Every Monday we bring you the SL Hot List, a round-up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. Pick up Harper Lee’s new book. The author’s highly-anticipated Go Set a Watchman finally hits shelves tomorrow, July 14th. Touted as a follow-up to To Kill a Mockingbird, the novel picks up 20 years after Lee’s celebrated first novel left off, with a tenacious grown-up Scout Finch; a jaded Atticus Finch; and the topic of race relations in 1950s Alabama.
2. Tune into new music from Jason Isbell. Singer-songwriter and Alabama native, Isbell debuts his fifth album, Something More Than Free, July 17th. Written after a time of renewal and isolation, the work is lighter than Isbell’s previous releases, with uplifting riffs and lyrics that are hopeful but not any less honest. See Isbell play the songs live on his upcoming tour.
3. Make your way to Magic City’s newest fest. As further evidence of Alabama’s musical boom, the inaugural Sloss Music & Arts Festival takes place July 18-19 in the city’s historic Sloss Furnaces. Catch bands such as Band of Horses, The Avett Brothers, and Modest Mouse. And don’t miss the craft beer garden, art exhibits, and barbecue filling station.
4. Follow the booze trail to New Orleans. From July 13-20, Tales of the Cocktail takes over New Orleans, drawing the best barkeeps, distillers, and otherwise drink influencers in the country, for a week of learning and scheming. Basically, they’ll be deciding what and how you’ll be drinking next year. Follow the conversation on social (@totc). And if you find yourself in NOLA this week, the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone—headquarters for TOTC—is a good place to join the party.
5. Head to Texas for Bastille Day. While the French Quarter is deep in Tales of the Cocktail festivities, Houston picks up the Bastille Day conversation with a Paris-worthy meal at Étoile Cuisine et Bar in Uptown Park. This prix fixe menu by guest chef Jose Hernandez of Radio Milano and Étoile’s French chef Philippe Verpiand features dishes like goat cheese tart with Serrano ham and simple, roasted halibut with baby beets and sunchoke pureé for $78.