CityBeat Blogs - Northside http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blogs-1-1-1-33-20.html <![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (10/16-10/18)]]>

FRIDAY

EVENT: LADYFEST CINCINNATI
The first Ladyfest Cincinnati festival (featured in CityBeat’s cover story last week) begins Thursday and runs through Saturday in various venues (mostly in Northside), showcasing women in activism as well as a vareity of artists. There will be workshops, visual art exhibitions, film screenings and poetry readings throughout Ladyfest, as well as lots of music from local and touring artists playing Punk, Hip Hop, Rock, Experimental music and much more.  Ladyfest Cincinnati begins Thursday at Ice Cream Factory (2133 Central Ave., Brighton). After the 7:30 p.m. film showcases, local Noise artist Nebulagirl kicks off an experimental music lineup that includes Dayton, Ohio’s DROMEZ and Chicago’s Forced Into Femininity. Read more about Ladyfest in this week's Spill It. Ladyfest takes place Oct. 15-17 in various locations, mostly in Northside. More information: ladyfestcincinnati2015.sched.org

Ubahn Music Festival
Photo: Agar
MUSIC: UBAHN MUSIC FESTIVAL
Cincinnati’s underground music festival returns: Ubahn, the two-day EDM and Hip Hop fest, takes over the Metro Transit Center underneath Second Street downtown with three stages of DJs and live music. The lineup includes Buggs Tha Rocka, A$AP Ferg, Keys N Krates, Trademark Aaron, DJ Apryl Reign, DJ Drowsy and more. On Saturday, the Heroes Rise all-ages street-style dance event takes place in the tunnel during the day (3-9 p.m.), with freestyle dance competitions, DJ showcases, art and more. Break out your glowsticks and rave-wear. See Spill It on page 34 for more. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday. $30 one-day; $40 two-day; $100 VIP. Transit Center West, 220 Central Ave., Downtown, ubahnfest.com

'Buyer and Cellar'
Photo: Lynna Evana
ONSTAGE: BUYER AND CELLAR
Did you know that Barbra Streisand has a personal shopping mall filled with memorabilia in the basement of her lavish Malibu estate? It’s true — she’s even published a coffee-table book about it. That’s what inspired this very funny one-man show. An out-of-work actor is hired to be the shopkeeper, and he gets to hang out and play store with the legendary musical star. It’s a fantasy, of course, but with enough reality to make the show hilarious, especially in the hands of Nick Cearley, a veteran comic New York actor who has appeared several times at Ensemble Theatre. Through Nov. 1. $28-$44. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, ensemblecincinnati.org

Huntertones
Photo: Provided
MUSIC: HUNTERTONES
Horn-driven instrumental Fusion ensemble Huntertones — who masterfully and progressively mix a wide range of Rock, Soul, Jazz and Funk influences — formed in Columbus, Ohio in 2010 and currently call Brooklyn, N.Y. home. The band also has a Cincinnati connection — trombonist/composer Chris Ott attended the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music for grad school and sat in with esteemed area acts like Tropicoso, The Cincy Brass and the Blue Wisp Big Band while he lived here. The group’s forthcoming EP showcases the Huntertones’ endearing style beautifully; the grooves are infectious and the horns bring to mind the ’70s Horn Rock boom (Chicago, Blood, Sweat & Tears, etc.), but the band’s Jazz elements — from the chops to the approach to the arrangements — are even more compelling. The group should be especially enjoyable live, offering something for easily susceptible dancers and deep listeners alike. 10 p.m. Friday. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

The Mayhem Mansion
Photo: Kevin Doyle
HALLOWEEN: HAUNTED HOUSES
Once upon a midnight dreary, haunted houses, ghoulish creatures and harrowing tales descended upon the Queen City, giving Cincinnatians plenty of eerie activities to keep them screaming throughout the season. Whether you’re looking for thrills, chills or something a little more family-friendly, this preview has you covered, including an intensity guide to help you find just the type of scare you’re looking for. Choose your haunt, grab some friends and enter at your own risk — you might just discover a real-life ghost or two along the way. Intensity guide out of three skulls. See reviews, hours and directions to local haunted houses here.

SATURDAY
Joey Bada$$
Photo: David Daub
MUSIC: JOEY BADA$$
It’s one thing to call yourself a badass; it’s quite another to back that shit up. And it takes some serious stones to adopt the word as your surname and then switch out the “ss” with dollar signs. Joey Bada$$ has plenty of cred to back up that level of bravado. Born in East Flatbush, N.Y. to a first-generation Caribbean family, Jo-Vaughn Scott was raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant and began writing songs and poems when he was 11. He attended the prestigious Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, where he enrolled as a theater major but shifted to the music program with an emphasis on Rap in ninth grade. Shortly thereafter, Scott founded the Progressive Era (aka Pro Era) collective with friends and classmates. Read nire about Joey Bada$$ in this week's Sound Advice. See Joey Bada$$ with Nyck Caution, Denzel Curry and Bishop Nehru Saturday at Bogart's. More info/tickets: bogarts.com.

Emily Frank of C'est Cheese
Photo: Jesse Fox
EVENT: CINCINNATI FOOD TRUCK ASSOCIATION FOOD FESTIVAL
Instead of settling for whatever food truck happens to be parked near you, why not take your pick from the best Cincinnati has to offer at the second-annual Cincinnati Food Truck Association Food Festival? Waffle masters, chili experts, burger bosses and pizza geniuses will roll on down to the heart of OTR, lining Washington Park in an effort to impress your taste buds. Once you’ve had your pick from the 20-plus food trucks — including C’est Cheese, Fireside Pizza, Marty’s Waffles, Red Sesame, SugarSnap!, Urban Grill and more — get your groove on with Brea Shay, Eric Coburn Band and DJ Nate the Great.  2-8 p.m. Saturday. Food prices vary. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatifoodtruckassociation.org.

Vacationer
Photo: Matt Schwartz
MUSIC: VACATIONER
Vacationer emits a slinky World Music groove that blends elements of Tropicalia, Pop and Trip Hop with atmospheric Ambient music shades, giving the band a moodily bouncy sound that suggests Colorado altrockers The Samples collaborating with Morcheeba while Brian Eno obliquely strategizes their next studio maneuver.  Its unique brand of island music is self-described as “Nu-Hula,” and that seems like an appropriate tag to hang on Vacationer’s exotic sonic fingerprint. Vacationer’s beach-blanket bingo began with Kenny Vasoli, singer/bassist of Pop/Punk band The Starting Line (and the more experimental splinter project, Person L), who was reportedly so inspired by LCD Soundsystem’s 2010 set at Bonnaroo that he floated the idea of doing an Electronic project past his manager/Starting Line bandmate Matt Watts. Read more about Vacationer in this week's Sound Advice. See Vacationer with Great Good Fine Ok Saturday at The Drinkery. More info/tickets: drinkeryotr.com.

Bark Out Against Battering
Photo: Audrey Ann Photography 
EVENT: BARK OUT AGAINST BATTERING
The YWCA of Greater Cincinnati is teaming up with the SPCA to raise awareness about the connection between pet abuse and domestic violence. According to the YWCA, many women report staying in abusive relationships because they fear for the safety of their pets. The organization hopes to remove this concern by providing protective shelter for these animals at the SPCA. Canines and their humans can contribute to the cause at the sixth-annual Bark Out Against Battering, which fully benefits the YWCA’s work with the shelter. The day features dog trick-or-treating, raffles, pet portraits and the main event: a dog costume contest and parade, during which canines compete against dogs of similar sizes. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-487-5421, ywca.org

EVENT: NORTHERN KENTUCKY WINE FESTIVAL
The eighth-annual Northern Kentucky Wine Festival showcases the best wines of the bluegrass state. More than 15 wineries from around the region will be stationed along the Sixth Street Promenade in MainStrasse, while area restaurants provide food to complement wine tastings. A $10 admission provides a souvenir glass and tickets for four wine tastings; additional tastings, glasses and bottles are available for purchase. 3-10 p.m. Saturday. $10. MainStrasse Village, Sixth Street, Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org

Fall-O-Ween 
HALLOWEEN: FALL-O-WEEN
Coney Island is getting creepy for its family-friendly Fall-O-Ween Festival. In addition to the park’s 24 classic rides, the fest features pumpkin painting, magic shows, barnyard animals and a light show choreographed to Halloween music. Use a giant slingshot to smash a pumpkin against a target or opt to take the kids to make their very own apple pie. New this year is a trick-or-treat trail through Coney’s Creep County Fair, a town populated by kid-sized buildings and candy-wielding characters. Also make sure to catch the Monster Bash live show for a little eerie entertainment every hour between 2 and 6 p.m.  1-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 25. $11; $5 parking. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, 513-232-8230, coneyislandpark.com

HALLOWEEN: COVINGTON IS HAUNTED
Everyone who makes his or her way through charming Covington probably notices the ultra-modern Ascent, quaint MainStrasse Village and the beautiful Riverside Historic District. But most people may not know about the town’s spooky secrets. With guides from American Legacy Tours, the Covington is Haunted Tour reveals the sites and stories of the city’s ghastliest murders, most fatal feuds and haunted houses — including paranormal encounters in some of the Cov’s most stately mansions. 7 and 9 p.m. Saturdays in October. $20. Leaves from Molly Malone’s, 112 E. Fourth St., Covington, Ky., americanlegacytours.com.  

Maiden Radio
Photo: Amber Thieneman
MUSIC: MAIDEN RADIO
Maiden Radio is a collaboration between Julia Purcell, Cheyenne Mize and Joan Shelley that began in 2009 as a means for the three accomplished Louisville, Ky. musicians to explore the old-time Folk and Appalachian sound they all loved.  Local fans may be familiar with some of the members’ individual efforts. Mize’s solo work has been widely praised, and she’s played Greater Cincinnati fairly frequently. Mize’s solo debut, the atmospheric, Indie-Folk-leaning Before Lately, paved the way for a deal with Yep Roc (her debut for the label, Among the Grey, came out in 2013). Read more about the group in this week's Sound Advice. See Maiden Radio with Daniel Martin Moore Saturday at Woodward Theater. More info/tickets: woodwardtheater.com.

SUNDAY
'Antique Halloween'
Photo: Taft Museum of Art
HALLOWEEN: ANTIQUE HALLOWEEN

Travel back in time this October at the Taft Museum of Art. Current exhibit Antique Halloween is a one-room display of spooky antiques ranging in date from the 1900s to 1950s. The items, obtained by local collectors, include decorations, toys and games, candy cups and more. A ghostly ambiance is created by candle shades and jack-o-lanterns dispersed throughout the room. Through Nov. 1. $10 adults; $5 ages 6-17; free Sunday. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, 513-241-0343, taftmuseum.org.


HallZOOween
Photo: Kathy Newton 

HALLOWEEN: HALLZOOWEEN

Kids and animals alike are in for a special treat during the Cincinnati Zoo’s HallZOOween festival. This family-friendly Halloween celebration features trick-or-treat stations for the kids, costumed characters, a Hogwarts Express train ride and special pumpkin playtime for elephants, otters, meerkats and more. Bring your own treat bag to stuff with goodies and hunt for the Golden Frisch’s Big Boy. Two golden Big Boy statues will be hidden around the zoo each weekend; whoever finds them wins a special zoo/Frisch’s prize package (with tartar sauce). Follow clues on the zoo’s Twitter page: #BigBoyClue. Noon-5 p.m. Select Saturdays and Sundays in October. Free with zoo admission ($18 adult; $12 child/senior). Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org. 


Ohio Renaissance Festival
Photo: Will Thorpe Photography
EVENT: OHIO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL

The Ohio Renaissance Festival is back and bringing fall weekends filled with costumes, turkey legs, mulled mead, jousting, games, glass-blowing demonstrations, choirs, crafts and tarot readings inside a 30-acre, recreated 16th-century village. This weekend is opening weekend, so tickets for adults are buy-one-get-one, and kids under 12 get in free. Be sure to check the website for themed weekends and different deals. Nerds of all kinds welcome — just remember that any medieval weapons you might bring need to be tied in a sheath at all times. 10:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through Oct. 25. $21.95 adult; $9.95 child; $119.95 season pass. 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville, renfestival.com


 

EVENT: OLD WEST FEST (LAST DAY)

If you have a pair of cowboy boots laying around that you’ve been meaning to break out, you’re in luck — Old West Fest is back for its eighth year, featuring an authentic recreated Old West Dodge-City-style town, with gold panning, covered-wagon rides, kids activities, live entertainment (including trick riding and a saloon show) and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through Oct. 18. $12 adults; $6 ages 6-12; free under 12. 1449 Greenbush Cobb Road, Williamsburg, oldwestfestival.com.


ONSTAGE: THE HUNCHBACK OF SEVILLE

Set just after Columbus’ discovery of the New World, Charise Castro Smith’s satirical and often anachronistic historical play covers a lot of territory. In 1504, Spain’s Queen Isabella is fretting about her empire and dying of some horrible plague, and she’s likely to be succeeded by her bratty daughter. Meanwhile, Isabella’s brilliant sister — a reclusive, atheist hunchback — is stuck in her bedroom thinking about cats, math and a Muslim lover. It’s a wild tale — just what you expect to see at Know Theatre — but this production comes to Over-the-Rhine from the drama program at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Through Oct. 24. $20; $10 rush seats. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-300-5669, knowtheatre.com


Mark Mothersbaugh
Photo: Jesse Fox

ART: MYOPIA

“Cincinnati, in some ways, was the start of me being an artist,” says Mark Mothersbaugh, relaxing as best he can, given his constantly enthused, exuberant state, in a meeting room at downtown’s Contemporary Arts Center. “So there’s something about coming back here that is this completion of a cycle.” In the building on this day, much is going on that is about him. The CAC is preparing to open (at 8 p.m. Friday to the general public) its much-anticipated exhibit, Myopia. The show, curated by Adam Lerner of Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art, looks at the Akron, Ohio native’s career as a visual artist/designer, as well as his accomplishments as a co-founder and lead singer of the Post-Punk/Art-Rock band Devo and subsequently as an in-demand composer for film and television, creating music for such Wes Anderson movies as The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and Rushmore, as well as The Lego Movie, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Rugrats. Read the full feature on Mothersbaugh and Myopia here. Through Jan. 9. Visit contemporaryartscenter.org for more information.


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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (10/9-10/11)]]>

FRIDAY

EVENT: AYE MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL

The AYE Music & Art Festival — founded in 2006 to raise money for various charities — returns for its biggest fest yet this Friday-Sunday. Held at several venues in Over-the-Rhine, proceeds from the 2015 edition of AYE (which stands for “Adjust Your Eyes”) will go to Boys Hope Girls Hope (bhghcincinnati.org).This year’s AYE will again showcase elements of visual art, as well as comedy (in MOTR Pub’s basement each evening) and a wildly diverse lineup of music, with a heavy dose of local acts as well as some notable touring artists. The music runs the gamut from Electronic and Hip Hop to AltRock and Punk, plus most points in between. Read more about the festival in this week's Spill It. Three-day passes for AYE can be purchased through cincyticket.com for $20 or day-of-show for $35. One-day passes are $15; single shows cost a cover charge between $5-$10. For more AYE info (including the complete schedule), visit adjustyoureyes.com.

Helado Negro (Roberto Carlos Lange) presents a special multi-media show at the CAC this week.
Photo: Provided
MUSIC: HELADO NEGRO: NO LOVE CAN CUT OUR KNIFE IN TWO
Roberto Carlos Lange’s music, performed under the moniker Helado Negro, celebrates his Latin heritage in ways both obvious — he often sings in Spanish and there’s a breezily funky vibe to his textured electronic soundscapes — and subverting — his lyrics tend toward personal ambiguities and his song structures frequently jump off in unexpected directions.The child of Ecuadorian immigrants, Lange grew up immersed in the culture clash that was South Florida in the 1980s. He’s been writing and producing music under various guises since the late ’90s, but it wasn’t until he began recording as Helado Negro that Lange became more widely known, releasing four increasingly nuanced full-length albums since 2009. His most recent record, 2014’s Double Youth, was another satisfying refinement in his ability to create computer-generated music that is simultaneously intimate and otherworldly. Read CityBeat's interview with Lange here. Helado Negro performs Friday at the Contemporary Arts Center. Tickets/more info: contemporaryartscenter.org.

Cincinnati Craft Breweries' Oktoberfest
Photo: Listermann
EVENT: CINCINNATI CRAFT BREWERIES' OKTOBERFEST
The fourth-annual Cincinnati Craft Breweries’ Oktoberfest returns to the Listermann Brewing Company. Your favorite local brewers — Blank Slate, Fifty West, Christian Moerlein, Rivertown, Mt. Carmel and more — will descend on the brewery for a weekend of fall brews, food and a ceremonial keg tapping of Listermann’s Oktoberfest lager (the only official Oktoberfest beer at the party). Listermann has teamed up with Cincideutsch to give an authentic German feel to the festivities. Kids and dogs welcome. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. 1621 Dana Ave., Evanston, listermannbrewing.com.

Sounds in the Art at Chase Public
Photo: Richard Scheltz
MUSIC: SOUNDS IN THE ART AT CHASE PUBLIC
Nashville-based, College-Conservatory of Music-trained percussionist Colleen Phelps presents an evening of percussion, spoken word and visual art at Chase Public. Aided by painter Drew Yakscoe, Phelps’ current project combines music and visual art and includes classical compositions by famous composers such as Bach, as well as more conceptual-based art practices like John Cage’s “Composed Improvisation For Snare Drum” and Antoine Saint-Exupéry’s “Je Demande Pardon aux Enfants.” 7 p.m. Friday. Free. 1569 Chase Ave., Suite 4, Northside, facebook.com/chasepublic.

EVENT: OAK, TOAST & TWO AGING BARRELS
When it comes to native spirits, there are few that excite as much as Kentucky bourbon. This weekend, the Mainstrasse Village Association and Wellmann’s Brands plan to bring the very best in micro, craft and large-scale distillery representations to keep the bourbon flowing at Oak, Toast & Two Aging Barrels. But there’s more to the bourbon festival than just drinking: Patrons will have the opportunity to attend a variety of seminars, presentations, paired family-style bourbon meals and meet-and-greets with master distillers. 6-10 p.m. Friday; 1-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-3 p.m. Sunday. Prices vary. Mainstrasse Village, Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org.

The River Grill Before the Big Chill
Photo: Provided
EVENT: RIVER GRILL BEFORE THE BIG CHILL
If you ever thought you could win a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned cooking contest, now is your chance to prove it. If you could care less about a cooking competition and would rather enjoy eating barbecue at your leisure, this is your chance, too. The River Grill Before the Big Chill hosts barbecue competitions in categories including chicken, pork rib and pork butt with cash prizes and bragging rights. Following the competition, the “Big Chill” portion of the event features dozens of participating food vendors, live music and beer. Following the competition, the “Big Chill” portion of the event features dozens of participating food vendors, live music and beer. 5-11 p.m. Friday; noon-9 p.m. Saturday. $5. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown,cincyrivergrill.com

Joe Tucker
Photo by Cameron Knight
EVENT: REBUILD TUCKERS FUNDRAISER
Tucker’s, the comfort-food breakfast and lunch café and Over-the-Rhine landmark, has been a Vine Street institution for 50 years, opened by current owner Joe Tucker’s parents in 1957. In July, the restaurant’s kitchen caught fire and the resulting damage devastated the building, closing Tucker’s for now. However, the community is rallying to help the family raise money to rebuild by hosting a fundraiser at the Northside Tavern on Friday, featuring live music on three stages, plus food-for-a-donation from Joe himself. Donate online at gofundme.com/5w2jfk2t98r. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday. Free. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidetav.com/cincy.

ONSTAGE: THE HUNCHBACK OF SEVILLE
Set just after Columbus’ discovery of the New World, Charise Castro Smith’s satirical and often anachronistic historical play covers a lot of territory. In 1504, Spain’s Queen Isabella is fretting about her empire and dying of some horrible plague, and she’s likely to be succeeded by her bratty daughter. Meanwhile, Isabella’s brilliant sister — a reclusive, atheist hunchback — is stuck in her bedroom thinking about cats, math and a Muslim lover. It’s a wild tale — just what you expect to see at Know Theatre — but this production comes to Over-the-Rhine from the drama program at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Through Oct. 24. $20; $10 rush seats. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-300-5669, knowtheatre.com

SATURDAY
PET-oberfest
Photo: Jesse Fox
EVENT: PET-OBERFEST
CityBeat’s inaugural PET-oberfest celebrates Adopt a Shelter Pet Month by bringing hundreds of adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from local rescue and adoption groups to the Bertke Electric Warehouse in Northside. The goal of this festival is to find loving, permanent homes for pets from rescue agencies including Tails of Hope, Dream House Rescue, League of Animal Welfare, Luv Fur Mutts and more. Come and you just might meet your new furry family member. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Bertke Electric Warehouse, 1645 Blue Rock St., Northside, citybeat.com.

EVENT: THE CITY FLEA
For the fifth year in a row, the City Flea showcases a variety of regional vendors, from vintage dealers and hair stylists to coffee shops and book sellers. Find anything and everything you need, all while enjoying the great social atmosphere of Washington Park. A live DJ provides music and trucks serve food all day. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Cincinnati, thecityflea.com

Great Ohio River Swim
Photo: Provided
SPORTS: GREAT OHIO RIVER SWIM
Grab your goggles for the eighth-annual Great Ohio River Swim. Starting at the upstream end of the Serpentine Wall, this 900-meter course goes straight across the river to Kentucky and angles back to finish at Public Landing. A 30-minute swim clinic starts at 7:30 a.m. and will give nervous participants a rundown of the basics of open-water swimming in the Ohio River. Proceeds benefit Green Umbrella, a sustainability alliance for Cincinnati. Check-in begins 6:30 a.m.; race begins at 8:15 a.m. Saturday. $20-$25. Serpentine Wall, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, greatohioriverswim.com.

EVENT: ZOMBIE BALL
Don’t fear the walking dead — dance with them at the inaugural Zombie Ball: Dance of the UnDead on Pyramid Hill. Come dressed as a zombie, vampire, mummy or your favorite ghoulish character and enjoy creepy cocktails, haunted hayrides and more with fellow specters. For a particularly stylish spook (and a few extra dollars), guests can be escorted to the event’s red carpet from the entrance of the park in a hearse. Dance “Thriller”-style with a DJ after imbibing an open beer-and-wine bar, and preserve the moment in a zombie photo booth. 7-11 p.m. Saturday. $30; $50 couples. 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, 513-868-8336, pyramidhill.org. 

SeepeopleS
Photo: Lauryn Sophia
MUSIC: SEEPEOPLES
The first thing you see on the website for Portland, Maine quintet SeepeopleS is the pronouncement that the group plays “Anti-Genre-New-Music.” One listen to the group’s 2015 release, the two-disc, 25-song epic Dead Souls Sessions, and the description makes perfect sense. The band’s kitchen-sink Alt Rock is a psychedelic swirl of influences that makes it blissfully hard to pin down, rolling from ambient, acoustic Indie Folk to quirky Electro Pop to driving, trippy AltRock with an infectious sense of adventure that never slows down. It’s a head-trip of a listen in recorded form; it should be fascinating to see and hear the band pull off the ambitious album in a live context. 9 p.m. Saturday. $5. Stanley’s Pub, 323 Stanley Ave., Columbia Tusculum, facebook.com/stanleys.pub

Greater Cincinnati Kitchen & Bath Show
Photo: Provided
EVENT: GREATER CINCINNATI KITCHEN & BATH SHOW
Whether you’re in need of some renovation inspiration for your kitchen or bath, or you just get a thrill from looking at the latest in tiled backsplashes, the Greater Cincinnati Kitchen & Bath Show has what you need. The show features vendors that specialize in the latest trends and products in cabinetry, flooring, hardware, plumbing, general remodeling and more, including green upgrades and energy-efficient retrofits. Noon-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $8 adult; free for kids 12 and younger. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, cincinnatikitchenbathshow.com.

ONSTAGE: SILENCE! THE MUSICAL
Of course you know The Silence of the Lambs, the creepy movie about “Hannibal the Cannibal.” It was a big hit in 1991 with Anthony Hopkins as the brilliant, manipulative serial killer and Jodie Foster as the young FBI cadet who recruits him to help her catch a different psychopath. Well, wouldn’t you know that someone turned it into Silence! The Musical, an award winner at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival? It’s become a cult favorite, and the parody-loving folks at Falcon Theatre have landed it after several years of hot pursuit. Bon appetit! Through Oct. 10. $15-$20. Monmouth Theatre, 636 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., 513-479-6783, falcontheatre.net

Ohio Sauerkraut Festival
EVENT: OHIO SAUERKRAUT FESTIVAL
Head to Waynesville, Ohio for the annual Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, featuring more than 30 nonprofit groups selling all sorts of sauerkraut dishes: pizza, pies, cookies, rolls, soups, pork and more. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. 10 N. Main St., Waynesville, Ohio, sauerkrautfestival.com.

SUNDAY
HallZOOween
Photo: Kathy Newton
EVENT: HALLZOOWEEN
Kids and animals alike are in for a special treat during the Cincinnati Zoo’s HallZOOween festival. This family-friendly Halloween celebration features trick-or-treat stations for the kids, costumed characters, a Hogwarts Express train ride and special pumpkin playtime for elephants, otters, meerkats and more. Bring your own treat bag to stuff with goodies and hunt for the Golden Frisch’s Big Boy. Two golden Big Boy statues will be hidden around the zoo each weekend; whoever finds them wins a special zoo/Frisch’s prize package (with tartar sauce). Follow clues on the zoo’s Twitter page: #BigBoyClue. Noon-5 p.m. Select Saturdays and Sundays in October. Free with zoo admission ($18 adult; $12 child/senior). Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.

Cincinnati Chocolate Festival
Photo: Provided
EVENT: CINCINNATI CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
It’s paradise for your sweet tooth: an entire afternoon of tastings, contests and demonstrations centered on nothing but chocolate. The sixth-annual fest features more than 20 vendors — including Aglamesis Bro.’s, Macaron Bar, Three B’s Sweets and Gigi’s Cupcakes — who will give out treats throughout the day in exchange for tasting tickets. The event also incorporates several cooking demos, including a lesson on using sweet flavors to encourage your kids to eat healthy foods. At 1:30 p.m., Food Network host Ben Vaughn — an award-winning chef and restaurateur — will demonstrate a chocolate recipe from his new book Southern Routes. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. $10; free 12 and younger. Cintas Center, Xavier University, 1624 Herald Ave., Evanston, 513-745-3428, cincinnatichocolatefestival.com 

Lauren Groff
Photo: © Megan Brown 
LIT: LAUREN GROFF
Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies focuses on two charismatic characters, Lancelot (Lotto) and Mathilde, as they navigate the peaks and valleys of their seemingly idyllic matrimony. The depths and intricacies of these two protagonists are revealed separately in two sections, with Lotto recounting their lives in Fates, and Mathilde often offering divergent takes and revealing new truths in Furies. It’s a bold, nakedly honest, deeply sensual novel filled with literary references from Greek mythology to Shakespeare. Fates and Furies has been long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award. Groff is also the author of two other novels and a collection of short stories. She has won the Paul Bowles Prize for Fiction, the PEN/O. Henry Award and the Pushcart Prize. Read CityBeat's interview with Groff here. Lauren Groff will read from Fates and Furies 5 p.m. Sunday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Commons. More info: josephbeth.com.

Weeki Wachee Mermaids
Photo: Provided 
ATTRACTIONS: WEEKI WACHEE MERMAIDS
Mermaids are no longer a myth — they are a limited-time attraction at the Newport Aquarium. Watch the graceful and finned Weeki Wachee Mermaids as they swim underwater with sea creatures daily inside the aquarium’s tanks. The Weeki Wachee Mermaids, a classic roadside attraction from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida, have been swimming for more than 60 years, delighting visitors with simple magic. Through Oct. 12. Free with admission. Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com. 

Old West Fest
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
EVENT: OLD WEST FEST
If you have a pair of cowboy boots laying around that you’ve been meaning to break out, you’re in luck — Old West Fest is back for its eighth year, featuring an authentic recreated Old West Dodge-City-style town, with gold panning, covered-wagon rides, kids activities, live entertainment (including trick riding and a saloon show) and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through Oct. 18. $12 adults; $6 ages 6-12; free under 12. 1449 Greenbush Cobb Road, Williamsburg, oldwestfestival.com.

Ohio Renaissance Festival
Photo: Will Thorpe Photography 
EVENT: OHIO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
The Ohio Renaissance Festival is back and bringing fall weekends filled with costumes, turkey legs, mulled mead, jousting, games, glass-blowing demonstrations, choirs, crafts and tarot readings inside a 30-acre, recreated 16th-century village. This weekend is opening weekend, so tickets for adults are buy-one-get-one, and kids under 12 get in free. Be sure to check the website for themed weekends and different deals. Nerds of all kinds welcome — just remember that any medieval weapons you might bring need to be tied in a sheath at all times. 10:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (and Labor Day). Through Oct. 25. $21.95 adult; $9.95 child; $119.95 season pass. 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville, renfestival.com. 

AMC
TV: THE WALKING DEAD
Season 6 begins with a 90-minute premiere followed by Chris Hardwick’s Talking Dead. Here’s what we know: Morgan and Rick will finally have a chance to catch up (hopefully we’ll get a dedicated flashback scene/episode that shows how Morgan transformed from his condition in “Clear” to his current state of badassery); comic character Paul “Jesus” Monroe will be introduced; Ethan Embry, Merritt Wever and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton’s Dr. Dre) join the cast; and the group — currently living in the safe-ish community of Alexandria outside Washington, D.C. — will face multiple threats from outside the walls and within. Season Premiere, 9 p.m., AMC.

EVENT: RUTH'S SECOND ANNIVERSARY
Ruth’s Parkside Café celebrates two years in business with a special dinner to benefit Churches Active in Northside. 5-8 p.m. $40. Ruth’s, 1550 Blue Rock St., Northside, cainministry.org.

EVENT: FUNGUS FEST
The Fall Floral Show at the Krohn Conservatory hosts an event to highlight everyone’s favorite fungus: mushrooms. Chef Ursula will prepare exotic mushroom bruschetta, triple mushroom barley soup and fall flavor-infused beers from Queen City Brewery. 1-3 p.m. $4 adults. Krohn Conservatory, Eden Park, cincinnatiparks.org.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (9/25-9/27)]]> FRIDAY

Spend the weekend at the MIDPOINT MUSIC FESTIVAL

The most common question associated with Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival — besides “Are you going?” — is probably something along the lines of, “Who should I go see?” The festival, which returns to various venues around Over-the-Rhine and downtown this Friday-Sunday, has always been about exploration and discovery, and word-of-mouth recommendations are some of the best ways to find great new music at MPMF. Hopefully CityBeat — which owns and operates MPMF, now in its 14th year — can also be of assistance as you plot your MidPoint adventure. The most common question associated with Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival — besides “Are you going?” — is probably something along the lines of, “Who should I go see?” The festival, which returns to various venues around Over-the-Rhine and downtown this Friday-Sunday, has always been about exploration and discovery, and word-of-mouth recommendations are some of the best ways to find great new music at MPMF. Hopefully CityBeat — which owns and operates MPMF, now in its 14th year — can also be of assistance as you plot your MidPoint adventure. The 2015 MidPoint Music Festival takes place Friday-Sunday at various venues. More info/tickets: mpmf.com.


Mark Mothersbaugh stands among works that feature his altered high-school yearbook photo.
Photo: Jesse Fox

Check out the visual art of Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh in MYOPIA at the CAC

“Cincinnati, in some ways, was the start of me being an artist,” says Mark Mothersbaugh, relaxing as best he can, given his constantly enthused, exuberant state, in a meeting room at downtown’s Contemporary Arts Center. “So there’s something about coming back here that is this completion of a cycle.” In the building on this day, much is going on that is about him. The CAC is preparing to open (at 8 p.m. Friday to the general public) its much-anticipated exhibit, Myopia. The show, curated by Adam Lerner of Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art, looks at the Akron, Ohio native’s career as a visual artist/designer, as well as his accomplishments as a co-founder and lead singer of the Post-Punk/Art-Rock band Devo and subsequently as an in-demand composer for film and television, creating music for such Wes Anderson movies as The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and Rushmore, as well as The Lego Movie, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Rugrats. Read the full feature on Mothersbaugh and Myopia here. Myopia opens at the CAC 8 p.m. Friday and continues through Jan. 9. Visit contemporaryartscenter.org for more information.

CliftonFest
Photo: Provided
Drink a beer at CLIFTONFEST

The fourth-annual CliftonFest promises the ultimate Clifton experience — casual, eclectic and local. Throughout the weekend, attendees can enjoy local eats from food trucks and restaurants; dance to live music from the likes of Wade Baker, Baoku and The Image Afro Beat band and Elementree Livity Project; run a 5k through Burnet Woods; shop neighborhood stores; interact with street artists and circus performers; watch a costumed pet parade on Sunday; and even throw back a cold one at the festival beer tent. 6-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Free. Gaslight District, Ludlow Avenue, Clifton, cliftonfest.com


Drink more beer at NEWPORT OKTOBERFEST

Newport Oktoberfest, purported to be the most authentic Oktoberfest in Greater Cincinnati, kicks off Friday. Modeled after Munich’s fest, this event features everything German, from giant tents and authentic German cuisine to live folk dancing, continuous live German music and tons of beer. 5-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Free. Riverboat Row, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., oktoberfestnewport.com

Hannibal the Cannibal makes his musical debut in SILENCE! THE MUSICAL

Of course you know The Silence of the Lambs, the creepy movie about “Hannibal the Cannibal.” It was a big hit in 1991 with Anthony Hopkins as the brilliant, manipulative serial killer and Jodie Foster as the young FBI cadet who recruits him to help her catch a different psychopath. Well, wouldn’t you know that someone turned it into Silence! The Musical, an award winner at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival? It’s become a cult favorite, and the parody-loving folks at Falcon Theatre have landed it after several years of hot pursuit. Bon appetit! Through Oct. 10. $15-$20. Monmouth Theatre, 636 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., 513-479-6783, falcontheatre.net.

The Michael Lowe Collection: Installation 1
Photo: Provided
Check out modern art in the closing reception for THE MICHAEL LOWE COLLECTION

The Art Academy of Cincinnati provides a rare opportunity to view artwork from the collection of local collector/dealer Michael Lowe. Much of Lowe’s diverse collection features radical, reductive and revisionist art from the 1960s and 1970s, firmly rooted in Minimal, Post-Minimal and Conceptual art, which helped to define the 20th-century avant-garde. Lowe’s exhibition, which features world-renowned artists like Sol LeWitt, Christo, Gilbert and George, Lucio Fontana and Bruce Nauman will have its closing reception this Final Friday. Closing reception: 5-9 p.m. Friday. Free. Pearlman Gallery, 1212 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, artacademy.edu.  


SATURDAY
Weeki Wachee Mermaids
Photo: Provided
Suspend your disbelief with the WEEKI WACHEE MERMAIDS at the Newport Aquarium

Mermaids are no longer a myth — they are a limited-time attraction at the Newport Aquarium. Watch the graceful and finned Weeki Wachee Mermaids as they swim underwater with sea creatures daily inside the aquarium’s tanks. The Weeki Wachee Mermaids, a classic roadside attraction from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida, have been swimming for more than 60 years, delighting visitors with simple magic. Through Oct. 12. Free with admission. Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com

Country Applefest 2014’s first-place dumplings
Photo: Blue Ribbon Kitchen
Celebrate America's favorite fruit — apples — at COUNTRY APPLEFEST

There are a couple of distinct signs that autumn has hit the Tristate: Leaves begin to fall, pumpkin spice flavor is everywhere and the cooler temperatures force hipsters to start breaking out the flannel. But the most welcome and certainly the most delicious harbingers of fall are the myriad festivals featuring our favorite recurrent foods of the season, especially the most American fruit of all: the apple. Saturday, the 33rd-annual Country Applefest will be even bigger than ever, thanks to its new location at the Warren County Fairgrounds and the addition of more than 100 vendors. “We had outgrown the downtown Lebanon area several years ago,” says Jiffy Stiles, festival chairperson, “This year we were given the opportunity to move to the fairgrounds, which gives us the space to have so many more vendors.” Read more about the festival and find a prize-winning apple dumpling recipe here. Country Applefest takes place Saturday at the Warren County Fairgrounds. More info: countryapplefest.com


Vote for your favorite fireworks at FIRE UP THE NIGHT

Fire Up the Night is an international fireworks competition over Lake Como at Coney Island featuring competitors Fantastic Fireworks of England, News de Brazil, Fireworx/Sky Lighter of Australia and a finale from local favorites, Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks. If the thrills of massive, music-synchronized fireworks shows just aren’t enough for you, admission will also include access to classic rides, a pool party and a hot air balloon show on Moonlite Mall. 4 p.m. gates; 8:30 p.m. fireworks. $30 per carload; $5 walk-ins. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com.

Cincinnati Street Food Festival
Photo: Provided
Stuff yourself at the CINCINNATI STREET FOOD FESTIVAL

Dine al fresco all day during Walnut Hills’ fourth-annual Cincinnati Street Food Festival. All your favorite food trucks converge on East McMillan Street for you to snack your way through lunch or dinner by-the-truck, complete with local craft beer, live music and family-friendly fun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. E. McMillan Street between Hemlock and Chatham streets, Walnut Hills, walnuthillsrf.org

Cincy Summer Streets
Photo: via Facebook
Play in traffic-less streets during OTR's CINCY SUMMER STREETS

The final Cincy Summer Streets event of the season takes over Pleasant Street in Over-the-Rhine. The street will be shut to car traffic, allowing humans to play. The pedestrian party features free activities, including a climbing wall, mini golf, lawn bowling, life-size paint-by-numbers, yoga and dancing. Stroll the street, chat with neighbors, support local businesses and enjoy a Saturday afternoon in OTR. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Free. Pleasant Street between Washington Park and Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, cincysummerstreets.org

Ohio Renaissance Festival
Photo: Will Thorpe Photography
Step back in time at the OHIO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
The Ohio Renaissance Festival is back and bringing fall weekends filled with costumes, turkey legs, mulled mead, jousting, games, glass-blowing demonstrations, choirs, crafts and tarot readings inside a 30-acre, recreated 16th-century village. This weekend is opening weekend, so tickets for adults are buy-one-get-one, and kids under 12 get in free. Be sure to check the website for themed weekends and different deals. Nerds of all kinds welcome — just remember that any medieval weapons you might bring need to be tied in a sheath at all times. 10:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (and Labor Day). Through Oct. 25. $21.95 adult; $9.95 child; $119.95 season pass. 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville, renfestival.com

Dine and dance during the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's OPENING NIGHT GALA
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra kicks off its season with a weekend of events, featuring performances of Hector Berlioz’s psychedelic Symphonie fantastique, a tale of “opium, obsession, murder, fantasy (and) hell,” says CSO conductor Louis  Langrée. Before Saturday’s performance, there will be a themed gala with dinner and cocktails in Music Hall’s Ballroom, and an afterparty with desserts, drinks, DJs and dancing. Sunday’s performance will feature a “Stories in Concert” event, in which Langrée shares the story of Berlioz’s life to give listeners a new perspective on his work. 11 a.m. Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Concert tickets start at $12; Gala: $200; afterparty: $50; Stories in Concert: $25. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org

'Zory's Stories: The Other Side of Music Hall'
Photo: Matthew Zory
See the other side of Music Hall in ZORY'S STORIES
Matthew Zory, besides being a bassist for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, is a photographer with an interest in images that convey a narrative about the neighborhoods surrounding Music Hall and the greater city. A show of his work, Zory’s Stories: The Other Side of Music Hall, opens Friday at Wash Park Art gallery. As part of the event, Ellen Ruth Harrison has composed a piece for Zory to play on bass, “The Window,” and poet Donald Bogen will read from his work. The performance times will most likely be at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Opening reception: 5:30-9 p.m. Friday. Through Oct. 25. Free. Wash Park Art, 1215 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washparkart.com


SUNDAY

The Wood Brothers
Photo: Alysse Gafkjen
THE WOOD BROTHERS head to 20th Century Theater

Brothers Chris and Oliver Wood grew up in Colorado surrounded by the campfire music of their father and the storytelling poetics of their mother. So it was no surprise that both ended up as successful creatives, although, despite their shared roots, they didn’t work together for a significant portion of their careers. Oliver started his music career playing guitar and touring alongside Blues/Rock artist Tinsley Ellis before founding his own group, the Blues and Funk powerhouse King Johnson. Chris, on the other hand, studied and mastered Jazz bass, which led to him co-founding one of today’s most popular and highly acclaimed contemporary Jazz acts, Medeski Martin & Wood. Read more about The Wood Brothers in this week's Sound Advice. See The Wood Brothers with Gill Landry Sunday at 20th Century Theater. More info/tickets: 20thcenturytheatre.com.

Luna Gale
Photo: Ryan Kurtz
LUNA GALE offers no easy answers at Ensemble Theatre
Ensemble Theatre doesn’t pull any punches with the opener for its 30th season. Artistic director D. Lynn Meyers is passionate about shows that tell us about the world in which we live, and Luna Gale is a tough but necessary reminder about how hard it is to do the right thing. Annie Fitzpatrick turns in another memorable ETC performance, this time as a caring but overextended social worker trying to deal with a baby caught in a tug-of-war between 19-year-old parents with drug issues and a religiously judgmental grandmother. No heroes, no villains — and no easy answers in this award-winning drama. Through Sept 27. $28-$44. Ensemble Theatre, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-421-3555, ensemblecincinnati.org

Drink a sarsaparilla at the OLD WEST FEST
If you have a pair of cowboy boots laying around that you’ve been meaning to break out, you’re in luck — Old West Fest is back for its eighth year, featuring an authentic recreated Old West Dodge-City-style town, with gold panning, covered-wagon rides, kids activities, live entertainment (including trick riding and a saloon show) and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through Oct. 18. $12 adults; $6 ages 6-12; free under 12. 1449 Greenbush Cobb Road, Williamsburg, oldwestfestival.com.

Tom Dustin
Photo: Provided
Laugh along with TOM DUSTIN at Go Bananas

It’s not immediately apparent that comedian Tom Dustin is from Boston, as he doesn’t sound like the guys from Car Talk or the cast of Good Will Hunting. “Every time I get on a plane to go to another part of the country, particularly the Midwest, I make a conscious effort to sound like the locals,” he says. Usually he can pull it off — unless he has a few beers. “You can’t even understand me then. I sound like every scene in The Departed.” While in Cincinnati, Dustin will be recording a CD. “I’ve been told my act is kind of mean, but I pull it off in a likeable way.” Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com

Art Off Pike
Photo: Provided
Stroll local arts and crafts at ART OFF PIKE
The 11th-annual Art Off Pike is an urban arts festival that transforms Covington’s Seventh Street into an art walk full of performance works, installations and live music, with added food trucks and beer. The work of more than 60 local and regional emerging artists will be showcased and available for purchase. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Seventh Street between Madison and Washington streets, Covington, Ky., artoffpike.org.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 5/10-5/12]]>

This weekend is all mothers, so grab your mom, grandma, baby-mama or other motherly-type and take her out for a good time! The next few days are packed with stuff to do, with moms or otherwise.

The 44th annual Appalachian Festival is already in full gear at Coney Island, with tons of live music, handmade artisan crafts, storytelling, food and an authentic pioneer village — for those who like to kick it super old-school. The fest runs until 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $1-$8. Get a full lineup of activities and performances here.

Cincinnati Rollergirls games are pretty much a guaranteed good time. Fun, fierce, badass chicks battle on the rink; $1 happy hour beers; hilarious roller derby nicknames; meet-and-greet with the girls after the game — need we go on? Roll out to the Cincinnati Gardens Saturday as the CRG face Toronto Roller Derby and The Dire Skates of Richmond, Ind., in a double-header. Saturday is Scout and Kids Night, so bring the chillun for a family-friendly event. Get tickets here and read our interview with Rollergirl Sydney “Big Ugly” Greathouse.

Whether you’re looking to welcome a furry friend to your family or you want to treat your pup to a day on the town, head downtown to the Duke Energy Convention Center for Petopolis Saturday-Sunday. This pet expo features animal adoption opportunities, pet fashion shows (hopefully straight out of Anchorman), trick competitions, demos, informational seminars, activities for the kids and tons of vendors. Plus, moms will get complimentary pet photos for Mother’s Day. Go here for more information.

Oktoberfest is months away, but local German enthusiasts can get their fill of beer, sausage and Gemütlichkeit at the Cincinnati Donauschwaben Society’s Schwabenfest Friday-Saturday. Have your fill of homemade sausages, German brews, pretzels and cream puffs, compete in the stein-holding competition and, if you’re coming from Petopolis, dogs are welcome in the biergarten.

Maybe you prefer more American-style fare. In that case, swing by Sawyer Point from 2-10 p.m. Saturday for the Cincinnati Wing Fest. This free food festival features chicken wings and side dishes ($2+) from Knocback Nat’s, Rooster’s, Montgomery Inn, Buffalo Wings and Rings and several other area restaurants.

Northside Second Saturdays is a great opportunity to buy some artwork, jewelry, baked goods, clothing or home goods for mom (or yourself — no judgment). Stop by local businesses along Hamilton, Chase and Spring Grove avenues from 6-10 p.m. Saturday for sales, extended hours, drinks and food specials. Check out a full list of participating shops, restaurants and bars here.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 4/27-4/29]]>

Thanks to the Contemporary Arts Center's current music video exhibition, Spectacle, a number of talented musicians, artists and directors have flocked to Cincinnati during the past two months to perform and discuss the power of music videos in our culture. Tonight, director Vincent Morisset stops by to screen Inni, his powerful black-and-white film about Icelandic Pop Rock group Sigur Rós. Morisset will then discuss his work with Sigur Rós and Arcade Fire and take questions. The event begins at 6:30 — come early to check out the Spectacle exhibit if you haven't yet. The screening and talk are free for members, $7.50 museum admission for non-members.


It's Final Friday and last year's popular monthly OTR Skate is back! Don your best hot pants and tube socks and roll over to the OTR Recreation Center for a night of old-school fun with a hip twist. Bust a move on the rink to the music of Automagik and You, You're Awesome. Admission is just $5 (skate rental included) and goes to the Rec Center to provide youth programs and scholarships for area kids. Enjoy free Vitamin Water and classic game room attractions like air hockey and foosball. Been a decade or two since you last laced up those skates? Cincinnati Rollergirls will be on hand for some pro tips. The fun begins at 8 p.m.


Northside's Building Value presents its third annual ReUse-apalooza tonight from 7-11 p.m. Learn about how the nonprofit reuses materials and what you can do to promote sustainable building practices. Music will be provided by Messerly and Ewing and there will be a silent auction featuring Building Value projects. Tickets are $20, $50 VIP. After the benefit, head over to Northside Tavern for a free after-party.


If you've checked out our cover story this week, you know about the steampunk movement that's taken flight locally. What started as a literary genre that mixes Victorian history with futuristic fantasy elements a la Jules Verne is know an underground culture with its own music, art, costuming and performance aspects. This weekend marks the first Steampunk Symposium at Tri-County's Atrium Hotel. While weekend passes are sold-out, Saturday one-day tickets will be available at the door for $20. Whether you're a diehard steampunk or just curious about the movement, this quirky event has something for everyone. Saturday's schedule includes various steampunk bands and authors, a midnight masquerade, workshops, fashion shows, a mustache parade, verbal dueling (a battle of wits) and dozens of other activities. Various events run from 10 a.m. until around 2 a.m. Read more about the culture and find a Saturday lineup here.

May is Bike Month and the Main Library downtown kicks off the cycling celebration Saturday with a bike expo. Check out various bicycle exhibits, meet organizers from groups like MoBo Bicycle Coop, Queen City Bike and League of American Bicyclists and meet Bobbi Montgomery, author of Across America by Bicycle. Get all the information you need to become a regular cyclist about town. The expo runs from 2-4 p.m. Go here for more details.

The Cincinnati Opera will perform the highly anticipated Southern-inspired George Gershwin hit Porgy and Bess in June, but you don't have to wait until summer to get in on the excitement. Saturday's Opera Gala, "A Hot Night in Charleston" will transport Duke Energy Convention Center's Grand Ballroom into the Pametto State with soul food, cocktails, music and dancing. After you've had your fill of Southern-style eats, stick around for the after-party, "Late Night in Charleston." Being a benefit for the Opera, tickets for the Gala are pretty steep ($250, $175 for first-timers); If you're on a budget, consider coming for the after-party, which runs from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. — tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will begin being serves at 6:30 p.m.


Add a little cuteness to your weekend with the Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic open house Sunday. The facility has been yarn bombed by the Cincinnati BombShells to welcome new cats ready for adoption. If you're looking for a new cuddle buddy, consider adopting one of OAR's rescue kitties at the event. The free open house runs 1-4 p.m. Go here for more details, directions and more info on donations and volunteer opportunities.

For more art exhibits, theater shows events and concerts, check out our To Do page and music blog.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 4/20-4/22]]>

The next 48 hours or so present a trifecta of holidays: Saturday is Record Store Day, Sunday is Earth Day, and, thanks to a group of teens in 1971, today (4-20) is unofficially Weed Day. Surely we can find a way to celebrate all three this weekend.


Visionaries and Voices, the Northside gallery that works with artists with disabilities, hosts its annual art auction gala Saturday. Double Vision features live and silent auctions featuring artwork from 20 local artists and other prizes, music by Magnolia Mountain and DJ Mowgli, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The event runs 7-11 p.m. at Memorial Hall; tickets are $50.


While April 22 is officially Earth Day, celebrations take place all weekend long. Cincinnati's 42nd Annual Earth Day Celebration takes over Sawyer Point Saturday from noon-5 p.m. The free event features exhibits, entertainment, kids activities and various recycling opportunities. Go here for a full list of local Earth Day events and be sure to pick up this week's Green Issue, featuring lots of environmental opportunities and the Central Ohio River Valley Local Foods Guide.


Cincinnati is lucky to have numerous quality, independent music retailers around town. From Everybody's Records to Shake It, we all have some great music memories thanks to these stores. Record Store Day, the third Saturday of April, is devoted to celebrating indie music shops and the music they help promote. Each year on this day, these stores present live music, limited releases and sales. Go here to check out local Record Store Day happenings.


We also suggest watching Bully, now in theaters, and Veep, premiering on HBO Sunday.


Check out Stage Door for this weekend's theater offerings, our music blog for a live show lineup and our To Do page for more events, art shows, performances and more this weekend.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 4/6-4/8]]> While we’re sure many of you crammed enough fun into Opening Day to last the rest of April, there’s still plenty going on this weekend to keep the party going.

The Heights Music Festival (formerly Clifton Heights Music Festival, launched in 2009) kicks off tonight with more than 70 bands (and some comedy sets) at five venues within walking distance around Clifton Heights. Rohs Street Café, Baba Budan’s, Mac’s, Christy’s and Roxx Electrocafe all host performances beginning at 7 p.m. tonight and starting at 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon through the night. Tickets are $8 for just tonight, $5 for tomorrow’s daytime shows or $12 for the whole weekend. Go here for lineup details and more information.

Though iconic Cincinnati-based artist Charley Harper passed away almost five years ago, his artwork is as recognizable now than ever. His modernist depictions of nature and wildlife still cover the walls of fans young and old. Mary Ran Gallery is currently holding an exhibit and sale of Harper’s vintage signed and numbered prints. Stop by the Hyde Park gallery, peep some of his colorful works and walk away with one of your own. Find details here.

TEDxCincinnatiChange is the first of many TED events to hit the Tri-state this spring. Saturday’s theme is "Big Picture, Small Details," set to examine issues with global and local impact and zeroing in on small details to make big ideas work. This a satellite event of a national TEDxChange, which marks a partnership between TED (Technology, Entertainments and Design) and the Melinda Gates Foundation. The Cincinnati event will kick off with a live streaming of a TEDxChange talk from Berlin. Speakers and performers include filmmakers Andrea Sisson and Peter Ohs, True Body Project founder Stacy Sims, taste of Beligum's Jean-Francois Flechet and many more. The event is currently sold out, but go here to find other upcoming TED events.

Rumspringa is a rite of passage when Amish adolescents can leave their community and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere prior to deciding to be baptized or to leave the Amish church. In popular culture, those participating in Rumspringa are often portrayed as hardcore partiers, swapping their values and traditional garb for booze and sex (but in actuality, it’s not so drastic – most choose to continue being Amish). Saturday, Mayday presents its annual Rumspringa Beer and Sausage Fest. Rock out like it’s your only chance to do so and enjoy Amish-inspired delights like beerwurst, bangers, homemade mustards and more beer than you can shake a buckled shoe at. Remember to call a designated carriage driver! The fun starts at 4 p.m.

OTR A.D.O.P.T. is an organization that helps match prospective home/business owners renovate deteriorating historic buildings in Over-the-Rhine. Saturday, Neon’s Unplugged hosts a benefit for the organization, inviting you to Partly Like it’s 1869! Learn about the organization and how to get involved while celebrating the eclectic neighborhood. Costumes are encourage, so sport your favorite hoop skirt or suspenders and capture your look in a photo booth. A $5 donation gets you in; enjoy old timey drink specials from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.

Check our full To Do page for more arts and events, follow our music blog for this weekend's shows and find theater recommendations here. And Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 3/23-3/25]]> Stop by the hipster haven that is Northside Tavern this weekend as it celebrates 10 years as a neighborhood bar and live music staple. NST's 10th Birthday Bash runs 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday with treats from Take the Cake both nights. Tonight, there's music from You, You're Awesome, Ohio Knife and Lydia Burrell. Saturday features music from Wussy and The Tigerlilies, the first band to rock the Tavern's stage a decade ago. As always, no cover. HB, NST!

Independent Spirit Award-nominated film In The Family opens at The Esquire tonight. Writer, director and star Patrick Wang will be in town for the premiere weekend, and will host a Q&A after this weekend's screenings. Check out the 8 p.m. screenings Friday and Saturday and the 1 p.m. show Sunday to meet and chat with the star. Read our review here.

San Francisco dance company Robert Moses' Kin performs in town this week with Contemporary Dance Theater's Guest Artist Series. Faith and Fable was inspired by choreographer/artistic director Robert Moses' children – fairy tales, in particular. Moses reexamined moral tales and translated them into a multi-genre dance piece for all ages. Performances are tonight at Saturday at the Aronoff Center. Go here to read our interview with Moses.


LEGOs are one of those iconic toys that kids still think are cool and adults still secretly want to play with. This weekend's LEGO's KidsFest may be marketed toward youngsters, but LEGO fans of any age can be entertained for hours at this construction block convention. At the fest, you'll find a LEGO model museum (clearly not built by kids), a master builder academy, activity area, challenge zone and much more. Saturday's sessions have sold out, but there's still tickets available for tonight (4-8:30 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3-7:30 p.m.) All sessions feature the same fun exhibits and activities. Find ticket information and event details here.

Saturday morning, Park + Vine hosts a Grow Your Own Garden Class. Greensleeves Farm's Gretchen Vaughn will dish the dirt on growing vegetables and herbs at home with a hands-on demonstration on sowing and transplanting seeds. After the class, you'll take home a starter kit with seeds, soil and a plant. The class limited to 15 people, so RSVP at info@parkandvine.com. The workshop is $15 and runs from 10 a.m.-noon.

The Newport Aquarium welcomes Mighty Mike, a 14-foot, 800-pound American Alligator this Saturday. Mike is the largest gator in the U.S. outside of Florida. The new Gator Alley exhibit will feature many species of alligators and crocodiles from around the globe. The aquarium is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Find admission and other details here. Purchase your tickets in advance to save time at the door.

For more theater, visual arts and music events this weekend, check out our To Do, Music and Arts coverage.

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<![CDATA[Your Monday To Do List]]> If you don't have tickets to tonight's MythBusters: Behind the Myths event, you better call up your best nerdy scalper, because the live show sold out! Yup, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage bring their Discovery Channel show to life with a touring production that kicked off this January in California. The ginger-esque duo take a fun, scientific approach to debunking commonly believed wives' tails and oddball myths. In addition to behind-the-scene stories and film footage, Adam and Jamie will perform experiments on stage with plenty of audience participation. The show is at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Aronoff Center.

Park+Vine's Vegan Slowcooker Throwdown, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed. Check their calendar or follow P+V on Facebook for updates. You can still celebrate meatless Monday by grabbing lunch or items to make dinner at the green general store.

"Riot-Folk" musician Ryan Harvey performs at the Occupy Cincinnati Community Warehouse (2023 Dunlap St., Over-the-Rhine) tonight. Harvey and his collective are touring around the country to inspire Occupy movements to keep fighting the good fight. Local Greg Zoller opens. The event runs 8-11 p.m. Get details here.

If you're still experiencing some residual St. Patrick's Day drinking enthusiasm, Northside's Mayday presents Monday Mayhem each week – stop by between 4 p.m.-midnight and grab a dog and a draft for under eight bucks. Mayday's gourmet hot dogs are served on homemade pretzel buns with delicious, unique toppings. And their beer selection is killer. Or stop by Milton's on Prospect Hill for Vinyl Club. Bring your records to share or have a DJ spin 'em for you while you enjoy a drink. The night starts at 10 p.m.

Later tonight, Cincinnati native Geoff Tate will appear on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The comedian offers a storytelling style and has been compared to the late, great Mitch Hedberg. Tune into CBS at 12:35 a.m.

Follow our music blog and To Do page for more nightly events.

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<![CDATA[Your (Thirsty) Thursday To Do List]]>

I suppose with one of the biggest drinking holidays right around the corner, it would only make sense that tonight's events all take place at bars!

If you've read our Swizzle Bar Guide, you know we've got a handle on a ton a great area bars and clubs. To celebrate these excellent establishments, we've launched our Swizzle Happy Hour Series: on the third Thursday of every month, we'll host after-work drinks at a different bar. Tonight is our kick-off at Mynt Martini downtown. From 5-7 p.m., we'll get our March Madness on and party St. Practice Day-style with $1 green beers, $2.50 domestics, $3 imports and well drinks, and $5 martinis and flatbread. If drink specials and basketball aren't enough, we'll be giving away tons of prizes: movie passes, tickets to Borgore with Document One and Paul M. at Bogart's, and a $50 gift certificate to Funny Bone on the Levee. Come hang out with us!

Arnie's on the Levee is also hosting some March Madness festivities, benefiting Northern Kentucky's Brighton Center. For every person that comes in between 6-9 p.m. tonight, Arnie's will donate $1 to the center, which works with area individuals and families to create opportunities for self-sufficiency through support services, education and leadership. In addition to basketball, there will be a wing-eating contest featuring Mark Collier of "Fort Thomas Matters," Highlands football players and radio personalities.

If NCAA is a foreign language to you, head over to Northside's Mayday for the competitive awesomeness that is The Slurring Bee. You don't need a bracket to partake in this party! If auto-correct hasn't completely ruined your ability to spell by memory, this is your game. Just pay $5 to compete, and you'll be given a drink, then a word to spell. After each round you complete, you'll be given another drink! You must finish the drink before the next round, and keep churning out those vocab words. The Queen or King Bee receives a prize and enrollment in the tournament of champions. The run runs from 8-11 p.m.

So spelling isn't everyone's talent. That's OK. Claddagh in Newport is hosing a weekly singing competition for those more vocally-inclined. Claddagh's Got Talent kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. with a qualifying competition. Each Thursday, a winner will be picked to compete in the finals in 10 weeks. The winner of it all will walk away with $5,000!

For arts, theater and comedy shows, check out our To Do recommendations. As always, follow our music blog for the latest on lives shows and local bands.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 3/9-3/11]]> The Cincinnati International Wine Festival opens tonight at Duke Energy Convention Center. More than 600 varieties from 100 wineries will be at your disposal during the grand tastings tonight, tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening. There will also be live music, a silent auction and plenty of food to soak up that alcohol. This is a pricey event, but it's a chance to taste wines from across the globe. Go here for tickets.

Is beer more your style? The folks who brought us Cincy Winter Beerfest just a couple weeks ago present All About Stout Fest Saturday at Molly Malone's Irish Pub in Covington. For $15, guests get five tastings, one full pint of choice and a souvenir pint glass. There are 25 stouts to choose from, plus Molly's 18 draft beers on tap. With live Irish music to keep you movin', consider this your dress rehearsal for St. Patrick's Day. Find a full beer list and ticket information here.

Though we live in a city with limited access to independent, art house and foreign films (the Esquire can only do so much!) Cincy World Cinema brings us some much-needed film opportunities, like this weekend's Oscar Shorts. Saturday and Sunday, CWC hosts an exclusive screening of Academy Award nominated live-action and animated short films. Enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and the rare opportunity to see these films on the big screen, in one day. Many screenings have sold out, so go here to purchase yours.

Final Fridays are to OTR as Second Saturdays are to Northside. As usual, all are encouraged to explore the neighborhood's bars, restaurants, galleries and businesses for extended hours, later happy hours, art openings and sales starting at 6 p.m. Find a full list of participating venues here.

Springtime brings the start of everyone's favorite spectator sport. No, not baseball, roller derby! The Cincinnati Rollergirls open their seventh season with a double-header against the Arch Rival Roller Girls of St. Louis Saturday. Head down to the Cincinnati Gardens early for free parking and tailgating, then enjoy $1 happy hour beers beginning at 6 p.m., when the doors open. The Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls, featuring mini badasses age 8-17 (isn't that kind of a crazy age range?) make their debut during halftime. General admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($15/$17 for trackside seats). If you haven't been to a roller derby since the '90s, it's exciting, cheap and the sport is really fun to get into. You'll be getting rowdy in no time! Go here for tickets.

Tickets to Radiohead's June concert at Riverbend go on sale at 10 a.m. tomorrow. If you're planning on snagging a pair, you should probably camp out tonight.

Of course, there's also tons of live music, theater, art shows and more events going on this weekend. Find all our To Do recommendations here.

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<![CDATA[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.

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<![CDATA[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.

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<![CDATA[Your Leap Day To Do List]]> Leap Day means different things to everyone (like those with rare Feb. 29 birthdays), but we suggest spending this extra day exploring all the fun events our city has to offer. Or this:


Do you love the true storytelling style of This American Life and live groups like The Moth and Cincinnati's True Theater? Head down to Below Zero Lounge tonight for Teilen (German for "to share"), a local storytelling night. In honor of Leap Day, tonight's theme will be "leaping out." Enjoy a variety of true stories told without notes, and feel free to share your own five-minute anecdote. Storytelling is one of the oldest human traditions and it's still a great way to connect with others. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the free event starts at 7. Find details here.

Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke continues its weekly mission to make us all feel like Rock Stars. Become a frontman (or woman!), if only for three minutes. Karaoke kicks off at 9 p.m. in Northside Tavern's back room. Check out the group's Facebook page for details and an extensive song selection (start rehearsing now!).

The Lackman hosts a party to introduce new Six Point Brewery beers tonight, featuring Sweet Action (barley and hops), Bengali Tiger IPA (bitter hops and sweet malt) and Resin Double IPA (just delicious). Reps will be on hand for all questions. The tasting event runs 4-6 p.m. Find more info here.

Find more To Do suggestions, like theater productions and art shows, here. Check out Mike Breen's blog for tonight's live music happenings.

And a head's up: Our Swizzle bar guide came out today (purty, ain't it?) and if reading that doesn't make you want to grab a cocktail at one of many amazing local watering holes, nothing will! Celebrate the issue with us tomorrow at PLAY downtown. Guests can expect free cocktails and food from Bolly Bears and FUSIAN, live music from Pop Empire, a fabulous Flashbox photo booth and tons of giveaways. And when I say giveaways, I don't just mean movie passes and shot glasses (though there will be plenty of those) — one lucky partier will walk away with two passes to Bonnaroo! If you miss this, you cray. RSVP here.

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<![CDATA[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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<![CDATA[Your Monday To Do List]]> If your Monday could use a little less desk jockeying and a few more laughs, you're in luck. PROJECTMILL returns to Mayday Northside tonight with Bombs Away! Comedy Open Mic. Whether you're a stand-up pro-in-the-making or just a fan of comedy, the free event is for everyone. Host Mack Harden will guide guests through the night (8-11:30 p.m.) and local comic Alex Stone will present a special set. If you have a few beers and start feeling witty, you can try your hand, too! Sign-ups for 5-minute sets (it's longer than you think) open at 8 p.m. Have a few laughs, a couple drinks and a signature Mayday dog. Not bad for a Monday! Get details here.

The Contemporary Arts Center is one of those few arts organizations open on Mondays (instead, Tuesday is their day off) Admission is always free after 5 on Mondays, but until Saturday, all admission is pay-what-you-can while the upcoming exhibits are installed. This is an interesting opportunity to watch as new works are brought in, play like a kid in the UnMuseum and shop in the always-fabulous gift shop. Saturday's opening party for the new exhibits will be quite a Spectacle, so look for details in this week's upcoming issue. Find ours and directions to the CAC here.

Week nights are a great opportunity to check out dining hot spots without a 2-hour wait for a seat in a packed restaurant. Joining the ranks of downtown's best new eateries is JimmyG's. Open from 5-9p.m. tonight, JimmyG's offers a sexy ambiance to accompany executive chef Jimmy Gibson's (formerly of FB's) steakhouse staples with a New American flair. Check out our full review here.

Check out Mike Breen's daily blog for tonight's live music lineup. And mark your calendars: Thursday is our annual Swizzle Soiree. Join us at PLAY for a celebration in conjunction with the release of our bar guide (on stands Wednesday). Cheers!

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 2/24-2/26]]> Radius, a local crowd-sourced short film shot at MidPoint Music Festival, Final Fridays and other area events, premieres Saturday at Memorial Hall. According to the press release, the movie follows "a man's investigation into a mysterious superhero and its effect on the community leads to a startling revelation." The red carpet event kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and guests are invited to stick around after the premiere for drinks, noshes, music by DJ Pillo and entertainment from Cincinnati BombShells, Young Professionals' Choral Collective and Pones Inc. Tickets are $25 at the door; go here for more information and a sneak peek.

20th Century Cincinnati is a vintage-modern (is that an oxymoron?) collector's dream. The 18th annual event brings 60 furniture and decor dealers to the Sharonville Convention Center with all kinds of goodies from the 1920s-1980s. Tickets are just $7 for the weekend, with the sale open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Find details here.

Born to Swap's February Swaptique Sunday is another fun shopping event this weekend. Clothing swaps are absolutely genius: just bring 5-20 fashion items in a bag and a potluck dish, and prepare to share both with a great group of women. You'll be able to get rid of shoes, clothes and accessories you no longer need, find a new-to-you ensemble and meet other eco-conscious, fabulous fashionistas like yourself. Tickets are $10 in advance ($15 if you don't have clothing to bring), $15 at the door ($20 without swapables) and leftover clothing will be donated to charity. Purchase tickets and find FAQs here.

Do you think there's ever been a February Final Friday as mild as this one? Surely not. Hop around the galleries, restaurants and bars in Over-the-Rhine and make the most of this odd weather!

For even more stuff to do, peep Mike Breen's weekend music forecast, Rick Pender's weekend theater suggestions and all of our recommended arts, performances and events for the week.

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<![CDATA[Your Wednesday To Do List]]> Arianna Huffington is speaking as a part of SmartTalk ConnectedConversations tonight at the Aronoff Center. The media queen will discuss how she became "fearless in love, work and life" (a phrase taken from the title of her 2007 bestseller). Huffington has made her mark as an author of 13 books, co-founder of The Huffington Post, Republican-turned-liberal and even the voice of a character on The Cleveland Show. Get 'em, girl! Tickets to this insightful femme-fest are still available here.

In quirkier event news, did you know there's a monthly meet-up of the Skeptical Society of Cincinnati where the group introduces a professional scientist to the public? Cincy Science Cafe is a casual gathering (usually at a bar) where the community can learn about interesting discoveries being made by area scientists. Tonight the crew meets at Glendale's Cock & Bull at 6 p.m. Go here for details.

Gearing up for October's exciting FotoFocus exhibition, the organization presents a lecture tonight with Los Angeles-based photographer Uta Barth. Barth is known for her painterly photos, employing unconventional methods to create a whole new way of viewing photographs. Barth has been awarded with numerous grants and fellowships and has most recently exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago. She's a pretty big deal. The Cincinnati Art Museum hosts this FotoFocus lecture tonight at 7 p.m. Find more information here.

Wednesdays are extra sexy at Northside Tavern — Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke takes over the back room this night each week. For those unfamiliar, STLBK is just how it sounds — the ultimate karaoke experience. You provide the vocals (and preferably hot dance moves) while a live band accompanies you. Be a Rock Star for, like, four minutes! Check out the group on Facebook. SexyTime for details and the song list. STLBK kicks off at 9 p.m.

As always, there are plenty of live shows, theater productions and ongoing art exhibits to check out tonight. See our music blog and full To Do list for more.

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<![CDATA[Very Vintage Valentine Fashion]]> 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!---


The show coincides with Northside Second Saturdays, a monthly event that will no doubt be on-par with Final Fridays in OTR soon. Each second Saturday, the neighborhood's bars, art galleries, restaurants and businesses offer extended hours, drink specials, sales and extra fun times. Participating businesses include Fabricate, The Painted Fish, Shake It Records, Melt, Comet, Happen's Toy Lab and many more. Go here for a full description of events and participating businesses.

Check out these photos from Chicken's last fashion show at Memorial Hall in August 2011.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 12/9-12/11]]> Santa Claus is coming to town a little early this year. SantaCon kicks off at noon Saturday, when Santas of all sorts will gather on Fountain Square, then disperse around the city, singing, passing out candy and bringing holiday cheer to area bars and restaurants. To participate, email santa@cincinnatisantacon.com and follow @CincySantacon on Twitter to find them around town.---

Let's face it - if you don't have a kid to embarrass in red crushed velvet this holiday, you probably dress up your dog. That's OK. Pimp out your pup in holiday gear then head to Mount Adams for the annual Reindog Parade. To participate, meet at The Monastery at 12:45 p.m. to register (it's free). If you just want to watch, the parade will pass along Gregory Street beginning at 2 p.m.

The City Flea had a great inaugural year. From steamy summer shopping at the Cincinnatus mural to the brisk indoor market at the American Can Loft space, The City Flea has been a unique way to access local crafters, businesses, food vendors and more. Celebrate the "wrapping up" of this open market gem 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the corner 12th and Vine in OTR and shop local this holiday!

Northside Second Saturdays is another new-in-2011 event that has been a blast. As usual, all are encouraged to peruse the neighborhood's bars, restaurants, galleries and businesses for extended hours, later happy hours, art openings and sales. During this month's event, be sure to swing by quirky-fabulous vintage boutique Chicken Lays An Egg for its second anniversary party. Food, cocktails, mystery grab bags, music by DJ WhoCares? and a photo booth await! They're open for regular shopping hours from 12-6 p.m. and the party runs 6-11 p.m. (I say, go early to get some Saturday night swag, then return later for the shin-dig!) Check out Chris Glass' awesomely convenient Northside map to plan your route.

Did you fall in love with the colorful, cozy yarn bombs that appeared across Cincinnati this year? The elusive Cincinnati BombShells are at it again! Saturday the knit-tastic ladies will bomb the Fountain Square ice rink, and people of all crafting levels are welcome to participate. Join the BombShells at Arnold's for brunch at 11 a.m., then follow them down to the Square for knitting, crafting, skating, karaoke and more. Go here to read our interview with the crew and get details about Saturday.

There are also tons of art shows, theater productions, book signings and more happening this weekend. Find all our recommended picks here.

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