Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blogging about blogging about blogging: If I gotta work for free, I'd rather work for me

Today I came across this item on Wonkette about a Maryland political blogger who turned down an offer to have his content stripped, raped and strangled* and paraded through the internets by the Washington Post. The Post generously offered to reproduce Maryland Politics Watch's content in an agreement which would allow the Post to modify said content as they saw fit, and which implied an obligation to produce steady content as well as participate in organizational activities with other unpaid bloggers to keep things running smoothly. Like most everything else, this story reminded me of myself.

Several years back our own Hartford Advocate recognized the growing importance of the blog medium, and started running some sparsely updated and poorly publicized blogs on their website. As a former employee and current freelancer, I was invited to participate. For free. Now it's all well and good to blog for free when you're operating a blogspot page about shit you bought at Ocean State Job Lot, but when a major media company (the Advocate is of course a property of the Courant and the Tribune Company) wants your work, it is not unreasonable to expect to be paid. And "the exposure" is pretty worthless when it's coming from a source previously thought of as the paying gig. What is there to aspire too? Overexposure? Occasional free shit? Hate email?

Newspapers want to get in on the blog game, but they don't quite get it. Successful brand-name blogs like Gawker and Wonkette operate just like they do - with paid employees, including writers, editors, and salespeople. Their success (i.e. traffic, readership) hinges on both the quality and quantity of posts, which is pretty much impossible to achieve with unpaid writers, since the rich, idle and underaged/student interns just aren't that clever or insightful, and the rest of us simply don't have that kind of time.

Many of the Advocate's "blogs" are written by their regular writers and employees, but they apparently don't have the time either. While both the Courant and the Advocate have of late tried to give their "blog" features more prominent billing on their respective sites, they both do a very clunky job, listings them in an index of individual writers who post daily at most rather than going with the easy to read, constantly updated newest-stuff-at-the-top flow of commentary quickies by a variety of contributors that is the hallmark of actual blogs.


*this is a Cannibal Corpse reference, but you knew that

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Touring Torrington, too: Michele's


This afternoon was all about the Betties - Brazen Betties and Betty Boop here, if that wasn' obvious to ya. I needed a snack in Torrington. There were side by side coffee shops on Main Street, but I chose Michele's Gourmet on Main. Probably because of Betty - that's cute! Michele's is in the location that used to be Chiane's. Inside is long and nondescript, but the quality treats make up for the bare-bones decor.


Mary-Kate, the very nice (and cute!) barista, understood my need for a "real Chai" and prepared me a lovely, giant chai latte with soy milk, a little spicy, and not to0 sweet with a bit of honey. I also got a peanut butter and chocolate bar, supersized as well, that MK made herself - "two hours of love" went into those bars, said she. That sounds hot!


Both items were delicious, though half the bar is in my fridge, which is A-OK. Breakfast! I didn't explore the "real food," but Michele's also serves breakfast all day, plus salads, paninis, wraps, sandwiches and burgers, and has some gluten free and vegetarian options.

Buy Local, Think Scenic

You know what's a better idea than just "boycotting Arizona"? Buying local. And although the Scenics have "been around the international block", we're guessing most of our readers are in CT. Here are some local substitutes for your favorite Arizonian commodities.


AZ
P.F. Chang's: Mediocre chain Chinese food

CT
Cheng Du: We recommend the adorably tiny Mei Fun noodles
Szechuan Tokyo: It's hard to find a good flaming scorpian bowl these days...


AZ
U-Haul: a lesbian's best friend

CT
Your friend's mom's minivan: probably free
CT Moving and Storage: yeah, we had to google that


AZ
Anheuser Busch: This includes most of your cheap whitetrash American beers

CT
Hooker Brewery: They brew delicious beer right in Hartford and they throw a great bi-monthly happy hour. Their Brewtus Maximus Pale Ale can be found in all the MAX restaurants.
City Steam Brewery Cafe: We don't mention this place nearly enough. They brew the infamous "Naughty Nurse" Amber Ale. More importantly, they have something called a "beer bong"... updates on that coming later.


AZ
Cold Stone Creamery:
Why don't you just go buy a candy bar? That's clearly what you're after.

CT
J. Foster's: Located in Simsbury and Avon, they produce small-batch deliciousness from fresh ingredients
A.C.Peterson Farms: They make their ice cream right upstairs from the restaurant (we've been up there!), and it is amazing.


AZ
PetSmart:
Fucking chain pet store.

CT
If you want an actual animal, duh, go to the CT Humane Society or another rescue organization. If you live near Hartford, you can probably just walk around for awhile and you'll find one. If it's pet "supplies" you desire, well, I don't know what to tell you... Whole Foods probably? I have yet to find a "pet store" that doesn't make me want to set 3,000 hamsters free in the streets and then burn down the building. Suggestions welcome.


So before you pick up your Bud Light Golden Wheat or whatever that shit is, ask yourself... "What Would CT Scenic Do?"

They would buy local.

Touring Torrington: Brazen Betties!


Regrettably, Team Scenic was unable to attend the Brazen Betties recent first birthday/anniversary street fair, but I made it up to them (and myself) by paying a visit to the Main Street shop in Torrington this afteroon. Of course I anticipated loving this shop, which specializes in Connecticut designers only of retro/steampunk/pin-up clothing and craft, so I wasn't surprised to find that everything there was wonderful and trying to come home with me. Owner and designer Julia Sloan was there, and we're totally Facebook friends already, so we were like "OMG HI" and she tried to apologize for the mess, but I was all "What mess? You should see my room." Or my car. Actually you shouldn't. But there was no mess.


I was really into fashion by De Milis (designer Melissa Scianna), which has a elegant, vintage look. Also impressive were Give Them The World's creative "recycled" garments - women's and children's clothing made from men's shirts and ties.


Best of all was the jewelry and sparkly shit, especially steampunk inspired pieces by White Flag Designs (I had to have one).


There was much, much more CT talent on display in this little shop. Who knew!?

I'll be back.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Also Conflicted about Black Metal

Saturday, April 24: Until the Light Takes Us @ Real Art Ways, Hartford


Gosh, RAW just has it in for me this week. Saturday night there will be a final screening of the documentary Until the Light Takes Us, a look inside the violent black metal underground of Norway in the early 90s. This is rather old news and dredges up a rather embarrassing chapter for metal. The film itself has been criticized for being too soft on its subjects and by default endorsing the ignorant views and motives (racism, nationalism, homophobia) of some of the musicians from that scene, who were involved in church burnings, suicides and murder. Murder. That's serious business.

But hey, we can have fun with it. Saturday night's event will also feature a chat with peeps from Redscroll records and a performance by a band called Darkwor. They are true, kult Worcestorian black metal. They fellows in the band all have silly nicknames, as the genre convention dictates, but I wonder if I "totally know them."

Extra: MTV's Kurt Loder weighs in.

Connetic Dance

Sunday, April 25: Open Studio with CONNetic Dance @ Ballet Theatre Company, West Hartford


CT's ballet hipsters (they love it when we call them that!) CONNetic Dance will show off their goods this Sunday in an open studio event, which will include performances from Alice in Wonderland featuring CONNetic dancers and Ballet Theatre Company Children as well as an open class (11 a.m.-12 p.m.) and informational session. As we've mentioned before, CONNetic are a fun, sexy bunch, and we only have their bar antics to go by. We like to see them in action. Dancing. Especially since we basically created a dance tag for them.

Friends of the Blog Friday

Friday, April 23: Music @ CT Clubs

We've heard about loads of shows happening tonight, many of which involve folks we know, some of whom we like musically and/or personally. Check them out, one of these must be a venue near you:

Our old friend Matt (who we remember from the Injections) will be playing with his band the Midnightmares, along with They Hate Us and Shangk at Cousin Larry's in Danbury.

Steven Deal (we totally know him) will play with the Soul Merchants (we totally went to high school with them) at Cafe 9 in New Haven.

Falling Stickmen will play at Cook's Cafe, a venue we are assured exists, in Naugatuck, a town we haven't been to.

Friend-of-a-friend (we'd totally like to know her) Katie Vicious has her birthday show at Two Boots in Bridgeport with Amy Rose & her Troublemakers, The Arkhams and Soul Reapin' 3. We know Two Boots from NYC. They have rad pizza.

Sounds exhausting! Kudos to those few bands with non-Myspace pages for us to link.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conflicted about Steve Almond

Friday, April 23: Steve Almond @ Real Art Ways, Hartford


First a little bit about this event: Steve Almond will read from and discuss his new book, Rock and Roll will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us (With Bitchin' Soundtrack). According to Almond, the book is about coming to grips with and celebrating being a Drooling Fanatic. The event will incorporate music, embarrassing pictures of folks with their bad rock n roll hair, and seems to be Almond's attempt to be the rock star sans musical talent. In a recent interview with the Courant (which is interesting stuff, read it), Almond speaks of finally having to admit to himself, at 42, that he wasn't going to be an actual musical rock star or musician.

Almond has made a career as a memoirist/humorist His first LP book was Candyfreak (which also has a long subtitle), which chronicled his exploration of candy bar manufactures around the country. He's got another one called (Not that You Asked) Rants, Exploits and Obsessions, presumably about just that. I have read none of these.

I have also avoided reading anything by one Chuck Klosterman, a guy with similar credentials. This is, of course, because I am jealous. I too have been a pop culture fan and journalist, with no other particular talents or qualifications. I also have no claim to expertise, other than that I am amused by the sound of my written voice, believe that I am the last word on everything, and that my deeply subjective takes on cultural artifacts are fascinating. But I haven't figured out how to rocket to rock star rock journalist status. I really don't even get paid anymore.

Of course this is my fault, for not really trying. I haven't written a book. End of story. But does it really end there? Is it possible that neurotic culture nerd memoir-ism a boys club? Guys have such a script of awkwardness to fall back on - the "can't get a date" perpetual adolescent who drowns himself in geeky obsessions like heavy metal and comic books. Will you believe in femi-nerdiness too? And will I have to look and sound like Sarah Vowell (or Klosterman), forgo such things as sunlight, exercise, and good nutrition to convince you? OK, that's potshots and speculation, and I haven't earned it, but look at these people:




Almond himself looks healthy enough (he should stop fronting about being a geek):


Maybe I have what it takes. I spent hours as a teenager (and a little beyond) practicing guitar - learning songs by Pink Floyd and Metallica, going over scales and modes, desperately hoping the latter would start to stick and some alchemy would transform memorization and mechanics into originality or talent.

It didnt.


Will you believe in my unfashionability? I had an epic collection of black t-shirts advertising my favorite bands: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Type O Negative. I wore men's suit pants and military boots and jackets. But I swear, I was an outcast even among the metalheads. Probably on account of being problematically female.

Other geeky things: I went rollerblading. Read all the Dune books. Was accused of devil worship, lesbianism.

In spite of endless ridicule for my outlandish taste in music and everything else by my uninhibited peers, I came through it all with a certainty that my taste was superior. Some teachers may have given me the impression that my writing was good. I got it into my head to be a music journalist, recreationally at first. A small taste of freebies and exciting celebrity encounters (Ronnie James Dio!) at the college paper only whetted my appetite. Pretty soon I was a published student intern at the Hartford Advocate. Months later I turned pro. Would you believe the current economy for music/nonsense journalism is terrible though? Boo.

I have some interesting stories about all this. Maybe I will write that book. Or JS and I have discussed pitching our hot blog as the next great HBO dramedy series (remember Six Feet Under?) about the gritty realities of underemployed sadulthood in CT. Stay tuned.

And go see Steve Almond.


Just did a Double Take

This afternoon I stopped by Double Take consignment shop of Canton, which is housed in this adorable pink house, or Pink House. I've driven passed it a zillion times, it looks so cute I kept meaning to stop...

On the inside, Double Take is very much what you'd expect and want in a second-hand store - all the usable space is full of clothing, which has been thoughtfully organized, including a petites section (for Team Scenic!), and clearance racks, for just in case really cheap isn't cheap enough for you. The room with the petites also serves a communal fitting room, which I think is just charming. Communal fitting rooms foster such a feeling of fun and camaraderie with your fellow shoppers, while discouraging vanity and self-consciousness. I remember fondly trying on clothing with the nicest ladies once at the Japanalia warehouse sale... Everybody was so encouraging! "You need that - it looks great on you!"

At Double Take, I was very tempted by this exquisite pink coat. But since it was not quite in the dirt cheap range (it was $40) and I have loads of awesome coats, I had to pass.


I also passed on this extraordinary item, which would have been quite reasonable at $15, but I have loads of clown suits at home too, so...


However I would have been remiss going home empty handed. I bought this fine dress for $3. Three dollars!

Oh, fine, I guess you really need to see it on to appreciate it...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Prehistoric Masters

Thursday, April 22: Mastodon @ The Webster, Hartford


Mastodon have been one of coolest metal bands around since their inception, and are extra noteworthy for having actually had commercial success whilst playing uncompromisingly "extreme" antler metal. A few years ago, they were launched to MTV level fame with a major label (Warner Bros.!) release, Blood Mountain, that featured appearances by undisputed hipster icons Josh Homme and Cedric from the Mars Volta. They've had a Grammy nomination (lost to Slayer, who won because they are old as shit, not because they are any good...) and toured with Tool, a band that commands unqualified worship from a lot of people. These are all great achievements. Last year they put out another great album, Crack the Skye. Check out this video. Must be neat having a budget, eh?



Also appearing Thursday night are Baroness, a newer, also hipster approved metal band who do a similar trick of combining traditional metal conventions with stoner rock and indie sensibilities. They are pretty great:



Personal asides: Last time we saw Mastodon at the Webster they were still a relatively underground phenom. One of the fellows, maybe the weird, hot sailor looking one, joined us for a [cookie] and wiped a booger on our old friend J's shirt. Thanks guy! We'll never forget it. Katie Scenic was on a trans-Atlantic flight (coach class) with these guys one time, when they first got big and were heading out to tour with Tool in Europe. They were really nice and excited about their new iPods from the label.

Feel Bad Film: Under Our Skin

Tuesday, April 20, 7 p.m.: Under Our Skin @ Founders Hall, Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Winsted


Under Our Skin is a fascinating and rather alarming documentary about the controversies surrounding the treatment of Lyme disease, particularly for those patients who have chronic symptoms. The mainstream medical establishment, including the IDSA, has basically deemed a subset of patients untreatable and/or undiagnosable, resulting in patients being denied benefits or losing them all together, and worse, doctors being essentially witch-hunted for even attempting unconventional treatments, and in some cases losing their licenses, practices and fortunes in the process. The film gets personal by focusing on several dramatic patient cases, but also includes plenty of interesting testimony from scientists and the voices from the mainstream opposition.

You can check out a screening out in Winsted at Northwestern Connecticut Community College. This here is Lyme country (and tick season), so it's very relevant to CT residents, and will resonate with anyone who has dealt with the logistical nightmare of chronic medical problems. NCCC's website for news is truly terrible; you can download a pdf press release about this event if want to. Check out the film's official site.

What's Hot at the Lot: Snacks, Shorts


With my busy schedule, it's important to have plenty of snacks, in order to stay safe, alert and awake through a neverending list of hideous obligations that don't include "making the scene." And with my empty wallet, Ocean State Job Lot is where I turn. Today I am excited about this 32 oz. jug of maple syrup for $12.50. Maple syrup at the conventional grocer can be up to $8 for 12 oz. You do the math! Polar seltzers and sodas are always in stock at the Lot, and at $1.50 per six pack, I can forgive them for not being so gently effervescent as Perrier (which is also often in stock, but not at any dramatic savings). And Cadbury Finger cookies are a delicious, chocolate covered way to express my elitist Anglophilic posturing on the cheap.

This past year I started running. I never though I'd run, I chalked it up as an activity for masochistic assholes. But then I realized that describes me exactly, and away I ran - literally! HA. Because I'm extra sick, I've been a most enthusiastic winter runner in my thermals, knits and boot spikes... Now it's getting unpleasantly warm and clear and sunny, I need other things to wear. The Lot always has Russell Athletic gear in stock. I'm psyched about these $5 shorts and tops, which are comfy and sporty.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Scene: A few words about the weekend

Let's start with Thursday. Team Scenic got together at Real Art Ways for the monthly Creative Cocktail Hour, which was as poppin as ever, so everyone was well recovered from last weekend's Oddballin' and whatnot. Jackie Scenic was pulled into some swing dancing, while I went around attempting to take the least flattering pictures of everyone (check the FB...). New art was on view by Shawn Huckins. Our readers know that we here at CT Scenic have a bit of an obsession with "phallic artistry," which we have spotted in past RAW exhibits and around town. But as you can see, Huckins' pieces do not resemble genitalia of any kind. This means that they are either the purest art ever, or not art at all! Somebody tell us!


Friday night I accidentally saw a hot, hot band at Sully's, Wisebird. I was just there chatting up a long-lost-and-found friend from the opening cover band, John from Stealing Jupiter (or John from Society's Children, as he will forever be known in my heart). Wisebird are a nationally touring act from Texas. They don't just sound like a legit band, they look the rock star part, with their abundance of hair and funky vintage/hipster/hippy threads. They have a classic/southern rock sound, kind of like the Allman Brothers, with plenty of slide (and regular) guitar solos, prominent keys and vocal harmonies. The main vocalist is also the drummer, which is pretty special. He is adorable, and undoubtedly up to his eyeballs in pussy wherever they go.


They played to a rather small crowd, but the folks who were there were very enthusiastic, including a bunch of peeps who were moved to "boogie" on the dance floor in a gross display of overt "bootie" shaking by the ladies and slovenly dress with sloppy moves by the fellas. Ugh, not to mention the many public displays of affection.


By Saturday, I was all going outed out, especially after compulsively exercising in the cold drizzle all day. But in spite of my reservations about notoriously embryo-faced star Matt Smith, I was able to bring myself to watch the new, new Dr. Who on BBC America, Saturday night, which was satisfactorily charming. Smith's performance aped my boyfriend David Tennant's manic style quite a bit, a bittersweet and ultimately appealing way to play it, and his new companion is cute as heck. I'm not sold on his tweed and bowtie (and youthful vigor, yuck) after all that great pinstripe, etc. but I'm gonna stick with it., cause why not. I have no other programs right now! For a more thorough discussion with enthusiastic commenter participation, you should follow the AV Club TV Club for Dr. Who.

Kumquats: where you been all my life?


I like to think of myself as having exotic taste in food. I frequent a number of "ethnic" establishments. But I can be a real creature of culinary habit. I find the thing I like and get it - or make it (I'm looking at you, quesadillas) - again and again and again. And on other matters, I've been a slow starter. Like sushi. Took til my early 20s. Now I can't get enough, and I'm a wiz with the chopsticks. Eat my cereal with 'em, I do.

Only just this past week did I get to know the joy of kumquats (much to my chagrin), thanks to my oft-mentioned pal Cynthia - who just loves orange shit. She gave me the first hit for free, and I was hooked. For the uninitiated (I can't be the only one?), kumquats look like oval-shaped bite-sized oranges, taste like a cross between a lemon and an orange, and you eat them whole, skin and all. I was quickly off to the dealer to try and get some of my own. Hit up three grocery spots one day, couple more then next. No damn kumquats. The cravings grew. I could feel my skin crawl and my thumbs go weird... Rejoice: today I was able to get some at Trader Joe's (Westfarms). If you hurry, you can too.

Remembering Peter Steele

Peter Steele 1962-2010

This week Peter Steele, best known as the voice and frontman of Type O Negative died, reportedly of heart failure. When I was in high school, I was quite the obsessed Type O fan, and I have great memories of seeing them at many of my first live concert experiences. They used to tour pretty relentlessly around here, so 16 year-old me would drive to New London or Northampton or wherever to see them - even on a school night! I was heavily into the music, and Steele's self-deprecating banter and doomy stage voice won me over again and again. I even attempted, ever so briefly, to play guitar in a Type O Negative cover band - like I'm sure the late 90s world was missing one of those. I actually was not quite musically up to playing with a band at all, but hey, that was a fun experiment...

Many years later I met all the guys from Type O, and the other three are quite the conventional, genial dudes who have pretty normal lives and families. I only met Mr. Steele briefly, and he was really quite the Stranger. While Type O definitely did a lot of things tongue-in-cheek, this man was not faking his eccentricity at the core. But in the midst of a rowdy, late era release party he was very polite and gracious and seemed willing to indulge whatever fan compulsions (by then I really didn't have any, beyond a howdy and handshake).

My condolences go out the Type O family who are personally affected by this, including my friend D.

Here is a piece of "fan art" I made in high school. I put a Type O spin on a completely unrelated collage assignment.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brazen Betties

Sunday, April 18: The Brazen Betties 1st Birthday Street Fair & Art Opening, Torrington


We hate to admit that we've never actually been to the Brazen Betties shop in Torrington, but that's about to change, because it sounds unspeakably cool, and what better time to go than Sunday's 1st Birthday Street Fair & Art Opening?

Brazen Betties is a boutique featuring fashion, accessories and crafts by Connecticut designers and artists, and appears to cater to babes with a sexy, vintage flair. They are shutting down the block for their birthday bash, which will include fashion shows, live surf rock by The Clams, go-go dancers All Systems Go, pin-up art for sale, local vendors, including our friend Rockabilly Rita, "and more." Festivities go on from 1-5 p.m. on Main Street in Torrington.

Shark Weekend

Saturday, April 17: Shark, Saint Bernadette @ Artspace, New Haven


This weekend just may call for a scenic field trip to New Haven. We'd love to see our new friends Sidewalk Dave, and this show at Artspace New Haven sounds great too. Shark describe themselves as "ethereal progressive rock" and we're not going to do much better, though we might throw in some words like "psychedelic" or "slow-burning," whatever the hell that means. We're always excited about getting excited about a new band, especially one that we might actually get to see in CT.

We're also very excited about the Lady Gaga dress-up contest promised at this event, which will also feature music by Saint Bernadette, a DJ and a performance by artist Kim Mikenis. Here's our favorite Lady Gaga tribute for inspiration on how to go Gaga on a budget. Work it move that bitch crazy:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

RAW ready to go again, already

Thursday, April 15: Creative Cocktail Hour @ Real Art Ways, Hartford


Did JS exhaust our supply of Viagra/dick jokes in her excellent write-ups of Friday night's Wilco show and Saturday's Odd Ball? Actually, we just can't get enough, and we've always maintained that every dead horse needs a good beating. So if RAW is ready to go again, so to speak, then we are too. We were afraid they might need a little rest after blowing their wad on the Best Party Ever (i.e. the Odd Ball) over the weekend, but they've got it up already for another Creative Cocktail Hour this Thursday. The event will feature a swing band and include an opening reception for Can't Miss Lime, a solo exhibition by Shawn Huckins, which riffs on materialism, mass production and those paint color cards you get at the Depot (or wherevs). We'll be there, and we'll be sure to call a doctor if it goes on for more than the regularly scheduled four hours.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sidewalks of New Haven

Saturday, April 17: Sidewalk Dave @ Yale House, New Haven
Wednesday, April 21: Sidewalk Dave @ BAR, New Haven

We sure are glad the enterprising lads of New Haven's Sidewalk Dave brought themselves to our attention so that we can bring them to yours. Sidewalk Dave is the frontman and the name of the performing trio. They play original folk-rock and sound just morose enough to appeal to us. Mr. Dave also animated this charming lo-tech video for a song about the zombifying power of TV:

If that got you going, check out this cover of Brian Jonestown Massacre's "Ballad of Jim Jones":


Hope you enjoy (we did). Check out any of their upcoming CT gigs.

New Hartford gets Scenic

Yesterday we drove out to the sticks for what we can only assume is a typical day in the life of New Hartford. We began with a lovely hike around Lake Mcdonough:

We ended up at the Saville Dam. There is a strict 'no face-sitting' rule at the dam:


Even out in the country, the socioeconomic class divisions are obvious:



On our way back into town, we stopped to talk to this local goat:


You can really work up an appetite after a long hike! It was time for a gourmet country meal:

Recipe:
1 banana, sliced
1 jar Peter Pan peanut butter
1 box Ritz crackers
Combine and enjoy. Serve with a Reisling.

Then is it was time for a good ol' fashion book-burnin'!


We spared this classic:

As the sun went down, the neighbors came out and a hootenanny ensued. 3 different kinds of potato salad were served. The party ended on the early side, as one of the locals had to wake up early this morning for a cow slaughter. In Northwest CT, they work hard and play hard.

Sorry I Can-not Hear You, I'm Kinda Busy


In a recent press conference, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called distracted driving an American "epidemic". He also announced the new campaign to cut down on cell phone use by CT drivers, cleverly titled "Phone in one hand. Ticket in the other." (So, how will I hold on to my Big Mac?) CT is one of 21 states with laws against using distracting devices while behind the wheel. This increased police enforcement follows other successful safe-driving campaigns such as the "Buckle Up" and "Click-It or Ticket" seatbelt enforcement campaigns and the ".08" campaign to reduce drunk driving. "Without good enforcement, these laws do no good," LaHood said. The compliance to earlier regulations only came after the increase in police action. The new distracted driving crackdown will be focused in the Hartford area, but be on your best behavior, CT, or the fuzz might make an example out of you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nice Local Band

Thursday, April 15: The Mercury Seed @ Daniel Street, Milford


The Scenics have never been ones to be taken in by the ordinary. Between the two us we've enjoyed a variety of fringe-y niche music. The subgenre names alone are enough to turn many an ordinary citizen off: Melodic death metal, crust punk, shock rock, goth-a-billy, etc. So when we are presented with pleasant, inoffensive music in popular styles of "rock n roll" we are often at a loss for words to describe said music, and end up sounding condescending by choosing terms like "pleasant," "inoffensive" or "agreeable," because they are, it's true, and really, we mean it in the nicest possible way (OK, Figgs?).


The Mercury Seed are a nice, normal, blues-based alternative-y rock band with members out of NYC & CT. They've been sending professional music journo KS their music for years, and she's always listened to these CDs and in fact enjoyed them thoroughly (i.e. more than once), and hoped for the day they might play a gig local enough for her to support, in spite of their lack of obscene costumed stage shows, blast beats or mohawks. Actually, it appears the Mercury Seed find themselves in the same quandary with regards to self-description:
We're a band you might like. We specialize in classic-sounding rock and roll music. You know, lots of guitars banging away with singing over top. It's pretty good stuff. We've got music for listening and also for sale if you like it. We also play our music in public - and it usually sounds pretty darn close to the CD or MP3 you may have heard already. Let us know if you like any of it.
The Mercury Seed have a brand new record, Remains, and are having a release party for the occasion this Thursday at Daniel Street in Milford. Suzanne Vick and Livintrust will also appear. A release party/show is a great idea. We would also like to suggest making a music video starring CT Scenic with director Spooky Daly...

Here's a vid of the band performing live: