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Mr. Bauman, a most appropriate piece (“Cincinnati Streetcar: Our Civic Redemption,” issue of Aug. 24), but is it a redemption if this took 10 years and endless arguing to fund? I see the same issues regarding the fast-developing field of electric vehicles (EV). Early, Cincinnati did lead by having free parking even when there were no EV’s sold in the region. The second step was to install four Level 2 charging stations at Sawyer Point. Then, nothing. No interest, no motivation. Even after Nissan USA — after heavy lobbying by Clean Fuel Ohio and others — donated five DC Fast Charging stations more than 19 months ago, did city officials develop plans to incorporate chargers in all city and private parking garages? This continues today in spite of thousands of cars with electric plugs in all sort of combinations meandering the region. Over 2.5 million miles per month are driven using electricity today. Without 3CDC’s installation of chargers downtown, the only daily public charger would be the one at the Walnut Street garage by the Aronoff. It seems that the more than 100-year-old, drag-the-feet syndrome as to transportation is still present. No doubt the streetcar system will carry passengers otherwise serviced via diesel-powered buses. Sadly, there are battery-electric buses available that would be cheaper and more versatile. It seems that the Charlie Brown reference you mention is still present. Thanks for your words. — Ray Cardona, Loveland
Go Somewhere Without Parking? So tell me again — why should suburbanites drive downtown, pay to park their car, then buy a choo choo ticket to ride in circles, when you can drive directly to your destination and park there in the first place? Must be civic pride. — Racin Tracy, comment posted at Facebook.com/ CincinnatiCityBeat in response to Aug. 24 post, “Cincinnati Streetcar: Our Civic Redemption”
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What a Week! BY T.C. Britton
WEDNESDAY AUG. 24
Since we apparently can’t get through a week without making poor Harambe roll over in his gorilla grave, here we go: Despite the Cincinnati Zoo’s pleas, the world is not done laughing about the ape’s death and legacy. Last week the zoo publicly begged for the end of Harambe memes. Thane Maynard tried to explain that the zoo staff really does miss Harambe so much rn, and the social media storm is making that even more painful. Of course all this did was cause a massive influx of incessant harambassment, leading to @CincinnatiZoo deleting its Twitter account… much like it deleted Harambe. (Sorry…)
THURSDAY AUG. 25
Sisqo spoke to Huffington Post this week to talk “Thong Song” 16 years later, for those who are completely immune to context clues. Sisqo appears to represent a tiny crevice of millennium nostalgia that we actually do want to forget: the silver spray-on hair, visible t-strings and male facial piercings. Sure, thongs are still around, but they’re more of just a minimal undergarment these days than a scandalous fashion accessory. “Nobody had seen a whole lot of thongs back then,” he explained. “It was one of those things, like, ‘gather ’round and I’ll tell you a tale.’ I was the guy with the torch by the fire.” Why am I picturing a caveman-era Sisqo showing his fellow hunter-gatherers the very first g-string loin cloth? And why was this not the concept for the video instead of a gravity-defying beach party? Anyway, he said if he were to write a tribute to ladies’ clothing today, he’d sing about yoga pants. Would love a full visual album exploring this. Lululemonade, anyone?
FRIDAY AUG. 26
Back in June the First Family visited Yosemite National Park and made a video to commemorate the National Parks Service’s 100th birthday. A video from the visit was released as a 360-degree VR experience, which Obama got to experience with his very own VR headset in a dorky moment immortalized for all to see on social media. Photoshoppers of the internet squealed in excitement for this gift from the Prez while park rangers everywhere shed a single tear due to the fact that people would rather experience a park virtually than actually have to visit one.
Clinton Foundation emails revealed Bono donated to the organization and wanted some kind of arrangement for U2 concerts to stream to the International Space Station. Let’s just say no one ever followed up on that one. Clinton & Co. know the “gift” of the free U2 album had already automatically appeared on all iPhones a couple years ago, pretty much ensuring that Bono will live on for all eternity on Earth. Let’s spare the rest of the universe.
SUNDAY AUG. 28
The VMAs are a 32-year MTV tradition where great moments in pop culture history are made. But the spontaneous surprises from past shows are far from MTV’s current attempt at manufacturing watercooler moments. MTV’s promotion for the VMAs is nothing short of IRL clickbait. But of course we clicked, we watched and we felt feelings. Here’s what went down: Kanye had a
MONDAY AUG. 29
WCPO’s exposé on banned Ohio vanity plates seemed exciting enough, if not a laborious process: Sign into your Insider account, scroll past a disclaimer warning of offensive and vulgar language and click links to view a video slideshow of rejected plates in North America (DUNG, VAGINA and IFRACK, to name a few) and a downloadable compiled list of yawn-worthy rejected special plates. The only rejected personalized plates WCPO apparently felt comfortable sharing in the story were 5MRTA55, POOPIES, FUBAR 50 and COCAINE. What a bunch of PU551E5.
TUESDAY AUG. 30
North Korea launched a new service called Manbang this week. It means “everything” in Korean, as in, “That manbang was everything.” It’s actually the name of a Netflixstyle streaming platform and not an off-brand Grindr. Netflix even got in on the fun, changing the company’s Twitter bio to “Manbang knockoff.” Obviously Kim Jong Un invented Manbang 37 years ago and we’re just now getting word. Of course, viewing options are limited and it’s only available in North Korea, so just don’t even try to Google it, unless you’re into mans banging, which is totally fine. CONTACT T.C. BRITTON: firstname.lastname@example.org
Harambe in the News
Who is talking about Harambe now? BY STAFF HARAMBE REPORTER
The legend of Harambe lived on last week, as jackasses across the world continued submitting their generally inappropriate tributes to the Cincinnati Zoo’s fallen gorilla. Here are some of the highlights: • Zoo Director Thane Maynard’s Twitter account was hacked and a tweet was posted that read #DicksOutForHarambe, which is very funny but also mean. Another said, “I was planning this for a while, so sorry it took so long brother! Have a good time in Heaven. #Harambe.” The Zoo later deactivated both Maynard’s account and the official Zoo Twitter. • This was really inappropriate even for the pro-Harambe faction: At a high school football game in Illinois, a prankster dressed as a gorilla pulled a student from the stands and dragged him around in front of the field. Later the gorilla mascot reportedly chased a banana holding a sign reading, “R.I.P. Harambe” around the track. Huffington Post titled its story on the incident, “This Tasteless Harambe Tribute is Really Bananas,” which is dumber than the person in the gorilla costume. • WCPO.com launched a petition drive supporting the ending of Harambe-related petition drives. That didn’t work. • In the wake of recent polling data suggesting that she was tied in her presidential bid with Harambe, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein tweeted that Harambe reminds her to “be a voice to the voiceless.” Write-in candidate Deez Nuts, who currently leads both Stein and Harambe in the polls, prudently steered clear of the controversy. • Scottish band Chvrches honored Harambe during a concert last week when the lead singer shouted “R.I.P. Harambe” before playing a song. But rapper Young Thug went even further, titling a song “Harambe,” although according to Vox Media’s Verge website, the song doesn’t mention Harambe and its lyrics “mainly depict Young Thug, or the character of Young Thug, taking Percocets and threatening to kill people.”
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SATURDAY AUG. 27
much-publicized four minutes to do whatever he wanted at the show, which translated to seven minutes of him grasping at some semblance of a message plus time to show his equally confusing new video. For a second it seemed like he was going to comment on the country’s rampant gun violence, but then he just talked about Kim K and debuted a new, extra asstastic video for “Faded” — both of which were covered in baby oil for some reason. It was like watching a cat try to catch a laser pointer, only with “Bro” shouted repeatedly. Didn’t you hear, Ye? Beyoncé is here to deliver powerful social commentary, a 16-minute life-giving performance and so much ass (seriously, at one point she actually sang out her ass) — you really didn’t need to try! Britney returned to the VMA stage for the first time since her trainwreck 2007 performance, and it was really unfortunate that she had to follow Queen Bey because the two stars are just on completely different planets. Bey invents a new dance move that opens your third eye; Britney, well, we just want her to show up, look cute, know her dance moves and have life behind her eyes. In that vein, her performance was a success, despite the confusing presence of a skinny white dude (G-Eazy? Real person or?) who tried really hard to plant a kiss her — which Brit awkwardly dodged — during their otherwise sexish performance. Video Vanguard honoree Rihanna opened and closed the shows, performing an additional two times in between. Kind of weird to give a 28-year-old a sort of lifetime achievement award, but OK. Drake, after missing his own award for Best Hip Hop because he was “stuck in traffic” (searches Urban Dictionary for “stuck in traffic”; finds nothing), came onstage at the end of the night to present her with the major moonman. He professed his adoration for her — people thought he was about to propose — and when he finally handed it over he swooped in for a kiss only to get denied — the second smooch swerve of the night! It was a lesson in badass bitchery and friend-zoning all in one. Thank you, Rihanna.
VOICES ON SECOND THOUGHT
Early Results and the First Amendment By Ben L. Kaufman
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I’ve been at our family fishing camp for almost a month: no road, no papers, no TV, no internet, no social media, no telephone. Obviously, I’m out of touch with the latest pratfalls of the news media, but hours spent fishing for dinner offered time to think. Here is an idea that stuck: More than ever, the urgency with which news media report election “results” pits voting rights against free speech/press during presidential elections. In this quadrennial brawl, voters lose — think California. In the Lower 48, we have four time zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific. There is a three-hour difference between, say, New York and San Francisco. When news media report exit polls and final state tallies in the Eastern time zone, folks west of Indiana are still deciding whether to vote and for whom. It would be naive to believe that no one cares whether someone “calls” a state for one presidential candidate or another. Even in a landslide, if early returns discourage potential presidential voters, candidates for other offices could lose votes they deserve. Attention to the presidential race is understandable, but every member of Congress and one-third of the Senate are on the ballot. This isn’t a new problem. It has only gotten worse as most Americans rely on TV for their news and the internet has become omnipresent. Twenty-three years ago, The New York Times said, “Polls of voters leaving voting places, a research method originally devised in part to help reporters understand questions of public policy, have become a public policy question themselves, largely because of the competitive pressures of television. Politicians and civic groups contend that television broadcasts before voting places close, predicting voting results on the basis of these exit polls, affect the outcome of elections by persuading citizens that the election is effectively over and their ballots are meaningless.” I went online and found no national studies on the impact of early results on voting, nor could I find any consideration among national media about the risk of depressing votes in states where polls still were open. Only an agreement among some national news media prevents them from revealing state exit surveys or voter tallies before that state’s polls close. This is where voting rights collide with First Amendment protections for the news media. Prior restraint — where the government says, “You can’t say that” — would never pass the constitutional sniff test. The latest attempt at voluntary restraint came after a royal mess in the
2000 presidential election. Of course, it involved Florida. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and the Associated Press had created the Voter News Service for accurate, fast information in presidential elections. In 2000, VNS called Florida for Al Gore. Then George Bush. Then Too Close to Call. Also, Florida votes in two time zones and polls were open in the Panhandle while the state was being awarded to Gore, Bush and Too Close to Call. With that, VNS was as dead as a hanging chad. For the 2004 election, the same news media created the National Election Pool. It appeared to work in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. AP collects and reports voter counts. Edison Research conducts exit polling for the National Election Pool. Joe Lenski, executive vice president at Edison, explained it this way in an email: “These news organizations have made a public pledge to Congress that they will not use any exit poll results to project or characterize the winner in an election until all polls in that state have closed … All of our exit poll data is ‘quarantined’ until 5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on election day. “That means that until then only a small number of representatives of each of the news organizations have access to the exit poll data in a room where there is no communication allowed with the outside world — no phones, no cellphones, no connection to the internet, etc. After 5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) the exit poll data is released to the news organizations and they are allowed to report exit poll results that do not characterize the outcome of the race — for example, what is the most important issue facing the country today? — until all of the polls in that state have closed. “You are correct that the many academic studies that have been conducted about the effect of reported exit poll results have been inconclusive. “While it is possible for late voters in the Pacific Time Zone to have access to exit poll results before they go to the polls, the number of voters affected is very limited. Many western states conduct all of their voting by mail — Colorado, Oregon and Washington — and many other western states have a high proportion of votes cast by mail before election — Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico now cast more than half of
their votes before election. “Thus, the percentage of western voters who have not cast their ballot before the polls start closing in the rest of the country is relatively small.” In short, risk of voter suppression remains a national problem, at least for Americans who believe that voter participation is a good thing and that it’s already dangerously low. Brits are addressing the national issues, but their solution would run afoul of our First Amendment. They use the law to gag the news media throughout election day until all polls close.
“Even in a landslide, if early returns discourage potential presidential voters, candidates for other offices could lose votes they deserve.” For almost 22 hours, reporters can describe the weather, how voters dress, which politicians voted where, etc., but nothing about the votes or issues. This from BBC’s website: “Coverage is restricted to uncontroversial factual accounts, such as the appearance of politicians and others at polling stations or the weather. “Publishing information setting out the practicalities involved in helping people to vote, such as when the polls are open, the wording of the question, expectations of when the result may be known, etc. are allowed, but the BBC stops short of actually encouraging people to vote. “While the polls are open, it is a criminal offence for anyone, not just broadcasters, to publish anything about the way in which people have voted in the referendum, where that is based on information given by voters after they have voted. “That includes, of course, anything emerging from exit polls (which, by definition, are asking people how they actually voted), although the broadcasters themselves have not commissioned any exit polls for this vote. “In addition, no opinion poll on any issue relating to the referendum can be published by broadcasters until after the polls have closed.” CONTACT BEN L. KAUFMAN: letters@ citybeat.com
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New program looks to change perceptions about those experiencing homelessness while providing stable work BY NICK SWARTSELL
P H O T O : N I C K S WA R T S E L L
work with the organization. “The whole goal here is to find all of our workers permanent employment within six months,” says Building Value supervisor Chris Miday. Miday says many Building Value employees move on to full-time work with Messer Construction or one of its subcontractors. Some move on into professional certifications — one former employee, for instance, is now an electrician. “He makes twice what I make now,” Miday says, laughing. Michael hopes to take a similar path to better things. At 33, he’s direct about his past. Three years ago, he had a decent job working for a subsidiary of Rumpke, a place of his own and “two beautiful dogs,” he says. But he’s suffered from depression and addiction, forces that led him down a harder road when a friend who was hard up moved in with him and introduced him to heroin. “Within eight months, my life went from pretty damn good to ‘Holy shit, I’m living in my car,’ ” he says. “I sold off my music equipment, I sold off anything of value. I even sold my Kitchen Aide mixer.” Rock bottom came when he was arrested and convicted on a misdemeanor theft charge while trying to pay for a fix. He spent four months in the Hamilton County Justice Center. Since then, he’s been in and out of the Drop Inn Center, gotten clean and
Michael (left) and Edgar, who work for Building Value, are two of the city’s six current Employment Pipeline Pilot Program workers. started school at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College studying information technology. Money woes have made it difficult to finish, but the job helps. For the past five months, he’s been on Building Value’s deconstruction team, doing everything from sweeping up dusty floors to helping remove the roofs from old buildings. As he works, Michael has been living in Over-the-Rhine Community Housing’s Recovery Hotel, which he says has been a big help. The pipeline program also works with OTRCH’s Jimmy Heath House, as well as Interfaith Hospitality Network, Bethany House and St. John/St. Joseph Catholic Worker House. In an effort to remove employment barriers, the program supplies bus passes provided by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. “With the theft on my record, I was having huge difficulties getting work, even though it’s just a misdemeanor,” Michael says. “I’ve had several good leads. I’d always get to that second interview stage, and then they’d run my background check, and it’d fall through every time.” Through the pipeline program, Michael says he was able to find an employer who sees beyond his past.
“His maturity is what we really like,” Miday says of Michael. “He’s just a great, smart guy with a good attitude. When you want a clean break, you don’t really care what you’re doing, you just want something to bring a check in and keep you busy and give you a path to work toward something.” Both the pathway to sustainable work and a change in perception about those experiencing homelessness are key parts of the program, Homeless Coalition director Spring says. All of the employers involved provide around 30 or more hours a week to participants and the potential to move into full-time work after the program is over. But there’s a bigger goal. “In communities across the country, Cincinnati included, there’s a perception that people without homes brought it upon themselves; they made bad decisions, they’re lazy, don’t want to work,” Spring says. “In a lot of ways, what we’re trying to do is create communication — the idea is that there are plenty of people experiencing homelessness who are ready and really want to have a job. They bring skills and strengths and abilities to the table.” Spring says 60 percent of men in the CONTINUES ON PAGE 13
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here are dust clouds hanging in the stairwells of an empty building on Liberty Street as Michael and Edgar, workers from nonprofit Building Value, hustle to clean out the hulking structure. They’ve just finished sweeping and are now lugging garbage cans full of debris down a narrow set of stairs. As the two work on the first stages of renovating the space, they’re also taking steps toward a redevelopment of their own. Both are part of the city’s new Employment Pipeline Pilot Project, an initiative that started this spring to get homeless Cincinnatians into jobs, housing and some stability. Michael has been working for Building Value through the new pipeline program for five months. He says his minimum wage, full-time job is a huge step in a more hopeful direction. “I was doing a big fat nothing before this,” he says, citing struggles with depression and difficulties finding work. So far, the program, which City Councilwoman Yvette Simpson’s office pushed for and oversees with the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, has six people working at Building Value, the Cincinnati Parks Department and West End-based Nehemiah Construction. Another six are in the acceptance process as the pilot moves into its sixth month. Hopes are that 15 to 20 people can be employed throughout the duration of the pipeline’s one-year pilot program. The pilot is funded by $50,000 in city money allocated by a unanimous Cincinnati City Council vote this spring and managed by Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, a partner in the program from the beginning. Simpson’s office began pursuing the program after learning about other programs that provide work to city residents experiencing homelessness in Reno, N.ev., and Albuquerque, N.M., both of which started last year. Reno’s effort provided a short, nine-week program, though it did also include case workers, housing and training. Albuquerque’s program focuses mostly on providing day-by-day labor, picking up homeless individuals in a van to do beautification projects. Those programs have seen some success — Albuquerque’s has had hundreds of participants, while Reno’s has graduated four classes, totaling 27 people. But Cincinnati’s program is different and more ambitious, says Homeless Coalition Executive Director Josh Spring, in that it works with local employers to provide sustainable jobs with a pathway to long-term work and recovery. That made Building Value a natural partner. Currently, three pipeline participants
news city desk BY cit ybeat staff
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Surge in Heroin Overdoses Floods Region as Additives Increase Hospital emergency rooms in Cincinnati responded to more than 174 overdose cases in the past week, including three deadly ones, authorities say, straining resources and personnel dedicated to saving lives. That spike has local law enforcement and municipal officials searching for new ways to combat heroin, as well as additives like fentanyl and Carfentanil, which have greatly contributed to the surge in overdoses. CityBeat first reported on the rise in fentanyl use as a heroin additive earlier this year (see “Deadly Additions,” issue of Feb. 10). The drug is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Carfentanil, a similar but even more powerful additive that is used as a tranquilizer for large animals such as elephants, is up to 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, authorities say. Dealers have increasingly been adding these opiates to heroin to increase the high provided by the drug. That’s caused more overdoses. Authorities believe a new batch of heroin bearing fentanyl or Carfentanil recently made its way to the area. “Typically, the city experiences an average of four drug overdose first responder runs per day,” Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black wrote in a memo to city administration late last week. “However, since… Aug. 19, the number of requests for service related to overdose has dramatically spiked. On Wednesday, August 24 alone, the city received 43 calls to respond to overdoses.” Black said many of the overdose incidents occurred on the West Side, where the city is increasing the presence of first responders and police. The drastic short-term spikes accompany longer-term increases. In 2015, the Cincinnati Fire Department responded to about 2,000 overdoses. The department is on pace to well outstrip that number this year, responding to about 1,150 in the first six months of 2016. Statewide, more than 1,000 people died from overdoses related to fentanyl last year, according to Ohio Department of Health data. That data shows zero fentanyl related deaths in 2011. First responders began carrying Narcan, an anti-overdose drug, last year, preventing a number of overdose deaths. However, Narcan and similar drugs are less effective against overdoses caused by additives like Carfentanil. Emergency crews have reported having to administer Narcan multiple times to some overdose victims. Officials are looking at ways to head off the drug beyond emergency response to overdoses. The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition and County Sheriff Jim Neil have
announced they will expand so-called “response teams” in effected areas throughout the region. Those teams are usually made up of an EMT, a police officer and a treatment specialist who visit addicts after an overdose to provide treatment options and gather information about street-level dealing activity. “The Heroin Task Force, working closely with all law enforcement, is doing the hard work to investigate these overdoses and deaths, and track the information back to the dealers to be arrested and prosecuted,” said head of the Hamilton County Heroin Task Force Tom Synan. The task force, a team of investigators and law enforcement personnel, is part of the county’s heroin coalition. (Nick Swartsell)
NKU: Seal Sex Assault Suit Proceedings Northern Kentucky University is the subject of a federal lawsuit alleging it mishandled a sexual assault on campus, and it wants the ongoing court proceedings around that suit kept from public view. The university’s attorneys late last week asked that a gag order be placed on those involved in the suit. That would prohibit attorneys or other parties from speaking about the case and would seal all records from public access. NKU says it needs the order to protect other students who might come up or testify in depositions. “It is essential for the court to regulate the information that is publically disseminated in this case to protect the defendants from further harm and to protect the privacy of nonparty students who may be implicated,” NKU said in court filings asking for the motion. It is uncertain when the U.S. District Court will rule on the motion. Attorney Kevin Murphy, who is representing the student suing the university, railed against the university’s request, saying his client “is not going to be silenced.” The suit came after the student, who has not been named publicly, reported that she was raped by a fellow student in 2013. A university administrative group found evidence that the student was likely attacked and handed down penalties for the man — he was told to stay away from the woman he allegedly attacked and keep out of her dorm building, and was placed on a kind of probation with a suspension threatened if he did not meet good-behavior requirements. However, attorneys for the student who was allegedly attacked say her attacker didn’t stay away from her and received no punishment for violating the disciplinary requirements the school levied against him. The suit seeks unnamed damages for the school’s alleged negligence. (NS) CONTINUES ON PAGE 13
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coalition’s shelters are working, mostly day labor jobs that offer little stability or opportunity for advancement. The pipeline is a way to something better, he says. Back at the job site, Edgar is hustling to clear out a small, sun-lit room overlooking Liberty Street. He’s been on the job just a
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Judge Dismisses Chesley Lawsuit to Block $42 Million Civil Judgment The Hamilton County judge who erroneously shielded disbarred Indian Hill lawyer Stan Chesley from a $42 million civil judgment has dismissed Chesley’s lawsuit to stop the collection effort. The order was signed Aug. 18 by Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman. He gave no reason for the dismissal. Chesley’s problems are rooted in the fen-phen weight loss scandal of the 1990s. Joining a lawsuit that was already in progress, Chesley helped negotiate a $209 million settlement on behalf of hundreds of fen-phen users who claimed medical harm by the pills. He received a $20.5 million fee for his work. But a Boone County court ruled that the victims’ attorneys pocketed too much
few days. He’s a welder by trade but says mistakes in his past mean he’s had to start over. “So far, it’s good,” he says of the program. “I’ve been like a hamster on a hamster wheel, staying in one place. This is a place of a new beginning. I can get some clarity on what I want to do with my life. That’s what I’m looking for.” ©
money and ordered them to pay $42 million, including Chesley on his own. In early 2015, Chesley filed suit in Cincinnati, asking Ruehlman to block collection. Ruehlman obliged. Attorneys for the fen-phen victims appealed to the Supreme Court. In June, the high court ruled that Ruehlman had “no legal authority” to block enforcement of the out-of-state judgment. It said, “Chesley has turned to the courts of Ohio to thwart collection of the judgment and relitigate the case. And Chesley has found a receptive audience in … Ruehlman.” Ruehlman removed himself from the case in a separate Aug. 18 order. He gave no reason other than that “this is in the interest of justice.” Chesley, the former “king of torts” known for his slash-and-burn class-action lawsuits against companies, was disbarred in Kentucky in 2013. He retired rather than face disbarment in Ohio. (James McNair)
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A Streetcar Named Reality A brief history of the Cincinnati stree tcar • Notable art and arc hitec ture en route • Opening day festivities • The hater’s guide to the stree tcar i l l u s t r at i o n s B Y L . D. N e h l s
The long-awaited Cincinnati streetcar will finally begin taking passengers Sept. 9. The following pages will explain where it came from, cool stuff you can see along the route, where to celebrate the grand opening and, if you’re mad about it, how to stay that way. Choo! Choo!
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How We (Hopefully) Learned to Stop The long , loopy ride to Cincinnati’s first Ah, the streetcar. It’s been giving Cincinnatians of all political stripes one kind of ulcer or another since at least 2007. Now it’s finally here, and maybe someday soon we can all stop worrying about it. Before we jump on that train for the first time, however, let’s review the long and winding track that got us to this point.
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The first electric streetcar begins operation in Cincinnati, and for the next 62 years, the city manages to run the cars without falling into fiscal, cultural or traffic chaos. Those were different times, eh? Before the streetcars, residents ride on cable cars, and before that, horse-drawn carts, which started operation in the late 1850s and eventually extended beyond the city’s basin with the help of the city’s five inclines. The electric streetcars run until 2 a.m. and supply more than 100 million rides a year for decades, peaking at 132 million in 1946. Compare that to Metro buses today, which provide about 25 million rides a year. At its peak, the fare to ride the cars was a princely 15 cents.
With the construction of modern highways looming, suburbanization picking up and cars becoming a fixture in the average American family, the city’s old-school streetcars make their last runs. On April 29, 1951, the city officially ends the final two streetcar lines, which run from downtown to Cheviot and Clifton. Those routes and others are replaced by trolley buses, which soldiered on until 1965 in concert with the predecessors of the modern Metro buses we know and love today.
It will take more than 50 years before city leaders begin thinking seriously about rail transit again, but at the dawn of the new millennium, some folks are feeling visionary. Enter MetroMoves, a bold plan to connect the entire Greater Cincinnati area via multimodal transit, including a 60-mile, five-line light rail system that would have served nearly all of the city’s 52 neighborhoods. The downside? The whole thing costs $2.6 billion. That money would have to come from a half-cent county tax hike, but a decisive 68 percent of voters in 2002 say no thanks. Recently, the idea of a region-wide transit system has come up again. That could be a heavy political lift, but we’ll get there in a minute.
Transit advocates pick plans for the streetcar in its current iteration from the ashes of Metro Moves, figuring progress via a smaller project is better than another all-or-none gambit on an overarching regional system. In July, the city commissions an independent feasibility study on the benefits of a streetcar system through downtown and Over-the-Rhine, with eventual extensions to the north, west and southeast. That report forecasts an overall three-to-one return on investment in the project, including a big increase in economic activity along the streetcar route and up to $1.4 billion in redevelopment of vacant or underutilized buildings near the tracks. The original plan put forward by streetcar boosters includes a second section from Over-theRhine into Uptown, but that extension is on hold.
In April, Cincinnati City Council votes 6-2 to build the streetcar, including the Uptown extension, at an estimated cost of $128 million. The city plans to apply for federal money earmarked to help transit projects like streetcars to help with completion of the project. Among the two no votes: future Mayor John Cranley, then a city councilman. Anti-tax groups, including the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, or COAST, flip their wigs and gear up in opposition to the project. Here’s where things start getting crazy politically.
The first of two ballot initiatives opposing the streetcar, Issue 9, is put forward by a seemingly unlikely coalition called “We Demand A Vote” involving COAST — which mostly represents white suburban conservatives — the city’s chapter of the NAACP and others. At the time, the civil rights organization’s local chapter is headed by once and future city council member Christopher Smitherman, a conservative and vocal opponent of the transit project. Voters reject the initiative, which would have required a public vote on any rail spending by the city, by a big 56-44 margin.
Worrying and Love the Streetcar rail transit project in 50 years
B Y N I C K S WA R T S E L L
The same year, a second voter referendum makes its way onto the November ballot, again advanced by COAST and the Smitherman-led NAACP. It seeks a similar bar on city spending for streetcars, but is worded more narrowly and doesn’t mention other railrelated spending. Voters once again say no to blocking the project, albeit by a narrower 52-48 margin.
His chances to kill the streetcar permanently look good at first blush — voters selected P.G. Sittenfeld, Kevin Flynn and Amy Murray, three ostensibly anti-streetcar candidates, to City Council at the same time they selected Cranley. But then some key things happen: The federal government gives the city a deadline by which to decide whether to keep going with the project or pay back its federal grants; it becomes clear that cancelling the project would cost some $80 million; and philanthropic nonprofit the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation pledges $900,000 a year for a decade to run the streetcar. Support from previous streetcar opponents on Council tips a Dec. 19 vote to resume the streetcar to a veto-proof 6-3 majority just hours before the Fed’s time limit runs out.
Of course, the dramatic last-minute vote doesn’t end the fighting. A political pattern is set for the next two years: Cranley and a minority of council members, including Christopher Smitherman, Amy Murray and Charlie Winburn, continue to oppose the streetcar, raising questions about whether the city has money for it, pushing against using money from the city’s general fund budget and generally nay-saying the enterprise. Meanwhile, council members find ways to scrape the money together to keep the project solvent on paper. Sponsorships and marketing opportunities are created to help pay for operating costs, as is a parking meter cost boost in downtown and OTR that will fill the project’s operating coffers.
With continued, though reduced, political wrangling, Council sets the streetcar’s operating hours and fare structure. Cranley threatens to try to reduce the hours the streetcar will operate instead of dipping into the city’s general fund if money for the project comes up short, though there are questions about whether the nature of the city’s federal grants will allow that. All five of the streetcars, built by Spanish firm CAF, arrive in Cincinnati and begin gliding around the streets on test runs, though some cars do arrive behind schedule. The city sets the transit project’s opening day for Sept. 9. In August, the city announces the project is on schedule and $2.5 million under budget thanks to construction savings. Cincinnati Bell announces it will spend $3.4 million to sponsor the streetcar, naming it the Cincinnati Bell Connector. Meanwhile, a new mayoral race brews. Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, who ran in 2013 as a pro-streetcar candidate, says she’s hoping to move beyond that project toward a bigger picture, more inclusive MetroMoves-style regional transit effort. That long-term effort could come with a big price tag and is sure to inflame transitphobic conservatives. Is Cincinnati’s next big rail fight starting up? We’ll see.
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The streetcar project is awarded around $40 million in federal grants, including Urban Circulator and Transit Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grants. Meanwhile, in April 2011, some $52 million in federal funds are stripped from the project by a state transportation panel answering to the administration of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, an outspoken opponent of streetcar projects and most public transit in general. The year before, under the administration of Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, the same panel gave the streetcar project the highest score of any project in the state. In response to the funding cuts, streetcar backers begin to focus on so called “Phase 1-A” of the project, or the 3.6-mile loop around downtown and OTR.
The city approves a $151 million budget for the streetcar and breaks ground on the project in August, beginning three years of work. Mayor John Cranley, who ran on a staunch anti-streetcar platform, takes office in November. During a heated campaign against pro-streetcar opponent and then-Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, Cranley promises repeatedly to cancel the project. He nearly succeeds during his first days in office, convincing five members of Council to pause the project while the city studies how much it would cost to cancel it outright.
A Streetcar Named Reality A guide to art and architec ture along the route w o r d s B Y S T E V E N ROS E N / P H O T OS B Y J E SS E F O X
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2 When the new streetcar begins operating on Sept. 9, downtown and Over-the-Rhine will look a lot different than they did when the old ones stopped running on April 29, 1951. Not all that’s changed since then has been for the better — how in the world could they have demolished all the downtown movie palaces? But much of it is. And for those riding the streetcar, there’s plenty of contemporary and historical art and architecture to see along the 3.6-mile looping route. For instance, you’ll be riding through the heart of an Over-the-Rhine transformation, much of it happening because of this $148 million investment in public-transit infrastructure and operation. Since neither the city (the streetcar’s owner), nor the operator Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, nor Cincinnati Bell, which bought naming rights to brand it the Cincinnati Bell Connector, has yet to start its own special streetcar “art tours” (though ArtWorks is experimenting with one), here’s CityBeat’s selective guide to get you started. Space considerations prevent listing everything, so some of the most familiar (and some of the plethora of murals along the route) have been omitted. Besides, the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati plans to release a walking tour app of the
4 streetcar route by Sept. 9; check architecturecincy.org for info. But if you want to do some cultural sightseeing while riding from The Banks to Findlay Market and back, here are 20 highlights to see. We’ll begin right in the heart of downtown: • The “Intersection of the Arts” is a good name for the corner of Sixth and Walnut streets, an excellent destination for art lovers and New Urbanism devotees. There is 21c Museum Hotel at 609 Walnut St., part of the Louisville-based chain. From a streetcar, you might be able to see one of the Cracking Art Group’s bright yellow penguins, which are moved about the hotel (Photo 1). You can also see the bizarre outdoor sculpture in front of the building, Austrian artist Werner Reiterer’s large brass chandelier hanging from a white scaffold. When operated by employees inside 21c, it emits an eerie breathing noise (Photo 2). • Next to 21c is the late Zaha Hadid’s visionary Contemporary Arts Center at 44 E. Sixth St., with its outdoor sculpture, “Metrobot.” This 27-foot-high Nam June Paik-created robot has a video screen and a pay phone in its leg. It will be standing along Walnut greeting passersby. Maybe you can arrange with a friend to call your cellphone from its pay phone as your streetcar goes by (Photo 3).
• Across Sixth from the CAC is Cincinnati’s best piece of public art by a major artist, in this writer’s opinion. Along the block-long length of a parking garage that is part of Fifth Third Bank’s Fountain Square center, Op Art pioneer Julian Stanczak has created his 3-D mural “Additional.” It consists of 522 multi-colored aluminum bars that can prompt different visual effects as you look (Photo 4, right side). • On the Walnut side of that garage, just south of Sixth, is the brand-new, dazzlingly colorful ArtWorks mural (one of many visible on this route) by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra that honors Ohio-born astronaut Neil Armstrong. It’s the largest ArtWorks mural to date and also indirectly honors Cincinnati native Steven Spielberg — you can see the alien E.T., the star of a 1982 Spielberg movie, being pedaled “home” in a bike basket in the mural’s upper-right corner (Photo 4, left side). • If you happen to look up toward the 11th floor of the old building at 414 Walnut, imagine people inside quietly reading, or listening to a visiting author discuss her book. That’s the soothing Mercantile Library, a membership organization that has been in existence since 1835 and in this location since 1902. If you miss it, there’ll be plenty of other opportunities to look as the streetcar goes by — it has a 10,000-year lease (Photo 5).
• For the 2011 mural “The Cobbler’s Apprentice Plays Ball” at 120 E. Freedom Way, Artworks combined an enlarged rendering of well-respected 19th century/early 20th century Cincinnati Realist painter Frank Duveneck’s “The Cobbler’s Apprentice” (the painting is at the Taft Museum of Art) with a baseball theme inspired by the site’s proximity to the Great American Ball Park (Photo 6). • The late George Rickey’s 1979 public sculpture “Two Rectangles Vertical Gyratory II, Variation IV” is a substantial example of one of his trademark kinetic artworks, an engineering marvel in which seemingly heavy metal parts are able to move freely about like tree branches in a light breeze. It is outside PNC Bank headquarters at Main and Fifth streets. • The “ghost sign” on a building’s wall at 607 Main that reads “Better Food for Better Health” is certainly still appropriate. Too bad, then, that the store that painted the sign, the venerable Spatz Natural Life Health Food, closed several years ago. Its old-fashioned juice bar was way ahead of its time. • One of the newest and best ArtWorks murals can be seen on the west side of Main, just north of Ninth Street. It is an enlarged reproduction of a Little Nemo in Slumberland color comic strip from 1906, created by
8 building that is undergoing extensive renovation and slated to reopen in December; and at 1241 Elm is Music Hall, an 1878 Hannaford-designed icon currently closed for renovations until fall 2017. • Yet another of the new ArtWorks murals is somewhat visible to the northeast of the streetcar as it crosses Liberty Street. It’s the dynamically colorful “Swing Around Rosie” mural designed by Natalie Lanese in honor of Rosemary Clooney, who was born and raised in Maysville, Ky. and got her start on Cincinnati radio. The building hosting the mural is at Liberty and Pleasant streets (Photo 10). • At 1735 Elm, just south of Findlay Market, is the downright cute renovation of an old storefront into the OTR Candy Bar, with its lovely and somehow nostalgic logo. It opened in 2015, but looks older with its retro-style candies and soft drinks and it bottle-cap-like counter stools. It might just become a mandatory rest-break for streetcar conductors (Photo 11). • At 1805 Elm is the People’s Liberty Globe Gallery, where three artists per year get a chance — and a $15,000 grant —– to turn the space into their own personal art installation. • Keep your eye on the under-construction building at 1818 Race St., just northeast of Findlay Market. On a block that long has
needed renewal, this building is becoming the Epicurean Mercantile Co., owned by Meredith Trombly and Louis Snowden of Findlay Market’s outstanding Fresh Table. Once opened, it will join such other new and smartly designed food-oriented establishments as Elm Street’s Findlay Kitchen and Artichoke — with its “curated cutware collection” (Photo 12) — as the Findlay Market-fueled neighborhood appetite for all things culinary grows. Please also note, as the streetcar travels south on Race, that Over-the-Rhine isn’t Disneyland. There are older people who have lived here a long time and deserve your respect and concerns for their well-being as things change. • The corner of 15th and Race streets is a microcosm for the swift pace of change in Over-the-Rhine — especially along the streetcar route. On one corner is Taft’s Ale House, 1429 Race, a brewpub and restaurant in a restored 1850 church (Photo 13). (Thank God for all these surplus churches.) Across from it is the new gourmet burger restaurant ZBGB. And diagonally across from that is a very busy corner, with one older building undergoing renovation near a series of new under-construction Towne Properties row houses on Race. • Pay attention to the “Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat” mural at 1109 Vine St., just north of Central Parkway. While the painted
Tarbell is dressed as the late celebrity vendor Peanut Jim Shelton, thus sort of turning the mural into a semi-tribute to Shelton, Tarbell himself deserves a tip of the hat from every streetcar passenger for being such a forcefully prescient advocate of downtown and Over-the-Rhine revivals way back in the early 1970s. • A fine piece of Contemporary sculpture by an internationally known artist, the late Louise Nevelson, is outside the Main Library’s entrance at Eighth and Walnut streets. This 20-foot-tall painted-black steel work was commissioned by Federated Department Stores in 1979 and later donated to the city. It’s been in its present location since 1993 (Photo 14). • At the corner of Seventh and Walnut streets, the Weston Gallery inside the Aronoff Center for the Arts uses its groundfloor atrium space — as well as its lowerlevel galleries — for exhibitions. So you might be able to see at least part of a show from the passing streetcar once the new season begins Sept. 23. Or, like everything else on this list, you could come back to spend more time. For more information about the CINCINNATI STREETCAR, including safety tips and frequently asked questions, visit cincinnatibellconnector.com.
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comics pioneer Winsor McCay. He lived in Cincinnati from 1891-1903, during which he developed his skills. • Another painted “ghost sign,” this time on the humorous side, can be seen on the south-facing wall of a building on Main, between Central Parkway and 12th Street in Over-the-Rhine. It pictorially suggests a bowling game occurring on a mattress firm enough (yet still comfortable) to allow you to get in nine frames. There’s also a figure whose head seems to have been covered up. Davis Furniture Co., the store that had this sign, closed in 2004 (Photo 7). • Traveling westward on 12th toward Washington Park, look north up Jackson Street at the inspiring neon ART sign that serves as a cool, hip signifier for the Art Academy of Cincinnati, which has been in this Over-the-Rhine location, a former printing company and warehouse, for 11 years (Photo 8). • Elm from E. 12th to 14th streets is shaping up as Cincinnati’s Renovation Row. On the east side is Washington Park, which has netted national attention for its 2012 redesign (Photo 9). And on the west side are the Transept at 1205 Elm, a recently renovated 1814 Gothic-style church that now primarily is an events center with a public bar; Memorial Hall at 1225 Elm, a 1908 Samuel Hannaford and Sons-designed
Streetcar-Related Opening Activities compiled BY STE VEN ROSEN
P H O T O : P R O V IDED
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The new Cincinnati streetcar — officially called the Cincinnati Bell Connector — is inaugurating its service on Friday, Sept. 9. And there will be events and activities surrounding opening weekend. On Aug. 30, the streetcar website cincinnatibellconnector.com posted images of the streetcar’s new look, with sponsor Cincinnati Bell’s blue-and-green graphics on the front, back, top and interior of the vehicles. But the organizations responsible for the streetcar — the city, which owns it; manager Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA); and TransDev, the operator — were not able to release information pertaining to official opening-weekend activities by this issue’s deadline. Watch for that info online. It will be a big and busy weekend, however. SORTA is operating a free downtown bus circulator for the streetcar’s grand opening weekend. It will stop at specially marked bus stops near streetcar stations to handle overflow from the streetcar service. And just about everyone with a stake in downtown and Overthe-Rhine is planning something special. On Aug. 30, Downtown Cincinnati Inc. posted an extensive list of events, sales, restaurant specials and more at downtowncincinnati.com.
• ArtWorks will offer a Streetcar Mural Tour from 6-7 p.m. on Friday aboard one of the streetcars. • The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center at 50 E. Freedom Way is offering a two-for-one price on admission to anyone who mentions the streetcar, which passes near it. • Pones, Inc. will be offering dance performances at station stops — noon-1 p.m. Sept. 9 at Washington Park; noon-1 p.m. Sept. 10 at The Banks and 1-2 p.m. Sept. 11 at Washington Park. • Especially interesting will be the programming at downtown’s Main Library, itself a prominent stop on the route of the Cincinnati streetcar. The institution is launching several free events — an exhibit as well as lectures — to mark the opening of service by this brand new yet also very old mode of public transit. • At 4 p.m. on Sept. 9, the library begins a new exhibit in its atrium called Cincinnati Transportation: Past, Present and Future. At 1 p.m. on Sept. 10, Genealogy & Local History Department Manager Patricia Van Skaik offers a presentation on the lives of Cincinnati’s early streetcar workers, featuring those with descendants still living in Cincinnati. It’s called “It’s a Family Affair: Cincinnati’s Early Streetcar Drivers, Conductors and Mechanics” and occurs in the Reading Garden Lounge. Among those Van Skaik plans to discuss is Charles Henry Rogers, a Cincinnati streetcar driver in the early 20th century whose greatgrandson, Carl Harmon, will be one of the new streetcar’s drivers. • At 2 p.m. on Sept. 11, local historian and author Robert J. Wimberg lectures on “Moving Cincinnati: A History of Trolleys, Cable Cars, Inclines and Streetcars.” It’s also in the Reading Garden Lounge. • While the library’s address is 800 Vine St., the streetcar stop for it is on Walnut Street. There is an entrance to the library on Walnut as well as Vine Street. The Main Library is part of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County system.
The Hater’s Guide to the Streetcar
They made the damn thing . Here’s how to keep on hating it.
B Y DA N N Y C R O S S 9 13
Drive your car downtown, park in a huge parking lot, don’t get on the streetcar. Hey, the parking at The Banks is very convenient — big garage, access to restaurants, Reds games, etc. While you’re waiting outside Moerlein Lager House or a giant chain restaurant emanating offensive Pop music outside the front doors, just glance at a passing streetcar and enjoy your superiority. You’re about to spend 50 bucks on dinner. Fuck the streetcar.
To hell with downtown — go to your rich people neighborhood farmers market. Findlay Market is one of Cincinnati’s civic gems, but you haven’t been there since 1976, before “those people” ruined Over-the-Rhine. Don’t bother visiting the historic market even though the streetcar will drop you off right in front of a biergarten and dozens of awesome food vendors. There’s a farmers market in Anderson — why should I pay for the streetcar?!?
Revel in the fact that the streetcar doesn’t go to Clifton. After you park at The Banks because you haven’t been to Fountain Square since the Reds won the World Series, consider riding the streetcar just this once. In your mind, you already
paid your fair share of TAX MONEY, but on this day you’ll have to shell out another buck to get to the route’s northernmost stop, Rhinegeist Brewery. Go inside and you can enjoy all the favorite amenities of a West Side family reunion — beer, cornhole, polo shirts and loud music. Stand outside the brewery’s doors and you can look up the hill where the streetcar would have run if a bad person named Gov. John Kasich didn’t burn the federal funding up like he was trying to impress Rand Paul with a Zippo and a $20 bill. (Burn a hundred you pussy!) Across the street from the brewery you will also find one of the final opportunities to snicker at rundown OTR buildings before they’re renovated into $500,000 condos and sold to your kids.
Wear salmon shorts to OTR as a sign of defiance. You’re a streetcar hater — it’s OK to admit that you have a lot of golf clothes. You will be happy to know that there is already a group of activists protesting other things in OTR (good taste, mostly) who wear pastel-colored garments to symbolize the pureness of individualized forms of transportation and Easter eggs. The most dramatic sign one can send to all the goddam hipsters wearing pony tails and $200 rolled-up pants is to wear salmon-colored shorts and saunter about like you own the place. The best area to do so is Vine Street — pull the SUV up to a valet stand and then post up there after dinner so everyone sees how you sprayed your tires with some shit that makes them look blacker. Maybe Brandon Phillips will show up and look at you like you’re an idiot.
Park your car in front of a streetcar. Just kidding. DO NOT PARK YOUR CAR IN FRONT OF A STREETCAR. One driver already made an illegal turn in front of a streetcar. Know what happened to this guy? His car was smashed into a light pole and almost damaged one of CityBeat’s newspaper boxes. He’s lucky we can’t figure out which dent his negligence caused, but we’re pretty sure he’s the one who put a “LOCK HER UP” sticker on the box because only an idiot would do either of those things. (Seriously, don’t park on the streetcar tracks.) ©
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1 The Banks Streets 2 4th and Main Streets 3 Richter & Phillips — 6th and Main Streets 4 8th and Main Streets 5 JACK Casino — Court and Main Streets 6 Hanke Exchange — 12th and Main Streets 7 12th and Vine 8 14th and Elm 9 Liberty and Elm 10 Findlay Market — Elm Street 11 Brewery District 12 Findlay Market — Race Street 13 Liberty and Race Streets 14 Washington Park 15 Central Parkway 16 Public Library 17 Aronoff Center 18 Fountain Square
We get it. You hate the streetcar. Whether your motivation is overt fiscal conservatism, a general failure to understand mass transit, a disinterest in subsidizing economic development or just run of the mill racism, it’s OK — your voice was not among the majority, but you are still part of this post-streetcar society. You are important, even though you’re going to continue calling it a trolley until you shuffle off this mortal coil. Although streetcars are set to start shuttling passengers around a bunch of crowded, cool new places next week, you have every right to go to your grave mumbling things about Obama stealing your 401K and promising to only visit OTR if you have a gun. From your deathbed sounds a heinous yell: “GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD AND DAMN YOU CINCINNATI BELL!” Still, while you’re here you’re likely to come across a streetcar at some point in your life. Here are five ways you can be amongst the Cincinnati streetcar without fully embracing it.
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Undergrowth with Two Figures, 1890, oil on canvas, Bequest of Mary E. Johnston, 1967.1430
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Current and Upcoming Exhibitions and Events Not in New York: Carl Solway and Cincinnati Now–October 30, 2016
The Book of Only Enoch and The Jackleg Testiment September 24–December 4, 2016
Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms & Armor February 11–May 7, 2017
Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt Now–September 11, 2016
Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community 1954–1974 October 8, 2016–January 1, 2017
Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kosaka Gajin February 11–May 7, 2017
Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth October 15, 2016–January 8, 2017
A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America June 10–September 3, 2017
Employed: A Staff Art Exhibition October 29, 2016–January 22, 2017
Art After Dark September 30, October 28 and November 23
Modern Cat Now–September 11, 2016 Master Cats Now–November 13, 2016
General operating support generously provided by:
For more information, please visit cincinnatiartmuseum.org
p h o t o : J a s o n R o h l f ( l e f t ) a n d G eo f f r e y “ S k i p ” C u l l e n
MUSIC: 1990s Grunge guys LOCAL H play the Woodward Theater. See Sound Advice on page 38. FILM: CASABLANCA Washington Park’s Summer Cinema series celebrates the classics with a screening of Casablanca. In 1940s Morocco, American expatriate Humphrey Bogart runs a nightclub called Rick’s Café Americain, where a bunch of different types of people hang out — soldiers, refugees and random chicks, including Rick’s ex, Ilsa Lund, who, out of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, ends up walking into his. Drama, romance, international intrigue and a slew of famous movie quotes ensue, all rendered in black and white. The park’s concession stand and full bar will be open. You can also bring your own snacks and children to the family-friendly event, and say things like, “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid,” repeatedly. 9-11 p.m. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark. org. — MAIJA ZUMMO
MUSIC: Canadian rockers THE SHEEPDOGS play Woodward Theater. See Sound Advice on page 38.
COMEDY: KENNY SMITH Kenny Smith might just be the ultimate slacker. He flunked out of college and was let go from every job he’s ever had. Obviously, he needed a vocation that would let him be his own boss, which explains why he became a stand-up comic — it truly lets him embrace his inner slacker. “I just saved a bundle of money,” he says to an audience, “by switching to no car insurance.” It’s ironic that as a college dropout, he’s made a name for himself performing at universities. The comedian has also been on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and is a frequent guest on radio’s The Bob & Tom Show. Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14.
Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com. — P.F. WILSON
MUSIC: CLOUD CULT Fountain Square had a solid season of free weekly concerts this year, featuring national and local acts playing everything from Reggae and Gospel to Salsa and Indie Rock, and this Friday is the Square’s final “Indie Vol. 2016” concert. Closing out one of the best years ever for the every-Friday series is Cloud Cult, the epic, progressive Chamber Rock ensemble that has built its fanbase DIY-style, releasing acclaimed albums on its own label for the past decade and a half. The group’s latest full-length (Cloud Cult’s 10th) is The Seeker, which was released earlier this year along with an accompanying film starring How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor. Superb local
Indie Rock quintet Motherfolk opens the show. 8:30 p.m. Friday. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com. — MIKE BREEN
EVENT: LUNKEN AIRPORT DAYS It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… no, wait. It’s actually a plane. And a WWII bomber plane at that. Get up close with B-17 bomber “Aluminum Overcast,” as well as other jets, helicopters and sports airplanes when the Cincinnati Warbirds host Lunken Airport Days on Saturday and Sunday. It’s your chance to talk to mechanics, air traffic controllers and pilots to find out just how hard it really is to fly one of those bad boys. You can catch a ride in one, as well, if you’re lucky. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free admission. Lunken Airport. 262 Wilmer Ave., East End, cincinnatiwarbirds.org. — MAGGIE FULMER
EVENT: ART ON VINE Local art fanatics, you have two more opportunities to join Art on Vine outdoors before the event moves inside to Rhinegeist for the winter. Art on Vine hosts its second-to-last event on Fountain Square Sunday with food, alcohol and everything else you need to accompany a day of art and craft buying from more than 60 local artisans. Mark your calendar: The final outdoor market of the season will be held on Oct. 2. Noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, artonvinecincy.com. — MADISON ASHLEY EVENT: RIVERFEST The Sunday before Labor Day in Cincinnati is a pyromaniac’s dream, and this year’s 40th-annual WEBN Riverfest won’t disappoint. Nearly half a million people CONTINUES ON PAGE 24
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EVENT: BEYOND THE BRICKS Although the interior of historic Music Hall is closed to the public for renovations, guides from the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall are leading tours along the outside of the building. This 90-minute, 360-degree walking tour examines the construction, architectural styles and culture of Music Hall and the surrounding neighborhood in 1878, when the hall was built, to offer insight into why the building merits its designation as one of the most beautiful concert theaters in the world. 4 p.m. Thursday. $20. Tours meet in front of Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org. — MAIJA ZUMMO
ART: THE SHOP AT DIVISIBLE The Shop is a two-person exhibition of selected works by Cincinnati-based artist Geoffrey “Skip” Cullen and Jason Rohlf of Brooklyn, N.Y., curated by Seth Wade, an artist and current MFA candidate at the University of Cincinnati. Cullen, a University of Cincinnati instructor and one half of the artists/partners behind Camp Washington’s Wave Pool gallery, will exhibit his newest still-in-progress series, which parallels qigong movements, exercises and breathing techniques related to tai chi using high-gloss automotive paint on three-dimensional surfaces. Rohlf’s paintings are from his ongoing “Shop Rag Project,” in which he layers painting and collage upon shop rags typically found in automotive garages. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Friday. Through Sept. 23. Free. Divisible, 1001 E. Second St., Building 100, Second Floor, B-C Door, Dayton, Ohio, facebook.com/divisibledayton. — MARIA SEDA-REEDER
photo : provided
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EVENT: OHIO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL Ever wonder what the 16th century was like? Well, worry no more, because the Ohio Renaissance Festival is here to show you. Cheer on your favorite knights to victory during a jousting tournament, shop around in a medieval marketplace or feast on a giant roasted turkey leg. The variety of games, shows, crafts, food and drink is enough to keep all ages entertained. Walk around with swordsmen, pirates, nobles and peasants as you enjoy your day (or take it to the next level and come dressed as one yourself). The festival is bound to transport you back 400 years and give you a day-long adventure. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (and Labor Day). Through Oct. 23. $21.95 adult; $9.95 child. 10542 East State Route 73, Waynesville, Ohio, renfestival.com. — MAGGIE FULMER
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FROM PAGE 23
on both sides of the Ohio River will party their absolute hardest while enjoying the half-hour fireworks show, set to a soundtrack from WEBN. This year’s theme, “Celebrating 40 Years of Fireworks,” will be even bigger and better, as radio station Kiss 107 hosts live music from recording artists Alex Angelo, Jordan Fisher, Jacob Whitesides and Daya. Millennials agree: It’s going to be lit. Noon-10 p.m. Sunday; fireworks begin at 9:05 p.m. Free. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, webn.iheart.com. — KYLER DAVIS EVENT: CINCINNATI DINNER TRAIN FIREWORKS TRIP The Cincinnati Dinner Train takes riders both back in time and to the riverfront for the annual Riverfest fireworks. Ride in style — traffic free — in a 1940s vintage dining car with a round-trip ticket featuring a fourcourse meal, access to a bar car and large windows for fireworks viewing. Warning: This cruise always sells out, so if you can’t get tickets now, plan for next year. 5 p.m. Sunday. $60-$115. Cincinnati Dinner Train, 2172 Seymour Ave., Norwood, cincinnatirailway.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO EVENT: AQUAFEST The Newport Aquarium offers one of the best views of the Riverfest fireworks on its
private outdoor patio. Nestled between the Taylor-Southgate Bridge and the Purple People Bridge, watch the colorful and coordinated explosions outside, or enjoy tons of fun inside. Aquafest promises up-close animal encounters, food stations, a dessert bar, alcohol, live music and unobstructed views, along with after-hours access to all aquarium exhibits. 5:30-11:30 p.m. Sunday. $119; $99 passholders. Newport Aquarium, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO
EVENT: SPACE WALK CINCY LAUNCH PARTY People’s Liberty grantees and space-lovin’ humans Liz and Josiah Wolf have spent 10 months creating “Space Walk,” a permanent educational and public art installation along the Mill Creek Greenway Trail that features a mile-long scale model of the solar system. Built sculptures of the planets are encased in special holders, marked with each one’s distance from the sun, and placed along the creek’s walk/bike path, starting at Salway Park. The launch party begins with champagne and cocktails at The Littlefield in Northside, then a shuttle takes guests to the “Sun” at 8 p.m. Solar-powered lights will illuminate the remaining planets as the real sun sets. Take the tour at your own
photo : provided by joe simon
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EVENT: RUBBER DUCK REGATTA Expect to see a few more ducks than usual on the Ohio River Sunday. Around 200,000 sunglass-bespectacled waterfowl will sail down the river during the 22nd-annual Rubber Duck Regatta, with the entirety of proceeds from duck sales benefitting the Freestore Foodbank. After diving off the Purple People Bridge, ducks will be randomly selected from the flock to bag their owners corresponding prizes. First prize is a 2016 Honda Civic (plus a cool $1 million if their duck is the mythical KEMBA Million Dollar Duck), while a second-prize winner will receive $100 from Kroger every week for a year. An additional five winners will take home $500 cash. Get in the spirit at noon during the Great American Quacky Games, during which local media outlets compete for glory on Fountain Square. The regatta leads up to the Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks, which is commemorating a monumental 40 years this summer. 3 p.m. Sunday. $5 per duck, available online and at select locations. Purple People Bridge, Newport, Ky., rubberduckregatta.org. — EMILY BEGLEY
MUSIC: THE USED plays a two-night stand at Bogart’s in honor of the 15th anniversary of its debut album. See Sound Advice on page 39. EVENT: IMPROV FESTIVAL OF CINCINNATI The third-annual Improv Festival of Cincinnati returns with a giant lineup of comedians from across the country. Improvers from Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and more will travel to Know Theatre through Sept. 11 to provide a heavy six-day dose of improv. Big names like
Craig Cackowski from Community, Veep and Drunk History, and Amber Nash, the voice of Pam Poovey from Archer, will share the stage with improv troupes Orange Tuxedo and Fun Bags, respectively. Additional events include performances and workshops on everything from building an ensemble to creating characters. Through Sept. 11. Individual event ticket prices vary; $90 all-access pass (does not include workshops). Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Overthe-Rhine, ifcincy.com. — KYLER DAVIS
ONGOING Visual Art Dressing Downton Taft Museum of Art, Downtown (through Sept. 25)
Over-the-Rhine + 16-BitBar.com
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pace or follow amateur astronomer Josiah on the journey. Tour ends at Neptune, with a shuttle back to the bar. 6:30-9 p.m. Monday. Free admission. The Littlefield, 3934 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, spacewalkcincinnati.tumblr.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO
arts & culture
Creative Dreams Become Reality
Three Cincinnatians win Globe Grants to display new, innovative work in OTR BY GARIN PIRNIA
P H O T O : C A R S O N N e f f ( C o u rt e s y o f P eop l e ’ s L I B E R T Y )
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360-degree map of Cincinnati, a pop-up eco store and a community internet radio station will be the installations on display next year at the innovative Globe, a storefront-like gallery located at 1805 Elm St. near Findlay Market. It is an arm of People’s Liberty, which describes itself as a “philanthropic lab that brings together civic-minded talent.” The 2017 People’s Liberty Globe Grant — which grants $15,000 to each of its recipients — plucked three local artists from more than 50 applicants to install their ideas at the gallery. Each will receive a five-to-six-week slot during the upcoming year to showcase their creations. Before the next year’s winners can begin, there is one remaining 2016 grantee to show his work. Starting Sept. 30, Michael DeMaria’s “Serendipity of Sound” will be on display. It is an interactive sculpture that explores sound and light and includes ping-pong balls and music inside a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption. In April 2017, Phil Rowland’s 360-degree hand-drawn map of Cincinnati will come to life. “It’s almost like a Cincinnati seek-andfind,” Rowland says. He once created a similar map for a realty firm and wanted to recreate it. “When I heard about the Globe Grant, the first thing I thought of was, how cool would it be if you were standing in this room and 360 degrees around you, the floor and all four walls are hand-drawn with a map of Cincinnati?” he says. Tentatively called “We Are Here,” the installation has Rowland drawing the maps by hand, scanning them into a computer, projecting the images onto the gallery walls and then drawing them. Tablets will be camouflaged into the map so that when people touch them, a Cincinnatian will tell a story about his or her life. Rowland is not a Cincinnati native — he grew up in El Paso, Texas — but lived in Columbus for high school and attended the Columbus College of Art and Design. He moved to Oakley seven years ago and landed a job with GBBN Architects, where he works as a graphic designer. Eventually, he would like to generate maps for other cities, in a larger space. “What I really love to do is work with my hands because a lot of stuff you do as a graphic designer is very internal … and you have a finite audience who gets to see it,” he says. “The goal would be to make the map as big and as awesome as possible.” Rowland thinks it’ll take him 120-150
Caroline Creaghead, Joi Sears and Phil Rowland (L-R) will be showing work at the Globe. hours of sketching — and that’s before he enters the gallery space. “Even though I’vegot seven months, I feel like the pressure is on already,” he says. Once Rowland is finished with the space, North Avondale native Joi Sears will open her Green Store in June. A self-described social entrepreneur, Sears became interested in eco-fashion and sustainability after moving to New York City to study acting. “I felt unfulfilled with life and (thought) I needed to be doing more for the world,” Sears says. “I was interested to see how the arts and creativity could be used to make those things better.” After receiving a master’s degree in art and social change from New York University, she found herself in Amsterdam transforming empty spaces into art pop-ups. She unofficially moved back to Cincinnati a couple years ago and divides her time between Hamilton and North Avondale. Her Globe venture will be a sustainable store where she’ll sell local and international eco-friendly goods, and then she’ll host workshops on topics like, “Why is box water better?” or “Why shouldn’t we use plastic?” She’ll also bring in a chef to cook food that would otherwise go to waste.
“I really want to use this as a way to create an interesting prototype and test out some of my ideas to see how the community responds to them,” she says. Another returnee from New York, Caroline Creaghead, will debut her internet radio station in August of next year. She graduated from Holmes High School in Covington and attended the University of Wisconsin, where she studied radio, TV and film. Like Sears, she ended up in New York for a spell. Once in the Big Apple, she garnered internships at The Colbert Report, and The Onion and segued into producing live comedy shows for Hannibal Buress and Eugene Mirman. “Comedy was fun, but it wasn’t what I was going to do forever,” she says. She moved back to Covington several years ago and briefly worked as director of creative enterprise for ArtWorks (where she and Sears were co-employees), and now is with an NYC-based tax firm called Brass Taxes, which aids creatives with their taxes. Taking a cue from past Globe grantees C. Jacqueline Wood’s Mini Microcinema
and Julia Fischer’s Play Library, Creaghead thought, why not have a community radio station pop-up? “You don’t need a million dollars for investment to record things and put them online,” she says. “You don’t need a terrestrial radio tower to distribute things.” Anybody will be able to come in and record a show and have the freedom to say whatever they want “as long as their show is not hurting anybody,” she says. Experience isn’t necessary — she’ll offer free training sessions, and an engineer will be onsite. She says her idea, to be called Hear Channel, is a little abstract right now, but when the channel goes live, people will be able to stream the programs on the internet. She’s hoping it can be a model to use if it’s successful. “The goal is to do this right, make it good, get people excited and bring people together to listen to each other on this elevated platform,” Creaghead says. “But also, I think it’s something that could grow bigger and continue on.” For more information on GLOBE GALLERY, go to peoplesliberty.org.
a&c curtain call
Notes Before the Start of a New Theater Season BY RICK PENDER
Annually I’ve devoted a late-summer column to theater etiquette. My basic message has been, “Behave yourself.” To that I’d add, “Be thoughtful.” The biggest offender continues to be mobile phones. They’re a continuous problem, despite clever and humorous warnings before a show begins and also sometimes during intermission for anyone who turned one back on to email, text or tweet. I now leave my phone at home when I go to a show — or at least turn it off altogether. Disconnect and enjoy the performance. Although I’ve not seen this locally, eating in the theater has become a point of irritation in New York and London. Many Cincinnati theaters allow beverages to come into the theater, leading to slurping, ice shaking and rolling beer bottles. I hope the sticky floors that are routine in cineplexes and stadiums aren’t next. My advice: Enjoy a drink before the show or at intermission, but leave it outside — even if your seat has a cup holder. One more thing that’s not rude, just uninformed: Don’t feel obligated to give every show you see a standing ovation. Save it for something that’s truly “outstanding.” My Golden Rule for theater attendance: “Behave the way you would have others behave — with courtesy and thoughtfulness.” If you’re a passionate theatergoer, you should check out the recently established Theatre Ambassador program from the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT). For $75, you’ll receive a one-year membership offering backstage experiences at local professional and university theaters, as well as box office discounts. For example, Broadway in Cincinnati offers a 10 percent savings on tickets ordered online. The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park discounts selected Marx Theatre tickets by $5. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company trims ticket prices by 15 percent, and Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati reduces single adult tickets by 25 percent during the first two weeks of most of its productions. Ambassadors also are invited to PlayDates, monthly special events at the Playhouse, ETC, Cincy Shakes and others throughout the 2016-17 season. The first is from 5:30-7 p.m. on Sept. 14: a tour of the Playhouse’s shop where scenery is constructed for productions at Cincinnati’s two-time Tony Award-winning theater. From 7-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 17, Ambassadors will be treated to the “haunted history” of the Otto M. Budig Theatre at The Carnegie in Covington.
A November program at Clifton Performance Theatre will explore “theater games to engage children and grandchildren.” Ambassadors with a passport who visit all 15 theaters participating in LCT’s program will be awarded a special pin signifying patronage of the Cincinnati theater scene. Memberships can be purchased through Know Theatre’s box office (513-300-5669) or at knowtheatre.com/ambassadors. More details at leagueofcincytheatres.info. If the price of theater tickets has given you pause, you should pay attention to previews and “rush ticket” opportunities. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park opens shows on Thursdays; discounted ticket prices prevail for
“My Golden Rule for theater attendance: ‘Behave the way you would have others behave — with courtesy and thoughtfulness.’ ”
CONTACT RICK PENDER: email@example.com
TickeTs: $40, $35
Saturday, Sept. 10 | 7:30 PM St. Xavier Performance Center
TickeTs: $45, $40
1964 the Tribute 50th Anniversary of The Beatles at Crosley Field Saturday, October 29 | 7:30 PM Mount St. Joseph University
For Tickets Call 513-570-0652 or visit cincymusicseries.org
TickeTs: $45, $40
Annie Moses Band Christmas Celebration
Saturday Nov. 26 | 7:30 PM McAuley Performing Arts Center
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previews on both the Marx and Shelterhouse stages. Prices fluctuate, but for this fall’s first Marx production, A Prayer for Owen Meany, they start at $35 for performances at 8 p.m. on Saturday, 2 p.m. on Sunday and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Shelterhouse previews are at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays before the Thursday openings. The Playhouse offers Sunday College Night performances priced at $10 for students with valid IDs. Student tickets are $15 on the day of the show for other performances. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati opens shows on Wednesdays — including The Legend of Georgia McBride on Sept. 7 — and Tuesday evening performances are previews, with tickets priced at $28, $16 less than routine adult admission. If tickets remain for regular performances during the run of a show, they are available two hours prior to a given performance as half-price rush tickets. Students with valid IDs can purchase one or two rush tickets for $15 each if seats are available two hours before show time. Previews happen before a production is firmly set, so if something isn’t quite working, the show might stop momentarily for an adjustment. That doesn’t happen often, but it’s possible. Most of the time, you’ll see exactly what will be presented in the weeks ahead.
a&c all lit up
Read us on your phone instead of talking to your friends at brunch. the all-new
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Tasha Golden’s Humanist Poetry Earns Praise BY MARK FLANIGAN
When an artist leads an examined life, all past roads clearly inform the present. Take, for example, Tasha Golden, one half of long-time Cincinnati Alt Folk duo Ellery and whose first book, Once You Had Hands, recently was a finalist for a 2016 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. Currently a doctoral student at the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health, Golden says the reason she chose to pursue a career in public health lies in her past. As does her poetry. “For several years, I’ve been interested in how stigmatized things become ‘speakable’ through the arts,” she says by phone. “An example is (how) in Ellery I would perform songs about things like domestic violence or mental health. After our shows people would line up wanting to talk. I had dozens of women and a couple of men tell me they were abused, and say that I was the first person they told. “I had read a lot of research about the negative health impacts of stigmatization and repression, and how the arts allow people to talk about things that are otherwise not ‘talk-about-able,’ ” she says. “That’s actually what drove me here to research arts and health.” That also drove her to publish her highly praised poetry. Booked to play Springfield, Ohio, the duo (she and husband Justin) was asked to come early to perform a “lunch hour” show at a nearby youth detention center. Not knowing what to play, they decided on songs about getting through tough times. “I shared songs about domestic violence and depression, and how those songs helped me to work through things,” she says. “Afterward, the arts director of the facility said that nobody had ever talked about that stuff with the youth. She asked if I would come back to lead a weeklong creative writing program for the girls.” These experiences directly led to the publication of Once You Had Hands. At the end of each workshop, a closing program was held where the girls would read. The adult supervisors, too, were asked to read but at first balked. Golden informed them she had a stack of her own poems that terrified her. She said if they read their work, she would publish her poems. “When they took the deal, I said ‘Oh, crap,’ ” Golden says, laughing. Once You Had Hands is a bold, nuanced debut. Published by Humanist Press, the publishing arm of the American Humanist Association, it grapples with Golden’s experience of growing up as a conservative Christian in southeast Ohio and Akron, especially as it relates to being a woman and not finding a safe place there. An example, used with permission, is “I Was Thinking of Origins”:
Natives, whiskey, gentlemen Little Girls, loveless unions Tuberculed lungs, rotted livers Gone, their skin lain Sagging, sprouting weeds Ashen, wormed into rich earth Of how I learned to pray From ghost mouths, coffee Burning, cakes and paper Torn and browning, bleeding ink And urgency, those souls uncertain Yawning, crowding as if I could speak For them, as if I could speak
Tasha Golden PHOTO : Michael wilson
“The book came out of my attempts to excavate a family history that I will never be able to pin down,” Golden says. “My mother is the youngest of 11 children and her parents had both passed away by the time she was 3. I have all these questions about her upbringing, which was clearly impoverished and abusive. A lot of the poems are my attempts to try to put a story around something that’s just a skeleton of a thing. I felt like I needed to do that.” Excavating such poetic matter produced light for Golden. “There were times when I was writing this book that were really dark moments,” she says. “But also, it felt hopeful because I had finally reached the point where I could do this work, as opposed to living with something I can’t name.” Her poems netted yet another boon: new songs. “When I started writing songs again, it was just like this whole field of subject matter was now open for exploration,” she says. For more information on ONCE YOU HAD HANDS, visit humanistpress.com.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor
a&c visual arts
Sculptural Books and Plant-Based Art BY MARIA SEDA-REEDER
- Cincinnati Enquirer
CCM’S STRING QUARTET-IN-RESIDENCE
THE ARIEL QUARTET
COLLEGE-CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC
Experience the WORLD’S FINEST in concert at CCM! This season, the internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet performs works by Bartók, Beethoven, Schubert, Shostakovich, Widmann, Wiesenberg and more. Highlights also include collaborations with Soyeon Kate Lee, piano; Rachel Calin, double bass; and Ran Dank, piano. The season concludes with the world premiere of a new piece by Mohammed Fairouz. Subscription packages and single tickets on sale now. View complete concert repertoire at ccm.uc.edu/ariel.
Sept. 6, 2016 • Oct. 25, 2016 • Jan. 24, 2017 • March 10, 2017
513-556-4183 firstname.lastname@example.org ccm.uc.edu/ariel The Ariel Quartet’s 2016-17 CCM concert series is made possible by the generous contributions of Anonymous, The Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander, Mrs. William A. Friedlander, Dr. & Mrs. Randolph L. Wadsworth, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Bloom, Mr. & Mrs. J. David Rosenberg, Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen, Mr. & Mrs. Paul G. Sittenfeld, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman, Mr. & Mrs. Theodore W. Striker and The Thomas J. Emery Memorial.
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With roots in the Japanese tradition of three brothers who founded the library and bonsai and the Chinese practice of tray owned a pharmaceutical company in Cincinlandscape known as “penjing,” art that nati at the turn of the 20th century. depicts or utilizes organic forms is not a For their Cincinnati stay, Chiao and recent development. Western artists have Frezza were not obligated to create a body long represented plants and flowers in stillof work, but both have expressed an interest lifes and landscapes — often employing the in donating work that results from their resimaterials themselves (using plant-based dency to the Lloyd, if the institution wants it. surfaces and pigments) to create the work. Because the Lloyd prohibits tracing on There is especially a lot of work being top of any of its rare books, the two had done currently in Contemporary art that to scrap their plans to create “exquisite engages with both the representation and tracings” — made by passing the work back formal medium of living plants. and forth to create a composition neither Lloyd Library and Museum, the downof them would have made independently. town scientific research library and private collection archive, hosted two New York artists during August who likewise work with plant-based material. Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza, known as the collaborative duo CHIAOZZA (pronounced “chow-zah”), have been using such media as paper and paper pulp to make abstracted representations of plant life and other natural phenomena since 2012. They were inspired to begin their investigation Artists Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza at Lloyd Library of plant life when Chiao PHOTO : jes se fox was working on an interactive web installation for a multi-artist project website. A Columbia Instead, Frezza was given a book that University-educated architect, Chiao had the Lloyd had multiple copies of and was created a model of a treehouse, but wanted allowed to use as he saw fit. He did so by to fill it with little houseplants to give it a repurposing illustrations of various orchids sense of scale. Frezza, who studied painting — cutting them up for a collage and removand drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy ing them from their academic context. The of Fine Arts and the University of Florida, cutout blooms looked profoundly sculptural “knew right away what to do,” Chiao says. and figural, but would eventually be flatThey started painting and cutting out tened out again once painted. shapes, stuck them into clay and then put Chiao, for her part, assembled a handthose into tiny handmade pots. Creating sewn and bound cut-color-paper book a miniature seamless photo backdrop on consisting of layers of crisp landscapes their kitchen table, the two then docuand intersecting tendrils. It was inspired by mented their diminutive diorama. another book from the Lloyd’s collection that Out of that project came the discovery of featured foldout hand-painted illustrations of a new medium and concept that both Chiao botanical specimens. Like a MAD Magazine and Frezza found infinitely compelling. “A fold-in back cover, the new accidental comlot of our work tends to leap from nature positions made interesting shapes and coninto some kind of fantasy,” Frezza says. nections between forms. Making sculptural Having worked together now for nearly books, Chiao says, is something the two have five years, Chiao and Frezza arrived in been thinking about for a long time. Cincinnati to dig through the Lloyd’s large Lloyd Library is a place whose archives holdings of rare books and look for ways to, are of use to those in need of pragmatic in Frezza’s words, “bring these traditional information — scientific documentation, for botanical illustrative techniques into a instance. But Chiao’s and Frezza’s resicontemporary language.” dency may mean that it can also serve as a The Lloyd’s archives cover medical resource for those interested in aesthetic botany, pharmacy, eclectic medicine and inspiration regarding plant-based life forms. horticulture. The material is mostly from the For more information on the LLOYD LIBRARY AND personal compendium of the mycologist and MUSEUM, visit lloydlibrary.org. book collector Curtis Lloyd, the youngest of
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Hunter) in that film, Tom and Isabel have In the alternative universe loosely condifficulty bearing children of their own. tained in my brain, director Derek CianThey spot a baby adrift in a rowboat, next france is a younger Coen brother, desperate to a dead man, and rather than alerting the to step out of the shadow of his older snarky proper authorities on the mainland, they siblings. That dynamic duo, whose work conspire to raise the child as their own. leaps from madcap Molotov cocktails (RaisTheir act of thievery is less active than ing Arizona) to dark ruminations on the that in Raising Arizona, but it is certainly human condition (No Country for Old Men), in keeping with the literary melodramatic could reanimate a dead and lifeless language flourishes of the period. The romantic in their films and make it sing a funky tune. desire for a family that might complete him And all the while, Cianfrance, whose previtransforms Tom, offering him a fleetingly ous films are Blue Valentine and The Place tragic chance for rehabilitation. Beyond the Pines, sits watching and studying their every move, wanting to do the same. But he knows it would do him no good to merely mimic. No, he would rather up the ante, to truly separate himself. Why not try to light a fire from the damp twigs of literary melodrama? Which is what he seemingly found in The Light Between Oceans, the first novel from Western Australia-born author M.L. Stedman. Published in 2012, the narrative (as presented in Cianfrance’s adaptation) shoulders the burden of Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender historical fiction rooted in a P H O T O : C o u r t e s y O F D RE A M W O R K S I I D I S T R I B U T I O N C O . time — immediately following the end of World War I — With this Light, he seems to long to when earnest disillusionment achingly laid impose his will on the formality of the book’s claim to our hearts and our tongues. blueprint. But there is no room for him to When we initially meet Tom Sherbourne shine because of the strictures of the source (Michael Fassbender), a brooding veteran, material. Without those, the Coens showed we know he has seen and experienced things us how love and desire could make people do in the European trenches that will so haunt so much wrong and yet, even in the midst of him that he seeks to lock himself away in raising Arizona and no small amount of hell solitary confinement. That is what leads him on Earth, only the truly right thing results. to return to Australia and a coastal commuCianfrance understands this because in nity seeking a job as a lighthouse keeper. 2012’s The Place Beyond the Pines, he ably But as withdrawn as he is, Sherbourne sidestepped the trap of genre formality by is the only eligible young man around. And giving in to the loud and messy histrionics when he lays eyes on Isabel Graysmark of his characters. Ryan Gosling portrayed (Alicia Vikander), the die is cast. She’s the a motorcycle stunt rider who turned to robbeautiful and independent-minded daughter bing banks in order to earn cash to support of a pillar of the community. his lover and their newborn son. We most certainly know what each of Along the way, he encountered a rookie them is thinking, because Fassbender is the cop (Bradley Cooper) seeking to walk the very embodiment of chiseled melancholy straight and narrow in a corrupt departand Vikander glows from within. Yet she ment. Both men succumb to “the dying of appears capable, at a moment’s notice, of the light,” as Dylan Thomas put it, in their summoning hurling deadly bolts of lightindividual ways. It took us to see how their ning with aim as true as Elvis Costello’s. choices impacted their offspring before The pair of them seems to exist to animate we appreciated their actions with any real the worlds of Charlotte Brontë (Fassbender sense of clarity. already has director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Cianfrance could have made this serious Jane Eyre adaptation under his belt) and Light his own by braving the powerful Thomas Hardy. So, of course, Cianfrance undertow of period sensibilities and charthad no choice but to weave them into his ing his own course. O brother Cianfrance, carefully tended twist on Raising Arizona. where art thou? Maybe next time. (Opens Like the ex-con H.I. McDunnough (Nicowide Friday) (PG-13) Grade: Clas Cage) and his ex-cop wife Edwina (Holly
IN THEATERS LITTLE MEN — Veteran director/writer Ira Sachs’ latest cinematic character study centers on a pair of 13-year-old boys in New York City, each struggling to make his way through a transition in life. Jake (Theo Taplitz) is the sensitive son of Brian (Greg Kinnear), a struggling actor, and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle), a successful psychotherapist. The narrative opens as Jake and his parents move from Manhattan to his recently deceased grandfather’s second-floor Brooklyn apartment building. The building is also the longtime home to a modest dress shop run by Leonor (Paulina Garcia), a native of Chile whose charismatic son, Tony (Michael Barbieri), befriends the awkward but talented Jake. Each boy dreams of attending the artsnurturing LaGuardia High School. J Sachs’ latest screenplay collaboration with Mauricio Zacharias — the pair previously teamed up for Sachs’ Keep the Lights On and Love Is Strange — is again concerned with the impact of seemingly small events. In this case, Little Men’s dramatic tension hinges on a conflict between the boys’ parents. Less overt is the subtext between Jake, whose sexuality is ambiguous, and Tony, who seems oblivious to — or doesn’t seem to care about — his new best friend’s leanings. As ever, Sachs presents his characters’ dilemmas with nuance and care, resulting in a movie with penetrating emotional resonance. – (Opens Friday at Esquire Theatre) – Jason Gargano (PG) Grade: B+ OUR LITTLE SISTER – Director Hirokazu Koreeda (Like Father, Like Son), in this adaptation of Akimi Yoshida’s manga comic, spotlights the story of a trio of sisters — Sachi (Haruka Ayase), Yoshino (Masami Nagasawa) and Chika (Kaho) — living in the home they inherited from their maternal grandmother and who attend the funeral of their father and decide to take in their 13-year-old halfsister Asano (Suzu Hirose) shortly after meeting her. What makes Our Little Sister such a fascinating and heartwarming portrait of family is exactly how little conflict or drama emerges once the choice is made. The three older sisters adjust their lives accordingly and smoothly integrate Asano into their world. Koreeda simply sits back and allows us to watch it all unfold. The drama here is in the appreciation of honor and a different, unconditional kind of love. (Opens Friday at Esquire Theatre) – tt stern-enzi (PG) Grade: A-
‘Abandoned’ Explores Deserted Public Spaces BY JAC KERN
Humans are fascinated by once-busy tries to squeeze more out of E Corp. Can the Dark Army be trusted? and vital spaces that have become deserted. Hell, even Chernobyl is now a tourist attraction. There’s something creepy but alluring about the idea of exploring something once RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race 2 (8 p.m., ordinary and populated — malls, parks, Logo) – The reigning queens pull out their entire towns — that were previously tourist best impressions for “Snatch Game.” attractions but have gone by the wayside, in some cases only to become a destination once again in its afterlife. Chef’s Table (Season Premiere, Netflix) Most people encounter these sites in one – The foodie docu-series returns, this time of two ways: virtually, through an endless focusing on four French chefs — Michel supply of photos in poorly researched listicles and clickbait galleries, or by visiting a sanitized version via guided tours. But if you can legally visit, explore, snap selfies, buy a souvenir T-shirt and perhaps even rent out the space as a wedding venue, aren’t you kind of missing the point? By then it’s already lost its original, gritty appeal. Abandoned (Series Premiere, 9 p.m. Friday, VICELAND) offers an alternative avenue to experience vacant places, via Canadian pro Rick McCrank hosts a gritty new series about abandoned places. skateboarder Rick McCrank. PHOTO : Courtesy of vicel and Exploring off-the-grid terrain, often skirting the line of legality, is inherent to skating culture, so Troisgros from hotel/restaurant Maison McCrank is a great choice of host. Not only Troisgros, Alain Passard of vegetariandoes he have the credibility to gain access friendly eatery L’Arpège, Adeline Gratto these forgotten sites, but he also reveals tard from Chinese-French fusion spot the faces behind them — people who lived, Yam’Tcha and Alexandre Couillon of La worked or played there. Marine, a bistro by the Canal Saint-Martin The show features deserted businesses — to explore the hard work, passionate and schools, attractions like racetracks dedication and artful creativity behind and amusement parks, even entire emptied some of the best food in the world. towns and natural sites like California’s Salton Sea. Abandoned is often a statement on conThe Roast of Rob Lowe (10 p.m., Comsumerism, and that couldn’t be more clear edy Central) – David Spade, Bo Derek, than in this week’s premiere, which brings Peyton Manning, Jeff Ross, Pete Davidson McCrank to Ohio to explore old, decaying and many more attempt to skewer the shopping centers, or “dead malls.” Once beautiful, beautiful man behind the likes shopping hubs, these malls have been tossed of Sodapop Curtis, Billy Hicks, Sam Seaout like last season’s designs with the rise of born and Chris Traeger: Mr. Rob Lowe. e-commerce. Randall Park (the mall, not the actor) and Euclid Square, both located outside of Cleveland, and Akron’s Rolling Acres Atlanta (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., FX) mall are each featured in the episode. While – Two cousins make their way up in the Forest Fair Village (née Cincinnati Mall, née Atlanta music scene in this new comedy Cincinnati Mills, née Forest Fair Mall) is created by and starring Donald Glover. He still hanging on and is far from the state of plays Earn Marks, a young music manager disrepair of these Northeast Ohio shopping working to launch his rapper cousin’s centers, one can imagine McCrank someday (Brian Tyree Henry) career. exploring that vast, outdated space.
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FOOD & DRINK
Despite some initial speedbumps, the beautifully renovated Lisse Steakhuis is poised to offer intriguing global cuisine REVIEW BY PAMA MITCHELL
P H O T O : l i n d s ay m c c a r t y
Say “hallo” to the stunningly transformed Dutch-inspired Lisse Steakhuis in Covington. and sweet potatoes with two dipping sauces. Too bad nobody thought to drain them more thoroughly out of the deep fryer. We had to compete to pick out the chips that had less residual grease. We also were unimpressed by the shrimp flatbread ($10), a soggy combo that included avocado, corn and mozzarella without nuance or seasoning. The dish needed a contrasting ingredient and/or something spicy or salty. The real head-scratcher among appetizers was the Dutch specialty called Bitterballen ($10), described in the menu as a “classic mix of prime ground ribeye, rolled in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried.” But when we bit or cut into the crunchy exterior, more of a beef-flavored purée oozed out — definitely nothing you would identify as ground steak. We had no idea what happened to that meat, but none of us liked the results. On a subsequent visit, chef/general manager Tim Weiss explained that the recipe he used is authentically Dutch, but wasn’t appealing to Lisse’s patrons. He has since revised the dish to make the meat taste more like hamburger. Main courses come under the headings “Pasta” ($19-$25), “From the Farm” ($21$72) and “From the Coast” ($28-$32, plus “market price” for lobster and daily seafood specials). Based on our experience, I advise heading for the farm, although if you’re
vegetarian, your choices will be slim. My husband, the reliable fish-eater, went with what was described as Faroe Island Salmon ($28). In keeping with most steakhouses, the smallish fillet of salmon came naked on the plate with sauce but no sides or accompaniment. Same was true of my friend’s lamb chops ($34), perfectly cooked and sauced but strangely enough with no particular lamb flavor. Weiss said they are adding a vegetable to some of the meat dishes, if only to improve the presentation. My friend’s husband ordered the steak salad ($19), romaine lettuce with tomatoes, bacon, caramelized onions and a six-ounce fillet. Although it was chunks of steak, not a fillet, there was plenty of meat and other ingredients with the salad, making it a good bang for the buck. We agreed that my Dutch Filet ($36) was the best entrée, although the price seemed high for a six-ounce steak. It did come with
hutspot, a Dutch veggie combo of potatoes, onions and carrots that definitely enhanced the dish. The steak itself was both tender and flavorful and cooked exactly as ordered to medium rare. Kudos to the chef and other management staff for their responsiveness to customer feedback during the rollout period. They have tweaked the cocktail list — and dropped that New Fashioned — and have made significant adjustments to the menu. Sommelier J. Matt Nickels is developing a wide-ranging wine list at all price points. With the official grand opening (held on Aug. 24) in the rear-view mirror, attractive and already-booked spaces for holiday parties and a not yet fully utilized rooftop bar and lounge, Lisse can focus on producing highquality food and beverages commensurate with the lovely surroundings Philippo and team have created.
Lisse Steakhuis Go: 530 Main St., Covington, Ky.; Call: 859-360-7008; Internet: lisse.restaurant; Hours: 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
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bsolutely stunning. That was our first impression of Lisse Steakhuis’ renovation of the former Chez Nora, which closed in 2014. Even from a block away, the sight of outdoor seating on balconies and a couple coats of bright, white paint made us quicken our steps to enter. And once inside the redesigned first floor, our happy smiles got even wider — au revoir, Chez Nora; hallo, Lisse. Patrons enter into an airy expanse bathed in light from picture windows on two sides, with a sleekly modern bar to the right, high-top tables along a center brick wall and a dining room at left. The space feels pulled together thanks to an open archway in the brick wall, which helped us feel both intimate in the bar or dining room and part of a holistic scene. It’s obvious that owner Hans Philippo must have invested millions in this renovation. Two new balconies overlooking Sixth Street provide additional dining space; they’ve excavated a large basement to hold an extensive wine cellar and storage; two new outdoor staircases run from the third floor to ground level; a gutted second floor has created two lovely dining rooms; the kitchen has been expanded and updated; there’s a separate, enclosed cigar lounge; and a programmable audio/visual system has been added to each space. My husband and I, along with another couple, dined at Lisse during its soft-opening phase on a weekday in early August. First up was deciding what to drink: the short list of house cocktails looked intriguing, the draft beer choices pleased our beer drinkers and almost two dozen wines by the glass ($8-$16) included pretty much something for everyone, from inexpensive house pours to a couple of high-end treats. But my “New Fashioned” cocktail ($10) — recommended by our server, Jacob — was boozy and one-dimensional, served over too much ice and the color of watered-down apple juice. After I muttered that the drink was too strong for me, Jacob offered to get the bartender to try again, but it just came back a little sweeter and otherwise not improved, and overpriced to boot. My friend’s Windmill, a rum-based cocktail ($10) also didn’t have the perfect balance of sweet and sour one would hope, but the guys were happy with beer ($4-$7 for draft). We ordered appetizers, making choices partly in the spirit of trying some of the Dutch dishes on the menu. Philippo named the place after his hometown: Lisse, Holland. “Huis” is the Dutch word for house. Root chips ($10) sounded good: thinly sliced and crisped carrots, beets, potatoes
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6095 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, ninegiant. com As a value, I believe every small town square should have a microbrewery to frequent, so in the spirit of supporting and trying out neighborhood breweries, a friend and I met for drinks at Nine Giant Brewing, a new establishment in the heart of Pleasant Ridge. Now, before I get into the brew and the bites, let’s get to the main critique: The place is really loud. Visitors know it, owners know it, even the brewery mascot Nine Giant himself knows it. There are signs hung around the room asking for patience as sound-proofing is on the way. Now, on to what we all came here for. The first beer to catch my eye was the Nine Giant C.R.E.A.M. Described as crisp and light with notes of passion fruit, I figured it was a surefire option to start. However, with a name like C.R.E.A.M., I assumed it would be darker and, well, creamier in taste. My gal pal’s first order was the Amnesiac, which is what I drank following my C.R.E.A.M. Amnesiac is an amber and red ale with the richness of coffee, cocoa and berry. Along with our beers, we tried a few key items on the Nine Giant Snackery menu. One thing I will say about the snack spread — it is not void of indulgent options. We ordered fried pickles and a falafel sandwich. Of the two, the pickles stood out like rockstars. The best part was that they were sliced as opposed to solid spears, which kept the fried-to-pickle ratio in check. The falafel was rich and pretty yummy paired with a swipe of tomato, cucumber and tzatziki. (Katie Holocher)
Sushi Monk 8268 Princeton Glendale Road, West Chester, 513-881-1889, facebook.com/ sushimonk, facebook.com/monkexpress Next time you find yourself in West Chester near Union Center, pass all of those glossy new restaurants and keep driving. Go to the Marathon gas station-adjacent, nondescript mom-and-pop sushi restaurant, Sushi Monk. To start, I ordered the aptly named Fantastic Mushroom Tempura ($7), which I had no trouble devouring on my own, and some standard edamame ($4.25). For our entrées, my boyfriend Brian ordered several types of nigiri ($2.50-$4), which were quite large, and a Trio Roll ($11), which consisted of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado and spicy mayo. I opted for a bowl
of noodles. The Sho-Yu Ramen ($11.95) has a soy-sauce-flavored broth with seaweed, scallions, crabstick and tofu. It was tasty and filling and such a large portion I ended up taking half of it home. The restaurant also runs a food truck, Monk Express, and serves food-trendof-the-moment sushi burritos, rice-cake burgers, ramen and “The Crack,” salmonwrapped crab with jalapeño, avocado, spicy mayo and eel sauce. A week later I returned with my friend Jesse in tow to try out the food truck menu and its creative options. We shared a spicy tuna sushi burrito ($9) and a vegetarian rice cake burger ($8). The sushi burrito was just like tearing into a large un-cut sushi roll. The rice burgers consisted of two rice patties, lightly fried to hold their shape, which acted as buns. Sandwiched between the rice buns was American cheese, cucumber, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, spicy mayo, lime juice and cilantro. Jesse joked that it was the perfect way for an Asian menu to cater to our American palates — fry it and put cheese on it and we’ll eat anything. (Casey Arnold)
3501 Seoul 3501 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-873-9181 Owners Shelly and Kwan Choi have worked magic, transforming a former unassuming grocery store on Erie Avenue into a sweeping open space with a patio, bar and a dining room. As with all Korean restaurants, rice and noodles figure largely on the menu. I honed in on the bibimbap ($25.95), literally mixed rice and a signature Korean dish, choosing, on this steamy evening, the fresh bibimbap, a mixture of raw salmon, red snapper, tuna, flying fish roe, octopus and maguro-tataki (minced tuna pounded with the blunt edge of a knife). Like all bibimbaps, the protein was complemented by a tasty array of pickled and fresh vegetables, including shredded daikon, avocado, shredded cucumbers and seaweed salad, all topped with the crunch of tempura-batter crisps. Here, it was presented in a white ceramic bowl. While 3501 Seoul is a Korean bistro, not a barbecue with tabletop grills, the kitchen does offer several grilled choices. The Kal-Bi ($25.95), hand-filleted beef short ribs, arrived on a bed of lightly grilled onions and was served with a delicious purple rice. 3501 Seoul also offers a full sushi menu with a wide choice of specialty rolls, as well as nigiri and sashimi, which I look forward to sampling on a future visit — maybe happy hour on that patio. (Judith Turner-Yamamoto)
FOOD & DRINK classes & events Most classes and events require registration; classes frequently sell out.
WingFling — More than 40 different wing flavors are available, bone-in or boneless, with heat levels ranging from mild to “stupid.” Through Sept. 3. Prices vary. Washington Platform & Saloon, 1000 Elm St., Downtown, washingtonplatform.com. New Orleans Bourbon Dinner — A four-course dinner from Ruth’s Chris Steak House, paired with George Remus bourbon and live Jazz. 6:30 p.m. $85. Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 100 E. Freedom Way, Downtown, ruthschris.com.
Taste the World Food Tour — Head to Findlay Market and explore the great culinary traditions and cultural establishments of the market. This guided tour includes history, tastings and an optional wine stop. 11 a.m. $20. Daisy Mae’s Market at Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatifoodtours.com.
Barolo Dinner — Via Vite hosts a fivecourse paired dinner with wines from Mauro Molino winery. 7 p.m. $114.30. Via Vite, 520 Vine St., Downtown, viaviterestaurant.com.
Hail to the Harvest Tapping & Fundraiser — Kick-off Labor Day weekend with Taft’s Ale House and the release of their collaboration brew with Valley View Hops. Freshly harvested Cascade hops give brewers a chance to play with the citrus-heavy IPA. Proceeds will be donated to Valley View Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving a swath of greenspace in Milford. 6-10 p.m. Free admission. Taft’s Ale House, 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, taftsalehouse.com.
Friday Night Grill Outs — Dine on a covered patio by the lake or in the airconditioned Chart Room, with items a la carte. Live music by Ronnie Vaughn. 5-8 p.m. Prices vary. Lake Isabella, 10174 LovelandMadeira Road, Loveland, greatparks.org.
The Five Master Skills — Focus on techniques to transform your cooking: how to use salt, manage heat, make simple sauces, use tools and use proper ingredients. 6-8 p.m. $75. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen. com.
Tapas with Spanish Wines — Liz and David Cook of Daveed’s hosts this class on cooking tapas, including smoked salmon toast with egg salad, roasted medjool dates, piquillio pepper stuffed with shrimp and dessert. 6:30-9 p.m. $65. Cooks’Wares,
Peppers a Plenty — Learn how to use and identify the late-summer bounty of peppers from the garden. 6-8 p.m. $75. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com. Signature Over-the-Rhine Tour — This tour discusses the history of Over-theRhine as you explore both casual and upscale eateries in the revitalized Vine Street corridor. Includes three to four sitdown stops plus one or two samples from specialty shops or bakeries. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $45. Leaves from Daisy Mae’s Market in Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-theRhine, cincinnatifoodtours.com.
Wander Walnut Hills — Learn about the history of Walnut Hills as you explore area bars, restaurants and specialty shops. Tour includes three sit-down stops plus samples from two speciality shops. 1:30-4:30 p.m. $45. Leaves from Fireside Pizza, 773 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, cincinnatifoodtours.com. Harvest Home Fair — The “Biggest Little Fair in Ohio.” Competitions features produce, horticulture, livestock and an equestrian show. There will also be other exhibits featuring photography, art, baking, ceramics and more, with live entertainment, a wide variety of food and drink and carnival rides. 6 p.m. Thursday (parade); 5-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday. $5 adults; free for ages 12 and under. Downtown Cheviot, harvesthomefair.com.
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My Favorite Southern Brunch — Marilyn Harris teaches this brunch class, in which she teaches guests to make some of her favorite crowd-pleasers. The menu includes cheese grits, breakfast sausage, apple streusel muffins and peach bellini. 6:30-9 p.m. $60. Cooks’Wares, 11344 Montgomery Road, Harpers Point, cookswaresonline.com. Weeknight Jerk Chicken — Make a jerk chicken spice blend that works well for a fast weeknight meal. 6-8 p.m. $70. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.
Rethinking Porkopolis at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House — This exhibit explores how the pork industry shaped the environment and economy of 19th-century Cincinnati, tracing pigs from farms to slaughterhouses to dinner tables. Through Dec. 11. $4 adults; $2 children. Harriet Beecher Stowe House, 2950 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, stowehousecincy.org.
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Fairfield, Ohio’s The Magic Lightnin’ Boys turn decades of experience into incendiary Blues BY BRIAN BAKER
PHOTO : Provided
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t’s almost a Rock & Roll cliché — a hungry young band is motivated to broaden its exposure, gain fans and shine a brighter, more expansive light on its original music. In a sense, The Magic Lightnin’ Boys are that archetype, and while they harbor no illusions about widespread success, the Fairfield, Ohio-based Blues/Rock foursome know that only hard work, perseverance and a little luck will win the day. In every other sense, The Magic Lightnin’ Boys flip the clichéd script. The band is just two years old, but its members are local music veterans. They work hard on their music after they’ve put in long days at fulltime jobs. And their hunger for success has been growing over the past two decades. “Some of us come from Metal and Hard Rock backgrounds, but we’re in our 40s now and I get into older music,” guitarist/vocalist Brian Tarter says in his Fairfield basement, The Magic Lightnin’ Boys’ recording studio/ business office. “Everyone’s got their own backgrounds — Blues, R&B, Funk, Hard Rock — and it all comes together. But a lot of bands say, ‘What’s popular? What are kids going to buy?’ We wrote what we liked and didn’t care if anyone liked it. We hoped people would like it, and we got the response we were going for.” Over two years, The Magic Lightnin’ Boys — Tarter, lead vocalist/piccolo bassist/ harpist Casey Gomez, bassist Richie Lee and drummer Kurt Lipphardt — have made incredible strides. The band has already selfreleased two full-length albums — last year’s eponymous debut and this year’s impressive Stealin’ Thunder — and built a loyal local audience. The band’s sound is a Blues-based amalgam of collective influences that erupts with a Southern Rock rumble reminiscent of The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Blackfoot and Govt Mule, plus a dash of Black Sabbath, without actively emulating anyone. “It’s like everybody has their own little ingredient, and that’s what comes out,” Lee says. “It might remind you of an Allman Brothers or ZZ Top song, but it’s still different,” Tarter says. “From the beginning, that was the idea. We’re not going to try to be popular or fit in any niche, we’re just going to do our thing. It’s not like we’re reinventing the wheel.” The band coalesced in 2014 when Tarter and Gomez forged a friendship after meeting at an open jam. They started a brief cover band with Lee, Tarter’s bandmate in a Stoner Metal group, and a drummer. They began formulating plans for bigger things, but Gomez confessed his focus would be diffused. “We were talking about doing some of my original songs or writing some, because
Local Blues/Rock crew The Magic Lightnin’ Boys released Stealin’ Thunder earlier this year. Casey had ideas, but he said, ‘My wife’s sick with cancer and I’m limited in how much I can play. My priority is her,’ ” Tarter says. “We played a few shows, she got worse and passed away.” During his wife’s illness, Gomez wrote down lyric ideas, framing his pain, doubt and fear with words. With her tragic passing, he desperately needed an outlet to vent his grief. “He called and said, ‘I’m tripping out. I’ve got to get out of the house and play some music,’ ” Tarter says. “We started doing covers again, but he was like, ‘Let’s do some originals. I think I can sing, but I don’t think I can play and sing.’ When he sang, that was it. He had this big Blues voice so we thought we were onto something special.” Just as writing had helped Gomez deal with his wife’s catastrophic illness, setting those words to music and singing them from the core of his sadness was even more important. When he did, Gomez’s untested frontman voice, somewhere in the Warren Haynes range, came roaring out. “A lot of the songs I wrote while I was in the hospital with Angie,” Gomez says. “After she passed, the initial part of it was just getting that out and talking about it, and then singing the songs I wrote. I kind of swore off grieving meetings and all that. I didn’t want to do any of that, but the music was definitely therapy. It still is.”
“The first night, two songs came rolling out, and we looked at each other like, ‘Wow!,’ ” Lee says. “He’d never sang and I was in awe of that, and then for him to sing what he’d been writing. When we walked out of there with a couple of songs, we couldn’t wait for the next practice.” The band’s original hobbyist drummer was quickly replaced by Lipphardt, who had played previously with both Gomez and Lee. He quickly lived up to his “Animal” nickname. “I got lucky at the beginning because they already had five songs,” Lipphardt says. “So we went over those and they were like, ‘Do you want to do this?’ I was like, ‘Yeah! This is awesome!’ Brian would start in, and 15 minutes later we’ve got a new song. And it’s just, ‘Cool, I like that, I’m going to play this.’ “ Since then, The Magic Lightnin’ Boys have rolled relentlessly, packing local clubs and recording two albums in short order. Both LPs were recorded in Tarter’s basement studio; the first album was done entirely inhouse, but Stealin’ Thunder, which recently received a nice review from The Huffington Post, has a richer, more expansive sound thanks to some outside magic. “We had Dave Cornett from Third Steet in Hamilton mix it, and then we sent it to Brian Lucey, who mastered the Black Keys’ Brothers album, and had him master it,” Tarter says. “We thought that was cool,
because he’s from Ohio originally.” The key to The Magic Lightnin’ Boys’ relatively fast rise has been their organic approach to songwriting and performance. They have no preconceived notions about their material or presentation, and the songwriting process is democratic and loosely structured. “During practice, Brian went to the restroom and I started messing around, and he came running out and he was like, ‘Keep playing that,’ ” Lee says. “That was the first practice.” At this point, nearly everything in The Magic Lightnin’ Boys’ enterprise is done by the band members. They’re an LLC, they own their copyrights and publishing, Gomez does the design work and they book and manage themselves. Their next goals are to work up new material, grow their fanbase even more and hit the lucrative festival circuit. “Obviously, we’re not going to be Rock stars because we’re ugly 40-something dudes,” Tarter says. “But there’s people like JJ Grey, Govt Mule and Rival Sons who are doing the festival circuit that are making a damn good living and they’re not on mainstream radio. If we could get into that kind of thing, we’d be tickled to death.” For more on THE MAGIC LIGHTNIN’ BOYS, visit magiclightninboys.com.
music spill it
Celebrate King Records Month This September BY MIKE BREEN
More Local Notes
1345 main st motrpub.com
BY mike breen
Fighting for Country Country artist Sturgill Simpson’s latest album hit No. 1 on the Billboard album charts, but he’s never expected to be embraced by the Country-music establishment. Now he’s sure he won’t be after a scathing social media post he wrote about the Academy of Country Music naming an award after Merle Haggard went viral. Simpson claimed the award was exploiting the late Haggard (who had a distaste for commercial Country’s business side) and to truly honor him, the biz should start promoting better music instead. After the post, Simpson followed up by saying he knew he was now going to be “blackballed from the industry,” which was “perfectly fine” with him. Ice Cube Definitely Doesn’t Endorse Trump A Twitter account that tweets pro-Donald Trump news recently posted edited video clips from an interview with rapper Ice Cube that (the tweet declared) showed him endorsing the GOP candidate (by saying he “looks like a boss to everybody and Americans love to have a boss”) and denouncing Hillary Clinton (by criticizing old comments in which she called African-American youths “superpredators”). Within hours, Cube politely responded with a tweet saying, “I will never endorse a mothafucka like Donald Trump! EVER!!!” Ex-Mayor Critiques Pop Star It may not have been as bad as Donald Trump politicizing the shooting death of a pro basketball player’s cousin, but former NYC mayor and ardent Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani found an “outside the box” way to dog-whistle potential Trump voters… and connect with young folks by referencing pop culture! The perceptive cultural critics at Fox & Friends showed Giuliani a brief clip of Beyoncé’s MTV Video Music Awards performance, then told him it symbolized “cops killing black people.” Giuliani called the singer’s performance “a shame,” and felt the need to boast that as mayor he “saved more black lives than any of those people you saw on stage” with his policies.
gringo star valley queen
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aquarian blood kinder spirits
marcus alan ward
no sorrow willow tree carolers
writer’s night w/ jeremy
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1404 main st (513) 345-7981
the sheep dogs
buy tickets at motr or woodwardtheater.com
C I T Y B E A T . C O M • A U G . 3 1 – S E P T . 0 6 , 2 0 1 6 • 3 7
September in Cincinnati is King Records honor the legendary label in September. Find Month, and this year marks the 73rd the full list of King Records Month activities anniversary of the first songs recorded for at kingstudios.org. the classic and seminal Cincinnati-based label that helped shape the course of popular music by releasing iconic records from art• Excellent local Folk/Americana singer/ ists in a variety of genres (notably crossing songwriter Daniel Van Vechten (who was the “color/genre barrier” by issuing music by nominated in the Singer/Songwriter catR&B and Roots/Country acts, among others). egory at the 2016 Cincinnati Entertainment The celebration will be marked with a month Awards) is unleashing his new album, Get full of (mostly free) concerts, presentations, Right, in conjunction with a release party radio programs and more. this Friday at Southgate House Revival (111 A kick-off reception will be held in the E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse. neighborhood King was based, Evanston, on com). The album follows Van Vechten’s 2014 Friday at 1 p.m. at the Evanston Recreation Center (3204 Woodburn Ave.). At the reception, you can learn about “The Traveling Suitcase,” an educational tool developed to teach new generations about King’s impact, as well as other developments in the ongoing mission to celebrate and preserve King’s legacy. For a bigger picture view of that legacy, from Sept. 1-Sept. 30, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown) is hosting James Brown was Cincinnati-based King Records’ biggest artist. the traveling exhibit King Photo : ABC TELE VISION Records: The Lost History of Rock and Roll. The exhibition is the first of a three-part series of exhibits effort, which was released under the name and covers the first 10 years of the label’s The Simply Dan String Band. history. (Two later exhibits will cover the Friday’s release event also features perfollowing 20 years.) formances by River City Roustabout and This Saturday, King Records’ music will HuTown Holler. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admiscome to life in Washington Park (1230 Elm sion is $12 in advance or $15 at the door and St., Over-the-Rhine). The free A Day with includes a copy of the new album on CD. King Records event runs from 3-10 p.m. For more info, visit danvanvechtenmusic. Local musicians will perform throughout com or facebook.com/danvanvechten. the day and feature special cover versions • Cincinnati’s Soul Step Records, which of King-released songs in their sets. Eclipse was created four years ago as a way to help Movements kicks things off at 3 p.m., folartists who otherwise couldn’t afford it lowed by Pike 27 (4:30 p.m.), The Perfect release their music on vinyl, is launching Children (6 p.m.), The Midwestern Swing a series of 7-inch singles by local artists in (7:30 p.m.) and Young James Brown and partnership with a local brewery, which will Deuces (9 p.m.), who will perform the music host a free concert by the artist and create a of King’s most well-known artist, James special beer in honor of the show and release. Brown. The first in the “Cincy Brewers Series” is Other related happenings include a montha platter from the soulful Krystal Peterson long sale on King music at Everybody’s & the Queen City Band. The record’s songs Records, Black Plastic and Shake It Records; (“I Ain’t Cryin’” backed with “Better Way” feajukeboxes at local venues like Southgate turing Buggs Tha Rocka) can be previewed House Revival, City View Tavern, MOTR at soulsteprecords.com. Or better yet, you Pub and The Comet will be stocked with can pick up a copy of the vinyl this Sunday at King tunes; and, among the many area radio the free release show at MadTree Brewing stations airing King specials throughout the (5164 Kennedy Ave., Oakley, madtreebrewing. month, WNKU will be playing King songs com). Peterson and Co. perform from 6:30every day and also feature regular special 7:30 p.m. The initial release of the single will segments about the label’s history. be pressed on purple and red vinyl. That is literally only scratching the CONTACT MIKE BREEN: email@example.com surface of the multitude of events going on in
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w/ William Michael Morgan, Brandy Clark, Brooke Eden September 24
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w/ Jock Gang, Aldous Harding OctOber 15
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YELAWOLF, Bubba Sparxxx, Struggle Jennings, Jelly Roll
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Local H Wednesday • Woodward Theater Reaching its creative and commercial apex amid the mid-’90s post-Grunge explosion, Local H remains a true believer, releasing eight full-length albums and a slew of EPs in the 20 years since the genre faded from popular view. Well, I should say frontman Scott Lucas has — he’s the only constant over that period, and his modest but honest voice and endless collection of guitar riffs somehow remain robust, if not as widely appreciated. Of course, that also means 50 percent of the band remains intact in the quarter century since it surfaced — a few different drummers have followed Joe Daniels, who left the band in 1999, and with whom Lucas formed Local H in Zion, Ill. in the late 1980s. The duo broke through with its second album, 1996’s As Good As Dead, which featured the eternally Local H hummable “Bound P H O T O : p r ov i d e d for the Floor,” an era staple that still brings a smile to the face of any self-respecting ’90s-weaned fortysomething. In honor of the album’s 20th anniversary, Lucas and Daniels have reunited (along with current drummer Ryan Harding) for a brief tour — the first The Sheepdogs half of their set will P H O T O : Va n e s s a H e i n s feature songs from across Local H’s discography (which includes its most recent album, 2015’s surprising-durable Hey, Killer) and the second half will feature As Good As Dead played in its entirety. (Jason Gargano)
The Sheepdogs with Elise Davis Thursday • Woodward Theater Winning a competition isn’t always the best way to achieve musical success. Just ask any of the ultimately anonymous winners of American Idol or The Voice. But for The Sheepdogs, a contest win jumpstarted the Canadian band’s flagging fortunes and vaulted them into a position that had eluded them. The band started with childhood friends Ewan Currie and Ryan Gullen, who formed The Breaks with new pal Sam Corbett at the University of Saskatchewan in 2006. After the trio released an EP, the band connected with guitarist Leot Hanson at a
party, joining his impromptu Kings of Leon cover performance. With Hanson’s arrival, they changed their name to The Sheepdogs, inspired by an incident from Currie’s childhood when his panicked mother found her wandering son in a park playing with a sheepdog. The newly minted Sheepdogs, inspired by the big riff Rock of Led Zeppelin and the harmony-rich Folk of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, independently released its first two albums, 2007’s Trying to Grow and 2008’s Big Stand, and toured endlessly. The band’s third album, 2010’s Learn & Burn, might well have been its last; touring across Canada’s vast expanse had exacted an emotional and economic toll, and the quartet exhausted its savings on a 2011 Los Angeles trip for a brass-ring shot that turned out to be a bad bar gig. But the year was about to take an amazing turn. A Toronto agent they’d met sent their demo to Rolling Stone’s “Choose the Cover” competition, which earned them an invitation to Bonnaroo and an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The Sheepdogs won the reader-voted contest, becoming the first unsigned band on the magazine’s cover. The group also scored an Atlantic Records contract in the process. Learn & Burn was reissued, hit the Canadian Top 20, notched platinum sales and earned The Sheepdogs multiple Canadian music awards. The band’s 2012 eponymous fourth album was produced by Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney (ironically, The Breaks had performed Black Keys covers at early gigs). Hanson left the Sheepdogs two years ago and was replaced by longtime utility member Rusty Matyas, who featured highly on 2015’s Future Nostalgia. The Sheepdogs became a sextet in 2015 with the addition of renowned Blues guitarist Jimmy Bowskill; Currie’s trombonist brother Shamus had played on their early albums and officially joined with the 2012 tour. For The Sheepdogs, opportunity knocked just as the party was winding down… and now the party is in its 10th year. (Brian Baker)
Shekoski — and this year saw the release of The Used’s second live release, Live & Acoustic at the Palace, perhaps a stopgap as the members work on new material. From homeless to three million units sold worldwide in a decade and a half, with a lot of bruises along the way, The Used would tell you that dented dreams really do come true. The band’s two-night stand at Bogart’s is in honor of the 15th anniversary of its debut album release; The Used will play that album in full Tuesday, then play In Love and Death in its entirety on Sept. 7. (BB)
is hiring a Staff Photographer/ Junior Designer. For details and to apply, visit citybeat.com/work-here.
ANGEL OLSEN – Sept. 11, Woodward Theater GWAR – Sept. 14, Bogart’s ANDREW BIRD – Sept. 14, Madison Theater NRBQ/LOS STRAITJACKETS – Sept. 16, Southgate House Revival ALL THEM WITCHES – Sept. 16, Woodward Theater THE KILLS – Sept. 18, Bogart’s D.R.I. – Sept. 20, Northside Yacht Club OF MONTREAL – Sept. 21, Woodward Theater RAILROAD EARTH – Sept. 22, Bogart’s BRANTLEY GILBERT – Sept. 23, Riverbend Sept. 24, Madison Theater
YOUNG THE GIANT –
THE MAIN SQUEEZE – Sept. 28, Madison Live MAROON 5 – Sept. 29, U.S. Bank Arena MOE. – Sept. 29, Moonlite Gardens THE MAVERICKS – Oct. 2, Taft Theatre
September: 6&7 10 14 16 17 18 20 22 23
The Used Cin City Burlesque GWAR JSPH CD Release Party Ultra Blackout Party The Kills Of Mice & Men Railroad Earth Adam Carolla
Rockstead CD Release Party Melanie Martinez
Perpetual Groove Jeremy Pinnell
PROPHETS OF RAGE – Oct. 5, Riverbend INGRID MICHAELSON – Oct. 6, Bogart’s CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD – Oct. 6, 20th Century Theater THE STEELDRIVERS – Oct. 6, Taft Theatre DWEEZIL ZAPPA – Oct. 15, Madison Theater NICK LOWE/JOSH ROUSE – Oct. 19, 20th Century Theater BEACH SLANG/BLEACHED – Oct. 20, Southgate House Revival
limited number of tickets left
limited number of tickets left
october: 3 6 7 8 11 13 14 18
Kevin Devine Ingrid Michaelson Switchfoot & Relient K CJSS Cherub Here Come The Mummies Death From Above & Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Suicidal Tendencies
21 22 24 25 28 30
Pink Droyd Beats Antique Saint Motel Rittz Attila Red
Just Announced: on sAle thursdAy!
CARRIE UNDERWOOD – Oct. 20, U.S. Bank Arena YELAWOLF – Oct. 27, Madison Theater KANSAS – Oct. 30, Taft Theatre
GRIZ – Nov. 15, Bogart’s FIDLAR – Nov. 16, Madison Theater FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH/SHINEDOWN – Nov. 17, U.S. Bank Arena FITZ & THE TANTRUMS – Nov. 20, Madison Theater
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C I T Y B E A T . C O M • A U G . 3 1 – S E P T . 0 6 , 2 0 1 6 • 3 9
The Used Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 6-7) • Bogart’s Post Hardcore quintet The Used has been integral to the musical landscape in the new Millennium, as the sound the band helped to shape and advance has influenced numerous second-generation bands. Guitarist Quinn Allman, bassist Jeph Howard and drummer Branden Steineckert assembled in Orem, Utah as Dumb Luck in 2001. The trio had music but needed a lyricist/vocalist. Fruitless auditions led Allman to ask acquaintance Bert McCracken if he’d be interested; he liked their music and wrote lyrics to a song that became “Maybe Memories,” the lead track on The Used’s debut album. The band first adopted the name Used — inspired by friends who felt used when they concentrated their time on music — but changed to The Used when another band had trademarked its first choice. After a period of homelessness and struggle, The Used recorded Demos from the Basement and sent a copy to Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, who flew the group to L.A. — the band had never ventured out of Utah — to play label The Used showcases, initially PHOTO : provided with no success. But offers eventually arrived and the quartet signed with Reprise late in 2001, less than a year after its formation. The Used’s 2002 self-titled debut was an immediate sensation, with three charting singles and a gold certification. That was quickly followed by Maybe Memories, a CD/ DVD compilation of live tracks, demos and unreleased material, and a second studio album, 2004’s In Love and Death, some of which was inspired by the tragic passing of McCracken’s ex-girlfriend who was carrying his baby. McCracken was also sporadically featured on The Osbournes around this time when he was Kelly Osbourne’s boyfriend. In 2006, the band fired Steineckert and brought in Dan Whitesides (Good Charlotte drummer Dean Butterworth did the sessions for 2007’s Lies for the Liars; Whitesides recorded thereafter). The Used spent a year working on Artwork, which was released to a muted response. Feeling constrained by Reprise, the band formed its own label, Anger Music Group, and put out its next three releases — Vulnerable, The Ocean of the Sky and Imaginary Enemy — through a distribution deal with Hopeless. Last year marked the amicable end of Allman’s tenure — he was replaced by Justin
TOP 5 LOCAL BANDS 1 BLANK STATE 2 THE ALMIGHTY GET DOWN 3 500 MILES TO MEMPHIS 4 KAITLYN PEACE 5 LEMON SKY
Arnold’s Bar and Grill - Todd Hepburn. 7 p.m. Blues/Jazz/Various. Free. Bella Luna - RMS Band. 7 p.m. Soft Rock/Jazz. Free. Blind Lemon - Drew Rochette. 8:30 p.m. Acoustic. Free.
SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC MERCH
Century Inn Restaurant - Paul Lake. 7 p.m. Pop/Rock/Jazz/Oldies/Various. Free. Esquire Theatre - Live ’n Local with Troubadour Dali. 7 p.m. Gypsy Jazz. $5. Fountain Square - Reggae H Wednesdays with The Cliftones. 7 p.m. Reggae. Free. Jag’s Steak and Seafood - Steve Thomas. 6 p.m. Sax/Piano/ Vocals. Free.
513.784.0403 SHOP @ CINCYMUSIC.COM
Inner Peace Holistic Center
811 RACE ST, 3RD FLOOR | CINCINNATI, OH 45202
MOTR Pub - Gringo Star with Valley Queen. 10 p.m. Rock. Free.
The Mockbee - D3F3X, KBEAT, MADDOG and MAHLA. 9:30 p.m. EDM. Pit to Plate - Bluegrass Night with Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass. 7 p.m. Bluegrass. $2. Silverton Cafe - Bob Cushing. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Stanley’s Pub - Singer/Songwriter Open Mic Night. 9 p.m. Various. Free. Woodward Theater - Local H. 8 p.m. AltRock. $15, $17 day of show.
4 0 • C I T Y B E A T . C O M • A U G . 3 1 – S E P T . 0 6 , 2 0 1 6
Arnold’s Bar and Grill - Dottie Warner and Wayne Shannon. 7:30 p.m. Jazz. Free. Fountain Square - Salsa on the Square with Brian Andres and the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel. 7 p.m. Salsa/Dance. Free.
The Greenwich - Mambo Combo. 8 p.m. Latin Jazz. $5. Horse & Barrel - John Ford. 6 p.m. Blues/Roots. Free. Knotty Pine - Mitch and Steve. 9 p.m. Blues/Pop/Rock. Free. MOTR Pub - Burning Peppermints. 10 p.m. Garage. Free. Newport on the Levee - Live at the Levee with DV8. 7 p.m. Rock. Free.
Plain Folk Cafe - Open Mic with Greg Short. 7 p.m. Various. Free. Smale Riverfront Park H Cocktails and Crown Jewels with Kathy Wade and Phil DeGreg Quartet with Rick VanMatre. 7 p.m. Jazz. Free.
Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - David and Valerie Mayfield. 9:30 p.m. Bluegrass. Free. Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - Those Poor Bastards with Dead Man String Band. 9 p.m. Gothic Country/ Rock. $8, $10 day of show. Southgate House Revival H (Sanctuary) - Terry Bozzio. 8:30 p.m. Solo Drum Music. $25, $30 day of show.
Stanley’s Pub - Joe Marcinek Band featuring Kofi Baker. 9 p.m. Rock/Jam. Cover.
Tin Roof Cincinnati - Core. 9 p.m. Rock/Pop. Urban Artifact - Life Brother, Hello Luna and The Invisible Strings. 8 p.m. Indie/AltRock. Free. Village Green Park - Groovin’ on the Green with Thunderbay. 7 p.m. Classic Rock. Free. Washington Park - BandH stand Bluegrass with Willow Street Carolers. 7 p.m. Americana. Free.
Woodward Theater - The H Sheepdogs with Elise Davis. 9 p.m. Rock. $10, $14 day of
Fountain Square - Indie H Vol. 2016 with Cloud Cult and Motherfolk. 8:30 p.m. Indie Chamber Rock. Free.
Fraze Pavilion - O.A.R. with The Hunts. 7:30 p.m. Rock. $35-$50, $40-$55 day of show. The Greenwich - Rollins Davis Band featuring Deborah Hunter. 9 p.m. Jazz/R&B. $5. JAX Tavern - Patrick & The Swayzees. 9 p.m. Surf/ Rockabilly/Rock. Jim and Jack’s on the River - Smith & Chandler. 8 p.m. Country. Free. Knotty Pine - Wayward Son. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover. MOTR Pub - Aquarian Blood and Kinder Spirits. 10 p.m. Rock. Free. The Mockbee - Naj, MVXX, Get Dangerous, Partyocalypse, M.I.M.E., Odeski and Stapes. 9 p.m. EDM. $15-$25. Northside Tavern - Broncho H with Leggy. 8 p.m. Indie Rock. $10. Northside Yacht Club - “Obsession”: ’80s New Wave Dance Party. 9 p.m. New Wave/Dance/ Various. Free. Pee Wee’s Place - Bob Cushing. 7:30 p.m. Acoustic. Plain Folk Cafe - Full Moon Ranch. 7:30 p.m. Folk/Americana. Free.
The Redmoor - Natural Progression. 8 p.m. R&B. $10.
Rick’s Tavern - What She Said. 9:30 p.m. Rock. Cover.
Bella Luna - Blue Birds Trio. 7 p.m. Classic Rock/Jazz. Free.
Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - Darly Hance Powermuse. 9:30 p.m. Rock/Blues/ Funk. Free.
Belterra Casino - Basic Truth. 8 p.m. Funk/R&B/Soul. Free (in the Lobby Lounge).
Southgate House Revival H (Revival Room) - Dan Van Vechten (release party) with
Arnold’s Bar and Grill - East of Vine. 9 p.m. Bluegrass. Free.
Blue Note Harrison - DryFork Ramblers. 10 p.m. Country/Rock. Century Inn Restaurant - Jim Teepen. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Clifton Plaza - The Dirty Shirleys and Jump-N-Jive Swing Band. 6 p.m. Jazz. Free.
The Comet - Morthouse with Zijnzijn Zijnzijn. 10 p.m. Post Punk. Free.
River City Roustabout and HuTown Holler. 9 p.m. Folk/ Roots/Americana. $12, $15 day of show. Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary) - EmiSunshine. 8 p.m. Country/Roots. $15. Stanley’s Pub - Be On it. 9 p.m. Soul/Funk. Cover. Tin Roof Cincinnati - Dave & Whitney. 10 p.m. Various.
CityBeat’s music listings are free. Send info to MIKE BREEN via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listings are subject to change. See citybeat.com for full music listings and all club locations. H is CityBeat staff’s stamp of approval.
Urban Artifact - Bassel & the Supernaturals, The New Royals and Elektrek. 9 p.m. Soul/Funk/ Jazz. Free. Washington Park - Friday Flow with Shirley Murdock. 7 p.m. R&B. Free. Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant - Retro Nouveau. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum). Woodward Theater - Radkey with Mad Anthony. 9:30 p.m. Rock. $10, $12 day of show.
Arnold’s Bar and Grill - Cincinnati Dancing Pigs. 9 p.m. Americana/Jug band. Free.
Bella Luna - Blue Birds Trio. 7 p.m. Classic Rock/Jazz. Free. Blue Note Harrison - Everyone From Nowhere. 10 p.m. Country/ Rock. Free. Clifton Plaza - Latin Heat. 7 p.m. Salsa. Free. The Comet - In Details with Filthy Beast and Water Witches. 10 p.m. Alt/Indie/Rock/Various. Free.
Northside Yacht Club - Bridesmaid with Rive and Caves. 10 p.m. Hard Rock. Free. Plain Folk Cafe - Dave Sams Band. 7:30 p.m. Blues/Roots/ Rock/Various. Free. The Redmoor - Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Benefit featuring Boo Radley and Philosopher’s Stone. 8 p.m. Rock. Cover.
Knotty Pine - Open Mic. 8 p.m. Various. Free.
Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - Camp Sugar with Life Brother and JIMS. 9:30 p.m. Alt/ Pop/Rock/Various. Free.
McCauly’s Pub - Sonny Moorman. 7 p.m. Blues. Free.
The Underground - Saving Escape, Red Metaphor, Joshua David and Garret Liette. 7 p.m. Alt/Rock/Various. Cover.
Fountain Square - FSQ Live with Arlo McKinley and Rattlesnakin’ Daddies. 7:30 p.m. Americana. Free.
Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant - Rusty Burge Quartet with Mike Sharfe. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).
JAX Tavern - Patrick & The Swayzees. 9 p.m. Surf/ Rockabilly/Rock.
The Comet - Comet Bluegrass All-Stars. 7:30 p.m. Bluegrass. Free. JAX Tavern - Patrick & The Swayzees. 9 p.m. Surf/ Rockabilly/Rock.
Knotty Pine - Nick Netherton Band. 10 p.m. Country. Cover.
Knotty Pine - Randy Peak. 10 p.m. Acoustic. Free.
MOTR Pub - Marcus Alan H Ward. 10 p.m. Indie/Pop/ Various. Free.
MOTR Pub - No Sorrow and Willow Tree Carolers. 10 p.m. Americana. Free.
MVP Bar & Grille - Victor Spoils with Cody Houston. 9 p.m. Pop/ Rock.
Mansion Hill Tavern - Fireworks Party and Grillout with Gator. 8 p.m. Blues. $5.
Mansion Hill Tavern - Turner South. 9 p.m. Blues. $3.
Northside Tavern - Bulletville. 8:30 p.m. Country. Free.
Nicholson’s - John Ford. 9 p.m. Blues/Roots. Free. Northside Tavern - Sexy Time Live Karaoke. 9 p.m. Various. Free.
Arnold’s Bar and Grill - John Redell. 7 p.m. Blues. Free.
Bogart’s - The Used. 7 p.m. H Post Hardcore. $29.50. Christ Church Cathedral - Music Live at Lunch with Clark and Jones Trio. 12:10 p.m. Celtic/ World. Free. The Comet - Moonbeau. 10 Hp.m. Electronic. Free. Fraze Pavilion - Gavin H DeGraw and Andy Grammer with Mark Scibilia. 7:30 p.m.
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Jag’s Steak and Seafood - Zack Shelly and Chon Buckley. 6 p.m. Piano/Vocals. Free. MOTR Pub - Writer’s Night. 10 p.m. Open mic/Various. Free. Stanley’s Pub - Trashgrass Night with members of Rumpke Mountain Boys. 9 p.m. Jamgrass/Bluegrass/Jamgrass/Various. Cover.
Sonny’s All Blues Lounge Sonny’s All Blues Band featuring Lonnie Bennett. 8 p.m. Blues. Free.
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Jim and Jack’s on the River - Jason Owens Band. 8 p.m. Country. Free.
Silverton Cafe - Unmarked Cars. 9 p.m. Rock/Pop. Free.
The Cricket Lounge at The Cincinnatian Hotel - Phillip Paul Trio. 6 p.m. Jazz. Free.
The Greenwich - Radio Black. 9 p.m. Soul/R&B. $10.
Tin Roof Cincinnati - Flip Cup All-Stars. 10 p.m. Pop/Rock/ Country/Rap/Various.
The Celestial - Tom Schneider. 6 p.m. Piano. Free.
Washington Park - A Day with King Records featuring Young James Brown with Deuces, The Midwestern Swing, The Perfect Children, Pike 27 and Eclipse Movement. 3 p.m. Various. Free.
Ianigma, Cleatis and Elijah Campbell. 4 p.m. Hip Hop. $10, $15 day of show.
Rick’s Tavern - Throw It Down. 10 p.m. Country. Cover.
Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - Build Us Fiction with Wailin Storms and Black Pharaoh. 9 p.m. Alt/Rock/ Various. $5.
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