Top 10 stories overlooked by the mainstream media in 2017 BY PAUL ROSENBERG | PAGE 13
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What A Week! BY T.C. B R I T TO N
I Now Pronounce You Gucci Mane and Wife
Gucci Mane married longtime lady Keyshia Ka’oir this week in a low-key, intimate affair that included close friends and family members. Just kidding! It was a $1.7 million spectacle hosted at Miami’s Four Seasons broadcast live on BET. The couple was covered in crystals, from the bride’s bouquet to the groom’s bowtie to the actual aisle. Gucci cut the $75,000 10-foot-tall wedding cake with a got-damn sword. Celebrity guests including Diddy, Big Sean, Monica and 2 Chainz all wore white. But the most elegant detail came courtesy of Rick Ross, who showed up with a Wing Stop cup in the ultimate act of class. You know how when people get rich and famous, they start getting shit for free? Well here’s the kicker: It didn’t cost the couple a dime. BET footed nearly two million bucks for the event. You know how famous people get free luxury products that non-famous people like us would never be able to afford? This wedding is like the ultimate celebrity swag bag.
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Carrie Fisher Handled Harassment Like a (Mob) Boss
Even nearly a year after her death, Carrie Fisher continues to outshine every living person. Amid the waves of sexual assault allegations against prominent figures in Hollywood, the sports world and even normos like the rest of us, one screenwriter shared her experience with harassment and how her friend Fisher helped her deal with it. Heather Robinson Ross called into a Tucson radio show this week to recount the time she was assaulted by a producer who threatened her career when she fought off his advances. When she told Fisher about the incident, General Leia Organa took matters into her own hands. Fisher bought a cow tongue at a local deli, wrapped it in a Tiffany’s box and left it at the producer’s office, AS YOU DO. Attached was a note that, according to Ross, read, “If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.” The shade! Fisher sees your #MeToo and raises you dead cow parts! Thank you, Carrie Fisher, for continuing to be the true MVP and gifting us all from the grave.
This Explains a Lot: Donald Trump Doesn’t Like Dogs
Presidential pets have a long history in America. Thomas Jefferson is said to be the first U.S. president to keep animals in the White House — a mockingbird and bear cubs (seriously). In modern times, most presidents have opted for a family dog or cat. The Obamas had Portuguese Water Dogs Bo and Sunny, the Bushes boasted
This Week in Questionable Decisions... 1. HalloweenCostumes.com and other online retailers caught flack for selling (and eventually removed) an Anne Frank children’s costume. 2. Also revealed in Ivana Trump’s memoir: Daughter Ivanka went through a “punk phase” that included listening to Nirvana, wearing distressed denim and dying her hair blue for one day. 3. Tom Brady, the carb-hating, football-deflating stick of sugarfree gum who boasts a famously restrictive diet, has invested in a candy company.
Hey look a hippo! P H O T O : hailey bollin g er
a number of pets including Barney the Scottish Terrier and the Clintons had a chocolate lab and Socks the cat. Pets make the first family seem #relatable. Plus, who doesn’t love a dog? Apparently, Donald Trump. The Trumps have no plans to expand their family with a four-legged friend, according to White House staff. In fact, Ivana Trump wrote in her new memoir, Raising Trump, that her ex-piece “was not a dog fan” and didn’t even want her to bring her beloved poodle Chappy when they moved in together. As if it weren’t bad enough that Trump insulted slain troops’ families or attacked a senator who called him out on it or topped it all off by golfing all weekend, the motherfucker hates dogs?! What kind of monster did we elect?
People Care More About Burgers Than Bullied Kids
Burger King dropped an amazing antibullying PSA this week. For real! The video features kids talking about the topic — their experiences being bullied, but also witnessing it happening to other kids and how difficult it is to step in when you’re just glad you’re not the target. And apparently, it’s just as hard for adults to do the right thing. BK staged an experiment in one of its restaurants to see which would receive more complaints: the bullying of a high school junior or Whopper Jr. A group of kids depicted a classic bullying scene, with one child getting picked on and pushed around in the dining room. Behind the counter, one worker “bullied” burgers, punching the Whopper Jr. before wrapping them up for customers. Nearly all recipients of the smashed burger reported
it to the cashier, but only 12 percent of customers witnessing the actual bullying of a person. Messed up if true! A few saintly patrons did step in to help the kid out, sharing their own experiences with bullying, but most of these jerks just sat there shoving chicken fries in their mouth holes. Thankfully the kids were just actors, but you know this shit happens all the time and adults just ignore it. And no, I’m not crying at a Burger King commercial!
Relationship Goals: Man Proposes with Fiona’s Help
Fiona the hippo makes everything better, so if she’s involved with your marriage proposal, you know the answer is gonna be YES. Some genius proposed to his girlfriend in the Cincinnati Zoo’s Hippo Cove earlier this month, but the adorable pics are just now making the rounds. As the couple prepared to take a photo with Cincinnati’s answer to princess Diana, UC student Nick Kelble surprised his gal by getting on one knee. And Fiona surprised them both by photobombing the special moment like the kween she is! Fiona should obviously officiate their nuptials. If she can be an Honorary Sheriff’s Deputy, she should be able to become an ordained minister. I’d get divorced just so I could get remarried in her presence. Cheers to Kelble for making every couple question their dumb engagements that did *not* feature Fiona. Get you a man who can do both: take you to see Fiona and deliver a proposal that will make you internet famous for a day. Contact T.C. Britton: email@example.com
4. There’s a Melania body double conspiracy theory and it’s not enough to distract me from this disturbing administration. 5. A Long Beach brunch spot that boasts the motto, “Stay local, stay happy and always eat well,” was caught serving Popeye’s chicken. 6. A conservative organization at Kent State staged a sit-in to protest safe spaces that saw protesters wearing diapers. 7. Prosecco pong exists, prompting accusations of gentrifying drinking games. 8. Actress Kate del Castillo says she boned Sean Penn during the trip to interview El Chapo. Hot! 9. Justin Bieber covered up his “son of god” tummy tat with a gigantic ink mural of gargoyles and skeletons. 10. Harvey Weinstein was ready to resume normal life after completing one measly week in treatment. “He took it seriously,” his psychologist lied. 11. Remember that Navy SEAL veteran who praised Trump on Fox News? Turns out he’s a fraud. And that, my friends, is what we call fake news. *Jumps off a bridge*
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As CPS board candidates pitch to voters, the district’s community engagement struggles take center stage By N I C K SWA R T S EL L
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hotly contested race for spots on Cincinnati Public School Board has put the district’s public engagement controversies front and center again, with some candidates highlighting the issue as election day approaches. It’s been an intense couple of years for the district. There was the 2016 fight over the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, during which CPS reclaimed a building occupied by the popular community arts center for a new neighborhood school, angering many Clifton residents in the process. Then there was the lottery system CPS instituted in 2015 for its magnet schools, including the Fairview German Language School just across the street from the CCAC. Before the lottery, parents who didn’t already have one child attending the high-performing elementary school camped out for a first-come, first-served chance to sign up for open seats. And there’s been the dustup over Spencer Center, a new school for talented and gifted students in Walnut Hills. CPS put the school next to a neighborhood school, Frederick Douglass, that serves mostly low-income students. Walnut Hills residents who send their children to Douglass wonder why CPS isn’t putting the talented and gifted students in with their own. Kevin Wright and Christina Brown of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation and Kathy Adkinson, who sits on Douglass’ local school decision-making committee, penned an op-ed in The Cincinnati Enquirer critical of the district’s communication and the choice to create a separate school. “Neither the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, Walnut Hills Area Council nor other neighborhood stakeholders were privy to conversations about this decision,” they wrote. In those instances and others with big stakes on the line, CPS has gotten criticism from parents and neighborhood residents that it hasn’t effectively sought input about the decisions it’s making. Now, as voters get ready to choose from 13 candidates for four seats on the sevenmember school board, some hopefuls are saying that the district needs to change its approach to how it reaches out to parents and other residents. “All of our plans need to be very public,” says first-time candidate David Brenner, an architect. “Right now, the public doesn’t feel like that’s the case. We need
to make sure that we have everybody involved.” Candidates: The board appoints the Jacqueline Amos district’s superintendent Melanie Bates * and treasurer, and is supposed to be the public face David Brenner of CPS. Ericka CopelandIt’s not an office that Dansby * + # gets the citywide spotlight Gary Favors reserved for mayoral races or city council contests. Christine Fisher # It’s not even a full-time gig Marcia A. Futel # — it pays just $5,000 a year. Renee Hevia + # Board president Ericka Ryan Messer + Copeland Dansby says the district is working on Daniel Minera * getting better at engaging Kareem Moffett residents. Mike Moroski + “I would give a grade of B+ to the district, and I Kathy Young say that because I’ve been * Incumbent working on this for a very + Democratic Party long time,” says Dansby, endorsed who is seeking another # Charter Committee term. “Where I think the endorsed district has a lot of room for improvement, is maybe more direct messaging.” Dansby says the district has staggered meetings so they work CPS raised ire last year when it retook a building around parents’ work schedules, ramped used by the Clifton Cultral Arts Center. up its online communication efforts and P h o t o : N atalie krebs created a family and community engagement team. She acknowledges that the process in Walnut Hills could have been better. “The community told us they wanted a gifted program,” she says. “At that time, and at least one incumbent, also give the though, the administration perhaps got district lower marks for the way it has a little bit ahead of board direction. We considered the community’s wishes. should have taken a step back, and we did.” First-time candidate Mike Moroski Dansby says in other instances, like the says he thinks the district rates about a CCAC situation, the problem is that the C- on its engagement efforts. He’d like to public didn’t see the behind-the-scenes see the district go directly to the communegotiations taking place. CCAC boosters nity more often instead of simply holding asserted that CPS didn’t make enough meetings and expecting stakeholders to effort to engage the community. come to them. Not everyone grades CPS so highly. At He says he would also like to draft a an Oct. 18 community forum for board detailed community engagement plan, candidates, CPS parent Rick Wolf shared including benchmarks and goals, and his frustrations with the district’s outreach. to work with neighborhood groups like “It’s been regularly pointed out by a lot community councils to coordinate efforts. of incumbents that, ‘Hey, take it easy on “(Schools and community groups) us. This is $5,000 a year and a lot of work,’” occupy the same sandbox and we can he said. “And the community shouldn’t only build awesome sand castles when be disrespectful. But you’re asking for the we accept that fact,” he says. job. So to hear an incumbent say, ‘What Other candidates give the district do you want? We can’t come talk to all of an even lower grade. “There need to be you.’ That’s the job you asked us for.” changes,” first-time candidate Kareem Some new candidates for the board, Moffett says. “It’s not working by the
board’s definition and it’s not working by the community’s definition.” Moffett’s proposal: Each of the seven board members should be assigned neighborhoods within the district. “Then you go connect with the people at those schools,” she says. “So you’re going to community council meeting, you’re going to a football game at Carson, so that people see you. People don’t know who our board members are. That’s embarrassing.” Some incumbents agree the district still needs work. “There’s no way we’re knocking it out of the park, but we’re not dragging our feet, either,” says board member Daniel Minera, who is seeking a second term. “We have to understand that we need to come down to the ground level as board members, as administrators, to have forums, to have listening sessions. It’ll require creativity, not just surveys sent home with the kids or meetings at 7 p.m.”
Cincinnati Gears Up for Visit From White Nationalist Richard Spencer By N I C K SWA R T S EL L
Just hours after protesters shouted down high-profile white nationalist Richard Spencer during a speaking engagement at the University of Florida, roughly 300 people filled the sanctuary of New Prospect Baptist Church in Roselawn Oct. 19 to mull a response should he come to Cincinnati. A diverse array of organizers including New Prospect’s Rev. Damon Lynch III, Clifton Mosque Imam Ismaeel Chartier, representatives from faith coalition the Amos Project, Black Lives Matter Cincinnati, anti-Trump group United We Stand, Cincinnati Socialist Alternative and others stressed it would be the first of several gatherings designed to rally a response to Spencer — and to racism more broadly. Lynch asked the crowd how it would like to respond to Spencer. Should efforts be aimed at shutting him down? At providing an alternative event elsewhere to draw crowds away from him? Or at engaging the crowd who comes to see him in an attempt to provide a counter-message of love and reconciliation? “How do you win hearts and minds and souls? That takes a little more strategy on our part,” Lynch said. Spencer says the United States belongs to white men. He was an organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville,
Va. this summer, where anti-racism protester Heather Heyer died after Ohio native James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car through a group of demonstrators. The University of Cincinnati announced last week that it would grant a request from Georgia State University student Cameron Padgett to host Spencer here. Prior to that decision, Spencer threatened a lawsuit on 1st Amendment grounds if he were denied the opportunity to rent a venue for a speech. Padgett has filed similar requests at state universities across the country. “As a state institution, we must adhere to the foundational rights embedded in the First Amendment,” UC President Neville Pinto wrote in a statement announcing the school’s decision. “That includes protecting speech of all types at all times — even, perhaps especially, words that are blatantly hateful or offensive.” Spencer’s potential visit comes at an especially fraught time in a region that has seen plenty of racial tension. Besides Fields, who spent some of his formative years in nearby Florence, Kentucky, a number of other high-profile white supremacists involved in the Charlottesville incident or movements connected to it have Ohio ties. Lynch and other speakers stressed that
those interested in protesting Spencer should also turn their attention to deeply ingrained racial inequities Cincinnati and other cities face. “He will come, and he will go,” Lynch said of Spencer. “But we will still be here dealing with the same issues. The real strength of this gathering is not just what we do because Richard Spencer is coming to town. It’s what we birth out of this so we can change the entire climate of this city, this county and eventually the nation.” Besides UC, Spencer also threatened the University of Florida, Ohio State University and other schools with similar lawsuits. OSU is mulling how to respond. University of Florida eventually complied with his request. Though his group paid for the rental of the space on Florida’s campus and security inside the event, the university paid more than $500,000 for security measures outside. About 2,500 protesters showed up to oppose Spencer. Several people were arrested, including a security guard who brought a gun to the event and three men from Texas who identified as Spencer supporters and gave Nazi salutes. According to police reports, one of the men fired a gun toward a crowd of
protesters following Spencer’s speech. No one was injured in that incident. “You think that you shut me down? Well, you didn’t,” Spencer said to protesters before exiting the stage. “You actually even failed at your own game.” Spencer has yet to set a date for his appearance at UC. In the meantime, student groups and activists say they’re getting ready. UC Student Body President Bashir Emlemdi says student government stands resolutely against Spencer’s message. “We want to show the world there are people who choose love, not hate” if Spencer comes to campus, he said. Cincinnati Black Lives Matter is focused on front-line efforts, organizers with the group said. They called for volunteers who can be legal observers, medics and marshals for protests and marches should Spencer come to UC. “Our main goal is counteracting,” Mona Jenkins of Black Lives Matter said. “We’re going to be meeting to gather our action plan.” The next of those meetings — which will delve into specific strategies — hasn’t been set yet, but will take place at New Prospect, most likely on a coming Thursday evening.
Rabbi to Challenge U.S. Rep. Chabot in 2018 BY nick swartsell as Jewish but may or may not believe in a divine deity as described in the Torah. It’s a long road to win Ohio’s 1st District, but Chabot was toppled once before. Democrat Steve Driehaus bested Chabot in 2008, buoyed by a wave of Democrats washed into Congress when Barack Obama was elected president. But Chabot was back in his post by 2011 after a squall of anti-Obama sentiment among conservatives returned him to office. He’s been there ever since, easily besting Democratic challengers each election thanks to a 2012 redistricting effort that drew in parts of deepred Warren County. Political watchers like the Cook Political Report say the district will likely stay red in 2018, but it is slightly more vulnerable
than other districts in the state. Barr says times are changing, and he thinks he can win. But he’ll have to get past a Democratic primary first if any other candidates step into the ring. State Rep. Alicia Reece, a popular name in Cincinnati politics, has been floated as a possible contender, as has high-profile Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune. Neither Reece nor Portune has commented about a potential run. But the Democratic Party will be scrambling for every seat as it looks to take back the House following the election of Republican President Donald Trump. Barr is campaigning on promises to push for an end to partisan gerrymandering like the kind that redrew Chabot’s district.
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Cincinnati’s U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot has a Democratic Party opponent who could make history. If Rabbi Robert Barr receives the party’s nomination and beats Chabot in the 2018 election, he would be the first rabbi to serve in Congress. “As a rabbi for over three decades, I’ve served in the community and know it well,” Barr said in a statement announcing his bid last week. “My work is helping people get through tough times. Whenever I see problems, I bring people together to find solutions that work.” Barr, ordained as a Reform rabbi, leads a congregation called Beth Adam, founded in 1980 in Loveland. The group practices something called humanistic Judaism — its services don’t mention God by name and are open to those who identify
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Top 10 stories overlooked by the mainstream media in 2017 BY PAU L R O S EN B ER G
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I L L U S T R AT I O N : A N S O N S T E V E N S - B O L L E N
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n America, we commonly think of press freedom and censorship in terms of the First Amendment, which focuses attention on the press itself, and limits on the power of government to restrict it. But the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted in the aftermath of World War II, presents a broader framework; Article 19 reads, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” By highlighting the right to receive information and ideas, Article 19 makes it clear that press freedom is about everyone in society, not just the press, and that government censorship is only one potential way of thwarting that right. That’s the perspective that has informed Project Censored from the beginning, more than 40 years ago. Even though Project Censored’s annual list focuses on specific censored stories, the underlying issue has never been isolated examples. They serve to highlight how far short we fall from the fully informed public that a healthy democracy requires — and that we all require in order to live healthy, safe, productive, satisfying lives. It’s the larger patterns of missing information, hidden problems and threats that should really concern us. Each Project Censored story provides some of that information, but the annual list helps shed light on these broader patterns of what’s missing, as well as on the specifics of the stories themselves.
In the current edition’s introduction to the list of stories, Andy Lee Roth writes, “Finding common themes across news stories helps to contextualize each item as a part of the larger narratives shaping our times.” He goes on to cite several examples spanning the top 25 list: four stories on climate change, six involving racial inequalities, four on issues involving courts, three on health issues, “at least two stories” involving the Pentagon, three on government surveillance and two involving documentary films produced by the Shell Oil Co. Roth goes on to say, “There are more connections to be identified. As we have noted in previous Censored volumes, the task of identifying common topical themes, within each year’s story list and across multiple years transforms the reader from a passive recipient of information into an active, engaged interpreter. We invite you to engage with this year’s story list in this way.” It’s excellent advice. But to get things started on the more limited scope of the top 10 stories, three main themes clearly seem evident: first, threats to public health; second, threats to democracy, both at home and abroad; and third, an out-of-control military. But don’t let this overview pattern blind you to other patterns you may see for yourself. Even individual stories often involve different overlapping patterns — environmental destruction and an out-of-control military, for example, or public health and infrastructure concerns. These patterns don’t just connect problems and issues, they connect people, communities and potential solutions as well. A shared understanding of the patterns that hold us down and divide us is the key to developing better patterns to live by together. With that thought in mind, here is Project Censored’s Top 10 List for 2016-17.
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Lead in Pipes Could Soon Make Water Unaffordable for One-Third of Americans
After President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Flint, Mich., because of lead contamination of the city’s water supply in January 2016, Reuters reporters M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer began an investigation of lead contamination nationwide, with shocking results. In June 2016, they reported that although many states and Medicaid rules require blood lead tests for young children, millions of children were not being tested. In December 2016, they reported on the highly decentralized data they had been able to assemble from 21 states, showing that 2,606 census tracts and 278 ZIP codes across the United States had levels of lead poisoning more than double the rates found in Flint at the peak of its contamination
crisis. Of those, 1,100 communities had lead contamination rates “at least four times higher” than Flint. In Flint, 5 percent of children screened had high blood lead levels. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 2.5 percent of all U.S. children younger than 6 — about 500,000 children — have elevated blood lead levels. But Pell and Schneyer’s neighborhood focus allowed them to identify local hot spots “whose lead poisoning problems may be obscured in broader surveys,” such as those focused on statewide or countywide rates. They found them in communities that “stretch from Warren, Penn., … where 36 percent of children tested had high lead levels, to … Goat Island, Texas, where a quarter of tests showed poisoning.” What’s more, “In some pockets of Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia, where lead poisoning has spanned generations, the rate of elevated tests over the last decade was 40 to 50 percent.” But there’s a deeper infrastructure problem involved, as Farron Cousins reported for DeSmogBlog in January 2017. “Lead pipes are time bombs,” and water contamination is to be expected, Cousins wrote. The U.S. relies on an estimated 1.2 million miles of lead pipes for municipal delivery of drinking water, and much of this aging infrastructure is reaching or has exceeded its lifespan. In 2012, the American Water Works Association estimated that a complete overhaul of the nation’s aging water systems would require an investment of $1 trillion over the next 25 years, which could triple household water bills. As Cousins reported, a January 2017 Michigan State University study found that “while water rates are currently unaffordable for an estimated 11.9 percent of households, the conservative estimates of rising rates used in this study highlight that this number could grow to 35.6 percent in the next five years.” As Cousins concluded, “While the water contamination crisis will occasionally steal a headline or two, virtually no attention has been paid to the fact that we’re pricing a third of United States citizens out of the water market.”
The Army Spent $6.5 Trillion It Can’t Explain
In 1996, Congress passed legislation requiring all federal agencies to undergo annual audits, but a July 2016 report by the U.S. Defense Department’s inspector general found that the Army alone has accumulated $6.5 trillion in expenditures that can’t be accounted for over the past two decades. As Dave Lindorff reported for the news website This Can’t Be Happening!, the DOD “has not been tracking or recording or auditing all of the taxpayer money allocated by Congress—what it
was spent on, how well it was spent, or where the money actually ended up.” But the Army wasn’t alone. “Things aren’t any better at the Navy, Air Force and Marines,” he added. The report appeared at a time when “politicians of both major political parties are demanding accountability for every penny spent on welfare. … Ditto for people receiving unemployment compensation,” Lindorff wrote. Politicians have also engaged in pervasive efforts “to make teachers accountable for student ‘performance,’ ” he added. Yet, he observed, “the military doesn’t have to account for any of its trillions of dollars of spending … even though Congress fully a generation ago passed a law requiring such accountability.” In March 2017, after Trump proposed a $52 billion increase in military spending, Thomas Hedges reported for The Guardian that “the Pentagon has exempted itself without consequence for 20 years now, telling the Government Accountability Office that collecting and organizing the required information for a full audit is too costly and time-consuming.” The most recent DOD audit deadline was September 2017, yet the Pentagon, Congress and the media don’t seem to have paid any attention.
The Pentagon Paid to Create Fake News About Al-Qaeda for Iraqis
Concern over Russian involvement in promoting fake news during the 2016 election is a justified hot topic in the news. But what about our own involvement in similar operations? In October 2016, Crofton Black and Abigail Fielding-Smith reported for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism on one such very expensive — and questionable — operation. The Pentagon paid a British PR firm, Bell Pottinger, more than $660 million to run a top-secret propaganda program in Iraq from at least 2006 to December 2011. The work consisted of three types of products: TV commercials portraying al-Qaeda in a negative light, news items intended to look like Arabic TV and — most disturbing — fake al-Qaeda propaganda films. A former Bell Pottinger video editor, Martin Wells, told the bureau that he was given precise instructions for production of fake al-Qaeda films, and that the firm’s output was approved by former Gen. David Petraeus — commander of the coalition forces in Iraq — and on occasion by the White House. They reported that the United States used contractors because “the military didn’t have the in-house expertise and was operating in a legal ‘gray area.’ ” Documents show Bell Pottinger employed as many as 300 British and Iraqi staff at one point, and its media operations in Iraq cost more than $100
million a year on average. It’s remarkable that an operation on this scale has been totally ignored in the midst of so much focus on “fake news” here in the U.S.
Two-Hundred-Thousand Wisconsin Voters Were Kept Away From the Polls, and Trump Won the State by 22,000 Votes
The 2016 election was the first election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act, first passed in 1965. In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), a 5-4 conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision requiring jurisdictions with a history of violations to “pre-clear” changes. As a result, changes to voting laws in nine states and parts of six others with long histories of racial discrimination in voting were no longer subject to federal approval in advance. Since Shelby, 14 states, including many Southern states and key swing states, implemented new voting restrictions, in many cases just in time for the election. These included restrictive voteridentification laws in Texas and North Carolina, English-only elections in many Florida counties, as well as last-minute changes of poll locations and changes in Arizona voting laws that had previously been rejected by the U.S. Department of Justice before the Shelby decision. Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, was foremost among a small number of non-mainstream journalists to cover the suppression efforts and their results. In May 2017, he reported on an analysis by Priorities U.S.A. of the effects of voter suppression, which showed that strict voter-ID laws in Wisconsin and other states resulted in a “significant reduction” in voter turnout in 2016 with “a disproportionate impact on AfricanAmerican and Democratic-leaning voters.” Berman noted that turnout was reduced by 200,000 votes in Wisconsin, while Donald Trump won the state by just over 22,000 votes. Nationwide, the study found that the change in voter turnout from 2012 to 2016 was significantly impacted by new voter-ID laws. In counties that were more than 40 percent African-American, turnout dropped 5 percent with new voter-ID laws, compared to 2.2 percent without. In counties that were less than 10 percent African-American, turnout decreased 0.7 percent with new voter-ID laws, compared to a 1.9 percent increase without. As Berman concluded, “This study provides more evidence for the claim that voter-ID laws are designed not to stop voter impersonation fraud, which is virtually nonexistent, but to make it harder for certain communities to vote.” As Berman noted in an article published by Moyers & Company in December
2016, the topic of “gutting” the Voting Rights Act did not arise once during the 26 presidential debates prior to the election, and “cable news devoted hours and hours to Trump’s absurd claim that the election was rigged against him while spending precious little time on the real threat that voters faced.”
The Trump Campaign Used Computer Analytics to Craft His Message
Pharmaceutical Companies Are Accidentally Creating “Superbugs” that Resist Antibiotics
The problem of antibiotics giving rise to more dangerous drug-resistant germs (“superbugs”) has been present since the early days of penicillin, but it has now reached a crisis, with companies creating dangerous superbugs when their factories leak industrial waste, as reported by Madlen Davies of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in September 2016. Factories in China and India — where the majority of worldwide antibiotics are manufactured — have released “untreated waste fluid” into local soils and waters, leading to increases in antimicrobial resistance that diminish the effectiveness of antibiotics and threaten the foundations of modern medicine. “After bacteria in the environment become resistant, they can exchange genetic material with other germs, spreading antibiotic resistance around the world, according to an assessment issued by the European Public Health Alliance, which served as the basis for Davies’ news report,” Projected Censored explained. One strain of drug-resistant bacterium that originated in India in 2014 has since spread to 70 other countries. Superbugs have already killed an estimated 25,000 people across Europe — thus globally posing “as big a threat as terrorism,” according to U.K. National Health Service chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies.
The Navy Is Killing Pacific Sea Otters with Torpedoes
The U.S. Navy has killed, injured or harassed marine mammals in the North Pacific almost 12 million times over a five-year period, according to research conducted by the West Coast Action Alliance and reported by Dahr Jamail for news website Truthout. This includes whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and other marine wildlife, including endangered species like humpback whales, blue whales, gray whales, sperm whales, Steller sea lions and sea otters. As the Alliance noted, this does not include impacts on “endangered and threatened seabirds, fish, sea turtles or terrestrial species” due to Navy activities, which have expanded dramatically, according to the Navy’s October 2015 environmental impact statement, including: • 778 percent increase in the number of torpedoes fired
• 400 percent increase in air-tosurface missile exercises (including in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary) • 1,150 percent increase in drone aircraft • Increase from none to 284 sonar testing events in inland waters “It is, and has been for quite some time now, well known in the scientific community that the Navy’s use of sonar can damage and kill marine life,” Jamail reported.
Women Are Dying in Childbirth Far More Often in the U.S., Even as Other Countries Make Pregnancy Safer
The U.S. maternal mortality rate is rising, while it’s falling elsewhere across the developed world. Serious injuries and complications are needlessly even more widespread with shockingly little attention being paid. “Each year, over 600 women in the U.S. die from pregnancy-related causes, and over 65,000 experience life-threatening complications or severe maternal morbidity,” Elizabeth Dawes Gay reported, covering an April 2016 congressional briefing organized by Women’s Policy, Inc. “The average national rate of maternal mortality has increased from 12 per 100,000 live births in 1998 to 15.9 in 2012, after peaking at 17.8 in 2011.” “The U.S. is the only nation in the developed world with a rising maternal mortality rate,” then-U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) stated at the meeting. “Inadequate health care in rural areas and racial disparities are drivers of this maternal health crisis,” Project Censored summarized. “Nationally, AfricanAmerican women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes, with rates even higher in parts of the U.S. that Gay characterized as ‘pockets of neglect,’ such as Georgia, where the 2011 maternal mortality rate of 28.7 per 100,000 live births was nearly double the national average.”
The Democratic National Committee Says It Can Legally Pick Whomever It Wants as the Presidential Nominee
A key story about 2016 election has mostly been ignored by the media — a class action lawsuit alleging that the Democratic National Committee broke legally binding neutrality agreements in the Democratic primaries by strategizing to make Hillary Clinton the nominee before a single vote was cast. The lawsuit was filed against the DNC and its former chairwoman, Debbie
Wasserman Schultz, in June 2016 by Beck & Lee, a Miami law firm, on behalf of supporters of Bernie Sanders. A hearing was held on the suit in April 2017 in which DNC lawyers argued that neutrality was not actually required and that the court had no jurisdiction to assess neutral treatment. It was eventually dismissed. As Michael Sainato reported for The Observer, DNC attorneys claimed that Article V, Section 4 of the committee’s charter — which instructs the DNC chair and staff to ensure neutrality in the Democratic presidential primaries — is actually “a discretionary rule” that the committee “didn’t need to adopt to begin with.” In addition, DNC attorney Bruce Spiva later said it was within the committee’s rights to “go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way.”
Governments Across the Globe Shut Down Internet Access to Quiet Protests
In 2016, governments around the world shut down internet access more than 50 times, according to the digital rights organization Access Now, “suppressing elections, slowing economies and limiting free speech,” as Lyndal Rowlands reported for the Inter Press Service. “In the worst cases, internet shutdowns have been associated with human rights violations,” Rowlands was told by Deji Olukotun of Access Now. “What we have found is that internet shutdowns go hand in hand with atrocities,” Olukotun said. Kevin Collier also covered the report for news site Vocativ, noting that Access Now uses a “conservative metric,” counting “repeated, similar outages” — like those that occurred during Gabon’s widely criticized internet “curfew” — as a single instance. “Many countries intentionally blacked out internet access during elections and to quell protest. Not only do these shutdowns restrict freedom of speech, they also hurt economies around the world,” Project Censored notes. “Understanding what this means for internet users can be difficult,” Azad Essa reported for Al Jazeera in May 2017. Advocates of online rights “need to be constantly pushing for laws that protect this space and demand that governments meet their obligations in digital spaces just as in non-digital spaces,” he was told by the U.N.’s special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye. Project Censored is a joint effort of 310 student researchers and 27 faculty at Sonoma State University in California. Paul Rosenberg is senior editor at Random Lengths News.
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When Richard Nixon first ran for Congress in 1946, he and his supporters used a wide range of dirty tricks aimed at smearing his opponent as pro-communist, including a boiler-room operation generating phone calls to registered Democrats, which simply said, “This is a friend of yours, but I can’t tell you who I am. Did you know that Jerry Voorhis is a communist?” Then the caller would hang up. In 2016, the same basic strategy was employed but with decades of refinement, technological advances, and massively more money behind it. A key player in this was right-wing computer scientist and hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who contributed $13.5 million to Trump’s campaign and also funded Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company that specializes in “election management strategies” and using “psychographic” microtargeting — based on thousands of pieces of data for some 220 million American voters — as Carole Cadwalladr reported for The Guardian in February 2017. After Trump’s victory, Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix said, “We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communication has played such an integral part in President-elect Trump’s extraordinary win.” Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories, was more old-school until recently in elections across Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. In Trinidad, it paid for the painting of graffiti slogans purporting to be from grassroots youth. In Nigeria, it advised its client party to suppress the vote of the opposition “by organizing anti-poll rallies on the day of the election.” But now the company can micro-target its deceptive, disruptive messaging. “Pretty much every message that Trump put out was data-driven” after Cambridge Analytica joined the campaign, Nix said in September 2016. On the day of the third presidential debate, Trump’s team “tested 175,000 different ad variations for his arguments” via Facebook. This messaging had everything to do with how those targeted would respond, not with Trump’s or Mercer’s views. With the real patterns of influence, ideology,
money, power and belief hidden from view, the very concept of democratic selfgovernance is now fundamentally at risk.
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STUFF TO DO
You Talk Pretty One Day …
You can spend the evening with David Sedaris during his tour stop at the Aronoff Center on Monday (highly recommended) or you can spend other evenings with him by proxy while reading his books, like the recently released Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002. If you don’t want to read an entire book, good news: Here are some entertaining Sedaris quotes you can pepper into conversation with friends to appear to be an interesting human. (See full staff pick on page 15.)
“If you’re looking for sympathy, you’ll fi nd it between ‘shit’ and ‘syphilis’ in the dictionary.” — Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays (1994) “I haven’t the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.” — Naked (1997) “We were standing near the Lollipop Forest when we realized that Santa is an anagram of Satan…” — Holidays on Ice (1997) “If you aren’t cute, you may as well be clever.” — Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000) “After a few months in my parents’ basement, I took an apartment near the state university, where I discovered both crystal methamphetamine and conceptual art. Either one of these things are dangerous, but in combination they have the potential to destroy entire civilizations.” — Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000) “When shit brings you down, just say ‘fuck it’, and eat yourself some motherfucking candy.” — Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000) “Real love amounts to withholding the truth, even when you’re offered the perfect opportunity to hurt someone’s feelings.” — Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (2004) “Sometimes the sins you haven’t committed are all you have left to hold onto.” — When You Are Engulfed in Ongoing Shows Flames (2008) ONSTAGE: Dracula “Half the people I know have dead animals in their Cincinnati Shakespeare freezers: reptiles, birds, mammals. Is that normal?” — Company, Over-the-Rhine Theft by Finding (20017) (through Nov. 4) “I’m not a misogynist. I’m a misanthrope. I hate everyone equally.” — Theft by Finding (20017)
THEATER: Know Theatre’s Halloween Horror Double Bill offers off-kilter October entertainment. See Curtain Call on page 17.
a purely surface level, for example, not too many MCs look like “Peter Griffin with long hair,” as one fan — who also called him “fucking dope” — noted on Facebook. While he’s novel, he’s no novelty — even a cursory listen to the underground Rap mad scientist’s uniquely creative music reveals some serious technical skills and an endlessly exploratory spirit. But on his latest album, bluntly titled Rap Album Two (the follow-up, logically, to Rap Album One, his 2013 debut for the esteemed Stones Throw label), Jonwayne’s jarring, fearlessly honest introspection helps push his lyrical alchemy to extraordinary new heights. The SoCal producer/wordsmith dealt with some heavy real-life
crisis (like alcoholism and self-doubt) by writing, delving into his pain and churning out unfiltered wordplay that’s as moving and thoughtprovoking to listen to as it must have been cathartic for the artist to create. J-Dub’s Cincinnati show includes special guests Danny Watts, Juan Cosby, EMV, Toph and Chase Haskell Stein. 9 p.m. Thursday. $10 (via cincyticket.com); $12 day of show. Urban Artifact, 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, artifactbeer.com. — MIKE BREEN ONSTAGE: Mesmerizing stage production Shasta Geaux Pop combines social commentary and dynamic performance art at the CAC. See feature on page 16.
ART: Unfunction This lively and thoughtful group exhibition at the Weston Art Gallery, curated by CityBeat contributor Maria Seda-Reeder, invites artists to playfully undermine the initial, functional meaning we might associate with or see in an object. And such participants as Dan Devening, Terence Hammonds and Emily Hanako Momohara do that splendidly. In particular, Chris Vorhees’ “Box Fan” is a mirage-like stunner. From a distance, it appears to be a floor fan. But when you step up to feel the cool breeze, you realize two projectors are aiming the CONTINUES ON PAGE 14
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MUSIC: Jonwayne It doesn’t take much to deduce that Jonwayne is not your typical rapper. On
An Evening with David Sedaris
ART: Kate Kern’s Ordinary Time Exhibition Reception at Radial Gallery in Dayton Visual artist Kate Kern’s idiosyncratic installations and works on paper will be on view at the University of Dayton’s Radial Gallery. Curated by UD Associate Professor of Art and Design Jayne Matlack Whitaker, Ordinary Time “continues Kern’s exploration into the seen and unseen in everyday life, juxtaposing real and imagined images of the natural and domestic worlds with references to the vocabulary of Catholicism.” Reception 5-7 p.m. Thursday.. Radial Gallery, Fitz Hall, Second Floor, University of Dayton, 300 College Park Dayton, udayton.edu. — MARIA SEDA-REEDER
COMEDY: Kevin Bozeman “I wasn’t the class clown or anything,” Kevin Bozeman says of his formative years. “But I was a guy that could have the funny comeback or witty reply. And I thought if I could string together a bunch of witty comebacks and replies I could go up on stage.” After college, he did just that. Onstage today, he will talk about politics if the crowd is OK with the subject. “I talk about things that make people uncomfortable,” he says. “I talk about parenting properly — saying things about your kids you definitely don’t want to say. I talk about relationships, politics. I push the envelope.” Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com. — P.F. WILSON
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ONSTAGE: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time This unusual play invites you into the mind of a brilliant teenage boy who sees the world from a very different perspective than most of us. Christopher Boone is hypersensitive to social interactions and relationships. When his neighbor’s dog is brutally murdered, he’s a suspect — but as an admirer of Sherlock Holmes, he sets out to determine the truth, despite his daunting awkwardness. Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel won five Olivier Awards in its 2012 London debut and five Tony Awards in New York in 2014, including Best Play. It’s a show people will be talking about for a long time. Through Nov. 11. Tickets start at $35. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay. com. — RICK PENDER
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ghostly image of a fan onto the sides of a block of wood. There’s no breeze, but it’s definitely cool. Through Nov. 19. Free. Weston Art Gallery, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, westonartgallery.com. — STEVEN ROSEN Event: Land of Illusion If you dare, this haunted scream park in Middletown offers the chance to walk through a Halloweentown of ghouls, ghosts, psychos, clowns and many other creepy creatures. Home to four different haunted attractions — Killer Klowns, Temple of Terror, Voodoo Bayou Shanty and Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate — Land of Illusion also features concerts on the weekends, food vendors and even a bar; come early and stay late. 8 p.m.-2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 8 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 4. $36.99 general admission. 8762 Thomas Road, Middletown, landofillusion.com. — ALISON BAXTER Halloween: Historic Hauntings of Greater Cincinnati The Cincinnati Museum Center presents a spooky opportunity to visit historic sites on both sides of the
Ohio that boast more than a few unexplained occurrences. Explore local buildings that experience supposed paranormal activity, including two buildings in Covington that may still house their long-deceased inhabitants. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday. $100; $90 Cincinnati Museum Center member. Tour begins at Cincinnati Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org. — EMILY BEGLEY Halloween: Oakley Masquerade Break out your Halloween costume early for this fourth-annual masquerade party benefitting the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. General admission gets you into a South Beachstyle haunted nightclub and lounge, with costume contests, a photobooth, silent auction and cash bar featuring craft beer, wine and liquor. VIP tickets offer access to the 20th Century Theater’s balcony area and a VIP lounge. Proceeds benefit the Homeless Coalition, a nonprofit working to eradicate homelessness in Cincinnati. 8 p.m. Friday. $50 general admission, $75 VIP, $400 VIP table. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, cincihomeless.org. — DANNY CROSS
Halloween: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Do the Time Warp with The Denton Affair, a Rocky Horror Picture Show reenactment troupe, at the Video Archive speakeasy. The party is on the bar’s cinema patio, where the group will do a live performance synced to a screening of the cult classic film. Audience participation is encouraged, as are costumes — especially if you feel like being a sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania. 8-11 p.m. Friday. Free admission. The Video Archive, 965 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills facebook. com/videoarchivecincinnati. — MAIJA ZUMMO
MUSIC: The Werks bring their estimable stage skills to Madison Theater. See Sound Advice on page 28.
MUSIC: Austin, Texasbased four-piece Alex Napping takes the stage at MOTR Pub. See Sound Advice on page 28. EVENT: Books by the Banks Bookworms, unite! This all-things-books fest held annually downtown features authors and illustrators from all over the country with pens in hand ready to give your favorite book their official
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Event: Romeo & Juliet Cincinnati Ballet kicks off its 2017-18 season with our favorite tale of adolescent infatuation and teenage tragedy. Part of a five-week opening celebration for the newly renovated Music Hall, this production of Romeo & Juliet is sure to bring the 420-year-old classic to life, with music from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the refurbished Springer Auditorium, whose acoustics have been touted to surpass their previous auditory achievements. The tale is being told entirely through dance, so no need to bring your CliffsNotes from high school. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $36-$130. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-theRhine, cincinnatiarts.org. — ERIN COUCH
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P H O T O : C H E C K M AT E P H O T O G R A P H Y
HALLOWEEN: Tricks Or Treats Weekend at the Ohio Renaissance Festival Little lords and ladies are invited to dress in their Halloween finest for a weekend of tricks, treats and costume contests (there are contests for grown-ups, too) at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Kids can grab candy from around the 16th-century-inspired Elizabethan village while adults grab a mug of ale or paint a pumpkin before cheering jousting knights on to victory. Whatever you do, cram it all in: This is the final weekend before the Medieval marauders pack it in until 2018. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $22.50 adults; $20.50 seniors; $9.50 children. 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville, renfestival. com. — MAIJA ZUMMO
John Hancock. In addition to book signings, there will also be literate amusement throughout the daylong event, like panel discussions from some of the region’s best fiction, children’s, non-fiction, cookbook and graphic novel authors. This year’s special guest is Kate DiCamillo, author of the beloved childhood dog novel Because of Winn-Dixie. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, booksbythebanks.org. — ERIN COUCH
MUSIC: Flogging Molly, a modern standard bearer of Celtic Punk, makes a stop at Bogart’s. See Sound Advice on page 29.
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EVENT: An Evening with Davis Sedaris New York Times bestselling author and humorist David Sedaris swings by the Aronoff Center to celebrate the release of his latest book, Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002. One of America’s preeminent humor writes, Sedaris’ works include personal essays Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls — all of which landed a spot on the bestseller list. Sedaris also appears annually on a series of live recordings on BBC Radio 4 called Meet David Sedaris. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience his biting commentary in person before he moves onto the next city. 7:30 p.m. Monday. $45-$55. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts. org. — EMILY BEGLEY
EVENT: Boots ’N Cats Alley Fest Become an alley cat for the day when Spring in Our Steps, dedicated to activating
HALLOWEEN: Secret Garden Halloween Party It’s the devil’s night at 21c when the hotel’s main ballroom transforms into a secret garden for masked and costumed revelers to debauch into the night. The event includes an exclusive viewing of artworks from the 21c collection, including A Masked Ball by Yinka Shonibare MBE. There will be spooky libations from Metropole, live music, costumed entertainment and apparitions to provide light frights. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday. $10 suggested donation to ArtWorks. 21c Museum Hotel, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, facebook. com/21cmuseumhotels. — MAIJA ZUMMO
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EVENT: Fall Fest Weekend Get a music-packed dose of fall fun at Washington Park with performances by Comet Bluegrass All Stars, Bulletville, Casey Campbell, Wilder and more while snacking on baked goods and browsing wares from local vendors. This kid-friendly event also includes a Madcap Puppet show at noon Saturday and a performance by magician Charlie Cadabra at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Noon-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org. — EMILY BEGLEY
Cincinnati’s many old alleys, sponsors a day-long festival in Over-the-Rhine’s Coral Alley. The event will include yoga, photos of adoptable cats, food and beverages and, at night, masquerade karaoke. Should be great fun, but please leave your cats at home. 3-11 p.m. Free. Coral Alley, north of 13th Street between Main and Clay Sts., Over-the-Rhine. More info: facebook.com/springinoursteps. — STEVEN ROSEN
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YOUR WEEKEND TO DO LIST: LOCAL.CITYBEAT.COM
ARTS & CULTURE
Ayesha Jordan created Shasta Geaux Pop as performance art, and a star was born BY B R I A N B A K ER
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hasta Geaux Pop, a mesmerizing stage production combining edgy humor, social commentary, blazing Hip Hop, dynamic performance art and hilarious audience participation choreographed by the titular star, is the work of three brilliant women. Only two of them are real. It comes to the Contemporary Arts Center this Thursday and Friday evenings as part of the 2017-18 season for its Black Box Performance Series. The show’s director is Charlotte Brathwaite, whose voluminous resume is matched by her creative vision, exploratory nature and immense talent. The show’s creator is Ayesha Jordan, an equally gifted performer, writer, lyricist and vocalist who is comfortable anywhere within the range between drama’s emotional depths and comedy’s spiky heights. And the show’s bright star is Shasta, Jordan’s musical alter ego, a dichotomous collision of impervious self-confidence and crippling insecurities who cajoles and exhorts her audience to join her, metaphorically and literally, on her improbable yet completely plausible path to the top, which may involve a presidential bid. When Jordan talks about Shasta (whose middle name is pronounced “goes”), she refers to her in the third person, as if she is her co-conspirator rather than her creation. In a very real sense, she is both. “I like to refer to her as my very dear friend whom I manage, or try to manage. She’s out of control,” Jordan says. “Shasta birthed herself out of a necessity to help me fix the issue of being an actor, artist and performer. “There was just a need to respond to pop culture. There’s so much that goes on that’s kind of ridiculous and over the top,” Jordan continues. “Back when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were constantly getting arrested, it seemed like trouble just helped them make more money.” That inspired Shasta’s first hit track, “Drunk and Famous.” Shasta has also become Jordan’s conduit to directly or indirectly discuss social, cultural and political issues; check Jordan’s website (ayeshajordan. com) for the Shasta 4 President 2020 video series for a taste of her political aspirations. It’s all part and parcel of Shasta’s role as a diva-in-training. Shasta Geaux Pop is the first full-length presentation featuring the Pop princess. She has made plenty of previous appearances, but in lower profile venues and circumstances. “A lot of her other
performances most people didn’t see because they were in some obscure places,” Jordan says. “Everything else she’s done has been smaller snippets of performances or in some basement/ speakeasy/friend’s bar.” Jordan and director Brathwaite met 12 years ago in Amsterdam, where Brathwaite was studying at the city’s School for the Arts and Jordan’s then-partner was enrolled in the master’s program. Brathwaite invited Jordan to be a part of the student show she was creating, which they wound up co-writing. Eventually the pair, who had maintained their friendship throughout their travels, found themselves in New York at the same time. “She asked if I would direct a show she wanted to make called Come See My Double D’s — the double D’s were divorce and death,” Brathwaite says. “So we did that show. She had been doing Shasta for awhile in clubs and stuff, she would dress up and do these fun little acts. I hadn’t really seen it at the time, but I went to one and it was amazing. I love working with her. Ayesha is just this bright shining light of energy.” Together, Jordan and Brathwaite designed the interactive performance, which they both describe as “a guided party.” Shasta mingles with the crowd like a host at a cocktail party, engaging and entertaining the audience directly, while singing her songs and making sly comments and references. Much of the show is scripted, particularly the songs, with lyrics by Jordan and music by Justin Hicks and Jo Collura (aka DJ Avg Jo), but there is plenty of room for improvisation and topicality. “There’s music, there’s drinks, there’s typically someone greeting folks, passing out candy,” Jordan says. “Once everybody’s in, the grande dame makes her entrance. Shasta starts speaking to people and singing — we have a song called ‘The Existential Thrust’ — and the night jumps off. “It’s a delicate balance between pulling people into the world and not overwhelming them. People hear ‘interactive’ and it’s, ‘Oh, God, don’t ask me to do anything.’ We try to make it integral to the performance so you want to do it. It’s really truly fun. There’s room for things to shift and change. “At any given moment, anything can happen,” she continues. “At our first performance at Under the Radar (a festival), Shasta was going down the steps and totally tripped and fell flat on her ass.
Ayesha Jordan as her alter ego, Shasta Geaux Pop. PHOTO: SET T Y MCINTOSH
That was an immediate moment, and she pretended like it was supposed to happen. That led into a song called ‘Insecurely Me.’ ” There is a cast for Shasta Geaux Pop, beyond the diva herself, that includes Brathwaite, Hicks, Collura and Ahkmose Ari (aka the Compliment King). Obviously, Shasta is the center of this staged universe, and she has a few themes to explore. “By the nature of who we are, a lot of our collaborations end up focusing on women, specifically black women, and empowerment and being able to talk about things you don’t often see black women talk about in large-scale formats,” Brathwaite says. “They’re not overtly political, but they do have an undercurrent of politics and feminism running through them.”
Says Jordan: “Feminist is a popular term right now, but I personally don’t use it. At a certain level, it can box you in. But we are trying to push certain things within that framework. I just want women to be empowered and not have to succumb to the whims of a patriarchal society and where that puts us. That’s one of Shasta’s purposes, to create that sense of ownership and self, and the ability to do what you want to do and see the world without regret.” Shasta Geaux Pop takes place Thursday and Friday at downtown’s Contemporary Arts Center. Tickets/more info: contemporaryartscenter.org
Horror Play Inspired by a True Story BY R I C K PEN D ER
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I’m not a big fan of being scared. My Minneapolis premiere went well, mantra has long been that the world is MacDonald says. “Horror as a genre is frightening enough without stories that honestly not at the top of a lot of people’s make my hair stand on end. But maybe lists. But we were getting more and more I’ve reached an age where my threshold for excited about the possibilities of shadow such tales has inched upward. A year ago I puppetry.” (That’s her particular experwas sucked into Stranger Things on Netflix tise.) “We thought, I don’t know if we can and ended up binging it in a few days. do scary, but we can do creepy!” More recently, I needed to fill a few That’s the atmosphere they strove evening hours while out of town; my for. Strickland calls the enacted dreams only option was a movie theater with one “micro-stories” within the narrative. Using screen showing Stephen King’s It. Well, a premise that ghosts don’t know who sure, there were moments when I was they are at first, details from mourners startled and a few that horrified me. But calling out a name or reminiscing at a no bad dreams afterwards. So maybe I’m inoculated. The latest test for my newfound resilience is Know Theatre’s Halloween Horror Double Bill, which opened last Friday and is onstage through Nov. 4. With 13 “dead dreams” and three zombie episodes, it’s adding up to evenings of off-kilter October entertainment for Know audiences. I had a chance to sit down recently with the creators of the bill’s fi rst half, 13 Dead Dreams of “Eugene.” Paul Strickland and Erika Kate MacDonErika Kate MacDonald and Paul Strickland in 13 Dead Dreams ald are familiar to Cincy PHOTO: PROVIDED Fringe fans with funny, punning stories from the “Big Fib Trailer Park” and a joint show, funeral begin to fi ll in the blanks. The Tales Too Tall for Trailers. Over the past play’s stories, in the form of “shared couple of years, they’ve been involved recurring nightmares” among the with several productions at Know, includcitizens of Sabina, tell us more about ing Andy’s House of [BLANK] and last seaEugene’s persona and motive. son’s Darkest Night at the Gnarly Stump. Strickland, a trained singer and musiOver the summer they performed cian, has written three full-length songs, at Fringe festivals across Canada. Now as well as other musical moments. “I they’re back in town and polishing up wrote all of the underscoring on piano Dead Dreams, which they debuted a year and guitar for the whole piece,” he says. ago at the Twin Cities Horror Festival. “Some of it I perform live, some is tracked.” Strickland’s fertile storytelling imagiHe says it resembles their Tales Too Tall nation had a jump start when he and for Trailers in its episodic nature, “But othMacDonald chanced upon Sabina, Ohio, erwise it is wildly different than anything an hour north of Cincinnati, and heard a else we have done.” weird true story from the tiny town’s past. In repertory with Strickland and MacAn unidentified man was found dead Donald’s production is The Zombie Odysthere in 1929 and embalmed, in hopes sey, a trilogy of solo-performance tales that someone might identify him. created by Ricky Coates. Blending physiThe only shred of evidence to his idencal theater and radio drama, Coates plays tity was a slip of paper in his coat pocket a zombie on an epic journey to reunite with a Cincinnati street address that with his wife, enacted by Sadie Bowman, proved to be an empty lot. The name of a a former Know Theatre employee and neighbor got connected to the deceased, past Fringe performer. Ticketed sepaand he came to be known as Eugene, rately, Coates’ and Bowman’s episodes visited by hundreds of thousands of curiare performed each evening after Dead osity seekers. After 35 years of display Dreams for the run, through Nov. 4. There in an outbuilding adjacent to a Sabina are also weekend matinees. Go to knowfuneral home, he was fi nally buried — theatre.com for details. still unknown. It adds up to some seriously creepy fun. Strickland and MacDonald used Contact Rick Pender: rpender@ this story as the springboard for 13 citybeat.com Dead Dreams of “Eugene.” The show’s
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Enter the Twilight Zone at Books by the Banks BY JAS O N G A R G A N O
Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone ran on they said, ‘Rod is the one who made me television for five seasons more than 50 want to be a writer, who showed me what years ago, from 1959 to 1964, but its impact the possibilities were in television.’ ” on the culture is immense and lasting. Serling — who was The Twilight Zone’s “It is probably the single most referlead writer, producer, narrator and host — enced TV show in political columns and grew up in Binghamton, N.Y., but he speeches,” says Dawidziak, a television found his future in Ohio. After a stint as a critic at The Cleveland Plain Dealer and paratrooper in World War II, Serling folauthor of the recently published book, lowed in the footsteps of his older brother Everything I Need to Know I Learned in and enrolled at Antioch College in Yelthe Twilight Zone. low Springs. He began his professional He will be one of some 150 authors career in 1950 with a three-year stint in appearing at Saturday’s 11th annual Cincinnati — fi rst as a network continuBooks by the Banks festival at the Duke ity writer at WLW radio, then as a staffer Energy Convention Center. Participants include such high-profile guests as jazz pianist Fred Hersch, a Cincinnati native who has written Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz, and Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News commentator whose sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes made major news. Her book is Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back. “Twilight zone” as a term is part of our everyday language, especially since Donald Trump became president. “How Mark Dawidziak wrote about classic TV series The Twilight Zone. many times in a month PHOTO: PROVIDED does somebody say, ‘This is a real Twilight Zone moment,’ or ‘We’re in the Twilight Zone’? at WKRC-TV, where he wrote scripts for a It has entered the vernacular,” Dawidziak comedy duo. All in all, Serling spent eight says. “So in that sense it’s iconic, and formative years in Ohio. when something is there iconically, it’s “When he went to Antioch he was thinkthere to be rediscovered. It’s always kind ing about becoming a physical education of there. That’s a great advantage The Twiteacher,” Dawidziak says. “He discovered light Zone has over a lot of shows that are writing at Yellow Springs. He discovered disappearing from cultural view.” he could work through the trauma of Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the war through writing, so Rod Serling the Twilight Zone is something of a “fi fth becomes a writer on Ohio soil. The Ohio dimension self-help book,” the author experience cannot be undervalued or says. Chapters center on lessons gleaned underestimated, because that’s where he from watching a given episode — 30-minbecomes one of the great American writute morality tales told via Serling’s inciers, and I think Rod Serling is one of the sive, often lacerating cultural critiques. great American writers. The Twilight Zone tackles topics ranging “A year after the end of The Twilight from the dangers of racism, bigotry and Zone, Star Trek starts, and Gene Roddencensorship to the pleasures of owning berry tells anybody who will listen that he dogs and the importance of self-discovery, learned what he did on Star Trek by watchall done through an entertaining televiing what Rod had done on The Twilight sion show that stands up as well today as Zone,” Dawidziak says. “If you put it on a did during its initial run. spaceship and send it out to the far reaches “I’ve been a TV critic since 1979, and I of the galaxy, you can say whatever you have not interviewed a show runner or want. You can talk about prejudice and writer for television who has not said that war and ignorance and all of these things, Rod Serling is his or her hero, that Rod and nobody is going to raise an eyebrow. Serling was the person that they most Put the same thing in a straight drama and admired,” Dawidziak says. “These are peoeverybody’s going to get angry and protest.” ple like David Chase, who did The SopraBooks by the Banks occurs 10 a.m.nos, or Vince Gilligan, who did Breaking 5 p.m. Saturday at downtown’s Duke Bad, or Matt Weiner, who did Mad Men. Energy Convention Center. Admission is That’s three writers right there, who don’t free. More info: booksbythebanks.org. do genre, who don’t do science fiction, and
Design Show Could Lead to a Festival BY S T E V EN R O S EN
DesignBuild and his future plans. “I don’t think we could roll this out and make it unique if not for the renovation of a lot of the empty buildings — because that’s the practice of architecture and design,” he says. Strickland, the Cincinnati-trained Portland architect who will be speaking on Saturday, is a Modernist, as a visit to the website of her ﬁrm, Works Progress Architecture, will attest. Her
KENTON WITH JOHN VON OHLEN CCM JAZZ ORCHESTRA Scott Belck, music director and conductor Featuring faculty artist “The Baron” John Von Ohlen
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Architect Carrie Strickland speaks Saturday.
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work includes dramatic adaptive reuse of urban sites, respecting older structures while also introducing new elements. “Look at cities around the world that have more links with history than we do in the U.S. and the way they deal with doing new modern projects next to beautiful historic structures,” she says. “They have a clear approach about being respectful, but not mimicking or aping what’s next to it. “That’s important,” she continues. “As you come in and do infi ll in areas that already have a strong historic character, doing things too similar dilutes the reality of that character. Being able to come in and create new structures that are obviously of a different era highlights and boosts the fabric that remains.” Hart believes that kind of view can be refreshing to hear. “I love modern design; I enjoy its presence in a historic environment if it fits,” he says. “I think Cincinnati can benefit from looking at what they’re doing in cities that are building more modern buildings.”
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The high of BLINK hasn’t begun to wear off yet, but there are already people thinking about what other kinds of new festivals Cincinnati needs. Doug Hart is taking active steps to create one, starting with this weekend’s DesignBuildCincy. The event, which has an admission fee, primarily is a specialized show in the Music Hall Ballroom, emphasizing the services being offered to potential customers by more than 100 design professionals as well as the work of artisan fabricators. “Some people in the younger generation call them makers,” Hart says. “(But) they fabricate for other people; a lot of makers do things for themselves.” It occurs Saturday and Sunday and is the return of an event held there in 2014-15. (Hart skipped a year while Music Hall was closed for renovations.) On Saturday at Memorial Hall, Hart is offering a new sidebar program that he hopes augers things to come — talks by architecture and design professionals. (It is separately ticketed, but price includes admission to Music Hall Ballroom.) There are five that feature local speakers under the banner Soapbox Speaker Series — Soapbox Cincinnati, an online publication, is the sponsor. And there are also three separate talks featuring national figures: • Chip Wade, a designer who hosts HGTV’s Elbow Room, will discuss “Art of the Amazing Space” at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. • Carrie Strickland, a Portland, Ore.based architect with a degree from University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, will speak on “Architectural Analogue: Amplifying Economic Growth and Creating Dense, Livable, Mixed Use Environments” at 10:45 a.m. She’s worked in inner-city Portland. • Doug Durban, who designs high-end kitchens and the products they contain, will speak on “Creating Your Own Path: The Importance of Being Original in a ‘Me Too’ Design World” at 2 p.m. Concurrently with DesignBuild, the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon will be offering its Doors Open: OTR tour, taking people into 25 Over-the-Rhine businesses and arts organizations that have committed to growth in the neighborhood. Put all these together, and Hart sees the makings of big future growth. “We want to be a design festival,” he says. “Most of those around the world have at least four areas they’ve programmed — trade shows, talks, events and a fourth that we’re not yet doing, temporary art installations. But we want to. We want to fi nd architect-fabricators who can build art. We want it to be put in parks, be free, be temporary and be architecturally interesting. So we’re hoping this evolves into a design festival that helps the community recognize its importance.” Hart recognizes the importance of being located in Over-the-Rhine for both
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‘The Florida Project’ Sees an Invisible Class BY T T S T ER N - EN ZI
We see what we want to see; that’s how unexplored in most of Dafoe’s work, a invisibility actually works. There’s nothdeep reservoir of humanity that feels ing miraculous or special about being like the second coming of his Jesus from unseen. While it served as a metaphoric Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation superpower for the Invisible Girl in the of Christ. Fantastic Four comic book series, in real Bobby sees that Moonee’s childish life it can define the forgotten rather than pranks lack malicious intent, but there’s the extraordinary. a longing to protect her from the days In The Florida Project, the latest fi lm ahead when life will crack her open and from Sean Baker (Tangerine), we see a empty all of the joy from her tiny body. little girl, a rambunctious six-year old Bobby loves Halley enough to offer her named Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) with chances to make her life and situation a smart mouth and a carefree attitude better, even though he knows she is not (truth be told, she’s all attitude). We can’t in a position to take advantage of them. help but see her sass and spunk and her wonderful sense of abandon. She is a wild child, a real-life Peter Pan freed from social order and even the strictures of what we might appreciate as magic realism. Moonee makes her own magic or luck, and she does it, intriguingly, in the squalid shadow of Disney World. But to those who visit that tourist destination, she’s invisible. (Walt Disney initially referred to his Orlando theme park as “the Florida project” when it was being planned.) Willem Dafoe and Brooklynn Price Curiously, we never PHOTO: COURTESY OF A 24 see that Magic Kingdom in this fi lm, much as it dominates the image of Orlando to the None of that matters to him. He shows us nation as a whole. how to see others’ faults and frailties and But then again, neither does Moonee, to continue to forgive. because she can’t afford to cross its halIf it is easy to reference the righteous lowed gates. Moonee and her ragtag crew anger and judgment of the Old Testaof crafty playmates (Valeria Cotto and ment, then The Florida Project presents a Christopher Rivera) live in a low-rent modern example of the New Testament’s motel, unseen by everyone except the call to love the lowest and least-protected other hapless denizens of this marginalin society. The only way to achieve this is ized realm. to truly see this otherwise invisible class. Baker lifts the veil of invisibility from Take away the religious overtones for our eyes, training his camera on Moonee a moment, while daring to embrace the and Halley (Bria Vinaite), her mother. spirituality, and it is plain that Baker Halley is ferociously fighting for life. She has crafted the perfect fi lm for festivals. is an impossible mixture of bottomless I caught The Florida Project at Toronto, love and bad choices; the tragic reflecwhere audiences tend to feast on such tion of what may await Moonee, maybe a fare. There, we see characters like decade down the road. And that is exactly Moonee, Halley and Bobby, who seem what Baker shows us with an unfl inching so different from us yet so authentic, and gaze, which renders the fleeting moments we leave the theater eager to share our of fun in starkly beautiful relief. He makes stories of connection with them. It makes sure that we see a darker alternative to us feel good to relate to their experience what Stevie Wonder meant in the title to from this safe distance. his song “Joy Inside My Tears.” But we shouldn’t mistake what we are The falling tears don’t belong excluseeing in the frames of Baker’s Project. sively to us (and our newly opened eyes), There is something real and pressing in though. Our emotional stand-in through this vision that requires us to remain The Florida Project is Bobby (Willem attuned to the plights of people like Dafoe), the overworked manager of the Moonee and Halley. The challenge, for motel complex where Moonee and Halaudiences, is to step inside Bobby and ley reside. As if written specifically for walk in his shoes, to embrace the cold his richly craggy face, the character taps reality with all of the undying warmth in all of the warmth and charm heretofore our hearts. (Opens Nov. 10.) (R) Grade: A
Nathan Fielder Is Here to Rescue Us All BY JAC K ER N
elaborate stunts to achieve basic results. His deadpan delivery allows for awkward, painful pauses that make you wonder how on earth he doesn’t break character. Elsewhere, the owner of a massage parlor wants to encourage customers to splurge on its higher-priced offerings. Naturally, Fielder creates a fake nonprofit called City Warts, aimed at getting folks with contagious warts into the workforce. When customers realize the least expen-
Nathan for You is funnier than ever. PHOTO: IAN WHITE
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Contact Jac Kern: @jackern
sive massage package is administered by a charity-sponsored wart person, they’re sure to opt for the next level up. As ridiculous and hilarious as Nathan For You is, the show actually inspires these genuine human scenes. As two “Wart Angels” wait for massage customers that never come, one discusses his love for baking. “Is it the baking you like, or is it the look in the person’s eyes that you baked it for?” the other philosophically poses. “Both,” he emphatically responds. It’s at once humorous and heartwarming. One could argue the participants in the show are overly naïve in not realizing Fielder’s ridiculous tactics for what they are and that they’re being played for laughs — though by all accounts their responses are for real and Fielder’s part is the only quasi-scripted role. But somehow this show devoted to utter mockery isn’t really mean-spirited at all. In fact, it’s typically Fielder at the butt of the joke, eager to skewer himself and a self-congratulatory genre of reality TV all at once. He succeeds at that very well.
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Two years had passed since Canadian comic Nathan Fielder last shared his entrepreneurial expertise by way of parodying business-rescue programs, which led to speculation that his show was cancelled or its host had moved on to a new project. After three seasons of a series brilliantly mocking expert-takeover shows, it would make sense if Fielder ran out of ideas or became too recognizable to get away with his infamous stunts. Luckily, none of that was the case. Nathan For You (10 p.m. Thursdays, Comedy Central) is back and funnier than ever as Fielder presents ridiculous tactics to help struggling small businesses. While a show like Bar Rescue might rename an establishment or revamp its building with a new theme to attract customers, Nathan For You will go to lengths as great as hiring a celebrity impersonator to leave a giant tip at a diner to spark media attention. The season kicked off with a recap/ reunions special looking back at the show’s past participants. And while this is a satire, some of its success stories are not. Private investigator Brian Wolfe, who appeared in a few Nathan episodes, actually landed his own Investigation Discovery show, Cry Wolfe. “Ghost Realtor” Sue Stanford, whom Fielder rebranded in Season 2, still advertises her services as such and has even partnered with a psychic to ensure all home buyers that their new houses are spirit-free. Fielder spent a majority of the special serving subtle jabs to the host, a real actor previously used in the first season when Fielder created a fake Bachelor-type show, The Hunk, to get over his fear of meeting women (often the problems he aims to solve are his own personal issues). This brand of uncomfortable humor is a hallmark of Nathan. In a world where even the most charismatic starlets claim to be socially awkward, Fielder ups the ante, extended eye contact and all. Despite the length between seasons, this one picks right back up with the owner of a local diner looking to drive up sales. Instead of retooling the restaurant’s marketing or menu, Fielder hires a Michael “Kramer” Richards impersonator to patronize the diner and leave a giant tip, hopefully prompting some free publicity. But Fielder doesn’t stop there: He finds a willing participant who legally changes his name to Michael Richards in order to obtain a bank card for the impersonator to use (lest the celebrity tip appear inauthentic). And while the diner owner would have preferred a spot on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives — “I don’t know how to get on that show,” Fielder says, blankly — he does enjoy some press coverage when the charade pans out. Like a Rube Goldberg machine for rescuing businesses, Fielder orchestrates
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FOOD & DRINK
Drink Pairing Hi-Mark offers signature sandwiches and a true neighborhood feel in Columbia Tusculum BY M A D G E M A R I L
Smoked Pork Bánh Mì with crinkle fries and chips P H O T O : hailey bolli n ger
Hi-Mark 3229 Riverside Drive, Columbia Tusculum, thehimark.com; Hours: 4 p.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; noon-2 a.m. Saturday; noon-midnight Sunday.
napkins. You’ll need all of them to clean yourself up with after wolfing down the food. The Smoked Pork Bánh Mì I tried elevated Eli’s classic pulled pork sandwich to a new height, combining the meat with do chua, cucumber, Eli’s own BBQ sauce, cilantro and green onion. The fermented bite of the pickled vegetables cut through the BBQ. If that’s not enough for you, each sandwich served with a side of golden crinkle fries. I also opted to sample the bar’s Psychobeer Cheese, made with Madtree Psychopathy IPA (since what is more Cincinnati than food made out of an IPA?). I dipped my crinkle fries in the beer cheese while watching a game on one of the bar’s many TVs. After consuming more delicious calories than Guy Fieri does in a week, I decided I needed a drink. One of the most accessible features of Hi-Mark is the cocktail menu. Each drink includes the option to go with the basic well liquor served in the cocktail, or an upgrade to a premium liquor. The options show how well HiMark understands its clientele: Some
will want a fancy cocktail to savor the complexity, and some will want one just to knock back in a minute flat. I went with the Cuba Libre, a mix of rum, simple syrup, lime juice and Coke. I’ve been a big fan of rum and cokes since my college days, but to see the Cuban cocktail done traditionally at an Ohio bar is interesting. The Cuba Libre (meaning “Free Cuba”), rumored to have been invented in the early 1900’s, was consumed as a toast to the freedom of Cuba by Spanish-American war soldiers. Of course, back then it wasn’t coke, but cola — a mix of dark syrups with rum. The lime juice brings out the texture of the rum. I went with the well rum for my Hi-Mark Cuba Libre, though I wish I’d upgraded to the premium — the sweetness of the simple syrup and Coke would be perfectly balanced by a smooth upper shelf rum. If cocktails aren’t your thing, there are also a wide selection of craft brews like Blank Slate, Ballast Point, Woodburn and Rhinegeist, or just cozy up with a Miller High Life. The bar is gorgeously
decorated with kitschy old signs and industrial lighting, but this isn’t a snobby OTR bar that will smirk when you order a High Life. Like nearby Pearl’s, the building is a former home that was built in the 1860s. The bar exposes much of the early brickwork, and the basement game room feels like walking down into my family home’s lower level. It’s a warm and homey feeling. The name Hi-Mark comes from the demarcation of where the floodwater peaked in 1937. “The history of Cincinnati and the Ohio River will always be intertwined, and we wanted to respect and pay homage to that, especially since it has affected our project so directly,” said Mike Dew of Lang Thang Group in a news release marking the opening of the bar. A true neighborhood feel permeates Hi-Mark. It’s a perfect addition to the East End — a modern watering hole that respects the history of the area and brings Cincinnati’s culinary renaissance to the locals.
Find more restaurant NEWS AND reviews at CityBeat.com/ food-drink
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he East End hasn’t always been a main stop on most Cincinnatians’ nightlife or culinary tours of the city, but recent food and bar additions like Eli’s BBQ and Pearl’s have drawn renewed attention to the area, and for good reason. A new collaboration between Eli’s and the folks behind another popular restaurant team — the Lang Thang Group — is the latest welcome addition to Columbia Tusculum: the newly christened HiMark, a nautical sports bar with a menu that packs a punch. The modern, open space is perfect for catching a ball game on one of the plentiful TVs or cozying up at a high-top table to enjoy one of the more creative culinary offerings you’ll find at a local sports bar. Both the menu and space are quirky — go check out the beer wolf statue on the second floor — but feel as natural as the bar offering Fresca. Some things are weird, but they work. Half the menu comes from the Eli’s BBQ side, whose pulled pork sandwich and so-thick-it-breaks-your-plasticspoon macaroni and cheese proved their worth long ago. On any given day, Eli’s is so loaded with customers it could make the most chic and popular OTR restaurant jealous. Back when it had limited seating inside and outside, I remember waiting in line forever for one of the coveted indoor tables. Hi-Mark’s other culinary inspiration comes from the Lang Thang side, the people that brought us the beloved Overthe-Rhine eateries Pho Lang Thang and Quan Hapa. Their flavors dance across Hi-Mark’s menu with the unreal Smoked Pork Bánh Mì and Lang Thang Chili. The South meets Vietnam in Hi-Mark’s Southern-Fried Chicken Thigh Sandwich, topped with tangy coleslaw and tossed in Buffalo sauce. Wings are available in orders of six or 12 with sauces ranging from classic Buffalo style to Eli’s BBQ sauce, garlic pepper lime or a dry rub. A basket of crinkle fries can be “loaded” with variations of bacon, cheddar, green onion, tomatoes, scallions and either beer cheese or Lang Thang Chili. Both of the bar’s signature sandwiches are served on hefty baguettestyle breads with a heftier side of
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Halloween Events & Fall Beers BY G A R I N PI R N I A
Finally, crisp autumn nights have Blue Ash is poised to get another brewreplaced summertime, and that means ery when the music-themed Fretboard robust fall beers, food pairings, plus Brewery opens on Nov. 4. They will pour weekend Halloween celebrations. beers, like Jazz (American Stout) and On Friday night, Rhinegeist will throw Lyric (Hoppy Wheat Ale), and of course its annual Halloween bash. There will be will have live music. live music and a catwalk Halloween cosEvents tume show, with the 50 best hand-crafted On Oct. 30, Science on Tap hosts an costumes (nothing store-bought) preevening at Fibonacci called “Bats, Not So picked to strut their stuff. (On Saturday, Spooky.” Over some pints learn how benRhinegeist continues the festivities with eficial bats are to farmers, and be reasRare Beer Fest. The event is sold-out.) sured that they don’t turn into Dracula. Also on Friday, Taft’s puts on a Silent On Nov. 4, Fifty West and Great Lakes Disco Costume Party at their OTR locaBrewing Company once again get together tion. The idea is simple: Wear a costume, dance silently. First place will win a Wicked Cool Cooler and second place wins a $100 Taft’s gift card. Of course, Darkness Brewing goes all out for Halloween. Continued from last weekend, this weekend features two more nights of spooktacular happenings. On Friday, they’ll host a horror-movie trivia, and on Saturday, expect karaoke and a costume contest, alongside a haunted maze and fortune tellers. Now would be a good time to try Witch Head Nebula, a red IPA. On Friday, board games 50 West and Great Lakes will host the Great Ohio Brew n’ Que. haunt The Rook and BraxPHOTO: SCOT T DIT TGEN ton Brewing co-hosts an evening of Trick Or Treat for the annual Great Ohio Brew n’ Que. Yo’ Self on the Rook’s second floor. Food Tickets are $40 and include an unlimited and drink specials will be on hand, and buffet of wings, beef brisket, pulled pork, so will a costume contest and Braxton mac n’ cheese and Fifty West brownies. Labs’ Chocolate Pepper Porter on draft. Each ticket comes with eight beer tickets, Moerlein gets into the seasonal spirit including a chance to try a Fifty West and on Saturday with Boos and Brews HallowGreat Lakes collaboration brew. een Bash, held at their Malthouse locale. Local chocolatier Velveteen Chocolate Eli’s BBQ will cater, and the bar will offer and Wooden Cask put on a beer and chocMoerlein drafts, themed cocktails and olate pairing on Nov. 4 at Wooden Cask’s Jell-O syringes. If you’re feeling lucky, taproom. Four beers will align with four enter the costume contest. Admission is chocolates, such as dark chocolate lime, $5, which benefits Over-the-Rhine Chamand salted caramel. Tickets are $22 and ber of Commerce. include a pint of beer. New Beers Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, but Braxton Last week Nine Giant unveiled its latest will celebrate the holiday a day early on seasonal beer, Howling at Nothing, a Nov. 10, when they honor Covington’s black walnut pecan porter. fi refighters with a tapping of a beer made Woodburn Brewery teamed up with by members of IAFF Local 38. Mount St. Joseph University to brew Listermann’s Nov. 15 Trivia with a Winter Blues Oatmeal stout. It is available Twist will be Hip-Hop themed. Questions at their taproom and “can help curb those will focus on East Coast and West Coast inevitable winter blues early.” Hip-Hop and current music. A dollar Urban Artifact recently unveiled Owler, from every pint purchased will support a “cool weather perennial.” It is a tart Elementz, a local urban arts center. vanilla brown made with vanilla beans, On Nov. 19, Moerlein hosts Brunch, and is available on draft and in cans at Brews, and Breweries. The morning the taproom. begins at Moerlein’s OTR Malthouse. A couple weeks ago, 13 Below Brewery Then, take the Cincinnati Connector opened in Sayler Park. They are open to Moerlein Lager House for a brunch, Thursday through Sunday, and have food followed by tours of the breweries. trucks on the premises most days. Tickets are $45.
CLASSES & EVENTS WEDNESDAY 25
Oktoberfest Cooking Class — Celebrate German heritage with this class. Learn how to cook favorite Oktoberfest dishes like sauerkraut balls, schnitzel, potato pancakes and apple strudel. 6-9 p.m. $65. Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, cincinnatistate.edu.
Four Nights of Nostalgia — Krohn celebrates Cincinnati days gone by with Four Nights of Nostalgia. This time, guest speaker Greg Hardman from Christian Moerlein tells tales of Cincinnati’s beer history. Adults only. 6-7:30 p.m. $15; includes a drink ticket and light refreshments. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiparks.com. Taste of Nature: Persimmon — Learn why a ripe persimmon is the “fruit of the gods” while exploring the native tree’s history, lore and botany. Elegant Fare catering will be on hand with some unique creations featuring the fruit. 6:30-7:30 p.m. $10 members; $19 non-members. Krippendorf Lodge, Cincinnati Nature Center, 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, cincynature.org.
Vegan Culinary Class — Each chef group will work at their own station to prepare vegan dishes, including a summer grain Buddha bowl and sesame tahini cookies. 6-8 p.m. $79. Findlay Kitchen, 1719 Elm St.,
Over-the-Rhine, uc.edu/ce/ commu.html.
Central Parkway, Clifton, cincinnatistate.edu.
Mystery at the Mansion Dinner Theater — The Rivertown Players presents an evening of original mystery theater, paired with a three-course meal. 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $45; $40 members. Hillforest Victorian House Museum, 213 E. Fifth St., Aurora, Ind., hillforest.org. Taps & Tarot — Celebrate the season with Taps & Tarot, Fibonacci Brewing’s popular mystical event series. Get a reading by Sarah Hayes and drink beer. 6-10:30 p.m. $15 readings. Fibonacci Brewing, 1445 Compton Road, Mount Healthy, facebook.com/ fibonaccibrewing. Murder Mystery Dinner Train — All aboard the LM&M railroad for a night of mystery and a multi-course meal. Suspicious characters will board the train and a mystery will unfold as you travel through Southwest Ohio. The ride stops at the Golden Lamb for a buffet dinner and cash bar before you return to the train to solve the mystery. 6:15 p.m. boarding. $84.95. LM&M station, 127 S. Mechanic, Lebanon, lebanonrr.com/ mystery.html. Haunted Booze Cruise — This Halloween-themed pleasure cruise includes a costume contest, food buffet, two complimentary drinks (and an additional cash bar) and a DJ. 7:30 p.m. boarding. $65. WayBack Entertainment, 100 Columbia St., Newport, Ky., eventbrite.com/e/cincinnatihaunted-booze-cruisetickets-36618047566. Iconic Reds from Around the World — Taste some of the most popular red wine varietals including cabernet, malbec and pinot noir, while learning how these wines express themselves in different regions around the world. Must be 21 or older. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $75. Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, 3520
Rare Beer Fest — Head to Rhinegeist for some extraordinary, typically unobtainable and unexpected brews. Breweries from across the country will journey to Cincinnati with their rarest beers for a daylong celebration. Noon-5 p.m. $40-$60. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-theRhine, rhinegeist.com. The Krohn Zone Explores Spices — Join chef Ursula for this fun class covering inspired appetizers. 1-3 p.m. Included with Krohn admission: $4 adults; $2 ages 5-17. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiparks.com.
Brews on the Block — Three days of live music and craft beer in the heart of Cheviot. Participating breweries and wineries include Rhinegeist, MadTree, West Side Brewing, Fifty West and Henke. 6 p.m.midnight Friday; 4 p.m.midnight Saturday; 4-9 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Downtown Cheviot, brewsontheblock.com. Halloqueen Drag Brunch — This drag brunch will be full of glitter, fangs and skyhigh heels as local queens do the Monster Mash before a family-style brunch with fabulous cocktails. “Frighteningly divine” costumes encouraged. 11:30 a.m.2 p.m. $35. Metropole, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, facebook.com/ metropoleonwalnut.
Recipes of Michael Symon — Iron Chef and Ohio native Michael Symon is known for his bold and balanced meals. The menu features panko-crusted chicken with Sriracha honey sauce, braised kale and collared greens with bacon and pan-roasted potatoes with spicy aioli. 6-8 p.m. $75. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.
Sun-Thurs 11am - 9pm Fri-Sat 11am - 11pm 4 1 7 2 H a m i l t o n av e C i n C i n n at i o H , 4 5 2 2 3
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Taste of the Decades Bourbon — Sample some of Kentucky’s rarest bourbons with Southern cuisine from Tousey House Tavern. Event also includes cocktails, a silent auction, raffles, live music from The Tillers and a meet and greet with bourbon producers to benefit the Dragonfly Foundation. 6:30-11 p.m. $200; $450 VIP. Tousey House Tavern, 5963 N. Jefferson St., Burlington, Ky., dragonfly.org/events/ taste-of-the-decades.
Most classes and events require registration and classes frequently sell out.
Postmodern Family Viral phenomenon Postmodern Jukebox serves as a launching pad for emerging vocal talent BY B R I A N B A K ER
C i t y B e at. c o m | O c t. 2 5 – 3 1, 2 0 1 7
cott Bradlee fell in love with Jazz as a 12-year-old living in New Jersey, then went on to study music at the University of Hartford, returning to his New York birthplace to join the flourishing Jazz scene. He found success as a performer, but in 2009 he discovered his calling when he began rearranging Pop hits as Jazz numbers and then conceived “Hello My Ragtime ’80s,” which reimagined ’80s songs as Scott Joplin-era rags. Videos Bradlee and his friends shot for the project went viral (assisted by a tweet from renowned author Neil Gaiman). Bradlee’s first album in this vein, 2012’a Mashups by Candlight, was quickly followed by A Motown Tribute to Nickelback, which was exactly as advertised. The Nickelback-as-R&B collective was the foundation for what ultimately became Postmodern Jukebox, Bradlee’s rotating cast of vocalists and musicians that performs his flawless Jazz arrangements of songs by everyone from Miley Cyrus and Lorde to The White Stripes and Radiohead. Over the past five years, Bradlee and PMJ’s numerous albums and songs have hovered around the upper echelon of the charts. PMJ’s YouTube channel generates millions of views, helping to draw thousands of slavish fans to its concerts. During its rise, PMJ has featured an incredible roll call of talent, many of whom, like Robyn Adele Anderson and Haley Reinhart, have used the band as a springboard to success outside the project. But as newcomer Dani Armstrong explains, when you’re in Postmodern Jukebox, you’re in for life. “The special thing about PMJ is that no one ever really leaves,” Armstrong says as she prepares for the group’s sixth tour in the past year. “It’s such a family-based performance company that everyone is always coming back. We just did a PBS special that will be shown to millions around the world (beginning in November) and a lot of (past PMJ singers) came in for that. “I was contemplating doing this other job for awhile and our manager, Jaron Lowenstein, said, ‘We just want PMJ to be part of your story on your way to the most success you could possibly have.’ I
Postmodern Jukebox with Dani Armstrong (center) in Las Vegas P H O T O : S ta c ie H ess
thought that was so cool. People do their own albums and tours, but it’s a family environment and you’re never really out of the family.” (The PBS special, filmed at a show in Las Vegas, will also be released as a DVD and an album — the group’s first live one — titled The New Classics, which releases Nov. 17.) Armstrong joined PMJ last July with an impressive résumé in hand. A Detroit native with a musician father and an opera singer/music education mother, Armstrong was recruited in high school by the Young Americans, a Californiabased performance group that travels extensively to promote music education and the re-funding of local school districts. Armstrong had already applied at the University of Michigan and New York University, but withdrew her applications to join the Young Americans. “They’ve got the top professors and instructors, so it’s kind of like going to college for four years but at the same time doing an outreach program,” Armstrong says. “It was a high-level industry education, but also giving back. My parents were like typical parents. They said, ‘Go ahead, Dani, run off to join the circus for one year.’ I’ve been out here for like 18 years.” After the Young Americans, Armstrong embarked on other projects, including the Perfect Angels, a performance group
that entertained overseas troops; she wound up doing six tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. Two years ago, Armstrong was singing in a production called Top Rock when a rehearsal video of her version of “Natural Woman” went viral. “It was 10 in the morning when our choreographer filmed that — of course it’s when you’re in your pajamas with your hair in a bun that 30 million people see you,” she says with a laugh. “I’m just the girl in the skull pajamas now.” Through a musician who became a friend because of the Top Rock video, Armstrong was invited to sing a song at a popular restaurant/lounge in Beverly Hills. PMJ manager Lowenstein happened to catch Armstrong’s contribution that evening, then went to great lengths to contact her. “He had to call the restaurant owner who called the venue owner who called the venue manager who called the bandleader who called the bass player who knew me,” Armstrong says. “Somehow by 9 a.m. the next morning he found my email address to ask me if I wanted to be in Postmodern Jukebox.” For the last 15 months, Armstrong has been a PMJ fixture singing other vocalists’ songs, such as her operatic Latin Tango version of Sia’s “Chandelier,” borrowed from PMJ stalwart clown Puddles Pity Party. She did a YouTube video for
Bradlee’s slow-burn arrangement of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So,” which is right in Armstrong and PMJ’s ‘90s AltRock wheelhouse and part of the fall tour’s set list. “I’ve sort of become the Jessica Rabbit/ torch ballad/lounge singer/I’m-not-badI’m-just-drawn-that-way girl. I have fluorescent red hair, and I think that’s where it comes from,” Armstrong says. “Scott kind of did things backward with me. He had me doing shows with PMJ before I even did a YouTube video, which I take as high praise and him having some faith in me. I said in an Instagram post yesterday, ‘I have no idea how I got so lucky to be in the group, but Scott, I know exactly why you’re a superstar.’ He is just infinitely talented.” Bradlee builds flexibility into the Postmodern Jukebox set list in case someone from stops in for a surprise cameo, which can happen anywhere. For Armstrong, the best part of PMJ is the live experience. “There is nothing pre-recorded, nothing fake or phony. It’s 100 percent real music,” she says. “It’s an authentic live music experience, which if you look at the industry today is not the norm. Every single night, everything happens in that moment live. Scott has raised the standard for performers.” Postmodern Jukebox comes to the Taft Theatre Tuesday. More info: tafttheatre.org.
A ‘Sad Story’ You’ll Want to Hear BY M I K E B R EEN
that is infectious. Shannon’s strong, emotive voice resembles Caleb Followill, whose Kings of Leon also provides a good point of reference when trying to describe Shannon’s sound (if those Tennessee-based Rock superstars turned the twang dial up just a notch, is there any doubt they’d be a formidable presence on the Country charts?). But that’s just a starting point. Another Sad Story’s hard-driving opening track “Suburban Lament” sets the scene nicely, mixing Classic Rock melodies and a few Country/Heartland
BY M I K E B R EE N
It’s been said that listening to music on vinyl offers a depth and warmness you can’t get from digital files. Another unique thing vinyl can offer? Human bodily matter. “Liquid vinyl” releases (where fluid visibly moves around within the record) have included human blood, pee and hair, while the band Perfect Pussy infused its singer’s blood into the vinyl during the pressing process. A surprisingly sweet twist on the “trend” comes from British band Idles, which recently pressed 100 copies of its debut album, Brutalism, with the ashes of singer Joe Talbot’s late mother. Talbot said it was a tribute to how important she was to him, the band and the album, which also featured a photo of his mom on the cover.
Bringing Sexy Back?
Taylor Shannon’s Another Sad Story EP PHOTO: PROVIDED
DeLonge Still Spacey
Singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge has been mocked a lot since leaving Blink-182 due to his “study” of aliens and UFOs, which he claims is backed by government higher-ups. Now he wants to build a spaceship. DeLonge is seeking investors and partnerships to cover the enormous cost of building the “ElectroMagnetic vehicle,” which he says will “travel instantaneously through space, air and water by engineering the fabric of space/time.” Laugh, but when we’re all finally teleporting thanks to Nobel Prize winner Dr. Saint DeLonge, he’ll probably make sure aliens ban you from galactic travel.
motel faces, season 10
frontier folk nebraska w/ dusty bryant
krystal peterson & the queen city band, queen city silver stars
alex napping, leggy
future science: sketch comedy
mo n 30
the boone county hayride
word of mouth: open poetry writer’s night w/ kyle
free live music now open for lunch
1404 main st (513) 345-7981
11 /21 10/27 11 /5
the skull hawkbill, mollusk
johnny dowd ernie johnson From detroit harlequins, pop empire, hGd
the cincy brass eric harland’s rude unkal
buy tickets at motr or woodwardtheater.com
C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Contact Mike Breen: email@example.com
Though not even at the halfway mark of the current NFL season, a few things are certain about this year’s Super Bowl: the game is Feb. 4; it’ll be held in the covered and heated U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis; the Cincinnati Bengals won’t be playing; and Justin Timberlake will be performing the halftime show. Unless the NFL decides to get cheeky and playful (ha!), don’t place a bet that one of the celebrities making a cameo during Timberlake’s set will be Janet Jackson — February’s appearance is the ex-NSYNCer’s first since 2004’s Super Bowl, when he tugged on Jackson’s outfit to reveal her bejeweled nipple, a moment that remains the NFL’s biggest controversy outside of the murder and brain damage stuff. Odds that Jimmy Fallon makes a cameo, however, are astronomically high.
Rock platitudes (“Th is old truck…”) with punchy guitar that moves between punkish face-slaps, AltRock octave climbs, big held chords and — I shit you not — rhythmic, trickling plucking akin to early Blink-182 or No Doubt riffs. The band gears down on the twinkling, slowsimmering “Passing Th rough,” which features some rich multi-part vocal harmonies, before throttling up again on EP highlight “Gone,” with guitar work that would make Jack White smirk approvingly and hooks so instantly memorable you could label it Power Pop (if, you know, you’re into labels). Sad Story decelerates again as it comes to a close, with the swirling, eerie atmospherics of “A Long Goodbye” and the yearning closer “Secrets,” which strips away the distortion and bombast, replacing it with an airy acoustic sparseness. The nakedness of the fi nal track offers a great reminder that, while the lively musical variance makes Another Sad Story a thoroughly entertaining and euphonious listen, at its essence, Shannon’s rich, soulful songwriting is what makes it such a potent one. Visit taylorshannonmusic.com for more info.
1345 main st motrpub.com
A Fitting Vinyl Tribute
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Talented Cincinnati singer/songwriter Taylor Shannon and his band 2Bit Smoke Parade host a “Halloween Bash”/EP release party in honor of their outstanding, recently issued EP, Another Sad Story, Friday at The Southgate House Revival (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, southgatehouse.com). The show starts at 8:30 p.m. with openers Sundae Drives and The Midwesterners. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Showing less willingness to adhere to long-established stylistic expectations (which have developed for reasons ranging from tradition to commercial concerns) in favor of following their muses wherever their diverse access-toeverything listening tastes take them, upcoming generations of music creators are becoming increasingly genre fluid, with many (perhaps unintentionally) reshaping musical styles into something more multidimensional and varied. While curiosity and exploration have led to such shape-shifting throughout music’s history, it was usually more evolutionary, manifesting itself as “sub-genres” that amassed their own fi xed “rules” over time. The sonic expansion of today seems more like a broadening and loosening of the defi nitions of the one-word core genres, something reflected in the music being released and the inclination of the general fanbase of a particular musical category to accept it (a symbiotic relationship, to be sure). Where once answering the question “What kind of music do you like?” with “Oh, I listen to everything” could be seen as nervous small talk, such a response from a young music fan in 2017 is more likely to come from a place of sincerity and honesty. A good example of the phenomenon can be found in Country music, where vintage-styled, tradition-minded acts and earthier Rock-fueled artists coexist at award shows, amongst critics and on the charts with acts boasting a more Pop-oriented sound, which itself has the footprints of everything from Bluegrass and Folk to EDM, Hip Hop and other mainstream Pop. Taylor Shannon is often tagged as a Country artist (he won the Country trophy at the 2016 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and is up for the same honor this year) and, besides augmenting it with “Rock” and “Soul” identifiers, he doesn’t shy away from the classification. But as he and 2Bit Smoke Parade show with the six songs that make up Another Sad Story, the term Country is relative. It’s such an engaging mesh of styles, you’ll feel bad for the stodgy, less open-minded music lover who might never give Shannon a chance because he or she “hates Country music.” It’s their loss. Classic, Southern and Modern Rock play just as big of a role on Another Sad Story, giving it a vibrancy and energy
111 E 6th St Newport, KY 41071
SOUND ADVICE bass positions. In 2014, Dan Shaw took over for longtime keyboardist Norman Dimitrouleas, joining Houser, Chafi n and Dimitrouleas’ bassist brother Dino. Early last year, the band learned that Norman had passed away (the day before David Bowie’s unexpected death). A devastated Dino announced his indeterminate hiatus from the band, which added longtime friend Jake “Baby Hands” Goldberg as his interim replacement. From the beginning, The Werks have survived turmoil and tragedy, forging even stronger bonds internally and with
live MusiC no Cover
Wednesday 10/25 Burning Caravan 8-11
Thursday 10/26 Todd Hepburn & Friends 8-11
Friday 10/27 Dixie Karas with The Steve Schmidt Trio 8-12
saTurday 10/28 The Steve Schmidt Trio 8-12 CoCktails
Wed. - Fri. open @ 4pm | Sat. open @ 6pm 125 West Fourth st. | CinCinnati, ohio 45202
TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE SOUTHGATE HOUSE LOUNGE OR TICKETFLY.COM 10/25 elizabeth cook, darrin bradbury; the promise hero, selfhelpme, sleepy limbs, brother airborne, the exit strategy; chuck cleaver & mark utley: oct. artists in residence, lisa walker (of wussy) 10/26 kris lager band, calumet, wilder 10/27 taylor shannon & the 2bit smoke parade, sundae drives, the midwesterns; the tammy whynots, lost coast 10/28 blues & boo bash! tullie brae band, the doug hart band, tempted souls band, lil red & the rooster, ben levin & the heaters, brian keith wallen, ricky nye, pit to plate bbQ truck 10/29 mewithoutyou, pianos become the teeth, strawberry girls 10/30 kacy & clayton 10/31 a night of surrealistic appalachian goth: chalk eye, shawn spencer
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The Werks PHOTO: JARED RIGSBY
The Werks with Ekoostik Hookah Saturday • Madison Theater The last half of The Werks’ 12-year run has been a wild ride, to say the least. The Dayton, Ohio Jam/Psych/Funk quartet met at a local band competition in 2005 and vowed to work together, ultimately naming themselves after a component of their first meal together at a local restaurant. Almost immediately after their official 2007 formation, The Werks released their debut album, Dig It, to ecstatic response from the Jam community. Since then, the band has cemented its well-deserved reputation with five more studio albums (including the recently released Magic, which showcases new bassist Jake Goldberg and the multitude of genres the band works within) and two live releases that captured the band’s estimable stage skills. It’s those live shows that have done the most for helping The Werks make a mark within the Jam universe, as the group hit up every appropriate festival in the States and overseas, including Camp Bisco, All Good, High Sierra, Wakarusa and Electric Forest. The band even went so far as to create its own annual event, the Werk Out Music and Arts Festival, in 2010. This year, the band debuted two more Werk Out fests — Winter Werk Out in Columbus, Ohio this past February and Werk Out West in Denver a month later. Between their relentless road schedule and fully packed slate of fest appearances, The Werks’ profi le rose quickly amongst Jam fans; in 2011, the band hit the No. 2 position of top searches on popular Jam site jambase.com, second only to Phish. In 2012, The Werks took the top spot. Half of The Werks’ lineup has been fluid from nearly the start. Founding members Chris Houser and Rob Chafi n — on guitar and drums, respectively — have been the band’s only constants, with numerous shifts in the keyboard and
Alex Napping PHOTO: HELMUT STUDIO
their audience as a result. Magic may stand as yet another fresh start for an amazing band. (Brian Baker)
Alex Napping with Leggy Saturday • MOTR Pub If Alex Napping’s 2013 album debut, This is Not a Bedroom, was an introductory to an Indie Guitar Pop band with a lot of promise, this year’s Mise En Place fulllength cashes in on that promise… and then some. Between the releases, the Austin, Texas-based four-piece developed into something more multi-dimensional, building the supple atmospherics, trickling guitar sparkle, magnetic rhythms and melodic potency of its debut into a paragon of mesmerizing, majestic Art Pop. That Alex Napping’s music ripened between its two albums isn’t surprising given that the six-song Bedroom came out not long after the group’s formation and nearly four years went by (the two-song Trembles release from last year — based on a short story written by the band’s compelling, enigmatic vocalist and guitarist Alex Cohen — hinted at the growth, justifiably garnering broader attention from the likes of NPR and BBC Radio 1). It’s the extent of the artistic progression that is so impressive, a testament to the musicians’ inspired, confident vision and their ability to realize it so successfully.
Future Sounds Milk Carton Kids – Nov. 7, Taft Theatre Arkells – Nov. 9, Madison Live Flying Lotus – Nov. 11, Madison Theater Dirty Heads – Nov. 15, Bogart’s Wax Tailor – Nov. 18, Urban Artifact A Perfect Circle – Nov. 19, BB&T Arena Webb Wilder – Nov. 19, Southgate House Revival Pere Ubu – Nov. 21, Woodward Theater Flogging Molly
Kamasi Washington – Nov. 28, Taft Theatre
PHOTO: RICHIE SMY TH
Alex Napping’s intoxicating blend of ethereal Pop, serene and colorful Shoegaze and hyper-melodic Indie Rock irresistibly recalls artists from AltRock’s formative ’90s, as well as a few of today’s Indie Pop redefi ners, but it more significantly evokes some of music’s more futuristic-minded visionaries. The quartet’s debut for indie imprint Father/ Daughter Records, Mise En Place refracts the vivacity of bands like Lush, The Spinanes and Vampire Weekend through a kaleidoscope lens similar to ones built by groundbreaking stargazers from Kate Bush to Björk to St. Vincent. But it still results in a signature sound all Alex Napping’s own, transcending the Guitar Pop platitudes of Bedroom and ending up in a more blissfully undefi nable realm. With distinctive, uniquely structured songs that are dreamy without being sleepy and familiar without ever being predictable, Mise En Place shows Alex Napping to be one of the more captivating acts in contemporary Indie Pop. (Mike Breen)
vote for your favorite local musicans
save the date Walk the red carpet and celebrate 20 years of the cincinnati music scene at the ceas!
O C T. 2 5 – 3 1, 2 0 1 7
| C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Monday • Bogart’s The Venn diagram between Metal and Celtic Punk may be the single tangent point of the unlikeliest Los Angeles band of all time, Flogging Molly. Once upon a hundred years ago, Dublin-born vocalist Dave King fronted Fastway, a Metal quasi-supergroup featuring Motorhead’s Fast Eddie Clarke and UFO’s Pete Way, which led to another high-profi le Hard Rock outfit called Katmandu, leading to in turn to King’s solo contract with Epic in the early ’90s. Even then, King was beginning to conceive of a stylistic marriage between Rock and the traditional music of his Irish heritage, but the label was averse to the idea — they wanted him to sing with Jeff Beck — and so King negotiated his way out of the deal
and set about creating the unmistakable sound of a Celtic Folk band playing at Punk volume through a rumbling Marshall stack. King assembled a small group of likeminded players and began a weekly residency at an L.A. pub called Molly Malone’s. Due to the beating the bar was taking with their constant presence, the musicians aptly chose Flogging Molly as their name. The band’s intensity and passion earned them a contract with SideOneDummy, which released its debut album, Alive Behind the Green Door, in 1997 (two more live albums would follow in 2006 and 2010). Over the past 17 years, Flogging Molly has also recorded six studio sets, including the June-released Life is Good, the group’s debut for Vanguard Records and its first album of new material since 2011’s Speed of Darkness. While it’s true that Flogging Molly is standing on the shoulders of Horslips and The Pogues in the creation of a Celtic Punk sound, it’s equally true that Flogging Molly did a good deal of heavy lifting and groundbreaking to launch the band in L.A., where Celtic music wasn’t necessarily the easiest sell. Through a series of inevitable personnel shifts, Flogging Molly has maintained a consistent sonic framework and, as a result of that dedication, has earned a fervent fan base that has pushed its albums to the uppermost reaches of the Billboard charts on their way to notching sales in excess of a million and a half units. Alongside Dropkick Murphys, the band stands as a modern standard bearer of Celtic Punk, helping to pump the music into the mainstream zeitgeist via frequent appearances on the soundtracks of numerous fi lm, TV and commercial projects. If you’re looking for the full range of musical emotions and the most joyous mosh pit ever, Flogging Molly has a few brand new traditions for your slightly inebriated consideration. (BB)
CityBeat’s music listings are free. Send info to Mike Breen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listings are edited for space and subject to change. See citybeat.com for full music listings and all club locations. H is CityBeat staff’s stamp of approval.
Bromwell’s Härth Lounge - Burning Caravan. 8 p.m. Gypsy Jazz. Free.
Blue Note Harrison - Bad Habit and Almost Famous. 9 p.m. Rock/Various.
The Mad Frog - Sherwood and Motherfolk. 7 p.m. Indie Rock. Cover.
Bogart’s - The Lox with Westside Gunn & Conway, Benny, Smoke DZA and DJ Statik Selektah. 8 p.m. Hip Hop. $25.
MOTR Pub - Motel Faces with Season 10. 10 p.m. Rock. Free. Southgate House Revival (Lounge) Chuck Cleaver and Mark Utley with Lisa Walker. 8 p.m. Singer/Songwriter. Free.
Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - The Promise Hero, selfhelpme and more. 8:30 p.m. Pop/Rock/ Punk. $8, $10 day of show. Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary) - Elizabeth Cook with Darrin Bradbury. 8 p.m. Country. $18, $20 day of show. Urban Artifact - Blue Wisp Big Band. 8:30 p.m. Big Band Jazz. $10.
The Comet - Strawberry Runners, The Lovers and MARR. 9 p.m. Indie Pop/Various. Free.
Live! At the Ludlow Garage - Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson. 8 p.m. Singer/Songwriter. $20-$25. McCauly’s Pub - Strum n’ Honey. 7 p.m. Acoustic. Free. MOTR Pub - Frontier Folk Nebraska with Dusty Bryant. 10 p.m. Rock. Free.
Northside Yacht Club - Jesus Piece. 9 p.m. Hardcore.
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Aronoff Center for the Arts - The Mersey Beatles. 7 p.m. Beatles tribute. $39-$69.
Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - Kris Lager Band. 8 p.m. Rock/Various. Free. Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - Calumet and Wilder. 8 p.m. Americana/Roots/ Rock/Various. Free.
Urban Artifact - Jonwayne with Danny Watts, EMV, Toph, Juan Cosby and Chase Haskell Stein. 9 p.m. Alt Hip Hop. $10, $12 day of show.
Arnold’s Bar and Grill - Root Cellar Xtract. 9 p.m. Country Rock. Free.
Bromwell’s Härth Lounge - Dixie Karas and The Steve Schmidt Trio. 8 p.m. Jazz. Free. Chameleon - Counterfeit Money Machine with Senseless, Weirdose and B. Shields. 9 p.m. Hip Hop. Free.
The Comet - Vein Rays and Willow Street Carolers. 10 p.m. Acoustic/Folk/Rock/ Various. Free. Common Roots - Missed Munsons. 8 p.m. Indie Rock. Free. Crow’s Nest - Aaron Cordell. 10 p.m. Roots/Various. Free. Delhi Pub - Saving Stimpy. 9:30 p.m. Rock. Free. Downtowne Listening Room - Darden Smith. 7:30 p.m. Folk/Americana/ Pop/Rock/Various. $20.
Fairfield Community Arts Center - Simple Gifts. 8 p.m. Folk/Americana/Various. $15-$20.
The Greenwich - Sonny Moorman & Final Friday Blues. 8 p.m. Blues. $5. HD Beans and Brews Café - “Dead or Alive Boo Bash” with Felt, Jordan Briscoe, Olivia Thomas, Christina Schnetzer and more. 8 p.m. Various. $5.
Knotty Pine - Black Bone Cat. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover. Live! At the Ludlow Garage - David Archuleta. 8:30 p.m. Pop. $20-$45. Madison Live - One Day Steady with Roosevelt, In The Pines and Blue Moth. 8 p.m. AltRock/Various. $7, $10 day of show.
Madison Theater - The Steel Woods with Branden Martin. 8 p.m. Southern Rock. $15, $20 day of show. Mansion Hill Tavern - The Heaters. 9 p.m. Blues. $4.
Marty’s Hops & Vines Kick the Blue Drum. 9 p.m. Blues/Rock/Various. Free. MOTR Pub - Krystal Peterson & the Queen City Band with Queen City Silver Stars. 10 p.m. R&B/ Soul/Funk/Various. Free.
MVP Bar & Grille - Victor Spoils, The Dusty Quails and We The Animals. 8 p.m. Rock. $5, $7 day of show. Northside Yacht Club - Yellow Paper Planes with JIMS and Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound. 9 p.m. Indie Rock/Roots/Various. Plain Folk Cafe - Joe Rollin Porter. 7:30 p.m. Folk. Free. Rick’s Tavern - Strange Love. 10 p.m. Pop/Rock/ Dance/Various. $5. Rohs Street Café - Earth Jones (album release show) with Knotts. 8 p.m. Hip Hop/ Indie/Alt/Various. Free. Silverton Cafe - The Witch Doctors. 9 p.m. Rock/Various. Free. Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - The Tammy WhyNots and Lost Coast. 9:30 p.m. Country/Americana/Various. Free. Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary) Taylor Shannon & The 2Bit Smoke Parade (EP release show) with Sundae Drives and The Midwesterns. 8:30 p.m. Country/Rock/Various. $10, $12 day of show.
Blue Note Harrison - The Last Caballeros, Amy Sailor Band and Bad Habit. 7 p.m. Country/Rock/Various. Bogart’s - Kip Moore with Drake White & The Big Fire and Jordan Davis. 8 p.m. Country. $35. Bromwell’s Härth Lounge - The Steve Schmidt Trio. 8 p.m. Jazz. Free. Chameleon - Freshlist Halloween ‘17 with Alejo and Aytiko, Bit Flip and Melosis. 9 p.m. EDM/Various. $5. The Comet - Actual Italians. 10 p.m. Rock. Free. Common Roots Danbient and Friends Halloween Party. 9 p.m. Electronic/Ambient/Various. Free.
Crow’s Nest - The Woodsheep. 10 p.m. Folk. Free. Gallagher Student Center Theatre - Josh Nelson Trio. 8 p.m. Jazz. $30-$35.
Jag’s Steak and Seafood My Sister Sarah. 9 p.m. Pop/ Dance/Various. $5. Knotty Pine - Black Bone Cat. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover. The Listing Loon Paper Doll Scissor Fight, JetLab and Kuber. 9 p.m. Rock/Alt. Various. Free.
Madison Live - Cattle Decapitation with Revocation, Full of Hell and Artificial Brain. 6 p.m. Metal. $27.50, $30 day of show.
Urban Artifact - Verment, Creature Of Exile, Succumb To Demise and Bloodgate. 9 p.m. Metal. Free.
Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant FrenchAxe. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).
Mansion Hill Tavern Johnny Fink and the Intrusion. 9 p.m. Blues. $4.
Woodward Theater Ernie Johnson From Detroit, The Harlequins, Pop Empire and Heavens Gateway Drugs. 8 p.m. Rock/ Psych/Funk/Various. $5.
York Street Cafe Blank State and Liberty Deep Down. 8 p.m. Rock. $10-$15.
Aronoff Center for the ArtS - The Beach Boys. 7:30 p.m. Pop/Rock. $38.50-$64.50.
Madison Theater - The Werks with Ekoostik Hookah. 9 p.m. Rock/Jam. $15, $20 day of show.
Marty’s Hops & Vines - Jason Erickson. 9 p.m. Various. Free. McCauly’s Pub - Whiskey Business. 9 p.m. Country/ Rock. Free. Memorial Hall - AJA. 8:30 p.m. Steely Dan tribute. $18-$25. MOTR Pub - Alex Napping with Leggy. 10 p.m. Indie Pop/Various. Free.
Northside Tavern Heavy Hinges, Team Void and The Fairmount Girls. 10 p.m. Rock/Various. Free.
Plain Folk Cafe - My Brother’s Keeper. 7:30 p.m. Americana. Free. Revel OTR Urban Winery - “Beats. Wine. Life. presents Hip Hop Halloween” with Talib Kweli (DJ) plus DJ Pillo, Speed Walton and Off Key. 9 p.m. Hip Hop. $35, $45 day of show.
Rick’s Tavern - Naked Karate Girls. 10 p.m. Pop/ Rock/Dance/Various. $10. Silverton Cafe - Billy Rock Band. 9 p.m. Soul/R&B/ Blues. Free. Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary) - “Blues & Boo Bash” with Tullie Brae Band, The Doug Hart Band, Tempted Souls, Ricky Nye and more. 7 p.m. Blues. $15, $20 day of show.
Thompson House - Halloween Hip Hop Showcase with Chris Johnson, Neil Davis, Ricky Deaton and more. 8 p.m. Hip Hop. $10. The Underground - Battle Of The Bands 2017 Round 2 with Red Metafor, Peyton Stewart, Crosely Court and Lily Isabelle. 7 p.m. Various. Cover. Urban Artifact - “Beat Faction: Christians, Zombies & Vampires” with DJ Troll and Mindcandy. 10 p.m. Alt/’80s/ Dance/DJ. Free. Washington Park - Fall Fest with Bulletville, Comet Bluegrass Allstars and Andy Hopkins. Noon. Country/Blues/Roots. Free.
Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant Grace Lincoln. 9 p.m. Soul/R&B/Jazz. $10 (food/ drink minimum). Westside Venue - Mad River. 9 p.m. Country/Rock.
20th Century Theater School of Rock Mason: Concert For Hurricane Relief. 7 p.m. Rock. $10, $15 day of show.
The Greenwich - Brian Charette, Brad Myers and Jordan Young Organ Trio. 7 p.m. Jazz. $7. The Greenwich - Brian Charette, Brad Myers, and Jordan Young Organ Trio. 7 p.m. Jazz show at
The Greenwich. $7 general admission; $5 students. Octave - Glostik Willy with G-Nome Project. 9 p.m. Rock/Funk/Electronic/Jam/ Various. Cover. Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary) - Mewithoutyou with Pianos Become the Teeth and more. 8:30 p.m. Rock. $18, $20 day of show. Taft Theatre - Colin Hay. 8 p.m. Pop/Rock. $42.50-$62.50.
Washington Park - Fall Fest with Wilder, Casey Campbell and more. Noon. Americana/Folk/Various. Free.
Bogart’s - Flogging Molly. 8 p.m. Celtic/ Rock/Punk. $33.
Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - Kacy & Clayton. 8 p.m. Indie Folk. $12, $15 day of show. Urban Artifact - Battle Trance and Cincinnati Improvisers Group. 9 p.m. Jazz/Improv/Experimental/ Various.
20th Century Theater - A Halloween Turn Up/Costume Party with Vegas & Hollywood, Otonio and more. 10 p.m. Hip Hop/R&B. $20.
Arnold’s Bar and GrilL Ricky Nye. 7 p.m. Blues/ Boogie Woogie. Free. The Comet - Lung, Vacation, SKRT, Som Bodee & The Nosebleeds, Fire Heads, Wood Chickens and DJ Inuman. 10 p.m. Indie/Rock/Various. Free.
Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - Chalk Eye with Shawn Spencer. 8 p.m. Americana/Roots/Various. Free. Taft Theatre - Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. 8 p.m. Jazz/ Swing/Pop/AltRock/Various. $31.50-$39.50.
Urban Artifact - Freedom Nicole Moore, Rachel Mousie, Knotts and Slow Glows (8 p.m.); Drunk & Sailor, Founding Fathers and Go Go Buffalo (10 p.m.). 8 p.m. Various. Free.
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