Issue December 20, 2013

2013 People Issue: Franey Miller

“I’m not really average,” acknowledges Franey Miller, the 18-year-old photographer. “I’m always working — whether it be planning shoots, getting up at 5 a.m. to call magazines in London, or doing all the bookings for every single shoot I produce.” The recent high-school grad began shooting “with a fashion eye” at 15. She describes her … Continued

Compassion is the ultimate gift

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Haiti. My father’s friend knew of a ministry in Haiti that needed help with their generators, so my father, a generator technician, jumped at the opportunity and brought me along. I didn’t know what to expect in Haiti. I knew it was the poorest nation in the … Continued

Cheers, darlin’

The holidays are upon us and the end of the year is fast approaching. I rarely take time to make resolutions because I know I am weak and will break them the first chance I get. I have decided instead to make wishes for the New Year. Like making resolutions, I rarely allow myself to … Continued

A year of lost voices

What a year. Get me outta here. Tragedy struck two of my favorite families. The deaths of musician Jon Cook, 40, in February and chef Joe Gadansky, 41, in April left three children without their fathers. May the youngsters remind us that many meaningful blessings survive their four decades on Earth. And may all who … Continued

Completely Obsessed

Favorite Songs of 2013 — Part 2 We pick up with our hero in the nail-biting conclusion of our journey, weathered and torn over the decisions of his favorite songs of the year. It’s life or death for these tunes: The ones that don’t make the list will certainly perish and be forgotten about for … Continued


Soul junk Black Diamond Heavies drummer Van Campbell was at the Air Devils Inn, sitting with bassist/vocalist Eric Makowski, formerly of Austin’s garage rock/soul band the Bloody Tears. They had just met and began talking about starting a new band, “something just for fun,” Campbell says. “Soul music was a part of the conversation, because … Continued

Some of the best music of 2013 — Part 1

LEO’s music department asked dozens involved in this city’s scene to share lists of their favorite local music of 2013. Our selection committee was, admittedly, intentionally random — but each is a trusted member of our community. We didn’t exactly stop people on the street (even though many of them are probably in bands, too) … 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 25 Baxter’s 942: … Continued

2013 People Issue: Vian Sora

Iraqi-American artist Vian Sora was born and raised in Baghdad, living through the harsh dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and the chaotic aftermath of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. She now lives with her husband in the relative tranquility of Louisville’s East End, continuing to create her internationally acclaimed paintings from her basement studio … Continued

2013 People Issue: Tracy Clayton

If you’re not one of the nearly 14,000 people following Tracy Clayton on your Twitter feed (@BrokeyMcPoverty), you’re missing out on some good laughs. Born and raised in Louisville’s West End, writer and humorist Tracy Clayton recently landed a staff writer gig at Buzzfeed, the rapidly growing website featuring a mix of political reporting, listicles, … Continued

2013 People Issue: Shoni Schimmel

Shoni Schimmel is a beast on the court. She dominates from the three-point line, has no problem assisting (including using the occasional behind-the-back pass) and leads in overall scoring. Last Tuesday, when the Cardinals pummeled Ball State on their own turf in Muncie, Ind., Schimmel had scored 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in … Continued

2013 People Issue: Moshe Ohayon

Most people are abstractly aware that inequity exists in the education system; they’ve seen shocking statistics about the differences in graduation rates among whites vs. blacks or the privileged vs. low-income, but they’ve never witnessed it firsthand. Moshe Ohayon isn’t most people. He is one of the few who have stretched their arms across the … Continued

2013 People Issue: Molly Dobson

Since Oct. 1, almost 100,000 previously uninsured Kentuckians have been able to enroll in health insurance coverage through the state health benefits exchange, Kynect, in what is widely seen as a smooth-running national model for how the Affordable Care Act is supposed to work at the state level. While credit goes to President Obama and … Continued

2013 People Issue: Lavel D. White

In 2004, when a detective was found not guilty of murder, manslaughter and reckless homicide after he shot and killed a 19-year-old black kid during an undercover drug bust, racial tensions were high in the city. Lavel D. White, a junior in high school at the time, went with others to the courthouse, ready to … Continued

2013 People Issue: Karina Barillas

At La Casita, they try not to use words like “serve” and “help” to describe their interactions with the city’s Hispanic/Latino communities. Such words put too much focus on the privilege of those giving, and some people interpret them to mean handouts, which they don’t want to receive. That’s why director Karina Barillas chooses to … Continued

2013 People Issue: Jason W. Spencer

When his Texan friend seemed unenthused about Louisville after moving here, Jason W. Spencer campaigned for his hometown. The food scene! The history! The art! The museums! C’mon! What isn’t to love about Possibility City? Unfortunately, such arguments fell on deaf ears, leading the buddies to bicker about the superiority of their beloved locales. During … Continued

2013 People Issue: Daniel Cole

It all started with a “Boogie Nights”-themed birthday party. Daniel Cole enjoyed a night out, and throwing a big party sounded like fun. But Cole quickly realized he was also filling a need in Louisville’s social scene. “I think it’s fair to say it was fairly risqué for the Fourth Street Live crowd at the … Continued

The music man

When he steps onto the stage as the new music director of the Louisville Orchestra next fall, Teddy Abrams will begin with some very definite ideas of what his role should be. “You have to have a civic mind and an artistic mind — you’re doing both, all the time,” says Abrams, who is currently … Continued

The rebirth of Dixie Dieway

Crossing Dixie Highway as a pedestrian is like playing real-life “Frogger.” The seven-lane thoroughfare sees high speeds and seemingly never-ending traffic, including plenty of semi-trucks. With no center median offering a refuge between opposing directions of traffic, all most pedestrians can do is watch cars coming in one direction, dart across three lanes, pause in … Continued


<BENEFIT> Dec. 26-27 Donorama Crowne Plaza Hotel 830 Phillips Lane Free; noon-7 p.m. While you’re enjoying the Christmas season, remember there’s more to it than just buying Mom a sweater. Instead, you can save lives in an hour by donating at the 36th annual American Red Cross “Donorama.” The need for blood is constant, … Continued

Inbox — Dec. 25, 2013

Poop-Scoopin’ Paul In response to the “Shitty Dog Owners” segment in Loserville (LEO Weekly, Dec. 11): Hey, we know our side of the Big Four Bridge wasn’t finished on schedule, and it’s a dog-gone shame. But it isn’t our pooches dropping deuces on it, either. So, you can keep the poop on your side of … Continued

Video TapeWorm

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: DON JON 2013; $17.98; R The ads for this flick were very misleading, which led to a number of bad reviews, but if you know going in to expect a strong R-rated film about a porn-addicted cad (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also wrote and directed) setting his cold sights on a starry-eyed … Continued

Film: My favorite movie of 2013

Director Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale,” “Greenberg”) is the master of cinematic seasickness. And I hate him for it. Baumbach is to domestic discomfort what Wes Anderson is to whimsy. To be honest, “Frances Ha” is the first Baumbach film I’ve ever finished. Normally, I run in the opposite direction, because I am … Continued

Art: The sky wasn’t his limit

Drive up to Indianapolis on I-65 and you’ll travel by an architectural Oz in the midst of farmland. The small town of Columbus, Ind., is a modernist dream financed by diesel engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. Under the idea of “Build it and they will come,” J. Irwin Miller, CEO of Cummins, funded a foundation that … Continued

Advice: Savage Love

DEAR READERS: Sophia Wallace, the NYC-based conceptual artist behind the amazing Cliteracy project, was a guest on my podcast recently. (Check out and look up episode 371.) During our chat, Wallace told me that a column I wrote years ago about the importance of the clit had a big impact on her as a … Continued

Locavore Lore: Sweet treats complete the holiday feat

’Tis the season for gifting, when we show our appreciation for those special someones in our lives with tokens of our esteem, wrapped up nice and shiny with a bow on top. These days, that list seems to grow like the Grinch’s reformed heart, and this festive time of year, while good for morale, can … Continued

Taste Bud: Is it chili if there’s no meat?

Does chili inherently have meat? I always thought so. Otherwise, the term “vegetarian chili” wouldn’t exist, right? This perplexes me. When I make chili — and, boy, do I make good chili — I use a combination of beef and pork. I wouldn’t even think about making it without meat. Here’s why: At what point … Continued

Industry Standard: Insider info for those who dine out

January: In an attempt to choose a catchy title for my column about the closing of Lynn’s, I found that each of the fantastic puns I came up with had already been used elsewhere. Note to self: Don’t ever try to fit the word “cornbread” into a Lady Gaga lyric again. February: Last February, I … 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