Issue January 3, 2012

Season’s Readings: A Literary Guide

The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories By Don DeLillo Scribner, 213 pgs., $24 For decades, Don DeLillo has been exploring the American psychological and intellectual landscape in novels that demand full readerly immersion. Whether it’s a massive tome like “Underworld” or a slimmer book like “Cosmopolis,” his books construct sprawling worlds that allow his intricate pop-culture … Continued

Fix it

I recently realized that I have spent a significant percentage of my life talking to myself (metaphorically, of course … I’m not crazy!), so I thought I’d take this opportunity, as I look back on the last year, to interview myself. Me: How you been? Me: Better. Me: Better? Me: Yeah, I’ve been better. Ha … Continued

This is going to be your year

You will finally understand the hash tag. You will get the tennis shoes, Xbox, phone, automobile or dentures that will catch you up among your peers. You will fall in love. Your hairstyle is going to come back into fashion. You will win a late-night argument about the hottest three men in Hollywood, and your … Continued

The legacy of Black Leaf

On a warm December day, 60-year-old Marvin Hayes points to the fertile corners of his sloped front yard. “Tomatoes over here, cayenne peppers over here,” he says looking down at a cluster of winter-worn, brown plants. “Berries over here.” He grows produce almost every year and has never questioned the quality of his soil. But … Continued

Frankfort forecast

The 2012 General Assembly began Jan. 3, and it remains to be seen whether this new session will result in more of the same — rancorous partisan gridlock and obstructionism — or the two parties coming together to do something about problems plaguing the commonwealth. At the forefront of this mystery are rivals whose toxic … Continued

Inbox — Jan. 4, 2012

Money Speak Here we go again. The circumstances reported by your recent story (LEO Weekly, Dec. 7) about the firing of the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources indicate that action was motivated by the political contributions Gov. Steve Beshear’s re-election campaign received from coal operators. Just follow the money. This is legal … Continued

Staffpicks

<COMEDY> Jan. 5-8 Owen Benjamin Improv Fourth Street Live • 581-1332 owenbenjamin.com Various prices and times Former Christina Ricci fiancée Owen Benjamin is also known for his comedy, including a Comedy Central special and appearances on “Chelsea Lately,” “Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time” and “Punk’d,” plus 10 turns on Jay Leno’s attempt at a “Tonight Show.” … Continued

Plugged In

Readers are strongly encouraged to call ahead to verify these listings. To get your musical act or comedian listed, send e-mail to pberkowitz@leoweekly.com with PLUGGED IN in the subject line. The deadline is NOON THURSDAY the week before the show happens. We do not accept listings via social networking sites.   Wed jan 4 BBC, … Continued

Video TapeWorm

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: MONEYBALL 2011; $17.98-$40.98; PG-13 Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in this sports movie for people who hate sports movies. They play the real life respective general manager and field manager of the Oakland A’s, a team about to go out of business until Pitt hires yuppie economics prof Jonah … Continued

Brit Beat

Live from London I’ve spent the last month scuttling around my hometown and its environs, sipping warm pints of bitter in ancient, dark pubs and taking brisk country walks along the stone-walled pathways that locals have been enjoying for centuries. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time unsuccessfully stalking David Beckham, who left L.A. … Continued

B-sides

Haunted pop The public release party for the indie pop-rock band House Ghost’s debut full-length album, The Adventures of House Ghost, doubles as an art event for Craig Hawkins at the 930 Art Center in Germantown (doors at 7 p.m. for art, with music beginning at 8 p.m.). House Ghost guitarist Shane St. Clair’s other … Continued

Theater: ‘Some Things’ falls flat

‘Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends (A Final Evening with the Illuminati)’ Written by Larry Larson and Levi Lee. Directed by Joey Arena. Continues through Jan. 21 at the Alley Theater, 1205 E. Washington St. For tickets or more info, call 713-6178. Over the last couple of years, the Alley Theater … Continued

Little Heart turns six

Little Heart Records rose from a cage match that label founder Bryan Puckett had with his own mortality. “I am not the healthiest human being,” he tells LEO over dinner at the Oriental House. “Most of my doctors have told me I’ll be lucky to push 40; I’m 31. Being told I’m lucky to push … Continued

Jazz Education Network entertains

While cities such as New York and Chicago are frequently thought of as jazz meccas, it is Louisville that will host the Jazz Education Network’s Third Annual International Conference. JEN, as the organization is known, “is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance and developing new audiences,” according to its … Continued

Echoes of Bakersfield at The Silver Dollar

Back in the day, when I was young and stupid, I would often make the long drive down California’s agricultural Central Valley, burning up the Golden State Highway to visit a girlfriend at UCLA. When I hit the dusty town of Bakersfield, surrounded by oil rigs and potato fields, I knew I was within 100 … Continued

The Taste Bud: Up-close and personal with bass

One of my late grandfather’s favorite jokes was to tell me about the time he took my grandmother fishing. When she caught her first fish, she pulled it onto the boat, and he said to her, “Look, you’ve got a large-mouth bass!” So she hit him with an oar and nearly knocked him out of … Continued

Culture: Podcasts you might be missing

First, an announcement for the New Year. It has come to my attention that a whopping number of peeps still don’t know how to go about listening to podcasts. (Or it might just be their polite way of saying, “Will you stop boring me with this stuff?”) Thus the next few columns will involve some … Continued

Comedy: The joy of discovery

“Improvapalooza” is 12 years old — it has finally hit puberty, is wearing deodorant and sprouting hair where there was none. Louisville Improvisors’ lynchpin and “Improvapalooza” founder Chris Anger has been there for every growing pain along the way. Using the anniversary to look back, the Louisville Improvisors (Anger, Alec Volz and Todd Hildreth) have … Continued

Art: This is Louisville

A new photography magazine, THIS … is Louisville, comes out this month. LEO Weekly spoke with creator Maggie Huber about the publication. LEO: Haven’t you heard print media is dying? Why do a monthly magazine centered on Louisville now? Maggie Huber: I think I’ve heard that rumor. Now, more than ever, is a good time … Continued

200 Years

At the conclusion of the Six Organs of Admittance show at Uncle Slayton’s back in August, Ben Chasny was joined onstage by singer Elisa Ambrogio, and the lucky audience was treated to a preview of their new band, 200 Years. The current concern for Ambrogio and Chasny, this self-titled debut on Drag City is superficially … Continued

New Designer Drug

The L.A. duo of Jack Davey and Brook D’Leau has quite a tale in their short history. After recording their first songs, Warner Brothers signed them, promising “artistic freedom” amid other caviar dreams. The group recorded three versions of New Designer Drug while the label tried to persuade Jack that she’d get more attention from … Continued

Wolf in People’s Clothing

As far as Christmas presents go, receiving Louisville folk artist Patrick Thompson’s lo-fi recordings as Rare Treats was a nice surprise under the ol’ LEO tree. His bio states that Thompson “wanted to make a record that didn’t sound entirely like it came from Louisville, Kentucky,” and by that standard, it mostly succeeds. Though traces … Continued

The Steven Johnson Syndrome

Polio has stepped up a lot in the couple years he’s been on the radar. He started as almost a court jester, a foil to the seriousness of the rest of his crew, specifically Scanners’ Nacirema. On Syndrome, Polio expands his subject matter and raps with an urgency that’s impossible to deny. “Infectious” is the … Continued