Staff Picks

Saturday, Dec. 31
Zoo Year’s Eve
I’ve always thought break-dance fighting and walk-offs only occur in Ben Stiller movies, so it came as a wonderful surprise to find that they’ll both be going on at Zooaville’s first annual Zoo Year’s Eve. The party, sponsored by the likes of Carmichael’s and Wild & Woolly, features other non-traditional New Year’s Eve events like a runway fashion show and an appearance by Grotesque Burlesque. Music will be provided by several DJs, and there will also be a CD release show for Louisville musician Scott Carney. As for the walk-off, it’s at midnight and is open to everyone, and thanks to the champagne you should do well, whether you look like Phyllis George or George “The Animal” Steele. —Jonathan Frank
Rear entrance of 436 Baxter Ave. (what used to be BAR Louisville)
$10 adv., $15 door; 21+
Tickets at ear X-tacy and WHYLouisville

Friday, Dec. 30
Heather Normandale
Heather Normandale is a singer-songwriter from Sarasota (do we hear a nice alliterative blurb for the press kit?) whose music represents the influences of many places she’s lived, such as Ecuador, Brazil and rural Florida. Her songs, a danceable combination of finger-picked melodies and jazzy rhythmic jigs, are sung in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and her voice can run from lofty Jim James territory to the more lilting tones of a Stevie Nicks or a Sam Beam of Iron and Wine. At home in Florida, Normandale plays in a five-piece called Stone Soup, and she’s also spun off a duo called Stitchcraft. Friday night at the Rud, however, she’s flying solo. Sounds like a nice way to start the long weekend. —Cary Stemle
The Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak St.
Cover TBD; 7-9 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 2
Who says punk ain’t what it used to be? Certainly not the Bobaflex warriors (I didn’t coin the phrase — hell, it’s on their homepage). My own recollection is of punk starting to rear its safety pin-pierced head about 1976, so the form’s entering its fourth decade. But in this case, I believe you can trust something over 30 years old. In a manner not too removed from Rancid, the ’flex fellas have stayed true to the original intent of punching holes in overinflated rock forms — but they also have fun being a band, and they’ve got a loyal legion that feels likewise. Go ahead and join them, before you have to start taking the year seriously. Indorphine, Incursion, and Accident Experiment are also on the bill. —T.E. Lyons
Bulldog Café
10619 Manslick Road (Fairdale)
$10; 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 28-29, Jan. 3-5
Recycle that Tree
Christmas, or whatever you celebrate, is over. It is. The whole season of giving hugs to cousins you don’t really know has passed. The gifts are unwrapped, and it’s time to get back to normal. It’s time to take down the decorations and get rid of that fire hazard (aka the tree) sitting in your living room. If live trees are your tradition, there’s a few places that will help you grind that big green thing into mulch. It’s free, too, and they’ll let you take some home.
So bring a bucket. Five recycled trees create about 35 pounds of evergreen loveliness that can be reused when the weather outside is delightful.
This is the appropriate sort of re-gifting. —Lindsay Sainlar
Recycling Center: 595 Hubbards Lane
Recycling Center: 7219 Dixie Highway
Public Works Yard: 3528 Newburg Road
Waste Reduction Center: 636 Meriwether Ave.
Free; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Jan. 3-8
John Waters’ film catalogue represents one of those twisted and inexplicably bizarre frames of reference that can be called uniquely American. When his odd sensibilities first hit the screen a few decades ago, no one had a clue. Slowly but very surely, Waters’ tales of transvestites, criminals and juvenile deviants wormed their way into the mainstream until last year, when his 1988 film “Hairspray” was rewritten and relaunched as a Broadway play. Most unexpectedly, the show became a huge hit. When it comes to the Kentucky Center this week, everyone will have a chance to ruminate on the relative merits of big hair, big boobs, big dreams, fake bombshells and delusions of grandeur in modern conundrum that is the fallen city of Baltimore. Waters has been called “The Pope of Trash,” and the holiness and nobility of his bearing gives truth to at least the “Pope” part. As for his work being trash, that is quite untrue. That “Hairspray” became a Broadway hit after years of languishing as a cult curiosity is proof enough. —Paul Kopasz
Kentucky Center
$21.75-$64.75; 8 p.m. (w/ Sat. and Sun. matinees)

Tuesday, Jan. 3
New Year Blessing
So, you think had your fill of the various religious celebrations that have us chanting “Happy Holidays” to one another? There was Christmas for the Christians, Hanukah for the Jews, Kwanzaa to celebrate African-American heritage. What’s missing? What about the Buddhists? While there is no major Buddhist holiday to celebrate, next Tuesday, a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from Louisville’s Drepung Gomang Institute will offer a blessing for children and the New Year at Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Market’s newest location in New Albany. (The store opened in August.) The hour-long affair will consist of the blessing for the New Year before children, who will get front-row seats on comfy pillows and have the chance to go up, one by one, to receive blessings from the monks. —Elizabeth Kramer
Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Market
3003 Charlestown Crossing, New Albany
(812) 941-0080
Free; 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 4
Jazz & The Spoken Word
Normally, it’s just an annoyance when someone is constantly talking while you’re trying to listen to jazz. I mean, shut the hell up already. But the Jazz Factory at Glassworks has something a little different in mind: a free night of readings accompanied by improvisational jazz. On this night, local and regional authors will read from their work while saxophonist Jacob Duncan and bassist Brian Vinson improvise to the writers’ words. The duo will also play prior to the readings and during the break between sets. Now in its third year, Jazz & The Spoken Word has been featured on KET’s “Mixed Media” and will soon be the subject of a feature story in Arts Across Kentucky magazine. This month’s readers include Crystal Wilkinson, Nancy Gall-Clayton, Nickole Brown, Lynnell Edwards, Connie Meyer, David Owen, Danny O’Bryan and Ron Whitehead. The event is smoke-free, and if you get there early you’ll get to hear local jazzman Todd Hildreth perform on piano from 5-7 p.m. (It also bears noting that the next Literary LEO reading will happen in this same format on Feb. 15. Mark it on your 2006 calendar now, while you’re thinking about it.) —Kevin Gibson
The Jazz Factory
815 W. Market St.
Free; 7:30 p.m.

Through Feb. 4
Lloyd Kelly’s ‘Tools of an Ancient Trade’
Lloyd Kelly has painted metalworker Craig Kaviar. In an interesting twist on portraiture, it’s not by showing us his image, but by painting his blacksmith tools. What materials an artist chooses to use are personal. Following in the long tradition of blacksmithing, Kaviar has many tools that heat and shape metal, resulting in his well-known artistic creations.
“Tools are compelling implements; even at rest they imply action and creation,” says Kelly. “Tools can inform you about the user, the artist — in this case a specific artist, Craig Kaviar.” To know more about one artist, you need to view the work of another. —Jo Anne Triplett
Kaviar Forge & Gallery
1718 Frankfort Ave.
Free; Thu.-Fri. 1-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.