Issue December 17, 2013

As country as a saloon door

“Karaoke pretty much killed live music like this,” the soundman, Eric, says during the first intermission. I nod and mumble something in agreement, a little amazed by it all. Before tonight, I didn’t know anything like the Corydon Jamboree ever existed. It’s as if Carrie Underwood hadn’t won “American Idol.” It’s as if Shania Twain … Continued

Santa tells the NSA to ‘step off’

THE NORTH POLE — Santa Claus has formally asked the National Security Agency to immediately cease accessing his data servers, including his most sensitive data, the so-called “naughty/nice” list. The unusual request, which Mr. Claus submitted to President Barack Obama via email and announced at a tense news conference here on Wednesday, also asked the … Continued

The one I love

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! I hope this greeting finds you well and in good spirits! Actually, I can only hope it finds you at all. Please excuse my little joke, but I saw the “Sold” sign out in front of your house, and I don’t know where you moved, so I am hoping the USPS … Continued

The passing of great men

The recent passing of Nelson Mandela reminded me of my first visit to one of my favorite cities (San Francisco) with one of my favorite people (James Blaine Hudson — the now deceased Pan-African studies professor and Dean of U of L’s College of Arts & Sciences). One night, I ate dinner with Blaine and … Continued

When Sub Pop Records took on the world

‘Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989’ By Bruce Pavitt. Bazillion Points; 208 pgs., $34.95. Kurt Cobain was homesick. The Nirvana leader, then 22, was in Europe for the first time, where his band was supporting two other, bigger bands on Nirvana’s label, Sub Pop Records. Mudhoney was everyone’s favorite, the band expected to break out … Continued

Blue Grass Boy

When he was 6 years old, Ricky Skaggs had a prescient encounter. He was living with his parents in Lawrence County in northeastern Kentucky when word got around about an upcoming concert. Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys were to be playing nearby at the high school gymnasium in Martha, and the Skaggs family … Continued

A SOARing start

More than 1,700 people packed into the Pikeville Expo Center last Monday for the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Summit, a day-long conference designed to explore ways to diversify and rejuvenate the economy of eastern Kentucky, the impoverished region further decimated by the rapid downfall of its signature coal industry. SOAR was spearheaded by Gov. … Continued


Nasty but nice Melodic hardcore punks Automatic are back for one night only, Friday, at the Mag Bar — and here to help, in the true spirit of the season. LEO: You’re all busy men. Why bring this ol’ band back together again? Ryan Patterson (guitar): The band ended in early 2000, but we’ve all … 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 DEC 18 Air Devils Inn: … Continued

Video TapeWorm

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 2013; $24.98; PG-13 The original “Insidious” was something of a cause celebre among horror fans, having been written and directed by the writer and director of “Saw,” James Wan and Leigh Whannell, respectively. The movie was surprisingly effective, sticking with tried-and-true old-school horror tropes and focusing on the … Continued


<MUSIC> Wednesday, Dec. 18 WFPK Winter Wednesdays Clifton Center 2117 Payne St. Free; 7:30 p.m. For the final WFPK-presented free Wednesday night concert of 2013, the public radio station offers a very special present for their listeners, indeed. Headliner Tony Joe White, now 70, is an underrated cult legend, best known for his late-’60s … Continued

Ball Droppings

Are you of the ilk who like to avoid the crowds and amateur drinkers on New Year’s Eve? Maybe you host your own party or pull up some movies on Netflix and make it a couch night. For the rest of us who like to venture out and party with other like-minded Louisvillians, here’s your … Continued

Smith sees sunny skies ahead

It’s December. Do you know where your basketball team is? If your team is Louisville, you’ll find the Cardinals in Miami, taking in the rays with a little six-day working vacation in the Sunshine State. “I think it’s going to be fun, get a little vacation — and hopefully I don’t gain any weight,” laughs … Continued

Inbox — Dec. 18, 2013

Helen’s Got Balls This is regarding the Helen Prejean article (LEO Weekly, Dec. 4). I love her ballsiness! She calls the Bible a mixed bag — picking and choosing what we think we should apply to any situation we want. I call church a “sinner’s ball” due to the fact that the people sitting in … Continued

Advice: Savage Love

Q: I need some unbiased advice. I’m a 28-year-old woman in a relationship for 3.5 years with a wonderful man, also 28. I hit the jackpot: He is loving, sweet, kind, driven, active, handsome, generous, etc. We’re very committed to each other and planning our future together. We’ve lived together for 2.5 years. Life is … Continued

Clay Oven fires up Indian goodies

Ponder this: An Indian cooking technique based on clay pot principles as old as civilization can generate temperatures up to a roaring 900 degrees F. That’s hot enough to put even your neighborhood pizza oven to shame, and it’s even hotter than your home oven gets when it’s self-cleaning at full-blast and locked up for … Continued

Bar Belle: A Dear Santa letter

Dear Santa, It’s me again — you know, the one who got away? I know you promised me the sun and the moon and all the little elves who’d carry me home from the North Pole bars. I just didn’t share your dream of holing up 364 days a year in a little love snow … Continued

Book: Take a stroll through Louisville history

‘The Origins of Louisville’s Olmsted Parks & Parkways’ By Samuel W. Thomas. Holland Brown Books; 254 pgs., $50. In my hometown, far north of Kentucky, there is an Olmsted park along the lake. I remember it as a point of pride, having an Olmsted, the landscape architect of New York’s Central Park fame. It’s like … Continued

Art: From violence, hope

In one of the photos, a man walks behind his wife as she walks down the beach holding their child. He is holding up an umbrella to shade his family from the sun overhead. Behind them, the calm blue-green waters and inviting beach of Indonesia. This might not be the type of photograph one would … Continued

Art: Out of the shadows

Ross Gordon was ready for trouble. Re-entering the United States after a supposed stint in Nassau, which had in fact included an extended stay in still-embargoed Cuba, “I was expecting a light shone in my eyes, tons of questions. I was all ready to be harassed and write a big story about it for the … Continued

Baltimore Album

It says something that the first track starts with Omar’s signature whistle. Waxeater not so subtly riffs on themes from “The Wire,” the critically renowned series that paid as much attention to the police as to the criminals. Waxeater pays homage to their source material, in this instance using thick distortion and grunge posturing as … Continued

Guilt Trips

Cloud-rap? Post-R&B? We still don’t have much of a lexicon to describe the latest wave of bedroom producers who push well-worn hip-hop tropes into more experimental, freeform territory. Ryan Hemsworth’s latest LP plays like an immaculately produced R&B/hip-hop crossover record that had the majority of its vocal tracks scrapped in order to better showcase its … Continued

Nature Noir

I had avoided Crystal Stilts for purely shallow reasons. Like “wolf” names 10 years ago, the sheer number of “crystal” bands seemed suspicious. So many, in fact, I assumed none could really be authentic. While not far from the truth, Crystal Stilts’ spooky third album, Nature Noir, turns its inauthentic weaknesses into strengths. By marrying … Continued

I Am a Brass-a-Holic

An eight-piece New Orleans band coming by their name honestly, I Am debuts with a lot of fun, bordering on happy-go-lucky, which only serves to better le bon temps. The trick with this style band is capturing in the studio what they do so well on stage. Too far one way, it’s a sterile specimen, … Continued