Issue February 25, 2014


If I had seen him anywhere else, I would have called him my next-door neighbor. I would have told you he was the nicest one in that building, actually. We always exchanged pleasantries whenever we crossed paths, which was pretty often, because during the summer and fall, he always seemed to be sitting in a … Continued

Grand New Party?

Sporting his signature attire of jeans and a blazer, Sen. Rand Paul took the microphone off the podium and walked to the edge of the stage, launching into his now-familiar rebranding pitch to the crowd of more than 100 Republicans. “Welcome to the new GOP!” bellowed Paul. Keynoting Friday’s Jefferson County Republican Party event intended … Continued

Up to 11

Rock stores Items you can purchase at a big chain rock ’n’ roll superstore include the following products: Pink Earplugs: For Women, a guitar brand called Daisy: For Girls and instructional books titled “Girls’ Complete Guitar Method.” Retailers are increasingly creating products meant to entice young girls to spend money in their stores. I was … Continued

News you can lose

In school, we are taught — or we are supposed to be, anyway — how to deconstruct and find meaning in Shakespearian plots. What we aren’t taught is how to decode the front page of The New York Post. Alain de Botton has a problem with this. He is the philosopher and essayist behind “The … Continued

Video TapeWorm

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: 12 YEARS A SLAVE 2013; $24.98; R If you’re not already intimately familiar with this immersive and devastating film achievement … well, what can we say? The film follows the true tale of Solomon Northup, an educated citizen living in pre-Civil War New York, kidnapped and sold to Southern farm owners … Continued

Habib Koité’s earthy energy

It’s been a decade since Malian bandleader Habib Koité was last here, enticing the audience at the Bomhard Theater to leave their seats and dance, which seemed to energize him and his band. Since that time, Koité has continued to tour and record, bringing his socially conscious and highly rhythmic music to fans around the … Continued


Big Birds Vocalist/guitarist John Lewis and drummer Nick Layman started playing together in 2003. In 2012, vibeist/percussionist Regan Layman joined what had become Black Birds of Paradise. Bassist Dashiell Moss completes the quartet, who release their debut album with a show at the New Vintage on Saturday. Layman, who has pressed the album himself at … Continued


BY ASHLEY SPURGEON I’m a crybaby. Always have been, always will be. I remember being teased about it pretty much from kindergarten onward; it annoyed my teachers and frustrated my family. My nickname in the house eventually became “Godzilla,” because apparently my wailing sounded similar to the roar of a giant radioactive lizard. This nickname, … Continued

Beyond marriage

The movement for marriage equality has had quite a few successes in the last few years, gaining an undeniable momentum here in the South after recent legal victories in Kentucky and Virginia declared gay marriage bans in those respective states as unconstitutional. My best friend Tori and his husband Keith recently tied the knot in … Continued

My week of loving-kindness

My son Ben recently sent me a link to “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” on YouTube. The bit is an ongoing series of videos created by Jimmy Kimmel that feature celebrities reading nasty tweets people have written about them. The videos are at times hilarious and cleverly steeped in both schadenfreude and empathy. As it turns … Continued

Cosmonaught: Course Two

Two is the second in an anthology series helmed by the prolific William Ragland. Although entirely instrumental and ambient, the track titles, album name and overall mood seem to imply a narrative, a particularly nebulous and ominous one. There are a lot of moving parts here, in the ephemeral drones that permeate C:CT or the … Continued

Kinetic Meditations

Lourenço Vasconcellos’ congas, almost ritualistic, set a scene; Graeme Gardiner’s sinuous saxophone percolates through … waves of sound wash over the percussion … invocational Trane … and this is all just the first five minutes of opener “The Road.” The album title is apt, as these two improvise their way through eight originals that blend … Continued


<DRAG> Thursday, Feb. 26 Hard Candy Play 1101 E. Washington St. $10-$15; 9:30 p.m.? Hard Candy is Louisville’s longest-running monthly LGBT party, but this month they’re spicing it up with a move to an appropriate new location. Play Dance Bar is now hosting “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing parties on Monday nights, and this month’s … Continued

After the Disco

James Mercer and Brian Burton’s second full-length trip as Broken Bells is a decidedly brighter listen than before, though as catchy and repeatable. Opener “Perfect World” is kinetic, closing with a guitar solo that would make Johnny Marr proud. Too much ink has spilled over the single “Holding On for Life” and its “Barry Gibb … Continued

Dirty Gold

Not everything that comes in a shiny package does so to hide a lack of depth, but this is not the album the hard-hitting emcee’s earlier work led us to expect. Haze’s retail debut deceptively embraces poppier production and “big” sounds, but doesn’t trade down one bit lyrically, making for an impressive spoonful-of-sugar-makes-the-arsenic-go-down long player. … Continued

Plugged In

Readers are strongly encouraged to call ahead to verify these listings. To get your musical act listed, send email to with PLUGGED IN in the subject line. The deadline is FRIDAY at NOON the week before the show happens. We do not accept listings via social networking sites. Wed Feb 26 Air Devils Inn: … Continued

Theater: The 38th Humana Festival steps into the ring

“I’m fascinated by people who are willing to step into the ring,” says playwright Kimber Lee, whose play “brownsville song (b-side for tray)” opens March 14 as part of the 38th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Lee is talking about the boxing ring. And she’s talking about herself. She … Continued

Orchestra: Shostakovich skeening out to the edge

All his life, Dmitri Shostakovich rode the dangerous currents of an artist’s life in the public eye in the Soviet Union. Born in 1906, he was a child when the fighting of the Russian Revolution surrounded his home city of Petrograd, and just 19 when his “Symphony No. 1” found notice outside Russia, performed and … Continued

Locavore Lore: The quest for soup dumplings

I just got back from New York City. When I go there, I like to imagine myself as Anthony Bourdain. I search high and low for new culinary experiences and just about double the capacity of my stomach. I eat all day. While the copious walking helps mitigate some of the copious eating, I inevitably … Continued

Industry Standard: Insider info for those who dine out

A few days ago, a server friend of mine posted the following Facebook status: “I’m at a restaurant and I’m looking at this couple I’ve waited on somewhere. They were regulars wherever it was. They were rude, bitter, bad tippers and everyone would cringe when they walked in.” I chose to redact a physical description … Continued

Book: How to tell a (specialized) story

‘Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction’ By Jeff Vandermeer. Abrams Image; 332 pgs., $24.95. Fiction writers — and those who would join their ranks — often have a shelf filled with several different types of “how-to” volumes. There is a regular flow of new books loaded with writing exercises, as if they were … Continued

Bar Belle: Fourth grade firing squad

Last week my entire livelihood was questioned by a large group of inquisitive fourth graders. I was asked to stop by Coleridge-Taylor Montessori Elementary on “Career Day” last Friday to talk about what I do at this here paper. I gave my little spiel about being editor, assigning stories, looking for misspelled words, working with … Continued

Advice: Savage Love

Q: I’m 21 and still a virgin. I also have depression. I’m not bad-looking. I work out and generally keep people laughing. I got a lot of female attention in school, but I was hopeless and still am. Most of my friends have girlfriends, so I don’t understand why I haven’t had a girlfriend since … Continued

Inbox — Feb. 26, 2014

Transitioning Comedy Jaison A. Gardner’s Feb. 12 column about the term “tranny” and how its status as a slur has caught many public figures off guard brings to mind a typically no-rules Monty Python skit combining barbering, singing, lumberjacking and an inauthentic comedic treatment of transgenderism. I laughed hysterically for years each time I’d see … Continued