ART: 5TH STREET GALLERY Contemporary art expert Danny Brown has collected some of the best work by some of the best artists in our area. Faced by deteriorating health and the resulting extraordinary costs, he's selling major portions of his collection at 5th Street Gallery (Fifth and Race streets, Downtown) through June 27. Here's a chance to buy art that has already been pre-selected by a connoisseur's eye. "I collected art because I felt passionately about it," he says. "Contemporary art, in particular, reflects the times in which I've lived and interacted with society." Brown — who is a curator, critic and lecturer on contemporary art as well as a collector — has donated works to the Cincinnati Art Museum and other institutions. The 5th Street Gallery sale includes work by Valerie Shesko, John Stewart, Stephen Pentak, Perin Mahar and others. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday.
(Get gallery details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — Jane Durrell
TELEVISION: JEWELRY TV I can watch Jewelry Television for longer bouts of time than many films, video art pieces or trips to most museums. Most of the passing hours of footage are dominated by tanzanite and other deeply hued gems spinning hypnotically on velvet platforms. Meanwhile, interchangeable anti-orators with bleached-blonde hair and French-tipped nails deliver acrobatic ad lib that issues forth philosophical conundrums of perception and communicates a great deal more than the commercial appeal that is their aim. I find their vernacular, built around "unbelievable" offers and "incredible" situations, engrossing as the energy of their blowout liquidator sales verges on the hysterical. The blondes shriek that the lot of canary yellow tourmaline is being bought out in seconds and I know that none of this is real. The flashing jewels, the layers of fictive showmanship and ill-informed, messy improvisation are really concentrated doses of the overexposure to visual rhetoric in our society. Despite Jewelry Television's tone of haste and the assurance that everything is ending, it is one of the constants in my life: seemingly on all the time, and always pretty much the same. Jewelry Television comes on Channel 25 and other stations based on different cable providers. Consult television guides for exact times or visit www.jtv.com for more information. — Matt Morris
ART: THE CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER Uncoordinated and American Idyll dissect globalization and popular culture in sweet new ways. See cover story here.
LECTURES: TERRY GROSS When Fresh Air host Terry Gross appears at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, fans of her National Public Radio program will have a chance to hear her talk about the art of interviewing. "I have a speech that I give that does have a lot of sound bites in it," she says. "It's almost like a Fresh Air bloopers show, in that it's sound bites of things that have gone terribly wrong, people getting really angry with me and walking out on me. That kind of thing." One of the most infamous walkouts, of course, was Fox News stalwart Bill O'Reilly. Gross supports the theory that he showed up looking for a fight. "That would be my guess," she says. "I don't know what was going on in his mind, but I'd say that's a fair guess." Over the years she has interviewed actors, musicians, politicians and everyone in between. At the top of her wish list is someone she actually interviewed a few years back, Jon Stewart. "He was on the show in 2000, but I had hardly watched him," she says. "I still wasn't that familiar with (The Daily Show) or him and now it's such a part of my life I would love the chance to talk to him again. The first time I completely blew it." After the speech, Gross will take questions from the audience and, as she puts it, "get a taste of my own medicine." $25-$100. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — P.F. Wilson
ONSTAGE: JITNEY The inaugural theater production at the new Madisonville Arts Center will be August Wilson's Jitney, presented by Queen City Off Broadway. This story about cab drivers in Pittsburgh in the 1970s started out as a one-act play. Its success inspired the late Wilson to begin his "Century Cycle," a series of 10 plays documenting African-American life in the 10 decades of the 20th century. Jitney is set in the same neighborhood, the Hill District, where Radio Golf took place in the 1990s. Ensemble Theatre mounted that show earlier this year and plans to present Gem of the Ocean, set in 1904, in February 2009. Jitney is about a group of cab drivers whose bootleg business — transporting people to the grocery store, doctors' offices, the bus depot and more — is threatened by urban redevelopment. Since this is the regional premiere, it makes a lot of sense to offer it in the heart of Madisonville, a city neighborhood that has much in common with the Hill District. QCOB Director Lyle Benjamin has assembled some top-notch local actors for his production, include CEA nominee Reggie Willis, Daryl Hilton and Ray Boston, all of whom performed in Know Theatre's staging five years ago of another Wilson script, Two Trains Running. Says Benjamin, "Wilson plays are about rhythm and syntax and jargon. They are very musical. The plays speak in the way that African Americans speak. That's why they are so vibrant." You can see for yourself. $10-$20. Through June 29. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — Rick Pender
COMEDY: PAUL MOONEY Shortly after ex-Seinfeld star Michael Richards had his infamous meltdown, the one in which he viciously used the "N word," veteran comic and writer Paul Mooney swore off using that particular epitaph, telling NBC Nightly News, "(Richards) cured me. He's my Dr. Phil." Unfortunately, few joined Mooney. "As soon as I said I wouldn't use it, everyone wants to say it," he says. "It's true. That's how people are. When I was saying it, I was the devil. Nobody defended it for me. Now that I don't want to say it, that's all anybody can say." These days, however, Mooney is focused on other things. Lately he's been talking about how the white man has screwed up the planet. "He didn't need nobody's help to fuck it up," he says. "I'm not helping him." As Mooney sees it, the die has already been cast. "The planet's screwed up man, you can see that," he says. "Seagulls are not vegetarians (anymore). They eat chicken wings and hamburger from the fast-food places. They hang out with pigeons. Things aren't behaving the way they should be. It's not normal." Mooney performs Thursday-Sunday at Funny Bone on the Levee in Newport. $20. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — P.F. Wilson
MUSIC: DEMON HUNTER supports its taut, poetic, melodic, heavy and militantly Christian fourth album, Storm the Gates of Hell, at Bogart's. See interview here.
MUSIC: MATTHEW RYAN VS. THE SILVER STATE plays Thursday at the Southgate House with the honest poeticism of a singer/songwriter. See interview with Ryan here.
EVENT: WNKU POWER DRIVE Public radio station WNKU (89.7 FM) is hosting a one-day "Power Drive" fund-raising event Friday to help pay for a new digital transmitter and other equipment necessary for conversion to HD. National recording artists Vance Gilbert and Richard Julian will be performing in the WNKU studios at Northern Kentucky University, as will local musicians like Rob Fetters, Jake Speed, Ryan Malott, Tupelo Honey and Kelly Thomas. You can drop by the studios to listen live, eat, drink and tour the station, or you can listen to live coverage on 89.7. Free, but they're hoping for a nice donation for the cause. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. NKU campus, Highland Heights. 859-572-7897. — John Fox
EVENTS: MAINSTRASSE VILLAGE GOETTAFEST Montgomery Inn Ribs, Graeter's ice cream and Skyline Chili all immediately come to mind when pondering Cincinnati's delicacies. Goetta, however, is often overlooked. Originally brought to the area by German immigrants, this delectable combination of meat, oats and spices has been called "Cincinnati's caviar." The "Original" Goettafest in Covington's MainStrasse Village celebrates all things goetta: Goetta Hanky Pankies, Goetta Balls, Goetta Chedda Cheese, Goetta Chili and the like. If this array does not inspire a Pavlovian response, the eighth annual festival also includes rides, arts and crafts, music and games along Covington's historic tree-lined Sixth Street Promenade and Goebel Park. For its entertainment and, of course, its goetta, the festival has been selected by the Kentucky Tourism Council as one of the summer's Top 10 festivals for six consecutive years. Free to get in, not free to eat. 5 p.m. Friday; noon Saturday and Sunday. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — Bessie Taliaferro
DANCE: BALLET TECH CINCINNATI'S RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI Does "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" ring a bell? It's a short story from Rudyard Kipling's 1894 The Jungle Book about a brave young mongoose — and now, thanks to the talents of the Scripps-Corbett Arts Innovation Award winner ballet tech cincinnati, the tale springs to life in a dance performance from a diverse cast of children and adults. Presented as btc's Leaping for Literacy program's 2008 installment to encourage young people to read, the all-ages production promises vivid visuals and a variety of international dance forms, from traditional Chinese to ballet to classical Indian dance. Choreographer Padma Chebrolu — the founder/artistic director of the locally based Cultural Centre of India — creatively brings the cast of exotic characters to life, be they mongoose, cobra or simply a boy. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington. $26. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — Julie Mullins
MUSIC: SCOUT NIBLETT attacks the Southgate House with a manic whisper-to-a-howl energy and the firm belief that with her music, everything is possible. See Sound Advice preview here.
EVENTS: HAPPEN, INC. OPENING Something's happening in Northside Saturday — Happen, Inc. to be precise. This nonprofit arts organization will celebrate the grand opening of its new location at 4201 Hamilton Ave. with live music as well as food and drinks from independent neighborhood establishments. Happen, Inc.'s innovative programming is intended for 6-12 year-olds to complete with a parent or mentor, bringing them together during sessions about superheroes, drawing, ceramics and butterflies intended to spark the imaginations of both young and old. There is also an outreach aspect to Happen, Inc., which will continue to operate its Beechmont Avenue location. On the Web site, Executive Director Tommy Reuff expresses his hope that "this new facility will have a very positive effect on this diverse, cultural community and help us to bring our free programming to children on the West Side of town for the next 52 weeks." Free. 4-8 p.m. Saturday. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — Angela Kilduff
EVENTS: BIG LEBOWSKI BOWL Is the first ever Big Lebowski Bowl hosted by Caracole going to be a raucous good time? Does the Pope shit in the woods? If you understand this analogy then this event is right up your alley. No pun intended (seriously that was an accident). If not, what better time to join this 1998 cult classic's extreme following while helping to raise money for people living with AIDS/HIV in Cincinnati. Caracole has been providing service for the AIDS/HIV community for 21 years and is hosting this creative party complete with unlimited bowling, food, drinks and costume awards at Madison Bowl. So channel your inner Dude, down some white Russians and go bowling. The Dude abides. 8 p.m.-midnight. 4761 Madison Road, Madisonville. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — Chris Boyer
MUSIC: THE WARLOCKS Although trippy and sharing a name used early on by The Grateful Dead, there probably won't be a lot of patchouli-drenched twirlers and "Jerry Lives" T-shirts at Tuesday's Southgate House concert featuring Left Coast Drone Rock specialists The Warlocks. A tempestuous tour nearly broke The Warlocks apart, but they rebounded, refocusing that dark energy, retooling the lineup and re-emerging from the studio with the epic, brutally psychedelic Heavy Deavy Skull Lover. With lacerating layers of guitar and primal rhythmic throbs, the lysergic melodies float just beneath an ocean of noise, resulting in a dynamic, apocalyptic vision of danger, desire and self-exploration. The band's steel-curtain of noise on Heavy Deavy is engulfing, coming off less like a stiff recording session and more like the sound of impulsive musicians following the swirling effects' and songs' lead, not guiding them. The music's instinctual flow feels channeled, not forced and it goes places you rarely expect. A long, strange trip, indeed. $12. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — Mike Breen
LITERARY: DAVID SIROTA Perhaps more than any moment since the height of the Cold War, the United States of America is in a deep state of anxiety: outsourced jobs, global warming, endless war, disappearing middle class, faltering economy, questionable elections, soaring gas and health-care costs, natural disasters, fear of terrorism, the end of The Sopranos and on and on. How has our government responded to these vital issues? Uh, by catering to fat-cat corporate interests at the expense of those truly in need. Few understand the current climate of inequality better than David Sirota, a political operative-turned-journalist whose shit-stirring new book, The Uprising, examines the growing unease — if not outrage — of everyday U.S. citizens. Sirota is a funny, passionate, incisive chronicler of the ways in which our political system has betrayed us. Better yet, he examines the ways in which we can fix it. Sirota speaks 7 p.m. Tuesday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Free. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — Jason Gargano
MUSIC: THE BLACK ANGELS play smart, loud and socially conscious music at the Southgate House. See Sound Advice preview here.