Thursday, June 29
My best friend and I have joked of starting odd businesses together — a dive bar with ’80s-only bubblegum pop on the jukebox or party-crasher-for-hire, guaranteed to turn your boring get-together into one hell of a good time. Although none of these will ever see the light of day, it’s damn fun to talk through the details over a pitcher of beer. The new country duo The Wreckers seem to have stolen my dream. No, they’re not opening Shake Your Love anytime soon, but they are best friends who decided to partner and form a country band — all in the pursuit of fun. You can tell on their debut album, Stand Still, Look Pretty, that pop princess Michelle Branch and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jessica Harp are having a great time writing and singing a style of music that seems to suit them perfectly. “Leave the Pieces,” the first release, is an upbeat strumfest in the vein of Kasey Chambers. And the closing “Crazy People” is a tongue-in-cheek rant on an unlucky love life. Catch The Wreckers at Coyote’s tomorrow night — and bring along your best friend. —Sara Havens
133 W. Liberty St.
$10 (adv.)/$12 (door); 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 29
‘Venezuela Rising’ screening
The international left’s celebration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez smacks of something that might come back to haunt them. Most demagogues — right or left — disappoint. Third World socialism, in particular, has a track record of producing great theorists who pay endless lip service to economic justice, but end up too corrupt, incompetent or violent to deliver the goods.
The jury is still out on Chavez, who may yet buck history. More information can be had at Reel Revolution’s screening of “Venezuela Rising” at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Kentucky Theater. The film explains the impact of Chavez from the perspective of the average Venezuelan citizen. Be sure to see the movie while you can. Once the CIA makes Chavez disappear, the whole thing will become moot. —Alan Abbott
651 S. Fourth St.
$5-$25 (donation); 7 p.m.
June 29-July 29
Small But Weird art show
With exhibits including works of visual art, sculptures and performance art, the Small But Weird art show offers something for everyone. The larger theme of the exhibit is a fund-raiser benefiting New Orleans, with half of the proceeds going to Rhisome Collective Actions, an organization offering a soil toxicity remediation program for communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. Although the larger theme is focused on fund-raising, the pieces in the exhibit address the individualism within the grand scheme of things. The show may be small and weird, but it is definitely benefiting a worthy cause, so make an appearance if you can. —Stephanie Salmons
Huff Gallery, Spalding University
853 Library Lane
8 a.m.-9 p.m. (Mon.-Thu.), 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Fri.), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sat.-Sun.)
June 30-July 29
Abbott & Costello film series
The Palace’s Summer Movie Series gets back into action this weekend, and this year’s theme — “The Best of Abbott & Costello” — promises some of the duo’s funniest and best-known movies from the 1940s, including “In the Navy” and “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.” This weekend, “One Night in the Tropics” shows Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and “Buck Privates” shows Saturday at 5 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for every showing, or $30 for a season pass. They’re available through Ticketmaster or the Palace box office. —Michael Lichvar
625 S. Fourth St.
$5; 7:30 p.m. (Fri.), 2, 5 & 8 p.m. (Sat.)
Saturday, July 1
Annual Summer Pottery Sale
It’s the Fourth of July weekend and you know what that means — it’s time to buy pottery! This annual event gets bigger every year, and as a result, they have moved to a new location on the grounds of the Masonic Home. Some of the top ceramicists in our region are participating: Chris Baskin, Amy Elswick, Wayne Ferguson, Sarah Frederick, Suzy Hatcher, Rand Heazlitt, Tonya Johnson, Terri King, Davie Reneau, Laura Ross, Michael Tiller and Keaton Wynn.
It’s been billed as a “seconds sale,” but there will be top-quality works available as well. —Jo Anne Triplett
Masonic Home campus
3701 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fourth of July celebrations
Uncle Sam? “Stars and Stripes Forever”? Fireworks? All of these iconic items have one central meaning. It’s time to break out the swimsuit, throw some meat on the grill and kick back with some cold ones. It’s July 4th. Here’s a round-up of events:
They’re celebrating early at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park on Saturday with performances by Nervous Melvin and the Mistakes (who may have actually known the founding fathers — wink) and former Miss America Heather French Henry, who will sing patriotic songs. There will be plenty of family-friendly activities like tethered hot-air balloon rides, BMX and radio-controlled airplane demonstrations and more. Festivities begin at 5 p.m., with fireworks at 10.
On Tuesday, the folks on New Albany Riverfront will try to get into the record books with “It’s All About The Music.” They’re attempting to break the record for Largest Performing Rock Band by having more than 225 musicians singing and playing guitars and drums. The entertainment starts at 3 p.m. and wraps with fireworks around 9:45 p.m.
And Louisville’s official celebration takes place Monday and Tuesday at Waterfront Park. It’s always free of charge, and each night features bands and fireworks starting at 4 p.m. On Monday, it’s country with Johnny Berry & the Outliers, Dalton and Trace Adkins. On Tuesday, things turn hip hop (and keeps it local) with the Villebillies and Nappy Roots. —Michael Lichvar
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park
Free; 5-10:30 p.m. (Sat.)
Free; 4-10:30 p.m. (Mon.-Tue.)
New Albany Riverfront Amphitheatre
Free; 3-10:30 p.m. (Tue.)
Last Call Film Festival
The Last Call Film Fest, hosted by Andy Schanie at the Rud, looks to be a dream come true for the Wild and Woolly set. Billed as a festival “by film lovers for film lovers,” it nevertheless features lots of quirky indie obscurities. One film is a quasi-legendary Crispin Glover oddity, “Rubin and Ed.”
Two of the films were shown at Sundance, “American Astronaut” and “Call of Cthulhu” (presumably based on the H.P. Lovecraft horror story). In addition to a smorgasbord of films, Corey McAbee, the director of “American Astronaut,” will speak to attendees and perform live with his musical group, The Billy Nayer Show. —Paul Kopasz
$5; 7 p.m.-closing
Through July 8
‘Elmer Lucille Allen: Shibori and Ceramics’
I’m impressed by Elmer Lucille Allen’s life as well as her art. She was Brown-Forman’s first African-American chemist (and one of only three women) in 1966. Fast-forward 31 years later to 1997 — she retires as senior analytical chemist. With time to focus on art, she attends the University of Louisville and graduates in 2002 with a master’s of arts in ceramics.
Allen specializes in tiny Oriental-style ceramics, made to resemble Japanese shibori fabric that’s in a “shape-resisted” design (the cloth is stitched, bound or gathered by hand before it is dyed). Examples of both her ceramics and shibori cloth are in the exhibit. This is chemistry with a twist! —Jo Anne Triplett
Carnegie Center for Art and History
201 E. Spring St., New Albany
Free; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Tue.-Sat.)
Through July 9
Kentucky Renaissance Festival
For fans of warm meade, flowery olde clothing and unnecessary letters, the first annual Kentucky Renaissance Faire is right up your alley. Nerds of all sorts are invited to convene in Eminence, Ky., every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. through July 9. Jousters and jesters, minstrels and muckmasters, nobles and knaves are all sure to be there, and if you’d like to add a character to this meager list, just dress up and show up (see Web site for attire suggestions). Myriad activities include performances with period musical instruments, falconry exhibits, a jousting troupe, human chess and authentic Renaissance fare, cooked up 14th-century fresh. Guests can peruse period crafts and sundries from various vendors. —Nathan Thacher
Eminence, Ky. (see Web site for detailed directions)
$12; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sat.-Sun.)