WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Jac Kern 02.23.2012
 
 
mia

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 Hannah McCartney 02.21.2012
at 02:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
potato head

'Canstruction' Comes to Cincinnati

National charity to host design contest to feed the hungry

There's been some brilliant art made from some pretty bizarre mediums — hair, push pins, bullets, garbage, chewing gum. Look around downtown Cincinnati beginning next Tuesday and you'll find another unlikely art form — statues made specifically from canned goods and other non-perishable food. Expect to see five jumbo structures scattered around different locations downtown, including a giant Pac-Man and a huge bridge-like arch. Why the canned constructions? It's part of a competition called "Canstruction," an exhibit that's part of a national effort to combine the "spirit of a design contest with a way to feed the hungry." Canstruction is a national charity, and it holds the competition in more than 100 cities across the U.S. The event touts itself as a unique, engaging way to bring attention to the issue of hunger in Greater Cincinnati; the works become a free, giant art exhibit open to the public. This year marks the 15th annual food sculpture competition, and once the judging is complete, the structure's materials — all cans and non-perishable food — will benefit the Freestore Foodbank. Don't expect the works to be rinky-dink, either; the competitions is headed up by bigwigs in Cincinnati's professional architecture, engineering and design community. The sculptures are estimated to require a whopping 40,000 canned goods to complete and teams have a strict five-hour limit to build their structures. The "canstruction" race begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Once the statues are up, they'll be on display until March 18. Visit the Cincinnati Canstruction website to find out where downtown you can spot the sculptures.
 
 

Reassessing a Master

Landscapes of Reflection offers Monet on an intimate scale

4 Comments · Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection at the Cincinnati Art Museum is a stunning collection of 12 works — many painted after 1910 — that offers something for art lovers of all stripes. Your granny will be happy to gaze at utterly inoffensive subject matter, while aficionados can sink their teeth into the artist’s assertive paint handling.  

Experimental Investigations

The Love Boat (abandoned) and Out of the Gray demonstrate quirky interest in the artist’s craft

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center’s latest exhibition is the work of Travis Townsend in The Love Boat (abandoned), which is presented in conjunction with Out of the Gray, a group showing of works made using graphite.     

There’s Still Hope

Beyond Emancipation traces black history through nine artists’ work

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 31, 2012
As the nation observes Black History Month, Beyond Emancipation acknowledges that sometimes it’s tough to keep hope alive. But, even more, the show celebrates the fact that hope has always been there and always will be.   

Cafes Inside CAM, Taft Offer Tasty Treasures

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
These two museums don’t just have wonderful art — they also both have fantastic cafés. I recently undertook a mission to dine at both: CAM’s Terrace Café and the Lindner Family Café at the Taft Museum. I decided that I wouldn’t just eat at the cafés — I would also see what treasures the museums had to offer.   

Potent Potential

City Council reinstates individual artist grants

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Good news from City Hall? Yes, actually. City Council has voted to re-instate and improve a long-established program providing grants to individual artists, which was cut for budgetary reasons in 2009.   

'Getting Outside of Myself'

How ArtWorks trains the next generation of local artists

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I’ve always been able to find art in Cincinnati. From seeing the paintings created by an art class at SCPA, where I’m currently a senior, to being inspired by exhibits at the Cincinnati Art Museum or the Contemporary Arts Center, it’s been fairly easy to nourish my passion for art in my hometown.   

On, Wisconsin!: Learning from the Badger State's Art Museums

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A recent trip to Wisconsin reaffirmed for me the exciting correctness of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s efforts to build collections in Folk/Outsider Art and Contemporary Crafts. This year, the museum has displayed work from two new collections — Chicago collector Robert Lewis’ Outsider Art and Cincinnati collectors of Contemporary Craft Nancy and David Wolf.  

Amateur Curation

Cincinnati Art Museum’s 4th Floor Award recognizes regional artists and arts patrons

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Artist Don Lambert, who wants his work to reach a wide public, is a perfect choice as the inaugural winner of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s new 4th Floor Award. Don Lambert: Supernova Terra Firma, the first 4th Floor Award exhibition, has just opened in the museum’s Vance-Waddell gallery and remains up through Nov. 29.   

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