Thursday, Dec. 6
The Irish certainly aren’t shy from celebrations — and green goes well with red this time of year. Hence the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Molly Malone’s second annual Irish Christmas party. And to stave off any guilt from going out on a weeknight, a percentage of the profits Thursday go to Father Maloney’s Boys’ Haven. Expect bagpipes, beer and beards (from the big man in red, St. O’Nicholas … remember … it’s December, not March). —Sara Havens
933 Baxter Ave.
Free; 5-10 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 6
The Dillinger Escape Plan
It’s not completely surprising that musicians from one of the foremost bands playing mathcore will exhibit a mind-blowing devotion to duty. The Dillinger Escape Plan regularly re-invent their own musical genre — and that’s only partially because the lineup turns over as much as an all-percussion Spinal Tap. Spreading the good word (or is it a number? Maybe a differential expression?) about their new full-length Ire Works will be the first order of business at Headliners — but it’s anyone’s guess where precisely these guys will go with their live set. When you want to move on to something headier than straight metal, but free jazz seems too close to navel-gazing, these guys have paved the way — and it’s a twisty route on fascinatingly rough pavement. When you want martial beats and machine samples to dynamically alter your sense of where a pop-rock song can go, standout track “Black Bubblegum” is exactly what you want, or need … or what your inner voices compel you to listen to. A Life Once Lost is among the openers. —T.E. Lyons
1386 Lexington Road
$13; 7 p.m. (doors)
Thursday, Dec. 6
The Uncommon Houseflies
This band’s reputation certainly precedes it. Just a couple of dudes who got tired of watching bands, so they formed their own. Are they any good? Well, of course they are! But I have to say that because one of them is my good friend. And you probably know him, too. Kevin Gibson, a LEO freelancer for more years than anyone can really remember around here, plays bass and sings for The Uncommon Houseflies, along with his son Scott, on lead guitar, and their buddy Kirk Kiefer, on guitar and keyboards. They’ve even released an album titled Zombie Clowns Ate Your Sister’s Kitty … and if you think that is strange, this offbeat release has songs like “I Almost Banged Your Sister,” “Disgruntled Shooter (In the Nursing Home),” “Allison is Drunk” and “Kasey Chambers.” Mmmmkay … you’re probably thinking the same thing I am right now: Jelly is good on crackers. But nonetheless, this show at The Rud should be quite interesting, to say the least. Let your curiosity get the best of you. —Sara Havens
The Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak St.
$3; 8:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, DEC. 7
Every time you hear Ray Charles’ hit track “Hit the Road, Jack,” you also hear his sideman, David “Fathead” Newman’s saxophone. A member of Ray’s band from 1954-64, Newman’s built a repertoire that includes appearances on Aretha Franklin’s “Soul 69,” B.B. King’s “There Must Be a Better World” and “The Music of Louis Jordan,” as well as Natalie Cole’s "Unforgettable" album. Fathead stops at the Jazz Factory to promote his newest, Life, on Highnote Records. Advance tickets are available through www.jazzfactory.us, and $25 gets you a seat for both sets. —Mat Herron
The Jazz Factory
815 W. Market St.
$25; 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 7
Health & Happiness Family Gospel Band
The Health & Happiness Family Gospel Band is back, and with a brand-new CD packed with a unique brand of gospel music that, quite frankly, is probably unlike anything you’ve heard before. Layers upon layers of vocal harmonies collide with guitars and rocking arrangements, creating a feel of an old-time church revival if it were held at CBGB’s. HHFGB comprises nine Louisville musicians from a smattering of bands (none of them gospel, by the way) who come together every so often to, well, make a joyous noise unto the lord. And to pack venues in Louisville and Lexington. And to impress the hell out of people like singer-songwriter and critic extraordinaire Will Oldham, who hailed the band’s first show as one of his favorite performances of 2006 in the UK magazine The Wire. This most holiest of CD release parties is at the Pour Haus, and Dave Cloud will warm up the congregation. You probably won’t go to hell if you miss it … but why take the chance? —Kevin Gibson
The Pour Haus
1481 S. Shelby St.
$5; 10 p.m.
Ross Gordon & Charles Hansen
Market on Market, a grocery store with one of the best chocolate selections in town, has joined the ranks of other East Market businesses that have art exhibitions with openings during the First Friday Gallery Trolley Hops. Its first show in November featured paintings and ceramics by Linda Lococo. December brings Ross Gordon’s photographs and Charles Hansen’s ceramics.
Gordon travels a lot (more than 40 countries), photographing people and places along the way. He’s got two great photographic excursions planned: a motorcycle jaunt around Central America next year and a trip around the world in 2009.
Hansen’s wide range of pottery items are well known in Louisville. He’s gone geeky now, decorating his self-labeled “future primitive” work with industrial pieces and computer graphics.
The opening reception is Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. —Jo Anne Triplett
Market on Market
445 E. Market St.
SATURDAY, DEC. 8
Green Gift Fair
People tend to use holiday gifts as a way of showing what they stand for. For those concerned about environment, fair trade or local economy, Rainbow Blossom’s Green Gift Fair will be a triple whammy for conscious shoppers.
Nearly all of the vendors are from Louisville or surrounding areas. Visitors can support their pet causes with gifts like recycled glass jewelry by Gwen Kelly, reclaimed wax candles by Old Louisville Candle Maker and vegan artisan soaps by Greatful Suds. Fair-trade housewares, clothing, jewelry and crafts, often made from renewable or recycled resources, will be supplied by Just Creations and Esperanza en Accion, a group from Nicaragua.
Jackson’s Organic coffee will be on the scene, as will vendors selling recycled stationary, dried or fresh floral arrangements, and healing body care products. For those who prefer gifts of the more hedonistic variety, Smith Berry Winery and Stellar Sweets’ chocolates might do the trick.
On the way out, people from the Olmsted Parks Conservancy will wrap your gifts for a donation, but don’t leave before you get a complimentary massage. Yeah, shopping should always be like this. —Jennifer Oladipo
3738 Lexington Road
Free; 12-4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8
What do Thomas Edison and Disney World have in common? Besides being important parts of American life — one because of inventions such as the light bulb and the phonograph and the other because of rides and silly characters — both are also part of Saturday’s “Edison Extravaganza.” This annual fundraiser for the Thomas Edison House features a silent auction, where attendees can bid on a hot-air balloon ride, a wine tasting at Felice Vineyards and park-hopping passes to the home of Mickey and Minnie. Guests can also enter a raffle to win a trip to Disney World’s Saratoga Springs Resort. The event is the biggest fundraiser for the Thomas Edison House, where the famed inventor lived for a short time and which now boasts a collection of Edison-related items. —Bethany Furkin
Whitehall House and Gardens
3110 Lexington Road
585-5247 (Thomas Edison House)
$50 (adv.), $60 (door), raffle tickets $20; 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Through Dec. 29
Peggy Sue Howard & Joel Pinkerton
At first glance, painter Peggy Sue Howard and outsider artist Joel Pinkerton seem to have little in common. But after some thought, you realize they both are seeing and creating works that differ from what is the perceived norm.
Howard’s new landscapes reverse reality. In our day-to-day life, we see objects that are closer in sharper detail than distant images. Her foregrounds are blurred whirls of color leading to sharp landscape backgrounds.
Pinkerton has a wicked sense of humor and a large supply of what most of us would call junk. His resulting found object sculptures ask the viewer to forget what you know about a spoon and imagine it as a foot.
Zephyr Gallery will be open during the Dec. 7 First Friday Gallery Trolley Hop from 6-9 p.m. —Jo Anne Triplett
610 E. Market St.