Issue October 8, 2013

Readers’ Choice Awards 2013

For many years, LEO’s Readers’ Choice Awards have gone to a mixture of the actual best, the most heavily campaigned for by folks with extra free time, and write-in votes for rappers and attorneys no one seems to have ever encountered in Louisville or anywhere else. It’s the perfect complement to what LEO does 52 … Continued

Life of crime

Back when I was a kid, I fell into a bad crowd. It was a bunch of guys who used to do “odd jobs” for cash, you know, “under the table.” We didn’t report any of that income. We didn’t tell our folks. We all had “real” jobs, you know, like at the mall; I … Continued

The sum of our exceptionalism

Much has been written in recent weeks about American exceptionalism, and, of course, we are exceptional thanks to our unique American notions of liberty and egalitarianism and fried potatoes that are available in regular, curly and waffle shapes. Also, meat-lover’s pizza. And cat videos and super cottony toilet paper and an unlimited supply of casual-dining … Continued


For the last five years, Straight A’s have made music that defies expectations, challenging the listener in a way that, while abstract, is not entirely foreign. Comprised of a prolific cast of talented multi-instrumentalists, Straight A’s includes Duncan Cherry on guitar/vocals, Sean Roberts on drums, Nate Smallwood on bass/vocals and oft-composer Andrew Padon as the … Continued

Patty Griffin, American storyteller

The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville is sacred ground to lovers of country and Americana music. So when a flame-haired singer took the stage of the Mother Church to sing a gospel number three years ago at “Music Saves Mountains,” a benefit concert for the NRDC, a hush swept across the room — except in a … 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 OCT 9 Air Devils … Continued

Video TapeWorm

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: EMBRACE OF THE VAMPIRE (1995) 1995; $14.98-$19.98; R/UR Pretty, pouty little Alyssa Milano, whom we all watched grow up on TV’s “Who’s The Boss?,” body-slammed into puberty with pretty, pouty, pointy little results in this brain-dead virgin-and-vampire boobfest. Her left mamm gives the kind of bravura performance that only a seasoned … Continued

Writers’ Choice Awards 2013

Best Place to Listen to AC/DC MegaCavern — 1841 Taylor Ave. My aural intake of classic rock songs is usually reserved for drunken karaoke bar sing-alongs and pretentious hipster covers on “The Voice.” I make an exception for MegaCavern, where attendants put on “Highway to Hell” right before the longest, darkest stretch of the six-zipline … Continued


<MUSIC> Wednesday, Oct. 9 ‘Communion’ Zanzabar 2100 S. Preston St. $12-$15; 8 p.m. “Communion” is a new monthly concert series hitting Louisville, one that inhabits several cities across the country every month. The traveling showcase absorbs current acts already on the tour circuit and lines them up into one night of continuous sound. Brooklyn … Continued

Theater: Ghost Brothers from another mother

What do you get when you stick a best-selling author, a Grammy award-winning rocker and an Oscar-winning songwriter and record producer in the same room? Lots of ego? A general lack of social skills? Maybe, if you’re lucky, theatrical magic. Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T-Bone Burnett are not names one typically uses in the … Continued

Theater: An eccentric family and its objects

‘Auctioning the Ainsleys’ A Theatre [502] production. Directed by Amy Attaway. Continues through Oct. 12 at the Victor Jory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, 316 W. Main St. For tickets and more info, go to Laura Schellhardt’s “Auctioning the Ainsleys” is a comically tragic play about the things we keep and why we keep … Continued

We sing the praises of Shady Lane Café

I’d like to sing the praises of Shady Lane Café, but I expect that café owner Susi Smith, an outstanding professional singer, could warble it far better than I; and her husband and co-owner Bill Smith, who’s not only a mean hand on the short-order grill but also a poet of some repute, could probably … Continued

Culture: Some kind of Munster

If you see the Munstermobile drive by this week, it’s not a coincidence; Butch Patrick, best known as TV’s Eddie Munster, will be the grand marshal of Friday’s Caufield’s Halloween Parade (Oct. 11, 7 p.m.). The 10th annual event carries on the tradition of scary but family-oriented Halloween fun — not unlike the TV show … Continued

Book: James McBride — The Mark Twain of our times

‘The Good Lord Bird’ By James McBride. Riverhead Books; 417 pgs., $27.95. In college, I was invited to join the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee. Believing it would be morally lame not to, I attended a month’s worth of meetings, and on the whole, I found them to be as tiresome as a pack of raving … Continued

When the B stands for barriers

Imagine you have a headache. You visit the pharmacy down the street for some Tylenol, or maybe a cheap generic brand because payday isn’t until next week. You stroll up to the pain relief aisle, only to find bottles behind locked glass, with a “press here for assistance” button next to it. You look like … Continued

Advice: Savage Love

I visited Halifax, Nova Scotia, last week — for my geographically illiterate fellow Americans, Halifax is the biggest city on Canada’s Atlantic coast — to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Coast, Halifax’s kick-ass alternative weekly newspaper. The paper brought me to town to do “Savage Love Live.” I took questions … Continued

Inbox — Oct. 9, 2013

Puzzled and Frustrated I look forward to reading LEO each week. I appreciate the investigative reporting, and I enjoy the restaurant reviews and articles on the local art scene. I especially like to do The New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle. This comment is directed toward the person responsible for formatting the paper. In last … Continued

Bar Belle: Bar Belle for Hire

The other day, my friend invited me to her cousin’s 21st birthday party at Sapporo. Since I drink like I’m 21 and love me some hibachi, it wasn’t much of an arm twist. “What better way to celebrate turning 21 than with the Bar Belle?” she quipped. And then the idea hit me — like … Continued

R Plus Seven

You could probably tell from the name that there is little conventional about Oneohtrix Point Never. Part pastoral drone, part spastic synth exercise, Seven exemplifies the cartoonish noise-meets-pensive ambiance pastiche producer Daniel Lopatin excels at creating. It would be fair, if a bit misleading, to call Seven collage-based, given Lopatin’s propensity to paint with such … Continued


Produced by Oliver Stoned, Johnny Spanish’s latest is his strongest. Moving back to Louisville after an extended NYC stay has energized the emcee. Home shows a more restrained songwriter, bringing a balanced spectrum of topics, and he’s toned down the sing-song elements of prior work that turned off purists. This is in-training mode, lean and … Continued

The Electric Lady

Ambition can get lost with cynicism. After half-a-dozen listens, I was ready to throw in the Lady’s towel. Great for fans, but outside that foundation, the plate looked bare. Why should I care about her growing the base, though? I’m firmly among that number, and I’m not responsible for marketing her. This Lady is fine. … Continued

Coming Apart

An inescapable darkness serves as the through line for Coming Apart. Comprised of indie queen Kim Gordon on vocals and guitar and free-noise guitarist Bill Nace, the pair offers arrangements stripped to a no-wave minimum, privileging texture over formalized structure. In fact, to refer to Body/Head as a guitar-heavy project is an exercise in understatement, … Continued