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R.I.P. Donessa


Vanessa Trump lived out some of our wildest fantasies by breaking free from the Trump family as she and Don Jr. announced their separation last week. The two have been married for 12 years and have five kids. Vanessa is seeking an uncontested divorce, which means they’re not going to fight over assets or custody (in the words of Kanye West, they likely hollered, “We want prenup! We want prenup!” when they got hitched in 2005) and it will be a rather speedy process. Some people think that’s suspicious, but honey, the woman wants out. Let her live! Since neither are making a peep about the decision, media outlets were quick to dig up old stories on Vanessa and the couple, which were… interesting. Before she met Don, Vanessa was tied to Leonardo DiCaprio back in his Pussy Posse days. A 1998 New York magazine story says the two were caught nuzzling at a premiere party and while Leo’s rep says they never dated, Vanessa reportedly told a gossip columnist they were together. Former classmates also shared some choice words about Vanessa in the article. One called her a “total gangster bitch,” saying she used to work a rocker look with leather and baggy jeans. Another described her as an “ill thug” who dated a “Latin King” and was voted “Most Likely to Wind Up on Ricki Lake.” Lake.” Excuse me while I take the terms “thug” and “gangster” coming from a couple prep-school WASPs with a huge grain of salt. And as folks try to squeeze every last drop of relevance out of this divorce news, one former model emerged with receipts of Don’s creepy DMs about his apparent bacon fetish. The model had joked about pulling a muscle while changing a tampon and he asked if she smelled bacon and considered tweeting her for a photo. Breakfast will never be the same. Then you have Donessa’s engagement. Now there is no shame in getting a good deal on a diamond — even if your daddy is a billionaire. But Don Jr.’s proposal money moves were tacky AF. He gave Vanessa a $100,000 rock that he received for free from a jeweler. How’d he secure a pro bono ring? After getting down on one knee privately, the couple recreated the proposal outside the jewelry store in a NEW JERSEY MALL before paparazzi cameras and TV crews. And if that wasn’t enough to cement their romance from the start, the first time she met Don she called his dad “retarded.” Now, let’s respect their privacy during this difficult time.

From #NailedIt to #EpicFail

Everybody fucks up sometimes, even highly successful people and corporations — that’s the idea behind the Museum of Failure, which recently set up shop in Hollywood. The collection of “flops and foibles,” originally on display in Sweden, features 100 items representing product blunders that were either once successful and

Six-Year-Old Cooler Than You

Normally, I am vehemently against parents bringing small children to adult events and venues. Keep your babies away from my bars, weddings, concerts and definitely my art auctions (j/k I’ve only been to one auction and I actually felt like the baby in that crowd). So when I read that Beyoncé and Jay Z brought their 6-yearold Blue Ivy Carter to the WACO Theater Center’s Wearable Art Gala, I might have thrown a side-eye their way (don’t @ me, Beyhive!). But Blue continues to show us that she can roll with her folks in a way that you or I could only dream. Not only did she attend the benefit art auction — she bid $19,000 on a piece! Blue set her sights on an acrylic painting of Sidney Poitier by Tiffanie Anderson, bidding $17 grand and then $19,000 when she got outbid. A hilarious video shows dad Jay wrestling the paddle out of her hand. Tyler Perry’s rude ass outbid her again (please @ him, Beyhive!), so she settled for a $10,000 work by Samuel Levi Jones — a composite of deconstructed law and medical books. Even her taste in art is supreme. For the record, Blue Ivy is welcome anywhere I step foot.

Make Voting Fun Again


AG failed E SK ID to keep MO RE up with /CC the times, like Blockbuster, or just never quite found their footing, like Google Glass. There are some throwback items like Kellogg’s OJ’s, an orange juice-flavored cereal from the 1980s, and recent ones like the infamous Bic pens “For Her.” Attendees will also find a Harley-Davidson cologne in “Hot Road” scent, Colgate lasagna — the toothpaste company’s failed foray into frozen dinners — Apple’s Newton MessagePad, Sony’s Betamax VCR and even “Trump the Game,” which we are all living in right now. The museum also has a confession wall where visitors can share their own failures. It’s not all negative — the exhibit’s curator wants to encourage others by showing how failure is a necessary step in innovation. If Heinz can continue to thrive in all things tomato after its ill-advised EZ Squirt purple and green ketchup, you can go on to do great things, too!

“Russia” and “election” are straight-up trigger words for some of us, but if you peep photos of the polls across the country from this weekend, you’ll be transported to a magical fun land full of freebies. Russians voted in the presidential election Sunday and — spoiler alert! — Vladimir Putin won. Of course he won. He’s served as either president or prime minister of the country since 1999, and he won more than 76 percent of the vote this weekend. He’s now set to be the longest-serving Russian leader since Stalin. But there were concerns about low voter turnout, so the Kremlin pulled out all the stops to attract voters to the polls. Project Make Voting Fun Again featured live entertainment, discounted goods, selfie booths, costume contests and giveaways. Shirtless acrobats, free ice cream and cheap vodka no doubt helped entice a large percent of voters to cast their ballots. I’m not even mad about it. Hell, maybe more than 28 percent of Cincinnatians (the actual turnout for the 2017 election — great job, guys) would show up if their polling place had a bouncy castle. Contact T.C. Britton:

This Week in Questionable Decisions… 1. Shia LeBeouf told Esquire that he let Kanye West raid his closet and the rapper took everything — including Shia’s Indiana Jones hat. 2. WWE superstar John Cena jokingly auditioned for the role of Steve in Blue’s Clues during Nickelodeon’s upfront event this week, only to have O.G. Steve challenge him to wrestle for the role. 3. Convenience store 7-Eleven has unveiled new tater tot bars at participating locations. Tums sold separately. 4. The U.S. Army shared a St. Patrick’s Day video on Twitter that featured a dancing soldier and an explosion of shamrocks being fired from various weapons. 5. Snapchat users discovered a disturbing ad for the game “Would You Rather” asking them if they’d rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown. As if it’s not problematic on its own, the fact that Brown plead guilty to beating up Rihanna in 2009 makes this extra gross. Snapchat (more like Slapchat!) apologized for running the ad. 6. Iconic ’90s show Clarissa Explains it All might get the reboot treatment with a grown Melissa Joan Hart reprising her role but as a mom. Meh. 7. “American Pie” singer and 72-year-old Don McLean is dating a 24-year-old “model” who was a victim in a high-profile catfishing scam six years ago. 8. Yeezy is being sued for ripping off Jordan Outdoor Enterprises’ camo prints. 9. Last week it was a horse in a Miami club, this week someone drive their car into a club in England. 10. Ben Affleck’s supposedly fake giant phoenix back tattoo is real. He did that. 11. I made two Kanye references in one story. Sorry.

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NEWS Massie Challenger Looks to Paint a Red District Blue Patti Piatt wants to pull off a huge upset to become Kentucky’s first female Democrat in Congress BY M C K EN ZI E ES K R I D G E



Piatt has spent the days since her launch working her way around the district, dropping into restaurants and school board meetings to spread her message and engage in conversation with residents. Back in February, for example, Piatt held a campaign event at Tom’s Papa Dino’s Pizza in Florence, Ky. She addressed the crowd with a short stump speech before launching into individual dialogues with attendees concerned about minimum wage raises (Piatt would like to slowly work toward $15 an hour, but cautioned that business owners cannot sustain a fasttrack model), veteran-related issues, the opioid crisis and gun control reform. That last issue offers a very clear prism through which to view the distance between Massie and Piatt. Following the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. in February, Piatt released a statement calling for an immediate ban on assault and military-style weapons, CONTINUES ON PAGE 09


But Piatt isn’t the only one who wants to sign up for the tough job of painting this deep red district blue. To challenge Massie, she will need to get past primary challengers Lord, of Milford, Ky., and Seth Hall, from La Grange, Ky. Like Piatt, Lord brings a businessadministration background to the table. While she’s served in various management roles, she currently directs her energy at being a stay-at-home parent, but says she “has always desired to serve in a larger capacity than volunteering with extracurricular activities to ensure our children could have those activities to participate in.” Hall, a lawyer in the healthcare industry, is running to ease divisions in the 4th district. On his campaign website, he matter-of-factly states that everyone is entitled to quality healthcare, a fair wage and a first-class education. Only one will continue after the May 22 primary election. There are no Republican candidates challenging Massie.


education policies. Should she pull off the upset, she would make history. As female candidates, Piatt and fellow primary contender Christina Lord are both pushing against a deeply rooted dearth of women in Kentucky Politics. While the Bluegrass State elected one of the first female governors in the nation (Martha Layne Collins) back in 1983, women make up less than a fifth of Kentucky’s General Assembly. If Piatt or Lord advance past the primary and unseat Massie, either would be the first woman to represent Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District and the first Democratic woman in Kentucky elected to Congress. The state has had only two women representing it at the Capitol — both Republican — during its history. The first, Katherine Gudger-Langley, took office 90 years ago. The last, Anne Northup, was first elected two decades ago and left office in 2007. Piatt isn’t running in a vacuum: Democrats are eyeing Republican-held congressional seats across the country as they attempt to take back control of Congress on an anti-Trump wave. Last Wednesday, moderate Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb celebrated a slim victory over Republican contender Rick Saccone in a special House election in a district that elected Donald Trump to his presidency by a 20-point margin. Race results are not yet official, but Democrats nationwide are hopeful this is just the beginning of red district flips. That will be especially difficult in Kentucky, University of Cincinnati Professor of Political Science Dr. David Niven says. “Trump won the 4th by 36 points. This is an even more Republican, more ProTrump district, and unlike what we saw in Pennsylvania, this district lacks the strong organized labor base that helped push the Democrat over the top,” he says. “The 4th is a much steeper hill to climb for Democrats and not one of the dozens of districts the party is targeting to take back the House in 2018,” Niven added.

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ellevue’s Patti Piatt concedes she has at least one thing in common with U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, the staunch libertarian from whom she’d like to take Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District U.S. House seat in the upcoming November election. “We’re both carbon-based,” she quips. But beyond that, their political similarities are scarce. Will voters in Massie’s district, who voted overwhelming for Trump in 2016, opt for a change? Piatt wants to increase federal funding to the suburban and rural district, reign in the nation’s lax gun laws and gradually push toward a single-payer healthcare system. Massie, on the other hand, has made a name for himself as a sort of real-life Ron Swanson. Like the conservative Parks and Recreation character, Massie believes the less the government does, the better it is. True to his small-government, state’srights principles, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated engineer-turned-Eastern-Kentuckycattle-farmer-turned-politician typically votes down spending proposals, even on hurricane disaster relief funds for Harvey, Irma and Maria, and regularly introduces “constitutional purist” legislation like eliminating the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. Piatt has taken issue with Massie’s hands-off approach. She is seeking to unseat the three-time incumbent on promises she’ll be a more proactive advocate in Congress for the district that stretches from a portion of Louisville into eastern parts of the commonwealth and runs along the Ohio River through Northern Kentucky’s suburban Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. “He doesn’t believe in federal funding for anything,” Piatt says of Massie. “There are no dollars coming into Kentucky because of him.” Piatt has promised potential constituents that she’ll help send funds Kentucky’s way in support of infrastructure, rehabilitation programs and teacher-driven



FCC Won’t Build in West End

City Manager Agrees to Buyout, but Council Opposed BY N I C K SWA R T S EL L

After two weeks of turbulence, including an all-out standoff with Mayor John Cranley, City Manager Harry Black agreed on March 17 to a settlement to leave his position. “Earlier today Mayor Cranley and I executed an amicable and mutually acceptable settlement, which is in the best interest of the City,” Black wrote in a statement. “I believe it is a fair agreement. I am hopeful that all members of City Council will immediately voice their support, so that this very painful week of tumult and chaos for the City — and me personally — can come to an end.” But a majority of Cincinnati City Council, which must approve Black’s settlement, still opposes his monetary severance package and departure. Following Black’s statement, the group released their own on March 18 saying they would not vote to approve Black’s settlement, which will cost more than $420,000. Previously, the group of Democrats has called for a “cease fire” between Cranley and Black while an independent investigation into claims the two have lobbed back and forth is conducted. Council members Tamaya Dennard, Greg Landsman, Chris Seelbach, P.G. Sittenfeld and Wendell Young released a statement on March 16 suggesting that council appoint an independent special counsel to look into claims by Cranley that Black has created a hostile workplace for city employees and has behaved inappropriately. They would also like that counsel to look into claims that Black is being forced out of his job unfairly and suggestions by


Harry Black (left) with Mayor John Cranley PH OTO: NIC K SWARTSELL

Black himself that a “rogue element” within the Cincinnati Police Department has been working to oust Chief Eliot Isaac. That tug-of-war comes after a tumultuous run of days saw a gender discrimination complaint filed by a high-ranking female Cincinnati police officer, the leak of an allegedly unfinished CPD overtime audit, Black’s dismissal of CPD assistant chief David Bailey (with a $400,000 payout to effectively be on leave until he retires) and the city manager’s subsequent assertions that Bailey and other officers were working to undermine Chief Isaac due to racial bias. Cranley asked Black to resign on March 9. Black initially refused. In its March 16 statement, the Cincinnati City Council majority acknowledged concerns by the Greater Cincinnati NAACP, the Black United Front and other AfricanAmerican groups that Black is being railroaded, but also said a thorough review of claims swirling around the controversy is needed.

The rift went nuclear last week as Cranley outlined alleged complaints of misconduct against Black from city employees, promised a written report about that misconduct and moved to bring public testimony from those employees before council. “I advised him to cease and desist certain behaviors,” Cranley told reporters gathered in his office after a March 14 Cincinnati City Council meeting. “Those behaviors are resurfacing and getting more egregious. I feel in good conscience I need to share this with council to decide how to move forward with the city.” All of that will be to show council that it must vote to remove Black, Cranley said. He asked Black not to make any personnel decisions as the review process he outlined proceeds over the next two weeks. Among the ammunition Cranley has: a visit to a strip club Black, Eliot, Bailey and assistant chief Paul Neudigate took two years ago in Denver during a city trip. Cranley and Black’s versions of that visit differ — Cranley claims Black invited City Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething on the outing and bragged about it to her and the mayor afterward. Black denies this. Cranley knew about the visit at the time, but did not mention it until recently. Following the tangled intrigue, council wants an investigation — and doesn’t want to pay for Black’s departure. “We also do not support forcing taxpayers to pay out of their own pockets for what is currently a broken relationship,” council majority’s March 16 statement reads. “We believe there are much better immediate next steps.”


ollowing weeks of working to negotiate a land swap with Cincinnati Public Schools, FC Cincinnati won’t build a stadium in the West End, the team announced March 16. The team says costs — tax payments to the school district and a community benefits agreement — would make it too expensive to locate in the neighborhood. “As with any business, FC Cincinnati must consider the economics surrounding this significant investment,” a statement from the team read. “By CPS adding $50-$60 million in CPS and West End neighborhood costs to the investment by FC Cincinnati of approximately $400 million, the economics of privately funding a stadium in the West End community are impractical.” Should it win a Major League Soccer franchise, FCC potentially wanted to build a soccer stadium on the site of the district’s Stargel Stadium and in exchange rebuild Stargel on nearby land at a cost of $10 million. The team’s proposal saw two major sticking points: a community benefits agreement CPS wants to see negotiated with neighborhood groups and the amount of property taxes or payments in lieu of property taxes FCC will pay. FC Cincinnati officials say that the community benefits agreement with neighborhood groups asked for total $50 million — a $30 million upfront payment and $1-$2 million annually. But West End United, the group

Proposed Ordinance Would Put Limits on Whole-Building Rentals through Sites like Airbnb



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Cincinnati City Councilman David Mann will introduce an ordinance seeking to mitigate what he says are negative effects of sites like Airbnb, VRBO and others on rental tenants and the city’s available rental housing stock. Airbnb, and sites like it, allow property owners to rent rooms or whole buildings for short-term stays, similar to a hotel. The companies don’t own any real estate but simply broker the transaction between the owner and guest via an app or website in exchange for a small fee. That can sometimes incentivize property owners, or investors who snatch up rental properties, to convert traditional houses or

apartment buildings into full-time Airbnb sites, which can in turn displace residents and eat into a city’s housing stock. Cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York have passed or attempted to pass restrictions on short-term rentals so they don’t exacerbate housing shortages there. Mann’s proposed ordinance would require landlords seeking to rent entire buildings on sites like Airbnb for less than 30 days to get a city license, subject to city inspections and yearly renewal, and to rent those buildings for less than 90 days out of a calendar year. Airbnb operators who rent whole buildings would also need to

carry liability insurance and would have to pay income taxes on their rental profits, including the city’s transient occupancy tax. “I am very concerned about rental housing being emptied out and converted totally to transient Airbnb visitors,” Mann says of the proposal. “This will only aggravate our affordable housing crisis.” Mann acknowledges the “very real positive economic and tourism benefits” of sites like Airbnb and notes that owner-occupied housing isn’t included in the law, so if you’re just renting out the extra bedroom in your house, you won’t need to change anything. Hamilton County currently

needs about 40,000 more units of housing that is affordable to its lowest-income residents. Average rent in Cincinnati is roughly $900 a month, meaning landlords only need to rent out their properties on Airbnb at the city’s average rate of $100 a day for nine days to make the same return. The ordinance cites incidents in which Cincinnati landlords have evicted tenants to convert buildings into full-time Airbnb rentals. Cincinnati has about 640 active Airbnb rentals with an average rent of roughly $100 a day, according to AIRDNA, which tracks rentals on the site by city. About 60 percent of those are whole-building rentals. The city has seen a 41 percent annual


growth rate in those rentals in recent years. In the 45202 area code, which covers downtown, Over-theRhine, and Mount Adams, there are more than 140 active rental units averaging a rate of $124 a day. Eighty one percent of those rentals are of an entire building. There are another roughly 30 Airbnb sites in area code 45206, which encompasses rapidly redeveloping Walnut Hills, and nearly 60 percent of them are entire-building rentals. That data doesn’t include rentals on other, similar websites and apps. Under the ordinance, operating a non-owner occupied Airbnb property without a license, or violating the terms of that license, would constitute a fineable civil offense.


working on negotiating a CBA with the team, says that’s not true. WE United says they never gave FCC a number because they were still formulating their ask of the team. “As we told FC Cincinnati leaders yesterday, there is no completed CBA yet,” the group said in a March 16 press release. “We are still forming our coalition and developing a coalition consensus around a request to FCC. We clearly told FCC: ‘We don’t have a number.’ We remain committed to pursuing an authentic CBA with FCC, but these negotiations take time.” The Cincinnati Board of Education outlined what it wanted from FC Cincinnati for a land swap involving the district’s Stargel Stadium earlier last week. The gist of its ask: FCC needed to pay its fair share in property taxes to the district, draw up formal documents about a replacement for the school’s stadium — to be built just across Ezzard Charles Drive — and work with community groups on a community benefits agreement. In exchange, the team could have taken ownership of CPS land to build a soccer stadium in the West End and receive a deferred payment schedule for its contributions to the district. “In the Board’s view, FC Cincinnati should be required to pay an amount of property taxes that is consistent with the 1999 agreement framework — or $2 million annually based on the club’s current estimated value of the new stadium,” a March 14 letter from

the district reads. The team made initial offerings of $70,000 a year (what a few property owners of parcels east of Stargel pay now) and another deal that would have paid CPS roughly $4 million over the next 12 years. The district rejected both of those offers. On the morning of March 14, FCC sent the Board of Education a letter with what it framed as a final offer: $750,000 a year for 10 years. The team gave the district until 5 p.m. that day to respond, citing a pending $1 million real estate deal needed to move forward with a stadium in the West End. “If we can’t even get the CPS piece done, then it’s probably a real waste of a lot of money, upwards of $1 million on real estate in the area,” FCC President Jeff Berding told radio station WVXU. The payments on offer were less than the roughly $2 million a year a commercial project like the $250 million stadium would pay under the city’s current taxabatement policies, which have been in place since 1999. It’s also less than the full tax burden such a stadium would incur, which the district estimates would be $2.8 million a year. In the missive, the Board of Education also said the team’s 5 p.m. deadline was “unreasonable” and asked them to submit a more formal proposal detailing payments, the nature of its community benefits agreement with neighborhood groups and details about its promise to build a new Stargel Stadium.

FCC is still considering either Newport or Oakley for the site of its stadium. Newport, being across the river, obviously won’t generate money for CPS. The team has claimed that the Oakley site wouldn’t generate any either — FCC is exploring an ownership structure in which the Greater Cincinnati


increased investment in mental healthcare and the repeal of the Dickey Amendment, a law that prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using funds “to advocate or promote gun control.” Massie, who chairs the House Second Amendment Caucus, had an equally clear response, albeit one far different from Piatt’s. On his personal platforms and with larger media outlets, he pointed to the Safe Students Act bill he introduced in January 2017. That legislation, which hasn’t passed, would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. In addition to pushing back against pleas by Democrats and some Republicans to raise the minimum age to purchase an assault weapon, Massie proposed the SAFER Voter Act, which would reduce the minimum age to buy a handgun from 21 to 18, reasoning on twitter, “Why should

Redevelopment Authority owns its stadium, making it tax exempt. Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune, however, has said that city and county leaders could structure that deal in such a way that the team is still forced to make payments in lieu of property taxes to the district

a 20-yr-old mom be denied the right to defend herself?” “Statistically speaking, a 20-year-old mother is more likely to be killed by an abusive partner when there is a gun in the house than she is to use that gun to protect her home and children,” Piatt tweeted in response to Massie’s tweet. There’s a personal connection to the mental health angles that have emerged from the debate on gun control. Having lost a son to suicide, addressing mental health issues and destigmatizing addiction is a personal quest Piatt says she plans to take to Washington, D.C. Political experts say Piatt’s chances of taking Massie’s seat are slim — but that anything is possible in the current climate. Ask Xavier University Political Science Professor Dr. Mack Mariani about Piatt’s odds and he’ll tell you it “seems like the longest of long shots. Of course, 2016 should teach us that nothing is certain in American politics these days.”

BEST OF CINCINNATI® GOLDEN TICKETS March 28 | 5:30-9pm | The Phoenix, 812 Race St, Downtown Cincinnati Every attendee will have a chance to win a pair of tickets to: Barenaked Ladies John Fogerty & ZZ Top Dead & Company Kesha & Macklemore Chicago & REO Speedwagon Lynyrd Skynyrd Cirque du Soleil Corteo Jimmy Eat World


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Dashboard Confessional Family 4-pack of tickets to Kidz Bop Live Steve Miller Band & Peter Frampton Pair of tickets to Steely Dan & The Doobie Brothers Jack Johnson w/ G. Love & Special Sauce Jeff Beck & Paul Rogers + Ann Wilson of Heart The King and I The Musical

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Bonnaroo 2018 Forecastle Festival Bunbury Festival Jason Mraz David Byrne Tedeschi Trucks Band Odesza Steve Martin & Martin Short






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nside an inconspicuous lobby in an office building on Walnut Street, there is a small express elevator with only one button to press: Floor 11. Hit the button, and 23.5 seconds later the doors open onto a mezzanine that should be grey offices, the drab trappings of corporate downtown life; but instead, you’re greeted with a beautiful tiled floor showered in warm light from a chandelier above, and Carlo Ponti’s gigantic Ruins of Rome photography. And then, to the right, impossibly and inexplicably, there it is: The Mercantile Library.


It’s 9 a.m., and the downtown member’s library feels like a library at, well, 9 a.m. Stillness. The sun warms the maple hardwood floors through the Mercantile’s soaring windows. The city hums faintly outside. The streetcar’s bell tolls as it sails along Main Street. The first thing one sees upon entering the library is an 8-foot-tall imposing yet graceful marble statue, acquired in 1856; a fi nger to her lips, she eponymously reminds us of the most traditional tenet of a library: “Silence.” Mercantile Collector/Librarian Cedric Rose and I break that commandment. After we ascend a cast-iron spiral staircase to the library’s 12th-floor lecture room, I ask him what he thinks the public’s perception of the Merc is. “I think that’s one of the main challenges of this place,” he says after a pause. “You have this archaic name — ‘Mercantile Library.’ We get a lot of people who are like, ‘Oh, are you guys a business library?’ “We have a few business books… from 1957,” he says with a laugh. The Young Men’s Mercantile Library Association was founded on April 18, 1835 —almost 20 years before the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. A group of 45 working-class merchants got together in a fi rehouse and decided to pool their funds so they could buy books and thus improve their knowledge, network and telegraph to the public that they were part of an esteemed organization that was reading instead of downstairs at a bar or brothel. “Back in 1835 when this was a frontier city, people really understood that by educating yourself, you might be able to climb the social and economic ladders,” Rose says. The library’s fi rst incarnation in downtown’s Cincinnati College building was destroyed by a fi re. The building’s owners didn’t have enough funds to rebuild — until the Mercantile’s members raised $10,000, which they pledged to the effort in exchange for a 10,000-year rent-free lease (with the option to renew, naturally), famously drawn up by Alphonso Taft, father to William Howard Taft. The second incarnation partially burned, and the Beaux-Arts building on the current site at 414 Walnut St. was eventually completed in 1904. Today, only a handful of membership libraries still exist — and the Mercantile

12 hours at The Mercantile Library, Cincinnati’s own Room of Requirement

Historic photo of Mercantile members PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER

agical Realism By Zachary Petit

owes its nearly 200-year run in large part to that lease, Rose says. In the lecture room, 22 names of legendary authors who have spoken at the library encircle the ceiling. Over the years the library has hosted Saul Bellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Bradbury, Tom Wolfe, Julia Child, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, John Updike, Elmore Leonard, even Herman Melville — whose talk in 1858 on “statuary in Rome” didn’t exactly garner rave reviews (newspapers at the time dubbed it “earnest, though not sufficiently animated for a Western audience”). That’s the library’s past in a nutshell — a story so great that it’s easy to make it the only thing one talks about when discussing the Mercantile. But to do so robs you of the present, and perhaps even the library’s future. Rose has been at the Merc for about 12 years, as has his colleague, Business and

Membership Manager Chris Messick. And over those 12 years, Rose says, a lot has changed — notably the library’s perceived degree of Old Cincinnati exclusivity, which it has pivoted completely away from. Gone are the days when an unknown visitor would be regarded with suspicion, and perhaps even hostility. In fact, anyone can enter and read or look around for free. You only need an annual membership of $55 to check books out. (And there are more than 80,000 of them to choose from.) Moreover, the library has grown into a full-blown literary center. In addition to the authors they bring in for lectures, they host myriad events, books and even have yoga on Saturday mornings. Rose also bucks any notions of elitism. Noting that he comes from a background of working at coffee shops, he focuses on building personal connections with patrons. His day job has evolved from one of scanning old texts and sending them

across the world to having conversations with members and getting to know their personal tastes, so that when they walk into the library, he can give them a tailored recommendation. “For me, it’s customer service,” he says. “You want people to come here. You want them to fi nd what they expect to fi nd, you want them to have the excitement of fi nding what they don’t expect to find and, bottom line, you want people to use the collection and read the books. By any means necessary.” By 11 a.m., more people have shown up. Some browse the long mahogany magazine stands, showcasing copies of Outside, Smithsonian, Wired, Vanity Fair Fair, literary journals. Some sit around reading. A renowned micologist (one who studies fungi) works away at his laptop.

Top: The Mercantile collection is home to more than 80,000 books. Bottom: The library’s hulking safe and the spiral staircase that leads to the lecture hall PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER

pinging and popping — “It was much more of a human world,” Rose marvels, his passion for the library, its collection and its future, alive in his eyes.



It’s noon, and I’m sitting at a long table with a man in a white collared shirt and striped tie, donning Apple earbuds and eating pretzels from a Styrofoam container. A microphone has been set up on a modest stage. Behind me, a man in a suit drinks a Coke Zero and picks at an array of bagged snacks as he plays on his phone. Two women work on laptops. Someone takes a bite of a turkey sandwich and a drop of mayo falls to the antique table. His eyes dart around to see if anyone has noticed. It seems an act of blasphemy. But as I’ll find out later, I’m missing the point.


more directly tell the story of the Mercantile: Rose produces a copy of the original 10,000-year lease and my eyes go wide. Behind the circulation desk is an oil painting of U.S. Senator Edward Everett by J.O. Eaton, completed shortly after he spoke at the library; Everett is perhaps best known as the person who opened for Abraham Lincoln and delivered a two-hour speech before the president delivered the Gettysburg Address in two minutes. Rose carefully opens a bound set of the library’s original meeting minutes. One of his favorite highlights: After a round of drinks had been served (they tended to drink heavily at their convocations), the conversation turned to why the elevator operator was so cantankerous. He had a wooden leg, and they speculated it was perhaps because the leg had termites. This being the 1800s, every bit of such banter was recorded in beautiful, ornate script. The handwriting, the lack of devices

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I ask Rose who his members are. There are the classic library “power users” who check out five or six books a week. There are the freelance writers and students who quietly work from the library, never really interacting with the collection. There’s even a significant quotient of professionals from nearby businesses who come here to eat their lunch. Near the circulation desk sits a hulking safe from the 1800s with hand-painted scenic views and florals. Rose begins to gather objects from it. He reveals one he recently unearthed simply by wandering the stacks — a history of Louis XII from 1615. The library’s treasures are manifold: True Prophecies or Prognostications of Michael Nostradamus, 1672. A George Washington autograph and signed letters from William Howard Taft. A first edition of Dombey and Sons by Charles Dickens. Rookwood vases and pots from the late 1800s. And then there are the objects that





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“The fish don’t know if you’re a man or a woman,” Jen Ripple says as those in the room try to suppress a laugh. It’s 1 p.m., and the library’s Messick is recording a podcast with Dun magazine Editor-in-Chief Ripple, and Tim Guilfoile, a board member at the Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers association. Messick, donning headphones, works the levels and monitors the conversation as it plays out in the lecture room. It all feels surreal, and wildly out of place — fly fishers in a library. A library podcast episode focused on fly fishing. Hell, a library having a podcast, recording audio in what has historically been a temple of silence. But as Ripple and Guilfoile discuss the notion of women being stereotyped as out of place in the world of fly fishing, things come into focus. The library started its 12thStory podcast a couple of years back. Episodes have focused on book discussion and interviews. Today, Ripple reveals she wanted to write about her love of fly fishing for a women’s magazine, but there really wasn’t one to write for. So she launched hers. Guilfoile and Ripple discuss the role of women in fly history, even the literature of fly fishing. As it turns out, Ripple notes, the first book on fly fishing (Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle Angle), published in 1496, was written by a woman — a nun named Juliana Berners. All of this shouldn’t work, but it does. As the podcast goes on, Rose quietly enters the lecture room through a side door and pushes on what looks like a wooden wall panel, accessing a secret door. Though it just houses the staff’s kitchen, it furthers the notion of the library as a place whose mysteries seem eternally manifold, a universe in the vein of Carlos Ruiz Zafón. What’s more, up here, the library floor seems lost, a foreign thing. Is this the soul of the Merc, versus its stacks of books? What is a library, if not those who populate it? The recording finished, Guilfoile reflects on the Mercantile. “I love it here,” he says. “It captures the essence of downtown Cincinnati. It’s not just a place — it has a personality.”


Tobacco Among the Karuk Indians of California by John P. Harrington, 1927. What the Dogs Saw by Malcolm Gladwell, 2009. The Best News Stories of 1923. As a book person, wandering the steel stacks of the Mercantile Library, with categories and call numbers etched in chalk on the sides of each row, is akin to a spiritual experience. An experience, I might add, most newcomers don’t think is possible until they see someone else wander in. Up the staircase and into the stacks — with their amazing glass floors, so designed to allow for light to filter through them — the smell of books is intoxicating.

The 8-foot-tall statue, “Silence,” greets visitors as they enter the 11th-floor library. PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER

The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success by Wayne Breitbarth, 2011. Satan: A Libretto by Christopher Cranch, 1874. The Varieties of Dogs, as They are Found in Old Sculptures, Pictures, Engravings and Books: With the Names of the Artists by Whom They are Represented, Showing How Long Many of the Numerous Breeds Now Existing Have Been Known by Ph. Charles Berjeau, 1863. Moreover, it’s easy to forget that you can check any of these books out. Up until last week, you could have theoretically checked out the Louis XII book from 1615, though something tells me Rose might have intercepted it. As I’m browsing, I bump a well-worn wooden step ladder and cringe in horror as it echoes throughout the library. As I discover again later, though, to do so is to miss the point. A woman arrives and two young girls accompanying her go flying up the stairs to the stacks, marveling at the city views and the novelty of the glass floor. She browses the new books displayed in front of the circulation desk — the latest from thriller writer Lee Child, Michio Kaku’s The Future of Humanity Humanity, David Neiwert’s Alt-America. The lunch crowd had dissipated and people talk in hushed voices. “Silence” looms large, and is respected. But as tonight will show, to blindly obey her is to also miss the point. She’s a relic from the past — a beautiful, crucially important relic, but just that.

Rose and his colleagues get to work moving historic, priceless furniture with daunting speed and precision: The magazine racks are rolled away. Antiques are repositioned. Stacks of plastic chairs emerge from a closet. Literary Programs and Marketing Manager Amy B. Hunter and I look on. Events like tonight’s talk with novelist and Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle call for all hands on deck for their nimble staff of five. “They pretty much have it down to a science,” she says. “It’s a beautiful game of Tetris.” While people sometimes liken the library to something out of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, Hunter likens it to Hogwarts’ Room of Requirement, in that “we’re whatever you need or want.” She takes stock of the library. “This place will outlast us all,” she says after a moment. Executive Director John Faherty sees the two little girls and asks if they want some cake. Faherty, of bombastic, energetic, good-natured personality, disappears into the kitchen for a moment and reemerges with a chocolate cheesecake, brought by a volunteer who regularly ferries such delights to the library. The area is quickly readied for the night’s lecture, set to draw nearly 200 people — save the distribution of the chairs, which Faherty assigns to his teenage son, Theo, who’s undergoing some light punishment at the moment.

“Child labor laws,” Faherty jokes, turning to the staff — “If you see him slacking, ride his ass!” I follow Faherty to his office, where he takes a seat as a bust of Chairman Mao peers at me over his shoulder. The first time Faherty came to the Merc in 2014, he was a reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer Enquirer. “My initial reaction was probably the same as everyone else’s,” he says. “It was like, holy cow. And then my next thought was, How did I not know about this place?” To justify taking some photos, he decided to write a story — subsequently headlined, “Is Mercantile Library the City’s Prettiest Place?” And in the story are the seeds that would come to define his tenure as the library’s leader a year or so later: It’s a working library. And everyone should be able to enjoy it. “I would say we have to stop being a well-kept secret,” he says. “We have to become a poorly kept secret. Or not a secret at all. … I hate secrets. Maybe that’s because I used to be a reporter. When you really think about a secret, a secret only has value if you’re keeping it from someone. And who the hell are you keeping this place a secret from?” Even writing this story, it’s easy to feel a bit like a traitor — you selfishly want to keep it to yourself. But again, that’s to miss the point, and perhaps why Faherty was hired after outgoing director Albert Pyle retired. I muse with Faherty about how I stood around outside earlier to see if anyone would stop and read the “Historic Cincinnati” sign about the library. He lights up. “I hate that thing because it looks like a historical marker. It looks like a Civil War battle! If it disappears one night, don’t call the police,” he says with a laugh. “It looks like a historic marker and we are alive. One of the things I try to tell people is we are a library — we are not a museum.” Faherty says the library currently has more members than it’s had in 100 years: 2,800. As the book Literary Cincinnati notes, the library peaked at 4,000 members in the 19th century, but had dropped below 300 in 1968 before making up some ground and hitting 1,000 members in 2000. However, the better metric for success, Faherty says, is that they’re more utilized today than ever. In 2015, the library had 4,200 people come to events. Last year they had 7,000. Still, that’s not enough for Faherty. In discussing an unpopular opinion that we share about Moby-Dick (a heresy that cannot be included in any article about a library), I ask him what his white whale is. He pauses for a series of moments. “My white whale is keeping this place fantastic. Not changing the place — but changing

(L-R): Records of the Young Men’s Mercantile Library Association 1835-1848; these magazine racks are still in use at the Mercantile PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER

But it’s alive, as it has been for the past 183 years. Perhaps more bluntly put: The mayo belongs on the table. A couple hundred plastic chairs sit next to historic cast-iron hat racks, magazine racks and an old Geneva Regulator clock acquired by the library in 1852. A bronze bust of Robert Frost has a Cincinnati Reds cap perched atop its head. Perhaps Rose framed it all best earlier. “I came in this morning, and noticed that the weight on our Regulator clock was almost at the bottom. So I’m opening a safe with a dial lock, I’m cranking up the counterweights on this clock but then …” He pauses. “It’s just really weird because this place is like an anachronism but also living in the present.” The clock embodies time. But it behaves in a different way here. To cite Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut — a writer who shockingly never spoke at the library though he seems tailormade for it: “All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. … It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever. … So it goes.” The Mercantile Library is located at 414 Walnut St., Downtown. More info: new.


It’s the calm before the storm. Literary Programs and Marketing Manager Hunter’s husband arrives and helps set up the bar. Around 6 p.m., the die-hard John Darnielle fans start to trickle in ahead of the 7 p.m. program. People who

seem new to the library mill about, looking delighted, and perhaps a bit unsure. They eye the bar — can you really drink here? They take selfies with the stacks in the background — do you think can you go up there? A man wanders up as I work in a corner — can he ascend the stairs to the overlook area? The light outside begins to dim. Newcomers approach Messick, who is manning the guest list, to ask what the library … is. He explains. The room fills almost completely. The staff estimates it’s 50/50 members and nonmembers. It’s a hip, eclectic crowd. Messick takes a moment away from the table to introduce Darnielle. (And he does so with humor and grace, though he’s been working for almost 12 hours.) It’s dark outside now. The giant circular bulbs that punctuate the library’s ceiling reflect in the windows. Darnielle is funny. Sharp. He reveals he has a Tolstoy cookbook. He talks about the new paperback release of his novel Universal Harvester Harvester, and reads a chapter from it. He tells stories about working the A/V desk at a library. The Q&A ends and a line of bubbling eventgoers forms to get their books signed. They’re delighted. It’s loud. Darnielle signs, “Silence” regarding him a few feet away. I look around, and realize the extent to which I had the library wrong. A library is not meant to be kept for oneself. Yes, it is a repository of books and reflection.


Margaret Atwood for the lecture, which takes place on Nov. 3. The rest of the 2018 lineup is equally impressive — in order of appearance, Steve Earle (who performed March 14), Susan Orlean, Melissa Clark, Colson Whitehead — and yet it comes with problems of its own. “This is a shocking group of writers,” he says, eyes wide. “This lineup is insane. This lineup makes me so nervous. There’s no way I can top this lineup.” His son, Theo, returns. Faherty tells him to ask Rose for a good book. “He’ll ask you a couple questions, and then I want to know what he comes up with. Hey, Ced!” “Yesss?” “Would you help Theo for a minute? This is library work.” And the library goes on. “Us doing our job is asking one of our favorite questions of all time,” Faherty says. “Which is: What are you reading? There is no better job in the world than that. Where that question is central to what I do for a living, is to know what you’re reading.” “So,” he says, a devilish look in his eyes. “What are you reading?”

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who uses it.” Diversity. Faherty’s goal is to have the library become more diverse, younger and more active. “We need to better reflect our community. We don’t. We’re working on it. We’re working on it literally every day,” he says. It’s a fact, he says, that the Merc could shut its doors and admit no new members and still be a fully functioning, fully staffed, active library. “We could do that for thousands of years. And while it’s a great short story, it’s also such a creepy thing,” he says. “I mean, I really believe this place is kind of magic. And more people should know it. If we’re an active library, we’re a successful library. We live in weird times. It’s 2018 and the world feels a little bit nuts and no one believes anybody. And disagree means fight. This is a place where people believe stuff.” As for how the library operates, given his hatred of secrets, he readily hops onto his computer to pull financials. This year, Faherty says The Mercantile Library’s budget is $1 million — the largest it’s ever been. Membership dues net about $126,000. The rest is a mosaic of member contributions, event sponsorships and the library’s investment fund. And, of course, there’s the organization’s signature annual fundraiser, The Niehoff Lecture. Combined with other events, it brings in about $110,000. This year, the library scored a massive coup by booking


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ART: Requiem at the Weston Art Gallery features a grand gesture of remembrance by artist Malcolm Cochran. See review on page 22.

ONSTAGE: Chicago One of Kander and Ebb’s great Broadway musicals is making a stop at the Aronoff Center this week. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, it satirizes corruption and criminal justice in ways that still feel relevant. It’s also one heck of a show with great tunes and choreography by Bob Fosse’s — including “All That Jazz” and “Cell Block Tango.” A Tony winner and an Academy Award winner, it’s also the longest-running Broadway revival of all time — nearly 9,000 performances since 1996. The “merry murderesses,” Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, will be onstage for just one week. Through Sunday. $29-$107. Broadway in Cincinnati, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, — RICK PENDER


MUSIC: Davina and the Vagabonds bring Jerry-LeeLewis-meets-Fats-Domino piano pounding skills and Amy-Winehouse-in-theFrench-Quarter vocals to the Woodward Theater. See Sound Advice on page 32. COMEDY: Ty Barnett Comedian Ty Barnett hasn’t

Chicago P H O T O : PA U L KO L N I K

toured as much the past few years. “I’ve been doing more acting than I thought I’d ever be doing,” he says. “I was one of those people who was like ‘I’m going to do stand-up my whole life, I’m going to be a road comic,’ and all that. Then you get old and get tired of traveling and carrying bags and you focus on other stuff.” That includes acting, which Barnett says he fell into. “Acting is weird because initially it took a while for me to get used to being in front of the camera and the auditioning process and now I love it,” he says. However, he’s looking forward to getting back in front of live audiences and jumped at the chance to headline Go Bananas this week. Through Sunday. $10-$16. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy. com. — P.F. WILSON


MUSIC: Nashville Indie Rockers Moon Taxi play the Madison Theater. See Sound Advice on page 32.

EVENT: HorrorHound Weekend Where else are you going to get a chance to see a stand-up set by Black

Flag frontman Henry Rollins, score an autograph from WWE superstar Rey Mysterio and meet Mark Steger, the man who played Stranger Things’ Demogorgon? HorrorHound Weekend is a haven for fans of all things macabre and pulpy, offering attendees a chance to get up close and personal with the casts of their favorite flicks and TV shows. Revel in Spielberg-ian nostalgia at a Q&A session with the stars of E.T., or get acquainted with Bob Gimlin, creator of the infamous “Bigfoot” home video that inspired a generation of cryptid hunters. Between presentations, snag some quick photos with Child’s Play star Chucky and your favorite Walking Dead character. You’ll even be able to screen some B-movie-chic horror films at the HorrorHound film festival, presented in conjunction with IFC — creepy clown movie Terrifier looks like a must-see entry. 5-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $50 week weekend; $30 daily. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, — JUDE NOEL


ONSTAGE: The Playhouse in the Park’s 76th world premiere, Sooner/Later Sooner/Later, opens. Read an interview with playwright Allyson Currin on page 23.

EVENT: March for Our Lives + Wave Pool Performance All signs point to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School being a tipping point in American gun violence: students have led the way in organizing the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C. to demand comprehensive gun legislation be brought before Congress. Cincinnati’s United We Stand nonprofit and Young Feminists Coalition are hosting the city’s sibling march that will start at City Hall at 11 a.m. To honor the victims, Wave Pool has planned a short performance before the rally — 17 local flautists will play flutes produced from dismantled gun barrels. Renowned Mexican activistartist Pedro Reyes designed the flutes in collaboration with The Welcome Project, a social enterprise based in Camp Washington that


ONSTAGE: Red Velvet Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, OTR (through March 31)

EVENT: Sunset Salons: Chocolate Have you been looking for a chocolate guide in Cincinnati? Someone to walk you through the ins and outs of making the dark delight yourself? Look no further than Lisa Cooper-Holmes, founder and owner of Montgomery’s Haute Chocolate shop. She’ll present a mini lecture and class at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center as part of the “Sunset Salons”

ART: Michael Corris: The Fourth Book at Basketshop Gallery Michael Corris’ name might be unfamiliar in Cincinnati, but the internationally recognized artist has indirectly influenced the alternative programming at the new Basketshop Gallery in Westwood. And gallery founders Kelly Kroener and Eli Walker, formerly of Dallas, have brought their hero to town for the first time. Currently a professor at Southern Methodist University, Corris was part of New York’s conceptual Art & Language collective in the 1970s, and he continues to produce nontraditional books that comingle typography, graphic design and illustration to foster critical discourse about the world of contemporary art and the world at large. This exhibit pulls images from his new publication, The Fourth Book, which takes up timely issues of cultural appropriation, gender inequality and depictions of the exercise of power power. Through April 28. Free. Basketshop Gallery, 3105 Harrison Ave., Westwood, basketshopgallery. com. — KATHY SCHWARTZ


Ongoing Shows

OPERA: Hadrian Baroque-Pop mastermind and opera aficionado Rufus Wainwright is joining forces with Opera Fusion: New Works — a partnership between the University of Cincinnati’s CollegeConservatory of Music and the Cincinnati Opera — to present excerpts from Hadrian, his new, original work that sets a focus on its titular Roman emperor, whose reign stretched from 117138 AD. Inspired by Marguerite Yourcenar’s epistolary novel, Memoirs of Hadrian, the performance imagines the relationship between the sovereign and his lover, Antinous, who was posthumously deified, later becoming a muse for Oscar Wilde. “You’ve got everything,” Wainwright told The Guardian. “A big chorus, lots of characters, the Nile... a love story... a political story... all the elements of traditional grand opera.” A talkback with Wainwright and directors Robin Guarino and Marcus Küchle will follow the performance. 7:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are currently unavailable, but you can watch via livestream. The Transept, 1205 Elm St., Overthe-Rhine, — JUDE NOEL

series of participatory panel discussions. The center has been inviting interesting experts into their space to shed light on diverse topics for six seasons now, covering everything from astronomy and star gazing to local activism and Cincinnati food culture. 6-8 p.m. Wednesday. $10; $12 at door. Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave., Clifton, — MCKENZIE ESKRIDGE

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EVENT: Wildlands Social Club As part of Kentucky Natural Lands Trust’s regular series of public talks discussing why wild places matter, 21c Museum Hotel will host an evening of poetry, music and discussion about conservation, art, health and the economy. The evening will feature speakers, authors and musicians such as Kentucky-based writer and critic Bobbie Ann Mason, printmaker and University of Louisville assistant professor Rachel Singel, University of

Cincinnati adjunct professor and filmmaker Meg Hanrahan and Cincinnati singer/songwriter Margaret Darling (among others), who will discuss the importance of wild places from multiple creative perspectives. 6-9 p.m. Wednesday. Free. 21c Museum Hotel, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, — MARIA SEDA-REEDER


27 Years of Live Stand-Up Comedy in Cincinnati!

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Wed / Thur / Sun 8:00 - 18+ Friday 7:30 & 10:00 - 18+ Saturday 7:30 & 10:00 - 21+ Ty Barnett

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March 22 - 25

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equips immigrants and refugees with art and business skills. 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Free. City Hall, 801 Plum St., Downtown, uwscincy, youngfeministscoalition.  — MCKENZIE ESKRIDGE EVENT: Washington Park Easter Egg Hunt Over-the-Rhine’s biggest egg hunt is back in Washington Park, featuring 10,000 candy-filled eggs for Cincy youth to seek and keep. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but egg hunts are divided into two age ranges: the 3- to 6-year-olds’ hunts begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and the older kiddos are scheduled to start at noon and 2 p.m. Activities like face painting, photo ops with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny and play time with baby animals from Sunrock Farm will also be scattered throughout the park. Oh, hoppy days! 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., OTR, — MCKENZIE ESKRIDGE

EVENT: Wild Edible & Herbal Walkabout Your neighborhood may well a supermarket, according to local herbalist Abby Artemisia. Founder of The Wander School, she teaches classes and apprenticeships that help attendees become familiar with the edible plants that grow in the area, teaching them to forage, identify flora and start their own herb garden that they can use to concoct medicines. The Wander School’s main program is a weekly, season-long course that takes place in South Carolina, but Cincinnati residents can get a glimpse of what Artemisia has to offer through this one-off walkabout in Mount Airy Forest, in which participants will engage their senses of smell, touch and taste to spot safe-to-eat greenery. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday. $20-$25. Mount Airy Forest, 5083 Colerain Ave., Mount Airy, — JUDE NOEL


MUSIC: South Korean producer CIFIKA brings avant-garde soundscapes to MOTR Pub. See



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6 HAlf-HouR R pt sessions foR R $150+tA $150+tAx Ax purchase by 3/31 The excellence of TriHealth classes and training, in the heart of Downtown Cincinnati. Just 2 Blocks North of the Aronoff Center. Located on the streetcar route at the PubLic Library stoP.

898 Walnut St. • • 513-361-2116  YWCATriHeAlTHFiTnessCenTer

Sound Advice on page 33. EVENT: Putz’s Opening Day Spring kicked off on March 20, which means it’s officially creamy whip season in Cincinnati. Zip Dip opened its windows earlier this month in Bridgetown, and now it’s Putz’s turn. The classic family-owned Westwood creamy whip first opened in a pair of trolley cars in 1938 and moved a few times before settling into a concrete carry-out at the base of Mount Airy. Still using the same ElectroFreeze ice cream machines from the 1950s, Putz’s today is not much larger in size, but it’s definitely a legend in reputation. Wait in line for your turn at the window to order a cookie dough Cyclone or “blue” ice cream with rainbow sprinkles (aka jimmies). Cash only. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday. Putz’s Creamy Whip, 2673 Putz Place, Westwood, facebook. com/putzscw. — MAIJA ZUMMO


LIT: Local author Jessica Strawser debuts her new mystery-thriller at JosephBeth. See interview on page 20.

EVENT: FotoFocus Lecture The FotoFocus Lecture, which annually brings a top photographer to the Cincinnati Art Museum, features Zoe Leonard, who is the subject of a current retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She will be in conversation with Kevin Moore, artistic director and curator of the upcoming FotoFocus Biennial. Leonard is an activist as well as an artist, and her work challenges not only the notion that documentary photography is inherently objective but also the view that there are set, traditional ways to see iconic places and objects. For instance, one of her most celebrated subjects is the oftphotographed Niagara Falls. By seeing its whirling, foamy water from far above, she makes it look like a delicate hand-held fan, or a floating cloud with eyes. She makes Niagara Falls beautifully, magnificently new and different. 7 p.m. Thursday. Free. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum. org. — STEVEN ROSEN P H O T O : © Z O E L E O N A R D / C O U R T E S Y O F T H E A R T I S T, H A U S E R & W I R T H , N E W Y O R K , A N D G A L E R I E G I S E L A C A P I TA N , G E R M A N Y



MUSIC: K.Flay Kristine Flaherty — better known by her stage name K.Flay — has seen her career skyrocket since she played the Taft Theatre’s Ballroom for the 2015 MidPoint Music Festival. With her deft blend of emotionally honest poetics, ear-tugging, Electro-tinged Pop and tranquil Hip Hop (think a Millennial version of Liz Phair with better hooks, MC skills and crisper production), K.Flay started making industry waves at the start of the decade, but she left RCA Records in 2013 over artistic differences and struck out on her own for her breakthrough 2014 LP, Life as a Dog. The album caught fire, doing well on the charts and leading to relentless touring across the globe. She eventually signed with Night Street Records, the Interscope sub-label founded by Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds, and released her strong debut for the label, 2017’s Every Where is Some Where, which was followed by an opening slot on Imagine Dragons’ huge Evolve Tour. K.Flay has built a large, loyal base of fans who’ve deeply connected with her music; last fall she compiled the moving stories fans had written on the blank pages she provided at her merch booth into a book titled Crush Me. The industry has (re)connected with her as well — K.Flay capped off 2017 with two Grammy nominations, including one for Best Rock Song for her “Blood in the Cut.” 8:30 p.m. Sunday. $18; $20 day of show. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, — MIKE BREEN


Remus, wine from Old 502 Winery and local beer from Braxton, MadTree and Rhinegeist. Tickets include a Bogart’s Fanny Pack swag bag, filled with coupons and goods and a chance to discover a Golden Ticket to redeem special prizes. 5 p.m. VIP; 5:30 p.m. General Admission Wednesday. $42 General Admission; $100 VIP. The Phoenix, 812 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, bestof — MAIJA ZUMMO



EVENT: Taft’s Season Opener Weekend at Washington Park Because of this year’s screwy Opening Day game/



parade schedule, the Washington Park Southwest Porch bar will be partying from the Reds actual Opening Day (March 29) to Findlay Market’s 99th-annual parade (April 2), providing Cincinnatians the best opportunity to grab fresh air, cold brews and baseball action without paying the price of admission to Great American Ball Park. Multiple TVs will be playing the game to ensure that you won’t miss the Reds’ skirmish with the Nationals at 4:10 p.m. Thursday. Parade festivities begin at 11 a.m. Monday. ThursdayMonday. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Overthe-Rhine, washingtonpark. org. — JUDE NOEL

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EVENT: Best Of Cincinnati Celebration Best Of Cincinnati gets bigger every year and 2018 is no exception. Our annual bash to fête our favorite people, places and things — be they bars, restaurants, tattoo parlors, hidden gems, hip hangouts, local bands, urban festivals or national movements that made an impact — is taking over all three floors of The Phoenix with a plethora of local food and drink samples. Try bites from the likes of The AnchorOTR, Eli’s BBQ, Dewey’s Pizza, Holtman’s Donuts, AmerAsia, Mazunte, The Rhined, Taste of Belgium and Macaron Bar while you sip on cocktails from New Riff, Tito’s and George



March 28 • 5:30-9 pm • The Phoenix Entertainment:

Silent Disco w/ DJ Chad | Framester | Photosphere | DJ Mowgli DJ Etrayn | DJ Spam | Apryl Reign | Old Green Eyes (Presidential Package Only)



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Amerasia | The Anchor OTR (Presidential Package Only) | Axis Alley on the Levee | The BonBonerie | Brezel OTR | Camp Washington Chili The Capital Grille (Presidential Package Only) | Chart House | Cincy Shirts | Coffee Emporium | Court Street Lobster Bar | Dewey’s Pizza | Eli’s BBQ Flipdaddy’s Burgers & Beers | FUSIAN | Graeter’s Ice Cream | Izzy’s | Hen of the Woods | Holtman’s Donut Shop | Keystone Bar & Grill | Lil’s Bagels Macaron Bar | Matt the Miller’s Tavern | Mazunte | Morton’s the Steakhouse | nada | Pompilios | The Presidents Room (Presidential Package Only) | Queen City Radio Revel OTR Urban Winery | The Rhined | Seasons 52 (Presidential Package Only) | Share: Cheesebar (Presidential Package Only) | Skyline Chili | Taste of Belgium Terry’s Turf Club | We Olive & Wine Bar | & more to be announced!


21+ Event

tickets on SalE NOw!

PRESIDENTIAL PACKAGE: $100 (5pm entry)

GENERAL ADMISSION: $42 (5:30pm entry) Entry – 10 Drink Tickets – Food Samples & Coupons from Participating Restaurants – The Official Bogart’s Concert Fanny Pack – Tito’s Handmade Vodka Swag – Silent Disco – Music Mixes from 3 DJs – Photo Booth & GIF Photo Booth – Opportunity to win a Golden Ticket – Opportunity to win The ArtsWave Raffle ($1000+ value, purchase tickets to win)

ALL GENERAL ADMISSION PERKS WITH THE ADDITION OF: Early Entry – Exclusive Presidential Package Restaurants (The Anchor, Capital Grille, The Presidents Room, Seasons 52, Share Cheesebar) – Presidential Package Lanyard – More Swag (Tito’s Handmade Vodka Tote, Old 502 Wine Glass – Hen of the Woods Chips – Bogart’s Fanny Pack pre-stuffed with Restaurant Coupons, & More) – Seating – Live Jazz from Old Green Eyes – Speciality Cocktails made by Cincinnati’s Best, Molly Wellmann

DAY-OF: $50 (5:30pm entry)

*EVERY ATTENDEE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN A GOLDEN TICKET, JUST CHECK YOUR OFFICIAL BOGART’S CONCERT FANNY PACK! You could win a pair of tickets to: Bonnaroo 2018 | Forecastle Festival | *Bunbury Festival | Jason Mraz | David Byrne Tedeschi Trucks Band | Odesza | Steve Martin & Martin Short | Barenaked Ladies John Fogerty & ZZ Top | Dead & Company | Kesha & Macklemore Chicago & REO Speedwagon | Lynyrd Skynyrd | Cirque du Soleil Corteo | Jimmy Eat World The King and I The Musical | Dashboard Confessional | Grizzly Bear + Spoon Steve Miller Band & Peter Frampton | Steely Dan & The Doobie Brothers Jack Johnson w/ G. Love & Special Sauce | Jeff Beck & Paul Rogers + Ann Wilson of Heart Family 4-pack of tickets to Kidz Bop Live | Free burritos for a year from Chipotle Mexican Grill The National Homecoming | Overnight stay at 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati Body Part Tiles from Rookwood Pottery & 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati Aronoff Music Center Rookwood Pottery commemorative tile | An Evening with The Avett Brothers Outlaw Music Festival feat. Willie Nelson | Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers | Miranda Lamber & Little Big Town

Best of Cincinnati® Afterparty at

with a live performance from


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*Bunbury Festival Golden Ticket will be given away at the Official Best of Cincinnati® Afterparty at Queen City Exchange following the event. Must be present to win.



21+ Event




ARTS & CULTURE A Close-to-Home Thriller from a Rising Local Writer Jessica Strawser uses Yellow Springs as the setting for her latest novel, Not That I Could Tell BY K AT I E G R I FFI T H



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ccording to Cincinnati author Jessica Strawser, the most important aspect of creating a story is writing from a central question. But her forthcoming novel, Not That I Could Tell, reveals that the answer may be just as important — and sometimes just as dangerous — as the different perspectives that uncover it. This enthralling thriller, in stores Tuesday, follows a circle of neighbors in small-town Yellow Springs, Ohio, as one of their own, Kristin, and her twin children unexpectedly disappear. “When I decided on a small town as the best frame for the story, Yellow Springs immediately came to mind, at first simply because it’s one of my favorites and I know it fairly well,” Strawser says. Not That I Could Tell comes one year after the release of her debut, Almost Missed You, a story in the same mysterythriller vein and with a Cincinnati setting. The book has won early praise: This month’s Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction list boasts her name along with Danielle Steel, subscription site The Book of the Month compares Not That I Could Tell to Big Little Lies and Publisher’s Weekly bills it as an “engrossing domestic thriller.” The 38-year-old writer, originally from Pittsburgh, started her career in a much different manner of writing. After graduating from Ohio University in 2001 with a degree in journalism, she began at Cincinnati-based Writer’s Digest magazine, where she worked her way up to editor-inchief and still contributes as editor-at-large while living in Loveland with her family. “All of a sudden I was interviewing my favorite novelists and working with some really talented novelists as contributors, and also editing articles on fiction-writing techniques,” Strawser says of her time at the magazine. “I think it would be hard to love it as much as I did and not eventually want to try it for yourself when you’re in that role.” When interviewing well-seasoned writers, she particularly likes to inquire about their growth and change as professionals. “It’s very interesting. No one ever says they haven’t (changed),” she says. Strawser admits that she isn’t far enough into her career as a fiction writer to claim significant growth or change. But she

hopes to gain more confidence that her ideas will pan out, noting that pulling off a sudden plot twist in Not That I Could Tell is what surprised her most about the writing process. “I think I still write with a healthy amount of fear that the story is not going to come together,” she says. The early response seems satisfyingly strong, Strawser says, which is a good sign she’s headed toward the growth she seeks. As far as change goes, she will continue to release work within the genres of suspense and women’s fiction, an intersection under which she is happily categorized — though she wishes the latter title was more relatable. “I don’t believe that these stories are exclusively of interest to women,” she says. “If it has to do with marriage and family and parenthood, those are all things that 50 percent of those who are engaged in it are men.” The catalyst for Not That I Could Tell’s multi-layered story is the disappearance of the character Kristin and her children. As a link in the neighborly chain of friends, Kristin plays a small part in the tale but brings the individuals together in a complicated struggle of speculation and doubt. Among the other characters is Izzy, an independent woman trying to overcome romantic feelings toward her brotherin-law; Clara, a stay-at-home mom who often looks after Hallie, a young aspiring journalist who plays an important role in the evolution of the story; and Rhoda and Randi, a lesbian couple who own a local boutique and often host healing circles and meditation ceremonies for the neighborhood. Strawser delicately intertwines the lives of these friends, making every detail matter. The story deserves to be absorbed slowly — that way the truly surprising ending can be met with the emotion it’s worth. The setting is equally as important as the characters and plot. Word travels fast in a town that is just over two square miles (in reality and in the book). “As I focused more intently on the setting, I found wonderful, subtle synergies: For instance, the springs (in Yellow Springs) were historically thought of as healing and the town a place for new beginnings, and

Jessica Strawser P H O T O : K AT I E G R I F F I T H

some of my characters come to the forefront of the story yearning for exactly that,” Strawser says. She said the town became a character of its own; a place she got to live at, inside her head, for the year it took to write about it. Throughout the book, she uses actual places and parts of Yellow Springs, where she and her family go for weekend trips. Readers who have visited Yellow Springs can look forward to familiar places in the book, and those who haven’t should probably go and see why it is such a beloved local destination. Looking ahead, Strawser is under contract for another book,

tentatively titled Forget You Know Me, set right here in Cincinnati. “I think the places I know best will always pull me to write more about them,” she says. “And Cincinnati readers have responded so warmly to Almost Missed You — especially its familiar backdrops around town.” Jessica Strawser will appear at JosephBeth Booksellers (2692 Madison Road, Rookwood Pavilion) for a book-release signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday. More info:


Freedom Center’s Music Lover BY S T E V EN R O S EN

credit financing and $7 million in private donations, including $6 million from Pinnacle Entertainment, which had owned the city’s Lumière Place Casino. Brown found that the Blues concerts sponsored by the museum helped it build its following — and not just among those who were there. “We used live streaming for our programs and concerts on Friday, and people watched and sent in donations,” he says. The B.B. King Museum, which opened when the Delta bluesman still was alive, could count on the fact he was an instantly recognizable, iconic entertainer — an

Dion Brown now heads the Freedom Center. PHOTO: PROVIDED


Contact Steven Rosen:


American hero — in order to draw initial attendance. But it’s in a tiny town, so it must draw from a far wider area. To do that, the museum made sure its narrative was larger than just his life story. “It has B.B. King artifacts, but once you get in there, it teaches about how the Blues affected all genres of music,” Brown says. “And it was talking about what was going on in the world during his lifetime — civil rights, the Vietnam War. Throughout, he’s a hook and it’s telling a story about what was going on.” While he never worked there, Brown is familiar with Memphis’ Stax Museum of American Soul Music, which opened in 2003 and recreates the home of the old, classic Stax Records label on the innercity-neighborhood spot where it had been located. “That’s where history was made at, that’s where you tell the story,” Brown says. “And it revitalizes that area.”

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Dion Brown, the new president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, has only been in town a few weeks — too soon, he says, to formulate specific exhibition programming ideas. Coming here from St. Louis, where he was founding executive director of the National Blues Museum, he does know that one of his goals will be to establish stability in his position; he says he’s committed to staying at least until 2026. Another is to get the membership of the Freedom Center, which merged with Cincinnati Museum Center in 2012, up to 3,000. (It’s currently at 1,380, up from 830 in 2016.) He also believes the Freedom Center has an important story to tell about what’s happening in the world right now, as well as informing about the United States’ history of slavery and racial discrimination. As far as that history, the Freedom Center is bringing in two exhibitions on April 6 that address it, Confederate Currency: The Color of Money and Confederate Memory: Symbols, Controversy & Legacy.  Fittingly, given his background, Brown also would like to incorporate more live music into the Freedom Center’s offerings. That would include free outdoor concerts, with local talent, as a way to introduce the institution to more people. But another possibility is bringing bigger-name, revenue-producing acts to the Freedom Center’s Harriet Tubman Theater. Brown is eager to talk about music museums — and he has insight to share. Before the National Blues Museum, he was executive director of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Miss. (It opened in 2008.) Brown turned to a second career in museum management after working in administrative/IT services for the U.S. Air Force. He arrives in Cincinnati as the longsimmering effort to create a museum for the old King Records label gains some momentum. The city has been negotiating a land swap with the company that currently owns the cluster of empty buildings in Evanston that once housed King, renowned for several decades after World War II for its R&B and country artists, including James Brown. The Freedom Center’s Brown says he knows little about local efforts to create such a museum, but he can offer observations and advice based on his own experience. “One thing I’ve seen is music unites people,” he says. First things first for a music museum, he explains, is to line up funding. “You have to have the funding in place beforehand,” he says. “The idea for that museum in St. Louis had been around since 2010. But permanent exhibits are expensive; you’ve got to collect artifacts.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the $13 million museum finally opened after having received $5 million from tax





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Visit to enter for a chance to win tickets to this upcoming show!

Allyson Currin Prepares for a Premiere BY R I C K PEN D ER

Bringing a new play into existence involves very different activity than staging a show that’s had previous productions. Playwright Allyson Currin, from Washington D.C., has the world premiere of her new play, Sooner/Later, this month at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park — starting in previews on Saturday and officially opening March 29. It’s her second work to be staged in Cincinnati; High School Alien, a play for young audiences, toured to area schools in 2015. For this production, she’s partnering with director Lisa Rothe, a veteran of staging new scripts who is co-artistic director of The Actors Center in New York City and co-president of the League of Professional Theatre Women. Currin’s play began a few years ago as a one-act script called The Sooner Child. Its central character, Nora, is a single mom who’s re-entering the dating scene. Her teenage daughter has opinions about the men Nora keeps meeting — or, in fact, missing at a local coffee shop. As fate would have it, those dating disasters are witnessed by Griff, a nice man who holds some promise if only Nora will open up. It’s hard to tell if she can. During a talkback following a production of her one-act play, someone asked what might happen next. That query sent Currin on to a second act for the show that Cincinnati Playhouse audiences will see, and it took Nora’s story down a path with an unexpected metaphysical twist. (No spoilers here — Currin wants theatergoers to be surprised.) When Blake Robison, the Playhouse’s artistic director, announced this show for the current season — Sooner/Later is the Playhouse’s 76th world premiere — its director was to be Wendy Goldberg, a wellknown proponent of new plays who’s the artistic director at Connecticut’s Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She oversaw a workshop of Currin’s script in 2017. “Her involvement provided profound contributions. My script is stronger for her participation,” Currin says of Goldberg. Rothe and Currin were not acquainted when Robison introduced them. “She has phenomenal insight because of lots of experience with new work, especially at the Lark Play Development Center in New York City,” Currin says. “Lisa is great, amazing, like my soul sister, although I’ve never worked with her before.” They collaborated on the show’s casting of Mary Bacon as Nora, Todd Cerveris as Griff and Olivia Cygan as Nora’s precocious daughter Lexie. Currin has spent time at the Playhouse as Rothe and the cast have been rehearsing for the upcoming production. Currin is pleased with how it has come together. “We have an amazing team of actors with no egos, just good people who want to do it well,” she says. It pleases her

that Rothe works with a tone of generosity. While the story of Sooner/Later has some serious themes, Currin is quick to say that humor is important. In fact, she calls it her “default setting.” She prefers scripts that work on many different levels. “(I gravitate to) plays that make me laugh and cry and are ambitious,” she says. “Comedy is much harder to write than straight dramatic writing. To make an audience laugh, you need to win them over. When that happens, you have earned an intimate and personal trust, and they’re

Allyson Currin PHOTO: PROVIDED

willing to go to bigger, darker or sadder places. The more you make them laugh, the more they’ll be willing to cry.” Currin’s confident that Sooner/Later will hit people that way. Some people who attended the show’s first read-through when rehearsals began were moved to tears. “I hope people will come with open minds, ready to laugh,” she says. “I hope we are giving them a good story, well told. New work can be hard. You have no expectations, and rules are out the window.” Currin is eager to see the reaction of audiences. “I hope they will come away with a strong urge to hug people they are close to. We need to look past differences we have with people we’re close to. Carpe diem! My play asks people to be grateful for close relationships.” Sooner/Later runs Saturday through April 21 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams). Tickets/more info:


Malcolm Cochran Holds a ‘Requiem’ BY M A R I A S EDA - R EED ER

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| C I T Y B E AT. C O M

Malcolm Cochran’s exhibition Requiem, composers for a live performance last Suncurrently on view at the Weston Art Gallery, day. For that event, which involved eight is a grand gesture of remembrance. vocalists, Cochran commissioned four The three-part exhibition begins with songs by contemporary composers. “History Lessons,” an austere installation in The refrigerators themselves are prethe gallery’s street-level atrium of a largercious objects that feature porthole winthan-life replica of a 1955-57 Chevrolet dows — a motif that’s echoed in the vinyl side-view mirror. It’s precariously standing on the glass and on the door to the gallery on its thin aerodynamic mounting, and office — and are coated on one side with perched upon three large wooden beams. jewel-toned beeswax, a material that was The oversize arrow-like base points at commonly used in mummification. viewers facing the 6-foot diameter reflecWith their bright colors, these fridges tive sphere, unsettlingly demonstrating seem to challenge the solemnity of the that objects in the mirror are indeed moment. But if we read these capsules as closer than they appear. The humongous a reference to the figure (all are approxipolished sphere visually consumes anyone mately the size and scale of an average within a wide depth of field. The original body), perhaps this is Cochran’s way of mirror, which the Columbus-based sculptor and multi-media artist found in his father’s workshop after he had passed, is in a small box on a nearby wall. Gallery literature describes this monumental sculpture as “a metaphor for this country’s relentless optimism and scant historical memory.” And the cantilevered, top-heavy reflective object also stands as a proverbial Malcolm Cochran’s “Requiem” installation question mark: asking audiences to consider how PH OTO: TO NY WALS H far we may (or may not) have come as a society since 1957 and all that has happened since paying homage to the individuality of then. (The 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, actual lives lost, and the precluded joy for instance.) whenever a precious human life is lost. In a chat at the gallery, Director Dennis The final piece in Requiem is “WashHarrington says this sculpture is “certainly ing Feet,” a modified video recording of pertinent to right now and this kind of willa performance the artist gave during a ful ignorance of history.” residency at California’s Headlands Center Made in 2011, “History Lesson” has for the Arts in 1996. Cochran was inspired only been shown once before and is a kind to perform foot washing for 47 people at of an emotional wind-up for the exhibiHeadlands by a similar gesture of kindness tion’s titular installation, “Requiem.” It’s that he saw a younger man do for his elder Cochran’s most recent work. relative at Heathrow Airport. For it, a downstairs gallery has been In “Washing Feet,” Cochran comes transformed into a starkly lit room with back full circle to the optimism seen in white wooden benches along the perimeter, “History Lesson.” But this time, the artist’s adhesive white vinyl covering the floor and performance seems to advance the idea white fabric panels encasing the ceiling and of moving forward. Images of the heads walls. Even the long glass door to the gallery and feet are fully in sync, yet isolated and from the stairway is coated in opaque vinyl, disconnected as they are simultaneously which makes the space seem out of a dream projected onto a small screen and a 5,400— or perhaps an episode of The X-Files. pound piece of marble. Fluorescent lights hang in place of the Though an ostensible cleansing after gallery’s usual track lighting and 16 coffin“Requiem,” the disconnection between the like, candy-colored vintage refrigerators feet and head in “Washing Feet” leaves lie on their backs — some of them open, the viewer unsure what has actually been some of them shut. Several of the closed achieved. Is the artist’s penance enough to receptacles are piped with speakers so absolve the sins of previous generations?  they’ll play 35 minutes of songs, each a few The future remains unknown. minutes long, with 25 minutes of silence Requiem is on exhibit at Weston Art Galafter a cycle. lery (650 Walnut St., Downtown) through The 11 mournful songs are of ancient, April 8. More info: classical and contemporary vocalise, and weston-art-gallery. Cochran collaborated with singers and




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tickets on sale now!

Spring TV Preview JAC K ER N

The weather outside might still be frightful, but spring is here and with it comes a fresh crop of new and returning series. The Americans (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. March 28, FX) – The final season of this excellent Cold Warset KGB spy drama flashes forward three years from Season 5’s finale to 1987. We left off with Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) Cast members of Fear the Walking Dead scrapping their plans to return to Mother Russia PH OTO: RICHAR D FOREM AN JR . /A M C with their kids to continue operations in the U.S. season finale — and the two episodes And seeing as how daughter Paige (Holly will air in more than 750 movie theaters. Taylor) — who has gradually learned of her Longtime Walking Dead character Morgan parents’ true identities and gained interest (Lennie James) is set to cross over from the in following suit — is now nearly 20, she original series to prequel Fear the Walking just may be working with them. Dead, which will feature a major time The Last O.G. (Series Premiere, 10:30 jump. Jenna Elfman, Garret Dillahunt, and p.m. April 3, TBS) – Tracy Morgan returns Maggie Grace also join the cast. to TV post-30 Rock (after a 2014 near-fatal Westworld (Season Premiere, 9 p.m. car accident) with this comedy co-created April 22, HBO) – Few details have emerged by Jordan Peele. Morgan stars as an ex-con about the highly anticipated second adjusting to life “outside” after a 15-year season of this sci-fi Western thriller — prison sentence. Last year’s breakout probably in an attempt to prevent viewers comedy queen Tiffany Haddish co-stars from decoding twists (we can’t help being alongside Cedric the Entertainer and Ryan observant and obsessed!). We last left Gaul. the Wild West theme park as it was being Jersey Shore Summer Vacation (Series attacked by newly sentient A.I. “hosts.” Premiere, 8 p.m. April 5, MTV) – They’re Ford (Anthony Hopkins) got shot, the Man ba-aaack. Everyone’s favorite crew of in Black (Ed Harris) was revealed to be Wilhard-partying New Jerseyans (OK, maybe liam (Jimmi Simpson) and Maeve (Thandie not everyone’s everyone’s) returns to MTV nearly 10 Newton), on the brink of escape from the years after they made their debut with their park, turned around to find her daughter. families in tow (minus Sammi “Did Anyone Our theory for Season 2? Everyone is a host. Actually Call Her Sweetheart” Giancola and Nothing is real! Snooki’s husband, Jionni LaValle). The gang Genius (Season Premiere, 9 p.m. April reunites in Miami before embarking on a 24, National Geographic) – This antholtrip with several mystery stops. ogy follows its debut season about Albert Chef’s Table: Pastry (Season Premiere, Einstein with a Pablo Picasso biopic. April 13, Netflix) – This gorgeous food Antonio Banderas stars as the Spanish artdocuseries gets extra sweet in a season ist whose work was deeply influenced by devoted to desserts. Each episode focuses his tumultuous relationships, affairs and on a different pastry chef, starting with political ties. Christina Tosi, founder of bakery-goneThe Handmaid’s Tale (Season Premiere, viral Milk Bar and MasterChef judge. Do April 25, Hulu) – Last year’s mega-hit not watch with an empty stomach. drama returns for a second season, movWyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas (Series ing beyond the plot of Margaret Atwood’s Premiere, 11:30 p.m. April 13, HBO) – source novel (though the author is very Comic and writer Wyatt Cenac (star of TBS’ much involved). June/Offred (Elizabeth People of Earth Earth) hosts the latest HBO news Moss) starts a new chapter after getting show, wherein he’ll travel across America pregnant, learning her husband Luke is to learn different perspectives on the counalive and being taken from the Waterfords. try’s most pressing issues (and comedic We’ll learn Emily/Ofsteven’s fate, flash ones, too). Emmy-winning Daily Show back to the beginnings of Gilead, see the writer Hallie Haglund has been tapped as infamous Colonies work camps and meet head writer while O.J.: Made in America’s new characters played by Clea DuVall, Ezra Edelman will serve as an executive Cherry Jones, Marisa Tomei and Bradley producer. Whitford. The first two episodes premiere Fear the Walking Dead (Season Preon Hulu April 25 with subsequent episodes miere, 10 p.m. April 15, AMC) – Season 4 airing each Wednesday into July. will debut immediately following its comContact Jac Kern: @jackern panion series The Walking Dead’s eighth


‘A Fantastic Woman’ Is Truly Fantastic BY T T S T ER N - EN ZI

Read us on your phone instead of talking to your friends at brunch.

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the all-new



This year’s competition for the Best Foreign interactions with Orlando’s family. Language Oscar was tough. Besides Orlando’s brother Gabo (Luis Gnecco) Sweden’s The Square, a satire about an art seems genuine in his interactions with curator’s life that is by turns deadpan and Marina, but Orlando’s ex-wife Sonia (Aline terrifying, there was Lebanon’s The Insult Insult, Küppenheim) usurps all of Marina’s rights Russia’s Loveless, Hungary’s On Body and to mourning, barring her from attending Soul and the winner, Chile’s A Fantastic the wake and the funeral. Things become Woman. more dangerous when Orlando’s son seeks The latter won widespread attention for to throw Marina out of his father’s apartthe fact that not only is the title role about a ment and even enlists male family memtransgender waitress and nightclub singer, bers to attack Marina after the funeral in but the character is also played by a transan alley. gender actress, Daniela Vega. With its win, the film has started to open widely throughout the country; it’s now in Cincinnati and Dayton. The “Fantastic Woman” at the heart of director Sebastián Lelio’s film is Marina, in the midst of a tender affair with Orlando (Francisco Reyes), an older man who has completely given his heart and soul to her. After catching one of Marina’s haunting performances (reminiscent of Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet), Orlando takes her Velvet Daniela Vega in A Fantastic Woman out for a birthday dinner before heading home for a PHOTO: SONY PICTURES CL ASSICS more private celebration. In the middle of the night, Orlando wakes up dazed and confused. In each of these cases, what Lelio Marina struggles to get him to the hospital presents is the contrast between how as quickly as possible, but Orlando dies of others perceive Marina and how she truly an aneurysm. is. Despite her prominent features and Orlando’s death proves to be the inciting build, along with her fierce independence, incident in a social drama about the tragic Marina is not the fighter everyone sees. mistreatment of anyone outside the conBehind the melancholy she obviously feels, fines of what society deems normal. From having lost her lover, there is a core to the the moment Marina and Orlando arrive character that Vega captures, which needs at the hospital, Lelio (who performed a to be protected at all costs. In those early similar miracle of conjuring intimacy in scenes with Orlando, we see and feel nothhis previous film Gloria, about an older ing more than Marina’s desire to be loved, woman in search of love) offers audiences to enjoy this one chance at happiness. But the chance to be flies on the wall. We Vega lets us in on her secret: She doesn’t watch as the staff displays discomfort with quite trust her right to be happy. the relationship between Marina and A Fantastic Woman steers clear of probOrlando. Questions spring forth. Is Marina ing its soap-opera elements. A lesser filmhis daughter or lover? And soon, gender maker would have taken us down the path distinctions also come into play. where the police hound Marina, seeking to There are procedural elements that pop turn Orlando’s death into a homicide just up, especially once the police begin to so we could get a sensational court case or suspect foul play — Orlando’s body has a titillating scene of jailhouse abuse. fresh wounds, sustained during a tumble All of us deal with an ongoing existential down the stairs in his apartment building crisis, but in Marina’s case it is comas Marina attempted to gather his things. pounded by social mores. And Lelio is wise A supposedly sympathetic female police enough to trust us with her all-too-human officer from the sex crimes unit (Amparo burden. The harsh treatment she receives Noguera) wonders if Orlando had been every step along the way in the film is abusive, forcing Marina to fight back in infinitely more devastating than any of the self-defense. The officer’s cold pursuit of plot-driven hijinks. As it is, the film makes the truth leaves Marina physically and Marina truly unique and inspirational. psychologically vulnerable. (Now playing at the Esquire Theatre) (R) There are also Marina’s fraught Grade: A




EXPERIENCE THE CUISINE THAT DEFINES THE ART OF DINING IN GREATER CINCINNATI WITH $25 AND $35 THREECOURSE PRIX-FIXE MENUS FROM THE CITY’S BEST RESTAURANTS. Select dining destinations will feature specially curated lunch and dinner menus for one or two guests (excluding tax, gratuity and beverages).



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ril 1 6 -2 2, 2018

The Anchor OTR Banana Leaf Modern Thai Bella’s Restaurant Lo veland Boi Na Braza Bonefish Grill Bravo! Cucina Italiana BrewRiver GastroPub Brio Tuscan Grill Brown Dog Cafe Butcher and Barrel The Capital Grille Chart House Cinque Ristorante Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant Court Street Lobster Bar Eddie Merlot’s Embers Restaurant FIRE at RiverCenter Firebirds Wood Fired Grill Golden Lamb Restaura nt & Inn Jag’s Steak & Seafood Kaze OTR Matt The Miller’s Tavern McCormick & Schmick Seafood & Steaks ’s The Melting Pot The Mercer OTR Metropole Mitchell’s Fish Marke t Moerlein Lager House Montgomery Inn Morton’s the Steakho use The National Exempla r Palomino Parkers Blue Ash Tavern Pompilios The Presidents Room Primavista Prime Cincinnati Ruth’s Chris Steak Ho use Seasons 52 Somm Wine Bar Stone Creek Dining Co mpany TRIO Bistro We Olive & Wine Bar ...and more to be announ ced!



A Cheese Shop For Every Neighborhood Three new shops dedicated to carrying high-quality dairy add to the Greater Cincinnati area’s newly thriving cheese scene BY M C K E N ZI E G R A H A M


Cheese curds and quark are available to sample at Urban Stead Cheese PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER

by planting dwarf fruit trees fell through. Undeterred, the couple knew they wanted to stick with the food industry and decided to open a cheese and meat shop. But after they asked their neighbors in Northside what kind of storefront they’d like to see, the duo decided to expand the business model. “As we started to talking to people in the neighborhood, we were getting feedback (wanting) more places to eat, more sandwich-style stuff,” Heerkens says. In response, Mosel & Nosh will carry its signature “ampersandwiches,” a nod to the shop’s ampersand logo, with a menu of sandwiches named after the couple’s family and favorite locations. Perhaps, eventually, we’ll find an ampersandwich made even better with the addition of Lamp Post or Urban Stead cheeses.



businesses: Northside brewery Urban Artifact carries their beer cheese (made with Urban Artifact beer, of course), as well as their chipotle three-bean hummus. The deli will eventually offer cheesemaking classes and classes on how to compose a cheese board, as well as cheese pairing classes with beer, bourbon and wine. They’ll even have events where the public can meet with the cheese makers themselves to bring people closer to their food sources. “We’re going to have a little bit of something for everybody,” says Dreibelbis, and that includes vegetarians and vegans. Heerkens makes a pâté from black lentils and walnuts, as well as a vegetarian mushroom pâté. “We love to cook, love to entertain. I’ve traveled the world, so I love a bunch of dif different cuisines,” Heerkens says. Originally excited by the prospect of an urban fruit farm, Heerkens and Dreibelbis had to rethink their business plan when their proposal with the Hamilton County Land Bank to revive abandoned properties


motto, “Cheddar for the Better,” Robbins and Siefring-Robbins wanted their cheesemaking business to be an integral part of the Cincinnati economy, hiring locals, using the best small-scale Ohio-farmed dairy and educating natives on the overall process and integrity of the business. The slogan isn’t just a funny pun, either. Cheddar will be a big part of Urban Stead’s offerings after it’s been properly aged. Until then, customers can look through the tasting room’s huge windows to check out how the aging process is coming along. “Cheddar is noticeably different in process than a lot of cheeses,” says SiefringRobbins, “and a really well-aged cheddar is quite beautiful with little crystals inside.” On days when Urban Stead is producing cheddar, they’ll remove some of the curds from the process, salt them and sell them in the tasting room. Squeaky against the teeth, creamy and chewy at the same time, with a pungent bite and a lingering aroma, these little flavor bombs go down like popcorn. They’re addictive. “The same day you make the cheddar, the curds are available and they’re so fresh,” Siefring-Robbins says. “The molds for cheddar are specific — called truckles — and we pack 27 pounds of curd into them.” While they wait for the rest of their cheese offerings to age, Urban Stead sells its curds in the tasting room, along with charcuterie boards, an assortment of other cheeses, chips and cake made from quark, one of the housemade cheeses similar in taste and texture to cream cheese. Drinks are curated by Robbins and include wine, local beer and specialty cocktails, deliciously mixed with the offerings of another local business: Queen City Shrubs. Supporting local businesses is an uplifting theme concurrent in many of Cincinnati’s restaurants and dining spots, including new Northside deli Morsel & Nosh, run by Michael Heerkens and his Wisconsin-born husband Mark Dreibelbis. The duo has revitalized a storefront on Hamilton Avenue, adding buttery yellow walls and restored turn-of-the-century detailing. Set to open on or before the start of summer — June 21 — the deli will focus on selling high-quality cheese, charcuterie and Mediterranean food like tabbouleh, hummus, caprese salads and pâté. They’ve already started catering to local

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he food scene is ever shifting and trendsetters come and go, but one popular item isn’t going away anytime soon: cheese. Stacks of cheese wheels with lopsided edges and intricately laced rinds stink up Pinterest on wedding boards for cake alternatives. Buzzfeed’s “Tasty” videos show hands pulling apart bread held together by gooey strands of the stuff. It’s not just a favorite among Millennials — cheese consumption is up worldwide, and Cincinnati hasn’t disappointed in keeping up with demand. Cecilia Garmendia, a Spanish cell biologist and co-owner of Lamp Post Cheese with her husband Ryan Tasseff, says she’s seen an uptick in cheese shops even in Madrid, where she’s from. “I moved to Seattle in 2007 to work as a scientist and missed cheese a lot,” she says. “Ryan said, ‘Why not learn how to make cheese,’ and that’s when we started going to cheese-making classes and making cheese at home. It’s ironic because I have family in Spain that sells cheese, but I had to come to the United States to really be more interested because I missed it so much.” Eight years after their introduction to the process, the couple moved to Lebanon, Ohio and decided to start Lamp Post Cheese to work on the venture full-time. At first, they rented space at another facility, but last summer they purchased their own building and are working on completing a half-a-million-dollar renovation. When the facility opens, Lamp Post Cheese will not only sell Garmendia’s cheeses, made entirely of local raw milk, but they’ll also carry products from other local artisans, like the “best chocolate milk” that Garmendia has ever had, from Bowersville, Ohio’s Swallow Hill Jersey Dairy — the farm that also supplies Lamp Post’s milk. “I cannot emphasize enough how important the quality of the milk is for the flavor of the cheese,” Garmendia says. “With good milk, you can make bad cheese, but with bad milk, you cannot make good cheese.” Lamp Post Cheese isn’t the only game in town making good cheese from good milk. Scott Robbins and Andrea SiefringRobbins recently opened Urban Stead Cheese on Woodburn Avenue in the East Walnut Hills/Evanston area. With the



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



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WED., MAY 23, 2018




Inside Cincy’s Cookbook Club BY L E Y L A S H O KO O H E

Tablespoon Cookbook Club isn’t your mother’s book club, or even your mother’s cookbook. The group equips local readers with more than just recipes — they become acquainted with the culture, region and history behind the dishes, too. “I have a ton of cookbooks, I love to travel and I love food and cooking,” says Jordan Hamons, founder of TBSP Cooking Co., the company behind the club. “The cookbook club was kind of a selfish way for me to be like, ‘Oh, I’m working,’ when I’m actually doing something that is fun and I wanted to do.” A graduate of the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State (and the University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business), Hamons worked as a corporate chef before she left to explore other options in the industry. TBSP Cooking Co. was born in September 2016, and now Hamons teaches hands-on classes at Findlay Kitchen, along with a team of professionally trained chef-instructors. The cookbook club was, for her, an “easy extension” of her cooking company. The premise is similar to that of a regular book club: members read a selected book, then meet up and discuss. In TBSP’s case, they chat via a Facebook group before meeting for a friendly potluck, which consists of dishes made using recipes from the cookbook. Hamons puts out a Google Sheet for members to claim what they’ll be making (to ensure no duplicates). Then, all that’s left is to cook, meet and eat. “Food is universal,” says Reeta Gupta Brendamour, a cookbook club member. “Everybody eats and there’s so much tradition that revolves around food. When you go to this and you hear other people talk and they’re from those ethnic origins, it inspires people to talk about things you probably ordinarily wouldn’t talk about with strangers.” A retired lawyer, Brendamour found the club through TBSP’s cooking classes. Part of being a retiree, she says, is exploring things you’ve never done before. That includes, for her, competitive bridge, knitting, dance classes and now, cooking. As someone with “no interest” in cooking before, Brendamour says she’s already taken three TBSP classes at Findlay and attended the first two meet-ups of the cookbook club. The first book selected for the group was David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. The second meet-up in January revolved around discussing and eating food created with recipes from Made in India, by Meera Sodha. Meetings are held on the second floor of Revel OTR, an urban winery on 12th Street, which is spacious and quiet. Well, except on TBSP nights. As the group of more than 15 people (mostly women, one man) poured in for the January meet-up, dishes in hand, Hamons and her team arranged everything, coordinating heating supplements and pouring wine.

TBSP’s club combines a book club with a potluck. PHOTO:PROVIDED

Hamons works with Revel to try to source wine from the region on which the cookbook focuses. They were unable to procure Indian wine for this event, but subbed in some Indian beers and other wine instead. Once everyone had arrived, Hamons led the group, going around the room and inviting people to introduce themselves and their dish. Folks loaded up their plates and sat down to chat and dine. Fragrant aromas filled the air: warm curry, the comforting smell of fluffy basmati and homemade chai. The chicken curry was tender, the green beans full of zing, the spiced potato tikki with tamarind and date chutney were flaky and flavorful. It was a smorgasbord of Indian food that was familiar in concept and name, but expanded beyond what you can find at most local Indian eateries. “I love cooking. I’m obsessed with this science of cooking and trying new recipes and everything,” said first-time attendee Nancy Grayson. “I think I’ve made new friends and I’ve learned a lot of new food recipes I want to try.” Here’s another fun facet of the cookbook club: At the end of the evening, everyone votes on their favorite dish in either the sweet or savory category — sometimes, just first and second place winners are announced with no category. Grayson won for her fennel-seed ice cream and black-pepper ice cream. (I can attest to their respective delectability.) One winner takes home a copy of the cookbook for the next meet-up and the other receives a free registration for the next club meeting. The next three cookbooks for TBSP have already been selected: Extra Virgin by Gabriel Corcos and Debi Mazar, which explores the Tuscan region; Koreatown by Deuki Hong; and Homesick Texan by Lisa Fain. Pick up a copy of any of them at Joseph-Beth Booksellers for a discount or visit TBSP Cookbook Club’s Facebook page at to get involved. For more information on TBSP Cookbook Club or the Tablespoon Cooking Co., visit


All Things Tomato — Turner Farm’s Melinda O’Briant will spill her secrets for growing the earliest tomatoes that vary in flavor and size, with techniques for trellising and disease management. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $20. Turner Farm, 7400 Given Road, Indian Hill,


Cheese Pairing 101 with The Rhined — Head to New Riff to hang with Stephanie Webster of The Rhined and learn all about alcohol and cheese pairings. Includes five cheeses. 6-8 p.m. $35. New Riff Distilling, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky.,


Afternoon Tea at the Taft — There will be a viewing of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection, followed by an assortment of sweets, homemade scones, savory bites and hand-sculpted chocolates. 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. $40 members; $60 non-members; $20 child members; $25 child nonmembers. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, Fabulous Fish Friday at Bridgetown Finer Meats — Home of Fabulous Fish Friday and a biggerthan-the-bread giant fish sandwich. 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Fridays through Easter. Bridgetown Finer Meats, 6135 Bridgetown Road, Bridgetown,


Braxton Brewing ThreeYear Anniversary Party — Braxton has been lifting one to life for three years and they’re celebrating with a bash and block party. There will be specialty beer releases; live music from Waking Up the Giants; guest taps from area breweries like Fifty West, Darkness, MadTree and more; plus food and March Madness on TV. Noon-11 p.m. Free. Braxton Brewing Company, 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, Sweet Stroll: Macaron Day 2018 — Join Cincinnati Food Tours for a special Sweet Stroll through OTR. March 24 is Macaron Day in Cincinnati and the tour is celebrating with samples of the colorful, sweet treat from Macaron Bar, Taste of Belgium and Sweet Petit Desserts, plus other stops. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $50. Leaves from Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, Baking Basics: French Macaron — James Avant IV of OCD Cakes leads this class on creating the perfect French macaron. 10 a.m.-noon. $65. Findlay Kitchen, 1719 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, webapps2. Workshops/Details/10935.

Farmhouse Beer Release — Fifty West releases Farmhouse, a specialty bottled beer with a rustic wild ale fermentation. The

Squeezebox Variant Release — Urban Artifact celebrates the release of its Strawberry Midwest Fruit Tart variants in cans: Strawberry Margarita, Hazelnut and Chocolate, Strawberry Jalapeno Jam, Lemon-Basil Sorbet and Orangeberry Smoothie. Limits will be enforced. Noon-10 p.m. Free admission. Urban Artifact, 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, urbanartifactbrewing.

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Busy Backyard Bees: Rediscovering Native Pollinators — Natalie Boyle, a researcher for the USDA’s Pollinating Insects Research Unit, leads this special event to take a closer look at North American bees. Learn simple and effective techniques for supporting our native bee community at home. 10 a.m.-noon. $20. Turner Farm, 7400 Given Road, Indian Hill,


Afternoon Tea with the Easter Bunny — Enjoy an afternoon tea and finger sandwiches, followed by songs and photo-ops with the Easter Bunny and a woodland friend. 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. $35 per per person. The BonBonerie, 2030 Madison Road, O’Bryonville,


Clifton PUPP (Pop Up Puppy Party) — Bring your furry friend to Clifton Plaza for an evening of mixing, mingling, beer and wine. 5 p.m. Free. Clifton Plaza, 333 Ludlow Ave., Clifton,


I Drink Your Milkshake Can Release — Head to Streetside to grab a can of their limited Milkshake IPA, brewed with mosaic hops, oats, lactose, blueberries and vanilla bean. Noon. Free admission. Streetside Brewery, 4003 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum,

bottle-release entrance will be outside the brew-pub patio; the line begins at 8 a.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. and groups will be called inside to taste a sample of each Farmhouse beer — Afoot and Light Hearted and Everything. All at Once. Forever. 8 a.m. line; 11 a.m. doors. Free admission. Fifty West Brewing Company, 7668 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, fiftywestbrewingcompany.


Saint Francis Seraph Church Fish Fry — Join in the celebration with a fish fry at the Christian Moerlein

Malt House Taproom. Grab a craft beer and fish sandwich while listening to live music. 5:30-9 p.m. Fridays through March 23. 1621 Moore St., Overthe-Rhine, SFSChurch.

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Mary, Queen of Heaven Fish Fry — Offered Fridays during Lent, Mary, Queen of Heaven boasts a huge menu of fried Icelandic cod including their signature Holy Haddock sandwich. Home of the Cod Father. 4-8 p.m. Fridays during Lent. Mary, Queen of Heaven, 1150 Donaldson Highway, Erlanger, Ky.,

Most classes and events require registration and classes frequently sell out.



Damage Assessment A new book documents the three-year run of DIY Experimental music space Art Damage Lodge BY M A D G E M A R I L



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hen I asked Jon Lorenz and John Rich what the Art Damage Lodge was, they both replied, in tandem, “Umm.” Then Rich volunteered, “It’s a long story.” After all, how do you describe an art space inspired by old-school Cincinnati Experimental music artists and aficionados that housed shows ranging from ecstatic psycho improv heroes Wolf Eyes to Lexington, Ky. Noise merchants Hair Police to the local experimentalists living down the block? “It was an alternative space that we ran from 2007 to 2010,” Rich says of the venue, which was located on the third floor of Northside’s historic Masonic Hoffner Lodge. It closed a month shy of 2011. “We started it primarily to put on Experimental music shows, outside of bars, outside of galleries, so it was just a performance space for music. We wanted to start a space because we wanted to put on shows we wanted to see.” “Being into weird music, it’s the kinda thing where you can’t expect bars to open their doors to it,” Lorenz says. “With alternative spaces, you create your own world,” Rich adds. “For bars, the bottom line is that they make money. It’s not about anything else. So you gotta do it yourself.” Northside’s own Maureen Wood owned the Lodge when Rich and Lorenz approached her with the concept. Wood, who passed away unexpectedly last year, was a champion of community arts in Northside, and the Lodge was no exception. “She was a Northside saint,” Rich says. “She was totally oddly supportive of what we were doing.” If Wood was the saint of Northside, then Art Damage — the radio show — played the same role for local Experimental music. Founded in 1985 by Dan Williams and airing on community radio station WAIF, it played music that many couldn’t find anywhere else on the radio in Cincinnati. Rich was involved with Art Damage for several years, so he and Lorenz decided to pay tribute via the name of their venue. “We’re both fans of local music history,” Lorenz says. “We were following in the footsteps of our past elders.”

One of the many flyers included in a new book celebrating Art Damage Lodge PHOTO: PROVIDED

“To a certain generation, Art Damage was the entry point to weird shit,” Rich adds. Being into weird shit brought the two together. Their paths crossed one night while Rich was DJing an Art Damage event, and the two have collaborated ever since. Now, over a decade later, they’re memorializing Art Damage Lodge in the form of a book, Art Damage Lodge: Flyers 2007-2010. The limited-edition book is a collection of almost every flyer produced to advertise Art Damage Lodge’s years of shows. There are show posters that obviously took the creator days of labor, and flyers that suggest the rushed hand of a musician 24 hours before a show. All different styles of art are represented: collage, illustration, lewd, simple. The flyer artists credited in the book include several musicians, such as Pete Fosco, Nebula Girl and C. Spencer Yeh. “It’s a document of a time in a place,” Rich says. “Jon and I have a fascination with flyers. There’s a fetishistic enjoyment of ephemera, you know?” “We like looking at old books or zines that show (things like) flyers of Black Flag playing with Beat Happening. Seeing bills that happened and saying, ‘Whoa, that’s crazy,’” Lorenz says. “And history separates it in a way so that a show could have been terrible, but you see that gig flyer and it’s great to you,” Rich

continues. “I wish all alternative spaces would do books of flyers. It says this show existed at this time with this band, that these people were here. It’s emotional. Or you could not care at all. And that’s fine, too.” Each book will have a DVD of select performances at the Lodge. And all of Art Damage Lodge: Flyers proceeds go to Rich and Lorenz’s latest Experimental art endeavor, the annual No Response Festival. Started in 2016, last year’s No Response Festival at the Woodward Theater featured powerhouse performers like the legendary Genesis Breyer P-Orridge of Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle, influential veteran Japanese Noise ensemble Hijokaidan and pioneering Noise/Free Jazz band Borbetomagus, just to name a few. When the Lodge met its end, Rich and Lorenz couldn’t just stay still. “I don’t feel inclined to rest on my laurels,” Rich says with a smirk. “Because, like, who cares?” With this year’s No Response Fest just a few months away (June 21-22), the proceeds of the book’s sale will be lifeblood for the fest. After all, both the Lodge and the festival haven’t padded anyone’s pockets. They are acts of love for a music that’s not often celebrated. “Nothing we’ve ever done has made money for ourselves,” Rich says with a laugh.

Most importantly, the book release on March 31 will be at the Hoffner Lodge in the first-floor art space, Anytime Dept. The flyers in the book will be on display at the event. The book release party will, naturally, also include Experimental music, with performances from Don Dietrich, Ben Hall and Iovae. Dietrich — saxophonist of Borbetomagus — will pair up with rapid-fire percussionist Ben Hall of Free Jazz band Graveyards. Cincinnati’s Iovae is an ““Art Art Damage elder statesman,” according to Lorenz and Rich, and a maestro of oscillators. Walking around the block that once housed Art Damage Lodge, it’s difficult to imagine squealing harsh Noise music pouring into the streets where $1,000-a-month apartments now occupy the surrounding buildings. “We joke that if we were doing (Art Damage Lodge) now, people in Northside on Facebook would be like, ‘What is this? Does anybody know what this noise is?’ Because you could hear it like a block away,” Lorenz says, laughing. The book release party for Art Damage Lodge: Flyers 2007-2010 is March 31 at The Hoffner Lodge (4120 Hamilton Ave., Northside). It is also available at


“Lost” DJDQ Project Due on Herzog Label BY M I K E B R EEN


Viva Pop Punk Vegas When you discover new music in your youth, it feels like it’s going to be that fresh and vibrant forever. And it does live on like that, in your memories and, apparently, in Las Vegas. When music gets to the age where its most fervent fans have disposable income and want to spend it in Vegas, the casinos come calling with big contracts for residencies. The extendedstay bookings of Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez in recent years suggest the target-demo has moved to artists big in the late ’90s/early ’00s. Enter blink-182, who took Pop Punk to the masses during that time. The band will do 16 dates at the Palms Casino Resort beginning May 26 and running select weekends until Nov. 17. Who’s next? Lady Gaga, who had her breakthrough in the late ’00/ early ’10s, starts a residency later this year, so heads up Katy Perry, Mumford & Sons and Train — if you see a 702 area code and want to lock in some retirement money, pick up that phone.

Perry One-Ups blink-182 Never one to be outdone, Jane’s Addiction and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell has also announced plans for a Vegas show and it’s, uh, slightly more ambitious-sounding. And nuts. His “Kind Heaven” show is described by Forbes as an “immersive complex” being built to house VR and AR experiences, featuring live music from both real bands and hologram bands — including Jane’s Addiction and Farrell’s long-dormant Porno for Pyros — in five music venues. The “multi-sensory experiences” offered are said to alternate daily and also involve large casts of actors, monkey wrestling, lots of technology and perhaps a chance to have sex with Farrell’s hologram.

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Guns nuts, gun haters and everyone in between (with good taste in music) now all have a reason to come together and despise failed actress/NRA spokesmodel Dana Loesch — she hates Neil Young’s music. Loesch has often tweeted about Young over the past decade, repeatedly using a phrase she particularly enjoys: “dying cow farts” (e.g. his “vocal tonality” is like a dying cow fart). The Daily Beast asked Young how he felt and the singer broke down in tears and immediately announced his retirement. Kidding — he was very amused and glad he got under her skin.

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New music hub Herzog Music (811 Race St., Downtown, herzogmusic. com) is getting into the Record Store Day action this year by issuing a lost classic by a Cincinnati great. On April 21, Herzog — which sells vinyl alongside instruments and gear — is hosting a listening/release party for Where the Sidewalk Begins, a 28-minute sound tapestry by DJDQ, the local turntablist known for his work as a member of the globally renowned Cincinnati-spawned DJ crew Animal Crackers and the Hip Hop group project Glue. DJDQ created Sidewalk in just over a month in 2002, using “one mixer, one turntable, one multitrack recorder.” The project saw a DJDQ’s Where the Sidewalk Begins very limited release, as DJDQ simply pressed up a few copies to sell on PHOTO: PROVIDED CD-R. Despite disappearing from the marketplace almost immediately, Where the Sidewalk Begins amassed a vinyl, marking the first release for the Herlarge cult following, thanks to its brilzog Music label. Those who pre-order the liantly head-spinning collaging of styles album now at (where you can and moods, masterfully blending together also stream Sidewalk Sidewalk) receive two digital textures and sounds from snippets of old bonus tracks — “Strike Part 1” and DJDQ’s Jazz, Blues, Indian music and even opera version of “Jonah” from This Will Not End records. Well, a collection of Electronic-based Some fans have bootlegged Sidewalk remixes of tracks by Cincinnati rockers by posting it on YouTube over the years, Wussy. The vinyl will also available be and reading some of the accompanying available at Herzog Music and other local comments provides some insight into indie record shops. its lingering legacy and influence. One For details and updates on the Record poster simply wrote that it’s “a shame more Store Day release party with DJDQ, visit people can’t hear this amazing mix from an awesome Cincinnati DJ,” while another noted the project’s inspiration on their JSPH on Netflix own creative pursuits, saying DJDQ was A song by Greater Cincinnati singer/ the reason for them “initially purchasing songwriter JSPH is featured in the new turntables,” adding that the mixmaster’s Netflix original series On My Block, which influence was “also responsible for providpremiered March 16. In a scene from the ing me with an opportunity to play in front third episode of the series — a high-school of an audience on a weekly basis for nearly coming-of-age comedy that has been a year.” hailed for its music selections — a young Already a wide-net music operation women tells a young man at a party to with its offerings — including lessons and “play something lit” and he pulls up JSPH’s repairs, plus a variety of in-store events, “ComeMyWay,” a fantastic example of the like performances, workshops and much singer’s exhilarating mix of R&B, Pop, Elecmore — Herzog Music has also dipped its tronica and Hip Hop beats. A recent single toes in the recording biz with its Cincinrelease, “ComeMyWay” was produced by nati Music Heritage Foundation counterDJ Corbett, who has also worked with the part, which is housed in the same building. likes of Meek Mill, Cal Scruby and Chris The latter is on the floor that once was Brown. home to Herzog studios, where important The song placement is the latest big music by the likes of Bull Moose Jackson, career notch for JSPH, who grew up in CinFlatt & Scruggs, The Delmore Brothers and cinnati and Northern Kentucky and seems Hank Williams was recorded. In the past destined for much bigger things. His music few years, Cincinnati’s All-Seeing Eyes has been featured on BBC Radio 1, NPR, and The Tigerlilies have recorded in the Live Nation’s Ones to Watch and Pharrell’s Herzog space and released the music as OTHERtone show on Beats 1, while also 7-inch singles, the first instances of music notching millions of streams on Spotify made in that hallowed space to come out and other platforms. on vinyl in more than 50 years. Find more info on JSPH at Herzog Music is continuing its newera vinyl tradition with the re-release of Contact Mike Breen: DJDQ’s Where the Sidewalk Begins, which will be issued on high-quality 180-gram







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Davina Lozier has the tatted-up look of a Punk burlesque headliner, but there’s a lot more to the Minneapolis resident than her sensual charms. Lozier is a passionate vocalist whose love of vintage Blues, Jazz and R&B oozes from every note she sings, and that same verve runs through her like an electric current when she takes her place at the piano or takes flight with her ukulele. And when she and the Vagabonds hit their stride, whether it’s in the service of a slow-burn ballad or a foot-stomping groove, they swing, soar and shred in gears that automotive engineers couldn’t imagine in their wildest fever dreams. The initial version of the Vagabonds assembled in the Twin Cities in 2004, coalescing around the Jerry-Lee-Lewismeets-Fats-Domino piano pounding skills and Amy-Winehouse-in-the-FrenchQuarter vocals of Lozier, who was then Davina Sowers. Understanding that their strength was in their stage presentation, Davina and the Vagabonds’ debut album was Live @ the Times, a two-disc document of a July 2008 stand at Minneapolis’ Times Bar. The template was familiar — a swinging, sweltering mix of well-chosen covers and influence-driven yet distinctively unique original compositions — but the execution was as singular as a fingerprint and as powerfully effective as a Muhammad Ali combination. After two albums of all original material, Davina and the Vagabonds returned to the live format with 2016’s Nicollet and Tenth. There’s plenty of drama in Lozier’s backstory. A longtime drug user, she was six years into a heroin habit when she decided to kick without the benefit of a fancy rehab, electing to get clean on the streets where


it began. With the opioid cloud lifted, and after years of bouncing from city to city, Lozier moved to Minneapolis and finally found her voice and her talent, assembling the Vagabonds to play the early 20th century Blues and Jazz she had discovered in her adoptive father’s record collection, eventually writing songs steeped in that same tradition. Since then, Davina and her Vagabonds have played close to 300 dates a year, including some of the most prestigious music festivals in the world, and last year, she married Zack Lozier, her Vagabonds trumpeter. (Brian Baker)

Moon Taxi with Tauk, Red Wanting Blue and Brother Smith

Friday/Saturday • Madison Theater

For the better part of a decade, Moon Taxi had been building a cultishly loyal fan base on the strength of strenuous touring and five quality, self-released albums. As frustrating as it was for the Alabama-born, Nashville-based band, the quintet resolved


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Iris DeMent – May 4, Memorial Hall The Devil Makes Three – May 19, Madison Theater Logic – June 28, Riverbend Fleet Foxes – July 20, Taft Theatre Band of Horses – Aug. 7, Bogart’s


Five Finger Death Punch – Aug. 28, Riverbend


CIFIKA with Fee Lion Monday • MOTR Pub


3/21 - march artist in residence: the exit strategy, brent james, brandon losacker, the stapleton brothers

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3/22 - nky young democrats Fundraiser; dusty rust, jared schaedle

Fri 23

3/23 - punk rock night cincinnati: richie ramone with rat trap, tiger sex, the pistol mystics; the goddamn gallows, koFFin kats, against the grain; endive, josh Ferreira, kyla mainous 3/24 - the tillers record release, pert near sandstone, al scorch; the harmed brothers; new local music 3/25 - shannon mcnally & erin costelo 3/27 - adam Flaig (oF mad anthony), the by gods, pat p chow; urban pioneers 3/28 - the exit strategy, chalk eye, brother airborne; molly parden, p wonky tonk


s at 24

natiVE sUn, mUsiCmaniaC fEat. Da KOOL Vita & tHE WOOLf BEams, sOftEn

sun 25


mon 26

CifiKa, fEE LiOn

tue 27

WORD Of mOUtH: OpEn pOEtRY WRitER’s niGHt W/ LUCas



1404 main st (513) 345-7981

Live Music no cover

Wednesday 3/21 Jess Lamb & The Factory 8-11


davina & the vagabondS Frenchaxe


malcolm london, triiibe


Sylmar, Pout, triiibe


Suck the honey eP releaSe

Thursday 3/22 Todd Hepburn & Friends 8-11

Friday 3/23 EmmalineBand 8-12

saTurday 3/24 cocktaiLs


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

buy tickets at motr or


Jorge Zilio & The Brazil Trio 8-12


A pit stop at CIFIKA’s Soundcloud page may intimidate the uninitiated. The South Korean producer’s recent uploads vary wildly in scope and sound. “Emoji Love,” posted in February, weaves a series of tongue-in-cheek melodies with synth bloops that resemble Nokia Tracfone ringtones. It’s silly, yet symphonic, like Crazy Frog trying its hand at Modern Classical music. “Baptize,” released a few months earlier, suggests a state of mind that’s more sober but no less chaotic, as CIFIKA sneaks a few R&B-inflected phrases through a gauntlet of drum machine breakbeats, presenting the tattered remains of a slow jam sent through the food processor. “In the End,” a Gregorian chant composed of layered Millennial whoops, takes its predecessor’s somber atmosphere to extremes. Coinciding with the release of PRISM EP EP, the 27-year-old Electronic artist coast-tocoast tour of the States (running March 4-April 7) marks the longest-running American tour every by a Korean artist. In just two years, CIFIKA’s artistic output has germinated from the seeds of lo-fi House chill-outs into fully-fledged avant-garde soundscapes. Sonically, she channels Björk’s fixation on the human voice as an instrument, streamlined by the balance between anthemic songcraft and the grandiose experimentation that Kanye West found in 808s & Heartbreak. Her compositions are often more texturally evocative than melodic — not surprising given her art school background in graphic design. “I’m used to handling Photoshop and InDesign,” she told ATK Magazine at the start of her tour, “so when I first learned (music production programs) Logic and Ableton, it was easier than I thought. The mechanisms behind them are the same. One is visual, and the other one is musical.” (Jude Noel)

wed 21

M A R C H 2 1 – 2 7, 2 0 18

to soldier on with its fifth studio album, which they again planned to release on their own label. It might have played out that way if not for one of those unpredictable lightning-in-a-bottle moments. Vocalist/guitarist Trevor Terndrup received a text from keyboardist Wes Bailey that contained the fortuitous auto-correction “two high,” which caused the Moon Taxi frontman to envision someone defiantly throwing the two-finger peace sign in the air. Further inspiration came from the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and suddenly Moon Taxi had a new song, which was quickly recorded and posted on Spotify. “Two High” went on to amass over 75 million streams in nine months. BMG, which distributed Moon Taxi’s 12th South label, noticed the success and signed the band to RCA for Let the Record Play Play, which dropped back in January. But Moon Taxi hasn’t exactly been toiling in obscurity. The band began when Terndrup and bassist Tommy Putnam left suburban Birmingham, Ala. after high school to study at Nashville’s Belmont University and met guitarist Spencer Thomson and original drummer David Swan. They scored a variety of gigs and began performing locally and regionally as Moon Taxi. Swan left after his 2006 graduation and was replaced by Tyler Ritter, and utility keyboardist Bailey was offered permanent membership, solidifying the lineup that has endured for 12 years. Moon Taxi’s debut, Melodica, established the quintet’s core sound, a combination of Jam’s improvisational intuition and Indie Rock’s melodic energy, sort of a mash-up of The Samples and Kings of Leon. The band’s 2008 Live Ride album became a calling card for its engaging stage show; Moon Taxi has since been invited to numerous festivals, which helped drive sales of subsequent studio albums. Years of hard work seem to be paying off; forget Uber and Lyft, Moon Taxi’s the best ride around. (BB)




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


THE GREENWICH - Networking Happy Hour with the New Vital Organ Trio. 6:30 p.m. Jazz. Free.


MADISON LIVE Horseshoes and Hand Grenades with Head For The Hills. 8 p.m. Progressive/Bluegrass/Americana. $12, $15 day of show. MANSION HILL TAVERN Losing Lucky. 8 p.m. Roots. Free. MARTY’S HOPS & VINES Mike Biere. 7 p.m. Acoustic. Free. MOTR PUB - Zuli and Okey Dokey. 9:30 p.m. Indie Pop/ Rock. Free.

NORTHSIDE YACHT CLUB - Keep Flying, Something More, Nominee and Home Plate. 8:30 p.m. Indie/Punk/ Various. $8, $10 day of show.


SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE) The Exit Strategy with Brent James, Brandon Losacker and The Stapleton Brothers. 8 p.m. Rock/Various. Free.


ARNOLD’S BAR AND GRILL - Ricky Nye. 7:30 p.m. Blues/Boogie Woogie. Free. BLIND LEMON - Mark Macomber. 7:30 p.m. Acoustic. Free. BROMWELL’S HÄRTH LOUNGE - Todd Hepburn and Friends. 8 p.m. Various. Free.



M A R C H 2 1 – 2 7, 2 0 18

COLONEL POMPS TAVERN - Kevin Fox. 7 p.m. Acoustic. Free.


THE GREENWICH - Rusty Burge Quartet. 8:30 p.m. Jazz. $5.


OCTAVE - Montu. 9 p.m. Electronic/Jam. Free.

THE REDMOOR - Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. 7 p.m. Jazz. $20.

SCHWARTZ’S POINT - Andrew Lin and the Daybreak Trio. 8:30 p.m. Jazz. Cover.


SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE) - Dusty Rust with Jared Schaedle. 9:30 p.m. Country/Honky Tonk/Americana. Free. URBAN ARTIFACT - In the Pines, Acrylic Grooves and The Ape Tones. 9 p.m. AltRock/Various.

THE MAD FROG - Hallow Point with Twik and Oracle. 8 p.m. Metal. $8.



MADISON THEATER - Moon Taxi with Tauk, Red Wanting Blue and Brother Smith. 8:15 p.m. Rock/Various. $25-$40.

MANSION HILL TAVERN Blue Ravens. 9 p.m. Blues. Cover. MARTY’S HOPS & VINES - Joan Whittaker. 9 p.m. Various. Free.


MOTR PUB - Native Sun with Musicmaniac featuring Da Kool. 10 p.m. Hip Hop. Free.

WOODWARD THEATER - Davina & The Vagabonds. 7 p.m. Blues/ R&B. $22, $25 day of show.




20TH CENTURY THEATER - Paul Thorn. 8 p.m. Roots Rock. $28-$30. BLIND LEMON - Saul and Peachy. 8:30 p.m. Acoustic. Free. BOGART’S - The Doors of Chicago. 8 p.m. Doors tribute. Cover. COLONEL POMPS TAVERN - Gary Devoto. 7 p.m. Various. Free. CROW’S NEST - Stephen Williams. 10 p.m. Acoustic. Free. THE GREENWICH - Phil DeGreg Trio with Alan Barnes. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10. JAG’S STEAK AND SEAFOOD - C-Ras Band. 9 p.m. Reggae/Various. $5.

THE HAMILTON - Will Pope. 7 p.m. Guitar/Various. Free. HORSE & BARREL - John Ford. 6 p.m. Blues/Roots. Free.

JIM AND JACK’S ON THE RIVER - Danny Frazier. 9 p.m. Country. Free.

THE MAD FROG - Soulfly as Nailbomb with Divided by Hate and more. 6 p.m. Metal. $26.

JIMMY B’S BAR & GRILL - Trailer Park Floosies. 10 p.m. Dance/Pop/Rock/Rap/ Country/Various. $5.

MOTR PUB - Moonwalks with Denim Gremlin. 10 p.m. Rock. Free.

featuring Scott Covrett. 8 p.m. Rock


JEFF RUBY’S STEAKHOUSE - Grace Lincoln Band. 8 p.m. Soul/R&B. Free.


with Talisk. 8:30 p.m. Celtic. $25-$45.

KNOTTY PINE - Flatline. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover. LIVE! AT THE LUDLOW GARAGE - We Banjo 3

NORTHSIDE TAVERN - Tonefarmer with Molly Sullivan. 10 p.m. Alt/Rock. Free. NORTHSIDE YACHT CLUB - Daddy Issues, Black Planet, Leggy and Spooky Dreamland. 9 p.m. Indie Rock/Pop. $10.

THOMPSON HOUSE - The Obnoxious Boot (EP release). 8 p.m. Hardcore/Spoken World. $10.

URBAN ARTIFACT - The Turbos, Bi and Fycus. 9 p.m. AltRock. Free. WASHINGTON PLATFORM - Retro Nouveau. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).


WESTSIDE VENUE Local Support Fest with SansAxiom, Dream Driver, Leopold the Ghost, Madness Inside, Fires Of Winter, Day Needs Night, The Inturns and Ethan and Joey. 6 p.m. Rock/Various. $8 ($10 for two-day pass).


WOODWARD THEATER - Sylmar with Pout and Triiibe. 9 p.m. Alt/ Rock/Hip Hop/R&B/Spoken Word/Various. $7, $10 day of show.


Band. 9 p.m. Country. Free. KNOTTY PINE - Flatline. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover. MADISON LIVE - Travis Meadows. 8 p.m. Country. $15, $18 day of show.


MADISON THEATER - Moon Taxi with Tauk, Red Wanting Blue and Brother Smith. 8:15 p.m. Rock/Various. $25-$40. MANSION HILL TAVERN Noah Wotherspoon. 9 p.m. Blues. Cover.

MARTY’S HOPS & VINES - The Aftertones. 9 p.m. Various. Free.


MOTR PUB - Vita and the Woolf with Beams and Soften. 10 p.m. Indie Rock. Free.


NORTHSIDE TAVERN Jake Logan and The Midnight Riders, The AmpFibians and Veronica Grimm and The Heavy Hearts. 10 p.m. Rock/ Roots/Various. Free.

$20, $25 day of show (in the Ballroom).


URBAN ARTIFACT Automaton (release show) with Lords of the Trident and Nithing. 8 p.m. Steampunk Metal. U.S. BANK ARENA - ’90s Block Party with Guy, Monica, Jagged Edge, Ginuwine and Dru HIll. 7:30 p.m. R&B/ Pop. $43.50-$254.

WASHINGTON PLATFORM - Carmon Deleon with Dave Mathews. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).


WESTSIDE VENUE Local Support Fest with Automatic Evolution, Mourning Aftur, MCRNR Down One, Mister Mason, Hot Diggity Daffodil, Jeff Conner, Casey Edward, Spencer Collett and Unlawful. 6 p.m. Rock/Various. $8.


MANSION HILL TAVERN Open Jam with Deb Ohlinger. 6 p.m. Various. Free.

OCTAVE - Montu. 11 p.m. Electronic/Jam.

BLIND LEMON - Jake Walz (9 p.m.); Tom Roll (6 p.m.). 6 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

NORTHSIDE YACHT CLUB - The Copyrights, Arms Aloft, Bad Taste and Under Tipper. 9 p.m. Pop Punk. $10.

THE REDMOOR - 2Kingz with DJ Kilo and Just Vince and The Fellas. 8 p.m. R&B. $20.

BOGART’S - Only in Dreams and Damn It. 8 p.m. Weezer and blink-182 tribute. $10.

PLAIN FOLK CAFE - Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass. 7:30 p.m. Bluegrass. Free.

URBAN ARTIFACT - Jasper the Tourist, In Details and Luna Bruja. 10 p.m. Indie/ Rock/Pop/Various.

RICK’S TAVERN - The Interns with Hot Zombie and BackDoor. 8:30 p.m. Pop/ Rock. $5.


SCHWARTZ’S POINT - Ian Mortensen Trio. 9 p.m. Jazz. Cover.


SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE) - The Harmed Brothers. 11 p.m. Indiegrass. Free.

NORTHSIDE TAVERN Northside Jazz Ensemble. 10 p.m. Jazz. Free.

RICK’S TAVERN - Deuces Wild with Michelle Robinson. 10 p.m. Country/Rock. $5. SCHWARTZ’S POINT - On a Limb. 9 p.m. Jazz. Cover. SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (LOUNGE) Endive, Josh Ferreira and Kyla Mainous. 9:30 p.m. AltRock/Various. Free.


SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (REVIVAL ROOM) - Punk Rock Night Cincinnati presents Richie Ramone with Rat Trap, Tiger Sex and The Pistol Mystics. 9 p.m. Punk. $12.


SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (SANCTUARY) - The Goddamn Gallows, Koffin Kats and Against the Grain. 9 p.m. Americana Punk/Psychobilly/Punk. $15.

TAFT’S ALE HOUSE - “Bands & Brews: Benefiting Cincinnati Children’s”


CROW’S NEST - Twig & Leaf. 10 p.m. Americana/Folk. Free.

DEPOT BARBECUE - Forest Hills Bluegrass Band. 7 p.m. Bluegrass. Free. DOWNTOWNE LISTENING ROOM - Twangtown Paramours with Eric Gnezda. 7:30 p.m. Americana. $15. FRONT STREET CAFE - Encore Duo. 6:30 p.m. Acoustic Classic Rock/ Americana. Free.


THE GREENWICH Jess Lamb and The Factory featuring Audley. 9 p.m. Soul/R&B/Rock/Alt/ Various. $8.

THE HAMILTON - Jack Bogard. 8 p.m. Jazz. Free. JAG’S STEAK AND SEAFOOD - The Whammies. 7 p.m. ’80s Pop/Rock/Dance. $5. JIM AND JACK’S ON THE RIVER - Bourbon Road


SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (REVIVAL ROOM) - New Sincerity Works, Twig, Smokin Zeus, Wilde Violet, Chalk Eye, Oh So Luminous and Brass Owl,. 8 p.m. Rock/Various. $7.


SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL (SANCTUARY) - The Tillers (album release show) with Pert Near Sandstone and Al Scorch. 8:30 p.m. Americana/Folk/ Roots. $15. TAFT THEATRE - The Dean Ween Group. 8 p.m. Alt.

MOTR PUB - Jounce. 8 p.m. Rock. Free.

MADISON THEATER Nightwish. 8 p.m. Metal. $46-$86.

MOTR PUB - CIFIKA with Fee Lion. 9 p.m. Electronic/Pop/Alt. Free.


NORTHSIDE YACHT CLUB - Eyehategod and Cro-Mags with Flesh Mother, Treason and Vile Mentality. 8 p.m. Metal/ Hardcore/Punk. $22, $25 day of show.


BLIND LEMON - Nick Tuttle. 8:30 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

THE HAMILTON - Preston Charles III. 7 p.m. Violin/ Various. Free.


1. Shit to do around the house 7. Internet jokey greeting

Lead the Way 

18. Singer Rita ___

19. Wallop


21. Not really there

20. Wallop 



16. Stack of computer connections?

15. Get sour

28. Punish an alternative reader monetarily?

14. Stitching stuff

27. Nickname for a tall man

13. Kosher-certified

26. Dude on Tinder, likely

10. Shaking

23. Camry manufacturer defies authority?




66. Anger

25. Pair in a qt.

45. Washboard ___

35. Pindaric work

67. Name on a frozen tub

28. Dandy dude

46. What one is liable to do in their made bed, proverbially

38. Answer for “More Grenache and Brie?� 39. Gratin dauphinois ingredient 43. Decorative container at a courthouse? 47. Smartphone pics 49. Going both ways: Pref. 50. Arm bone moments of decline? 54. Without being said 55. Soprano Ponselle

58. Sense of importance 59. All the latest about the ducts from the kidney?

65. Its capital is Taipei

30. Bottom line

2. Dank weed 3. Circumnavigate the world 4. Return to the factory settings, say 5. Mrs. Hitler 6. Emit 7. Poems that are in / A 5 7 5 form like / what I did right here 8. Bean bag toss’s path 9. Come into later in life 10. Half moons? 11. Rich cake 12. Doesn’t go anywhere 14. Rec. center that wouldn’t have made sense for the Village People to sing about 17. Watch lever 22. TV actor Ventimiglia 24. “___ first!� (Editor’s note: this would have been a better title for this puzzle)

31. Polish off

48. Completely madcap

33. Port.’s home

50. Egg holders

34. Loud noise

51. Pint selection

37. Accolade

52. Piles and piles

40. Berry in a smoothie

53. Diving ducks

41. Thankless neverending job, say

60. Sir Stewart

42. Opening number? 44. Gives out

57. Swing at a fly 61. Credit card application encl. 62. ___ Bol (toilet cleaner brand)

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64. Engages in crew


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63. â&#x20AC;&#x153;R U Talkinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ___. Re: Me?â&#x20AC;? (Scott Aukerman and Adam Scottâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s podcast)

29. Words with a ring

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56. Drops a line on Facebook

68. Starts off

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32. Put in the cloud 36. [Is this mic on?]


Sunrock Farm is hiring part-time tour guides and camp counselors. Must have college experience and be good with children and animals. Flexible Schedules/ Great Working Environment /Ideal for Students, Teachers, Retirees, Etc. $9/hour or 859-781-5502





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Seamless integration of the best digital gear and classics from the analog era including 2” 24 track. Wide variety of classic microphones, mic pre-amps, hardware effects and dynamics, many popular plug-ins and accurate synchronization between DAW and 2” 24 track. Large live room and 3 isolation rooms. All for an unbelievable rate. Event/Show sound, lighting and video production services available as well. Call or email Steve for additional info and gear list; (513) 368-7770 or (513) 729-2786 or sferguson.





M A R C H 2 1 – 2 7, 2 0 18


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CityBeat | March 21, 2018  
CityBeat | March 21, 2018