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sat Mar 25

Brit Floyd

iMMersion 2017 toUr

Ta f T T h e aT r e . o r g | o n s a l e n o w !

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Give the gift of the great outdoors!






Great Parks of Ha

VOL. 23 ISSUE 06


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White Dems Didn’t Protect Obama I commend Christina Brown for a deep, thoughtful and powerfully written editorial in the Dec. 14 edition of CityBeat (“White-on-White Silence”). This is a wake-up call for true progressives. As an avid  Obama supporter, I must admit I was lulled into complacency — putting all the responsibility for progress onto our black president. Democrats often let Obama hang on — withering on the vine — and gave him tepid support while Republicans fought tooth and nail to derail Obama’s proposals. Had Democrats rallied behind Obama and called out the racism within our country, we would not be in this position today. Had we fought as hard as Republicans, who were united in opposition to Obama, we would not be in the same position today. Progressive Democrats often talk a good game but when push comes to shove, we did not protect our Quarterback Obama. Democrats lost in November because we failed to call out prejudice, racism and bigotry. Simply put, the forces of bigotry fought harder than the forces for justice, fairness and equality. I, for one, am ready to drop my silence and am willing to confront the injustice and bigotry of my fellow whites. I must start with my own family members who voted Trump and call out their prejudices. I cannot give them a pass. — Dan Behnen, Walnut Hills




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annemaxfield The food is excellent. isaacwoodsstokes That place is kick ass. — Comments posted at Instagram.com/CityBeatCincy in response to Dec. 24 post, “Tucked away on Madison Avenue in Covington, hipster gastropub AmerAsia is one of the best Asian spots in the city.” Photo: @haaailstormm


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What a Year! BY T.C. Britton



s 2016 comes to a close, it’s clear that this year was quite a doozy. From Leo’s first Oscar to Pokémon GO, killer clowns to killing gorillas, 2016 had us like, “What a year!”

Taking a Giant Trump on America Tycoon caricature Donald J. Trump — a guy who got off to people losing their jobs so much that “you’re fired” became his catchphrase, a once innocuous annoyance with hair so bad it carried a Letterman bit called “Trump or Monkey?” more than a decade ago, a dirtbag who literally said he could grab women by the pussy — is America’s president-elect. And while he might not be the leader the majority of people voted for, he’s the one our electoral college selected and the one we deserve. Here are Trump’s top (worst) contributions to the year: Trump Grill’s taco bowl; tie tape and pussy bows; Mike “Shock that gay right out of your hair” Pence as second-in-command; bad hombres and nasty women; the image of a sleepy and disinterested Barron Trump, who looks disturbingly identical to the young Ford host in Westworld; and finally, Alec Baldwin’s hilarious impression of him and Trump’s utter hatred of it. Thnks fr th Mmrs, Trump!

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Cincinnati in the Spotlight From silver screen settings to national news headlines, the Queen City made its presence well known outside of Ohio this year. Forthcoming films Curvature, John Travolta’s The Life and Death of John Gotti, Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, two James Franco flicks and Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le, which aired on Lifetime this fall, all set up shop in Cincy this year. Locally filmed Marauders, starring Christopher Meloni, Bruce Willis and Adrian Grenier, and Patrick Wilson’s A Kind of Murder debuted in limited releases and effectively flopped, but Franco’s frat film Goat (with Nick Jonas) offered a moving look at college bros struggling to define manhood and develop friendships on a Midwestern campus. It also served as an excellent 90-minute commercial for Rhinegeist! A Tristate man starred in this year’s season of 90 Day Fiancé, a TLC reality show following international couples utilizing a K-1 visa, which requires a foreigner to marry their U.S. citizen partner within 90 days of entry. Williamstown, Ky.’s Matt Ryan, general manager of Northern Kentucky Auto Sales in Wilder, brought over his fiancé Alla from Kiev, Ukraine. The show filmed around town, including during nights out at MJ’s on Main and Myrtle’s Punch House and ring

Donald Trump couldn’t act like a big enough dirtbag to lose his race for the White House. shopping at The Castle! Of note was a shopping trip to Jungle Jim’s, where poor Alla was understandably overwhelmed by the notion of crazy American grocery markets filled with psychotic-looking animatronic characters. Other locals who made a splash this year are Newport, Ky. native Frank Johnson, who won the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association’s award for 2016 Limousine & Sedan Chauffeur of the Year, and IRL Barbie Nannette Hammond. Hailing from Edgewood, Ky., Hammond was profiled in the U.K.’s Daily Mail for spending $500,000 on surgeries, tanning sessions and other treatments to make the selfclaimed “housewife of Cincinnati” look like a living, breathing Barbie doll. Oh Bravo, we have your next reality star! Elsewhere, as creepy clowns descended onto towns across the country, Cincinnati was not safe from the unexplainable sightings. Reading and Mount Notre Dame schools were forced to close after a woman in the neighborhood reported being grabbed and threatened by a man in clown garb just outside her home. (She later admitted to lying about the incident because she was late for work.) While mostly harmless hoaxes, the clownrelated hysteria proved especially harmful not to coulrophobics, but the face-painted

performers themselves! Professional clowns across the country reported lost business because of the trend tarnishing their name. Why hire a colorful balloon animal artist when you can find a clown in the woods for free? Even America’s Top Clown, Ronald McDonald, had to pull back on his appearances this fall. But there was one clown-related trend on the rise — pun intended — Bozo porn! According to Pornhub, searches for adult clown videos rose 213 percent between August and October.

Haram-bae Sure, Cincinnati hosted film crews and politicians aplenty this year, but it was the death of a Queen City gorilla that most effectively put the city on the mainstage. On May 28, a young boy fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, quickly drawing the attention of one of the apes. The attention of the world would soon follow. It’s definitely sad that zookeepers had to shoot and kill Harambe, one of their beloved gorillas, but even Cincy Zoo HBIC Thane Maynard acknowledged that when it comes down to choosing between the safety of a human versus that

of an animal, it’s a no-brainer. “Not so fast,” said the internet. From animal activists to parent-shamers to straight-up trolls, individuals and groups across the globe adopted Harambe’s slaying as their personal platforms. More than 25,000 people signed a change.org petition to rename the Bengals the Cincinnati Harambes. The Harambe meme problem — and hashtag of choice, #dicksoutforharambe — got so bad over the summer, Maynard reached out on social media asking for an end to the jokes, which were hurtful to the zoo staff that so deeply cared for the gorilla. Of course all this did was cause a massive influx of incessant harambassment, leading to @ CincinnatiZoo deleting its Twitter account… much like it deleted Harambe. (Sorry…) But the jokes kept coming. In November, when Dave Chappelle hosted a particularly fantastic episode of Saturday Night Live, he mentioned Harambe, noting how there’s so many shootings these days you can’t even go to the zoo without seeing one. He then suggested black men in Cincinnati should start donning gorilla costumes since folks seem to have a much harder time justifying the shooting of an ape.

Dear Coney Eater: Look, we here at CityBeat don’t blame you for stopping into Skyline for a delicious coney on the go — we are proud of this city’s defacto official food and we partake both during lunch hours and late at night after we have consumed several beers. There’s not a Reds afternoon game that goes by without someone in our office suggesting that we stop working, walk to the ballpark and grub on a coney or three. We’re just like you, really. Except that we try harder to find places to trash our coney boxes than an open-air newspaper rack. No one can even tell what the cover story is about because of that cheese-laden little box smashing one paper up against the rack while covering the headline and name of the exceptionally smart and attractive person who wrote the story. The world cannot forget Harambe, for better or worse.

David Bowie is gone, but his likeness lives on in emoji form.

P H O T O : C I N C I N N AT I Z O O


The Olympics Are Stupid

Celebrity Breakups True love never dies, but sometimes marriages do. And 2016 was too much for these couples, who all split over the course of the last year. Celebrities: They’re just like us! One of the millennium’s first celebrity couple portmanteaus (lest we forget Bennifer) and the bane of Jennifer Aniston’s (fans’) existence, Brangelina is no more. Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in September, pulling the plug on their twoyear marriage/12-year relationship, citing

RIP But it wasn’t just relationships that died in 2016. Bookended by the passing of a glam rock god and a Golden Age glamour puss, the year sucked the life out of nearly everyone, either figuratively or literally. Cue the “In Memoriam” segment! On Jan. 10, days after releasing his swan song album Blackstar, David Bowie passed away at age 69. He now lives on in emoji form. Four days later, actor Alan Rickman — known by his distinct voice and for portraying characters like Hans Gruber and Severus Snape — also died at 69, making us all wonder, “WTF, 2016?” If only we knew that we’d lose so many notable public figures this year, including but not limited to: Sal Tessio from The Godfather Abe Vigoda; Mob Wives’ Big Ang; author Harper Lee; Moonie, aka. Bruiser Woods from the Legally Blonde movies; former Toronto mayor Rob Ford (OK not surprising); comedian Garry Shandling; Patty Duke; Everybody Loves Raymond ma Doris Roberts; wrestler Chyna; PRINCE; G.O.A.T. boxer Muhammad Ali; Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin; comedy icon Gene Wilder; gossip site Gawker; the Vine video app as we know it; musician Leonard Cohen; Soul singer Sharon Jones; Ohio astronaut John Glenn; mom of the ’70s Florence Henderson; dad of the ’80s Alan Thicke; and glamorous actress and O.G. socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor. We couldn’t even get out the door with this issue of CityBeat before also losing pop icon George Michael and interstellar kween Carrie Fisher. Goodbye, all you treasures. Catch you on the flip side. And 2016, once and for all: Fuck you. CONTACT T.C. BRITTON: letters@citybeat.com

This situation wasn’t as bad as the time a clearly partisan automobile operator purposely drove in front of a streetcar just so the train would smash his car into our metal newspaper box on Walnut Street. At least the person who tossed this coney box supported a local business and ate lunch quickly so he or she could get back to work and make that money. We aren’t really mad at ya. But it would be better if next time you would just find a trash can so our drivers don’t have to clean up your coney trash. Our drivers are mean and will yell at you if they catch you doing this. Just kidding. But seriously just throw your trash away.

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There are two types of people in the world: those who are super into the Olympic Games, and those who think they’re a weird nationalist ritual in jock-worshipping. Whichever side you’re on, the idea of taking a bunch of rich athletes and planting them in a poverty-stricken city to perform, bone and eat McDonalds for two weeks is at least slightly problematic. And despite the great showing by Americans like the women’s gymnastics team and merman himself Michael Phelps, the U.S.A.’s role in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics will forever be tainted by the shitstain known as Ryan Lochte. Only an American athlete could stage a robbery in a foreign country, peace out just in time to avoid repercussion from authorities and then get rewarded with a Dancing with the Stars gig. And while he didn’t win the “mirror globe trophy” or whatever the hell the show calls it since “disco ball” must be a copyrighted term, he has been busy making little Lochtes. Yes, Ryan and his Playboy model fiancé of two seconds are expecting a baby after taking a pregnancy test that presumably read “Jeah!”

irreconcilable differences. Is true love just a fallacy? Naturally, rumors are swirling, including word that Brad cheated with Allied co-star Marion Cotillard, not unlike how his relationship with Angelina started while he was still married to Jen. “Justice!” screamed a million Anniston devotees (Fannistons?). Joining Brangelina on the one-way trip to Splitsville (the fictional land of singles, not the luxury bowling alley/restaurant/dueling piano bar at The Banks, unfortunately): Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney: Because nothing says “this shit is over” like the desperation of appearing nude post-banging on the cover of V magazine; Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris; Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston (her next album is gonna be fire after this year!); Mariah Carey and her billionaire James Packer; attractive actors Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts; NOT Jay Z and Beyoncé, it turns out, even though that idea can apparently sell a lot of Lemonade; Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham and her high heels; Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan (as Live! co-hosts); America and Bill Cosby; and Britain and the European Union. Yes, the U.K. broke up with the E.U. and it’s complicated. Brits voted in June on whether to remain part of the European Union or to pack up their bowler hats and set out on their own in a move that’s been dubbed “Brexit.” For most people, referring to the U.K. as Great Britain makes them feel like fourth graders who just started learning about Europe in social studies class. We see you, Brits, trying to make us in the States care about this situation with John Oliver rants and a hybrid name that resembles a celebrity couple’s moniker. The British pound fell to its lowest level in decades and six months later Americans still don’t understand what the fuck this means.

Your laziness is costing us readers!


2016 in the News

There was good news this year, then there was the rest of the news BY NICK SWARTSELL

I l l u s t r at i o n : L . D. N e h l s


ear lord. What a year 2016 has been. Do we even need to remind you? So much has happened that, actually, we probably do. There’s a crazy space train zooming around downtown, a very divisive reality TV star will soon be president and Democrats run Hamilton County. There were many darker things afoot this year as well. There’s been deep controversy about the city’s parks and sewers and an empty building downtown. Opiates are a continuing scourge in the region and Cincinnati was once again holding its breath due to a racially charged police shooting. It’s a lot to take in, and you probably don’t want to be reminded about some of it. But that’s what we do, so here goes.

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Streetcar Finally Launches It took years, a lot of political back and forth as well as a few strained friendships and uncomfortable family dinner table debates, but it’s here. The Cincinnati Bell Connector launched Sept. 9, 2016 to big festivities, and now, a few months and more than a quarter-million rides later, Cincinnati’s first streetcar in more than 60 years looks like it’s going to be around awhile. Gliding around the city on the futuristic train almost makes it easy to forget how controversial the transit project has been. Cincinnatians of various political persuasions have been pulling their hair out for one reason or another about the project since at least 2007, when it rose from the ashes of an ambitious regional transit plan called Metro Moves. There were more political fights over hours of operation, parking meter schemes designed to raise revenue for the streetcar, the project’s contingency fund and anything else you can imagine this year, and there are still plenty of naysayers. There have been complications as the transit project rolled out, including a couple malfunctioning ticket machines at streetcar stops and snags involving traffic and passenger wait times that exceeded 15 minutes, the goal the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority is contractually obligated to meet. More recently, low ridership has cast a shadow on the transit system, while SORTA wrangles with both operator Transdev over its performance — threatening to yank the French company’s contract — and with streetcar manufacturer CAF over cold-weather operating issues and other maintenance problems. The city had contractors tweak ticket vending machines and pushed SORTA to press more cars into service on weekends,

The Cincinnati streetcar launched to much fanfare, then the debating continued. when the transit system is most popular. It has also commissioned a traffic study to find ways to better time stoplights to speed up both the transit system and automotive traffic. The rough patches are a contrast to the excitement around the streetcar’s launch. More than 50,000 rode it its opening weekend, when it was free to the public. Another 200,000 people have paid the dollar fare to hop on board since. Now, new transit fights loom. Some, including mayoral candidate Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, a streetcar supporter, would like to see an increased focus on regional transit efforts that will connect regional residents to jobs. Meanwhile, some are pushing to complete so-called “phase 1b” of the project, which would take the streetcar uptown near the University of Cincinnati and the city’s hospitals. As smooth as a ride on the streetcar’s 3.6-mile downtown and Overthe-Rhine loop can be, the path to the transit system’s next step looks plenty bumpy.

Democrats Take the Hamilton County Commission The national election was a brutal lesson in humility for many Democrats around

the country. But locally, the story was a little different. The party picked up control of the Hamilton County Commission, a shift in leadership for the county’s highest governing body. Incumbent Democratic commissioner Todd Portune won an easy re-election here against challenger Andrew Pappas, while Democrat State Rep. Denise Driehaus prevailed narrowly in her hard-fought challenge against Republican interim commissioner Dennis Deters. No matter how many votes each got, the duo’s win means a big change for Hamilton County. It’s been years of Republican control of the county’s highest governing body, a tenure that has seen deep budget cuts. Portune has been the lone Democrat on the commission during this stretch and until now has had little control over the commission’s direction. Now he and Driehaus have the opportunity to chart a different path. Both Driehaus and Portune have promised to make the county more than a buckled-down, bare-bones machine, pledging renewed focus on economic development efforts through the Port of Greater Cincinnati Authority and other means.

Driehaus has supported ideas like Sheriff Jim Neil’s proposal to put a detox facility in the Hamilton County Justice Center, a move that could cut down on recidivism and reduce the number of overdoses seen in the county. But Portune, Driehaus and their Republican counterpart Chris Monzel will also face big challenges. The county has a lot of work to do when it comes to the troubled Metropolitan Sewer District, which is sagging under a contracting scandal and the continued stress of a federal court-ordered, multi-billion-dollar overhaul. Meanwhile, the heroin crisis continues to grip the region, requiring a coordinated response from all of the county’s law enforcement agencies and service organizations. And the Western Hills Viaduct, a vital artery between Cincinnati’s central core and the West Side, is crumbling, with no funding source for a replacement in sight. Both Portune and Driehaus have also talked about an increased spirit of cooperation between the county, the city of Cincinnati (which is also run by Democrats right now) and other municipalities. They’ll need it to overcome the big challenges ahead.

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The lack of a verdict in the Ray Tensing trial sparked protests that drew more than 1,000 people. P H O T O : N i c k S wa r ts e l l

What will Hamilton County’s new era look like? We’ll see.

Ray Tensing on Trial

Spending Shakeups at City Hall (MSD/Parks Scandals) This year, Cincinnati saw not one, but two big controversies around public spending CONTINUES ON PAGE 10

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It started with a traffic stop for a missing front license plate, escalated to the shooting death of an unarmed black man and culminated with a white police officer on trial. Now, after a jury couldn’t decide if former University of Cincinnati Police officer Ray Tensing is guilty of murder, manslaughter or none of the above for shooting Sam DuBose, the city waits for Tensing’s retrial, which will take place this spring. Tensing has said he was dragged by DuBose’s car and that he feared for his life before he shot the 43-year-old father of 13 in the head. But during his trial, expert witnesses for Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters poked holes in that story with frameby-frame analysis of footage from Tensing’s body camera. The analysis showed that Tensing didn’t have his arm tangled in the car’s steering wheel, as he claimed, that he was upright when he fired his weapon and that DuBose’s car didn’t start moving until after he drew his weapon and only a splitsecond before he fired. The car had moved about a foot when Tensing killed DuBose. Tensing’s attorney Stew Mathews had some experts of his own to call, however, and the jury ended up in a stalemate. Four jurors originally voted to convict Tensing on murder charges. Those jurors eventually joined with others to make eight jurors who voted for a manslaughter charge. Four believed Tensing shouldn’t face a conviction. DuBose’s shooting made national news when it happened in July, 2015. The incident was one of many that have drawn attention to the issue of racial disparities in America’s justice system, starting with the 2014 shooting death of unarmed black man Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. by a police officer there. That shooting, and subsequent

ones in Chicago, Cleveland and elsewhere, sparked massive protests and moves to reform policing across America. The furor over police shootings is familiar to many in Cincinnati, which saw days of civil unrest in 2001 over the police shooting of unarmed black 19-year-old Timothy Thomas in Over-the-Rhine. Fifteen years later, familiar tensions and questions have again gripped the city. The University of Cincinnati fired Tensing after his indictment in 2015 and has pledged to make big reforms to its police department. UC had greatly increased its police force in the years leading up to DuBose’s shooting, and officers there were encouraged by then-police chief Jason Goodrich to establish a “no fly zone” around the campus to ward off drug activity. Tensing was among the most aggressive cops on the squad, and the vast majority of the tickets he wrote went to black motorists, data released by UCPD shows. The lack of a verdict in the Tensing trial sparked protests that drew more than 1,000 people into the streets of downtown and Over-the-Rhine and had Cincinnati City Council members and other city officials calling for a retrial. Prosecutor Deters has decided that Tensing will be retried on the same charges — murder and manslaughter. His trial will take place here in Hamilton County in May. Judge Megan Shanahan, who presided over his first trial, has removed herself from the proceedings. She’ll be replaced by Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Leslie Ghiz.

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related to offices under some level of city administration. In July, Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black released a city audit of the Cincinnati Parks Board and its nonprofit foundation. That audit showed arrangements that could “result in a lack of accountability” in the organization. The foundation raises money from private donors, while the Parks Board spends mostly public dollars. However, the flow of money between the two has little structure or oversight, the audit found. That could cause some conflicts of interest and even questions about whether certain parks projects are owned by the city. In addition, the audit found that the Parks Board doesn’t do a comprehensive budget, making it extremely difficult to know all of its inner workings. The board and its relationship with the foundation had been under scrutiny since last year’s push for a new tax levy to pay for parks improvements pushed by Mayor John Cranley. During that campaign, it was revealed that the board gave $200,000 for promoting the levy, even though it is restricted from political activity. That money came from a private foundation that raises money for the parks. The parks levy campaign returned the money, but the genie was out of the bottle. Other questions around board member perks — lavish spending on expensive

headphones, foreign trips and other items — have also arisen in the wake of investigations into the board’s operations. Meanwhile, in June, City Manager Black released a report on the region’s Metropolitan Sewer District commissioned in the aftermath of allegations that MSD officials misspent millions in taxpayer dollars on contracts related to a federally ordered sewer overhaul. MSD is owned by Hamilton County and administered by the city of Cincinnati, per a 1968 agreement that expires in 2018. The report found “areas of concern and control weakness” in MSD’s contracting practices, including inappropriate use of existing “master contracts” instead of competitive bids as well as an “extraordinary” use of outside contractors and consultants. A report by The Cincinnati Enquirer claims that MSD misspent as much as $680 million in contracts to handle a $3.4 billion sewer overhaul ordered by a 2003 federal consent decree and needed to bring the system into compliance with the U.S. Clean Water Act. The report calls out a move made by then-City Manager Milton Dohoney in 2007 giving then-MSD Director Tony Parrott final say over MSD contracts. That undermined needed checks and balances on MSD spending, the report says. The report makes recommendations in seven areas around MSD’s procurement process, specific projects and an internship and workforce development program run by a private foundation, among other areas of focus. 

Trump supporters looking reasonable as usual

The Joseph family could be well on its way to tearing down the historic Dennison Hotel.

P H O T O : N i c k S wa r ts e l l

P H O T O : N i c k S wa r ts e l l

Some City Council members have questioned the independence of the audit, which was launched in February and wrapped up weeks before it was publicly released. Critics have cited that lag and pointed out that all the investigators work for the city in some fashion as reasons the report might not be truly independent.

RNC in Cleveland and the Rise of Trump

Fighting Over the Dennison If you’re a fan of long legal battles and arcane architectural and construction details, your Super Bowl kicked off this year. An exhaustive legal fight continues over the 124-year-old Dennison Hotel building on Main Street downtown after playing its way through the city’s Historic Conservation Board this summer. That board rejected a request by Dennison owners Columbia REI, LLC, owned by the powerful Joseph

Automotive Group family, to demolish the building. The Dennison, designed by the firm of famed Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford, sits in a historic district, meaning developers must prove an economic hardship before tearing it down. The city’s HCB said Columbia, which would eventually like to build a headquarters site for a Fortune 500 company on the spot, didn’t try to sell the building and couldn’t prove it was under economic duress. Earlier this month, the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals reversed the HCB’s decision, approving the demolition request. Preservationists are expected to appeal that ruling. If they do so, the next step would be the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. The controversial fight could go all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. Dennison owners the Joseph family say they’re ready to exhaust all legal options. Hanging in the balance, some say, is the way the city deals with its historic architecture, which preservationists and city officials alike cite as one of Cincinnati’s biggest assets.

Heroin’s Dark Cloud Ohio is fighting a killer with unprecedented power and reach. This year, Cincinnati and the surrounding region were at the center of that fight. More than 1,400 people have overdosed on heroin in the city this year, according to city data. Back in mid-August, the city saw 174 such overdoses in just a week. Overdoses involving heroin and stronger, deadlier additives like fentanyl and carfentanil continue to occur at crisis levels here, and local and state leaders are scrambling to find strategies to stop them. That has led to a number of antioverdose efforts here in the city, including short-term saves like increasing the availability of anti-overdose drug Narcan. That

drug blocks dopamine receptors in the brain triggered by opiates and can bring an overdosing person back from the brink of death. But solutions will have to go beyond emergency response, many officials say, and must include expanding currently strained treatment options. Though overdose levels have decreased slightly since this summer’s spike, Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco says she still sees an average of two drug overdose deaths a day. Many of those are taking place in specific regions of the city.  Some Cincinnati City Council members are hoping part of that help will come via $700,000 to expand West End’s Center for Chemical Addiction Treatment, the city’s strained detox facility. Council and city administration have also chipped in about $50,000 to increase the availability of Narcan to first responders The roots of the current heroin crisis are deep and stubborn and lie mostly with recent additives like fentanyl and carfentanil.  Over the past year, authorities have become increasingly concerned about fentanyl, a factor in the prescription opiate boom that sparked the ongoing drug crisis over the last decade. As that crisis has transitioned into the heroin addiction epidemic, fentanyl has made a comeback as a powerful additive. From 2007 to 2013, according to Hamilton County Public Health, fentanyl contributed to just seven of the county’s overdose deaths. But in 2014, it played a role in 81 fatal overdoses, or 30 percent of the county’s 251 total overdose deaths.  The crisis has gripped the entire state. By Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s count, eight people a day are dying in Ohio from overdoses, many caused by the additives. ©

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President-elect Donald Trump’s November victory has caused rapturous celebration among a large, mostly white, mostly male chunk of America’s electorate. But his statements about women, immigrants, Muslims, Black Lives Matter and other groups have caused deep anxiety from nearly every other corner of the country. Trump’s unlikely and game-changing victory has roots beyond this election year. During the four days of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, America’s long-running and increasingly intense fears and fault lines were unleashed in the Buckeye State. CityBeat was there to witness that historic moment — gun-toting white supremacists, celebrity convention speakers, fear-mongering politicians, flag-burning anarchists and all. Much has happened to make Cleveland a microcosm of the nation’s frustration on both sides of the coin. The police shooting of an unarmed 12-year-old black child named Tamir Rice in 2014, along with a U.S. Justice Department report slamming past practices by the Cleveland Police Department, made the city an icon of racial troubles in America’s justice system. Beyond that, the city is one of the most segregated in the country, and racial and economic trenches run deep and wide there. On the other side, the city is surrounded

by counties that have been deeply hurt by the loss of manufacturing jobs and have large working class white populations angry about NAFTA and other free trade agreements. In other words, Trump land. Trump himself exacerbated the long-running tensions dividing the greater Cleveland area and much of America. Over the course of an improbable primary campaign, he equated Mexican immigrants with rapists, retweeted white supremacists, suggested barring Muslims from entering the United States, made uncounted misogynistic statements toward TV reporters and on and on. New outrages came by the week, and each time they did, Trump improbably surged in the polls. Many have ascribed Trump’s rise to a growing, regressive angst among white folks tired of the status quo, of factories moving, coal plants closing, of feeling like they’re losing security and economic ground as America’s demographics change. On the other side, however, minorities disproportionately shut out of economic prosperity who bear the brunt of law enforcement efforts see Trump’s victory as an ominous sign that things in America are about to get worse for them. It’s the country’s biggest, most complex and most consequential argument. It’s far from settled, and in Cleveland, we saw it play out in person.


PHOTOS BY HAiley bollinger (This Page) and jesse fox (OPPOSITE PAGE)

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Pones Inc. dancers (“2016 Fringe Festival,” issue of May 25)

Please cocktails (“2016 Dining Guide,” issue of Oct. 19)

Northside (issue of Dec. 7)

Musician Jennifer Simone (issue of Dec. 21)

Future Science comedy (issue of May 25)

Cartoonist Carol Tyler (issue of Jan. 20) Gorman Heritage Farm chickens (issue of March 30)

Rhinegeist rooftop (Annual Manual 2016-17)

City Flea (Annual Manual 2016-17)

Sundry & Vice boozy milkshake (Annual Manual 2016-17)

“Fall Guide” (issue of Sept. 14)

Artist Lindsay Nehls (“Love List 2016,” issue of Feb. 10)

Skeleton Root winery (Annual Manual 2016-17) Saturday night crowd at MidPoint Music Festival (CityBeat.com)

Bonobo at the Cincinnati Zoo (issue of Jan. 27)

Cincinnati Art Museum (“Summer Guide,” issue of June 1)

Washington Park fountains (issue of Aug. 31)

Parlour pig (“Best of Cincinnati,” issue of March 30)

“Swing Around Rosie” ArtWorks mural (issue of Aug. 03)

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Butler County Donut Trail (issue of Aug. 10)

Spring Grove cemetary (Annual Manual 2016-17)

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COMEDY: JON REEP Jon Reep, in his pre-standup comedy days, was attending a Carolina Panthers football game with some buddies. As music played in the stadium during timeouts, he would get up and dance. Eventually, the team’s official mascot invited him down onto the field as the crowd cheered. But the cheers soon turned to boos, not because the fans disliked his shenanigans, but because the cops were hauling him off the field. Encouraged and exhilarated by the crowd response to his antics, Reep soon went to a comedy club, got up on stage and started telling jokes. He quit his day job as a television production assistant and went into comedy full time shortly after that. Onstage, he talks about the subjects he knows best: beer, football and growing up in rural America. “It’s not easy living in Los Angeles and being from the South,” he tells an audience. “They hear my accent… and they’re just waiting for me to say something like, ‘What are shoes for?’ ” Show times Thursday-Saturday. $20. Funny Bone Liberty, 7518 Bales St., Liberty Township, 513-779-5233, liberty. funnybone.com. — P.F. WILSON


SPORTS: HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS Nothing brings together sports die-hards and cynics quite like the Harlem Globetrotters, whose comedy, theatrics and athleticism combine to form something far beyond your typical basketball game. The team brings its 2017 World Tour to U.S. Bank Arena, where audience members can expect a star-studded roster, “ballhandling wizardry” and plenty of surprises. Stick around after the game for autographs and photos with the players. 2 and 7 p.m. Friday. $15-$130. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway St., Downtown, harlemglobetrotters.com. — EMILY BEGLEY


HOLIDAY: BOAR’S HEAD YULE LOG FESTIVAL Wild boars were once considered ferocious beasts and were hunted as public enemies. When Christian beliefs overtook pagan customs, the presentation of the animal’s head at Christmastime came to symbolize the triumph of Christ over sin. Enter the Boar’s Head Yule Log Festival, first celebrated in 1340 and brought to Cincinnati in 1940 — its 600th anniversary. Christ Church Cathedral keeps the tradition alive with a cast of more than 250 dressed as historical characters who sing carols, perform ceremonies and present a garnished hog’s head, all of which remain authentic to the 14th century. 5 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Free; tickets first come, first served at the door (arrive early). Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., Downtown, boarsheadfestival. com. — EMILY BEGLEY

MUSIC: CONSIDER THE SOURCE With an entrancing style accurately self-described as “Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Fusion,” New York City instrumental trio Consider The Source is one of the more engaging modern Progressive Rock bands going. While listening to some Prog groups is like the aural equivalent of doing a long math equation, Consider The Source stands out by imbuing its technically dazzling musicianship with emotive textures and shades of varying music styles, resulting in a sound that works on multiple levels. The group’s fusion of genres — the music is steeped in Jazz, Prog, Classical and Middle Eastern concepts — is done so imaginatively and skillfully, Consider The Source has attracted a devoted fan base that is accordingly diverse; its global tours attract Jazz enthusiasts, metalheads, Jam-band scenesters and other generally curious and open-minded listeners. The band’s local tour stop is a New Year’s Eve opening slot for popular improvisational Electro/Rock/Funk/Jam/Etc. adventurers Dopapod, which also plays Madison Theater on Friday night. 9 p.m. Saturday. $20-$30. Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., Covington, madisontheateronline. com. — MIKE BREEN NYE: HOTEL COVINGTON NEW YEAR’S EVE A perfect place to party at the end of the year — especially if you don’t feel like driving home. Head to Hotel Covington, where dinner service will be available at the in-house Coppin’s until 10 p.m., featuring special New Year’s Eve dishes followed by a party in the lobby. The


NYE: PRE-NEW YEAR’S EVE LINGERIE SHOW AND BENEFIT The owners of Over-the-Rhine’s two newest storefronts — Rosie Kovacs of the furniture/home goods design store Brush Factory and Melissa Lieb of the ecoconscious lingerie store Swoon — have teamed up with Parlour hair salon’s Jessie Hoffman for a one-night fashion show. The Brush Factory will play host at its newest location, which just opened earlier this month, Swoon will dress models in its low-impact wares and Parlour will handle all the hair and makeup. All proceeds from drink donations and $5 raffle tickets (for an assortment of products from all three businesses) will be donated to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Show starts at 10:20 p.m. Friday. Free entrance. Brush Factory, 1417 Main Street, Over-the-Rhine, searchable on Facebook. — MARIA SEDA-REEDER

no-cover fête includes a NYE drink menu and specials with four bars, a DJ, dance floor, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, party favors, midnight surprises and tons of bubbly. If you’re looking to stay the night, make sure to reserve a room in

advance. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday. Free admission. Hotel Covington, 638 Madison Ave., Covington, hotelcovington.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO CONTINUES ON PAGE 16

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NYE: NEW YEAR’S EVE EVE AT CHRISTIAN MOERLEIN Can’t wait to get 2016 over with? Drink the year away a day early at the Christian Moerlein Malt House. Celebrate New Year’s Eve Eve with an authentic German buffet of bretzel, schnitzel, jägersoße, rotkohl, wurst, sauerkraut and spätzle, accompanied by plenty of beer and live music by Prost. The night also includes a tour of the brewery and one drink ticket (with more alcohol available for purchase). 7-10 p.m. Friday. $35. Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. Malt House, 1621 Moore St., Over-theRhine, bit.ly/2hr9lz7. — MAIJA ZUMMO

photo : Brooke SHANESY

photo : PROVIDED


NYE: HAPPY ZOO YEAR An early countdown for party animals young and old. Explore the Festival of Lights one last time before it closes Jan. 1 and discover party favors and costumed characters throughout the zoo, including Father Time and Baby ZOO Year. Madcap Puppets will also present their Winter Wonders show at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Count down to 2017 at 8:55 p.m. and stick around for a Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks display. 5 p.m. Saturday. Free with zoo admission: $18 adults; $13 children and seniors. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org. — EMILY BEGLEY

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NYE: CITYBEAT’S SPEAKEASY AT KNOW THEATRE Get jazzed for this copacetic speakeasy fit for the late, great Jay Gatsby. CityBeat and Know Theatre’s 8th-annual fête ends 2016 with a trip back in time where you can bust out your best bell-bottoms, fedoras and flapper dresses. Back-room games, appetizers and giggle juice whittle down the seconds until 2017, topped off with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday. $40 in advance; $50 door. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre. com, citybeat.com. — EMILY BEGLEY NYE: 2016 HAD ME LIKE… BRUNCH AT QUEEN CITY RADIO It’s no secret: 2016 sucked. Thankfully, Queen City Radio is offering a cure for that unavoidable NYE hangover with brunch from the Sunny Side food truck and, if you’re brave, some additional booze: five for $12 Miller Lite buckets will be available at the bar. Donate toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and/or cleaning supplies to Caracole, a nonprofit assisting individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and receive a raffle ticket for a prize. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday. Free

admission; donations suggested. Queen City Radio, 222 W. 12th St., Downtown, qcrbar.com. — EMILY BEGLEY NYE: MIDNIGHT IN MUNICH Voted one of the best and most authentic beer gardens (aka biergartens) in America, Mecklenburg Gardens — a local Bavarian gem in operation since 1865 — rings in 2017 German-style with a live stream of the Brandenburg Gate fireworks in Berlin. Welcome the New Year early at 6 p.m. Zinzinnati time, or midnight in Munich, with authentic German beer, a champagne toast, a balloon drop and a traditional German buffet, which includes Oktoberfest chicken and other family-friendly dishes. RSVP required. 4:30-9 p.m. Saturday. $32. Mecklenburg Gardens, 302 E. University Ave., Corryville, mecklenburgs.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO NYE: BILL NYE BASH AT 16-BIT T-minus 7 seconds until 2017! Count down to the New Year alongside your favorite bow tie-wearing science guy. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade channels your fondest memories of a high school science classroom by presenting a marathon of Bill Nye the Science Guy, plus Nye-inspired cocktails and limited-edition T-shirts. 7 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, 1331



NYE: CHEERS TO THE NEW YEAR AT RHINEGEIST Fair warning: Presale tickets are already sold out for this event. A few hundred will be left for sale at the door, and if you like beer, tacos and live music, you’ll want to be one of the lucky ones to snag a spot. Rhinegeist is ready to welcome 2017 with beer, wine, cocktails, Mexican eats from Gomez Salsa and a balloon drop at midnight. On the main floor, DJs Matt Joy and Will Ross will be playing a parade of hits, while upstairs in the speakeasy, Jess Lamb will be performing a steady dose of Jazz and Soul live with her band. Dress in your snazziest threads; they’ll have a coat check. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday. $20 at the door if available; pre-sale sold out. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Downtown, rhinegeist.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO

NYE: NEW YEAR’S EVE BLAST ON FOUNTAIN SQUARE A family-friendly skate-for-all and fireworks display on Fountain Square. Join thousands of fellow Cincinnatians for an all-inclusive public party featuring snack vendors, beer, goofy games on the Fountain Square stage, music from DJ tweet and open skate. Start 2017 off with a bang as Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks explode over downtown at midnight. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday. Free admission; normal ice rink and skate rental fees

NYE: SPEAKEASY AT THE TAFT THEATRE Kick it up Roaring ’20s style at the historic Taft Theatre with the Cincinnati Pops. Guests will be transported back in time with the swinging tunes of the 1920s and ’30s, played by The Pops and Hot Sardines Jazz band. The concert runs until 10 p.m., when the speakeasy opens just in time for a martini and to watch the ball drop. Beads, boas and other ’20s regalia are encouraged. 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $25. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org. — MAIJA ZUMMO

ONGOING SHOWS VISUAL ART E is for Edie: An Edith McKee Harper Retrospective The Carnegie, Covington (through Feb. 11) Soft Regards Weston Art Gallery, Downtown (through Jan. 29)





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NYE: MOMENTUM: NYE PARTY AT 21C MUSEUM HOTEL 21c Museum Hotel teams up with IRL Gallery and Modern Makers for this avantgarde party that toes the line between fantasy and reality. Museum and event spaces will be filled with music, video and cutting-edge art, including a pop-up exhibit of virtual reality- and time-based media works. Tickets include an open premium bar and appetizers from Metropole. Music by DJ Direct Deposit and DJ Sabastooge. 9 p.m. Saturday. $150. 21c Museum Hotel, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, 21cmuseumhotels.com. — EMILY BEGLEY

apply. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare. com. — MAIJA ZUMMO


Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, 16-bitbar.com. — EMILY BEGLEY

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NOW – JANUARY 8, 2017

Generously supported by:

This exhibition was organized with the generous support of the Harold C. Schott Foundation. Additional support was provided by the John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Presented by:

Presented by:

Guy Mendes, Juliette Lee Moore, Kit’s Hole, Clark County, KY (detail), 1968, gelatin silver print, FotoFocus Art Purchase Fund, 2016.8

Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Undergrowth with Two Figures (detail), 1890, oil on canvas, Bequest of Mary E. Johnston, 1967.1430

Tickets available at cincinnatiartmuseum.org or by phone at (513) 721-ARTS (2787). Members receive free tickets.

arts & culture

The Year in Visual Arts

From FotoFocus to PAR-Projects, galleries and museums presented strong work in 2016 By Steven RosEN


Another major FotoFocus show worthy of special mention was the Taft Museum of Art’s smartly installed Picturing the West: Master Works of 19th -Century Landscape Photography, a circulating exhibition that celebrated the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. It explored the issue of the “The Undocument” by making us ponder the motives of these intrepid early photographers, even while it astonished us with their bravery and fortitude. (It’s up through Jan. 15.) I also liked the digitally reworked, stylized color photographs in William Ropp: Ethiopiques at Iris BookCafé and Gallery (up through Jan. 20). Besides Kentucky Renaissance, the Art Museum distinguished itself this year with Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth. Curated in-house (and up through Jan. 8), it not only elevated the visibility and importance of its own Van Gogh masterpiece, “Undergrowth with Two Figures,” but — through loans from other collections — taught how important such landscape covering was to the artist as a subject and how that inspired other artists. Into the Undergrowth served as an apt bookend to the Taft Museum’s Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape exhibit from earlier this year. Chief Curator Lynne Ambrosini spent years researching and organizing this show, which aimed to show how 19th-century French landscape painter Charles-François Daubigny was an underappreciated influence on Impressionism. The scholarship proved sound; the loaned art was substantial. Cincinnati Art Museum also had an important traveling show of African-American Contemporary art from Miami’s Rubell Collection, 30 Americans. I still think of Rodney McMillian’s piece in it, a large and well-worn carpet, and what it says about the power of a non-traditional object, shown in an unconventional way, to make us think about what art can be and what it can say about life. The art museum further offered the compelling prints of Cincinnati artist Jay Bolotin in The Book of Only Enoch and The Jackleg Testament, Part I: Jack & Eve (through March 12). And the Contemporary art displayed in its Not in New York: Carl Solway and Cincinnati show proved just how much of a progressive force that longtime gallerist has been for the city. And while I have reservations about the way Employed, a show of the museum staff’s work, was presented as a major exhibit, I have no quarrel with the touching, lovely piece by textile conservator Chandra Obie,

“Chipo” was a featured photograph in the FotoFocus exhibit of Jackie Nickerson’s work. “Shaman’s robe [wedding dress],” that is in it. Scanning and editing all the best wishes written by friends at her wedding, she printed them to form what she calls the readable “yardage” of a paper dress. It belongs in the museum’s permanent collection. The Contemporary Arts Center had two outstanding shows this year. While it wasn’t planned that way, Do Ho Suh’s Passage exhibition, curated by Steven Matijcio, proved to be a fitting and memorable tribute to CAC architect Zaha Hadid after her death in March, while it was on display. The South Korea-born British artist used his soft, fragile sculptural recreations of buildings to make us realize the poetry inherent in

architecture — especially in Hadid’s CAC. Later in the year, the bizarre subject matter and fluid painting style of British artist Glenn Brown’s work brought surrealism into the 21st century with a jolting shock of the new. (His work is up through Jan. 15.) Finally I think you’ll be hearing much more about Northside’s PAR-Projects in 2017, as it settles into its new post-industrial locale on Hoffner Street under the astute leadership of Jonathan Sears. But the show it had for its 2016 debut, Lisa Alcott’s environment of almost-translucent mobiles meant to evoke spider webs or bugs in motion, transformed and then transcended the space with its mysterious beauty. I will long remember it. ©

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he FotoFocus Biennial of photography and the Cincinnati Art Museum dominated visual arts in 2016, but there were certainly additional distinguished exhibits at museums and galleries. And outside in the streets, there were notable new public murals, like ArtWorks’ Rosemary Clooney tribute in Over-the-Rhine. FotoFocus and the art museum overlapped on one key exhibition, Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954-1974, my favorite museum show of the year. This was a project that CAM’s photography curator, Brian Sholis, spent several years organizing. He then announced his departure shortly before it opened. With 150 photographs, prints, books and more, Kentucky Renaissance made a compelling case that the Lexington of that era — home to the University of Kentucky — was one of those magical American outposts where gifted people come together at a certain time to help shape the future of arts, well before we have a chance to realize the importance of what they’re doing. The resulting exhibit (which is still up through Sunday) allowed us to see wonderful work by Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Van Deren Coke, Guy Mendes and the mind-blowing Zygmunt S. Gierlach, and also to learn how these photographers interacted with such writers as Wendell Berry and Thomas Merton. It broke new ground in scholarship. Meanwhile, FotoFocus — overseen by its hardworking executive director, Mary Ellen Goeke, and her small, dedicated staff — encompassed many shows at venues here, Dayton and even Columbus. It had as a theme “The Undocument,” which the biennial’s artistic director, Kevin Moore, envisioned as a catchword to get people to think about whether photographs are as straightforwardly objective in the images they depict as we assume. Several of the shows Moore curated were highlights of my 2016: After Industry at Weston Art Gallery, featuring 20th-century industrial/post-industrial landscapes from Gregory Gooding’s outstanding private collection, and two shows at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center (both up through Jan. 23), Jackie Nickerson’s August and Zanele Muholi’s Personae. Muholi, a South African photographer, makes powerful portraits of black women who, as lesbians, have faced discrimination and violence in their homeland. Her work gives them a chance to experience a defiant freedom, evident through their expressions and dress. And it allows us to ponder the need for a secure identity.

P H O T O : j a c k i e n i c k e r s o n / c o u r t e s y o f th e a r t i s t a n d j a c k s h a i n m a n g a l l e r y, n e w yo r k

a&c onstage

The Year in Local Theater Productions

Highlights include The Revolutionists, Jitney, Disgraced, The Diary of Anne Frank, Beertown and more BY RICK PENDER


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incinnati theatergoers had a lot to enjoy during 2016. Each of the following shows earned a 2016 CityBeat Critic’s Pick. The Cincinnati Playhouse continued to give women playwrights their due with a world premiere by a rising young playwright, Lauren Gunderson. The Revolutionists (February-March), commissioned by the Playhouse, was for me its best production during 2016. Gunderson’s scintillating script, packed with provocative ideas, portrayed four women in prison during the French Revolution. Gunderson brought together Queen Marie Antoinette, assassin Charlotte Corday, playwright Olympe de Gouges and Marianne Angelle, a woman of color from the Caribbean. Dressed for the 18th century, they spoke using very 21st-century language. The playwright’s motive — to put women back into history — was achieved with humor and wit. Provocation was the theme of another Playhouse production, Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced (September-October). The Pulitzer Prize-winning play was fueled by extreme

The Revolutionists was a 2016 highlight. P H O T O : m i k k i s c h a f f n e r photo g r a ph y

differences of opinion. An aggressive New York attorney of Pakistani descent and his wife, a thoroughly American painter, host another couple for dinner, an African-American attorney and her Jewish husband, a museum curator. It was a challenging show to watch, but it advanced an appeal to listen and understand, behavior much needed in today’s America. The Playhouse also presented August Wilson’s Jitney (October-November), written in 1979, the first script in his monumental 10-play cycle about African-Americans across the 20th century. Wilson’s stories about people struggling to get by are repeatedly elevated and humanized by everyday

Know Theatre pushes boundaries annudialogue. In the hands of ally during the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. director Timothy Douglas, In March it presented Beertown, a touring who has considerable experiproject by past Fringe act dog & pony dc. In ence with Wilson’s works, an imagined village, the audience became this tale about gypsy cab citizens at a town meeting to decide which drivers trying to make ends items in their time capsule to add or retire. meet had an undercurrent of They do this every five years. With planted joy. Lost loves, quick tempers, questionable motives and messages by actors playing townspeople, broken families are Jitney’s the show became a civic dialogue exploring building blocks, but the what’s meaningful to a community. profoundly real humanity of Just two months after Gunderson’s Revothese men was palpable in lutionists at the Playhouse, Know presented this production. her play Silent Sky (April-May), a rapturous Ensemble Theatre portrait of a real woman, Henrietta Leavitt, Giles Davies played the titular character in The Elephant Man. Cincinnati marked its 30th an aspiring astronomer from the early 20th P H O T O : m i k k i s c h a f f n e r photo g r a ph y season in 2015-2016 by century who struggled for recognition during moving audiences with fine to find her way. That paralscripts and acting. Sharr lels what ETC is doing today, White’s Annapurna (March-April) was a as its physical presence on two-hander about a cowboy poet/college Vine Street grows toward a professor and his ex-wife intersecting after promising future. 20 years. The show, peppered with sardonic Cincinnati Shakespeare humor and deep wounds, was a great vehicle Company is also evolving, for veteran ETC actors Dennis Parlato and moving to a newly built Regina Pugh, underscoring the theater’s Over-the-Rhine venue next excellent “ensemble” of talent. September. Its ShakespearAnnapurna was followed by ean productions are always Jeanine Tesori’s Violet (May), exciting, but the company’s a musical ETC staged in 1999 classical repertoire extends when its existence was in beyond those masterpieces. doubt and audiences hesiThis fall opened with The tated to venture to Over-theHannah Gregory (in red) stood out in Chicago. Diary of Anne Frank (SepRhine. The passing of 17 years P H O T O : m i k k i s c h a f f n e r photo g r a ph y tember-October), featuring made this heartfelt, anthemCourtney Lucien as the sensifilled musical a metaphor for tive, brave young woman a theater that has now found an era when men took the lead and women forced by the horrors of war and intolerance its place. It’s the story of an were relegated to supporting roles. Cincy to explore her innermost emotions at an age angry, self-conscious young Shakes regular Maggie Lou Rader portrayed when most teenagers are consumed with woman (played by Brooke the zealous scientist with luminous energy. immature issues. Anne’s writing sustained Steele) who believes her life Elsewhere, Falcon Theater staged her despite depressing confinement, and is a dead end due to a disMartin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen her yearning to “go on living — even after figuring facial scar. Violet’s of Leenane (March-April) at its intimate my death” was brilliantly displayed when desperate search enables her Newport theater. The crackling script is a her words were projected on dark Irish tale of a mother and a daughter the walls of the theater in the (searingly portrayed by Tracy M. Schoster show’s final moment. and Tara Williams) locked in mortal combat, The company’s subseand an emotional rollercoaster that careens quent production, Bernard between dark humor, self-centered aggresPomerance’s The Elephant sion, loneliness and abuse. Man (October-November), Landmark Productions presented Kander employed veteran actor Giles Davies as the horribly and Ebb’s classic musical Chicago (Augustdisfigured Victorian man September) at the Warsaw Federal Incline whose body made him an Theater. It was a dark yet highly entertaining object of scorn and morbid story, reminding audiences of the success fascination. With no make-up realized in the theater’s inaugural season a or prosthetics Davies took year ago. Hannah Gregory and Alex Caldwell on John Merrick’s deformed were perfect as “celebrity criminals,” the physicality with remarkable murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, in The cast of Cincinnati Playhouse’s Jitney skill, yielding a poignant and this vaudevillian satire on corruption and P H O T O : m i k k i s c h a f f n e r photo g r a ph y powerful portrait. the production had a solid ensemble. ©


‘Fellow Travelers’ Led a Strong Year in Music BY ANNE ARENSTEIN

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The year 2016 was a busy one for Clasorchestra required for this work. Johnson sical music in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati gave a brilliant, riveting performance as the Symphony Orchestra took up residence in sensuous teenaged princess infatuated with the Taft Theatre while Music Hall underJohn the Baptist. When presented with his goes renovation. The Cincinnati Opera head, Johnson’s final aria was breathtaking. moved to the Aronoff for the same reason. A tremendous supporting cast included tenor The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra named Allan Glassman and mezzo Elizabeth Bishop, a new artistic director and new vocal and who both perform regularly at the Met. CCM instrumental chamber groups fostered the faculty member Ken Shaw sang the selftalents of local performers and composers. righteous Baptist. Of the many outstanding performances Leave it to concert:nova for the unexthis year, opera wins my top two slots, with pected. A February performance featured the Cincinnati Opera’s world premiere of a nonsensical ballet entitled The Wedding Fellow Travelers taking top honors. Party at the Eiffel Tower, a 1920s collaboraBased on Thomas Mallon’s 2007 pulpy tion by the French composers known as Les novel about a doomed gay love affair in Washington, D.C. during the anti-gay Lavender Scare of the 1950s, Gregory Spears’ score and Greg Pierce’s libretto created compelling characters and a haunting musical universe that are infinitely more effective than the novel. Spears took inspiration from medieval French troubadour songs, using elegantly ornamented phrases for voice and orchestra to express love and longing. Director Kevin Newbury and conductor Aaron Blake (left) and Joseph Lattanzi in Fellow Travelers. Mark Gibson drew powerful P H O T O : m i k k i s c h a f f n e r photo g r a ph y performances from a youthful cast headed by tenor Six with a libretto by Jean Cocteau. For the Aaron Blake and baritone Joseph Lattanzi audience, the unexpected weren’t the narra(a University of Cincinnati College-Consertors — Cincinnati’s French chef-in-residence vatory of Music alum). Jean-Robert de Cavel and actress, chef and The entire run sold well and garnered writer Aimée Langrée. Midway through the enthusiastic reviews from national and interperformance, CSO violist Rebecca Barnes national press. The New York Times named walked down the aisle escorted by her it one of the year’s top Classical music events. parents and was married — for real — to Equally important, Fellow Travelers paid off CSO bassist Boris Astafiev in a ceremony big time for Cincinnati Opera’s and CCM’s performed by cellist Ted Nelson, sporting a investment in Opera Fusion: New Works, the clerical collar. Needless to say, the perforcollaboration that provides intensive workmance’s antics took on a special energy. shops for opera composers and librettists. In October, the Cincinnati Chamber This is the second Opera Fusion work to Orchestra announced the appointment be premiered by Cincinnati Opera. Fellow of Eckart Preu as artistic director after Travelers was first heard in a 2013 Opera a yearlong search. Preu was a big hit at Fusion workshop. Premiering this year five the CCO’s Summermusik series, drawing days after the Pulse nightclub massacre impressive performances from the musiin Orlando, Fellow Travelers had tragic cians and proving himself an affable resonance. presence onstage and off. Another superb opera performance was Finally, the CSO’s move to the Taft has not by an opera company but came by way of been a solid gain for the orchestra’s sound. the CCM Philharmonia’s The Great Decade The downtown theater’s acoustics greatly series. In January, conductor Mark Gibson enhance the sonic qualities for the ensemble led a sizzling semi-staged account of Richard as well as for soloists. It is not without Strauss’ erotic Salome, with a spectacular cast headed by CCM faculty member Amy problems — it gets mighty hot in the balcony Johnson. An almost literal adaptation of and the seats aren’t the most comfortable. Oscar Wilde’s controversial play, Salome is But don’t let that stop you from enjoying a a non-stop tour de force not only for the lead sound quality that one can only hope will be soprano, Johnson, but also for the massive equaled by the renovated Music Hall. ©

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Top Ten Films of 2016



There’s no better encapsulation of the year in film than the re-mastered 30th-anniversary print of David Lynch’s masterful Blue Velvet, which kicked off its arthouse engagement run in March at the Film Forum in New York City. I credit that film as the one setting me on the path to becoming a critic. I attended four screenings of Blue Velvet during its opening weekend, when I was a film-obsessed high school senior back in 1986, and was fortunate enough to be able to take my oldest daughter — a high school senior herself at that point — to one of the Film Forum showings. That’s a film experience, 30 years in the making, I will never forget. None of this year’s films can top the shared magic of that moment, but this list contains ones that will define 2016 for years to come. 1. Manchester by the Sea — Heartbreaking tragedy and the ensuing grief are not supposed to be funny, but somehow that is exactly what director/writer Kenneth Lonergan unearths in this unflinching portrayal of Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) and his attempt to come home long enough to bury his older brother (Kyle Chandler) and offer some brief comfort to his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) The resulting story truly allows us to laugh away some tears, although certainly not all of them.

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2. Moonlight — “Where the hell had you been, Barry Jenkins?” I asked myself when

3. Hell or High Water — Director David Mackenzie (Starred Up), working with a smart script from Taylor Sheridan (Sicario), drops us in a desperate West Texas landscape hollowed out by financial crisis and with no hope for any kind of bailout. So when two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) take matters into their own hands, even the lawmen on their trail (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham) must confront truths that can’t set any of us free.

word of the director’s Moonlight began buzzing through the festival circuit. His debut feature, 2008’s Medicine for Melancholy, spoke to the new millennium’s black West Coast bohemians. But with Moonlight, he made the coming-of-age story of a disenfranchised young gay black man seem like the long-lost fragment of an ongoing American narrative. Hopefully, he won’t make us wait so long for his next film.

8. The Witch — What is the greatest fear? Is it fear itself or fear of the unknown? I don’t know the definitive answer to that question, but I do that director Robert Eggers generated an unhealthy degree of both in The Witch, which transported us back

4. A Bigger Splash — Is there a bigger star in the world than Tilda Swinton playing a famous Rock star on vacation as part of her recovery from careerthreatening throat surgery? Exuding glam without speaking above a whisper, she is like the love child of David Bowie and Leonard Cohen. She is a slinky alien goddess. And there’s a real force of nature on display opposite her — Ralph Fiennes as an old manager/lover intent on upsetting her happy home. This Splash, directed by Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch Luca Guadagnino, hits land P H O T O : a 24 with the impact of a meteor strike. 5. Barry — The year’s second Barack Obama biopic (following the earlier Southside With You) presents a portrait of the future president as a young man in search of an identity and a community to call his own. Director Vikram Gandhi’s film shows Obama, before he embraced his full name and well before he achieved becoming the nation’s first AfricanAmerican leader, as a student (Devon Terrell) navigating the mean streets around Columbia University in the early 1980s. And if you can make it there . . . 6. Loving — Having dazzled audiences with the understated Spielbergian charms of Midnight Special earlier this year, director Jeff Nichols returned with Loving, a Civil Rights-era story detailing the struggles of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) to have the anti-miscegenation laws in Virginia and the rest of the country found voided. Their quest bypassed the defiant marches and fiery speeches of the day. And this wise film spotlights the thing that mattered most to the them — family.

Moonlight tells a crucial part of the American narrative. P H O T O : d av i d b o r n f r i e n d / c o u r t e s y o f A 24

7. Jackie — Director Pablo Larraín’s film details the tragic week between the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the burial, viewing it through the perspective of his shocked yet firmly in control widow Jackie (Natalie Portman).

to New England in the 1630s and tied us to a family of outcasts who come face-to-face with all manner of horrors in the woods. Anya Taylor-Joy, as the teen daughter, was memorable but the voice of Ralph Ineson as her father William is the rumbling echo that haunts my nightmares. 9. Arrival — Thankfully, director Denis Villeneuve had no interest whatsoever in rendering yet another Close Encounters clone. Instead, he and screenwriter Eric Heisserer adapted Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life as a wonderfully moody piece of speculative science fiction that engages the single greatest special effect ever produced — the human imagination. And they set Amy Adams loose in our heads and hearts. 10. The Fits — This surreal tale from director Anna Rose Holmer, filmed and set in Cincinnati, is about a disciplined tomboy (Royalty Hightower) who switches from boxing to a highly choereographed precision dance troupe only to succumb to mysterious fainting spells and violent fits. After bemoaning how Cincinnati has been a stand-in far too often for other cities onscreen, you can’t fault me for praising this gorgeously specific look at the Queen City as the raw gem that it is. CONTACT TT STERN-ENZI: letters@ citybeat.com

2016’s Best Entertainers BY T T STERN-ENZI

Due to the blessings of the Great Spirit of the Movies, audiences occasionally receive the gift of multiple releases from their favorite (or newly anointed favorite) performers during a given year. The arrival of these gems can lead to misguided assumptions about productivity, but such considerations distract from the true joy and appreciation gained from the reception of an unexpected bounty. So, with good cheer, let’s celebrate a few of this year’s most visible entertainers: • Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals/ Arrival): As I have noted previously, I had the opportunity to settle in for this Adams double feature at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is why she tops this informal list of the Best Entertainers. With Nocturnal Animals, Adams brought a cool sensuality to her role as our guide through a psychologically challenging reading experience. But then she followed that up (in Arrival) with a miraculously grounded response to the fluidity of time in her close encounter with the universe. • Mahershala Ali (Moonlight/Luke Cage, Season 1): In the case of Ali, I have to acknowledge that I ended up only choosing two from his plethora of 2016 endeavors (bypassing his work in Free State of Jones and House of Cards). It appears that Moonlight — where his turn as a sensitive and conflicted drug dealer has snatched up damned near every supporting-actor accolade thus far — will mark his well-earned breakout in the game, but I loved the icy menace he brought to his villainous role in the Netflix/Marvel series Luke Cage. • Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special/ Loving): With less than a decade of work under his belt, the director Nichols has proven to be a truly special filmmaker with an affinity for raw intimacy. But this year he upped the ante, gracing screens with a uniquely disparate pair of features — a sci-fi yarn recalling the early wonder of Spielberg and a Civil Rights-era tale about loving against all odds. Somehow, both still maintained that undeniable Jeff Nichols stamp.

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Top Trends and TV Moments of 2016 BY JAC KERN

Say what you will about 2016, the iconic lives it claimed and the president-elect it gave us — at least we had some pretty good TV. Here are a few of the best shows and most interesting TV trends of the year. POC POV — People of color, along with many other minority voices, have long been underrepresented on mainstream TV. In recent years, shows like black-ish, Jane the Virgin and Master of None have been great diverse additions to our screens, and in 2016, audiences were gifted with two very different but equally enlightening and entertaining blackcentric comedies with HBO’s Insecure and FX’s Atlanta. Sometimes relatable, sometimes highly specific but always thoughtful, intriguing and equal parts humorous and heartbreaking. Expect big things from the shows’ respective creators/writers/ stars, newcomer Issa Rae and comedian/rapper Donald Glover.

drop in viewership after years of continual rises in popularity. The Dream of the ’90s Is Alive on TV — Trends of the 1990s continue to make a comeback in 2016, from choker necklaces and Full House to Doc Martins and the Backstreet Boys. But 1990s tragedies? Two major cases — the death of JonBenét Ramsey and the O.J. Simpson murder trial — took over TV again, two decades later. While ESPN documentary O.J.: Made in America and FX true-crime anthology







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CincinnatiArts.org 513.621.ARTS

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New Networks — Launched early this year, John Turturro and Riz Ahmed in The Night Of Vice Media’s VICELAND P H O T O : c r a i g b l a n k e n ho r n / h b o brought the brand’s existing web shows and other new lifestyle series to the tube. Running 24/7 The People v. O.J. Simpson: American (no late-night infomercials), the network Crime Story represented compelling quickly became the destination for docusetakes on that tragedy and the superstar at ries exploring everything from marijuana the center of it all, the same cannot be said (Weediquette) and food (Fuck, That’s for the TV specials dedicated to the homiDelicious) to LGBTQ issues (Gaycation) cide of the 6-year-old beauty queen. and fashion (States of Undress). In August, New Favorites: MTV expanded its sister channel offerings with MTV Classic. No matter what your This Is Us (NBC) — Die-hard Parenthood version of “classic MTV” entails — tons of fans might hesitate to dub this new family music videos, irreverent animated series or dramedy an adequate replacement, but binge-worthy reality shows — this network if you’re looking for a show with a killer has a mix of it all. ensemble cast that will make you laugh out Epic Shows — If you ever wanted to loud and weep like a baby in the same hour, escape the real world this year, there were look no further. plenty of shows set in fantastical worlds The Night Of (HBO) — This dark miniin which to get lost. Fans love exploring a series (adapted from the U.K.’s Criminal grand-scale universe, which is just what Justice) offered a chilling look at America’s we got from new sci-fi offerings Black criminal justice system, with outstanding Mirror and HBO’s Westworld. The former, performances by Riz Ahmed, John Tura British cult-favorite picked up by Netflix, turro and Michael K. Williams. approaches each dystopian-futuristic episode like its own film, while the later The Path (Hulu) — It’s great to see Hugh takes artificial intelligence to a new cinDancy in another transformative role since ematic level. And, of course, there’s Game the end of the underappreciated Hanniof Thrones on HBO, proving that when bal — and Aaron Paul since Breaking executed properly — no pun intended — a Bad. Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) show can kill off beloved characters and rounds out the stellar cast of this psychologliterally bring some back from the dead ical drama that takes viewers inside a hippie while still retaining an audience of rabid cult with serious skeletons in its closet. fans. That’s unlike AMC’s The Walking Dead, whose exploitative ways led to a CONTACT JAC KERN: @jackern

Tom Ellis


A Year in Reviews

A curated collection of CityBeat dining writers’ favorite stops of 2016 BY CIT YBEAT STAFF

27 Bar + Kitchen

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720 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., 859-360-5579, 27bar.kitchen PHOTO : jes se fox Newport’s 27 Bar + Kitchen is a stylish brunch and dinner spot on Monmouth Street (aka Route 27, hence the name). The restaurant, which prides itself on being as farm-to-table as possible, is an extremely promising addition for this established stretch of the neighborhood’s business district. When my husband and I stopped in for brunch late on a Saturday morning, there was ample seating in the restaurant, but we chose to take two seats at the bar. Everything about the remodeled space, which used to be a thrift shop, fits the modern mold of hip restaurant styling — clean lines, minimalist decor, exposed brick, white granite, black trimmings — all aesthetically pleasing. For an appetizer, we immediately gunned for the elote ($5), a fire-roasted corn dip served with housemade tortilla chips. This was, by far, the very best thing we had. It was creamy, with a bit of a kick, and the perfect blend of sweetness and corn crunch. After the elote, we split two entrées: the chef’s frittata ($10) and the breakfast tacos ($8). The frittata-of-the-day featured steak, onion and red pepper. The breakfast tacos had black beans, scrambled eggs, sautéed pepper and onions and chimichurri sauce placed on top of corn tortillas. Of the two, the tacos were my favorite. Seeing how impressed I was with brunch, heading here for dinner is also now on my must-do list. (Katie Holocher)

3501 Seoul

3501 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513873-9181, 3501seoul. com As with all PHOTO : jes se fox Korean restaurants, rice and noodles figure largely on 3501 Seoul’s menu. I honed in on the bibimbap ($25.95), literally mixed rice and a signature Korean dish, choosing the fresh bibimbap, a mixture of raw salmon, red snapper, tuna, flying fish roe, octopus and maguro-tataki. Like all bibimbaps, the protein was complemented by a tasty array of pickled and fresh vegetables, including shredded daikon, avocado,

shredded cucumbers and seaweed salad, all topped with the crunch of tempura crisps. While 3501 Seoul is a Korean bistro, not a barbecue with tabletop grills, the kitchen does offer several grilled choices. The Kal-Bi ($25.95), hand-filleted beef short ribs, arrived on a bed of lightly grilled onions and was served with a delicious — and new to us — purple rice. With its outdoor seating, generous happy hours, specialty drink menu and late-night hours, it’s the perfect setting for drinks and small plates. 3501 Seoul also offers a full sushi menu with a wide choice of specialty rolls, as well as nigiri and sashimi, which I look forward to sampling on a future visit — maybe happy hour on that patio. (Judith Turner-Yamamoto)

Americano Burger Bar

545 Race St., Downtown, 513-345-6677, americanoburgerbar.com The theme of PHOTO : jes se fox the restaurant is all things American. Once inside, look up to find an American flag ceiling installation comprised of 3,770 beer cans. The theme continues into the menu, which also fuses food and drink from other cultures. According to owner Cristian Pietoso, because our country is a melting pot of traditions, they’ve taken the American staples we all love and elevated them with international flavors. For example, in addition to burgers, you can order German- or Chicago-style hot dogs, Russian slaw, New England clam chowder, paprika-topped corn on the cob and classic starters like chips and guac, wings, nachos, beer cheese and fried grits. They have 10 burgers on the menu, ranging from The Argentinean (chimichurri, grilled onions, provolone cheese and mayo), the hilariously named Florence Y’all (taleggio cheese, portobello, arugula pesto), a plain burger (lettuce, tomato and mayo) and a veggie burger (faro-cannellini bean patty, caramelized onions, brie, arugula, tomato and mayo). (Garin Pirnia)


PHOTO : jes se fox

1342 Walnut St., Overthe-Rhine, 513-978-1706, checincinnati. com Along with charcuterie, I

file empanadas under: “Things that are fun to eat and fun to say.” Which was all the excuse a friend and I — plus our tiny, dependent, car-seat-riding plus ones — needed to venture down to Ché.  We both studied the menu for all of four seconds before admitting to each other that we wanted to try each and every empanada. The three “cheese” empanadas were basically quesadillas with an additional ingredient. One had baby spinach (De Espinaca; $3), one had sautéed onion (Queso y Cebolla; $3) and the other was a classic ham and cheese (Jamon y Queso; $3). Of the three, the ham and cheese hit that familiar and tasty spot. Then there were the meat-centric ’nadas. But the final category is really worth chatting about: The real surprises of the night came from the Shrimp Scampi ($4), with sautéed shrimp tossed with garlic and herbs, mozzarella and provolone; the Buffalo Chicken ($4), with spicy chicken, mozzarella, provolone and creamy gorgonzola dipping sauce; and the Breakfast ($4), with country-style sausage, scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese. There are places in the word for mini dishes, like sushi and tapas and wings, and Ché’s empanadas fit snuggly in that category, just like its new spot on Walnut. (KH)

Coppin’s at Hotel Covington

PHOTO : provided

638 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., 866-501-1700, hotelcovington.com/

dining Coppin’s is the restaurant inside the new Hotel Covington, a much anticipated development in the heart of the city’s center. And it’s impossible to separate the hotel from the restaurant, since the hospitality is seamless. There’s a strong local identity to the place and to the menu, with lots of nods to history and to the new South, the bourbon and banter that starts at the Roebling Bridge. For starters, we chose the sweet corn fritters ($6), savory bite-sized delights that are another nod to the Southern side. They were spiced with smoked togarashi, a Japanese pepper blend — in this case, made in Kentucky by Bourbon Barrel Foods — and served with buttermilk dressing with a mild pepper kick. The fritters arrived in a cast iron crock on a thick wooden plank

that we learned was crafted from the hotel’s floorboards during renovation. Duke’s Mayonnaise, a kitschy favorite of the Garden and Gun magazine set, bound aged cheddar and roasted pimento peppers to make the Pimentadew cheese ($8), another good starter for sharing with a crowd. Crisp roasted pork belly ($11), a treat that has gone from rare to ubiquitous over the last few years, was perched on a ragout of white beans that was pure soul satisfaction. The chef is using local ingredients as often as he can. Napoleon Ridge Farm’s chorizo added porky richness to the mussels ($12). My friend’s sassy fregola pasta ($18) featured delicious Kenny’s Farmhouse Norwood cheese, a local Swiss-style treasure. The perfectly cooked striped bass ($23) had a fine crust of earthy Weisenberger Mills’ cornmeal that tasted like sumac. One of the best bites of the night was the strip steak’s ($28) chimichurri sauce — emerald bliss. The other favorite was the pecan tart ($7). (Anne Mitchell)

E+O Kitchen

3520 Edwards Road, Hyde Park, 513-8321023, eokitchen.com Google E+O P H O T O : c at i e v i o x Kitchen and you’ll get 99 posts, but a bad review ain’t one. Seriously. Everyone and their mother has been saying run, don’t walk, to E+O Kitchen in Hyde Park. My party and I ordered half brunch options, but the rest of what we ordered also appears on the lunch and dinner menu. And the spread was pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good. Our preferences were schizophrenic at best, with egg sandwiches and waffles, kale salad and sushi. There was also miso soup and nachos, ahi tuna and bellinis. It was all over the board, but upon completion, awesome. The salad ($11.95) was the clear winner of the day, the Best in Show by far. With fried kale, chilies, carrots and shrimp, it was a rockstar. The Eggwich ($4.95) also takes the proverbial cake. With eggs, cheese, turkey sausage and syrup, this one was laughable. Of course it was good. How could it not be? It hit every distinguishable taste bud. E+O is definitely a place I would suggest to show off the Cincinnati food scene to outof-town guests and a restaurant that treats dining out like an experience. (KH)

Fortune Noodle House

349 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, 513281-1800, P H O T O : ha i l e y b o l l i n g e r fortunenoodles.com You know your carbs are made with love when a restaurant dedicates an entire employee just to their production, but here’s the thing: Everything else at Fortune is delicious, too. Fortune sits on the corner of Calhoun and Clifton streets, perfectly situated for international students at the University of Cincinnati to get a taste of home and for local students to try something new.  My dining partner and I ordered the sliced beef noodle soup ($9.49) and the panfried shredded pork noodle ($9.99), plus an order of kimchi fried rice ($7.99) for an appetizer. We also shared a coconut bubble tea ($3.75), because one does not turn down the opportunity to consume bubble tea.  Overall, the soup was comforting and wellbalanced, a little sweet and a little salty. Best of all, the noodles soaked up the broth like a sponge but still maintained a chewy denseness, which is so unique to homemade pasta.  According to co-owner Steven Sun, that distinctive texture is accomplished by making fresh dough mixed with the proper proportion of water to baking soda and then skillfully hand-stretching, folding and twisting it into noodles. If you live in Clifton, you’re lucky to be within walking distance of Fortune. (McKenzie Graham)

French Crust Café and Bistro

GRILL OF INDIA 354 Ludlow Ave Cincinnati, OH


Grill of India

354 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-961-3600, grillofindiacincinnati. com Amol India, an P H O T O : A l e x a n d r i a D u po n t established Indian restaurant on Ludlow, has transformed into Grill of India. My boyfriend and I recently visited and were greeted with a beautifully decorated but empty party room. Turns out, everyone was just busy getting another plate at the buffet. Our waiter sat us at a booth near the full bar, where dapper men with neat aprons tied around their waists were popping straws into mango lassis. The restaurant’s lighting is dim, with curtains drawn around the far-off front windows, creating a cozy Indian diner vibe. I’m a sucker for what’s directly presented before me, so I ordered the buffet ($7.99) and the mango lassi ($2.99) I had been eyeing earlier. My boyfriend opted to order the aloo choley ($10.99) off the menu, as he prefers his Indian food spicy enough that I don’t pick half of it off his plate when he’s not looking. He ordered it spicy level 5 (out of 6). I grumbled and went to the buffet. Grill of India’s daily lunchtime buffet offers not one but two buffet tables — the sandwich board outside advertised it as 36 items. While I didn’t count, there were more than 12 different types of entrée dishes available to pick and choose from on the righthand buffet table. Luckily for this vegetarian, each entrée selection was marked clearly. There was also a free ice cream buffet, available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with more than 10 kinds of ice cream. (Madge Maril)

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Woodland Owls On The Caramel Torte

Sean Riley

DeCeMBer 30th Gary DeVoto

DeCeMBer 31st

Felice Anno Nuovo! (no live music)

Harvest Bistro & Wine Bar

3410 Telford St., Clifton, 513-281-3663, harvest-bisPHOTO : jes se fox tro.com I’ve been a huge fan of La Poste since it launched in Clifton’s Gaslight District in 2010. Anyone who opens CONTINUES ON PAGE 26


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202 W. Elder St., Overthe-Rhine, 513-621-2013, jrcincy.com P H O T O : ha i l e y b o l l i n g e r French Crust represents everything that makes me an admirer of chef Jean-Robert de Cavel — known to all as Jean-Robert or simply J-Ro — while it rings all my bells as a lifelong Francophile. The new and expanded corner location at Elm and Elder streets (the former café was housed in a small space on Vine Street downtown) faces Findlay Market’s beer garden and main entrance, sits right on the streetcar line and will brighten anyone’s day thanks to expansive windows and Provence-yellow walls. The effect is as jaunty and friendly as its owner. Patrons sit at booths, tables or at a 20-seat bar and soak up the bonhomie of a lively bistro ambiance. The food matches the surroundings and delivers note-perfect versions of dishes you’d expect for breakfast, brunch or lunch — a variety of quiches, sandwiches on croissant or baguette, omelets and, of course, a croque monsieur. At dinner,

more bistro classics tempt diners, from appetizers of snails and beef tartare to mains ranging from duck leg confit to steak frites. Our table mostly went with the pastries, although my husband selected the omelet du jour ($9), made with avocado, shrimp and herbs. I had a goat cheese, zucchini and tomato quiche ($10.50). You won’t find a better slice of egg pie anywhere else in this town. Not only was the crust a textbook example of short pastry done right, but the filling also balanced the custard with bits of veggies and creamy cheese. (Pama Mitchell)



Sunday : 10:00am-2:00pm


Tuesday-Friday : 11:30am-2:00pm


Monday-Thursday : 5:30pm-9:30pm Friday & Saturday : 5:30pm-10:00pm

513-281-3663 3410 Telford Street. Cincinnati, OH, 45220

Swad Indian Restaurant

1810 W. Galbraith Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45239 513-522-5900 ORDER ONLINE AT WWW.SWADTASTYOH.COM

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a restaurant within walking distance of my house that features multiple certified sommeliers on staff can expect my faithful patronage. For any number of reasons, the wine-centric concept wasn’t sustainable for the long haul, and La Poste morphed into a farm-to-table concept renamed Harvest Bistro & Wine Bar. When our foursome arrived for a 7 p.m. reservation on a Saturday night, we were able to select a table by the large window looking out onto Telford Street, and we settled in for a leisurely evening. We put in an order for first courses fairly quickly: Jim and Kathy split a roasted beet and kale salad ($12), I tried the “chef’s daily inspiration” flatbread ($10) and my husband had the roasted beet bruschetta ($9). The salad, heaped with golden and red beets, slices of watermelon radish, thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and candied hazelnuts, arrived having been split into two large plates. It tasted terrific with its tangy citrus vinaigrette. Our second courses ranged from a bowl of mussels to a burger, a veggie entrée and the featured seafood special. P.E.I. mussels ($12) were bathed in broth enriched by chorizo, roasted tomatoes and white wine and came with grilled Sixteen Bricks bread. All told, I was happily reminded of a saying, plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same). Harvest has become a worthy successor to my old fave. (PM)

House of Grill

Where the locals come to eat, drink and have fun

12/28 - Wing Wednesday

60¢ House-Smoked Wings Live Music from Frank & Mitch 6-9pm

12/29 - Jazz & Wine Thursday

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350 Ludlow • 513-281-7000

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

$20 Special Wine Tasting: 12 Sparkling Wines & Light Hors D’Oeuvres Jazz from Old Green Eyes & BBG 6-9pm

12/30 - Friday

Live Music from Old Green Eyes & BBG 7-10pm

12/31 - Saturday

Live music from Seth & Sonny 7-10pm



LOAFERS loafers. afer co afers. com

1/3 - Prime Tuesday A Savory Prime Rib Special Local Artist Spotlight w/ Todd Hepburn 6-9pm

6818 Wooster Pk. Mariemont, OH 45227 (513) 561-5233

14 E. Fifth St., Covington, Ky., 859-206-6324, kentuckyhouseofgrill. PHOTO : jes se fox com Tucked in a strip on Fifth Street in Covington, House of Grill’s interior is unassuming and relaxed. I was greeted with a complimentary glass of strong, loose-leafed black Persian tea upon arrival. I ordered the eggplant stew ($11.99) on my first visit. The rich sauce hit the spot; the eggplant is simmered to draw out the flavor, along with melt-in-your-mouth beef. A rich sheen of oil glazed the top of the stew. When a stew has that sheen, you know it’s done right — Persian cooking prizes that gloss, as it indicates all flavors from the spices (saffron and sumac, typically) and the vegetables and meat have fully co-mingled. On a second, solo dining trip, I indulged and ordered an extensive array of Persian favorites. The veggie gormeh stew ($10.99) — whose star ingredient is fenugreek, a pungent and flavorful herb — was rich and aromatic, comprised of cilantro, kidney beans and Persian limes simmered in a dark green sauce. The staple partner-in-crime for nearly every dish is Basmati rice, topped with golden saffron and served here with a pat of butter.

House of Grill offers an authentic taste of Iran. There were no offerings of generic hummus or tabbouleh, as happens in so many other Mediterranean restaurants trying to appeal to a generic familiarity. House of Grill sticks by the assertion that Persian food is good in its own right. (Leyla Shokoohe)


301 E. Fourth St., Downtown, 513760-5525, lcincinnati. com L, the latest PHOTO : provided endeavor by two local creative geniuses, has elevated Cincinnati’s dining landscape almost immeasurably. I could see it on short lists for best new restaurant in the nation this year. What’s on the plate springs from the culinary virtuosity of chef/owner JeanRobert de Cavel, while everything that surrounds it has been meticulously selected by de Cavel’s partner, hospitality and design expert Richard Brown. Culinary Institute of America graduate and chef de cuisine Brett Crowe has collaborated with de Cavel to produce a couple dozen brilliant dishes topped off by pastry chef Katie Lopez’s equally fine desserts. This is special-occasion dining, the kind of evening most of us aspire to once or twice a year. And yet the $89 per person, four-course meal is more than fairly priced considering it includes tax, tip and validated parking. There are tempting menu supplements — such as $7 for lobster salad or $12 for the lamb entrée — but plenty to choose from without any extras. The only significant addition to your bill is likely to come from alcohol. The food got serious with the second course. Among us, we tried four of the five offerings and loved every dish. For course three, we selected two fish entrées, one fowl and a steak. One doesn’t choose dessert; it just appears at the appropriate time. Diners also have the option of a “menu gourmand” — seven courses selected by the chef ranging from Jonah crab and the foie gras dish to cheeses and a plate of sweets ($125; $65 wine pairings). Or you can eat in the bar, ordering à la carte from about a dozen hot or cold appetizers ($18-$31) and a handful of main courses ($36-$48). (PM)

Maplewood Kitchen and Bar

PHOTO : jes se fox

525 Race St., Downtown, 513-421-2100, maplewoodkitchenand-

bar.com Thunderdome Restaurant Group’s upscale “California-style” Maplewood Kitchen and Bar focuses on healthier foods, like

cold-pressed juices, somewhat nutritious cocktails, organic superfood salads, eggwhite omelets and buzzword ingredients. During a recent lunch, my dining companion and I ordered the chopped salad ($13), the spicy chicken sandwich ($10), sticky ricotta toast ($5), a side of hash browns ($3), a side of roasted romanesco broccoli ($4), Brainstorm Coffee ($5), Sweet Greens cold-pressed juice ($10; cucumber, green apple, pear, spinach, celery, lemon and lime) and a roasted tomatillo bloody mary, served in a foot-tall glass and made with Tito’s vodka and Super Green juice. Something like a green bloody made with cold-pressed juice would be the norm on the West Coast, but not in the Midwest. The salad — charred corn, green beans, purple cauliflower, goat cheese, pecans, figs and beets; I held the bacon — came with a ton of veggies and chunks of whole pecans and figs (no skimping here), drizzled with a light dressing and accompanied by a couple pieces of toasted bread. The spicy chicken sandwich, which featured rotisserie chicken, piri piri sauce, pickles, cheese and slaw on Sixteen Bricks bread, got its spiciness from African piri piri pepper — yet another innovation for Maplewood. (GP) 

Nashville Hot

3105 Price Ave., Price Hill, 513244-5843, sommwinePHOTO : haile y bollinger barcincinnati. com Somm Wine Bar makes it perilously easy to have a fun weeknight out. Their snacks range from marinated olives, mixed nuts and pickled vegetables to bondookies. I’m sure you know what to look for in a delicious bondookie. No? Luckily, general manager Kevin Armon does: “Bondookies are Lithuanian yeast rolls filled with crispy bacon and caramelized onions.” And don’t be afraid to ask which wine from Somm’s selection should be paired with your bondookie (or olives or pickles). That’s the bar’s stock in trade — excellent pairing wines with approachable menu descriptions so you can choose what drink goes with which dish or ask your server, who will undoubtedly have an excellent suggestion. Somm also makes mozzarella cheese in-house, showcased in a caprese salad, and there are several other salads available, plus a meat and cheese board and a list of paninis. My partner got the steak and blue cheese panini ($12), like a grown-up grilled cheese. It was delicious — the steak was tender and juicy and the cheese was high-quality — but don’t skip lunch in anticipation of an evening spent at Somm. The food is more reasonably portioned than our American stomachs are used to, but that allowed us to order from each and every section of the menu. (MG)


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3531 Columbia Parkway, Columbia Tusculum, 513-321-0454, eattaglio.com PHOTO : jes se fox It’s been five years since Jared Wayne, his brother Nick and friends opened Italian restaurant A Tavola in Over-the-Rhine. Continuing their Cincinnati pizza infiltration, the brothers opened fast-casual pizza joint Taglio — meant to be an addendum to A Tavola’s expansive menu, but instead of Neapolitan pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven, Taglio focuses on large slices of gas-fired New York-style pizza (hand-tossed, thin crust, real cheese). The concept is simple: walk up to the counter, order a slice or a whole pizza, grab a six-pack or a bottle (or two) of wine from their booze wall, go home and stuff your face. Or place an order for delivery or carryout using their app. The pizza toppings here feature more straightforward options: margherita, veggie supreme, Hawaiian pizza and sundried tomato and artichoke. They make all of their meats in-house but import the ricotta and mozzarella from Italy. (GP)

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neW year’S eve Kitchen Open Until Midnight Live Music by Kyle Knapp


626 Main street | covington, Ky 41011 Monday-Friday 11aM-2:30aM, saturday & sunday noon-2:30aM We are an 18 & over, smoker-Friendly establishment with a non-smoking dining room on the 2nd Floor

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564 Buttermilk Pike, Crescent Springs, Ky., 859-360-6632, PHOTO : jes se fox nashvillehot. com On my first visit to Nashville Hot, I was pleasantly surprised. The chicken can be ordered in four spice levels with cutesy names: 1) Yankee Mild; 2) Midwest Medium; 3) Southern Heat; and 4) Nashville Hot. I “chickened out,” har har, and on the advice of the woman at the counter and went with a level three. The dinners ($9-$11) come with two sides, and she recommended the Tennessee Caviar and the loaded baked potato salad and sold me some cobbler ($3) for dessert. There are multiple local beers available, including one from Covington’s Braxton Brewery on tap, as well as sodas and housemade milkshakes. I loved the sides. They were original and fresh. The chicken really surpassed my expectations. The meat was very moist — it’s soaked in a buttermilk brine before frying — and the seasoning was aggressive but reasonable. But I was racked with guilt. A three? How can I review this place without trying their signature item? Then guilt won, and back I went. When the man at the counter asked me how spicy and I said, “Nashville Hot,” he couldn’t hide his skepticism.  It’s a head rush. As I’d been warned, it wasn’t pretty. My nose ran, my eyes ran, my lips burned hotter than the most passionate kiss. I may hate myself tomorrow, but for now I’m feeling pretty buzzed. (AM)

Somm Wine Bar


The Year in Local Recordings

A look back at some of CityBeat’s favorite 2016 releases by Greater Cincinnati music-makers

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• Wussy – Forever Sounds With Attica!, broadly-acclaimed Cincinnati band Wussy turned out a clattering, noisy evocation of the Psych Folk strum and twang it had crashed headlong into on its previous album, Strawberry. Two years later, Wussy’s new album, Forever Sounds, amplifies the noise of Attica! to a gorgeous din that soars and slams like Phil Spector and Brian Eno collaborating on the Berlin Wall of Sound. If Attica! was the sound of a block party teetering on the edge of chaos, Forever Sounds is that same party after local authorities gave up and called in the National Guard. Visceral, loud and lysergically compelling, Forever Sounds is Attica! on steroids and peyote buttons. Like every great Wussy album (which, so far, has been all of them), some of Forever Sounds’ most impactful moments are contained in the calm between storms. “Better Days” vibrates on a similar wavelength as Captain Beefheart’s glorious “My Head is My Only House Unless It Rains,” and “Majestic-12” reflects singer/songwriter/guitarist Lisa Walker’s trademark introspection, except for the undercurrent of feedback that threatens to erupt like an unstable volcano but never does. Forever Sounds ends with the gently compelling “My Parade,” a quiet piano ballad that eases into a noisier but still restrained version of the ecstatic havoc that preceded it. Forever Sounds is solid evidence that Wussy remains fully engaged in advancing its creative energy by any means necessary without abandoning the core values that have gotten them six-albums deep into a catalog that should stretch well into an even brighter future. (Brian Baker) • Space Invadaz – Contact After bona fide masterpiece Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet, a brilliant blend of Hip Hop, R&B, Indie Rock and anything that tweaked his creative radar, beloved Cincy MC Buggs Tha Rocka shifted focus to Space Invadaz, his duo with Cincinnati Hip Hop legend Donte the Gr8 of local pioneers MOOD, whose 1997 debut album resonated nationally and launched collaborators Hi-Tek and Talib Kweli into the broader spotlight. The hyper-talented Hip Hop artists’ musical partnership has been extremely prolific. Space Invadaz’s 13-track “EP” Contact was made available as a free download in April, while Buggs and Donte were hard at work on new full-length Planet Chaos, which has Hi-Tek exec-producing and is slated for release through Kweli’s Javotti Media label. Contact’s guests appearances by Kweli, M1 and Chuck Inglish (plus studio magic from Hi-Tek, Issa Walker and Supa Dave West, among others) combine with Donte’s powerful Rap skill set and Buggs’ almost limitless

PHOTO : provided

musical invention to create something simultaneously grounded in Hip Hop and stylistically transcendent. Contact’s first single, the banging Pop/Soul stinger “Gun Show,” is one example of the album’s incredible musicality and deep social consciousness, primary elements of both Buggs’ and Donte’s previous work. Equally powerful is the Indie/Soul jump-and-pump of “Trap Season,” as Buggs and Donte spit rhymes with swaggering confidence over a twirling groove and Darryl Irby scat-sings with Marvin Gaye’s compelling magnetism. (BB) • Lazy Heart – Lazy Heart Remarkable trio Lazy Heart came together in its current state in 2014, after singer/ guitarist Stephen Patota (also of The Happy Maladies) and drummer Ben Sloan (who tours the world with popular locally based group Why?) welcomed bassist/cellist/singer Josh Fink (formerly of Zamin) into the fold. Sloan and Patota had played together for several years and written a lot of material, but Fink is said to have brought everything more into focus, resulting in the threesome’s phenomenal first EP (a self-titled affair featuring production assistance from Why?’s Yoni Wolf and ex-Pomegranates member Isaac Karns). The chemistry is wildly evident on the recording, which, though only five tracks long, is mesmerizing and more commanding of the listener’s attention than most full-lengths you’ll hear. The rhythms and guitar parts are creative and shapeshifting, yet never distractingly so; even when progressively twisting and turning like an adventurous Post Punk or Post Rock band, or bursting with subtle discordance, the music has a distinctive fluidity. A host of guest musicians — including members of Why?, The Happy Maladies and others — provide horns, flute, strings and a bevy of other instruments that greatly contribute to the textural soundscapes’ strange beauty. The sublime vocals and fluttering, flickering melodies tie everything together to create a ingenious type of Dream Pop that is instantly endearing and memorable. (Mike Breen) • Electric Citizen – Higher Time Heavy rockers Electric Citizen have achieved a great deal in a relatively short span since its first show in 2013, including regular touring around the world, 2014’s acclaimed debut full-length, Sateen, and its equally praised follow-up, 2016’s thunderously heavy, melodically nuanced Higher Time. The wire walk of following up a critically well-received release like Sateen is as timeless as Rock itself, as musicians must somehow replicate a successful album’s bottled lightning while expanding and evolving as a creative unit. There is a

Contact, the debut from Hip Hop duo Space Invadaz, scored national recognition in 2016. melodic touch and an almost Pop-like swing to much of Higher Time, which is similar to Sateen, but different in an organic, unforced way. The band didn’t change its writing approach and the new album was almost completely written when new bassist Randy Proctor arrived, so the differences in Higher Time are subtle and show a natural evolutionary progression, a by-product of the band’s persistent touring regimen. What hasn’t changed is the quartet’s concussive musical presentation, a blend of the members’ love of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, but a unique personal translation of those influences. From the start, Electric Citizen’s trajectory has been upward and onward; Higher Time’s title seems less like a prophecy and more like a promise. (BB) • The Cliftones – Enemies Scatter There’s a case to be made that in emulating some of the most enduring giants in Reggae, veteran local Reggae crew The Cliftones have created something both instantly familiar and all their own. On its first full-length album, Enemies Scatter, the band fashions an evocative and compelling

blend of wide-ranging influences within and beyond Reggae, amped up with the musicians’ own incendiary brand of showmanship. While The Cliftones don’t rely on a formulaic approach in crafting their vision of Reggae, the octet is clearly doing something consistently right, as evidenced by its signing to respected Reggae label Rebel Sound Records for Enemies Scatter, which led to high chart performances on digital platforms for the album. Cincinnati’s finest Reggae treasure now belongs to the world. (BB) • Dawg Yawp – Dawg Yawp Dawg Yawp, one of Cincinnati’s finest newer bands drawing national attention, had a breakthrough year nationally in 2016. With its uniquely compelling mix of traditional Folk, Middle Eastern sounds (sitar plays a prominent role), pulsating Psychedelia, strong Pop-ish melodic instincts and Indie Rock majesty, the duo attracted a nationwide audience with its 2016 selftitled debut LP, which was issued through well-distributed indie imprint Old Flame Records. Dawg Yawp features a few songs from the twosome’s head-turning 2015 EP,

Records, which helped earn Frontier Folk Nebraska’s music broader national attention. Loyal local fans will be familiar with the songs on the crisply-produced LP, but the live-in-front-of-an-audience re-recordings are well worth a listen because they ooze that extra magical energy that comes from playing in front of a supportive crowd. This One’s for the Kid in the Back vividly showcases FFN’s fantastic songwriting, pushes the inherent vitality of the musicians’ chemistry to the forefront and leaves no doubt that the band is not to be missed in concert. (MB) • Jody Stapleton – Roe Street Cathedral Jody Stapleton’s latest solo effort Roe Street Cathedral finds the Americana singer/ songwriter — who first came to local music fans’ attention as frontperson for The Stapletons — in top form as a songwriter, with an impressive collection of guest artists helping to bring the strength of the writing to the forefront. Highlights on Roe Street Cathedral

Dawg Yawp’s self-titled debut album PHOTO : PR0VIDED

are plentiful, ranging from the gentle, banjoand-piano-driven Roots Pop gem “Don’t Hear My Name” to more up-tempo tunes like the Country Gospel rave-up “Never Get Over Hurting You.” The moving closing track “Honey Bea” is the emotional nadir of the album, with its melancholy sway giving way to uplifting hope, gratitude and joy. (MB) • Royal Holland – Volume Three: Program Royal Holland, the exhilarating alter-ego project from Cincinnati singer/songwriter Matt Mooney, concluded its “Unfolded” trilogy of EP releases with Vol. 3: Program. It’s the completion of a story that began with 2014’s Vol. 1: The Maze and continued on Vol. 2: Flamingo, and also the latest recording to prove Mooney a major songwriting talent who deserves broader attention (he capitalized on the national attention he has received with dates to the West Coast and back). The trilogy taken as a whole (it’s is now available as a single package) is a wildly compelling artistic achievement that changes sonic hues beautifully throughout. (MB) CONTINUES ON PAGE 30

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Two Hearted, including the sunny, swelling Psych Folk anthem “I Wanna Be A Dawg” as well as singles “East Virginia Blues” and the driving “Can’t Think,” a brilliant representation of vocalist/sitar player Tyler Randall and vocalist/guitarist Rob Keenan’s fascinating and innovative sonic swirl. The widespread music blog and press attention that began with Dawg Yawp’s EP release grew exponentially, and the album has received frequent airplay and kudos from NPR. (MB) • Joesph – There Comes the Lord There Comes the Lord is the solo debut from Joey Cook, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter known for his work with popular Cincinnati Indie Pop crew Pomegranates. A marvel of influence, invention and translation, Cook blends a brilliant evocation of ’60s and ’70s Pop and Rock with a thoroughly modern Indie Rock ethic in a raw and immediate home-recorded atmosphere that serves as the soundtrack for an intriguing concept. The album is a song cycle that imagines what it might have been like to stand in the presence of the physical manifestation of Jesus. Cook doesn’t attempt to contemporize his message in an effort to appeal to millennials, nor does he use There Comes the Lord as a pulpit to proselytize. He merely tells this interesting story in a wonderfully musical, lyrical and compellingly listenable manner. It’s equally compelling sonically, with ’60s sunshinePop flashbacks, Harry Nilsson-meets-Velvet Underground warble-and-strum, Psych Folk musings, Pink Floydian synth drones, a Beatlesque “Blackbird” homage and the joyous, Technicolor Pop propulsion of The Flaming Lips or Polyphonic Spree. (BB) • Dark Colour – Animal Dark Colour began as the solo project of singer/songwriter/keyboardist/programmer Randall Rigdon Jr., but gradually grew into an actual band to play live shows. The full-band transition continues with the Animal EP, for which band members joined Rigdon Jr. to record. While the solo Dark Colour debut album Prisoner came off like an Electronic Pop musician trying to sound like an Indie Rock band, Animal’s eight tracks sound more like an Indie Pop band that happens to use electronics. Dark Colour experiments with different shades and vibes throughout Animal, but there is an impressive cohesiveness thanks to the musicians’ lively performances and Rigdon Jr.’s fluid, stream-of- conscious melodies, which grab the listener’s attention from the start and never let go. It’s a bit like the ear-worm version of Alice chasing the White Rabbit through Wonderland — you’re not sure where he’s going, but you can’t help but follow him to the end. (MB) • Frontier Folk Nebraska – This One’s for the Kid in the Back Frontier Folk Nebraska’s 18-track This One’s for the Kid in the Back is a live album that was recorded during back-to-back shows at Northern Kentucky’s Southgate House Revival. Featuring songs from all three of the band’s self-released full-lengths, the live album came out on Old Flame


2017 Winter 2015

• Leggy – DANG EP and Leggy Between consistent touring jaunts, raggedly poppy, punky trio Leggy released its third EP, Dang, a blissful blur of trashy, slashing guitars, insistent, primal rhythms Hours: and a boatload of soaring, sassy hooks, 11:30am - 6:00pm tied together by an exuberant energy and Hours: charisma that is hard to resist. The EP’s 11:30am - 6pm release was followed by Leggy’s first album — sort of. Independent British record label Damnably (also overseas home to Cincinnati’s Wussy) introduced Leggy to an internaAdmission: $9 Parts, Dealer Tables:&$95 Guitars, Amps, Effects, Catalogs, more!Free Parking tional audience with a full-length consisting Admission: $9 | Dealer Tables: $100 | Free Parking of all three of the band’s EPs and one new track. (MB) Aladdin Temple • The Harlequins – One With You 3850 Stelzer Rd. Columbus, Ohio Psych/Pop/Garage The Harlequins’ latest In the Columbus area, take I-270 to the Easton Rd. exit, west Easton, album took aon little longer than expected, 5462 N. Center St. , Hilliard, OH 43026 with two of the three members touring north on Stelzer minutes Columbus Airport and hotels) Cemetery Road Exit off(5I-270 NWfrom Columbus extensively as a part of Atlanta group www.ohioguitarshows.com (740) 592-4614 Gringo Star. But the tangent worked out www.ohioguitarshows.com (740)592-4614 well for the trio — while pulling double-duty at South By Southwest with Gringo and The Harlequins, the founders of Dizzybird Records loved the Ciny band so much, they signed the group. The band’s debut for the label, One With You, shows The Harlequins’ ongoing maturity in their ability to translate influences instead of channeling them. The songs on the self-recorded One With You don’t steer far afield from The Harlequins’ typical sound and fury, but the album exudes an unmistakable air of confidence and authority. (BB) • A.M. Nice – A.M. Nice Powerful Cincinnati trio A.M. Nice is 20 Brothers Osborne capable of conjuring a potent cyclone of 21 Frank Turner 3 Corey Smith sound and energy, which it proves right away on its self-titled EP with opener “Self 26 Dashboard 9 Johnnyswim Mediate,” a neck-snapping, high-speed whirl. Confessional 24 Grouplove But A.M. Nice isn’t just a “crank the volume 27 Breaking Benjamin and stomp on the gas pedal” type of band. 28 Andrew McMahon (SOLD OUT) Even amongst the throttling energy of “Self Mediate,” the power-jangle guitar slices like 31 Badfish Paul Weller’s did in the early days of The Jam,   while the impassioned melodic punch of the 7 New Found Glory chorus hook is probably where the band’s 26 Mayday Parade label came up with the Joe Jackson compari1 DNCE son in its “Recommended If You Like” section 27 The Damned 2 Cadillac Three of the EP’s one-sheet. A.M. Nice’s deceptively 29 Testament volcanic sound is perfectly suited for an 3 Chippendales entertainingly frantic and frenzied live show, 11 CinCity Burlesque but it’s far more creatively constructed and musically intricate than one might notice 12 Pop Evil upon first listen. The EP finds a perfect spot 14 August Burns Red between muscular, urgent briskness and 17 Andy Black imaginative craftiness. (MB) • Rumpke Mountain Boys – High 18 Stephen Lynch Time, Low Tide The hard-touring Rumpke Mountain Boys have built the band’s name up on the national touring circuit with a dynamic spin on traditional Bluegrass — they call it Trashgrass — with an emphasis on fluid improvisation, jaw-dropping instrumental skills and fearlessness when it comes to borrowing from other genres. With all four members singing, the group creates its string-based alchemy primarily with mandolin, banjo, upright bass and acoustic


Sunday, Jan. 15 Buy, Sell, Trade Guitars, Amps, Effects, Parts, Catalogs and more! Buy, Sell, Trade The Makoy Center


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28 Comedy Night 29 Razing Babylon 30 James Otto, Billy Brown, Trailer Choir – Benefit for Children’s Hospital! 31 Rumpke Mountain Boys NYE Ball


6 Tribute to: Pearl Jam, STP, Nirvana, Alice in Chains 7 Resolution: A Night of Cincy Rock and Reggae 13 21 Savage 14 Dylan Scott & Drew Baldridge






guitar. Featuring 13 original songs, the band’s fourth full-length, High Time, Low Tide, opens with the rollicking, breakneck-paced “Rolling Waves,” before sliding into “Banks of the River,” a more tranquil, laid-back tune with Country Blues influences peeking through. Those two tracks exemplify the Rumpkes’ range — their songs alternately mesmerize and light your ass on fire. (MB) • Valley of the Sun – Volume Rock There are times in some bands’ careers when, in order to take the next step forward, it first has to take a step back. That’s what occurred with Cincinnati-based desertrockers Valley of the Sun between their last album in 2013 and their most recent, Volume Rock. The duo toned down some of its more eclectic and intricate tendencies in favor of bombastic and driving rhythms.

Bummers Eve’s first full-length album PHOTO : PR0VIDED

This isn’t to say the album is simple or toned down. It’s just that the flourishes found within seem designed to be more easily replicated (and perhaps more impactful) live, and overall there is a more natural feel to the songs. As the title suggests, Volume Rock is an album that deserves to be turned to 1, preferably accompanied by rolleddown windows, long stretches of highway and summer heat. (Nick Grever) • Bummers Eve – Bummers Eve The songs on Bummers Eve’s debut long-player are drenched in layers of noise, distortion and reverb, creating the whirling, fuzzy atmospherics that are a cornerstone of the trio’s sound. There’s a noisy, lo-fi-meetsShoegaze psychedelia aesthetic on the album, but as cacophonous and sonically unhinged as Bummers Eve can sound at times, there’s too much color within the band’s songs to simply dismiss them as impulsive noise-outs. Listening to Bummers Eve’s full-length is a little like discovering Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy (or The Ramones, for that matter) for the first time; it doesn’t take long before all of the abrasiveness and caterwauling elements simply become context, another endearing texture that surrounds some ridiculously great, melodic songs. In that same way, Bummers Eve’s debut is brilliantly subversive Pop music at its finest. (MB)

influences stretching back to the members’ ’70s/’80s childhoods. Imperial Phase, the follow up to 2014’s excellent Falling to Rise, features a slight sonic expansion with band leader Robert Cherry’s shift to electric guitar and a more cinematic lyrical scope, giving the band an urbane Glam feel, a bit like Al Stewart fronting the Spiders from Mars. The other big difference between Falling to Rise and Imperial Phase is the growth and evolution of the quartet’s chemistry. As a result, Imperial Phase is a sign that Plastic Ants is tapping into its potential in a major way. (BB) • The Magic Lightnin’ Boys – Stealin’ Thunder Over just two years, Fairfield, Ohio-based Blues/Rock foursome The Magic Lightnin’ Boys has made incredible strides. Besides continuing to build a faithful following with



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Plastic Ant’s 2016 album, Imperial Phase PHOTO : PR0VIDED

its energetic live show, this year’s impressive Stealin’ Thunder reveals a strengthening in the band’s sound, a Blues-based amalgam of collective influences that erupts with a Southern Rock rumble reminiscent of The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Blackfoot and Govt Mule, plus a dash of Black Sabbath, without actively emulating anyone. (BB) • Copper – The Devil You Know The Devil You Know is the second album from Copper, the project of local singer/ songwriter Peter Obermark that features a supporting cast of accomplished Cincinnati musicians. Obermark’s dedication to the power of a strong melody is again evident on the album, putting him in Cincinnati’s enduring lineage of smart, clever and potent Pop Rock craftspeople. Highlights include the effervescent title track and its rock-solid, harmony-laden chorus hook, “Radio Free Jesus,” with its engaging tonal shifts between gloom and radiance, and the fuzzy, frisky romp, “Death and Texas,” one of two cuts to feature the resplendent vocals of singer Krystal Peterson. (MB) • Know Prisoners – Warrior March After establishing itself as one of the premier Reggae acts in Greater Cincinnati, Know Prisoners unleashed its first recording, CONTINUES ON PAGE 32

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C I T Y B E A T . C O M   •  D E C . 2 8 , 2 0 1 6  –  J A N . 0 3 , 2 0 1 7   •  3 1

• The PsychoAcoustic Orchestra – Fun With Notes The PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, a progressive ensemble based in Jazz but unafraid of exploring any number of other stylistic enclaves, was founded by pianist, composer and arranger Patrick Kelly in 1990. The adventurous group returned in 2016 with its first full-length album in 20 years, Fun With Notes, another extraordinary entry into the Orchestra’s flawless discography. Notes shows that not much has changed for PAO — Kelly is a Jazz master who deserves much wider attention from the Jazz world as a whole, and the impeccable chops by a bevy of both young and experienced players are further testament to the incredible Jazz talent here in Greater Cincinnati. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another 20 years for a follow-up. (MB) • Ohio Knife – Scalp or Be Scalped Cincy trio Ohio Knife’s debut album, Scalp or Be Scalped, is no-nonsense Rock & Roll that pulsates with a buzz-saw drive and a dark, raucous soulfulness. Scalp kicks off with the one-two punch of “Wish I Knew” and “Day and Night” before letting up on the gas pedal for the smoldering “I Found Out” and the cavernous Grunge of “Be the Dark” and “WWP,” which recalls The Afghan Whigs at their moodiest. Elsewhere, “Special Plans” sounds like a lost early KISS B-side, while the late-night twinkle of “Tonight We Ride” puts off a late ’60s/early ’70s Classic Rock anthem/ballad vibe. (MB) • Siegelord – Ascent of the Fallen Cincinnati-based Metal band Siegelord’s debut, Ascent of the Fallen, is enough to get any listener prepped to strap on some armor and go to war, even if it is just in the mosh pit. The group leans heavily upon Black and Death Metal to craft its battle anthems, but the addition of keys for powerful blasts of horn and sprawling synths gives the music a more tribal and feral edge. Though it may have taken several years to finally complete, Ascent of the Fallen was worth the wait. (NG) • Pluto Revolts – Tidal Wave As the four songs on Tidal Wave show, Pluto Revolts has a sound as accomplished, passionate and effectual as any Indie/ Electro/Pop act on the market. The guitar work on the tracks moves between funky riffage and billowing atmospherics, while the beats and rhythms have both a soulful Indie Rock variance and the precision and insistent incitement of Dance music. Pluto Revolts’ engineer, Benjamin James, shows he’s in top songwriting form right now — it’s not hard to imagine him becoming a songwriter for other big-name Pop artists. Tidal Wave’s deftly designed structures and striking melodic magnetism would make the songs impressive if merely played on an acoustic guitar. But the Electronic enhancements take things to the next level, often giving the music an alluring New Wave/Synth Pop feel. (MB) • Plastic Ants – Imperial Phase Plastic Ants’ sound hovers in the nexus of Indie Rock, Prog, Pop and an arsenal of

3 2   •   C I T Y B E A T . C O M   •   D E C . 2 8 , 2 0 1 6  –  J A N . 0 3 , 2 0 1 7


the eight-track Warrior March. Reggae is the lifeblood of Know Prisoners music, but it’s not the only blood. “You Can’t Hold Me Down” and the title track feature some sizzling Rock guitar leads, for example, and most of the songs possess an underlying Soul/R&B vibe (which is not surprising, given Reggae’s roots in American Soul music) with Pop-worthy melodies scattered throughout. (MB) • Bucko – Bucko Emerging from the ashes of The Black Owls, Bucko’s eponymous debut saw Brandon Losacker (the Owls’ guitarist) forsaking his longtime sideman role and reluctantly moving to the front of the stage. That Bucko is the first time Losacker’s ever fronted a band is especially surprising after listening to Bucko’a outstanding nine-song full-length, given his emotional delivery and vocal resemblance to the likes of Eddie Vedder, Waylon Jennings and Matt Berninger. The diverse album is also a showcase for Losacker’s songwriting, which bears the mark of his schizophrenic listening tastes, spanning from Duran Duran to Fugazi. (BB) • Filthy Beast – Filthy Beast Filthy Beast’s first full album is a full-bore marvel of bracing Indie Rock verve and expansive Classic Rock authenticity. That range is aptly displayed within the one-two punch of the album’s openers: “Creeper” is a glitter-sprinkled Glam sandwich with a greasy side of Garage, while “fuck-the-man” ode “Trees” is a gentle Prog/Folk anthem that simultaneously channels Traffic and The White Stripes. Filthy Beast works a musical corner where a good many sins can be covered simply by Spinal Tapping the volume upward, but these guys absolutely understand the inherent beauty of nuance and the allure of subtlety and adorn its debut with plenty of both, even as they peg the needle deep into the red. (BB) • Go Go Buffalo – Taking Control Like its live show, Go Go Buffalo’s manic spin on hard and heavy Rock is freaky, playful and often unpredictable on its debut long-player, Taking Control, with a slightly disorienting psychedelic streak running throughout. Tyler Moore’s guitar riffs and leads fly fast and furious, as if stripped from an old Blue Cheer or Black Sabbath album and dosed with a potent cocktail of Adderall, magic mushrooms and Black Flag songs. Drummer Jason Drennan and bassist Graham Lang intuitively guide the wandering arrangements with just the right touch of precision and chaos, while singer Jeremy Moore howls, growls and rants like a mad scientist’s gene-spliced frontman made from the DNA of Jello Biafra, Gibby Haynes, Jim Morrison and Batman nemesis The Joker. (MB) • Flying Underground – Death of Stars When veteran singer/songwriter/guitarist/ producer Brian Lovely lost his singing voice to what he calls a “neurological curse,” his longtime Pop/Rock project, Flying Underground, was reconfigured with expressive singer Kelly McCracken taking over on vocal duties. The “new” band’s Death of Stars

EP still brims with what fans expect from Lovely — crisp, melodic songwriting and untouchable musical chops — while also serving as an introduction of McCracken as a versatile and charismatic vocalist. Opening tracks “Rocket Ship” and “Stop Leaving Me Alone” pop with a Cheap Trick-like energy, with McCracken’s voice giving off the attitudinal vibe of peak Runaways. Though the title track is the EP’s most melodically durable, its soaring hooks sinking in and sticking immediately, Death of Stars as a whole is a textbook example of durable and effective Pop Rock songcraft. (MB) • Mason James – Born Ready Hailing from nearby West Harrison, Ind. and a favorite on the local club circuit, singer/songwriter Mason James (who scored the Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Country in 2012) released his latest, Born Ready, this summer. Featuring eight

Filthy Beast’s eponymous debut PHOTO : PR0VIDED

strong, soulful tunes enlivened with a modern verve, but still steeped in Country music’s rich tradition (Pop/Bro Country fans should probably look elsewhere), Born Ready includes highlights like the Rocktinged “Don’t You Tread on Me,” a duet with fellow area Country artist Taylor Shannon, and the darker-hued, facing-mortality musings of the title track. (MB) • Cookin’ Hearts – Cookin’ Hearts Citing inspiration from the likes of Fleet Foxes, The Wood Brothers, Sufjan Stevens and Harry Nilsson, Indie Folk/Americana quartet Cookin’ Hearts’ progressive spin on traditional Americana is beautifully displayed on its self-titled debut full-length. The Cincinnati-based quartet’s spellbinding approach on the debut is highlighted by imaginative songwriting, Abigail Westwood’s haunting flute parts and spectacular, celestial four-part harmonies. (MB) • Kevin McCoy Band – Redneck N Roll Cincinnati foursome the Kevin McCoy Band’s debut album, Redneck N Roll, nicely illustrates the group’s contemporary Country Rock approach, a style that gave the album its title and is accurately self-described as “a fusion of Rockabilly, Country, Country Western, Southern Rock,

Blues and hard-driving Rock & Roll.” The band has established a strong presence on the local club scene, where its rotation of cover songs — ranging from Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings to Tom Petty and ZZ Top — is indicative of the cross-section of genres that informs its original music. (MB) • One Day Steady – My Real Problem AltRock foursome One Day Steady’s My Real Problem, the follow-up to 2014’s Cinematic full-length, reflects avowed band influences like Modest Mouse, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers, but also shows the band’s own personality becoming more distinct. “Shoot & Run,” the first single from the album, is a dynamic and highly catchy track that hooks the listener from the start and never lets go. It’s the kind of infectious, memorable song that would sound perfectly at home in heavy rotation on modern AltRock radio, sandwiched between tracks by Twenty One

Pilots and Cold War Kids. (MB) • Jean Dowell with Mike Oberst – A Place Way Back in Time Jean Dowell moved to Cincinnati in the early ’70s and became the first Mount Saint Joseph University’s women’s basketball coach, beginning an exceptional career that earned her spots in five sports hall of fames. But Dowell has also had a long love affair with music. She grew up listening to and singing old-time Folk music with her family and, in college, she learned how to play guitar and began writing songs. When Mike Oberst of Cincy Folk faves The Tillers heard her original songs, he encouraged her to perform them in public. That paved the way for this year’s A Place Way Back in Time, Dowell’s very first album, featuring 19 of Dowell’s compositions from throughout the years with Oberst producing and providing instrumentation. (MB)


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Even More Great 2016 Releases • Calumet – Modern Myths • mr.phylzzz – Sounds Like Everybody Else • Hissing Tiles – Aces Read Me to Sleep • Settle Your Scores – The Wilderness • Ethicist – II • Peridoni – Pixel Pieces of a Parallel Plane • Motherfolk – Fold • Ancient News – I Come Into This World • The Nothings – Enjoy the Violence • Ron Esposito – Triad • Suck the Honey – 3P • Brent Gallaher – Moving Forward • Evening Redness – Before the Dark • Winterhymn – Blood & Shadow • Dallas Moore – Live at The Bullitt County Jail • Infinity Spree – Guides • Krystal Peterson & The Queen City Band – Spell • Daniel Van Vechten – Get Right • JIMS – Mandarin EP • Paper Doll Scissor Fight – Paper Doll Scissor Fight

• The Midwestern Swing – Live @ Bop Shop Records • SolEcho – Dawn • Kumasi – DEBUT EP • Lockjaw – Who Do You Think You Are? • The Lovers – Middle of Nowhere • Build Us Fiction – The Year of Steinbeck • Ricky Nye – Plays Holiday Favorites • Alejo – Transitions • Jamwave – These Memories • Brittany Gillstrap – Wherever the Wind Blows • Elk Creek – Elk Creek • Drop the Sun – Are You With Me? • Homage (CVG) – Beats of Wisdom • Current Events – Phases • Taylor Shannon – Greenbriar Road • Joe Wannabe and the Madman’s Blues Band – No Way in Hell • Klang Geist – Klang Geist • Room For Zero – Come On! Come On! • Mojo Rizin – Fourplay • Black With the Stars – Black With the Stars




C I T Y B E A T . C O M   •  D E C . 2 8 , 2 0 1 6  –  J A N . 0 3 , 2 0 1 7   •  3 3

• Coconut Milk – Shoop, Shoop, Shoop • Sleep – All Men Must Die… But You First • Mint Leopard – Searching for Sweetness • Swim Team – Swim Team • Ryan Fine – Alone with Dreamers • Kid Stardust – Something Like This But Better • April Aloisio – Yoga Bossa Nova • Charlie Millikin – Charlie Millikin • Ed Moss & the Society Jazz Orchestra – Further Extensions • Eugenius & Friends – Bars Against Humanity • Jess Lamb and the Factory – Dig Dee and End of the Line • Xela – Monster • Maurice Mattei - Songs of Peril & Conquest • The Reduced – Drastically Reduced • Fluffer – Fluffer • Smut – Sam-Soon • Strange Mechanics – Cirque de Strange • Counterfeit Money Machine – Desperate Measures

music listings

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

Wednesday 28

Thursday 29

Blue Note Harrison - C The Gray and Mizani with Lantana, Yung Z, Princess Tiana and more. 8 p.m. Hip Hop. $15, $20 day of show.

Bella Luna - RMS Band. 7 p.m. Soft Rock/Jazz. Free.

Bogart’s - Razing Babylon, The World I Knew, Into the Skies, Dear Agony and Scarangella. 8 p.m. Hard Rock/Metal. $10.

Bogart’s - Cincinnati Childrens Keys For Kids Benefit with James Otto, Trailer Choir, Billy Brown and more. 8 p.m. Country/Rock. $20, $25 day of show.

Arnold’s Bar and Grill - Todd Hepburn. 7 p.m. Blues/Jazz/Various. Free.

Blind Lemon - Sara Hutchinson. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Bromwell’s Härth Lounge - Phil DeGreg. 6 p.m. Jazz. Free. Crow’s Nest - Steve Dirr. 9:30 p.m. Acoustic. Free. The Greenwich - Holiday Happy Hour featuring the Turned Up Band. 7 p.m. R&B/Dance/Various. Free. Jag’s Steak and Seafood - Steve Thomas. 6 p.m. Sax/Piano/ Vocals. Free. Knotty Pine - 90 Proof Twang. 9 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Madison Live - Madison Theater Band Challenge Round 1 with B-sides, Life In Idle, Mask Of The Charlatan, Samson, Spell Slinger Leah & Simon Gifford, Stoning Mary and Today’s Last Tragedy. 6:30 p.m. Various. $10. Meritage - Sonny Moorman. 7 p.m. Blues. Free. Mic’s Pub - Karaoke with A Sound Sensation DJ Heather. 8:30 p.m. Various. Free. Miller’s Fill Inn - Karaoke with A Mystical Sound Sensation DJ Rob. 9 p.m. Various. Free. The Mockbee - Super Origami, Rose Hip, The Curls and Megan Miller. 9 p.m. Various. Free.

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Northside Tavern - Jake H Speed & The Freddies. 9 p.m. Folk. Free. Pit to Plate - Bluegrass Night with Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass. 7 p.m. Bluegrass. $2. Silverton Cafe - Bob Cushing. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - WolfCryer. 9:30 p.m. Folk. Free. Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - Josh Eagle with Mavis Guitar. 7 p.m. Folk/ Rock. $7, $10 day of show.


Stanley’s Pub - Open Mic/ Singer-Songwriter Night. 9 p.m. Various. Free.

Blind Lemon - Mark Macomber. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

Bromwell’s Härth Lounge Roger Yeardley and Jerry Hedge. 6 p.m. Various. Free.

Bromwell’s Härth Lounge Steve Schmidt Trio with Amy London. 6 p.m. Jazz. Free.

Crow’s Nest - The Newbees. 9:30 p.m. Rock/Pop/Various. Free.

Century Inn Restaurant - Jim Teepen. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

Fort Mitchell Sports Bar - Karaoke with A Sound Sensation/DJ Heather. 9:30 p.m. Various. Free.

College Hill Coffee Co. - Ricky Nye. 7:30 p.m. Blues/Boogie Woogie. Free.

The Hot Spot - Bob Cushing. 7 p.m. Acoustic. Free.


Knotty Pine - Kenny Cowden. 9 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

Eli’s Sports Bar and Grill - Pandora Effect. 9 p.m. Rock.

The Listing Loon - Sincerely, H Iris. 8 p.m. Blues/Roots/ Rock/Various. Free.

The Greenwich - Sonny Moorman & Final Friday Blues. 8 p.m. Blues. $5.

Madison Live - Madison Theater Band Challenge Round 1 with As You Like It, Before Sunday, Breanna Renee, CrossWalk, MCRNR, Me Without My Bike, Northbend and The Absolute Beginners. 6:30 p.m. Various. $10.

Jag’s Steak and Seafood - The Company. 9:30 p.m. Dance/ Pop/Various. Cover.

The Mockbee - Killer Looks and Noise, Off the Meat Rack, Classy Establishment and Vampire Weekend at Bernie’s. 9 p.m. Punk. Free. Pub - Modern Aquatic. H9MOTR p.m. Indie Rock. Free. Plain Folk Cafe - Open Mic with Tony Hall. 7 p.m. Various. Free. Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - James Weston & Friends. 9:30 p.m. Folk/Blues/ Various. Free. Urban Artifact - Mellow Cactus, Spirit Navigators and Combo Slice. 8 p.m. Rock/Various. Free.

Friday 30

86 Club - Slapshot, State Birds and Austin Rath. 8 p.m. Hardcore/AltRock/Various. Cover. Arnold’s Bar and Grill - The New Royals. 9 p.m. Funk. Free.

The Avenue Event Center - Migos. 10 p.m. Hip Hop. $35-$50. Bella Luna - Blue Birds Trio. 7 p.m. Classic Rock/Jazz. Free. Blind Lemon - Warren Ulgh (9 p.m.); Ed Oxley (6 p.m.). 4 p.m. Acoustic/Jazz/Various. Free.

Crow’s Nest - The Tillers. 10 p.m. Folk. Free.

Jim and Jack’s on the River - Southern Saviour. 9 p.m. Country/Rock. Free. Knotty Pine - The Brownstones. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover. Madison Live - PUBLIC with Moonbeau and Circle It. 8 p.m. Indie/Alt/Rock/Pop. $10, $12 day of show.


Rick’s Tavern - Lt. Dan’s New Legs. 9:30 p.m. Pop/Dance/Hip Hop/Various. Cover.

Jag’s Steak and Seafood - My Sister Sarah. 9:30 p.m. Rock/ Pop/Various. Cover.

Silverton Cafe - Thunder Road. 8:30 p.m. Rock/Blues. Free.

Jim and Jack’s on the River Jamison Road. 9 p.m. Country. $10.

Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - The Medicine Men. 9:30 p.m. Blues. Free.


Thompson House - Under Everything with I Set My Friends on Fire, I Apollo, Among Giants, Against All Odds and The Metal Boot. 8 p.m. Alt/Metal/Rock/ Various. $10.

Mansion Hill Tavern - Gator. 9 p.m. Blues. Cover.

Sunday 01

McCauly’s Pub - Stagger Lee. 9 p.m. Country/Rock. Free.

Knotty Pine - Randy Peak. 10 p.m. Acoustic. Free Mansion Hill Tavern - Open Blues Jam with Uncle Woody & the Blue Bandits. 7 p.m. Blues. Free.

Abyss. 9 p.m. Thrash/Death/ Metal/Various. Free.

MOTR Pub - Dark Colour H with Orchards. 10 p.m. Indie/Electronic/Pop/Rock. Free.

Miller’s Fill Inn - Karaoke with A Mystical Sound Sensation DJ Rob. 9 p.m. Various. Free.

Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant - Brad Meyers and Mike Sharfe. 9 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/drink minimum).

MVP Bar & Grille - The Ultimate New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with The Whammies. 8 p.m. ’80 Rock/ Pop/Various. Cover.

Northside Tavern - Bulletville. 8:30 p.m. Country. Free.

Saturday 31

Newport Syndicate - New Year’s Eve Bash with The Rusty Griswolds, DJ Mark McFadden and Gangsters’ Dueling Pianos. 8 p.m. Rock/Pop/Dance/Various. $80-$125.

Urban Artifact - Stagecoach H Inferno, Automaton, Dynamite Thunderpunch and Split the

20th Century Theater - 20th Century New Years Eve Party featuring Ernie Johnson From Detroit. 10:30 p.m. Funk/Dance/Various. $25, $30 day of show. Arnold’s Bar and Grill - The Hot Magnolias. 9 p.m. Creole/Cajun. Free.

Blue Note Harrison - New Year’s Eve Bash with Bad Habit, Gen X and EFN. 8 p.m. Rock/Various. $12.

Blind Lemon - Charlie Millikin. 9 p.m. Pop/Rock. Free.

Bogart’s - Rumpke Mountain H Boys, Larry Keel Experience and The Restless Leg String Band. 9 p.m. Bluegrass/Newgrass/Trashgrass. $35.30.

Northside Tavern - HoneysThe Comet - Electric Citizen, H piders, Lung, When Particles H Leggy and Swim Team. 10 Collide and SKRT. 10 p.m. Rock/ p.m. Rock/Punk/Pop/Various. Free.

Northside Yacht Club - Grey Host and BearHunter. 8 p.m. Doom/Metal/Progressive/Various. Free.

The Cricket Lounge at The Cincinnatian Hotel - Phillip Paul Trio. 6 p.m. Jazz. Free.

Plain Folk Cafe - Everything’s Jake. 7:30 p.m. R&B/Blues/Jazz/ Rock. Free.

Fort Mitchell Sports Bar - Karaoke with A Sound Sensation DJ Heather. 9:30 p.m. Various. Free.


Madison Theater - Dopapod with Consider The Source. 9 p.m. Jam/Electronic/Funk/Rock/ Prog/Jazz/Various. $20-$30.

The Mockbee - Cocaine Jesus, Sir V and DJ AB. 9 p.m. Hip Hop/ EDM/DJ. Free (before 11 p.m.).

Mansion Hill Tavern - Jay Jesse Johnson. 9 p.m. Blues. $4.

Various. Free.

Pop/Rock/Various. Free.

Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant - Pamela Mallory Quartet. 6 p.m. Jazz. $10 (food/ drink minimum).

Bella Luna - Blue Birds Trio. 7 p.m. Classic Rock/Jazz. Free.

MOTR Pub - Old City with Dirty Socialites and Chuck Cleaver. 9 p.m. Indie Rock. Free.

Urban Artifact - Fluffer with H Master TC and the Visitors. 9 p.m. Indie/Electronic/Dance/

Stanley’s Pub - The Pupils of Groove featuring Max Reaven and Cliff Starbuck. 10 p.m. Jam/ Rock. Cover.

Madison Theater - Dopapod with Aqueous. 9 p.m. Jam/Funk/ Electronic/Rock/Prog/Various. $20-$30.

Marty’s Hops & Vines - Just Two Howlers. 9 p.m. Classic Rock. Free.

Knotty Pine - Final Order. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover.

Thompson House - Six Gunz South, Gypsy Stone, Maddy Rose Band and Tyler Moore Band. 8 p.m. Country. $15.

Grandview Tavern & Grille Basic Truth. 8 p.m. Funk/R&B/ Soul. Free.

Northside Tavern - Fresh Funk and Selectas Choice. 10 p.m. Soul/Funk/Rock/Dance. Free. Northside Yacht Club H Tweens, Head Collector, SlugSalt and DJ Glory Daze. 9

Monday 02

Knotty Pine - Open Mic. 8 p.m. Various. Free.

McCauly’s Pub - Open Jam with Sonny Moorman. 7 p.m. Blues/ Various. Free. The Mockbee - OH jam! presents OFF tha BLOCK Mondays open mic with Stallitix, Goodword and DJ Noah I Mean. 10 p.m. Hip Hop/Various. Free.

p.m. Punk/Indie/Pop/Rock/Various. Cover.

Northside Tavern - Northside Jazz Ensemble. 10 p.m. Jazz. Free.

Live - Monica. 9 p.m. HOTR R&B. $50-$100.

Tuesday 03

Plain Folk Cafe - The Blazers (8 p.m.); Mike Lieser (6 p.m.). 6 p.m. Various. Free. Rick’s Tavern - BlackBone Cat and Moment 44. 7:30 p.m. Rock. $10. Silverton Cafe - Retrovibe. 9 p.m. Classic Rock. Free. Southgate House Revival H - New Year’s Eve British Invasion Bash with Just Strange

Brothers, The Billy Rock Band, The Newbees, The Black Ties, Lovecrush 88, concert:nova and The Danny Manning Orchestra. 8 p.m. Classic Rock. $35. Stanley’s Pub - Linus Tate with Macknificent. 10 p.m. Rock/Pop/ Country/Jazz/Fusion/Various. Cover.

Arnold’s Bar and Grill - John Redell. 7 p.m. Blues. Free. Crow’s Nest - Open Mic Nite. 8 p.m. Various. Free. Jag’s Steak and Seafood - Zack Shelly and Chon Buckley. 6 p.m. Piano/Vocals. Free. McCauly’s Pub - Stagger Lee. 7 p.m. Country/Rock. Free. MOTR Pub - Writer’s Night. 10 p.m. Open mic/Various. Free. Northside Tavern - The Stealth Pastille. 10 p.m. Psych/Pop/ Rock. Free.

Stanley’s Pub - Trashgrass Night with members of Rumpke Mountain Boys. 9 p.m. Jamgrass/Bluegrass/Jamgrass/Various. Cover.

crossword puzzle


Drain the Swamp BY Brendan Emmet t Quigley



last week’s answers

51. Computer port letters 52. 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees 54. Cleaning equipment used in some bluegrass band instruments 59. Wahine word while waving 63. Swamp drained from 47-Across 64. Store that sells nothing but standalone kitchen counters? 66. Make a few changes

67. Not moving at all 68. Clinton : Kaine :: Dole : ___ 69. Start over 70. Political activist whose followers are called “Raiders” 71. Yalies Dow n

1. Gambling figures 2. Ship spine 3. Hamburger order 4. One of the seven deadly sins 5. Health meas. 6. Like some troubling periods 7. Spoken aloud 8. Like some coat hangers 9. Monster Energy Cup Series org. 10. Advice columnist Hax 11. Not quite closed 12. Droops 13. Guitar, to a guitar god 18. Dinosaur National Monument state 22. 2000s teen drama set in California 24. Throwing

discipline 26. Model wood 27. Pepperoni slices, often 28. Bacteria, so to speak 30. Candy in a shell 31. ___ del Rey 32. Like plasma TVs 33. Flying in the air 34. Dressed like a justice 35. Shocking news from an ultrasound 40. Swamp drained from 64-Across 41. “By Jove!” 44. Helpful for 48. Pick up 49. Totally legit 53. Quench, as thirst 54. Off the mark 55. Without water 56. Bone fractured in some snowboarding accidents 57. Ran, as colors 58. King’s address 60. Civ pro student, likely 61. Port in many an LCD TV 62. Egyptian biters 63. Riviera vista 65. Narrow channel: Abbr.


The nature of the suit DHTML, Ajax, XML, JSON against you is stated and strong familiarity in the Complaint which with JavaScript and JS libraries such as JQuery has been mailed. It also Mobile and Modernizr. states the demand which Must be familiar with UI the Plaintiff has made frameworks – Familiarand wants from you. You ity with Angular JS UI must answer the Comframework is a plus.Expeplaint in writing, by you rienced with unobtrusive or your attorney, within JavaScript, progressive twenty (20) days (23 enhancement and gracedays if service by certiful degradation techfied mail) commencing niques. Experienced with the day after you receive JavaScript/HTML/CSS this summons, or judgecode optimization and ment will be entered debugging techniques. against you for what the Experienced in creating Plaintiff has demanded. standalone JavaScript/ If you have a claim for JQuery (or any other relief against the Plaintiff framework-based) arising from the same UI widgets/plug-ins. transaction or occurPreferred Qualificarence, you must assert tions: Experience workit in your written answer. ing in a User-Centered The following manner of Design practice.Experiservice of summons is ence with Agile software hereby designated: CERdevelopment process. TIFIED MAIL. — Jeffrey Experience with RESS D. Drinski, #26033-45, (Responsive web design Prosecuting Attorney / with server-side compoNewton County Prosecunents). Experience with tor’s Office, 310 E. DunAdobe Creative Suite.  lap Street, Kentland, IN Opportunities: An attrac47951 / (219) 474-5777 tive compensation package, including base salH E A LT H ary and excellent benefits MAKE THE CALL TO (e.g., retirement, mediSTART GETTING CLEAN cal/dental, tuition remission). An outstanding TODAY. Free 24/7 professional opportunity Helpline for alcohol & to work with highly taldrug addiction treatment. ented and committed colGet help! It is time to leagues and contribute take your life back! Call to the growth of a worldNow: 855-732-4139 class organization and PREGNANT? CONSIDfulfillment of the overall ERING ADOPTION? Call mission of the institution. us first. Living expenses, Growth potential within housing, medical, and the university. The Unicontinued support afterversity of Cincinnati, as a wards. Choose adoptive multi-national and culturfamily of your choice. ally diverse university, is Call 24/7. 877-362-2401 committed to providing an inclusive, equitable A D U LT * and diverse place of learning and employFun, lovable and sweet ment. As part of a comangel wants to pamper plete job application you and relax you with the will be asked to include a best erotic and sensual Contribution to Diversity body rub of your dreams. and Inclusion statement.  Private and discreet locaThe University of Cintion call 859-409-9984 cinnati is an Affirmafor private apppointment. tive Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/ *All adult line ads must conM/F/Veteran/ tain the exact phrase “Body Rubs” and/or “Adult EnterDisabled. REQ: 15923

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tainment.” Illegal services may not be offered in any ad. Cincinnati CityBeat does not accept, condone or promote advertisements for illegal activity. / Every ad purchase includes ONE phone number or e-mail address listing. Additional phone numbers & e-mail addresses can be printed for $10 each. / Ad copy & payment must be received by MONDAY AT 5:00 P.M. for the Wednesday issue. / All ads must be PREPAID with a VALID credit card or in cash/money order. If a credit card is declined for any reason, the ad will be pulled from the paper and online.

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1. Southern fried veggie 5. Like leaves and saves 10. Conquistador’s home 14. Duke’s overseer 15. “The Sound of Music” stepmom 16. Caustic cleaner in a green can 17. German six-strings? 19. Go ballistic 20. Hard rain 21. Hamilton ___ (2016 rogue voters) 23. Indian royal 25. Hershey Bears sports org. 26. Swamp drained from 29-Across 29. Vice president Hubert’s paintings? 36. It’s low in rummy 37. Surrealist with a distinctive mustache 38. Simmering 39. One of three in this answer: Abbr. 40. Like a single cell organism 42. Belt with a kimono 43. Apia’s locale 45. Red coats, e.g.? 46. Swamp drained from 17-Across 47. “Visit Australia” pitches? 50. Cardinal points?: Abbr.

The University of Cincinnati serves the people of Ohio, the nation, and the world as a premier, public, urban research university dedicated to undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, experiencebased learning, and research. We are committed to excellence and diversity in our students, faculty, staff, and all of our activities. We provide an inclusive environment where innovation and freedom of intellectual inquiry flourish. Through scholarship, service, partnerships, and leadership, we create opportunity, develop educated and engaged citizens, enhance the economy and enrich our University, city, state and global community. The University of Cincinnati’s Information Technology department is seeking a UI/UX Developer to work as part of the User Experience team.  This position will work to deliver high quality web interfaces, assets, and components that adhere to ADA, 504 and 508 rules, and promote universal design and inclusivity. This team also provides support for UC’s Electronic Accessibility Initiative, a university-wide, multi-project program that is creating policies, processes and infrastructure to ensure that all users have equal access to all of our electronic technology, including our websites and e-learning environments. In accordance with recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), this is a fulltime, exempt position that will be paid on a monthly (salaried) basis.   Duties & Responsibilities: Participate on project teams for the EIT Program, contributing the creation of university-wide standards and providing subject matter expertise. Develop web applications UX/UI, leveraging responsive web design approach to enable consumption on various platforms/devices including: MobileWebDesktop Responsible for hand-coding rapid prototypes and shippable W3C-compliant UI-layer code. Work in a Collaborative environment – fast,

creative, communicative and able to arrive at solutions collaboratively in design sessions, as an active member of the cross-functional team. Design sessions – willing and ready to participate constructively in user experience design sessions, both visually and verbally. Responsible for developing and maintaining templates and UI components for UC websites, and applications. Design validation, including verification plans, test cases, and software testing. Innovative, out-of-the box thinking, and ability to understand and design with customer requirements in mind. Development and support of browser and device agnostic sites and applications using responsive design techniques. Development of interfaces that meet ADA guidelines. Research and implement emerging user interface standards and methodologies. Work with developers to create a library of templates and user interface objects that can be used across sites and applications.  Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Computer Engineering, or related degree; -OR- an Associate’s degree with two (2) years’ experience ; or four (4) years of basic to intermediate level computer hardware related experience. Possesses working knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures and contributes through support, using established processes, methods, and systems. 4+ years of relevant hands-on experience in full user interface development. Solid knowledge of HTML4 & 5, ARIA, JavaScript, AJAX, Java and .net coding techniques, as well as US ADA, Section 508, and W3C WCAG 2.0 standards.Expert at W3C-compliant and semantic HTML 5 and CSS 3 with an emphasis on CSS-driven page layouts.Skilled (and current) with writing pixel-perfect UI-layer code (HTML/ CSS/JS) for IE 8+, and latest versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome on Mac and Windows. Proficient with JavaScript/ JQuery (including objectoriented Javascript),

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Profile for Cincinnati CityBeat

CityBeat, Dec. 28, 2016  

2016 Year in Review

CityBeat, Dec. 28, 2016  

2016 Year in Review