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by Amy Harris 08.16.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Interview at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
 
 
il volo

Q&A with Il Volo

Young Opera trio comes to PNC Pavilion Friday night

Il Volo — the popular Italian Opera trio from Sicily — features three teens with tenor voices so strong, they got America’s attention after one of the best guest performances in the history of American Idol, singing "O Sole Mio" last year. They formed in 2009 and were received very well in their native country, performing with some of the biggest international superstars in their short history. The group consists of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble. They are now set for their second U.S. tour which comes through Cincinnati tomorrow (Friday) night.

Il Volo is produced by long time industry veteran Tony Renis, who discovered the boys two years ago along with Grammy-winning producer Humberto Gatica (Michael Bublé, Josh Groban and Celine Dion).

CityBeat caught up with Gianluca Ginoble this week by phone to discuss his love of touring and how much he enjoys getting to do what he loves every day. He is just learning English but was able to provide a little insight into to the band’s grueling tour schedule. Check out Il Volo at Riverbend's PNC Pavilion on Friday.

CityBeat: I know you were introduced to opera from family members growing up in Italy. How important is family tradition to you?

Gianluca Ginoble: My family is the most important thing because my Grandpa is my inspiration. It was him that introduced me to this kind of music. But I love others as well, like Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra. I love Opera, but I also I love other kinds of music too. To me family is the most important thing.

CB: You guys are going to start a long tour being away from home. Is it hard being on the road being away from friends and family or what is the hardest part for you?

GG: When I am home, I can’t wait to do another tour because this is now my life. For me, it is like funny work because this is my passion. I am doing what I love to do, but when I am on tour I can’t wait to come back to my house and my home because I miss the family, my Grandpa. My Grandma died six months ago and for me it was an amazing pain. He was very important for me.

CB: I am sorry to hear that. Are there any places on the tour in the United States that you are specifically looking forward to playing, the location or the venue?

GG: Yes, yes, yes. My favorite city is Los Angeles. New York as well, but Los Angeles is the city of the dreams and the star, the Walk of Fame, the Oscars. For me it is the best city.

CB: What has been your rehearsal process for the tour? What has that been like for you?

GG: We have prepared with eight or nine hour rehearsals daily.

CB: Every day?

GG: Yes, because this is our first concert and we are preparing. When we have the soundcheck before the concert it is just 20 minutes or 30 minute,s so we have major rehearsals to get ready.

CB: How do you take care of your voices?

GG: Yes always, our voices are the most important thing.

CB: Do you ever see the band crossing over to pop music or do you think you will stay with Opera?

GG: I don’t know. We are open to many things. We did an American tour and it was wonderful, amazing because there were teenagers everywhere and in the U.S., in Miami, Los Angeles, New York and this is beautiful because it was our goal and this is a dream come true.

CB: Where do you see yourself or the band in 10 more years?

GG: I don’t know. I hope all this can continue in this way but life is unpredictable.

CB: What is your favorite song to sing and perform?

GG: "Smile," a Charlie Chaplin song.


CB: What can the fans look forward to in Cincinnati at the show?

GG: It is going to be a very beautiful show with more surprises. We have changed some things and I think it is going to be amazing. We have three new songs, which are a surprise.

CB: How do stay connected to your fans with Facebook or Twitter?

GG: Always, always. I update my fans, our fans. I am always doing “Greetings from …" I upload the pictures.

CB: What are you looking forward to the most on the tour?

GG: The most beautiful thing is to meet the fans. When I look at the people and they are happy and when they listen to our singing and we can make them happy, it is just beautiful.

 
 
by Ashley Thomas 07.30.2009
Posted In: Fashion with Ashley at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 

Buried Treasure: A Cincinnati Boutique Shopping Guide

If you still want to find that particular item that is unique but is maybe from a local or up-and-coming designer and is of high quality, Cincinnati has quite a few options for you to peruse. If you so choose, use the following as a guide to help you along your way!

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by Mike Breen 05.07.2012
at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
taste_crowd

2012 Best of Taste Awards Announced

The "Best of Taste" awards — a precursor to the Taste of Cincinnati food fest later this month — were doled out today. Eighty dishes from 30 restaurants were served to judges — "celebrities, foodies and the epicurious" — and they awarded the Crab and Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle from Arloi Dee Thai Bistro the coveted "Best Damn Dish" prize.

Here's the full list of winners:

Appetizers
Best of Taste: Strasse Haus, Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly
Award of Excellence: LaRosa’s, Spinach Rondo
Award of Merit:  Market Street Grille, Stuffed Chicken Amore
 
Soups/Salads
Best of Taste: du jours/Courtyard Café, Hunter’s Home Turkey Chili
Award of Excellence: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Caprese Salad  
Award of Merit: City Barbeque, Gumbo              
 
Seafood
Best of Taste: Arloi Dee Thai Bistro, Crab & Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle            
Award of Excellence: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Seafood Pizza 
Award of Merit: Mahagony’s, Shrimp and Grits               
 
Entrees
Best of Taste: Andy’s Mediterranean Grille, Gyro Wrap                                    
Award of Excellence: Claddagh Irish Pub, Jameson Burger 
Award of Merit: Lazlo’s Iron Skillet, Walking Chicken Saltimbocca
          
Vegetarian Entree
Best of Taste: du jours/Courtyard Café, Black Bean Burrito                           
Award of Excellence:  J. Gumbo’s, Bumblebee Stew 
Award of Merit: LaRosa’s, Skinny Wheat Pizza
 
Desserts
Best of Taste: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Banana Cream Pie                     
Award of Excellence:  du jour’s/Courtyard Café, Raspberry Cloud Pie         
Award of Merit: Claddagh Irish Pub, Bread Pudding
                      
Best Damn Dish                 
Arloi Dee Thai Bistro, Crab & Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle

Taste of Cincinnati is coming up Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28. Visit TasteofCincinnati.com for more details.

 
 
by Amy Harris 07.11.2011
Posted In: Live Music at 08:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Interview with Goo Goo Dolls' Johnny Rzeznik

Goo Goo Dolls have come a long way since they started in 1986 in the crumbling rust belt city of Buffalo, NY, where the band was probably started for no better reason than to kill time, make some music and hopefully get a few free beers from the clubs where they were lucky enough to get a gig. They have stayed together for over two decades and continue to create hits on the music charts. Their current single “All That You Are” is getting serious radio play and is featured in the newest installment of the Transformers franchise, Transformers: Dark of The Moon.

CityBeat spoke with vocalist and lead guitarist John Rzeznik about tour life, longevity, and the future of the popular group.

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by mbreen 04.18.2011
Posted In: Music News, Local Music at 01:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
 
 
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Local Musician Shot, Killed By Police

David Hebert was the man shot and killed last night in Northside by police. But most who knew him wouldn’t recognize the name. Hebert, a beloved, longtime local musician and local music supporter, is far better known by his nickname, Bones. An expressive drummer, in the ’90s he was the rhythmic foundation for local bands like AMF and Shoot the Gift, as well as other Rock and Punk bands.

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by mbreen 10.13.2008
Posted In: Local Music at 04:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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The National Talks Barack, Fountain Square Concert/Rally

In advance of The National’s highly anticipated free performance this Thursday at Fountain Square, I had the opportunity to talk with the lead singer of the band, Matt Berninger. The concert is part of a rally in support of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, donning the title “Vote Early, Rock Late.” It will feature political speakers and buses to take people to early voting locations, as well as two bands — Dayton natives The Breeders followed by Cincinnati’s own (though they live in Brooklyn now) The National. And, of course, there will be “plenty of Rock & Roll and beer,” as Berninger succinctly puts it. (UPDATE: The National's management says they are unsure of what times the bands will play, as of now. The only sure thing — both will play between 5 and 9 p.m.).

Berninger explains that the concert came together rather innocently; they simply wanted to show support for their candidate of choice. Initially the thought was to play a benefit concert, but as it all evolved, a rally seemed more appropriate, both in terms of what the band really wanted to accomplish and the nature of Obama’s campaign.

“It was our idea, but there have been so many people pitching in and helping along the way,” Berninger says. “No one is getting paid here, so it was really exciting to see so many people take the time to make this happen.”

national4.jpg

The National’s fundraiser for the Obama campaign developed in a similarly organic manner. Shirts depicting Obama’s face accompanied by the song title of what has become a familiar show-closer for the band, “Mr. November.”

“About nine months ago, that song came (up during a show) and I dedicated it to (Obama),” Berninger remembers. “And it wasn’t until about halfway through the song that I realized just how perfectly it fit, in terms of both mood and timing. That night, Scott (Devendorf, bassist from The National) and I decided to make a T-shirt and a week later we had a box to sell. I think it all happened in the midst of four hours, and since then we’ve been able to raise about $10,000, with all proceeds going directly to the campaign.”

The band — whose song "Fake Empire" was used in a film about Obama showed at the Democratic National Convention — returns to their hometown of Cincinnati in the midst of one of the most significant presidential elections in history. Southwest Ohio – with its conservative reputation and rising liberal and progressive presence -- stands as arguably the most hotly contested location in the election.

national1.jpg

“The thing I’ve always loved about the political landscape of Cincinnati is that you have it all,” he says. “You have extremely conservative Cincinnatians and you also have very progressive lefties and often you have that all in the same family. I don’t quite have the same conversations now, being in New York, that I used to in high school or around my dinner table in Cincinnati. And that’s the healthy thing about being there, is that those conversations are happening, truthful, and among people that, at the end of day, you truly respect and love.”

There is no hint of pessimism in Berninger’s voice. Rather, he sounds truly enthused about the opportunity America has to elect a candidate like Barack Obama, a man whom he believes embodies the most admirable qualities.

“There is an intellect, compassion and empathy to (Obama) that doesn’t seem fake,” Berninger says. “I want the best of us to be in the White House. I want the cream of the crop of American thinkers to be making decisions for me, and (decisions) that are going to affect me, my family and our future. I want the smartest guy in the room and the groundswell of support Obama has gathered shows that people see that in him.”

The National have recently wrapped up their tour in support of the critically-acclaimed album Boxer. They have written approximately 10 songs and returned to the studio to begin recording their follow-up. No word yet on a release date.

— Dave Tobias

(All photos by Keith Klenowski)

 
 
by Mike Breen 10.24.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News, Music Video at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
toasterspressphoto_2010

Music Tonight: The Toasters

Legendary NYC Ska group brings 30th anniversary tour to Cincy for free show

American Ska legends The Toasters perform a free show tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Showtime is 10 p.m. and — sorry, kids — you must be 21 or older to get in.

The band was one of the leading inspirations behind the "third-wave" Ska explosion of the ’90s, but the band actually began 30 years ago, influenced by the 2-Tone Ska movement in the U.K. The Toasters blend of NYC Rock and 2-Tone made them cult heroes in the Ska underground, as did the band's D.I.Y. approach; founding member (the sole one in the current lineup) Robert "Bucket" Hingley formed the influential Moon Ska Records in 1983 to release his own albums, as well as those by acts like Mustard Plug, The Slackers and Hepcat. The label's various compilations also gave a boost to up-and-coming, non-Moon acts like Less Than Jake and No Doubt.

Here's The Toasters' first music video, for the tune "Radiation Skank" off of the band's debut release, 1985's Recriminations EP (which was produced by British singer/songwriter Joe Jackson; he is to The Toasters what Elvis Costello was to The Specials).



And here is "Modern World America" off The Toasters' 2002 release, Enemy of the System.



 
 
by Charlie Gibson 02.12.2009
Posted In: Charlie's Corner at 05:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Charlie's Corner: Jessica Sandwich Simpson

buzzworthy_jessicasimpson000x0400x4.jpg

Today I was scanning the pop culture information super highway to catch up on the latest fads. What's cool, what's hott, what's in, what's not. As I clicked around I came across some newly published pictures of Jessica Simpson. As I gazed at her face with my bedroom eyes, they slowly transformed into bulging ping-pong balls. My F-stop quickly went from an f/8 to an f/1.4 in 1/500 of a second. The sight of this fat woman that was almost finished devouring Jessica Simpson's body, feet first, was on the front page of People magazine.

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by mbreen 01.27.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Music News, CEAs at 10:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
wussy_photo_jim bennett

Cincinnati Entertainment Awards: The Winners

The winners from tonight's epic CEA blowout at the Madison Theater

It was another epic Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ceremony tonight at the Madison Theater, as a full house celebrated some of the best Greater Cincinnati music has to offer. And drank. A lot.

The show went off great, with some excellent live performances from nominees and lots of fun from new host Ted Clark. I'll have more on the CEA show tomorrow (the afterparty is still in full effect as I type this), but gotta give props to CityBeat's own Jac Kern, who provided one of the funniest moments in CEA history before presenting the CEA for Hip Hop. Beyonce ain't got nothing on you, Jac!

More tomorrow (fear not — the show will actually be broadcast on cable this year; details coming soon), but, in the meantime, here's who won what at tonight's ceremony. Wussy — which has been on a serious roll since releasing the fantastic Strawberry near the end of 2011 (it made the cut-off for this year's awards, since the album came out around the same time as the last CEAs) — had the best night, taking home both the Artist of the Year and Album of the Year CEAs.

Congrats to all of the nominees and winners and everyone who showed up to party. Y'all are crazy.

1 Country - Mason James

2 Jazz - Blue Wisp Big Band

3 Singer/Songwriter - Kelly Thomas
4 World Music/Reggae - The Cliftones
5 Metal - Pulse8

6 Blues - Ricky Nye
7 Alternative/Indie - The Seedy Seeds
8 Hip Hop - Gold Shoes
9 Folk/Americana - The Tillers

10 Rock - Buffalo Killers

11 Bluegrass - Rumpke Mountain Boys

12 Electronic - You, You're Awesome

13 Live Act - 500 Miles to Memphis

14 Hard Rock - Chakras

15 R&B/Soul/Funk - The Cincy Brass

16 Punk - Switchblade Syndicate


17 Best new Artist – DAAP Girls

18 Album of the year - Wussy's Strawberry
19 Artists of the year - Wussy
 
 
by Jennifer Saltsman 01.19.2012
Posted In: Recipes, News at 12:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
3806115970_b7d82d56ff

Pig Out on Veggie Pigs-in-a-Blanket

Here's the dish on hogs: they rank among the smartest in the animal kingdom and despite the phrase "pigging out," they actually savor their food. On March 1, National Pig Day, Americans across the Midwest don snouts, dress in pink and "eat like pigs" to celebrate their intelligence and contributions to mankind.

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