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INSIDE SWING HOUSE Camp Washington’s radically new experiential, experimental and interactive artwork abode BY STEVEN ROSEN

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NEWS

FCC and City Council Zero in on the West End Despite opposition, a deal that would put a soccer stadium in the West End looks likely BY N I C K SWA R T S EL L

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Cincinnati’s West End PH OTO: NIC K SWARTSELL

stadium site,” a statement from the community council reads, referring to the stadium’s proposed location on Central Parkway. “The Over-the-Rhine Community Council voted to oppose the West End stadium proposal at its March membership meeting, following the lead of the West End Community Council.” FC Cincinnati announced April 5 it would not go forward with a stadium in Oakley, and a deal with site owner Corporex hasn’t come together for the team’s potential Newport location, according to FCC officials. That left the West End, where FCC officials have been working overtime on a last-minute deal after blowing through the latest March 31 deadline, which Berding says was set by Major League Soccer. The team is competing with Sacramento and Detroit for an MLS expansion franchise. “Experience shows that successful MLS teams have stadiums in the urban core. While we believe in Oakley, it is not as close to the urban core as desired,” a statement from FCC reads. “We do not believe Oakley is the best fit for a move into MLS at this time.” In the statement, FCC acknowledged opposition to the stadium in the West End. Despite the opposition, Berding said that the team is committed to making something work. The team’s statement cites “nearly three months” of work engaging the West End. The team participated in a number of public hearings held by CPS and community groups, Berding pointed out in the statement. “While we have yet to achieve necessary political support to advance plans for a privately financed stadium in the West End, we continue to engage elected leaders in Cincinnati to build a winning partnership here in the city,” Berding said.

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the city’s average rent, which has hovered around $1,000 a month in recent months. The neighborhood contains roughly 1,000 units of rental housing locked into long-term affordability due to ownership by Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority or because they were built by private developers like The Community Builders using Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The gap between subsidized affordable housing and the number of West End residents who can’t afford the usual market rate rents has fueled concerns by some residents and community advocates that a stadium could raise property values and displace low-income West Enders. A number of resident associations for West End apartment communities like Stanley Rowe Towers, City West, Liberty Apartments and Regal Manor, organized by stadium opponents and claiming to represent half of the neighborhood’s roughly 6,000 people, have also expressed strong opposition to the stadium in a recent statement. “We remain solidly against the location of an FC Cincinnati stadium in the West End neighborhood because we know that this would lead to the further gentrification of our neighborhood and the displacement of ourselves and many of our neighbors from our neighborhood,” a statement from the resident associations’ presidents reads. In addition to the West End Community Council’s vote opposing the stadium, the Over-the-Rhine Community Council has also voiced opposition. OTRCC says its wishes had been ignored by the team, and that its questions and invitations to come to community council meetings sent to FCC had gone unanswered. “These is a dense residential neighborhood just about 200 feet from the proposed

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two of which are adequate affordable and income-based housing. This notion that we should continue to subsidize big business on such a large scale and wait for it to trickle down to the working class is antiquated and factually untrue.” Sittenfeld and Mann were joined by former Mayor Mark Mallory, whom FCC hired to do community engagement. Mallory called the deal the largest single investment ever made in the West End. African American Chamber of Commerce President Eric Kearney, players and coaches from the West End-based Little Senators youth sports program and others were also present. FCC President and General Manager Jeff Berding was not at the news event, nor was Mayor John Cranley, who was on vacation. A week prior, Cranley had promised his own legislation supporting a stadium in the neighborhood. West End Community Council President Keith Blake praised the deal. “This could be the beginning of a bright future,” he said. Blake told reporters that the relationship between the neighborhood and team would need to evolve as they work together. Blake presided over a committee of the West End Community Council that somewhat controversially submitted a “framework” for a community benefits agreement with the team after a vote against the stadium by the council’s general body. A subsequent vote by the neighborhood approved participation in a community benefits agreement if the team decided to come to the neighborhood despite the council’s no vote. Previously, Berding and Mallory pledged that FCC wouldn’t build in the West End if residents said they didn’t want a stadium there. The team says a poll it paid for shows a majority of residents are open to the idea. Stung by memories of past displacements — from federal Urban Renewal to more recent changes in subsidized housing — not everyone in the West End shares Blake’s optimism, however. Census data shows that the neighborhood’s median household income is less than $15,000 a year, and that more than 3,000 of the neighborhood’s residents live below the poverty line. Another 1,300 live above poverty level but still well below the income needed to comfortably afford

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n April 6, Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld held a news conference in the West End to announce a deal that seems likely to bring FC Cincinnati’s privately financed $200 million stadium to the neighborhood. The deal comes despite months of opposition to the stadium from many community groups in and near the West End, including a 50-10 vote against the facility by the West End Community Council. Sittenfeld and Councilman David Mann’s proposal would see the team paying an estimated $25 million in property taxes to Cincinnati Public Schools — a major sticking point in earlier negotiations — to build on the site of the district’s Stargel Stadium. The team would replace that stadium across the street and pay $100,000 a year in an as-yet-to-be negotiated community benefits agreement. The deal would also leverage land around the stadium currently owned by FCC to create more than 160 units of affordable housing worth roughly $15 million in private investment. The city would be on the hook for about $34 million in infrastructure improvements to move gas, sewer and water lines, as well as pay for road improvements, site preparation and 750 parking spaces. With Sittenfeld and Mann backing the plan, it seems likely to have the five votes necessary to pass through Cincinnati City Council. “This agreement will codify what it means to be a good neighbor, and because of its importance, we’re not going to rush it,” Sittenfeld said. “City Council will be the official convener in the weeks and months ahead to get the details right for how the neighborhood and this development can move forward in a way that is truly synergistic.” Not everyone on council is on board, however. Council members Tamaya Dennard and Greg Landsman released statements critical of the deal. “My priority from day one has and will remain the residents of the West End,” Dennard said in an email. “I want Cincinnati to become a Major League Soccer city. I’ve enjoyed attending FC Cincinnati games. But I don’t think it should come at such a great expense to the taxpayers. Our city is struggling with many challenges that need our resources and attention,

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NEWS

Cincinnati Gets a New Historic District BY N I C K SWA R T S EL L

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corner of Over-the-Rhine that contains a couple of iconic neighborhood structures became Cincinnati’s newest local historic district on April 4. Cincinnati City Council approved legislation that names a short sweep of West McMicken Avenue and surrounding streets, centered around Hamburg Street, the “Sohn-Mohawk Historic District.” Representatives from the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, which pushed for the historic designation, say it’s another step in their hopes to shore up a larger, northern part of Over-the-Rhine. They also hope that unique elements of their efforts will become a model for future historic districts. The area received national historic district designation in 2015, which helps those looking to preserve and renovate buildings score Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits. But the local designation gives preservationists new tools to protect the neighborhood’s urban fabric. “The local district actually has teeth — it can protect buildings from demolitions and ensures appropriate renovation and infill development,” Brewery District CURC Executive Director Steve Hampton says. “It makes sure we keep the character of the district.” The district is about three blocks wide, north to south, and is part of the larger Mohawk area, which extends from the Brighton Approach southeast to Findlay Street. The Sohn-Mohawk District is one of two historic districts proposed by the 2011 Brewery District Master Plan, which looks to spark development in the northern half of OTR and surrounding areas. The other proposed district, the Germania Brewery Historic District, would be across from the existing Mohawk-Bellevue Historic District further northwest up West McMicken Avenue. The new Sohn district fills a gap between that area and the Over-the-Rhine Historic District to the south. The Mohawk area played a key role in the expansion of Cincinnati and its brewery industry as it grew up alongside the Miami and Erie Canal. Its central corridor, West McMicken Avenue, dates back to 1792 when it was built as Hamilton Road. The road was the main route from Cincinnati to the recently constructed Fort Hamilton, 35 miles north. Then a small village, Mohawk blossomed after the construction of the canal finished in 1827. Activity continued to intensify in the 1840s and 1850s, fueled by breweries and an influx of immigrants from Germany and elsewhere. Cincinnati annexed the village in 1849. The Sohn district contains some noteworthy buildings from that bustling time period, including the historic Sohn/Clyffside brewing facility, constructed in 1887 with

The Imperial Theater (top) and the Sohn/Clyffside brewery building PH OTO: NIC K SWARTSELL

additions dating from the 1930s. The site hosted a number of breweries over the span of more than a century — from Hamilton to Sohn to Mohawk to Clyff Clyffside breweries. The final brewing operation to occupy the location, Red Top, went out of business in 1957. The building has a long, sometimes wild past. In August 1925, during Prohibition, federal agents streamed into the brewery, reportedly firing at a delivery driver after learning that the Mohawk company was brewing alcoholic beer there. A number of employees were arrested and beer production ceased until 1933, when Prohibition was repealed. Another building in the district you’ll probably recognize is the Imperial Theater, constructed in 1913. The theater started out as a vaudeville house before transitioning to movies — first general interest, then of the adult variety. Efforts have been launched in recent years to restore that building and its iconic, 1930s-era marquee. Other structures in the district are also rich in history. The oldest, at 281 W. McMicken Ave., was built in 1850. The appeal of the neighborhood goes beyond any single building, though,

Hampton says. “It’s a really great collection, along McMicken and Mohawk Place, of an intact street wall,” he says. There are only a few missing buildings. Many of the structures are Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire or Romanesque, styles also found — and widely celebrated — in southern parts of OTR. The city’s Historic Conservation Board approved the SohnMohawk District in October of last year, and the City Planning Commission unanimously approved the district designation and the new historic preservation guidelines back in February. Those guidelines are unique, according to Hampton. “All current guidelines are text based, and not very user-friendly,” he says. “We’ve developed a very graphic and easy-to-follow set of guidelines, so even a layperson can work through the process and know what they’re getting into.” Mike Morgan of the Brewery District

CURC helped draw up those guidelines. He says the aim is to improve the historic preservation system in Cincinnati — and maybe even nationally. “This has been a process that took more than five years,” Morgan says. “It’s really all based on years of experience of what hasn’t been working right in preservation here. This is a relatively small district, but the broader hope here is that this is a first step in making the entire preservation system in the city more user-friendly so that it can do a better job of preservation and also make the system more predictable to small-scale developers.”


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CITY DESK

Experts: Cincinnati Police Reforms Still Need High-Level Work BY N I C K SWA R T S EL L

Council Approves Internal Investigation of City Manager BY N I C K SWA R T S EL L

A report issued in February by Cincinnati Police officials sheds some new light on ways in which the department is implementing key tenets of the city’s 2002 police reforms, says a panel of experts convened by the city, but it still leaves big areas for concern. While CPD more clearly articulated its efforts to practice the more collaborative, less aggressive and more precise style of policing called for in the reforms, the department still hasn’t implemented those approaches consistently at the highest levels, experts say. At the core of the panel’s past critiques of CPD: its implementation of something called Community Problem-Oriented Policing, sometimes simply called problem solving. That approach calls on departments to abandon aggressive traditional policing tactics for so-called Community Problem-Oriented Policing practices, which are meant to engage community stakeholders to zero in on a few perpetrators of serious crimes while reducing arrests and use-of-force incidents. A report released in January by that panel, headed by criminal justice expert and former court-appointed Collaborative Agreement overseer Saul Green, said CPD hadn’t been doing that in many cases and had strong words for the department.

“Taken literally,” the panel wrote of a previous report provided by CPD, “it states that the City of Cincinnati has unilaterally withdrawn from the Collaborative Agreement.” CPD officials, however, said that they simply hadn’t fully articulated to Green and his team the ways in which they’ve been practicing reforms. “Based on the feedback offered by the Independent Contractor, CPD recognizes that we could have included additional information to better convey our continued commitment to problem solving in meeting our goals of Community Problem-Oriented Policing,” CPD officials wrote in a supplemental report released Feb. 16. That report contains examples of projects the city says are problem solving efforts, along with positive outcomes brought by those projects. The experts’ newest report, released March 30, lauds the department for some previously un-articulated projects that follow the new methods detailed in CPD’s February response, but also suggests that the department isn’t careful about how it tracks and measures those efforts. Further, the department isn’t usually implementing problem solving on a wider scale, according to Green’s team. “We must note... that all the efforts described in the reports from the districts are what might be called ‘beat-level’

problem solving efforts,” the March 30 report reads, before noting that some efforts in non-district CPD units like the Criminal Investigations Section seemed to have a wider scope. “Problems obviously come in a variety of sizes, so it is critical for a police department to be addressing the full range of problems that are thrust upon it with commensurate resources.” Activists say the reports from Green’s team show that the city still has work to do. “These things mean something and they have actions behind them and we need to hold them to that,” said Black United Front’s Iris Roley of police and city leadership at a recent police accountability forum in Roselawn. Roley was a key player in work to bring the Collaborative Agreement together. Despite reductions in arrests and shootings, blacks still find themselves in the backs of police cruisers more often than their white counterparts. In the first half of 2017, roughly 72 percent of adult CPD felony arrests and 63 percent of misdemeanor arrests were of black citizens, according to CPD data, though blacks make up just 42 percent of Cincinnati’s population. The disparities among juveniles are even more stunning. Ninety-six percent of youths arrested for felonies and 89 percent arrested for misdemeanors by CPD in the first half of 2017 were black, according to CPD data.

Cincinnati Sites Nominated for Federal ‘Opportunity Zones’ BY N I C K SWA R T S EL L

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Cincinnati is the site of several “opportunity zones” recommended by Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s administration for a federal program designed to increase investment in low-income neighborhoods.

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The Opportunity Zone program, ushered in by Republicans in Congress as part of last year’s tax reform efforts, is aimed at bringing in more money to neighborhoods that have seen scant investment or business creation in the past few decades. But it’s untested and could have downsides, some policy experts warn. The Kasich administration’s local recommendations for the program encompass Census tracts in Avondale, Bond Hill, Camp Washington, Corryville, South Cumminsville, Evanston, North and South Fairmount, Madisonville,

parts of the Price Hill neighborhoods, Northside, Queensgate and the West End. Overall, Ohio recommended 320 tracts for the program — 25 percent of its low-income Census tracts and the maximum allowed under the program. The state considered local input from city and county elected officials, development professionals, port authorities and other groups in making its selections. Most counties submitted more than 25 percent of their Census tracts for consideration, according to the state. CityBeat is seeking further information about the selection process. Lawmakers say the program will work by providing capital gains tax breaks to investors who pour that income into “opportunity funds” for businesses that locate in the

designated areas. Investors can put their capital gains into an opportunity fund and, after 10 years, sell their holdings from that fund without tax liability. Census tracts designated by states must meet income criteria to be included in the program. However, some policy analysts fear the zones could have little benefit for low-income residents of the communities in which the investments take place and could spur neighborhood change that displaces them. “The theoretical effect of the Zone tax subsidies on local residents is ambiguous,” Brookings Institution’s Adam Looney wrote in late February. “It’s a subsidy based on capital appreciation, not on employment or local services, and includes no provisions intended to retain local

residents or promote inclusive housing.” Looney goes on to point out that Opportunity Zones differ in important ways from past federal programs centered around Census tracts like the Clinton-era Empowerment Zones program, which included incentives for local employment, boosts to locally owned business and provided grants to municipalities to invest how they saw fit. No such mechanisms exist within Opportunity Zones — meaning, Looney says, they could just become tax breaks for those with capital gains sitting around at the expense of low-income residents. Others have been more positive about the concept, including Democrats like U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. The New Jersey senator, along with Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, helped draw up the Senate provision within last year’s congressional tax reform bill that created the Opportunity Zones program.

Cincinnati City Council members David Mann and Tamaya Dennard, both Democrats, will undertake fact-finding interviews in an investigation into the behavior of City Manager Harry Black, according to a plan council approved 9-0 on April 4. That plan differs from an earlier proposal that would have brought in an independent counsel to investigate the dueling allegations between Mayor John Cranley and Black. A court reporter will attend the hourlong, voluntary interviews with city employees into Black’s behavior, which will begin April 16. A transcript of the proceedings will be made public after they are reported to the full council. The city manager will be given the opportunity to present a rebuttal. One question left somewhat unanswered is who will pay for independent legal representation for Black. Generally, the city solicitor’s office would represent city employees in these kinds of disputes, but City Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething is a potential witness about Black’s behavior, according to Cranley. Black requested independent council for what he called the “quasi-judicial proceedings” and said he has already identified Tobias, Torchia & Simon as the firm he would like to represent him. “Due process is what this country is supposed to be built upon,” Black said during council’s meeting April 4. “The city manager deserves that due process — even if it’s not quick, even if it’s not inexpensive.” Cranley asked Black to resign March 9, shortly after the city manager said a “rogue element” within the Cincinnati Police Department was working to undermine CPD Chief Eliot Isaac. Cranley says his request is not related to controversy within CPD. The city manager refused to leave, however, and some African-American groups including the Cincinnati NAACP have defended him, as have some council members. Cranley says the city manager has engaged in a pattern of retaliatory and verbally abusive behavior against city employees, and says Black earlier this month made a late-night phone call threatening to cut Cranley out of economic development meetings. Black recently fired back, saying Cranley’s level of involvement with deals between the city and developers was inappropriate and possibly legally problematic. Council rejected a $423,000 settlement Black and Cranley agreed to. Black, saying he wants to stay on as city manager, has refused to accept a smaller, $174,000 severance package council approved.


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the all-new

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Camp Washington’s radically new experiential,

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experimental and interactive artwork abode

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PHOTOS BY HAILEY BOLLINGER

“Art house” traditionally has been a term used in the movie business to connote the type of theaters, usually small and urban, that favor indie and foreign films over Hollywood fare. But Mark de Jong, a trained artist as well as a renovator/reimaginer of old houses, has a different — and far more literal — meaning for the term. It is a house whose restoration/ alteration is done to turn it into, first and foremost, an overall work of art. How people live in it — even whether people live in it — is of secondary concern. De Jong has previously done commercial renovations, and even took preliminary steps toward creating a full-fledged art house with two earlier projects. But he has been working

on the Swing House, as he calls it, for three years now. It is a freestanding 1880s threestory brick building, with a narrow interior width of 15 feet, that is representative of much of Cincinnati’s 19th-century traditional residential architecture. With a blue exterior accented by tin ornamental designs, it fits nicely in the middle of the block-long Avon Place in Camp Washington, a street containing nine homes reasonably similar in size (plus an old warehouse). The street runs between Spring Grove Avenue and an industrial plant. Neither the location nor the building’s appearance to passersby would lead one to expect that a major new work of Contemporary art, an ambitious and unusual

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house

house-size sculptural installation, awaits inside. It is called Swing House because de Jong has removed the interior walls and upper floors and built a swing right in the middle of the opened-up interior. Made from reddish pine he salvaged from third floor joists, the swing is attached by 30 feet of natural-fiber rope to a newly installed metal beam on the ceiling. The swing is functional in and of itself, yes. But swings are hardly a common inclusion for homes, so this one has far more than a practical use. It represents freedom from architectural convention — it’s a radical departure from our expectations of everyday domesticity. It is, thus, not merely a swing. It is an experiential and experimental artwork — as is the house that surrounds, complements and is named for it. “Architects use the term ‘program’ a lot,” de Jong says. “In my past projects, I may have included artistic elements, but all the CONTINUES ON PAGE 12


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The swing’s ropes are attached to a metal beam across the ceiling.

The swing, positioned between the kitchen island and the bed, awaits use in Mark de Jong’s Swing House; wall artwork (right).

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considerations were made around the program of renovating a house. But in this, the program of the house is really the swing… the arc of the swing. All the decisions I made are about the swing.” Word has slowly seeped out citywide about de Jong’s accomplishment, even if the results haven’t been widely seen. The quietude on de Jong’s part was because he hadn’t finished yet — he carefully plans every detail to have symbolic significance and does most of the work himself. But he has had Thanksgiving-weekend open houses and has welcomed touring groups — including a recent one from Chattanooga, Tenn. CityBeat last year named it “Cincinnati’s Best Architectural Artwork

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Y Probably Haven’t Seen Yet,” and ran You a widely republished photograph by staff photographer Hailey Bollinger of de Jong on the swing in the middle of this home. It was breathtaking. But Swing House is now complete, minus a few exterior touches, and is ready for its first, sustained Cincinnati — and, hopefully, national — close-up. The Contemporary Arts Center on April 20 opens an exhibition devoted to it. It will be on display through Sept. 2. (See sidebar.) The CAC will display art objects and material derived or inspired by Swing House, plus new work by de Jong. As part of the exhibit, the CAC plans to offer special tours for members during the exhibition, but de Jong will also hold public open houses on his own from noon-4 p.m. April 28, May 5, May 12 and May 19, with

“The Swing House exceeds the structure itself,” says Steven Matijcio, CAC’s curator, in explaining the Swing House exhibition that will open April 20 to highlight Mark de Jong’s accomplishment. “The house has become a seedbed that has created all this work around it.” A highlight of the show will be the large staircase that de Jong removed from the house’s interior when he removed the upper floors. He kept it as part-artwork and part-artifact. It will be displayed on its side so it can be appreciated for its shape, texture, color history and endurance. But there will be much more, including six videos made by C. Jacqueline Wood throughout de Jong’s process of creating Swing House; a commissioned audio artwork about the CAC show by Britni Bicknaver, planned for opening night only; a Super 8-millimeter home movie and children’s drawings that de Jong had found left behind in Swing House; and more. (Bicknaver’s audio artwork also will include a second show opening April 20 that is

possible additional dates added. “To me, it’s changed the landscape of what art and architecture are in Cincinnati,” CAC Curator Steven Matijcio told CityBeat in April 2017, when he first announced the show. “I’ve not seen a project like this since I’ve been here. I think it’s a major piece that can stand on its own in a national spectrum. I wanted to give it that platform.” For de Jong, the museum exhibit is validation for Swing House as an art house — and for his years devoted to working toward it. “Because of having a show at the CAC, I feel like I don’t need to defend it,” he says. “You can call it architecture, housecraft, art — of course, it’s all creative. But foremost for me is art. When I was working on this, I was wondering, ‘How am I going to get this known out there?’ It was

related to buildings and features Minnesota artist Chris Larson.) The CAC has also commissioned de Jong and Larson to reimagine its Zaha Hadid-designed building; de Jong is working with architects John Isch and Renee Martin on a vision that would open it up more. Further, there will be a new work that de Jong has created for the show — some 300 circular objects, each roughly the circumference of a paint can, that he has cut out of the walls of his in-progress Stair House, revealing layers of paint and wallpaper accumulated from past residents. They will be mounted on a wall in a grid, creating the illusion of floating. “They become little paintings,” de Jong says. “They’re absolutely gorgeous and one of my favorite pieces.” Swing House opens at the Contemporary Arts Center (44 E. Sixth St., Downtown) April 20 and runs through Sept. 2. More info: contemporaryartscenter.org.

important for me to have a relationship with the art world. The CAC show has given me an opportunity.” It’s all the more satisfying because de Jong saved a building in bad shape when he acquired it in 2015, through the city’s nuisance abatement procedure. “I was aware the house had been boarded up by the city, and there was a good chance it could be torn down,” he says. “I didn’t want that to happen.” But de Jong wasn’t out to obliterate the building’s past by constructing, or deconstructing, something completely new. He wanted to find a way to remind people of Swing House’s past, even while giving it a new future. “I like to say the collaborators are the past tenants, and also the craftspeople that originally built it or were hired to work on it throughout the years,” he says. “I’m interested in the story of the house and preserving it through my lens.” There is far more to Swing House’s artistic accomplishment than just its swing. There is also all you can see while swinging — or sitting or standing. Among the highlights: In many places on the interior walls, de Jong has removed layers of plaster and paint to reveal older layers, giving all the past colors of its former rooms a chance to visually converse with each other while we watch and “listen.” Light blue still dominates the home’s lower portion, darker blue the higher regions, but there is much variety. He has also used a red-pigmented plaster, signifying warmth, to trace pathways between wall outlets and power switches. “I kind of see the whole house as being a canvas,” he says.


The wood furniture that de Jong made — sometimes from reused house material, sometimes from other sources — is an extension, rather than an interruption, of his art-house ethos. The pieces are designed to be used, but they also have an illusory quality. The modernist wood kitchen island, which contains a sink and burners, has a base that’s ever so slightly recessed, as if it’s disappearing before our eyes. The bed, which is toward the back of the house and up against a wooden wall protecting a new metal spiral stairway to the basement, has a mysteriously dark shadow underneath it. Only with great determination can you spot its disguised feet. The three period-accurate wooden cabinets, which are restored and modified, do have feet — but they don’t touch the floor. They appear to be levitating. (They actually are attached to the walls.) “My reference is the fact that the swing doesn’t touch the ground,” de Jong says. “To the best that I can, I made the furniture

look like it floats.” Ethereally dreamy as the “floating” furniture may be to look at, as if you’re gently hallucinating, it’s the ceiling that is liable to get the most eyeballing. You can see it while you swing. The strong metal beams that de Jong had to install along the sides and roof of Swing House, since the load-bearing floors were removed, serve like a set of Christo’s gates through which one swings. And as you do, if you look up, there’s a white hourglass-like form painted on the otherwise-black ceiling. There are also two sleek, Minimalist-style white ceiling fans that look like 1950s-era atomic clocks. “I’ve always seen the swing not so much as a vehicle for pleasure as a vehicle for contemplation and the passing of time,” de Jong says. “When you see the hourglass shape on the ceiling, the swing acts as a pendulum and is descriptive of time passing.” And that gets to the larger meaning of Swing House. “This piece, in its perfect manifestation, is about experiencing,” de Jong says. “It is to really be alone inside the space. A couple or an individual will be having a quiet moment with the house, with my work and with my journey. Being on the swing is about contemplation of lives lived — those who lived in the house as well as that of the person participating in the piece by swinging.” The spiral

stairway that twists from the main level to the basement — sort of like descending into water as it passes blue tile walls — leads to a new bathroom and a HVAC system. But de Jong has also turned the basement into a gallery for smaller pieces of art inspired by, and/or reclaimed from, the project. Along one wall is a thin Mobius strip-shaped piece of wood from the third floor — it looks elegant, like a bow tie for a classy building. Protruding on steel armatures from one white wall are circular, multi-colored remnants from the bottom of old paint cans. De Jong found them in the house. He loves to create art out of such things: “That’s something that’s a seduction for me. If there’s evidence of the past, that means there must be a story tied to it.” Camp Washington is itself a colorful neighborhood, with a strong history as a manufacturing center in addition to its rich supply of older houses. On a recent weekday, the machinery of a gigantic scrap reclamation operation on Spring Grove Avenue clanged away. A trailer-truck with several mangled automobiles waited at its front gate to enter. But the neighborhood has also seen an influx of arts and cultural spaces in recent years — it even has a genuine tourist attraction in the American Sign Museum. Swing House, then, serves as an inspiration for the changes coming to the neighborhood. “Swing House fits into this idea of people in Camp Washington being really creative, and able to utilize spaces and assets in unconventional ways to make interesting things happen,” says Calcagno Cullen, director of the nonprofit Wave Pool art space on Colerain Avenue. (De Jong serves as its board president.) “It helps to elevate the neighborhood by speaking to Camp Washington’s past and future through its reuse of a house,” she says. Although born in The Netherlands and raised in North Avondale (his late father Kees was a University of Cincinnati

Artwork on the wall of the basement gallery

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Red-pigmented plaster leads to switches, outlets.

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A “floating” cabinet

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Swing House exterior

geology professor), de Jong has been making Avon Place in Camp Washington the center of his interests for some time now. His late mother Else purchased a warehouse there in 1980; de Jong owns it now. All told, he owns six buildings on the street and lives in one of them with his affectionate cat, Spinoza. “She was ceramicist, a potter, and she bought this building back when I was 14,” de Jong says of his mother. “I helped her with it — the first expression of me working on buildings. I lived here for a couple years in the late ’80s, when I was young, and I always loved it. So when I had the opportunity to buy the property, fix up the place and live here, I did that. I thought it would be a short time until I made my next move.” Before he settled into this locale for good, de Jong first studied to be a fine artist. With hindsight he sees it as valuable, but it was frustrating at the time. After graduating from the School for Creative and Performing Arts, he studied art at the University of Cincinnati but took several years off to travel and live elsewhere. He returned to get enough college credits to transfer to Alfred University in New York State, where he graduated with a BFA degree. “That experience really helped me have the language I have now,” he says. “That said, when I got done with art school in 1993, I did two shows over a period of years and I didn’t find my fit within the model of a studio-based artist. I did use architectural elements in my work, but my wheels were spinning. So I made a very conscious decision to stop art.” That was in 1995. Even during his college years, he had worked construction, so he returned to it. He learned painting, plastering, carpentry and specialty finishes. At some point, he segued into buying houses to fix them up and sell. In 2005, he took possession of his mother’s warehouse, which came with a small house next door. He started renovating another Avon Place home in 2012, which he called Circle House: a precursor to Swing House that uses circles as an architectural element. “Circles kept popping up — I can’t even say it was a conscious decision on my part in the beginning,” he says. “So I made circles a central theme and added them as art elements in affected spaces.” That led to Square House in Northside, which also incorporated geometric shapes in an artful way, while still essentially taking the form of a home renovation project. It has since been sold. And he is not standing pat with Swing House — he’s already started work on Stair House, also on Avon Place. “It will be a study in similarities and contrasts with Swing House,” he says. So what now happens to Swing House as de Jong moves on? He’s unsure. “I would say I’m still open to what it could be,” he says. “I’ve had some thought of it being an Airbnb model. I don’t know what the future is. I just know it’s part of me.” It’s also now part of all of us.

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STUFF TO DO WEDNESDAY 11

ONSTAGE: There’s never a dull moment in Cincy Shakes’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. See review on page 21.

ATTRACTIONS: Confederate Currency: The Color of Money at the Freedom Center John W. Jones was working as a graphic artist at a blueprint firm some two-decades ago when he stumbled upon a Confederate bank note with a picture of enslaved Africans picking cotton. Intrigued, he went on to research Confederate states’ currency and discovered Southern efforts to economically justify owning people with farfrom-accurate depictions of slavery printed on the money. Shockingly, this prime example of propaganda is left out of most history textbooks, but Jones has brought the images of grinning enslaved people diligently tending to the demands of the American economy back to life through his paintings. He has juxtaposed his artwork with framed Confederate currencies. The Color of Money experience should not be missed or rushed. Through July 13. $5 with general admission: $15 adults; $13 seniors; $10.50 children ages 3-12. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown, freedomcenter.org. — MCKENZIE ESKRIDGE

ONSTAGE: Kate McIntosh’s interactive In Many Hands will be performed at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. See feature on page 20. EVENT: National Grilled Cheese Day Tom+Chee is celebrating National Grilled Cheese Day the best way they know how: by serving grilled cheese. Cincinnati’s favorite Shark Tank-featured grilled cheese/ donut/tomato soup franchise is offering $2 traditional grilled cheese sandwiches at participating restaurants from open to close. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday. $2. Tom+Chee, 125 E. Court St., Downtown, tomandchee. com. — MAIJA ZUMMO COMEDY: Greg Warren St. Louis native Greg Warren returns to his adopted hometown this week with a run of shows at the Liberty Funny Bone. “I am working on a new album,” the former P&G employee reports. “I’m pretty excited about the new material. Some of my favorite new

Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week PHOTO: JAG’S STEAK & SEAFOOD

bits are about my struggles to understand farming, a restaurant that brags about making their own ketchups and my love for trashy vacation spots. I even have a new Wright Brothers joke for you Ohio people.” Warren is also trying something new on this tour. “I added a kid-friendly matinee show at 3 p.m. on Sunday,” he says. “I have tried it twice and it’s really done well. We do some PG-rated stand-up and then bring kids onstage and interview them.” Through Sunday. $12-$15. Funny Bone Liberty, 7518 Bales St., Liberty Township, liberty.funnybone. com. — P.F. WILSON EVENT: Cincinnati Canstruction Awards Gala Cincinnati features loads of historic architecture, but every year architects, engineers and other design-oriented teams build structures made of canned foods destined to take a tumble — and get donated to the Freestore Foodbank. The competition kicked off Tuesday, with 15

firms getting five hours to construct their masterpieces at various locations around town, like the Scripps Center and the downtown branch of the Cincinnati Public Library. Celebrity judges visited the sites Wednesday, deliberating winners in six different categories. The temporary art won’t come down until April 29, but the 2018 champions will be announced Thursday at the Cincinnati Canstruction Awards Gala at the Backstage Event Center. Tickets include appetizers and desserts. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday. $15. The Backstage Event Center, 625 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnaticanstruction.org.  — MCKENZIE ESKRIDGE EVENT: Yappy Hour at Washington Park Happy hour goes to the dogs Thursday evenings at Washington Park for Yappy Hour. Head to the Southwest Porch to snag some drink specials, then mix and mingle with humans and

their four-legged friends at the dog park for themed fun. 5-8 p.m. Thursday. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org. — MAIJA ZUMMO EVENT: Runway Rundown: Drop it like it’s Haute The 21c Museum Hotel hosts fashion blogger Olivia Johnson (Baubles to Bubbles) for an evening that is part viewing party, part social hour. Johnson will be sharing her favorite items from this season’s collections from fashion houses like Chanel, Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. There will also be a cash bar, buildyour-own popcorn station and the soft opening of the 21c Cocktail Terrace. 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Free. 21c Museum Hotel, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, facebook. com/21ccincinnati. — MAIJA ZUMMO

FRIDAY 13

ART: Wigmaker and artist Stacey Vest’s Immerse

opens at Pique gallery. See an interview on page 18. MUSIC: Keyboardist/circuit bender Marco Benevento heads to Octave. See Sound Advice on page 32. ONSTAGE: Ada & the Engine Think computer programming began in Silicon Valley in the 1990s? Lauren Gunderson’s play will underscore how wrong you are. Ada Lovelace, the only legitimate child of the notorious Romantic poet Lord Byron, was a fiery, brilliant mathematician in England in the early 19th century. Her friendship with inventor Charles Babbage, creator of a “thinking engine,” a mechanical device that performed mathematical calculations, led her to envision a machine that could follow instructions — making her the first computer programmer. Her controlling mother was just one of the many obstacles she faced. Ada’s story — a sort of JaneAusten-meets-Steve-Jobs

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ONSTAGE: Sooner/Later Playhouse in the Park, Mount Adams (through April 21)

MUSIC: The prolific John Darnielle and The Mountain Goats bring a fascinating discography to the Woodward Theater. See Sound Advice on page 32.

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Ongoing Shows

THURSDAY 12

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ART: The Slide Show Show We’ve all been there: quivering with fear at the

head of the classroom, bathed in the pale glow of the projector screen as you try to conjure the words to present the group project you’ve failed to prepare for. While this may seem like a nightmare scenario to most, it’s a source of inspiration for the 10 artists and designers participating in Chase Public’s Slide Show Show. Half of them have created their own decks of slides, and the other half must present those slides without any prior knowledge of what they contain. Hilarity will almost certainly ensue. Admission is free; BYOB. 7-10 p.m. Wednesday. Free. Chase Public, 2868 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, chasepublic.com. — JUDE NOEL

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FROM PAGE 15

tale — still has meaning today. Through May 12. $25; $15 rush tickets (night of perfor performance); free walk-up tickets on Wednesdays. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre. com. — RICK PENDER

SATURDAY 14

MUSIC: Brooklyn’s Triathalon brings a sultry and detached silk-scape of sounds to Urban Artifact. See Sound Advice on page 33.

ART: Pre-Existing Condition at Thunder-Sky, Inc. This new exhibit at ThunderSky, Inc. features the work of four artists — Blake Clark, Amy Castelino, Tracy Featherstone and Dion Hitchings — who engage with “found and unfound” materials. Northern Kentucky-based artist Clark and New Jerseybased Hitchings both use deconstructed product packaging as surfaces upon which to create their work, whereas Castelino and

Featherstone repurpose cast-off objects such as grocery bags and broken bits of ceramics. Featherstone, professor of art at Miami University, has been reinventing her own sculptural practice for several years, with an emphasis on reused and repurposed materials. Opening reception 6-10 p.m. Saturday. Through June 1. Free. Thunder-Sky, Inc., 4573 Hamilton Ave., Northside, raymondthundersky.org. — MARIA SEDA-REEDER EVENT: The Welcome Project Re-Opening Party Settling into a new place with countless social barriers is no small feat, but The Welcome Project assists refugee and migrant women by equipping them with fabrication and art skills, storefront management experience and, most importantly, a sense of community. Makers and shakers behind the nonprofit have spent the last six months transforming The Welcome Project space into a more accessible and open environment, but

without further ado, the shop will officially reopen at 6 p.m. Saturday, fully stocked with handmade goods, Nepali street food and the product launch of Illumination, a Welcome-Projectexclusive storytelling kit designed by University of Cincinnati Industrial Design student Amy Marks. Adding on to the art extravaganza, Welcome Project neighbor Wave Pool will also offer a drop-in crafting session with visiting artist Haydee Alonzo. 6-8 6-8 p.m. Satur p.m. Saturday. Free. The Welcome Project, 2936 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, welcomecincinnati.org.  — MCKENZIE ESKRIDGE

MONDAY 16

EVENT: Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week Since 2016, Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week has been offering a curated craft dining experience at restaurants across the city: chef prepared, special multi-course prix fixe menus priced between $25 and $35.

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C I T Y B E AT. C O M

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WEDNESDAY 11

FILM: Vertigo A fixture on all-time best films lists, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is a dizzying account of acrophobia and romantic obsession, most noteworthy for the stylistic legacy it left behind. Hitchcock’s fingerprints are all over the work of David Lynch, whose Mulholland Drive borrows its atmosphere from ’50s Hollywood and a penchant for ambiguous identity that dates directly back to Vertigo. Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner even referred to the film as a major influence, citing its “beauty, mystery and obsessive detail” as a source of inspiration. Head to the Esquire to find out why Vertigo stands the tests of time: step into the dreamscape. This is the first film in the Esquire’s Alfred Hitchcock Series Vol. 2 program, followed April 18 by Psycho and April 25 by The Birds. 7 p.m. Wednesday. $10. Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, esquiretheatre.com. — JUDE NOEL


PHOTO: SHERVIN L AINEZ

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MUSIC: MUSIC: They They Might Might Be Be Giants Giants Though Though they they might might not not be be chosen chosen as as headliners headliners of of aa Monsters Monsters of of Alternative Alternative Rock Rock tour, tour, John John Flansburgh Flansburgh and and John John Linnell Linnell — — better better known known as as They They Might Might Be Be Giants Giants — — have have built built one one of of the more impressive careers out of any band to emerge from the “College Rock” scene the more impressive careers out of any band to emerge from the “College Rock” scene of of the the ’80s. ’80s. TMBG’s TMBG’s endurance endurance is is the the result result of of always always following following its its own own slightly slightly eccentric eccentric path; path; early early on on the the duo duo created created “Dial-a-Song,” “Dial-a-Song,” in in which which fans fans could could dial dial aa phone phone number number every every day day to to hear hear aa new new tune, tune, and and later later they they created created one one of of the the first first online online download download stores stores operated operated by a band and found major success with a series of releases that molded their offbeat by a band and found major success with a series of releases that molded their offbeat sensibilities sensibilities into into children’s children’s songs. songs. Now Now in in its its 36th 36th year, year, the the band band has has released released 20 20 albums albums for for labels labels like like Elektra, Elektra, Bar/None, Bar/None, Rounder, Rounder, Disney Disney Sound Sound and and their their own own Idlewild Idlewild RecordRecordings, ings, and and they’ve they’ve maintained maintained aa huge huge following following on on the the tour tour circuit, circuit, often often selling selling out out venues venues coast coast to to coast. coast. That’s That’s been been the the case case for for much much of of TMBG’s TMBG’s current current tour, tour, for for which which the the band band is is supporting supporting its its latest latest album, album, II Like Like Fun. Fun. The The group’s group’s Covington Covington show show will will offer offer aa rare rare treat treat for for area area fans fans — — TMBG TMBG will will perform perform the the entirety entirety of of its its platinum-selling platinum-selling 1990 1990 album album Flood, Flood, which which featured featured some some of of the the duo’s duo’s classic classic songs, songs, including including “Istanbul “Istanbul (Not (Not Constantinople),” Constantinople),” “Particle “Particle Man” and “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” 8 p.m. Tuesday. $27; $30 day of show. Madison Theater, Man” and “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” 8 p.m. Tuesday. $27; $30 day of show. Madison Theater, 730 730 Madison Madison Ave., Ave., Covington, Covington, madisontheateronline.com. madisontheateronline.com. — — MIKE MIKE BREEN BREEN

YOUR YOUR WEEKEND WEEKEND TO TO DO DO LIST: LIST: LOCAL.CITYBEAT.COM LOCAL.CITYBEAT.COM

C I T Y B E AT. C O M

EVENT: EVENT: Live Script Reading: Napoleon Dynamite Ligers. Tots. Online babes. Few flicks are as quotable as Napoleon Dynamite,

Jared Hess’ early-aughts slice of high-school Americana. It’s the sort of movie that’s just as fun to reference in passing than to actually sit down and watch, and the folks at Overlook Lodge have tapped into that capacity for quotation. On Monday night, a hand-selected crew of local comedians will take to the stage to read the entire script, line by line, in all of its awkward glory. Dust off your old “Vote for Pedro” shirt and bring your appetite for trail mix and brews. 7-9 p.m. Monday. Free. Overlook Lodge, 6083 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, thatshiningbar.com. — JUDE NOEL

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(for an additional cost). This exclusive weeklong event is for locals to experience fine dining at a wallet-friendly cost at some of their favorite restaurants and new ones they have yet to try. (And, yes, CityBeat does CityBeat does put on CityBeat the event, but we’re also diners: If there’s one thing humans on a journalist’s salary love, it’s a good deal — especially when it comes to food.) Through April 22. More info/menus at greatercincinnatirestaurantweek. com. — MAIJA ZUMMO

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Diners pick and choose from course options to build their own three-dish dinner. Basically, you get a lot of fancy food for cheap for one week only. This year’s event is bigger than ever, with more than 35 restaurants presenting three-course meals, from New American eateries and steakhouse favorites to upscale Italian and Thai. New restaurants joining the event this time around include The Anchor-OTR, Butcher and Barrel, Court Street Lobster Bar, Matt the Miller’s Tavern, Montgomery Inn and more. And with liquor sponsors Marker’s Mark and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, plenty of these eateries are complementing their culinary creations with specialty cocktails from either or both distilleries

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ARTS & CULTURE

Ready to Get Her Feet and Hair Wet Wigmaker Stacey Vest explores the sea, spirituality and the depths of her imagination in her first solo art show BY K AT H Y S C H WA R T Z

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tacey Vest’s exhibition at Covington’s Pique gallery is titled Immerse, and she is trying to keep her head above water as Friday’s opening draws near. The wigmaker has spent the past couple months inside a studio at Pendleton Art Center wading through a veritable ocean that includes mounds of artificial hair, piles of videotape, LED lights, glow-inthe-dark paint, swimming pool noodles, chestnut hulls and 600 cut-up plastic jugs. She apologizes for being slow to open the door to her undersea world on a recent afternoon, but explains that she was in the middle of pinning foam shark’s teeth onto a version of the pope’s mitre. For more than a dozen years, we’ve watched Vest create “art for your head.” Her sky-high wigs resembling everything from bath bubbles to broccoli have topped off Cincinnati artist Pam Kravetz’s parade appearances (including for BLINK), Art of Food extravaganzas at The Carnegie in Covington and elegant parties for clients around the world. But rather than fulfill others’ visions this time around, the Park Hills, Ky. resident is giving us a look at what’s inside, rather than just on top of, her own head. A survey of the sea, religion and more, Immerse is Vest’s first solo show. Yes, she’ll have live models and mannequins in fantastical headdresses, but the onetime graphic designer is eager to take over Pique’s entire gallery/Airbnb with a multidimensional installation — wall art, costumes, jewelry, lights and music — that goes all the way to hell and back. As visitors wander farther from the beach in the front gallery, they will pass a colorful reef and then enter an abyss/purgatory where a fluorescent balloon “anemone” might actually be “an enemy.” The final space, an area of reflection with mirrors and a slideshow of the making of this exhibit and Vest’s previous work, is “whatever someone wants it to be,” she says. “Is there something after heaven or hell?” she muses. “Unconsciousness? Complete consciousness? It could just be a resting

Stacey Vest with wig creations PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER

place after going through these trials and tribulations and troubles.” Vest had intended to explore only the depths of the ocean. Then waves of religious symbolism started washing over her original concept as she noticed, for instance, that heavenly halos appear to glow inside jellyfish. She’s turning a tent into an interactive aquatic temple with an illuminated figure that could be either the Virgin Mary or a Portuguese man-o-war. Immerse also considers threats to our environment, imaginations and memories. Visitors will encounter a shoreline of decaying trees, a crown of thorns made with plastic coffee stirrers, Victorian-style mourning jewelry and a quilt created out of old wigs. Repurposed materials are everywhere. The suction cups on a tentacled, half-human figure are the tops of milk cartons. As Vest operates on caffeine and little sleep to prepare for the opening, she laughs about her varied inspirations — everything from the reality show Dragula to a nature walk with her 6-year-old daughter — and the exhibit’s blurred storyline. “It’s like Voltaire meets Salman Rushdie’s kids’ books meets Tim Burton — if that means anything,” she says. “You’re kind of being baptized by your own imagination, and art.” Voltaire was the French philosopher who challenged Christianity during the Age of Enlightenment. Rushdie’s

allegorical Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a fantasy about what happens when creative storytelling ceases to exist. And Burton is the director of eccentric films such as Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice — which brings Vest back to the pointy teeth on the pope’s pointy hat. “It reminded me of the sand snake in Beetlejuice,” she says. Raised as a Southern Baptist, Vest describes herself as “probably agnostic” as an adult. Yet she finds Catholic icons and other deities fascinating. “I think religion can be beautiful. I also think it can be really evil,” she says. “Growing up, there was so much judgment, no matter what religion.” Vest doesn’t intend to offend any believer, or nonbeliever, with her art. She’s attached baby doll heads to the side of the papal hat/shark’s head but is leaving it up to the viewer to decide if the children are protected or at risk. The exhibit will include quotes from Voltaire (“Crush the horrible thing”) as well as the Dalai Lama (“The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others.”) “I’ll find the beauty and the ugly and mix it together,” Vest says, “because I’ve always loved things that are a little off.” Vest’s day job is real estate agent, but her background also includes working at Lightborne Communications, having a burlesque act and being a partner in the old Daughter Judy vintage shop in Northside. The wig making started after

she decided to dress as a cuckoo clock for Halloween. While she’s been part of group shows and events at Brazee Street Studios and the Contemporary Arts Center, she says her first solo exhibition represents the opportunity to embrace complete creative control “and delve deep into the ‘right’ side of my brain.” She will be installing Immerse days after returning from her first visit to the Wearable Art Awards in Holland and a hoped-for tour of the Amsterdam studio of one of her heroes, the avant-garde fashion designer Iris van Herpen. The research trip was made possible by a grant from the Great Meadows Foundation, a philanthropy that supports Kentucky artists. Vest doesn’t have an entry in the Dutch show, but next year she intends to enter a similar contest, the World of Wearable Art competition in New Zealand. Vest has already witnessed how a wig can transform a wearer’s personality. With Immerse, she’s dipping a toe into deeper waters as an artist. “I’m terrified, but it’s just like how I learned how to swim,” she says. “I learned how to swim because my grandma threw me in a pool and said, ‘Swim or die, kid!’ ” This time, she just might walk on water. Immerse opens with a 7:13-10 p.m. reception Friday at Pique (210 W. Pike St., Covington). On view through May 25. Free. More info: piquewebsite.com.


CURTAIN CALL

Inclusion is Big at Humana Festival BY R I C K PEN D ER

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I travel to Louisville, Ky. annually to take about a fractured family coping with canthe pulse of American theater at Actors cer. Two daughters come to their Japanese Theatre, when it presents the Humana mother’s bedside as she undergoes chemoFestival of New American Plays. This therapy; they’re estranged from their alcoyear, it was held Feb. 28-April 8. These holic father, an oddball Kentucky native festivals have offered more than 300 world who’s trying to make amends (played with premieres in 42 years. There is seldom an power, humor and profound sensitivity by overt theme. Instead, trends emerge, and Jay Patterson). The show is not about race that’s precisely what happened this year: or gender, but it presented an emotionally Of the nine playwrights presented on one powerful tale of family dynamics seldom of the company’s three stages this year, six played on theater stages in the past. were women. Even Mark Schultz’s Evocation to Visible Last Friday, the festival’s final weekend Appearance, the final production staged kicked off with a panel by four literary managers — people who select scripts for theater companies — involved in founding The Kilroys, a Los Angelesbased set of playwrights and producers who advance gender parity in American theater. These women encouraged the weekend’s attendees from across the United States to embrace opportunities for female and trans writers, as well as for writers of color. The 2018 festival was a perfect moment for this message, since virtually The cast of Leah Nanako Winkler’s powerful God Said This all the plays represented refreshingly nontradiP H O T O : J O N AT H A N R O B E R T S tional perspectives. In Susan Soon He Stanton’s we, the invisibles, the playwright by outgoing artistic director Les Waters, (acted by Rinabeth Apostol) guided revolved around a distracted female teenaudiences through portraits of dozens of ager. The hard-to-watch tale of evil becombehind-the-scenes workers at hotels and ing incarnate severely divided audience restaurants. Six diverse actors portrayed opinion but, like each production in the a stunning array of women and people of 2018 festival, provided ample opportunicolor who are seldom appreciated or even ties for nontraditional character portraits. noticed. The show also dug into the specif specifEven the festival’s annual showcase for ics of sexual harassment all too prevalent Actors Theatre’s acting apprentices, You for many of these workers. Across from Me, with a dozen table-themed Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s Do You Feel playlets by Jaclyn Backhaus, Dipika Guha, Anger? put Sofia (Tiffany Villarin), a female Brian Otaño and Jason Gray Platt, had empathy counselor, front and center, copmoments exploring changing gender roles ing with an over-the-top office of weirdly — especially “The National Foosball Chamunsympathetic employees at a debt colpionships,” a delightful role-reversing lection agency. Their wildly absurd and satire on professional sports. inappropriate workplace behavior seemed An annual element of the Humana hilarious at first, but became increasingly Festival is the presentation of awards by disconcerting as Sofia wrestled with their the American Theatre Critics Association. issues and her own. This year, Chelsea Marcantel’s Airness from Deborah Stein’s Marginal Loss used four the 2017 festival received ATCA’s Osborn actors to portray guilt-ridden workers from Award for an emerging playwright. That a stock-trading firm struggling to carry on was timely for Cincinnati Playhouse. Last business in the days immediately followweek, it announced a world-premiere ing 9/11, after many of their fellow workers production of Marcantel’s Tiny Houses will died in the tragedy. Three female actors — close its Shelterhouse’s 2018-19 season. one of Korean descent, one African-AmerThat season will completely feature works ican, one Caucasian — played roles that by women. were not race specific but surely belonged Stories by women playwrights and writin this story. ers of color are increasingly visible. The show I believe has considerable Contact Rick Pender: promise for subsequent production was rpender@citybeat.com Leah Nanako Winkler’s God Said This,

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VISUAL ART

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Putting Art in Capable Hands BY M A R I A S EDA - R EED ER

From her home base in Brussels, Belgium, multidisciplinary artist Kate McIntosh speaks carefully and thoughtfully in a Skype interview about her attraction to hands. “As objects, I find hands to be extraordinarily beautiful and fascinating,” she says. She will be performing the U.S. premiere of her interactive art/theater piece, In Many Hands, at the Aronoff Center’s Fifth Third Bank Theater Thursday through Saturday. It is part of the Contemporary Arts Center’s performance season and involves audience members using their hands in creative ways. “There’s something about responsibility and capability that comes with the image of a hand,” McIntosh says. “If it’s in your hands, then you are in a position of agency and, possibly, responsibility.” That word — “responsibility” — is a term the artist uses several times throughout the conversation when speaking of her concern for the audience’s reception to In Many Hands. “I’m very uninterested in directing an audience,” she says. “I like to offer the score and structure, and then leave a lot of space for people to be autonomous (and) to make their own decisions. This is really important to me.” “And it’s important that people — the audience — also take responsibility to make the thing flow well,” she adds. McIntosh, originally from New Zealand, moved to Belgium in 2000 because there was “a lot of porosity between art forms,” she says. “In my experience, there were other scenes where people wanted to police those boundaries between disciplines much more and” — she pauses to find the right words — “I don’t really find that interesting.” Working with people who had different skill sets than her own allowed the artist to blossom into other areas beyond her formal dance training. “Every project since then, basically my modus operandi is that I try to do something I don’t know how to do,” she says. Collaborating with two other artists for In Many Hands, McIntosh knew she wanted to invite strangers to a communal meeting in order to engage in “a kind of communication that didn’t involve talking.” Addressing the need to make her audience comfortable throughout the one-hour-and-20-minute performance, McIntosh speaks of the work like a dancer would a piece of music: “The score is clear and transparent to everybody in the room, and we follow it to the end,” she says. “But what happens, of course, is that people are then invited to inhabit it. So all the detail, the texture and the way they respond… that is very subtle.” In a disruption of the classic difference in vantage point between audience member and performer, participants of In

Kate McIntosh uses others’ hands in her artwork. PHOTO: DIRK ROSE

Many Hands are seated next to strangers along one side of three long tables set up in a triangle. They are encouraged to touch, listen to, sniff and otherwise investigate objects that the artist chose because of their relationship to the body. To establish a communal feeling, audiences remove all of their jewelry, put away their phones and bags, and wash their hands together as a group — a ritual that marks the formality of the event right at the outset. The first 10 or 15 minutes of any performance are especially important for the audience, McIntosh explains, as that’s when she discovers if they are primed to read cues that communicate expectations. It is especially important right at the beginning, as that’s when they ask themselves, “How can I be here?” “What is my role?” and “What am I comfortable with?” McIntosh says this is a quiet, sensorybased project, so the audience must accept that the process by which they do more involves crossing thresholds of participation. “Through those, the audience can start to understand that (the performance) is something calm and is going to unfold slowly,” she says. “I think the whole setting encourages people to become very alert to subtle behaviors of the people around them, to what those communicate and to how they can respond,” she says. “The whole idea is just to build up trust, and that seems to work pretty well. After that, people start to loosen up and go, ‘OK, I don’t feel that I need to defend myself in this situation, so I can just get curious, ride along and see what happens.’ ” In Many Hands will be performed 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, at the Fifth Third Bank Theater, Aronoff Center for the Arts (650 Walnut St., Downtown). Tickets/more info: cincinnatiarts.org.


ONSTAGE

Never a Dull Moment in ‘Cat’ BY JAC K I E M U L AY

CRITIC’S PICK

Emotionally powerful from beginning to Brick, Niezgodski skillfully layers an allend, the Cincinnati Shakespeare ComAmerican boyish charm over the darkness pany’s current production of Tennessee within this has-been former football star. Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof explores And Hopkins commands the stage as Big socially progressive themes and compliDaddy as he imparts wisdom, demands cated family relationships over the course respect and unearths harsh truths. Just as of one evening. captivating is Rader, who brings a varied Cat, which won a Pulitzer Prize for Cat cadence to her character’s passionate Drama in 1955, is set during the course of emotions, which imparts a much-needed a family gathering on a large plantation complexity to the intense show. home in the Mississippi Delta of the era. It But as a whole, it’s the strength of the exists in one continuous scene; the entire entire cast working together that perfectly action unfolds inside the bedroom of cendemonstrates the constant tension that tral characters Brick (Grant Niezgodski) and Maggie (Maggie Lou Rader) on the evening of a family celebration of the 65th birthday of Big Daddy Pollitt (Jim Hopkins), the patriarch of the family and Brick’s father. Big Daddy has just gotten an alleged clean bill of health. The success of Big Daddy’s plantation naturally sparks controversy and competition among the family members, who spend the play vying for his favoritism, which they hope will lead to control of the family fortune. And they have reason to pursue that goal with urgency — they know what Big Daddy doesn’t, that he’s dying of cancer. Over the course of the evening, each character builds up and tears down the intertwined webs of deceit that they have created out of greed, jealousy and desperation. Strong and sultry Maggie opens the play in the middle of a conversation with her husband, Brick. Maggie, Maggie Lou Rader (left) and Grant Niezgodski who escaped a life of poverty after her marriage to Brick, is desperate PHOTO: MIKKI SCHAFFNER PHOTOGRAPHY to maintain her newfound financial security, as well as her own husband’s affection. Often referred to by her nickdevelops when so many grim conversaname, “Maggie the Cat,” she skillfully and tions are held in a space where every word determinedly slinks around the issue of said can be overheard by someone for her husband’s drinking problem as she whom it’s not intended. also attempts to maintain Big Daddy’s On opening night, the cast assembled partiality toward her. in the lobby of the theater with director This becomes increasingly difficult, as Michael Evan Haney to deliver toasts. she later discovers the entire family knows Rader thanked the late Williams, who of Brick’s refusal to sleep with her and the died in 1983 and whose other classic plays subsequent strain it has placed on their include A Streetcar Named Desire and marriage. Under the increased pressure of Sweet Bird of Youth, for creating such a this discovery, and with Brick’s escalatstrong female character back in the 1950s. ing struggle with alcoholism, Maggie Even outside the context of the show’s spends the play desperately clawing at content, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof emphatheir chances for inheritance, while Brick sizes Williams’ ability to create suspense descends into a drunken despondence. and captivate an audience for several But Maggie isn’t the only one meticuhours. Each character references and relously planning for the day Big Daddy lets references dark secrets, old conflicts and his estate go. Brick’s older brother Gooper meticulous plans, leaving the audience (Justin McCombs) and his grating wife longing for the mysteries to unfold. That’s a Mae (Kelly Mengelkoch) are also in attenfeeling this production conveys brilliantly. dance for the celebration and have plans of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is at Cincinnati their own to secure his father’s favor. Shakespeare Company (1195 Elm St., Each actor brings their own strength to Over-the-Rhine) through April 28. Tickets/ each headstrong character, allowing them more info: cincyshakes.com. to take control of the stage and shine. As

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TV

A Hitman Goes Hollywood BY JAC K ER N

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As a Saturday Night Live super-fan, it’s always great to see a performer go on to solo success in movies or TV. Bill Hader, who starred on the sketch comedy show from 2005 to 2013, is the kind of performer I hated to see leave SNL but was excited to follow his next projects. He was fantastic in the films Trainwreck and The Skeleton Twins (a nice preview of his stellar dramatic acting chops), but his new series Barry (10:30 p.m. Sundays, HBO) is perfect to showcase his talents. Hader is all-in on this project — in addition to starring as the titular lead, he has a hand in creating, directing, writing and producing this offbeat dark comedy. Barry is a former Marine turned apathetic, low-level hitman. He doesn’t necessarily seem like an evil monster — he’s obviously in a rut, damaged by the evils of war and depressed by his lonely lifestyle. But then again, he does murder people for a living (albeit mostly bad guys). His next hit takes him from snowy Cleveland to sunny Los Angeles to snuff out a man who’s crossed the Chechen mob. Barry appears to just go through the motions, following his target Ryan until he unwittingly follows him into an acting class. Haphazardly posing as a student to

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keep his cover, Barry begrudgingly acts out a scene with Ryan in front of the group. And with that, Barry is bitten by the acting bug. Seriously. Not only does he enjoy the experience and tap an unknown passion, but he also finds a kinship with this band of weirdos — classic theater kids grown up. These startup actors are hardly successful — they go out to celebrate one member’s casting as a corpse on CSI — but they’re eager, optimistic and, most importantly, supportive of one another. It’s actually a sweet moment when Barry realizes this is a potential connection he’s needed, perhaps without even realizing he did. At the same time, he knows he must get back to business, even if he’s gotten close to and humanized his “mark.” Unfortunately, even a brief, momentary pause in the hit plan results in dire consequences for everyone involved. Now Barry wants out more than ever — and seriously wants to pursue acting as a career, instead. Of course, this presents a number of issues. It’s never easy to leave a life of crime, so he agrees to take one final job while exploring thespian work. He soon learns the pursuit of acting is in direct conflict with the anonymity required by a contract killer.

Hader nails his portrayal of Barry. There’s a lot of humor in his character’s serious intensity. And he shares the screen with many other standouts. Newcomer Sarah Goldberg plays Barry’s love interest in the acting class, Sally. She has a genuinely sweet, earnest quality that seems like it would be rare in the Hollywood scene. Their teacher is portrayed by none other than Henry Winkler, who comes off as a well-meaning hack of an acting coach (hackting coach?). But as washed-up as he appears, he is deeply respected by his students. Barry’s “handler” Fuches, who assigns Barry’s hits and manages the business side of their operation, is embodied by the delightful Stephen Root. On the other end of the spectrum, some of the supporting effort feels a bit stale: There’s a rag-tag crew of bumbling cops and a host of stereotypical foreign gangsters — not the most creative or original characters, but they serve their roles and elicit a few laughs along the way. When Barry first premiered late last month, there was a lot of “not your average comedy” chatter — whatever that means. Yes, this is a black comedy. I’m talking torture scenes here. But why is that notion so surprising? Wasn’t there something

Bill Hader stars in HBO’s new dark comedy Barry. Barry P H OTO: M I C H E L E K . S H O R T/ H B O

inherently off-kilter and creepy about most of Hader’s comedic characters on SNL? Stefon is dark, y’all! Barry works because the tone is perfect. Hader shines in a rather heavy role. The humor comes from everything around him and his reactions to this crazy universe — not just the seedy world of organized crime, but the life of a professional performer. How Barry will juggle the two remains to be seen, but he may just get by with a little help from his friends. Contact Jac Kern: @jackern


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WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2018 C I T Y B E AT. C O M

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5:30-8:30 PM • NEWPORT ON THE LEVEE

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Featuring food and drink from Axis Alley, Bakersfield, Chart House, Game Works, Mitchell's Fish Market, Montoya’s, Sammy's Craft Burgers and beer . . . and more to be announced!

Tickets On Sale Now! MARGARITAMADNESSCINCY.COM


FOOD & DRINK

The Communal Experience of Tete du Cochon How Bauer Farm Kitchen turns a sous-vide pig’s head into an inviting evening of family-style dining BY K AT I E H O LO C H ER

I

Bauer’s tete du cochon, served with charcuterie PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER

together used to be: an animal would be placed over fire and the entirety of the beast would be eaten by those who gathered, sharing in the necessity of eating, appreciating the nourishment and not wasting any part. That night, not only did my friends and I participate in the experience, but the rest of the restaurant did as well. People were communing at our table like they would have gathered on a European farm hundreds of years ago. The fire that cooked this pig beckoned a group of strangers to come together. And much like family or a small community would have congregated to eat, so did many of the patrons at Bauer that evening. In the end, like the poem, it was simple: There was good shared over fire. Bauer Farm Kitchen is located at 435 Elm St., Downtown. To request the tete du cochon, contact 513-621-8555. More info: bauercincinnati.com.

FIND MORE RESTAURANT NEWS AND REVIEWS AT CITYBEAT.COM/ FOOD-DRINK

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rhythm of a fencer, he talked us through the cooking process and what each dif different part of the pig would deliver. As promised, the dark meat of the cheek was definitely the most delicious. It was extremely tender, buttery in both texture and taste and — combined with the crispy crunch of some skin — was a bite that made any other pulled pork feel like Spam. Recalling that there were no additional flavors or spices added to the meat, my friend Chris put it perfectly: “That just tells you how delicious pig fat is.” As our small party continued to relish in the dish, watching in awe as Desai topped off the pig with final touches of blow-torch flames, patrons continued to walk by and comment. At one point, a woman leaned up against my chair, talked about its beauty and then entertained us when we insisted that she take a bite. There was another couple who, on their way out, stopped to talk to us about our experience. We again pushed meat into their hands and they obliged us with the nodding agreement that it was delicious. The pig’s head was prepared in an uncomplicated, simple manner, and it was easy to imagine that this is how eating

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by two men. Not only did all eyes turn as the pig was paraded across the restaurant, but people actually got out of their seats to come over and see the spectacle. A small crowd of diners corralled around the cochon. There were oohs and ahhs and can you believe its? being murmured about, all while camera phones did their paparazzi part. We not only ordered the tete du cochon, but also a charcuterie spread of meats, cheese and pickles. The pig’s head held court in the corner of the platter, snout pointing north, surrounded by its gentry of pickled vegetables, rutabaga-and-turnip kraut, pretzel bites and rye bread. There were also talismans of potato mash, five to six different cold cuts with jam, smoked grapes and pâtés. As someone who prefers to snack on lots of little things rather than having one singularly hulking meal, I was in heaven. I loved passing around my plate, asking for bites of this be added to slices of that, which kept the dinner feeling communal rather than individual. Neighboring tables looked on as Kinjal Desai, Bauer’s operating partner, carved our meat. As he cut with the stealth and

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n an Intro to Poetry class I once took in college, I wrote a poem titled “Good Shared Over Fire.” In it, I lingered like smoke, going from one shared fire moment to the next: campfires, grills, cigarettes, sparklers… the point being that there can be a sense of community when a spark is ignited. There is invitation in a flame, a segue for conversation. Throw on another log. Got a light? Let me light mine off yours. People gather, people observe; there are usually no strangers. And on a recent Saturday night at Bauer Farm Kitchen, I bore witness to this philosophy in action. My husband and I dined at downtown’s Bauer for the first time during the holidays. We shared everything — pierogies (chestnut, confit duck, caramelized shallot and plum-mustard jus), Parisian gnocchi (handmade herb dumplings, comté cheese and local seasonal vegetables) and the choucroute garnie for two (smoked pork belly, currywurst, pork shank, rutabagaand-turnip kraut and fingerling potatoes). Each order felt representatively honest of what Bauer sets out to do: recreate classic traditions with locally sourced, quality ingredients. Each bite was illustrative and simple. And each bite was uniquely good. As we spent the evening getting familiar with both the food and the staff, we noticed an offering in the bottom corner of the menu: “Tete du Cochon *requires 3-day pre-order* ($75).” Intrigue turned to interest which turned into initiative, and not three months later, my husband and I and another couple were RSVPed for the tete du cochon. The tete du cochon is literally the head of a pig. No spices, no herbs, no nothing. It is the pig’s head in its own delicious ownness, prepared sous vide for three days, then put in an oven, finished off with a blow torch and brought to the table for enjoyment and consumption. Our tete du cochon made its entrance by being carried in on a table-top-size platter

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350 Ludlow Ave • 513-281-7000

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Additional Parking Available in Clifton Business Lot (next to Clifton Market)

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CLASSES & EVENTS WEDNESDAY 11

Best Fish & Chips Party — The Pub was recognized as having the best fish and chips in America by representatives of Greene King Brewery and Old Speckled Hen. Now Pub locations across the states are celebrating with Best Fish & Chips parties with half-price fish and chips, discounted Old Speckled Hen, live music, giveaways and a chance to win fish and chips for a year. 6-9 p.m. The Pub Crestview Hills, 2853 Dixie Highway, Edgewood, Ky., facebook. com/pubcrestview; The Pub Rookwood, 2692 Madison Road, Rookwood, facebook. com/pubrookwood. Washington Platform Oyster Festival — The 32nd-annual Oyster Festival features more than 40 bivalves so suck, shuck and eat raw. There are freshshucked oysters on the half

Most classes and events require registration and classes frequently sell out. shell, firecracker oysters, oysters Giovanese and oyster roulette — a fun game where one of the oysters on your plate is loaded with Dave’s Insanity Hot Sauce. Through May 12. Prices vary. Washington Platform, 1000 Elm St., Downtown, washingtonplatform.com.

Cincy Top 10 Food Tour — Enjoy a tasty sightseeing tour that stops by 10 Cincinnati landmarks and tasting locations like Taste of Belgium, Graeter’s, Skyline, Holtman’s and more. 10 a.m. $49 adult; $39 children. Leaves from Taste of Belgium, 16 W. Freedom Way, The Banks, Downtown, riversidefoodtours.com.

THURSDAY 12

Yappy Hour at Washington Park — Grab your furry friend for happy hour at Washington Park’s Southwest Porch. There will be drink specials and doggy

themed fun. 5-8 p.m. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-theRhine, washingtonpark.org.

FRIDAY 13

Date Night: Fresh Pasta — Grab your partner and learn how to make pasta dough from scratch to create seasonal stuffed ravioli. 6-9 p.m. $150 for two. Tablespoon Cooking Co., Findlay Kitchen, 1719 Elm St., Overthe-Rhine, tablespooncook tablespooncookingco.com/classes. The Original Findlay Market Tour — Learn about the history of Ohio’s oldest public market while taking a tour and enjoying samples and small bites from five specialty merchants. 11 a.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Saturday. $20; $5 optional wine tasting. Leaves from the information desk at Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatifoodtours.com. Cincinnati Streetcar Food

Tour — Take the streetcar to tour and taste at various area restaurants. Stop and dine at three unique restaurants, enjoying a sample of beer and wine. The adventure concludes at Findlay Market. 1 p.m. $59. Leaves from Howl at the Moon, 145 Second St., Downtown, riversidefoodtours.com.

SATURDAY 14

Intro to Macarons Baking Class — In this three-hour program, learn the art and science behind macaron making. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $95. Macaron Bar, 1206 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, macaronbar.com.

Cellarman’s Tour — Learn about the 19th-century workers who built the dangerous lagering tunnels and the Beer Barons who built their fortunes producing local brews. Tour includes a visit underground into the lagering cellar of the Schmidt

Brothers Brewery and a beer tasting at the Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom. 12:30 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. $25. Leaves from the Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, brewingheritagetrail.org.

MONDAY 16

Monday Midnight Diner Series — Chef Hideki Harada is back at the Northside Yacht Club for a new pop-up series: Monday Midnight Diner Series. Promoting his forthcoming venture, Kiki, Harada will be making Japanese bar food — available until midnight. There will be pork or shiitake gyoza, JFC (karaage Japanese fried chicken), mixed ramen and Yuko’s vegetarian curry donuts (potato, carrot and onion). 8:30 p.m.-midnight. Prices $3-$11. Northside Yacht Club, 4227 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, northsideyachtclub.com.

Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week — Since 2016, Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week has been offering a curated craft dining experience at restaurants across the city: chef prepared, special multi-course prix fixe menus priced between $25 and $35. Diners pick and choose from course options to build their own three-dish dinner. Basically, you get a lot of fancy food for cheap for one week only. Through April 22. More information and GCRW menus at greatercincinnatirestaurantweek.com. Savor Cincinnati — Cincinnati Magazine’s five-night dinner series features custom menus and chef collaborations. Each fivecourse meal — with wine pairings — will be prepared by a duo of chefs, like Dan Wright of Senate and Justin Uchtman of Sartre on Monday, or Ryan Santos

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MUSIC Return from Oz Cincy Punk band The Z.G.s are back to rock hometown stages after their first tour of Australia BY M A D G E M A R I L

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unk music often invokes images of spiked hair, denim jackets with the sleeves ripped off and sour, snarly attitudes. Punk band The Z.G.s have the first two down pat, but they also happen to be some of the nicest people in Cincinnati. Their shows are fast-paced with a respectable amount of moshing from fans. And though the lyrics don’t shy away from exploring serious issues like the political climate and drug addiction, the eversmiling Z.G.s deliver a soundly uplifting message. So to anyone who has been following the band over the years, it came as no surprise that they were enthusiastically invited to tour Australia this March. It all started with some friendly networking on social media with the singer of Australian band Strawberry Fist Cake. “They were booking a U.S. tour and were looking for help booking a show in Cincinnati,” says Z.G.s bassist Louie Groh. Though The Z.G.s were going to be on their own U.S. tour during that time, Louie connected the band to a local venue to set up a show. “They ended up having such a great time in our city that they came back the following year,” he says. The seeds of The Z.G.s’ first trip to Australia were planted during Strawberry Fist Cake’s second visit to Cincinnati. “On their second tour here, we were able to play a show with them,” Louie says. “We had a drunken conversation after the show along the lines of, ‘You all should really come to ’Straya,’ to which we emphatically replied, ‘Don’t you worry, we will!’ ” And they did, loading up the band and traveling across the world for a tour down under. The Z.G.s is a family affair — Louie’s brother Jim is on drums, his cousin Joe Groh is on guitar and friend Ryan Zentay is the lead singer. With Joe on break from the band to focus on his new baby, the group tapped in Paige Beller of the Dayton band Jasper The Colossal to take his place on

The Z.G.s P H OTO : FAC E B O O K .C O M / T H E ZG S

tour. Throughout the process, The Z.G.s relied on assistance from their new friends in Strawberry Fist Cake, who toured with them. “They are a well-established band there and they used their connections to book a tour with us,” Louie says. “They contacted venues and the bands, got all nine of our shows set up, provided us with a place to stay and were just amazing to a bunch of strangers from the U.S. Because of (them), touring Australia was phenomenal. “I honestly don’t know how to thank them enough for everything they did for us. The entire tour was one fun day after the other.” While traveling in a new country would be daunting for most, The Z.G.s realized it wasn’t too different from Cincinnati. “Riding across Australia is like riding across the Midwest, but with kangaroo instead of deer,” Beller says. “The best part about all of this to me was that playing in the music scene over there reminded me of being home. Everyone was so friendly and helpful,” Louie adds. The tour took them through Adelaide, Melbourne, Katoomba, Sydney and Brisbane, as well as through Australia’s own Punk traditions and etiquette. “I had been traveling with a half a box of

wine tied to my backpack for a day or so,” drummer Jim says. “The next morning in the van on our way to Sydney, we all decide to get into this box of wine, or ‘goon bag,’ as the Aussies call it. Apparently, boxed wine is by far the cheapest way to get drunk in Australia. “We proceed to polish off this box, drinking straight from the tap while swapping stories about music, books, travel, love and life in general. By the time we got to Sydney, the collar of my T-shirt was soaked with cabernet.” The Z.G.s also brought a little bit of humor from back home with them. Jim purchased Louie a kangaroo onesie as a Christmas present the December before, while the tour was still in the planning stages. Naturally, Louie decided to bring it along and wear it on stage. “Well, being a big guy, that thing took up over half the room in my carry-on luggage, so I barely brought anything else with me,” Louie says. The onesie lead to a trail of infamy along the tour, and people kept asking Louie to wear it. Since Louie isn’t one to let anyone down, he mostly obliged, even in 90-degree weather. “I proceeded to suffer mild heat exhaustion,” he says with a laugh. “But thanks to the loving Aussies at the show, I always had

either a water or a vodka cruiser.” When asked for a story that stuck with him most from the tour, singer Zentay says it’s hard to pick just one. “It was all just a bunch of little moments tied together with booze, friends and good music,” he says. “Playing with my eyes closed on a boat full of drunk, Hawaiianshirt-wearing punks was amazing. Oh, and of course the kangaroo sanctuary.” You can catch The Z.G.s back on their home turf every Tuesday in April at Northside’s Urban Artifact, where they’re joined by a variety of local and touring musical friends. The residency ends April 24 with a “Punk Covers Night” featuring area bands Rhythm and Booze and Hot Diggity Daffodil. For fans of classic, feel-good Punk, The Z.G.s’ live performances are not to be missed. Befitting a band that started as a way for a few relatives to kick back and rock out together, their live shows have a way of making you feel like part of the family. For details on The Z.G.s’ every-Tuesday residency at Urban Artifact and more info on the band, visit facebook.com/thezgs.


A P R I L 11 – 1 7, 2 0 18

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SPILL IT

JBM PROMOTIONS presents Southgate houSe revival 111 E. 6th St. • Newport, KY 41071

Sierra hull April 21st @ 8pm Smooth hound Smith May 10th @ 8pm

big Sandy & hiS fly-rite boyS

WoodyFest Turns 20 BY M I K E B R EE N

American music pioneer and activist Woody Guthrie’s enduring music has influenced countless artists in a variety of genres. His legacy is so deeply embedded in American music’s DNA, even artists who’ve never heard a note he played have been shaped by his life’s work. Twenty years ago, Cincinnati Folk singer/songwriter Jake Speed began paying tribute to his idol with the first WoodyFest. With Speed affably telling stories about Guthrie and, of course, performing his songs, WoodyFest moved around to different venues before settling into its current home at Mount St. Joseph University’s Recital Hall (5701 Delhi Road, Delhi). The fest’s 20th-anniversary event is Saturday

May 16th @ 8pm

parker millSap May 31st @ 8pm MeMorial hall

1225 Elm St. • Cincinnati, OH 45202

iriS dement with Sam baker May 4th @ 8pm

rodney Crowell June 8th @ 8pm www.jbmpromotions.com • facebook.com/jbmpromotions

Jake Speed

C I T Y B E AT. C O M

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A P R I L 11 – 1 7, 2 0 18

PHOTO: SCOT T PRESTON

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at 7 p.m. To celebrate two decades of WoodyFest, Speed invited several of his local musician friends to join in. Comet Bluegrass All-Stars leader Ed Cunningham will play the epic “The Ballad of Tom Joad” (among other songs) and Folk Rock group Willow Tree Carolers will also perform selections from the legend’s Dust Bowl Ballads, which Guthrie wrote about the devastation brought on by the dust storms of the 1930s. The Carolers will also play their raucous version of Guthrie’s “The Sinking Of The Reuben James,” which was featured on the band’s 2015 self-titled debut album. The Kentucky Struts’ Todd Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band’s Chris Cusentino will offer a different perspective on Guthrie’s lasting impact. Lipscomb is doing songs from the Mermaid Avenue Avenue albums, the Wilco and Billy Bragg collaborative projects for which they wrote music for some of Guthrie’s lyrics that were never published or put into song form. Guthrie’s daughter Nora was the impetus behind Mermaid Mermaid Avenue Avenue and she also more recently gave Bluegrass great Del McCoury some of her father’s lyrics to turn into songs. The result was the acclaimed 2016 album Del Del and Woody Woody, which Cusentino will draw from for his

WoodyFest performance. This year’s WoodyFest will also serve as an album release party for WoodyFest on the Mount Mount, a live recording from the 2014 event. Interspersed with storytelling, the album includes Speed’s versions of several Dust Bowl selections, as well as other songs Speed says capture Guthrie’s “long life of social satire, wit and working-man focus.” Visit freddiesmusic.com for more info on Jake Speed and WoodyFest.

More Fest Notes • Memorial Day weekend (May 26-27), Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler of Cincinnati band Over the Rhine are bringing back their Nowhere Else Festival to the rural farmland the couple owns in Martinsville, Ohio, about an hour northeast of Cincinnati. Bergquist and Detweiler launched the festival in 2016 to bring together friends and fans and draw attention to the restoration of the 140-yearold barn located on their property, which the duo plans to convert into a multifaceted performing arts center. Nowhere Else’s 2018 music lineup offers an excellent selection of dynamic Americana performers. Along with Over the Rhine (performing both days), returning acts include Birds of Chicago and Cincy Folk faves The Tillers, while acts like Mary Gauthier, Loudon Wainwright III and David Wax Museum are also slated to appear. Tickets/more info: nowhereelsefestival. com. • In March, the Bellwether Music Festival was announced for Aug. 10-11 at the home of the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Waynesville, Ohio, about 40 miles north of Cincinnati, with headliners like MGMT and The Flaming Lips. The complete lineup was recently unveiled and joining additions like Echo & the Bunnymen and The Psychedelic Furs are Cincinnati bands Carriers (a 2017 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominee for New Artist of the Year) and Dawg Yawp, winner of the Album and Artist of the Year CEAs. Also added to the lineup: Erika Wennerstrom, the frontperson of former Cincinnati/now Texas-based band Heartless Bastards who recently released her well-received debut solo album, Sweet Unknown. Tickets/more info: bellwetherfest.com. Contact Mike Breen: mbreen@citybeat.com.

MINIMUM GAUGE BY M I K E B R EEN

Reboot-Mania Continues

Two cult favorite films in which music played a huge role are currently in the “reboot” phase. Mediocre 1995 movie Empire Records somehow found its cult audience via home video, so now Deadline is reporting that it is being adapted for Broadway, with an eye on a 2020 debut. The slightly better movie High Fidelity (based on the 1995 book by Nick Hornby and released in 2000) was already “rebooted” as a musical, so now its corpse is reportedly being exhumed for a family-friendly TV series for Disney’s forthcoming streaming service.

Gender Switch-Ups

On April 6, an interesting new project was released in which various songs had their gender pronouns retooled by major artists as a celebration of same-sex love. The New York Times says Universal Love was funded by MGM Resorts and that the songs are “intended to function as wedding anthems for samesex couples.” Participants include St. Vincent, Kesha, Bob Dylan and Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, who covers The Beatles’ “And I Love Her” as “And I Love Him.”

Insta-Sorrys

Singer/songwriter Lorde got a day off on her worldwide tour and was excited for a bath, so she posted a photo of her awaiting bathtub with the caption, “And iiii will always love you.” After being called out for coupling a song lyric most associated with Whitney Houston and the manner in which Houston died, Lorde (who genuinely didn’t seem to make the morbid connection initially) apologized immediately. Meanwhile, Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike still seems hurt by criticism over his ill-timed interview with NRATV about black gun ownership, something he took out on MSNBC host Joy Reid. After Reid posted a shoutout on Instragram to two women who “rocked H&M” for a photo shoot. Mike alleged hypocrisy in Reid chastising his opinion on “black gun ownership” while also promoting H&M department stores, which had caused outrage for advertising a “coolest monkey in the jungle” sweatshirt with an AfricanAmerican model. Reid pointed out that “H&M” stood for “hair and makeup,” and the rapper quickly apologized for his misunderstanding.


Summer’s Best Music at Fraze Pavilion

Alison Krauss

Tony Bennett

Neal McCoy

JUNE 15

JUNE 21

JUNE 24 SOLD OUT!

O.A.R. with Matt Nathanson JULY 24

Jim Gaffigan JULY 27

Southern Uprising JULY 28

Roger Daltrey performs The Who’s ‘Tommy’

Dave Koz & Friends

JULY 2

JULY 20

SOLD OUT!

Happy Together Tour 2018

Reba AUGUST 4

AUGUST 9

SOLD OUT!

Kettering, Ohio

The Avett Brothers

AUGUST 10

AUGUST 14

Culture Club with Thompson Twins’ Earth, Wind & Fire Tom Bailey AUGUST 23

SEASON SPONSORS: Kettering Health Network, Mid USA Credit Union, Pepsi Beverage Company

C I T Y B E AT. C O M

Visit FRAZE.COM for more information

|

Buy tickets online at etix.com or by phone 1-800-514-3849

SEPTEMBER 5

A P R I L 11 – 1 7, 2 0 18

Roots & Boots Tour

ONLY 50 MILES NORTH OF CINCINNATI

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C I T Y B E AT. C O M

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A P R I L 11 – 1 7, 2 0 18

h e m p, Va p e & s m o k e h a B e r D a s h e r Y

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SOUND ADVICE The Mountain Goats with Dead Rider

Thursday • Woodward Theater John Darnielle is as prolific, versatile and just plain interesting as any songwriter of the last two decades, a claim that might surprise those not familiar with the California native’s long-running band The Mountain Goats, which has evolved from Darnielle’s boombox recorded The Mountain Goats bedroom missives PHOTO: JEREMY L ANGE to full-band studio outings for Merge Records. The Mountain Goats have dropped 16 albums since 1994. The most recent, last year’s Goths, is yet another effort in which Darnielle’s hyper-literate lyrics and modest but expressive voice take center stage. But the music, anchored by ace drummer Jon Wurster’s rhythm work, might be the most curious U-turn in the band’s already varied discography — Goths Goths is a concept album about, yes, being a Goth via a sonic landscape best described as Lounge Pop. Guitars are almost nonexistent, which just puts more of an emphasis on the band’s clear gift for melody, relayed by an array of instruments, from horns to vibraphone. Drama-drenched album-opener “Rain in Soho” sets the mood from the get-go, as a steady beat, piano chords and reverbed backing voices (which sound like haunted monks chanting) surround Darnielle’s sing-speak vocals that keep coming back to the cryptic chorus: “The river goes where the water flows/But no one knows when the Batcave closed.” That’s followed by “Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds,” a jaunty number about the lead singer of Sisters of Mercy,

Future Sounds Tav Falco’s Panther Burns – May 8, Southgate House Revival Arrested Development – May 25, Bogart’s Split Lip Rayfield – June 1, Southgate House Revival Rodney Crowell – June

Marco Benevento PHOTO: MICHAEL DIDONNA

who in some quarters is called “The Godfather of Goth.” Likewise, album-closer “Abandoned Flesh” amusingly delves 8, Memorial Hall into the career of another band of aging musicians, Salt N Pepa/Biz Markie/ in this case a British outfit Young MC/All 4 One – called Gene Loves Jezebel. July 14, U.S. Bank Arena Darnielle’s empathetic Walk the Moon – July 28, preoccupation with Great American Ball Park outcasts or the underappreciated has never been The Gipsy Kings – Sept. as overtly melancholic 15, Taft Theatre as it is on Goths, another Trampled by Turtles – entry in a discography that Sept. 23, Taft Theatre continues to surprise and fascinate. (Jason Gargano)


Triathalon PHOTO: PROVIDED

Marco Benevento Friday • Octave

Triathalon with Luke Olson and Cross Country Saturday • Urban Artifact

1345 main st motrpub.com

no cover

Wednesday 4/11 The Phil DeGreg Trio 8-11

Thursday 4/12

wed 11

ben knight & the welldiggers

thu 12

motr mouth presents: dave ross

heavy hinges, dinge

Todd Hepburn & Friends 8-11

Fri 13

the right now

Friday 4/13

s at 14

sons of silverton analog panda

sun 15

visit

The Andrea Cefalo Quartet 8-12

mon 16

stuyedeyed

cocktaiLs

tue 17

writer’s night w/ mark

The Amy & Billy Band 8-12

saTurday 4/14 firepLaces

Wed. - Fri. open @ 5pm | Sat. open @ 6pm 125 West Fourth st. | CinCinnati, ohio 45202

www.BromwellsHarthLounge.com

859.431.2201

free live music open for lunch

111 E 6th St Newport, KY 41071

1404 main st (513) 345-7981

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE SOUTHGATE HOUSE LOUNGE OR TICKETFLY.COM 4/11 - david bromberg quintet, chicago farmer; dave hause, roger harvey; april artist in res: chris comer trio w/ umclink

ThE mounTaIn goaTs DEaD rIDEr

5/5

wussy schwErvon!

4/13

Trauma IllInoIs

4/12 - ben de la cour, arlo mckinley; my life with the thrill kill kult, relic, curse of cassandra; the bones of J.r. Jones, twenty thousand strongmen 4/13 - cincy smiles foundation presents rockin’ for smiles; anne e. dechant, thor platter; punk rock night cincinnati 4/14 - mike mitchell, my brother’s keeper, andrew hibbard; rivertown ramblers 4/15 - walter trout, sonny moorman 4/16 - bit birgade performs zelda, double ferrari, mollusk, stella 4/18 - shawn James, 3teeth, h09909: lights out america; april artist in res: chris comer trio, tom, the torpedoes, dick sorice

W W W . S O U TH G A TE H O U S E.COM

4/18

EP rElEasE show DuranD JonEs & ThE InDIcaTIons Ern ErnIE Johnson from DETroIT

buy tickets at motr or woodwardtheater.com

C I T Y B E AT. C O M

4/12

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If the pop-cultural zeitgeist divided itself into a few endearingly fashionable 20-somethings and wandered its way into a Brooklyn practice space with all the tools an upstart indie band needs (plus a stereo speaker pumping a “lo-fi Hip Hop radio” playlist in the background for inspiration), the sounds that would seep through the walls might resemble the slinky R&B stylings of Triathalon’s latest LP, Online. While the New York band’s 2014 debut effort, Lo-Tide, caked layers of distortion onto hazy Beach Pop — similar to that churned out by then-contemporaries Real Estate and Beach Fossils — its revamped output feels more in tune with the pastel-tinged Jazz that’s sprung forth from seminal acts like Mac DeMarco, Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean. Triathalon’s shift in focus from raw guitaristry to slinky Synth Pop isn’t a completely unique adjustment. Bandcamp Emo outfit Porches made the switch on 2016’s Pool to memorable effect. And Two Door Cinema Club, whose prodigious Jangle Pop project Tourist History made mainstream waves in 2010, similarly delved into ’80s danceability on their more recent records, yet their reinvention seems less sincere — a gimmicky costume change made in hopes of drumming up blog buzz. Triathalon is skilled and creative enough to fall into Porches’ camp, pulling off an overhaul that’s actually an improvement over its old sound. Detuned melodies melt like surrealist clocks into lumbering drum machine thwacks. Adam Intrator’s vocals seep into the silk-scape somewhere between a whisper and a falsetto, sultry and detached. Online is split between these dreamy slow jams, like lead single “Day One,” and quirky instrumental experiments like “Plant” that recall Madlib’s maniacal Hip Hop production. (Jude Noel)

Live Music

A P R I L 11 – 1 7, 2 0 18

If there was just one scrap of biographical ephemera that could possibly compel you to explore Marco Benevento’s music, it might be this one: When Benevento graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 1999, his diploma was presented to him by David Bowie, who also that year gave the commencement address. That’s a pretty potent bullet point for Benevento’s résumé; the only thing more amazing is everything else he’s done. It’s hard to avoid the word “prodigy” when discussing Benevento. The New Jersey native began playing piano at 7 and by his teen years he had become fascinated with recording devices and keyboards of every description, particularly synthesizers. By high school, he was a veteran of several Jazz and experimental Pop/Rock bands and had played extensively around New Jersey and New York City. Immediately after his graduation from Berklee, Benevento joined Jazz Farmers in New York, then formed the Benevento Russo Duo and his own band, which has been active for the past dozen years. Benevento’s first piano-based release, 2008’s Invisible Baby Baby, was nominated for Jazz Album of the Year by the Independent Music Awards. Since then, he has released all of his albums on Royal Potato Family, the label he started with manager/ renowned music publicist Kevin Calabro; his last release was 2017’s Woodstock Sessions. The gifted keyboardist and circuit-bending fan (he reconfigures electronic toys to create the sounds he wants) has studied under and collaborated with a broad and impressive group of musicians, including John Medeski (Medeski Martin and Wood), John McEntire (Tortoise), Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), Trey Anastasio (Phish) and A.C. Newman (The New Pornographers). In addition to his keyboards/drums duo with Joe Russo (who he has known since junior high) and his own band, Benevento plays with Garage A Trois; his Grateful Dead

tribute, Almost Dead; and a Led Zeppelin interpretive outfit called Bustle in Your Hedgerow. Need more? Benevento built the Fred Short Studios on his farm where he raises goats and chickens with his wife and daughters, he’s an accomplished chef, collects musical instruments from Craigslist and mysteriously wound up in the Pixies’ video for “Andro Queen.” Apparently, the only thing Benevento has failed to master at this point is the fine art of sitting still. (Brian Baker)

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LISTINGS

CityBeat’s music listings are free. Send info to Mike Breen at mbreen@citybeat.com. Listings are subject to change. See CityBeat.com for full music listings and all club locations. H is CityBeat staff’s stamp of approval.

WEDNESDAY 11

BLIND LEMON–Dave Hawkins. 7:30 p.m. Folk/ Celtic. Free.

SCHWARTZ’S POINT– Zappa, Meyers & Burkhead. 8:30 p.m. Jazz. Cover.

CAFFÈ VIVACE–Brad Myers and Mike Sharfe. 7 p.m. Jazz.

SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE)– (LOUNGE)–The Bones of J.R. Jones. 9:30 p.m. Folk/Americana. Free.

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NORTHSIDE TAVERN–No Promises Vocal Band & Queen City Sisters. 8 p.m. Vocal. $10. SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE)–Chris Comer Trio with Umclunk. 8 p.m. Jazz/Various. Free. SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (REVIVAL ROOM)–Dave Hause with Roger Harvey. 8 p.m. Rock/ Americana. $15.

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SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (SANCTUARY)–David Bromberg Quintet with Chicago Farmer. 8 p.m. Americana. $25.

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TAFT THEATRE– Buddy Guy. 8 p.m. Blues. $35.50-$55.50.

THOMPSON HOUSE–Glass Houses. 8 p.m. Rock. $10. URBAN ARTIFACT–Blue Wisp Big Band. 8:30 p.m. Big Band Jazz. $10.

THURSDAY 12

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A P R I L 11 – 1 7, 2 0 18

BOGART’S–Frankie Mayfield and Watchfrogs with The Old Sports and North Bend. 8 p.m. Alt/Rock/Pop/ Various. $10.

C I T Y B E AT. C O M

MOTR PUB–Heavy Hinges with Dinge. 10 p.m. Rock/Soul/Various. Free.

BROMWELL’S HÄRTH LOUNGE–Phil DeGreg Trio. 8 p.m. Jazz. Free.

THE COMET–ADM, Fell Runner and Animal Mother. 10 p.m. Indie/Rock/ Jazz/Various. Free.

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BROMWELL’S HÄRTH LOUNGE–Todd Hepburn LOUNGE– and Friends. 8 p.m. Various. Free. CAFFÈ VIVACE–Pat Kelly Trio. 7 p.m. Jazz. THE GREENWICH– Brasilia. 8:30 p.m. Latin Jazz. $5. THE HAMILTON–Michael McIntire. 7 p.m. Various. Free. KNOTTY PINE–Chalis. 9 p.m. Pop/Rock/Various. Free.

SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (REVIVAL ROOM)–Ben de la Cour with Arlo Mckinley. 7 p.m. Americana. $8.

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SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (SANCTUARY)–My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult with Relic and Curse of Cassandra. 8 p.m. Industrial/Alt/Rock/Various. $20. TAFT THEATRE–Brian Culbertson. 8 p.m. Jazz/R&B/ Funk. $29.50-$49.50.

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URBAN ARTIFACT– Marr, Slow Glows, Crooked Spines and In Details. 9 p.m. Indie Rock. Free.

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WOODWARD THEATER– ATER–The Mountain Goats with Dead Rider. 8:30 p.m. Indie Rock. Sold out.

FRIDAY 13

ARNOLD’S BAR AND GRILL–Lagniappe. 9 p.m. Cajun. Free. THE AVENUE EVENT CENTER–Lil Baby. 10 p.m. Hip Hop. $35. BLIND LEMON–Charlie Millikin. 9 p.m. Acoustic. Free. BROMWELL’S HÄRTH LOUNGE–The Amy & Billy LOUNGE– Band. 8 p.m. Jazz. Free. CAFFÈ VIVACE– VIVACE–Tom Tallitsch Trio. 8 p.m. Jazz. COLLEGE HILL COFFEE CO.–One Man Jazz Band. 7:30 p.m. Jazz. Free. COLONEL POMPS TAVERN–Out of the Blue. 7 p.m. Various. THE COMET–Butt with Butthole. 10 p.m. Rock/Punk. Free. CROW’S NEST–Willow Tree Carolers. 10 p.m. Folk Rock. Free.

THE DRINKERY–MixTape. 6 p.m. Rock/Various. Free. FRETBOARD BREWING COMPANY–Encore Duo. 5:30 p.m. Acoustic Classic Rock/Americana. Free. THE GREENWICH–Just Friends Friday with Kathy Wade featuring the Marc Fields Quartet. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10. JAG’S STEAK AND SEAFOOD–2-4 Flinching. 9 p.m. Pop/Dance/Various. $5. JEFF RUBY’S STEAKHOUSE–Grace Lincoln Band. 8 p.m. Soul/R&B. Free. KNOTTY PINE–Black Bone Cat. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover.

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LIBERTY EXHIBITION HALL–Liberty Jazz Lab with Progger and Spherical Agenda. 7:30 p.m. Progressive/Jazz/Various. $25. LIVE! AT THE LUDLOW GARAGE–High South with Roots Cellar Xtract. 8 p.m. Rock. $12.50-$25.

THE MAD FROG–Sacha Robotti. 9 p.m. Electronic/ DJ. Cover.

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MADISON LIVE– Daniel In Stereo with Automagik and This Pine Box. 8:30 p.m. Alternative/ Indie/Rock. $10, $12 day of show.

MADISON THEATER–All Time Low with Gnash and Dreamers. 7 p.m. Pop Rock. $30, $33 day of show. MANSION HILL TAVERN– Doug Hart Band. 9 p.m. Blues. Cover. MARTY’S HOPS & VINES– Kirk and Joe Duo. 9 p.m. Pop/Rock. Free. MOTR PUB– PUB–The Right Now. 10 p.m. Funk/Dance/Soul. Free. MT. CARMEL BREWERY– John Ford. 6:30 p.m. Roots/ Blues. Free.

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NORTHSIDE TAVERN– Founding Fathers with Black Signal and Kuber. 10 p.m. AltRock. Free.

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OCTAVE–Marco Benevento. 9 p.m. Indie Rock. $10, $12 day of show.

PEECOX ERLANGER–Saving Stimpy. 9:30 p.m. Rock. $5. SCHWARTZ’S POINT–Pat Kelly Trio. 9 p.m. Jazz. Cover. SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE)–Anne E. DeChant with Thor Platter. 9:30 p.m. Americana. Free.

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SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (SANCTUARY)–CincySmiles Foundation presents Rockin’ For Smiles featuring The Drysdales and Lexy Dunn Band. 9 p.m. Rock/Country. $13. THOMPSON HOUSE– Shane Hinte, Ian Klausing, Kevin Brewer, Origami Handguns and Kyle Anthony Vanderpool. 8 p.m. Acoustic. $10.

WASHINGTON PLATFORM –Greg Chako & Unity. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).

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WOODWARD THEATER– ATER–Trauma Illinois (EP release show) with Here Come Here, Freak Mythology and Graham The Empire. 8 p.m. AltRock. $10, $12 day of show.

YESTERDAY’S OLD TIME SALOON–Champs of the Sun, Fycus and Carriers. 10 p.m. Indie/Roots/Rock/Various. Free.

SATURDAY 14

ARNOLD’S BAR AND GRILL–The Hot Magnolias. GRILL– 8 p.m. Cajun/Jazz/Funk/ Various. Free.

& The Freddies & friends. 7 p.m. Folk. $10.

Andrew Hibbard. 7 p.m. Bluegrass/Americana. $8.

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THE COMET– COMET–The Cordial Sins, Slow Glows and Soften. 10 p.m. Indie Rock. Free.

THE HAMILTON–Amber Nash. 8 p.m. Singer/Songwriter. Free. JAG’S STEAK AND SEAFOOD–Sly Band. 9 p.m. Pop/Funk/R&B/Dance/Various. $5.

H

LIVE! AT THE LUDLOW GARAGE–Noah Hunt and Jason Dennie. 8:30 p.m. Acoustic. $17-$35.

MADISON LIVE–Down One with Life After This and One Degree From Mande. 8 p.m. Rock. $10, $12 day of show.

H

MADISON THEATER– Madison Theater Band Challenge Finals with Freak Mythology, Kelby, Someday Morning, Stranger, The Matildas, The Thrifters and Vermont. 7:30 p.m. Various. $12. MARTY’S HOPS & VINES– Kick the Blue Drum. 9 p.m. Blues/Rock. Free.

H

MOTR PUB–Sons of Silverton with Analog Panda. 10 p.m. Hip Hop. Free.

H

NORTHSIDE YACHT CLUB–Vacation, Rivers Edge, Canadian Rifle, Cincinnati Suds, Ghetto Blasters and Vampire Weekend at Bernies. 9 p.m. Rock/ Various. $10.

BLIND LEMON–Rob and Emily. 9 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

OCTAVE– OCTAVE–The Fritz with Backup Planet. 9 p.m. Funk Rock. Cover.

BROMWELL’S HÄRTH LOUNGE–Andrea Cefalo Quartet. 8 p.m. Jazz. Free.

PARRISH AUDITORIUM– Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. 7:30 p.m. Bluegrass. $27.

CAFFÈ VIVACE–FrenchAxe. 8 p.m. Jazz.

SCHWARTZ’S POINT– Mambo Combo. 9 p.m. Latin Jazz. Cover.

CHINA GARDEN BUFFET– Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass and Jenny Lee. 7 p.m. Bluegrass. $25 (includes dinner). COLLEGE HILL COFFEE CO.–Skirt and Boots. 7:30 p.m. Folk/Americana. Free.

H

COLLEGE OF MOUNT ST. JOSEPH–WoodyFest 2018 with Jake Speed

SILVERTON CAFE–Big Trouble. 9 p.m. Blues. Free. SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE)–Rivertown Ramblers. 9:30 p.m. Rockabilly/Country. Free. SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (REVIVAL ROOM)–Mike Mitchell with My Brother’s Keeper and

URBAN ARTIFACT– Triathalon with Luke Olson and Cross Country. 9 p.m. Indie Rock. $8, $12 day of show. WASHINGTON PLATFORM–Bobby Sharp Trio. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).

YESTERDAY’S OLD TIME SALOON–Westmore Land. 9 p.m. Various. Free.

SUNDAY 15

BOGART’S–Todrick Hall. BOGART’S– 7:30 p.m. Pop. $42.25.

H

SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (SANCTUARY)–Walter Trout with Sonny Moorman. 8 p.m. Blues. $15. URBAN ARTIFACT–Umin, Robert Imhuman + Nature Was Here, Human Host and Amnesiac Mnemonist. 9 p.m. Experimental/Various.

WASHINGTON PLATFORM–Buffalo Ridge Jazz Trio. 11:30 a.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).

MONDAY 16

BOGART’S–Nina Nesbitt. 8 p.m. Pop. $12.

H H

MOTR PUB– Stuyedeyed. 9 p.m. Indie Rock. Free.

SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE)– Bit Brigade performs Zelda with Double Ferrari, Mollusk and Stella. 8 p.m. Rock. $10.

TUESDAY 17

THE HAMILTON–Aaron Todahl. 7 p.m. Jazz. Free.

H

MADISON THEATER– They Might Be Giants. 8 p.m. Alt/Pop/Rock. $27, $30 day of show.

H H

NORTHSIDE TAVERN– Dave McDonnell Group. 9 p.m. Jazz. Free.

TAFT THEATRE– The Wood Brothers with Nicki Bluhm. 8 p.m. Americana/Folk/Blues. $25, $27 day of show (in the Ballroom).

H

URBAN ARTIFACT– The Z.G.s. 9 p.m. Punk/ Rock/Various.


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48. Pakistan metropolis

34. Make a wager

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37. Fare poorly

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51. Come into being

38. Wraps up, as with cables

53. Boat for one

4. Cold medicine brand

35. Benjamin who sang “Just What I Needed�

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36. Rejecting vote

6. Turkish greens

39. Laconophile’s love

56. Diciembre follower

40. Altar in space 41. Thorny patch 44. Hot take #4: Indian takeout enjoyed mid-flight? 47. Jump in the rink 49. Distort 50. Hot takes #5 and #6: Bag for Japanese rice wine? 54. Country singer Darius 58. “Fudge� 59. Big name in hotels

62. Olive ___ 63. Hot take #7: Horse meat served at a deli?

67. 2017 World Series winner 68. “A spider!� 69. Eat off the floor?

10. Nebula that shows no movement

57. Hose makeup 60. NBA playoffs channel

42. Sent packing 43. Scale notes

63. Baby food

45. Wine specification

64. Escape plan?

46. Face-to-face

11. Vermont ski resort 12. Make a second hole 14. John Fogerty’s band, briefly 17. Like some Neil Gaiman works 21. ___ Park 23. Part of the body oft-torn by athletes 25. Chunk of gum

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55. Some cigarettes

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CityBeat needs contractors to deliver CityBeat every Wednesday between 9am and 3pm. Qualified candidates must have appropriate vehicle, insurance for that vehicle and understand that they are contracted to deliver that route every Wednesday. CityBeat drivers are paid per stop and make $14.00 to $16.00 per hr. after fuel expense. Please reply by email and leave your day and evening phone numbers. Please reply by email only. Phone calls will not be accepted. sferguson@citybeat.com

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CityBeat | April 11, 2018  
CityBeat | April 11, 2018