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by Jac Kern 02.23.2012
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's favorite pop culture and Internet findings of the week

Thanks to Facebook friends with good taste, my mom's stream of animal photo chain emails and my voracious appetite for gossip and craft blogs, I'm constantly exposed to some of the greatest items from the far-reaching corners of the internet. Here's what I just can't get enough of this week.

"Bad Girls"

OK, so M.I.A.'s video for "Bad Girls" came out a couple weeks ago, and despite looping it for hours on end since then, I cannot get enough of it. It's one of those tunes that makes me want to dance in public even without a (few) cocktails in my system. With a penchant for controversy, the video (filmed in Morocco) depicts what seem to be Middle Eastern women in traditional-yet-pimped-out garb racing cars in the desert and dancing to music with strong, sexual, pro-femme lyrics.

Though it’s been said that the political standpoints M.I.A. makes in her music contradict her lifestyle, or sometimes don't even make sense, the “Paper Planes” singer is the queen of juxtaposition when it comes to her videos. It's also important to note that “Bad Girls” comes during a time when women in Saudi Arabia are banned from driving. So whatever her intended/implied/confusing statements may be, this video is a pretty hot way to say “F that.”


Go here to watch her response to fans’ YouTube comments on the video.

Bonnaroo

The mega-fest’s initial lineup was released last week, boasting headliners like Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish and The Beach Boys. Every year I go back and forth on my decision to go: Can I afford the ticket plus all the cash and supplies that go into surviving there (screw anyone who says you just need water and a sleeping bag)? Can my poor Irish skin bear four days in the blazing sun? What if next year’s lineup is even better? I still haven’t quite decided, but 2012’s lineup looks good to me for less-than-obvious reasons.

Ben Folds Five — As in, the original trio reuniting. One of my all time favorite bands. I’d die.
The Roots — I’ve been a fan of the crew since I first heard “The Seed (2.0)” when I was in eighth grade. And their day job as house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has only solidified my love.

Ludacris — Not ashamed.

Of course there’s also this year’s #whoarethey Grammy winners, Bon Iver, Donald Glover’s alter-ego Childish Gambino, The Shins, jam band supreme Umphrey’s McGee and dozens more. Aziz Ansari (Parks and Rec, Funny People) is even confirmed to perform, though the rest of the comedy lineup is yet to be announced. It turns out most people go to ‘roo for music, but I will nerdily admit as a comedy fangirl, the stand-up tent was one of my favorite (and most air-conditioned) experiences during my trip to the fest in 2010. Ansari also appeared that year and Conan O’Brien, fresh off his firing from NBC, headlined.

Taxidermy Art

A friend on Facebook recently posted a link to Hi-Fructose Magazine’s blog, a page covered in creepy-cute taxidermy art. Netherlands-based art partners (artners?) Les Deux Garçons create whimsical pieces in which real taxidermied animals are embellished with knick knacks, toys and lush decorative ribbons. If that weren’t enough, many the animals are dual-headed conjoined mammals, or are transformed into unicorn-esque creatures with crazy horns. These (ethically-obtained) animals are transformed into their own art form that carefully walks the line between beautiful and grotesque. Observe:

Arianna Huffington

The media queen came to town Feb. 22 to speak as a part of the SmartTalk ConnectedConversations series, and boy, do I have a crush on her. She spoke (in a sexy Greek accent, BTW) on becoming fearless in love, work and life, providing many hilarious and interesting personal anecdotes along the way. Advice she gave included getting more sleep, turning off that negative voice, or “obnoxious roommate” in our heads and the importance of finding a “tribe” of friends we can all relate to and depend on. Fun Fact: She launched The Huffington Post in her fifties, thanks to help of a $100,000 loan from her tribe-mate Laurie David (former wife of Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David). Pretty inspirational. She ended the evening answering audience questions with Channel 12’s Cammy Dierking, who clearly also has a bit of a girl-crush on Huffington, and who nearly made me wet myself when she used the phrase “That’d go over like a turd in a punch bowl.” It was truly a fun femme-fest.

Sleigh Bells on SNL

Despite my undying love for Saturday Night Live, even I can’t deny the amount of lackluster musical performances on the show. Granted, it is one of the few “really live” shows left, details often aren’t finalized until the last minute, sound is often off and the tiny stage isn’t ideal, but who could forget Ashlee Simpson’s career-killing disaster on the show? This year, it’s all about hating on Indie songstress/mannequin Lana Del Rey’s performance. Personally, I don’t think the performance warranted such a backlash, but judge both for yourself. And check out SNL’s hilarious response to Lana-gate (with Kristen Wigg as LDR) here.

Thankfully, Noise Pop duo (now touring with a third musician) Sleigh Bells killed it on last week’s episode. I wasn’t expecting the live TV format to do them justice, but they sounded great and were entertaining despite a nearly naked stage.


 
 
by Jac Kern 02.22.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Northside, Music, Movies, Life at 03:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

Arianna Huffington, Uta Barth in town

Arianna Huffington is speaking as a part of SmartTalk ConnectedConversations tonight at the Aronoff Center. The media queen will discuss how she became "fearless in love, work and life" (a phrase taken from the title of her 2007 bestseller). Huffington has made her mark as an author of 13 books, co-founder of The Huffington Post, Republican-turned-liberal and even the voice of a character on The Cleveland Show. Get 'em, girl! Tickets to this insightful femme-fest are still available here.

In quirkier event news, did you know there's a monthly meet-up of the Skeptical Society of Cincinnati where the group introduces a professional scientist to the public? Cincy Science Cafe is a casual gathering (usually at a bar) where the community can learn about interesting discoveries being made by area scientists. Tonight the crew meets at Glendale's Cock & Bull at 6 p.m. Go here for details.

Gearing up for October's exciting FotoFocus exhibition, the organization presents a lecture tonight with Los Angeles-based photographer Uta Barth. Barth is known for her painterly photos, employing unconventional methods to create a whole new way of viewing photographs. Barth has been awarded with numerous grants and fellowships and has most recently exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago. She's a pretty big deal. The Cincinnati Art Museum hosts this FotoFocus lecture tonight at 7 p.m. Find more information here.

Wednesdays are extra sexy at Northside Tavern — Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke takes over the back room this night each week. For those unfamiliar, STLBK is just how it sounds — the ultimate karaoke experience. You provide the vocals (and preferably hot dance moves) while a live band accompanies you. Be a Rock Star for, like, four minutes! Check out the group on Facebook. SexyTime for details and the song list. STLBK kicks off at 9 p.m.

As always, there are plenty of live shows, theater productions and ongoing art exhibits to check out tonight. See our music blog and full To Do list for more.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.21.2012
Posted In: Events, Fun, Concerts, Holidays, Music at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your (Fat) Tuesday To Do List

Bon Mardi Gras, mes amis (translation: Happy Fat Tuesday, y'all)! Today's To Do list has some cajun flavor to it, since nearly every bar and restaurant will be celebrating in some capacity tonight — even if it's just beer, beads and boobs.

Before you make dinner plans, you have to check out Anne Mitchell's guide to local Mardi Gras eats, our cover story for the week. From Otto's to Washington Platform to Half Day Cafe, she describes all the local restaurants celebrating with NOLA-inspired bites, traditional baked goods and gut-busting buffets (you are supposed to pig out today, right?).

Hofbräuhaus celebrates Fastnacht German-style, of course, with help from the Enzian Dancers, the German Heritage Museum and music from Nick Gulacsy Jr., the Akkordeon-Meister. Come dressed in costume if you're so inclined — prizes will be awarded to those most decked out. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

Countless other area eateries and drinkeries promise a night of crawfish and hurricanes, including Allyn's, Stanley's Pub, Righteous Room, Mecklenburg Gardens, The Stand, J. Gumbo's, Blue Wisp, Keystone Bar & Grill (Covington and Hyde Park), AliveOne, The Lackman and The Pub (Rookwood Mews and Crestview Hills).

And since the whole point of Fat Tuesday is to get all your vices out of the way before the Christian season of Lent, a time for sacrifice and prayer leading up to Easter, why not support a charity? At Mardi Gras for Homeless Children, guests can enjoy food and drink, authentic Zydeco and Jazz music, auctions and more. The event runs from 6:30-10 p.m. at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Tickets are $55, available here. Proceeds benefit homeless children shelters.

In non-Fat news, tonight's live music lineup ranges from Dubstep (Rusko) to Christian Metalcore (August Burns Red). Check out Mike Breen's music blog for details.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.17.2012
Posted In: Events, Fun, Music, Concerts at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 2/17-2/19

If you usually spend February holed up in your apartment with a bottle of whiskey, Adriatco's and the latest season of Always Sunny, you might not know what to do with yourself this time of year now that it's actually decent outside. Don't worry, we've got your back. Put on some pants, open those curtains and leave your damn couch — there's stuff to do!

Like a UC version of the Fringe Festival, this weekend's Transmigration Festival features five 30-minute drama productions presented by CCM students. These works (written, cast and produced by students on a $60 budget) are presented in atypical spaces within CCM's Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. The event is free, but reservations are required. Find details here.

David Miretsky and Svetlana Derenshuk's exhibit Uniquely Ukraine opens tonight at Phyllis Weston Gallery. The duo present paintings that interpret the human condition on a miniature scale (Miretsky) and colorfully blend Othodox icon painting with modernist sensibilities (Derenshuk). Go here for hours and directions.

Author Andre Dubus III discusses his memoir Townie Saturday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Townie follows Dubus' life: growing up poor in Massachusetts following the divorce of his parents, his descent into drugs and street fighting, and ultimately becoming a novelist. Go here for details.

For those looking to give back while enjoying a night out, spend Saturday night at the Voices of the Heart fundraiser. Proceeds from this dinner and auction benefit women on the streets and involved in prostitution. The event will be held at the Cincinnati Hilton Netherland Plaza. Buy tickets here.

This weekend is full of boozy, boobs-out Mardi Gras celebrations, but if you're looking for a more authentic NOLA experience the whole family can attend, stop by Mardi Gras at the Market Sunday. Findlay Market hosts its annual event boasting a parade, Cajun style food and entertainment and, yes, plenty of alcohol. Multimedia artist Nick Cave, whose works are now on display at Cincinnati Art Museum, will even be on hand to present a soundsuit invasion. Laissez les bons temps rouler! Go here for a full schedule of the day's events, and read this week's cover story on how local eateries celebrate the holiday (Warning: May cause excessive mouth-watering) here.

Many area theaters have some great productions running right now, and this weekend is a chance to check one out. See Rick Pender's Stage Door for his advice on what to see. The coming nights are also full of live shows from Heartless Bastards, Purling Hiss and Dr. Dog, Natalie Wells, Mike Doughty and more. Follow our music blog for all your concert needs.

Finally, Best of Cincinnati voting ends Sunday at midnight, so if you haven't had a chance to show some of to your favorite local businesses, restaurants and people, go here to vote now!

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.09.2012
Posted In: Culture, Concerts, Events, Fashion, Fun, Shopping, Northside, Music at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Very Vintage Valentine Fashion

Chicken Lays an Egg hosts a runway show and dance party at Northside Tavern Saturday

Northside's Chicken Lays an Egg, a gem in Cincinnati's growing collection of excellent vintage shops, hosts a Valentine fashion show featuring their retro-fab clothing, shoes and accessories Saturday at Northside Tavern.

NST's back room will transform into a runway where you'll watch some local hottie patotties strut their stuff with hair designs by Northside Chop Shop. Kenneth Wright will DJ the show and ongoing dance party.

Spot someone with the best moves you've ever seen? Send them a message via the valentine post office, and pose for pictures in a fabulous Flashbox photo booth. It all starts at 9 p.m., with the fashion show at 10 p.m.

Afterward, party with Bad Veins, who perform at 11 p.m. The duo's album The Mess We've Made drops April 24.

Get a peek at Chicken's fashion in Bad Veins' new video for "Dancing on TV." Some of the ensembles in the Soul Train-esque shots were provided by the boutique!

Read More

 
 
by Eli Johnson 02.02.2012
Posted In: Movies, Music at 02:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found via animal testing that zapping the testicles of rats with a therapeutic ultrasound machine can get rid of the germ cells used to produce sperm. "This caused rat sperm counts to fall far below the [equivalent] range seen in normal fertile men, and this happened in just two weeks," said James Tsuruta, assistant professor of pediatrics in the laboratories of reproductive biology at UNC Chapel Hill.

"This method dropped sperm counts 10-times lower than just using heat," said Tsuruta. "It's going to be exciting to figure out how this exactly works: if it's safe to use repeatedly, how long it lasts, and if it's reversible."

Scientists believe this study could pave the way for a new method of male contraception, but have discouraged women from electrocuting their beaus’ balls with or without consent at least until clinical trials have begun.

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by Eli Johnson 01.24.2012
Posted In: Music, Movies at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

An 82-year-old named George Murphy was getting stomped by a ferocious Alaskan moose before his 85-year-old, 97-pound wife Dorothea Taylor intervened. With a shovel. Story here

Mee Yan Leong, 58, sat down on a toilet and refused to get up for 902 days because she claimed she “felt a force holding me down.” Story here.

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by Eli Johnson 01.23.2012
Posted In: Movies, Music at 01:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

A Florida man has told the IRS he ain’t given them shit because he doesn’t live among the meek, he “resided in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Russell P. Gentile, 40, has pleaded not guilty to charges of filing false tax return and one count of obstruction of an IRS agent. Gentile reportedly told IRS agents that he would sue them in court if they failed to remove his information from the agency’s database. “I have been as polite and patient as I can be,” Gentile wrote agents in a super nice letter. Gentile faces up to six years in a federal prison and up to $200,000 in fines.

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by Eli Johnson 01.20.2012
Posted In: Movies, Music at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

Cleveland’s WOIO is using puppets to cover the trial of former Cuyahoga county Democratic chairman Jimmy Dimora, who is charged with bribery and racketeering. Cameras are barred from court so instead of simply showing sketch artist renditions, news director Dan Salamone believes the puppet show featuring a talking squirrel reporter who provides updates on the trial is a more stimulating way to give viewers the scoop. "It's a satirical look at the trial and, again, I think we have it appropriately placed at the end of the newscast," Salamone said yesterday.

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by Eli Johnson 01.18.2012
Posted In: Movies, Music at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

In a taped messaged to Betty White, who today turns 90, President Barack Obama wrote a note saying, “Dear Betty, You look so fantastic and full of energy, I can't believe you're 90 years old. In fact, I don't believe it. That's why I'm writing to ask if you will be willing to produce a copy of your long-form birth certificate. Thanks. Happy Birthday, no matter how old you are.” Video here.

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