Happy Birthday!: Your mighty “In Other News…” column turns three this week. It’s been a little crazy here lately at “In Other News…” Headquarters, North Central, so I thought it was last week, then remembered it’s this week, only to forget again and remember again.
We debuted this column on April 26, 2013 and ever since, I’ve been here waiting for you every Friday. Well, three times I wasn’t here. But those don’t count really.
Per always, sincerest thanks to you for dropping by and to Insider Louisville for having me: without either of you, there wouldn’t be much point.
And we’ve not really swayed from the column’s intent: national and international coverage pertaining to Louisville and Kentucky as a whole. So if I have 80 sources on Rand Paul or the latest Jennifer Lawrence what have you, I can cover it. If it’s only in The Courier-Journal or on our front page, it won’t end up here. Though every once in awhile I cheat. But not often.
So here’s to another year.
Happy Birthday, Part 2: Last week I mentioned I was in England with fellow members of Kentucky Shakespeare as part of the big Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations. Looks like it caught some other people’s attention, as we were featured in The Guardian (twice), Los Angeles Times, Luxemburger Wort, The Straits Times and prominently featured in Getty’s coverage for the day. Producing Artistic Director Matt Wallace, Amy Attaway, Greg Maupin and Abigail Bailey Maupin and I made the trip over to represent Kentucky Shakespeare and the United States for the week.
Oh, and on April 23, the playwright’s birthday, we started the morning performing for over a million or so people to kick off the BBC’s live coverage.
Which we didn’t know. I mean, we knew we were going to be on the BBC, just hadn’t really processed viewership. We followed that up with a walk in the parade and a couple of performances at Shakespeare’s home, or one of his houses; the parade and birthplace were where the photos occurred.
Well. Look at that. The building behind me? Where Shakespeare was born. No big deal.
Also, I’m wearing that exact thing right now. I really am. I had a TV spot at 4:30 this morning.
We were also there to do research at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Specifically for the upcoming season, starting June 1.
If you’ll allow me to switch on the KYS Hype Machine 3000™, Kentucky Shakespeare, the oldest free Shakespeare in the country, starts with “Two Gentlemen of Verona” for two weeks, followed by “The Winter’s Tale” for two weeks and then two weeks of “Romeo and Juliet.” Then all three go into rotating repertory. After that, our professional high school training program will put on “As You Like It” and by the time we get to August, we make even more history — we have the first musical on our stage with community partner CenterStage with “West Side Story” and close the year with “Shakespeare in Dance.” And that’s not even mentioning “Late Night Shakes” with the Louisville Improvisors. All free. All summer.
And if you want a preview, the “Romeo and Juliet” Shakespeare in the Parks Tour still has dates left. We’ll be in Russell Lee Park this morning at 10 a.m. and Big Four Station in Jeffersonville tonight at 7 p.m. Tomorrow night the tour will visit Tyler Park at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sun Valley Park at 6 p.m. The tour will wrap in mid-May.
You can find out more at the Kentucky Shakespeare site and feel free to like us on Facebook.
KYS Hype Machine 3000™ powering down.
Derby is Coming: We are now just a week away from the Oaks and just eight days away from the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby, says the Los Angeles Times. They aggregate some of their best run-up stories for the “road to the Kentucky Derby.”
Bleacher Report takes another look at the odds. They still hold Nyquist as the big favorite.
By my calendar, this is the time media takes its eyes off the wheel for a minute and stops looking at the race but the reason for the race: the parties.
The Washington Post says you don’t have to be in Kentucky to celebrate the Derby. They give a list of how to celebrate the race properly without leaving Washington D.C.
Parade offers its guide to throwing your own Derby party. Mostly it involves hats and drinking out of things not meant for drinking out of.
Architectural Digest offers its guide too. It’s also drinking and hats.
Finally, if you’re attending Derby next weekend, whatever you do, don’t bring your hoverboard, says Horse Racing Nation. They are the only new addition of banned items for this year’s running. Apparently, they blow up sometimes.
Tribute 4 U: Last week, we talked extensively about the passing of Prince on Thursday. This week, so many tributes. Lexington’s super mega country star Chris Stapleton paid his musical respects to the artist, covering “Nothing Compares 2 U” in Berkley, Calif.
A good song is a good song in any genre. And I know he already has a bevy of Grammy and CMA awards to recognize him as pretty good at his job, but can we just go on and say this guy is the real thing? You can tell he’s both student and master, following music in all its forms. Respect.
“Nothing Compares 2 U” was originally recorded by Sinead O’Connor in 1990.
Mr. Stapleton isn’t the only one to cover that one in the wake of Prince’s death. Here’s Mumford and Sons having a go:
And then there’s D’Angelo covering “Sometimes it Snows in April” with Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum on “The Tonight Show”:
And then there’s “Purple Rain.” Here’s our boys, My Morning Jacket, covering the song (video starts in progress):
Rolling Stone covered Bruce Springsteen covering “Purple Rain” at the start of his Brooklyn concert. He’s since offered it up as a free download.
Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore mashes up “Purple Rain” into “Comfortably Numb”:
Here’s the man doing it himself, with a couple extended guitar solos that are just…I can’t even.
Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and Guitar Player Magazine say Prince reached out to Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon of Journey. He was concerned his “Purple Rain” sounded too much like Journey’s “Faithfully” and wanted to run it past them prior to release. Mr. Cain quotes Prince as saying:
“I want to play something for you, and I want you to check it out. The chord changes are close to ‘Faithfully’ and I don’t want you to sue me.”
And Prince was a big Neal Schon fan, which you can really hear around this time, and the solo work, particularly the end of both songs are similar. So he didn’t want any trouble for that, either.
And he’s right — the two are very close. So he did the right thing. And the Journey guys did the right thing and said, “Do your thing.” Everyone wins.
Here’s Journey, so you can compare for yourself.
Well, hi there, 1983.
Thirty-Six Hours: The New York Times spends “36 hours in Louisville” ahead of the Kentucky Derby, discovering there’s more going on than bourbon and horses in the land of the bluegrass. Which is what we’ve been trying to tell people forever, I mean, right?
While the world turns its attention to Louisville annually on the first Saturday in May for the pageantry of the Kentucky Derby (May 7 this year), the city itself has been on a development tear that warrants attention beyond race season.
They hit some of the “oh, you have to…” spots — 21c, Churchill Downs and the Derby Museum, Nulu, Evan Williams and so on — but they also take in The Big Four Bridge, Royals Hot Chicken and the Butchertown Grocery. So they made a lot of their time and came up with one of the better “things to do” features I’ve seen in a bit.
Swipe Right: With the new big superhero extravaganza, “X-Men: Apocalypse” on its way to theaters, your girl Jennifer Lawrence has started the press blitz. On Thursday, she talked to Extra and when asked about her dating life, she said:
“What dating life? No, I’m not, it’s really sad. I haven’t felt the touch of a man in…”
I feel like Extra is just as bad as the loathed E!, I just don’t come into contact with them as much. You’re on notice, Extra. Adjective forthcoming.
Anyway, here’s the final trailer for your “X-Men: Apocalypse”:
Reader Mail: Won’t pull any one correspondence, but lots of kind response on last week’s column, the Prince/Shakespeare section in particular. Just want you to know that I read everything and it’s very much appreciated and a great way to start year four. Write anytime — I love to hear from you.
See you next week.