Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cowboy Junkies & the Orchestra: a cultural intermission in basketball season

I was driving downtown last night to go see a concert at the 21c, and I was reminded once again that Louisville IS a basketball city. Even our municipal street corner trash cans say "Take it to the Basket!"-- something I didn't notice or process until last night.

Now I know I've copped to my lack of love for sports. I love my Bats, my Sox, and my Reds, but other than baseball, the only sport I have any tolerance for is NCAA Basketball. And come March Madness, I'm a huge fan (although BYU's loss has already cracked my brackets).

But as easy as it is to forget that there's more to life than the NCAA Tournament this year, other great cultural opportunities abound over the next few weeks. And now that everybody and her grandma are wired to receive mobile sports alert (okay, well maybe not ME and MY grandma), there's no good excuse not to go out and take advantage of the bball-diminished crowds.

One of the most exciting upcoming events is the final BB&T No Strings Attached concert of the season pairing the Louisville Orchestra with the Canadian band Cowboy Junkies on March 28 at the Kentucky Center.

According to the press release (Lou loves press releases):

The program will open with classical pieces that are well known to most like
Claude Debussy’s Clair de lune (which is featured in the movies Ocean’s Eleven
and Twilight) and Bizet’s “Les TorĂ©adors” from Carmen. The program will also
include a special guest, 14 year-old violinist Stephanie Zyzak who will perform
Henri Wieniawski’s “Allegro moderato” from Violin Concerto No. 1 in F-Sharp
Minor, op. 14. Ms. Zyzak is one of three winners of the Association of the
Louisville Orchestra’s Young Artists Competition.

After the first half, the Cowboy Junkies, one of the earliest alt-country bands, will join the orchestra. Formed in the 1980's by the three Timmins siblings, Michael, Margo, and Peter, the Cowboy Junkies have recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of their most popular album, The Trinity Sessions (and if that don't make you feel old...).

I have fond, fond memories of listening to the The Trinity Sessions in high school and college. The generation before me had their Barry White; my generation tapped Margo Timmins when we wanted to set the mood (and Leonard Cohen and the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ by Peter Gabriel, which now strikes me as being kinda dirty).

So have your sports scores forwarded to your cell phone-- but keep that puppy on vibrate! (now, see, everything is sounding vaguely dirty)-- and go check out the Cowboy Junkies and the last No Strings Attached concert of the 2008-09 season.

Whitney Theater, Kentucky Center
3/28 at 8pm
Tickets range from $25 - $55
Call 502.584.7777 or visit

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