Staff Picks

Mar 7, 2006 at 6:19 pm

Thursday, March 9
‘Demoralization of Richard Engelsbird’
 We’ve all heard how hard it is to get a film made. Even with a good script, a good cast and plenty of production money, most films never reach their intended audiences. Nineteen-year-old Louisville filmmaker Brian Cunningham is attempting to beat the long odds in part by starting early. When the U of L freshman finished his debut in 2003, he decided further editing would improve the end product. The result of two years of additional editing is on display at the Floyd Theater Thursday night. With a whimsical filming approach and an all-local cast highlighted by the character Safron, a violinist beset by an unwanted suitor, the film perhaps defies conventional description. The horror/comedy/thriller “The Demoralization of Richard Engelsbird” is, Cunningham warns, a “no-budget” film, the maiden voyage for his Unseen Films. Hey, no worries, some of us like that kind of stuff. —Paul Kopasz
Floyd Theater at U of L
2100 S. Floyd St.
$1; 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 9 & Saturday, March 11
St. Patrick’s Parade/BBC Bourbon Beer
 If it seems a little early to be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, then you must not be Irish. Although the holiday is a good two weeks away, the annual parade down Baxter Avenue will be held this Saturday — as always, organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Projected weather: a warm 70 degrees, with a chance of rain. But with a little of that Irish luck and a jig or two, perhaps the clouds will blow over before the 3 p.m. march down Baxter.
 In conjunction with the parade, the Bluegrass Brewing Co. and O’Shea’s Irish Pub are partnering up Thursday night with a ceremonial tapping of BBC’s latest brew, Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout. Think Guinness aged in a barrel that held bourbon for several years, and you get the idea. The first tapping will be at the BBC Taproom (636 E. Main St.) at 5:30 p.m., with a blessing of the first batch by Father Joe Fowler. The barrel will then be carted by horse and buggy to O’Shea’s, where the thirsty public — myself included — can get their first taste. I love this time of year. —Sara Havens
Beer Blessing: O’Shea’s Irish Pub
956 Baxter Ave.
Free; 6:30 p.m.
Parade: Baxter/Broadway to Mid-City Mall
Free; 3 p.m.

Wednesday, March 8 & Friday, March 10
Author Kevin Brockmeier
 Kevin Brockmeier is an admired author who observes fascinating perspectives on how people see each other across great distances. Like, across generations. Or on polar opposites of the demands of responsibility. Or across the ultimate barrier: in the new “The Brief History of the Dead,” the deceased have an existence that hinges on how the living remember them. Is that too surreal for you? “Grooves” is a young-adult mystery where slave laborers in a consumer-goods factory communicate their plight by sending out messages placed between ridges of potato chips as if they were grooves on a vinyl record. Carmichael’s Frankfort Avenue location is hosting a signing by this very imaginative young man.
 Carmichael’s is also hosting the C-SPAN2 Book TV Bus tonight (March 8, 6-8 p.m.). Author Bobbie Ann Mason will talk about “Missing Mountains,” a collection of essays about mountaintop-removal mining she edited. —T.E. Lyons
Carmichael’s Bookstore
2720 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 7 p.m.

Friday, March 10
Clowns Without Borders
 John Kerry, George W. Bush, Jamie McLaren Lachman. All three graduated from Yale. And all get paid for clowning professionally. Fortunately, only Lachman will be in Louisville Friday. Fresh off several tours of South Africa, Lachman will be accompanied by Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble, Tracey Zavadil, Fashoo, Squallis Puppeteers and Midnite Girlie Revue in the name of Clowns Without Borders. Cabaret, street magic, puppetry, burlesque and prohibition ukulele songs will all find their way onstage. However, Lachman’s clownery will be the centerpiece, as this show aims to raise money for CWB, a group he travels the world with in the name of laughter. Swing by the Rudyard Kipling, have a drink and enjoy this cornucopia of entertainment. If you’re good, Lachman may even whip out his “Naked Banjo Song.” —Bradford Cummings
Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak St.
Donation: $20/$10 children; 7:30 p.m.

March 10-11
Three takes on ‘Life Journeys’
 For its spring collection, the Louisville Ballet has sewn three pieces together to fashion “Life Journeys.” The evening’s premiere is choreographer Ben Stevenson’s “Four Last Songs” set to Richard Strauss’ haunting music of the same title. Stevenson debuted the piece in 1980 during his 1976-2003 tenure as artistic director of Houston Ballet, which he elevated in quality and reputation. “Gloria” is dancer Mikelle Bruzina’s expanded version of “Scenes in the Park,” a piece she choreographed to “Gloria” by Vivaldi for the company’s 1997 Choreographers’ Showcase, two years after she joined the company. In 1999, the company premiered a 30-minute longer version of “Scenes in the Park” with 11 dancers. For this weekend’s version, Bruzina has renamed the piece and added nine more dancers to the cast, which will perform with new costumes and lighting designs. Choo-San Goh’s “In the Glow of the Night” to Bohuslav Martinu’s “Symphony #1” rounds out the trio. —Elizabeth Kramer
Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center
$20-$75; 8 p.m. (Fri.), 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (Sat.)

Saturday, March 11
Midnite Snake & A Fir-Ju Well
 Words like scorching, heavy and raw are there to be applied to bands like Pittsburgh’s Midnite Snake, but they don’t really get the job done. Guitars scream without end, drums pound and the bass rattles, all behind some of the strangest yet most melodic guitar solos (seriously) you’ll ever hear. It’s kinda one big solo, except that the guitars seem to sing. It’s purposeful, as the band is instrumental. In sharp contrast is Atlanta’s A Fir-Ju Well, a jangly psych-rock experience that sounds refreshingly like the Monkees’ “Head.” Mix in Louisville guys Scott Carney and Feathered Friends — Carney’s operatic vocals skid along the top of music that’s, strangely enough, a nice medium between heavy riff rock and the Monkees — and you have, well, quite the evening out. —Stephen George
Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak St.
$5; 9 p.m.

Monday, March 13
London’s Part Chimp
 Part Chimp is a dirty, distorted burning chunk of a rock band, dramatic noise as much as scuzzed out punk rock, aggressive even in the pretty parts. The new record that brings them here, I Am Come, is so intense as to compress your chest. For calling home across the Atlantic, they draw an awful lot from American noisemaking pioneers Sonic Youth, and their sense of the epic is akin to Mogwai’s or Unwound’s — a guitarist’s wet dream. Mix all that with a rattled screaming voicebox that recalls like Drive Like Jehu, and you have a soundtrack to purge. Or dirge. Brooklyn’s Oxford Collapse open, along with Louisvillians Teen Pregnancy!, Panda and Volts. —Stephen George
Keswick Democratic Club
1127 Logan St.
$6; 6 p.m.
All ages

Tuesday, March 14
Metal in the South End
 A few months ago, when the South End bodega St. Andrew’s Pub came under new ownership, it also saw a pretty significant shift in direction, at least from a show standpoint. The Pub quickly became the host of various rock and metal shows, and has become a sweet spot for bringing more Central and Easterly showgoers to a different part of town. Next Tuesday the joint hosts Stinking Lizaveta, an East Coast instrumental prog-rock-metal outfit that mixes an almost jazz-style improvisation with crushing riffs and general heaviness. Locals Boozer and Rifle are also on the bill. —Stephen George
St. Andrew’s Pub
7807 St. Andrew’s Church Road
$TBD; 8 p.m.

Through April 1
‘Kneel Before Gaud’
 I love the title of this exhibition. Thea Lura has constructed conceptual, mixed-media sculptures that are highly detailed and full of meaning. Or maybe not.
 “These altar and shrine-like pieces explore the kitschy way we revere sacred and emotional traditions and events,” explains Lura. “Certain objects are imbued with meaning, but when approached objectively, these important objects are simply gaudy trinkets and tokens. This gaudiness is both ridiculous and beautiful.” So one person’s art is another person’s kitsch (take that, Thomas Kinkade). —Jo Anne Triplett
Swanson Reed Contemporary
638 E. Market St.
Free; Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.