Looking for an escape from pretending like you’re supposed to care about which multi-millionaire’s horse runs slightly faster during a two-minute window this week? You’re in luck, as we’re here to help guide you through the good, the bad and the horseshit of this week’s mostly un-Derby-related live music.
Tennessee rockers The Features headline the Kentucky Derby Festival’s “Wild Wednesday” at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront. Locals Discount Guns open at 7 p.m., and admission is free with a Pegasus Pin.
Indie rock from both coasts comes to Zanzabar in the forms of Tumbleweed Wanderers and Swear and Shake (9 p.m., $8-$10).
Jim Porter’s Good Time Emporium presents the classic Americana of Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line (8 p.m., $10).
Underground hero singer/songwriter Bill Callahan, long known as the vision behind Smog, resurfaces at Headliners Music Hall (9 p.m., $15) with Flat Foot and local Shedding.
The Muhammad Ali Center hosts “Ferdinand’s Ball” with The Crashers providing the music (9 p.m., $100 and up). The annual event benefits Old Friends, a donation-based farm near Lexington that provides housing and care for retired racehorses who might otherwise face the same fate as 1986 Derby winner Ferdinand (hint — it didn’t end well for him).
“Tune It Up Thursday” at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront stars The Wallflowers (9 p.m., free with a Pegasus Pin).
At Fourth Street Live Irish pub Ri Ra, at 10 p.m., a local gang of hooligans from bands such as The Ladybirds and the Junk Yard Dogs come together to pay tribute to the songs of the Pogues as The Fauxgues (“The party band that can drink any other party band for breakfast,” they boast). If you like ’em, they’re also playing Friday at Molly Malone’s in the Highlands (at 9) and Saturday at the Mag Bar (at 11).
The Crashers return for another benefit, “Unbridled Eve,” at the Galt House (7 p.m., $200 and up), and the main beneficiary is Blessings in a Backpack, a program that sends food home with impoverished elementary school kids on the weekends.
The Ice House features “Oaks and Smokes” with party funk band Here Come the Mummies (7 p.m., $125), with support from The Tarnations and the Ron Jones Jazz Quartet. Net proceeds go to Kentucky Harvest.
If you’re into different kinds of balls, The B-52s headline “The Julep Ball” at the KFC Yum! Center (6:30 p.m., $150 and up) with Angie Johnson and emcees Tiki Barber and Claudia Coffey. The Harriett B. Porter Endowment, which supports the fight against cancer in underserved neighborhoods, benefits from this event, which also includes a multi-course seated dinner and more.
Relatively less charitable is the appearance of Jackyl at Phoenix Hill Tavern (7 p.m.) with Aranda opening. Not only is Jackyl still with us, their website is rockmerollmejackylmeoff.com.
Famous country singer Kix Brooks is the main attraction for the “Derby Eve Jam Concert” at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront, with Greg Bates opening at 7:30 p.m. (free with a Pegasus Pin).
If you like a different kind of country, why not take a nice drive out to the Shepherdsville Music Barn to see Larry Efaw & the Bluegrass Mountaineers (8 p.m., $12)? It’s the most authentic and historic Kentucky experience you’ll probably find this week.
If you like your country mixed with a defiant rock ’n’ soul attitude, Lucero returns for another besotted night at Headliners Music Hall, with the well-matched Langhorne Slim and the Law opening (9 p.m., $18 in advance, $21 day of show).
Even more hard and heavy is Indianapolis’ We Are Hex, taking over the Mag Bar with locals Trophy Wives and semi-locals Waxeater (10 p.m., $5).
Zanzabar hosts a double feature of adventurous sounds, first with Pickwick and Basia Bulat’s indie rock (9 p.m., $10), followed by a dance party with J Boogie, The Black Madonna and local legends OK Deejays.
Electronic trio Arpetrio lights up ZaZoo’s (9 p.m., $7) on an otherwise … quiet night?The aforementioned Fauxgues can also be seen; otherwise, guess you’ll have to make your own party, friend. See you next Tuesday.
No, really — if you’re still here next Tuesday, don’t miss either Taylor Swift at the KFC Yum! Center or Goatwhore and 3 Inches of Blood at the Highlands Diamond Pub … wait, those are different shows?