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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The next 48 hours or so present a trifecta of holidays: Saturday is Record Store Day, Sunday is Earth Day, and, thanks to a group of teens in 1971, today (4-20) is unofficially Weed Day. Surely we can find a way to celebrate all three this weekend.
Visionaries and Voices, the Northside gallery that works with artists with disabilities, hosts its annual art auction gala Saturday. Double Vision features live and silent auctions featuring artwork from 20 local artists and other prizes, music by Magnolia Mountain and DJ Mowgli, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The event runs 7-11 p.m. at Memorial Hall; tickets are $50.
While April 22 is officially Earth Day, celebrations take place all weekend long. Cincinnati's 42nd Annual Earth Day Celebration takes over Sawyer Point Saturday from noon-5 p.m. The free event features exhibits, entertainment, kids activities and various recycling opportunities. Go here for a full list of local Earth Day events and be sure to pick up this week's Green Issue, featuring lots of environmental opportunities and the Central Ohio River Valley Local Foods Guide.
Cincinnati is lucky to have numerous quality, independent music retailers around town. From Everybody's Records to Shake It, we all have some great music memories thanks to these stores. Record Store Day, the third Saturday of April, is devoted to celebrating indie music shops and the music they help promote. Each year on this day, these stores present live music, limited releases and sales. Go here to check out local Record Store Day happenings.
Labor Day weekend is upon us, and even though the weather may stay hot through October, it represents our kiss goodbye to summer. Fire up the grill, bust out the margaritas and find your prime spot to watch Sunday’s WEBN fireworks because no matter which side of the river you’re cheering from, there are tons of events to cram in this long weekend.
Swing by Washington Park sometime Friday-Sunday to check out the AVP Cincinnati Open. Pro beach volleyball players straight from the London Olympics compete daily to qualify for the 2012 AVP Championships in Santa Barbara, Calif. Tickets run $15-20.
The MidPoint Indie
Summer Series wraps up Friday night with Wussy, R. Ring and The Guitars playing
Fountain Square, 7-11 p.m. We’re officially four weeks away from the main
event: MPMF Sept. 27-29. Do you have your wristband yet? You should get on
Enjoy Friday’s blue moon with a group ride organized by The Urban Basin Bicycle Club. Meet at outside Know Theater by 8:30 p.m. and enjoy a short, flat ride around Over-the-Rhine and Downtown. Deck yourself and your ride out with battery-powered lights, sparkles and other shiny materials to keep this ride fun and safe for everyone.
Final Friday means OTR’s galleries, bars, restaurants and shops will be a-buzz all night. After you’ve gotten your arts and drinks fix, be sure to check out the Night Owl Market at the parking lot at Main Street and Central Parkway. Food vendors will be serving up tasty goodness from 10 p.m.-3 a.m., in addition to shopping and more late-night fun. Read more about the new monthly market here.
Has it been a while since you made the voyage north to Harveysburg for the Ohio Renaissance Festival? The epic old-timey fair returns this weekend, and it’s way more than what you probably remembered as a kid. The 30-acre, re-created 16th century English village is chock-full of jousting, mud fights and fire-breathers, games, rides and shopping, plus more food and booze than you can shake a giant turkey leg at! The fest is open 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Monday and weekends through Oct. 21. Huzzah!
While, apparently, many find the Ren Fest to be a romantic outing, maybe you're looking for a different suggestion for date night. Fountain Square hosts the Guinness Oyster Fest Saturday. What, oyster speed-eating contests don’t rev your engine? Well, the slippery mollusks are known to be an aphrodisiac. So chow down on raw and cooked oyster dishes from area restaurants and enjoy plenty of Guinness and live music from 5-10 p.m.
The lovely little town of Rabbit Hash in Burlington celebrates its 33rd annual Old Timer’s Day Saturday. The “center of the universe” promises a day of live music, yummy grub, a “barnival” for kids and endless river views. Leave the coolers at home — the General Store is stocked with all the snacks, pop and beer you’ll need (plus countless rustic knick knacks you’ll want to take home). Visit the mayor (Lucy Lou, a border collie) and walk through the picturesque community 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
The weekly, true storytelling public radio show with its quirky, adorable host seriously has something for everyone — timely topics, laugh-out-loud (or cry-out-loud) anecdotes, thoughtful insight. TAL even got my stubborn, conservative father to listen to NPR on a regular basis. So since we can all agree how awesome it is, let's celebrate the announcement that Ira and Co. will present a live show in New York City, to be broadcast in movie theaters across the country on May 10.
Those who watched the television adaptation of This American Life know how flawlessly the program can be adapted to incorporate visual elements with the standard unscripted storytelling format. But the live show is set to involve more than just interviews and animations seen in the TV program.
The show will go live at 8 p.m. May 10 onstage at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. If you can't make the trip to the Big Apple (it's sold out anyway), check it out at one of many local theaters screening the show, including AMC Newport, Western Hills 14, Florence 14, Milford 16, Springdale Showcase Cinemas and Deerfield Town Center. Many of these theaters will present an encore screening May 15 as well. Go here for tickets.
Walking passed the "Road Closed" signs on Ludlow Avenue and into the StreetScapes and Cliftonfest street festival, I felt as if I stepped back into time and into an old, vibrant European town.
were more than the usual amount of eccentric local musicians and artists
gathered at every corner in the Clifton Gaslight business district this
weekend as Clifton celebrated this tenth annual festival. Walking down
the block on the gorgeous fall day was a breath of fresh air as I saw
familiar faces enjoying the talents of local artists and taking time out
of their busy lives to slow down and celebrate their neighborhood.
In celebration of this ancient tradition that was started in 1972 in the Italian village of Grazie di Curtatone, Ludlow and Telford Avenues were closed from Sept. 28-30. The streets were transformed into a canvas for creative artists, a market for local businesses and a stage for talented musicians.