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by Leyla Shokoohe 08.02.2011
Posted In: Concerts, Life, Culture, Events, Fun, Music, Is this for real? at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Dancing in the Street

Something fucking awesome happened in Cincinnati on July's Final Friday. A dude with a card table, some DJ stuff and a microphone (two turntables and a microphone, even) incited a random dance party with over 100 people around 1212 Main Street in Over-the-Rhine.

Music was pumping, and people flocked to it. I have never witnessed such an amassing of complete strangers and intimate friends. Plaid-clad hipsters were cutting loose with older, baggy-shirted locals. Drunk people who had tumbled out of bars were sweating out all the alcohol they had just paid for to Kool and the Gang. Everyone was incredibly, stupidly happy.

There was no reason for it. No social networking was involved. Nobody knew about it through a text or because they were Tweeted at or received a Facebook invite. It wasn’t sponsored by Final Friday, and it wasn’t even planned. DJ Alcatone, the awesome instigator, shrugged his shoulders when I asked him (over the Funk blaring out from two speakers), why he was playing music on a street corner in OTR. He said he just was. And people were just dancing.

There were three guys dancing in the middle of the damn street, stopping cars to gyrate in front of them. One was dancing intensely, and then he paused and directed traffic around other dancers. An SUV pulled up and four dudes sat on the edge of the car windows, took their shirts off, and held their arms in the air.

An entire two-block span of Main Street was filled with sweaty, writhing people. DJ Alcatone started a soul train in the middle of the crowd. There was a break-dancing competition, and seriously, who knew old people could get down like that? One guy did that thing where he contorted his whole body in the air, resting solely on his hand on the ground. (Yoga has not prepared me to attempt this.)

Cell phones crowded in the air, everyone snapping pictures of the “something” that was happening right in front of them. Cops drove by and didn’t stop. The opposite side of the street was crowded with overflow dancers. A girl with an “I’m the bachelorette!” sash across her torso sashayed in front of cars, darting back and forth between the two sides. There was even a man with a broken leg in a wheelchair. Seriously. He was spinning on his wheels, grooving to the music.

It was like someone had pressed pause on every social, racial and economic stricture and preconception, and hit “play” for uninhibited, good-spirited, uplifting interaction. It was so simple, and no one stopped to think about it. No one stopped to consider “what it meant,” or why it was happening, or how it could be better. Honestly, it couldn’t have been better.

The police were called about two hours in, and were actually smiling when they told everyone the party had to end. That was probably the best time to have the party end before everyone remembered themselves, the faces we all put on for the everyday world, the way we conduct ourselves around people we want to impress. No one was trying to impress anyone. Even the bad dancers (there were a few) were applauded. It was the fact that everyone involved stepped outside of themselves, without any catalyst or promise of reward, and for two hours, we just were.

 
 
 
by Jac Kern 04.19.2012
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Tonight marks O'Bryonville's first Third Thursday Benefit Wine Walk of the year. Support the neighborhood's independent businesses like Hemptations, Phyllis Weston Gallery, Ten Thousand Villages, The Bonbonerie, indigenous and many more as you hop from spot to spot, enjoying complimentary wine and bites at each participating venue. This month's walk benefits Pets in Need (a UCAN affiliate) and Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. tonight.

Enjoy a romantic night in Paris...without needing a passport. Art Design Consultants presents en evening with their Design Star, Grace Jones of Dwellings on Madison. Jones will transform the ADC loft space (310 Culvert St., Downtown) into a French apartment. Stop by at 6 for cocktails and stick around for the 7 p.m. unveiling of Jones' designs. Holly Golightly attire is encouraged! RSVP here.

Comedian Jim Norton kicks off his three-night gig at Funny Bone on the Levee tonight. Specializing in dark comedy and self-deprecation, the comic has also acted in television and film and has written two humorous nonfiction books. Many will recognize Norton from the Opie & Anthony radio show, Louie, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and several small, odd film roles (two words: Furry Vengeance). Norton goes on tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22.

Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms series continues tonight with Shiny and the Spoon and The Tillers. The free concert features local favorite musicians performing in the beautiful setting of the zoo's gardens. The concert runs 6-8:30 p.m.; admission to the zoo is free after 5 p.m. (parking is $8). Tunes and Blooms continues every Thursday this month.

Jungle Jim's hosts a mystery mix cigar tasting tonight from 5-8 p.m. The tasting will be held at the Oscar Event Center's Monorail Terrace. Guests can enjoy three different cigars with $15 admission. There will be a cash bar, raffle and plenty of cigars and accessories for sale. Each Thursday, Jungle Jim's presents a different variety of cigars to try. No word yet on whether "mystery mix" is an early 4-20 reference.

Follow our music blog for nightly shows and check our To Do page for more art exhibits, theater productions and events.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.15.2012
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, better known as the Trailer Park Boys, come to Madison Theater tonight. The Canadian mockumentary-style comedy series makes a fun transition to stage with the “Community Service Variety Show.” If last year’s live show was any indication, expect more skits, audience participation and white trash goodness than you can throw a rum and Coke at (and you know Julian will have plenty of those). The show is sold out, so try your luck with the fine scalpers of Covington!

This American Life went live last Thursday, broadcasting the show in theaters across the U.S. and Australia. The show featured its standard true storytelling format, but with ample visual components. In addition to anecdotes from David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and others, there were also dance performances, an NPR-inspired short film from Mike Birbiglia and an interactive performance by OK GO. If this sounds amazing (which it was) and you missed out, you're in luck! The broadcast will screen again tonight in several area theaters.

Pro Tip: 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. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 (more than a 3D movie, but way less crappy).

Northside Tavern hosts a fundraiser for End Slavery Cincinnati tonight from 5-10 p.m. Learn about human trafficking in the country and right here in Cincinnati, and what you can do to help raise awareness and bring it to an end. from 5-10 p.m. Enjoy live music from The Flavor Junkies and Wild Mountain Berries, door prizes and treats, for a great cause. Admission is $5 at the door.

Know Theater welcomes two local comedy groups onstage tonight. Underbelly Comedy and Off the Rocks Improv team up for a "Little Big Night" of laughs. There will be stand-up, improv, sketch comedy and more from some of the city's truly talented performers. Five bucks gets you a seat and a beer! What more could you possibly want? Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

Check our our To Do page for more productions, exhibits and events every day and follow our music blog for nightly live shows.

 
 
by Jac Kern 09.16.2011
Posted In: Events, Fashion, Fun, TV/Celebrity, Music, Life, Culture, Concerts at 11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 9/16-9/18

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is taking over downtown this weekend, bringing around 500,000 guests! Once you've had your fill of schnitzel, Spaten and sauerkraut, stop by the CityBeat booth for the official Oktoberfest guide and register for a VIP MPMF Package and other prizes.

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by Jac Kern 07.28.2011
Posted In: Northside, Concerts, Life, Events, Music at 03:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List

It's Final Friday! The best day of the month for sauntering through Over-the-Rhine, perusing local art and sipping on some vino. One of many gallery openings takes place at the Art Academy of Cincinnati from 5-8 p.m. In Context is a thesis exhibition for art teachers working towards their Masters of Arts in Art Education.

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by Jac Kern 10.28.2011
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Northside, Fun, Events, Concerts at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Halloweekend To Do List: 10/28-10/30

There's usually so much happening the weekend before Halloween that the problem isn't finding something to do, it's narrowing your options down! Here are some fun, spooky, booze-filled and/or kid-friendly suggestions. It's the Halloweekend, baby I'm about to have me some fun.

Tonight is Final Friday in OTR, so check out gallery openings/shows at Aisle, YES, Static Age and 1305. Might as well Pimp That Pumpkin while you're in the neighborhood! If you're feeling nostalgic while in OTR, definitely check out the Final Friday OTR Skate at the OTR Rec Center. $3 gets you a skate rental, lessons from the Cincinnati Rollergirls, music by DJ Apryl Reign and Diamonn Gurr, horror film screenings, games and more. Go here to get all the details, and be sure to wear skate-friendly attire!

Perhaps you had a little more glam in mind for your Friday evening? Head over to Northside's Mayday for Ziggyween 2011, where you'll witness a live, full recreation of David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Also appearing are Scandinavian Leather and the original Gypsy Hut staff, dressed as the Mayday staff. That's more than you can shake a delicious, gourmet, pretzel-encased hot dog at (which, by the way, are $2 all night). Check out maydaynorthside.com for details.

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by Jac Kern 08.30.2012
Posted In: Music, Concerts, Fun, Food, Events at 11:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Raise money for the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cincinnati while chasing a pack of stone-cold foxes? You can be a part of the fun at tonight’s Fox and Hound 5K at Sawyer Point. The race combines fundraising, running, walking and flirting for participants of all athletic abilities. Here’s the deal: The "hounds" (fellas) will chase the "foxes" (ladies), who get a five-minute head start for the race. Pairs of men and women can also compete to become top foxes and hounds. For those who haven’t yet registered, it’s $45 for the race, after-party admission, a T-shirt and chip timing (if available). Registration opens at 6 p.m.; the race starts at 7. Stick around post-race for an after-party at the park's Cincinnatus Sculpture.

The Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation (CUMHF) presents a celebration for the limited-edition digital EP/art package of Come Play The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams tonight at the CUMHF's (as well as CityBeat's) HQ, 811 Race St. The EP is $20; admission is a $5 donation to the foundation for non-members (or free to those who buy the EP). Guests will also get to see a video of the "Guitar Army" that performed at the 60th anniversary of the "Train Kept A-Rollin'" recording, last summer on Fountain Square. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Over at Washington Park, The Chris Comer Trio performs as part of the weekly Jazz in the Park series. Music runs 7-9 p.m. While you’re there, peep the sand volleyball court being set up for tomorrow's AVP Cincinnati Open kick-off. Volleyball players fresh off the boat from London’s Summer Olympics will play 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Find tickets here.

As September approaches and summer winds down, two additional free, weekly events come to an end tonight.

It’s Commonly Jazz welcomes the Mike Wade Septet featuring Steve Wilson to Eden Park Seasongood Pavilion. The free concert runs 6-8 p.m.

Salsa on the Square goes out with a bang tonight with music from Tropicoso (the group behind Latin Monday Nights at The Mad Frog). Learn to dance from Salsa pros or watch the fun while enjoying a cold beer. If you haven’t shown off your dance skills yet, strut your stuff on Fountain Square from 7-10 p.m.

Looking for a spot to grab dinner or drinks? We suggest Lavomatic, the recently made-over café in The Gateway Quarter. Check out this week’s review here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.10.2012
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

I'll admit I'm obsessed with This American Life. I listen to archived shows like most people listen to Rhapsody. I've seen every episode of Showtime's TV version. I have a bit of a crush on Ira Glass. For anyone else who's laughed and cried over a story or reached a destination only to sit in the parked car until the broadcast was over, get excited: This American Life is being broadcast live tonight! Ira and Co. will take over New York City's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts tonight for a production of TAL which will be broadcast live in hundreds of theaters across North America. The live event will feature writers David Rakoff and David Sedaris, comedian Tig Notaro, Snap Judgement's Glynn Washington and Ira himself. Taking full advantage of the live, visual format, the show will also feature music by OK Go, a short film by longtime TAL contributor and comedian Mike Birbiglia, a dance performance by Monica Bill Barnes & Company and much more to be seen. Participating cinemas include AMC Newport, Western Hills 14 and Florence 14. Go here to find a nearby theater and get your tickets to tonight's 8 p.m. show. Some theaters will present a recording of the show May 15. Get pumped by listening to 2009's live show here. (I am right now.)

Dayton's Ruckus Roboticus is currently featured on MTVu.com as one of this week's "Best Freshman Videos." The funky Hip Hop bot's "Take Me To The Disco" Video, featuring local actors, is vying for a spot in MTVu's permanent rotation. To celebrate the vid's lead in votes, the crew invites everyone to happy hour at the Moerlein Lager House. Enjoy cheap drinks and a vote-a-thon — bring your smartphones and other space devices beginning at 5:30 p.m. Voting for the video continues through Friday.

Visionaries and Voices opens its new exhibition Autocomplete: A Collaborative Coloring Book Exhibit tonight. V+V artists created black-and-white images which other area and national artists "colored in" using a variety of mediums. The project provided the opportunity for artists with disabilities to collaborate with other creatives they might typically not get the chance to work with. The result is more than 80 works from 160+ artists. Get your first look tonight at V+V's Northside gallery from 5-8 p.m.

Support the Junior League of Cincinnati while checking out a sweet showcase tonight at Scene Ultra Lounge. JLC's "I Want Candy" fashion show will feature items from Knickers XY and Fetish Boutique, hairstyles by High Five Salon and Bobbi Brown cosmetics from Saks Fifth Avenue. Ten bucks gets you in the door; the show begins at 9 p.m.

Art's Bizzarre takes over Mainstrasse's Leapin Lizard Gallery every second Thursday, for a night of music and art by local performers and crafters. Come watch live model drawing and participate in the creative process. At tonight's union-themed event, models will portray icons Rosie the Riveter and The Ironworker. Find more info here.

Check out our To Do page for art exhibits, theater shows and other events happening tonight and follow our music blog for nightly club shows and concerts.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.02.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 3/2-3/4

Bockfest is upon us! The annual celebration of Cincinnati's beer brewing history kicks off tonight with the Bockfest Parade, stepping off at 6 p.m. Organizers are keeping an eye on the weather, so check back with their site and Facebook page just in case. Even if the weather gets real ugly, just stop by one of the dozen participating venues where admission is free and beer is a-flowin'. Tons of special events coincide with the fest: Tonight, Park + Vine hosts its second annual veenie roast tonight (veggie hot dogs on delicious Mayday pretzel buns), Japps will feature a dance party tonight and Saturday, a Craft Menagerie takes over Arnold's Saturday and Washington Platform has a Bockfest Brunch Sunday, to name a few. And remember, you're not just getting your drink on, you're supporting Cincinnati history!

Covington's Carnegie Center presents its sixth annual Art of Food show, opening tonight. As you might've guessed, this art exhibit is centered around all things edible. The reception features beautiful culinary creations (that you can actually eat) by everyone from BonBonnerie to La Poste, Queen City Cookies to Taste of Belgium. Admission is a little steep ($60 at the door for non-members), but you'll leave with your left brain and stomach both very satisfied. Admission after the reception is free. Get details here.

It's always exciting when a new exhibit comes to the Contemporary Arts Center, and their opening parties are always a blast. Saturday the CAC welcomes two new art shows: I surrender, dear, Dasha Shishkin's first solo museum exhibit and Spectacle: The Music Video, curated by creative collective Flux. Read more about the artists here and check out our preview of Spectacle here. Music videos as art. Super cool.

The opening reception kicks off at 8 p.m. In addition to checking out the artwork, electronic musician/wizard Dan Deacon will perform 8-9 p.m. If you haven't heard of him, here's a preview:



Following the original performance is a DJ set 'til 11 p.m. The party is free and there will be a cash bar. Get more info here.

If you didn't score tickets to tonight's sold out Black Keys show, there are plenty of other music options. Eli's BBQ on Riverside Drive hosts Downtown Country Band tonight at 10 p.m. Tickets are $12. And really, any concert that also features barbecue is probably a sure bet. The Harlequins hosts an album release show Saturday at Mayday in Northside. Peep our interview with the crew. There are tons of other live music shows this weekend. Find them all on our music blog.

This not enough for you? There are tons of other happenings this weekend. Arts? We got 'em. Theater? You bet. Foul-mouthed, inxtoicated comedians? Of course. Just check out our To Do page for all your fun-having needs.

 
 

 

 

 
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