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by Jac Kern 03.14.2012
Posted In: Music, Events, Fun, Culture at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

The Cincinnati Art Museum currently has a collection of Monet paintings on display; if you haven't checked it out, see our review for details. Dr. Benedict Leca, the CAM’s Curator of European Painting, will stop by Joseph-Beth (Rookwood) tonight to discuss the making of Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection. From 6-7:30 p.m., Dr. Leca will shed light on the 12 Monet pieces on display, explaining how the theme of reflection, both literally and figuratively, can is expressed throughout the exhibition. After the gallery discussion, browse Joseph-Beth's excellent collection of books and magazines, and stop by the attached Bronte Bistro for a bite to eat or glass of wine.

Occupy Cincinnati has experienced some recent victories, settling the federal lawsuit against the city and getting a 24-hour public space designation for a year. Tonight, the organization holds a general assembly at the OC warehouse space, 2023 Dunlap St., Over-the-Rhine. From now on, the group will meet on Monday and Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. to discuss issues, working groups and general business matters. All are welcome to attend these assemblies and share ideas, express concerns or just sit in and observe. Follow the group on Facebook for updates and assembly information.

Tonight is the first installment of at the Search for the Spiritual Through Art: Music, Worship and Faith series, "Expression in Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Hindu Religious Traditions." Dr. James Buchanan of Xavier University and Dr. Richard Sarason of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to discuss "The Intersection of Music, Worship and Spirituality in Religions Around the World." The lecture, hosted by Cincinnati Art Museum begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are free for students, $10 for members and seniors, $20 for everyone else. The entire series is $60, $30 for members and seniors, also free for students. Find details here.

Looking for dinner plans? On such a summery day like today, we suggest Eli's BBQ on the East side. From pulled pork sammies to smoked ribs, Eli's does barbecue right. You're even welcome to make yourself at home and BYOB, so crack open a beer, chow down on some hot dogs, and enjoy the choice tunes coming from Eli's turntables. Read our review of Eli's BBQ for more info.

For today's arts and theater offerings, check out our To Do recommendations and follow our music blog for tonight's live shows.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.08.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Fun at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bob Odenkirk Launches 'Let's Do This'

Bob Odenkirk premieres a new project called Let's Do This today on Adultswim.com. The comedian's solo episode follows a sleazy, low-budge filmmaker, Cal MacKenzie-Goldeberg (Odenkirk), and his ragtag group of shameless fame-seekers.

Fans will recognize Odenkirk from Mr. Show, Breaking Bad and countless other TV appearances, where he generally plays a cheap, arrogant skeezball. Let's Do This is no different.

In AdultSwim.com's exclusive promo, "Harry Podder and the Lost Lebaron," Cal works with a demanding African warlord to create a wizard movie while dancing around copyright infringements.

Let's Do This also stars hilarious "I've seen that guy in a million things" comedians like Jerry Minor (Delocated's Mighty Joe Jon, The Black Blonde), Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Cincinnati-native Andre Hyland (The Jesse Miller Talk Show, Tracy, Dean & Jesus) all star in the video.

It's kind of unclear whether this is a one-time promo or the first in a webseries or possibly a kind of test pilot, but it's pretty funny, so check it out:

Check back with Adultswim.com for Let's Do This updates.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.07.2012
Posted In: Culture, Dating, Drinking, Events, Fashion, Fun, Music at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

If you're in the mood to swap your yamaka for a cowboy hat, Jewish Young Professionals Access hosts its regular HeBREW Happy Hour series at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill tonight. Jewish Young Professionals 21-35 and their significant others are invited to visit the 88-foot, guitar-shaped bar, hop on the mechanical bull, drink a beer out of a mason jar and mingle with others from 6-8 p.m. Guests to the free event should register online in advance, but call Access at 513-373-0300 to get on the guest list last-minute.

The Civic Garden Center hosts many gardening and eco-friendly classes throughout the year. Tonight is the first installment of a three-part Master Composter Series. Participants who take all three classes in addition to completing 15 hours of community service will be certified as Master Composters. The entire series is free. Tonight's 6-8:30 p.m. class is Composting 101, instructed by Master Composter, Master Gardener and Founder of the American Compost Society, John Duke. Learn about how composting works, different systems to use, how to start and analyze your pile and more. Go online or call 513-221-0982 ext. 18 to reserve your spot.

Cincinnati E.A.T.S. (Epicureans About Town Society) is an organization for lovers of food (hence the term "epicurean"). They strive to taste all Cincy has to offer by supporting local restaurants with special events. Tonight, the crew meets at Taste of Belgium Bistro from 7-10 p.m. Tickets for Cincinnati E.A.T.S. outings go fast, so go online to get added to the wait list and learn about upcoming events. Guests pay a discounted flat rate (that includes tax and tip), and eat together in a family-style setting. Beer and wine pairings are suggested but sold separately the night of. Tonight's event benefits the Freestore Foodbank, so bring plenty of canned goods. Do you really need any more excuses to visit Taste of Belgium? WAFFLES.


Over in Clifton Heights, Baba Budan's hosts a night of open-minded, pride-filled fun. From 7-9 p.m., UC Alliance presents Open-Minded Mic, where all are welcome to play a song, perform in drag, recite poetry, do some stand-up – express yourself openly to a welcoming crowd! Afterward, Alternative to the Alternative Night takes over. Tonight's theme is Under Construction, fitting as Baba's is still remodeling after a car crashed through the entrance early Feb. 20. Come in your best construction gear, dressing in red if you're taken, yellow if you're dating or green if you're totally single and ready to go. There will be drink specials all night long. Find details here.

For ongoing theater and art shows, check out our To Do page. Check out our music blog for tonight's live music rundown.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.06.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Northside, Music, Life, Fun, Events, Culture, Concerts at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Happy Super Tuesday! The No. 1 item on today's To Do list is to get your tush to a voting station and participate in Ohio's primary. Those living in Hamilton County can go here to find your polling locations.

Occupy Cincinnati is hosting a primary watch party at C & D Northside from 8-11 p.m. Check out the night's results while enjoying a stiff drink — the group's Facebook invite suggests ordering a "Santorum" (though something tells me I might have to pass). Occupy has some tips for voting against corporate parties; check those out here.

And speaking of the man who turned "Santorum" into a dirty word, a bit further south down I-75 Dan Savage is speaking at the University of Kentucky. Savage is touring as a part of the It Gets Better lecture series, the movement created by Savage to give hope to LGBTQ kids who face bullying, and fight hatred and intolerance against them. Savage will give a presentation and sign books beginning at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the UK campus. If you can make the trip, it's a great opportunity to meet Savage and become involved in It Gets Better — tickets are free to all attendees (just have a local direct you to the Student Center Ticket Office to pick up passes).

MOTR Pub hosts its weekly Writer's Night for original artists of many mediums: poetry, music, comedy, spoken word, etc. Sign up early, starting at 8:30 p.m. and hang out to enjoy performances 'til 12:30 a.m. Participants are all entered for a prize drawing for up to $40. Tonight's showcase is hosted by Fists of Love's Donna J. Drink specials for the night include $3 24-ounce Hudy Amber. Check out the event on Facebook for more info.

Investigative reporter, film producer and Cleveland-native James Renner debuts his first novel tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Commons. The Man From Primrose Lane is a "mind-bending and genre-twisting" story about the murder of an elderly man in Akron. Renner will read from and sign the novel at 7 p.m. The event is free (the book is $26).

Go here to find other arts and theater events happening tonight. Find tonight's live music schedule here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.05.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Events, Music, Fun at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Monday To Do List

Guinness, vinyl, free CAC admission and more

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and in preparation for this celebration of all things Irish/alcohol-related, Molly Malone's hosts a Guinness Perfect Pour Contest tonight. The competition at the Covington pub kicks off at 7 p.m. Bartenders have already signed up online, so go to cheer on the best pour-fessional. These bartenders will be judges on their "perfect" technical pint pour and a more creative pour (which can include personal flair, decorations in the beer's head, etc.) Prizes for winners include Guinness products, an iPad and iPods, and there will be more giveaways throughout the night. All proceeds from Guinness sold tonight with go to the Emerald Society Pipes & Drums. Downstairs, you'll find a different vibe with Bluegrass night. Enjoy the Monday night jam session with $2 Bulleit Bourbon. Check out Molly Malone's site for details.

Monday is Vinyl Night at Milton's Prospect Hill Tavern. Show support for local record stores and vinyl culture by bringing your collection to play. Variety is key, so go here to check the specs and see which genres could use a little more airtime. All are welcome to play records, or have one of the DJs spin it for you. The event runs from 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m.


Did you miss the jam-packed Contemporary Arts Center opening party Saturday, or perhaps you became entranced by Dan Deacon and forgot to check out the exhibits? Spectacle: The Music Video and Dasha Shishkin's I surrender, dear are both on display at the museum. Swing by after 5 p.m. for free admission. The CAC is open until 9 p.m. tonight. Find more info here.

Have you been to Bakersfield yet? The OTR taco-whiskey-tequlia joint has only been open for about a month, but is already a force to be reckoned with. If you've tried to walk in on a Saturday night, you know how difficult it can be to get a table, so visit on a weeknight like tonight for a more chill vibe. Look out for our review of Bakersfield in this week's upcoming issue. SPOILER ALERT: We loved it.

As always, check out our music blog and To Do recommendations for more ways to spend your evening.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.02.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 3/2-3/4

Bockfest is upon us! The annual celebration of Cincinnati's beer brewing history kicks off tonight with the Bockfest Parade, stepping off at 6 p.m. Organizers are keeping an eye on the weather, so check back with their site and Facebook page just in case. Even if the weather gets real ugly, just stop by one of the dozen participating venues where admission is free and beer is a-flowin'. Tons of special events coincide with the fest: Tonight, Park + Vine hosts its second annual veenie roast tonight (veggie hot dogs on delicious Mayday pretzel buns), Japps will feature a dance party tonight and Saturday, a Craft Menagerie takes over Arnold's Saturday and Washington Platform has a Bockfest Brunch Sunday, to name a few. And remember, you're not just getting your drink on, you're supporting Cincinnati history!

Covington's Carnegie Center presents its sixth annual Art of Food show, opening tonight. As you might've guessed, this art exhibit is centered around all things edible. The reception features beautiful culinary creations (that you can actually eat) by everyone from BonBonnerie to La Poste, Queen City Cookies to Taste of Belgium. Admission is a little steep ($60 at the door for non-members), but you'll leave with your left brain and stomach both very satisfied. Admission after the reception is free. Get details here.

It's always exciting when a new exhibit comes to the Contemporary Arts Center, and their opening parties are always a blast. Saturday the CAC welcomes two new art shows: I surrender, dear, Dasha Shishkin's first solo museum exhibit and Spectacle: The Music Video, curated by creative collective Flux. Read more about the artists here and check out our preview of Spectacle here. Music videos as art. Super cool.

The opening reception kicks off at 8 p.m. In addition to checking out the artwork, electronic musician/wizard Dan Deacon will perform 8-9 p.m. If you haven't heard of him, here's a preview:



Following the original performance is a DJ set 'til 11 p.m. The party is free and there will be a cash bar. Get more info here.

If you didn't score tickets to tonight's sold out Black Keys show, there are plenty of other music options. Eli's BBQ on Riverside Drive hosts Downtown Country Band tonight at 10 p.m. Tickets are $12. And really, any concert that also features barbecue is probably a sure bet. The Harlequins hosts an album release show Saturday at Mayday in Northside. Peep our interview with the crew. There are tons of other live music shows this weekend. Find them all on our music blog.

This not enough for you? There are tons of other happenings this weekend. Arts? We got 'em. Theater? You bet. Foul-mouthed, inxtoicated comedians? Of course. Just check out our To Do page for all your fun-having needs.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 03.01.2012
Posted In: Fun, Life at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Kick off Spring in Cincinnati

Before it snows, take a preemptive strike against fickle Cincinnati weather

For better or for worse, Cincinnati is infamous for its fickle weather patterns. This week's weather has been quite the anomaly — after a 70-degree day, weather forecasters are predicting snow this weekend. It's anybody's guess what next week will hold — don't listen to the groundhog — but take some time today to get in the spirit of spring. Today is expected to stay sunny and breezy, so hop to it. Here's how to get started:

•     Take a bike ride somewhere sunny and green. Try the Loveland Bike Trail, the Little Miami Scenic Trail or Lunken Airport’s trail.

•    Go to Findlay Market and get excited about all of the other farmers’ markets you can start frequenting once spring decides to stay.
•    Pick an outdoor shopping destination. Think Main and Vine streets downtown, Hyde Park Square, Mariemont Square or Rookwood Pavilion.

•    Waterproof your camping gear so you’ll be ready for an impromptu weekend excursion to Red River Gorge, Big Bone Lick State Park, East Fork State Park, John Bryan State Park or any other nearby landmarks.

•    Check out the Banks in the works on downtown Cincinnati’s riverfront. The Smale Riverfront Park has big changes in store, including a meditative labyrinth, outdoor concert venue and a tree grove; plus, the Moerlein Lager House is already open for business. Watch its growth firsthand.

•    Treat your animals. When our heating bills survive the mild winter, something else does, too: ticks and fleas. Those pesky parasites are often killed off in severe cold or frosts, but this Cincinnati winter likely spared most of them. That means dogs and cats will likely suffer from worse problems with ticks and fleas this summer and spring. Treating them early on and consistently is your best bet to spare your pet.

•    Go drinking or dining somewhere with a patio. Arthur’s in Hyde Park has an extra-intimate outdoor patio that’s great for slightly chilly spring days. Neon’s in Over-the-Rhine has a hip outdoor courtyard complete with bocce ball, a fired-up grill and a full bar.

There are lots of other ways to get acquainted with spring in Cincinnati. What are your other annual must-do Cincinnati activities when the weather warms up?

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.01.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Fun, Events, Concerts at 01:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Doug Stanhope, Swizzle Soiree and more arts, theater and music suggestions

Comedian Doug Stanhope is performing at Go Bananas in Montgomery nightly through Sunday. Known for his sharp tongue and boozy performances, Stanhope is a comedy giant. He has released a number of comedy CDs and DVDs, toured around the globe and recently played a seriously deep character in an episode of Louie. Expect plenty of foul-mouthed fun. Tonight's show is at 8 p.m. Find details here.

Speaking of people who like to drink, tonight is our Swizzle Soiree, an annual celebration of the release of our bar guide. Head on over to PLAY downtown from 5:30-10:30 p.m. There will be free drink tickets and hors d'oeuvres from area restaurants, happy hour specials all night, music from Pop Empire and lots of giveaways — movie passes, shot glasses and two passes to Bonnaroo! Sign up to register and be present at 9 p.m. to win. It's gon' be fun. Check out the event on Facebook for more info.

The Cincinnati Opera's Opening Gala takes place April 28, with an after-party at the Duke Energy Center. In preparation for this "Late Night in Charleston," Japp's is hosting a happy hour tonight. Preview the event, and help the Opera decide which signature cocktail (by none other than Molly Wellman) to serve next month. The party runs 6-9 p.m. Go here for details.

Catie Curtis performs at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Yonder Mountain String Band will be at Madison Theater and Ultraviolet Hippopotamus play The Mad Frog tonight. Find live music details here.

Tonight in theater: Collapse at Know Theater, West Side Story at the Aronoff and Into the Woods at CCM. Find more recommended picks for tonight here.

Before you leave for the night, set up that DVR for Delocated, Awake, 30 Rock and more Thursday television gems. Peep our TV column for details.

 
 
by Martin Brennan 03.01.2012
Posted In: technology, Reviews, Fun at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Ups and Downs of Indie Video Games

I love video games. Always have, always will. I grew up watching Mario stomp koopas, Link slay moblins and Kirby inhale enemies to copy their powers. Games will always have a special place in my heart.

As much as I like the classics and the stuff being released by the big name companies, however, recently my attention's been diverted to a select few independent companies and developers. People say these past few recent years have been some of the best times for indie developers to get into the gaming market, and, frankly, I agree with them. As of late the indie game market's really been booming, and it's no wonder why. There are some really great indie games out there to find if one knows where to look. And unlike pricey console games, many of these independently developed games can be downloaded onto your computer for as low as $20, $10 or even $5.

Given, these games might not have the newest, most-cutting edge graphics, and might be relatively simple when compared to some of the things we see Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft releasing. However, that doesn't change the fact that they are good games nonetheless. And many gamers seem to agree with me.

One shining example of an indie game that's risen from obscurity is Dokutsu Monogatari, better known by is Americanized name, Cave Story. The game was originally made as a freeware 2D platform-adventure game by independent developer Daisuke Amaya (art-name "Pixel") in 2004. He developed the game in his spare time, intending it to be a tribute to classic popular titles he had played in his youth, such as Castlevania and Metroid.

After it's initial release on the Internet, Cave Story slowly gained popularity as a indie game, and was praised by many gamers for its compelling story and gameplay. Fans of the game eventually developed an English translation, spreading the game even further.

Later on, Nicalis, an independent video game company, worked with Amaya to bring an updated version of Cave Story with new modes of gameplay and improved graphics to Nintendo's WiiWare service in 2010.

Since then the popularity of Cave Story has skyrocketed, leading Nicalis to work with Nintendo to bring yet another updated version of the game to the Nintendo 3DS under the title of Cave Story 3D.

And Cave Story is just one of the many success stories told about independently developed games these days. Several other popular titles have risen from the depths of obscurity to become commonly known titles to gamers everywhere: Minecraft, Super Meat Boy and Angry Birds just to name a few.

Unfortunately, there are also risks involved for gamers who chose to invest their money in independent games. A method many indie developers seem to be taking recently is releasing a “beta-version” of their game over platforms such as Steam for a low price, with the promise of free updates as the game is further developed. A prime example of one such game is Re-Logic's Terraria, a 2D “sandbox” game featuring exploration, crafting, resource gathering, and combat with a variety of different creatures.

Upon its initial release in January 2011, Terraria's sales boomed. Over 1 million copies of the game were sold, gamers being drawn in both by the unique style of gameplay and the prospect of future updates to the game. Head developer of the game, Andrew Spinks, made regular posts about planned features to the game in his blog, keeping the community informed about what they could expect in future updates.

Upon Terraria's version 1.1.2 update, which included new enemies, biomes, resources and a slew of new items to be discovered and crafted, popularity of the game boomed even more, resulting in the game being named as the No. 1 of 2011's Indie of the Year Player's choice.

Unfortunately for fans, Spinks suddenly decided to halt production of Terrarria, announcing in his blog on Feb. 21 that there would be no further updates to the games despite the fact that the several planned features that had been announced in his blog. Many members of Terraria's online community protested, feeling that the game had been cut down in its prime, and had yet to reach its full potential.

Sadly, however, this seems to be a route that many independent game companies take. Several indie games seem to be halted before they are considered to be “finished.” Lacking the resources that larger game companies have, independent developers either run out of money for production, or simply become burned out, no longer having the time or interest to continue working on their projects. It's disappointing for the fans who pay to play these games in the early stages of development, however, it's also a risk people take when they decide to play independent games.

Is it enough to scare people away from the indie game market? Certainly not, as there are still many gems out there to be found if one is willing to spend the time and money. Indie gaming is on the rise. And things can only get better as time goes on.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.28.2012
Posted In: Animals, Fun, Events, Music, Northside at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

One year ago today, the home of Shannon DeBra, founder of the all-foster rescue Recycled Doggies, caught on fire. Thirteen dogs and one cat died as a result, and Recycled Doggies faced a tremendous setback. Tonight, on the tragedy's anniversary, animal lovers everywhere are invited to attend a benefit, give what you can and support the organization and all its foster families and volunteers. Head over to Star Lanes at the Levee for a silent auction, raffles, happy hour specials and, of course, plenty of bowling fun. Go here to RSVP to the event, which runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

CANstruction kicked off today, with teams building artistic creations made entirely out of canned goods. Stop by the Weston Gallery to see their progress and drop off canned goods of your own. All donations, and all cans used to build the artwork, will go to the Freestore Foodbank.

Crazy! Cool. No, I'm not talking about TLC's 1994 album, I'm talkin' 'bout West Side Story. The Bernstein and Sondheim hit is alive and well 55 years after its debut on Broadway. The Jets and Sharks put any Crosstown Shootout rivalries to shame, and in this revived version, audiences can expect a grittier tale with more Hispanic influence. The classic runs at the Aronoff Center through March 11. Find details here.

Every Tuesday is Writer's Night at MOTR Pub. Songwriters, poets, spoken word artists — anyone with original work is welcome to share. Sign ups open at 8:30 p.m. and $40 goes to a special winner each week. Lucas of The Dukes Are Dead hosts. Enjoy a beer, a BLT and great company.

Honey in Northside offers a $10 comfort food menu every Tuesday. Choose from homestyle favorites like fish and chips, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, chicken stew with dumplings and more. It's a great chance to try the local spot if you've never been and you're on a budget. Peep our full review of Honey here.

Check out our To Do page for tons of recommended art shows open today.

 
 

 

 

 
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