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by Jac Kern 05.03.2012
Posted In: Performances, Music, Fun, Benefits, Arts, Culture, Events at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
to do_life could be a dream

Your Thursday To Do List

Alice Skirtz will discuss and sign her new book Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor today at Findlay Market’s Skirtz & Johnson. The book looks at how Cincinnati “has used legislation and the administration of public policy to serve the ends of privatizing public assets and displacing people who are perceived as undesirable because they lack economic power and privilege.” Skirtz is also a social worker and founder of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless — proceeds from tonight’s book sales will go to the organization. The signing runs 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Women Helping Women is a 24-hour crisis service helping victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The non-shelter program offers intervention and support services for women — and men — in Southwestern Ohio. Tonight, Sharonville transforms into Oz for Light Up the Night: Emerald City Ball, a benefit for Women Helping Women. Don your best ruby slippers as you enjoy dinner-by-the-bite, Wizard of Oz-themed cocktails, auctions and music — all for a wonderful cause. Tickets should have been reserved in advance. Go here to get involved with the organization by adopting a family, donating or volunteering.

Ensemble Theater Cincinnati takes audiences on a “trip down musical memory lane” with its production of Life Could be a Dream, onstage tonight. Fans of ETC’s Wonderettes productions will feel at home with this sock hop-era musical that follows the Crooning Crabcakes as they try to make the big time and win a local radio contest. Sing along to classic hits like “Runaround Sue,” “Earth Angel,” “Unchained Melody” and more tunes from the time. Tickets to tonight’s 7:30 show are $36.

Check out our music blog for tonight's live show lineup and our To Do page for more events, art shows and performances.

by Jac Kern 03.20.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Events, Fun, Music at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Tuesday To Do List

Spring is here! Celebrate the official start of the season (even though it feels like we skipped forward to summer) with live music, cold drinks and a lovely patio at Neon's. Tonight from 6-9 p.m. Singer-songwriter Tracy Walker will join Adam Sanregret on bass for a night of original music. Find tons more happy hours here.

Local Authors Dann Woellert and Don Heinrich Tolzmann will discuss and sign their respective Cincy-centric books tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion. Woellert's Cincinnati Turner Societies details the locally-founded American Turners organization, created by area German-Americans to influence a growing nation in education, progressive thought, politics, human rights, health, literature and the arts. Tolzman's Over-the-Rhine Tour Guide is an interesting companion to the German Heritage Tours he leads. The book gives a history lesson on the geographical and architectural importance of the area over the years. The event runs from 7-8:30 p.m.

Drinking Liberally is an informal progressive social group, a project of Living Liberally, with chapters across the U.S. and world. The Cincinnati chapter meets at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday: at Cilfton's Fries Cafe the first and third Tuesday each month, and at Dutch's Bar and Bottle Shop in Hyde Park on second and fourth Tuesdays. Share your opinions and ideas in a relaxed, welcoming setting. Get there by 7:45 p.m. to place a food order from Cactus Pear. Go here for more info on Drinking/Living Liberally.

The Playhouse's Tigers Be Still and Ensemble Theatre's Time Stands Still both have productions tonight. Check out our To Do page for more daily recommendations, and our music blog for nightly shows.

by Jac Kern 01.15.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Movies, Music at 09:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough...Golden Globes

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The Golden Globe Awards are a true Hollywood party. Awards are given out for television and film categories, so you get the playfulness of the Emmys and the movie stars of the Oscars without as much seriousness. And it is a widely-known fact that everybody gets their drank on throughout the ceremony. Globes were awarded Sunday night; here are some highlights.

Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey served as ringleaders for this celebrity circus, supplying audiences at home and at the show with tons of laughs. Having a fine eye for detail (HA!), I appreciated that they swapped gown colors from last year’s show.

The duo threw hilarious digs at the nominees, calling Matt Damon a “garbage person” in reference to the caliber of A-listers and introducing the Wolf of Wall Street himself with, "And now, like a supermodel's vagina, let's all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio!" There were also super funny cutaway shots, like Julia Louis-Dreyfus acting like she was too good for this mess, puffing on an e-cig and refusing to take a selfie with Reese Witherspoon. Flawless!

Jennifer Lawrence accepted the first Golden Globe of the night — wearing what appeared to be a bed sheet secured with seat belts — for her role as a certified Real Housewife of New Jersey in American Hustle. She displayed her usual candor, expressing true befuddlement and, for lack of a better word, cute “awkwardness.” And America’s love affair with her continues.

Jacqueline Bisset was shocked — or intoxicated? —when she was announced as Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie for her role in Dancing on the Edge. Eventually she got her words together, speaking right over that "STFU" music and ended up defying the censor to get an s-word in that bitch. Go Jackie!

Behind the Candelabra nabbed Best TV Movie or Mini-Series, because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association doesn’t have a category for “Best Use of Bejeweled Thongs.”

Mad Men was SNUBBED! This year, but Peggy (aka Elizabeth Moss) got an award, at least, for Top of the Lake (Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie). And, seriously, she seems like a total sweetheart. 

Bryan Cranston won Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama for Breaking Bad’s final season. The series also received the award (which was presented by Paula Patton dressed in a blooming tampon-inspired number?) for Best TV Series, Drama. Aaron Paul said it best: “Yeah, bitch!”

Best Original Score - Motion Picture went to Alexander Ebert for All is Lost. When the camera cut to this fancy hobo, I realized that’s the lead singer of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros! Way to go, you crazy dude. Also: new hair icon.

One of the more surprising awards of the night was Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie — that’s a wide-spanning category packed with talent. The Globe went to Jon Voight for Ray Donovan, in which his character advised his grandson, who was sick with a stomach ache, “Maybe you need to faht!” in a heavy Boston accent (Read: This was one of the season’s highlights). But Rob Lowe was fucking robbed of that award. I’ll never forget that face (even if I could)!


Amy Adams(' side boob) received the award for Best Actress In A Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for American Hustle. She and her girls accepted the award in a neckline ripped from the film. Adams is well on her way to becoming a mega-star, but I still keep confusing her with Isla Fischer!

The Globes have this weird tradition of selecting a Mr. and Ms. Golden Globe each year, which is basically a celebri-spawn that wears expensive clothes to help usher award winners out the correct stage exit. This year’s Miss was Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s daughter, Sosie Bacon. As for the Mister, Tina introduced her little-known adult son from a previous relationship.

Robin Wright, female perfection incarnate, was awarded for her role on Netflix series, House of Cards (Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama) The princess attended the show with new fiancé, Ben Foster. Get it girl!

Presenter Jim Carrey proved he’s still got it (despite several bouts of public cray over the past couple years)! I don’t know what made me laugh more: his Shia LaBoeuf sting or the face that he was announced as the star of Dumb and Dumber To.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture went to Jared Leto, who portrayed a transgender AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club. He was really workin’ them ombré highlights (not in the movie, he actually has female envy-worthy hair for a guy). And despite making a period joke, I will always love him because he will always be Jordan Catalano to me.

Spike Jonze received Best Screenplay - Motion Picture for his human-OS love story, Her.

We all need to start watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine! Andy Samberg nabbed Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for his new comedy. Seemed genuinely shocked and pretty adorable. And ICYMI, he’s married to Joanna Newsom.

Another award presenter fashion faux pas: Zoe Saldana's dress looks like a prom rag from Charlotte Russe circa 1999. She'd look hawt in a burlap sack, so her style cred will recover, but damn. I think I have an old purse from Claire's that would match.

Next up was Michael Douglas (Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie) for his role as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra.

Host Amy Poehler received her first Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation. She was massaged by/made out with Bono upon the exciting announcement.

Leonardo DiCaprio won his third Globe (Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy) for The Wolf of Wall Street. The actor, often overlooked at awards events (always the bridesmaid, never the bride, that Leo), seemed extremely gracious.

Rounding out the night, American Hustle was named Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy; Cate Blanchett (which is pronounced Blanch-it as I recently learned on NPR) nabbed Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama for Blue Jasmine; Her male counterpart: Matthew McConaughey (Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama), for Dallas Buyers Club — a role for which he lost 45 pounds. Or, as Tina Fey put it, “what actresses call 'being in a movie.'" Matt wore a cool deep emerald velvet tux and gave his signature catchphrase: “Alright, alright, alright!”

The show closed with Best Motion Picture, Drama, which went to 12 Years a Slave. All in all, it was an entertaining night and the awards were pretty well-distributed. Next up is the Oscars with Ellen DeGeneres — only 46 days to go!

by Jac Kern 01.08.2014
Posted In: Movies, Music, Humor, TV/Celebrity at 01:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The Internet is a scary place, and anyone who’s browsed 4chan can attest to that. But this creepy technological web can connect strangers and answer questions, often with unexpected results. The latest example: Jenna Jameson exchanged an unverified story and super sad, semi-nude pics for information about her former agent who Jameson said turned out to be a con man and is sabotaging her online presence. She was given the man’s phone number, address, social security number, credit score an more private information within the hour. Cool?

David Lynch fans will likely recall the last episode of Twin Peaks, where Laura Palmer tells Agent Cooper she’ll see him in 25 years. Peaks took place in 1989, which means she was referring to this year — 2014. Hence, Lynch is filming new episodes of the cult series, as evidenced by a Twin Peaks casting call.

It’s always exciting to see Cincinnati on the big screen — not just a mention, but actual shots of the city. It’s certainly not the most exotic locale, and many scenes of a Cincinnati-based movie could probably be replicated in a Hollywood studio. So movies that do make the trip Midwest tend to be very special to locals. Rain Man, Traffic and The Ides of March all brought a spotlight and stars to the Queen City. Next up: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara make their way to Cincinnati this spring to film Carol. Based on the Patricia Highsmith book also known as The Price of Salt, the movie will be set in 1950s New York City, but shot exclusively in Cincinnati. Blanchett and Mara in vintage garb, traipsing around town? Celeb-stalking will be in full force, #ClooneyWatch style. Read more here.

In case you missed it, Shia LaBoeuf has lost his damn mind. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit C. But, due to my undying love of Louis Stevens, I still anticipate seeing his wiener (again) in Nymphomaniac.

We’re a week into 2014 but, judging by the proliferation of “best of” articles and continued obligatory year-end reflection posts on Facebook, it appears most people are still in #RIP2013 mode — so we’re going to follow suit. Now that our marathon New Year’s hangover has passed (and since awards season doesn’t kick off until this week's People’s Choice Awards and Golden Globes), let’s look back at some of the highlights — and low points — of 2013.

The most photographed location on Instagram was a Bangkok mall; the most “popular” is this shot of Will Smith and the Biebs, with more than 1.5 million likes.

                                  A sacrifice to the Xenu gods? No such luck.

Moving on to Twitter, the most re-tweeted post was a somber one — Lea Michele of Glee’s photo of herself with boyfriend Cory Monteith, who died of a drug and alcohol overdose in July.

A close second was the announcement of actor Paul Walker’s death in November. :(:(:(

OK, enough with the sads! The most illegally downloaded artist of the year was Bruno Mars. Not sure whether that means he’s even more popular than his record sales show, or if people are just really ashamed to buy a Burno Mars album. Either way, the guy who penned, the exquisite phrase, “You and me baby making love like gorillas,” will be performing at halftime during next month’s Super Bowl. Good luck topping last year’s!

During awards shows and in end-of-the-year roundups, we often take a moment to remember people that have passed away. Since just looking at that Cory Monteith photo makes me want to sob and hide in a room full of Pug puppies and body pillows, actual real humans are out of the question. So, as a variation of this trend, let’s look back on some of the important TV characters we lost this year. SPOILERS.

In Memoriam

Game of Thrones

After the main protagonist of Game of Thrones, Ned Stark, was shockingly beheaded in the first season, audiences quickly learned any character on the series could find themself chopping block at any time. But who (besides, of course, those who’ve read A Storm of Swords) would expect Ned’s widow and oldest son to join him so quickly — and in such a terrifying fashion? The episode “The Rains of Castamere” brought the merciless death of Catelyn and Robb Stark plus Robb’s wife, Talisa, their unborn baby and direwolf Grey Wind, in addition to at least a dozen others at the "Red Wedding" alone. Earlier in the season, Ros — one of my favorite “working ladies” on television — fell victim to the insufferable Joffrey. While she played a much smaller role than the Starks, her death was heartbreaking and shocking. You’ll all be missed!

Boardwalk Empire

A Prohibition gangster drama is bound to rack up a serious body count. For some of the historically-based characters, like Al Capone, viewers have a pretty good idea about how long they will last. The fictional characters, however, can meet their maker at any point. While I’m still not over Jimmy and Angela’s demise, Boardwalk fully crushed my heart by having Richard Harrow go out in a completely un-badass style. Harrow was more than just a talented sniper with half a prosthetic face. He was a hero in the show. He killed — a lot — but usually only the true bad guys, and often to protect others. He was sensitive and strong, but slipped in his final scenes, accidentally killing Chalky’s daughter instead of his target, Narcisse. As soon as he missed the shot, I knew he was done for — Harrow, by definition, always hits his mark! Sure enough, after a dream sequence in which Harrow reunited with his family, we were jolted back to reality to find the wounded war vet dying peacefully under the boardwalk. The show will go on, but won’t have the same heart without him.


Oh, Debra. I never much cared for Dexter’s little sis — the phony fowl mouth act just rubbed me the wrong way. But she definitely played an important role in the series, especially once she found out about her brother’s “dark passenger.” Dexter seriously declined after its fourth season, and this final one was a doozy. But it still didn’t prepare us for Deb’s death. After surviving a shot to the stomach, Deb appears to be recovering at a hospital. While Dexter was busy chasing down his sister’s shooter, Deb’s health turned for the worse, leaving her brain-dead. As a hurricane hits Miami, sending the hospital staff into a frenzy, Dex is able to pull the plug on his sister — sure she would not want to continue on in a vegetative state at a hospital for the rest of her days — and takes her body on his boat, to be whipped into the stormy sea. It seems like Deb and Dex died together in the water, until we meet up with a bearded, lumberjack Dexter in some mysterious woodsy locale, living in solitude. The fuh?

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead killed off a number of significant characters between the end of Season Three and first half of Season Four this year. Andrea, who once shared a bed with the Governor, ended up dead because of him. The Gov. hunted and captured Andrea after she attempted to run away to her group at the prison. Trapped in a torture chamber with the ticking time-zomb that was Milton, Andrea was unable to protect herself from a deadly bite. Michonne made it to her BFF Andrea’s side, only in time to put her down before she turned. And, after making an anticipated return to the show, Merle also fell victim to the Governor. His brother, Daryl, was tasked with killing zombie-Merle in a super-sad scene.

The Governor’s path of terror finally came to an end at the prison, but not before he was able to take out Hershel (the closest thing the group had to a doctor, not to mention Maggie and Beth’s father and the sweetest one-legged man to make it in the apocalypse). The villain was finally taken down in a big shoot-out between his group and Rick’s, which left all the survivors in disarray. Also, baby Judith is MIA, probably in a zombie’s belly. :(

Breaking Bad

I made up my mind early on that Walter White needed to die at the end of Breaking Bad in order for the story to retain its authenticity. Walt got into the meth business in order to pay for his medical costs and provide ample support for his family if and when he succumbed to cancer. We all know he stuck with the game for so long because, as he finally admitted in the finale, he liked it. He was good at it. “I did it for me,” he tells Skyler in their final scene. Most fans probably expected Walt to die, and he did so in a truly epic fashion, while protecting Jesse. His brother-in-law Hank also went out like a champ, after a brutal desert showdown. The saddest death of all was the end of the show itself, but Breaking Bad will surely stand the test of time as one of the greatest American dramas.


Talk about a surprise ending! After breaking free from countless near-death experiences, Nicholas Brody was captured and killed. Viewers got a taste of a Brody-less Homeland this season, as the character was on the lam and not present in much of this season. But the show was so much better with Brody in it — somehow, he balanced Carrie’s cray, despite the fact that he was a damaged man who flipped every chance he got. This death gives the show an opportunity to take a completely new route. Hopefully we’ll still check in on his family (am I the only one who still cares about them?) but we’re definitely going to have a little bit of Brody in the form of his child with Carrie. How a fetus could survive the stress, cigs and booze she put it through proves that this is definitely a Marine baby.

by Jac Kern 09.26.2013
Posted In: Music, TV/Celebrity, Humor at 09:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

New Orleans Hip Hop artist and “Queen of Bounce” Big Freedia was twerking back when Miley was still “Hannah.” Her booty-shaking anthems like “Azz Everywhere” command crowds to pop their shit — Cincy was lucky to get a taste of Big Freedia during the 2011 MidPoint Indie Summer Series. Now that the world has gotten wind of twerking, completely taken it out of musical context and become grotesquely obsessed with it, Freedia is here to tell us the true story of bounce music and booty dancing. Check out the new docu-series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce on Fuse debuting Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 11 p.m.

Big Freedia hosted Guinness World Twerking Record dance-off in New York City Wednesday. Yes, there is now an official world record for “most people twerking at one time.”

                         1:05 - Twerk, Grandma, TWERK!

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday night — his second major award hosting gig this year (He also filled the role at July’s Tony Awards). NPH did a fine job, but the skits and monologues were nothing to write home about. Maybe he needs a break from being the face of every awards show?

After an excruciatingly long intro monologue (saved barely by the flawless Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), the night kicked off with the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Nurse Jackie’s Merritt Wever answered everyone’s prayers by skipping an acceptance speech altogether to give us a bathroom break (turns out Wever wasn’t shooed offstage for time considerations as speculated — she was just nervous, which is adorable).

Veep’s Tony “Buster Bluth Forever” Hale nabbed the Supporting Actor in a Comedy prize, later reprising his role as the Vice Prez’s bitch boy onstage when co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy.

Other notable wins of the night:

Anna Gunn (Skyler White, Breaking Bad) was finally validated with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama after portraying a major love-to-hate character for five seasons. Breaking Bad was also awarded as the best drama series, because obviously. Side Note: For those unable to watch Sunday’s Breaking Bad series finale in real time and all you pathetic chumps still not caught up, social media can be a landmine of spoilers. That’s why Netflix created the Spoiler Foiler, which censors the tweets in your feed that contain “breaking,” “bad” or other “danger words.” But until we see the day when people realize “I can’t believe XX killed XXX” is not share-worthy commentary, no one is truly safe.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama was full of worthy contenders: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut, Breaking Bad) to name a few. But it was Bobby Cannavale who deservingly took the trophy for his role as Gyp Rosetti, Boardwalk Empire’s Season Three villain. As much as I adore the other nominees, Cannavale’s take on the dangerous, hypersensitive Italian gangster Gyp was a performance to be reckoned with.

James Cromwell won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his role in American Horror Story: Asylum (the show’s only major win, despite having the most nominations). Cromwell is great in everything from Babe to Six Feet Under, but his role as this sexually repressed mad scientist was truly chilling.

Finally, The Colbert Report beat The Daily Show (among others) for Outstanding Variety Series, breaking Jon Stewart’s 10-year winning streak (although Stewart is actually an executive producer for Colbert, so he kind of won, too).

Go here to see all the nominees and winners.

Richard Simmons (who really seems to be popping up everywhere lately, which I'm loving) got done up in drag to pay tribute to his fave Emmy nominees