Saturday, January 29, 2011

Record Stores: The Movie

We're always marveling about how every time we leave the house we meet some fascinating CT celebrity or other. Last night Fitzscenic and I checked out live band karaoke with Dean Falcone and friends at reopened and beautifully renovated Cafe Nine, which was every bit as awesome as you'd expect. I was so intrigued by (hot for) a duo of enthusiastic repeat performers, I had to go talk to them. As it turned out, these young men weren't just budding alcoholic BFFs with rock n' roll fantasies, they're rising scene stars - the guy that built the lovely new bar at Cafe Nine ("It's going to look even better in ten years" said he; "So are you," said she), and the guy who was dressed like he raided my closet who created a low budget documentary, I Need that Record: The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store, Brendan Toller.

Toller hit up some (now defunct) CT businesses for his film, including independent record store Trash American Style and Record Express (the West Hartford store was once the destination for my allowance/babysitting money, and where I bought my first menacing looking t-shirt). He also talked to famous people like Thurstan Moore, Ian MacKaye and Noam Chomsky.

The Scenics love record stores and lament their endangered status. We love physical music product, and supporting independent businesses, and listening to music far too morally questionable to be found at Walmart. If you're looking for physical records in CT today, you can still find them at Redscroll and The Telegraph. My favorite record store was Phoenix Records, which doesn't quite exist anymore, but "Phoenix Carl" still has some vinyl and CDs at his audio equipment shop, Puretone Audio, in Litchfield, and there's a Phoenix eBay store. Brass City Records has apparently taken the "diversify" approach as well; check out Brass City Records and Old Tools. We know a lot of old tools in CT, but had no idea we could turn a profit on them!

IDEA! You know what would be a neat event? A screening of Toller's film combined with a market by surviving local music vendors. And drinking. Real Art Ways?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Interview With Georgina of Black Diamond Body Piercing

While some Scenics are known for performing masochistic deeds such as bikram yoga, this Scenic has a penchant for needles and body modification. We're actually thinking about taking our circus sideshow act on the road. Perhaps we will even debut as an attraction at this year's Odd Ball! Witness the wonder of Katie's and DH's sweat! Marvel as Laura Fitzscenic cleans her earlobes! Jackie Scenic's pointing will astound you!

When it comes to the piercing aspect of body modification, the go-to girl in the Hartford area would, of course, be Georgina Williamson. Georgina has been adorning faces and body parts in West Hartford since 1997, and has developed a solid reputation as being a skilled and knowledgable professional. In late 2008, Georgina opened Black Diamond Body Piercing on Park Road in West Hartford, and has been the Hartford Advocate Readers Poll favorite her first two years in business.

Black Diamond stands out for many reasons. It is an upscale piercing studio, rather than a tattoo shop with a piercer. Piercing is the focus here, and the idea was to create a clean, relaxing, almost spa-like environment. Black Diamond is also a jewelry boutique, that offers a large selection of piercing jewelry and traditional style earrings.

The shop is also an art gallery and showcase for local talents. Hey, theres friend of the blog and local art star HL Groen's work!

In addition to selling high quality (and totally gorgeous) body jewelry, Black Diamond carries pieces by local jewelry designers. Wait, isn't that SuperLula's fun and awesome plastic candy and glitter jewelry!?!

Georgina recently took some time to answer our hard hitting questions and talk a little about the piercing industry.

How did you get started?

I honestly can’t remember a time in my life that piercings and tattoos weren’t of interest to me. I grew up in Long Island, very close to Manhattan and spent a lot of time in the Village, so I was exposed to a lot of different lifestyles and culture at a pretty young age. I can remember wearing fake ear cuffs and nose rings and drawing on myself with sharpies as young as age 8 (which didn’t go over very well with the Catholic school I attended!).

I came to Hartford for college in 1995 as a psych major, and quickly realized a “traditional” job wasn’t really what I wanted for myself, but I stayed to please my parents. I got my first professional piercing shortly after getting to school and I was instantly hooked. I soon got another, and another, and so on... all but the first piercing I got done at the same shop and the piercer there and I became fast friends. I ended up hanging out there a lot and constantly asked to watch him work. Once he saw how interested I was in it and that watching didn’t gross me out or phase me at all, in fact it excited me, he offered me an apprenticeship. It was basically like going to school full time (40hrs a week) and I was still going to college full time, but I loved every second of it and soon realized this is what I was looking for. Piercing is definitely what I was meant to do with my life.

What do you like best about your job?

There are so many things I love about what I do. First of all, I love that I just get to be myself all day, not some “work version” of me like so many people that I know, but I also really enjoy the look on someone’s face when they see their new piercing for the first time. There’s nothing like that feeling of making someone else so incredibly happy!

What about your job is most challenging?

Being a piercer definitely comes with challenges. I think the biggest challenge for me is to be patient with people when they do the exact opposite of what I recommend, and then ask me how to fix what they messed up. That gets a little frustrating sometimes, but I just remind myself that they don’t live in this world of piercings day in and day out, and they don’t intentionally ignore me. There’s a lot of conflicting and outdated information on the internet, not to mention “friends” who have one piercing and think that makes them an expert, and it’s my job to help them navigate through all of it.

I feel like I've seen piercing trends come and go like anything else, and I'm sure you must notice things like that. Like, in the mid nineties, all these girls started getting their navels pierced. Then, a few years later, tongue piercings became super hot. Is there any particular piercing that is popular right now?

I agree there are definitely trends... but some never seem to go. Not a single day passes at work without navel, nostril, and cartilage piercings. They are definitely here to stay. Right now the biggest trend is definitely microdermal anchors. They’re so versatile.... you can put them just about anywhere on the body and the beads options are endless. I think they’re here to stay as well.

(Georgie bedazzled my chest tattoo with a sweet microdermal)

Do you have any interest in getting into doing more extreme mods, like implants, or shaping or splitting body parts?

I have a lot of respect for the people who do those kinds of mods.... but they’re not something I’m looking to do. I have a few piercer friends who do them in the tri state area and I just refer people to them.

What if there was a way to implant a horn on a person's head to make them like a unicorn?!?

That would be awesome! I think that you should get one. I’ll give you a card ;)

At my diminutive height, I think having a horn on my forehead would be kind of dangerous at crowded parties. Perhaps one of the other Scenics would be interested in this. I see you are a member of the Association of Professional Piercers. What’s that all about?

The piercing (and tattoo) industry is, for the most part, unregulated. In CT, there are very basic requirements, like a minimum age, but when it comes to sterility, jewelry quality, and training, there is absolutely nothing. They basically think it’s the responsibility of the person who wants a piercing to do the research and make sure that the place they choose is clean. Unfortunately, many people don’t know that, so they assume if the shop exists, it must be clean and you must know what you’re doing. Sadly, this is not the case.

The APP (Association of Professional Piercer’s) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to keeping piercings professional and safe. They help make legislation (in the states that are interested) to keep standards of practice high and keep legislators educated about piercing safety. To be a member of the APP, your shop must meet a VERY long list of “environmental criteria” such as hand washing sinks in every piercing room, a proper “clean” room where cleaning of dirty instruments and autoclaving (steam sterilizing) of instruments, jewelry and needles occurs separately from all other parts of the shop, as well as the overall professionalism of a shop. You also have to meet “personal criteria” such as answering a questionnaire to prove your overall piercing knowledge, and being certified in first aid, CPR and blood-borne pathogens (just like any medical professional). They also have minimum requirements for jewelry quality. This is something that is largely overlooked.... even if the piercing is done correctly, but the
quality of the metal is poor, you will have a lot of problems, possibly rejection of the piercing and may even end up removing it completely because it “just won’t heal”.

So, in a nutshell, going to an APP member piercing shop can give you piece if mind that you have chosen a place with the highest of standards in every way. You can verify memberships and learn more about them at

What do you look for when selecting jewelry to sell at the shop?

Well, as far as body jewelry goes, I only sell the best of the best. Any surgical steel (316LVM ASTM F-138) or titanium (6AL4V ELI ASTM F-136) I use/sell is implant grade and is totally hypoallergenic (and no, this is not the same stuff you can buy at the mall). All the gold, white gold and platinum I sell is solid, not filled or plated. As for looks, all of it is hand made with hand set high quality synthetic AND/OR genuine gemstones. The only silver jewelry I sell is for ear lobes (it’s not an appropriate metal for body piercings or any healing piercing) and is solid .925 sterling silver. When it comes to non-metal jewelry, for instance stone, wood, bone and horn, it’s all hand–made and most importantly, beautiful and unique.

As you know I also sell other kinds of jewelry (necklaces, bracelets etc....) as well as art from local artists. My only real “requirement” for that is that I like it, it’s made locally, and would appeal to my clientele.

When you're not poking holes in the fine people of the Hartford area, what do you like to do in the Hartford area?

I’m kind of all over the place. I do enjoy a night out with my friends here and there.... usually at the Spigot or wherever my husband’s band, the Soul Merchants is playing. I also love to go antiquing, thrift store shopping, art shows..... game night at friends houses is a favorite in the winter time. In general, as long as I’m with the people that I love, I’m happy.

The Soul Merchants- we've totally blogged about them! Anything else?

Going out on my own in 2008 was a little scary at first. I now know it was the best decision I’ve made since I chose this profession. The response has been incredible, so there was definitely a need for an all piercing shop in the area, even more so than I realized. I just want to take a moment thank everyone who supported me and continues to support the shop every day with their continued patronage and referrals. I hope to serve as a friendly place for professional piercings, amazing jewelry, as well as a gallery for local artists to get their work out there for many years to come!

Thank you, Georgina. We love your shop and wish you the best! Good luck in that Hartford Advocate Poll we keep mentioning around here.

Photos of Georgina's work can be seen at as well as on facebook.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh no, that didn't seem at all desperate

Some friends-of-the-blog have been involved in the making of a forthcoming, locally produced sci-fi film, Sensory Perception. Corbin Bersen is on board, they are eager to point out - and you can be too! Sensory Perception will take your Facebook *likes* but what they really need is your money. There could be a producer credit in this for you. Check it out.

We are LOL'ing over this teaser: "The inhabitants of Brass City wake up, sad and devastated, each and every morning. No one is sure why, and people don't talk about it..."

We just totally met this guy, and here he's playing a show!

Wednesday, January 26: Jarrod Gorbel (The Honorary Title), M.T. Bearington (Matt Thomas solo), John Parson @ BAR, New Haven

(She isn't drunk, she's a mime)

The other night at the Bobbie Peru/Kimono Draggin' gig we saw this hipster looking guy (beard, tattoos, Magic Hat No. 9), so obviously we had to chat him up, which went kind of like this:

CT Scenic: Is that your girlfriend?
Guy: No, I just met her.
CT Scenic: Is she on drugs? I'll have what she's having.
Guy: No, she went to mime school.
CT Scenic: No shit? Haha, like that Bobcat Goldthwait clown movie. Robin Williams is teaching mime school. It's a classic. Anyway, she should probably ask for a refund. I am not buying her glass box routine.
Guy: I gotta check that out.
CT Scenic: This band (Kimono Draggin') is awesome.
Guy: Yeah, I played in bands with these guys. 
CT Scenic: What bands?
Guy: One of them was called Leaves of Lothlorian.
CT Scenic: That is so hot. Are you in a band now?
Guy: My band is called M.T. Bearington.
CT Scenic: We totally know you!

He'll be performing this Wednesday at BAR, part of the new series of free weekly Manic Productions gigs.

We suspect they are using the term "Hygienic" ironically

Friday, January 28: Hygienic Hootenanny @ Muddy Waters, New London

We don't often make it to CT's southeast corner. Alas the journey all the way down Route 2 is too long and bleak, and we don't even have a handle on the falafel situation down there. But if we lived closer to the area, or got the damn wormholes fixed already, we imagine we'd be getting a lot of our elite cultural needs tended to by Hygienic Art.

This weekend parallel dimension Team Scenic would be kicking things off Friday night with the Hootenanny, which has a "False Hearted Lovers" theme and a gentle warning to "leave the young ones at home," which we are behind 100%. Sounds like if we lived in New London, we'd be taking our extended cups of coffee at the venue, Muddy Waters Cafe.

Saturday night we'd be taking in the massive open invitational art show. Katie Scenic went to one of these things many years ago and was impressed by someone's 3-D neon light phallus art, and by a band that performed with a robot (dude in cardboard box costume) keyboard player. New London has been hip for ages!

PSA: Cheap Eats via

Our friend Hartford Foodie recently tipped us off to, and their sale of local gift cards for less than face value. The site is searchable by zip code, and I found plenty of places I had totally heard of and not heard of. I happened to click the link when they were offering an 80% off coupon code, and grabbed up $150 worth of gift cards for $15.50! Sometime in the future, we will be dining on the cheap at spots such as New Haven's Istanbul Cafe, the douchestrict's own Tavern Downtown, and the dining area of our favorite karaoke shitshow, Butterfly. is currently offering another 80% off deal that is good through January 31st. When you enter the word MEAL at checkout, you can get $25 gift cards for $2 (in Connecticut and everywhere else, too). Sweet! As Rachel pointed out, many of these gift cards have a minimum purchase of about $5 or $10 dollars over their value, but since they are practically free- BFD.

Bon Appetit, from your Best Blogger candidates (how are those votes coming along?)

Bronze Radio Return Returns

Friday, January 28: Bronze Radio Return @ Up or On the Rocks, Hartford

We've mentioned Bronze Radio Return before, and how, of all the CT bands - including our Favorite Bands - these guys probably have the most commercial potential. This doesn't mean we like them best (duh - we prefer stuff that clears rooms), but it might mean that you - and any swoon-prone ladies in your life - will. Groupie their asses before they become rock stars (yeah, like they don't all have girlfriends), and let's all support Up or On the Rock's brave booking of original local talent against Hartford's explicit preference for terrible cover bands.

The band is also celebrating the release of their second album, Shake! Shake! Shake! Somebody get those boys some phenobarbital!

Don't like our predictable jokes and irreverent tone? Here's what the Courant had to say about Bronze Radio Return, with more actual details about Friday's show.

The Boys are Back in Town (Again)

Wednesday, January 26: Sidewalk Dave @ The Half Door, Hartford

CT Scenic's Favorite CT Band/Fake Fiance(s) Sidewalk Dave return to the Half Door, the home of $2 Irish pint Wednesdays (and our favorite indie rock DJ/trivia guy the rest of the week). We've said a lot about this band and how obscenely great they are in the past. Revisit those posts, or just gaze upon topless Dave and mentally commit to attending this week. 

In straight SD news, we know the band has been recording just lately and look forward to picking up their latest as soon as it exists in old-fashioned hard copy. We've also been enjoying their mix CD for 2010. If you've been living under a rock, musically speaking, like us, Sidewalk Dave's 10 Best Songs of 2010 is a great catch-up kit.

See you there? Stay thirsty.

Mark Twain: Dirty Old Man

Thursday, January 27: R-Rated Twain @ City Steam Brewery, Hartford

In addition to his pioneering work as a YA novelist and gangsta rapper, famous Hartford resident Mark Twain also dabbled in literary pornography - the filthy written word! The Mark Twain House presents an evening of theater based on Twain's adult-oriented works and promises it's going to be salty good fun. The Sea Tea Improv group (Get it? Sea Tea = CT), whose credentials include the Hartford Stage Company and the Upright Citizens Brigade, will perform. The event will also include the world premier of a short comedy by West Hartford playwright David Ryan Polgar, Mark Twain: Ladies Man, which imagines Twain as a cock-blocking wingman. Sounds jersylicious!

This event is 21+, so we're banking on plenty of nudity and cursing (or maybe just free-flowing beer). Reservations are to be made through the Mark Twain House, not City Steam.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Derby Boys on Derby Girls (not a sex thing)

Friday, January 28: CT Death Quads present "Brutal Beauty" @ Criterion Cinemas, New Haven

Hey, didn't we just say we'd try and maintain our enthusiasm and keep you posted about derby related stuff? Well, those same great fellas who hosted the super-fun 80s skate the other night, the CT Death Quads, will be hosting the CT premier of a documentary about derby, Brutal Beauty, at New Haven's Criterion Cinemas. It's about the women of Portland, Oregon's Rose City Rollers. The derby dudes will be doing Q&A, meet-and-greet and merch at Friday night's evening shows, which are at 7:20 and 9:30 p.m. We've mentioned Criterion's almost-midnight movies in a previous post; this Friday you can catch creepy puppetry classic The Dark Crystal (a childhood favorite of certain Scenics) at 11:30 p.m. How about a double feature?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scenic Envy Part 694837: In which we eat delicious noodles, drink hot chocolate and get a new favorite band

Saturday night was a momentous occasion - the reunion of estranged-ish blog partners Jackie and Katie Scenic, who journeyed to New Haven for datenight - dinner and a show! Right away our plans went awry. We intended to eat dinner at Miya's Sushi (we have a crush on one of the servers), but we were thwarted by a ridiculously packed house and hour long estimated wait time. Screw that. Scenics have no such patience. Every where you turn in New Haven there's some tempting "ethnic" food establishment, but we opted for a sure thing - a revisit to the York Street Noodle House where we shared a vegetarian dim sum sampler and ordered identical bowls of coconut curry soup. Or almost identical. Different noodle choices. Choices! What bliss. We've already told you how great this Noodle House is in a previous post.

After gorging ourselves at the Noodle House it was a little early for hitting the bars, and Jackie is off the sauce for the moment, so we took a little walk ("to burn off a calorie") down the street and stopped for hot chocolate at the Blue State Coffee, where Jackie enjoyed a straight edge hardcore hot chocolate. 

We also "enjoyed" a little anxiety about being surrounded by Yalies (we assume everyone in New Haven goes to Yale), but comforted ourselves with the knowledge that before they were Ivy Leaguers they were just asskissing high school students. Insufferable!

Once the clock had struck an appropriate hour we headed to Stella Blues, where friends-of-the-blog Bobbie Peru and Kimono Draggin' were playing. We'd never been to this joint before. It's pretty vanilla for New Haven (bear in mind, our New Haven experiences are usually limited to Cafe Nine and Rudy's/Elm Bar gigs - we don't exactly visit their Black Bear). We had a laugh at their cheesy wall posters. Who's idea of rock n roll decor is this - Lindsay Weir?

LOL. The patrons were pretty straight too. This may have been a not-quite-right venue choice for such freaky bands (who each cleared the room a little more - what's up with women and hating bands, eh?). We've seen Bobbie Peru before and enjoyed mainman Bert's always excellent fasion choices and the band's aggressive alternative noise all over again. The band was celebrating the release of their new split 7-inch with their music BFFs Kimono Draggin' - isn't that quaint? 

Kimono Draggin' have been around for years, but somehow we've missed them! Our loss, because they are basically our newest Favorite Band (which doesn't mean they've displaced anyone else in our hearts - they've entered the Favorite Band class). It's a bit of a cop-out to say, but this band really must be experienced live to believe, understand, know, love, etc. It just isn't going to translate on your computer screen. This may be why we hadn't seen them yet! But we know better now.

These guys are kind of like Mister Bungle, if Mister Bungle was actually fun (for us) to listen to. By which we mean they are amazing technical musicians playing silly, schizoid music that pretty much makes a raucous mockery of overblown rock and metal as well as overly earnest alternative styles via genre hopping, shredding, goofy lyrics, outrageous falsettos, and unexpected references. They also made adorable small penis jokes about their half (3 1/2") of the 7-inch. You know this means their actual cocks are HUGE.
After the set we told them how wonderful they are (though it's clear from their playing that they fully realize their own wonderfulness) and how we regret that we'll never see them in Hartford, since Hartford pretty much has a raging semi for vanilla (the word of the night) shitrock cover bands and innocuous jammy puke bands like the McLovins (OMG they're soooo young!). If Thomas Kinkade were a band, he'd win the Hartford Advocate's Band Slam for sure. It's like the complacency capitol of the world or something.

Still with us? Check out Kimono Draggin' this Thursday, January 27 at Daniel Street in Milford.

About that Elm Bar

Previous posts have covered the closing of awesome New Haven venue Rudy's (a favorite Scenic destination in the past) and the re-opening of the physical location as Rudy's-esque Elm Bar, as well as the promise of a new actual Rudy's restaurant/bar which is still in the works. This weekend the Elm Bar started hosting live music gigs. I was there to take in the scene with Big Mike and Yale/New Haven legend Phil.

We started our evening down the street at Mamoun's - Scenics cannot get enough falafel - and proceeded to the bar with happy stomachs. The experience was Rudy's-esque from the beginning - the little outside fenced-in area is unchanged, and the cover charge was was only $3. And the door guy was a blast from my past - Adam from Groovski! That band was great! I totally love him! He's playing in a band called Procedure Club now.

Inside was very crowded and kind of a sausage party, as the saying goes. Bearded sausage - as you'd expect for a stoner rock gig. Although there's a bunch of new stuff about the interior - the tables and wall coverings and a spacious third bathroom (for the third sex?), but they've made every effort to keep things the way they used to be. Patrons have been hard at work carving up the new tables. Classy!

They aren't calling them Belgian frites or anything, but the Elm Bar is offering "Fresh Fries" and a variety of dipping sauces, which of course was one of the main attractions at the old Rudy's. We didn't actually see anyone eating these - maybe it made them feel dirty. The beer selection also reflected some Belgian roots, including my favorite girlie treat Lindeman's Framboise Lambic and this Belgian ale, Orval, that I tried (for free - thanks bartender guy!).

I'm not a very good beer critic, but I gave a taste to an expert and he said it was interesting in that it tasted like a white beer in spite of its amber color. Big Mike said it smelled fruity. I like the fancy bottle and thought it was drinkable, and that's all I really ask. Why don't you ask the Beer Advocate?

The arrangement of the bar is essentially unchanged from Rudy's days, so it's as cramped and uncomfortable for watching live music or attempting to hold a conversation as ever. The backroom is empty right now, but I imagine they'll be debuting a pool table any day now. We stayed for sets by Gasoline Therapy and Treebeard. Gasoline Therapy seemed pretty cool, until Treebeard blew them out of the water. Treebeard are a new, legitimately awesome, wicked heavy, Clutch-like stoner rock band. The jam they closed their set with was revelatory, and I will make the effort to see them again.

This outing drove home once again the staggering scene differences between Hartford and New Haven; there is no venue in the Hartford area where an original stoner/metal band can pull a packed house. And I can't think of a single bar around here serving Belgian style fries with a variety of sauces - much less pulling a vaguely sleazy copycat maneuver to keep the fried potatoes rolling the way we remember them.

Roller Skating: Totes fun!

This week I didn't have a job, but instead of feeling bad and worrying about it, I went out and did pretty much all those great things I posted about in advance - to see if they were actually great. For you! The doing stuff odyssey began on Wednesday with "80s Roller Skating" at Long Beach Skateland in Stratford to support the dudes of derby, the CT Death Quads. Roller skating is fun anyway, in a retro, arrested development kind of way. Dressing 80s and doing it in the company of derby guys and gals made it that much cooler. The rink got pretty packed, and the guys put on a delicious bake sale as well. Check out the enthusiastic participation:

(Derby girls, including hoola hoop sensation LB)

(Friend-of-the-blog Jennifer is looking for any excuse to wear out her homemade Thundercats costume - please invite us to your 80s themed event)

(Katie Scenic as "your shitty metalhead boyfriend" - that costume was a real stretch!)

Roller Skating is fun precisely because it is so physically stupid - the invention of inline skates really should have rendered it obsolete, but current trends in nostalgia have deemed roller blading hella lame and elevated roller skating - especially in the context of roller derby - to obscenely cool status. I made do with my crappy rentals, managed not to take any spills, and felt sufficiently worked out after an hour and a half of skating. I'm not tempted try derby myself, but I will definitely participate in any more friendly skates, and I'm interested in checking out Rollerdurance for a fun fitness challenge in the future, though I can't find evidence of any upcoming events right now - it's like derby practice minus actually pounding on each other, though you need to wear pads and helmet to participate.

If we're still excited about roller skates after this week, we'll keep you posted about upcoming derby activities, like the CT Roller Girls 2011 Season Opener Double Header (March 5) or whatever the CT Death Quads get up to next.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

We were at the casino; everybody had matching towels

Nostalgia junkie that I am, I have a great fondness for the B-52s. My sister and I grew up listening to them constantly, and I still enjoy their fun and quirky music as an adult. They are also super fun to see in concert, which is why I made the trip down Route 2 to casino land, specifically, the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. This outing was also a celebration of my sister's 26th birthday- Happy Birthday Caitlin!

Our first stop at the MGM Grand was Shrine, a pan-asian joint with decent service, decent food, and ridiculous prices. Like, unacceptably so. How did an order of the General's chicken and some "creative" yellowtail sashimi come to $35?

Throw in some cocktails that we could have gotten off Tisane's $5 menu, and we were up over $60.

Then it was on to wander the casino. For those of us who work hard for very little money, gambling is not an attractive activity (nor is eating at Shrine). Especially since its not even a very entertaining activity. I don't know how to play any card games, and I've played on the slot machines a few times just for the sake of doing it. Really, all you do is put your money into a machine, and continue to press buttons until its gone. How about a casino that was like an arcade? We love playing Skee Ball and Whack a Mole and Pac Man. Imagine if you could bet your skills at arcade games for cash, instead of tickets to redeem for novelty teeth and silly bandz!

We stopped into the casino bar for some pre-concert beverages. When my sister asked for a "tall" White Russian, the bartender informed her that their drinks were tall like she is. Well, thats sad.

After (quickly!) finishing our round of shrimpy drinks, we were ready to enter the theater. But not before stopping off at the concession stand for some overpriced chardonnay and a stealth picture of this Yankees fan:

Hey, sometimes one baseball tattoo on your skull isn't enough! But, I digress. On to the concert!

From Fred Schneider's opening barks of "Whats that on your head?!" (Kate and Cindy's reply: "A wig!") to their closing crowd favorite, "Rock Lobster", the band was high energy and lots of fun throughout their entire set. Their performance highlighted songs from their 30+ year career, including "Private Idaho", "Cosmic Thing", "Planet Claire", "Mesopotamia" and "Party Out of Bounds". They looked and sounded great, and some of the audience members were also really fun to watch. One guy wore a lobster costume and danced in front of the stage all night. An enthusiastic woman sitting to our right had some really impressive new wave dance moves and joined us in our own dance party, until a guy sitting behind her complained that he couldn't see. She felt awkward and sat down. Really? Don't come to see the self-described "tacky little dance band from Georgia" to sit there and be a dick. After several attempts to get her back up and finally, a promise that I would fight anyone who tried to stop her from dancing and having fun, the good times resumed for our nice neighbor.

Fred, with his trademark overly enunciated delivery and ridiculous posing, was my favorite to watch. Kate Pierson's and Cindy Wilson's voices sounded great, and Kate can still hit those high notes- no problem. The B-52s put on a fantastic show and we would love to party with them again. Please return to casino land soon!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The best in background music - DJ Norman Beats @ The Half Door

Mondays & Thursdays: Are You Looking for the Beats? @ The Half Door, Hartford

Some guy at a bar with an iPod may not sound like hot, blogworthy news, but when that guy is friend-of-the-blog DJ Norman Beats (or Anthony as we like to call him) and his iPod is, dare we admit, full of even cooler music than our iPods, and he knows what we want to hear better than we do, it's worth noting. We pretty much hate club music of all types, and even we get tired of karaoke now and then. But we never get tired of eating, drinking, or hanging out with our BFFs. The Half Door is certainly not a new venue for us, but in recent months has become a much cooler destination, thanks to elite indie rock sets by Mr. Beats (who is also Tuesday Trivia guy, which is great fun as well, at least when we won, that one time).  Oh, and monthly gigs by our sweethearts, Sidewalk Dave (next one is January 26). After last night's Creative Cocktail Hour we needed someplace to keep on boozing and blabbing. At the Half Door we enjoyed luxurious beers (including delicious Young's chocolate stout), greasy apps, a guy with stunning facial hair, and tunes by Franz Ferdinand, Depeche Mode, Ambulance LTD, Queen, Kaiser Chiefs, Joy Division and Lady Gaga, among others, and a final karaoke-style Take That serenade by our DJ pal, who we (easily) coerced into posing for this unflattering photo featuring SuperScenic Vision!

The Half Door: We totally drink there.

Hey, Hooker - we love you long time

Friday, January 21, 5-8 p.m.: Open House @ Hooker Brewery, Bloomfield
Saturday, January 22, 12-5 p.m.: Beer Tasting @ Hooker Brewery, Bloomfield

Our regular readers have heard us sing the praises of Hooker Brewery time and again here. Back in the early days of going out as a blog we checked out one of their regular Friday night open houses (for you), and last summer we force-fed their beer to some low grade rockstars (we also made them carry the cooler). But as recently as this week we've acquired new followers, new Facebook friends, and had real-life conversations with folks who don't know what to do with their free time and money in CT. We even met someone who lives in Bloomfield. Wonder if he is aware of the bounty of culture (as in yeast - HA!)  right there in his backyard.

Tonight and every first and third Friday of the month, Hooker brewery hosts an open house with tasting and guided tours. Um, it smells like a brewery up in there, but if you don't mind that, it's a friendly mingle, the beers are tasty, and for $10 you taste as much as you like and go home with a lovely pint glass. And there's plenty of goofy Hooker shwag you can purchase if your wardrobe is lacking in obnoxious sexual innuendo t-shirts and hats. It's winter, which means Hooker's delicious seasonal brew, the Nor'Easter should be on tap. We haven't attended a Saturday tour, but imagine it's a less crowded, more informative variation on the drinking while you learn formula.

Think global, drink local, people!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Please help us be winners - we are your favorite, no?

After careful consideration, we truly feel deserving of this designation. We've seen other CT blogs, and while most of them do whatever thing it is they set out to do (discuss politics, music, being a guy living in Hartford, etc.), we can't help but notice what many of them don't do - update frequently, make us laugh, adopt a snappy, "snarky" blog-like tone, link, link, link, acknowledge that they are not a newspaper and that people don't actually want to read lengthy descriptions of... anything, etc. Amiright? And what other totally unpaid, volunteer operated blog threw an awesome party and got everyone drunk for a song last year? Or made The Human Centipede a fun, participatory experience? We can't think of any.

Now we know that Colin McEnroe is pretty much going to win this category forever, because he's a popular, long-established, professional (gets paid) radio and newspaper personality with a commercial platform who writes an amusing and intelligent column that his newspaper chooses to call a blog. But we would be very, very happy to win second place in this category. And if we do, we promise to throw another party to celebrate. 

Don't be lazy - actually vote!

Thank you!

-Team Scenic

Tell Two Friends!

Hey! CT Scenic's web presence is growing by the second!

Don't you want to show your friends, family & the ones you love to hate (esp them) you had the good sense to get in on the ground floor of this sure to be internet phenom waiting to happen?

Don't you want even longer sentences?

How about cool free stuff? (Actually forget about that, we keep all the cool free stuff)

Uncool free stuff!

Spread the word!

How? Take a tip from our good friend Heather.

PS: We realize this site doesn't play nice with Firefox, so switch yer browser and sign on for fun and prizes!

Wouldn't be the first time we went to New Haven for a 7-inch

Saturday, Jan. 22: Bobbie Peru, Kimono Draggin' & The Clearer @ Stella Blues, New Haven

Oft blogged-about-before friends-of-the-blog Bobbie Peru and their BFFs Kimono Draggin' are playing a gig in honor of their new split 7-inch release! Bobbie Peru play raucous, aggro alternative rock of some sort. Frontman Bert has a stunning wardrobe, maintains a website and always provides us with fresh visuals and clear, friendly email invites to his gigs, thus making him our favorite person ever. Come to this gig and find out whether he's lost the almost-English accent he acquired during his years overseas. Exotic!