WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
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.  

Cool Issue 2013

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 18, 2013
 Ok. So, obviously using the word “cool” to describe something is, in fact, decidedly “uncool,” but that’s not going to stop us from labeling the following people, places and things as cool Cincinnati shit of which you should definitely take note.   

Cool Stuff Happening This Fall

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Events, art and music to jam-pack your fall with coolness.   

The Arts Are Alive!

Dare to experience a bounty of art offerings in Cincinnati — and beyond

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 21, 2013
This fall features countless exciting opportunities to support the arts around the city (and beyond) in the fields of visual arts, dance, vocal arts and classical music, theater and film. We encourage you to break out of your typical routine this season, and this Fall Arts Preview is stocked with plenty of ideas for your calendar.  

Staying True

Grizzly Bear’s rise in popularity hasn’t swayed the group from continuing to make music they love

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Grizzly Bear is the kind of band that sneaks up on you. Its atmospheric, richly textured songs take time to process, its hooks less overt than your typical Indie Rock outfit’s. The band’s four multitalented members are just as understated in personality and presentation, all of which makes Grizzly Bear’s steady upward trajectory somewhat surprising.  

Four Innovative Opera Performances

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Opera is the operative word for June. Cincinnati Opera kicks off its 93rd season with expanded venues, programming and some of the hottest singers on the scene.  

Reflections Eternal

The quintessential Patti Smith discusses Mapplethorpe, her time in Cincinnati and an upcoming Contemporary Arts Center exhibition and concert

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Both Smith and Mapplethorpe found their place, of course, and became famous — she as a quintessential alternative-rocker and he as one of the country’s top fine-art photographers.   

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