Staff Picks

May 16, 2006 at 5:25 pm

Thursday, May 18
 The roof’s fine at Uncle Pleasant’s — but it wouldn’t be bad if, just for one evening, that weren’t the case. You see, Tasha Golden is a wonderful rainy-day singer. Working with her husband as the duo named Ellery, Ms. Golden lets disappointment and resilience ebb and flow. Meanwhile, her keyboards echo like the twilight atmosphere on a cloud-enshrouded street. Justin Golden sometimes puts the same into electric guitar, but he’s more prone to acoustic-strummed accents that touch the ears like misty drizzle. Nights like this were meant for lovers is the opening of one song on their new album Lying Awake (on Virt) — but they’re not referring to faultless and carefree infatuation. Maybe you can get a little of that from popmeister Willie Wisely, who’ll hit the stage later ... but early indications on his new direction point toward continued cloudiness — but very cool (see the Music Preview on page 37). —T.E. Lyons
Uncle Pleasant’s
2126 S. Preston
$5; 9 p.m.

May 19-21
National Alpaca Show
 Tired of the same old, same old at the Louisville Zoo? I mean, how many times do you really have to see an albino alligator? Elephants, monkeys, dolphins — yada, yada, yada. For an up close and personal experience with a new kind of creature — the alpaca, a distant cousin to the llama — head over to the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center for the 15th annual National Alpaca Show this weekend. There will be more than 1,500 of these cuddly creatures for your petting pleasure. And best of all, it’s free! See how their coats are harvested to produce a soft fiber that is stronger, warmer and lighter than wool. See how well these South American beasts get along with humans. And see that no matter what kind of animal you fill the Expo Center up with, it still smells like poo (only three months till State Fair time!). —Sara Havens
KY Fair & Expo Center
Free; 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Saturday, May 20
Second Annual Forest Fest
 The second annual Forest Fest at Jefferson Memorial Forest will, for a day at least, turn the 6,000-acre forest into a celebration of nature and bluegrass music. Combining events such as trail races, crafts, children’s attractions, hikes, classic picnic food (brats, anyone?) and, of course, bluegrass, the festival has quickly begun to feel like a tradition for Fairdale, Ky. In addition, the Forest Environmental Education Center will be open during the event, featuring exhibits about animals and plants native to the forest. Beginning at noon, Kentucky Sassafras, Stone Hollow, Hog Operation and the Old Louisville Express will start jamming the bluegrass and continue trading sets into the wee hours of the, um, evening (hey, it’s a family event, OK?). To get to the forest, take I-65 south to the Gene Snyder west, then take the New Cut Road exit, turn left, and a mile down New Cut turn right onto Mitchell Hill Road. Follow the signs from there. Or, just listen for the banjos. —Kevin Gibson
Jefferson Memorial Forest
11311 Mitchell Hill Road
Free; 8 a.m.-?

Saturday, May 20
Shakespeare Festival benefit
 All the World’s a Stogie, or so says the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival each year when it invites artists from Louisville (Matt Loesser and Bryan Warren, for example) and others from across the nation to design cigar boxes around a character or theme of one of the Bard’s plays. The results among the 40 boxes for sale this year span the spectrum of stuff one could create from a cigar box: some boxes are purses; others become music boxes; and one is a night light (a la “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”).
 The festival will auction off the bevy of boxes Saturday at a reception with music by bluegrass musician John Mann and a beer tasting by BBC. Proceeds will help fund the festival’s summer performances, which include “As You Like It” (June 14-July 2) and “Romeo & Juliet” (July 5-9). —Elizabeth Kramer
The Landward House
1387 S. Fourth St.
$10; 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 20
Pianist Christopher Falzone
 Pianist Christopher Falzone appears in concert Saturday in the season’s final Gheens Great Expectations Concert at the Bomhard Theater in the Kentucky Center. Falzone, a 20-year-old student at the Curtis Institute of Music, in Philadelphia, captured the Gilmore Young Artist Award in 2004 and ranks among the most promising of a new generation of pianists. During his Louisville visit, Falzone will conduct workshops with young musicians in Louisville-area schools. Saturday’s concert features works by Schumann and Bartok. —Bill Doolittle
Bomhard Theater, Kentucky Center
$16.50, $5 students; 7 p.m.

Sunday, May 21
Louisville’s Fair Trade Day
 It seems fair trade products — perhaps the most noticeable around here is coffee, courtesy of Heine Bros. (the only shop to sell exclusively fair trade), Highland Coffee and Starbucks — are a fire-hot commodity these days, and with good reason: Not only does the product tend to be a superior one, it benefits the farmers and growers in Third World countries with fair wages. After all, Americans drink about 300 million cups every day. The least we can do is pay an extra few cents for it to help some fellow humans who need it more than, say, we need to be wired.
 There will be samples of fair trade products, music, drumming, some brief speeches and enough general information to turn your friends on to the benefits of playing “fair.” —Stephen George
Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church
142 Crescent Ave.
Free; 12:30 p.m.
All ages

Monday, May 22
Don’t become a casualty of retail
 The music of Enter the Haggis is an awfully weird mix of kinds, from Celtic and bluegrass-ish stuff to power pop to pure, distorted rock. No wonder the band name: Listening to this is like wandering around in Target not really sure of what you want, except you’re aware you want something, and you know that something comes from Target. There’s Celtic-inspired fiddle over what sounds like Tool’s rhythm section playing in a King Crimson time signature. Their recent album Casualties of Retail will make your head spin, to be sure, but you probably won’t pass out. You’ll just leave with a few gems and a bunch of shit for your patio. Louisville soul-ticklers The Trust open. —Stephen George
Uncle Pleasant’s
2126 S. Preston St.
$9; 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 23
Denim & Diamonds Ball
 Coyote’s Music Hall has been nominated by the Academy of Country Music for the prestigious Nightclub of the Year Award. The awards will air on CBS Tuesday night, so in honor of their honor, Coyote’s is inviting their closest friends and family (read: all of Louisville) to celebrate and wish them well that evening as they pray and party during the show. The free event includes appetizers, live music and a silent auction featuring signed guitars by Dwight Yoakam and Montgomery Gentry. The awards will be broadcast on TVs throughout the club, and all donations will benefit the Academy of Country Music Charitable Foundations. Dress is casual — no cowboy hat, no service. —Sara Havens
116 W. Jefferson St.
Free; 7 p.m.

Through July 28
Derby Hats of Joseph Fitzpatrick
 Joseph Fitzpatrick wants to “talk Derby.” Yes, I know the Kentucky Derby is over, but that’s not what he’s painted and drawn — it’s the so-very-proper rounded crown English hat that has long been associated with horse racing.
 The newly opened art gallery at the Brown Hotel features Fitzpatrick’s interpretation of the hat and the people who wear it, along with his Kentucky landscapes. “Fitzpatrick’s Derby hats represent history, classic beauty and Kentucky pride …,” says Brown Hotel general manger Brad Walker. “We wanted to give local artists a vehicle to show the depth of Louisville. The corner art gallery is a perfect location to expose Louisvillians walking by as well as the guests we service from all over the world.” —Jo Anne Triplett
Brown Hotel Gallery
Fourth and Broadway
583-1234, ext. 7174