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by Jac Kern 02.23.2012
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's favorite pop culture and Internet findings of the week

Thanks to Facebook friends with good taste, my mom's stream of animal photo chain emails and my voracious appetite for gossip and craft blogs, I'm constantly exposed to some of the greatest items from the far-reaching corners of the internet. Here's what I just can't get enough of this week.

"Bad Girls"

OK, so M.I.A.'s video for "Bad Girls" came out a couple weeks ago, and despite looping it for hours on end since then, I cannot get enough of it. It's one of those tunes that makes me want to dance in public even without a (few) cocktails in my system. With a penchant for controversy, the video (filmed in Morocco) depicts what seem to be Middle Eastern women in traditional-yet-pimped-out garb racing cars in the desert and dancing to music with strong, sexual, pro-femme lyrics.

Though it’s been said that the political standpoints M.I.A. makes in her music contradict her lifestyle, or sometimes don't even make sense, the “Paper Planes” singer is the queen of juxtaposition when it comes to her videos. It's also important to note that “Bad Girls” comes during a time when women in Saudi Arabia are banned from driving. So whatever her intended/implied/confusing statements may be, this video is a pretty hot way to say “F that.”


Go here to watch her response to fans’ YouTube comments on the video.

Bonnaroo

The mega-fest’s initial lineup was released last week, boasting headliners like Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish and The Beach Boys. Every year I go back and forth on my decision to go: Can I afford the ticket plus all the cash and supplies that go into surviving there (screw anyone who says you just need water and a sleeping bag)? Can my poor Irish skin bear four days in the blazing sun? What if next year’s lineup is even better? I still haven’t quite decided, but 2012’s lineup looks good to me for less-than-obvious reasons.

Ben Folds Five — As in, the original trio reuniting. One of my all time favorite bands. I’d die.
The Roots — I’ve been a fan of the crew since I first heard “The Seed (2.0)” when I was in eighth grade. And their day job as house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has only solidified my love.

Ludacris — Not ashamed.

Of course there’s also this year’s #whoarethey Grammy winners, Bon Iver, Donald Glover’s alter-ego Childish Gambino, The Shins, jam band supreme Umphrey’s McGee and dozens more. Aziz Ansari (Parks and Rec, Funny People) is even confirmed to perform, though the rest of the comedy lineup is yet to be announced. It turns out most people go to ‘roo for music, but I will nerdily admit as a comedy fangirl, the stand-up tent was one of my favorite (and most air-conditioned) experiences during my trip to the fest in 2010. Ansari also appeared that year and Conan O’Brien, fresh off his firing from NBC, headlined.

Taxidermy Art

A friend on Facebook recently posted a link to Hi-Fructose Magazine’s blog, a page covered in creepy-cute taxidermy art. Netherlands-based art partners (artners?) Les Deux Garçons create whimsical pieces in which real taxidermied animals are embellished with knick knacks, toys and lush decorative ribbons. If that weren’t enough, many the animals are dual-headed conjoined mammals, or are transformed into unicorn-esque creatures with crazy horns. These (ethically-obtained) animals are transformed into their own art form that carefully walks the line between beautiful and grotesque. Observe:

Arianna Huffington

The media queen came to town Feb. 22 to speak as a part of the SmartTalk ConnectedConversations series, and boy, do I have a crush on her. She spoke (in a sexy Greek accent, BTW) on becoming fearless in love, work and life, providing many hilarious and interesting personal anecdotes along the way. Advice she gave included getting more sleep, turning off that negative voice, or “obnoxious roommate” in our heads and the importance of finding a “tribe” of friends we can all relate to and depend on. Fun Fact: She launched The Huffington Post in her fifties, thanks to help of a $100,000 loan from her tribe-mate Laurie David (former wife of Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David). Pretty inspirational. She ended the evening answering audience questions with Channel 12’s Cammy Dierking, who clearly also has a bit of a girl-crush on Huffington, and who nearly made me wet myself when she used the phrase “That’d go over like a turd in a punch bowl.” It was truly a fun femme-fest.

Sleigh Bells on SNL

Despite my undying love for Saturday Night Live, even I can’t deny the amount of lackluster musical performances on the show. Granted, it is one of the few “really live” shows left, details often aren’t finalized until the last minute, sound is often off and the tiny stage isn’t ideal, but who could forget Ashlee Simpson’s career-killing disaster on the show? This year, it’s all about hating on Indie songstress/mannequin Lana Del Rey’s performance. Personally, I don’t think the performance warranted such a backlash, but judge both for yourself. And check out SNL’s hilarious response to Lana-gate (with Kristen Wigg as LDR) here.

Thankfully, Noise Pop duo (now touring with a third musician) Sleigh Bells killed it on last week’s episode. I wasn’t expecting the live TV format to do them justice, but they sounded great and were entertaining despite a nearly naked stage.


 
 
by Jac Kern 02.23.2012
Posted In: Fun, Events at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Crazy Fox beer tasting, visual art and theater shows

The Crazy Fox Saloon hosts a beer tasting tonight featuring samples from Goose Island and Shocktop breweries. There will be five varieties total, and a distributor on hand to answer any questions. If you've never been to the Newport bar, you're in for a treat — it's one of the most welcoming drinkeries around! The tasting runs 7-10 p.m. Check out the event on Facebook.

Comedian Robert Hawkins headlines tonight through Sunday at Go Bananas in Montgomery. Hawkins is a particularly keen joke writer, and was the story editor on the former Fox sitcom Titus. Tickets are only $4 tonight with a college or military I.D. Go here to read P.F. Wilson's interview with the comedian.

Ongoing visual art shows to check out today: A Retelling at Artisans Enterprise Center in Covington, Findlay Market — Heart of the City at the Cincinnati Museum Center, Contextual: An Exhibition of Image and Word at Northern Kentucky University's Main Gallery and Impressions and Improvisations: The Prints of Romare Bearden at the Taft Museum of Art, to name a few. Looking to take home a new piece of art? Brighton's semantics gallery is hosting a Last Dance/Last Chance auction to sell works from excellent local and visiting artists and raise funds for the space. Bids are welcome at the gallery 7-9 p.m. tonight, or via email until 8:30 p.m. Find artist information and auction details here.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company takes on a new scribe, presenting Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility  through March 18. The popular tale is brought to stage beautifully, and Rick Pender has designated it as a Critic's Pick. Read his rule review here. Weekend seats are selling fast, so tonight's showing is a great opportunity to check it out. Other shows tonight include Speaking in Tongues at Cincinnati Playhouse and Know Theatre's Collapse.

Prefer spending your Thursdays with Liz Lemon, Austin Scarlett and "Jon"? That's cool — we've got all your television needs here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.22.2012
Posted In: DIY, Events, Fun, Shopping at 01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Crafty Supermarket Accepting Applications

The handmade showcase event welcomes vendor applicants through Feb. 29

Crafty Supermarket, one of Cincinnati's greatest showcases of all things handmade, is accepting applications for its spring show. Indie crafters wanting to sell their items at the May 5 event have until Feb. 29 to woo CS organizers with their creations.

Applicants should send five photos of their best work, provide a description of their creative process and a $10 nonrefundable application fee by the end of the month. Go here for the application and details.

DIY-ers will be notified about their acceptance into the show by March 15. These winners will then need to provide vendor fee of $75 (minus the application cost).

Crafty Supermarket is an amazing opportunity for artisans and craft-lovers alike, and the event gains more popularity year after year. This isn't your grandma's arts-n-crafts show: shoppers can expect outrageous and subversive handmade items.

There is typically a spring and holiday show, both featuring around 50 DIY-ers and drawing thousands of shoppers. Vendors hawk everything from handmade clothing and jewelry, to re-purposed artwork, to books and paper goods. It's an excellent place to find a unique gift while supporting hard working crafters. Many vendors also have websites or Etsy pages so shoppers can continue to show their love for their goods year-round.

Attending a CS is a full-day affair. Though they typically open around 11 a.m., many will show up early, wrapping around the block, in hopes of receiving an infamous crafty swag bag and first dibs on all the crafts. With a live DJ and plenty of local food vendors, it's a super fun way to spend a Saturday. This year, the event returns to Clifton Cultural Arts Center.

Go here to read my 2010 interview with the ladies behind CS. Happy crafting!

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.21.2012
Posted In: Events, Fun, Concerts, Holidays, Music at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your (Fat) Tuesday To Do List

Bon Mardi Gras, mes amis (translation: Happy Fat Tuesday, y'all)! Today's To Do list has some cajun flavor to it, since nearly every bar and restaurant will be celebrating in some capacity tonight — even if it's just beer, beads and boobs.

Before you make dinner plans, you have to check out Anne Mitchell's guide to local Mardi Gras eats, our cover story for the week. From Otto's to Washington Platform to Half Day Cafe, she describes all the local restaurants celebrating with NOLA-inspired bites, traditional baked goods and gut-busting buffets (you are supposed to pig out today, right?).

Hofbräuhaus celebrates Fastnacht German-style, of course, with help from the Enzian Dancers, the German Heritage Museum and music from Nick Gulacsy Jr., the Akkordeon-Meister. Come dressed in costume if you're so inclined — prizes will be awarded to those most decked out. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

Countless other area eateries and drinkeries promise a night of crawfish and hurricanes, including Allyn's, Stanley's Pub, Righteous Room, Mecklenburg Gardens, The Stand, J. Gumbo's, Blue Wisp, Keystone Bar & Grill (Covington and Hyde Park), AliveOne, The Lackman and The Pub (Rookwood Mews and Crestview Hills).

And since the whole point of Fat Tuesday is to get all your vices out of the way before the Christian season of Lent, a time for sacrifice and prayer leading up to Easter, why not support a charity? At Mardi Gras for Homeless Children, guests can enjoy food and drink, authentic Zydeco and Jazz music, auctions and more. The event runs from 6:30-10 p.m. at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Tickets are $55, available here. Proceeds benefit homeless children shelters.

In non-Fat news, tonight's live music lineup ranges from Dubstep (Rusko) to Christian Metalcore (August Burns Red). Check out Mike Breen's music blog for details.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.17.2012
Posted In: Events, Fun, Music, Concerts at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 2/17-2/19

If you usually spend February holed up in your apartment with a bottle of whiskey, Adriatco's and the latest season of Always Sunny, you might not know what to do with yourself this time of year now that it's actually decent outside. Don't worry, we've got your back. Put on some pants, open those curtains and leave your damn couch — there's stuff to do!

Like a UC version of the Fringe Festival, this weekend's Transmigration Festival features five 30-minute drama productions presented by CCM students. These works (written, cast and produced by students on a $60 budget) are presented in atypical spaces within CCM's Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. The event is free, but reservations are required. Find details here.

David Miretsky and Svetlana Derenshuk's exhibit Uniquely Ukraine opens tonight at Phyllis Weston Gallery. The duo present paintings that interpret the human condition on a miniature scale (Miretsky) and colorfully blend Othodox icon painting with modernist sensibilities (Derenshuk). Go here for hours and directions.

Author Andre Dubus III discusses his memoir Townie Saturday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Townie follows Dubus' life: growing up poor in Massachusetts following the divorce of his parents, his descent into drugs and street fighting, and ultimately becoming a novelist. Go here for details.

For those looking to give back while enjoying a night out, spend Saturday night at the Voices of the Heart fundraiser. Proceeds from this dinner and auction benefit women on the streets and involved in prostitution. The event will be held at the Cincinnati Hilton Netherland Plaza. Buy tickets here.

This weekend is full of boozy, boobs-out Mardi Gras celebrations, but if you're looking for a more authentic NOLA experience the whole family can attend, stop by Mardi Gras at the Market Sunday. Findlay Market hosts its annual event boasting a parade, Cajun style food and entertainment and, yes, plenty of alcohol. Multimedia artist Nick Cave, whose works are now on display at Cincinnati Art Museum, will even be on hand to present a soundsuit invasion. Laissez les bons temps rouler! Go here for a full schedule of the day's events, and read this week's cover story on how local eateries celebrate the holiday (Warning: May cause excessive mouth-watering) here.

Many area theaters have some great productions running right now, and this weekend is a chance to check one out. See Rick Pender's Stage Door for his advice on what to see. The coming nights are also full of live shows from Heartless Bastards, Purling Hiss and Dr. Dog, Natalie Wells, Mike Doughty and more. Follow our music blog for all your concert needs.

Finally, Best of Cincinnati voting ends Sunday at midnight, so if you haven't had a chance to show some of to your favorite local businesses, restaurants and people, go here to vote now!

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.14.2012
Posted In: Fast Food, Fun, Holidays, Dating at 12:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Put a Chicken Ring On It

White Castle continues its annual Valentine's Day celebration

Treat your loved one like royalty this Valentine's Day by taking him or her to the castle — White Castle, that is. For about 20 years, the oldest fast food burger joint in America has pulled out all the stops on this special occasion. In a one-night-only celebration, White Castles get a makeover with pink and red decor, table cloths, candles, even table service and photographs. No, they don't make sliders of Kobe beef or serve your meal on silver platters, but for those who don't take this Hallmark holiday too seriously, it's the perfect way to pig out with your sweetie. You will need a reservation (seriously), so call 513-559-0575 ext. 14 to select a participating location and dinner time between 5-8 p.m.

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by Jac Kern 02.09.2012
Posted In: Culture, Concerts, Events, Fashion, Fun, Shopping, Northside, Music at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Very Vintage Valentine Fashion

Chicken Lays an Egg hosts a runway show and dance party at Northside Tavern Saturday

Northside's Chicken Lays an Egg, a gem in Cincinnati's growing collection of excellent vintage shops, hosts a Valentine fashion show featuring their retro-fab clothing, shoes and accessories Saturday at Northside Tavern.

NST's back room will transform into a runway where you'll watch some local hottie patotties strut their stuff with hair designs by Northside Chop Shop. Kenneth Wright will DJ the show and ongoing dance party.

Spot someone with the best moves you've ever seen? Send them a message via the valentine post office, and pose for pictures in a fabulous Flashbox photo booth. It all starts at 9 p.m., with the fashion show at 10 p.m.

Afterward, party with Bad Veins, who perform at 11 p.m. The duo's album The Mess We've Made drops April 24.

Get a peek at Chicken's fashion in Bad Veins' new video for "Dancing on TV." Some of the ensembles in the Soul Train-esque shots were provided by the boutique!

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by Jac Kern 02.08.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Travel, Fun, Events at 03:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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On the Road(show) Again

PBS' 'Antiques Roadshow' returns to Cincinnati

Before Pawn Stars and Auction Hunters, there was Antiques Roadshow. This summer the OG appraisal show will film an episode in Cincinnati.

On July 21, the Roadshow will make a stop at an area venue (not yet announced) and hopefully make a few locals a little bit richer (but just a few — it's honestly more fun to watch when people's precious collectables aren't worth jack).

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by Jac Kern 02.01.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Life, Culture, Fun at 01:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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Shit Cincinnatians Say


I guess it was only a matter of time. The Shit Girls Say viral phenomenon has sparked hundreds of knock-offs: Shit Black Guys Say, Shit Girls Say to Gay Guys, Shit Nobody Says are among my favorites. Now, we have our own.

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by Jac Kern 01.18.2012
Posted In: Events, Fashion, Fun, TV/Celebrity, Shopping at 06:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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My Night with Tim Gunn

Project Runway mentor, author, fashion guru and catch phrase king Tim Gunn stopped by Cincinnati this weekend as he opened the 2012 SmartTalk ConnectedConversations speaker series at the Aronoff Center. Gunn, who I envision as that proverbial angel on everyone's shoulder, was just as sweet in person as on TV.

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