Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Word of Advice for Hipster Hitlers

Last night we saw some pre-Halloween revelers out on the town in "costume," which seemed to consist of the usual terrible wardrobe choice of sagging-pants-reveal-entire-underwear and a fake Hitler-esque mustache, shared among buddies. We'd be a lot more impressed if you chumps showed a little commitment and grew actual, own-hair Hitler mustaches.

Here is how you do it, by the way, without looking like a trashy bigot to your friends and neighbors in the week or so leading up to fright night: grow a whole, normal, non-genocidal mustache, and then (this is the clever part) just shave off the end pieces when you're ready to go!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Screen: Something Old, Something New

Tonight (Friday) and Saturday (Halloween), check out Thirst at Cinestudio, Trinity College's little old picturesque theatre. This Korean vampire flick with a sci-fi twist exists to satisfy all your modern fetishes. The main character is a tortured soul, torn between his desire to serve humanity and his compulsion to drink their blood. It looks like a visually striking, sexy, blasphemy-fest. We'll take it!

And here's another another opportunity to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, this time as a Halloween midnight show at Mohegan Sun Casino, a venue sure to be more fun prone than the last time we tried to see Rocky.

They're so Charming and Inclusive in Collinsville

Saturday, Oct. 31: 16th Annual Collinsville Halloween Parade @ Main Street, Collinsville

A small town Halloween celebration sounds kind of lite for us on the surface, but this isn't just any small town, this is Collinsville, a scenic nook with something for everyone. And while we're sure there will be children and small dogs in attendance, certain of our happily childless, Judas Priest-loving friends who take this holiday very seriously will be there as well, so it must be ok.

They're so Punk in New Haven

Saturday, Oct. 31: Covin @ Cafe Nine, New Haven

Covin and New Haven are so punk rock, they're going to play an all Misfits set on Halloween. As sometimes fans of the Misfits, we don't mind admitting that at this point, Covin will probably be a more authentic (and fun) experience than the real deal. The band's own sound channels classic punk and heavy metal, so we're sure their covers will be convincing.

This Weekend @ The Space: No Sense of Humor, Good Music

Friday, Oct. 30: Halloween Party Thingie @ The Space, Hamden

The Space is a problematic venue for us, in that we totally respect their commitment to live original music, and they often book bands that we like, but we totally resent their preference for a polite, attentive, sober audience. And the fact that they have a "donate" tag on their web page. Uh, no. We have occasionally appreciated a calm, orderly venue, but our best live music experiences have most often involved drinking and shouting, so - it's quite a quandary! For Halloween they will be hosting a bunch of bands we've never heard of, and holding a costume contest involving cash and other prizes.

BUT, they warn: "Inappropriate or overtly sexual costumes will be disqualified!"

Well, there goes all our ideas.

Saturday, Oct. 31: The Dear Hunter @ The Space, Hamden

Thank goodness there's no judgey costume party on Halloween itself! The Dear Hunter sounds like a great band, kind of in the vein of, uh, prog-core bands like the Mars Volta, who everybody liked so much a few years back. Yeah, we think "Dear Hunter" is an annoying sounding name too, but we wouldn't let that stop us.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Not To Hear: Halestorm

Friday, Oct. 30: Halestorm @ The Webster, Hartford

Frontwoman Lizzie Hale is a babe, no doubt about it. But lest you think we are hating on her for being a moderately successful rocker lady and we're not, let it be known that we like looking at hot chicks, and place no genitalia restrictions on musicians we'll listen to.

Unfortunately Halestorm is just a contemporary cock rock band with a vagina on top, or in the front, or whatever. They don't even bother turning the tables on the expected misogyny. Bland nu-metal is plenty bad enough on it's musical merits alone, but Halestorm go the extra inch with gag-inducing lyrics. Their radio hit, "I Get Off" is all about how excruciatingly hot it is to have some voyeur watch you and think he's getting away with something, but then HAHA, no he isn't, because you're twisted and you love that shit. You win!

Somehow we suspect that Lizzie is not so amorous towards actual stalkers, peeping toms and dressing room crashers. But hey, whatever it takes to get the neanderthal demographic to pay up.

P.S. Sick Hot Topic wardrobe, guys. We totally shopped there. In high school.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NOT Hot at the Lot

Catalina Coffee Co. Morning Coffee
found @ Ocean State Job Lot, Bloomfield

Pantry purchases from tha lot always run the risk of disappointing, but as we've mentioned before, this disappointment generally comes so cheaply that you can't hold a grudge. You might even say it was "worth it" for the knowledge, because knowledge is good.

But some things are too terrible to know, and the "full flavor" of Morning Coffee is one of those. You might think we should know better - coffee from a can, with milk? Really? But it's delicious when Starbucks does it - matter of fact, it's about the only thing they do right! Anyway, the rancid stench hits you first, but if that didn't deter you, you'd be on to the pissy taste.

Morning coffee is cheap at 50 cents a can, but just because you "can" doesn't mean that you should.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Milkshake Brings all the Whatevers to the You Know

Sometimes (often) instead of eating a "meal" I enjoy a milkshake instead. I enjoy it a lot. My fantastic formula consists of coffee ice cream, unsweetened soy milk, crunchy peanut butter and chocolate syrup. I don't know the exact quantities, and I certainly don't know (or want to consider) the caloric implications. I will say this: use plenty of peanut butter (a heaping tablespoon) and go sparingly with the chocolate, otherwise the chocolate is all you will taste, and then what was the point of including peanut butter at all?

Look, it looks gross in the blender!

And then it looks fine in your glass.

And since I alluded to it and now it's all in your head, let's all enjoy the milkshake song one more time. Maybe you've seen this cute version with high school teachers nerdin' it up? I know, that's some old news, but still adorable! Try my damn milkshake.


We have oft maintained that it is more or less intellectually lazy to criticize others' shortcomings in the areas of spelling and grammar. But sometimes other people's fuck-ups are just too funny to ignore. And while spelling and grammar in informal venues like message boards and comments sections is one thing, glaring malapropisms on a business website are quite another.

From the Hungry Tiger monthly music calendar:
COLUMBIA FIELDS - Fresh off their new CD release produced by Singer /songwriter Grayson Minney and Eric Health this "Dave Mathews" esk type band

So thanks for the laugh, Hungry Tiger, even if it was cheap and we feel kind of dirty now. Keep on doing what you do. Trad blues and Dave Matthews-esque rock are certainly not our first choice cup of tea, but we appreciate your ongoing commitment to live original entertainment in Connecticut, and the fact that we regularly get hit on by men and women when we do make it out to your joint. Maybe it's something in the tea. We would even consider going to see aging guitar hero Jimi Bell and Diamondback on Oct. 30, if only to get hit on by weird old biker ladies with too much information to share about Mr. Bell's jimmy, but we have actually have hipper, sexier plans that evening.

Friday, October 23, 2009

On Screen: Ad Men

The advertising industry has benefited from cultural cachet thanks to AMC's Mad Men - philandering and alcoholism never looked so sexy! Art & Copy is a real life behind the scenes of memorable advertising. We'd consider checking it out, in spite of all those angry critical essays we may or may not have written in college, taking down boorish, sexist popular culture in general, and evil adverts in particular. Art & Copy is now playing at Real Art Ways. Look how Hartford, CT is part of the exclusive list on their website! We're so fucking sophisticated here.

Semi-related: a friend mentioned this tasteful spot to us yesterday:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Midweek Music: Silversun Pickups

Tuesday, Oct. 20: Silversun Pickups @ The Webster, Hartford

Hey it's that Smashing Pumpkins sounding indie rock band - you know the one. Isn't it sort of weirdly refreshing to hear some 90s influenced music? Isn't that hot girl who looks kind of like a hot boy in that one video hot? The (Hartford, not gay) Advocate has some supplementary information, including the strange tale of the opening band, Cage the Elephant, whose label transplanted them from Kentucky to London to build up a fan base. We met another band with that story once. Ah, the rock n' roll life...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Made In CT

When in Winsted, I always buy lunch from the Stop n' Shop salad bar, which is relatively healthy and hella cheap. Yesterday I didn't have a drink from home, so I also picked up a "Currant Affair," because I was thirsty, but mostly because that name is just so cute. The label boasts of black currants' ultra high Vitamin C and antioxidant content, and appeals to Euro/Anglophilia with references to the popularity of black currants throughout Europe. (It's true - they flavor their candies and sodas with it!) Connecticut Currant's Currant Affair juice has simple ingredients - just juice, water and sugar, and most importantly, it is a product of our own Preston, Connecticut. So now you can drink elite, healthy and local all at the same time. The flavor, for the unitiated, is not quite as sweet and addictive as some other purple juices - like those pricey pomegranate and acai cocktails - but with a subtle, mature charm of its own, which I suspect has great potential as an alcohol mixer.

You're still the one, Creative Cocktail Hour

Although we flirted with some other Thursday night drinking occasions this month, something just didn't fit. The Atheneum was too uptight; the Science Center was too pricey. But last night's event at Real Art Ways was just right. We caught up with fashionable friends and complimented their wardrobe choices, drank reasonably priced beverages, enjoyed the free munchies (from the Wood-n-Tap this time around), and were impressed by this month's art by Zak Ové. Seriously, if we're paying a $10 cover, we're gonna need some reasonably priced beverages and free shit, ok? We may be willing to give those other nights another chance some time, if we have nothing better to do, and maybe someone else pays, but we'll always find time and money for the Creative Cocktail Hour.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Doesn't Nick Lowe Look Cool?

Friday, Oct. 16: Nick Lowe @ Infinity Hall, Norfolk

Look at Nick Lowe, all sharp dressed with that bemused expression, pen poised for his crossword puzzle. Pen! That is our kind of guy; we too look forward to doing our crossword puzzle every week, and looking askance at people. You may have heard his late 70s hits, "Cruel to be Kind" or "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding" - heck, even we have. Check out Nick Lowe this Friday at our newest favorite venue.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's Hot at the Lot?

Juice & Cookies @ Ocean State Job Lot, Bloomfield

Ocean State Job Lot is the ideal venue for experimental eating on a budget. Though these gambles often enough end up disappointing, they do so cheaply; when they pleasantly surprise, it feels like a steal.

Today's prize find is First Blush varietal grape juices, made from California Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah grapes. It's a clever little wine-y pretense, but of course it just tastes like grape juice (which is exactly what it is), but it's perfectly serviceable grape juice with no added high fructose bullshit in a satisfyingly pretentious bottle, for 70 cents apiece at the Lot.

Cafe Kranzl (I'm too lazy to find the special characters) cookies score points for being chocolate-y without being sickly sweet. A fine find $2 a box and don't they look pretty?

(You're welcome)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just Another Metal Monday: Sonata Arctica

Monday, Oct. 12: Sonata Arctica @ The Webster, Hartford

As I understand it, they like to be called "The Webster" nowadays... Anyhoo, Sonata Arctica come from Finland, the most metal country in the world, and play dazzling technical power metal, epic in scope and uplifting in spirit. They have been touring with Guitar Hero heroes Dragonforce, but will solo headline the date at the Webster, which is great, because Dragonforce, though popular, are secretly boring boring boring, in spite of all those fast notes.

I am particularly partial to this song, "Paid in Full," from SA's record Unia - it sounds so inspiring! And this vid of them playing in the snow in their winter clothes is quite silly, and features keytar, for the keyboard novelty seekers out there.

Friday, October 9, 2009

All the Pretty Horses

Sunday, Oct. 11: World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions @ Mohegan Sun

I love horsies! And I'm turned on by men doing dressage.

Make It a Long Weekend: Ian Anderson Solo

Sunday, Oct. 11: Ian Anderson @ Foxwoods

As a solo artist and frontman for Jethro Tull, Anderson has been releasing intelligent, eclectic music for decades, pioneering the rock flute and running the gamut from acoustic folk to alleged heavy metal. Perhaps his most endearing quality, Anderson is an avowed cat man, and has made his affection for felines and other animals apparent in many lyrics, whether as a metaphor for human passions, as in "The Secret Language of Birds" or "Bungle in the Jungle," or as literal subjects, as in "Heavy Horses" or "...And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps."

Night at the Museum

Maybe it's something about the insurance industry, or maybe it's simply a smart business move to extend weekend consumerism, but Thursday nights are for high-brow drinking in Hartford, with first Thursdays at the Wadsworth, second Thursdays at the Connecticut Science Center, and third Thursdays at Real Art Ways.

We attended last night's event at the Science Center, and are a little disappointed to report that we were a little disappointed. The $10 admission price is a reduction from the standard cost of visiting the museum, but if you wanted a drink you were out another $6-9 per, which seems a little steep, and the exhibits are really gaudy looking and kid/moron-friendly, so it's not like some kind of mind-blowing aesthetic or intellectual ride hanging around in the galleries.

On the upside, the rooftop weed garden (weeds, regrettably, not weed-weed) is a lovely place to stand around while the weather is still fine, the rather dull sounding jazz combo had an awfully cute drummer, and we ran into several gays as well as one radical area journalist, which means this scene is at least a little hip. We also enjoyed overfeeding hideous education device Esther the Digester:

And learned some really annoying shit to pull at the bar:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Silk City Flick Fest

Yessirree, a real live film festival in Manchester, CT! It starts tonight with an opening reception and film, and will span the weekend. About 50 films will be shown in multiple venues in Manchester. It's looking like this event is going to be a great success, especially in terms of first-year festivals. Distributors are coming from New York and LA, and there will be several panel discussions on various aspects of filmmaking and acting. The schedule is packed, so choose wisely! Tickets can be purchased at the door.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Muppets Take Manhattan: Avenue Q

Avenue Q @ Shubert Theater, New Haven
Oct. 9-11

I actually think that Sesame Street is quite hip and adorable just the way it is (just look at what happened when Elmo met Ricky!), but I very much enjoyed the obscene kids' show parody, Wundershowzen, and that great episode of The State where they were eating muppet for dinner, so I suppose re-imagining the residents of the street as struggling hipsters is good fun too.

Here's the show's most famous tune, "The Internet is for Porn." Indeed!

Your Biggest Fan

Big Fan @ Real Art Ways, Hartford
Oct. 9-14
Friday, Oct. 9: Q & A with Director Robert Siegel(!!)

Before I realized that Big Fan's director (Robert Siegel) also wrote The Wrestler, I was already drawing mental comparisons between the two. The latter was quite painful to watch though indisputably well acted and provocative. Big Fan promises a similarly gritty portrayal of macho athletes and fan culture, with a plot centering around a schlubby football devotee getting his ass kicked by a favorite player. The film is getting high praise from my favorite people but I'm beginning to question the merit of these arthouse investigations of low culture, and whether we elitist viewers, who would never ourselves attend an indie wrestling event (or a WWE one) or make inarticulate calls to sports talk radio, are just being condescending, watching and appreciating and empathizing with these stories for an hour or two on screen we wouldn't care to dirty our hands with in real life. So, more edgy, emotionally resonant films about attractive, witty bloggers, please, so I can stop struggling with this cognitive dissonance.

Big Fan opens at Real Art Ways this Friday, and may already be playing at an indie theater near you.

Edit: Thanks helpful commenter Abby for the info about Friday night's Q & A with the director!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mappy Monday!

Zombie attacks in Southern CT
(P.S. Not all the links work, scroll down for more pics)

View Zombie Attacks in a larger map

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thirsty Thursdays: CT Science Center

Thursday, October 8: Liquid Lounge v1.0 @ The CT Science Center

This Thursday evening, check out Hartford's newest monthly after-work party. The CT Science Center will be hosting the "Liquid Lounge" for your boozing and socializing needs... and not just regular boozing and socializing, but the sciencey kind. The event is promising live demonstrations and "science-related drinks". I don't really know what that means, but I know that I want one.

The theme for October will be "The Science of the Harvest". Featured presentations are to include: Pumpkin Carving and Painting, Wine Glass Harmonics, the Science of Wine, an Organic Beer Master, the Chemistry of Stills and more. All the galleries will be open, and the theatre will be showing an old school science film.

The CT Science Center opened last June, and if you haven't visited yet, this is a great opportunity to do so. It's only $10, or $5 for Premier Members (normally $16 for adults). The event is from 5:30-9PM and is 21+, so no screaming children, just stumbling adults.

And let's not forget CSC's event slogan/fart joke: "A solid good time: it’ll be a gas."

If that little gem doesn't entice you, I don't know what will.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Clam Pizza

No, it's not a euphemism.
In scenic Farmington, the truth is stranger than fiction. And in this case, the truth is fucking delicious. Next time you are feeling wheaty, head to Andy's Italian Kitchen on Farmington Ave. (It's in the old Loehmann's plaza, if that means anything to you.) The pizza's formal title is the "Andy Jr." It's a white pizza topped with mozzarella, clams, bacon, garlic and onions. Sound gross? Try it before you judge. Andy will make you a believer.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Uptight Horror Picture Show

Wadsworth Atheneum, if you're reading this, you can make a check for $4 out to CT Scenic. After arguing with the doorperson about their falsely-advertised pricing, we sat down front-and-center for our $9 worth of Rocky Horror... well, horror. We were greeted with a Catholic School-style spiel on what was, and was not, appropriate Wadsworth-style behaviour. We were then threatened with the presence of a security guard and told to "enjoy ourselves".

We were pretty much ready to walk out, until the Come Again Players were introduced. Apparently they are a semi-local (Pioneer Valley) group of shadow actors who perform the full RHPS every Saturday night. They didn't come in costume, but they did sing/dance/yell/screech along with the movie. 

Other than the "professionals", there was little-to-no audience participation, save for one guy in the front row. He yelled out all 96-minutes of offensive jokes, and got up and did the Time Warp. Apparently everyone else still had their daytime-sticks fully inserted in their butt pipes. What a shame. Rocky Horror really deserves a less uptight venue, and a less apathetic audience. But, you do what you gotta do in scenic Hartford.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What Not To Hear: Mohegan Sun Edition

This Weekend @ Mohegan Sun

Like Axl Rose said, it's all a gamble when it's just a game, but you can bet on an ear-bleeding marathon of suck this weekend at Mohegan Sun Casino. How do you like our puns, by the way?

It begins with AI alum Kelly Clarkson, performing this Friday night. We find that a lot of otherwise reasonable people seem to like the karaoke champ, often for such inane nonmusical reasons as "she doesn't dress like a slut" and "she's not super skinny." Well, awesome, they would probably love us too! We'll get that record out asap. In the meantime, we're just not that into middle-of-the-road pop propelled to superstardom by middle aged middle America.

Next up we have KISS (performing Saturday). While we appreciate their frankness on subjects like the pursuit of personal wealth and sexy womens, we suppose we can respectfully agree to disagree with them and their legion of fans on the entertainment value of men in clown suits playing bland repetitive hard rock in front of fire works. If we're going to get down to costumed performers, we prefer a little shock with our rock.

It hardly seems fair to mention wash-ups Warrant in the same breath (post, whatever) as the aforementioned headliners, but while you're avoiding bad music at Mohegan Sun this weekend, you may as well also not see Warrant perform Sunday night. Former pretty boy turned not-at-all pretty Celebrity Fit Club contestant Jani Lane isn't even the band anymore, and what is an 80s hair ensemble without their original frontman?