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by Jac Kern 10.10.2012
Posted In: Movies, Music, TV/Celebrity, The Worst, Commentary at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Even the most plugged-in, pop culture-obsessed Facebook addicts miss out on Internet crazes every once in a while; thus, Koren performer Psy’s viral music video for “Gangnam Style” somehow escaped me. I’d seen the term mentioned on blogs and even watched a (ridiculously high quality) wedding video based on confusing sensation before I was able to find a reference the original video. (Isn’t it funny how that happens?) I found myself Googling “What the hell is Gangnam Style?!” not knowing if it was a dance craze or song or fashion trend. The song actually mocks the lifestyle of rich residents of the Seoul suburb, though most attention surrounds Psy, a middle aged man singing angrily whilst doing a PG version of “the pony.” I guess some of the humor is lost on me because I’m secretly bitter I didn’t discover it early on.

Gangnam’s latest incarnation? Mitt Romney Style!

Who’s down for a rousing game of “Steak House or Gay Bar?

Twitter poet and Kardashian-humper Kanye West stripped us all of our daily affirmation source by deleting all of his previous tweets last week. He has since returned to Twitter, but just to mourn the one-year since Steve Jobs’ death. Riveting stuff.

Vomiting onstage is the new black. Lately, high-profile performers across the globe have proverbially sniffed the milk carton, shrugged and took a sip anyway, all ending up tossing their cookies on stage. Now, if you’re like music editor Mike Breen, watching people experience a retaliating digestive system is disturbing and you'd rather not see that shit. Otherwise, here’s Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber barfing at their recent respective gigs. Thank goodness for HuffPo, who compiled a gallery of “Stars Who’ve Puked During Concerts.”

When Heidi Klum and Seal broke up, I was crushed (mostly because it meant no I’d really never be invited to one of their epic Halloween parties or themed vow renewals). When Amy Poehler and Will Arnett split, I was angry and confused. (Can’t they just laugh it off?!) Well, now I know there’s no such thing as love because after more than 30 years together, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman have separated. Maybe people grow apart after decades together. Perhaps DeVito’s role as Frank on Always Sunny began rubbing off on him. I don’t care — Matilda’s parents were supposed to stay together forever.


Thankfully, Amber Tamblyn and David Cross got hitched this week, giving us all a final shred of hope for humanity. Check out Questlove’s Instagram (the coolest way to peep wedding pics, ever) for photos of the Esty-fied Tommy Hilfiger ad starring Joan of Arcadia and Tobias Fünke.

 
 
by Jac Kern 08.28.2013
Posted In: Humor, Music, Is this for real? at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough...VMAs

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards melted the face off the Internet, so if you’re still trying to form an opinion and sift through gif reactions, or you’re one of those people pretending you don’t know what the VMAs are — the Moonman has been around since 1983 and the VMAs have been pooping out pseudo-controversy for just as long. You know what they are. Sit back down — don’t worry, momma’s here.

If you really don’t watch the VMAs, it’s important to understand that the V and A do not matter — MTV rarely plays music videos, as we all know, and no one ever remembers who actually wins the Mooman by the end of the night. The respected academy of critics are teens who vote for whichever marginally talented star tweets the most. You watch for the pop culture experience — whether it’s Fiona Apple’s “bullshit” acceptance speech, the Britney-Madonna kiss or Beyonce’s baby bump announcement, crazy shit goes down at the VMAs. And this year was no different.

The big draw of the night was Lady Gaga’s big comeback. It’s been two years since a big performance and release, and Mama Monster also is back from a hip injury that kept her out of the public eye for a bit. Gaga opened the show with her new single, “Applause,” which was welcomed by audience boos (those turned out to be staged. Gaga — go figure.). The performance looked like some kind of jazzy, art school, off-broadway number, complete with dudes in leotards and onstage weave and costume changes, ending in LG in a big ass brown curly wig, a mermaid shell bra and thong. Her body was siiiiick (eat it, haters) and it was nice to see her look/act like a human — this is not the meat dress-wearing, alien goth princess, Jo Calderone Gaga. This is ARTPOP Gaga.

She seemed a little more down-to-earth, if that’s possible? Like she was having fun, and not taking it too seriously. Which is good, because her new song is in a fucking Kia commercial.

Next up is the kind of moment that makes careers and ends presidencies. Just kidding. It’s just Miley! So I (like every human with access to the Internet) detailed my roller coaster of emotions when I first watched Miley Cyrus’ video “We Can’t Stop.” And I must say, I have no problem with MiCy growing up and changing directions. Alternatively, I have no problem with her being a completely fake, manufactured product (cut to Lady Gaga —Government Name: Stefani Germanotta — looking like the normal girl she actually was less than a decade ago, on an episode of Boiling Points. Most pop stars were once Hannah Montanas before their producers gave them "molly" and a rejected Rihanna beat, OK?).

I have no qualms with her getting an fierce haircut and wearing denim diaper shorts and juxtaposing her former good girl image with her current hot lady looks. But there's a difference between shifting from Country to Pop or Disney kid to edgy starlet and purposefully quashing your saccharine image by motorboating a woman's thonged butt on TV just for the shock factor. I see you Miley, and I will not respond to you.

One note I must make about the performance is Miley did share the spotlight with the black chicks from her "We Can't Stop" video. (Side note: those giant bear backpack apparatuses they’re wearing look really heavy!) Many critics of the vid questioned why these “friends” only appeared in one scene of the video, when she appears to be so immersed in black culture throughout (See: Conversation on cultural appropriation I’m not prepared to start here). Once Miley was done assaulting her backup dancers, rubbing her fur-covered crotch and definitely not lip synching (for better or worse), the two songs that had everyone clutching their pearls this year came to an uncomfortable head as Robin Thicke made his way onstage.

Thicke’s video for “Blurred Lines” sparked up just as much controversy as Miley’s in recent months. From scantily-clad models (plus a naked one in the uncensored version) to lyrics like “I know you want it” — plus dumb hastags all over the place — there were bound to be some haters. But, doesn’t that description sound comparable if not tamer than nearly any popular music video circulating right now? Now, I can understand the concern about the subject of “blurred lines” when there is so much right-wing bullshit about rape culture going on right now. But the video came out in March, and it wasn’t until recently, once a few people started writing about their disapproval, that other folks started recycling these opinions and making parody videos that completely miss the point.

Look, I’ve got a soft spot for Robin Thicke. He started off more than a decade ago as an R&B singer — he’s got a smooth-as-a-baby’s-butt voice so of course his songs are going to be sexual and of course some of his videos are going to feature sexy girls. He’s married to actress Paula Patton, whom he’s been with since he was 16. They have an adorable son named Julian Fuego. If anything, Miley would corrupt him!

So Miley rips off her PedoBear onesie to reveal the two-piece from the “Blurred Lines” video and everyone realizes yes, she’s going there. The world looked on in sheer terror as she twerked every which way upon Thicke, stroking him and herself with a We’re No. 1 finger you see at hockey games. Miley’s butt looked really scary and Robin looked like Beetlejuice.

Let’s all cleanse ourselves by looking back on Thicke’s earlier, hairier years.

One actual quality performance of the night came from Justin Timberlake. Sure, he’s ubiquitous, but damn, the dude is talented. JT sang and danced his way across every stage in the Barclays Center, never missing a beat or breath, touching on hits from all throughout his career. Naturally, everyone was waiting for the anticipated *NSYNC reunion, and every time a cluster of male back-up dancers rushed onstage, I thought that was the moment. Finally, four shadowy figures emerged from an illuminated stage, and Justin joined them in the center.

I hate to be a spoilsport, but, *NSYNC, you’re tearin’ up my heart. Nearly any millennial Pop lover was either a Backstreet Boy or *NSYNC fan, and I was more of an *NSYNC girl. Nevertheless, when I recently had the opportunity to attend the BSB reunion concert of PNC Pavilion, you better believe I screamed my lungs out with the rest of the crowds of pathetic women. I had to hand it to the ‘Boys — they looked more attractive as 40-year-olds than they did 20 years ago! They were in shape, still had their chops and were really good sports about it. The concert really was a fun time. So when I saw an overweight, wobbling Chris Kirkpatrick struggling to pull his jacket over his tummy, I could not focus on anything else. A single tear ran down my cheek. And why the hell, of all songs to play during this rare moment, would they sing “Girlfriend?!” I still love you, *NSYNC, but reunion wasted, in my opinion.

More stuff:

This picture is NOT the Smith family reacting to that Miley mess I just recounted. This is a still taken during Gaga’s performance and it’s not even an accurate reaction, so stop sharing it, ya losers.

Drake, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kanye also performed, and no one is going to say anything about that. Drake reminds me of a dinosaur and his song was really boring. Kanye performed in a shadow in front of a screen cuz he’s a dad now and he can’t be bothered with camera close-ups, guys.

The camera cut away to reaction shots from Taylor Swift so often, she should be credited as a co-host. Good god.

Katy Perry’s new song "Roar" ended the night with a boxing-themed performance by the Brooklyn Bridge, but it seems like everyone was too busy freaking out about Miley to notice. It was pretty fun, but apparently it sounds a lot like Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.”

In other news, even D-list celebs, Like Dharma & Greg’s Thomas Gibson can get catfished.

Breaking Bad’s Anna Gun (Skyler White) wrote a New York Times op-ed about how everybody HATES her — or at least the character she plays — any how this widespread abomination doesn’t seem to carry over to male characters on television.

Remember "Beauty and the Beat?" In his latest video, my newest hero Todrick Hall takes it to the next level and tells the story of Cinderella using the music of Beyoncé. Rupaul’s Drag Race star Shangela plays the fairy god mother. Naturally!  

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.19.2012
 
 
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Your Monday To Do List

If you don't have tickets to tonight's MythBusters: Behind the Myths event, you better call up your best nerdy scalper, because the live show sold out! Yup, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage bring their Discovery Channel show to life with a touring production that kicked off this January in California. The ginger-esque duo take a fun, scientific approach to debunking commonly believed wives' tails and oddball myths. In addition to behind-the-scene stories and film footage, Adam and Jamie will perform experiments on stage with plenty of audience participation. The show is at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Aronoff Center.

Park+Vine's Vegan Slowcooker Throwdown, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed. Check their calendar or follow P+V on Facebook for updates. You can still celebrate meatless Monday by grabbing lunch or items to make dinner at the green general store.

"Riot-Folk" musician Ryan Harvey performs at the Occupy Cincinnati Community Warehouse (2023 Dunlap St., Over-the-Rhine) tonight. Harvey and his collective are touring around the country to inspire Occupy movements to keep fighting the good fight. Local Greg Zoller opens. The event runs 8-11 p.m. Get details here.

If you're still experiencing some residual St. Patrick's Day drinking enthusiasm, Northside's Mayday presents Monday Mayhem each week – stop by between 4 p.m.-midnight and grab a dog and a draft for under eight bucks. Mayday's gourmet hot dogs are served on homemade pretzel buns with delicious, unique toppings. And their beer selection is killer. Or stop by Milton's on Prospect Hill for Vinyl Club. Bring your records to share or have a DJ spin 'em for you while you enjoy a drink. The night starts at 10 p.m.

Later tonight, Cincinnati native Geoff Tate will appear on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The comedian offers a storytelling style and has been compared to the late, great Mitch Hedberg. Tune into CBS at 12:35 a.m.

Follow our music blog and To Do page for more nightly events.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.12.2012
Posted In: Animals, Concerts, Drinking, Eats, Events, Fun, Performances, Music at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Young Bucks, French music, comedy and puppies galore

Tonight our sister publication A-Line Magazine hosts The Pet Event at Red Dog Pet Resort and Spa. If you fell in love with A-Line's April Pet Issue and all the adorable critters inside, tonight's your chance to meet them! The winners of A-Line's cute pet contest will be around, along with Louise Labrie of Nationwide, who's offering pet insurance quotes. For every quote given, Nationwide will donate $10 to the Cincinnati SPCA. Bring your leashed dog and check out the amazing facility while enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres from 5-8 p.m. Find directions and more info here.

Add a little français to your Thursday with Cincinnati Symphony's French Connection concert. Enjoy works of three French composers, performed by French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, led by French conductor Stéphane Denève. Tickets for tonight's 7:30 p.m. show at Music Hall start at just $10 — c'est bon marché! The show continues Saturday and Sunday. Go here for tickets and performance details.

Comedian Nick Griffin kicks off his four-night run at Go Bananas tonight at 8 p.m. The Kansas native has been doing stand up for more than two decades. You may have seen him on late-night shows like Letterman and Conan, or on Comedy Central. Check out his latest comedy album, Shot in the Face on iTunes. Tickets to tonight's set are $10, $4 with college or military ID.

Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms series continues tonight with Magnolia Mountain and Comet Bluegrass All Stars. This free concert offers excellent local bands 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.

Tonight downtown drinkery Shooter's hosts its weekly western-themed night, Young Buck Thursdays. Get down with dance music, a Flashbox photo booth and $2 pink pony shots all night long. Mosey on down to the watering hole starting at 10 p.m. Find details here.

Go here for tonight's live music lineup and check out our To Do page for more arts and theater events tonight.

 
 
by Jac Kern 07.21.2011
Posted In: Events, Fun, Music, Concerts, Animals at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List

We're just two months away from the highly anticipated MidPoint Music Festival and the free MidPoint Indie Summer Series is still rockin' on. Stop by Fountain Square Friday for a taste of quality music you can expect at the September fest. This week's line up features a superb spread of local talent. Alternative Folk crew The Western kicks off the show at 7 p.m., followed by Garage Rockers The Prohibitionists at 8:15 p.m. July for Kings headlines the show at 9:30 p.m., bringing their quirky Rock & Roll sound. Check out a past interview with her crew here. For tickets, lineups and all the latest updates on MPMF, follow them on Facebook.

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by Eli Johnson 01.06.2012
Posted In: Music, Movies, Reviews, Life at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

It turns out that an alleged old Radiohead demo called “Putting Ketchup in the Fridge” is actually called “Sit Still” and not by Radiohead at all. It’s by Toronto bakery owner Christopher Stopa. “As nice as it is, because I like Radiohead, and on some technical level it means I sang [the song] well, I don’t really want to be known as the person that was mistaken [for] Radiohead,” Stopa said in an interview with the Torontoist. You can stream the single and read the full story here.

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by Jac Kern 08.02.2013
Posted In: Events, Fun, Music, Performances at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 8/2-8/4

Music Hall will come to life this weekend. Thanks to a collaboration between Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Landor Associates and funding from local organizations, the Cincy landmark will be part of LumenoCity, a first-of-its-kind multimedia performance in Washington Park Saturday and Sunday. Many details of the performance won’t be revealed until the show, but we know it involves live orchestra music set to a process called architectural mapping — where three-dimensional graphics are projected onto a building’s surface, interacting with its architectural details, causing the building to illuminate and appear in motion. This process of mapping has been done before (just check out the video below), but never like what we’ll see this weekend.

LumenoCity also marks Maestro Louis Langrée’s arrival as the CSO’s new musical director. The free concert takes place at 8:30 p.m. in Washington Park Saturday and Sunday. Bring your own seating. Read more about the event here.

Newly opened OTR brewery Rhinegeist unveils its limited edition Saber Tooth Tiger IPA with a celebration Saturday. This Imperial IPA is the brewery’s first “Rarity,” meaning they’ll brew it only once and have a limited amount. Admission to the release party is $10 and includes a goblet with 12 oz. of STT and guaranteed option to purchase a 32 oz. growler of the IPA. There will also be local food vendors, live music, merch for purch(ase) and more. The event runs 5-10 p.m. Saturday. Buy tickets here.

The city’s definitely got a case of the blues this weekend with Cincy Blues Fest at Sawyer Point Friday-Saturday and Findlay Market’s Blue BBQ Sunday. The Cincy Blues Society’s CBF turns 21 this year, bringing dozens of Blues acts from around the country. Check out our preview here.

From noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Findlay Market’s eighth annual Blue BBQ brings local Blues musicians together with delicious barbeque from Eli’s BBQ, Velvet Smoke and other area restaurants. Go here for more info.

It’s an end of a sweaty era Saturday as Northside Tavern holds the final Dance_MF EVER. Projectmill’s monthly first Saturday dance party has been going strong for five years, steaming up the Tavern’s back room and even taking to the high seas (or at least the Ohio River) for a couple RiverDance_MF events on a boat. So limber up, drink up and dance your ass off one last time, starting at 10 p.m.

For more art openings, summer festivals 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.

 
 
by Jac Kern 10.01.2012
Posted In: Music, TV/Celebrity, Events at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Favorite TV Stars Come to Cincinnati

David Liebe Hart and Hunter Valentine perform in town this week

OK, maybe David Liebe Hart and Hunter Valentine are not the A-list celebs you had in mind, but for fans of Adult Swim’s cult hit Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! and Showtime’s unscripted guilty pleasure The Real L Word (respectively), this is an exciting week to be in Cincinnati.

Tonight, The Comet hosts a free show with David Liebe Hart, Hardon Collider and Jordin Goff. Considering Hart's best known from Adult Swim, it should be expected that this show will bring the weird. Hart gained attention with his Los Angeles public television show, The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Program — a quirky mix of music, puppetry, cautions against drug use and much more. Today, he’s recognized from Tim and Eric, on which he’s performed songs with said creepy puppets.

Check him out at The Comet tonight for punk rock and puppets at 9 p.m. Fun fact: DLH believes that as a child, he was abducted by aliens known as Korendians. Here’s his tribute to the alien race:

And now for something completely different!

Hunter Valentine is a Toronto-born, NYC-based alt-rock lady band currently touring North America. The group played 2011’s MidPoint Music Festival and is returning to Mainstay Rock Bar Friday night in support of Collide and Conquer, debuting Oct. 23.

The band formed in 2004 and I’ll admit, they weren’t on my radar until this summer when The Real L Word’s third season premiered. The reality show centered on a group of hip L.A. lesbians introduced new cast members from New York City this season. The new ladies? Hunter Valentine.

Cameras followed lead singer Kiyomi, drummer Laura, bassist Vero and then-guitar and keyboard player Somer as they jammed, drank, partied and fought their way through last year’s tour. The season ended with Somer (not-so-surprisingly) parting ways with the band, making room for HV newbie, Aimee.

Will Real L’s Lauren, who made things official with Kiyomi the the end of the season, be present as Hunter Valentine groupie supreme? Swing by Mainstay Downtown at 10:30 p.m. Friday to find out.

Peep this promotional video HV shot for The Real L Word:

 
 
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: