March 28-April 4
Comedian Mike Armstrong
This week, Comedy Caravan will be giving away free beer at all their shows. April Fools! (Damn.) Instead, Oldham County native Mike Armstrong will take the mic and most likely tell tall stories of his days as a police officer. Armstrong has appeared on Comedy Central, CMT and regularly is featured on the Bob & Tom morning radio show. Big John Richardson is also on the bill this week. As is Bea Arthur. OK, April Fools again. Sorry. —Sara Havens
1250 Bardstown Road
$10-$15; various times
Thursday, March 29
Author Elizabeth Hickey
A prodigal daughter returns to discuss a wayward muse. Elizabeth Hickey, who graduated from Atherton High before moving on with academic and literary pursuits, will read from her second novel Thursday night at the Carmichael’s on Frankfort Avenue. Both of Hickey’s well-received novels — “The Wayward Muse,” which is new, and 2005’s “The Painted Kiss” — detail the personal passions that fuel great painters. Hickey’s work stands strong among the recent trend toward making historical novels from the affairs of historical couples (or, in the case of “Wayward Muse,” a love triangle). On at least one online profile, Hickey notes that she wants to write about Louisville someday. Drop by the reading/signing, and maybe we can all help this talent move in that direction. —T.E. Lyons
2720 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 29
Former Poet Laureate Louise Glück
On Thursday the University of Louisville welcomes 2003 Poet Laureate and 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winner Louise Glück, who will read from and discuss her work. Glück is presently the Rosenkranz writer-in-residence at Yale University and serves as the new judge in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and her collection of essays, “Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry” (2004).
Glück recently published her 10th book of poems, “Averno,” in which she integrates Greek mythology into inquiries about life. In 2003, Louisville publisher Sarabande Books published her chapbook “October,” which is included in “Averno.” Her visit is part of the U of L English Department’s Anne and William Axton Reading Series, a program that enables renowned and distinguished writers and poets to connect to our community through lectures and readings. —Claudia Olea
Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library
U of L Belknap Campus
Free; 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 30
Def Jam’s latest up-and-coming rapper has shared the cover of Fader magazine with Jim James and mugged with Jimmy Kimmel. Now Young Jeezy brings his flow to town in support of The Inspiration, his latest album, which has gone platinum. Dubbed the “Street Dreams Tour,” the show features a set by Li’l Wayne. —Mat Herron
525 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.
$54; 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 30
‘Oddly Sexual Art Show’
Feeling bored lately? Restless? Here’s your chance to stand on the edge and shake things up a bit. Art Sanctuary and Kynt are presenting art, music, spoken word and film in a combination that is being billed as a “night of peaks and ‘peeps’ into the minds, flesh and work of some of the region’s more fringe artists and performers.”
Visual art by artists such as Anessa Arehart, Marco the Nail Boy and Sean Tyler will be accompanied by music from DJ Kaleidescope (with special guest DJ Jeremy Songer) and the punk rock band Ayin, with a performance by poet/activist Bil Brown, films by producer Jimmy Humphrey of the “I Eat Poop” series and filmmaker Pam Swisher. Needless to say, this production is for adults, —Jo Anne Triplett
514 S. Fifth St.
$6; 8 p.m.-4 a.m.
March 30-April 1
Kite Flying Extravaganza
Hidden Hill Nursery & Sculpture Garden will have its season opening on Friday. To celebrate, the little slice of whimsy over on the Sunny Side will host a Kite Flying Extravaganza all weekend, and families are invited to join the festivities, which include kite flying and workshops on building kites, along with hot dogs and brats for sale. On Saturday at 1 p.m., Ralph Archer presents a seminar on new ferns. Co-proprietor Bob Hill joins Saturday’s discussion, and on Sunday at 2 p.m. he leads a tour of Hidden Hill. Great sales on plants, grasses, perennials, shrubs and ferns will go on through the weekend. —Claudia Olea
Hidden Hill Nursery
1011 Utica-Charlestown Road
Free; 1 p.m. (Sat. seminar), 2 p.m. (Sun. tour)
Sunday, April 1
Pianist Sa Chen
Sometimes it seems as if there are more “prestigious” awards than young musical stars to collect them. But there are awards, and there are awards. When Chinese pianist Sa Chen, 25, took down the Crystal Award for finishing third in the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, she earned more than another notch on her resume. Her prize package included a U.S. concert tour, three years of professional management by IMG Artists and $20,000 cash!
Ms. Chen appears Sunday in Comstock Hall as part of the Gist Piano Competition Winners Recital Series, performing works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Granados and Wang Xiaohan, another Van Cliburn medalist. —Bill Doolittle
Comstock Hall, U of L
Free; 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 1
The most immediate connotation of the word Vietnam seems political; visions of protests, costly decision-making and soldiers arriving home in body bags.
But Michael William, founder of the band by the same name, hopes fans come up with their own interpretations of the group and its music.
“I did think it was relatively political,” when they chose it, said William, whose father served in the military, “but it has definitely changed meanings during the time period that we’ve been doing it. It’s the last bad word in the dictionary.”
“You could also look at the music industry as being like Vietnam,” he said. “You’re thrown into this world where you know you can’t win.”
Despite the group’s hirsute appearance, VietNam, which is now on tour with the Black Angels and has been featured in Rolling Stone (they return in May for WFPK’s Listener Appreciation concerts), draws as much inspiration from punk as it does from ’60s and ’70s rock. “We are doing something contemporary, it’s not just a throwback.” —Mat Herron
1534 Bardstown Road
Free, 4 p.m.
Through April 6
‘Coffee — How Does It Make You Feel?’ exhibit
Artist Cindy Magee has been busy visiting the post office. After organizing her coffee-themed mail art project, she eventually received more than 170 pieces of postcard-sized art from all over the world. The first work arrived from the United Kingdom, with more than 15 countries mailing art, including the United States, Norway and Australia.
“MailArt can be created by using almost any medium as long as it can have a postage stamp affixed to it and is mailed through the postal system,” she explains in her artist statement. “It is also one way for artists all over the world to exchange or send out their artwork with no jury.”
Day’s Espresso and Coffee Shop is showing the exhibition first, then it moves to Wayside Expressions Gallery for the April 6 First Friday Gallery Hop. The pieces are for sale for $10, with 100 percent of sales going to Wayside Christian Mission. —Jo Anne Triplett
Through March 31:
Day’s Espresso and Coffee Shop
1420 Bardstown Road
April 6 only:
Wayside Expressions Gallery
800 E. Market St.
Free; 5-9 p.m.