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by Jac Kern 10.07.2011
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 10/7-10/9

Hold on to your knickers, girls! This weekend is full of excellent music, arts, theater and shopping events. Here we go:

Ides of March premiers tonight (FINALLY). Check it out and see how many Cincinnati landmarks you can spot. Or just look at Ryan Gosling. Read our interview with an actor who is not Gosling or Clooney here, and check out our review.

Clifton Heights Music Festival is back for its fifth installment! Bands of all genres take over six Clifton-area bars (in walking distance of one another) tonight and Saturday. The ever-growing fest continues to be one of the most affordable - $8 gets you in all venues for one night, $12 for both nights. Go here for the full lineup and venue details.

Rapper Machine Gun Kelly plays Madison Theater tonight. My little sister wants to marry him. Important facts here.

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by Jac Kern 09.25.2012
Posted In: Events, Fashion, Music, Movies, TV/Celebrity at 08:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough...Emmys

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place Sunday night. Each year I get excited for this one awards show dedicated to television, and every year I forget how boring and predictable it usually is.

First off, there is no booze served at the Emmys (unlike the drink-friendly Golden Globes which honor TV and film), and that just puts a damper on everything. Pre-show red carpet interviews have to be one of the most uncomfortable interactions ever (I swear one E! douche bag actually said, “I don’t really care, ‘cause we’re dudes, but it’s my thing tonight — Who are you wearing?” Gag.) — stars need some hooch to make it all OK.

Then there are the clear academy favorites that are continually nominated year after year for no apparent reason — Can’t we all agree Big Bang Theory lacks any real humor or geek cred? But I suffer through the Emmys just in case there’s a redeeming wardrobe malfunction or surprise winner.

                                      Raise your hand if you're tired of faux nerdery!

Jimmy Kimmel made an entertaining host, playfully poking fun at various celebs and, in a particularly funny bit, showed an “In Memoriam” video of himself, stating that we shouldn’t wait until stars are dead to remember their work.

The big winners of the night were Showtime’s drama series Homeland, the HBO movie Game Change and ABC’s Modern Family (one of those perpetual comedy winners).

Fashion trends for the night (and fall in general) included bold solids and metallics, but I always find it interesting just a few stars sport very similar, striking looks. This year it was apparently good luck to mimic the award statue — all dressed in yellow, Julianne Moore (Game Change), Julie Bowen (Modern Family) and a pregnant Claire Danes (Homeland) each walked away with a golden lady for their respective leading performances.

The good: Tracy Morgan faked a medical issue to generate buzz, Amy Poehler and Julia Louie-Dreyfus “accidentally” swapped acceptance speeches and Jon Stewart kept censors on their toes during his acceptance speech on behalf of The Daily Show (which makes 10 wins in a row for the show). I was happy to see Jessica Lange honored as best supporting actress in a miniseries/movie — and, really, how smart of them to re-define American Horror Story each season, categorizing it as a miniseries. The always-hilarious Louis C.K. was "vindicated" with two Emmys for his writing on Louie and his stand-up special, Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater. And while the drama category was filled with some of my favorite shows, a very deserving Homeland pretty much swept the category. Aaron Paul was awarded for his role as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, to which I say, “Yeah, bitch!” While Paul may have been confused during fashion week, he must have picked up some style tips on the catwalk, because his chocolate suit was sick, and only enhanced by his fiance’s coordinating gown. 

          All together now: Aww!

Season 4 of Breaking Bad was outstanding, and I’m a Jesse fan but…

The bad: Giancarlo Esposito should have won for his performance in Breaking Bad. I will never not be terrified of him after seeing him as the disturbing Gus Fring. I would have liked to see Kristen Wiig win for her last season on SNL. And Jon Cryer? I love ya, Duckie, but Two and a Half Men does not belong in the awards arena.

            "Wait, me? Are you guys sure?"

So, it was mostly a snoozefest, but at least we had the opening skit featuring all the leading ladies and, namely, a “nude” Lena Dunham eating cake in a bathroom stall.

In non-Emmy news, Clint Eastwood’s infamous empty chair assault during the Republican National Convention is old news by now, but that’s not going to stop the folks at Extra from babbling on about it. During an interview about his film Trouble With the Curve, Eastwood had this to say: "If someone's dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they're going to have to take what they get."

Serious question: Is Amanda Bynes the new Britney? With Ms. Spears cleaning off her Cheeto dust to fulfill her duties as “Britney, bitch” on The X Factor, another downward-spiraling starlet must accept the role as train wreck supreme. Sure, Lindsay Lohan is the obvious candidate, but if you’ve been following the “retired” actress of Nickelodeon fame, you know Bynes is barreling to the front of the race. Seemingly out of nowhere, Bynes has recently had her car impounded after facing charges for a DUI, driving without a license (twice) and two hit-and-runs.

I will go as far as calling my dad in from the 'burbs to chauffeur my ass around (or, in dire situations, dealing with the living hell that is Ron’s Cab) to avoid traffic stops and drunk driving. Can’t these child stars payroll a driver to be available at their every whim, or call a damn taxi? Also, people are saying she's crazier than one of those silly characters she played when she was 12.

              AMANDA PLEASE

Apple sold more than 5 million iPhone 5s over the weekend, completely running out of stock. Those who didn’t camp outside Apple stores or take advantage of pre-sale offers will have to wait until October for the newest iPhone, but I borrowed my boyfriend’s I tested one out all professional-like over the weekend. Here’s the rundown. “Fastest, thinnest, lightest iPhone ever?” Yes. It's so light, it feels like a toy phone that should have chiclets inside or something.

                 iPhone 5 prototype

The phone itself is more compact, but the screen surface is actually larger. It’s equipped with 4G LTE and features a new smaller, reversible charger. Siri remains pretty inessential to those of us with the ability to look out windows, although I’ve found it moderately entertaining to ask it existential questions and see how well it can decipher fake accents. And the cool, easy-to-use panoramic camera feature is sure to set the Instagram world on fire.

 
 
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 09.26.2013
Posted In: Music, TV/Celebrity, Humor at 09:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

New Orleans Hip Hop artist and “Queen of Bounce” Big Freedia was twerking back when Miley was still “Hannah.” Her booty-shaking anthems like “Azz Everywhere” command crowds to pop their shit — Cincy was lucky to get a taste of Big Freedia during the 2011 MidPoint Indie Summer Series. Now that the world has gotten wind of twerking, completely taken it out of musical context and become grotesquely obsessed with it, Freedia is here to tell us the true story of bounce music and booty dancing. Check out the new docu-series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce on Fuse debuting Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 11 p.m.

Big Freedia hosted Guinness World Twerking Record dance-off in New York City Wednesday. Yes, there is now an official world record for “most people twerking at one time.”

                         1:05 - Twerk, Grandma, TWERK!

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday night — his second major award hosting gig this year (He also filled the role at July’s Tony Awards). NPH did a fine job, but the skits and monologues were nothing to write home about. Maybe he needs a break from being the face of every awards show?

After an excruciatingly long intro monologue (saved barely by the flawless Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), the night kicked off with the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Nurse Jackie’s Merritt Wever answered everyone’s prayers by skipping an acceptance speech altogether to give us a bathroom break (turns out Wever wasn’t shooed offstage for time considerations as speculated — she was just nervous, which is adorable).

Veep’s Tony “Buster Bluth Forever” Hale nabbed the Supporting Actor in a Comedy prize, later reprising his role as the Vice Prez’s bitch boy onstage when co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy.

Other notable wins of the night:

Anna Gunn (Skyler White, Breaking Bad) was finally validated with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama after portraying a major love-to-hate character for five seasons. Breaking Bad was also awarded as the best drama series, because obviously. Side Note: For those unable to watch Sunday’s Breaking Bad series finale in real time and all you pathetic chumps still not caught up, social media can be a landmine of spoilers. That’s why Netflix created the Spoiler Foiler, which censors the tweets in your feed that contain “breaking,” “bad” or other “danger words.” But until we see the day when people realize “I can’t believe XX killed XXX” is not share-worthy commentary, no one is truly safe.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama was full of worthy contenders: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut, Breaking Bad) to name a few. But it was Bobby Cannavale who deservingly took the trophy for his role as Gyp Rosetti, Boardwalk Empire’s Season Three villain. As much as I adore the other nominees, Cannavale’s take on the dangerous, hypersensitive Italian gangster Gyp was a performance to be reckoned with.

James Cromwell won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his role in American Horror Story: Asylum (the show’s only major win, despite having the most nominations). Cromwell is great in everything from Babe to Six Feet Under, but his role as this sexually repressed mad scientist was truly chilling.

Finally, The Colbert Report beat The Daily Show (among others) for Outstanding Variety Series, breaking Jon Stewart’s 10-year winning streak (although Stewart is actually an executive producer for Colbert, so he kind of won, too).

Go here to see all the nominees and winners.

Richard Simmons (who really seems to be popping up everywhere lately, which I'm loving) got done up in drag to pay tribute to his fave Emmy nominees