Home - Blogs - Staff Blogs - Popular Blogs
Latest Blogs
by Jac Kern 05.04.2012

Your Weekend To Do List: 5/4-5/6

In addition to Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day, the next couple days bring a ton of events and activities. Saddle up, grab some tequila and get out there this weekend!

Essex Studios blossom this weekend for the galleries’ spring Art Walk, BLOOM. The space has been transformed with a thousand origami flowers, yarn gardens by the Cincinnati BombShells and color-coded pathways. As always, more than 100 artists’ work will be on view as guests eat and drink their way through the studios. The art walk runs 6-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Saturday is Clay Alliance’s annual pottery fair at DeSales Corner. Peruse decorative and functional pottery pieces, meet local artists and get supplies to work with clay on your self. Hourly raffles and live music round out the day. The 12th annual fair takes place 11 a.m.-5 p.m., rain or shine.

The first Saturday of May happens to be Cinco De Mayo this year, but it’s also Free Comic Book Day: once a year, comic/specialty book shops across North America offer free publications to all guests. Find a nearby participating store here. Many store offer additional in-store events and promotions; Up Up & Away in Cheviot welcomes The Walking Dead co-creator and original artist Tony Moore.

Crafty Supermarket is back! Making its home at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, the spring show brings more than 50 indie, subversive crafters from across the city and country to sell their funky, functional handmade goods. Just in time for Mother’s Day, shoppers will find unique apparel and accessories, home goods, artwork and more goodies. Fuel your shopping with delicious food and coffee from local vendors while a PROJECTMILL DJ keeps you groovin’. Show up early to nab a coveted swag bag — every year, shoppers line up around the corner of Clifton Avenue in hopes of being one of the first 100 who get a bag. The market is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and admission is free.

Cinco de Mayo is more popular in the U.S. than Mexico, but since when do we let historical inaccuracies stand in the way of a good drinking holiday? Nearly every bar and restaurant participates in some capacity, but we’ve selected a few to host our annual Cantina Crawl. Here’s our schedule:

5 p.m. El Coyote

5:45 p.m. Pirates Cove

6:30 p.m. Tostado’s Grill

7:15 p.m. MLT’s

8 p.m. Cactus Pear (Clifton)

8:30 p.m. Nada

9 p.m. Bakersfield

Join our roving squad of senoritas and “Seen on the Scene” photographers as they travel from place to place with more prizes than you can throw a maraca at.

Prom is a rite of passage many, but often LGBTQ kids don’t feel comfortable at school dances because of bullies and expectations about dress and dates. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Greater Cincinnati provides a welcoming environment for these individuals at their annual GLSEN Prom Saturday. Come to the Freedom Center for two events in one: those under 21 are invited to "dress as you want, bring who you want, and love as you want.” In a separate area of the center the over 21 crowd, who maybe didn’t get to experience a prom of their own, can enjoy dinner, drinks and dancing for $65. Those wanting to attend post-dinner can come after 9 p.m. for a discounted price. As always, kids are welcome free of charge with early registration. All proceeds support the local GLSEN chapter.

Check out Stage Door for this weekend's theater offerings, our music blog for a live show lineup and our To Do page for more events, art shows, performances and more this weekend.

And don’t forget to check out the "supermoon" Saturday — the biggest full moon of the year will peak around 11:30 p.m. tomorrow.

by Jac Kern 04.12.2013
Posted In: Events, Eats, Drinking, Music, Performances, Fun, Arts at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Your Weekend To Do List: 4/12-4/14

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.

The final 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.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do page or full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

by Jac Kern 02.21.2012
Posted In: Events, Fun, Concerts, Holidays, Music at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 Staff 02.13.2015

Your Weekend To Do List (2/13-2/15)

Reminder: It's Valentine's Day this weekend (and Cincy Winter Beerfest!)

Calling all lovers: There's plenty to do this weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day, whether you've made reservations or not. Calling all singles: There's plenty to do this weekend regardless of whether or not you have a date. And calling all people who are looking to adopt a dog or cat this weekend in order to fill a void: We've got an event for that, too.

Love, Vodka, Death: First a little shameless self promotion. What do you get when you cross the name of a czarist Russian Woody Allen/Diane Keaton comedy — Love and Death — with vodka? “Love, Vodka, Death,” CityBeat’s la petite mort Friday the 13th Valentine’s bash. Whether you feel like getting drunk because you’re alone or using booze as an aphrodisiac, the event features more than 15 vodka brands — Grey Goose, Tito’s, Stoli, Three Olives, Svedka and more — for sampling, along with bites from A Catered Affair. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. $25 single; $45 for two tickets; $60 for a threesome. Cincinnati Masonic Center, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, citybeat.com.

Cincy Winter Beerfest: A Valentine's tradition for many. This year’s Cincinnati Beer Week takes over Tristate bars, restaurants, breweries and grocery stores for beer dinners, meet the brewer events, keg tappings and more. “Expect a week of really great, well-crafted beer-focused events,” says Lindsey Roeper, president of Cincinnati Beer Week. “We like to encourage participating venues to create events that are educational, impactful and, most of all, fun.” The party kicks off with the Cincy Winter Beerfest craft beer festival at the Duke Energy Convention Center Feb. 13-14 and continues at more than 100 official Cincinnati Beer Week venues through Feb. 22. For more information on Cincy Winter Beerfest, click here. For more on Cincinnati Beer Week and an event calendar, click here. And for information about the past, present and future of Cincinnati's brewing heritage, as told by CityBeat, click here for the Beer Issue.

ALICE (In Wonderland)
Photo: Peter Mueller
Cincinnati Ballet's ALICE (in Wonderland): Cincinnati Ballet’s extravagant production of Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre’s ALICE (in Wonderland) hits the Aronoff stage again this weekend, two years after the Cincinnati premiere, with live music from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Cincinnati Ballet Music Director Carmon DeLeone. Webre drew his scenario from Lewis Carroll’s classic 19th century books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, and he packed in all the familiar characters, including the Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat and Mad Hatter. The cast is huge, with children from the ballet’s academy as baby flamingos, piglets and hedgehogs. Cincinnati Ballet presents ALICE (in Wonderland) Friday through Sunday at the Aronoff Center. Tickets and more info: cballet.org.

MainStrasse Mardi Gras
MainStrasse Mardi Gras: BEADS! “Mardi Gras,” French for “Fat Tuesday,” refers to the debaucherous and indulgent celebration that precedes the ritual fasting of Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday). Traditionally New Orleans is the party capital of Mardi Gras, but New Orleans better keep an eye out because the 19th annual MainStrasse Village Mardi Gras has all the beads, Cajun food, Big Head parades and live music you need. Parades with floats and giant heads take the streets both Friday and Saturday. Beads, baubles and bangles will be available at MainStrasse businesses and the Goose Girl Fountain. Parades begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $10 per night; $15 in advance for both nights. MainStrasse Village, West Sixth Street, Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org.

Chapatti at the Cincinnati Playhouse
Photo: Sandy Underwood
Chapatti at the Playhouse in the Park: An offbeat Irish love story. Pets can be great companions. But as Dan, grieving the loss of a longtime lover, and Betty, a solitary divorcée, discover in Christian O’Reilly’s humorous tale of a pair of lonely hearts in an Irish town, human contact is essential and sometimes unexpected. The play’s title, “chapatti,” a kind of flatbread from India, is the name of Dan’s faithful and devoted dog. Director Anne Marie Cammarato says, “It celebrates the human connection we need to have with one another and even with our animals.” All that adds up to “a little play with such a big heart.” Through March 8. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com. 

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


My Furry Valentine
Photo: My Furry Valentine
My Furry Valentine: There is nothing cuter than a puppy following you around everywhere you go. (When your date does it … it’s not so cute.) This is just one of the many, many reasons why pets make the best valentines. My Furry Valentine is the region’s largest annual animal adoption event, bringing together hundreds of adorable pets and potential pet parents at the Sharonville Convention Center. Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and other pocket pets from animal rescues and shelters all over the region will be showcased. More than 1,300 animals have been taken home the past three years — this year it could be you. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, myfurryvalentine.com.com.

Linger Flower Pop-Up
Photo: Life in Balance Photography
Linger Flowers Valentine's Pop-Up at Cheapside Cafe: Your significant other will probably hate everything about the Linger Flowers/Cheapside Café Valentine’s Day floral fête. If you want to be a really nice girlfriend, take one of your BFFs, instead. Enjoy gorgeous, loose floral arrangements from Linger in hand-tied bouquets or handmade pottery by local pottery artist cgceramics, handmade cards from Rock Paper Scissors and learn about the romantic representations of different types of flowers — then return to your love with a sweet-smelling declaration of your affection. Or remind your dude of all the basketball you’ve watched lately, drag him along and make him buy you something pretty. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Arrangements $5-$50. Cheapside Café, 326 E. Eighth St., Downtown, lingerflowers.com.

Fern Studio Floral Pop-Up with Una Floral: Beautiful flowers plus cocktails! Una Floral and Fern have teamed up for Valentine's Day and whether you are celebrating a partner or just self-love, they've got you covered with specialty gift boxes containing items from Herbivore Botanicals, PF Candle Co., Brown Bear Bakery, and a mini floral arrangement from Una Floral. Or if a bouquet of flowers is more your speed, they have beautiful hand-tied arrangements available. They'll also be serving up a "heart-beet" punch made by Aaron Strasser of A Tavola, made with Off the Vine Rockin' Roots juice, a lemon/ginger simple syrup, Lillet Rosé, Watershed Gin and topped with Prosecco. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. 6040 Hamilton Ave., North College Hill, fern-shop.com.

In the Mood for Love
In the Mood for Love Screening: A film called “brilliant” by the late Roger Ebert, Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love is a tale of love, longing, loneliness and relationship struggles. Set in 1960s Hong Kong, the film follows journalist Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and shipping company secretary Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung), who suspect wrongdoings from their respective spouses and form a bond. They promise to keep their blossoming relationship platonic to keep away from the same wrongdoing, but their lives continue to intersect as they fall deeper into forbidden love. Cincinnati World Cinema’s special Valentine’s Day screening includes an optional pre-movie dinner and cocktails. 6 p.m. dinner; 7 p.m. theater opens for seating. $10 advance film tickets; $12 at the door; $50 dinner and film package. Cincinnati World Cinema, The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., cincyworldcinema.org. 

Appalachian Culture Fest: Something less Valentine-ish. Dig deeper into the mountain culture of the Appalachians during the Cincinnati Museum Center’s Appalachian Culture Fest. Co-sponsored by the Appalachian Community Development Association, the event seeks to reveal its unique traditions through food, skilled mountain crafters selling handmade wares, traditional arts demonstrators, storytellers and performances by Bluegrass musicians. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free events in the rotunda; other events included with museum admission. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.

World Sound Healing Day: A Valentine to the Earth. This Valentine’s Day marks the 13th annual World Sound Healing Day. Cincinnati joins the wave of many groups around the world to give a sonic valentine to the Earth, combining sound and intention as a catalyst for peace, harmony and global and personal transformation. The concert features toning, percussion, instruments and chanting from musicians like Rob Dorsey, Roxana Imam, Audrey Causilla and more at Gothic-style Grace Episcopal Church. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. $10. Grace Episcopal Church, 5501 Hamilton Ave., College Hill. Contact causilla@yahoo.com for more information.

Find more Valentine's Day events here.

Art on Vine
Art on Vine: Organized by James Jenkins, owner of Photography for the People, this monthly local boutique art fair showcases fine arts, handmade goods and photography from more than 30 Tristate artists. A portion of artist entry fees will be donated back to a local nonprofit. Guests can also enjoy food from vendors Holtman’s Donuts, A Tavola and Krueger’s Tavern while shopping. Noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Free. Rhinegeist Brewery, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.

Lydia Loveless
Photo: Patrick Crawford, Black Letter
Lydia Loveless: Not that long ago it wasn’t uncommon to see Columbus, Ohio, singer/songwriter Lydia Loveless performing a low-key set in one of Greater Cincinnati’s various clubs. But since her debut release for esteemed independent label Bloodshot Records, 2011’s Indestructible Machine, Loveless has become a critical darling who spends a lot of time on the road building on her growing fanbase. Initially noted for the expert melding of her Country, Rock and Punk influences, Loveless’ material — particularly on her fantastic latest full-length Somewhere Else — has grown less easy to pigeonhole, settling into a soulful Rock sound that shows her maturing skills as both writer and performer. Loveless’ visit to Newport this week will feature an opening set by locals Magnolia Mountain, a rare show as frontman Mark Ultey has spent much of the past year working on his Bulletville project. 9 p.m. Sunday. $10; $12 day of. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com

“Presentation of a Prince,” a six-fold screen by Chiyo Mitsuhisa
Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Art Museum
Masterpieces of Japanese Art at the Cincinnati Art Museum: When an art museum has a collection of more than 65,000 objects, it isn’t surprising that many of them wind up hidden in storage. Sometimes complete collections are stowed there, rarely if ever seen or studied. That was the case with Cincinnati Art Museum’s Japanese art when Asian Art Curator Hou-mei Sung arrived in 2002. Sung, who has a doctorate in museum studies and Asian art history from Case Western Reserve, discovered that her holdings included roughly 3,000 objects from Japan. The culmination of that long, meticulous effort will be seen starting Saturday when Masterpieces of Japanese Art (culled from the museum’s collection) opens. It will be up through Aug. 30 and accompanied by a catalog showing the 100 objects in the show and telling the stories behind their histories. Those objects include paintings, screens, prints, ceramics, lacquer and metal wares, ivory carvings, arms and armor, cloisonné, dolls, masks, costumes and textiles. Masterpieces of Japanese Art is on display at Cincinnati Art Museum Saturday through Aug. 30. More info: cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

Off-Line Dating Game
Photo: CAC
Off-Line Dating Game at the CAC: By now you’ve probably heard a million success stories from couples who met online. Internet dating is rough, though. (And a little scary.) If the swiping and questionnaires aren’t your style, you’re in luck. The Contemporary Arts Center is going back in time and promoting actual physical connections with the Off-Line Dating Game. Ticket includes admission to the museum, a light appetizer and a drink to loosen you up. Put your dang phone down for a couple hours and see how it goes. 6 p.m. Saturday. $5 members/$10 non-members. 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, comtemporaryartscenter.org.

Robyn Hitchcock
Photo: Laura Partrain
Robyn Hitchcock: Robyn Hitchcock, the British singer/songwriter whose intimately resonant, raspy voice and mysteriously peculiar worldview were shaped by such skewed troubadours of his youth as Nick Drake, Syd Barrett and the Incredible String Band, has long been said to make “autumnal” records. As in, “songs or singing that reflect on life with a bittersweet, melancholy wisdom coming from age and experience.” The term has been applied to his 1984 classic, I Often Dream of Trains, and has been used for his latest record, last year’s The Man Upstairs. It’s his 20th studio album, including those he recorded with his backing bands the Egyptians and Venus 3. And it is an acoustic, sparsely recorded mix of original compositions and covers of such songs as Psychedelic Furs’ “The Ghost in You,” Roxy Music’s “To Turn You On,” The Doors’ “Crystal Ship” and others. Robyn Hitchcock plays Tuesday at Southgate House Revival. Tickets/more info: southgatehouse.com

by Jac Kern 10.08.2013
Posted In: Humor, Movies, TV/Celebrity, Music at 03:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

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!

                                                                   (Thanks, Hannah!)

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: