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by Danny Cross 04.30.2012
Posted In: Music, Fun, Life, Performances at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
 
 
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The Coolest Thing Toby Keith Ever Did

Writing about Willie Nelson makes the 'Angry American' seem like less of a dick

Today is the 79th birthday of Country music legend/High Times coverdude Willie Nelson. Most people are already familiar with Willie’s coolness — pioneer of late-’60s Outlaw Country, member of Country music all-star group The Highwaymen with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson and singer of such classic songs as “On the Road Again,” "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys." He’s also been an activist for causes such as family farming and marijuana legalization and currently lives in self-sustaining community in Hawaii that only uses solar power.

Here are some words by CityBeat Music Editor Mike Breen about Willie’s life and legendary status, which he says transcends music. (“Nelson isn't a Country music icon — he's an American music icon.”)

So it’s kind of weird sometimes to think about Willie Nelson being tight with people like Toby Keith — a decidedly uncool guy who writes songs about the U.S. military putting a boot in anyone’s ass who messes with America and opens cheesy Country music-themed restaurants around the country.

But for every terrorist that Keith convinced via threat of violence not to attack America, there are many people who have enjoyed a song that Keith co-wrote about participating in Willie Nelson’s favorite pastime: smoking the weedus.

It turns out that Toby Keith can be self-depreciating and kind of likable (if you can somehow keep the image of this goatee out of your mind while you listen to the song). So here it is, in honor of Willie’s 79th, “I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again” by Toby Keith and Scott Emerick.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.20.2012
Posted In: Culture, TV/Celebrity, Life at 08:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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A&E Looking For Locals For Documentary-Style Show

Producers in town this weekend looking for families to relocate to Amish communities

British production company KEO Films is looking for area families interested in participating in a television show which would involve temporarily relocating to an Amish community.

Living with the Amish is a documentary-style show originally aired on UK's Channel 4 in 2011. In that first season, six British teenagers (three boys, three girls) flew across the pond to live with Amish families in Ohio and Pennsylvania. This time, producers have teamed up with A&E for an all-American version.

KEO Development Researcher Lauren Rowles says that while the show is still in very early stages of development, a producer is in Cincinnati this weekend in the search of potential participants. Instead of teens, this program will take whole families and move them into various Amish communities. Rowles went onto describe the types of people they're looking for:

"Having spent the last three years working with the Amish we have found them to have great wisdom and compassion in the difficult task of raising a family and this is something we will focus on in the new American series. We are therefore looking for families that feel they could learn something from the Amish lifestyle and way of parenting. For example, a single mother struggling to maintain discipline and authority in her household, or parents worried that their teenage son might be at risk of making poor life choices, or a daughter rebelling against her parents' authority. We hope that the time with the Amish will open their eyes to a different way of thinking and will be a positive and enriching experience for all those involved."

Interested? The producer is only in town until Sunday, so email Rowles (lauren@keofilms.com) as soon as possible to set up a meeting.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.11.2012
 
 
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'This American Life' to Be Broadcast Live

Popular public radio show will be shown in local theaters

"I don't really like This American Life or Ira Glass," said no one.

The weekly, true storytelling public radio show with its quirky, adorable host seriously has something for everyone — timely topics, laugh-out-loud (or cry-out-loud) anecdotes, thoughtful insight. TAL even got my stubborn, conservative father to listen to NPR on a regular basis. So since we can all agree how awesome it is, let's celebrate the announcement that Ira and Co. will present a live show in New York City, to be broadcast in movie theaters across the country on May 10.

Those who watched the television adaptation of This American Life know how flawlessly the program can be adapted to incorporate visual elements with the standard unscripted storytelling format. But the live show is set to involve more than just interviews and animations seen in the TV program.

The live event will feature stories by writer David Rakoff (who worked with Ira Glass and David Sedaris), comedian Tig Notaro (Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program), Glynn Washington (host of radio show Snap Judgement and jack-of-all-trades) 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. This American Life presented a live show, also broadcast in theaters, back in 2009.

The show will go live at 8 p.m. May 10 onstage at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. If you can't make the trip to the Big Apple (it's sold out anyway), check it out at one of many local theaters screening the show, including AMC Newport, Western Hills 14, Florence 14, Milford 16, Springdale Showcase Cinemas and Deerfield Town Center. Many of these theaters will present an encore screening May 15 as well. Go here for tickets.

 
 
by Brandon Barb 03.27.2012
Posted In: Commentary, Culture, Life, Travel at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Tales From the Airport: What Travelers Don't See

A former baggage handler's account of the job

The Cincinnati airport is located in another state — I’ll let you decide on how backwards that makes the city. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport, CVG, was a major hub for Delta Airlines but in the last few years the number of daily flights and employees has dropped. In 2009 the airport laid off close to 900 employees, and I was one of them. I was a baggage handler for two years, and boy do I have some stories which will be gotten to a little later. But first, there is some good news for CVG.

On March 15, DHL announced that $47 million would be invested in a new facility at its CVG hub. This new sorting facility will help meet international customer demands and add close to 300 jobs over the next 12 months. The date given for the facility to be operational is Nov. 2012.

DHL has been thriving compared to the downward spiral that is Delta. DHL has gone from 1,600 jobs to 2,000 in the span of three years and has invested around $105 million in the Cincinnati location since it was established in 2009. Not everything that happens at CVG is bad.

During my two years as a baggage handler I experienced a little bit of everything. From holding on to the wing of a plane to keep in from tipping during a wind storm, to seeing a drunk little person getting taken off a plane in handcuffs, to destroying a few bags. There is more to an airport than what passengers see in the concourses. Have you ever wondered where that guy in the orange vest was going when he disappeared behind a door? Ever thought about how your bag was being handled? Well, hopefully with a few of these stories those questions and more can be answered.

The Weird

During my time as a baggage handler, I saw some incredible things. At the same time, there were weird events that took place. These would occur like lightning; they happened quickly and would never strike the same place twice.

One of those events is about a worker stealing. He wasn’t stealing from the company, but stealing from passengers’ bags, more specifically, female passengers’ bags. As baggage handlers, we would load the bags up into the cargo bins of aircraft. These bins were only big enough for one person, and at times that one person would be in the bin for extended periods of time. Normal workers would write random sayings on the bin walls, or play a game on their phone, but this guy did something different.

When he was up in the cargo bin, he would go through the bags until he found women’s panties — clean or dirty. To show the high caliber of intelligence some of the people at the airport had, he kept all the underwear in his locker at work. There was no attempt to hide anything in his car or house; the underwear was in a bag in the break room. I’m not one to call someone stupid, but he deserves it for this one.

Did he get caught? Hell yes, he got caught. When our supervisors went through his locker, sure enough, there was the underwear. His explanation of it is comical on its own. “It’s for my girlfriend.” His girlfriend, if he had one, fluctuated in weight a lot because the underwear was different sizes. This doesn’t reflect on every baggage handler but it shows there are some strange people touching your bags.

The Disgusting

The job of a baggage handler is a dirty one. I came in contact with bags full of unwashed clothes, shook hands with people who don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom and cleaned out the restrooms. Ever wondered who cleans out the lavatory on an aircraft? Well, at CVG, that job falls to the baggage handlers. This task is worthy enough for Mike Rowe and then some.

When an aircraft needed to have its bathroom dumped, a handler would drive up next to the plane in the "lav cart." Imagine a blue electric cart that has never been washed, excrement has been spilled on it, it has a tank full of shit and the sun has been cooking its contents all day. I felt like I should have been wearing a Hazmat suit whenever I was around the damn thing. It made me throw up a little every time I was in the driver’s seat.

When a baggage handler dumps a lav, he or she drives the cart up to the aircraft, hooks up the foulest smelling hose to the aircraft and pulls a lever. What comes out, I’ll leave for the imagination. Once all the lovely contents are inside the cart, the “blue juice” is added, which is the liquid solution that you see when flushing an aircraft toilet.

Some handlers would dump a lav, not wash their hands and then go straight to loading bags. A person fresh from coming in close contact with human goodness would go right on touching, quite possibly, your possessions.

The Embarrassing

In the movie Fight Club the narrator tells of a policy about holding a passenger’s bag if it is vibrating. At CVG I never once saw a bag being taken because it was vibrating. What we did do was either slam the bag on the ground in hopes of shutting off the razor or toothbrush — not the smartest idea if it really was an explosive. Another way we handled a vibrating bag was to call the passenger down to the ramp where we would proceed to open it to find the cause of the vibration. If you have seen Fight Club you know what is coming next. Sometimes the bag would belong to a female passenger. When her bag would be opened a certain product would be rattling around on the inside. That happened to me once and while the passenger was red-faced, I had to walk away before I began to laugh in her face. Movies can teach you something every now and then.

There is a side to an airport that most people don’t know about. Sure, there are those zoo-like windows in the concourses that allow passengers to see outside, but that is just a glimpse. Does everyone want to know about what goes on behind those doors? Probably not. I’m not trying to scare people away from flying. In a way, an airport is similar to a restaurant. Taken at face value everything is great and everyone has a smile on their face, but behind closed doors disgusting, depraved and weird things are going on.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.06.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Northside, Music, Life, Fun, Events, Culture, Concerts at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Happy Super Tuesday! The No. 1 item on today's To Do list is to get your tush to a voting station and participate in Ohio's primary. Those living in Hamilton County can go here to find your polling locations.

Occupy Cincinnati is hosting a primary watch party at C & D Northside from 8-11 p.m. Check out the night's results while enjoying a stiff drink — the group's Facebook invite suggests ordering a "Santorum" (though something tells me I might have to pass). Occupy has some tips for voting against corporate parties; check those out here.

And speaking of the man who turned "Santorum" into a dirty word, a bit further south down I-75 Dan Savage is speaking at the University of Kentucky. Savage is touring as a part of the It Gets Better lecture series, the movement created by Savage to give hope to LGBTQ kids who face bullying, and fight hatred and intolerance against them. Savage will give a presentation and sign books beginning at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the UK campus. If you can make the trip, it's a great opportunity to meet Savage and become involved in It Gets Better — tickets are free to all attendees (just have a local direct you to the Student Center Ticket Office to pick up passes).

MOTR Pub hosts its weekly Writer's Night for original artists of many mediums: poetry, music, comedy, spoken word, etc. Sign up early, starting at 8:30 p.m. and hang out to enjoy performances 'til 12:30 a.m. Participants are all entered for a prize drawing for up to $40. Tonight's showcase is hosted by Fists of Love's Donna J. Drink specials for the night include $3 24-ounce Hudy Amber. Check out the event on Facebook for more info.

Investigative reporter, film producer and Cleveland-native James Renner debuts his first novel tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Commons. The Man From Primrose Lane is a "mind-bending and genre-twisting" story about the murder of an elderly man in Akron. Renner will read from and sign the novel at 7 p.m. The event is free (the book is $26).

Go here to find other arts and theater events happening tonight. Find tonight's live music schedule here.

 
 
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.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.02.2012
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's favorite pop culture and Internet findings of the week

Blues Night at the White House

No, it wasn’t a somber night of the Obamas watching the GOP race progress. Blues Night brought B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger to Washington for a night of great performances! The trio, along with many other performers, played classics like “Let the Good Times Roll,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose” and “Let Me Love You Baby.” No word on whether “Moves Like Jagger” was on the bill (sorry for making that get stuck in your head). The highlight of the night? Obama singing a few lines of “Sweet Home Chicago.” The concert aired on PBS Feb. 27.

My Strange Addiction

It’s baaaack! This hot mess of a show seems like it would be an SNL spoof on ridiculous reality shows, but it really exists. And who really knows if these people are truly “addicted” to their behavior, or just do it for attention — either way, it’s some twisted entertainment. This season of the TLC "hit" features a man who is in love with (as in sexually attracted to) his 1998 Chevy Monte Carlo; a woman who can’t stop snorting baby powder; a woman with 38KKK-sized breasts addicted to (you guessed it) breast augmentations and plenty more sorry souls.

Alcohol on the Internet

You’ve probably heard of What The Fuck Should I Make For Dinner, a comically crass blog that randomly generates unique recipes (and if you “don’t fucking eat meat,” there are plenty of veg options, too). Thankfully, now you can find out where to get a cocktail after dinner, with Where The Fuck Should I Go For Drinks. Just enter your location, and the site gives plenty of good options to wet your whistle.

I also discovered an amazing blog this week (That’s So Michelle) and instead of gushing, I’ll just explain one thing: It has a category devoted to Jell-o shots. And I’m not talking nasty lime gelatin-and-Popov crap, this shit is gourmet! Michelle uses excellent ingredients and ingenious flavor combinations to create shots of pink lemonade, caramel apple and strawberry margarita, all served in hollowed-out fruits. Bask:


Chloe

Frankly, I’m disappointed in myself for just now discovering “Chloe.” This web show stars Drew Droege as Queen Original Hipster, Chloe Sevigny. Each episode is set up the same: Chloe introduces herself and discusses her appreciation of something mildly timely (Valentine’s Day, Summer, Resolutions). She then goes on to discuss how she celebrates the topic, name-dropping all along the way. From the unusual accent to the discussion of obscure activities to the amazing wardrobe, it’s hi-lar-i-ous. Again, I realize this has been around the ‘nets for a while, but I have to share with anyone deprived of Chloe as I was. Enjoy!

Baby Kanye Meme

OK, I’ve grown tired of this “everything’s a meme!!” trend happening, but sometimes there are decent ones amidst the sea of “What my friends think I do…” And since everything Kanye is generally entertaining, I present Baby Kanye: The Meme.

 

Design*Sponge’s "Living In" Page

D*S can do no wrong, so I love everything about it. But I’ve always particularly liked when blogs and magazines show me how to incorporate style from a movie into my real life. D*S’ “Living In” page covers all the best scenes you want to copy, from Cleopatra to Clueless. Most recently, the site featured Twin Peaks, Almost Famous and Chocolat.

Christopher Plummer

Remember in grade school when there would be “Star of the Week,” and that kid would bring in brownies and talk about his pet turtle and make a posterboard about his cool life? Beginners' Christopher Plummer is my Star of the Week. He’s proof that it's never too late to do something awesome. So if you’re 28 and crying because you hate your office job and you don't know what to do with your life, suck it up!  CP waited 82 damn years to get an Oscar! Check out his charming speech here.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 03.01.2012
Posted In: Fun, Life at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Kick off Spring in Cincinnati

Before it snows, take a preemptive strike against fickle Cincinnati weather

For better or for worse, Cincinnati is infamous for its fickle weather patterns. This week's weather has been quite the anomaly — after a 70-degree day, weather forecasters are predicting snow this weekend. It's anybody's guess what next week will hold — don't listen to the groundhog — but take some time today to get in the spirit of spring. Today is expected to stay sunny and breezy, so hop to it. Here's how to get started:

•     Take a bike ride somewhere sunny and green. Try the Loveland Bike Trail, the Little Miami Scenic Trail or Lunken Airport’s trail.

•    Go to Findlay Market and get excited about all of the other farmers’ markets you can start frequenting once spring decides to stay.
•    Pick an outdoor shopping destination. Think Main and Vine streets downtown, Hyde Park Square, Mariemont Square or Rookwood Pavilion.

•    Waterproof your camping gear so you’ll be ready for an impromptu weekend excursion to Red River Gorge, Big Bone Lick State Park, East Fork State Park, John Bryan State Park or any other nearby landmarks.

•    Check out the Banks in the works on downtown Cincinnati’s riverfront. The Smale Riverfront Park has big changes in store, including a meditative labyrinth, outdoor concert venue and a tree grove; plus, the Moerlein Lager House is already open for business. Watch its growth firsthand.

•    Treat your animals. When our heating bills survive the mild winter, something else does, too: ticks and fleas. Those pesky parasites are often killed off in severe cold or frosts, but this Cincinnati winter likely spared most of them. That means dogs and cats will likely suffer from worse problems with ticks and fleas this summer and spring. Treating them early on and consistently is your best bet to spare your pet.

•    Go drinking or dining somewhere with a patio. Arthur’s in Hyde Park has an extra-intimate outdoor patio that’s great for slightly chilly spring days. Neon’s in Over-the-Rhine has a hip outdoor courtyard complete with bocce ball, a fired-up grill and a full bar.

There are lots of other ways to get acquainted with spring in Cincinnati. What are your other annual must-do Cincinnati activities when the weather warms up?

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.29.2012
Posted In: Concerts, Culture, Events, Northside, Life, Holidays at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Leap Day To Do List

Leap Day means different things to everyone (like those with rare Feb. 29 birthdays), but we suggest spending this extra day exploring all the fun events our city has to offer. Or this:


Do you love the true storytelling style of This American Life and live groups like The Moth and Cincinnati's True Theater? Head down to Below Zero Lounge tonight for Teilen (German for "to share"), a local storytelling night. In honor of Leap Day, tonight's theme will be "leaping out." Enjoy a variety of true stories told without notes, and feel free to share your own five-minute anecdote. Storytelling is one of the oldest human traditions and it's still a great way to connect with others. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the free event starts at 7. Find details here.

Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke continues its weekly mission to make us all feel like Rock Stars. Become a frontman (or woman!), if only for three minutes. Karaoke kicks off at 9 p.m. in Northside Tavern's back room. Check out the group's Facebook page for details and an extensive song selection (start rehearsing now!).

The Lackman hosts a party to introduce new Six Point Brewery beers tonight, featuring Sweet Action (barley and hops), Bengali Tiger IPA (bitter hops and sweet malt) and Resin Double IPA (just delicious). Reps will be on hand for all questions. The tasting event runs 4-6 p.m. Find more info here.

Find more To Do suggestions, like theater productions and art shows, here. Check out Mike Breen's blog for tonight's live music happenings.

And a head's up: Our Swizzle bar guide came out today (purty, ain't it?) and if reading that doesn't make you want to grab a cocktail at one of many amazing local watering holes, nothing will! Celebrate the issue with us tomorrow at PLAY downtown. Guests can expect free cocktails and food from Bolly Bears and FUSIAN, live music from Pop Empire, a fabulous Flashbox photo booth and tons of giveaways. And when I say giveaways, I don't just mean movie passes and shot glasses (though there will be plenty of those) — one lucky partier will walk away with two passes to Bonnaroo! If you miss this, you cray. RSVP here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.24.2012
 
 
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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.

 
 

 

 

 
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