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by Jac Kern 03.22.2012
Posted In: Benefits, Culture, Dating, Drinking, Events, Fashion, Fun, Shopping, Music at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Thursday To Do List

SmartTalk ConnectedConcversations continues its women's speaker series tonight with Kara DioGuardi. You might recognize DioGuardi from her short time as a judge on American Idol Seasons 8-9, but you've definitely heard her work as a writer and producer with some of the biggest Pop stars of the past decade. DioGuardi has been nominated for a Grammy and won countless other music awards for her work with Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and Santana. Tonight, she'll speak on "Surviving Life, Love and American Idol" at 7:30 p.m. at the Aronoff Center. Past speakers for the series include Arianna Huffington and Tim Gunn (the only male speaker of the series' history. He's a honorary lady.) Find some last-minute tickets here.

If you miss Turntable Tuesdays at Clifton's Golden Lions Lounge, dust off your disco balls, because John O'Bryant and Hilly Kenkel are back! The duo who presented the weeknight dance party on Ludlow Avenue have relocated downtown. Now Mainstay Rock Bar will be the place to for weeknight partiers, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. on Thursdays.

Most of us haven't even thought about prom for years, but for high schoolers, the dance season is upon them. Any girl can attest to the importance of a perfect dress, but for many local young women, purchasing one is not financially possible. Kenzie's Closet takes gently worn dresses (many of us wear a prom dress just once) and make them available for disadvantaged girls in Greater Cincinnati. Principals, social workers and counselors refer these students to Kenzie's Closet, where the girls are able to browse tons of gorgeous gowns – and pick one free of charge. Tonight, Downtown's PLAY hosts a fundraiser for the organization. Just bring $10 or a formal dress, (shoes, bags and accessories are important, too!) and enjoy specialty drinks, specials, prize raffles and more from 7-10 p.m. tonight. It's an excellent opportunity to help young girls in need and make room in your closet.

Important People is a diverse collective of area writers that strives to bring together others through creative expression at organized events. Tonight's Important People Forget Their Lines is a night of staged works of poetry, theater and other performances. Forget Their Lines is an investigation of the stage as an environment for exposing human impulses like anxiety, absurdity, self-deprecation and vulnerability. Come to Museum Gallery-Gallery Museum in the Brighton Arts District from 7-9 p.m. tonight to check it out. Read more about Important People and tonight's performers here.

Martinis and manicures might sound a bit messy (I can't go without smudging wet polish while I'm sober), but not when professionals are involved! Oriental Wok in Hyde Park hosts a pampering session tonight: mini-manicure appointments, two cocktails and mani-friendly appetizers for $35. All proceeds go to the Red Cross to benefit local victims of recent tornadoes. Order some tasty dinner to go when you're done. Go here to RSVP.

If you happen to see a little more PDA than usual, it's because today is the first national make-out session. Officially headquartered on Fountain Square (though all are encouraged to participate in any public space), the event was created by an area man to replace commercial "love" holidays like Valentine's Day with real, public signs of affection. Like smooching. Events on the square have been going all day, including live music, speed dating and vendors. Acoustic music runs 'til 4 p.m., followed by DJ tunes. Another speed dating session will take place 5-6 p.m., so if you don't have a partner to lock lips with, maybe you'll find one! Luxe Nightclub hosts the after-party. At least stop by for some free condoms. More info here.

Find more arts, theater and comedy events on our To Do page, and follow our music blog for nightly shows.

by Jac Kern 09.25.2012
Posted In: Events, Fashion, Music, Movies, TV/Celebrity at 08:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough...Emmys

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place Sunday night. Each year I get excited for this one awards show dedicated to television, and every year I forget how boring and predictable it usually is.

First off, there is no booze served at the Emmys (unlike the drink-friendly Golden Globes which honor TV and film), and that just puts a damper on everything. Pre-show red carpet interviews have to be one of the most uncomfortable interactions ever (I swear one E! douche bag actually said, “I don’t really care, ‘cause we’re dudes, but it’s my thing tonight — Who are you wearing?” Gag.) — stars need some hooch to make it all OK.

Then there are the clear academy favorites that are continually nominated year after year for no apparent reason — Can’t we all agree Big Bang Theory lacks any real humor or geek cred? But I suffer through the Emmys just in case there’s a redeeming wardrobe malfunction or surprise winner.

                                      Raise your hand if you're tired of faux nerdery!

Jimmy Kimmel made an entertaining host, playfully poking fun at various celebs and, in a particularly funny bit, showed an “In Memoriam” video of himself, stating that we shouldn’t wait until stars are dead to remember their work.

The big winners of the night were Showtime’s drama series Homeland, the HBO movie Game Change and ABC’s Modern Family (one of those perpetual comedy winners).

Fashion trends for the night (and fall in general) included bold solids and metallics, but I always find it interesting just a few stars sport very similar, striking looks. This year it was apparently good luck to mimic the award statue — all dressed in yellow, Julianne Moore (Game Change), Julie Bowen (Modern Family) and a pregnant Claire Danes (Homeland) each walked away with a golden lady for their respective leading performances.

The good: Tracy Morgan faked a medical issue to generate buzz, Amy Poehler and Julia Louie-Dreyfus “accidentally” swapped acceptance speeches and Jon Stewart kept censors on their toes during his acceptance speech on behalf of The Daily Show (which makes 10 wins in a row for the show). I was happy to see Jessica Lange honored as best supporting actress in a miniseries/movie — and, really, how smart of them to re-define American Horror Story each season, categorizing it as a miniseries. The always-hilarious Louis C.K. was "vindicated" with two Emmys for his writing on Louie and his stand-up special, Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater. And while the drama category was filled with some of my favorite shows, a very deserving Homeland pretty much swept the category. Aaron Paul was awarded for his role as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, to which I say, “Yeah, bitch!” While Paul may have been confused during fashion week, he must have picked up some style tips on the catwalk, because his chocolate suit was sick, and only enhanced by his fiance’s coordinating gown. 

          All together now: Aww!

Season 4 of Breaking Bad was outstanding, and I’m a Jesse fan but…

The bad: Giancarlo Esposito should have won for his performance in Breaking Bad. I will never not be terrified of him after seeing him as the disturbing Gus Fring. I would have liked to see Kristen Wiig win for her last season on SNL. And Jon Cryer? I love ya, Duckie, but Two and a Half Men does not belong in the awards arena.

            "Wait, me? Are you guys sure?"

So, it was mostly a snoozefest, but at least we had the opening skit featuring all the leading ladies and, namely, a “nude” Lena Dunham eating cake in a bathroom stall.

In non-Emmy news, Clint Eastwood’s infamous empty chair assault during the Republican National Convention is old news by now, but that’s not going to stop the folks at Extra from babbling on about it. During an interview about his film Trouble With the Curve, Eastwood had this to say: "If someone's dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they're going to have to take what they get."

Serious question: Is Amanda Bynes the new Britney? With Ms. Spears cleaning off her Cheeto dust to fulfill her duties as “Britney, bitch” on The X Factor, another downward-spiraling starlet must accept the role as train wreck supreme. Sure, Lindsay Lohan is the obvious candidate, but if you’ve been following the “retired” actress of Nickelodeon fame, you know Bynes is barreling to the front of the race. Seemingly out of nowhere, Bynes has recently had her car impounded after facing charges for a DUI, driving without a license (twice) and two hit-and-runs.

I will go as far as calling my dad in from the 'burbs to chauffeur my ass around (or, in dire situations, dealing with the living hell that is Ron’s Cab) to avoid traffic stops and drunk driving. Can’t these child stars payroll a driver to be available at their every whim, or call a damn taxi? Also, people are saying she's crazier than one of those silly characters she played when she was 12.

              AMANDA PLEASE

Apple sold more than 5 million iPhone 5s over the weekend, completely running out of stock. Those who didn’t camp outside Apple stores or take advantage of pre-sale offers will have to wait until October for the newest iPhone, but I borrowed my boyfriend’s I tested one out all professional-like over the weekend. Here’s the rundown. “Fastest, thinnest, lightest iPhone ever?” Yes. It's so light, it feels like a toy phone that should have chiclets inside or something.

                 iPhone 5 prototype

The phone itself is more compact, but the screen surface is actually larger. It’s equipped with 4G LTE and features a new smaller, reversible charger. Siri remains pretty inessential to those of us with the ability to look out windows, although I’ve found it moderately entertaining to ask it existential questions and see how well it can decipher fake accents. And the cool, easy-to-use panoramic camera feature is sure to set the Instagram world on fire.

by Jac Kern 02.24.2012

Your Weekend To Do List: 2/24-2/26

Radius, a local crowd-sourced short film shot at MidPoint Music Festival, Final Fridays and other area events, premieres Saturday at Memorial Hall. According to the press release, the movie follows "a man's investigation into a mysterious superhero and its effect on the community leads to a startling revelation." The red carpet event kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and guests are invited to stick around after the premiere for drinks, noshes, music by DJ Pillo and entertainment from Cincinnati BombShells, Young Professionals' Choral Collective and Pones Inc. Tickets are $25 at the door; go here for more information and a sneak peek.

20th Century Cincinnati is a vintage-modern (is that an oxymoron?) collector's dream. The 18th annual event brings 60 furniture and decor dealers to the Sharonville Convention Center with all kinds of goodies from the 1920s-1980s. Tickets are just $7 for the weekend, with the sale open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Find details here.

Born to Swap's February Swaptique Sunday is another fun shopping event this weekend. Clothing swaps are absolutely genius: just bring 5-20 fashion items in a bag and a potluck dish, and prepare to share both with a great group of women. You'll be able to get rid of shoes, clothes and accessories you no longer need, find a new-to-you ensemble and meet other eco-conscious, fabulous fashionistas like yourself. Tickets are $10 in advance ($15 if you don't have clothing to bring), $15 at the door ($20 without swapables) and leftover clothing will be donated to charity. Purchase tickets and find FAQs here.

Do you think there's ever been a February Final Friday as mild as this one? Surely not. Hop around the galleries, restaurants and bars in Over-the-Rhine and make the most of this odd weather!

For even more stuff to do, peep Mike Breen's weekend music forecast, Rick Pender's weekend theater suggestions and all of our recommended arts, performances and events for the week.

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

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 10.07.2011

Your Weekend To Do List: 10/7-10/9

Hold on to your knickers, girls! This weekend is full of excellent music, arts, theater and shopping events. Here we go:

Ides of March premiers tonight (FINALLY). Check it out and see how many Cincinnati landmarks you can spot. Or just look at Ryan Gosling. Read our interview with an actor who is not Gosling or Clooney here, and check out our review.

Clifton Heights Music Festival is back for its fifth installment! Bands of all genres take over six Clifton-area bars (in walking distance of one another) tonight and Saturday. The ever-growing fest continues to be one of the most affordable - $8 gets you in all venues for one night, $12 for both nights. Go here for the full lineup and venue details.

Rapper Machine Gun Kelly plays Madison Theater tonight. My little sister wants to marry him. Important facts here.

Read More

by Maija Zummo 01.06.2014
Posted In: Life, Shopping, The Worst, Fashion at 02:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Atomic Number Ten Closing

Good news is they're having a super sale

Over-the-Rhine vintage shop Atomic Number Ten is closing, or as owner Katie Garber puts it on the shop's twitter page, hopefully moving on to bigger and better things.

The shop, which specializes in finds for him, her and home from the '50s to the '90s, opened in fall of 2009. And with only a couple of weeks left on its Main Street lease (1306 Main St., OTR, facebook.com/AtomicNumberTen), Garber is having a crazy sale — a "last hurrah" sale. All clothing is $20 or less (some items are even selling for $1), housewares are $10 or less and everything else is discounted at 50 percent off. The store will be keeping normal hours through Jan. 18: noon-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

Says Garber of her customers in a blog post, "We really hope you can make it in to say goodbye. You've been so supportive and we can't thank you enough!  It's been a great ride!"

by Jac Kern 05.07.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Fashion at 01:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Everyone’s talking about the punk-themed Met Ball today, but I’m still in awe from last night’s RuPaul’s Drag Race season finale and reunion, where America’s Next Drag Superstar was crowned in true pageant style. It’s easy to confuse the two: both are over-the-top parades of outrageous fashion, debut ‘dos and bodies squeezed into numerous pairs of Spanx, but only one event has RuPaul, so I’m focusing on that one.

The spotlight was on the final three dragsters, Roxxxy Andrews, Jinkx Monsoon and Alaska, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Penny Tration, Cincinnati’s own queen supreme who was voted onto this season by viewers — only to be eliminated in the first episode.

via Homorazzi

Like any good queen, Penny varies up her looks, but I’ve never seen her like this before! E! put Penny on their worst dressed list, but any press is good press, right? With a leotard made from the fabric of the dress she wore when she was eliminated, manic makeup and a tiny tuft of hair on her big bald head, homegurl looked like a pageant baby Treasure Troll on crack, and by that I obviously mean she looked amazing.

via Homorazzi

Detox, who I originally pegged as the winner but only made it to the final four, also stole the show with this incredible black-and-white look. No Photoshop!

And Season 4 winner, Sharon Needles, served up Pee Wee Herman realness in this hot little number:

In the end, the camptatstic Jinkx, “Seattle’s premier Jewish narcoleptic drag queen” took the crown!