Louisville Magazine

JAN 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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MEET 84 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 1.19 OBSESSION PLAYLIST "Killing Me Softly With His Song," Roberta Flack "I remember sitting in the back seat of my family's car while my mother was driving. This song came on and I heard my mother sing along to the chorus and a tear fell from my eye. This song was a representation of my mother's number-one lesson: Men are to love and deeply respect their loved ones, as men hold power to do so much emotional damage." "Stardust," Nat King Cole "I would lie in bed and clench my comforter tight as the melodies and accompaniment took me on a journey through my imagination." "Swallowed in the Sea," Coldplay "The year is 2005, and I'm lying in bed listening to the lyrics, 'You cut me down a tree and brought it back to me, and that's what made me see where I was going wrong.' I thought of The Giving Tree — one of my most influential reads as a kid — and contemplated my first big breakup." "A House Is Not a Home," Luther Vandross "I can still remember my mother sitting me down in the kitchen and singing this, teaching me that singing is a chance to share pain and remind people they're not alone in their feelings." "Love Don't Live Here Anymore," City and Colour "This acoustic cover of a late-'70s disco ballad opened my heart and mind to what it means to cover a song and make it your own. The viscous, dark chords from the Martin acoustic tore through my guts and made me want to learn how to play and sing like that." Scott T. Smith, who is from the small Appalachian town of Hurricane, West Virginia, moved to Louisville last year to explore the music scene. He's now the artist-in-residence at the Main & Clay apartment building on East Main Street. His music combines traditional folk and bluegrass with a Bill Withers soul sound, and his first EP, produced by local pop cellist Ben Sollee, will be out in early 2019. Here are five songs that have influenced Smith. Welcome to Mr. Mechtorian's Mobile Menagerie, a part-futurist, part- steampunk traveling snake-oil outfit. When it rolls, pistons pump and the sign turns. Lift the lid up top and you'll find little Lego tinctures, sure to cure your baldness or give you good luck. And if you discover they don't accomplish those things at all, well, too bad — that stage folds up for a hasty getaway. All this is the vision of Ted Andes. The 46-year-old has a degree in mechanical engineering; his dad was a mechanical engineer, and his mother studied art. "So I think I have both aspects. The Lego hobby is both," he says. We've met at the Bricks and Minifigs store in Middletown, a kind of Lego paradise Andes occasionally mines for parts. He has set out some of his builds on a long table — sci-fi hover bikes, Star Wars vehicles he designed, a big robot-like "mech," a steampunk-y prospector with a long beard riding what looks like a semi-mechanical snail. Andes' background in mechanics helps him see how things fit together — some 15 years into this hobby, he can sketch out ideas on paper without even needing bricks — and his artistic side allows him to create vibrant backstories like that of Mr. Mechtorian, which started with the little man himself, a custom-made figure someone gave him. It also helps him to see how parts can be repurposed. The exhaust coming off those little vehicles? That was originally Lego ice cream. Forget those Lego sets from toy stores. Andes might buy them for parts, but putting them together? That'd be like giving Picasso a paint-by-numbers set. Andes got into Lego years ago. He wanted to buy an elaborate train set for his nephew from a catalogue, but it was discontinued. Online, Andes realized it had been based on a fan design, and fell into a community of Lego builders. Since then, he has been participating in contests and conventions — Mr. Mechtorian won an award for best vehicle at a Brickworld event in Chicago — and he's getting ready for Louisville's BrickUniverse convention, which will take place Jan. 19 and 20 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. He'll be rebuilding a slightly different version of a piece he made for Brickworld: an elaborate "rollercoaster" with Lego pilots in little one-man spaceships flying around a track, powered only by gravity. It's sort of like one of those amusement-park rides with a long coiling track. How many pieces go into something like that? How long does it take to build? "That's a question you get asked all the time," Andes says. "If I'm counting, it's like work. I'd rather just play and let time fly by." — DJ Big in a Small World Meet Lego lover Ted Andes.

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