Archive for the Film Category

Louisville Label Lets Loose Nimrod Workman

Posted in Appalachia, Film, Kentucky Small Towns, Music on November 18, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

A new Louisville-based record label called Twos & Fews (run by one of our favorite Louisville people, Mr. Nathan Salsburg) lets loose its first release today, an album of archival recordings of one Nimrod Workman. We’ll let Nate tell it in his own words:

That album is of the coal miner, union activist, and traditional singer Nimrod Workman, and is entitled “I Want to Go Where Things Are Beautiful.” It’s an hour of unaccompanied ballads, lyric songs, play party pieces, and religious singing, recorded in 1982 by Mike Seeger (Pete’s half-brother) when Nimrod was 87 years old. It gives Workman (who died at 99 in 1994) his first LP in thirty years, and his first ever CD solo release.

You might have seen Nimrod at the beginning of Barbara Kopple’s “Harlan County USA,” or in Alan Lomax’s American Patchwork films “Appalachian Journey” or “Dreams & Songs of the Noble Old.” Or, like most, you have never heard of him. Well… his ain’t party music, but you might find it rewarding, challenging, and beautiful. It’s been an honor and a privilege to put this record together, and if you can bear it in these trying times to do something so anachronistic as to shell out money for music, I’d be thrilled if you’d give Nimrod Workman a chance.

For more info:

You can listen to some of the songs available on I Want to Go Where Things Are Beautiful at the Twos & Fews myspace site, linked above. You can (and should!) purchase the album at all finer record stores as well as online.


Crestwood Family in Obama Infomercial

Posted in Economics, Elections, Film, Kentucky News, Labor, Louisville News, Media, Politics, Transportation on October 30, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

One of the big presidential campaign stories from yesterday was the Obama campaign’s 30-minute infomercial which aired simultaneously on three network stations (excluding ABC) in prime-time. While Obama is not expected to win Kentucky’s electoral votes, the infomercial featured the Dowell family of Crestwood, just outside of Louisville. The Courier-Journal tells us a little (but not much) more this morning about Mark Dowell, who works at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in eastern Jefferson County:

Mark Dowell said he never expected the invitation to introduce Barack Obama when the presidential candidate visited Louisville in May, but he was even more surprised when the campaign asked him to share his story for a national audience.

The 35-year-old autoworker from Crestwood was one of several Americans featured last night in a 30-minute prime-time commercial that the Democratic nominee used to present his biography and policies to the public.

“It was a great feeling to see me and to know the nation’s seeing me,” Dowell said in an interview after the commercial aired. “I feel proud.”

In the commercial, Dowell talked about how the instability in the auto industry has made his financial future unclear. His wife was laid off from the Kentucky Truck Plant, where they both work, and he has “down” weeks or weeks where he is temporarily without work.

“Eight years ago we couldn’t build trucks fast enough and now they are slowing us down,” said Dowell, who is the father of two daughters, ages 4 and 14.

Dowell said he thinks that Obama’s economic policies will put more money back in the pockets of the middle class and keep jobs from going overseas. And he said he hopes that will eventually help turn the economy around.

“My grandfather retired from Ford, my father retired from Ford and I hope I can retire from Ford,” he said.

Music This Weekend, June 12-16

Posted in Art, Drink, Film, Happenings, Music, Music This Weekend on June 12, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Another busy June weekend is ahead of us, and lots of good shows are in Louisville and around the region.

Michael Hurley

Tonight at Lisa’s Oak Street Lounge (1004 E. Oak Street) legendary folk troubadour Michael Hurley returns to Louisville to play with local funtime weirdos Sapat. 10 PM-ish, $5.

Tonight in Lexington, Cadaver in Drag and Eyes and Arms of Smoke are playing at Buster’s. The show starts at 10 PM, it’s free, and more information is at

SSM Flier

Friday night at the 6th & Oak Art Collective (or whatever they’re calling it) local band Second Story Man celebrates ten years of existence with a show! Joining Second Story Man are Wussy (from Cincinnati) and Chris Brokaw (from Boston), former guitarist of Come and former drummer of Codeine. 9 PM, $5.

Weird Weeds Live

Saturday, also at the 6th & Oak space, Austin band the Weird Weeds play with Shedding and Softcheque. Louisville native Nick Hennies, who played drums in bands the Telephone Man and Nero, leads the group (that’s him on the left). 9 PM, $5. The Weird Weeds also will play a private house show in Louisville on Sunday afternoon. Cool!


On Sunday the Brothers Unconnected tour comes to town, featuring Alan and Rick Bishop of the Sun City Girls. A tribute to late SCG drummer Charles Gocher, Jr., this show promises to be one of the best of the year in Louisville. It all happens at the Pour Haus, located at 1481 S. Shelby Street. Doors are at 8 PM, “The Handsome Stranger” screens at 9 PM, and admission is $10.

Finally on Monday the 16th, Skull Alley, a new all-ages venue at 1017 E. Broadway near Barrett Avenue opens with a show by Lemuria, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Kepi Ghoulie and the Kodiaks. 7:30 PM, $6. Wednesday night is their official opening party with art, djs and dancing, at 7:30 PM, and is FREE! Go check it out!

What’s In the Weeklies? Week of June 11

Posted in Art, Drink, Elections, Environment, Film, Food, Louisville News, Media, Music, Politics, What's In the Weeklies? on June 11, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Welcome, once again, to another installment of What’s In the Weeklies?, where we take a look at Louisville’s two major weekly newspapers, so you don’t have to.

LEO June 11

LEO Weekly, June 11, 2008 issue:

Overall Score: 45 points

Velocity June 11

Velocity Weekly, June 11, 2008 issue:

  • Cover Story: Our House — 2008 Homes Issue: Personal Spaces 10 points (this is actually interesting, and not the typical gigantic-house-in-the-East-End look at Louisville homes)
  • Cover Art: 2 points
  • Additional News: N/A 0 points
  • Additional Features: Free for All, Green Tips for Green Thumbs, Make the Connection 10 points (two pretty good supplemental features to the Homes Issue plus an interesting art review equal a good job this week)
  • Opinion: This Week’s Winners and Losers, Stanford Blanch aside 0 points (okay, the former is the same ol’ boring conventional wisdom recap, the latter is… what now?!?)
  • Music Coverage: N/A 0 points (no additional coverage this week aside from a couple small previews — and hey guys, the Mighty Barrett Avenue Shake at the Monkey Wrench ended about a month or so ago)
  • Food/Drink Coverage: Kaelin’s in the Bar Hopper 5 points
  • Number of times the phrase “Metro Council” appears: 0

Overall Score: 27 points

Apologies for being so late with this week’s edition, we’ve had kind of a busy day. Also, maybe it’s just us, but the LEO web site seems to be loading awful slow, which makes doing What’s In the Weeklies? a bit more difficult. Oh well. That said, LEO still walloped Velocity in our arbitrary point-awarding system (or lack thereof) this week, by 45 to 27.

As always, please feel free to comment! Especially as regards stuff we don’t cover in the weeklies, such as theater and film coverage.

Music (and Film) This Weekend, June 5-8

Posted in Drink, Film, Happenings, Music, Music This Weekend on June 5, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

June is well underway, and in Louisville that means that, yes, already everything’s hot, humid and sticky (boy we can’t wait for the really hot days to come!). Thankfully, there are some good options all month long for getting out of the house and into, well, at least not cool shows (some show spaces are notorious for not having a/c), but places where one can enjoy good music and (most likely) imbibe some cold brews.

Minnow Flier

And so, this weekend’s another good weekend chock-full of stuff to do, beginning with Minnow, Venus Trap and Head Above Water at Derby City Espresso, 331 E. Market Street (between Preston and Floyd) this Thursday evening (show starts at 9 PM and is $3). We don’t know two of the bands on the bill, but Minnow is a virtual all-star band of Louisville punk rock history, as it features Rob Pennington (Endpoint, By the Grace of God) on vocals, Doug Maxson (Your Food) on guitar, and Carrie Neumayer (Second Story Man) on bass. We saw them open for Slint last year in New York, and they were excellent! Additionally, Derby City Espresso has a fantastic selection of over 60 beers, so we’re definitely down to have a few cold ones.

The Gits

Tonight is also the opening night of the Last Call Film Festival, over at the Rudyard Kipling, 422 W. Oak Street (between 5th and 6th Streets). Making its world-premiere tonight at the festival will be “The Gits,” a documentary about the brutal murder of Louisville native Mia Zapata (seen above), lead singer of Seattle punk band The Gits. We’re kinda bummed we’re gonna miss it, but you shouldn’t! The screening starts at 8 PM and will be followed by a Q&A with producer Jessica Bender.

Friday at the Brick House there’s a metal show with An Autopsy, A Wind Named Amnesia, Antikythera, and Human Flesh Tapestry (yow!). The Brick House is located at 1101 S. 2nd Street (at St. Catherine).

Crucial Fun Flier

Finally, in Lexington this weekend there’s the Crucial Fun Fest, all weekend long at the Void Skateshop, the Beaumont YMCA, at 257 N. Limestone, and the Northside YMCA (see flier above for details including lineups and door prices.).

The Return of the Web

Posted in Film, Happenings, Louisville Music History, Music on March 14, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Fruit Bat Republic

We can’t fucking believe it. Really. Sorry for the expletive and all, but one of Louisville’s best-ever bands — and I don’t just mean that lightly — is reuniting to play a show at the Pour Haus next week, opening for another fantastic band, the mighty (and mighty long-running) Pere Ubu. That’s right, The Web is back (description by The Web’s frontman Tony Hoyle, from show promoter/Black Velvet Fuckere/Sapat mainman Kris Abplanalp’s Myspace bulletin):

The Web, a rock band from Louisville, Kentucky, was formed in 1993. Distributed by labels Drag City, Damn Entertainment, and Ear X-tacy Records, The Web released two 45” singles, a 12” EP, and a full-length CD, “Fruit Bat Republic.” Prior to its temporary dissolution in 1998, The Web produced its magnum opus, “Chlydotorous Scrotodhendron”; the masters of these recordings have been unearthed and are set for a highly-anticipated label distribution this summer!

Among The Web’s many performances during the 1990s, it hit the road with recording artists Sebadoh, traveling throughout the Eastern half of the U.S.. Originally formed as a trio, The Web later expanded to an octet. However, most performances featured the classic quintet reforming this year: Andrew Willis on guitar; Gary Pahler on drums; Jason Hayden on guitar and bass; Steve Good ..boards, clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone; Tony Hoyle on microphone.

Now some readers might not be convinced by that description, and that’s understandable, even if we would describe the Web as somehow a mixture of a great love for Captain Beefheart, the Stooges, the Fall, Neu!, Faust, G. Gordon Liddy, comic books, college basketball, science fiction, and well-brand liquor. Here at State of the Commonwealth, we truly believe in the “try before you buy” ethos of music on the internet, with both parts being key. So in favor of that policy, we’ve decided to upload a few tracks by the Web for you, our dear readers, to peruse at your leisure. If you like them, please do yourself a favor and see this awesome band live, next Friday the 22nd of March, at the Pour Haus. First, we have a zip file containing the Web’s first 7″ entitled “Azuza Inkh” — with the songs “Azuza” and “The Handcuff Hoax” and their 12″ EP record “The Pentagon,” featuring “Hail to the Chief,” “Rebel Yell” (parts 1 and 2) and “Five”:

The Web – “Azuza Inkh” 7″, “The Pentagon” 12″

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got zip files one song from their 1998 CD Fruit Bat Republic entitled “Tick” (a great little sorta almost Afropop-ish number) plus a live song “The Pentagon” from the Sourmash: A Louisville Compilation CD for your downloading pleasure:

The Web, “Tick”
The Web, “The Pentagon”

In fact, the only stuff by the Web that we don’t have digitized (but have on vinyl) is the “Freedom Hall” 7″. Can anybody send us that, please?

Anyway, both Fruit Bat Republic and Sourmash: A Louisville Compilation are on sale at ear X-tacy for $1.99 a piece. So if for whatever reason you can’t make the show, you owe it to yourself to pick up two great slices of Louisville music history, for super-cheap!

Music this First Weekend of February

Posted in Film, Happenings, Music on February 1, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Production Simple presents Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Ivan Milev Band and DJ Kim Sorise at Headliners tonight, Friday, February 1. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are playing their Louisville debut, and as someone who saw them many times in their native New York when I lived there, I strongly urge you to check them out. If you love funky, soulful jams delivered by a shit-tight band with a strong front-woman who sings like the bad-ass former corrections officer she is, then you can’t miss it. Doors are at 8 pm, tickets are $12, and wearing your dancing shoes is highly encouraged.

Hair Police flier

On a completely different note, Saturday brings Hair Police, Tight Leather, and Handicapper Horns to the Void Skateshop in Lexington. Unfortunately, I can’t make this or the Six Organs of Admittance show at the Dame the night before. Sucks. More information at

Six Organs Flier

Speaking of Six Organs, since I can’t make the Friday show in Lexington or the Saturday show in Bloomington, I’ll be travelling to Cincinnati on Monday to see them at the Art Damage Lodge, an excellent venue on the Northside. Supporting will be Mick Turner (info at, formerly of the Dirty Three and the Tren Brothers), C. Spencer Yeh, and Pete Fosco. Show starts at 9 pm and costs $8.

Last but not least, Control, the Ian Curtis biopic, opens Friday at Village 8.