Issue April 24, 2012

A quick study

Many say Bodemeister will be the betting favorite in the 138th Kentucky Derby. Why that’s so important we don’t know — unless you’re trying to avoid the obvious horse in a race whose outcome is seldom obvious. Maybe the prospective favorite needs to be identified because there will be betting — $100 million-plus — and … Continued

LEO Photography Contest 2012

When we announced plans to eliminate the photography categories from our annual Literary LEO contest, we promised all you shutterbugs out there that your time would come. Well, we’re not liars, folks, and now it’s your turn: LEO is accepting submissions for our first-ever photography contest. The winning and runner-up photos will be featured as … Continued

No news is good news

ROME, Italy — As I write on actual paper with an actual pencil from The Vatican gift shop, I’m basking in a two-week news blackout. No newspapers, TV, Facebook, Internet or “Daily Show.” I’m as blissfully ignorant of American events as a typical American. I could read up on what I’ve missed, but I’ll just … Continued

Last ride of the Midnight Rambler

Look at how a steam locomotive works sometime. You’ll notice the way the straight shaft of the pistons, attached to a fixed point on the wheel, travels by way of a herky-jerky elliptical force. It’s a weird motion that seems to fight with itself to create fluid, straight and forward momentum. Levon Helm played his … Continued

In celebration and struggle

On a walking tour of Churchill Downs, a group of sandaled tourists and curious locals steps out into a brick courtyard. The guide points to a few of the 130-plus green signs lining the track’s signature white rafters. They boast the names of every victorious horse. Directly in the group’s line of sight is a … Continued

Weep some more, my lady

Well over 100,000 visitors will attend the Kentucky Derby, betting, imbibing and singing along to “My Old Kentucky Home.” But regardless of how impressive the first Saturday in May might be at Churchill Downs, many fear the bluegrass is on the brink of losing its status as the mecca of the horse industry. Facing increased … Continued

Inbox — April 25, 2012

Respecting Isaacs One of my favorite activities involving the LEO print edition is defacing the picture of whoever is gracing the cover. While I’ve never used the services of Isaacs & Isaacs, I’ve always enjoyed Darryl Isaacs’ commercials; he seems like a swell guy. For the first time, I had a conflict of conscience about … Continued

Plugged In

Readers are strongly encouraged to call ahead to verify these listings. To get your musical act or comedian 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 apr 25 Beef … Continued


So fresh, and so clean Radio is one medium that has continued to thrive despite the huge changes in our music-consumption habits. We’ve been very lucky to have DJ-driven shows on Louisville’s WFPK like “World Force Reggae,” “Roots ’N’ Boots,” “Woody’s Roadhouse,” “Relics,” and “The Weekly Feed.” Many of you already know DJ Matt Anthony, … Continued


The Dammit — that’s two Ms, no N — are a “swamp boogie” band who remember that music should be fun first. The veterans of several bands over the past 15 years are now celebrating the release of their first full-length album, playing Cahoots Saturday night with a promise of “free beer (while supplies last) … Continued

JC Brooks brings the sound

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are rising stars of the soul-rock revival movement that has also seen Alabama Shakes, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and Fitz and the Tantrums find a home on NPR stations across the nation. So it’s fitting they return to Louisville, only four months since appearing as openers at Headliners, … Continued

Bela Fleck’s buzz cuts

Bela Fleck has had one of the most diverse and interesting careers of anyone in music. Starting out in the bluegrass world, he has since conquered classical and jazz, dabbled in various fusions, and most recently explored the historical ties of his banjo to its African origins via his Throw Down Your Heart album. About … Continued

The Taste Bud: Dog days of spring

During winter months, I sometimes find myself driving down Main Street or across one of our downtown bridges and gazing longingly at Slugger Field. It seems almost cruel that it stands there as a beckoning tease during a time when baseball is not being played. It almost makes me wish the city could fold up … Continued


<BOOK> Wednesday, April 25 ‘The Cornbread Mafia’ Carmichael’s Bookstore 2720 Frankfort Ave. • 896-6950 Free; 7 p.m. My favorite story-song is Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road” — where the scions of moonshining families learn to switch over to pot growing. Well, if you’ve put your eyes on a newspaper in recent years or read novels in … Continued

Video TapeWorm

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: DRIVE-IN 1976; $20.98; PG Re-release of a guilty pleasure of ours. This scruffy tale takes us into the heart of rural Texas for a night of romance, adventure, popcorn and crappy movie watching at the local passion pit. Stars no one you ever heard of coping with car crashes, rival gangs, … Continued

Locavore Lore: Do locavores suck at math?

Tyler Cowen’s new book, “An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies,” is an easy read that takes us around the culinary world in 260 pages. We hit just about everything, from street food in Leon, Nicaragua, to three-star Michelin dining in Germany. Cowen, a self-described foodie, offers an outside-the-box take on how to … Continued

Industry Standard: Insider info for those who dine out

There’s a meme that echoes throughout the restaurant industry: a sense of urgency. Great cooks and servers have a “sense of urgency” — even when there’s no emergency. I think the first time I heard the phrase, I was watching a Food Network show where several cooks were trying out in a restaurant kitchen to … Continued

Culture: ‘Real Housewife’ gambles for a good cause

The Kentucky Derby has always attracted celebrities, though not some of the culture-defining figures one might expect. While fans of New York’s sports teams can depend on seeing Adam Sandler or Lady Gaga on an average day, and the Coachella music festival attracts hip movie stars, Derby has, historically, been most attractive to reality TV … Continued

Culture: One good idea leads to another

Last September, 85 duPont Manual students were among the 500 participants of the IdeaFestival at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. This weekend, Manual’s own offshoot festival takes root. IFManual, a student-run version, kicks off Friday and Saturday. The lineup for the event, developed by the students and faculty and aimed at inspiring a cross-pollination … Continued

Book: Woody Guthrie’s dirty little secrets

‘Woody Guthrie, American Radical’  By Will Kaufman. University of Illinois Press; 304 pgs., $29.95. The general perception of Woody Guthrie’s most famous song, “This Land Is Your Land,” essentially matches the overall understanding of Guthrie himself. With its depictions of the redwood forest, Gulf Stream waters, golden valley, diamond deserts and wheat fields waving, it … Continued

Art: See an artist about a horse

Around these parts, we have horses, hats and hooch down to a science. Here’s a sampling of what’s happening in the visual arts, Derby-style. The Speed Art Museum (2035 S. Third St., 634-2700, has picked the perfect time to unveil two new acquisitions: bronze horse sculptures by Deborah Butterfield. They’re included in the exhibition … Continued