he’s already put out there.

If you’ve made it this far down the page, you’ve got to head over to NPR and take a listen to the track off of what NME considers one of the most underrated albums of the year.

Photo: dan sartain. fishplums/Flickr

WorkPlay foreclosure sale postponed, deal in works

It’s an early holiday gift for fans of WorkPlay. We received word via an email earlier this afternoon from WorkPlay‘s Alan Hunter that the foreclosure sale of the entertainment venue scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday) has been postponed by the bank due to to a pending deal. The announcement was also relayed via Alan’s Facebook profile shortly thereafter.

More than 14,000 people joined the Save WorkPlay Facebook fan page after Dana Jaffe reported on The Second Front that the popular Southside venue was being threatened with foreclosure back on October 21, with pieces by The Birmingham News‘ Mary Carluso helping to raise the awareness level.

The support has not gone unnoticed by those at WorkPlay.

Photo: Overview of WorkPlay’s bar from 2006. André Natta/

Meet Soledad, The Bottletree’s fawn

Soledad. acnatta/FlickrA notable member of The Bottletree‘s family has been on an extended vacation recently. The fawn that normally graces the liquor shelves of the Avondale eatery and music venue hitched a ride with London-based band The xx shortly after their March 23 performance there. They decided to name the fawn “Soledad” and they captured images from the journey and shared them via a blog. Soledad also apparently set up her own Twitter account but never used it. The fawn has recently returned to its perch overlooking the happenings at The Bottetree’s bar.

According to the most recent post, more adventures will be shared soon.

It was not the first item to ever hitch a ride with the band – you may also want to meet Richard the Hamster

Photo: Soledad. acnatta/Flickr

UPDATE: Leon Redbone’s in town TONIGHT!

Leon RedboneUPDATE: Congratulations to James Gilbreath, our winner and thanks to those who participated.

One person at random will find out at 4 p.m. that they’ve got a chance to win two (2) tickets to see Leon Redbone live and in person in Birmingham’s Five Points South entertainment district. Sipsey Tavern is located at 1926 12th Ave. S (the former Bailey’s Pub location for those in the know).  I’ve got a feeling that you’ll recognize the voice behind the theme song to Mr. Belvedere (it’s the video linked here) and classic Saturday Night Live appearances among other things.

How do you enter? You’ve got to have a Twitter account and you’ve got until 3:30 p.m. CT to retweet the following for all to see:

Check out Leon Redbone @sipseytavern TONIGHT @ 8 pm – RT to win tickets from @bhamterminal #bham

Think of it as an early thank you for those of you who’ve visited the site.

BTW – A head’s up – it may not be up tomorrow.

In case you don’t win, limited tickets are still available for $40 each and they’re still available by phone (205.202.4116). Good luck! We’ll let you know who wins at 4 p.m. both here and on Twitter…

Photo: Courtesy of the venue. Taken by Nancy DePra

WENN goes Neo-Soul

The radio carousel has apparently decided to visit more than one station here in Birmingham, AL this month, bringing a change to both AM and FM dials and a return of a respected set of call letters.

WENN-FM station logoWhile the effort to Save Live 100.5 has grown to more than 17,000 people on Facebook, the call letters WENN have apparently returned to the FM dial at a new address. The format change for the AM signal from news/talk to neo-soul and new FM simulcast of that new format takes place as people gathered downtown today for the first day of the annual A.G. Gaston Conference, named for the prominent African American businessman, Demopolis native and incidentally a former owner of the call letters.

Birmingham’s Neo-Soul Station 101.9 FM is also currently streaming on the Internet and appears to be owned by Cox Radio. The station is currently running an automated playlist without on-air personalities, though one would assume that will change in the near future.