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by Ashley Thomas 07.08.2009
Posted In: Fashion with Ashley at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Fashion Inspiration: Fashion Goes Blade Runner

Mesh, spikes, studs and leather have all been appearing in the past two years or so of runway, namely with designer Alexander Wang. I can't help but think of that amazing movie from the early '80s, Blade Runner, or Gotham City even. Also, the FIT Museum had an exhibit entitled Gothic: Dark Glamour earlier this Spring that I was fortunate enough to see. Is it a sign of the dark times? Or just another go around for '80s punk revival? Maybe it's both. Either way, I'd like to feature this fashion statement for inspiration today in all of its dark, glamorous and quirky ways.

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by 07.08.2009
Posted In: Media, Financial Crisis, Business at 04:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Enquirer Layoffs: The Tally So Far

People in the media industry have been dreading it for a while, and now it's finally here: "Black Wednesday."

Mass layoffs began today at newspapers owned by The Gannett Co., which includes The Cincinnati Enquirer. As with past layoffs at the paper, details of which staffers were affected are leaking in spurts and fits, but here's what we know so far.

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by Mike Breen 03.22.2012
Posted In: Music Video, Music History at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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This Date in Music History: March 22

Queen gets denied by MTV and Angelo Badalamenti is a soundtracking genius

On this day in 1984, Rock legends Queen started filming the music video for their song, "I Want to Break Free." Queen was a band that embraced the concept of music videos early on. The current Spectacle exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center, about the history of music videos and where it's at today, cites the band as a vanguard act of the video age thanks to early clips for songs like "We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions" and, especially, "Bohemian Rhapsody."

By 1984, MTV was finding its legs and providing an outlet for new clips by artists; in the early days, the network had little to chose from to fill 24 hours a day with vids, so they played anything available, including those early Queen clips. The "I Want to Break Free" video featured the band members dressed as women in a parody of suburban life and British evening soap operas. The clip had Freddie Mercury decked out in a short skirt, tight sweater, big falsies, a wig and that trademark mustache, running the vacuum cleaner. It also featured Mercury in his more familiar uniform — leather pants, no shirt and that trademark chest hair —  and classic ’80s music video elements like choreographed dancers prancing in the haze from a smoke machine.

The clip was well received (and the single did well) in the U.K., but not so much in the U.S., thanks in part to MTV's decision to "ban" it from the network (a clear sign they were becoming less desperate for music clips to air now that everyone was starting to make them). It wouldn't run on the network until 1991.

Cross-dressing had become fairly common in Rock & Roll by that point. The Rolling Stones, New York Dolls and David Bowie had all playfully donned women's clothing for album covers, live shows, videos and photo shoots. For some weird, unclear reason, Queen weren't allowed to indulge in that bit of cheeky humor — perhaps because Mercury was a rare "out" gay man in the public eye during a time when AIDS had so many people in a panic (Mercury told NME in 1974, "I am as gay as a daffodil, my dear." I'm assuming NME said back, "No shit.")

Straight or bi guys in drag were cool with MTV, apparently, but if the cross-dresser is gay … well, God forbid anyone in the U.S. be exposed to that.

Kind of odd to think of MTV playing moral watchdog given the tripe of reality-exploitation shows about teen moms and drunken boneheads that infest the channel. And they play videos by that transvestite Lady Gaga all the time. (Note: I've been informed that Lady Gaga is not a transvestite, but actually a woman. My apologies to Ms. Gaga, her fans and her family.)

Below is a cool, hour-long documentary on Queen from the BBC called Days of Our Lives. At about the 21 minute mark, the film addresses the "Break Free" controversy. Guitarist Brian May seems to believe the banning of the video by MTV killed Queen's chances of bigger success in the states during those latter years (he doesn't mention that the song was also not very good). 

Queen remains an important band to many Rock fans and musicians, their influence more evident in some of the music of today's younger artists' music than it has been for decades (think Foxy Shazam or My Chemical Romance).

The "Break Free" clip follows to doc. Weirdly, the version posted on the official Queen YouTube page is labeled as unsuitable for certain audiences and requires users to sign in to view it. Seems people are still incredibly afraid of a man in a leather dress, fake tits and giant hot pink earrings. (It sure didn't hurt Rudy Giuliani's career.)



Click on for Born This Day featuring Shatner, Stephanie Mills and Angelo Badalamenti.

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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 Mike Breen 05.07.2012
at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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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 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.”

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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.

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“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

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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
 
 

 

 

 
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