Wednesday, Dec. 31
Play Dance Bar
1101 E. Washington St., 882-3615
$18+; doors 8 p.m.
You want a piece of Britney? Here’s your chance. From stunning the audience of America’s Got Talent in 2008 with his spot-on Britney Spears impersonation, to the highlight of the current “Divas Las Vegas” house show, Derrick Barry is THE nation’s undisputed #1 Britney impersonator, and you’ll get to see why this New Year’s Eve. His jaw-dropping performance is part of Play Dance Bar’s NYE extravaganza this year, so make your plans now. The countdown to midnight also features a giant balloon drop and a champagne toast. Rounding out the bill are Play’s own Play Mates and DJ Fierce Tease burns up the dance floor.
THURSDAY, JAN. 1
Dead Tree Models
The New Vintage
2126 S. Preston St., 749-4050
$5-$10; 9 p.m.
Garage rock with Midwestern grit, the sound produced by the local trio Dead Tree Models thrives on bottling lightning — their ominous drive and explosive tendencies make them bounce from barely contained to pleasantly unhinged. Like the White Stripes or The Stooges before them, Dead Tree Models uses the blues to steer the ship, while slightly experimenting with psychedelia and flirting with the edges of metal. While a lot of indie bands around the country are fixated on being cool and dreamy or fuzzing and grungy, these guys are blasting out something much more unfiltered. This show will act as their record release. The Tunesmiths and M. Edward James open.
FRIDAY, JAN. 2
Misty Mountain String Band
2100 S. Preston St., 635-9227
$5; 9 p.m.
Like most modern bluegrass, an allegiance to multiple genres is apparent when listening to Misty Mountain String Band, but they strike a stable and realistic balance between roots and individualism, stretching their reach in different directions, while maintaining the core of a storied sound. Rhythmic and unhurried, they’re more focused on layering than speed, producing the old-timey feel of folk and the mathematical vibe of jazz. It’s their lack of flash that makes them so compelling — probably because it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to hide or compensate for something. It would be hard to find more interesting bluegrass for $5.
Tuesday, Jan. 6
The Dark Lady of the Sonnets
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
501 W. Main St., 584-7777
Free; 6:30 p.m.
Who’s that lady? You know the dark one in Shakespeare’s sonnets 127 – 152, the mistress with eyes raven black (nothing like the sun) … the bad angel. As part of the 1910 campaign to create a Shakespeare National Theatre, George Bernard Shaw wrote a one-act play about an imagined encounter between this ur-goth princess, Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth. And you can be part of the audience at a live recording of this one-act play produced by Louisville Public Media and the Kentucky Center. Filled with quotes from Shakespeare’s plays, “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” is an hour of free, historic, comedic fun. Call the number above to reserve your tickets.
THROUGH JAN. 30
The Green Building Gallery
732 E. Market St., 561-1162
Go ahead, giggle. Get it out of the way so we can be serious for a moment. Artist Carlos Gamez de Francisco knew we would “go there” when he titled his new series of paintings, photographs and sculpture “Size Matters.” So what did he really mean for us to understand? “[The series] discusses formal aesthetics in art and is based on Thomas McEvilley’s essay ‘On the Manner of Addressing Clouds,’” he explains. “According to McEvilley, there is content in the scale of an artwork. Therefore, I proposed to play with the sizes and recreate the duality of content and form with this exhibition … What is art but permanent dualities? Is the size a formal element? Or is it content? Or maybe both?”
—Jo Anne Triplett
Through Feb. 2
‘Ashley Brossart: Terminating Vistas’
572 S. Fourth St., 584-7636
Ashley Brossart breathes life into architecture. Her “portraits” of Louisville’s neighborhoods transform our fair city into an enchanted dreamscape. Brossart explains, “‘Terminating Vistas’ is a culmination of a few years of gathering visual information about varying city locations. The works are montages of images taken at different locations to summarize and emphasize a unique feel for each aspect of a city location, environment or specific event. My intention is to stir a consciousness about our built environment and question our urban design practices and the effect they have on our lives within cities.” The series began in 2010 with a study of urban design and theory, which informed her artistic vision. “Cities never stop moving, and I aim to capture that constant evolution and growth,” contemplates Brossart. The opening reception is Jan. 2, 6 -10 p.m.
New gallery in town
M. Poulsen Gallery
1013 Bardstown Rd., 509-301-7707
Mixed-media artist MaLynda Poulsen recently moved to Louisville from Washington state and opened a self-titled gallery in the Highlands. She’s showing her own art for now, including the “Circus” series that will open in mid-January, but has plans to feature other artists in the near future. “The work I am currently showing is almost completely made from cycled-up materials,” she says. “They have a whimsical and slightly dark fairy tale theme. The work ranges from charcoal drawings to grandfather clocks. Many of the pieces have LED lights in them and are quite a show in the evening! Imagine having a ‘Wrong Crowd’ sign in your husband’s man cave with a blinking arrow pointing to his friends. Or maybe ‘The Bad Apples’ sign in your kitchen?”
–Jo Anne Triplett
Another new gallery in town
Kentucky Fine Art Gallery
Leslie H. Spetz Custom Picture Framing
2400-C Lime Kiln Lane, 426-8880
This is one-stop shopping. Imagine taking four of the best artists in town and showing their work together in one space. That’s what Leslie H. Spetz Custom Picture Framing did in creating the Kentucky Fine Art Gallery. The collaboration between Jaime Corum, Lynn Dunbar, Bob Halliday and David Schuster formed a gallery located within Spetz’s frame shop. Corum is well-known as one of the top equestrian painters in Kentucky. Dunbar specializes in plein air paintings featuring the landscapes of Kentucky, Indiana and Florida. Halliday is a conceptual artist whose work asks viewers to create new meanings. Schuster calls himself a “contemporary realist” but, in the last few years, has turned into quite the abstractionist.
—Jo Anne Triplett