In advance of The National’s highly anticipated free performance this Thursday at Fountain Square, I had the opportunity to talk with the lead singer of the band, Matt Berninger. The concert is part of a rally in support of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, donning the title “Vote Early, Rock Late.” It will feature political speakers and buses to take people to early voting locations, as well as two bands — Dayton natives The Breeders followed by Cincinnati’s own (though they live in Brooklyn now) The National. And, of course, there will be “plenty of Rock & Roll and beer,” as Berninger succinctly puts it. (UPDATE: The National's management says they are unsure of what times the bands will play, as of now. The only sure thing — both will play between 5 and 9 p.m.).
Berninger explains that the concert came together rather innocently; they simply wanted to show support for their candidate of choice. Initially the thought was to play a benefit concert, but as it all evolved, a rally seemed more appropriate, both in terms of what the band really wanted to accomplish and the nature of Obama’s campaign.
“It was our idea, but there have been so many people pitching in and helping along the way,” Berninger says. “No one is getting paid here, so it was really exciting to see so many people take the time to make this happen.”
The National’s fundraiser for the Obama campaign developed in a similarly organic manner. Shirts depicting Obama’s face accompanied by the song title of what has become a familiar show-closer for the band, “Mr. November.”
“About nine months ago, that song came (up during a show) and I dedicated it to (Obama),” Berninger remembers. “And it wasn’t until about halfway through the song that I realized just how perfectly it fit, in terms of both mood and timing. That night, Scott (Devendorf, bassist from The National) and I decided to make a T-shirt and a week later we had a box to sell. I think it all happened in the midst of four hours, and since then we’ve been able to raise about $10,000, with all proceeds going directly to the campaign.”
The band — whose song "Fake Empire" was used in a film about Obama showed at the Democratic National Convention — returns to their hometown of Cincinnati in the midst of one of the most significant presidential elections in history. Southwest Ohio – with its conservative reputation and rising liberal and progressive presence -- stands as arguably the most hotly contested location in the election.
“The thing I’ve always loved about the political landscape of Cincinnati is that you have it all,” he says. “You have extremely conservative Cincinnatians and you also have very progressive lefties and often you have that all in the same family. I don’t quite have the same conversations now, being in New York, that I used to in high school or around my dinner table in Cincinnati. And that’s the healthy thing about being there, is that those conversations are happening, truthful, and among people that, at the end of day, you truly respect and love.”
There is no hint of pessimism in Berninger’s voice. Rather, he sounds truly enthused about the opportunity America has to elect a candidate like Barack Obama, a man whom he believes embodies the most admirable qualities.
“There is an intellect, compassion and empathy to (Obama) that doesn’t seem fake,” Berninger says. “I want the best of us to be in the White House. I want the cream of the crop of American thinkers to be making decisions for me, and (decisions) that are going to affect me, my family and our future. I want the smartest guy in the room and the groundswell of support Obama has gathered shows that people see that in him.”
The National have recently wrapped up their tour in support of the critically-acclaimed album Boxer. They have written approximately 10 songs and returned to the studio to begin recording their follow-up. No word yet on a release date.
— Dave Tobias
(All photos by Keith Klenowski)
I went to high school in West Chester and, once I got a car, I discovered that I was a city mouse. I fell in love with Cincinnati around the time I fell in love with photography. Coming to Provident Camera was a pilgrimage for me. It was the first place I drove to in the city by myself, so it meant adulthood. It was a place filled with people (workers and customers alike) who had as much passion for photography as I did, so it meant I wasn't alone.
500 Miles to Memphis at the Southgate House Revival: Say goodbye to 2013 with the band, one of the best live groups in the area. 9 p.m. $8 pre-sale; $10 day-of. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., 859-431-2201, southgatehouse.com.
Big Easy New Year’s Eve: Ring in the New Year New Orleans-style with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and conductor John Morris Russell. The evening will feature jazzy Big Band favorites with trumpeter Byron Stripling delivering Dixieland favorites and a tribute to Louis Armstrong. Following the concert, there will bea ball hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, carnival-style dancing, dinner, live music and a champagne toast at midnight. Concert: 7:30 p.m.; ball: 10 p.m. Concert: $12-$90; ball: $175-$250. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.
SOLD OUT CityBeat and Know Theatre’s Speakeasy Party: A 1920s-themed speakeasy in the basement bar of the Know Theatre with casino games, dance lessons, food, martinis and a champagne toast at midnight. Benefits the Know Theatre. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $25. Know Theatre of Cincinnati, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, RSVP to 513-300-5669 or knowtheatre.com.
Hamilton County Parks’ Family New Year’s Eve: A ton of family-friendly fun to fit in before the ball drops at 9 p.m. See live animals, balloon sculptors and magicians and play games, make crafts and more. 6-9 p.m. $4; free for 2 and younger. Woodland Mound, Seasongood Nature Center, 8250 Old Kellogg Road, Beechmont, RSVP to greatparks.org.
First Midnight: Performances by DJ ETrayn, DJ B Sarge and Peter Dressman plus hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast. Benefits Give Back Cincinnati. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $40; $30 advance; $50 per couple advance. Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, 1000 Broadway St., Downtown, RSVP to ffecincinnati.com.
Happy Zoo Year: Ring in the New Year early at the Zoo with the Festival of Lights, a New Year’s Eve Madcap Puppet Theatre black-light show, party favors, costumed characters and appearances by Baby Zoo Year and Father Time. An early New Year countdown begins at 8:55 p.m. at the Wings of Wonder Theater with fireworks at 9 p.m. 5-9 p.m. Included with zoo admission: $15 adults; $10 seniors and children. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.
International New Year’s Celebration: Celebrate New Year’s traditions from around the world each hour in the Cincinnati Museum Center’s rotunda. Learn about the different countries and their culture, music, games and crafts. Stop by “customs” for special country stamps and write a letter to troops stationed abroad. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.
Midnight in Munich: Celebrate the New Year in Germany with a German dinner buffet, German festivities and a champagne toast at 6 p.m. — midnight Munich time. 5 p.m. $30. Mecklenburg Gardens, 302 E. University Ave., Corryville, RSVP to mecklenburgs.net.
Mike Davis New Year’s Eve Show: Las Vegas-style entertainment by Elvis tribute act Mike Davis. Includes a buffet dinner, coffee, soft drinks, beer and wine. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $50. Mariner’s Inn, 7391 Forbes Park, Sayler Park, RSVP to 513-465-9037 or todayselvis.com.
New Year’s Eve Ball: Two DJs on two levels plus an hors d’oeuvres buffet and champagne toast. 9 p.m. $30; discounts for 10 or more. Mount Adams Pavilion, 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, RSVP to 513-744-9200 or mountadamspavilion.com.
New Year’s Eve Bash at Blinkers Tavern: Regular menu available plus a three-course dinner, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Music by DJ Lunaman. 8 p.m. $65. Blinkers Tavern, 318 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., RSVP to 859-360-0840.
New Year’s Eve Black and White Ball: Includes a two-room suite at the Embassy Suites Blue Ash plus an open bar, dancing, DJ, buffet dinner, midnight continental breakfast and late check-out. Check-in at 3 p.m. $349. Embassy Suites Blue Ash, 4554 Lake Forest Drive, Blue Ash, RSVP to 513-981-3752.
New Year’s Eve Blast on Fountain Square: Food vendors, beverage stations, souvenirs, dance contest, music by DJ Tweet and Rozzi’s famous fireworks at midnight. 8 p.m.-midnight. Free; VIP packages available. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, 513-763-8036, myfountainsquare.com.
New Year’s Eve at Bobby Mackey’s Music World: The 35th annual bash at Bobby’s with line dancing, live music, bull rides and hourly ghost tours. Music by Bobby Mackey and the Big Mac Band plus karaoke. 9 p.m. $10. Bobby Mackey’s Music World, 44 Licking Pike, Wilder, Ky., RSVP to 859-431-5588 or bobbymackey.com.
New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise: An Ohio River cruise with BB Riverboats including the sparkling Cincinnati skyline, a buffet, entertainment, champagne split at midnight and a late-night snack buffet and party favors. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $102 adults; $62 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., RSVP to 859-261-8500 or bbriverboats.com.
New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance: Hot buffet, snacks, a wine fountain, hats, noisemakers, music and attendees can BYOB. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $40. Lakeridge Hall, 7210 Pippin Road, Colerain Township, RSVP to 513-521-1112.
New Year’s Eve at the Funny Bone: A special engagement with comedian Basile. 7 p.m. $45. Levee Funny Bone, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., funnybone.com.
New Year’s Eve Gala at Vito’s Cafe: A five-course prix-fixe menu with music, balloons and champagne. Seatings at 6 and 9 p.m. $60; $15 for ages 9 and younger. Vito’s Café, 654 Highland Ave., Fort Thomas, Ky., RSVP to 859-442-9444.
New Year’s Eve at Go Bananas: Comedian Cy Amundson plus party favors, snack plates and a champagne toast. 7:30 and 10 p.m. $20 early show; $40 late show. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.
New Year’s Eve at Igby’s: Dress in cocktail attire for music by DJ Ice Cold Tony. Advance-order bottle specials available: two bottles of Grey Goose and a bottle of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut champagne for $420; one bottle of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut for $65. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $20. Igby’s, 122 E. Sixth St., Downtown, 513-246-4396, igbysbar.com.
New Year’s Eve Kids’ Countdown at Newport Aquarium: Q102’s Katie Walters takes over the Shark Ray Bay Theater for a kids’ celebration with music, dancing and giveaways plus a special appearance countdown by Scuba Santa at 5 p.m. Kids also get noisemakers and party hats to ring in the New Year. 3-5:30 p.m. Free with admission: $23 adults; $15 children; free two and younger. Newport Aquarium, 1 Levee Way, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com.
New Year’s Eve at The Lackman: Drink specials including $5 Bulleit cocktails and $3 select bottle beers. Complimentary champagne toast at midnight. 8 p.m. Free. The Lackman, 1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, lackmanbar.com.
New Year’s Eve at Mayday: Great Gatsby-style party with live ’20s-era Jazz and a three-course dinner. Champagne pairings available. Dinner followed by the Koi Pound Annual Carnivolution with DJs, LED spinners and other carnival antics. 6 p.m. dinner; 9:30 p.m. Koi Pound party. $30 champagne dinner; $45 sparkling wine dinner. Mayday, 4227 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, RSVP to maydaynorthside.com.
New Year’s Eve at Mynt Martini: A balloon drop, complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 8-9 p.m., music by Davey C. and a champagne toast at midnight. 8 p.m. $25 advance; VIP packages $400-$2,500. Mynt Martini, 28 Fountain Square, Downtown, RSVP to 513-621-6968.
New Year’s Eve at the Newport Syndicate: Multiple party rooms with music by the Rusty Griswolds, multiple pianists and Q102’s DJ Mark McFadden. Champagne toast at midnight with dinner buffet and open bar. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $75 piano package; $100 premium; $125 VIP; $150 Best Seat in the House. Newport Syndicate, 18 E. Fifth St., Newport, Ky., 859-491-8000, cincyticket.com.
New Year’s Eve at Obscura: Includes a four-course prix-fixe menu. Seating begins at 6 p.m.; 8 and 10 p.m. seating includes a cocktail or wine pairing for $99; 10 p.m. reservation includes a champagne toast. $75-$99. Obscura, 645 Walnut St., Downtown, RSVP to obscuracincinnati.com.
New Year’s Eve at Perfect North Slopes: Skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing open until 1 a.m. with party favors and a DJ in the lodge. Fireworks at midnight plus a torchlight parade down the slopes by ski instructors and ski patrol. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Free (except for lift tickets). Perfect North Slopes, 19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, Ind., perfectnorth.com.
New Year’s Eve at The Stand: VIP tables available. 8 p.m. Free. The Stand, 3195 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, 513-871-5006, thestandcincy.com.
New Year’s Eve at the Rail House: Enjoy a New Orleans-style masquerade ball with live music by the Robin Lacy & DeZydeco plus a three-course prix-fixe dinner package. Show off your best Mardi Gras mask and win a bottle of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut to use to toast the New Year. Reservation times for the NYE dinner package are every half hour between 7 and 9:30 p.m.; early-bird seating 4-6 p.m. $39.95 dinner. The Rail House, 40 Village Square, Glendale, RSVP to railhouse1854.com.
No Hassle New Year’s Eve with Cincinnati Sports League: Party favors, two free Budweisers, one American Honey cocktail, a champagne toast, macaroni and cheese buffet and a chance to win a cruise to the Bahamas. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $25. Keystone Bar & Grill Hyde Park, 3384 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, RSVP to 513-321-2150.
NYE 2K14 Hosted by Grandmaster Flash: Includes a complimentary buffet and party favors plus packages for skip-the-line entrance, open bar, a meet-and-greet with Grandmaster Flash and more. Opening set by DJ Mike B of Animal Crackers. 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $75; $50 advance. PLAY, 35 E. Seventh St., Downtown, RSVP to 513-500-6923 or playcincy.com.
Pauly Shore at Boogie Nights: Ring in 2014 with comedian Pauly Shore at Hollywood Casino’s Boogie Nights nightclub. Shore will be mixing, mingling and emceeing the evening. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. $20; $35 per couple. Hollywood Casino, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Lawrenceburg, Ind., hollywoodindiana.com.
Red Wanting Blue: Celebrate New Year’s at the 20th Century Theater with music by Red Wanting Blue and Young Heirlooms. 9 p.m. $25 advance; $30 day-of; $40 VIP with access to a pre-show acoustic set, limited edition signed poster and meet-and-greet. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, 513-731-8000, the20thcenturytheatre.com.
Rumpke Mountain Boys’ New Year’s Eve Ball: Bluegrass band the Rumpke Mountain Boys host a New Year’s bash with New Old Cavalry and Flatland Harmony Experiment. 7 p.m. $25. The Thompson House, 24 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., 859-261-7469, thompsonhousenewport.com.
Silvestertanz: A German New Year’s Eve celebration with music by Alpen Echos, hors d’oeuvres, a sandwich buffet and dessert. Cash bar. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $22. Donauschwaben Haus, 4290 Dry Ridge Road, Colerain Township, RSVP to 513-385-2098 or cincydonau.com.
Star Lanes NYE: New Year’s Eve packages for day and night, including complimentary food, drinks and bowling. Nighttime 21 packages include three hours of bowling, shoe rental, passed hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast and four well-drink tickets. Daytime family-friendly packages available. 21 event starts at 9 p.m. $50. Star Lanes, 1 Levee Way, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., RSVP 859-652-7252, starlaneslevee.com.
Stress Free New Year’s Eve: Music by DJ Simo. VIP tables available. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Free. The Righteous Room, 641 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-381-4408, therighteousroom.com.
Track Bash New Year’s Eve Party: Turfway Park presents live horse racing, music by Doghouse and various packages including everything from buffet and party favors to a champagne toast. 5:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Packages $75-$150; free general admission. Turfway Park, 7500 Turfway Road, Florence, Ky., turfway.com.
Why? at The Comet: Locally based, internationally beloved Indie crew Why? will play its final show of 2013 at the intimate Comet in Northside. 10 p.m. Free. The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-541-8900, cometbar.com.
Wussy at the Northside Tavern: Wussy and Frontier Folk Nebraska close out 2013. 9 p.m. Free. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidetav.com.
Here's the dish on hogs: they rank among the smartest in the animal kingdom and despite the phrase "pigging out," they actually savor their food. On March 1, National Pig Day, Americans across the Midwest don snouts, dress in pink and "eat like pigs" to celebrate their intelligence and contributions to mankind.
The "Best of Taste" awards — a precursor to the Taste of Cincinnati food fest later this month — were doled out today. Eighty dishes from 30 restaurants were served to judges — "celebrities, foodies and the epicurious" — and they awarded the Crab and Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle from Arloi Dee Thai Bistro the coveted "Best Damn Dish" prize.
Here's the full list of winners:
Best of Taste: Strasse Haus, Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly
Award of Excellence: LaRosa’s, Spinach Rondo
Award of Merit: Market Street Grille, Stuffed Chicken Amore
Best of Taste: du jours/Courtyard Café, Hunter’s Home Turkey Chili
Award of Excellence: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Caprese Salad
Award of Merit: City Barbeque, Gumbo
Best of Taste: Arloi Dee Thai Bistro, Crab & Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle
Award of Excellence: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Seafood Pizza
Award of Merit: Mahagony’s, Shrimp and Grits
Best of Taste: Andy’s Mediterranean Grille, Gyro Wrap
Award of Excellence: Claddagh Irish Pub, Jameson Burger
Award of Merit: Lazlo’s Iron Skillet, Walking Chicken Saltimbocca
Best of Taste: du jours/Courtyard Café, Black Bean Burrito
Award of Excellence: J. Gumbo’s, Bumblebee Stew
Award of Merit: LaRosa’s, Skinny Wheat Pizza
Best of Taste: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Banana Cream Pie
Award of Excellence: du jour’s/Courtyard Café, Raspberry Cloud Pie
Award of Merit: Claddagh Irish Pub, Bread Pudding
Best Damn Dish
Arloi Dee Thai Bistro, Crab & Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle
Taste of Cincinnati is coming up Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28. Visit TasteofCincinnati.com for more details.
such indecency by individuals who are likely afflicted by mental health and
substance abuse problems is obviously of intense public interest (if anyone
poops anywhere near CityBeat, we
goddam sure want to know about it), this stellar roundup of arrests nearly took
a backseat to the drama that unfolded in Indian Hill the night before — Robert
S. Castellini, the 46-year-old son of Reds owner Bob Castellini, and his wife
Deanna were arrested and charged with domestic violence for fighting in front
of their children.
Crime reporter Kimball Perry was all over the story, as he
has a long history of detailing the crayest of the cray in Hamilton County
courtrooms, reporting on Monday that both Robert and Deanna went in front of a
judge that morning and how court documents described "visible scratch
marks around the neck of Ms. Castellini” and Robert having "visible
scratches around his neck and shoulder.
Despite such drama and intrigue — three Castellinis work in the Reds front office and Robert’s lawyer is Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou — The Enquirer appears to have pulled the story from its website as of Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what comes up when you go through Google and click on Perry’s story, titled “Reds' owners' son, daughter-in-law arrested”:Fortunately for those who for so long have turned to The Enquirer for awesome stories about (mostly poor) people's problems, you can still find the cached page:
As Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) wrote in 2001: “The Idaho Statesman has a curious definition of 'fact checking.' The business editor of the Gannett-owned daily, Jim Bartimo, resigned when he was told that a story he had worked on about Micron Technologies, the area's largest employer, had to be sent for pre-publication 'review'... to Micron Technologies.”
Previously The Statesman's business news practices were examined by The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, in articles from January and February 2000. Kurtz's article revealed that The Statesman reporter covering the Micron beat was married to a Micron employee.
When Kurtz asked Washburn about the paper's Micron coverage and whether it was afraid to be too critical, she replied, “It's not that it has anything to do with their being the biggest employer. What we write can affect a lot of people in this community. It can affect the stock price.”
WKRC Local 12 also reported the arrests on Monday, and its video and online version are still live here.
Robert S. Castellini is due back in court Aug. 18, and
Deanna’s case is scheduled to continue Aug. 21, not that anyone really gives a
shit. If Perry’s article miraculously reappears this story will be updated.
Passing gas is sometimes considered a reaction to a good meal from a satisfied consumer, but actually farts are made during the release of gas that your body produces during digestion. My farts however are starting to push my friends away. I have always farted throughout my life, like most people, but recently things have been getting out of control.
The hard work local experimental Rock/Soul/Pop/Prog/Glam oddballs Foxy Shazam have put in on the road the past couple of years is starting to pay off big time. Recent Foxy news includes everything from the impending release of the band’s major-label debut for Sire Records to gigging with Courtney Love in the U.K. to collaborations with Rock legend Meat Loaf.
Since 2006, the Ohio Smoke-Free Workplace Act has banned indoor smoking at public establishments and places of employment, making Ohio the first Midwestern state to enact a state-wide ban. Despite controversy and contestment, that ban will continue to be enforced statewide.
The owner of Zeno's Victorian Village in Columbus who attempted to combat the law was shut down by a unanimous 7-0 vote in the Ohio Supreme Court today, which ruled that the state's six-year smoking ban is constitutional.
Ohio's ban affects some 280,000 establishments across the state of Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
According to the Supreme Court of Ohio's case summary, Zeno's was cited 10 times for violations of the ban from July 2007 and September 2009, receiving multiple fines, none of which were paid. In protest of the violations, the director of the ODH filed a complaint against Bartec Inc., the corporate entity that owns Zeno's, requesting the bar to pay all outstanding fines.
Bartec and legal representative 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a nonprofit legal center, asserted that the smoking ban was unconstitutional, a violation of the state's policing powers and that prohibiting smoking in an adults-only liquor-licensed establishment such as Zeno’s is "unduly oppressive," according to the case summary.
The ban and its enforcement, argued Bartec, constitutes an unlawful taking of property, meaning an improper confiscation of the owner’s control of the indoor air.
"The goal of this legislation is to protect the health of the workers and other citizens of Ohio. ... It does so by regulating proprietors of public places and places of employment in a minimally invasive way. We therefore hold that the Smoke Free Act does not constitute a taking,” wrote Justice Lanzinger in her opinion.
In her written opinion, Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger also cited 2002 Supreme Court decision, D.A.B.E., Inc. v. Toledo-Lucas Cty. Bd. of Health:
"We have previously stated that the General Assembly has the authority to enact a public-smoking ban. ... Although the Smoke Free Act was ultimately passed pursuant to a ballot initiative, the voters of Ohio also have a legitimate purpose in protecting the general welfare and health of Ohio citizens and workforce from the dangers of secondhand smoke in enclosed public places. By requiring that proprietors of public places and places of employment take reasonable steps to prevent smoking on their premises by posting ‘no smoking’ signs, removing ashtrays, and requesting patrons to stop smoking, the act is rationally related to its stated objective.”
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the bar owes the state approximately $33,00 in violation fines, and the state has threatened to seize and foreclose the bar if the fines aren't paid.
See how Ohio's public smoking laws compare to those in other states across the U.S. here.