July 28-Aug. 1
Big John Richardson
1250 Bardstown Road • 459-0022
$8-$15; various times
Big John Richardson is one of the funniest and nicest guys in comedy, and he’s headlining this weekend at Comedy Caravan. Through his spot-on observational humor — appropriate for audiences from 16 to 60 and from church pews to bar stools — Richardson describes his act as “clean comedy for dirty minds.” Standing at 6-foot-4, he does live up to his persona, and coupled with a soft-spoken wit, he’ll have the audience in hysterics. He’s spent years working crowds all over the country and partnering with big names of the industry (who aren’t necessarily as clean as Richardson) like Tommy Davidson, Jeff Dunham and Lavell Crawford. “People ask why I do clean comedy,” he says. “It’s very simple — my mama’s still alive.” —Brent Owen
July 28-Aug. 15
Kentucky Center • 584-7777
$40-$70; various times
To be fair, there are a lot of good things Jersey is famous for. It’s not all bar fights, fist pumps and distinct accents. To name four good ones in particular: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. In their prime and as a group, the four were known worldwide as The Four Seasons.
“Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons” delves into their lives pre- and post-stardom. The group has sold more than 175 million records, going beyond what you’d expect for an assemblage of working-class guys. To give perspective: The Beach Boys were the only band to keep pace with them in the early ’60s. The show won a Tony Award for best musical in 2006 and received a flood of recognition after its release on Broadway. The spectacle will be in the city for more than two weeks, giving you plenty of time to get your “Walk Like a Man” on. —Jess Mahanes
Thursday, July 29
High On Fire
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Road • 584-8088
$11-$15; 7 p.m.
There’s something gratifying about power trios in the metal idiom. It’s not that bands with more members are better or worse, it just seems as if a three-piece is getting shit done in a more efficient manner. Case in point: High On Fire. Playing rugged stoner rock, the California-bred band is touring for their fifth album, Snakes for the Divine. Its vast sound is striking: herd-of-buffalo-stampeding-over-a-cliff drive by bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensel, and guitarist Matt Pike’s tasty licks and chugging riffs (Pike wields a custom nine-string axe — that’s three threes, dude!). If that wasn’t enough, their album covers always feature demons, warriors or naked sorceresses. Live, you get everything except the naked sorceress. Torche, Beings, Ohlm and Old Vikings open. —Jay Ditzer
Thursday, July 29
2100 S. Preston St. • 635-ZBAR
$TBA; 9 p.m.
Courtney Kaiser and Ben Cartel like to do this thing toward the end of their live shows where they walk around, un-mic’ed, singing and strumming to each and every person in the club. If you’re not prepared, it can kind of freak you out. In Chattanooga two years ago, they silenced an exuberant crowd, who afterward cheered their closing tactic as so much more than a performance stunt. No telling what the Brooklyn couple added for this tour supporting their newest, Secret Transit, but rest assured Kaiser, who toured with John Mellencamp for three years, is fearless in the face of strangers. —Mat Herron
July 29-Sept. 5
‘Women Imaging Women’
624 W. Main St. • 587-0106
The 20th Amendment giving women the right to vote was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920. It’s been almost 90 years, and we’re still celebrating. “Female-centric” is the idea behind PYRO Gallery’s “Women Imaging Women” exhibition. Female artists, working in a wide array of media, captured fellow women at work, play and everything in between. The 12 guest artists include Rachel Cupstid, Gwen Kelly and Liz Watkins. One of the female artists, Debra Lott, has her own show within a show featuring her new series “Dreams of My Daughter.” There’s also an additional exhibition by PYRO women members.
The opening reception is Friday, July 30, from 6-9 p.m. PYRO, along with U of L’s Women’s Center, League of Women Voters and Louisville Metro, is sponsoring a Women’s Equity Day on Aug. 26 at the gallery. —Jo Anne Triplett
Kentucky Music Weekend
1080 Amphitheater Road • 368-5865
$10 (suggested donation); times vary
Feeding America (www.feedingamericaky.org) says our state is the nation’s fourth worst when it comes to feeding children 5 and under. Keep that in mind when attending the 35th annual Kentucky Music Weekend, as Dare to Care Food Bank will have donation sites set up for any non-perishables you can spare. While you’re at it, digest sounds from Storefront Congregation, whose music wound up in a commercial promoting state tourism, Grammy-winner Peter Madcat Ruth, Kentucky Standard, February Sky, dulcimer deacon Rick Thum and up-and-comer Bing Futch. The Kentucky State Mountain and Hammered Dulcimer Championship contests also are slated for this weekend. There’s a $10 suggested donation for evening concerts. —Rosie Haney
July 30-Aug. 21
‘Buzz, Click, Hum: The Insect in Art 2’
1860 Mellwood Ave. • 899-9293
Buzz. Click. Hum. Those three sounds could be considered part of the summer symphony and have once again inspired artists to create their unique works of art. A reprise of a former show, “Buzz, Click, Hum: The Insect in Art 2” will be on display at Gallery Janjobe through mid-August. While some people may swat at and scamper away from these creatures, the featured artists look to present insects in a different way through their interpretations. So make a stop at the gallery and get a closer look at the creatures that create the sounds of summer. —Whitney Spencer
Saturday, July 31
Louisville Cornhole Cup
$40-$60 per team; 10 a.m.
I’m new to Kentucky, and while I love it here, sometimes I miss my native Ohio, which is why I was totally stoked when I heard there was a cornhole tournament in River City. It seems the splendor of the world’s best drunken picnic activity has spread south. Don’t be deterred by the Saturday morning start time — the prizes are way better than I ever came across in bets made on backyard sidelines. First place walks away with $500 and a trophy, second gets $250, and third $100. In the recreational division, the top three teams receive gift cards. The event — a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House — is family friendly and has an area to entertain the kids while you’re busy owning the boards. But be warned, with past hearty turnouts, the organizers set a goal this year to sign up 250 teams for the double-elimination tournament — competition will be fierce. —Rosie Haney
Saturday, July 31
Taste of the Grapevine
Seelbach Hilton Hotel
500 Fourth St.
$50 (adv.), $75 (door); 7 p.m.
Without proper funding for scientific research, we’d likely still have polio and unpasteurized milk. Bottom line — we need researchers, and they need money to help them do what they do. To help fund the pursuit of cancer research, the American Cancer Society is hosting the Taste of the Grapevine Gala, offering an array of gourmet cuisine, imported and domestic wines, microbrews, as well as local restaurateurs and beverage specialists to answer questions. A silent auction and entertainment by Eight Inch Elvis will all add to a fun evening of food and drink. To date, the American Cancer Society has raised more than $3.4 billion, helped 11 million Americans with cancer and educated the public about this disease. Attendees must be at least 21, and the dress is cocktail attire. —Rosie Haney
Sunday Aug. 1
Louisville Gore Club
1134 E Breckenridge St. • 582-9217
Free; 10 p.m.
If you’re like me — and of course you are, dear reader — then there are few things you love more than shitty sci-fi/horror films from the 1980s. Few things, that is, besides beer. Fortunately for schlock-o-philes like us, there’s the Louisville Gore Club, which gathers every Sunday night at Seidenfadens Café to watch movies like “Slumber Party Massacre,” “Chopping Mall” and (my favorite) “Phantasm” while drinking reasonably priced Falls City draft in a not-quite family friendly environment. This Sunday, check out “Galaxy of Terror” and “Forbidden World,” two cult classics by legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, who is appearing at this weekend’s Fright Night Film Fest (See pg. 35). —Jonathan Meador
Wednesday, Aug. 4
Author Rafe Esquith
Louisville Free Public Library
301 York St. • 574-1644
Free; 7 p.m.
In a quarter-century at an elementary school in one of Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods, innovative schoolteacher Rafe Esquith has often seen the best of humanity in the behavior of the fifth-graders who walk into his classroom. He’s now written a follow-up to his 2007 bestseller, “Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire,” this time making sure his message gets out beyond schools. In “Lighting Their Fires: How Parents and Teachers Can Raise Extraordinary Kids in a Mixed-Up, Muddled-Up, Shook-Up World,” Esquith helps us see kids who already possess the values their family and community want to encourage — but it’s important that these children confidently move into adulthood with those values intact. Using a trip to a baseball game as a grand metaphor, the teacher offers lessons that concerned parents can take to with ease, and implement with determination. The library is offering a discussion and signing with the author. —T.E. Lyons
Through Aug. 28
‘Scott Shuffitt: Resistance’
Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center
1860 Mellwood Ave. • 895-3650
The title of Scott Shuffitt’s exhibition, “Resistance,” is a directive. To get out of the muck we’re in, he says we need to “just say no” to corporate control, weapons, even fast food. “No one needs an Uzi just as no one needs a Hummer,” Shuffitt says. “It is the idea that we collectively abandon the blue-collar workers whose backs America is built with (or upon). They will be the last generation to do so, because corporations continue to monopolize markets and courts, and we continue to allow it to happen. You have to think about the whole; you can’t think about the individual.”
The opening reception is during the July 30 FAT Friday Trolley Hop with music by DJ Matt Anthony and readings by Ron Whitehead. —Jo Anne Triplett