Staff Picks

Jun 13, 2006 at 5:34 pm

Thursday, June 15
World Series of Video Games
    The Derby City can now join the likes of cities like Jönköping, Sweden, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Beijing, China, as cities playing host to events in the first year of the World Series of Video Games. Louisville is the host of the first-ever competition in the WSVG, starting Thursday and running through Sunday at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center. There are eight total events worldwide in the WSVG, the one in Louisville being the first. Winners from tournaments at each event will compete at the finals in November. Games being played in the tournaments include “Counter-Strike 1.6” and “Halo 2.”
    In addition to tournaments, the event has exhibitions, a job fair, concerts and a “computer toss” to encourage the recycling of old computers. Prices for the event vary based on how you want to participate. It’s expected to bring 15,000 people to town. —Michael Lichvar
Kentucky Expo Center
Prices vary; noon-10 p.m. (Thu.), 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sun.)

Thursday, June 15
Tommy Gaffney reading/book signing
    I got to know Tommy Gaffney not through any writing-related arena but through pick-up basketball. He’s got major game, and even though he’s not a “big guy,” he’ll go under the basket and scrap until he gets the ball in the basket. And because he’s so slinky and effective, he takes a lot of abuse from bigger guys just trying to stop him. And he never bats an eye, even when he’s getting hacked across the face and all that. So I was not so surprised when I learned that Tommy writes. I’ve read some of his poetry — he is a sensitive soul looking at dark things from inside and outside his life. Now he’s got a book of poems called “Three Beers From Oblivion,” and he’s traveling back to Louisville from Portland (the one in Oregon) for his local debut. He’s asked Ron and Sarah Whitehead and Tyrone Cotton and Don Ray Smith to join him Thursday night at the Rudyard Kipling for a Southern-style celebration. It’s gonna be a good time, and I don’t figure anyone will be smacking Tommy around this time. —Cary Stemle
Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak St.
Free; 7-9 p.m. or

June 15-25
‘Southern Baptist Sissies’
    Religion is one big messy paradox. It teaches us to love thy neighbor, but those same teachings also seem to be ground zero for intolerance and fear. These ideas are explored in the upcoming Pandora Productions play “Southern Baptist Sissies,” which chronicles the lives of four gay men who grew up in the Southern Baptist Church.
    Mark, T.J., Andrew and Benny are forced to make decisions and lead their lives based on lessons learned in the church, and the results are drastically different. The story is told from Mark’s perspective; he draws on childhood recollections to show how the friends begin to change so they can survive their childhood. —Stephanie Salmons
Thrust Theatre, U of L
Floyd and Warnock streets
(812) 288-7686
$13 adv./$15 door
June 15-17, 22-24: 8 p.m.
June 18, 25: 7 p.m.
June 18, 24: 2 p.m.

Friday, June 16
Talk about ‘An Inconvenient Truth’
    Al Gore’s national rebirth as an environmental activist is reaching peak levels on the strength of his documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth,” which details the deleterious effects of global warming. The film, which opens in Louisville on Friday, is meant as a discussion starter, a provocative look at how the human race is unwittingly trying to render itself extinct.
The Louisville chapter of the Sierra Club is picking up the baton Gore’s film is handing off; club members will lead a discussion in the theater following the 7:45 p.m. showing on Friday night, and also set up tables at Baxter Avenue Theatres with all sorts of pertinent information for those who want to know more. Prepare to feed your head. —Stephen George
Baxter Avenue Theatres
1250 Bardstown Road
Free; tables 5-10:15 p.m. with a discussion at 9:30 p.m.

June 16-17
Josh Zuckerman @ Kentuckiana Pride Festival
    Josh Zuckerman is one of the many talented performers coming to the annual gay pride celebration, and he brings an energetic, country-tinged rock ’n’ roll sound. Zuckerman has already toured extensively and received international acclaim, recently winning third place in an international songwriting competition. It’s warm, genial, dance-y music that’ll spread plenty of bouncy cheer among the 1,000-plus fest-goers expected at Saturday’s events (Zuckerman is set to perform at 8:30 p.m.). Before the musical fare is served, the festival kicks off with a parade at 8 p.m. on Friday. That is free. Food and beverages will be available on both nights. Volunteers and booth applications are still being accepted. —Nathan Thacher
Kentuckiana Pride Festival
Fri.: Parade begins at Tryangle’s, 8:30 p.m., free
Sat.: Belvedere, $5 adult/$3 child, noon-midnight

Saturday, June 17
Rollin’ On The River
    The Brain Injury Association of Kentucky is sponsoring a walking/cycling/motorcycling event to benefit prevention and education programs for brain diseases in the Jefferson County Public Schools. A two-mile walking route, an eight-mile family bicycle route, a 20-mile advanced bicycle route, and a 68-mile motorcycle route are available for those who register. The first 250 people to register will receive a goodie bag and a T-shirt. Additional prizes are available for those who raise pledges. A paltry $20 (advance registration, $25 day of event) gives aid to a great cause, a cause that affects one in five families. —Nathan Thacher
Harbor Lawn, Waterfront Park
$20, 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, June 17
    We all might know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare — but there’s a lot more than a lesson-minded punchline if you listen to the Slug and the Ant. The latter pair are the chief rapper and beatmaster for Atmosphere, and they’ve been building a reputation for putting complex emotional landscapes into hip hop. Women just refuse to be the clichéd one-dimensional ho’s when these guys bring them into focus. One of their recent cuts asks, “What if Jesus Forgot to Put You on the Guest List?” The answer isn’t easy, but you’ll quickly learn there’s more than the surface quip to a title like You Can’t Imagine What Fun We’re Having. Also on the Headliners bill Saturday night: Brother Ali, Daredevilz and Los Nativos. —T.E. Lyons
1386 Lexington Road
$15; 9 p.m.

Tuesday, June 20
Tom Jones
    What’s new, pussycat? Here’s what: Tom Jones is coming to the Kentucky Center next week, along with opening act Tower of Power. That’s right — THE Tom Jones. To our very own green, green bluegrass of home. Seriously, here’s a guy who could play at your parents’ favorite casino and raise the crowd into a frenzy, and yet he’s cool enough with the music geeks to be considered part of the British Invasion. His irresistible hit “It’s Not Unusual” topped the charts in the U.K. in 1965 before hitting the top 10 in the states, setting the stage for 40 years of hipness and over-the-top pop coolness.
    Jones has opened for the Rolling Stones and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He has been honored through performances at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee at Buckingham Palace, and has received two Brit Awards for Best Male and Outstanding Achievement. Most recently, Jones was knighted by the Queen. (How do you like that, Paul McCartney?) The seminal funk band Tower of Power opens the show. —Kevin Gibson
Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center
$45-$75; 7:30 p.m.

Through June 28
‘Hands of Tobacco’ by Mark Selter
    Mark Selter is concerned about the decline of America’s small farms, so he does his part by painting images of his neighbors in Lebanon, Ky. In his “Hands of Tobacco” exhibit, tobacco workers are getting their due.
    “A hand of tobacco is a bundle of tobacco with a leaf tie. A hand is (also) a farm worker. These small paintings represent brief moments in the recent history of the relationship between tobacco and man,” he says in his artist statement, which shows us he is a person who believes there is art in the land and in the people who work it. —Jo Anne Triplett
B. Deemer Gallery
2650 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.