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by Jac Kern 04.09.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music at 02:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Country music is kind of one of those love-it-or-hate-it genres. You often hear people with limited exposure to music say “I listen to anything but Country;” at the same time, area Country music concerts draw huge crowds (CityBeat readers even voted the 2012 Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw show the best concert of the year. Sigh.) — and we’re north of the Mason-Dixie line. Sure, it’s pretty easy to make fun of the stereotypical redneck Country music lover, but Country is making its way more and more into the mainstream, popular stage with crossover artists like Taylor Swift. And you don’t have to be a toothless moonshiner to like her squinty-eyed ass, right?

Brad Paisley just set the genre back a few decades with his new single, “Accidental Racist.” The song is meant to explain how just because someone is southern and proud of his roots, doesn’t mean he wishes we still had slaves. See, all Paisley wants is to be able to wear a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt to Starbucks without some black barista thinkin’ he’s a racist (and who hasn’t been in that situation). Between that target of a song title and the poorly-written lyrics, Paisley’s gotten a lot of backlash. He appeared on Ellen Tuesday to rectify the song and his intention and started the conversation like any good non-racist should: by citing that one of his best friends is black (LL Cool J, who appears on the track).

The song is being pulled from YouTube and music sites faster than you can say “publicity stunt,” but you can see the lyrics here. One gem of note is LL’s chorus: "If you don't judge my do-rag/I won't judge your red flag/If you don't judge my gold chains/I'll forget the iron chains." See, guys? If you just stop being afraid of black guys who wear bling, all that white guilt can go away because we’re forgiven!

What’s that sound? Oh, it’s Conan O’Brien quietly weeping in the shower, because Jimmy Fallon is officially taking over for Jay Leno by this time next year. Fallon’s Late Night is by far my favorite of all the nightly talk shows, so I think he’ll kill it in the earlier slot with the help of his trusty house band The Roots and Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels as producer. The Tonight Show will move back to New York with this change, the first time in 40 years, when Johnny Carson hosted. Rumored Late Night replacements include current SNL “Weekend Update” host, Seth Meyers.

Imagine if you were the sibling of a popular ‘90s singer/actress, trying to make your own name in the business. You release a couple mediocre albums, leak a sex tape with your no-name girlfriend, even star in a VH1 reality show. Years pass and, somehow, that big-booty trick you propelled into the spotlight is now about 700 times more famous than you. What do you do? Well, if you’re Ray J, you release “I Hit It First,” a song with “Kim K” written all over it. And if lyrics like “She might move on to rappers and ballplayers/But we all know I hit it first” weren’t obvious enough, the single cover is a pixelated photo of Kanye’s baby mama:

Cincinnati on TV Alert: The Cooking Channel debuts a new series, America’s Best Bites, on April 20 (a perfect program to accompany your munchies. Yes, I am 17 years old). Hosted by Natalie Forte, the show travels across the country to showcase local fare and favorites. Nothing revolutionary here, but Cincy’s own Daniel and Lana Wright of Abigail Street and Senate will appear on the show’s third episode. Check out Abigail Street on ABB at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4.

Move over sloths. Step aside, oil-covered birds getting Dawn baths. My new favorite quirky cuties of the animal world are pets with cleft palates.

                                                 You say deformity, I say givemeonenoooowwwww

Meet Lentil. This little pup has had a rough road due to his irregular palate, but thanks to a feeding tube and a wonderful foster family, this little bean is growing to be healthy and adorable. Follow his heart-melting story on Facebook.

Palate mutations are not just exhibited in dogs, though. Take it from Lazarus, vamp-kitty!

Lazarus was a sickly alley cat when he was rescued, but now maintains a relatively normal kitty life, even without a nose and several teeth!

And, on the topic of online pet stalking, it would be remiss to not highlight the animal Internet trend du jour: dogs in pantyhose.

Big thanks to HBO for the shout out in their new HBO Go commercial!

 

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.05.2013
Posted In: Events, Music, Performances at 02:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 4/5-4/7

The artistically-minded Chef Frances Kroner of Feast and the creative minds behind Modern Makers present The Big Dinner: Taste {food art} Friday night. Guests will enjoy locally-sourced, beautifully designed foods in a gallery setting for a unique culinary experience. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. at the Niehoff Urban Studio in Corryville. Last-minute tickets are still available here.

Is Cincinnati haunted? Channel your inner ghost hunter at the Guided Ghost Tours of Music Hall. Beneath the historic building’s foundation lies an old pauper’s cemetery — all unmarked graves — and there have been rumors and reports of paranormal activity for years. See for yourself at these monthly tours (continuing May 31 and June 14) at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday.

Superstar violinist Sarah Chang joins the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for String Fever Saturday at Music Hall. After the performance, CSO Encore (the symphony’s volunteer young professional group) wraps up its season with an after-party at 21c Museum Hotel. Drinks and snacks will be served up alongside more great live music starting at 10 p.m. Attendees can explore the space, including the 24-hour contemporary art museum inside. Go here for more info.

Prefer musical performances with a little more camp? Check out the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus as they present ExtrABBAganza Friday and Saturday. Performing a show originally created for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus in 1997, the CMC will belt out the best tribute to ABBA you’ve ever heard (OK, you’re probably used to really bad karaoke, but these guys got chops). Those fun Swedish Pop hits will come alive in the SCPA Mayerson Theater. Read our full feature on the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus here.

If you’re a tattoo enthusiast or just love ink culture and history, you’ll want to check out Saturday’s screening of Tattoo Nation at AMC Newport on the Levee. Director Eric Schwartz and writer/producer John Corry focus on the rise of the black-and-grey tattoos as its own distinct style. AMN’s 9 p.m. show is the only screening in the Tri-state.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do page or full calendar for more events, concerts, theater shows and art exhibits.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.03.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor, Music, Movies at 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

As the weather gets warmer, music lovers tend to get antsy looking forward to summer concerts and music festivals. There’s Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Bunbury all within a reasonable drive from Cincinnati, plus tons of touring concerts like The Shins, The Lumineers, country acts galore and the most anticipated tour of them all: The Package.

Boy band lovers of the ‘80s and ‘90s will unite for this music spectacular from New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men and Cincy’s own 98 Degrees. The tour kicks off next month and Nick Lachey & Co. may not officially come home until the sold-out concert June 25, but Buzzfeed is already getting in the spirit with this collection of photos that reminds us about how Justin Jeffre was essentially the Michelle Williams of 98 Degrees. Upon looking up some 98 deets on Wikipedia, I realized dude is the only bandmate who doesn’t have his own page. And he ran for mayor in 2005! Poor Justin.

At least he took a break from rehearsing to stop by our Best of Cincinnati party last week (and if you obnoxiously asked him for a photo or just squealed and pointed at his presence…Shame on you), which was just one day before the release of the reunited band’s newest single. “Microphone” (which, according to The Daily Beast’s painstaking analysis, could have also been entitled “Penis”) has all the ingredients for a killer boy band tune: a danceable beat, barely-subtle phallic references that preteens could unknowingly sing on the back of the school bus, and lyrics that pay tribute to the group’s barber shop quartet past (“Say, ‘do-re-mi-fa-sooooo’ ”).

Remember Ryan Cabrera? He was an early-2000s Pop singer who dated pre-Pete Wentz Ashlee Simpson and was later resurrected on that post-Lauren Conrad final season of The Hills that probably only I watched. Well, in a move I can only wish I was bold enough to pull first, he got Ryan Gosling’s face tatted on his calf.

One glance at the InAPPropriate Comedy trailer and it was obvious — that shit was going to be bad. But as this Huffington Post live-blog of the — ahem — “film” describes, it was baaad. Like being-inside-Lindsay-Lohan’s-vagina bad (Spoiler Alert).

The Walking Dead’s third season finale was Sunday night and, though the season closer was full of ample zombie/Governor scariness, the most terrifying part of the night came during the live after-show, Talking Dead. Somehow, this dude managed to make it on the air:

Hey, if you want a captive, conspiracy-loving audience to stir up, TWD fans are it.

OK, time to get serious for a minute. I don’t usually like to discuss serious matters like death or illness on this silly pop culture blog, but this latest news from MTV is just too crazy to ignore. A cast member from Buckwild, MTV’s take on the rednecksploitation trend that replaced Jersey Shore, was found dead in his car after having gone missing over the weekend. While full details have not officially been released, it’s looking like the accident is a result of off-roading after a stint at a local watering hole. Shain Gandee, 21, was found dead with his uncle and a friend in Gandee’s truck, which was partially submerged in mud. Their deaths have been ruled accidents, caused by carbon monoxide poisoning (with the car's exhaust stuck under mud, fumes filled the car).

Obviously, this is tragic and not something to make light of. What’s really disturbing is that, had this not taken a terrible turn, the whole drinking-and-mudding scenario is something that easily would have been included in an episode of the series. Not that MTV needs to be a beacon for safety (see: Jackass, Ridiculousness, the Jersey Shore's “smoosh room,” etc.) But maybe it’s time to seriously re-think what we promote via reality TV bullshit. Production on the show's second season has since been halted and it has been reported that Gandee's funeral expenses will be covered by Buckwild producers.

And here’s a cute video of baby Gorilla Gladys at the Cincinnati Zoo to help you recover from that story.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.06.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Movies, Music, Humor at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

In what can best be described as #whitepeopleproblems, Will Smith inadvertently caused a county-wide school lockdown last week in Ambridge, Pa. An area high school was organizing a Fresh Prince of Bel Air themed dance (whatever that means) so, naturally, some students were getting really into it — 19-year-old Travis Clawson even changed his voicemail recording to his own cover of the iconic theme song. Unfortunately, an local office receptionist was not in on the joke.

The woman did not understand the voicemail recording when she called Clawson to confirm an appointment (it has not been confirmed whether or not this woman was in a coma from 1990-1996, but that is really the only justifiable excuse for not knowing that tune). At some point during the recording, perhaps when she heard “shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school,” the woman was worried there had been a school shooting (“shootin’ some peo-ple outside of the school?”) and called the police, who issued a lockdown at that high school and all other schools in the county. Of course, it was soon discovered that their was no incident and everyone was cleared. But it just goes to show you...

                                                 Parents Receptionists Just Don't Understand

As Eminem so eloquently said, Will Smith don't gotta cuss in his raps to sell his records, but what’s considered a cuss word these days? Ask Lil Poopy. This 9-year-old Boston native raps about lots of stuff kids like, such as money, fine foods and coke. Yeah, Lil Poopy calls himself a coke boy (he also calls himself Lil Poopy), but, according to the “Pop That Remix” lyrics, “Coke ain’t a bad word, Coca Cola/Coke ain’t a bad word, it’s only soda.”

Vice featured the tiny rapper in January, but Poopy’s making news again now as his father is being investigated by family services. (Thanks, Amberly!)

Did you know Chipotle has a secret menu? The next time you’re in the Mexican fast food mecca, try ordering a Quesarito. You know, if you could use a spare 1500 calories.

                                                    Bask in its cheesy, caloric glory!

Cruises can’t seem to catch a break these days, and I’m not talking about Tom’s quest for a new robot bride. Ever since that Carnival Cruise became a gigantic floating overflowing toilet last month, people are not really into vacationing by boat. Partly because of this, CityBeat now has to find a new annual team-building event because the Mark McGrath & Friends Cruise has been cancelled.

SPOILER ALERT, maybe: American Horror Story rumor time! Fans of the show have been theorizing the next season’s theme since co-creator Ryan Murphy announced there were clues about the next season throughout Asylum. Many of the actors from both previous seasons will be returning, including Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Taissa Farmiga, Sarah Paulson and Frances Conroy. The third season’s theme, which changes with installment, still remains a mystery.

Here’s what we know: Set to premiere in October, this season will jump around time periods, but will primarily stay in the present. It will take place in a setting where “true horror has happened” (three locations, apparently). “Evil glamour” will be a theme and Murphy has said it will be a more humorous season and he hopes to include a Romeo and Juliet-like romance, similar to the relationship between Tate (Peters) and Violet (Farmiga) in Season One. After scrutinizing the last season for clues, hearing songs like “Love Potion No. 9” and “I Put a Spell on You,” my watch-group and I were hoping for a voodoo storyline taking place in the swampy south, like New Orleans. But the Internet by and large agreed the next season would be devoted to witches (not necessarily throwing out our wish — voodoo is practiced by witch doctors). And when it was announced that Kathy Bates would be joining the season (breathe, breathe, breathe), the witch theory seemed perfect. Can you imagine Bates and Lange as two badass mystic bitches?! AHS alum Dylan McDermott thinks so! According to the actor, who played Ben in the inaugural season and Johnny “Son of Bloody Face” in No. 2, the next chapter will follow the Salem Witch Trials. SQUEE!

Because everyone loves lists, Complex counts down the funniest comedies of all time, from The Three Stooges to 30 Rock.

Hey, ever wondered how many people were killed off in Quentin Tarantino movies, and how they bit the dust? Miramax got you.