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by Hannah McCartney 11.07.2013
Posted In: Music, Culture at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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This Could Be Ohio's New State Country Song

For whatever reason, Americans deem it a necessary source of pride for us to award the states we live in all sorts of symbolic attributes, such as an official state amphibian (Ohio: spotted salamander), official state muffin (Minnesota: blueberry) or an official state "sport" (Maryland: walking?). And Oklahoma's unofficial state sport is apparently obesity — their official meal is "fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken-fried steak, black-eyed peas, and pecan pie."

Now, there's a very real possibility that sometime soon, the state of Ohio will add to its arsenal of symbols (our state drink is tomato juice?) by adopting its own state "Country" anthem: On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Ohio Rep. Nick Barborack (D-Lisbon) introduced House Bill 330 to the general assembly, which would give the state an official Country song called "Ohio" by Lisbon, Ohio musician Zach Paxson.

Here's the song that's been Ohio's official, official song since 1969:


Old-timey, for sure, but at least there's some pretty imagery thrown in there. Everybody likes moonlit streams and freedom.

And we all know "Hang on Sloopy," the '60s Pop Rock ditty that was actually wasn't designated our state Rock song until 1985, when the House passed a resolution with a bunch of references to the song, including phrases like: 

WHEREAS, "Hang On Sloopy" is of particular relevance to members of the Baby Boom Generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously; and

WHEREAS, Adoption of this resolution will not take too long, cost the state anything, or affect the quality of life in this state to any appreciable degree, and if we in the legislature just go ahead and pass the darn thing, we can get on with more important stuff.

The '80s were a weird time for a lot of things, so this makes a lot of sense. The introduction of Paxson's song, however, feels a little out of the blue.

Paxson's video, and the lyrics to the song, from Paxson's website (SIC to the errors):


Austin Texas was a great place
but I couldn’t wait to get home with a big smile on my face
and see those green farms and factories
as I made my way through my favorite city’s
Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO
Every morning I pass them
in their work boots and their business suits but we all come from the same roots
and we’re the keeper of great names
cause we got the rock ‘n’ roll and the football hall of fame
Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO

Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO, we’re the pulse of America here in the heart of it all
OHIO

What do you think of it? I only made it through the first 30 secondsI grew up in a rural town and any varietal of  Country music makes me hurt inside. Plus, I found the video, which is a kind of schizophrenic mix of a bunch of really blurry photos accompanied by WordArt lyrics, hard to watch.

Clearly, I'm biased, and I don't really get why there are several politicians taking the time to lobby for this to join "Hang on Sloopy" and "Beautiful Ohio." The bill is just waiting to be signed to a committee, so it will be awhile before a decision is made. But it's worth thinking about. Does it deserve to join the ranks of Ohio's tomato juices and bullfrogs? Or are state symbols just generally not supposed to make any sense?

 
 
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 01.24.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Goddam wind, Performances, Music, Movies at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Monday was President Barack Obama’s second inauguration or, as it will be remembered, Michelle Obama’s Bang-auguration or, perhaps, Beyonce-gate.

I think we can all agree that most of the event was kind of coma-inducing, right Sasha?