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by Jac Kern 09.19.2011
Posted In: Life, Music, TV/Celebrity, Reviews, Events, Fashion at 02:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Emmys Recap

Last night was the Modern Family 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which is basically an orgy of television shows from Glee to Deadliest Catch to The Daily Show.

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by Jac Kern 03.29.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Performances, Music, Fun, Events, Culture, Arts at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Thursday To Do List

Shepard Fairey's return, comedian Tammy Pescatelli, Cirque Du Soleil's 'Dralion'

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.

Check out our reviews of Time Stands Still, The Addams Family, Tigers Be Still, all with shows tonight. Find more arts events here and follow our music blog for the latest on live shows.

by Eli Johnson 01.20.2012
Posted In: Movies, Music at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 Jac Kern 04.05.2013
Posted In: Events, Music, Performances at 02:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 4/5-4/7

The artistically-minded Chef Frances Kroner of Feast and the creative minds behind Modern Makers present The Big Dinner: Taste {food art} Friday night. Guests will enjoy locally-sourced, beautifully designed foods in a gallery setting for a unique culinary experience. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. at the Niehoff Urban Studio in Corryville. Last-minute tickets are still available here.

Is Cincinnati haunted? Channel your inner ghost hunter at the Guided Ghost Tours of Music Hall. Beneath the historic building’s foundation lies an old pauper’s cemetery — all unmarked graves — and there have been rumors and reports of paranormal activity for years. See for yourself at these monthly tours (continuing May 31 and June 14) at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday.

Superstar violinist Sarah Chang joins the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for String Fever Saturday at Music Hall. After the performance, CSO Encore (the symphony’s volunteer young professional group) wraps up its season with an after-party at 21c Museum Hotel. Drinks and snacks will be served up alongside more great live music starting at 10 p.m. Attendees can explore the space, including the 24-hour contemporary art museum inside. Go here for more info.

Prefer musical performances with a little more camp? Check out the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus as they present ExtrABBAganza Friday and Saturday. Performing a show originally created for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus in 1997, the CMC will belt out the best tribute to ABBA you’ve ever heard (OK, you’re probably used to really bad karaoke, but these guys got chops). Those fun Swedish Pop hits will come alive in the SCPA Mayerson Theater. Read our full feature on the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus here.

If you’re a tattoo enthusiast or just love ink culture and history, you’ll want to check out Saturday’s screening of Tattoo Nation at AMC Newport on the Levee. Director Eric Schwartz and writer/producer John Corry focus on the rise of the black-and-grey tattoos as its own distinct style. AMN’s 9 p.m. show is the only screening in the Tri-state.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do page or full calendar for more events, concerts, theater shows and art exhibits.

by Jac Kern 03.04.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Movies, Music at 01:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can’t Get Enough…Oscars

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

And just like that, “Awards Season” comes to a close. Does anyone else think it went out with more of a bore than a bang?

Sunday’s Oscars were preceded by the Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday. I was introduced to this indie movie celebration last year and was pleasantly surprised by the fun, fast-and-loose nature of the show in addition to its highlighting of lesser-known, smaller-budget films compared to the Academy Awards. Maybe it was due to Jameson no longer sponsoring the event/getting everyone wasted; perhaps it was the fact that many of the winners went on to receive Oscars in similar categories the very next day. Either way, I found this year’s show, hosted by Patton Oswalt, to be just a little blah. See for yourself here.

Sunday night was not much of a departure from that feeling. I do love me some Ellen — she can always deliver consistently funny material everyone can relate to. She picked on stars without being too mean and rocked some fab suits, but it takes more than that to keep me awake through a 15-hour production like the Oscars.

But there were plenty of both touching and funny moments throughout the night. Supporting actor and actress winners, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o, delivered thoughtful, emotional acceptance speeches (while looking freaking gorge). Leto — who I still can’t believe was the oldest nominee in that category — spoke about his mother’s inspiring perseverance, the conflicts in Venezuela and Ukraine and the victims of AIDS as well as discrimination (both central themes of Dallas Buyers Club). He also looked sharp in a cream tux with burgundy tie and the most coveted ombré locks of any human man.

And, clearly, the 42-year-old gets his looks from his hot ass mother. But seriously, maybe we should consider the fact that Jordan Catalano is a vampire. Any thoughts, Pharrell?

Speaking of, Pharrell performed his Oscar-nominated hit, "Happy," in what appeared to be a legit GAP ad circa 2003.

Lupita Nyong’o, who won for her role in 12 Years a Slave, also gave a heartfelt acceptance speech. Everyone is crushing on Lupita right now, myself included, but let’s talk about her equally attractive brother, Peter.

They’re basically the Kenyan Tegan & Sara in that they are super hot siblings with super cool androgynous hairdos.

Fans of Her (which nabbed Best Adapted Screenplay) no doubt cried, rewound, and cried again as Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend performed “The Moon Song” from the film, which totally got shut out by that stupid Frozen song everyone (including local weather guys) won’t shut up about.

Broadway darling Idina Menzel went on to perform the Frozen's “Let It Go,” but not before John Travolta’s Thetin levels temporarily crashed, causing him to forget how to speak.

This, of course, sparked a hilarious Adele Dazeem twitter account and John Travolta name generator. My Travoltified name is Jessica Kzing!

Early in the evening, Ellen was kind enough to order a few pizzas for all the starving celebs in the audience, which led to what will be known forever as The Selfie* That Broke Twitter. The star-studded pic has more than 3 million retweets, the most of anything ever #sorryobama.

*I just can’t with the term “selfie” anymore. I’m tired of the way newspeople say, “selfie” like they’ve coined some new generation-defining trend. Haven’t people been taking pictures of themselves via an extended arm since forever? Much like “hipster,” this term lives on thanks to the diligence of out-of-touch white people trying to be current.

America’s bestie Jennifer Lawrence was nominated, so naturally she fell on the red carpet. Warning to JLAW: We love you. You’re a “real woman” according to people, which means you’re not a robot I think, but you don’t constantly have to flaunt that fact by tripping and talking about eating fries all the time. You’re bordering on the Zooey Deschanel “adorkable” territory that has forced me to despise the banged, blue-eyed beaut. I still love you, JLAW — you cited Caroline Manzo as your American Hustle character inspiration for Chrissake — you just don’t have to push the clumsy slob persona all the time.

As far as winners go, 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club cleaned up pretty well with three wins each and Gravity dominated the technical and directing categories, garnering a whopping seven awards. The Academy essentially said, "And none for you, American Hustle," and people are still crying over Leonardo DiCaprio's continued Oscar losing streak.

OK, that’s all the important stuff. Peep all the winners below.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club

12 Years A Slave

The Wolf Of Wall Street

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender,12 Years A Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf Of Wall Street

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo Dicaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Animated Feature

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine


The Wind Rises

Best Cinematography

The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)
(Emmanuel Lubezki)
Inside Llewyn Davis
(Bruno Delbonnel)
(Phedon Papamichael)
(Roger A. Deakins)

Best Costume Design

American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)
The Grandmaster
(William Chang Suk Ping)
The Great Gatsby
(Catherine Martin) Totally blocked this one out of my memory.
The Invisible Woman
(Michael O'Connor)
12 Years a Slave
(Patricia Norris)

Best Directing

American Hustle (David O. Russell)
(Alfonso Cuarón)
(Alexander Payne)
12 Years a Slave
(Steve McQueen)
The Wolf of Wall Street
(Martin Scorsese)

Best Documentary Feature

The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen)
Cutie and the Boxer
(Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher)
Dirty Wars
(Richard Rowley, Jeremy Scahill)
The Square
(Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer)
20 Feet from Stardom
(Nominees to be determined)

Best Documentary Short

CaveDigger (Jeffrey Karoff)
Facing Fear
(Jason Cohen)
Karama Has No Walls
(Sara Ishaq)
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
(Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
(Edgar Barens)

Best Film Editing

American Hustle (Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten)
Captain Phillips
(Christopher Rouse)
Dallas Buyers Club
(John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa)
(Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)
12 Years a Slave
(Joe Walker)

Best Foreign Language Film

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
(Denmark) I tried to watch this on Netflix but the subtitles were faster that the actual audio and video, which made it impossible to watch. Had to turn it off, but ILY MADS.
The Missing Picture


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
(Stephen Prouty) Jesus H, a Jackass movie is nominated for an Oscar.
The Lone Ranger
(Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny) I guess turning Johnny Depp into a fauxtive American deserves recognition?

Best Original Score

The Book Thief (John Williams)
(Steven Price)
(William Butler, Owen Pallett)
(Alexandre Desplat)
Saving Mr. Banks
(Thomas Newman)

Best Original Song

“Happy” (Despicable Me 2)
“Let It Go” (Frozen)

“The Moon Song” (Her) ROBBED
“Ordinary Love” (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Best Production Design

American Hustle (Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler)
(Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woollard)
The Great Gatsby (
Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)
(K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena)
12 Years a Slave
(Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker)

Best Animated Short Film

Feral (Daniel Sousa, Dan Golden)
Get a Horse!
(Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim)
Mr. Hublot
(Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares)
(Shuhei Morita)
Room on the Broom
(Max Lang, Jan Lachauer)

Best Live Action Short Film

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me) (Esteban Crespo)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre
(Just Before Losing Everything) (Xavier Legrand, Alexandre Gavras)
(Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson)
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?
(Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) (Selma Vilhunen, Kirsikka Saari)
The Voorman Problem
(Mark Gill, Baldwin Li)

Best Sound Editing

All Is Lost (Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns)
Captain Phillips
(Oliver Tarney)
(Glenn Freemantle)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
(Brent Burge, Chris Ward)
Lone Survivor
(Wylie Stateman)

Best Sound Mixing

Captain Phillips (Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro)
(Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
(Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson)
Inside Llewyn Davis
(Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland)
Lone Survivor
(Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow)

Best Visual Effects

Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
(Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds)
Iron Man 3 (
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick)
The Lone Ranger
(Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier)
Star Trek Into Darkness
(Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke)
Captain Phillips
(Billy Ray)
(Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
12 Years a Slave
(John Ridley)
The Wolf of Wall Street
(Terence Winter)

Best Original Screenplay

American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)
Blue Jasmine
(Woody Allen)
Dallas Buyers Club
(Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
(Spike Jonze)
(Bob Nelson)

by Jac Kern 09.27.2013
Posted In: Events, Music at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 9/27-9/29

MPMF Weekend is upon us! Two nights of music still lie ahead, plus free events for all ages on the MidPoint MidWay. Parents can bring the little ones to KidPoint on the Midway from noon-4 p.m. Saturday, where family-friendly fun awaits — activities in the ArtWorks box trucks, street performers, interactive presentations from Cincinnati Ballet’s CBII (Second Company), local food vendors and, of course, live music. MidPoint shows start at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday and continue late-night all weekend at Washington Park, Grammer’s, Taft Theater, the Contemporary Arts Center and tons of other venues around Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. Check out the official guide with schedules, maps and more info here.

The idea of “flea markets” has evolved in recent years from bazaars with folks hawking a hodgepodge of chintzy items to curated marketplaces full of local, handmade goods. The final Oakley Fancy Flea of the season is Saturday at 3047 Madison Road, near Oakley Pub. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., shoppers can browse jewelry, housewares, artwork and more Cincy-centric stuff.

CliftonFest celebrates the quirky and colorful Ludlow Avenue — and that description will become literal as the street is transformed with sidewalk chalk art. Friday through Sunday, artists will create “art carpets” on the street’s edges that will last for months. The fest also features artisan vendors, live music and a pet parade (Sunday). The free event runs 7-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

Northern Kentucky’s “premier urban art fair” Art Off Pike brings more than 80 artists to Covington this weekend to exhibit and sell their works. In addition to lots of artist booths, there will be demos and workshops, graffiti kiosks, live music, film screenings and local beers, bourbons and wines — all from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday on Seventh Street between Madison and Washington avenues.

Those traveling between Kentucky and Ohio this Sunday may be alarmed to see more than 100 people in the river below. Worry not — they’re swimming by choice! The Great Ohio River Swim race kicks off at 8 a.m. Sunday and is just one event in association with Great Outdoor Weekend, an annual showcase of Cincinnati’s plethora of nature-oriented events and organizations. More than 150 events across the Tri-state are scheduled for the GOW Saturday and Sunday at area parks, farms, nature preserves and other venues. Find a full lineup here.

For more art openings, theater shows and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.
by Jac Kern 07.08.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Movies, Music, Humor at 03:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Move over, Vincent Chase! DC Comics’ Aquaman will come to life on the big screen in the form of Jason Momoa, aka Game of Thrones’ Khal Drogo, aka My Sun and Stars. Aquaman/Momoa was recently added to the cast of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, joining Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor) and, of course, Henry Cavill (Superman) and Ben Affleck (Batman) in the 2016 epic comic feature.

Just for fun, here’s our pre-Thrones and Aquaman Momoa singing in a scene from his Baywatch days.

What a voice! I had no idea Jason Momoa was the lead singer of the Crash Test Dummies

Miles Ahead filming kicked off Monday. The most recent film to be shot locally stars Don Cheadle as Jazz legend Miles Davis and focuses on the musician’s five-year “silent period,” leading to his 1969 record In a Silent Way. Ewan McGregor and Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire) also star. Scenes will be filmed in dozens of local locations. Movie crews were seen today in Northside, while I caught Cheadle in a bright blue suit topped with Davis’ signature unkempt 'fro filming at Seventh and Elm streets Monday afternoon. Cheadle is making the film with the help of Indiegogo funding.

Many of the donation prizes for the film have sold out, but there are still some perks left — for example, for $100 you can catch an advance screening of the film, where The Cheadz (that’s my nickname for him now that we’re basically friends) will be in attendance. He’ll also do a Q&A after the movie. Pretty cool I guess, but in “What are we doing with our lives?” crowdfunding news, this Columbus, Ohio-based potato salad Kickstarter currently has more than $53,000 in pledges. And it’s open for 24 more days. It’s original goal was $10. If you’re confused about how a crowdfunding site relates to picnic side dishes, this description from the project should help:

I'm making potato salad.

Basically I'm just making potato salad. I haven't decided what kind yet.

It’s pretty hilarious until you realize the funds raised for this joke of a project could actually pay off your student and car loans and that no joke Kickstarter you could create will ever be as successful. So just give up already.

So I know 2002 will soon be calling, asking for its pop culture references back, but this delicious parody/remix of Eminem's “Lose Yourself” via Gizmodo is winning the Internet right now.

The headline Millennials have been waiting for is making its rounds on every news site and blog everywhere: Netflix Will Pay You to Watch Netflix.

Harry Potter fans will be happy to know author J.K. Rowling has published a new story in the series on her site Pottermore. The new Potter tale catches up with the wizard and his pals in their adulthood. This is Rowling’s first Harry-centric piece since publishing the series’ final novel seven years ago.

New movie trailers to hit the Interwebz: Jimi: All Is by My Side, starring André "3000" Benjamin as Mr. Hendrix; Before I Go To Sleep, with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong in what sounds like Memento meets 50 First Dates; and Horrible Bosses 2. Because Hollywood.

by Jac Kern 05.16.2013
Posted In: Fun, TV/Celebrity, Music at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

98 Degrees appeared on Bravo’s late night show, Watch What Happens Live, last week and, shockingly, Justin Jeffre didn’t wear a fedora! But seriously, on the after-show, Nick played “Plead the Fifth” (without pleading the fifth!), a regular game in which host Andy Cohen asks a guest three personal questions, and they can only decline to answer one. Nick revealed, “The best thing about not having Joe Simpson anymore as a father-in-law is that I don't have to play grab-ass under the table on Easter Sunday anymore.” And judging by the reaction (plus the rumors about Joe batting for the other team), he ain’t talking about Jess… But the best part of this episode was the night's bartender, Internet sensation of yesteryear, Sweet Brown! In case you were wondering, no, she still ain’t got time for that.

Hold on to your knickers, girls, because Robb Stark (government name: Richard Madden) is going to portray Prince Charming in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of Cinderella.

If you somehow avoided the Internet late last week, perhaps you missed the genius that is Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal, a series of Vine videos by Ryan McHenry. IknowIknowIknow ANOTHER Ryan Gosling meme — but this one will make you spew milk out of your nose. That is, if you’ll ever eat cereal again knowing RG’s disdain for it. Peep them all here, conveniently compiled by Buzzfeed.

Well, it’s time. Seven years after cancelling one of the smartest comedies on television, the folks behind Arrested Development  “unmade a huge mistake.” Season Four comes to Netflix May 26 and the first official trailer is here.

According to HuffPo, AD goes live at 12:01 a.m. PT, which is 3:01 a.m. our time. Early morning frozen bananas, anyone? After all, breakfast is the most important thing — out of things you eat.

Kristen Wiig hosted Saturday Night Live last week (don’t even get me started on that mess) and Vampire Weekend performed two songs from their new album, Modern Vampires of the City. It’s pretty good; you should buy it here. Does anyone know if lead singer Ezra Koenig (right) and actor Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, A Serious Man) are related?