Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Leftovers with Gavin Castleton

We hope you've been making the most of this weekend of Halloween partying - the Scenics sure have. DH was so inspired by that Phil Spector documentary that he's been seen out on the town as Spector himself with a sexy dead girl in tow (because murdering women is HILARIOUS). And Katie Scenic has been mining her wardrobe for the laziest costumes ever three nights running - "Like a Prayer Madonna," Faith (the Vampire Slayer) and Daria (Morgendorffer). Jackie Scenic has been... MIA (missing in action, not the obnoxious-but-catchy lady rapper). Tonight is the night itself... we've already suggested some fun things to do, like a costume contest or a metal show. And what have we got in our mailbox? 
Why, it's a vaguely Halloween-y soundtrack for your Sunday from Gavin Castleton, who describes Home, his newest release (which you can stream from his site), as a zombie-themed pop opera. "Oregon" is the song in which our hero decides "to hang himself rather than be eaten alive by the raiding zombie hordes." Delightful!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pleased to meet Ms Robin Banks

Sunday, Oct. 31: Halloween Costume Contest w/ Robin Banks @ York Street Cafe, New Haven

We're always saying things like "the best part of going out in CT is the celebrities," and you're probably like whatever, these Scenics are delusional. And you'd be right on the last point - but seriously, when you go to all the right parties you find there are VIPs all around you (and by you we mean us). We're so glad we went to the Lipgloss Crisis event at Cafe Nine last night. Our walk to the club from another part of town helped serve to placate our usual Scenic Envy when we saw that New Haven has a "douchestrict" too (complete with a Black Bear - ugh!), but once we got to Cafe Nine, everything was cool, and we started running into important people like that guy that used to be in Sidewalk Dave, the real Lipgloss Crisis (our earlier identity confusion resolved), burlesque performer Dot Mitzvah, and the amazing Robin Banks, a New Haven drag legend (pictured here with All Systems Go-Go, who promise to put some content up on that page soon).

We're so glad we met Robin, so now we know about one more great Halloween-y thing to do this weekend. Check out a costume contest hosted by Robin Banks at New Haven's 168 York Street Cafe this Sunday night at 11 p.m. Robin is a riot, so this is definitely going to be a winner.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

To Know Him is to Love Him

Phil Spector circa 1958

The Scenics were priviledged to attend a screening of "The Agony and Ectasy of Phil Spector", playing at the Real Art Ways Cinema October 29 through November 4. After settling in and remarking on how nice it was to not be in an over air-conditioned movie theater, the movie rolled and the A/C kicked on.

The movie consists mainly of interview segments of Spector in his home, with interspersed courtroom scenes from his 2007 trial and classic footage of artists he had produced. The film maker tended towards an overly busy style in some of these scenes: Audio from an interview or classic hit playing to courtroom video clips, with subtitles displaying quotes with usually complex statements regarding the emotional and artistic impact and meaning of those same hits. Perhaps the idea was to pay tribute to the wall of sound with a wall of media. It doesn't work, but luckily there are not so many of these moments as to bog down the film.

More importantly, we were impressed by Phil's incredible fashion sense and swooned over his intelligently articulated atheistic viewpoint. As Katie Scenic gushed "I'd love to hang out with him, even if it kills me".

Overall the movie is a must see for anyone who knows these songs, is interested in our American pop music or has anything to do with recording music. After the November 3rd showing there will be a panel discussion featuring David Shuman, Assistant Professor of Audio Engineering Technology at the University of Hartford as well as other area music recording personalities and perhaps a Scenic.

So the big question, did he kill her? Well, it does seem that Mr Spector was well known for brandishing firearms. Check out this interview of the Ramones on working with Phil.

The chord the boys are talking about seems to only appear in the music video....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tired of paying for it?

The Wadsworth Atheneum is giving up the goods for free this weekend with a couple of special events, including two talks by PepĆ³n Osorio, the artist behind this freaky barber chair sculpture. Osorio will give a lecture in the Atheneum's Aetna Theater Thursday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. and  be part of a group chat including our friend Will Wilkins from RAW, Saturday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. 

Saturday will be a Community Day at the Atheneum participatory art activities, live music and dance, museum tours, snacks and the film Akeelah and the Bee [torture porn?-ed]. Seriously though, free days like this are a great opportunity to take advantage of one of Hartford's true gems. We know you'll think "It Wads-worth it!"

Halloween: Heavy, Hilarity

Sunday, October 31: Devin Townsend, TesseracT @ The Webster, Hartford

My must-see event for the weekend is Devin Townsend at the Webster on Sunday, which is Halloween, but I think I'm a little old for trick or treats. For those who don't know, Devy (we're on an affectionate nicknames basis) is a Canadian musician who got his start at a very young age singing and playing with Steve Vai, but proved to be his own damn freak time and again over the course of a musically schizoid, ADHD career as a bandleader/solo artist in the years since. He's beloved by both the prog and metal scenes for his wildly different projects, and also for his outrageous between-song banter (sheesh, I wish I could remember any of it, but I'm sure our commenter Toast? can help me out here with some best of Devy). He's extra beloved by me personally for always being a really nice, indulgent guy to me and my stalk-y friends. So we were extra sad when he quit touring for a while, and are extra happy now that he's spewing out new music faster than the Duggars spawn out kids and has been hitting the road again on the regs. "Vampira" is an oldie but goodie, but it's all you need to know about why Devin Townsend is wonderful:

I'm also excited about opening band TesseracT, who are not as openly hilarious as Devin sometimes is, but have also won me over with their stealthy humor, which is snuck in around the edges of their otherwise straightforward proggy metal music. (A straight gloom-and-doom image on a heavy band is kind of a dealbreaker for me. I mean, if you're so serious, go kill people or something, quit having so much fun.) While "researching" TesseracT (to find out if they're sexy) I was amused by the subtitle on the photo section of their website, which says "perve over us" Exactly! And this video for alarmingly pretentiously titled "Deception, Concealing Fate Part 2" on the band's channel is tagged "Vanilla Ice" and "Linkin Park" - only! Hilarious! TesseracT don't know it yet, but they are actually my soon-to-be, out-of-town, international boyfriends.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yoga Briefing

Now that I'm beyond my trial membership and absolute beginner stages, I haven't felt the need to blog about yoga weekly. And you're probably all ok without reading too much about that (well, except for the fine folks at the studio, who probably feel warm and fuzzy when I blog about them, hi guys!). But then, the past few weeks at Bikram have also been a little frustrating, and being frustrated doesn't really jive well with my superhero image. After a few classes where I felt like I really "went deep" and got more into some of the postures that are most torturous for me, my body started to protest physically. My hamstrings went all tight and sore, and suddenly I was having backwards progress in any position involving such elements as "front side compression" or "head to knee" action. So even though my core and my arms have been looking awesome like I want them too and my stamina and other postures all seemed to be coming along, having to compromise and regress in several positions (and have stiff, sore damn legs) was pretty much sucking.

I've admitted to a level of vanity, but my love of eating awesome food ensure I'll never suffer from an eating disorder (other than a medically induced one). But I am definitely susceptible to overexercising in the pursuit of some physical ideal. And getting an unlimited membership for Bikram certainly makes overdoing it tempting in order to get Best Value! and best body.

BUT (I like big buts) - I've had a few lessons in dialing it back. Starting with learning to sacrifice a day of practice in order to be present for actual human relationships (as a for example: going out to lunch with Mommy Scenic is more important than making that weekend practice schedule). And for my physical well being, it turns out days off are good too. It's been easy to let Bikram replace other forms of exercise in life because the structured atmosphere is so appealing and it feels like such a kick-ass workout. But by balancing in my running and biking, either on days off or same day as practice, I felt my legs loosen up and normal out a bit. I don't know if that holds any water scientifically, since running supposed to be terrible for you, but it worked for me. And then this past week I took my biggest break ever - three whole days off - and went back more flexible and comfortable than I had been in a while.

Enough about me: enjoy some yoga humor. Hipster yoga! Star Wars Yoga! 10 characters you may encounter in yoga class! (That last one is funny cuz it's true.)

And remember I mentioned trying yoga with Gabriel - just had word his Tuesday evening open class if featuring "recession special" pricing - $10 per class. Check him out! AND Hartford City Ballet has posted some unflattering photos of yours truly (see above) on their Facebook album from the class of his that I attended, where I struggled to learn in a new style alongside human pretzel Amy, who you too can practice yoga, dance and movement with in a variety of classes.

Lipgloss Crisis presents lively Day of the Dead

Friday, October 29: Day of the Dead art show and party @ BRU Cafe & Cafe Nine, New Haven

This event has too much action for just one venue. Lipgloss Crisis isn't just what happens when Katie Scenic misplaces her Burt's Bees (damn that shit's pricey). We didn't know it at the time, but we actually spotted Lipgloss Crisis (a human being) out and about in New Haven one night and took stealthy pictures of her because she is so damn smokin. Later we saw her picture and her art at Brazen Betties, and realized she's CT famous. And now we're looking forward to checking out her extravaganza in New Haven this Friday. [UPDATE: Oops, we got the wrong girl. The chica we stalked is the model, not the photog, but the story is better this way, so let's pretend! Anyway, bet we still see her or her picture there.]

It all starts with a Halloween/Day of the Dead themed group art show at the BRU Cafe, which will run 6-10 p.m. and include some sideshow antics by Circus Delecti. Then there's another whole event's worth of fun all night at Cafe Nine, which will include burlesque performers, go-go gals, derby chicks, hula hooping, and music by The Simple Pleasure. Costumes are encouraged.

This event would probably be a boatload of cool even if just the performers showed up (not that that's going to happen!), so we feel pretty confident promising it's going to be a hot night out. And at only $5 (for the Cafe Nine portion), the price is pretty right too.

Midweek Music: Elison Jackson

Wednesday, Oct. 27: Elison Jackson @ Cafe Nine, New Haven

We recently received a request for publicity from CT folkies Elison Jackson, and we're so happy to report that they are great and we can wholeheartedly endorse them on their musical merit - not just because they are friends of our friends Sidewalk Dave and we are flattered by email (though these latter factors can't possibly hurt; cue influx of emails from bands pretending to be friends of Sidewalk Dave). Actually Elison Jackson (a band, not a dude in the band) sounds a bit like Sidewalk Dave does in their mellower mode, especially in the vocal delivery, which manages to sound jaded and vulnerable at the same time. You can check out their whole album online here. And go see them live tomorrow night at Cafe Nine along with The Proud Flesh and Plume Giant.

How about that band pic? They're just like regular dudes. We'll just go on thinking of them as looking like the fake band picture that they also use.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Holla! It's gonna be compete-for-our-affections Thursday

Oh no, where shall we go this Thursday? We already mentioned the great 80s themed party for our pals CONNetic Dance, which will be going down at Shish and OK Go at the Webster. But don't forget - this Thursday is fourth Thursday which means it's Guerrilla Queer Bar (v.4). This month the Queer Guerrillas are mixing it up a bit and have their sights set on Manchester. Ooohh, where are they gonna go? Will it be the Tiger, the Main Pub, Shea's [a bar I won't even link to on account of their shitty website just put me out of commission for like five minutes - so that would probably be a bad choice]. We'll keep you posted as this story develops.

Decisions, decisions!

Halloween in our favorite small towns

Most of the adult celebrating this year will be taking place on Oct. 30. We have of course received invitations to the best private parties, but for those of you who haven't...

We noted last year that Collinsville is just so "charming and inclusive," so we're sure there are plenty of Cat-o-Lanterns there to make DH feel right at home. This little-town-that-can takes Halloween seriously, and we know many of our peeps will be participating in their annual Halloween parade and festivities Saturday evening. On a recent expedition to Collinsville, the Scenics enjoyed tacos and exotic coconut lemonade at new restaurant Husk and browsing for antiques at the massive, multi-dealer Antiques on the Farmington. You could make a whole day of it. And a whole night. We've gotten wind of a costume party with live music at beloved Collinsville dive, The Fireplace.

Over in our other favorite small town, Torrington, our favorite bar/the only Torrington bar we know, Snapper Magee's will be having a Halloween party including open bar and costume contest for $25 (must be purchased in advance). We quite enjoyed the vibe there on a night out over the summer.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Say "yes," go to OK Go

Thursday, Oct. 28: OK Go @ The Webster, Hartford

We've recently been pleased to note a number of hot items on the Webster's calendar, including OK Go. The band may best known as terrific video artists. In fact, their memorable music videos threaten to overshadow their actual music, which is nice girlie-man indie rock (the kind we like so much). Surely this clever treadmill routine (and dandy wardrobe choices) by the band was instrumental to their breakout success - breathless, jangly pop sensibilities notwithstanding. We're curious to see what kind of visual spectacle they bring to their live show.

Here's a more recent superfun video for "This Too Shall Pass" from earlier this year:

Throwback Italian Dining

Warning: Vegans & Straight Edger's are urged to avoid the following post.

DH Scenic lives in a castle. A mid-century modern castle. Unfortunately, like castles of old, the imposing stone walls (in this case, brick and concrete block) are not all warm and cosy, especially with today's wet and cold fall weather.

Longing for a traditional dinner set in, and the question of satiating the urge needed to be addressed (CT Scenics always need to satiate their urges post haste). My first thought was doing it Thanksgiving style, but those are hard to come by, and if the Turkey isn't fresh from the oven it tends to be dry. Well, one bird's as good as another I suppose (See what Cab Calloway and Nas have to say about this).

I've been to Concetta's before, it's an old school Italian place nestled into a quiet corner of a suburban mall dating back to the 60's (Befitting a true old-school gem, there is no website, but plenty of 3rd party sites have it listed). It would fit the bill perfectly, I didn't want to change out of an old brown sweatshirt or worry about nothin'.

The menu consists of the standard Italian fare, with decent pizza options and politically incorrect Veal entrees. Decor is period correct, about 1979. Non-ironic.

After settling into my booth, the first order of business was alcohol. Concetta's offers a value priced selection of decent cheap wines, which was just what the doctor ordered. A glass of LaVilla Merlot went quite a ways towards making everything better. At Concetta's you don't have to worry about the political fallout of ordering red with fowl or fish.

Entree's come with the traditional hot bread and a salad. The salad is the standard 70's fare, iceberg lettuce with a couple of sliced cukes and a tomato wedge, but the house dressing is a delish creamy italian with a pronounced parmesan flavor.

Finally, my entree' arrived, I went for the Chicken Picatta. Two really large chicken breasts sat on a bed of shells swimming in a white wine, lemon and butter sauce with capers.

That's half of it. Really. I guess I hadn't eaten anything all day. Trust me, it was huge.

Yes, I know, but sloppy wine steward be damned, no shy glasses here.

All in all, a satisfying dining experience. The main courses go from about $15-18, a bottle of wine is $15. With a date who can appreciate your ability to time travel about 30 years into the past I think you'll have a great time.

As I left the restaurant I noticed that someone had parked their early 2000's Honda Insight behind my trusty Honda Wagon.

The only reason I mention this is because I have been contemplating trading in my wagon for a early 2000's Honda Insight. Is this a sign? I hope not. The last time I got a car related sign I ended up flying out to Iowa and driving back to CT in a 1972 Volvo P1800es.

Upon my return to the castle I found that there had been some kind of pumpkin carving contest and photo shoot

My favorite was this cat-o-latern.

Do you have a favorite throwback dining establishment? Hip us to it via email and maybe you'll spy the Scenics there, wearing their best vintage polyester.

So What! (Punk/Art @ Artspace)

Last night I attended "So What!" - an event/show billed as a "place as art" experiment, wherein Hartford's Artspace gallery was transformed into an approximation of a punk club to showcase the work of several painters and a live performance by the band of the show's organizer, Daniel Small. One of my friends expressed some concern that this conceit was a bit too cutesy and that newspapers on the wall are not in fact punk rock, but I appreciate the effort that went into this pseudo-trashing of the space for a one-night-only event. And as a scenester since 1990-something, I was especially touched by little nostalgic gems like this:

OMG the Hanover House! What a dump! And Red Tide - Simsbury death metal - I went to a basement party of theirs in high school. That was probably like my first party ever.

Turns out Daniel has been scene since those days too and played out at the awful venues of my youth (Hanover House, Caesar's Place) with his old bands Kricket and Dayz Amaze Me. And it seems our Daniel is multi-talented. In addition to his revolutionary approach to home decorating, we got a taste of his guitar playing, singing and drumming... and painting!

The finest (if least explicitly punk) art in the show was without a doubt the paintings of Iya Tucker.

Lest you think her images portray some kind of fantastical aliens - the result of a wild imagination - understand that the artist is basically an elf herself, and stunning.

As is so often the case at these nights out in Hartford, the most exciting part was the celebrities in the audience. In addition to the show's artists, the audience included Paul from the Silent Groove, previously Scenic'd artist Gary Jacobs, and Lauri Adverb, who I knew from the internet but hadn't ever met in person. She was a trip to talk to and had plenty to say about peddling smut to support her poetry habit.

Most of the artists featured in this show are frustratingly non-existent on the internet. Seriously guys, just start a blogspot at least! I ran into this same issue after checking out a fashion show featuring Connecticut designers last week (I can hardly blog them up with nothing to frakking link to!). You can check at least check out painter Patrick Zapatka and um... apparently none of these other great people (to be updated if anyone tips me off otherwise, maybe they just aren't optimized). Check out our FB gallery for more photographic evidence.

UPDATE! Thanks artists for checking in; peeps, check out participating artists Daniel Small and Jason Silver.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Zombies - They're just like us!

Team Scenic put on their finest zombie hunting apparel and headed downtown to track down some zombies and shoot them... with our camera! We learned that zombies are pretty much just like us; they just wanna have fun.

They shoot pool.

They dance.

Talk on cell phones.

Enjoy dinner with friends.

Get cozy in the photo booth.

Ride bicycles - we love bicycles!

Friday night's First Annual Hartford Zombie Pub Crawl was good clean fun and well attended by enthusiastic participants. Did you miss this fun? Probably - because we actually didn't see anyone we totally know out there. But there's still time to get your zombie on for tomorrow night's Northampton Zombie Pub Crawl.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friends of the Blog Friday: Sidewalk Dave, Midnightmares, etc.

Friday, Oct. 22:
Sidewalk Dave @ Bespoke, New Haven
The Midnightmares, They Hate Us, Out to Lunch, Arcane Malevolence @ Seaside Tavern, Stamford
"Subversive Manipulations of Technology" @ Billings Forge, Hartford

Some of our BBF (Best Bloggie Friends) have gigs tonight. By now Sidewalk Dave needs no introduction around here; see them tonight in New Haven at Bespoke. And our other oft-mentioned friends The Midnightmares have a gig in Stamford with a bunch of other bands at the Seaside Tavern. HAHA - Arcane Malevolence look hilarious!

We aren't quite on a hugging basis with artist Balam Soto (the way we are with Dave and the 'Mares), but we're working on that, and we're impressed by what we've seen of his work online and intrigued by the description of "Subversive Manipulation of Technology," a collaborative new media effort by Soto and a group of CT/NYC artists, which promises a "union of electronic movement, improvisational dance and movement, large-scale interactive projections and video, experimental instruments and circuit bending." Circuit bending? Fascinating! The performance will be at 8 p.m. at Billings Forge. Afterwards you can go next door for pricey pricey drinks at the Firebox (a fancy restaurant, not a sexual euphemism).

Play us out Dave!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Advocate reads CT Scenic so you don't have to

This week the Hartford Advocate has some suggestions about where to get the best indie donuts in CT. Including some of the spots we've previously reviewed in our popular series, like The Sugar Shack and Neil's.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zombie Weekend Roundup

Friday, Oct. 22: First Annual Hartford Zombie Pub Crawl @ Downtown Hartford
Friday, Oct. 22: First Annual Northwest CT Harvest Festival @ Main Street, Torrington
Saturday, Oct. 23: Northampton Zombie Pub Crawl

We've heard of zombie pub crawls before, but never actually been on one, so we're pleased that some enterprising individuals got one going for Hartford. Paradoxically, these enterprising folks are also kind of lazy, because their crawl only features three locations: The Pigs Eye Pub (7:30-8:30 p.m.); McKinnon's (8:30-10 p.m.); City Steam Brewery (10-11:30 p.m.). Perhaps they are anticipating participants' actually crawling from pub to pub.

But if you're comfortable with evolution like the Scenics and you know that 28 Days Later is only like the best zombie movie ever and that zombies can cover a lot more ground than that - quickly! Contemporary fast zombies may prefer the Northampton zombie pub crawl on Saturday night which starts earlier, ends later and includes seven different venues. We suspect some zombies will be attending both.

And finally: it's not exactly a pub crawl, but Torrington is getting in on the zombie game this weekend too, with many participating businesses offering "VIP" treatment (discounts, etc.) to zombie attendees of the First Annual Northwest CT Harvest Festival happening Friday evening on Main Street from 5-9 p.m.

In case you missed it the first time, we recently got some great zombie makeup tips and shared them with you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We read the Courant so you don't have to

But only once every few months or so! Sorry, we're trying to be a better blog.

This guy from Shelton has been charged with sexually assaulting a horse. But no! He says he was only trying to comfort the horsie and whoops, maybe he slipped a finger in. Katie Scenic has actually been up to her elbow in a horse's johnson before (yes, they're reversible), but that is a legit part of routine care for your male horses. However, guy, there is no known excuse for a layperson [huh huh - ed.] to be up in a lady horse's business. Gross!

Oreck wants to suck the breast cancer right outta West Hartford. We look forward to applying for our new jobs as vacuum cleaner salesladies (Jackie and Katie, obvs, hence the gendered term, DH has a career and doesn't need an awful job).

One fraternity from Yale was fiercely determined to show the world that admission to an Ivy League school doesn't entail superior intelligence or sophistication. They succeeded! LOL rape jokes!

That's the catchiest stuff. Want to know more about the increasingly suffocating cost of health care, a bomb threat at UConn or a Tylenol recall? Read it yourself!

Monday, October 18, 2010

80s Party!

Thursday, Oct. 28: Glam Slam 80s Dance Party for CONNetic Dance @ Shish, West Hartford

While Jackie and I technically lived through the 80s, we were actually born in the [early] 80s, so our experience with 80s "style" in its day was mostly hypothetical, piped in through TV and movies or visiting grown-up cousins. And we're kind of glad we missed that boat, because as awesome as being big Cure fans or whatever would have been, hairspray is actually really bad news, and we're glad that Clueless and Clerks could be our generation defining films instead of... whatever people ten years older than us like that much. This also means we're poised to embrace 80s nostalgia at parties like this upcoming benefit for our favorite ballet hipsters and finally dress like our really cool babysitters. Or Madonna.

(Great Aunt Katherine would have had an Etsy store today!)

I'm planning on finally wearing out this great Betsy Johnson dress I happen to own (for like 10 years) that could lend itself to a Madge "Like a Prayer" look - yeah, it looks like underwear. I mean, especially combined with my luscious brunette locks and just the right crucifix. And maybe a sexy black Jesus. Or maybe something completely different. May as well let that dress simmer for another ten.

80s pop culture imagery and style dominated my childhood, including the signature styles of my first favorite recording artists, Paula Abdul and Guns n' Roses. But these were getting towards the end of the decade; in the earlier half it was more like Star Wars, Dark Crystal and Masters of the Universe capturing my imagination. Ooh and Voltron! Needless to say, my day-to-day style sucked. Believe, Katie Scenic was not a born fashionista.

(some idiot would pay big bucks for this E.T. sweatshirt)

Let's make up for lost time next Thursday!

We'd like to see these Broads

Thursday, Oct. 21: Damn Broads, The Black Noise Scam, Murdervan @ Cafe Nine, New Haven

Damn Broads are an all-female punk band from Northwest CT. They're a brand new band, so what we've heard so far online is a little rough, but we are pretty much enamored with their image (they look like The Donnas!) and their enthusiasm, and we're impressed to see that they're already lining up shows throughout the state, including an opening gig for the Misfits at the Webster later this year (not that opening gigs at the Webster are hard to come by, but they're excited and we're excited for them damn it). This week you can see them with some other locals in New Haven.

What is it that "All the Punk Say"?

We all scream for YSIS

Saturday Oct. 23: You Scream I Scream @ Sully's, Hartford

You remember You Scream I Scream. Certain Scenics had a good time a few months back at their video shoot for "High Maintenance," which totally exists now. If you can actually spot the Scenics, well, you're probably kind of a stalker, because for all that hard work we put in standing around and drinking and throwing candy, we're only featured in a couple seconds of footage. Check it out:

These guys are not only musically fun, they're really popular socially, so we expect a full house of drunk people we totally know will be out to support them. Also on the bill are Stanley Maxwell (a band featuring one of Katie's favorite childhood camp counselors) and Superfrog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rocky Horror Live

The Rocky Horror Show @ Warner Theatre, Torrington

Hey, what do you know? The most important town in Connecticut (if CT Scenic posts are any kind of indication), Torrington, has Rocky Horror live at the Warner Theatre Oct. 23 & 30. We enjoyed the film, and generally enjoy dudes in lingerie, so this sounds like fun. But seriously, is there no spontaneity anymore? The theatre will be providing participation bags for $5 and you can't bring your own crap (it will be confiscated). Theatre provided bags will include latex gloves, water pistol, etc. Latex, really? That's a common allergen! We recommend vinyl. Food throwing is also forbidden. However, we anticipate that you won't have even a crumb left over from your delicious pre-show meal from Rocket.

What Not To Hear: Cute Is What We Aim For

Friday, Oct. 22: Cute Is What We Aim For @ Webster Theater, Hartford

Condensed version: Dude, you missed.

Long-winded version: I haven't posted any "What Not To Hear" lately, because as I've sometimes explained to friends who humor my talking about my blog, this feature is reserved for those acts that trigger my gag reflex, not just bands I don't particularly like. I've avoided knowing anything about this band based on their stupid contempo emo-punk name, and then I saw this dude's picture, who is sooo not at all cute, and that punch-me-in-the-face expression, so what is that, irony? Further investigation revealed their music is every bit as blandly terrible as you'd expect from the name and the look. Their schtick seems to be lyrics about being such clever and awkward dudes, juxtaposed with endless video imagery of hot, scantily clad chicks, but somehow we're supposed to recognize that they are actually above the stupidity of hot chicks (because hot = dumb & shallow) and the obviousness of video girls, because irony again?

If any of you can somehow manage a tourbus hang with these guys, let me know whether the girls are "provocative and talkative" or "shallow as a shower."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Drag Us To Hell

Sunday, Oct. 17: Drag show/competition @ Up or on the Rocks, Hartford

We mentioned the existence of a gay night at Up or on the Rocks in our previous post about things to do on your "odd nights" out. Since then we've been told by a tipster that these Sunday night events are in fact awesome and we should go and check out the drag performers. Wary as we are of the douchestrict, we give Up or on the Rocks a pass on account of previously booking our NYC boyfriends Black Taxi (a hot band), having a gay/drag night, and not being Black Bear.

It's burlesque time again

Sunday, Oct. 17: Red Light Burlesque & Variety Show @ Jokers Wild, New Haven

Although the venue itself proved somewhat less than ideal for sexy dancing, we still enjoyed our last burlesque (and variety!) outing to Jokers Wild. Having been to all of two burlesque shows now in CT, we even have a favorite performer, Lily la Vamp, who will be making an appearance at this Sunday's horror-themed installment. If the poster is any indication of what we're going to see, we're really looking forward to the girls' interpretations of Sexy Lil' Pinhead, Sexy Lil' Chuckie, etc.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Matt Corrigan Presents/All Your Zombie Pub Crawl Needs

We know a lot of Scenic friends are planning on participating in Hartford's First Annual Zombie Pub Crawl next week. And we know that our friends are an ambitious lot who aren't going to half-ass it. But maybe some of you aren't really sure how to zombie up convincingly? Luckily, Jackie and I attended CT native, Hollywood FX pro Matt Corrigan's lecture/workshop last week at the Silk City Flick Fest on how to make (and kill) a Zombie.

Matt has worked on a lot of high profile films (Shutter Island, 300, I Am Legend to name a few), so it was pretty rad to get such a casual and informative presentation out of the guy. Matt had a lot to say about being a good and responsible makeup artist, like: talk to your actors and explain your process - they're human beings; never use products you haven't already tested; make sure you have the particular removal product for anything you apply. If you're working at home on yourself, this might translate to: know your products and removers and try things out on an arm or a leg before you stick them on your face to make sure you don't have a painful or allergic response.

Matt performed model Katrina's zombie transformation using professional quality products, but some of the basic makeup effects could definitely be accomplished using "Halloween store quality" or regular cosmetic makeup, which is what I would probably choose. He was working from a "death wheel" but you could achieve a similar look by buying a variety of skin tones. As Matt explained, the foundation of a zombie job is simulating the look of death, namely by creating the illusion of depth - of sunken eyes and cheeks. Matt's first steps were browning around Katrina's eyes and cheeks, and then bringing out the cheekbones, forehead and other prominent points with whiter shades.

Creating wounds relies on the same principle - creating the illusion of depth. Matt used silicone to slightly build up Katrina's cheek, and then scratched out a wound in the silicone. He showed us a variety of bloods with different colors and viscosity. "Thick blood" was the winner for makeup effects - applied to the cheek wound the effect is of a horrible gash. Applied elsewhere with a stipple sponge, you get the look of a fresh, bloody abrasion. Loosening the silicone on the cheek and applying thick blood underneath made for a gross hanging flesh tab effect. Matt advised that latex can be used for many of the same effects as silicone, with the advantage of being cheaper, and the disadvantage of being a common allergen (hence the whole product patch test deal).

As a finale, Matt killed his zombie, using a relatively simple homemade device - tubing stuffed with blood and guts attached to a CO2 cartridge/trigger, fired away from the victim. This probably won't be necessary on the pub crawl, unless one of the zombies is a particularly bad drunk, but the splatter effect was cool, and the fact that the "blood and guts" were banana and stage blood was even cooler.

FYI: Matt Corrigan recommended East Coast pro makeup distributor - Alcone.