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by Hannah McCartney 11.07.2013
Posted In: Music, Culture at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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This Could Be Ohio's New State Country Song

For whatever reason, Americans deem it a necessary source of pride for us to award the states we live in all sorts of symbolic attributes, such as an official state amphibian (Ohio: spotted salamander), official state muffin (Minnesota: blueberry) or an official state "sport" (Maryland: walking?). And Oklahoma's unofficial state sport is apparently obesity — their official meal is "fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken-fried steak, black-eyed peas, and pecan pie."

Now, there's a very real possibility that sometime soon, the state of Ohio will add to its arsenal of symbols (our state drink is tomato juice?) by adopting its own state "Country" anthem: On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Ohio Rep. Nick Barborack (D-Lisbon) introduced House Bill 330 to the general assembly, which would give the state an official Country song called "Ohio" by Lisbon, Ohio musician Zach Paxson.

Here's the song that's been Ohio's official, official song since 1969:


Old-timey, for sure, but at least there's some pretty imagery thrown in there. Everybody likes moonlit streams and freedom.

And we all know "Hang on Sloopy," the '60s Pop Rock ditty that was actually wasn't designated our state Rock song until 1985, when the House passed a resolution with a bunch of references to the song, including phrases like: 

WHEREAS, "Hang On Sloopy" is of particular relevance to members of the Baby Boom Generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously; and

WHEREAS, Adoption of this resolution will not take too long, cost the state anything, or affect the quality of life in this state to any appreciable degree, and if we in the legislature just go ahead and pass the darn thing, we can get on with more important stuff.

The '80s were a weird time for a lot of things, so this makes a lot of sense. The introduction of Paxson's song, however, feels a little out of the blue.

Paxson's video, and the lyrics to the song, from Paxson's website (SIC to the errors):


Austin Texas was a great place
but I couldn’t wait to get home with a big smile on my face
and see those green farms and factories
as I made my way through my favorite city’s
Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO
Every morning I pass them
in their work boots and their business suits but we all come from the same roots
and we’re the keeper of great names
cause we got the rock ‘n’ roll and the football hall of fame
Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO

Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO, we’re the pulse of America here in the heart of it all
OHIO

What do you think of it? I only made it through the first 30 secondsI grew up in a rural town and any varietal of  Country music makes me hurt inside. Plus, I found the video, which is a kind of schizophrenic mix of a bunch of really blurry photos accompanied by WordArt lyrics, hard to watch.

Clearly, I'm biased, and I don't really get why there are several politicians taking the time to lobby for this to join "Hang on Sloopy" and "Beautiful Ohio." The bill is just waiting to be signed to a committee, so it will be awhile before a decision is made. But it's worth thinking about. Does it deserve to join the ranks of Ohio's tomato juices and bullfrogs? Or are state symbols just generally not supposed to make any sense?

 
 
by Jac Kern 10.30.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Movies, Is this for real? at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The Walking Dead is getting pretty crazy this season, and so is its after-show, Talking Dead. Sunday night’s guests included Jack Osbourne, TWD Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd and a very entertaining, probably inebriated Marilyn Manson. His long-winded, unfocused comments were punctuated with references including Hitler, “scissoring” and the character Carol’s likeness to Jamie Lee Curtis (“Activia!"). Poor Osbourne could barely get a word in as Manson constantly interrupted. He’d often cut off Hurd as she made interesting point from, you know, the perspective of someone who helped create the show, to blab on about is own confusing theories. It was watchable for all the wrong reasons and host Chris Hardwick wasn’t having any of this shit.

The Entourage movie is officially happening, for real this time.

One of television’s magic tricks (cut to Gob: ILLUSIONS!) is its ability to make locations around Hollywood look like places in cities across the world. Alas, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is not actually filmed in Pennsylvania and Pawnee City Hall seen in Parks and Recreation is actually Pasadena City Hall. A.V. Club traveled around L.A. to track down memorable exterior TV locations from shows set outside of California including Dunder-Mifflin (The Office), American Horror Story’s original “Murder House,” the New Girl apartment and other spots from popular shows.


Los Angeles plays itself (and the settings of The Office, Parks And Recreation, It’s Always Sunny…)

Not every girl wants a stupid, one-sided public marriage proposal, as seen in this clip of a woman who thought she was on The Today Show to promote her nonprofit organization but was actually there to get proposed to by her lame, misguided boyfriend.

The Daily Show began as a news satire show but, over the years, Jon Stewart & Co. have exposed some actual Washington dumb-fuckery, inspiring real political change. Case in point: TDS’ Aasif Mandvi interviewed North Carolina GOP precinct chair Don Yelton about the state’s voter I.D. laws and Yelton responded in a shocking and perhaps the most racist way possible. Yelton was forced to step down from his position the next day.

It bears repeating that this was not a fake/satirical/scripted bit. Yelton really admitted voter ID laws are in place to restrict Democrats. He actually said he doesn’t understand why black people can say “nigger” but he can’t. And he backed all of this with the fact that he has a black friend. Jesus, take the wheel!

Yelton didn’t even have an “oh shit” moment the next day — he continues to stand by his comments. His party, however, does not and asked Yelton to step down less than 24 hours after the interview aired.

Can we make this Wes Anderson horror film (via Saturday Night Live) a real thing, please?

 

Emile Hirsch will portray comedic legend John Belushi in a new biopic.

Sesame Street is decidedly directed toward little kids, teaching them how to count and share and interact with gigantic talking animals. But, like Yo Gabba Gabba!, the show is nice enough to tip the hat at adults in the audience. I loved their take on True Blood and Sons of Anarchy, and now the Muppets have put their stamp on Homeland.

 

Of course, I am rarely around small children so I actually just watch puppet spoofs of TV shows for sheer pleasure.

 
 
by Jac Kern 10.25.2013
Posted In: Events, Fashion, Music, Performances, Movies at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_maliceball

Your Weekend To Do List: 10/25-10/27

Brand consulting firm Landor Associates hosts coinciding events Friday at the iconic Shillito’s department store building downtown. Miketoberfest is a benefit for Mike Amann, owner of Covington design firm BLDG and linchpin in the Greater Cincinnati arts scene, who is battling stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer. The fundraiser features live music and DJs, grub from local food trucks and local art and handmade goods for sale from 5-11 p.m. Meanwhile, Landor will also be guiding Shillito’s Abandoned tours every 10 minutes during that time. Visitors will go underground to explore the former department store’s cafeteria, showrooms and Santaland for a spooky experience perfect for Halloween. Admission for Miketoberfest is $15; tours are $10. All proceeds from the night benefit the Amann family. Go here for more details.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is said to be the site of various hauntings, which sets the stage for Friday’s Art After Dark event. The museum will host ghost tours at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and screen the 1922 classic Nosferatu with Folk Rockers The Ridges providing a live score to the film from 6-8 p.m. Appetizers and drinks (including Great Lakes Nosferatu ale) will be available for purchase; admission is free.

Cincinnati street style gets the spotlight at Rise of the Cool Kids, a production feature from local retailers, designers, bloggers and other area fashionistas. The event takes over Washington Park Friday with a happy hour 5-7 p.m. benefiting Artworks; a dance party and projected fashion show 7-11 p.m.; and after-parties at nearby 4EG bars. $10 tickets are available in advance online. Limited cash tickets will be available tonight at the park.

For a classy twist on the adult Halloween party, check out The Malice Ball: OTR Brewers' Masquerade Saturday. The Christian Moerlein Brewery serves as a chilling setting for a masquerade ball, complete with masks and makeup artists to elevate your mysterious look, a DJ, photo booth, local bites, drinks served by fave Japp’s and Bakersfield bartenders and a special dance performance by Pones Inc. The Malice Ball runs 8 p.m.-midnight. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and include a drink ticket and free shuttle to and from Washington Park and Mercer Garages. Register here.

Channel your inner Jules Verne at the Cincinnati Museum Center’s Gears & Beers event Saturday. It’s a steampunk soiree — Victorian aesthetic with a sci-fi edge — complete with a costume and gadget parade, live entertainment and plenty of microbrews and food pairings. The party kicks off at 8 p.m. Admission is $40; $30 for CMC and Enjoy the Arts members. Go here for event lineup and menu details.

For more art openings, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings. Be sure to read ScaryBeat for more Halloween events and holiday inspiration.

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