Weird Al parodies: Which one is the top of the charts?

Published: Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 8:50 AM
Updated: Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 8:50 AM

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so musical artists, no matter the genre, over the past 30 years must be really flattered.  From Nirvana to Queen to Don McLean and of course Michael Jackson, no hitmaker is immune to the likes of Weird Al Yankovic's talent to parody the hits.

 The accordion player took "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and turned it into "Smells Like Nirvana."  Queen got the treatment with Yankovic's "Another One Rides the Bus," his version of "Another One Bites the Dust."   

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The '60s anthem "American Pie," may not have a similar title, but "The Saga Continues" tackles the legend of "Star Wars" with lyrics like "my, my, this here Anakin guy," instead the traditional "my my Miss American Pie."  

What Weird Al Parody is your favorite?  Vote in our poll. 

The Germanfest Picnic has new home 

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 3:24 PM

The Germanfest Picnic has new home 

The Germanfest Picnic has found a new home and it is not far from its old one. 

Organizers announced on Facebook that the RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton will host this year’s festival, which is set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday,  Aug. 11, 12 and 13. 

“Everything we were known for at Carillon Park we will have at RiverScape,” John Koerner,Germanfest Picnic's longtime chairman, said. “Everything will be the same except it will look a little bit different.” 

There are slight changes in the schedule.

The picnic will open an hour earlier at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 

The Polka Mass begins at 10 a.m. instead of 11 on Sunday.

The 5K and 10K races will be Saturday instead of Friday.  

Dayton History said in January that it had cut ties with Liederkranz-Turner, the group that has held Germanfest Picnic for 33 years mainly at Carillon Park. 

Dayton History had planned to hold a German heritage festival at Carillon Park partly during the same time Liederkranz-Turner was to hold Germanfest Picnic. 

Brady Kress, Dayton History’s president and CEO, reversed that decision following community outcry.  

>> MORE: Carillon Park cancels German festival in wake of backlash

Koerner said his team of volunteers put the German spin on RiverScape.

“We are going to Germanize Monument Avenue,” he said.  

“We are going to make it look a more festive place than it has looked for any of the other festivals.” 

Jay Z makes history as first rapper inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 3:40 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 3:40 PM

            Jay Z makes history as first rapper inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

Jay Z, already a history maker, has another accomplishment under his belt: He is the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Billboard reported that the rapper was announced with other inductees for the Songwriters Hall of Fame, including Max Martin, who has produced hits for Britney Spears, Katy Perry and the Backstreet Boys, among others, as well as Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds; Motown founder Berry Gordy; Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who produced records for Janet Jackson and New Edition; and Chicago members Robert Lamm, James Pankow and Peter Cetera.

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CBS News reported that Nile Rodgers announced the 2017 Hall of Fame class Wednesday.

"He has changed the way we listen to music," Rodgers said in interview with "CBS This Morning."

Jay Z is already a record-setter as the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums on the Billboard chart.

Hall co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and president Linda Moran issued a statement about the inductees:

With our 2017 roster of inductees, the Songwriters Hall of Fame moves definitively into recognizing music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honor the greats of earlier decades. The combination of contemporary sounds and timeless hits of the past is certain to make for an unforgettable evening. The songwriters we honor cross genre, regional and even national boundaries -- R&B, rap, pop and rock 'n' roll from both coasts, the American heartland and Sweden. We are thrilled to once more have the opportunity to preside over an event that recognizes the convergence of song craft and musical performance at the very highest level.

Moran told The New York Times that Jay Z was "so over the moon" about the news and that he had been previously considered for induction last year, but "our board and community wasn’t ready. This year we felt that they had been educated enough."

The rapper's streaming service, Tidal, offered congratulations on Twitter.

Jay Z and the other 2017 inductees will be honored June 15 at the 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner. They join past inductees including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gay.

Art reflects rural community at New Lebanon library

Published: Friday, August 05, 2016 @ 5:16 AM
Updated: Friday, August 05, 2016 @ 1:50 PM







Arts writer Meredith Moss continues her coverage of the Dayton Metro Library’s “Imagining New Works” project. Funded by an anonymous bequest, the program commissions original artwork for Dayton’s new or newly renovated libraries.




What: New Lebanon branch of Dayton Metro Library, 831 W. Main St., New Lebanon. Regular hours are 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.


Upcoming August programs:

  • “Disaster Preparedness” from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug 11. What if a tornado happens today, or you are told you need to evacuate the neighborhood and you only have ten minutes? We will give you simple steps to start planning for you and your family.
  • “Ice Cream for Everyone!” From 2-3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, the library will host an ice cream social on its new patio. Kids will be making their own Ice Cream in a Bag and there will be frozen treats for adults. No registration is necessary and in case of bad weather, the event will take place inside. From 2-3 p.m. the same day, the Needle & Quilt Club” will meet at the library.
  • “Creative Aging Art Meetup will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Aug. 16. The monthly gathering invites attendees to bring a sketchbook, journal or other art supplies or just drop in for art-related questions. The monthly gathering is moderated by art instructor Teresa Olavarria.
  • The New Lebanon Branch Stitchers will work on a project and socialize with other crafters from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27.
  • Exhibit in the Opportunity Room from Aug. 29 through Sept. 15. “Presidents: Cartoons on Authority & Accountability.” Explore the Presidency through the eyes of legendary Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert L. Block (known as Herblock). From Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, Herblock portrayed 13 presidents with humor, intelligence, and a passion for good government. The artist, who died in 2001, won three Pulitzer Prizes and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

When librarian Carole Macmann was asked to describe her community she talked about a rural, family-oriented village that was both traditional and forward-thinking.


“New Lebanon is very small with less than 5,000 people, but it’s a great place to live and its people are very supportive of one another,” Macmann told the architects and steering committee involved with planning the Dayton Metro Library’s new buildings and renovations. Patrons from New Lebanon were invited to attend community forums and asked for their input as well.


Thanks to a $1 million grant from an anonymous donor, branch librarians like Macmann also have been intimately involved with “Artwork Re-Imagined,” the project bringing original commissioned artwork to each of the libraries. Macmann, who has been a librarian for more than 30 years and the New Lebanon branch manager for the past nine years, is also a resident of the town.


The new library, which sits next door to its predecessor, hosted a soft opening on July 23. The Grand Opening will occur in October after the old library has been torn down and more parking added. The building features new spaces for community gatherings; new technology including mobile audio/video equipment and in-house laptop lending; a quiet reading room; an outdoor patio; children’s and teen areas and an Opportunity Space that can be used as a training room, gallery, maker space and more.


“We have more computers and more places for our patrons to hook up their personal devices and work on them comfortably,” Macmann said “It’s really exciting because we are able to offer so many more services.”


How it evolved


The art project is a collaboration between the library system and the Dayton Art Institute. The idea is to use pieces from the museum’s permanent collection to inspire the artists to create new work. Serving as “Reimagining Works” project manager is former museum staff member Susan Anable.


“I attend the community meetings that the architects have for each branch and try to get a sense of what the community might best respond to in terms of the art inspiration pieces,” Anable explained. “Then I choose 6-8 works and review with the art committee, who then hone the list down to 5 for the community to vote on.”


Selected for New Lebanon was a Japanese Footed Dish with foliage design that dates back to 1573-1615 and a painting titled “Homage to the Square: Sentinel” by Josef Albers.


“Because of their knowledge of their local communities, each branch manager participated in the selection of both the inspiration pieces and the art commissions for their new facility,” said Jayne Klose, community engagement manager for the library system.


The Albers piece is a large square in various orange hues. Macmann says it was chosen because it is reminiscent of a quilt square. “We have a quilting group that has been meeting at our branch for around 10 years,” Macmann said. “Traditional quilting is basically shapes where squares are pieced together.”


Once the Dayton Art Institute pieces were selected, it was time for the artists to come up with proposals and to make art.


Enjoying the results


Take a drive out to New Lebanon, and you’ll see how the creative process has all come together. The wall over the library entrance entrance is graced by a beautiful grouping of giant sculpted wood flowers by Shon Walters of Dayton. His piece, titled “The Flowers’ Ultimate Devouring of the Sun,” is a sculpture of 13 flowers. Walters says he transformed the simple grasses seen in the Footed Dish into elaborate blooms.


“For me, the Footed Dish represents the library filled with knowledge,” Walters explains. “The grasses are the patrons who are nourished and inspired by that knowledge. The grasses flourish and expand as the flowers rejoice and bloom as they reach a level of enlightenment.”


Amy Kollar Anderson of Kettering has helped set the stage for readers who want to spend some peaceful time in the library’s new Quiet Reading Room. She has created “Manabu Haiku” with acrylic paint and crackle paste on wood panels. Anderson says she focused on the spare, elegant composition of the Footed Dish and incorporated concepts from the Japanese form of haiku poetry, as well as referencing the subtle bands of color found in the Albers piece.


“Inspired by the composition in the Footed Dish and to reference haiku, I chose the five panels, then created seven branch clusters and finally five blades of grass,” Anderson explains.


The colorful glass composition designed by James Michael Kahle of Dayton is located in the children’s room and is meant to be touched. Working with a team of local glass blowers — Kirstie Chakeres, Aubrey Hackett, Steve Lamb, Abiona Pleasant, Josh Merritt and Matt Walland — Kahle created “Oblio’s Tones.” The final assembly of glass roundels that form an abstract design was completed by Kahle and stained glass artist Judy Bebee.


“Drawing inspiration from the Albers work, my team utilized a combination of hues, colors and opacities unique to the medium of glass to create an interplay of form and color,” Kahle says.


In the transportation-themed children’s room, kids can climb into a little vehicle attached to road-signs that indicate some of the places books can take them. In addition to Dayton, there are sign posts to spots like “The Chocolate Factory” and “Neverland” and “Hogsmeade.” A clever idea!


Blown away!


Macmann was obviously delighted to be included in the artistic process and then watch the artists install each of the pieces. She said the finished artwork “blew her away” and that her patrons feel the same.


“It really personalizes our new building,” Macmann said. “The art pieces are the colors of nature, natural woods. They reflect tradition and seem so organic. When you look at the children’s glass window, for example, at the moment it’s framed on both sides by real corn fields. Imagine how beautiful it will be in the winter, fall and spring.”

Hint: If you head for New Lebanon, take time to stop at the roadside stands along the way for yummy fresh homegrown corn, tomatoes and more. Two we spotted on US Route 35 are Bayer’s and Garber’s.

Harrison Ford is under investigation after being involved in a passenger plane incident

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 10:51 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 10:51 PM

            Harrison Ford is under investigation after being involved in a passenger plane incident

On Monday afternoon, actor Harrison Ford was involved in a passenger plane incident at a California airport shortly after noon Pacific Standard Time. He was acting as pilot on his private plane and was gearing up to land at John Wayne Airport near Orange County at the time of the occurrence.

>> UPDATE: Video shows moment Harrison Ford flew over plane before landing on taxiway

"Air traffic controllers cleared the pilot of a single-engine Aviat Husky to land on Runway 20L at John Wayne Airport Monday afternoon," the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to E! News. "The pilot correctly read back the clearance. The pilot then landed on a taxiway that runs parallel to the runway, overflying a Boeing 737 that was holding short of the runway. The FAA is investigating this incident."

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Ford, 74, was supposed to land on the runway, but mistakenly landed on the taxiway instead, which is in violation of FAA safety rules. He flew over the top of an American Airlines plane with 110 passengers onboard and a six-person crew. Luckily, the Dallas-bound aircraft was still able to take off within minutes after the incident.

According to People, the actor was reportedly captured on air traffic control asking, "Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?"

Ford was not injured.

As a result of the incident, the FAA is opening an investigation into the issue, which could cost Ford his pilot license if he is found at fault. Other punishments could include a suspension of his license or just a letter of warning. He has been involved in several piloting accidents in the past, including a 2015 crash in which he landed on a Santa Monica golf course after having engine trouble. Ford suffered a few moderate injuries in the crash.