Nothing beats the heat better than ice cream. Therefore, in the interest of science, a few of us recently gathered at the CityBeat World Headquarters for a totally non-scientific taste testing of our favorite local ice creams and gelatos. Yes, it truly was a sacrifice, but one we were willing to make for our readers.
During an interview in advance of May’s MusicNOW festival, Bryce Dessner — its organizer and guitarist for The National — told me something very provocative about Cincinnati as a concert market for Indie Rock bands. And it might offer insight into why “vanguard” Indie acts — those whose experimentalism or artfulness, whose risky newness, resonates with enough fans to make a cultural impact — seem to skip Cincinnati once they reach mid-level (or higher) popularity.
Cincinnati native (a sometimes forgotten fact) Steven Spielberg is the Godfather of Summer, much like James Brown was the Godfather of Soul. And like Brown, he has proven to be the hardest working man in the movies. We are used to his herculean efforts behind the camera, but this summer Spielberg is setting up the tent poles throughout the season, both in the multiplexes and on television. He’s the Man.
How does an opera company follow up a 90th anniversary season? For starters, it returns to the usual four-work schedule, which this year includes a company premiere. The season features two chestnuts, a work not performed since 1984 and an opera written in 2006.
Springfield, a smaller city some 75 miles slightly northeast of Cincinnati, has lost plenty during the post-industrial era. So it’s important when it can reclaim, restore and celebrate something that once made it so special — an outdoor folk-art environment known as Hartman Rock Garden, created during the Great Depression. And the way it did so is a good lesson for much larger cities struggling with urban-preservation issues.