WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Grammy Haters, RELAX!

Plus, flatulence isn't always funny and Prince still hates the Internet.

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Open up your social media feeds from Jan. 26 and you’ll learn that this year’s Grammys were a crime against music and all involved should be executed.  

Moment of Clarity

Sobriety and a more relaxed approach help make Southeastern Jason Isbell’s finest album yet

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
“Cover Me Up,” the somber opening song on Jason Isbell’s latest album, Southeastern, includes this revealing lyric: “I sobered up and I swore off that stuff, forever this time.”   

The Ariel Quartet to Perform All 17 Beethoven String Quartets

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 22, 2014
In the world of chamber music, Beethoven’s 17 string quartets are the ultimate summit. Composed over a span of more than two-and-a-half decades, Beethoven created masterpieces of astonishing beauty and complexity that never fail to engage listeners.  
by Zohair Hussain 12.19.2013
Posted In: Interview, Local Music at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Brick, Melody and Mortar: The Rise and Enthrall of Molly Sullivan

It was sometime back in September that I stumbled upon the story of Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry, and her piece in The Guardian about the unfortunate realities she faced as a female musician. Only days later, I heard the stories of classical composers wearing their own diadems of misogyny. All these forces were crumbling away at what I once believed to be the most progressive industry we had at our hands.  With such revelations came a personal desire for truth at a closer proximity. I honed in my lens and turned it on the state of our own music scene, and the circumstances of female musicians in the Queen City. I may have stumbled a bit the first time I saw Molly Sullivan perform. It could have been the champagne. It could have been the wine. It could have been the sheer, uprooting shock of such a sneakily sultry voice filling all the quiet corners of a room. It was 2011 and the setting was a birthday party at the neo-historic Marburg Hotel, and local heroes Shadowraptr had just finished their set in the basement — a lush and operatic performance of their usual brand of psychedelic Prog-Rock, with Jazz sensibility. They didn’t disappoint with an expectedly raucous presentation, and we didn’t back down as an ever energetic crowd. It was in a quiet aftermath, among friends and fellows just as imbibed as our beer-soaked shirts, that I wove my way through a hallway maze and sauntered into a living room with an organ against its back wall. At its helm sat Molly Sullivan. As she would come to tell me nearly three years later, “Going back to when I first started playing out as a singer songwriter, I always felt this extreme pressure and insecurity of being a female musician…whose music was tending to be more on the delicate side of things, an emotionally driven side of things. It required a little stillness from the crowd.” But back looking back on that night in March 2011, stillness was inevitable. Warm from wine and an approaching spring, the handful of us that sat in the living room did so with an active passivity.  But even as heads lolled against neighbors’ shoulders or against the walls at our backs, there was an intensity in every pair of eyes that I glanced into; all were watching, focused, as Molly struck a chord and then another, taking us through the coziest part of the evening with two or three ballads of life, lovelorn. It was an intimacy that couldn’t have escaped those of us even if it had tried, and only a brief, drunken sampling of where Sullivan had started her story, rising to the ranks of the recognized, respected and regaled. Before that, she was front woman for the electronically infused No No Knots and a few months after that, she would play out as a solo artist with a backing band, making a stop at The Heights Music Festival and a New Year’s Eve show at the Southgate House Revival in 2012, before a brief hiatus kept her choruses hushed. Sullivan admits that a lot of the anxious cogs of her earlier years were weighed on heavily by being a female musician in a primarily male-dominated scene. “I feel like it’s a lot easier for men as artists,” Sullivan Says, “generally, because you have the potential to be the heartthrob, and also it’s not necessarily a sissying thing to go to for a guy. So I feel like there’s more of an audience inherently built in.” In the later months of 2013, however, she re-emerged, armed with a loop-accentuated sound and a solo confidence that she speaks fondly of. Crafting songs, sonically clad with vocal layering and solid to the string guitar work, Sullivan took her one-woman symphony on the Cincinnati circuit, to high acclaim — winning the solo artist bracket of FB’s local “Last Band Standing 2013” battle of the bands, and earning herself a spot on one of the participating MidPoint Music Festival stages. Sullivan had dedicated time to playing earlier shows in spots she would normally not perform, in venues and around crowds she would normally not consider being her primary audience. She says she found new courage in taking these risks. Though initially unsure about even participating in the event at FB’s, Sullivan came to find her hesitation was unnecessary. “I made some assumption about the clientele there – it’s kind of known to be like a bro bar,” Sullivan explains. “I was thinking, ‘They’re not gonna get my art.’ That ended up not being true.” When asked about the progression of her performance presentation, Sullivan says, “I think I’ve actually come to learn — just by doing it when I’m in a bar and everybody is silent — just like recognizing that there’s something captivating about the simplicity and the emotion of being present with your songs. It’s a really empowering thing when people are dedicated to listening and joining you in that experience.” Sullivan also recognized the power of community, and the part that earnest encouragement from within the Cincinnati scene played in her career as a musician. One pillar in her support group is claimed by The Daughters of The Midwest, an ensemble stage set of premier, female musicians dominating the Cincinnati area. “I’ve definitely kind of geared my energy towards being supportive of other female musicians,” Sullivan says, “supporting Kelly (Fine), Mia (Carruthers), Maya (Banatwala). And now that I’m back out there again, because of the support that I’ve been shown.” “I think it’s a really powerful thing to have a female musician community to support each other,” she continues. “And as soon as I got back into it, it made it a lot easier to go with the flow and be excited for people wholeheartedly.” And looking outside of the just the female musician community, Sullivan vehemently recognizes the support of Cincinnati as a whole. Sullivan expresses an appreciation for her time playing with The No No Knots, as well as the support she received from the members of Cincinnati’s Marburg Collective. As she explains, "There’s mostly positive reinforcement floating around. There’s kind of this really solid to the earth community here that exists that wants to support." She admits that what hides outside of Cincinnati is what scares her most. We traded stories and conversations about recent revelations of ignorance and misogynistic skeletons in some of contemporary music’s most renowned scenes, tales of classical composers saying woman have no place in conducting pieces. Sullivan acknowledges being weary of “the whole, big wide world,” with such possibilities floating around in clouds of reality. “Cincinnati scares me in its own ways,” she says. “Almost what scares me more is beyond what’s Cincinnati, just the competitiveness that can be fruitful if you’re successful in the game. And I think part of me has been afraid of success, because with that success, you know what’s gonna come: it’s gonna be that banter online, all those anonymous people hemorrhaging bullshit…Why bother?” Even with such uncertainty for outside markets, Sullivan exhibits an insight and strength that propels her forward, even more so because of her acknowledgements of the bad that can come with the good. She says she’s learning to navigate her way around “the hemorrhaging bullshit.” Her awareness of everything that can dampen an otherwise well lit stage is what makes her voice so definitive on the conversation about the regressive mentality of misogyny that can still exist in our present day music-scape. There exists within Molly Sullivan a partnership between community appreciation and individualistic impetus. She acknowledges the power of community backing, saying it’s a “powerful thing to have a female musician community to support each other.” And she recognizes the groundwork that’s been laid out in years past. “We’ve seen the rise of a few female fronted bands come through,” Sullivan says, “and people are more willing to be excited for that and support it.” (She cites the Seedy Seeds and Wussy as pioneers for female musicianship.) Sullivan is aware of where we’ve been and where we are. But what’s more, she’s ready to take us to where we need to be. And she’s ready to do that with a self-made spirit. “I’m getting to a point where I don’t give a fuck really,” Sullivan says. It was with a new impetus that she’s approached her musicianship. “I’ve grown stronger as a female musician,” she says. “Now I’m just kind of like, well, if you don’t want to listen to it then fuck you, you don’t have to be here. It took me a long time to get to that point, and I still kind of have some insecurity about it. But most of the time I’m just like, ‘Molly, grow a pair, get over it.’ ” Sullivan also explains the intentionality behind her current solo-set performances. Much in the same vein of playing in new venues, under possibly uncomfortable lights, she exhibits a drive to explore her boundaries, and expand past her limitations. “I’ve chosen to do these things by myself,” she says. “If I’m going to play with a band later, I need to be OK playing solo first. It’s been really empowering, doing all of that.”  She proves herself to be relentless and, though hurt, unscarred by the outside forces of misinterpretation and misogynistic pressures. It’s with a knowing, weathered paddle that she navigates these future streams. And it seems she couldn’t be more pleased with the direction she’s headed. “So far, it’s been really lovely being back.” She takes a moment, at the end of our conversation, to reflect out loud. “Would you look at that? I did that. And I don’t need anybody else. I’m all about collaboration, but it’s really good to know that I don’t need anybody. I’m capable.”
 
 
by Jac Kern 12.18.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, technology, Movies, Music, Humor at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The 2014 Golden Globes, hosted by the dream team of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, take place Jan. 12 and nominations have been announced. Here we go! In the motion picture sector, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle lead the pack with seven nominations each. The America’s Sweethearts Showdown will finally play out as Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) is pitted against Julie Roberts (August: Osage County) for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (along with Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine, Lupita Nyong'o – 12 Years a Slave and June Squibb ­– Nebraska). Yes, I'm really trying to make the J. Law/JuRo(?) rivalry happen. Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey were rewarded for the physical deterioration they underwent to star in Dallas Buyers Club — they’re up for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture and Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama, respectively. On to television selections, Netflix series House of Cards raked in four nominations, the most of any series. The HBO film Behind the Candelabra also garnered four nods, but in three categories — stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas are up against one another for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie. Rob Lowe’s amazing work as Liberace’s plastic surgeon/pill pusher in Candelabra gets lauded with a nomination for the broad Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie category, but that statue will likely go to Aaron Paul for his performance in the final season of Breaking Bad. New-to-2013 shows Masters of Sex, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Ray Donovan each received two nominations. I was totally in love with the inaugural season of Masters this year, so I’m happy to see it up against some solid series for Best TV Series, Drama, even if it probably won’t win. I can’t bring myself to watch Brooklyn (despite my love for Andy Samberg!) because it looks decidedly unfunny, but I keep hearing I need to check it out, so judgment reserved. Ray was a decent new drama. Jon Voight killed it as the fresh-out-of-prison father to the titular character, a Hollywood “fixer” played by Liev Schreiber (also nominated). Voight’s Mickey brought the laughs in an otherwise dark story, from his penchant for big-booty video girls to the advice he gives to his nauseated grandson: “Maybe you need to faht!” Noticeably absent are Homeland, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men, and I am OUTRAGED! OK, I’m starting to sound like everyone who’s ever listened to a local band after the CEA nominations are announced. #sitthehelldown But seriously, Damien Lewis’ performance as Homeland’s Brody, while limited on screen this season, was incredible. He truly has played so many sides and shades of the character. That detox scene? Haunting. He nailed the deterioration of Brody completely. I also thought this was one of the best seasons of Boardwalk. Completely biased opinion: John Huston’s Richard Harrow has been my favorite character of the series (besides Lucy, played by the incomparable queen of mot messes Paz de la Huerta, OBVS). With so many other amazing characters, it’s totally understandable that he wouldn’t leave with an award, but…Richard! "Hold me." As for Mad Men, neither the show nor its actors have won a Globe since 2009, when it was awarded for Best TV Series, Drama. The show is not suffering — in fact, watching Don (Jon Hamm) finally crack and start to act like a real human was incredible this season. Oh, well. There’s always next year’s Emmys, I guess? Read all the nominations here.It’s almost Christmas, so what better time for another Apple ad to make you unexpectedly shrivel up and bawl? Beyoncé blew the top off the Internet late last week, surprise-releasing 14 new songs plus 17 music videos in a full, mega, meta “visual experience” of an album, leaving most of us with nothing left on our holiday wish lists. Titled simply Beyoncé, the package features collaborations with Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Drake and Blue MFing Ivy, sexy-ass songs with some straight up raunch, audio/video from Star Search and home movies and several shots of Bey’s thonged butt. It’s perfection. And because no one can ever get enough Yoncé (That’s right, it’s Yoncé, Mrs. Carter if you’re nasty), she’s also releasing a mini-documentary about the album in various parts, day by day. Buy the package, watch the videos and get swept up in the Carter life here. John Mayer and Katy Perry are totes an item and, in case you needed any reminders of what a supreme douche J. May is, well, here’s their first couples interview (gag) — skip to 2:50 for John’s really touching words about Katy’s craft/to hear him drop an F bomb (edited out, thanks ABC!) while doing so. Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames. R. Kelly(’s PR) thought it would be a good idea to get #askrkelly trending, to spark a sort of AMA with Twitter fans, and it was a total marketing fail. In fact, the timing of the backfired publicity stunt led perfectly to this Village Voice interview with the Chicago Sun-Times music critic that broke the story detailing R. Kelly’s involvement with underage girls almost 15 years ago. This journalist, Jim DeRogatis, reminds us just how disgusting of a rap sheet R. has. I guess somewhere between Trapped in the Closet parts V and XXVI, we forgot the dude was a legit pedo. Buzzfeed dubbed Newport Aquarium’s Scuba Santa one of eight “Most Badass Santas in the World,” not to be confused with “One of Most Extreme Santas in World,” as reported by basically every other local media outlet (buncha babies). If there’s just one viral family Christmas video-card (ugh) making its rounds that particularly makes me want to gouge my eyes out, it’s the Holderness family’s. Set to the tune of the very current “Welcome to Miami,” this family of four teaches us what the holidays are truly about: bragging about the year’s accomplishments. Namely, running triathlons, appearing in blockbuster films and learning Chinese — in their "Christmas jammies." Fucking white people. Shia LaBeouf was a child actor, so I guess he never went to school to learn that copying off your neighbor's work is pretty much universally looked down upon. That's the only explanation I can come up with to justify his plagiarizing of Daniel Clowes' comic Justin M. Damiano for his new short film, HowardCantour.com. Read all about the fiasco here, and see the similarities for yourself. LaBeouf said sorry via Twitter, which should be enough, but he apparently lifted his apology off Yahoo Answers. So help us all.
 
 
by Zohair Hussain 10.28.2013
Posted In: Music Commentary, Music History at 02:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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All Yesterday's Memories, All Tomorrow's Parties

Remembering Lou Reed

I was a few months shy of 16 when I first heard the lucidly stark voice of Lou Reed stream over the airwaves. I was just another suburban weirdo, looking for a justified rebellion to call his own. I had spent those “formative years” sleeping around with any album loud enough to drown out my inner white noise, moving through a steady stream of Hardcore, Punk, Metal  — if they were screaming it, I was buying it. As it turns out, though, what I was really looking for was a quieter sort of revolution, and at the helm was Mr. Lou Reed, telling me with a frank honesty that there was freedom in the composition. It was, like any great lesson, one I’d come to learn in time. To say I enjoyed those first striking chords of “Heroin” would be an understatement. It was on a snowy night in 2007, crammed in the back of a friend's Yaris Liftback, when I first heard it. I can’t remember exactly where we were previous to that moment, when that raw melody first came in. All I can remember is how I suddenly became more aware of myself than ever before. Everything I knew about music, about artistry, about writing — all of it would change with that first overlap of beautiful melody. I was mesmerized, shaken from a stupor of conditioned knowledge and thrown into a concoction of John Cale’s haunting strings with Lou Reed’s candid crooning. By the time Maureen Tucker’s drumming kicked in, sparse in its reverberation, my resolve would be just as stripped, replaced by a wily knot that would take years to untie. Though, right then, the song was just “fucking awesome.” It would only be years later, waking up to a chilled October morning in 2013, that this memory would even begin to matter. As the headlines would come to read, “Lou Reed Dead at 71,” so, too, would the horizon appear most clearly. I’ve always been a firm believer in the crossover of influences, the collaboration of mediums in shaping any sort of artistry. As a writer, I can proudly say that the recorded sound has had just as much influence on me as the written word. And when I heard the Velvet Underground for the first time, it became clear that they believed in a similar marriage, affirmed on the morning of Oct. 27. With the news of the passing of a legend came an onslaught of anecdotes from around the arts world, plastered against my computer screen. Amidst the mass of legends, one story stood out in particular. As according to Rolling Stone, it was 1965, and the first few months of the Velvet Underground playing under their iconic moniker. They had began a residency playing in New York’s Café Bizarre and in the beginning stages of developing their distorted and chaotically composed sound. Management was set on having performers play more contemporary numbers, and warned the band not to play their original composition “Black Angel Death Song.” They went on to perform the number anyway, fit with all the chilling accidentals in its string arrangements, and were fired immediately.Though they would emerge from that loss victorious (it led to their introduction to Andy Warhol, the man who would come to produce their record and put them on the map of the underground art scene of ‘60s New York), there was something bigger about that moment, something more pressing in my association with it. Incidentally, “Black Angel Death Song” was the first thing I clicked on Sunday morning when I heard the news of its writer’s passing. The strings were suddenly more haunting, and the story seemed all the more important. It was yet another quintessential moment in the life of Lou Reed, a man who sang with unbridled frankness, who played with unencumbered passion, and who inspired me with the tirelessness of his dedication to honest expression. It transported me back, seven years and a lifetime ago, to that night in December 2007, when I first pricked my ears with another of his songs, that found, all at once, both comfort and chaos within itself. Though I’d spend the lapsed time between 2007 and 2013 finding appreciation for the 40-plus years of Reed’s prolific career — from “Black Angel Death Song” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” through “Satellite of Love” and “Pale Blue Eyes” and even up until his Hudson River Wind Meditations — it would always be that compositions that would stay, forever imprinted in my mind.“Heroin” became, for me, a love song to the in between — it was everything I’d been listening to up until that point and nothing I’d ever heard before; it was the sentimentality of Indie Rock, the calm before the double bass in hardcore, the simplistic, chord interplay of Punk and its cleaner cut cousin Pop. And, at the same time, it was also the recklessness of avant-garde, the soundtrack to the colors of an underground New York I’d only experience in preserved murals and snapshots. It was everything I’d known, and everything I would come to know about music, about art, about sound and about writing. There are moments that comprise your past, songs that take you to a memory you thought you’d left. And then there are moments that define your future, songs that propel you forward into infinity. Lou Reed, and what he accomplished before, with and after the Velvet Underground, stood as a symbol for finding freedom in ones composition, and pushing the statements made to work in a fashion of success. It was a lesson I would learn time and time again in my own work, as I moved through the progression of my writing and my own performance techniques. I would come to face my own obstacles, fight my own battles against normative expectations. And it would be in those times I fell the deepest, my resolve threatening to falter, that this education would come back to me, mysterious in its origins, all the while growing, like a backbone that stood rigid for honest experimentation and freedom in the composition. Even now, as this mystery’s been unearthed, its inductor put to rest, ahead of me remains miles and miles of still shrouded possibility. But against that wall of lessons I’ll stand, riveted, staring towards the looming unknown. And I’ll try for a different kind of kingdom, if I can.
 
 
by Belinda Cai 10.17.2013
Posted In: Reviews at 11:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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REVIEW: Man Man at the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, Ohio)

Man Man is a band that thrives on live performances, aka circus-themed Halloween parties sprinkled with confetti and a touch of grotesqueness. The five-piece experimental group has an insatiable flair for the dramatic and is never short of kooky stage props. This held true at Tuesday’s performance at the Wexner Center of the Arts, where a sleeping Furby, a werewolf-like skeleton holding a wig and a colorful glow-in-the-dark drum set augmented the band’s theatrical presentation. Front man Honus Honus (Ryan Kattner) dazzled as he frantically played the keys — often times with his foot, even — and sang with his customary raspy fervor. He was a shape-shifter extraordinaire, transforming from normal dude to circus ringmaster of sorts to alien. His manic wardrobe changes were anticipated, as it is basically a Honus trademark. The rest of the band — Pow Pow, T. Moth, Brown Sugar, Shono Murphy, as well as talented opening artist Xenia Rubinos — likewise entertained with lots of dancing and instrumental finesse. All of this is pretty formulaic for Man Man. However, it’s not every day that the audience at a concert gets to share the stage with the band itself. The show took place in the “black box” space of the Wex’s vast Mershon auditorium that seats nearly 2,500 people. Guests stood on the stage, which was blocked off from the rest of the auditorium, to watch the show in an intimate, tight-knit setting — ideal for moshing and the like. Unfortunately, the concession at show was lacking. There were $1 waters and pops available but no booze, which perhaps explained why there was little to no moshing. Although highly energetic crowds and moshing are routine at Man Man concerts, the Columbus show was just as fun without the raucousness. It had more of a respectful “in awe” type crowd, which fit nicely with the band’s attempt at adopting a more mature and refined sound with their new album.                                                                                                                     Man Man kicked off their set list with “Oni Swan” and “Pink Wonton,” the first and second tracks off of their recently released album, On Oni Pond. “Oni Swan” is a brief instrumental opener for the catchy and vibrant “Pink Wonton,” which critics claim most closely embodies Man Man’s previous musical style. On Oni Pond was the focal point of the show and this was made evident by the backdrop that showcased the album art courtesy of artist Andrea Wan. The band affectionately played tracks such as the sultry “Paul’s Grotesque,” the boisterous “Loot My Body,” their more relaxed and heartfelt single “Head On,” “King Shiv” and “Born Tight.” It was apparent that Man Man embraces its newer, mellower sound, which has a focus on bona fide lyricism rather than sheer eccentricity. The band also made sure to satisfy diehard fans of their previous albums Life Fantastic, Rabbit Habits, Six Demon Bag and The Man In A Blue Turban With A Face by playing hits such as “Zebra,” Piranhas Club,” “Mister Jung Stuffed,” “Hurly / Burly,” “Doo Right,” “Push the Eagle’s Stomach” and others. Despite the new direction of On Oni Pond, the overall eccentricity of Man Man was not lost during the concert. In fact, the band upped the ante in this aspect. Honus came out in a sparkly hooded cloak during “Haute Tropique,” a song about a serial killer, and proceeded to fling confetti onto the audience. He did this as he sang, “Oh here's a story of a lovely lady / Who had three daughters who drove her fucking crazy / She hacked ‘em up with an old machete / And threw a party with dead daughter confetti.” Grotesque has never been so fun and glittery. I have to admit that the best part of the show was the extended encore, during which Honus came out in an Anderson Cooper shirt that my sister just so happened to airbrush for him. “I love it. Maybe I’ll actually give it to Anderson,” he said to her before the show, when she presented it to him. (Yes, my sister and Honus are acquainted and yes, I am totes jealous.) Honus had a cameo on Anderson Cooper 360° in September in regard to Man Man’s Wolf Blitzer-themed song, “End Boss.” He appeared on the segment in a bad ass tunic with Wolf’s face plastered all over it and, hey, it got Anderson’s attention. What more could one want?So Honus came out for the encore in the Anderson shirt and proceeded to perform four very popular fan favorites from older albums — “Steak Knives,” “Van Helsing Boom Box,” “Engrish Bwudd” and “Young Einstein on the Beach.” The first two songs were melancholic and heartfelt, playing on the emotions of the audience. The latter two were crowd-pumping, face-melting tracks that completely changed the atmosphere from somber to vivacious, ending the show on a high note. Even without the booze, Man Man was one hell of a party and a band that is worth every dollar to see live.
 
 

Nonprofit Produces Children's Songs About Pro-Social Behavior

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 16, 2013
David Kisor and Tom Lottman, a composer and researcher, respectively, work in harmony perpetually crafting a chorus of “strength-based” education for Growing Sound, a division of Children, Inc. that produces children’s songs and music videos to encourage pro-social learning in the early years of childhood.   
by Jac Kern 09.26.2013
Posted In: Music, TV/Celebrity, Humor at 09:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

New Orleans Hip Hop artist and “Queen of Bounce” Big Freedia was twerking back when Miley was still “Hannah.” Her booty-shaking anthems like “Azz Everywhere” command crowds to pop their shit — Cincy was lucky to get a taste of Big Freedia during the 2011 MidPoint Indie Summer Series. Now that the world has gotten wind of twerking, completely taken it out of musical context and become grotesquely obsessed with it, Freedia is here to tell us the true story of bounce music and booty dancing. Check out the new docu-series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce on Fuse debuting Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 11 p.m. Big Freedia hosted Guinness World Twerking Record dance-off in New York City Wednesday. Yes, there is now an official world record for “most people twerking at one time.”                          1:05 - Twerk, Grandma, TWERK! Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday night — his second major award hosting gig this year (He also filled the role at July’s Tony Awards). NPH did a fine job, but the skits and monologues were nothing to write home about. Maybe he needs a break from being the face of every awards show? After an excruciatingly long intro monologue (saved barely by the flawless Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), the night kicked off with the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Nurse Jackie’s Merritt Wever answered everyone’s prayers by skipping an acceptance speech altogether to give us a bathroom break (turns out Wever wasn’t shooed offstage for time considerations as speculated — she was just nervous, which is adorable). Veep’s Tony “Buster Bluth Forever” Hale nabbed the Supporting Actor in a Comedy prize, later reprising his role as the Vice Prez’s bitch boy onstage when co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy. Other notable wins of the night: Anna Gunn (Skyler White, Breaking Bad) was finally validated with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama after portraying a major love-to-hate character for five seasons. Breaking Bad was also awarded as the best drama series, because obviously. Side Note: For those unable to watch Sunday’s Breaking Bad series finale in real time and all you pathetic chumps still not caught up, social media can be a landmine of spoilers. That’s why Netflix created the Spoiler Foiler, which censors the tweets in your feed that contain “breaking,” “bad” or other “danger words.” But until we see the day when people realize “I can’t believe XX killed XXX” is not share-worthy commentary, no one is truly safe. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama was full of worthy contenders: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut, Breaking Bad) to name a few. But it was Bobby Cannavale who deservingly took the trophy for his role as Gyp Rosetti, Boardwalk Empire’s Season Three villain. As much as I adore the other nominees, Cannavale’s take on the dangerous, hypersensitive Italian gangster Gyp was a performance to be reckoned with. James Cromwell won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his role in American Horror Story: Asylum (the show’s only major win, despite having the most nominations). Cromwell is great in everything from Babe to Six Feet Under, but his role as this sexually repressed mad scientist was truly chilling. Finally, The Colbert Report beat The Daily Show (among others) for Outstanding Variety Series, breaking Jon Stewart’s 10-year winning streak (although Stewart is actually an executive producer for Colbert, so he kind of won, too). Go here to see all the nominees and winners. Richard Simmons (who really seems to be popping up everywhere lately, which I'm loving) got done up in drag to pay tribute to his fave Emmy nominees                               (Richard Simmons dressing up like a man can also be considered drag, I think) If you needed an explanation for why hashtags are inherently stupid, you probably have much more pressing problems than those confined to social media. But thankfully, besties Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake are here to drop some knowledge. #truthbomb Because women aren’t perceived as nagging bitches enough, there’s Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train to call out dudes for not minding their personal space on public transportation. ONLY MEN DO THIS! Including the one and only Robb Stark, actor Richard Madden. The American Horror Story: Coven trailer is here! After AHS’ lineup of signature teaser videos, we finally get a glimpse of what wicked witchery lies ahead. The series premieres at 10 p.m. Oct. 9 on FX. (Teasers followed by the first trailer at 3:38)
 
 

Photographic Memories

'Reverberation' exhibit showcases evocative live music photography during MidPoint

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Might a picture be worth a thousand songs? It’s possible that a photograph, as much as an MP3 player full of tunes or a head full of memories, is the best way to recall attending a concert by a favorite act. Not just something shot far from the stage on your shaky iPhone, but rather the kind of image that an inspired photographer — with media access and lots of skill — can take up close.  

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