WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Buildings’ Burden

Task force floats new plan to renovate two Cincinnati landmarks

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Two of Cincinnati’s most famous buildings make appearances on postcards, in logos and anywhere else symbols representing the city are needed. But in real life, they’re slowly crumbling as the region tries to figure out who will pay for their renovations.   
by Jake Grieco 06.16.2014 135 days ago
at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
the outhouse

Local Punk Outfit Sleeves Talks DIY Music Scene

It smells like drying piss and old beer on the back deck of Northside’s The Comet. The air is filled with the dull thud of a concert beating up against the walls. There are shows at The Comet every night and people piss and drink there every night, and John Hoffman and Dylan McCartney are there just about every night. Tonight they’re just here to get drunk, but usually they’re the center of attention. Hoffman and McCartney are in emerging Cincinnati Punk band Sleeves. Hoffman calls the band’s sound American Apparel Punk. Their debut EP Sex is Stupid can be downloaded for free here. They’re a three-piece made up of Hoffman on lead guitar, McCartney on drums and Alex Collins on bass. Hoffman and McCartney both sing, and they both end up on the ground and sometimes injured by the end of their shows. Cincinnati has an active Do-It-Yourself music scene and Hoffman and McCartney are major players in it. They organize and play shows and Hoffman even records, masters and puts together records for other bands. Sleeves has played at The Comet, but most of the band’s shows aren’t held in traditional music venues but houses. Residents all over the city are opening their basements, living rooms, decks and kitchens to musicians that want to do what they love wherever they can do it. “I still remember the super visceral feeling I got from walking into my first house show,” Hoffman says. “It was just like ‘Where the hell am I? I’ve never seen anything cooler than this.’ I finally felt comfortable in a public space.” From the outside, a house show looks uncomfortable. There are usually four or five terrifyingly big and tattooed guys stoically staring and bobbing their head to the music. Mosh pits break out constantly, and beer gets all over everyone no matter what, but it’s the closest thing to a bohemian utopia in Cincinnati — anything can happen. “At one show, there was a point where everyone was crowd surfing just so they could tag the ceiling with spray paint,” Hoffman says. “It became a group effort where everyone was holding people up so they could tag the ceiling. That house was a wreck.” “Suffice to say they probably didn’t get their deposit back,” McCartney added. There’s no malice in these ways of destruction and these different looking people. They worked together to tag the ceiling — vandalism — but with teamwork, so it’s OK. The terrifying gentlemen are the first to help anyone up who gets knocked over. For every beer that’s dumped, 10 more are handed out. All the dirt, grunge and basement gunk are exactly what Cincinnati’s DIY bands need. The bands are good enough for big venues, but something is lost when people have to pay to get in, pay to drink and pay to eat and they can’t go outside for a cigarette and walk back in without getting hassled. “My other band [Mardou] played at Bogart’s once and it was the worst show of my whole life,” McCartney says. “I’ve had shows which were one-twentieth the amount of people, at a house or something, and it was so much more fun to me. You connect to people at a show like that and they connect to you.” House shows are intimate. There’s usually only an inch between you and the mic stand, but the intimacy comes from more than just close proximity. Certain houses become “venues” all on their own by regularly hosting shows — like The Outhouse in Clifton Heights and The Last House on the Left on Kirby Avenue in Northside. Communities form around these bands and houses, and people that feel like they didn’t fit in anywhere can find a home in someone else’s house. It’s an Island of Misfit Toys that serves Skyline chili. “At the end of the day, I think it’s just an arts community — or a weirdos community,” Hoffman says. Sleeves’ next show is Tuesday, June 24, in the basement of Lucy Blue Main Street location in Over-the-Rhine. Find details here.
 
 

Northside, New Richmond Music Fests This Weekend

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 11, 2014
The Northside Music Festival, presented by Cincinnati design/branding/promotional company We Have Become Vikings, returns this week for its seventh annual event. For the first time, the fest will extend to two days, offering free, (mostly) local music on three stages at the Northside Tavern (northside-tavern.com) Friday and Saturday nights.   

Coming Into Focus

With a push start from Jeff Tweedy, White Denim finds cohesion on its latest LP

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 10, 2014
If Corsicana Lemonade, the fifth full-length studio album by White Denim, sounds like the group’s most focused yet, it didn’t happen by accident.  
by Steven Rosen 06.04.2014
at 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
niles-crop

The Main Library's Inspired Idea for Listening to Vinyl Records

Monthly Listen to This! series introduces "Record Roulette"

Steven Kemple, who was featured last year in CityBeat’s Cool Issue for his innovative programming as the Main Library’s music librarian, runs a monthly Listen to This! session there at which the group (it’s open to anyone) hears in new ways selections from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s vast collection of recordings. The sessions have been inspired, sometimes wittily so — North Korean music when Dennis Rodman visited that country, for instance. Or timely — when all of the underappreciated singer Harry Nilsson’s albums were reissued a while back, Kemple scheduled a Nilsson marathon. But even by his high standards, the most recent Listen to This! was brilliant. Using a computer program, Kemple randomly selected 14 LPs — vinyl albums — from the collection. Then, on a portable record player, he played selections/excerpts from each — accompanied by group discussion. The informal name for the presentation was “Record Roulette.” Those present consistently found unexpected connections in the different recordings, and also made serious and insightful observations. Even  when you might think they would treat something like a joke — during an excerpt from The Speechphone Method, for instance, on which speech specialist Hazel P. Brown read pronunciations of words. One person noticed how the way we say certain words has changed since this record’s 1959 release. And careful listening to Brown’s list-reading of words began a long conversation, not quite an argument, about whether she had a slight New England accent that softened some "R"s. The evening started with the album Ballads by Niles, from the traditionalist balladic Folk singer and Kentucky native John Jacob Niles (who studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music — now University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music). The late Niles, popular in the 1950s, doesn’t get much airplay these days and several in the group weren’t familiar with him. Especially jarring, at first, was the high voice — it made some think of Tiny Tim — as he started singing “Mattie Groves.” But as it became clearer that Niles was using different voices to portray different characters, and that he had an operatic, storytelling approach to folk music, he impressed all present. This was a real find. The other records from which we heard excerpts were: ·Songs of Corsica featuring Martha Angelia (It prompted a discussion about the Corsican language.) ·The Trial of the Cantonsville Nine by Daniel Berrigan, S.J. (This was a play based on an act of disobedience in 1968 — the burning of Selective Service-related files — by Catholic activists to protest to Vietnam War. Berrigan, a Jesuit priest, was one of the nine. That was a long time — the younger members of the listening group weren’t familiar with it.) ·“March from the River Kwai” by Mitch Miller & His Orchestra, from The 50’s Greatest Hits (The whistling prompted a suggestion for a night of whistling songs.) ·Africa: Ceremonial & Folk Music (We discovered the wrong record had been in the jacket for who-knows-how-many-years — we heard the jazzy track “Americanization of Ooga Booga” by South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela.) ·Classical Russian Poetry read in Russian by Yevgeny Yevtushenko and English by Morris Carnovsky ·“April Come She Will” from Collected Works of Simon & Garfunkel, the closest to rock ‘n’ roll the night got. ·From the seventh realm, a Modernist classical work from the 1920s by Arthur Fickenscher for piano and string quartet (This unfamiliar work, from an unfamiliar composer who pioneered microtonal music, was moving – and had us wondering how many other 20th century composers are out there waiting for rediscovery.) ·Pianist Ronald Smith on a 1977 recording of Twelve Studies in All the Minor Keys, Opus 39, by 19th century French pianist and composer Charles Alkan ·The Best of John Williams (Hoping to hear Star Wars, we discovered this John Williams is the classical guitarist, not the film composer. Entertaining nonetheless.) ·In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, performed by the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center under the direction of Jules Irving (Interestingly, the computer picked two plays about political trials of post-war American leftists. Oppenheimer, one of the chief architects of the A-bomb, was persecuted in the 1950s during the height of McCarthyism for wanting international control of the bomb. From what we heard, the 1964 play had interesting and unusual multimedia aspects, possibly a precursor to the John Adams opera Doctor Atomic. We were ready to end with some silly pop by now, maybe the Chipmunks or Weird Al Yankovic, but instead the computer chose for us Three Short Operas by Bizet and Romberg’s The Student Prince from a Readers Digest collection, Treasury of Great Operettas. Afterwards, we discussed it’d be great to have these “Record Roulette” vinyl sessions on a regularly scheduled basis, maybe every other month, so they could build the larger following they deserve. Kemple posts information on a Facebook event page. Meanwhile, his remaining June events at the Main Library — at 7 p.m. — are a lecture next Wednesday, June 11, by noted Cincinnati musicologist David Lewis on Mamie Smith, the famed Cincinnati-born singer of early 20th century Blues and Jazz; a multi-act Experimental Music at the Library session on June 18 with headliner Wrest, a free jazz trio with percussionist Ben Bennett , saxophonist Jack Wright and bassist Evan Lipson; and on June 25 another Listen to This! session.
 
 

Cincy Blues Challenge Band Competition Returns Sunday

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 4, 2014
On June 1, area Blues singer/pianist/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy D. Rogers won the Cincy Blues Challenge competition for solo artists and duos after competing against several other performers at downtown club/restaurant Arnold’s. This Sunday, the Blues Challenge presents the band competition.   

Beat Our Fests

Greater Cincinnati is once again a hub for summer music fests

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The festival scene has long been a fabric of summer in Greater Cincinnati, with church and neighborhood festivals going down every weekend across the region. But during the past decade, almost as many music festivals have popped into the area as well.   

At The Edge Of The Stage

Cincinnati Ballet closes its 50th anniversary season with local music heroes Over the Rhine

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Over the Rhine, the bluesy, jazzy, folksy band headed by blonde chanteuse Karin Bergquist and real-life partner Linford Detweiler, named after Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood where they once lived, this weekend will perform live with Cincinnati Ballet dancers in the closing series of the company’s 50th anniversary season.   
by Jac Kern 04.16.2014
at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
web-blog-ijustcantgetenough-2

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Senior prom is a special milestone for many American teens, but even traditions as old as school dances change over time. Intimate one-on-one dates have given way to group dates and attending as friends. Flip-flops and cutout cocktail dresses replaced the overdone evening look for many girls. And now a southern-fried specialty is getting in the prom game. Kentucky Fried Chicken — What? Yes. — partnered with Louisville florists to create the chicken corsage. For $20, Louisville residents can purchase a corsage from Nanz and Kraft Florists that includes a $5 gift card to KFC, where folks can then go buy the perfect piece of chicken. It can only be assumed that after prom, girls will press the greasy chicken bone between their yearbook pages, just like their moms did with their corsages when they were young. It’s confirmed: Stephen Colbert will take over the Late Show desk once David Letterman retires sometime in 2015. That’ll mean no more Colbert Report and, likely, the end of the host’s faux-servative character. Start the countdown to the announcement of a new reality show following Letterman, Leno (and, let’s just be honest — Craig Ferguson and Conan O’Brien) around Ex-Host Island. Move over, old people! Slightly younger people are takin' yer jerbs!In the contemporary classic Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan’s Cady describes Halloween as, “the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Well, Coachella must be kind of like Halloween for celebrities, except instead of wearing lingerie and some form of animal ears, they throw on the most jumbled assortment of terrible fashion fads. Not sure about the new cream-colored designer jumpsuit you purchased? Try it out in the middle of the desert! Want to channel Woodstock without ever having been to, read about or seen a photo of Woodstock? Grab a Native American headdress and wear that shit to Coachella. The fest is HQ for floral head wreaths, jorts and combat boots (often all worn at once), and for some reason I cannot pull myself away from the celeb photos of this mess. It’s like someone made a slot machine with various teenagers’ style blogs on Tumblr and everyone going to Coachella must take a spin to determine their outfit. “Ooh, I got a bindi, a latex bra, a crocheted duster and gladiator sandals!” Just look at these famous attendees, capped off with Koachella Kweenz Kylie and Kendall Jenner.  But seriously, you need to see this video that’s (probably) of Leonardo DiCaprio Coachin’ it up (people say that, right?) at an MGMT performance, which makes me feel weird and old. And since I brought up Lindsay, the supposedly sober starlet was supposedly washing down all that Coachella dust and glitter with vodka this weekend. The reports come days after the latest episode of her Oprah docu-series, in which she admits to drinking alcohol after her latest stint in rehab. Also, there were a lot of emo scenes of Lindsay filming herself crying. Get it together, girl. OPRAH WILL CUSS AT YOU AGAIN. And everyone knows if Oprah has to cuss at you twice, you will spontaneously burst into flames. Celebrispawn in the media is quite the hot topic as of late, particularly thanks to Dax Sheppard and Kristen Bell vs. Papz (this will definitely be a court case our children will study in history class). But what about fake famous babies — fair game? OK! Leslie Knope is pregnant! Pawnee's upcoming addition will be the Prince George of fictional TV comedy births. Which is to say, a very big deal. Parks and Rec's Leslie and Ben will be the best parents ever. I think I speak for fans everywhere by saying we can't wait for his or her first playdate with the world’s most attractive child, Ann and Chris’ little Oliver. Sunday was an epic night for television with the final Mad Men premiere (sort of) and a crazy-ass episode of Game of Thrones. These two are great popular, critically-acclaimed dramas, but they’re on complete opposite ends of the style spectrum. Mad Men’s seventh season debut was gradual and calculated (as always), giving viewers a chance to fill in the blanks between Season Six and now, speculate on what’s to come and read into every little detail. And by detail, I mean Pete’s California Ken Doll look, which was #flawless. Ratings were way down Sunday — the lowest-rated premiere since the second season's in 2008. Some attribute the drop to a lackluster episode, but the truth is probably that everyone was too busy losing their shit over this week’s Game of Thrones to get into the cool Mad Men mood. Without giving too much away (and because I spoiled “the incident” for myself since I can’t stay off the damn Internet — so I know it sucks), Thrones fans who hadn’t already read the books were treated to a truly righteous, bubbly, bloody scene this week that totally flips the script for many of our favorite characters. Can’t these people get through one wedding without having to immediately plan a funeral? New movie trailers to hit the Interwebz: bestseller-turned-likely blockbuster Gone Girl; two red band previews for 22 Jump Street (The College Years); Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and a manorexic Jason Segel, a comedy that’s exactly what you think it’s about; and Jon Favreau’s take on the foodie world, Chef. Aaand it looks like Jay-Z and Beyoncé may tour together for a string of shows this summer, so I need to go quit my job and fulfill my dreams of being a roadie. Byé!
 
 

I Left My Heart, A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett (Review)

Bennett revue falls flat

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Cincinnati Landmark Productions’ I Left My Heart, A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts presents a musical tribute to Bennett, with more than 30 songs made famous by or famously sung by the legendary crooner.  

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