Staff Picks

Aug 1, 2006 at 5:55 pm

Aug. 2-5
Phoenix Hill Tavern turns 30
    We won’t belabor the phreaking point, except to say it is unusual for a nightclub to live for 30 years with the same name, under the same (local) ownership. But Phoenix Hill Tavern has done it, and this week the place that started out so humbly in 1976 has a phull schedule of phun and phrivolity to celebrate its life so phar.
    As befits a rather large phacility, PHT has a lot going on over the next phour days — 30 bands, an escape artist and a burlesque troupe, to name just a phew highlights. Of particular note is an appearance by Aron Houdini, the only escape artist we know of who’s living and working in Louisville. He’ll do something rather astonishing around midnight Phriday. Plus, we hear there’s gonna be a lot of swag — phree stuff like cake and T-shirts! For a lot more information, go to —Cary Stemle
Phoenix Hill
644 Baxter Ave.

Thursday, Aug. 3
Art for the Animals Auction
    Bob Barker warns us, at the end of every “Price is Right” episode, to do our part to help control the pet population. The Shamrock Foundation has certainly taken these words to heart. Since 1992, the foundation has done its part to curb pet overpopulation and save more than 16,000 cats, dogs and other cute and cuddly critters in Louisville and beyond.
    This Thursday, the foundation plays host to the Art for the Animals Auction, a live auction to raise funds for the cause and better the lives of countless animals. If you like art, and you love animals, that’s what you call “synergy” — so make your way out to support a good cause. After all, who can argue with Bob Barker? —Stephanie Salmons
Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center
1860 Mellwood Ave.
Free; 6-9 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 3 & Saturday, Aug. 5
John Gage and Will Owen-Gage
    This city has long been blessed and entertained by John Gage, peace activist, host of the radio show “Homefront” and a fine folk music singer-songwriter. In recent years, his youngest son, Will Owen-Gage, has undertaken his own musical journey, and their convergence comes alive this weekend in two performances. Making waves from the prestigious Kerrville Folk Fest to most recently opening for Stephen Stills, the white-hot 18-year-old guitarist continues to impress fans of blues, Tex-Mex and rock. Nothing embodies the term “Americana” like the blending of these two artists and their stories; the performances feature the Gages in various solo and band arrangements. Stick your thumb out and catch a ride. —Cindy Lamb
Kentucky Theater
651 S. Fourth St.
$10; 7:30 p.m.

Oldham County Arts Center
7105 Floydsburg Road, Crestwood
$10; 8 p.m.

Aug. 3-6
Street Rod Nationals
    Once again, Louisville’s streets are about to be invaded. No, not by aliens, but rather by hotrods — street rods to be precise. This week, the 37th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals comes to town, making its 12th appearance in the River City, and this year is shaping up as one of the largest nationals in the event’s history. Anything and everything to do with street-rodding will be on display. Of course, there are contests for street-rodders and their cars, but there are many other festivities for fans and observers, such as an arts and crafts fair, a swap meet and professional entertainment, plus games for all ages.
    A word to the wise: Don’t be frightened when you see these wonderful and exotic machines swarming the streets. They are friendly creatures, and they’d love for you to come out and be a part of the invasion. —Stephanie Salmons
Kentucky Fair & Expo Center
various times and admission charges

Aug. 4-5
Kentucky Art Car Weekend
    Some artists scribble on canvas. Others play with clay or iron. It takes a special kind of gearhead to look at a car and say, “I’m going to cover my vehicle with 300 tubes of caulk.” The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft presents the fifth annual Art Car Weekend, and if you come out to the 700 block of West Main this weekend, you’ll be able to see Nod D’Nal-teews’ famous “Caulk-It” van, as well as dozens of other “art cars” created by enthusiasts of this burgeoning art medium. The events begin at noon, when the cars will arrive en masse at Main Street for a block party, and will remain there for gawking during the First Friday Trolley Hop. After the Hop, the art cars will go on an illuminated cruise that runs through Fourth Street Live and ends at Lynn’s Paradise Café. On Saturday, the cars will run from Market Street to Bardstown Road and will include a performance by the Squallis Puppeteers. Nod D’Nal-teews and others will be speaking and offering demonstrations, and children will be able to build their own mini art cars. —Nathan Thacher
Free; noon (Aug. 4), 9 a.m. (Aug. 5)

Saturday, Aug. 5
Destination: APEX
    Know any sci-fi and horror fiction fans who also like beer? (Man, that just described every friend I have.) If you concur, head on over to Destination: APEX, a showcase for science fiction and horror writers that will land at New Albany’s Destinations Booksellers on Saturday. Readings, book signings and an art sale will share the spotlight with the aforementioned beer, including a brand new brew from New Albanian Brewing Company called Destinations Apex Pyramid Nectar, at this event sponsored by APEX Science Fiction and Horror Digest, which is based in Lexington. In addition, discount memberships to ConGlomeration, Louisville’s own science fiction/fantasy convention, will be available. “This is a great opportunity to show off our local talent,” said Judi Davidson, an APEX contributing artist and co-organizer of the event, “and to allow people to see the diversity of imagination that exists in the Kentuckiana area. Also, it’s a good chance to rub elbows with artists and authors and to just have fun.” —Kevin Gibson
Destinations Booksellers
604 E. Spring St.
(812) 944-5116
Free; 5-8 p.m.

Aug. 5-Sept. 3
‘Flora Metallica’ by Paula Weyler
    No, “Flora Metallica” is not the title of the latest CD featuring the orchestrated soft sounds of a heavy metal band. Artist Paula Weyler has combined the metallic coldness of sheet metal with the painted delicacy of flowers and botanicals. “My intent of the show (is) to blend natural organic elements and imagery with the processed hard metals,” she explains. There’s an opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday at 7 p.m. —Jo Anne Triplett
River Bend Winery
120 S. 10th St.
Free; 4-11 p.m. Thu.-Sat.

Monday, Aug. 7
It only takes a spark …
    Members of several local organizations have joined hands — no, not to sing “Kumbaya,” but to bring Kent Roberts, executive director of the National Civility Center, to Louisville Monday to lead a conversation on ways to change community and the world. Howard Mason of Metro United Way scheduled Roberts with the help of his own agency and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Cultivating Connections, Interfaith Paths to Peace, Center for Neighborhoods and Keep Louisville Weird. Roberts co-authored the books “Bring a Dish to Pass” and “Community Weaving,” in which he and Jay Newman, his partner at the National Civility Center in Muscatine, Iowa, set out principles about how citizens outside of big institutions can bring about changes to improve their community. Mason says the impetus for Monday’s event was the popularity of a lecture last year with David Bornstein, author of “How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of new Ideas.” “After 600 people showed up, we were looking to do something similar this year and to sustain interest in getting individuals involved in community change,” he says. —Elizabeth Kramer
Clifton Center Auditorium
2117 Payne St.
Free; 7 p.m.

Through Aug.12
‘New Paintings’ by David Iacovazzi-Pau
    Some of David Iacovazzi-Pau’s new paintings are art history lessons, introducing the viewers to the faces of some of the provocative artists in recent memory. These large, oil-on-canvas works include highly detailed portraits of Camille Claudel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Auguste Rodin.
    Rodin, whose cast of “The Thinker” sits on the University of Louisville campus, once said, “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire, and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.” Be it representational or abstract, prepare to feel Iacovazzi-Pau’s flame as well, for this man can paint. —Jo Anne Triplett
Swanson Reed Contemporary
638 E. Market St.
Free; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.-Sat.