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.
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?).
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.
Comedian Stewart Huff: Primarily a storyteller, he now focuses on stand-up. Huff started off wanting to be a writer of short stories. He wrote in secret, but after doing an open mic he became intrigued by what that art form had to offer. “I was obsessed with the idea of telling a story on stage and getting immediate feedback,” he says. After a time, Huff decided to focus solely on stand-up. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.
It’s no secret that Northside is the city’s premiere taco destination. The neighborhood welcomes its third taco joint Friday with the grand opening of Barrio Tequileria. This latest addition comes from the folks behind popular food truck Taco Azul and will specialize in authentic Mexican/L.A.-style street food, tequila and mezcal. Doors open Friday at 5 p.m. and they’ll be serving up tacos and drinks until 2 a.m. Check them out on Facebook.
installment of Macy’s Art Sampler Weekend takes place Saturday. Enjoy free art
activities and performances all day in venues across Greater Cincinnati,
including: tours and music at the Contemporary Arts Center, Hip-Hop, spoken
word and crafts at the Taft Museum of Art, belly-dancing, toe-shoe performances
and Kung-Fu at the Cincinnati Ballet and an Amazing Arts Race from ArtsWave
Young Professionals. The sampler send with a Sock-Hop in Washington Park
featuring Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's Marvelous Wonderettes. Look up the full
schedule by event, venue or category here.
Contemporary Dance Theater celebrates 40 years of bringing modern dance to Cincinnati with the FORTY40Gala Saturday. The evening includes music and dance performances, retrospective displays and videos, a silent auction, complementary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, all in the historic Emery Theatre. Go here to read our interview with CDT’s founder, Artistic Director and CEO, Jefferson James.
Have you been waiting for the opportunity to let you inner Maverick shine? Well, grab your aviators, zip up that jumpsuit and fly on out to SkateTown USA’s Top Gun-themed “Roller SK80s” party Saturday. Whether you’re a regular rollergirl or you haven’t skated since the actual ‘80s, there will be enough fun to go around with music, a photobooth and an all-you-can-drink bar (dangerous much?). Admission is just $10, which includes skate rental and drinks, and proceeds benefit Disabled American Veterans. The party runs 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. and word is there will be a shuttle to a hotel after-party. Go here for details, directions and tips on finding some prime ‘80s garb.
The Cincinnati Museum Center wraps up its Passport to the World series with this weekend’s Asian Culture Fest. Visitors will travel across China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Nepal via cultural displays, hands-on workshops, music and dance performances, an authentic Asian marketplace and much more. The fest runs Saturday-Sunday. Find a full event schedule here.
When news came out yesterday that Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched and highest-rated of any in history that featured entertainment, there was celebration at Lightborne Communications, the video-production-services company in Over-the-Rhine.
Lightborne created all the animated video projections used in Perry’s 12-and-a-half-minute set, which featured a medley of abbreviated versions of her hits amid phantasmagoric and theatrical staging, costumes, videos, dancing and set design.
And while Lightborne President Scott Durban was wary about taking too much credit — lots of artists, obviously including Perry herself, were involved in the show — he did note that no other company involved in the overall production was based in Cincinnati.
Lightborne got involved because its Tour Visuals and Stage Content division already had been working on Perry’s ongoing Prismatic World Tour. (It also has done or is working on video for tours by Kanye West, Kenny Chesney and Fleetwood Mac.)
Dan Bryant, the head of that division, explained Lightborne’s involvement with Perry’s Super Bowl performance:
“We started working on the project very shortly after she was announced in October as the half-time performer,” Bryant said. “We had done over two hours of content for her Prism tour, so she was already familiar with our company and work. We got a call from her creative director, Baz Halpin, asking us to work on her Super Bowl show.
“As soon as we found out her set list, we started working with [Halpin] for some concepts that would work with the logistics and constraints of the show,” Bryant continued. “We started doing individual frames to capture the overall idea for a particular song. That process went into November. Once we arrived at a concept for each song that everybody was happy with, we started storyboarding them out to give an idea of what the flow of ideas would be for each song.
“Then in December we started doing animatics, taking all the different frames we created and stringing them out to songs in still-frame form so everybody could get an idea of what it would look like when finally animated. That took us to the middle of December,” he said.
“Then we started animating ideas to rough tracks for her Super Bowl medley. That’s when we started using a really amazing piece of software called D3. It’s simulation software, specifically designed about 10 years ago to simulate any live event on a software platform.”
Eventually, after some intermediary steps, Lightborne had a working 3D model of the University of Phoenix Stadium, the performance stage and all the key props. Its crew started loading its animations into that.
“It gave everybody on our team, including Katy herself, a really good idea of what our animated content would look like when projected onto a 160-foot diameter surface,” Bryant said. “That’s when it gets really exciting because you start seeing the idea come to life.”
In January, a four-person Lightborne team went out to Los Angeles to participate in rehearsals. A few days before the Super Bowl, everyone involved moved to Phoenix to rehearse in the actual venue.
Although everything went fine, Bryant said there was great nervousness as the actual Super Bowl game began. Lightborne was counting on some degree of darkness for Perry’s show.
“The first and second quarter went by extremely quickly, and my team on location in Phoenix and everybody else with the show was getting nervous because it was still light outside,” Bryant said. “They had the dome roof open and 15 minutes to show time it was still bright sunshine outside and the field was being hit by sunlight. Luckily some things happened in the game that had the quarter slow down, so it went off without a hitch."
Watch the full performance:
Miley Cyrus hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live this weekend and I have to admit — she rocked it. You have to give it to the writers for coming up with some original ways to incorporate her recent now-ubiquitous scandals (VMAs, buzzworthy music videos, ever-exposed tongue), but MiCy deserves some credit, too.
Bitch may be feuding with Sinead O’Connor and giving twerking a bad name, but she is definitely a solid performer. The weak skits of the night (How dare SNL make a failed attempt at a cheerleader sketch when we all know the Spartans can never be topped? Too soon!) flopped because of poor ideas or shoddy writing, not due to Miley’s lack of acting skills. The trend so far this year is the best skits being prerecorded ones (the Girls spoof with Tina Fey, this week's Fifty Shades of Grey auditions), which kind of defeats the purpose of it being a live show. Nonetheless, the No. 1 sketch of the night perfectly blended a Miley earbug with the government shutdown: “We Did Stop.”
Meanwhile, Nori West is racking up finer garments before her fourth month on Earth (FOR FREE) than the rest of us can probably ever imagine owning. In our adult lives.
In Case You Missed It: Dumb and
Dumber To is actually happening.
Not to be confused with the cringe-worthy 2003 prequel Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (which I totally saw in theaters the day it opened), this Farrelly Brothers sequel will feature OG stars Jim Carrey (Lloyd Christmas) and Jeff Daniels (Harry Dunne) picking up 20 years after the duo’s last adventure. In D&D2, which currently has an unspecified 2014 release date, one of the guys has a long-lost offspring, and they both embark on a journey to find the child in hopes of attaining a new kidney. Kathleen Turner will play Fraida Felcher, a character mentioned but never seen in two scenes of the original (Below). Sounds like she's the baby mama. And SPOILER ALERT: Jennifer Lawrence will make a surprise cameo as a young Fraida. Hopefully we’ll get to see the French Tickler in action. Billy the blind kid and Sea Bass will also return, played by their respective original actors.
And because behind-the-scenes movie peeks are so fun, here’s Quvenzhane Wallis on the set of Annie with her near-identical stunt double who is at least three times Q’s age. The Jay Z and Will Smith-produced remake, due in theaters during Christmastime next year, will also star Jamie Foxx in the Daddy Warbucks role, appropriately renamed “Benjamin Stacks.”
Although it’s been 13 years since Freaks
and Geeks originally graced our television screens, longtime fans and
newcomers discovering the fantastic series on Netflix or IFC can now experience
McKinley High in a whole new way. The Fine Brothers, Internet creatives behind
the popular React series, developed a Freak and Geeks
choose-your-own-adventure game that combines great television, old-school video
games and your inner 10-year-old’s favorite genre of books. Players can
actually click on different choices in the YouTube video, leading them to new
videos based on their selections. Play now!
Watch what you say to Siri: That robot voice on your phone is actually a real lady! Recently, we learned Lisa Frank is an actual, live human. Next up: Siri. Voice actress Susan Bennett has come forward as the woman behind the mysterious personal assistant living inside newer Apple mobile devices. The recent Apple software update iOS 7 gives users the option of a new “male” Siri voice, prompting Bennett to reveal Siri’s original real-life counterpart. Meet her here.
Check out these cool paintings on coins: