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by Jac Kern 02.28.2012
Posted In: Animals, Fun, Events, Music, Northside at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Wednesday To Do List

One year ago today, the home of Shannon DeBra, founder of the all-foster rescue Recycled Doggies, caught on fire. Thirteen dogs and one cat died as a result, and Recycled Doggies faced a tremendous setback. Tonight, on the tragedy's anniversary, animal lovers everywhere are invited to attend a benefit, give what you can and support the organization and all its foster families and volunteers. Head over to Star Lanes at the Levee for a silent auction, raffles, happy hour specials and, of course, plenty of bowling fun. Go here to RSVP to the event, which runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

CANstruction kicked off today, with teams building artistic creations made entirely out of canned goods. Stop by the Weston Gallery to see their progress and drop off canned goods of your own. All donations, and all cans used to build the artwork, will go to the Freestore Foodbank.

Crazy! Cool. No, I'm not talking about TLC's 1994 album, I'm talkin' 'bout West Side Story. The Bernstein and Sondheim hit is alive and well 55 years after its debut on Broadway. The Jets and Sharks put any Crosstown Shootout rivalries to shame, and in this revived version, audiences can expect a grittier tale with more Hispanic influence. The classic runs at the Aronoff Center through March 11. Find details here.

Every Tuesday is Writer's Night at MOTR Pub. Songwriters, poets, spoken word artists — anyone with original work is welcome to share. Sign ups open at 8:30 p.m. and $40 goes to a special winner each week. Lucas of The Dukes Are Dead hosts. Enjoy a beer, a BLT and great company.

Honey in Northside offers a $10 comfort food menu every Tuesday. Choose from homestyle favorites like fish and chips, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, chicken stew with dumplings and more. It's a great chance to try the local spot if you've never been and you're on a budget. Peep our full review of Honey here.

Check out our To Do page for tons of recommended art shows open today.

by Jac Kern 03.09.2012
Posted In: Concerts, Culture, Drinking, Events, Northside, Music at 03:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 3/9-3/11

The Cincinnati International Wine Festival opens tonight at Duke Energy Convention Center. More than 600 varieties from 100 wineries will be at your disposal during the grand tastings tonight, tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening. There will also be live music, a silent auction and plenty of food to soak up that alcohol. This is a pricey event, but it's a chance to taste wines from across the globe. Go here for tickets.

Is beer more your style? The folks who brought us Cincy Winter Beerfest just a couple weeks ago present All About Stout Fest Saturday at Molly Malone's Irish Pub in Covington. For $15, guests get five tastings, one full pint of choice and a souvenir pint glass. There are 25 stouts to choose from, plus Molly's 18 draft beers on tap. With live Irish music to keep you movin', consider this your dress rehearsal for St. Patrick's Day. Find a full beer list and ticket information here.

Though we live in a city with limited access to independent, art house and foreign films (the Esquire can only do so much!) Cincy World Cinema brings us some much-needed film opportunities, like this weekend's Oscar Shorts. Saturday and Sunday, CWC hosts an exclusive screening of Academy Award nominated live-action and animated short films. Enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and the rare opportunity to see these films on the big screen, in one day. Many screenings have sold out, so go here to purchase yours.

Final Fridays are to OTR as Second Saturdays are to Northside. As usual, all are encouraged to explore the neighborhood's bars, restaurants, galleries and businesses for extended hours, later happy hours, art openings and sales starting at 6 p.m. Find a full list of participating venues here.

Springtime brings the start of everyone's favorite spectator sport. No, not baseball, roller derby! The Cincinnati Rollergirls open their seventh season with a double-header against the Arch Rival Roller Girls of St. Louis Saturday. Head down to the Cincinnati Gardens early for free parking and tailgating, then enjoy $1 happy hour beers beginning at 6 p.m., when the doors open. The Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls, featuring mini badasses age 8-17 (isn't that kind of a crazy age range?) make their debut during halftime. General admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($15/$17 for trackside seats). If you haven't been to a roller derby since the '90s, it's exciting, cheap and the sport is really fun to get into. You'll be getting rowdy in no time! Go here for tickets.

Tickets to Radiohead's June concert at Riverbend go on sale at 10 a.m. tomorrow. If you're planning on snagging a pair, you should probably camp out tonight.

Of course, there's also tons of live music, theater, art shows and more events going on this weekend. Find all our To Do recommendations here.

by Jac Kern 10.26.2012
Posted In: Music, Events, Eats, Drinking, Holidays at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Your Halloweekend To Do List: 10/26-10/28

Halloween is no longer a one-night event just for kids. Like many holidays, Halloween’s reach goes beyond Oct. 31 (I’m pretty sure I saw costumes descend into stores mid-August), giving us grownups a chance to dress up and act out. This (Hallo)weekend features events that celebrate all the weird, wonderful and freaky aspects of our favorite holiday.

If staged dance performances weren’t what you had in mind, think again. While not necessarily Halloween-related, Cincinnati Ballet’s ALICE (in Wonderland) will take audiences on a whimsical journey down the rabbit hole Friday-Sunday. In addition to talented dancers and music by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the costume and set designs are truly freaky-fabulous.

For a darker dance experience, check out Exhale Dance Tribe’s one-night engagement, Dead Can Dance. The troupe has transformed Emery Theatre into a haunted house, where dancers will lead spectators from room to room, creating an interactive, spooky show Saturday night. The performance begins at 7 p.m.

After a month of bringing photography to the forefront of the Cincinnati art scene, FotoFocus will close with Saturday’s Carnevil. The event boasts a full bill of entertainment from live music and DJs to improv and burlesque to fortune-tellers. Guests are encouraged to explore the venue, Newport’s Thompson House — which is said to be haunted — and hunt for spirits from Southgate’s past. Find tickets and event details here.

What’s creepier than three identical mute men, covered in paint? Blue Man Group wraps up its local run with performances at the Aronoff Center Friday-Sunday. The show is an energetic spectacle that theater critic Rick Pender describes as “a strange and wonderful communal experience.” Go here to read our full review.

Judging by the number of Halloween bar and club events, alcohol is the “candy” of choice for many adult trick-or-treaters. So it looks like Arnold’s picked the perfect weekend for The Bourbon Ball. The bar will be stocked with more than 30 top shelf selections, offering specials on Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and other bourbon classics as well as bourbon-infused bites like Bourbon Bacon Strips and Bourbon Sauce Pork. The free event will also have swag bags and live music all night.

Final Saturday means Night Owl Market is back, bringing food trucks and vendors together at the parking lot at Main Street and Central Parkway. In addition to late night eats, NOMers can participate in a costume contest and a flash mob-style “Thriller” dance with Pones Inc. The free fun runs 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday.

One thing that’s definitely scarier than any haunted house or paranormal activity hotspot is breed discrimination. Show some love to dogs that prove no breed is born “vicious” at Bark Bash: Celebrating National Pit Bull Awareness Day. From pit bulls to puggles, all are welcome to romp around Voice of America Park Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be raffles, vendors, kids activities and appearances from the Ben-Gals and Cincinnati Rollergirls.

Few experiences are more picturesque than spending a fall afternoon perusing Findlay Market. This Sunday the market presents its annual Fall Food Festival, featuring a pie baking contest, cider mulling demo, live music, food tour and more. Come hungry between noon and 4 p.m. Find details here.

Check out ScaryBeat for a full rundown of costume parties, bar events, haunted houses and more happening this weekend through Oct. 31.

by Jac Kern 04.27.2012

Your Weekend To Do List: 4/27-4/29

OTR Skate, Cincinnati Opera Gala, Steampunk Symposium, ReUse-apalooza and more

Thanks to the Contemporary Arts Center's current music video exhibition, Spectacle, a number of talented musicians, artists and directors have flocked to Cincinnati during the past two months to perform and discuss the power of music videos in our culture. Tonight, director Vincent Morisset stops by to screen Inni, his powerful black-and-white film about Icelandic Pop Rock group Sigur Rós. Morisset will then discuss his work with Sigur Rós and Arcade Fire and take questions. The event begins at 6:30 — come early to check out the Spectacle exhibit if you haven't yet. The screening and talk are free for members, $7.50 museum admission for non-members.

It's Final Friday and last year's popular monthly OTR Skate is back! Don your best hot pants and tube socks and roll over to the OTR Recreation Center for a night of old-school fun with a hip twist. Bust a move on the rink to the music of Automagik and You, You're Awesome. Admission is just $5 (skate rental included) and goes to the Rec Center to provide youth programs and scholarships for area kids. Enjoy free Vitamin Water and classic game room attractions like air hockey and foosball. Been a decade or two since you last laced up those skates? Cincinnati Rollergirls will be on hand for some pro tips. The fun begins at 8 p.m.

Northside's Building Value presents its third annual ReUse-apalooza tonight from 7-11 p.m. Learn about how the nonprofit reuses materials and what you can do to promote sustainable building practices. Music will be provided by Messerly and Ewing and there will be a silent auction featuring Building Value projects. Tickets are $20, $50 VIP. After the benefit, head over to Northside Tavern for a free after-party.

If you've checked out our cover story this week, you know about the steampunk movement that's taken flight locally. What started as a literary genre that mixes Victorian history with futuristic fantasy elements a la Jules Verne is know an underground culture with its own music, art, costuming and performance aspects. This weekend marks the first Steampunk Symposium at Tri-County's Atrium Hotel. While weekend passes are sold-out, Saturday one-day tickets will be available at the door for $20. Whether you're a diehard steampunk or just curious about the movement, this quirky event has something for everyone. Saturday's schedule includes various steampunk bands and authors, a midnight masquerade, workshops, fashion shows, a mustache parade, verbal dueling (a battle of wits) and dozens of other activities. Various events run from 10 a.m. until around 2 a.m. Read more about the culture and find a Saturday lineup here.

May is Bike Month and the Main Library downtown kicks off the cycling celebration Saturday with a bike expo. Check out various bicycle exhibits, meet organizers from groups like MoBo Bicycle Coop, Queen City Bike and League of American Bicyclists and meet Bobbi Montgomery, author of Across America by Bicycle. Get all the information you need to become a regular cyclist about town. The expo runs from 2-4 p.m. Go here for more details.

The Cincinnati Opera will perform the highly anticipated Southern-inspired George Gershwin hit Porgy and Bess in June, but you don't have to wait until summer to get in on the excitement. Saturday's Opera Gala, "A Hot Night in Charleston" will transport Duke Energy Convention Center's Grand Ballroom into the Pametto State with soul food, cocktails, music and dancing. After you've had your fill of Southern-style eats, stick around for the after-party, "Late Night in Charleston." Being a benefit for the Opera, tickets for the Gala are pretty steep ($250, $175 for first-timers); If you're on a budget, consider coming for the after-party, which runs from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. — tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will begin being serves at 6:30 p.m.

Add a little cuteness to your weekend with the Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic open house Sunday. The facility has been yarn bombed by the Cincinnati BombShells to welcome new cats ready for adoption. If you're looking for a new cuddle buddy, consider adopting one of OAR's rescue kitties at the event. The free open house runs 1-4 p.m. Go here for more details, directions and more info on donations and volunteer opportunities.

For more art exhibits, theater shows events and concerts, check out our To Do page and music blog.

by Hannah McCartney 11.07.2013
Posted In: Music, Culture at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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
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
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
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

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

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 02.22.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Northside, Music, Movies, Life at 03:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Wednesday To Do List

Arianna Huffington, Uta Barth in town

Arianna Huffington is speaking as a part of SmartTalk ConnectedConversations tonight at the Aronoff Center. The media queen will discuss how she became "fearless in love, work and life" (a phrase taken from the title of her 2007 bestseller). Huffington has made her mark as an author of 13 books, co-founder of The Huffington Post, Republican-turned-liberal and even the voice of a character on The Cleveland Show. Get 'em, girl! Tickets to this insightful femme-fest are still available here.

In quirkier event news, did you know there's a monthly meet-up of the Skeptical Society of Cincinnati where the group introduces a professional scientist to the public? Cincy Science Cafe is a casual gathering (usually at a bar) where the community can learn about interesting discoveries being made by area scientists. Tonight the crew meets at Glendale's Cock & Bull at 6 p.m. Go here for details.

Gearing up for October's exciting FotoFocus exhibition, the organization presents a lecture tonight with Los Angeles-based photographer Uta Barth. Barth is known for her painterly photos, employing unconventional methods to create a whole new way of viewing photographs. Barth has been awarded with numerous grants and fellowships and has most recently exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago. She's a pretty big deal. The Cincinnati Art Museum hosts this FotoFocus lecture tonight at 7 p.m. Find more information here.

Wednesdays are extra sexy at Northside Tavern — Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke takes over the back room this night each week. For those unfamiliar, STLBK is just how it sounds — the ultimate karaoke experience. You provide the vocals (and preferably hot dance moves) while a live band accompanies you. Be a Rock Star for, like, four minutes! Check out the group on Facebook. SexyTime for details and the song list. STLBK kicks off at 9 p.m.

As always, there are plenty of live shows, theater productions and ongoing art exhibits to check out tonight. See our music blog and full To Do list for more.

by Jac Kern 05.14.2012

Your Monday To Do List

On this first day of Bike to Work Week, Park + Vine and Queen City Bike want to reward all those who swapped their cars for two wheels with a kombucha keg party tonight. Fab Ferments’ brew will be tapped at 4:30 and the fermented goodness will be served 'til 6 p.m. alongside tasty vegan snacks. P+V continues to celebrate bike month with lots of other events and promotions this month (find more here). Go here for our full Bike Month calendar.

Today is also the kick-off of American Craft Beer Week. That’s a thing! Cincinnati has a rich brewing history, so it’s no surprise that local watering holes are celebrating the creation and consumption of delicious craft beer. Tonight, Arnold’s taps Bell’s Third Coast Ale — one of two fifth-barrels in the entire city. Find Arnold’s full ACBW schedule here.

The Crazy Fox in Newport hosts open mic and all-night happy hour every Monday. All musicians are welcome to perform in a friendly atmosphere, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The Seedy Seeds’ Margaret Darling guest hosts this week.

It's Only A Day Away

Tomorrow, Northside Tavern hosts a fundraiser for End Slavery Cincinnati. Help raise awareness about human trafficking in the country and right here in Cincinnati from 5-10 p.m. There will be live music from The Flavor Junkies and Wild Mountain Berries, door prizes and more, for $5 at the door.

This American Life presented a live cinema event last Thursday that featured its standard true storytelling format, but with ample visual elements. In addition to anecdotes from David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and others, there were also dance performances, a hilarious short film from Mike Birbiglia and an interactive performance by OK GO. The theater in Newport where I watched the show was far too empty — I found the show more entertaining than any movie in theaters right now! Those who missed out have another chance to check out the program in theaters Tuesday. Sure, it will be a recording of the live show, but the charm and excitement of the live format will surely shine through. Without spoiling anything, the stories they were able to assemble were killer: laugh-out-loud, misty-eyed, thought-provoking TAL goodness.

Be sure to download this free app before you go — the TAL crew pulled some strings to allow audiences to use their phones at one point in the performance. Go here to find nearby theaters screening the show tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Can I gush any more? No. It’s worth the $20 ticket. Please go.

Ricky, Julian and Bubbles bring the trailer park to town for a night tomorrow! For those unfamiliar, Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian mockumentary-style comedy series and movies that has developed a cult following over the past decade. It’s white trash hilarity at its finest. If last year’s live show was any indication, Tuesday’s “Community Service Variety Show” is sure to bring the LOLs. Buy tickets here.

by Jac Kern 03.13.2012
Posted In: Culture, Dating, Drinking, Events, Music at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Tuesday To Do List

The instructors at The Art Institute of Ohio — Cincinnati talk the talk and walk the walk. In addition to teaching up-and-coming artists, they, too, create works of art on a regular basis. Tonight, check out their work during the college's 2012 Faculty Exhibition closing reception. The event runs from 6-8 p.m. in the Mason school's gallery. If you're interested in attending the Art Institute, stop by to check out the work and come back on March 31 when the school holds an open house.

Bree from Hot Wheels Entertainment hosts karaoke at The Drinkery every Tuesday. Whether you're a karaoke god or just a spectator, swing by the OTR bar between 9 p.m.-2 a.m. for tunes and booze. Find details here.

Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative (CPI) continues its New Voices Season of Staged Readings with Edge Walking. Written by Barbara Harkness and directed by Patrick Downey, Edge Walking follows two parents who are faced with a child claiming he is the reincarnation of their oldest son who died as a POW in Vietnam. The encounter brings up feelings of anger, loss and grief as each character must deal with the death. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance are just $8 and can be purchased before the show at the Aronoff Center. For more information, call CPI's Kalman Kivkovich at 513-861-0004.

The library's Northside branch hosts a series of poetry and short story readings showcasing local authors from 6-8 p.m. tonight. Lyrical Synaesthesia is a quarterly reading event designed to showcase the breadth of talent in Cincinnati and help foster a strong living literary tradition in the Queen City. Tonight's free event is hosted by Justin Patrick Moore and will feature readings from Matt Hart, Nick Barrows, Abiyah and Betsy Young. Hosted by Justin Patrick Moore. The first 20 to arrive will receive a free chapbook published by Aurore Press. 

Want to enjoy after-work drinks while learning about an important local cause? GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Greater Cincinnati presents a happy hour at Know Theatre from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight. Learn about GLSEN's mission to make schools safe for all students regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Enjoy a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres while the organization will gives a brief presentation at 6:45 p.m. Learn more about GLSEN and how to become on ally here.

Find ongoing art exhibits and other daily events here and follow our music blog for nightly live music offerings.

by Jac Kern 02.09.2012
Posted In: Culture, Concerts, Events, Fashion, Fun, Shopping, Northside, Music at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Very Vintage Valentine Fashion

Chicken Lays an Egg hosts a runway show and dance party at Northside Tavern Saturday

Northside's Chicken Lays an Egg, a gem in Cincinnati's growing collection of excellent vintage shops, hosts a Valentine fashion show featuring their retro-fab clothing, shoes and accessories Saturday at Northside Tavern.

NST's back room will transform into a runway where you'll watch some local hottie patotties strut their stuff with hair designs by Northside Chop Shop. Kenneth Wright will DJ the show and ongoing dance party.

Spot someone with the best moves you've ever seen? Send them a message via the valentine post office, and pose for pictures in a fabulous Flashbox photo booth. It all starts at 9 p.m., with the fashion show at 10 p.m.

Afterward, party with Bad Veins, who perform at 11 p.m. The duo's album The Mess We've Made drops April 24.

Get a peek at Chicken's fashion in Bad Veins' new video for "Dancing on TV." Some of the ensembles in the Soul Train-esque shots were provided by the boutique!

Read More

by Jac Kern 03.27.2012
Posted In: Eats, Events, Drinking, Music, Fun, Gardening, Culture at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Tuesday To Do List

Tonight's the night! Our annual Best of Cincinnati Party is always one of the most fun events of the year. You voted for your favorite restaurants, bars, public figures, galleries, theaters, and everything in between – now's your chance to check them all out under one roof. This year's celebration is a preview party – our Best of issues doesn't hit the streets 'til Wednesday morning, which means those in attendance will be the first to know about all our winners!

As always, there will be dinner-by-the-bite from your favorite restaurants like Adriatico's, Izzy's and A Tavola; coffee and dessert from Coffee Emporium and BonBonerie; and the city's best cocktails including martinis, Bloody Marys and margaritas. As you're eating your way through the beautiful Memorial Hall, enjoy music from a DJ and a live performance from Exhale Dance Tribe performers.

If that's not enough, more than 100 guests will walk away with amazing swag bags from the Procter & Gamble eStore full of your favorite P&G products and coupons to local Best of businesses. Of course, like last year, we will feature Golden Ticket giveaways, which will feature amazing prizes like tickets to Bunbury, Forecastle, Bonnaroo, MidPoint Music Festival, eight consecutive Bogart's shows and much more. If you still don't have tickets, they'll be available at the door for $35. See you tonight!

Other events tonight include a Make and Bake glass jewelry class at Brazee Studios from 5-7 p.m., a Homegrown Tomatoes workshop at the Civic Garden Center from 6-8 p.m. and free concert at CCM featuring the U.S. Navy Band from Washington, D.C. at 8 p.m.

Find more daily arts, theaters and other events on our To Do page and follow our music blog for live show info.