Add a little français to your Thursday with Cincinnati Symphony's French Connection concert. Enjoy works of three French composers, performed by French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, led by French conductor Stéphane Denève. Tickets for tonight's 7:30 p.m. show at Music Hall start at just $10 — c'est bon marché! The show continues Saturday and Sunday. Go here for tickets and performance details.
Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms series continues tonight with Magnolia Mountain and Comet Bluegrass All Stars. This free concert offers excellent local bands in the beautiful setting of the zoo's gardens. The concert runs 6-8:30 p.m.; admission to the zoo is free after 5 p.m. (parking is $8). Tunes and Blooms continues every Thursday this month.
Happy Eight Track Tape and Barbershop Quartet Day! That's right, April 11 is designated as a celebratory day for the clunky cassette ancestor, as well as the harmonizing foursome. Anyone who actually owns an eight track featuring a barbershop quartet: Send a photo in!
The Over-the-Rhine Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation is a non-profit committed to making OTR a healthy, balanced and supportive neighborhood economy. The organization helps preserve, restore and redevelop Cincinnati's unique brewing history and urban fabric. Live in the area or just want to get involved? Stop by the Brewery District's monthly meeting at Spotted Magpie Vintage (1420 Main St.) tonight from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
For an especially classy Wednesday, go to Cocktails with Conundrum at Celestial Steakhouse's Incline Lounge. Music ensemble Conundrum will perform Cincinnati's premiere of Eric Knechtges' "Simon" and other favorites. Come around 7 p.m. to enjoy cocktails and noshes (with an astounding view of the city) before the 7:45 p.m. performance. Tickets are $30 at the door. Find more information here.
Check out our To Do recommendations for ongoing theater and arts happenings tonight and follow our music blog for tonight's live show lineup. Feel like staying in? Here are some TV shows worth checking out.
The Heights Music Festival (formerly Clifton Heights Music Festival, launched in 2009) kicks off tonight with more than 70 bands (and some comedy sets) at five venues within walking distance around Clifton Heights. Rohs Street Café, Baba Budan’s, Mac’s, Christy’s and Roxx Electrocafe all host performances beginning at 7 p.m. tonight and starting at 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon through the night. Tickets are $8 for just tonight, $5 for tomorrow’s daytime shows or $12 for the whole weekend. Go here for lineup details and more information.
iconic Cincinnati-based artist Charley Harper passed away almost five years
ago, his artwork is as recognizable now than ever. His modernist depictions of
nature and wildlife still cover the walls of fans young and old. Mary Ran
Gallery is currently holding an exhibit and sale of Harper’s vintage signed and
numbered prints. Stop by the Hyde Park gallery, peep some of his colorful works
and walk away with one of your own. Find details here.
TEDxCincinnatiChange is the first of many TED events to hit the Tri-state this spring. Saturday’s theme is "Big Picture, Small Details," set to examine issues with global and local impact and zeroing in on small details to make big ideas work. This a satellite event of a national TEDxChange, which marks a partnership between TED (Technology, Entertainments and Design) and the Melinda Gates Foundation. The Cincinnati event will kick off with a live streaming of a TEDxChange talk from Berlin. Speakers and performers include filmmakers Andrea Sisson and Peter Ohs, True Body Project founder Stacy Sims, taste of Beligum's Jean-Francois Flechet and many more. The event is currently sold out, but go here to find other upcoming TED events.
Rumspringa is a rite of passage when Amish adolescents can leave their community and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere prior to deciding to be baptized or to leave the Amish church. In popular culture, those participating in Rumspringa are often portrayed as hardcore partiers, swapping their values and traditional garb for booze and sex (but in actuality, it’s not so drastic – most choose to continue being Amish). Saturday, Mayday presents its annual Rumspringa Beer and Sausage Fest. Rock out like it’s your only chance to do so and enjoy Amish-inspired delights like beerwurst, bangers, homemade mustards and more beer than you can shake a buckled shoe at. Remember to call a designated carriage driver! The fun starts at 4 p.m.
OTR A.D.O.P.T. is an organization that helps match prospective home/business owners renovate deteriorating historic buildings in Over-the-Rhine. Saturday, Neon’s Unplugged hosts a benefit for the organization, inviting you to Partly Like it’s 1869! Learn about the organization and how to get involved while celebrating the eclectic neighborhood. Costumes are encourage, so sport your favorite hoop skirt or suspenders and capture your look in a photo booth. A $5 donation gets you in; enjoy old timey drink specials from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Singer-songwriter Feist and award-winning filmmaker Martin de Thurah will present a musically-charged evening at the Contemporary Arts Center April 9. Feist and de Thurah (who's worked with Kanye West, Fever Ray and Röyksopp) will discuss the creative process of creating a music video, a perfect event to coincide with the CAC's current exhibit Spectacle: The Music Video.
The duo will present a video screening followed by a talk moderated by Spectacle curator and Flux creative collective member Jonathan Wells. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. event, and admission is $15 for CAC members, $20 for everyone else. There will be a cash bar. Buy tickets in advance here.
Feist and de Thurah collaborated on the singer's video for "The Bad in Each Other."
The CAC has hosted some exceptional events lately, bringing electronic musician Dan Deacon to Spectacle's opening party this February, and welcoming street artist Shepard Fairey back to DJ a reception in his honor just last week. This is sure to be another full house party.
You know when you discover something new, like a word or band, and suddenly, they're everywhere? Well, if you've recently started following comedian Geoff Tate, you're probably having a similar experience. Dude is popping up left and right.
Two weeks ago, the Cincinnati native appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson after the host saw his stand-up in Wichita, Kan. Tate's five-minute set definitely brought the laughs. Check it out:
Hearing Craig Ferguson say "MOTR Pub" on television did kind of make me squeal.
Tate is back in Cincy this week to record a CD/DVD at MOTR tonight through Wednesday. Comedy starts at 8 p.m. each night and admission is just $5. Have a couple laughs (and beers) and support this up-and-comer. Find details here.
Keystone Bar & Grill nabbed a Best of Cincinnati staff pick for "Best Comfort Food All Jazzed Up," and tonight is a perfect opportunity to check it out for yourself. Famous for their killer macaroni and cheese, Keystone has locations in Covington and Hyde Park. Their twists on the homestyle classic include the Fleetwood Mac (fresh mozzarella, pesto and tomatoes) and The B.B. King (grilled barbecue chicken and bacon). Best of all, mac-n-cheese is half-price on Mondays.
Speaking of staff favorites, downtown dive bar Knockback Nat's also made this year's list as the "Best Place to get Smoked Out." OK, get your mind out of the head shop — we're talking about Knockback's delicious smoked wings. Knockback Nat's transcends typical bar food with these meaty wings they smoke outside behind the bar. On Mondays they're just 50 cents a pop, so enjoy the smoky goodness and wash it all down with a cold brewski.
Want to enjoy a more cosmic experience this weekend? Stop by the Cincinnati Astronomical Society in Cleves for the Mars Returns program. Mars is visible from Earth this time of year, and with CAS's powerful telescope, you'll get an excellent glimpse of the famed red planet (weather permitting). Learn about the myths and mysteries that surround Mars and the latest info from NASA. This free program takes place from 8-11 p.m. Saturday. Consider making a small donation on your way out to create more astronomical opportunities at the center.
The Cincinnati Rollergirls take on the Demolition City Roller Derby from Evansville, IN. in the third annual College Night Saturday. Students, faculty and staff just need to show school IDs at the door for $10 tickets — the first 300 get free CRG bottle openers. If you missed the girls' season opener, be sure to check out this match, the second home double-header of the 2012 season. Doors open at 6 p.m.with the first bout rolling off at 7 p.m. As always, enjoy $1 happy hour beers from 6-7 p.m. and stick around after the game to meet those badass chicks!
Quick Notes: Stage Door breaks down this weekend's theater offerings; find upcoming concerts and club shows here; Prairie Gallery's Airstream and the Contemporary Arts Centers' Dasha Shiskin exhibit are among this week's visual art suggestions; find even more events on our To Do page.
Shepard Fairey returns to Cincinnati tonight! The street artist-turned-superstar is being honored with ArtsWave's Rosa F. and Samuel B. Sachs Fund Prize for his artistic contributions across Cincinnati in 2010. Fairey will be at the Contemporary Arts Center to DJ a dance party at 9 p.m. He has made a limited amount of exclusive prints and the CAC is giving some signed copies away to new and retuning members. Speaking of, the party is for CAC members only, but really, it's a great reason to join the museum. Memberships can still be purchased for $25-$125. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Seasoned comedian Tammy Pescatelli headlines at Funny Bone on the Levee tonight through Sunday. The sassy Sicilian gained attention as one of the final five contestants on the second season of Last Comic Standing. Though she looks like she could blend in on one of the ubiquitous New Jersey reality travesties (she bears a striking resemblance to Theresa from The Real Housewives of New Jersey), Pescatelli grew up in Cleveland, and is funny for all the right reasons. Her Cincinnati stop is just one on a U.S. tour to promote her new comedy album Finding the Funny. Tonight's show starts at 8 p.m.
Cirque Du Soleil's latest production, Dralion, continues tonight at the Bank of Kentucky Center. This East-meets-West extravaganza features an international cast of world-class acrobatic performers. The title Dralion symbolizes two iconic forces: the dragon (East) and the lion (West). Expect bold, over-the-top costuming and design, a wide variety of acts (incorporating aerial hoops, trampolines and juggling) and mystifying performers who transform commonplace acts like jumping rope and yo-yoing into a visual feast. Find ticket information here.
As always, there will be dinner-by-the-bite from your favorite restaurants like Adriatico's, Izzy's and A Tavola; coffee and dessert from Coffee Emporium and BonBonerie; and the city's best cocktails including martinis, Bloody Marys and margaritas. As you're eating your way through the beautiful Memorial Hall, enjoy music from a DJ and a live performance from Exhale Dance Tribe performers.
Other events tonight include a Make and Bake glass jewelry class at Brazee Studios from 5-7 p.m., a Homegrown Tomatoes workshop at the Civic Garden Center from 6-8 p.m. and free concert at CCM featuring the U.S. Navy Band from Washington, D.C. at 8 p.m.
Fashioned after Don Draper's iconic pose in the Mad Men intro, Draping has infiltrated the interwebs! This is all in anticipation for Sunday's long-awaited two-hour season premiere. Read more about that here.
Like many fun Internet bits I stumble upon, Drinkify is a really simple site that has that cool, “Why didn’t I think of that?” factor. Just enter the artist you’re listening to (or plan to that night), and Drinkify matches a perfect beverage to match. Vampire Weekend = PBR, Sleigh Bells = 10 oz. Whiskey (”Serve neat.”) and, because I was curious, Justin Bieber = 8 oz. Red Bull.
Anyone who knows my television habits is fully aware of my love for Bravo shows. I know, it's an abomination, but sometimes you just want a Taco Bell bean burrito instead of a fresh-cooked meal, and sometimes I want to watch Real Housewives instead of quality television. It keeps me grounded.
The latest gem Bravo has bestowed upon us: Shahs of Sunset, a reality show (duh) about a wealthy group of Persians in Beverly Hills. Don't hate me. The following is one of many internet rants from Shahs' hottest piece, Reza (NSFW). I'll never look at Parmesan cheese the same way again.
The award for web video series that will make you snort aloud, revealing that you're screwing around at work goes to...Bad Lip Readings! I'm late on this, I know, but damn if these stupid videos aren't hilarious. Unfortunately Rick Santorum's real words are just as ridiculous as the ones dubbed in this video.
One could not recap recent internet/popular news without mentioning KNOYGATE. Though anyone reading this has access to the Internet and therefore has probably been bombarded with the progressing stories on Kony, allow me to briefly explain.
Joseph Kony is the head of a Ugandan guerilla group that terrorizes the country, murdering villages, kidnapping children from their homes and turning them into soliders. He’s an international villain, and filmmaker/activist Jason Russell has made it his mission to stop him. Russell created the film-turned-movement Invisible Children after spending time in Uganda. The movie’s been around since 2006, but Russell recently started an internet campaign, KONY 2012, to spread awareness about the injustice in Uganda.
The video flooded Facebook walls, news sites and Twitter Feeds like wildfire. It was particularly popular with younger people, because the video targeted American youth, explaining that if enough people know who Kony is, we can get our government to do something about him. That translates to "Young people can make a difference," which is totally a good thing. Kids have been infiltrating malls, sharing KONY 2012 stickers and bracelets to spread awareness. But some people started to get concerned.
See, it’s obviously great that young people are concerned about international injustice. But fad activism isn’t just annoying; following an organization you don't previously research is dumb – and re-posting a YouTube video doesn’t make you an activist.
Soon after the video went viral came speculation about Russell and Invisible Children. Because, you know, some people like to look into an organization before blindly accepting its cause. Turns out just a little over one-third of the non-profit’s funds went to direct services in Uganda, in addition to countless examples of fishiness. Most funding was spent on travel expenses and film production. So the people who were critical about the whole KONY viral vid weren’t just being dicks after all.
Then, something crazy happened. Literally.
Jason Russell lost his shit. Last week, Russell ran around naked, shouting obscenities on a sidewalk in San Diego. He was arrested, but not charged, and sent to a hospital on a 5150 psychiatric hold. Most recently, he has been diagnosed with "reactive psychosis" brought on by stress, dehydration and exhaustion.
All this, in a matter of weeks! Really, I don’t mean to make light of an international war criminal and an activist’s state of health, but this story has brought up more drama than any soap opera could dream. And that’s why I love the Internet.
Independent Spirit Award-nominated film In The Family opens at The Esquire tonight. Writer, director and star Patrick Wang will be in town for the premiere weekend, and will host a Q&A after this weekend's screenings. Check out the 8 p.m. screenings Friday and Saturday and the 1 p.m. show Sunday to meet and chat with the star. Read our review here.
San Francisco dance company Robert Moses' Kin performs in town this week with Contemporary Dance Theater's Guest Artist Series. Faith and Fable was inspired by choreographer/artistic director Robert Moses' children – fairy tales, in particular. Moses reexamined moral tales and translated them into a multi-genre dance piece for all ages. Performances are tonight at Saturday at the Aronoff Center. Go here to read our interview with Moses.
LEGOs are one of those iconic toys that kids still think are cool and adults still secretly want to play with. This weekend's LEGO's KidsFest may be marketed toward youngsters, but LEGO fans of any age can be entertained for hours at this construction block convention. At the fest, you'll find a LEGO model museum (clearly not built by kids), a master builder academy, activity area, challenge zone and much more. Saturday's sessions have sold out, but there's still tickets available for tonight (4-8:30 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3-7:30 p.m.) All sessions feature the same fun exhibits and activities. Find ticket information and event details here.
The Newport Aquarium welcomes Mighty Mike, a 14-foot, 800-pound American Alligator this Saturday. Mike is the largest gator in the U.S. outside of Florida. The new Gator Alley exhibit will feature many species of alligators and crocodiles from around the globe. The aquarium is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Find admission and other details here. Purchase your tickets in advance to save time at the door.