On the Brink
For the past seven years, CityBeat has presented BRINK: A NEW MUSIC SHOWCASE as an addendum to the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards' music program. While the CEAs are a party intended to celebrate the accomplishments of local musicians over the past year (and to celebrate the local music scene as a whole), BRINK was created with an eye toward the future, showcasing some new musical acts we believe will be the "next wave," future CEA nominees or artists who have the goods to take their careers to the next level. As the tagline says, BRINK is a "local music demonstration of forward momentum."
This year's music CEA ceremony — which raises funds for the Michael W. Bany Scholarship Fund — goes down Nov. 18 at the Taft Theatre; tickets are available here or by calling 513-562-4949.
The list of BRINK alums shows how good our predictions have been so far. BRINK hosted early shows by current local big-timers like Buffalo Killers, Kim Taylor, The Seedy Seeds, The Sundresses and Bad Veins, all of whom are nominated for CEAs this year.
The full rundown of performers that have rocked the BRINK stages over the years reads like a primer to the local original music scene: mallory, The Light Wires, Mercurochrome, Definition, Turnbull ACs, wil-o-ee, Tonefarmer, Le TechnoPUSS13s, The Minor Leagues, patientZero, The Chocolate Horse, High and Low, Baoku, Viva La Foxx, Cari Clara, 40 East, Banderas, 1000 Arms, Pernicious Knifs, Lonely The Seabird, Wake The Bear, The Host, Junior Revolution, The 13s, The Vinyltones, Staggering Statistics and Da Muttss.
So who's up next? Saturday's BRINK showcase at the Southgate House, utilizing all three of the venue's stages, features the latest crop of local performers on the cusp (or, in some cases, beyond the cusp and on the verge). Each artist gets 30 minutes to strut their stuff, and set times are staggered so everyone has a chance to see a little bit of each performer if they so choose.
As a fun game (let's call it "BRINK: The Home Edition"), take notes and when you get home decide which artist or artists will be nominated for CEAs next year and which ones will be broken up with members fleeing to rehab by December. Place bets with your friends! (For our lawyers' sake, we are not encouraging gambling; just be sure to bet unused candy corn or something.)
The BRINK party starts at 8 p.m., and the stacked bill features The Lions Rampant, Jon Justice Band, Pomegranates, White Girls, Nathan Holscher, Kinsey Rose, Cash Flagg, The Read, Eclipse, Eat Sugar and The Delusionals. $7. 859-431-2201. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — MIKE BREEN
WEDNESDAY 10/31 - TUESDAY 11/6
The Contemporary Arts Center wraps up its film series THE LONG VIEW with Marco Tullio Giordana's six-hour epic, The Best of Youth. The made-for-Italian-TV saga follows two brothers, Nicola (Luigi Lo Cascio) and Matteo (Alessio Boni), and their extended family over a 40-year period, delving into the whole of Italy's social and historical fabric in the process. The Best of Youth unfurls with the textured, detailed nuance of a novel, as the pair moves from 1960s school boys to eventual diverging life paths: one joins the army and then the police force, while the other becomes a counterculture activist. In a cinematic world of derivative and/or half-baked narratives, The Best of Youth is a uniquely immersive experience that leaves one enriched in its perspective-altering wake. Worried about the length? Don't be. Split it up into two or three visits: The free screenings run in a continuous loop at the CAC through Nov. 8. 513-345-8400. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — JASON GARGANO
THURSDAY 11/1 - SUNDAY 11/4
It was a busy summer for comedian TED ALEXANDRO and it's quickly turning into a busy fall. A few months back, he did some shorts for Comedy Central's Web site, in which he taught the principles of stand-up comedy. "They called me and said, 'We have this idea that we think would be good for you with your teaching background.' I felt it was a really good fit (too)." That has lead to another project for the site, this time involving sketch comedy. With bits ranging from current events to slice-of-life, it adds a new dimension to Alexandro's comedy offerings. A Jazz piano major in college, Alexandro somehow finds time to tickle the ivories once in a while, usually accompanying his sister who sings periodically at a New York City cafe. It's strictly music, though, and fans of his comedy occasionally recognize him. "I don't provide any comedic banter between songs," he insists. "I'm just the piano player." Alexandro performs Thursday-Sunday at Go Bananas in Montgomery. $10-$17. 513-984-9288. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — P.F. WILSON
THURSDAY 11/1 - SATURDAY 11/3
This week offers chances to see dance in both its process and performance stages. Thursday after work at Cincinnati Ballet's studios (1555 Central Pkwy.) you can experience AFTER HOURS AT THE BALLET BARRE. Plan to get there around 5 to catch a 5:15 p.m. rehearsal for the company's upcoming production, Chaconne: A Celebration with Suzanne Farrell. Farrell herself will be running the rehearsal, so it's a rare opportunity to see the legendary ballerina and former Balanchine muse passing her firsthand expertise on to the next generation of dancers. The "barre" wordplay means there will be drinks and nibbles following the hour-long run-through. Reservations are recommended. $5. 513-621-5219. Speaking of new generations of dancers, see what the dance ensemble at the SCHOOL FOR CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS has been up to when they perform Abstract Pathways at the Aronoff Center's Fifth Third Theater Thursday though Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The program features a variety of styles from ballet to modern, including choreography from popular former Cincinnati Ballet dancers Meridith Benson and Rene Micheo. Director Daryl Bjoza presents his stirring ballet Emily, based on Emily Dickinson poems. $7. 513-621-2787. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — JULIE MULLINS
The CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM leads a trip to Indianapolis today to view works at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Right now, the Indy museum has an exhibition of important works from the Musee du Louvre's unsurpassed collection of ancient Roman art. The work on view includes 184 pieces, most of which have never been exhibited in the United States. Roman art is, of course, known for its countless busts of high-ranking officials in the public eye, but the IMA exhibition also includes more intimate objects, like the household objects that survived the destruction of Pompeii. Roman gods and goddesses will be in abundance, as well as theatrical masks and portraits of the age's leading actors. While you could easily make the trip to Indianapolis yourself, going with the CAM will allow you firsthand contact with docents. $90 per person includes all admissions, tours, lunch, transportation and snacks. Reservations required. 513-639-2964. (See CAM web site here.) — LAURA JAMES
As a regular on such TV programs as Around the House and HGTV's Before & After Show, local "decorative artisan" CURTIS HEUSER has helped many realize their home makeover dreams. Now he's doing the same for himself. In 2002 Heuser bought a distinctive but neglected three-story home in the East Row Historic District of Newport. He immediately got to work, restoring the red brick house into a work of art, a process he relates in the just-published Your Home: A Living Canvas, a guidebook to "create stunning faux finishes and murals with paint" that features a plethora of renovation tips and photos of the finished product. Published by local North Light Books, an imprint of F+W Publications, Your Home is the handsomely rendered culmination of Heuser's vision and unique talents. (Now if I can just get him over to my house.) He discusses the book 5-9 p.m. Friday at Together Books & Art (703 Park Ave., Newport). He'll also appear at the Books by the Banks book festival 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Duke Energy Center. 859-581-9100. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — JASON GARGANO
St. Patrick's Day is but a distant, foggy memory. But who says you can only listen to Celtic music in March? On Saturday you can hoist a Guinness (or your spirit of choice) to ENTER THE HAGGIS, a Celtic Rock five-piece that was formed just before the turn of the century by busker/bagpiper Craig Downie. The hard-touring band has added a multitude of other genres into its shepherd's-pie mix — 18 different genres are guestimated, ranging from Bluegrass and Fusion to Latin and politically minded Rock & Roll. As you can probably guess, this band lives to play on stage, where it has earned the majority of its fans coast to coast (and in Europe). The band has kept up a pretty hectic recording schedule as well, releasing six CDs since forming. But some of those releases have been — fittingly — live albums, including the latest, Northampton (Live), which came out this past summer on the new indie label, United For Opportunity. Though the band's moniker includes the name of one of the most disgusting foods ever tasted by man, its music has so many ingredients, you'll have no trouble acquiring a taste for Enter the Haggis. The group plays at Molly Malone's in Covington. 859-491-6659. (Check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — MIKE BREEN
Every year the Taft Museum of Art names a Robert S. Duncanson "artist-in-residence," commemorating the great African-American painter who created murals still on view in the 1820 mansion that is today a lovely museum in downtown Cincinnati. This year's Duncanson honoree is KEITH JOSEF ADKINS, a Cincinnati-born playwright and screenwriter. His plays have been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Cleveland. As part of his two-week residency, his new work, The Safe House, gets a staged reading at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The play, rooted in Kentucky and based on the lives of members of Adkins' own family, will be fully staged at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre during the 2008-2009 season. Between Friday and Nov. 17, you can meet Adkins in a variety of free public appearances. See www.taftmuseum.org for details. The reading of The Safe House at ETC is free, but reservations are required. 513-421-3555. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — RICK PENDER