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Thanks and Hope Thank you, Kathy Wilson. Your Thanksgiving article (“Gracias,” issue of Nov. 25) brought tears to my eyes. I guess there is hope for all of us. — Dave Machnovitz, Blue Ash FACEBOOK CincinnatiCityBeat TWITTER @CityBeatCincy @CityBeat_Eats @CityBeatMusic

Cincinnati Is More Than OK It’s funny to look back on this column five years later (“Cincinnati’s Just OK,” issue of July 28, 2010). In 2010, there were seeds of cool things happening in this city. Today, the city is thriving. Downtown and Over-the-Rhine are booming. Top quality local breweries, restaurants, bars and coffee shops popping up everywhere. New apartments and condos going up. I’m so happy that the “Cincinnati’s Just OK” mentality is finally disappearing as more people are discovering all of the great things Cincinnati has to offer. — Travis, comment posted at

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Kentucky Should Legalize Weed With Ohio’s failure to pass a marijuana legalization bill, Kentucky for the time being has the opportunity to set the industry standards for the Midwest, if the assembly can pass a bill this session. Pass Sen. Perry Clark’s medical bill with an amendment that sets up a commission to study and recommend a path to recreational legalization with implementation in a year. Let’s end marijuana prohibition once and for all! — Thomas Tony Vance, comment posted at in response to “Waiting Game,” issue of Oct. 7

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Worst Week Ever! BY isaac thorn



Ah, the unifying power of high school athletics. Or not. Moeller High School in Montgomery cancelled its Nov. 27 basketball season-opener at Taft High School, which is located in the West End, because of a scheduled Black Lives Matter rally downtown. CINCINNATI -1 The Cincinnati Streetcar underwent its first “live power” tests in the Central Business District Dec. 1, running alongside traffic under its own power for the first time. CINCINNATI +1 Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel fired the city’s police department head Garry McCarthy Dec. 1. McCarthy’s dismissal came after recently released dash camera video of the police shooting of a 17-year-old black man last year contradicted the department’s official narrative about his death. WORLD -1

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Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last week said the federal government is considering a proposal to retire the penny. About two-thirds of the one-cent pieces don’t circulate because they’re stuffed in drawers or thrown in the trash. It’s OK, Abe, at least we’ll always have the fivedollar bill. WORLD -1

THIS WEEK: Cincinnati: +0 World: -2

YEAR TO DATE: Cincinnati: 27 World: -12



Oakland A’s Pitcher Imperils National Security, Hosts Syrian Immigrants for Turkey Day Syrians should all be locked up because some of them might not be nice people. It just makes sense. There are plenty of Facebook memes that succinctly explain this irrefutable line of reasoning, but not everyone gets them. One such individual is Major League Baseball relief pitcher Sean Doolittle, who, alongside his also non-racist girlfriend Eireann Dolan, hosted 17 Syrian refugee families living in the Windy City for Thanksgiving in hopes of getting the message out that not all Americans are xenophobic knobjobs with hard hearts and no understanding of the fact that we took this country via good, old-fashioned genocidal practices. Doolittle and his lady undertook this noble endeavor to let some of the suffering Syrian people know that America is a great place, also taking the time to explain to them that even if the refugees aren’t very good at something and bounce from job to job for a few years because of poor performance, there are still high-paying jobs available for them within the Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen.

Gov. Kasich Takes More Time to Focus on Ohio-StateFootball Fanboy Issues The nice part about being a governor must be the ability to ignore issues that other people care about (police killing black people in situations where white people would not get killed, etc.) for the sake of what you think is important. Once elected, you can be like, “Nah, bruh… it’s all good. I got bigger fish to fry.” And there’s nothing meaningful anyone can do about it because you’re the highest positioned zhlub within the set boundaries and that’s how the rule of people works. Our governor and rabid anti-abortion loon John Kasich is a prime example of how politics in America work, or, in his case, how focusing on college football instead of working works. Because Ohio State played Michigan in football last week and people are supposed to care a lot about it, our state’s leader took time from his busy week to enact some sort of joke legislation banning khakis (favored by Michigan coach with prominent jawline

Jim Harbaugh) and the letter “M” (which is the first letter in the word “Michigan”). A representative from Kasich’s communications department tweeted that haters who think Ohio State fans are the most intolerable in all of sport have misguided disdain and that people who couldn’t care less about OSU should keep in mind that our government is a beautiful thing which works in different ways, with some things taking an official decree to enact and other issues (like the country issuing a decisive “HELL NAH!” to the prospect of Kasich ever being a viable presidential candidate) Go Buckeyes! being decided at the polls.

Who Will Think of the Sixand Seven-Figure-IncomeHaving Athletes? It’s obvious that these younger generations don’t want to learn anything, and since the whole of our life simulation is available and accessible via handheld mobile devices the government uses to track our every movement, the argument could be made that you really don’t need to know anything because the Internet already does. In addition to kids not wanting to sit still and learn no matter how many amphetamines you pump them full of, teachers still show up to work and make chump change for their efforts. They are also unfairly graded and evaluated on the merit of how the stupid kids from dysfunctional families perform on standardized tests. That’s why America stopped holding educators in high esteem or thinking long and hard about the long-term implications of devaluing their work. Athletes are another story. They ruin their bodies and don’t develop any other skills, for the sake of our entertainment. What’s more important than that? You certainly don’t see fighter jet flyovers

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for teachers before the start of the first day of school. Perhaps that’s why a recent tone-deaf New York Times editorial titled “Fantasy Sports’ Real Crime: Dehumanizing the Athletes” served as a comedic goldmine rather than something that had any point to it… other than beckoning readers to feel bad for people who live way better lives than us and have commas in the numbers in their checking accounts. Hopefully next week’s sports editorial in the NYT will better represent the voice of the common man and explain why most Americans would be in favor of burning an athlete at the stake if that would result in Draft Kings and Fan Duel commercials not airing every single commercial break of every game broadcast.

Shitty, Overpriced Time Warner Cable Forces CityBeat Columnist to Go Meta to Hit Deadline Sometimes this column isn’t as funny as it is other weeks. Could it be too much booze, not enough, or some other factor? That’s a tough one to figure out. What is plain to see is that there is no choice but to hurriedly write it to keep your editor from texting you all sly like “Hey, how’s the column coming?” when you come home on Monday night and can’t write it because the ISP that costs way too much is out of service from one end of Ohio to the other and you end up having to write it Tuesday morning like an idiot. It is our hope that the readership will find this column humorous, and that the purse-string holders at CityBeat will stop replying “Ask Again Later” as if they were a goddamn Magic 8-Ball when this columnist asks when his check might arrive. CONTACT ISAAC THORN: letters@

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I Just Can’t Get Enough

VOICES kathy y. wilson

Welcome to

Black Power Mixtape By Kathy Y. Wilson

landscape that is already being beaten, razed and morphed into a young professional’s wet dream of housing, nightlife and shopping. Their new and temporary home is called Brick 939 and opened Black Friday to much confusion from potential customers, confirmed vendors and those who have previously vended at Brick. There were no times for the post-Thanksgiving sale advertised anywhere within the vast social media sites trumpeting the big event. ( published a starting time in a brief article more than three weeks ago.) My brother, an invited vendor and consummate professional, did not even know what time to show up Saturday. My partner and I were going to check it out Friday, but we stopped to chat with someone coming out who said there were only four vendors inside and the big opening — that was supposed to include food trucks — was lackluster, so we did not bother going in. But we stopped in Saturday afternoon to see my brother and foot traffic had slightly improved, and a few more vendors were inside and set up. Still, the surrounding Walnut Hills community — those black folks catching the bus right outside Brick 939’s door, the ones ambling in and out of the Bro-Kro across the street and the ones nosey enough to make a special trip to Peeble’s Corner to see what was happening — did not seem to know what was going on in the space. Situated directly across from the tattered and crowded parking lot of the Bro-Kro (that’s the black Kroger, to you), this “new” Brick pop-up marketplace is a 10,000-squarefoot vacuous space that old heads in Walnut Hills remember as a Woolworth’s, then a Salvation Army Thrift Store by the mid-1990s, then, as black ghetto landscapes usually fall, a combination dollar store/wig shop. Mortar Cincinnati co-founders Allen Woods, Derrick Braziel and William Thomas II certainly are doing the Lord’s work by giving options to all those disenfranchised entrepreneurs of color and those heretofore ostracized from all the mainstream bank funding and inside dealings that have gotten development rolling from Vine Street to Woodburn Avenue back over now to McMillan Avenue. But across the board, their messaging must be done correctly and with continued

professionalism and not shabbily simply because the newish opportunities for brand expansion are only temporary and/or in a long-neglected neighborhood. Don’t give us short shrift, fellas. We desire and deserve the same marketing, choices, inventiveness and derring-do you have given and shown to Over-the-Rhine, where getting a space and a chance is now equivalent to being called up to the majors. I know the holiday season in retail-speak can be a rough one; especially considering many Mortar entrepreneurs are side hus-

This is a black love letter of black empowerment to simply tell you that we, the community, are watching and pulling for all Mortar Cincinnati classes. tling their wares in between 40-plus-hour jobs and families, and they’re more likely to have lined up Black Friday gigs months ago. And “buy small and local” shoppers were everywhere — especially at the City Flea set up at 21c Museum Hotel, a tremendous annual draw, so y’all were up against it. But why wait until the very last minute like you did to enlist vendors, then not be specific with important specs like set-up times? I am neither trying to put a wrinkle in your most excellent ideas, nor is this a public lashing to embarrass or belittle you or somehow spur your funders to call you on the carpet. This is a black love letter of black empowerment to simply tell you that we, the community, are watching and pulling for all Mortar Cincinnati classes, graduations and future projects because you have birthed a revolutionary idea — inclusion — into fruition. And we can all see now just how big the table is, how free we are to sit at the place you have set for us. Now please do not blow it, because Rosa Parks, for one, could tell you how important word-of-mouth is during the formation of a revolution. Sometimes what others say about you is all the power there is to wrangle. So, through New Year’s Eve at Brick 939, let’s really see some films in that rear theater you’ve got set up and let’s actually get the arts community in to see what’s hanging in that gallery space. Be men of your word. CONTACT KATHY Y. WILSON:

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Sixty years ago on Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, that bespectacled Southern seamstress, transferred the modern civil rights movement from its dormant state of literal leaderlessness when she refused to move from her seat. Her accidental tourism also forced the heads of Southern civil rights counsels to finally acknowledge, include and utilize the skills of countless, nameless women who fed, laundered, saw after, mended, marched alongside and got their asses knocked down with the men and youngsters who had previously been the only assumed movement leaders. They all ultimately arrived at historical non-conclusions, many points of which we still battle today. Parks’ decision just goes to prove that a tired back woman can still get hard work done once she reconciles — and acts upon — her fatigue. It seems like a long, circuitous and scenic route from Parks’ Birmingham, Alabama, bus seat to a fledgling pop-up shop in a crumbling stretch of Walnut Hills. However, that dirty little umbilical chord of genetics makes perfect sense because it is a postmodern example of black striving, to a lesser yet more commercial way. Yes, it’s striving that begs for inclusion and visibility in ways different from those unwittingly used by Parks and, later, the braintrust of the movement. Mortar Cincinnati, as many minority entrepreneurs — resale shop owners, graphic T-shirt designers — throughout Cincinnati already know, is a combination incubator of business ideas, an urban business classroom with practical usage opportunities and what business folks call an “accelerator.” Brick, Mortar’s original physical companion shop that houses the pop-up shops of entrepreneurs for extended days for them to sell their wares and thereby get practical experience actually running and marketing a business, is located at 1327 Vine St. I have been to several pop-up shops of friends there in the small, clean, glass-front space. One shop was a combination of District78, Erikka Gray’s Covington vintage and gift resale shop paired with SoapBox Tees, a graphic T-shirt press run by Sun Smith with hat, bag and shirt logos that run toward the politically astute and socially acerbic. So, two black women getting a chance to shine, make some cash and get some experience broadening their customer base in the newfangled Disney production of Gateway Quarter. The foot traffic of virgins to either business was impressive, and the impulse spending was textbook. Now Mortar Cincinnati co-founders are trying their hands in Walnut Hills, a land ripe for the development of a drastically changed

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Promising a Future

Faith and education leaders lay out details of the proposed Preschool Promise BY NATALIE KREBS



poverty in the country, which disproportionately affects minority children. Forty-four percent of children under 5 and 45 percent of children under 18 live under the poverty line, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. A University of Cincinnati Economics Center study funded by StrivePartnership and United Way using state and census data estimated that nearly 40 percent of Cincinnati’s 3-year-olds will not be ready for kindergarten. “We will break the cycle of poverty for thousands and thousands of children,” said Greg Landsman, executive director of StrivePartnership, at the Preschool Promise launch party Nov. 4 at Rhinegeist Brewery. “We will make it a lot easier for middle-class families to pay for quality preschool, which is a huge, huge deal.” Preschool, which ranges from glorified daycare to intensive early childhood development programs, nationally still consists of mostly kids above the poverty line. Only 60 percent of American children are enrolled in preschool programs, with that number falling to below 50 percent for those under the poverty line, according to the Center for American Progress. Research on early childhood programs has shown they have the potential to make an impact not only on kids’ readiness for kindergarten regardless of income level,

UC student and activist Alexander Sheldon discussed having to choose between attending college or paying to send his 4-year-old son to preschool when he couldn’t afford both.

but also on their future success further down the road. A 2013 study of New Jersey’s Abbott Preschool Program, which funds programs for lower-income residents, by the National Institute for Early Education Research found that low-income students who attended at least one year of preschool classes had closed the achievement gap between 10 and 20 percent in fourth and fifth grade test scores in math, science and language arts and literacy. Those numbers jumped to 20 to 40 percent for those who had completed two years. Other reports have also found that investing in universal preschool has financial benefits. A study by the nonprofit Foundation for Child Development found that large-scale programs in Tulsa, Okla., and Chicago saved an estimated three to seven dollars for every dollar spent. On the national level, President Barack Obama has pushed hard to start a national trend to fund high-quality preschool programs in his own initiative called “Preschool for All.” Preschool Promise is still unclear about where the funding for the ambitious plan would come from. Some suggested options have included a sales or property tax increase or a school levy. But the platform

so far specifies that funding would only kick in after all other forms of public assistance are applied, and they must be sustainable for five to 10 years. The 35 members of the Cincinnati Preschool Promise Steering Committee, which was formed last May, hold the responsibility of developing the details of the program before next election season. Cincinnati’s initiative is based off of Denver’s nine-year-old preschool program, which funds one year of preschool for 4-year-olds using a voter-approved sales tax. Denver voters approved the tax increase in 2006 for 10 years and in 2014 voted to renew it for another 10. A 2014 program report states that for the 2013-2014 school year, the program helped fund preschool for about 4,800 4-year-olds, two-thirds of which were from low-income families, and paid an average of $236 a month per child. The Strive Partnership estimates that Preschool Promise, which would also cover an additional year of preschool for 3-year-olds, is estimated to cost between $16 and $18 million a year and could reach at least 5,000 kids in Cincinnati per year, covering funding CONTINUES ON PAGE 11

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lection Day and the chaos it brings has just barely passed, but community leaders and educators haven’t wasted any time in getting a head start on pushing to put a funding initiative for city-wide universal preschool on next year’s ballot. Preschool Promise, an initiative led by StrivePartnership, a coalition of educators, city officials and community members who work on local education initiatives, hopes to have Cincinnati voting in 2016 on an initiative to provide tuition assistance to families to support two years of quality-rated preschool education. The initiative has already received support from city officials like Vice Mayor David Mann, City Councilman Chris Seelbach and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune. Several hundred people representing more than 60 groups of congregations, educators and community members gathered at Tryed Stone Church in Bond Hill on Nov. 19 to launch the people’s platform in support of Preschool Promise. An initiative lead by the Amos Project, a non-profit coalition of congregations focused on social justice issues, the people’s platform asks that as Preschool Promise moves forward, it advocates four key points: that children of all races and socioeconomic groups have equal access to quality programs; resources directly work to address racial disparities in Cincinnati; wages of at least $15 an hour and benefits for preschool workers; and engagement and support between the school and families. “I believe that how we treat our children is a measure of our community,” said Eileen Cooper Reed, former Cincinnati Public Schools board member, at the meeting. Alexander Shelton, UC student and activist, spoke about the importance of bringing African-American voices to the platform. “This is important because what you will find is parents don’t want their children shackled,” he said. “Parents don’t want their children to feel less than they are, based on the curriculum that you’re designing to promote one identity over the other.” Hamilton County Commissioner Portune focused on the impact the platform has to potentially increase job growth in the educational sector. “As we support this, we also support the policies that will bring in new jobs, will provide greater access to those jobs and that will ensure that our jobs are open and available to all,” he said. Supporters of universal preschool say it’s a way to level the playing field. Cincinnati has the second-highest rate of child

news city desk BY cit ybeat staff

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Cincinnati Planned Parenthood Clinic to Stay Open Cincinnati’s last remaining women’s clinic that provides abortions will remain open until at least May, following a last-minute decision by the Ohio Department of Health to grant it a license. The decision is the latest in a longrunning series of events that has at times brought Mount Auburn’s Elizabeth Campbell Medical Center to the brink of closure. Back in September, the ODH denied the Planned Parenthood facility’s request for a variance to rules requiring clinics to have transfer agreements with nearby hospitals. That move could have shut the clinic down, but an ensuing federal court injunction kept it open. If the Mount Auburn clinic closes, Cincinnati could become the largest metropolitan area in the country without direct access to abortion services. Another clinic in Sharonville shut down last year after it was denied a variance. On Nov. 27, the ODH approved the Mount Auburn clinic’s second request for a variance on the last day of a 60-day deadline stipulated by new state laws. That request listed four doctors with individual admitting privileges at local hospitals. The clinic’s previous request listed three. The center’s variance is good until May 31, 2016. The clinic’s struggles have come in the wake of new Ohio laws passed during recent years that place strict limits on clinics performing abortions. State laws stipulate that such clinics must have admitting privileges at local hospitals, but also forbid state-funded hospitals from entering into those agreements. In September, state lawmakers added even more restrictions, requiring that the ODH respond to license-renewal requests within 60 days of receiving them. If it doesn’t, the requests are automatically denied. Lawmakers say the laws are designed to ensure safety for women, but Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice advocates say they’re all about politics. Planned Parenthood has faced criticism recently after a pro-life group released a series of heavily edited videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the use of fetal tissue for research. The Center for Medical Progress, which made the videos, says they show the sale of fetal organs, but Planned Parenthood says the videos have been manipulated and that officials are simply discussing handling fees for the tissue. Though Ohio clinics do not donate tissue for medical research, state lawmakers in October voted to strip funding for medical testing and other non-abortion services from Planned Parenthood in the aftermath of those videos. (Nick Swartsell)

Council Poised to Vote on Tax Break for Hotel at Former Anna Louise Inn Site Cincinnati City Council will soon vote on tax abatements worth more than half a million dollars for a controversial luxury hotel project undertaken by Eagle Realty at the former site of the Anna Louise Inn women’s shelter downtown. Council’s Budget and Finance Committee voted to advance a Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement for the project at its Nov. 23 meeting. The tax deal on the nearly $36-million project would last 12 years. Developers with Eagle, the real estate arm of Cincinnati insurance giant Western & Southern, say the abatement is necessary because the project presents big risks and a lower-than-usual return on investment. But some council members questioned the need for taxpayer dollars. Cincinnati Director of Trade and Development Oscar Bedolla praised the deal, calling the proposed 106-room upscale Mariott hotel and conference center “a phenomenal project.” Councilman Chris Seelbach was the sole committee member opposed to the deal, though his fellow council Democrat Yvette Simpson supported it with some reservations. W&S purchased the properties at 300 Lytle Place in May 2013 after a protracted legal battle with both former owners Cincinnati Union Bethel, which ran a shelter for homeless women there for more than a century, and the city of Cincinnati. After Cincinnati Union Bethel refused to sell the property to W&S in 2011, the company challenged tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency that CUB was awarded for renovations of the shelter. The company also challenged the city’s issuance of permits for the Inn that allowed it to operate as a shelter in the neighborhood. After CUB’s tax credits expired during the litigation, it agreed to sell the Inn to W&S for more than $4 million. Both Seelbach and Simpson stressed their questions about the deal had nothing to do with that struggle. The Anna Louise Inn moved to a newly constructed facility in Mount Auburn earlier this year. “The Anna Louise Inn situation was tense and difficult for all of us,” Simpson said. “They’ve moved on. I’m going to move on. If there was a reason to exclude this project on any other basis, I would.” Simpson did note that she would like to see these kinds of development deals extended to other neighborhoods outside the urban core. CONTINUES ON PAGE 11


gaps for many kids who don’t qualify for other early-education subsidies. Barb Rider, the former superintendent of Norwood Public Schools who retired in 2003, attended the meeting on Nov. 19 out FROM PAGE 10

“I believe we need to incent in areas that really need it,” she said, “instead of areas where, quite frankly, the market has already done what it needs to do.” Seelbach had more pointed problems with the tax deal. “This is really a tool to promote job creation, when if that tool wasn’t used, those jobs wouldn’t exist,” he said of CRA tax abatements. “How can you convince me that these jobs would not be created, that the project wouldn’t go forward, unless there was the maximum tax abatement possible to a company that’s worth $60 billion?” Bedolla said additional burdens associated with the project, including its status as a historic building, necessitate the abatement. “We thought the return here is less than what the market usually bears,” he said. The hotel will bring about 80 jobs to the city, according to Bedolla. Those jobs could generate nearly $500,000 in earnings taxes over the duration of the abatement, which will be worth almost $700,000.

of curiosity. She thinks universal preschool could have a positive influence on students all the way through high school. “I just see a lot of kids who don’t have access to it. They start so early, and families that can provide do and those families that can’t don’t.” ©

Charterite Councilman Kevin Flynn defended the deal. “Whether it’s a small developer or Eagle Realty, if the project doesn’t make sense, they have an obligation to their investors to invest their money where the best rate of return will be received,” Flynn said. “The rate of return on this, if this was being done in another city, I doubt it would be done. It’s being done because of love of the city, not for greed. If ever there was a project that deserved it, it’s this.” But Seelbach shot back, pointing out that W&S committed to the property before any tax dollars were promised. “I appreciate what all our corporate partners and small businesses contribute to Cincinnati every day,” Seelbach said. “That’s without question. But this group chose to invest $4.5 million before they knew there would be an abatement from the city. That suggests to me that they thought they could do this project without taxpayer money.” City Council could give final approval on the deal as early as Dec. 2. (NS)

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the HolidaY issue:

CincinnatI FestivuS I

t’s been nearly 20 years since the famous Seinfeld episode “The Strike” introduced America to the concept of Festivus, the Costanza family’s long-lost nondenominational anti-holiday. In typical sitcom fashion, three narratives finally converge around the Costanza dinner table, each predictable and set in motion by Kramer himself, who views the confluence of confrontations as a series of “Festivus miracles.” Frank Costanza proceeds to emcee the affair, starting with the airing of grievances, then challenges George to a “feats of strength” wrestling match. Since the episode aired back in 1997, “a Festivus for the rest of us” has become pop-culture royalty, one of the most absurd yet poignant responses to the increasing commercialization of the holiday season. Like sitting down with a cup of eggnog or your favorite cinnamon-spiced adult beverage, Seinfeld’s epic struggle between the anxiety of the holidays and the stress of family has taken its place among American mainstream culture. As we at CityBeat conceptualized this year’s Holiday Issue, we felt a similar anxiety about producing a typical preview of festive events, historical holiday tidbits and places to stimulate the economy while dodging the more aggressive of holiday shoppers. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the

festivities (we are formally AGAINST the war on Christmas), we just prefer to enjoy what the holidays are really all about — friends, family and peace on Earth — without overly engaging in the more stressful aspects of the season. We hope you enjoy our idea of what a “Cincinnati Festivus” celebration might look like. From Mayor John Cranley kicking off the airing of local grievances and a mildly absurd collection of Festivus miracles to a preview of December’s preeminent athletic endeavor (the Crosstown Shootout, a feat of strength if the 2011 brawl showed us anything) and three ideas to start — and end — your holiday meal with a delicious local recipe, we’ve got the basic framework of Festivus covered. And because we’re not the type of people who would create a fake charity in order to avoid giftgiving, we put together a last-minute, local-centric gift guide and a lengthy calendar of holiday events, exhibits, parties and plays. Consider this year’s Holiday Issue our contribution to the Human Fund, and take some time to appreciate the season for the celebration of life it was intended to be.

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the Airing of local grievanceS illustration by David Corns

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ike most great sports rivalries, the magnitude of the Crosstown Shootout is built upon decades of animosity. Long before Xavier constructed its state-ofthe-art arena and grew its brand of “mid-major” college hoops into an inimitable NCAA Tournament-worthy program, the small school three miles up the road from the University of Cincinnati has been scrapping with the big boys from Clifton. Literally. The ugly brawl that marred the end of the 2011 Crosstown Shootout still looms over the annual affair, which dates back to 1928 and has been played every year since 1946. Amid their early dominance of the Musketeers, the Bearcats won two National Titles, only to see Xavier push back during the past two decades, winning local bragging rights 13 out of the past 19 years — including twice taking down No.1-ranked UC teams. Both schools have plenty to be proud of in recent years — UC has reached the NCAA Tournament five straight seasons after a monumental rebuilding effort by head coach Mick Cronin, and Xavier is one of only nine schools to make five or more Sweet 16 appearances since 2008. Nevertheless, the fisticuffs America witnessed on the Cintas Center floor four years ago continues to overshadow the success both schools have found outside the annual rivalry game. While university officials — and time — have attempted to distance the schools’ image from what a national audience witnessed that fateful November day in 2011, the brawl was actually just the latest in a long history of extracurriculars between the two schools. In fact, similar scuffles have been celebrated by local media in the past. A 2004 Cincinnati Enquirer online poll titled “Choose the Crosstown Shootout’s most memorable moment” included four instances where playHome games in bold ers threw punches or all-out brawled during games in 1964, 1967, 1985 and X AV IER 1988. Looking back at such glorificaDec. 5 vs. Western Kentucky tion of the game’s “passion,” who can Dec. 8 vs. Wright State blame Yancy Gates for wildly throwing Dec. 12 vs. Cincinnati haymakers as his team trailed the No. 8-ranked Musketeers by 23 points. One Dec. 19 vs. Auburn of Xavier’s players threw a crutch at a Dec. 22 @ Wake Forest UC player in 1967, and someone in the Dec. 31 @ Villanova stands reportedly threw a wine bottle at Oscar Robertson in 1958. C IN C INN AT I Aren’t things about equal at this point? Dec. 2 vs. Butler Let us not forget Bob Huggins’ Dec. 6 vs. Morgan State infamous refusal to shake Xavier head coach Pete Gillen’s hand after the MusDec. 12 @ Xavier keteers’ 1994 win. Or in 2002, when Dec. 15 vs. Norfolk State UC’s Jason Maxiell called Xavier’s Dec. 19 @ Virginia David West “soft,” only to have West Commonwealth ominously respond, “Be careful what Dec. 22 vs. Iowa State you wish for.” Xavier won the game Dec. 29 vs. Temple 50-44. After two years of operating under the overly PC “Crosstown Showdown” moniker and playing off-campus, the Shootout returned to UC last year, going to overtime and resulting in yet another Xavier victory. Both schools went on to earn spots in the NCAA Tournament, with UC winning a first-round game and Xavier making the Sweet 16. As we look ahead to this year’s Crosstown Shootout — likely a clash between two nationally ranked teams — we mustn’t focus on transgressions of the past. Instead, this holiday season, we should appreciate the fact that one of college basketball’s greatest rivalries remains intact not just in spite of, but in part because of, its rough history. ©

Hoops holiday schedulE

P H O T O : C ourtes y U C Athlet i cs

P H O T O : B ob S te v ens

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7-0 17 (AP), 17 (Coaches Poll)


7-0 12 (AP), 18 (Coaches Poll)

Leads all-time series 49-33


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Brian Grant, Tyrone Hill, David West


Elite 8 appearances in 2004 and 2008

Oscar Robertson, Danny Fortson, Kenyon Martin 1961 and 1962 back-to-back national titles Made fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament under associate head coach Larry Davis after Cronin left the team for health reasons

Returns top six scorers from last year’s 23-win team, plus highly ranked freshmen Jacob Evans and Justin Jenifer Octavius Ellis, first-team AAC all-conference; Troy Caupain, all-conference second-team




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Bob Huggins refused to shake Pete Gillen’s hand after a loss in 1994



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Jess Lamb on American Idol

Larry David as Bernie Sanders on SNL



Red Bike on road instead of sidewalk

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Joey Votto’s OBP

Ice scraper still in trunk John Boehner’s KIM DAVIS   winter tan


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Festivus dinneR

A Festivus feast for the secularly faithful BY ILENE ROSS


et out your unadorned aluminum poles, folks: Dec. 23 is fast approaching, and whether you’re a Seinfeld fan or not, the “Festivus for the Rest of Us” is a great excuse to gather your friends and loved ones, air your grievances and celebrate everyone’s favorite made-up secular holiday with a delicious home-cooked meal. What exactly would a Festivus meal include? Well, as the Costanza clan and their guests gathered around the table for their celebratory Festivus meal, we could only see George’s mother Estelle serve meatloaf on a bed of iceberg lettuce and what might be a bowl of peas, so the rest of the menu is left to our imagination. Therefore we suggest you not only prepare meatloaf, but these two other Seinfeldepisode-inspired recipes and wow your guests with your feats of strength.

OK. Soup for You.

When the Soup Nazi appeared in Season 7, Episode 6, his rules and regulations for dispensing his awe-inspiring soup were incredibly inflexible. Dare to step out of line even a bit and it’s “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” Thankfully, Emily Frank of C’est Cheese food truck and the soon-to-open Pleasant Ridge Share Cheese Bar is quite a bit more flexible. Here’s her recipe for a delicious creamy wild rice soup that is sure to get your evening off to a great start.

Instructions: Prepare the rice according to package directions. Halfway through the cooking time, in a separate large pot (I use a coated Dutch oven), melt 1 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté until slightly tender. Add garlic during the last 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, thyme, marjoram, sage and

A Traditional Festivus Meatloaf

Sous chef Travis Reidel of Jean-Robert’s Le Bar au Boeuf knows meat, so obviously we went to him for the perfect meatloaf recipe. And being the nice Jewish boy that he is, naturally, he got one from his mom, Lori, who, along with Travis’ Aunt Denetta, collaborated on this Reidel-family favorite.

Reidel Family Meatloaf Ingredients: • 2 lbs. ground chuck (85/15 or 80/20 — you need some fat in the meat) • 1 large chopped onion • ¼ cup ketchup • ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs • 2 eggs • salt and pepper to taste • garlic powder if you like • 1 box (2 packages) Lipton’s onion soup mix (optional) Instructions: Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer (Kitchen Aid with a hook attachment if you have it, or you can mix by hand), add all of the ingredients and just 1 package of onion soup mix. After it’s mixed, turn the meat into a 13 x 9 baking dish and pack tightly into a loaf. Mix the second package of onion soup with ketchup or tomato sauce and spread on the top of the loaf. Bake for 1 hour. Serve immediately on a bed of iceberg lettuce leaves for Festivus authenticity.

Good-Enough-to-Eat-Outof-the-Trash Éclairs

In Season 6, Episode 6, titled “The Gymnast,” George’s girlfriend’s mother, Mrs. Enright, catches him eating an éclair out of the garbage, at which time he ceases to

impress her with his gentlemanly behavior. Impress your friends and family by making éclairs at home with this recipe courtesy of pastry chef Megan Ketover of Orchids at Palm Court. We guarantee they really are good enough to eat out of the trash.

Megan Ketover’s Éclairs For the chocolate pastry cream Ingredients: • 2 cups whole milk • 2 tsp. vanilla extract • pinch kosher salt • 16 oz. granulated sugar • 8 tbsp. cornstarch • 8 eggs • 6 oz. chocolate, chopped • 4 oz. butter Instructions: In a saucepot, heat together milk, vanilla and salt, and bring just to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and cornstarch. Temper the hot milk into the egg mixture, and then return back to pot to cook. Cook on low heat, whisking continuously until mixture thickens and is 180 degrees. Stir in chocolate and butter until melted and combined. Pour into shallow pan and refrigerate until cool. For the chocolate ganache Ingredients: • 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped • ¾ cup heavy cream • 2 oz. liquor, if desired Instructions: Combine chocolate and heavy cream in bowl over a simmering double boiler. Stir occasionally until melted, add liquor and then whisk to emulsify, then combine.

For pâte á choux (the pastry dough) This makes a lot of batter but you can use it to practice piping — or you can halve the recipe. Ingredients: • 8 oz. water • 8 oz. whole milk • 8 oz. butter • 1 tsp. kosher salt • 2 tsp. vanilla • 14 oz. all-purpose flour • 11 eggs Instructions: In a saucepot, heat together water, milk, vanilla and salt, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in flour with a wooden spoon. Stir continuously until flour is absorbed and dough clings to wooden spoon in a ball. Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer and, using paddle attachment, turn the mixer on low to stir the dough. Allow to cool 2 minutes and then add the eggs one at a time, waiting for absorption between additions. Once all eggs are added, turn mixer to medium and beat well until batter is cool and feathery. Can add 1 more egg as needed for piping consistency. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Using a pastry bag with a large round tip, pipe batter into 2-inch stripes on a parchmentlined cookie trays. Bake 10 minutes until puffed and risen, and then lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until golden brown, hollow and dry. Allow to cool, then using a pastry bag with a small tip, fill with pastry cream and dip the top into warmed ganache. Store your éclairs in the refrigerator. Happy Festivus!

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Emily Frank’s Creamy Wild Rice Soup Ingredients: • ¾ cup uncooked wild rice blend • 1 cup chopped yellow onion • 1 cup diced carrots • 1 cup diced celery • 7 tbsp. butter, divided • 1 clove garlic, minced • 4½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock • ¼ tsp each dried thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary • salt and pepper to taste • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts • ½ cup flour • ½ cup milk • ½ cup heavy cream • 1 tsp. lemon zest

P H O T O : k ho i n g u y e n

rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, add the chicken and bring to boil. Cover with lid and boil 12-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool before shredding into bite-size pieces. Meanwhile, reduce heat to low and add the cooked rice. Add the chicken back in. In a separate medium saucepan, melt the remaining 6 tbsp. of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 ½ minutes, whisking constantly. While whisking, slowly pour the milk into the butter/flour mixture. Cook stirring constantly until the mixture is thick. Add the milk mixture to the soup mixture and cook 5 minutes longer or until the soup is thick. Stir in heavy cream and lemon zest. Serve warm.


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last-minite Gift GuidE

Local presents for people you’re still buying for — or forgot about

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Organic Wendigo green tea $33,,

Scented soy candles $18 each, Oak.Isaac, MiCA 12/v, 12th and Vine streets, OTR,

Unicorn mount ornament $20, Cincinnati Art Museum gift shop, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park,

Maverick Chocolate drinking chocolate $18, 129 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, OTR, 513-381-0561 (call for availability)

Clove and nutmeg goat milk soap $6.25, Honey Sweetie Acres,

The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957 $39.95, Cincinnati Art Museum gift shop, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park,

Almond wire earrings $40, Rock Salt Vintage,

Topography coasters by Tom Will Make $39, GOODS on Main, 1300 Main St., OTR,

Cincinnati, Ohio canvas tote $15, At l e f t, c l o c k w i s e f r o m t o p :

Pour-over coffee brewing supplies prices vary, Collective Espresso, 207 Woodward St., OTR,

Leather bifold wallet in black $75, Teufelmacht,

Steam-bent coat hook $15, Simple Wood Goods,

Laser-etched vegan leather flask $32, Lucca Laser Workshop, 1342 Main St., OTR,

Crewneck sweatshirt $70, Victor Athletics Club, 1405 Republic St., OTR,

French market basket prices vary, Maumee World Traders, 1801 Race St., Findlay Market, OTR,

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Festivals for the r est of uS Holiday exhibits, displays, parties and plays COMPILED BY EMILY BEGLE Y

Antique Christmas — The Taft Museum of Art’s annual holiday display features antique decorations, toys and ornaments, including Italian ornaments created just after World War II. Also showcased is a Noah’s Ark display from Germany with more than 200 animal figurines. Through Jan. 3. $10 adults; $5 children 17 and under. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, 513241-0343, Ball of the Beasts — Welcome 2016 at Urban Artifact’s New Year’s Eve masquerade, which encourages guests to don creature-inspired costumes. Ticket price includes unlimited drinks. 8 p.m. Dec. 31. $65; $15 designated driver. Urban Artifact, 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, 513620-4729, BB Riverboats Holiday Cruises — BB Riverboats hosts a series of holiday cruises including Sightseeing with Santa Claus, Rhinegeist’s Brew Ho Ho Ho Dinner Cruise, Christmas Eve Cruise and more. Check online for dates, time and tickets. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky.,

BRICKmas on the Levee — Partnering with the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana LEGO Users Group, Newport on the Levee presents BRICKmas, a LEGO-themed celebration that features more than 13 scenes created with the colorful bricks. A life-size Santa head and Star Wars tribute are displayed along with towering

A Charlie Brown Christmas — Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati presents this live rendition of the TV holiday special, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang remind us what’s most important about the Yuletide season. Dec. 4-13. $18-$22. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction — Home to the world’s largest train display, the Main Street Holiday Trains, this destination also features a reindeer and elf workshop and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Through Jan. 4. $16.95. EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Court, West Chester, 513-898-8000, Christmas Town — The Creation Museum’s annual Christmas Town exhibit features a free live nativity, dazzling lights, Christmas music and more. 5-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Through Dec. 26. 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road, Petersburg, Ky., . Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt — The fourth-annual authentic German market brings local artisans, traditional German fair and Glühwein — hot spiced wine — to Fountain Square. Hosted by Cincideutsch, a group for German-speaking Cincinnatians. Weekends through Dec. 20. Free admission. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown, Cincinnati Boychoir: The Polar Express — The Cincinnati Boychoir performs a

musical reading of The Polar Express. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12; 3 p.m. Dec. 13. $10-$25. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, CityBeat New Year’s Eve Speakeasy Party — Fedoras, flappers and bathtub gin. Get the password to hit the hottest speakeasy party of the season and ring in the New Year. 8 p.m. Dec. 31. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, A Christmas Carol — Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park celebrates 25 years of presenting Charles Dickens’ classic starring Ebenezer Scrooge. No “bah humbugs” here. Through Dec. 30. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, 513-421-3888, East Row Victorian Christmas Tour — The annual East Row Historic District Victorian homes tour takes visitors through decorated Queen Annes and Italianate mansions. Noon-6 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6. $18. Leaves from The Carnegie Event Center, 403 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) —Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presents a play that takes audiences on a ride through various holiday classics. The show starts out as A Christmas Carol but morphs into various holiday favorites, including everything from It’s a Wonderful Life and Frosty to Rudolph and Charlie Brown. Dec. 16-27. $30. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown, 513-3812273, A Feast of Carols (CCM) — Classic and traditional holiday songs collide during the College-Conservatory of Music’s annual Feast of Carols

Holiday Junction at the Museum Center — The Duke Energy Holiday Trains have rolled through the museum since 1946, featuring more than 300 miniature rail cars and 1,000 feet of track. New this year is a LEGO train layout and cityscape and a rare 1904 Carlisle & Finch set. Through Jan. 3. $40 adults; $20 children; free for Duke Energy customers via an online form. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, 513-287-7000, p h o t o : r o n n y s a l e r n o / c i n c i n n at i m u s e u m c e n t e r

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Beach Mountain — The Beach Waterpark gets winterized with 400-foot-long snow-tube runs. Also explore the more than 100,000 lights that make the property glow. Through March 6. Prices vary. The Beach Waterpark, 2590 Waterpark Drive, Mason, 513-398-4356,

models of Washington Park, Music Hall and the Roebling Bridge. Through Jan. 1. $10. Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport, Ky.,

• breakfast • brunch • lunch • happy hour • late nite • 39 craft beers on tap

Ice Rink at Fountain Square — Rent a pair of skates onsite and spend the day in the heart of downtown. Skate with Santa Fridays and Saturdays through December, and on Dec. 31 count down to 2016 on the ice. Through Feb. 15. $6 admission; $4 skate rental. Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, photo : 3cdc

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at the University of Cincinnati. Selections are performed by CCM’s Chamber Choir, Chorale and Concert Orchestra, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cincinnati Children’s Choir with guests choirs from Conner Middle School, Lakota East High School and Mason High School. 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7. $12. Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village, University of Cincinnati, 2600 Clifton Ave., 513-556-4183, Fly Me to the Moon New Year’s Eve Concert — This Pops performance simultaneously rings in the New Year and celebrates Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday. Jazz vocalist Tony DeSare joins the orchestra for familiar songs including “Luck be a Lady,” “One for my Baby” and “Come Fly with Me.” 8 p.m. Dec. 31. $20$95. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-3300, Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker — The Cincinnati Ballet performs the classic, whimsical tale of dancing toys and rat kings. Accompanied by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the play has been a local tradition since 1974. Dec. 19-27.

Tickets start at $32. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-621-ARTS, Happy Holidays with the Mighty Wurlitzer — Listen to the sounds of the Albee Theater’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ accompanying Cincinnati Opera Young Artist Tyler Alessi and students from the Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Buddig Academy performing holiday favorites with all of the bells, whistles and special effects that only the Wurlitzer can create. 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 10. $25. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, Happy Zoo Year — Welcome the New Year with a bunch of party animals at the zoo. This familyfriendly party caps off with early 8:55 p.m. fireworks. 5-10 p.m. Dec. 31. Free with zoo admission. Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, Holiday in Lights — Enjoy Sharon Woods’ outdoor light display from the comfort of your car. Elves, festive animals, snowflakes and much more line a winding path through the park. Through Jan. 2. $13. Sharon

Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, 513-563-4513, Holiday Lights on the Hill — Sculptures provide a backdrop to this large drive-through light display at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. Through Jan. 3. $20 Monday-Thursday; $25 Friday-Sunday. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, 513-868-1234, Holiday on the Hill — Head to Price Hill for a tree lighting, art walk, music, carols, crafts, kids activities and holiday performances. Dec. 4-6. Free. Price Hill, Holiday Pops — Hear holiday favorites as Mr. Christmas, aka John Morris Russell, conducts the Cincinnati Pops with Grammy-winning vocal quartet New York Voices. Santa himself joins in the fun. Dec. 11-13. $10-$128. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, 513381-3300, cincinnatisymphony. org. Holiday Toy Trains at Behringer-Crawford — The museum’s 24th-annual Holiday Toy Trains are accompanied

this year by three additional exhibits. Inspect tiny replicas of room scenes and period furniture created by the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts; see 3-D wood carvings by the River Valley Wood Carvers; and experience “Christmas in Victorian England,” which includes lighted Charles Dickens displays by Department 56. Through Jan. 17. $9 adults; $5 children 12 and under. Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, Covington, Ky., 859-4914003, International New Year’s Eve Celebration — Have your kids celebrate the New Year by traveling the world at the Cincinnati Museum. They’ll get their passports stamped as they learn how the holiday is celebrated in countries around the world through games, music and crafts. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. Cincinnati

Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, 513-287-7001, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas — A dance-packed play revolving around a song-anddance team who fall for a sister act in the process of putting on a show. Expect to hear Berlin classics including the ever-popular “White Christmas.” Through Dec. 6. Tickets start at $29. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, Las Posadas in Price Hill — A Posada-style party with food, music and piñatas. 5:30-9 p.m. Dec. 18. Free. MYCincinnati Firehouse, 3120 Warsaw Ave., Price Hill, Lebanon Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade — Horses from Clydesdales to miniature ponies pull decorated carriages through downtown

Lebanon during this popular parade, which draws between 150,000 and 200,000 people annually. 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 5. Free. Downtown Lebanon, Let it Snow — A holidaythemed laser light show at the Drake Planetarium. The planetarium turns into a virtual snow globe with a choreographed light show set to festive classic Christmas songs. Through Dec. 30. Tickets start at $8. Drake Planetarium, 2020 Sherman Ave., Norwood, Light Up Fairfield — Help decorate a large-scale community ginger bread house, participate in holiday-themed pottery painting and more before the main event — the official lighting of a Christmas tree on the Village Green Amphitheater Stage. Visit for a full schedule of events. 10

photo : Mark Dumont

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PNC Festival of Lights at the Zoo — More than 2 million lights transform the Cincinnati Zoo into a “Wild Wonderland.” New this year is the Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake, a newly themed Gingerbread Village and a Frozen-themed area featuring Anna and Elsa. Though Jan. 2. $27 adults; $21 seniors and children 12 and under. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, 513-281-4700,

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a.m. Dec. 5. Begins at Fairfield Lane Library, 1485 Corydale Drive, Fairfield, fairfield-city. org/lightup.

Dec. 13. Free. Cincinnati Observatory, 3489 Observatory Place, Mount Lookout, 513-321-5186,

Light Up OTR — Help distribute luminaria throughout Over-the-Rhine before watching the lighting of the neighborhood’s 30-foot tree at 9 p.m. Ornament decorating and other kid-friendly activities take place in Washington Park throughout the evening. 5-9:30 p.m. Dec. 12. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, lightupotr. com.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas — This year celebrates the 31st anniversary of the album Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis has created a show that features classic Christmas hits from Mannheim Steamroller and dazzling multimedia effects in an intimate setting. 7 p.m. Dec. 13. $38.25-$78.25. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown,

Light Up the Levee — Newport on the Levee hosts a festive holiday light show as lights are synchronized to holiday tunes. Shows every 20 minutes starting at 5 p.m. Through Jan. 3. Free. Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky.,

Mount Adams Reindog Parade — Bust out your canines’ most festive accessories, costumes and ugly sweaters for this 21st-annual party for pooches. Prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed small and large dog as well as the most convincing master/ dog lookalike duo. Registration begins at noon; parade commences at 2 p.m. Dec. 12. Free. 1055 St. Paul Place, Mount Adams, mtadamstoday. com,

Luminaria: Night Lights at the Cincinnati Observatory — When Mount Lookout lights up its streets, the observatory opens its doors and invites the public to utilize its telescope to get a closer look at the sights and the stars. 6:30-8:30 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Blast — Ring in the New Year on Fountain

Square with a fireworks display and ice skating. Fullservice bar and drink specials. 7 p.m.-midnight. $4 skate rental. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, North Pole Express — Hop aboard a half-hour train ride to visit Santa on the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad. Kids can stop by the Holiday Post Express to write and send a letter to Santa, who has a small gift for them to take home. Through Dec. 22. $22 adults; $17 children 16 and under; $11 toddlers 2-4. Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad, 127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon, 513-933-9022, Ohio National Victorian Holiday Village — Grab a cup of free cocoa and wander through a town comprising miniature, fully decorated Victorian-style homes. The village glows with thousands of lights. Through Dec. 31. Free. Ohio National Financial Services, One Financial Way, Montgomery, An Old Kentucky Christmas — Travel back in time

WATER WONDERL AND WITH SCUBA SANTA — Santa’s fishy underwater adventure has been re-imagined, promising to include more magic than ever this year. Through Dec. 31. Free with aquarium admission ($23 adults; $15 children 12 and under). Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., photo : ne wport aquarium

for an old-fashioned holiday celebration. Christmas caroling, ornament decorating and more comprise the evening. Christmas Candlelight services commence at 7 p.m. nightly, with an additional 5 p.m. service held Dec. 13. Dec. 10-13. Free. First Church, 6080 Camp Ernst Road, Burlington, Ky., 859-586-4673, Over the Rhine — Favorite local indie singer/songwriters Over the Rhine head to the Taft for their annual holiday concert. Features special guest Max Gomez. 8 p.m. Dec. 19. $40. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown,

photo : gary kes sler

The Santaland Diaries — Add a dash of humbug to the holidays with this grownups-only play about an elf gone bad, who reluctantly provides Santa a helping hand during the holiday shopping rush at Macy’s. Presented by the Human Race Theatre Company. Dec. 10-19. $24. Loft Theatre, Metropolitan Art Center, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, 937-228-3630.

Pancakes with Santa — Enjoy a hot cake buffet with St. Nick himself. Then, participate in hands-on activities and have your photo taken with Santa. Dec. 5. $40 adults; $20 children. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, 513287-7000,

Santa’s Workshop at Washington Park— Santa visits the park every Saturday in December. Each day features a different theme, ranging from Carol Karaoke to Frozen Fun, and kids can spend the day making crafts alongside Santa’s elves. Through Dec. 19. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine,

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical — This beloved claymation TV classic hits the stage with a musical adventure featuring Hermey the

The Spirit of Christmas with Michael W. Smith — Michael W. Smith, one of the most celebrated Christian artists of all time, ushers in the spirit of

Christmas with family-friendly favorites. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15. $25-$110. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, Wiley Wahoo’s Winter Wonderland — Based on children’s book The Holiday Adventures of Wiley Wahoo & Me, this Winter Wonderland takes over Goebel Park as part of MainStrasse’s Village Holiday. The attraction features ice-skating dogs, a candy cane forest, photos with Santa and more. Through Dec. 20. Free. Goebel Park, 501 Philadelphia St., Covington, Ky., Winter Solstice Celebration Weekend — An international celebration at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Participate in hands-on activities in the history museum pertaining to holidays around the globe, including Diwali, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, the Lunar New Year and more. Noon-3 p.m. Dec. 19 and 20. Single-museum pass $10.50 adults; $8.50 children 12 and under. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, 513-287-7001,

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Poinsettia Express at Krohn Conservatory — In addition to deep-red poinsettias and candy-cane-striped amaryllis, the Krohn’s holiday floral show features a 12-foot Christmas tree, motionettes from the 1940s and a model town inspired by A Christmas Carol. Through Jan. 3. $7 adults; $4 children. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park,

Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Rudolph. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9. $31.75-$61.75. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown,



Nominate your favorite businesses, people and places.

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to do

Staff Recommendations

p h o t o : x av i e r u n i v e r s i t y


MUSIC: Chicago Modern Rockers NE-HI play MOTR Pub. See Sound Advice on page 52.

EVENT: BOURBON & BACON If you like eating divine swine products or drinking high-quality brown liquor, head to New Riff Distillery for CityBeat’s annual Bourbon & Bacon party. Guests will enjoy samples of bacon-inspired dishes from local restaurants like Holtman’s Donuts, Pompilios, Cuban Pete, BrewRiver GastroPub and more. Wash the pork down with whiskey from Buffalo Trace, OYO, Woodford, Old Forrester and more — or just grab a beer. Tickets include 10 drink samples and all-you-cansnack food. 6-9 p.m. Wednesday. The event is currently sold-out but we bet if you stand outside New Riff on Wednesday, you can smell the bacon. New Riff Distillery, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., — MAIJA ZUMMO


MUSIC: Cincinnati honors the 1979 Riverfront Coliseum WHO CONCERT TRAGEDY with a historical marker dedication. See Big Picture on page 39.

ONSTAGE: AS YOU LIKE IT is a delightfully witty romance at Cincy Shakes. See review on page 40.

HOLIDAY: WILEY WAHOO’S WINTER WONDERLAND This special holiday celebration is part of MainStrasse Village’s series of Christmas events. The animated holiday attraction includes a candy cane forest, ice-skating dogs, photos with Santa and more in

ONSTAGE: THIS IS OUR YOUTH Wayward young people working hard to grow up — that’s the big picture for Kenneth Lonergan’s drama about three friends on the cusp of adulthood navigating their lives in 1982 New York, out from under their dysfunctional parents but still making a mess of things in the arenas of friendship and love. In this local production, Ed Stern, longtime producing artistic director at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, directs three Xavier University theater students — Mac Blais, Griff Bludworth and Tatum Hunter. He’s excited to work with actors who are exactly the right age for their roles. Through Sunday. $12-$17. Gallagher Student Center Theater, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Evanston, 513-745-3939, — RICK PENDER

Goebel Park. The holiday fun keeps going this weekend with a visit from Saint Nicholas on Sunday — similar to Santa, but much more fond of leaving oranges in socks. He’ll stop by Goosegirl Fountain at 6 p.m. to give treats to good girls and boys. Through Dec. 20. Free. Goebel Park, Covington, Ky., — KERRY SKIFF MUSIC: CORNMEAL This May, progressive, improv-happy Newgrass ensemble Cornmeal released Slow Street, its first album in nine years. The fulllength came after the 15-year-old Chicagobased crew reconfigured its lineup; new members include drummer Drew Littell, guitarist Scott Tipping (from Backyard Tire Fire) and fiddler Phil Roach (Giving Tree Band). Guided by founding members Chris Gangi (bass) and Wavy Dave Burlingame (banjo), Slow Street retains Cornmeal’s

broad eclecticism, which effortlessly fuses Bluegrass with a wide range of Americana and Folk styles, as well as Rock, Reggae and whatever else strikes the members’ fancy. 9 p.m. Thursday. Free. Stanley’s Pub, 323 Stanley Ave., Columbia Tusculum, — MIKE BREEN


MUSIC: JESS LAMB releases her latest EP with a free show at MOTR. See Spill It on page 50.

HOLIDAY: CHRISTMAS SAENGERFEST Three years ago, Saengerfest — a German tradition that celebrates choir singing groups, or Saengerbunds — returned to Cincinnati after a 60-year hiatus. Although the event was hugely popular after it was

established locally in 1849, popularity died down with the rise of the May Festival. Now, Saengerfest is back, and it’s taking over four historical venues patrons can tour while enjoying choral classics: the Christian Moerlein brewery, St. Francis Seraph, the First Lutheran Church and the Over-the-Rhine Community Church. Fourteen choirs, including the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, the May Festival Youth Chorus, MUSE | Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir and the SCPA Primary Select Choir, will participate. Shuttle buses take concert-goers from venue to venue. 7-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $25 per night. — EMILY BEGLEY EVENT: REDSFEST So maybe they came in last in the NL Central last season, but they’re still our CONTINUES ON PAGE 36

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COMEDY: RANDY LIEDTKE Randy Liedtke is a Los Angles-based comedian who hails from Oregon. He’s known for obtuse jokes that feature odd turns. “The last few days of my grandmother’s life was spent in a hospice home surrounded by her family,” he tells an audience. “It was getting late at night so we ordered a pizza and the delivery guy shows up to the home and we’re like, ‘Pizza’s here!’ ” But it was at that exact moment his grandmother passed. Liedtke swears this story is true. “How long do you have to wait to eat in that situation? I don’t want to be rude, but we all agreed we were hungry 20 minutes ago.” Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, — P.F. WILSON


photo : trans - siberian orchestra


HOLIDAY: TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA WINTER TOUR As part of its annual winter tour, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is visiting Cincinnati for a musical retelling of a holiday story, recounted in the orchestra’s unique audio-visual way. This year’s performance is “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” which follows a young girl who runs away from home and finds herself among the ghosts of an abandoned vaudeville theater. The story includes Christmas classics like “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Music Box Blues” and “This Christmas Day.” A portion of ticket proceeds benefits Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Toys for Tots, St. Joseph’s Orphanage and The Music Resource Center. Tickets purchased online come with a digital copy of the orchestra’s recently released studio album. 4 and 8 p.m. Friday. $35.50-$63. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway St., Downtown, — KERRY SKIFF

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Cincinnati Reds, and while they may not win the season, they always win the traditions. Redsfest is the team’s annual winter warm-up, offering fans of all ages a chance to interact with Reds past, present and future with autograph signings, games and other activities. See appearances from the likes of Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Joey Votto, Marty Brennaman and more, plus play on an indoor baseball field, check out Reds-related booth displays, visit the Hall of Fame and pick up some authentic merchandise. But Redsfest isn’t just about the Reds — it helps sustain the Reds Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of the team, which improves the lives of young people through baseball. 3 p.m.10:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday. $17 single-day pass; $25 two-day pass. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, cincinnati.reds. — TONY JOHNSON ART: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT AT THE ART ACADEMY The Art Academy of Cincinnati hosts an exhibition reception for Alabama-based photographer Jared Ragland’s show of lens-based art at the AAC’s Covergys Gallery. Ragland is the former photo editor and digital imaging specialist for the White

House under both the Bush and Obama presidencies, and Everything Is Going To Be Alright ostensibly demonstrates the influence of Walker Percy’s existentialist novel The Moviegoer upon the artist during his tenure in Washington, D.C. According to the press release, the daily grind of publicsector life so resonated with Ragland that he began a philosophical exploration of life, narrative and meaning. Reception: 5-8 p.m. Friday. Through Dec. 11. Free. 1212 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, artacademy. edu. — MARIA SEDA-REEDER


MUSIC: Full-bore Post Punk/Hardcore group WAXEATER plays Northside Yacht Club. See Sound Advice on page 52. MUSIC: MARY FAHL of October Project plays the Southgate House Revival. See Sound Advice on page 53.

HOLIDAY: HOLIDAY MARKET AT FINDLAY MARKET Findlay Market’s Holiday Market is a shopping wonderland. Local artisans and craft vendors will bring holiday joy through oldfashioned gifts, food and seasonal drinks. Live holiday music will be provided by Cincinnati choirs and musicians while scavenger hunts and craft beer keep market-goers

p h o t o : r h i n eg e i s t

THIS Week: 12/3 - 12/6 Mark Viera

Top Dogs of Comedy, 30 Rock, Martin Lawrence Presents: 1st Amendment Stand Up

Newport On The Levee

NexT Week: 12/10 - 12/13 Gary Owen

Think Like a Man, Ride Along, House of Payne

UPCOMING SHOWS: 12/17 - 12/20 Ms. Pat 12/26 - 12/30 Jay Phillips 12/31 - 1/3 Guy Torry

Reservations a must! Call 859.957.2000 or visit

Swad Indian Restaurant 1810 W. Galbraith Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45239 513-522-5900 previous Owner/ Chef/Staff from Dusmesh Indian Restaurant




EVENT: DAD DAY AT RHINEGEIST Party in plaid with dad at Rhinegeist. The brewery celebrates the release of its seasonal brew Dad — a hoppy holiday ale — with a party featuring commemorative glassware and posters for the first 100 guests. The event is BYOD and BYOP (bring your own dad and bring your own plaid), with a special #DadPlaid photobooth and cozy holiday setting. BTW: Dad comes in a plaid can, which is why Dad Day has a patterned theme, not just because tartan is incredibly festive. Noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — MAIJA ZUMMO

occupied. There will also be holiday cooking demos, kids activities and a performance from the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. And, according to our sources, Santa Claus himself will be making a surprise appearance. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Free. 1801 Race St., Overthe-Rhine, — TONY JOHNSON


MUSIC: SLEATER-KINNEY brings the riot to Bogart’s in support of their superb album, No Cities to Love. See interview on page 49.

HOLIDAY: O.F.F. MARKET Brunch, booze and shopping await at the O.F.F. Market’s winter 2015 event. Vendors, ranging from small businesses and entrepreneurs to farmers and chefs, will sell items specifically geared toward the holiday season. Accompany your perusal with drinks from a full bar that includes local craft brews, mimosas and a special-recipe


bloody mary. The event also offers a full brunch menu. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, — EMILY BEGLEY EVENT: REPEAL DAY CELEBRATION On Dec. 5, 1933, the United States passed the 21st Amendment, effectively repealing Prohibition. Celebrate by getting drunk on Sidecars and Mary Pickfords in Jazz Age costumes at the Metropole at 21c. The restaurant and bar’s Repeal Day Celebration honors the end of Prohibition with 1920s tunes, a burlesque show and classic speakeasy cocktails. Period-inspired costumes encouraged; mustaches provided by Metropole. Special room rates apply for those who don’t want to tipple and drive. 7-11 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. 609 Walnut St., Downtown, — MAIJA ZUMMO

ONGOING SHOWS ONSTAGE All Childish Things Know Theatre, Over-the-Rhine (through Dec. 19)

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MUSIC: MOON TAXI brings some Jam band realness with a balance of quirky, danceable Indie Pop and Classic Rock to the Taft Theatre. See Sound Advice on page 53.


arts & culture

Visionaries at Work

Artists at Visionaries + Voices prepare for the nonprofit’s major annual event, Double Vision PHOTO : Haile y Bollinger


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or the nonprofit organization Visionaries + Voices, which helps artists with disabilities learn to create and sell their work, the upcoming Double Vision auction of art is a crucial event. Held annually, it’s the organization’s biggest and most high-profile public fundraiser. V+V artists team up with those from the outside community to create work specifically for the event. Then, on the evening of May 7 at St. Xavier High School, 25-30 of those pieces will be live-auctioned to guests while the rest will be put up for silent auction. That sounds like a clever idea — and it is — but many of those guests, who have paid $65 each to attend the event, may not realize just how seriously the organization and the participating artists take their task. It’s meant to be a valuable learning experience for all involved, not just a gimmick to raise money. Not that raising money isn’t crucially important. “The fundraising for Double Vision is to keep our studio operating,” says Diamond Snowden, a V+V artist. But when Krista Gregory, exhibitions director, arrived at V+V when Double Vision was in its fourth year (the 2016 event will be the seventh), she found it needed some intervention. “I noticed there was a drop in interest,” she says. “(Artists) from the community would be asked to participate and they’d bring a piece that was unresolved in their studio and just drop it off. Being an artist myself and being someone who works in a collaborative way, I knew that intimacy builds up when you truly make art with somebody. There’s a potential to build friendships and have a learning experience.” As a result, Gregory added what Visionaries + Voices calls its “Pairs Well With” component to Double Vision. In September, V+V issued a call for community/professional artists to join with its own artists to create works together. Many who have participated previously in Double Vision volunteered, in some cases to work with the same V+V artists as in past years. Two weeks ago, at V+V’s Northside studio, as many of the participating 44 pairs as possible met for a midterm critique, a crucial part of the process. It started at around 6:30 p.m., with free pizza, drinks and chocolate-chip cookies. Gregory had assigned artist pairs into small discussion groups, and they started putting up their works in progress on the walls near their designated meeting areas. “We will give our staff some leading questions, nothing formal, to get it started,”

Gregory said before the event. “Like, ‘What’s strong about a piece? What’s working?’ Then the conversation migrates organically where they talk about everyone’s piece. It’s sort of like what happens in a college critique.” Promptly at 7 p.m., the groups started. I joined one in a front room that had six artist teams; it was being supervised by Karen Boyhen, V+V’s creative director, herself an artist. In fact, she has paired with one of V+V’s most gifted artists, Courttney Cooper. They were working on producing drawings of Cincinnati views. This is their third year working together. (Cooper’s large, amazingly detailed pencil drawings of the city have been shown at the Cincinnati Art Museum and in private galleries; his Double Vision work will be smaller because of size limits.) Their work in progress garnered much discussion at the critique. On the wall were separate sketches showing various Cincinnati views from city parks like Bellevue Hill and Fairview. “We decided we would go to parks and enjoy ourselves and just draw,” Boyhen said. “We’re not sure how we’ll put them together.” One community artist, David Estep, noticed how Boyhen’s own single lines differed from Cooper’s much thicker, heavier markings. “I think they complement each other,” he commented. Estep was collaborating with V+V artist Snowden. Together, they have been working on what so far is an abstracted totem-like white outline of a figure with its head surrounded by a huge blue aura. It is in front of a brilliantly yellow background. If one looks closely at the blueness, pencil sketches of Cincinnati landmarks emerge. Those are Snowden’s contribution, and there was discussion among the group as to whether he should fill those in with color or paint their outlines so they stand out more. Cooper, relatively quiet for much of the exchange, interjected, “I really like it,” and stepped forward to shake Snowden’s hand. It was a powerful moment. Cole Carothers, a veteran community artist respected for his realist paintings and who has shown at the CAM with Cooper, introduced his collaboration with V+V artist Andy Eisenacher. Their work was a fanciful and lively scene, set at a sock hop and featuring a bevvy of bright, animated cartoon-like characters in a room. The principal one is a poodle in a poodle skirt that itself has a poodle emblem on it. Eisenacher wasn’t present, so Carothers explained that his role primarily was to help Eisenacher achieve his vision. “He may work on it a little more,” Carothers

Double Vision pairs Visionaries + Voices artists with professionals in the local arts community.

said. “But there’s a point of overkill, so don’t expect too much more.” Other teams in this group were Ros Bush and Julie Lonneman; Jennifer Crowe, Mark Sullivan and John Auer; and John Nusekabel and Jaclin Hastings. As the event ended at 8 p.m., the bond that was forming around the participating artists was evident. Gregory had earlier foretold that. “The best part is to the see the relationships that develop,” she said. “The instinct

to create art is universal, and it’s up to the arts community to embrace that idea and notion. By offering this opportunity, we hope to help the artists we have had in our studio become richer parts of the arts community in Cincinnati.” DOUBLE VISION VII takes place May 7 at St. Xavier High School. Tickets/more info:

a&c the big picture

Marker to Commemorate Who Concert Tragedy BY STEVEN ROSEN

David Heck, 19, Highland Heights, Ky.; Teva Rae Ladd, 27, Newtown, Ohio; Karen


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Morrison, 15, Finneytown, Ohio; Stephan It’s been a long time coming, but CincinPreston, 19, Finneytown, Ohio; Philip nati is set to mark this week’s 36th anniverSnyder, 20, Franklin, Ohio; Bryan Wagner, sary of the 1979 Who concert tragedy with 17, Fort Thomas, Ky.; James Warmoth, 21, the dedication of a permanent memorial Franklin, Ohio. That side will end with marker by the site. “deepest respects to the families, many On Dec. 3, 1979, 11 people were crushed survivors, friends and first responders.” to death outside Riverfront Coliseum (now The other side will contain a brief history U.S. Bank Arena) when entrance doors didn’t of the events: “Eleven concertgoers, trapped open fast enough or early enough for the in a crush of people, died at the southwest waiting crowd. Most of the tickets were for plaza entrance to Riverfront Coliseum festival-style general admission, putting a waiting to see The Who. Many others were priority on arriving early. Reports at the time said some in the waiting crowd mistook the band’s pre-show sound check for the concert and tried to get in before the Coliseum’s management was ready. A marker dedication will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday on the plaza between U.S. Bank Arena and Great American Ball Park. There will also be a lighting of lanterns in remembrance. Afterward, there will be a public reception at Historic Herzog Studio at 811 Race St., on the second floor. (That latter space is managed by Cincinnati USA Mayor Cranley spoke at last year’s observance of the incident. Music Heritage Foundation, the P H O T O : C h u c k M a d d e n . p r o v i d e d b y C i n c i n n at i U S A M u s i c H e r i ta g e F o u n d at i o n . nonprofit that spearheaded the drive for the marker.) injured in what was the deadliest concert Since 2009, the 30th anniversary, that tragedy in United States history. The tragedy foundation has been having solemn, reflecspurred passage of a crowd safety ordinance, tive observances of the event. And it has been which became a model for the world.” quietly working with families of victims, as This marker took a long time, partly well as survivors of the crush, on permanent because those involved attempted to reach remembrance. At last year’s observance, as many families of victims as possible to Mayor John Cranley said a marker would be seek cooperation. The foundation also had to in place by this anniversary. privately raise the money — roughly $5,000. Actually, this effort dates to the foundaOne of those who will be at the dedication tion’s beginning in 2007. At that time, there is Andy Bowes, 65, the older brother of Peter was considerable support to formally rememBowes, who died in the crush. He is coming ber those who died or were injured that night. from his Naples, Fla. home for the ceremony. “In the aftermath of that gathering, folks Among other things, he has been in contact began to get together to figure out a way to with The Who’s management and said the have some kind of permanent memorial,” band supports this project. says Elliott Ruther, a founder of Cincinnati “I’m never going to stop thinking about Music Heritage. my brother, and for me and my counterThe two-sided marker, on a post parts there is no end,” Bowes says. “But anchored into the plaza at a site chosen by I think this is taking something that the city and the committee, will have its deserves some sort of permanent recogniformal unveiling at Thursday’s observance. tion and finally giving it.” But Ruther shared its wording and noted Throughout the process, Kasey Ladd of it will mention that the event did prompt a Anderson Township has remained a key crowd-safety ordinance that has proved an supporter of this effort. He was just two important and positive development. when his mother, Teva Rae Ladd, died in the One side will pay tribute to “Eleven In crush. “That was my mom, so it’s going to be Memoriam”: Walter Adams Jr., 22, Trotwood, emotional for me,” he says. “And I imagine Ohio; Peter Bowes, 18, Wyoming, Ohio; it’s going to be emotional for the others who Connie Sue Burns, 21, Miamisburg, Ohio; have a family member’s name on there.” Jacqueline Eckerle, 15, Finneytown, Ohio;

a&c onstage

Pre-Holiday Humor on Local Stages REVIEWS BY RICK PENDER


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Sleater-Kinney with Waxahatchee

December 6th • Bogart’s

classic Shakespearean comedy, well suited Shakespeare’s great comedy, As You Like for audiences young and old. It, is Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s • Know Theatre is Cincinnati’s go-to source early holiday offering, a delightfully witty for offbeat onstage stories. Joseph Zettelromance with a big, talented cast. Staged by maier’s All Childish Things appears to be CSC veteran Jeremy Dubin, the production just that at first glance: A trio of young men uses most of the company’s actors — longstuck in childhood. They’re immersed in a time performers and members of the Young galaxy far, far away — the sci-fi world of Star Company — to tell this familiar story with Wars that shaped their youthful dreams of a non-stop comic verve. universe where hope and honor held sway. Orlando (antic Geoffrey Warren Barnes II), Life hasn’t turned out that way: Dave the youngest son of a late nobleman, chafes (Ben Dudley) lives in his mother’s basement at his older brother Oliver’s domineering ways (dour Brent Vimtrup). Oliver encourages Charles (imperious Douglas Fries), an imposing wrestler, a foot taller and more skilled, to do away with Orlando in a contest of strength. It’s a comic physical mismatch, but wiry Orlando manages to defeat Charles. He’s already made a good impression on Rosalind (intelligent and congenial Sara Clark), the daughter of a banished lord, and by winning the wrestling match he also wins her heart. In short order she’s exiled As You Like It at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to the Forest of Arden, disPHOTO : Mikki Schaffner guised for travel by wearing men’s clothing. In search of her surrounded by Star Wars memorabilia; Max father, she’s accompanied by her wisecrack(Chris Wesselman) is a fretful, divorced dad; ing friend Celia (Miranda McGee) and the Carter (James Creque) works at a warehouse court fool, Touchstone (played with manic full of Star Wars collectibles. His girlfriend hilarity by Billy Chace). In the forest they Kendra (Laurie Benning Roberts) is weary happen upon Orlando (who fails to recognize of the boys’ obsessions. Rather than seek Rosalind), an array of country bumpkins and mature paths to success, they have seized on Jaques, a melancholy sourpuss of a courtier an adventure they believe requires bravery, (Paul Riopelle). As the boyish Ganymede, intelligence and a lot of luck, a daring misRosalind tests Orlando’s ardor, while the sion that feels like the escapades of Luke comic characters are engaged in several Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca: Break bewildering misadventures. Of course, the stories sort themselves out neatly. It’s a happy, into a warehouse, steal priceless Star Wars collectibles and sell them for $2 million. good-natured tale of joy and laughter. The characters have more depth than we As You Like It is made all the more might have imagined. Dudley plays Dave entertaining by Abbi Howson’s amusingly as a nerd with the necessary smarts and a exaggerated Victorian-era costumes and streak of optimism that befits a kind-of hero. Shannon Roberts’ scenic design: The forest The usually boisterous Wesselman turns in is overhung with ropy streamers suggesting a strong performance as a nervous guy. The odd foliage. Dressed as if on their way to show’s most genuine moment is an honest Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter’s tea party, conversation about feelings and motives men wear outlandish top hats and brightly between Max and Kendra. colored suits; women are in frilly dresses Director Tamara Winters pulls All Child— except Rosalind in her mannish costume. ish Things back from the brink with a strong Comic touches abound: Director Dubin second act that requires her actors to dig has Touchstone and Corin (Jim Hopkins) deeper. The result is heartening, perhaps a crowded into a tiny boat, fishing and sharing sign of more thoughtful productions to come. a corncob pipe that’s likely stuffed with a substance recently rejected by Ohio voters. Silvius (Justin McCombs), a simpleton shepherd, wanders on and off with a toy lamb that bleats and frequently evades his supervision. This production is a madcap rendition of a

AS YOU LIKE IT, presented by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, will be onstage until Dec. 12. ALL CHILDISH THINGS, at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, continues through Dec. 19.



Growing up Carlin



Beginning October 23, you’ll hear a local artist on WNKU every hour. Tune in and celebrate Cincinnati’s rich music scene.

Comedian George Carlin with daughter Kelly


PHOTO : Provided

percent of it. For years I had a lot of issues to work through, and a lot of my difficulty in my relationship with my parents was around feeling like I missed out on part of my childhood. And there were many years where I couldn’t even articulate that. And my work has created a lot of positive things in my personality, like learning to have some healthy selfishness. CB: You’ve always had an affinity for performance, but it seems like your father was careful about keeping you from trying to follow in his footsteps. KC: I didn’t have a lot of conversations with my dad about performing. But he was worried that I was going to go into standup. So we had a very specific conversation about that, which I, being the insecure person I am, took to mean he doesn’t think I’m a very good comic. But he was just very worried about me entering the entertainment business, which is ruthless. CB: How has writing this book affected you? KC: I feel like it has allowed me to move on from my story and my past and it has given me confidence as a writer. It’s also allowed me to share parts of my dad with his fans that they wouldn’t get a chance to know any other way. And I think it’s a bit of closure for his fans. Kelly Carlin’s memoir, A CARLIN HOME COMPANION: GROWING UP WITH GEORGE, is now available in bookstores.

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Fans of legendary comedian George Carlin who are interested in the mayhem that went on behind-the-scenes during his most prolific years can now get an up-close and personal view. Carlin’s only child, his daughter Kelly, has written a memoir, A Carlin Home Companion: Growing up with George. It’s an exquisitely written “warts and all” look at life at home with George, his wife Brenda and Kelly — the self-proclaimed “Three Musketeers” — during the best and worst of times. Kelly’s account of “life with George” holds nothing back. She recounts her family’s trouble with alcoholism, unimaginable cocaine use and addiction, a devastating milliondollar debt to the IRS and the constant arguments to which Kelly played referee. But at the core of this heartbreaking and hilarious memoir is Kelly’s own story as she struggles to find her true self amid the madness. CityBeat recently caught up with Kelly to discuss the genesis of this tender memoir. CityBeat: How did this book begin to take shape? Kelly Carlin: I started having the desire to tell my story in 1999 after my mother had died, and I wrote a solo show called Driven to Distraction. It was about how I had been distracted through my parents’ own chaos when I was a child and then choosing my crazy ways in my early years as an adult. But it made my dad uncomfortable, so I put it on the shelf. When I started to outline a memoir in 2006, my dad was still uncomfortable and I knew I needed to put it on the shelf until that time when he was no longer here. After he died, I continued to develop my one-woman show, which gave me a chance to really know my life story at a much deeper level. CB: You have a great memory of dates, which disproves the notion that if you do a lot of drugs like you did during your wild years, you lose your memory. KC: Well, I’ve really had to work at it. Part of it was to reconstruct my life. To ask myself, “What did happen? How did I get here? How did I get away from the bad things? How did I pick up the things that were healthy for me and reconnect with them?” That’s been a big part of why I even tackled this project. CB: It’s a beautifully written book in how the writing flows. KC: Thank you. I really loved writing it. That’s where I really found my joy in wordsmithing. I really felt connected to my father while I was writing it in the sense that I was really working my craft just like he worked his. CB: From an early age you had to be the voice of sanity between your parents. Is that still a source of resentment, or have you already worked through that? KC: I’ve worked through it all — or 99



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CHI-RAQ — Teyonah Parris, seemingly ready for a full-on breakout after attracting attention last year in Dear White People, leads the charge in Spike Lee’s latest, a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ ancient Greek play Lysistrata. The narrative focuses on the efforts of the title heroine who rallies women to withhold sexual favors as a means of forcing warriors to lay down their arms. Lee repositions the tactic, setting it against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago. His contemporary Lysistrata (Parris) seeks to bring an end to blackon-black killings in one of the most violent American cities, and it appears that Lee is not at all shy about introducing a host of theatrical techniques into the mix in order to entertain, engage and educate us, like the Spike Lee of old. (Opens wide Friday) — tt stern-enzi (R) Not screened in time for review KRAMPUS — I may end up sounding a bit Scrooge-like, but there’s something deliciously intriguing in the premise of Krampus, a story about dissatisfaction among a dysfunctional family during the holiday season that results in the emergence of a Christmas demon. Forget Santa Claus leaving coal in your stocking — now there’s an evil spirit of the season that will do a whole lot more than haunt your house. Director and cowriter Michael Dougherty (scripting with Todd Casey and Zach Shields) dreams up this horror fantasy with comedic details and receives support from Adam Scott, Toni Collette and David Koechner to present this tricky treat. (Opens wide Friday) — tts (PG-13) Not screened in time for review TRUMBO — Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) sat among the elite in Hollywood — a top screenwriter in the 1940s — until he and others were arrested and blacklisted for their political beliefs. Trumbo took advantage of his wit and the power of language to not only garner fame and glory (a pair of Academy Awards for Roman Holiday and The Brave One), but to also highlight the absurdity, injustice and utter un-American behavior of those behind the blacklisting. Jay Roach’s film features several key Hollywood insiders, like John Wayne (David James Elliot), Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) and Edward G. Robinson (Michael Stuhlbarg), and seeks to spin things as only Trumbo could. (Now in theaters) — tts (R) Not screened in time for review

a&c film

The Future of Art House Theaters and Film Festivals in the Queen City BY T T STERN-ENZI

In 2008, a restaurant explosion began in Over-the-Rhine’s Gateway Quarter on Vine Street with Lavomatic, which has been replaced by Krueger’s Tavern (from the owners of Bakersfield and The Eagle), while Daniel Wright’s dining empire blossomed to include Senate, Abigail Street and Pontiac Bourbon & BBQ. A Tavola, Taste of Belgium and others have filled the remaining Vine Street slots. The scene’s overflow has made OTR a nationally recognized foodie destination, yet the amateur urban planner in me can’t help but wonder what this sector would look like with a film center to serve as a creative anchor. It should come as no surprise that, as a film critic, I see cinema as the most democratic art form in terms of its ability to attract the broadest audience at its price point. There is a solid economic argument to be made for the impact of an art house theater or film center in the OTR core. In 2006, the Sundance Institute’s Art House Project included a special gathering of exhibitors who, for two consecutive years, met to discuss the state of independent film and its exhibition. By 2008, the group decided to host a conference (Art House Convergence) in Salt Lake City. That initial year, there were 25 attendees. The now-annual gathering expanded and moved locations to the Zermatt and Homestead Resorts in Midway, Utah. Within five years, the conference boosted attendance up to more than 350 participants, including delegations from international art houses. Along the way, the need for regional conferences emerged, with San Rafael, Calif., and Boston serving as homes. Last year, more than 500 exhibitors, film festivals and allied organization representatives took part in the annual conference at Midway. (Cincinnati is not represented at the conferences.) From their website, they address their goals: “The organization strives to reflect its core intention, community-based, mission-driven, in all its programs, seminars and conference.” The overall mission is “to increase the quantity and quality of Art House cinemas in North America.” A 2014 National Audience Survey sponsored by Art House Convergence addressed

several key dynamics in respect to art house cinemas on their communities, such as the impact on related spending in urban sectors. Beyond the purchase of concessions (42.1 percent), slightly more than 25 percent of audiences spend money in restaurants outside the theater. Parking (12 percent) and public transportation (8.7 percent) factor into the economic equation as well. These are important considerations, especially for a city like Cincinnati, which doesn’t yet have an art house in its urban

“Imagine the impact of a Queen City film center in OTR, where beer, food and film could spark a new cultural revolution.” core but has seen what other diversified redevelopment has meant to its downtown corridor in less than a decade. There are lessons for Cincinnati in these numbers. The focus of the Convergence group’s mission has a significant economic effect in the urban communities served by those art houses, film festivals and the (related) allied organizations. In late September, Art House Convergence recognized its first class of Sundance Institute Art House Project theaters, an elite group of 23 honorees. Ohio’s Gateway Film Center in Columbus earned one of the coveted spots, thanks to its innovative approach to offering engaging experiences for all ages. The point here goes far beyond attempting to hit the grand slam with festivals and major events. The Gateway succeeds because its ongoing programming (a Book to Film family series, Green Screen film series dedicated to eco-friendly movies and an annual screening of Ohio-made horror shorts, to name a few) has their independent theater peers and others taking note. Imagine the impact of a Queen City film center in OTR, where beer, food and film could spark a new cultural revolution. CONTACT TT STERN-ENZI: letters@

a&c television

Netflix and Bill

Where the locals come to eat, drink and have fun


Common, Mary J. Blige and David Alan Grier Bona fide cool guy Bill Murray has been and Cirque du Soleil performers. spending some time in Cincinnati lately Nathan for You (10 p.m., Comedy as his son serves as assistant coach to the Central) – Nathan tries to create a chip-free undefeated Xavier men’s basketball team. nail polish concept and works on his biggest The comedy legend seems to pop up at a personality flaw. lot of normal places around the world — as well-documented on the Internet — from bachelor parties and engagement photo shoots to college keggers and karaoke bars America’s Next Top Model (Series (not just in Lost in Translation). Finale, 9 p.m., The CW) – Smize the tears With Murray always crashing the party, it’s only fitting that we kick off the holiday season by crashing one of his. A Very Murray Christmas (Friday, Netflix) features all the hallmarks of a holiday special: yuletide carols, an all-star director (Sofia Coppola), a poorly timed blizzard and stars like George Clooney, Chris Rock, Amy Poehler and Miley Cyrus. OK, obviously this is not your standard Christmas spectacular — it’s Bill Murray! So cozy up with this weird bit Murray Christmas to all! of holiday cheer and hunker PHOTO : Ali Goldstein/Netflix down with the Murricane.




The Wiz Live! (8 p.m., NBC) – This modernized, soulful retelling of The Wizard of Oz — based on the 1975 Broadway musical and 1978 cult film — stars Queen Latifah, Ne-Yo,

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The Leftovers (Season Finale, 9 p.m., HBO) – Kevin tells John the truth about what happened the night Evie disappeared. And you know shit’s about to go down in Miracle as the fourth anniversary of The Departure approaches.


Fargo (10 p.m., FX) – Ed and Peggy complete their plan at the motel; Hanzee returns to the Gerhardts; Lou gets caught up in jurisdictional politics.

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Fresh Off the Boat (8:30 p.m., ABC) – Louis and Jessica rebrand Santa as a scientist with several post-grad degrees who loves his mother. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (10 p.m., CBS) – Let the self-loathing commence!

12/4 - Friday

Chef Phil Kurtz Dinner Specials Live Music from Lisak & Rowe from 7-10pm

Live Music from Sam Minelli from 5-8pm


Wine Tasting 5:30-8:30pm Live Jazz from Old Green Eyes

12/6 - Sunday Neighborhood Night

away — after 22 cycles (and don’t you dare call them seasons), Ty Ty is ending it. The Knick (10 p.m., Cinemax) – Thackery tests out a new addiction hypothesis and gives Abby a nose job as Brockhurst comes looking for the twins.

Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Ryan Gosling hosts; Leon Bridges performs.

12/3 - Thursday Night Wine & Jazz


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Empire (9 p.m., Fox) – In the final episode of 2015, Cookie organizes a show at the prison where she spent 17 years while Lucious makes a wild play that could change everything. Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – After bidding at a school auction, Gloria wins a family therapy session with a self-help guru who encourages people to clean out their emotional “junk drawers.” At the seminar, Jay resists opening up, Mitch and Cam try to play it cool and Claire and Phil get competitive. Blackish (9:30 p.m., ABC) – When the ex-wife (Wanda Sykes) of the ad agency’s founding partner takes control of half the company, her first order of business is getting rid of Charlie. The League (10 p.m., FXX) – Kevin must run the league analog-style when the guys are kicked off their site. Top Chef (Season Premiere, 10 p.m., Bravo) – Season 13 plants roots in California as 17 chefs compete for the title. And in another new episode at its regular time at 10 p.m. Thursday, the remaining chefs open pop-up eateries that represent various L.A. neighborhoods.

12/2 - Wednesday Wing Night

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Holidays on the Half-Shell

Porkopolis tosses traditional Christmas ham this season in favor of oysters — raw, stewed and Rockefellered P H O T O : K ho i N g u y e n



butter or are Rockefellered ($4.50). The Oysters Rockefeller — topped with spinach and hollandaise — is a staple of both the main Boca menu and oyster menu, and this particular selection will be in rotation for the foreseeable future. Lieb is also looking to overcome any stigma about when to eat oysters. “The old saying is not to eat them in months that don’t end with R,” he says. “But that’s not really a problem because the oysters that are used aren’t wild anymore.” This original belief about only eating oysters in months with an “R” — aka not during the warm months of May, June, July or August — came from food-safety threats of red tide blooms and before the advent of reliable refrigerated transport. Oysters today are commercially farmed, so they don’t face the same contamination issues. Lieb, who has lived and cooked all over the world, says that people often lose sight of what’s important when it comes to cooking oysters and wants to bring the attention back to the craft itself. Although he prefers the West Coast oysters, and serves them cold, he appreciates the

Boca’s new oyster menu arrives just in time for the holidays.

nuanced layers of flavor when it comes to East Coast oysters. “They’re bigger, crispier, firmer and brinier,” he says. Other restaurants in the downtown area are also keeping up the Cincinnati holiday tradition. Anchor-OTR serves both East Coast and West Coast oysters in their oyster bar all week long. During their 5-7 p.m. happy hour, oysters are only $1.50, and every Thursday they have Oyster Mania. That means $1 oysters, $1 cans of Tecate and $6 martinis all night long — and both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve happen to fall on Thursdays this year. Meanwhile, Jeff Ruby’s The Precinct, although mostly known as a steakhouse, has its own oyster selection and raw bar, with Oysters Rockefeller as an appetizer ($22.75) and raw Virginia Blue Point oysters ($3.25 each). Historic local saloon Washington Platform, a 19th-century gathering spot for German immigrants, also has a popular workingmans oyster selection (and an

entire oyster festival serving up every preparation imaginable starting at the end of March). At the platform, you can always get a traditional Cincinnati oyster stew (fresh oysters with milk, spices and a slice of garlic toast; $11), plus myriad oyster dishes like shooters ($12), oysters on the half-shell ($11-$19) and even oysters fried in cornmeal breading ($25). Although, along with Boca, these restaurants might put a little dent your wallet, there’s nowhere better to find oysters during the Christmas season. And if you’re staying in, there’s no better way to celebrate Cincinnati’s Christmas roots than with oyster stew. Find this story at for an online exclusive — dining writer and chef Ilene Ross’ OYSTER STEW RECIPE.

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ysters and oyster stew aren’t what you would usually expect to see on an American Christmas dinner table, but, as it turns out, the briny bivalves have a long holiday tradition in Cincinnati. The popularity of oysters in the Queen City started with an influx of European immigrants in the 19th century, especially Irish and German Catholics. Both followed religious dietary restrictions around the holidays, i.e., no meat on Christmas Eve, so instead they ate fish. The Irish traditionally prepared a fish called “ling” during the holidays, which they stewed with milk, butter and pepper. Since there was no ling in America, they substituted oysters, and thus the traditional warm and comforting Christmas Eve oyster stew was born. People freaking loved oysters in the 1800s. In fact, Americans harvested 700 million of the little suckers out of the Hudson Bay in 1880 alone. Cincinnati even had an Oyster Line — a stagecoach that ran from 1835 to 1850 and carted fresh oysters on ice on a five-day trip from Baltimore to supply the city’s various oyster houses. Historically, Cincinnati restaurants served oysters baked in shells, in pies, raw, stewed with champagne, fried, pickled and even in aspic, according to local historian Dan Woellert’s book, Historic Restaurants of Cincinnati: The Queen City’s Tasty History. And when Cincinnatians couldn’t get their hands on oysters, they used pickled pigs’ feet instead, which were then referred to as “Cincinnati oysters.” And Christmas oysters are still a restaurant mainstay today. The Anchor-OTR, The Precinct and Boca in particular serve up this unexpectedly popular celebration dish during the holiday season and up to New Year’s Eve. At Boca, executive chef Jeremy Lieb has created a new menu comprised of raw and hot oysters, with fresh picks updated regularly. Guests are allowed to mix and match their individual favorites nightly, and on Wednesday evenings between 5 and 6:30 p.m., a half-dozen oysters are half-price. This menu has a combination of oyster preparations sourced from both the West Coast and East Coast. The West Coast oysters include Shigoku with horseradish or yuzu kosho ($5.50 each), and Kusshi with the same ($4.50 each). The East Coast oysters are topped with miso


Beer to Help You Through the Holidays BY GARIN PIRNIA

You’ve survived Black Friday and Thanksgiving, and now you just need to get through the rest of the year. Thankfully, beer — especially holiday ales and warming stouts — can help with that.

New Beers

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with Vanilla — in bottles and also have them on tap. Besides the new beers, Braxton will have several local and regional beers on tap, along with food trucks and the band Motherfolk. • Also on Dec. 5, Rhinegeist is throwing an event to honor dads. Dad Day will take place from noon-5 p.m., and you’re encouraged to BYOD (bring your own dad or someone else’s dad) and to wear “Dad plaid.” They’ll have plenty of their holiday ale, Dad, on hand.

• In November, Taft’s Ale House released their first 16-ounce cans, Liquid Advent Chocolate Brown Porter. The beer, a play on Maverick Chocolate’s spicy Fahrenheit 513 bar, uses chile, cacao nibs, star anise and cinnamon. You can only buy the cans at the taproom ($11.99). Also new? The Pedro Pacas Mexican Lager. The Cheech and Chong movie Up in Smoke inspired the name, but unfortunately no weed was added. • Rhinegeist and Blue Oven Bakery collaborated on a 22-ounce bomber called Saison Blue. The beer is infused with the bakery’s organic wheat, which was roasted in a woodfired oven. Now, if only Blue Oven would convert their English muffins into beer form. MadTree’s home-tasting kit is a gift for true beer geeks. • If you didn’t make it to LisPHOTO : MadTree termann/Triple Digit for their Black Friday bottle releases, • Hold on, one more event for Dec. 5! You’re they should still have some on draft: Chai gonna be so drunk that this will go down as Chickow!, Blackberry Nutcase and Batch 300, the greatest Repeal Day since 1933. Growler aged in triple-smoked whiskey barrels. House in East Walnut Hills celebrates one • Fifty West just released their Death Valyear in business. From 5 p.m.-midnight, ley Shootout Stout. For now, it’s only on draft. they’ll pour some hard-to-find seasonals and • ’Tis the season to buy beer swag. $11.11 growler fills. There will also be birthMadTree is selling gift packs online and at day cake. their taproom. For the beer geek, purchase • Rhinegeist and Taft’s Ale House are the home-tasting kit ($125): a 40-ounce both planning NYE festivities. Rhinegiest’s Hydroflask growler, a flight tray and four party starts at 8 p.m. and goes into the MadTree tasting glasses. And while you’re wee hours. Check their Facebook page for at it, purchase their seasonal eight-pack of updates. Taft’s is offering a few different beer: four Thundersnows, one Psychopathy, packages starting at $35 (and at 7 p.m.). one Happy Amber, one Lift and one Gnarly • West Chester’s DogBerry Brewing Brown. throws their first-anniversary party on Jan. 8,. MadTree keeps the holiday cheer coming You can only buy tickets at their taproom. For on Dec. 3 when they release bourbon barrel$25, you get two full pours, shuttle service aged Are You Ready For Some Darkness and a gift. They haven’t posted their beer list stout in bottles. It supposedly tastes chocoyet, but expect a few from their Supernova latey and bourbony, with notes of black tea. series. • Barrel-aged beers are all the rage. On Jan. 15 and 16, Jungle Jim’s Barrel-Aged • Dec. 5 is Repeal Day (the day Prohibition Beer Bash will pour more than 60 of them, was repealed), and Braxton Brewing Comincluding rare and limited brews. Last year pany is throwing a Braxton Block Party they had beers from Brooklyn Brewery, Rhifrom noon-1 a.m., where they’ll release their negeist and Upland. The organizers describe first bottled beer in the Heritage Series, Dark it as “not for the faint of heart,” but if you’re Charge, “a massive imperial stout that showOK with testing fate, purchase tickets for cases Kentucky’s heritage: bourbon.” They’ll $40. sell Dark Charge and its variants — Dark


Charge Bourbon Barrel-Aged with Starter Coffee, Dark Charge Bourbon Barrel-Aged


eats classes & events Most classes and events require registration; classes frequently sell out.


CityBeat’s Bourbon & Bacon — If you like eating divine swine products or drinking high-quality brown liquor, head to New Riff Distillery for CityBeat’s annual Bourbon & Bacon party. Tickets include 10 drink samples and all-you-can-snack food. 6-9 p.m. The event is currently sold-out. 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky.,

You Won’t Miss Gluten — Whether eliminating gluten from your diet by choice or necessity, this class will teach you to easily replace starches in your main dishes. 6-8 p.m. $70. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester,


Holiday Entertaining — Get ready for the holiday season with recipes and tips to help you spend more time enjoying your guests. 6-9 p.m. $65. Midwest Culinary Institute, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, culinary.

Entertaining with Cheese — Whether you’re throwing a party or just eating cheese in your bed alone, learn to make simple but sensational cheese boards. 6-8 p.m. $35. Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, Warped Wing Tapping — If you’re a fan of Dayton’s Warped Wing, head to BrewRiver for a special tap takeover with giveaways and live music. 6-9 p.m. Free. 2062 Riverside Drive, East End, Cincinnati E.A.T.S. — Cincinnati E.A.T.S. takes over Cricket Lounge with cocktails and appetizers, followed by a seated dinner and dessert. The organization — Epicureans About Town Society — is dedicated to supporting local restaurants and charities. Bring two canned goods for the Freestore Foodbank. 6:30 p.m. $46.50. Palace Restaurant, 601 Vine St., Downtown,



Bourbon, Brews and a Winery Too — The Cincy Brew Bus stops at New Riff, The Littlefield, Henke Winery and Rhinegeist. Noon-5 p.m. $70-$75. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., Kids and Teens in the Kitchen: Holiday

A New Holiday Brunch — Prepare an easy brunch for a holiday or lazy Sunday. 10 a.m.noon. $65. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, Sushi Rolling and Dining — Learn to roll three kids of sushi. BYOB. 6 p.m. $25. Sushi Cincinnati, 130 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., Braxton Block Party — Braxton Brewing hosts a block party with live music from the likes of Tracy Walker, Pete Dressman and more. They’ll also be releasing the first beer in their Heritage Series: Dark Charge. Noon-1 a.m. Free admission. 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, Ky., Drink Local for Christmas — Test locally crafted wine and spirits for gift giving. Choose from 17 wines and 10 spirits. 2-7 p.m. $15. Woodstone Creek, 4712 Vine St., Saint Bernard, Holly Jolly Roger Lunch Cruise — Christmas plus pirates! This lunch cruise features a family-friendly pirate crew, games, activities, turkey and an appearance by Santa. Noon-2 p.m. Saturdays. Through Dec. $40 adults; $24 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky.,


Dinner Amongst the Stars — Local celebrities serve a meal to benefit the Still Strong Foundation and the Carlos Dunlap Foundation. 6 p.m. $250. Prime 47, 580 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-579-0720. A Do-Ahead Brunch — Entertain with ease. Menu includes savory goat cheese and artichoke frittata, baked crab benedict and a sparkling bellini. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $70. Cooks’Wares, 11344 Montgomery Road, Harper’s Point,


A Trip to Vietnam — Create your own meal of pho and learn to roll your own spring rolls with rice noodles and veggies. 6-8 p.m. $70. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, Cookies Uncorked — Grab some friends for a night of cookie making and wine. Includes naked cookies, icing, equipment and instruction. 7-9 p.m. $45. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky.,

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Date Night: Spiced Crusted Pork — Bring a date and create a main dish of smoked paprika-crusted pork and Swiss chard with quinoa. 6-8 p.m. $160 per couple. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester,

Cookies — Kids ages 8 and older can learn to make cut-out cookies, royal icing and various decorating techniques. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $50. Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton,

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There’s Still a Riot Going On

Sleater-Kinney returns after a decade-long absence with its best album ever, No Cities to Love P H O T O : B r i g i tt e S i r e



Sleater-Kinney. I think we just craved the intensity that is this band.” For the trio, the first order of business was understanding what a new Sleater-Kinney album would have to be, philosophically and structurally. Knowing the album would be the subject of incredible scrutiny upon release, the musicians applied that same attention to their process. “The approach was definitely the desire to make the record bulletproof,” Weiss says. “We knew for it to be worthwhile for us, we had to make one of our best records. We took ourselves to task on that; a lot of editing, looking at songs objectively, trying to assess, ‘Is this song done? Is this song good enough? Does this work with the other songs?’ It was rewarding and really hard.” The trio set an initial recording date, but when that date arrived, the band members decided they didn’t have enough of the right material to hit the studio. It would be another year before they felt their songs were worth documenting. “The last songs we write are always our best songs and usually our favorites,” Weiss says. “We wrote a lot that summer (right before recording), and they ended up being the main tracks, the heart of the record. It’s a good thing we kept at it.” That could be the year’s understatement. No Cities to Love is easily one of Sleater-Kinney’s best albums to date and among 2015’s best releases. In a little over 30 minutes, S-K roars through 10 tracks that vibrate with Punk intensity while barreling along with the lockstep ass-kick of classic Gang of Four. Produced once again by John Goodmanson, who’s helmed the majority of S-K’s releases (“John gets the best performances out of us, and really knows how to make us feel confident, freewheeling and relaxed,” Weiss says), No Cities to Love is prime Sleater-Kinney. As No Cities’ touring cycle winds down, the trio is casually considering next steps. As far as the tour goes, the band is considering adding some older obscurities to its set-lists, which currently include much of the new album, songs from The Woods and a few fan favorites “Corin’s been trying to get Carrie to play ‘Heart Factory’ for about 15 years. It’s a great song but I don’t think we’ll be able to talk her into that one,” Weiss laments. As far as the future, Sleater-Kinney is thinking about it without really thinking about it. “For us right now, it’s important not to push too hard,” Weiss says. “We don’t want

Janet Weiss (left) says Sleater-Kinney reunited because they craved the intensity of the band.

to feel boxed in by this thing. We’ve done the recording (and) touring cycle and it was some of the best years of our lives, but with families and careers and the other things everyone wants to do, we’re just going to take it in a laidback way. We want to make sure we have enough life-force to give to Sleater-Kinney before we commit to doing the whole thing again.” As to Weiss’ personal post-S-K plans, she’s looking for projects, and doesn’t discount a significant change of scenery. Cincinnati’s music scene could even get a new drummer looking for a band.

“I’m looking for a job. I like your town, it’s a good town,” she says with a laugh. “This is how my life has been for 25 years. A project ends and I hustle to find some other preferably rewarding music to play. Not having my life planned is so great but it gets a little nerve-wracking. I can’t be in one band, so I’ll work on keeping the fires burning on the drumming front. Drummers can never play enough. That’s our problem.” SLEATER-KINNEY plays Bogart’s Sunday. Tickets/ more info:

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t seems slightly inaccurate to describe the past decade without the ebullient adrenaline rush of Sleater-Kinney as a hiatus. It implies that the trio’s members — guitarists/vocalists Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker and drummer Janet Weiss — have been preoccupied with the scent of long-neglected roses and gazing into heretofore unexplored navels between 2005’s The Woods and this year’s across-the-boardexcellent No Cities to Love. Given the artists recent schedules, Sleater-Kinney needed a hiatus from its hiatus. Over the past decade, Brownstein became a breakout television star with Portlandia, formed Wild Flag (with Weiss, ex-Helium guitarist Mary Timony and ex-Minders drummer-turned-keyboardist Rebecca Cole), appeared in Todd Haynes’ acclaimed, Cincinnati-shot film Carol and written her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Meanwhile, Tucker recorded and toured with her own band and had her second child, and Weiss worked with her long-standing group Quasi and did studio/touring stints with the likes of Wild Flag, The Shins, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks and Bright Eyes. In many ways, they seem like the schedules of three women who have left something behind on their way to bigger situations. And if ever there was a high note on which to depart from a darkened stage, The Woods would have been Sleater-Kinney’s near-perfect swan song. A brilliant blend of everything S-K had accomplished since its eponymous 1995 debut and a peek down newly discovered avenues, The Woods had the feel of a go-out-on-top album. “No, that wasn’t the intention,” Weiss says via phone from her Seattle home. “The goal with (The Woods) was to go out on a limb and challenge ourselves to make something really ballsy and beyond what we’d done before. It was an intimidating record to think about following up. I felt like we were so successful at what we’d tried to do, it wasn’t clear what was next after such a bold statement. The idea of going back in and pushing again seemed overwhelming at the time.” After a six-year stretch without any S-K activity, a casual conversation between Brownstein and Tucker in 2012 sparked the flame of a full-on comeback. “I think we had always hoped we would play together (again),” Weiss says. “We were just keeping an eye out for a time when we might feel we had the right kind of space to dedicate to the band. Carrie and I played in Wild Flag, but as great as it was, it wasn’t a replacement. You can’t really replace

music spill it december


unsilent night christMas Bash Life After This, Pope, Spearpoint, Alive Inside, Highball, Forest Fox, More TBA december


B105 Toys for Tots Show

a thousand horses, kelsea Ballerini, Michael ray december


Nederlander Entertainment Presents:

the revivalists



rock for Block

w/ Prizoner, Bad Habit, Holywood december

Q102 Presents:


Jeff & Jen christMas show

with James Bay, The Score Benefitst Brighton Center & Music Resource Center december


stash reunion show! Stash, Massive Nights

december 3

Essential Productions Presents:

Joe Marcinek Band

w/ Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident & Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green december 4

sendercat & the Mange, faceBlind, a city on fire, day needs night december 12

Sassafraz & Essential Productions Presents: 5 0   •   C I T Y B E A T . C O M   •   D E C . 0 2  –  0 8 , 2 0 1 5

frazzletown 4

w/ Sassafraz, Aqueous, Peridoni, Strange Mechanics december 16

Nederlander Entertainment Presents:

wolf alice

december 18

Boy Meets world 3rd annual christMas show

w/ Harbour, Break Up Lines, Into The Skies december 19

nicholas & the PessiMistics w/ Dead Man String Band, Wonky Tonk

w w w. m a d i s o n t h e a t e r o n l i n e . c o m


Wu-Tang Sells Super-Rarity In one week, Adele sold several million copies of her latest album and likely made a fortune. Wu-Tang Clan also recently raked in a ton of cash, but the legendary Hip Hop group did so by selling a single album. One copy of the collective’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was produced to be auctioned off to a single buyer. It was recently revealed that the album was indeed sold, and the unnamed buyer paid “in the millions” for the recording. One of the terms of the sale was that the album was not to be publicly released for 88 years, meaning current Wu-Tang fans may never get to hear the entire 128 minutes of music unless modern medicine discovers a way to keep people alive a few extra decades. YouTube = Nazis? Trying to make something analogous to Hitler or Nazis rarely works out, as politicians and some of your social media friends prove repeatedly. Thom Yorke might seem too smart to go down the “Just like Nazi Germany!” rabbit-hole, but in an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica, the Radiohead singer did just that. While complaining about how YouTube makes big money on advertising, yet doesn’t share it with the artists whose content it hosts, Yorke said, “It’s like what the Nazis did during (World War II),” referring to how Hitler’s forces seized artwork from the countries it invaded. Trump Finds Conflict-Free Rally Song R.E.M., Neil Young and Aerosmith have all threatened legal action after joke-gone-too-far Donald Trump used their music at campaign rallies. But there’s at least one band that’s totally cool with its music being associated with Trump’s presidential run — Twisted Sister. Singer Dee Snider said that while he disagrees with Trump on certain issues, he gave The Donald permission to use “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” In an interview with Canadian Business (?), Snider — who called Trump “a pretty chill guy” — said he allowed his song to be used because it’s about “rebellion, speaking your mind and fighting the system.”

Jess Lamb Expands Her Sound with ‘Free’ BY MIKE BREEN and nick grever

More Local Notes

This Friday, Cincinnati-based singer/ songwriter Jess Lamb will be putting out • Wonky Tonk’s album, Stuff We Leave a new EP, her first major release since her Behind, has been building buzz online and post-American Idol single, “Memories.” In at college radio stations across the country. honor of the release, Lamb is performing a Friday at the Northside Tavern (4163 free show Friday at MOTR Pub (1345 Main Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidetav. St., Over-the-Rhine, Joining com), the Northern Kentucky-based Indie/ Lamb and her band for the 9 p.m. event are Country/Roots singer/songwriter will host Dayton, Ohio’s Moira and Cincinnati’s The a local release party in honor of the fullPerfect Children. length. Cincinnati’s Coconut Milk and St. The EP — titled Free and featuring the Louis’ The Wilderness join Wonky Tonk for tracks “Lovers on the Run” and “Step Out the free, 9 p.m. show. of the Dark” — marks an expansion of Lamb’s musical approach as she moves into new territories that were only hinted at previously. Dubbed “Industrial Gospel” by Lamb, her new recording is more heavily focused on synths, beats and guitars, which help create an atmospheric sound that’s even darker than her earlier work. The singer and her bandmates — Warren Harrison (who provides the beats and synth work) and Kasey Williams (guitar, bass) — see this Jess Lamb project as the next phase of P H O T O : a n n e tt e n ava r r o Lamb’s musical journey. In many ways, she is still the soulful independent artist who captured local • Saturday at MVP Sports Bar & Grille hearts and then national attention during (6923 Plainfield Road, Silverton, mymher stint on American Idol at the beginning, several area of 2015. But her latest venture is providing Rock acts will get together to celebrate the Lamb with the freedom to make changes in birthday of local music singer/promoter/ her performance and general approach. supporter Kenny Ozz at the eighth annual While “Memories” was professionally Kenny Ozzfest. The popular all-ages event produced by David Sisko (who has worked begins at 4:30 p.m. and features special tourwith Justin Timberlake, among many other ing guests Tuff, a Glam Metal band from international performers), Lamb is now Phoenix. Local artists on the bill include focused on engineering and producing Chakras, Kill City, Sinful Crow, Lying in locally with Harrison. Lamb is also dialing Ruins, The New Machine, The Letdowns, back shows where she performs covers in Lazy Ass Destroyer, Red Soul Rising and favor of more original performances. Her Pagan Holiday. Admission is $10. long-standing piano gigs at Japp’s and other • Acclaimed Cincinnati singer/songarea bars won’t be ending, but her other outwriter Kim Taylor has a folksy new duo ings will be more robust, both musically and project with veteran Boston-based artist visually. Harrison and Williams will be joinTodd Thibaud called Water and Sand. ing her for more performances (Friday is the Last month, the two musicians — who trio’s live debut) and the group has added a performed a few songs during Taylor’s set projection show to enhance the experience. at the Southgate House Revival’s Cincy Lamb says she is planning on playing out of Folk Festival in June — launched a crowdtown more often, including select tour dates funding campaign on to with the legendary Bootsy Collins. help pay for and release of their alreadyWhile her new EP is still undeniably Jess recorded debut album, reaching their initial Lamb, it allows fans to see a more comgoal in just four days. Fans can still donate/ plete picture of what she has been working pre-order the album through the campaign toward for years. With the proper resources — for more info, links and a sample of the and bandmates behind her, Lamb is able to music, visit show the world what Cincinnati has known for a long time — Jess Lamb is here to stay. CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@ (Review by Nick Grever)

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

Wednesday 02

Miller’s Fill Inn— Music By Andrew. Acoustic. Free.

MVP Bar & Grille— Moment 44. Indie/Alternative. Cover.

Anderson Pub And Grill— Open Mic Night hosted by Jody Stapleton. Various. Free.

Rohs Street Café— UC Janoon: A (Not So) Silent Night. Holiday/A Capella. Free.

Arnold’s Bar and Grill— Todd Hepburn. Piano. Free.

Southgate House Revival (Lounge)— Open Blues Jam with John Ford. Blues. Free.

The Mad Frog— Trevor Kelly, Spankalicious, Blotter, Tystik and more. Electronic/Dance/Various. Free before 10 p.m.; $5 after.

Bella Luna— RMS band. Soft Rock/ Jazz. Free. Grandview Tavern & Grille— Chris Cusentino. Acoustic. Free. The Greenwich— Pot Kettle Black Jazztet. Jazz. $5. HD Beans and Brews Café— Open Jam with Nick Geise and Friends. Various. Free. Knotty Pine— Dallas Moore. Country. Free.


MOTR Pub— Ne-Hi with Cross Country and Smut. Indie Rock. Free.

Mansion Hill Tavern— Losing Lucky. Acoustic. Free.

Southgate House Revival H (Revival Room)— Ryan Fine and The Media with The Woods and Jazz for Kids. Jazz/Rock/Fusion/Various. $5, $8 day of show.

Stanley’s Pub— Cornmeal. H Americana/Bluegrass/Folk/ Rock/Various. Free. Tin Roof Cincinnati— DJ Chinn Chilla. DJ/Dance. Urban Artifact— Pat Kelly and the PsychoAcoustic Orchestra. Jazz. Free. Walt’s Hitching Post — Bob Cushing. Acoustic. Free.

Meritage — Sonny Moorman. Blues. Free.

Friday 04

Northside Tavern— Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke. Various. Free.

Century Theater— Korbee. H 20th Pop/Rock. $20, $22 day of show.

Silverton Cafe— Bob Cushing. Acoustic. Free.

Arnold’s Bar and Grill— Baoku & The Image Afrobeat Band. World/ AfroBeat/Various. Free.

Southgate House Revival (Lounge)— The Grove with Lisak & Rowe and Arlo McKinley. Rock/Folk/Various. Free. Stanley’s Pub— Singer/Songwriter Night hosted by Nick Sudbury. Singer/Songwriter. Free.


Urban Artifact— Blue Wisp Big Band. Big Band Jazz. Free.

Thursday 03 1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab— Benjamin Thomas, Peter Gemus & Tony Franklin. Jazz. Free. Arnold’s Bar and Grill— Dottie Warner and Wayne Shannon. Jazz. Free. Bogart’s— August Burns Red with Every Time I Die, Stick To Your Guns, Polyphia and Wage War. Metal/Hardcore. $22.


Dilly Bistro, Bar & Bottle Shop— Dan Radank and Brian BatchelorGlader (6 p.m.). Jazz. Free. HD Beans and Brews Café— Sonny Moorman. Blues. Free.


The Listing Loon— Pike 27 with Dan Mecher. Rock. Free.

MOTR Pub— Smoker. Psych Rock. Free. Madison Live— Joe Marcinek H Band with Jason Hann (The String Cheese Incident) and Reed

Mathis (Tea Leaf Green). Rock/Funk/ Jazz/Jam/Various. $15.

Mansion Hill Tavern— The Blue Ravens. Blues. $4. Marty’s Hops & Vines— Wild Mountain Berries. Americana. Free. Northside Tavern— Wonky Tonk (album release party) with Coconut Milk and The Wilderness. Indie/ Country/Rock/Roots/Various. Free.


Northside Yacht Club— Mark H McGuire with RITES, The Hurt Ensemble and Rose Hip. Electronic/

Christ Church Cathedral— The Ripple Effect. Cabaret. $20 (suggested donation for Cincinnati Union Bethel).

Southgate House Revival H (Whole House)— BANG BANG Salon Musicians Showcase: A

Legends Nightclub— Richie and the Students. R&B/Motown/Various. $10. Live at the Ludlow Garage— Red Wanting Blue. Acoustic. $15-$20.

H MOTR Pub— Jess Lamb with H Moira and The Perfect Children. Alt/Rock/Soul/Various. Free.

Friday, December 4th Vocalist Pam Mallory w/ Tim McCord Saturday, December 5th Saxophonist Rick Van Matre & Phil DeGreg Friday, December 11th Vocalist Ann Chamberlain Sunday, December 13th Second Sunday Salsa The Amadore Sisters (5:30-9pm) Friday, December 18th Trumpeter Mike Wade 513-421-0110

Rick’s Tavern— Kevin McCoy Band. Country. $5.

Silverton Cafe— 2am Party Band. Dance/Various. Free.

Jim and Jack’s on the River— 90 Proof Twang. Country. Free.

Music starts @ 9:00pm

1000 Elm Street Cincinnati OH, 45202


The Celestial— Dan Radank with Don Steins & Co. Jazz. Free.

Jag’s Steak and Seafood — Southern Saviour. Country/Southern Rock. Free.


The Redmoor— Cancer Free Kids Fundraiser with Sound Mind. Alt/Rock. $20.

Rohs Street Café— The Busters. Pop/R&B/Rock.

The Greenwich— Rollins Davis Band featuring Deborah Hunter. Jazz/R&B. $5.


R.P. McMurphy’s— Waiting on Wally. Rock. Cover.

Bogart’s— Monica with Rico H Love. R&B. $25.

Dee Felice Café— The Sleepcat Band. Jazz. Free.


Plain Folk Cafe— The Tadcasters. Progressive Bluegrass/Americana/ Folk. Free.

Rock Bar and Lounge (Horseshoe Cincinnati)— DJ Fuseamania. DJ/ Dance. Free.

The Cricket Lounge at The Cincinnatian Hotel— Philip Paul Trio. Jazz. Free.



Bella Luna— Blue Birds Trio. Classic Rock/Jazz.

College Hill Coffee Co.— Wild Carrot. Folk/Americana. Free.

12/3 12/4


Fundraiser for Dave Franklin featuring Smoke Healer, The Whiskey Shambles, The Magic Lightnin’ Boys, Mudpies, Down Strange Charm, Kate Wakefield, Kelly Fine, JIMS, Adam Weeden, Brad Dansberry, Lost Coast, House of Feeb. Rock/Blues/Roots/Various. $10. Stanley’s Pub— Gran Bel Fisher with Intro Signal. Indie Rock. Cover. Tin Roof Cincinnati— The Armory. Rock/Pop/Dance.

US Bank Arena— Trans-Siberian Orchestra (shows at 4 and 8 p.m.). Holiday/New Age/Prog/Rock/Various. $35-$63. The Underground— The Woolly Mammoths, As You Like It, Nouveau Shamanic, Stone Free and Agoraphobes. Alt/Rock/Various. Cover. Urban Artifact— Cole DeGenova & the People’s Republic. Rock/Soul. Free. Village Troubadour— Ed Oxley. Jazz.






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Dee Felice Café— Lee Stolar Trio. Jazz. Free.

Backstage Cafe— The Traveling Jam. Bluegrass/Jam. Cover.

Madison Live— Sandercat & The Mange with Faceblind, A City On Fire and Day Needs Night. Rock. Cover.


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MUSIC sound advice Waxeater is full-bore Post Punk/HardNe-Hi with Cross Country and Smut core with brains, brawn and balls. The Wednesday • MOTR Pub band launched its 2010 Sleeper album with Ne-Hi is the latest group to come out of a track called “Are Those Fucking Beers the Chicago area’s rich lineage of Modern Ice Cold Yet?” and devoted its latest, 2013’s Rock, which has historically produced Baltimore Record, to songs themed entirely some of music’s most influential acts and around the HBO series The Wire. continues to pump out strong new bands It’s not hard to connect Waxeater to on a regular basis. the likes of Shellac, Jesus Lizard (they’re The members of Ne-Hi — Mikey Wells and named after a JL song), The Melvins and Jason Balla (who both play guitar and sing early Black Sabbath, as the trio grinds lead), bassist James Weir and drummer gears with abrasive dissonance, but still Alex Otake — were first brought together to manages to bristle with some semblance of create a soundtrack for a friend’s film. The Grunge-tinted melodicism and a wickedly soundtrack didn’t work out, but the four sharp sense of humor. And as the musicians musicians were happy with the songs they’d exhibit the concussive come up with and power of a monsoon decided to continue leveling a grass-hut on as a band. Ne-Hi village in the service of released its self-titled songs that are perfectly debut in 2014 and built obfuscating, it becomes a huge buzz around infinitely clear that its hometown, moving Waxeater is think— by demand — from ing man’s Punk with basement shows to scorched-earth appeal. Chicago’s popular Waxeater’s footsolclubs. The local press diers — Elliott Turton was enraptured immeNe-Hi on bass, Rob Montage diately, with RedEye P H O T O : x av i e r j u a r e z on guitar, Col. Aaron calling them the city’s Sortman on drums — “most thrilling live are clearly pop culture band,” the Chicago aficionados. Their 2009 Tribune dubbing them EP Decent Riff features “Chicago’s favorite new a cool cover illustration band” and the Chicago of Oakland A’s pitching Reader writing them powerhouse Rollie Finup as one of the city’s gers and Kurt Russell’s “best up-and-comers.” Snake Plissken (from The band’s music Escape from New York) sounds like an features prominently updated version of in the artwork of Waxthe classic “College Waxeater eater’s 2010 split 7-inch Rock” of the ’80s that P H O T O : fa c e b oo k . c o m / wa x e at e r with JabberJosh. was dominated by Montage started jangly, wiry guitar Waxeater nearly a heroes, with strong decade ago in Bloomington, Ind., with a songwriting, earnest dual vocals and an different rhythm section and released a occasional psychedelic streak. It’s like the couple of EPs while gigging around the area. bands of the Paisley Underground scene if In 2010, Montage’s bandmates relocated they’d experienced and absorbed the Indie to other cities, and he asked Trophy Wives Rock that has come out in the intervenbassist Turton to join; he in turn suggested ing 30 years. There’s also a strong vintage Zombie Chickens from Outer Space drumPost Punk vibe pulsating through Ne-Hi’s mer Sortman, and that’s been Waxeater for enchanting grooves. the past few years. Turton’s tenure almost This year, Ne-Hi released a pair of excelended before it got started; he was electrolent singles — “Turncoat” and “Drag” (which cuted on stage in Austin, Texas shortly after has a feel akin to Post Punk legends Televijoining and was reportedly saved by a pair sion) — and a new full-length is said to be of nurses in the audience. coming in 2016. With its hometown praise Waxeater has since fully relocated to expanding due to regular touring and wider Louisville, Ky., and took a break from playpress coverage, Ne-Hi is definitely a band to ing shows, but the band is back in full force keep your eye on in 2016. (Mike Breen) and ready to bury needles throughout the Midwest. Strap in, bear down and hold on Waxeater with Wolverton Brothers and — Waxeater is here to alter your brainwaves. Knife the Symphony (Brian Baker) Saturday • Northside Yacht Club

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Mary Fahl of a song and then haphazardly noodle their Saturday • Southgate House Revival way around the melody for interminable Mary Fahl’s powerful, dramatic and stretches of time. Sadly, a lot of composidynamic voice first came to the public’s tionally gifted outfits get lumped in with attention when she was the founding lead other lesser lights simply by virtue of their singer of October Project in the mid-’90s. fleeting sonic similarities and tendency The band’s unique sound earned it a diehard toward extended improvisation — somefan base, which continued to grow with the thing that can be limiting when building an release of its second album for Epic Records, audience. Nashville, Tenn.-based quintet Falling Farther In. But October Project was Moon Taxi definitely fits in that category, abruptly dumped by the label after that 1995 though it has overcome the stigma over time. release, which marked the end of the band; Moon Taxi’s roots go back to high school it has resurfaced in various forms since then pals Trevor Terndrup (guitar/vocals) and (and continues to this day), but Fahl moved Tommy Putnam (bass), who formed the band on after the initial dissolution. when both were attending Belmont UniverSince leaving the sity. Terndrup, Putnam, band, Fahl’s solo career guitarist Spencer has been fascinatingly Thomson and drumunpredictable. Fahl has mer David Swan began matched her magically gigging around Nashemotive voice (which ville and in regional colcomes off like a potent lege towns until Swan mix of Joni Mitchell, departed after graduVelvet Underground’s ation. Drummer Tyler Nico, Annie Lennox Ritter was brought into and Nina Simone) to an the fold in 2006, and appropriately otherkeyboardist Wes Bailey worldly soundtrack was added as a utility Mary Fahl that has touched on live member shortly PHOTO : provided Folk, Classical, Rock, afterward. With 2007’s New Age, Americana Melodica, Bailey was and World music, but awarded permanent never fully commits to status. Moon Taxi’s any particular genre, lineup has remained hovering in a headspace intact ever since. all its own. The band formed its Fahl’s solo releases own label, 12th South (which have been put Records, and became out by labels like V2, a fixture on the Jam Sony Odyssey and circuit, while also Sony Classical) range increasingly focusing from her diverse debut on its sonic diversity Moon Taxi full-length, The Other and songwriting, earnPHOTO : joshua wilkins bl ack Side of Time (which ing Moon Taxi broader featured songs used critical favor and fan in the films Gods and Generals and The attention. With 2013’s more polished and Guys) to a recreation of Pink Floyd’s The widely distributed Mountains Beaches CitDark Side of the Moon that is more headies, Moon Taxi’s audience continued to grow spinningly trippy than The Flaming Lips’ and the group landed slots on The Late stab at the classic album. More recently, Show With David Letterman and Conan. Fahl self-released Love & Gravity, an album This year, Moon Taxi was again a big hit that would appeal to fans of her work with on the summer music fest circuit (Walk October Project and features a song Fahl the Moon’s Nicholas Petricca joined the wrote for longtime fan Anne Rice’s The band at Lollapalooza for a cover of Tears Wolves of Midwinter audiobook. Last year, for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the Fahl released an expansive live album that World”) and, in October, the band’s fourth included songs from throughout her admiraalbum, Daybreaker, was released. The bly nonconformist career, which has shown songs on the new album are some of the the same singularity as her music. (MB) group’s most direct and memorable yet, and the now-trademark blending of musical Moon Taxi with Firekid styles results in a balance of quirky, danceSunday • Taft Theatre (Ballroom) able Indie Pop, Classic Rock melodicism There can be an inherent danger in and other elements that are so effortless self-identifying or being identified as a Jam and graceful, it just feels natural. In its band. The term is sometimes a derogatory fearless genre adventuring, Moon Taxi has description of gropus that play the skeleton developed its own distinctive sound. (BB)

music listings continued Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant— Pam Mallory with Tim McCord. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).

Saturday 05 Arnold’s Bar and Grill— Cincinnati Dancing Pigs. Americana/Jug band. Free.

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513-783-0403 • 811 Race St. • 3rd Floor

Rock Bar and Lounge (Horseshoe Cincinnati)— DJ Jessica the Ripper. Dance/DJ. Free.

Club Cameo— Rich Homie Quan. Hip Hop. $30-$60. College Hill Coffee Co.— Raison d’Etre. Folk. Free.

Dee Felice Café— The Sleepcat Band. Jazz. Free. DownTowne Listening Room — Kevin Heider with Jim Casto. Folk/Pop/ Roots/Rock. $10.

Jag’s Steak and Seafood — The Company. Dance/Funk/Pop/ R&B. Free. Jim and Jack’s on the River— Southern Highway. Country. Free.


Live at the Ludlow Garage— In the Round Singer/Songwriter Night with Jamison Road. Singer/Songwriter. $10.



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7201 MONTGOMERY ROAD, CINCINNATI, OH 45236 | (513) 791-2922

R.P. McMurphy’s— Sweet Ray Laurel. Rock. Cover.

Bella Luna— Blue Birds Trio. Classic Rock/Jazz.

HD Beans and Brews Café— Bob Cushing. Acoustic. Free.


Plain Folk Cafe— Mad River Railroad. Bluegrass. Free.

Backstage Cafe— Eversole with Smokehealer, I.N.Y.A. and Revile. Rock. Cover.

The Greenwich— Uninhibited: A Tribute to J Dilla by Siobhan. Soul/ Hip Hop. $8.


O’Neal’s Tavern— Trailer Park Floosies. Dance/Pop/Rock/Country/ Various. Cover.

The Redmoor — Craig Bailey and The Ohio Jazz Players. Jazz. $10.

The Cricket Lounge at The Cincinnatian Hotel— Philip Paul Trio. Jazz. Free.


and Wolverton Brothers. Indie/Post Punk/Various.

MOTR Pub— Pop Goes the Evil and Lemon Sky. Rock. Free. MVP Bar & Grille— Kenny H Ozzfest 8 with Tuff, Chakras, Kill City, Sinful Crow, Lying in Ruins, The

New Machine, The Letdowns, Red Beast, Rhythm & Booze, V-Twin Sin, Lazy Ass Destroyer, Red Soul Rising and Pagan Holiday (4:30 p.m. start). Rock/Various. $10. The Mad Frog— Ethosine, SolEcho and Love Alive. Progressive/Psych/Jam/Electronic/Funk/ Various. Cover.


Madison Theater— Unsilent Night Christmas Bash featuring Life After This, Pope, Spearpoint, Alive Inside, Highpoint and Forest Fox. Rock. $10. Mansion Hill Tavern— The Doug Hart Band. Blues. $3. Marty’s Hops & Vines— Josh Eagle. Folk/Roots. Free. Maudie’s— Communications, Tooth Lures a Fang and Littledevices. Indie/Rock/Various. Free. McCauly’s Pub— Pandora Effect. Rock. Cover (food item, toy or monetary donation). Northside Yacht Club— WaxHeater with Knife the Symphony

Rick’s Tavern— DV8. Rock. $5.

Silverton Cafe— The Gamut. Rock. Free. Southgate House Revival (Lounge)— The Cousin Kissers. Country/Americana. Free. Southgate House Revival (Revival Room)— Moonbeau with Bliss Nova and Dream Chief. Indie/Electro Pop. $8. Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary)— Mary Fahl. Alt/ Folk/Rock/Classical/Various. $25, $30 day of show.


Stanley’s Pub— Stanley’s Holiday Party with Eyeris Wide, Partyboob and ZiG. Jam/Rock. Cover. Tapout Bar— “Who Sleighed Santa? 4” with Temper, Salvation’s Dying, Class of Nu-Thousand, Today’s Last Tragedy and Alive Amongst The Dead. Hard Rock/Metal/Hardcore. Cover. Thompson House— “MusicBox: A Charity Concert for Child Life” featuring Motherfolk, Static Wonder, Circle It, Clubhouse, LED Streets, Psych0, Inglorious Neighbors, Matt Schneider and Emily Britton. Alt/ Rock/Various. $20.


Tin Roof Cincinnati— Laurel Taylor. Pop.

MOTR Pub— The Lovers and Michael McIntire & the Marmalade Brigade. Acoustic/Gypsy Jazz/Various. Free. Mansion Hill Tavern— Open Blues Jam with The Ben Duke Band. Blues. Free. Northside Tavern— Bulletville. Country. Free. Om Eco Café— Live Jazz Brunch (11 a.m.). Jazz. Free. Slammer’s Lounge— LoHeat Sunday Jam. Blues/Rock/Country/Various. Free. Sonny’s All Blues Lounge— Sonny’s All Blues Band featuring Lonnie Bennett. Blues. Free. Taft Theatre— Moon Taxi with H Firekid. Alt/Rock/Various. $18, $20 day of show (in the Ballroom). Woodward Theater— Xavier H University Jazz/Swing Series featuring Chris Potter Trio (3 p.m.). Jazz.

Monday 07 Buzzard Bay Pub— Bob Cushing. Acoustic. Free. Knotty Pine— Open mic with Pete DeNuzio. Various. Free. MOTR Pub— Days Brigade with River City Roustabout. Folk/Rock/Americana. Free. Mansion Hill Tavern— Acoustic Jam with John Redell & Friends. Acoustic/ Blues/Various. Free. McCauly’s Pub— Open jam with Sonny Moorman. Blues. Free. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub (Covington)— Bluegrass Jam Session. Bluegrass. Free. Northside Tavern— Northside Jazz Ensemble. Jazz. Free. Om Eco Café— Ron Enyard Jazz Quartet. Jazz. Free.

Top of the Line— Ambush. Rock. Free.

Urban Artifact— Fareed Haque. Tuesday 08 H Jazz/Funk/Rock/Jam/Various. 1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab— Free. Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant— Rick Van Matre & Phil DeGreg. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).

Sunday 06

Benjamin Thomas & Peter Gemus. Jazz. Free. Arnold’s Bar and Grill— Casey Campbell. Blues. Free. BrewRiver GastroPub— Danilo Fusaro. Acoustic. Free.

Bogart’s— Sleater-Kinney with Waxahatchee. Indie Rock. $27.50.


Christ Church Cathedral— Music Live at Lunch with Kyle Meadows and Tisa McGraw (12:10 p.m.). Celtic/ Various. Free.

BrewRiver GastroPub— Clyde Bailey (6 p.m.). Acoustic. Free.

The Comet— Dream Tiger. Indie/ H Electronic/Dream Pop. Free.

The Comet— Comet Bluegrass AllStars. Bluegrass. Free.

McCauly’s Pub— Stagger Lee. Country. Free.

The Greenwich— All Ages Funky H Jazz Brunch with Andrea Cefalo, Napoleon Maddox & friends (2 p.m.).

Miller’s Fill Inn— Open Mic Blues Jam. Blues. Free.

Jazz/Various. $5 (with dish to share); $10 without. Knotty Pine— Randy Peak. Acoustic. Free.

Sis’s on Monmouth— Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band. Bluegrass. Free. Stanley’s Pub— Rumpke Mt. Boys. Bluegrass. Cover.

crossword puzzle


Affirmative Action BY Brendan Emmet t Quigley 1

















21 24 27


34 37












54 59











Dow n 1. See 16-Across 2. 1992 Pearl Jam single 3. Montpelier’s river 4. Han’s buddy 5. Voting group 6. Weak sauce 7. Savage of “MythBusters” 8. Redundant story 9. Put on stage 10. Indonesian island whose capital is Denpasar 11. Bout courts 12. Play a club when you should have played a heart 13. Scent hound with long ears 21. “____ like this …” 22. Weed grown in water 23. Fender product 28. Faux humble response to a compliment 29. NASCAR legend Jarrett 30. Boston newspaper, with “The”

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49 53

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Across 1. Kitten’s cry 5. Siren’s sound 10. Stinging remark 14. Etonic rival 15. Borne 16. With 1-Down, neighborhood representation 17. Teller’s partner 18. Midwestern city where the TV dinner, the Top 40 radio format, and the bobby pin were invented (not on the same say) 19. Glasses part 20. Devices that say “forget about it!”? 23. Stirring, poetically 24. What a dump! 25. The “a” in “a/s/l” 26. Seattle Sounders org. 27. Golfer Vijay ____ 31. Spinning session? 33. Facebook interaction 35. No. in an email signature 36. The “Me” in “Despicable Me” 37. Spell caster that fights drowsiness? 42. Beam of light 43. Black-sheep sound 44. October birthstone 46. Eid celebrant’s faith 49. Sporty car, for short 51. Self-described “non-musician” Brian 52. Nowhere to be seen 53. Biggest suit, for short 55. Fool around 57. “Anise-flavored liqueur (just like I always order)”? 62. Jason’s ship 63. “Let me change _____ here …” 64. Monopoly piece 66. Hipster’s rep 67. Golden of “Orange is the New Black” 68. Siamese “dogs”

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Citybeat Dec. 02, 2015  

The Holiday Issue

Citybeat Dec. 02, 2015  

The Holiday Issue