Wednesday, Nov. 22
Gordon Graham tribute
Some of the city’s finest musicians will gather at the Rudyard Kipling tonight to honor Louisville singer-songwriter Gordon Graham, who passed away recently. A custom Washburn electric guitar will be raffled at the show, and proceeds will be donated to the St. John Center, which serves 175 homeless men every day all year round. Gordon himself was the recipient of the St. John Center’s services during the holidays a few years ago, which makes this a very timely, personal and meaningful donation for Gordon’s friends and family.
The show is up against stiff competition — My Morning Jacket also plays tonight. The date was chosen because Gordon’s brother in New York was flying in for Thanksgiving. Participating musicians include danny flanigan, Joel Timothy, Serpent Wisdom, Heidi Howe and more. —Mat Herron
422 W. Oak St.
$5 minimum donation; 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 24
Light Up Louisville
The day following Thanksgiving, the typical American is doing one of two things: recovering from the previous day’s gluttony and/or participating in the rat race to the nearest shopping mall. Fortunately for us, we have another option that makes the season much brighter. Light Up Louisville, a holiday tradition since 1981, kicks off the festive spirit at 3 p.m. on Friday in Jefferson Square Park.
This year, the event promises to be brighter and more entertaining than ever. Attractions such as the Winter Wonderland Holiday Parade, a Charles Dickens-themed pub, music and entertainment will be featured. Metro Hall will exhibit 12 trees decked out to celebrate our city’s cultural diversity, and the park will display a dazzling 14-minute light show called “Music, Magic, and Louminations” through the end of the year. Sadly, the behemoth “Pride of America,” a 65-foot tree that weighs four tons, took a bad fall recently, but it should rally and be there to greet us with its red, white and blue ensemble. —Claudia Olea
Jefferson Square Park Area
Downtown by Metro Hall
Free; 3-10 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 24
Big Bone Art Show
All the next-day holiday shoppers will be in line at Wal-Mart by 6 a.m. on Nov. 24, looking to score Christmas bargains as the season of commercialism officially begins, post-Thanksgiving. You, however, will be sound asleep, still in a tryptophan-induced stupor from all the turkey you ate the day before. But it’s OK. Why? Because the Big Bone Art Show presents the Affordable Holiday Showcase that evening at Nancy’s Bagel Grounds — just head down to Frankfort Avenue Friday night to check out local art, local shops, live music, snacks, coffee and more. And the Big Bone guarantee is no artwork priced over $40. Tell Santa he can take the holidays off this year. —Kevin Gibson
Nancy’s Bagel Grounds
2101 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 6 p.m.-?
Friday, Nov. 24
Joanna Newsom’s voice — equal parts 60-year-old sage and playful 8-year-old girl — forces you to make a decision: Love it or hate it. Lately, it’s been the former for Newsom, 24, who has opened for Neil Young and floored audiences at Bonnaroo, Sasquatch and All Tomorrow’s Parties.
You can decide for yourself on Ys, Newsom’s follow-up to The Milk-Eyed Mender. Ys (pronounced “ees”) is five epic sagas with enough vivid storytelling to keep you ruminating over her lyrics for the rest of your life. Swirling violins, violas, clarinets and cellos stretch and yawn, elevating the songs without stifling Newsom’s individuality. She visits Headliners Friday as part of her first headlining tour. Alasdair Roberts opens the night with selections from his album, The Amber Gatherers. —Mat Herron
1386 Lexington Road
$7; 9 p.m.
The University of Louisville men’s basketball team faces old rival Dayton on Friday in Cincinnati in the Cardinals’ first important test of the season. Game time is 5 p.m., with tickets expected to be available at the door at U.S. Bank Arena (next to Great American Ballpark). It’s a neutral site game for the teams, whose series dates to 1948. Louisville leads Dayton, 38 wins to 25.
Hardy U of L fans can make it a real Road Trip by driving on to Pittsburgh, where Louisville’s football Cardinals take on the University of Pittsburgh Panthers Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field. Game time is 3:30 p.m. Tickets are also expected to be available for that game, which will be televised on ESPN. —Bill Doolittle
Louisville vs. Dayton basketball
U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati
$15-$35, 5 p.m.
Louisville vs. Pittsburgh football
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
$45; 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 25
Christmas is coming early this year, glam rockers. Bret Michaels of Poison glory is stopping by Phoenix Hill Saturday night with his solo show. Don’t worry, Poison has not broken up again — Bret just likes to throw in these smaller gigs here and there to supplement his arena-rock conquests. Poison, in fact, just celebrated its 20th anniversary this summer with a nationwide tour — I caught them in Cincinnati with Cinderella as the opener (the hair on my head is standing just thinking about it).
Bret has released several solo CDs in the last few years (one of them country-fied), so you can expect some of these originals mixed with Poison staples like “Talk Dirty To Me” and “Every Rose.” Rawk. —Sara Havens
644 Baxter Ave.
$25 (door), $20 (adv.); 8 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 27
‘To Ascend into the Shining World Again’
Rudolph Alexander Jr. will make a repeat appearance at the University of Louisville on Monday, lecturing on the topic of his 2001 autobiography, “To Ascend into the Shining World Again.” And what an ascent this man has made — from death-row inmate to Ohio State University professor. The forum is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by U of L’s Kent School of Social Work. Students in the program’s "Human Behavior in the Social Environment" course have been reading Alexander’s autobiography, which describes how an unjust criminal justice system affected him, beginning with his arrest at the age of 17 for a gang member’s murder. Alexander’s death sentence was reduced to life in prison after his appeal and some applicable Supreme Court rulings. After his parole from a Georgia prison, he earned advanced degrees in social work from University of Houston and University of Minnesota. In 1989, he joined the OSU faculty and still conducts research in adult and juvenile corrections, deviance and psychopathology. Monday is your chance to hear his story. —Jessica Farquhar
Ekstrom Library, U of L
Free; 1:30-4 p.m.
Through Dec. 1
New works by Martin Rollins
Artist Martin Rollins has moved away from the cityscapes for which he is known and ventured into water-filled landscapes. His lush oil pastels highlight that spot where the water meets the land, with enough reflections and light to make you want to dive right in. Serenity is thy name.
“Being beside water, as well as in the natural environment, is a place for me to reflect,” Rollins says. “It’s where I am in terms of my life right now, and this body of work shows that.”
The waterlogged artist will be at Digs during the First Friday Gallery Hop on Friday, Dec. 1. —Jo Anne Triplett
Digs Home and Garden
731 E. Main St.
Free; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.), 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sat.)
Through Dec. 30
Ed Hamilton exhibit
The Carnegie Center has a hit on its hands if the opening reception for “Ed Hamilton: The Making of a Man and a Monument” was any indication. And that’s as it should be, since the exhibit features sculpture by Hamilton, a hometown darling, and is guest-curated by the U of L’s beloved Dario Covi.
The show is a visual interpretation of his autobiography “The Birth of an Artist: A Journey of Discovery.” The museum’s galleries feature works from his early years, through the Louisville Art Center School and the Louisville Art Workshop, to 1973 when he began as an assistant to sculptor Barney Bright. “But Ed’s true calling was for sculpture of heroic subjects on a monumental sale, in a realistic style modified to emphasize expressive intentions,” Covi says in the exhibition pamphlet. The monuments explored in the show are “Booker T. Washington,” “Joe Louis,” “Amistad Memorial,” “Spirit of Freedom” and “York.” —Jo Anne Triplett
Carnegie Center for Art & History
201 Spring St., New Albany
Free; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Tue.-Sat.)