Staff Picks

Wednesday, July 11
The Indicators

    “It’s a well-known fact that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So far we’ve done a damn good job,” says The Indicators’ Web site. They’re not exaggerating — the improv troupe is celebrating its 50th show this evening at Comedy Caravan; quite an accomplishment considering the Indicators have been performing just short of two years in the Louisville area. The group’s name is as self-deprecating as the members’ bios — it’s an acting term associated with bad overacting — but it is this special quality that has earned them a loyal following. The evening will also feature several giveaways, including a 5-gallon keg of BBC beer. “We are thrilled to reach this milestone and wanted to find a way to give back to our fans, who have given so much to us,” says troupe leader James Cronin.
    Nothing says thank you like free beer, I suppose. The show is for ages 18+; those 21+ are eligible to win the keg. —Mary Q. Burton
Comedy Caravan
1250 Bardstown Road
$3-$5; 10 p.m.

Wednesday, July 11
The Spirituals

    In the post-WWII years, blues music entered the mainstream. Less is known about Negro spirituals, a form wholly created by African-American slaves who melded European music, African traditions and biblical texts into something unique and powerful. The spiritual functioned on many levels, including as code for impending actions and as a way to ward off insanity while working the fields under duress. Later, during the Civil Rights movement, it was a natural unifying factor.
    “The Spirituals” is a new PBS documentary featuring the American Spiritual Ensemble, a troupe of high-level singers founded by University of Kentucky professor Everett McCorvey. The ensemble travels widely, performing and discussing the spiritual, which, frankly, is in peril because younger generations don’t seem to dig it. The ensemble folks are doing good work, and the documentary provides hope that their efforts will help preserve an important facet of American culture. —Cary Stemle
KET-15 (Insight channel 13)
10:30 p.m.

Friday, July 13
Young Actors Institute reunion

    The Young Actors Institute, part of the Youth Performing Arts School, celebrates 20 years of stage and screen training it’s provided to more than 2,000 young people over those years. On Friday, YPAS hosts the first YAI reunion, with a reception followed by YAI Intern Adam Dahmer’s solo performance of a one-act play on the life and times of Edgar Allen Poe. Dahmer, a student at Male High School, wrote and developed the show on his own. The reunion is for YAI alumni, but all are welcome to attend Dahmer’s performance. —Sherry Deatrick
1517 S. Second St.
Free; 6-7:30 p.m. (reunion), 8 p.m. (performance)

Saturday, July 14
Dribbling Bears fundraiser

    This weekend at the Smoketown Farmers Market, you’ll be able to do more than just pick out your fruits, veggies and other goodies. The Meyzeek Middle School Dribbling Bears, a basketball performance group made up of young students, will be the beneficiaries of a fundraiser going on at the market all day. Headed by Demond Thompson of Hands on Health LLC, the event will donate all profits to the Bears in order to provide the team with shoes, uniforms and travel expenses.
    “They’re more like a stage show,” says Thompson. “They travel to colleges and universities to perform, and in return they get a tour of the facilities.”
    Thompson says that this gives the middle-school students a chance to see higher education as a true possibility. He says that this is important, especially in the Smoketown neighborhood, because the area has one of the highest high-school dropout rates in Louisville.
    Performances and appearances throughout the day will include Ohio Valley Wrestlers, Olympic bronze medalist Doug Sharp and martial arts demonstrations. —Erin Clephas
Meyzeek Middle School
828 S. Jackson St.
Free (donations accepted); 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, July 14
The Police

    Whoever said bands shouldn’t reunite left out an adjective. The truth is, some bands shouldn’t reunite (Spice Girls come to mind). The Police do not fall in this category, and we should all thank our respective deities that Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers buried past transgressions and found it in their hearts to tolerate each other long enough to blow our minds again. The trio takes over the track in what will be the biggest concert to visit our little burg in a long, long time. Word is the set list is a total hit factory, too, and new arrangements on some of group’s classics are sure to leave you walking on the moon. At $225 — yeah, the top tix are steep, but making history always comes at a price. —Mat Herron
Churchill Downs
700 Central Ave.
$50-$225; 8 p.m.

Monday, July 16
Author Julia Glass

    Following up on a National Book Award-winning debut requires … a total disregard for the idea of The Sophomore Jinx. The subsequent novel can afford to be a little sprawling, as the readership’s acceptance is built in — and they’d flip some pages to get to the good parts rather than compliment your pacing while pining the dearth of magic. No worries, though, with Julia Glass. Her new “The Whole World Over” gives us worlds to enjoy. Families and careers hang in the balance with unexpected intersections of fate and choice. These play out with delicious details that parallel the sumptuous artistry of the pastry chef at the center of the entangled relationships. Fans of “The Three Junes” will also take delight in the return of a prominent character. Carmichael’s on Frankfort is hosting Glass for a Monday night signing — and if your first summer read was over too quick, this is a great opportunity to catch something that’ll keep you involved. —T.E. Lyons
2720 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 18
Cross Canadian Ragweed

    Maybe Headliners is too sophisticated a joint for recent Cross Canadian Ragweed. 2005’s elegy to Dimebag Darrell and last year’s live album seemed to tip the balance for this band’s rootsy output toward heavier riff-riding. In other words, any venue with a permanent, lockable door. Fans of the Soul Gravy album grooved on the eclecticism and wondered if there was anything these guys wouldn’t do to twist listener expectations of rural roots-rock. But Cody Canada & Co. have always favored the parts of their range that go over best when played “Live and Loud” (which is why that phrase has been a subtitle on three of their albums to date). Few bands live to tour as much as these guys. —T.E. Lyons
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Road
$10-$13; 7:30 p.m. (doors)

Through Aug. 11
Photography by Matt Meers and Molly Rucks

    Matt Meers has started at the top. Known primarily for his paintings, he decided to show his “Vintage Parts” photographs for the first time in Zephyr Gallery’s Photo Biennial exhibition, knowing that a large number of visiting photographers here for the View Camera annual conference would see his work. He’s a brave man.
    The gamble worked because he is in familiar territory. He’s been taking film and digital photographs for a long time, shooting the same images that he paints: metal reflections. “My work has become more involved with abstraction based on the reflections and forms derived from metallic objects,” he explains in his artist statement. “… I continue to find that metallic objects in particular are defined by light, and light is reflected off their surfaces just as sound is reflected from walls. I find these forms filled with life, energy, motion and sound.”
    “The Mother of Good Fortune” by Molly Rucks is showing in the Zephyr’s second gallery space. Her work displays the idea of the road not taken. She expresses this thought in her artist statement as, “… the lifelong task of watching, positioning and repositioning in order to yield the most favorable results (good fortune) in any situation.” —Jo Anne Triplett
Zephyr Gallery
610 E. Market St.
Free; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.)

Speed Art Museum exhibits

    The Speed Art Museum is all aflutter, and it has a right to be. Director Peter Morrin said at last week’s press conference that he thinks the next 18 months, starting with the current “The Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection” show continuing through September, is the best time the Speed has ever had.
    The museum announced its upcoming exhibition schedule in a splash of red, white and blue Americana, all to highlight the traveling show “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art 1660-1893 from the Yale University Art Gallery.” This is the first time the 220 works have been seen as a group outside New Haven, Conn. The show, arriving in September 2008, will include such renowned works as John Trumbull’s “The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776” and silver work by Paul Revere.
    “Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt,” an exhibit that has broken attendance records in many of the locations it has been shown, will be at the Speed beginning in January. That same month will bring a Leonardo da Vinci notebook here among the many masterpieces of “The Medieval and Renaissance Treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum.” —Jo Anne Triplett
Speed Art Museum
2035 S. Third St.