Dec 11, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, Dec. 12

    Christian pop-metal is as healthy and vigorous as ever, thanks to bands like Anberlin. The Florida boys take a decidedly emo approach, filling the tracks of third album CITIES with waves of impressionistic feelings. But there’s compassion aplenty amid the ravaged hearts found on “Godspeed,” daringly ponderous “Fin” and the like. Singer Stephen Christian is quick and accurate when he points to the failings and hopes of the man in the mirror, but he’s looking all around thoughtfully, too. The more-is-better hook-factory arrangements can rob some diversity from the listening experience. But a careful ear — regularly returning to the singer at the center, then letting the band’s walls of polite crunch fill up and out — will find updates of Boston (“Adelaide”) and tracks that Jimmy Eat World should’ve tried to put on their new album. Metro Station and Wake the Day are also on the bill. —T.E. Lyons
1386 Lexington Road
$13; 7 p.m. (doors)

Dec. 13-Feb. 14
Abe Lincoln exhibit

    Illinois might call itself the Land of Lincoln, but our 16th president was born right here in Kentucky. And from Dec. 13-Feb. 14, he’ll return. Sort of. “Forever Free,” a traveling exhibit focusing on Abraham Lincoln’s life leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation, will be on display at the Louisville Free Public Library. The exhibit includes rarely seen photographs and reproductions of documents, letters, newspaper clippings and cartoons, and also provides information on the role of black soldiers during the Civil War. “Forever Free” is presented in six easy-to-understand parts, making it suitable for all ages and levels of Lincoln lovers. On Monday night at 7 p.m., there’s a reception and lecture by U of L’s Blaine Hudson, who’ll discuss “Lincoln from the African-American Perspective.” It’s free but tickets are required. Go to or call 574-1644.—Bethany Furkin
Louisville Free Public Library
301 W. York St.

Joel Timothy

    Singer-songwriter Joel Timothy came of age on the streets of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district during the 1960s, when the arc of tonal creativity in rock and folk was high and long, and acts were nothing short of revolutionary. Timothy paid his dues, honing those street performances into that of a touring musician in the ’70s, before returning to San Fran to write music for TV and film. It was there in he met his future wife Karen Boone, a Louisvillian, and the two soon relocated back here. Timothy has since gigged around the Midwest, and his newest disc, The Broken Cage, commits his world-weary experiences to a catalog of radio-friendly runes. The journeyman journeys down the road to E-town on Friday night. —Mat Herron
Backstage Cafe
109 N. Mulberry St.
Elizabethtown, Ky.
(270) 234-1686
$5; 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15
Big Bone $20 Art Show

    Your father already has a leather wallet with a chain on it. Your Uncle Raymond has four striped ties. Mom hates your taste in jewelry, and Grandma still has the god-awful argyle potholders you got her in 1978. Enough already with the malls and the generic gifts and the tidings of comfort and commercialism — The Big Bone Art Show and the Mellwood Art Center have put together the $20 Art Show. This Saturday only, from 6-10 p.m., you can shop with local artists who are selling original art — and nothing in the place will cost more than $20. Twenty bucks! You can’t get that at Macy’s. In addition, there will be refreshments, plus live holiday music by Leigh Ann Yost, Kathleen Hoye and others. Seriously, now. Socks and underwear are just not suitable gifts. —Kevin Gibson
Mellwood Art Center
1860 Mellwood Ave.
Free; 6-10 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15
Christmas with Wynonna

    You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout; I’m telling you why: Country diva and Kentucky native Wynonna Judd is coming to town. Although she may not see you when you’re sleeping (creepy) or know when you’re awake, Sister-Friend Wy certainly knows if you’ve been bad or good. And she spanks. So buy a ticket to her Christmas concert, for goodness sake!
    Seriously, though. If her version of “Ave Maria” off last year’s A Classic Christmas doesn’t give you chills, you must be wearing too many layers. This should be a great show to get you in the holiday spirit, if you believe that still exists. —Sara Havens
Brown Theatre
315 W. Broadway
$45-$60; 8 p.m.

Contra Dancing

    Any description makes it sound corny as heck, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Contra is the nebulous child of Old English and New England dance, with a few traits of square dancing thrown in. Simple moves combine in infinitely different ways to create fast-paced, sophisticated-looking dances that are über fun.
    The thing that really makes an evening out of Contra, though, is the live music. This Saturday, the Bloomington, Ind., band BluEarth will play classic tunes (as in, more than 200 years old) that are a mishmash of English, Celtic and other old-time music. Sam Bartlett on guitar and Jamie Gans on fiddle have played together for 25 years, touring Eastern Europe in the 1980s when the Iron Curtain was still up. They perform along with Gan’s wife, Tamara Lowenthal, throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Lowenthal will “call” the Saturday dance, telling you when to do-si-do or do a gypsy. There’ll be a quick tutorial a half hour early for newbies, who are always welcome. —Jennifer Oladipo
Church of the Advent
901 Baxter Ave.
$7; 8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 16
Book signing with West, Carner & kaplan

    In the intro to “Around the Corner, Down the Street,” his new book of photographs, Randy West notes how opportunity can take you in unforeseen directions that change your life in profound ways. In his case, he was 28 years old and teaching high school English in Corydon, Ind., when the editor’s job came open at The Corydon Democrat, a fine weekly founded in 1858 (and where I worked from 1992-97). West got the job and held it 35 years, during which time his camera repeatedly captured the sorts of images that are the stock in trade of small-town newspapers: farmers, politicians, regular joes, old folks, young folks (many involved in school sports or 4-H fairs) and a whole lot of this and that. But West is not your typical shooter; he is an artist with an excellent eye and a terrific sense of timing (Rick Bell says West’s photos remind him of Barney Cowherd’s!). All of these images are beautiful, and each tells a story about a world that’s pretty much gone now. Even if you can’t spell C-o-r-y-d-o-n, I think you’ll relate to the life that bursts from the pages. You get three-for-one during a Sunday signing event at Carmichael’s: West; Bill Carner of U of L Photo Archives, the principal photographer of the beautiful “Louisville Then and Now,” and LEO’s own c d Kaplan, author of “The Culture Maven’ 2008 History Warp Day Planner.” —Cary Stemle
Carmichael’s Bookstore
2720 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 2-4 p.m.

Through Dec. 29
‘Roar Shock’

    To see these visual interpretations of his poetry all in one space must have been pretty heady for nationally recognized writer Adam Day. The exhibition “Roar Shock” celebrates Day’s poetry, which has been published in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review and Antioch Review, to name just a few. He is former poetry editor for the Washington Square literary journal and twice a finalist for the “Discovery”/National Prize poetry award.
    Day has lived Louisville since June, working for Sarabande Books and occasionally writing music reviews for us at LEO. He met artist Thea Lura after his move here. That friendship formed the nucleus for this exhibition. Other local artists, such as Sarah Lyon, Skylar Smith and Steve Irwin, transposed Day’s writing into the visual to form “Roar Shock.”
    The conversion has produced very interesting “words.” —Jo Anne Triplett
Swanson Reed Contemporary
638 E. Market St.

Through Dec. 29
Pam Tallman and Ted Bressoud

    Mad About Art will soon close its doors on Baxter Avenue, with plans to reopen in the near future at another location. Owner Mary Simione wanted the last exhibition to be special, so she chose the unusual works of Pam Tallman and Ted Bressoud as her temporary farewell.
    To call Tallman just a painter is a bit of a misnomer. She starts with watercolor, and then adds gels, collage and texturing items such as mesh to create her work. She is also showing boxes and cutting boards that feature her paintings.
    People need to keep their hands on their wallets around Bressoud. His unique specialty is creating beautiful collages out of $1-$100 bills. The paper crosses he fashions are a not-so-subtle reminder of how we revere the stuff. —Jo Anne Triplett
Mad About Art
625 Baxter Ave.