WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Fine Art vs. Pop Culture in L.A. and Cincinnati

3 Comments · Wednesday, August 8, 2012
An interesting battle about the future of contemporary art — and what should be shown in museums devoted to it — is occurring in Los Angeles right now, where the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art is accused of leaning too heavily on pop culture/celebrity trendiness for his shows.  
by Hannah Cook 07.19.2012
Posted In: Music, Movies at 02:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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When Someone Great Is Gone

Reflections on LCD Soundsystem's 'Shut Up and Play the Hits'

There’s a tremendous breach between a life of stardom and a life of ordinariness; it’s a point of view most of us Joes take. Constantly forming idols for ourselves, we forget that those deemed as “famous” perform such mundane tasks as even putting on underwear in the morning. For some reason, famous people don’t wear underwear — that’s too routine. They don’t have routines, they have fabulous, spontaneous lives. Perhaps they were never even children. Their birth was the moment that you fell in love with what they do. They are an entirely different kind.Shut Up and Play the Hits bridges that gap for us, though. The documentary, directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, was screened in select theatres for only one night — a seemingly arrogant tactic, though I think it was done mostly just because it was the easiest and most affordable (the opposite of arrogant). Lucky for Cincinnati, the Contemporary Arts Center showed it in the lobby of its stone, skate park-like building to a full audience.Shut Up and Play the Hits tells the visual tale of dance/punk band LCD Soundsystem’s final moments as one of the world’s most respected and adored musical entities. The band’s ending, oddly constructed as it was, provoked curiosity: Why stop at the pinnacle of your career? Did you have this planned all along?Using shots of the band’s last show to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden on April 2, 2011, mastermind James Murphy’s life before and after the show, and an actually informative interview, Shut Up and Play the Hits does some explaining, which was what Murphy really wanted. Not only that, but it also takes us through the inevitable emotional roller coaster Murphy and his bandmates rode on, anywhere from feeling “disturbingly normal” to breaking down in the presence of the band’s now jaded yet memorable musical equipment.The film takes a spiral shape, starting and ending at the same spot — the cleaning up of LCD Soundsystem’s farewell show — but with two very different dispositions. At the beginning, we’re still confused as to why, but by the end, as that final heavy synth note rings out, we are understanding — content even — with Murphy’s decision to wholly join a life of normalcy.This normal life seems to revolve around Murphy’s dog. Waking up at 10:32 the morning after the final, drunken show, Murphy lays pensively sleepy with his little dog on his belly, just staring at him. Maybe it’s the dog that keeps him from accepting the sadness of the end, or maybe he just hasn’t been able to look — really look — at his dog in quite some time. Either way, it’s an endearing moment that contrasts like a flash of lightening to the madness of their final show. The back and forth filming techniques foster those aesthetics.In the moments of the show, the film actualizes just how much people treasure LCD Soundsystem. Slow-mo shots of the audience, focusing in on particularly passionate people, combined with the circling lights of the massive disco ball and LCD’s absorbing sounds gave life to the movie, like we were there ourselves. Murphy thanked the fans and his family with an authentic sense of farewell, leading into their final song “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” which was almost too fitting for the circumstances — almost.In many moments throughout the film, Murphy’s gaze suggests a complexity of despondency and hopefulness all at once, whether he’s making coffee or glowing in front of an 18,000-person show. The end is near and never has such an ending become so suddenly swallowed up. The film symbolically leaves us with a weeping fan staring at the dispersing stage, gracefully blurring the line of the sacred and profane. Murphy only wished to leave a stain, but that final note of that final song could very well ring out forever.
 
 
by Jac Kern 07.23.2012
at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Monday To Do List

True Theater, the local group that organizes shows of real, live storytelling, presents another evening of true tales tonight at Know Theater with trueGRIT. Hear accounts of survival, determination and courage told by the people who lived through it — regular folks in the community. Tonight’s show will feature a man who took on his employers to fight racial discrimination; a woman who’s life changed with a gunshot; a man who took on nature in a brave fight and more intriguing, relatable stories. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. event are $15. Feeling crafty, but can’t seem to get past the DIY boards on Pinterest? The Contemporary Arts Center hosts a unique, weekly craft night with “One Night One Craft.” Each Monday, crafters of all levels are invited to learn a new project, mingle with friends, enjoy a drink and walk home with a fantastic handmade item. This week, Professor John Humphries will instruct visitors on painting with wine, coffee and other pigmented beverages. Attendees can expect to create around 5-6 drawings by the end of the night. And don’t worry, the wine isn’t just for painting — there will be a cash bar. Just bring a $5 material fee and leaver your artistic reservations at the door. One Night One Craft: Vintage Views of the City - Painting with Wine runs 6-8 p.m. tonight.Jewish young professionals (ages 21-35) and their dates are invited to a wood-fired pizza cooking class tonight at A Forkable Feast. Access (an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation) presents this event, where JYPs will create their own pizzas from scratch, fire them up and —best of all — eat ‘em! The fun begins at 7 p.m. Guests should have already RSVPed here. The Clermont County Fair is in full swing this week, with plenty of exhibits, rides, classic grub and various contests. Today, visitors can check out the Valley Exotics petting zoo (noon-9 p.m.), carnival rides (2-11 p.m.), “baby contest” (which I can only assume is a child auction; 4 and 8 p.m.), a tractor pull at 7 p.m. and live entertainment from Willis Music students (7-11 p.m.). The fair continues 8 a.m.-midnight daily through Saturday. Admission is $10, most rides included with entry.
 
 
by Mike Breen 07.18.2012
Posted In: Music Video, Music News at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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LCD Soundsystem Film Screens Tonight at CAC

'Shut Up and Play the Hits' debuts tonight nationwide for one-time-only screening

Following the successful screening of acclaimed Sigur Ros concert film Inni in April, the Contemporary Arts Center is showing another hot music flick. Tonight (on the same night and at the same time as an ever-growing list of theaters and venues nationwide) the CAC is screening Shut Up and Play the Hits, the much-anticipated concert film/documentary about hugely popular Electronic/Dance/Rock band LCD Soundsystem’s final concert, which took place April 2, 2011, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.The film — which has received awards from both the Sundance and SXSW film festivals — features plenty of live footage from the finale, but the narrative focuses on bandleader James Murphy’s day-to-day life leading up to the show (and the day after) as he ponders the “personal and professional ramifications” that come with deciding to break up one of the top bands on the planet at its peak. As of this morning, tickets were surprisingly still available (most screenings around the country have sold out). I'd call ahead to make sure there are some left (513-345-8431). Or if you can get to the box office early, tickets are on sale for $10 ($5 for CAC members) in the CAC Store. Screening is at 9 p.m., but you can show up starting at 7:30 p.m., have some drinks and tour the museum. Here's a brief clip from the film.
 
 
by Jac Kern 06.29.2012
at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 6/29-7/1

Pride Week is underway, so don your hottest rainbow garb, stay cool and get ready to celebrate the local LGBTQ community. It's been a good year to be gay and there are plenty of events this weekend to cap it all off. You can find a full guide in our Pride Issue, but weekend highlights include Friday's Skyy Vodka Pub Crawl — 4 Shuttle Loops, 16 Stops, & 17 Bars for $10, Saturday's Cincinnati Pride Parade and Festival — 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Downtown, and NKY Pride Sunday.What better weekend for the opening of an exhibit called Fly Your Own Freak Flag? Northside's Thunder-Sky, Inc. will display 60 flags created by funky artists from across the city, country and world, beginning with a reception from 6-10 p.m. Friday. The exhibit runs through Aug. 11 and some flags will be featured in Wednesday's Northside Fourth of July Parade.The Madeira Criterium Bike Race invites cyclists of all skill levels to compete Friday beginning at 4:30 p.m. Bikers will zip around the one-mile course on Laurel and Miami avenues, as onlookers enjoy a street festival with plenty of food, drinks and live music. Cash prizes go to the winners of each race heat. And speaking of heat, if you're going as a competitor or an onlooker, be sure to stay hydrated on this scorcher.The Contemporary Arts Center hosts an interactive film screening and dance party Saturday at 9 p.m. Set to the music from Girl Talk's All Day album, Girl Walk / / All Day is a long-form music video follows three dancers in New York City. After you watch the pros turn the urban landscape into their own stage, bust out your own moves at a DJ dance party. Arrive early for a pre-screening dance class at 8 p.m., where choreographer Heather Britt will teach the routines seen in Girl Walk. Doors open at 7:30. Free for members, all others pay CAC admission.First Sundays May-October mean Tri-State Antique Market in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Ring in July with some bargain hunting and vintage shopping at Indiana's largest antiques market, open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Each month is different, but shoppers can expect fine art, jewelry, pottery, home goods, furniture and more retro knick-knacks than an episode of American Pickers.
 
 

Patti Smith Is Coming to CAC

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Word has started to get out that Contemporary Arts Center’s 2012-2013 season will feature a major show by Patti Smith. But it hasn’t yet been made clear — because the show isn’t scheduled until next May — that this is meant to be far more than just a local stop on a national museum tour.   
by Mike Breen 05.29.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Music Video at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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CAC to Screen LCD Soundsystem Concert Film

'Shut Up and Play the Hits' to screen nationwide on July 18

After a successful screening of an acclaimed Sigur Ros concert film recently, the Contemporary Arts Center is showing another concert flick soon, this time on the same night as dozens of theaters nationwide. On July 18, the CAC is listed as one of the venues screening Shut Up and Play the Hits, the much anticipated concert film/documentary that follows LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy as he preps for his band's final ever concerts, which took place at Madison Square Garden last spring. The film will be in theaters (or art museums, in our case) for one night only, then presumably be issued on DVD. (No release date on that yet.)Tickets for most screenings go on sale June 8. Click here for updates. The film will be shown at the CAC at 9 p.m. and accompanied by a DJ set. Here's the superb trailer for Shut Up and Play the Hits.
 
 

Letting Sleeping Giants Lie: Jannis Varelas

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Jannis Varelas’ exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, Sleep, My Little Sheep Sleep, is a multi-media installation of exaggerated figures collaged together from banal materials, the first in a series of projects organized by guest curators from around the world.  
by mbreen 05.02.2012
Posted In: Music News at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Feist Talks About CAC's 'Spectacle'

Canadian singer/songwriter calls music video exhibit "incredible"

Singer/songwriter Leslie Feist (best known for her hit "1, 2, 3") was in town April 9 to discuss her work in the music video world at the Contemporary Arts Center downtown. Her appearance with director Martin de Thurah (who directed her clip for "The Bad in Each Other") was a part of the programming related to the current exhibit, Spectacle: The Music Video, which, according to the clip below, Feist quite enjoyed (and enjoyed being a part of).Feist on 'Spectacle: The Music Video' from CincyCAC on Vimeo.If you haven't seen Spectacle yet, you still have plenty of time. The exhibit is up through Sept. 3. Click below for a couple more clips about the show.

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by Jac Kern 04.27.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 4/27-4/29

OTR Skate, Cincinnati Opera Gala, Steampunk Symposium, ReUse-apalooza and more

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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