German weekend is
upon us. Cincinnati hosts the largest Oktoberfest
in North America, bringing 500,000 people downtown to enjoy beer and bratwurst,
music and dancing. Oktoberfest takes over Fifth Street between Broadway and
Vine from noon-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday. Between filling up on Dunkel and sauerkraut, stop by the CityBeat booth
to pickup the official Oktoberfest guide, register for prizes and buy tickets
to next week’s MidPoint Music Festival. We’ll be accepting credit cards only because
staff members can’t be trusted with cash it’s 2012, so come see your
favorite staffers and get a wristband while they last!
If the food, booze, polka dancers and giant crowds don’t interest you, The Wahl Mobile Barbershop will be on hand Saturday and Sunday offering free shaves and facial hair trims to area gents. They’ll also be scouting for the Wahl Man of Cincinnati, so if you think you’ve got the best beard or mustache in town, show off your scruff! The winner will receive $500 and go on to compete for a national title. Whisker Wars much?
What contemporary pop art lover hasn’t dreamed of going back in time and hanging out at Andy Warhol’s Factory? Imagine: artists and socialites gathering to see and be seen, creative producing interesting works, music and drinks abound. Warhol may have come and gone, but on Friday night we can get a taste of what it was like as the Contemporary Arts Center hosts Machine: Andy Warhol and Photography. Coinciding with the Warhol exhibit is Green Acres: Artists Farming Fields, Greenhouses and Abandoned Lots, which looks at farming as activism and an art form. Friday’s dual opening reception is will be a feast for the senses with a DJ set by VHS or Beta and a photo booth projecting Factory-style screen tests across the museum. The party beings at 8 p.m. and is $10, free for members
Buff your bowling ball and mix up a White Russian, because Esquire Theatre hosts The Big Lebowski Quote-a-thon Saturday. Don your bed Dude ensemble for a costume contests, test your Lebowski trivia knowledge and participate throughout the screening by quoting your favorite lines. The movie begins at 10:30 p.m.
Nerds unite! The Cincinnati Comic Expo runs through Sunday at Duke Energy Convention Center, kicking off with a Geek Prom Friday. The expo will also feature arcades, panels, cosplay and even something called sci-fi speed dating! Of course, many attend to meet stars involved in comics, television and movies – guests include Star Wars’ fight and light saber choreographer Nick Gillard, Green Power Ranger Jason David Frank and Chandler Riggs, better known as Carl "Get out of here!" Grimes from The Walking Dead. Go here for ticket pricing, a full event lineup and more information
Back-to-school ads and fall fashion spreads can often lead to budget woes. A change in seasons inspires finding fresh duds, but if you’ve got a full closet and empty bank account, you’re kinda stuck with what you’ve got. Enter Swappy Seconds, Casablanca Vintage and Chicken Lays an Egg’s clothing swap. Here’s how it works: Pick at least five items from your wardrobe that are clean and in great condition, drop ‘em off at Mayday in Northside starting at 2 p.m Sunday. The ladies of Chicken and Casablanca will sort and arrange all these clothes, shoes and accessories, then open the doors at 3:30 pm. For $3 you can return and pick through the goods while enjoying Mayday drinks and dogs. And guys: this isn’t just for the ladies! The more who participate, the more treasures for the pickin’. You’ll clean out your closet and supplement your wardrobe for (300) pennies!
Shut Up and Play the Hits bridges that gap for us, though. The documentary, directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, was screened in select theatres for only one night — a seemingly arrogant tactic, though I think it was done mostly just because it was the easiest and most affordable (the opposite of arrogant). Lucky for Cincinnati, the Contemporary Arts Center showed it in the lobby of its stone, skate park-like building to a full audience.
Using shots of the band’s last show to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden on April 2, 2011, mastermind James Murphy’s life before and after the show, and an actually informative interview, Shut Up and Play the Hits does some explaining, which was what Murphy really wanted. Not only that, but it also takes us through the inevitable emotional roller coaster Murphy and his bandmates rode on, anywhere from feeling “disturbingly normal” to breaking down in the presence of the band’s now jaded yet memorable musical equipment.
This normal life seems to revolve around Murphy’s dog. Waking up at 10:32 the morning after the final, drunken show, Murphy lays pensively sleepy with his little dog on his belly, just staring at him. Maybe it’s the dog that keeps him from accepting the sadness of the end, or maybe he just hasn’t been able to look — really look — at his dog in quite some time. Either way, it’s an endearing moment that contrasts like a flash of lightening to the madness of their final show. The back and forth filming techniques foster those aesthetics.
In many moments throughout the film, Murphy’s gaze suggests a complexity of despondency and hopefulness all at once, whether he’s making coffee or glowing in front of an 18,000-person show. The end is near and never has such an ending become so suddenly swallowed up. The film symbolically leaves us with a weeping fan staring at the dispersing stage, gracefully blurring the line of the sacred and profane. Murphy only wished to leave a stain, but that final note of that final song could very well ring out forever.
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.
Apparently Lady Gaga did damn well as host and musical guest on this
week’s Saturday Night Live, because I
keep seeing stories
like this praising her. I don’t know for sure, though, because I fell
asleep on the couch at 10:30 p.m. and woke up just before 1 a.m., just in time to see something that has recurred in my nightmares ever since: