Staff Picks

Thursday, July 27
What is the Peace Corps?
    Stereotypes abound when one utters the two words “Peace Corps.” There is the idea of a multitude of baby boomers circa the late 1960s going to exotic and isolated locations to live in grass huts. Then there is the subversive idea of volunteers who act as American agents in other countries to propagate U.S. interests. Neither of these readings is correct. Anyone who has been a Peace Corps volunteer will attest that it’s a difficult job to peg, given that over the past 46 years, 178,000 volunteers from 18 to 80 years old and with varied backgrounds have served in 138 countries worldwide. But Peace Corps recruiter Ken Surdin, during an information session tomorrow, will try to give a modern view of the agency and what it means to serve as a volunteer. (Disclosure: The writer was a Peace Corps volunteer from 1991-1994 in the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros and later worked for the organization’s New York City office.) —Elizabeth Kramer
Muhammad Ali Center
144 N. Sixth St.
Free, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 27
Heartstrings Dulcimer & Guitar Concert
    When one thinks of the dulcimer, pictures of the Appalachian mountain villages or perhaps even a merry gathering of jig-dancing Irishmen could come to mind. “Heartstrings,” a free concert at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, offers traditional, Celtic and contemporary dulcimer music with Jackie Armstrong (hammered and mountain dulcimer), Kathy Weathers (mountain dulcimer) and Rick Wedge (acoustic guitar) playing together. All of them also will give demonstrations and lectures about the rich history of the dulcimer. The two varieties of dulcimers have very different origins, and have similar, but nuanced sounds, with one originating in 10th century Persia (which the people of the British Isles later adopted into the folk music), and the other first popularized by the Appalachian mountain communities. And if you don’t know about acoustic guitar, you really should get out of the house. —Nathan Thacher
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
Strassweg Auditorium
180 W. Spring St.
New Albany
(812) 944-8464
Free, 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 27
A new, smart dance party
    Two of WFPK’s most original and enduring DJs, Woody Chancy and Matt Anthony, step into the blue-glow nightlight of the Monkey Wrench tomorrow for the first in a new Thursday night series, the “Mighty Barret Avenue Shake.” Though we’re not really sure what to expect — perhaps a good mix of “Woody’s Roadhouse” and Anthony’s “Sound Clash” — we’re surely enticed by this prospect, given that neither plays out much (particularly Woody). Basically, it’s all coming from these guys’ personal collections, so a healthy dose of R&B, funk, soul, blues and rock ’n’ roll should be in order, for sure. With the Red Lounge having just closed its doors, hipsters and freaks will still have a place to fly their flags every Thursday night. We’d argue for that any day. —Stephen George
Monkey Wrench
1025 Barret Ave.
Free; 10 p.m.-2 a.m.


July 28-30
Cuban Film Festival
    The Kentucky Theater is hosting a film festival, featuring movies from and about Cuba including “Bloqueo: Looking at the U.S. Embargo Against Cuba” (Friday, 7 p.m.). This film offers viewers an insight into life in Cuba today. “Inventos: Hip Hop Cubano” (Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m.) highlights Cuba’s hip-hop scene while following the leaders of this musical movement on their quest for change. “Fidel: The Untold Story” (Saturday, 7 p.m.) gives rare insights into the personality and personal life of the Cuban dictator. “Havana Nagila” (Sunday, 6 p.m.) tells the story of the Jewish community in Cuba, and in “The Power Of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.), ordinary Cubans tell how, after the Soviet Union collapsed and halted all economic support, they overcame hardships by finding community solutions in urban gardens and organic farms. Cuban coffee and music will be available to enhance the ambiance. —Stephanie Salmons
Kentucky Theater
651 S. Fourth St.
$5-$25 suggested donation

Saturday, July 29
Weasel Walk 10
    The WQMF/Coors Light Weasel Walk is celebrating a decade of debauchery this year, which is all the reason you need to get yourself over to St. Matthews Saturday evening for this annual pub crawl. Drinkers and curious participants descend upon the seven bars clustered at the Shelbyville Road/Breckenridge intersection and make their way from establishment to establishment, quenching their thirst for a stiff drink and a stamp on their card, which they turn in at the end for a free T-shirt. As the T-shirts from all the years pile up in the corner of your room, it hardly seems worth it. But then you remember the journey — the tripping out of Gerstle’s front door, the shots to save time, the wipe-out at Maier’s (now Brendan’s) in front of the Big Rock Show — and you smile. This year won’t be any different (save for the fact that Dutch’s is opting out). Helmets and knee pads are optional for WWX. —Sara Havens
BW3, Gerstle’s, Brendan’s, Saints, Diamond’s Pub & Billiard’s, BBC
Free; 8-10 p.m.

July 29-30
Douglas Blue Feather
    Haven’t heard much about the Native American Music Awards (even if you’re of Native American blood like myself)? Well, Native American flutist Douglas Blue Feather won such an award each year from 2002-2004 and is in Louisville this weekend. On Saturday he’ll play a concert at Celebration Hall on Main Street in Middletown across from Unity Church. The concert begins at 7 p.m. On Sunday he will present a workshop, “The Red Road: Native American Spirituality” at Unity Church from 2-4 p.m. He’ll discuss the Cherokee Indians’ spiritual path and include topics “The Oneness of All Things, Understanding Native American Spirituality” and “Similarities to Unity.” There is a suggested $15 love offering, and children under age 18 get in free. —Michael Lichvar
Celebration Hall and Unity Church
11700 Main St., Middletown
$15 adults, children free
Sat. 7 p.m.; Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 3
Shamrock’s Art for the Animals
    According to the Shamrock Foundation, two cats with a 10-year breeding life, having two litters a year with approximately two kittens per litter surviving, will yield up to 80 million cats. And you thought rabbits were zealous! A major Shamrock goal is to end pet overpopulation through spaying/neutering. Louisville Metro Animal Service statistics show Jefferson County had more than 28,500 homeless animals last year, and the majority had to be euthanized. Shamrock is a no-kill organization, relying on foster homes and volunteer assistance. Their largest fundraiser is the Art for the Animals art auction, now in its 10th year. There’s something for everyone, with some 220 artists with works in various media. Now look down at your pet’s loving face and plan to attend. —Jo Anne Triplett
Mellwood Art & Entertainment Center
1860 Mellwood Ave.
$75; 6-9 p.m.

Through Aug. 12
‘The Nature of Things’
    Kay Grubola, Susan Moffett and Marilyn Whitesell have turned the exhibition walls of Pyro Gallery into meditations on nature. Grubola creates assemblages from natural objects found in Kentucky to make a correlation between the seasons and the human cycle of life and death. The colors, light and textures of Moffett’s drawings compare the natural to the human-made, while Whitesell’s photography focuses on abstracting objects into designs of fascinating shapes. This show illustrates how varied the idea of “the land” can be when interpreted by visual artists. —Jo Anne Triplett
Pyro Gallery
221 N. Hancock St.
Free; Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.


Sunday, Aug. 27 (but register now)
Kentucky Fantasy Football Draft
    For the last three years, fantasy football has taken on a life of its own in Kentucky. Typically, fantasy football consists of 10 or 12 guys getting together at Hooters for a draft of real-life NFL players, a little trash-talking here and there, and the winner being awarded a couple hundred bucks or so at the end of the season. As with so many things, fantasy football is new and improved. The Fantasy Football State Championship boasts the biggest live fantasy draft in the Midwest, and leagues are now open for registration, with a $5,000 grand prize to the state champ. League champs get $1,000, and there are plenty of other payouts within reach for the $250 entry fee ($34,000 has been paid out over the last three years). MVP Sportsbook, a sports betting site, will serve as the draft event sponsor, and the draft —  at Caesars Indiana — is promoted as “all the fun you can stand.” At this point, it’s a matter of registering for a team and deciding if you’ll take Shaun Alexander, Larry Johnson or LaDanian Tomlinson with the first pick. I know who I’m taking — and I’m not telling you. —Kevin Gibson
Caesars Indiana
 (812) 552-0074
$250 single, $270 two-person team; 2 p.m.