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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 Jac Kern 04.11.2012
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

Cocktails with Conundrum, Brewery District Meeting, Eight Track/Babershop Quartet Day

Happy Eight Track Tape and Barbershop Quartet Day! That's right, April 11 is designated as a celebratory day for the clunky cassette ancestor, as well as the harmonizing foursome. Anyone who actually owns an eight track featuring a barbershop quartet: Send a photo in!

The Over-the-Rhine Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation is a non-profit committed to making OTR a healthy, balanced and supportive neighborhood economy. The organization helps preserve, restore and redevelop Cincinnati's unique brewing history and urban fabric. Live in the area or just want to get involved? Stop by the Brewery District's monthly meeting at Spotted Magpie Vintage (1420 Main St.) tonight from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

For an especially classy Wednesday, go to Cocktails with Conundrum at Celestial Steakhouse's Incline Lounge. Music ensemble Conundrum will perform Cincinnati's premiere of Eric Knechtges' "Simon" and other favorites. Come around 7 p.m. to enjoy cocktails and noshes (with an astounding view of the city) before the 7:45 p.m. performance. Tickets are $30 at the door. Find more information here.

Check out our To Do recommendations for ongoing theater and arts happenings tonight and follow our music blog for tonight's live show lineup. Feel like staying in? Here are some TV shows worth checking out.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.06.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 4/6-4/8

The Heights Music Festival, TEDxCincinnatiChange, Rumspringa and more pre-Easter fun

While we’re sure many of you crammed enough fun into Opening Day to last the rest of April, there’s still plenty going on this weekend to keep the party going.

The Heights Music Festival (formerly Clifton Heights Music Festival, launched in 2009) kicks off tonight with more than 70 bands (and some comedy sets) at five venues within walking distance around Clifton Heights. Rohs Street Café, Baba Budan’s, Mac’s, Christy’s and Roxx Electrocafe all host performances beginning at 7 p.m. tonight and starting at 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon through the night. Tickets are $8 for just tonight, $5 for tomorrow’s daytime shows or $12 for the whole weekend. Go here for lineup details and more information.

Though iconic Cincinnati-based artist Charley Harper passed away almost five years ago, his artwork is as recognizable now than ever. His modernist depictions of nature and wildlife still cover the walls of fans young and old. Mary Ran Gallery is currently holding an exhibit and sale of Harper’s vintage signed and numbered prints. Stop by the Hyde Park gallery, peep some of his colorful works and walk away with one of your own. Find details here.

TEDxCincinnatiChange is the first of many TED events to hit the Tri-state this spring. Saturday’s theme is "Big Picture, Small Details," set to examine issues with global and local impact and zeroing in on small details to make big ideas work. This a satellite event of a national TEDxChange, which marks a partnership between TED (Technology, Entertainments and Design) and the Melinda Gates Foundation. The Cincinnati event will kick off with a live streaming of a TEDxChange talk from Berlin. Speakers and performers include filmmakers Andrea Sisson and Peter Ohs, True Body Project founder Stacy Sims, taste of Beligum's Jean-Francois Flechet and many more. The event is currently sold out, but go here to find other upcoming TED events.

Rumspringa is a rite of passage when Amish adolescents can leave their community and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere prior to deciding to be baptized or to leave the Amish church. In popular culture, those participating in Rumspringa are often portrayed as hardcore partiers, swapping their values and traditional garb for booze and sex (but in actuality, it’s not so drastic – most choose to continue being Amish). Saturday, Mayday presents its annual Rumspringa Beer and Sausage Fest. Rock out like it’s your only chance to do so and enjoy Amish-inspired delights like beerwurst, bangers, homemade mustards and more beer than you can shake a buckled shoe at. Remember to call a designated carriage driver! The fun starts at 4 p.m.

OTR A.D.O.P.T. is an organization that helps match prospective home/business owners renovate deteriorating historic buildings in Over-the-Rhine. Saturday, Neon’s Unplugged hosts a benefit for the organization, inviting you to Partly Like it’s 1869! Learn about the organization and how to get involved while celebrating the eclectic neighborhood. Costumes are encourage, so sport your favorite hoop skirt or suspenders and capture your look in a photo booth. A $5 donation gets you in; enjoy old timey drink specials from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.

Check our full To Do page for more arts and events, follow our music blog for this weekend's shows and find theater recommendations here. And Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.03.2012
Posted In: Arts, Culture, Movies at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Avengers or X-Men: whose side are you on? In one of the largest comic happenings of the year, Marvel Comics releases its new dual-team comic series Avengers vs. X-Men this week. To celebrate, Newport's Arcadian Comics & Games host a launch party tonight. Comic book fans young and old are encouraged to come out and be among to purchase the new issue (for under $4!).

Arcadian will provide posters, buttons and other swag for attendees and Ghost Empire Collective will offer custom sketches and other artwork for purchase. A timely release, The Avengers film comes out in theaters May 4. More of an X-Men fan? So are many Arcadian supporters – the store took a vote on which side to sponsor and that superhero team won. Check out alternate covers, posters and a special X-Men sale. The store is open late for the event, running 8-10 p.m. Find more information here.

Important People hosts author Thomas Patrick Levy to celebrate his new book of poetry, I Don't Mind If You're Feeling Alone. The event, held at the Occupy Cincinnati Community Warehouse, will also feature local poets Matt Hart and Lisa Summe.

Levy's latest work "blurs the lines between flash-fiction, prose, poetry and memoir. It sets the reader in new and unknown- sometimes even confusing and surprising- spaces." The New Jersey Native is touring across the U.S. promoting his book, traveling from coast-to-coast from his current home in California. Go here for directions and event details.

Onstage offerings tonight include The Addams Family at the Aronoff and Playhouse's Tigers Be Still. Check out our To Do page for a full list of daily events.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.02.2012
Posted In: Arts, Music, Events, TV/Celebrity, Performances, Fun, Culture, Movies at 11:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Feist and Martin de Thurah to Visit Contemporary Arts Center

Musician-filmmaker duo present a screening and talk at CAC

Singer-songwriter Feist and award-winning filmmaker Martin de Thurah will present a musically-charged evening at the Contemporary Arts Center April 9. Feist and de Thurah (who's worked with Kanye West, Fever Ray and Röyksopp) will discuss the creative process of creating a music video, a perfect event to coincide with the CAC's current exhibit Spectacle: The Music Video.

The duo will present a video screening followed by a talk moderated by Spectacle curator and Flux creative collective member Jonathan Wells. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. event, and admission is $15 for CAC members, $20 for everyone else. There will be a cash bar. Buy tickets in advance here.

Feist and de Thurah collaborated on the singer's video for "The Bad in Each Other."


The CAC has hosted some exceptional events lately, bringing electronic musician Dan Deacon to Spectacle's opening party this February, and welcoming street artist Shepard Fairey back to DJ a reception in his honor just last week. This is sure to be another full house party.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.30.2012
Posted In: Arts, Concerts, Culture, Drinking, Events, Fun, Performances, Music at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 3/30-4/1

Final Friday, Rollergirls, CSO and more

Happy Final Friday! If you're hitting up the monthly gallery/bar hop, stop by Yes (Primaries, 6-10 p.m.), Clay Street Press (The Revolution Says, 6-9 p.m.) and The Art Academy of Cincinnati (Sub-Surfaced, 5-8 p.m.) in addition to the several other participating venues. Read more about these featured exhibits here.

Want to enjoy a more cosmic experience this weekend? Stop by the Cincinnati Astronomical Society in Cleves for the Mars Returns program. Mars is visible from Earth this time of year, and with CAS's powerful telescope, you'll get an excellent glimpse of the famed red planet (weather permitting). Learn about the myths and mysteries that surround Mars and the latest info from NASA. This free program takes place from 8-11 p.m. Saturday. Consider making a small donation on your way out to create more astronomical opportunities at the center.

If you missed legendary composer Philip Glass' MusicNOW performance with eighth blackbird Thursday, you can still check him out this weekend thanks to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The world premiere of Glass' Second Cello Concerto will be performed by cellist Matt Haimovitz tonight and Saturday at Music Hall. Go here to get last-minute tickets to the show.

The Cincinnati Rollergirls take on the Demolition City Roller Derby from Evansville, IN. in the third annual College Night Saturday. Students, faculty and staff just need to show school IDs at the door for $10 tickets — the first 300 get free CRG bottle openers. If you missed the girls' season opener, be sure to check out this match, the second home double-header of the 2012 season. Doors open at 6 p.m.with the first bout rolling off at 7 p.m. As always, enjoy $1 happy hour beers from 6-7 p.m. and stick around after the game to meet those badass chicks!

Quick Notes: Stage Door breaks down this weekend's theater offerings; find upcoming concerts and club shows here; Prairie Gallery's Airstream and the Contemporary Arts Centers' Dasha Shiskin exhibit are among this week's visual art suggestions; find even more events on our To Do page.

Check out our Best of Cincinnati issue for reader picks and staff tips on where to get your eats, drinks, arts and shopping on.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.29.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Performances, Music, Fun, Events, Culture, Arts at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Shepard Fairey's return, comedian Tammy Pescatelli, Cirque Du Soleil's 'Dralion'

Shepard Fairey returns to Cincinnati tonight! The street artist-turned-superstar is being honored with ArtsWave's Rosa F. and Samuel B. Sachs Fund Prize for his artistic contributions across Cincinnati in 2010. Fairey will be at the Contemporary Arts Center to DJ a dance party at 9 p.m. He has made a limited amount of exclusive prints and the CAC is giving some signed copies away to new and retuning members. Speaking of, the party is for CAC members only, but really, it's a great reason to join the museum. Memberships can still be purchased for $25-$125. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Seasoned comedian Tammy Pescatelli headlines at Funny Bone on the Levee tonight through Sunday. The sassy Sicilian gained attention as one of the final five contestants on the second season of Last Comic Standing. Though she looks like she could blend in on one of the ubiquitous New Jersey reality travesties (she bears a striking resemblance to Theresa from The Real Housewives of New Jersey), Pescatelli grew up in Cleveland, and is funny for all the right reasons. Her Cincinnati stop is just one on a U.S. tour to promote her new comedy album Finding the Funny. Tonight's show starts at 8 p.m.

Cirque Du Soleil's latest production, Dralion, continues tonight at the Bank of Kentucky Center. This East-meets-West extravaganza features an international cast of world-class acrobatic performers. The title Dralion symbolizes two iconic forces: the dragon (East) and the lion (West). Expect bold, over-the-top costuming and design, a wide variety of acts (incorporating aerial hoops, trampolines and juggling) and mystifying performers who transform commonplace acts like jumping rope and yo-yoing into a visual feast. Find ticket information here.

Check out our reviews of Time Stands Still, The Addams Family, Tigers Be Still, all with shows tonight. Find more arts events here and follow our music blog for the latest on live shows.

 
 
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 03.27.2012
Posted In: Eats, Events, Drinking, Music, Fun, Gardening, Culture at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Tonight's the night! Our annual Best of Cincinnati Party is always one of the most fun events of the year. You voted for your favorite restaurants, bars, public figures, galleries, theaters, and everything in between – now's your chance to check them all out under one roof. This year's celebration is a preview party – our Best of issues doesn't hit the streets 'til Wednesday morning, which means those in attendance will be the first to know about all our winners!

As always, there will be dinner-by-the-bite from your favorite restaurants like Adriatico's, Izzy's and A Tavola; coffee and dessert from Coffee Emporium and BonBonerie; and the city's best cocktails including martinis, Bloody Marys and margaritas. As you're eating your way through the beautiful Memorial Hall, enjoy music from a DJ and a live performance from Exhale Dance Tribe performers.

If that's not enough, more than 100 guests will walk away with amazing swag bags from the Procter & Gamble eStore full of your favorite P&G products and coupons to local Best of businesses. Of course, like last year, we will feature Golden Ticket giveaways, which will feature amazing prizes like tickets to Bunbury, Forecastle, Bonnaroo, MidPoint Music Festival, eight consecutive Bogart's shows and much more. If you still don't have tickets, they'll be available at the door for $35. See you tonight!

Other events tonight include a Make and Bake glass jewelry class at Brazee Studios from 5-7 p.m., a Homegrown Tomatoes workshop at the Civic Garden Center from 6-8 p.m. and free concert at CCM featuring the U.S. Navy Band from Washington, D.C. at 8 p.m.

Find more daily arts, theaters and other events on our To Do page and follow our music blog for live show info.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.23.2012
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's favorite recent pop culture and Internet findings

Planking can be dangerous. Tebowing is just plain dumb. If there’s one viral Internet pose I can sign off on, it’s Draping.

Fashioned after Don Draper's iconic pose in the Mad Men intro, Draping has infiltrated the interwebs! This is all in anticipation for Sunday's long-awaited two-hour season premiere. Read more about that here.

Like many fun Internet bits I stumble upon, Drinkify is a really simple site that has that cool, “Why didn’t I think of that?” factor. Just enter the artist you’re listening to (or plan to that night), and Drinkify matches a perfect beverage to match. Vampire Weekend = PBR, Sleigh Bells = 10 oz. Whiskey (”Serve neat.”) and, because I was curious, Justin Bieber = 8 oz. Red Bull.

Anyone who knows my television habits is fully aware of my love for Bravo shows. I know, it's an abomination, but sometimes you just want a Taco Bell bean burrito instead of a fresh-cooked meal, and sometimes I want to watch Real Housewives instead of quality television. It keeps me grounded.

The latest gem Bravo has bestowed upon us: Shahs of Sunset, a reality show (duh) about a wealthy group of Persians in Beverly Hills. Don't hate me. The following is one of many internet rants from Shahs' hottest piece, Reza (NSFW). I'll never look at Parmesan cheese the same way again.



The award for web video series that will make you snort aloud, revealing that you're screwing around at work goes to...Bad Lip Readings! I'm late on this, I know, but damn if these stupid videos aren't hilarious. Unfortunately Rick Santorum's real words are just as ridiculous as the ones dubbed in this video.



 

One could not recap recent internet/popular news without mentioning KNOYGATE. Though anyone reading this has access to the Internet and therefore has probably been bombarded with the progressing stories on Kony, allow me to briefly explain.

Joseph Kony is the head of a Ugandan guerilla group that terrorizes the country, murdering villages, kidnapping children from their homes and turning them into soliders. He’s an international villain, and filmmaker/activist Jason Russell has made it his mission to stop him. Russell created the film-turned-movement Invisible Children after spending time in Uganda. The movie’s been around since 2006, but Russell recently started an internet campaign, KONY 2012, to spread awareness about the injustice in Uganda.

The video flooded Facebook walls, news sites and Twitter Feeds like wildfire. It was particularly popular with younger people, because the video targeted American youth, explaining that if enough people know who Kony is, we can get our government to do something about him. That translates to "Young people can make a difference," which is totally a good thing. Kids have been infiltrating malls, sharing KONY 2012 stickers and bracelets to spread awareness. But some people started to get concerned.

See, it’s obviously great that young people are concerned about international injustice. But fad activism isn’t just annoying; following an organization you don't previously research is dumb – and re-posting a YouTube video doesn’t make you an activist.

Soon after the video went viral came speculation about Russell and Invisible Children. Because, you know, some people like to look into an organization before blindly accepting its cause. Turns out just a little over one-third of the non-profit’s funds went to direct services in Uganda, in addition to countless examples of fishiness. Most funding was spent on travel expenses and film production. So the people who were critical about the whole KONY viral vid weren’t just being dicks after all.

Then, something crazy happened. Literally.


Jason Russell lost his shit. Last week, Russell ran around naked, shouting obscenities on a sidewalk in San Diego. He was arrested, but not charged, and sent to a hospital on a 5150 psychiatric hold. Most recently, he has been diagnosed with "reactive psychosis" brought on by stress, dehydration and exhaustion.

All this, in a matter of weeks! Really, I don’t mean to make light of an international war criminal and an activist’s state of health, but this story has brought up more drama than any soap opera could dream. And that’s why I love the Internet.

 
 

 

 

 
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