Look, we understand that Funk is probably the family name, but when you're in the dead body business, perhaps you'd consider calling your funeral home and crematorium something a little more tasteful. That's all.
We were thoroughly impressed by EULA's noisy, pop-punky, female-fronted performance at last years SWAN Day CT, and have given them a little bloggie love around here, too. Theres something about their shouty, raw, dissonant sound that makes us nostalgic for all those Kill Rock Stars compilation records! Well, this Friday they will be celebrating the release of their own record, at New Haven's scenic venue of choice, Cafe Nine. MT Bearington will also perform, and as if that wasn't enough awesome for ya, they are also offering vegan treats and something called "mystery punch".
We've never been to see male strippers before and the idea strikes us as more ridiculous than sexy (possibly a little gross?), but that's ok; we like all of those things. These dudes will be appearing at Up or On The Rocks next Friday, also.
Although most of Team Scenic is usually too shy to actually perform at all these karaoke gigs we're always telling you are awesome, we support the notion that we are all starring in the movie of our own life and encourage center stage grabbing and scene stealing at every turn. Laura and Katie have checked out CT's two major live band karaoke gigs and thoroughly enjoyed the show, in spite of totally chickening out of actually trying it.
We've written up Dean Falcone's take on live band karaoke before. We were impressed with the band's musicianship, and how helpful and supportive they were of less confident performers. Their song selection was mostly classic rock. This gig happens monthly or so.
Bandwith Karaoke has a lot of newer rock in their set - the alt radio rock of the 90s and early 00s, which really takes 3/4s of the Scenic's back, whether we like it or not. They also played some hard rock of the 80s (we were impressed by their rendition of "Dr. Feelgood" sung by a particularly talented participant). Bandwith Karaoke have been playing frequently, including weekly gigs at Black Bear in Milford. We understand they'd like a Hartford gig, if anyone powerful is reading this? We think it's cool that they are encouraging costumes at this week's Cromwell gig. Sometimes Scenics just wear costumes to karaoke anyway.
Today I made a quick run into Whole Foods, and noticed an adorably faggy punk boy who stuck out like a sore thumb. Naturally, I stared. He walked over to his friend, who I immediately recognized as gay punk icon Hunx of Gravy Train and Hunx and his Punx!
Gravy Train's shows were some of the funnest I've ever been to, and I can't get enough of the youtube music videos for Hunx's new band- come on, he's adorable! Well, I wasn't going to let this be like the time I saw my idol John Waters and just stood there gawking, so I went over to say hi and make some awkward conversation. I found out that he was was on his way from New York to Boston to play a show, and he and "Hunx Jr", as he introduced his friend, were stopping off for some snacks. Right here in West Hartford, folks!
Ideat Village, some kind of fun event-throwing artistic collective with a cute name, is just one more reason for us to have Scenic Envy for New Haven, and their fundraiser happening midweek at Bespoke sounds fun and delicious. It's a little out of the Scenic budget range, alas, but we expect that some of you may have well-paid jobs and might be willing to shell out for good cause and a good time. Bespoke is a fancy, "sutainable" joint, so we're sure their twist on a menu promising "TV dinners" and homemade ice cream will actually be creative and amazing. And some of the Scenics' favorite New Haven performers, including hilarious burlesque gal Dot Mitzvah and drag queen Robin Banks will be performing, so there is nothing about this that won't be awesome, except maybe your wine spritzer hangover in your cubicle (you work in a cubicle, right?) Thursday morning. A very limited number of tickets are being sold, so if you're interested, get right on this!
Shag Frenzy, the "indie disco night" hosted by a husband-and-wife DJ team, was wildly popular in its day and hopped around to several venues before calling it quits. Much to the delight of well, anyone who ever enjoyed dancing their ass off at this hipster fest, Shag Frenzy will be returning to Hartford on the third Saturday of each month, this time at the Arch Street Tavern.
We've never been regulars at this event, but always appreciated the fun atmosphere and setlists that include punk, new wave, disco, and britpop. Shag Frenzy, Connecticut needs you. Welcome back.
Another great thing to do (when not being "scenic") is watch TV. Fitzscenic and I both share a deep and somewhat shameful affection for the original 90210, but I don't really want to talk about that, because CT Scenic is about our discerning taste and cultural elitism. I haven't being keeping up with pop culture that well lately, so I stumbled upon the premiere episode of The Killing on AMC by accident, and became immediately hooked. The plot is a murder mystery in which the murder of a teenage girl incriminates a surprising array of suspects, including her classmates, teachers, a politician, and maybe some organized crime, too? But that's not really what's so great about it, not for me anyway.
I was drawn in by the characters, particularly the two detectives, portrayed by Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, whose charisma and emotional believability carry the show. You may recall the lead actress from HBO's (terrible) Big Love, where she portrayed twin sister polygamists. I was impressed with her performance there, in spite of that show's ridiculous plots and unlikable leads characters. She conveyed a real seriousness and vulnerability that her roles called for, and she's unconventionally hot (at least dressed down for these roles - truthfully, she's just straight-up gorgeous), which is some how even more appealing than the conventional kind. Her male partner is kind of a hottie as well (which I already thought before I read that the actor is Swedish!), and his character has all the best lines. He dresses like a bum and speaks in curses and slang ("douche"!) and routinely portrays a pothead looking to party in order to gain the trust of teenage suspects.
The sexy does not stop there. The sexiest male cylon (BSG, duh) Callum Keith Rennie plays a supporting role as detective lady's possibly sinister fiance. And True Blood's most funnest villain, maenad (and also BSG alum) Michelle Forbes, who inspired me to get these bangs that look so good on me, plays the grieving mother of the victim. So it's like a big TV reunion of actors I'd totally do. What a treat!
The Killing is on Sunday nights. It's available on demand with your fancy cable, so you can catch up. It's great. Watch it.
Sometimes going out and being scenic feels a little less appealing than enjoying the comforts of home, especially when it costs $50 to fill up your Hyundai (or whatever you roll around in). There are many ways to be entertained at home, and assuming you have some friends, a game night can be a great way to spend an evening in. Here are a few games that we like.
This is a classic dice game, only instead of dice, you roll these cute little piggies. Depending on how they land, you will score different point values until you decide your turn is over, or you "pig out" (see above). Watch out for the dreaded "oinker"- pigs touching in any way means you go back to zero! That sucks!
This is a game that allows you to be really creative, and if you are like us, display your poor taste and crude sense of humor. During each round, someone will pick a card and read the category to the other players, who write down their answers on little pieces of paper. Examples of the categories may be "Things you shouldn't play catch with", or "Things you shouldn't do while driving". When all the answers are passed in, they will be read aloud and each person will try to guess who said what. Hilarious, right?
This game invites you to "Stack 'em High and Stack 'em Wide", and by 'em they mean these wood chips... which by the way are made from real wood, as you may notice from the above picture (Parker Brothers included the seal of Real Wood in 5 out of 6 box panels, to make sure you understand). Not unlike Jenga, this is a game that requires manual dexterity and not fucking up by spilling all the pieces, so obviously the more you drink, the more exciting it becomes.
When Jackie and I first started blogging, a lot of Scenic content hearkened back to our teenage years when we first met and started doing, well, the same exact stuff we do now, pretty much, only at the time it was normal adolescence, not arrested development... One of the more socially acceptable things we used to do was eat ice cream in West Hartford Center. Back in the day, Baskin Robbins was a frequent destination, for cool treats of course, but equally importantly for cool dudes. Our girlfriend group enjoyed a collective crush (before everyone went gay?) on the staff at said establishment, some of West Hartford's hottest long haired/band guys a couple years older (then-world of difference) than ourselves.
(Inside Abby Dabby looks just like an ice cream parlour)
Well, lately Jackie and I have been hitting the ice cream pretty hard, and we're pleased we don't have to go to swank, crowded, expensive-to-park-at West Hartford Center anymore to do it. In fact, we can get indie ice cream at totally unfashionable Bishops Corner at Abby Dabby. On a recent visit, the very friendly owner served us and pushed samples pretty enthusiastically, and we had a laugh remembering a story Baskin Robbins alum "Steve from the Skegs" used to tell us about some crazy lady who used to come in and ask for samples and expect to be spoon fed by the staff!
(Scenic pal and professional ice cream model Dayna just bought sneakers the color of those sprinkles)
Abby Dabby features ice cream by Ashley's (maybe this Ashley's?) and New Hampshire's Walpole Creamery. We've been especially turned on by unexpected flavors like burnt brown sugar and ginger (with chunky bits of candied ginger). They keep giving us ice cream cards to punch and get a freebee and we keep losing them. Scenics don't really care for children, we believe they should be not seen and not heard, but we are glad to live in such a kid-filled community as can support a neighborhood ice cream joint like Abby Dabby.
Josh and Todd: The Story of a Man and His Puppet is a film that asks the question, What would you do if you woke up one morning to find a monster has moved in with you? And furthermore, what would you do if said monster was getting wasted with one-eyed puppet strippers in your living room?
If you missed the premiere back in February - which you most likely did, since we didn't recognize anyone there- don't worry. You didn't totally blow it. Paris in Plantsville will host encore screenings this Friday and Saturday at 8:00/doors at 7:00. And this time around, your $5 donation will put you in the running to win one of filmmaker Jon Bristol's puppet creations. And after you see the hot puppet-on-human action in the film, you may be even more eager to be chosen as the winner.
Rudy Relic has a rabid little Hartford following and not for nothing. I caught his act (check the sexy FB gallery!) a few months back and was just floored by his antics - performing sans microphone or amplification, rolling around on the floor, jumping off the stage, inviting audience participation, and rocking his very slick signature skinny tie/wingtips look, as seen in this here music video:
You may have read about the Scenic charm of "Vague-ass Boulevard" here before... You won't want to miss this colliding of the spheres - hot, original talent, giant beers and obesifying treats! Last week all four Scenics were together in the same room, an unprecedented first, believe it or not. The lure of Rudy Relic should be sufficient to bring about a second such gathering. Consider it the All-Scenic seal of approval, a high standard from Hartford's second best local blogger(s). no? See you there? Stalk you later?
Yesterday I was sincerely surprised to read in the Hartford Advocate Readers Poll that CT Scenic had come in second place for "Best Local Blogger," and even more astonished to see that we had beaten third placer Colin McEnroe, who we had anticipated losing to and predicted to win first place back when we were first begging for your votes.
We already knew we hadn't won-won, since real winners were notified in advance and trotted out for pictures and interviews (I participated in this process on the editorial side, once upon a time). Our relative victory over famous professional Colin was sweet, but we were startled and frankly pissed to see a blog we've never even heard of, Sprinkles of Parsley, take the cake. Colin we would have expected. We would have graciously accepted defeat at the hands of one of the seemingly more dedicated and earnest (see, we're so humble) CT scene blogs like CT Indie or Real Hartford. But food porn - really CT?
If I may pull a Kanye on my own blog's behalf here for a moment: that lady may live in our state, and those pictures are really high resolution, for sure, but that shit has nothing to do with Connecticut, and it's only a "blog" because free blogs are an idiot-proof way to put content on the internet without knowing dick about websites, not because it includes links or commentary or current events or anything else normally associated with the tone or character or blogging.
We totally hate parsley.
This may seem like "sore losing" but would you expect anything less (or is it more) from us? Bitch, please. Whatever it takes to feel like a win.
And now that we're winners, I feel kind of bad about not posting for like four weeks. That makes us kind of a lousy blog. But truth be told, as much as I like to carry on about providing an awesome community service via CT Scenic in my more self-aggrandizing moments, my participation is purely self-serving and any benefits to the readers are purely coincidence. And lately the blog just doesn't isn't delivering for me in the "artistic fulfillment" department, I've failed to get the only jobs that would consider CT Scenic a resume asset, and my non-working hours seem better spent on my food and exercise hobbies/addictions and actually hanging out with the Scenics, who really are the best people ever. But when I look back on the year and a half of Scenic, I realize that many of the best times and new friends are directly tied to CT Scenic-isms, whether it was our own events, things we were encouraged to "blog about" by others, or people who probably wouldn't have been impressed with us if we didn't have some stupid creative angle. Oh wait, if there's anyone actually like that latter, we totally hate them too. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes people say they like what we do and that it actually got the to check something out or like something they wouldn't have otherwise known about (like local TV music guy, Chip, who liked a band we suggested so much he put them on his show and totally plugged us!).
Thanks Chip, and Sidewalk Dave, Real Art Ways, and everyone who voted for your meaningful encouragement and indulgence along the way. In honor of this Readers Poll victory, we pledge to be a better blog, at least for the next couple days. We also intend to fulfill our earlier promise, in case anybody noticed it, to throw a victory party, which we hope will closely resemble our Blogaversary bash in terms of delivering the booze, bands, donuts, gaudy fliers and live Human Centipede reenactments. Alas, we don't have a date or anything yet - everything hinges on being able to pin down our dream bands and venue.
Thanks for bearing with us and reading this terrible post. Enjoy the latest video by our dream band, Black Taxi, and stay tuned.
I recently got invited to a friend's birthday party at a New Haven bar, and somewhere within the invite, it was mentioned that there would be a live performance by Naughty by Nature. Um, what?
Lest you wonder if this is some other band called Naughty by Nature, we can assure you that it is exactly who you think it is. And we'd also like to mention that Terminal 110 has an All Male Revue scheduled for April 29, so, we may need to see what that's all about. You know, for research purposes. For you.