Sunday, July 24, 2011

So, about that new Rudy's

Its about time we checked out the new Rudy's in their new location, which opened on the corner of Chapel and Howe a few months ago, just a few blocks away from their old location, which we now know as Elm Bar. I'm not sure what we were expecting to walk into, but totally experienced a moment of shock and confusion as we took in the large, clean, newly painted, and did I mention CLEAN landscape of the bar and restaurant area.

(Pardon the crappy pics, the Scenic with the good cellphone camera was busy last night, probably sexting)

The stark contrast to the dark, dingy, carved up little dive bar that is associated with the name Rudy's was a little disorienting at first, but we found that many of the old tabletops and wood panels, with years of initials lovingly and deeply etched in, had been preserved and put into the back room. It certainly is spacious; the front room, where is bar is located, is clean and restaurant-y, and the back room has a teensy bit of old Rudy's nostalgia.

The entertainment for the evening was a handsome dude DJ team doing what a friend described to us as a "Shag Frenzy-esque" dance night, which is just getting off the ground and hoping to become a regular monthly fixture. The music was fun, and I can't claim to be hipster enough to recognize most of it, but did enjoy dancing to Crystal Castles, Ladytron, Talking Heads, Franz Ferdinand, and the Ting Tings. They had this really sexy lightning lamp on their table!

My first drink was this tiny little thing for $6.50, but I quickly wised up and asked for a taller glass for my next, um, 5.

I saw lots of people enjoying fancy beers in interesting looking glasses, and for those of you who care, the Guinness cost $5.50. Although Rudy's now has a full kitchen, I failed to see a menu laying around or anyone really eating food, except for the fries and a few people eating salads at the bar. Its like, its Rudy's, but Rudy's plus... wearing fancy pants... with a bathroom that is not totally scary and gross.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Compete For Our Affections Friday

Friday, June 8
Rhythm and Juke Blues Jumpup II @ Vegas Blvd

All four Scenics gave unanimous and enthusiastic approval for Part I back in April, and are looking forward to Brownbird Rudy Relic, Daddy Longlegs, Diablo Dimes and Orb Mellon's encore performance at our favorite Hartford hipster dive. Hartford has a lot of love for Rudy Relic's steel guitar performances, complete with physical stunts such as leaping through the air, rolling on the ground, dancing on his chair, and jumping right over people's heads while playin' the blues (and can do this without accidentally teabagging anyone, like the stripper from last Friday's outing).

Live Band Karaoke @ Coach's Bar and Grill

We're thrilled that our friends Bandwith Karaoke have found a Hartford home and will be kicking off their monthly gigs at Coach's. Yes, we will brave the douchestrict to watch friends and strangers live out their rock n' roll fantasies onstage, karaoke style, and maybe we will be so brave that we get onstage ourselves. Get there early to sign up!

Wry and The Sweet Ones @ Elm Bar

We have it on good authority that Elm Bar is the place to be some top-notch rock n' roll entertainment tomorrow, from CT-based Wry and Brooklyn (as in NY, not CT)-based The Sweet Ones. According to what we've heard from these bands so far, this seems to be the case, and you can't beat the $3 pricetag and now, thanks to us, new lower prices on the Guinness!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Men, Inc.: We totally went there

The other Scenics have really gone out of their way to help celebrate my "Birthday Week," starting Friday night with a surprise night out at the all-male revue - CT-based Men, Inc., doing their monthly-or-so gig at our favorite downtown bar, Up or On the Rocks (really, it's totally our favorite). We've joked about checking one of these things out for ages. Now we've finally been there. The other Ladies Scenic had wanted to plan a party with my very own private stripper, but that was going to be overly expensive and complicated venue-wise. We're all glad it worked out this way though. I mean, we've all had personal attention from a naked dude before. The gaggle of other scantily clad drunk broads and the douchestrict setting were what really put the night over the top for us.

The Scenics are not exactly the target demographic for these kinds of shenanigans, since nothing is really taboo or off-limits in our minds, and our actual sex lives are so incredibly hot and kinky... But how about a little recognition and respect where it's due - it was fun and different to see a bevvy of dudes with rock hard, outrageously muscled, impeccably groomed bodies. This being America, it's hard enough finding a non-obese body to enjoy. We get the odd skinny guy now and then - you know, that guy who eats and eats and eats and never gains any weight? But he's no stunner with his shirt off, just scrawny, amiright? Nevertheless, we ultimately concluded that although we liked their bodies and appreciate all the work they obviously put into them, we didn't really care for what they were actually doing with them.

Their costumes were very "Not Another Porn Movie," starting with the Sexy Police Officer, and their moves included a lot of weirdly feminine lapdance-style gyrations. The other thing they kept doing was getting chicks on stage into awkward positions on stage and dry humping them, which just seemed kind of embarrassing for all involved. We were impressed with the athleticism of the dancer known as The Main Event, who did vaults and handsprings to end up with his crotch in various gals' faces and laps. Amazingly, no one was injured, though one girl looked a bit chagrined when his scrotum grazed her scalp. If any of us tried to to anything like that, there would have been ankles sprained and teeth everywhere. Yet much as we admired these maneuvers, it was just kind of weird and icky when he put that one big-ish girl down like the base of a cheerleading pyramid and lined some other slags up on top of her and gleefully switch-hit dry-humped them all.

Always sensitive to the feelings of others, I let the fellas know that we were "mostly into chicks" - a slight deviation from reality. This only made them work my lap (and Jackie's!) twice as hard, which was cute. I was particularly partial to this hunk of manflesh - he's the rock n roll one.

Without delving too deeply into stereotypes about sex and gender, let it suffice to say that there is a difference between the all-male revue and the "gentlemen's club," and a reason why the all-male revue must subsist on monthly club nights and private gigs, but the gentlemen's club is open daily. The goal for most of the attendees for Men, Inc. seemed to be to relish the embarrassment of their friends - no so much to actually get off on the proceedings. When the guys came around to lap dance and "let it all hang out" (I'll never wash that Ed Hardy shirt again!) all the ladies in the vicinity had out their camera phones to shamelessly capture their friends in the act, and this was totally all right with the guys! But hey, with a body like that, may as well get those pictures out there! That's been my governing theory lately anyway.

Check out Men, Inc. live around CT!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Totes Horny Roundup

CT Scenic has been consistent and efficient in providing you dear readers with solid recommendations on local music, food, arts culture, and nightlife (well, maybe not recently... this Scenic has personally been busy kicking off the summer with a good old fashioned bender, my bad!), but one area of content that has been glaringly absent is the seedy underbelly of Connecticut! So, here is the scenic guide to CT's perviest places, and stuff to do when you're totes horny.

Adult Films. People are often surprised to find out that old fashioned adult movie houses still exist, and even more surprised to hear that we have one right here in Hartford. 3/4 of Team Scenic have actually been to the Art Cinema; not with debaucherous intentions, but to watch a burlesque documentary as part of the Hartford Film Festival. We didn't care for the movie, but were quite taken by the scenery of the rundown movie house, the porn film canisters laying about, and the general air of sleaze. And the fun doesn't stop there, oh no! Connecticut is actually home to two adult theaters, the other being the Fairmount in East Haven.

Swingers. We are aware that Hartford has an onsite swinger's club, located in a nondescript building in a shady neighborhood, that you've probably driven by a bunch of times without even realizing the pervery that goes on in there. Team Scenic is not, at this time, able to give you any kind of investigative reporting on this joint, but according to their website, they have a kickass buffet.

Ok, tangent, just for a moment? I've always been slightly disturbed by the Kahoots tagline: Lunch with a View. The thought of enjoying a turkey club while staring at a naked woman humping the floor for dollars just seems so... ew. And now, I wonder about these swingers lining up to serve themselves some baked ziti and garlic bread in the middle of reenacting a scene from Caligula. Are they naked at the buffet? Did the owners install genital guards as well as sneeze guards?

And oh yeah, speaking of strip clubs! A little piece of trivia: you are not allowed to wear SuperScenic glasses in The Gold Club. Why? We don't know! Sometimes you just know to keep your mouth shut and take off your damn glasses when the man tells you to.

Motels. The Berlin Turnpike is pretty much the go-to for any kind of motel sleaze you're looking for; there are plenty of pay by the hour rooms with huge mirrors, themed rooms such as the exotic Jungle Room (grr!). Actually, The Berlin Turnpike is probably 80% sleazy motels.

Adult Stores. Well, they're all over the damn place. Perhaps you even have one of those superstores in your town, and the townsfolk got all enraged when they found out about it. A successful chain in CT is VIP, and when I was there the other day, you know- doing research, I was disappointed to see that they no longer carry my favorite ill-advised adult novelty, The Fist. Literally, its a big rubber arm and fist.

We're sure there's much more where this came from, and don't be too shy to tell us about what goes on in your freaky little town. CT Scenic: dedicated to culturally well-rounded journalism!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mrs. Murphy's: out-of-state indie donuts

Last month Katie Scenic had the best donuts ever at Dough in Brooklyn, NY; last week, Katie and Jackie followed up on a hot tip from a coworker and crossed another CT border to try Mrs. Murphy's donuts in Southwick, MA (which is only like 20 miles from headquarters, so no big deal... we've been this far for donuts before).

The Scenics were joined by Vet Tech Gene and professional ice cream model Dayna (you may remember her from our post about delicious Abby Dabby ice cream in West Hartford), who happened to hit it off over their shared exotic hobby, spinning poi. Everyone in the crew shared an interest in donuts. Alas, it was mid afternoon on a Sunday, so Mrs. Murphy's was sold out of jellies and creams, with only the plainer varieties - crullers, glazes, cinnamon - left. The donuts were huge, which is a good start.

Dayna thought she'd try her hand at donut modeling. 

This is very clever - see, she's spelling "cool" with the glasses and the donut... But that's so literal. Strictly commercial stuff. Not everyone has what it takes to do donut editorial. But her work with ice cream is seriously edgy shit. There's a lot of nuance to food modeling.

The chocolate donuts were a particular hit - having a very subtle, not-too-sweet flavor. The cinnamon was a little dry and cakey for Scenic tastes (we've spoken of donut purity - our preference for a a fried dough-like texture and flavor). The iced coffee was rather terrible, but is available by the bucketful, if size is your thing. Speaking of size, Vet Tech Gene is new to the gang, but somehow guessed at our love of lowbrow humor and dick jokes. He hasn't even seen the blog, but he was blown away by the crullers and wanted to make sure we would let our readers know they were the biggest and thickest he/we'd ever seen - far superior to ordinary crullers in length and girth. "It's so unsatisfying when you just put it your mouth and it's all over in two bites." What a donut perv! He can come and eat donuts with us any time. In fact, we'll be sure and head back to Mrs. Murphy's real soon for some followup, because we can't truly assess the joint without trying the jellies. Right?!

There's more to being Pretend Boyfriends than just increasingly embarrassing blog posts

We acknowledge the possibility that some of the bands we're totes horny for may find our affections a little embarrassing, or wish that we would talk more about their great music than their good looks - you know, the beautiful ones always want to be told they're smart, the smart ones want to be told they're beautiful. *YAWN* Anyway, we obviously think they're music is good if we're spending our time reviewing it and telling you to go to their shows. If you want to know what they sound like, click the god damn links. When we say total package, we mean total package.

As esteemed members of the imaginary press, we take advantage of our band boys, demanding their free music, attempting to monopolize their attention at shows, asking them to pose for foolish pictures. And they are always so obliging! We give them blog support sure, but do any of you lazy bums even show up 99% of the time? Well, today we gave something back. Two of our pretend boyfriends from Black Taxi found themselves stranded with a dead car in New Britain today en route from New Hampshire. Katie Scenic got the word from their publicist and immediately ditched her plans with her real-life friends to bail the guys out. (JK, she had no plans - seriously, Fitzscenic is out of town, DH had a gig, and Jackie was, like, scissoring or something.) She found the fellas lounging handsomely near the baseball field and delivered them to New Haven's Union Station. What an awesome fake girlfriend!
What better excuse to start blogging after a month of dead air than to talk about what swell people we can be when we really want to. And one more time, here's Black Taxi:

Somebody around here book these guys, eh?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One night stand with a sexy out-of-towner

Our facebook friends know we've been trying to get a buzz going for this Texas band that's swinging through town this Thursday. We caught wind of them because a.) they've been living out a van  on tour and they smell and b.) they're friends of our Brooklyn boyfriends, Black Taxi, who we were totally hot for at their Hartford debut. The Bright Light Social Hour fellas look and sound like damn good stuff, so we feel really lucky to catch them at a stage of their career when they don't just automatically skip Hartford (or only stop here for snacks), which is why we've been pestering you all so hard to actually turn out for this one. Check out their whole album  - it's great!

We're kind of out of touch with genre, but we're pretty sure they're hipsters (the pineapple is a dead giveaway). These days everything "cool" just sounds like the Rolling Stones in their disco phase to us. By which we mean classic but funky and danceable (these are good things). And oversexed - just look at that mustache! 

In deference to the short attention span and run-of-the-mill FB event invite fatigue we're sure you all experience, we've attempted to hook you by pairing this exciting band show with our first ever "Guerrilla Han Solo Bar," which will henceforth be Scenic code for something we extra especially think you should check out, even more than the other stuff we think is also worth your time. We assure you the Scenics and at least one other person that we know of will be there dressed as Han Solo (sometimes we just dress like this anyway). So of course we encourage you to get on that too. Because who doesn't enjoy shooting first, palling around with Wookies, and pairing a studly dark vest with an chest-baring pale shirt, amiright?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hipstercana Wednesday: Sidewalk Dave & Elison Jackson

Wednesday, May 25

Elison Jackson, The Donkeys, Citay @ BAR, New Haven
Sidewalk Dave @ The Half Door, Hartford

Competing-for-our-affection on a Wednesday? Guys, really?

We've seen Elison Jackson twice, but both gigs were in private basements which we didn't feel comfortable telling you about (like anybody listens to us anyway...) and we liked them live even better than what we've heard of their recordings, which are nice and all, but don't quite convey Sam's delicate Thom Yorke/guy from a band you've never heard of-esque vocal delivery or the chemistry of the current band lineup. So we're looking forward to their upcoming release, which is now in the works with that guy from M.T. Bearington we met that one time. We'd see them again, in a basement or wherever they may roam! In a box, with a fox, etc.

Elison Jackson will be the local boys on a gig with Californians The Donkeys and Citay, who we are too lazy to check out in the context of a post about our CT hipstercana favs. This Wednesday night indie rock interlude is brought to you, as always, by Manic Productions.

Do you ever notice how we plug the same stuff over and over again? That's on purpose. You want to know every crap thing going on at every club with no regard to quality or style? That's somebody else's actual job. This is our passion, and there's only so much of it to go around. And there's only so many people of taste in the state. We can't be spreading them too thin either.

Speaking of passion, Sidewalk Dave returns this week for their monthly Half Door gig. They are celebrating their new EP release, Can't be Your Friend (which you can preview right there at the link). We're sufficiently turned on by Dave's explicit lyrical references to sexual acts and bloody dismemberment set to pleasant, jaunty indie/alt-country melodies, but have to admit to being less than enamored with this cover art. 

(appetite for self-destruction)

We hope you appreciate the depth of artistic integrity it takes for us to unfavorably critique our favorite things - even just the CD cover. In point of fact, the Scenics have a well-documented history in support of women disrobing (and most recently, a song about a Disrober - we're all about that shit!), but this particular composition of vacant-eyed chicks as visual props just leaves us flat. It's also weirdly familiar.

(I think we've seen this movie too)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

CT Metal: Rekindling the Romance

As I've mentioned time and again, I was a pretty seriously committed metalhead in my youth and young adulthood, and in an effort to be down I was willing to try really hard to get into all kinds of crap if it seemed trend-evil enough. But now that I've branched out musically and I'm entering early Cougardom, it's a bit harder to get my meat up about new metal, the local scene in particular, being all too familiar with the pay-to-play tactics of some local clubs, which falsely elevates those bands with the nicest friends or most indulgent parents. I know peeps who will just get drunk and headbang to any old crap, but they probably have IQs less than 100 and I just can't get down like that. And sorry, death metal, you may be "technical," but you are are terrible at any volume. Show me the catchy riffs or go home.


As you may have read here on CT Scenic, I've been pretty excited about CT stoner/metal band Treebeard ever since catching their first gig at then newly opened Elm Bar, and I thought they were just as great on a second viewing at the same venue. So when I saw that they were playing Cherry Street Station with scene vet and all-the-way-back-t0-high-school pal Ryan's two bands, Ipsissimus and enticingly named Nightbitch, I thought this show had promise.

And when I pulled up to the poorly marked club on a desolate industrial block by the train tracks in Wallingford, I knew I was in for a real treat. And when I observed the dirt cheap prices ($4 for Magic Hat!) and amazing back smoking yard, I mentally punished myself for never having been to this club before.

(Corrupting a garden gnome. Smoking is so cool.)

Bygones. I was probably right. Most of those shows I opted not to drive 45 minutes to probably were indeed awful. But not this one! Nightbitch got this party started right. The three piece has "the guy from Treebeard" (and like 10 other bands - Chris) on drums and vocals, which is wicked impressive just by itself, and Ryan delivered all those catchy guitar riffs I was just craving. Their music is seriously good and reminded me of Danzig, but their not-so-serious, over-the-top evil song titles and perverted between-song banter, explaining that this song is about masturbation and that song is about werewolves fucking and whatnot really hit the spot (my g-spot, duh).

Next up was De Omega, featuring the bass player from Nightbitch (the theme of this show was Nightbitch and all the guys' from Nightbitch's other bands). They were described as "tech metal." They're all instrumental, which is inherently a bit less entertaining than sex/party metal, but they had some really lovely, dark atmospheric bits (as I might have said if I were writing metal journalism) and the bassist and guitarist were like nonstop tapping, which was giving all the young dudes in the crowd hella wood.

I am automatically skeptical of new American black metal, because it sort of seems like a style that is maybe better left to a certain time and place (Norway, 80s/90s), but I'm gonna have to hand it to Ipsissimus as well. It pains me to dole out such unadulterated praise about one night, but here again we had Ryan's being awesome on guitar at the heart of things, and the vocalist had a pretty killer rasp, and he made the most complicated banter comment about Nightbitch's set: "That band just did what your genitals were..." And I was like "huh?" and then totally got that he meant "ROCK HARD!" and it was the best thing ever, and I will never make fun of American guys for having black metal alteregos again.**

I have to admit to being overcome by pumpkin syndrome and leaving around midnight, before Treebeard got around to playing. Sorry Treebeard! But I already knew I liked them, so 4/4 stars for this gig! Look out for Ipsissimus' brand new release, The Way of Descent, on Metal Blade Records. Treebeard will be playing a gig at Cafe Nine June 11, and Chris from Treebeard, who has perfected human cloning, will also be playing that same night with Garbage Barge, who list GWAR as a primary influence and thus win my immediate good will - also at Cherry Street Station with for "Garbage Barge's Birthday Masquerade." We'll keep you posted about upcoming gigs from any of these fine bands as we hear about them. Check the FB for more sexy pics.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Gay Movies

May 26-June 4: The Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Film Festival @ Cinestudio, Hartford

First of all, we'd like to wish the film festival a very happy 24th birthday, and excluding only the Hartford Art Cinema, we couldn't think of a better venue to celebrate in than Trinity's lovely Cinestudio.

From the looks of things on the festival's website, we can all look forward to a diverse offering of short and feature length queer films. We are particularly interested in a short from Canada, titled "5 Dysfunctional People in a Car", (which is one person away from being "Team Scenic in a Car") based on this description: A 43-year-old woman, her 21-year-old boyfriend, her unhappily married sister, an aging mother and a burgeoning lesbian niece take a ride into discontent one winter's afternoon.

Then, there is another short titled "Gayby" on Saturday, that comes with this disclaimer: Warning: this film contains an incredibly awkward sex scene. Well, regardless of your sexual preference, we can all relate to that.

On the last day of the festival, there is a promising looking feature film called "Going Down in La La Land" and we're not just saying that because of the strong possibility of hot male nudity- really! From what we got from the trailer, this looks like it may be one of the standouts of the festival, funny and intense.

OH! And if you ACT NOW! (or very, very soon), you can get tickets at a discounted rate through Groupon. See you at the gay movies!

Happy Crickle Day!

Do you like made up holidays? Do you like inappropriate touching and gift giving? Awkward traditions? Well, we have something miraculous to tell you! Some friends of the blog recently clued us in to the word "crickle", a word that they invented as a hybrid of the words "creepy" and "tickle". Seriously, its on urban dictionary, so its totally valid and real. And, the first annual Crickle Day happens to be today, May 21st! We're told that this holiday should be celebrated by giving inappropriate gifts to your friends (box of latex gloves?), or maybe an outing at the Gold Club for a little bit o' holiday sleaze. Happy Crickle Day to one and all!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Friends-of-the-blog compete-for-our-affections Friday

Friday, May 20

Sidewalk Dave @ The Outer Space, Hamden

(fake boyfriends of the blog celebrate their new release, Girls, Girls Girls)

Black Taxi @ Rack n Roll, Stamford

(sexy out-of-town Brooklyn hipster boyfriends of the blog, hot off SXSW, etc.)

The Ninas @ Bank Street Cafe, New London

("just good friends" - hey, Ninas, get your act together so we can be all lazy and just post youtube!)

Terrible, awful, SEXY decisions! We feel just like Kelly Taylor.

(Does anyone know where I can score some blow?)

Lunching in Woodbury

Ohhh Woodbury. You are slowly becoming my favorite CT town, and today may have just sealed the deal. With 2 hours to kill betwixt work appts, I wandered Route 6 in search of some entertainment. I headed for one of my fav indie natural food stores, New Morning, but instead pulled into the Good News Cafe to investigate. I hesitated in my car for a few, until the Meat Without Feet truck pulled up, and decided that was a sign to go in.

I've been driving by this place for months, but the timing was just never right until now. The sign is a little confusing, partially why I hadn't ventured in yet. I mean, can I get a cup of coffee to go or what?

I kind of expected to walk into Tisane when I opened the door, and I wasn't too far off. The walls are covered in artwork - paintings, photos, a mural in the bar, some weird sculptures hanging from the ceiling; and there is a case housing some Bridgewater chocolates and other baked items.

I sat at the bar, ogled some guy's martini, and perused the menu. A bit pricey, so I got the vegetarian-soup-of-the-day and some oysters. (I know. Weird.)

The soup was some kind of kale, chickpea concoction that far exceeded my expectations of a veg soup. The oysters were.. yknow.. oysters. I chatted up one of the "regulars" sitting next to me who shared his abundant knowledge of the restaurant, the owner, and other sights to see in CT. Apparently this restaurant is often written up as the best restaurant in CT and is visited by celebs on route to their summer homes. (Swoon? Whatever.) The owner, Carole Peck, has been featured on Martha Stewart several times and just opened another restaurant literally across the parking lot, Zeeburger. Apparently it's the cat's pajamas. (Maybe I would have known any of this if I ever read other blogs?) Coincidentally, we love cheeseburgers this week, and can't wait to check that out. Bob, our new friend at the bar, explained how he helped shape the new burger place with his suggestions of putting syrup in the milkshakes, and cooking the burgers by request, not just guessing. He also suggested Heinz ketchup, but doesnt think Carole will go for it. She makes everything from scratch, no artificial-anything allowed.

Here is Bob's coconut cake. He insisted that it be included:

Well, I still had 45 minutes to kill, so I went for round 2 - an iced cappuccino and a chocolate-peanut butter cookie.

Everything was just delightful. I would definitely come back, however, Zeeburger is next on my Woodbury agenda. Who knew there were amazing restaurants just sitting there on route 6 all this time? Not only is the food amazing, but the staff were friendly and willing to talk Bob and I through our lunches. The bartender, Michael, was both charming and informative. He told me about the Bethel Cinema, which used to be a porn theatre but now plays indie films. And some hiking trails nearby at something called Steep Rock. Looks like we have our work cut out for us in the-middle-of-nowhere, CT. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Phallic Artistry at Elizabeth Park

We haven't featured much art that looks like a penis here lately, have we? Hey, this sculpture at Hartford's Elizabeth Park looks like whale peen! They're bendy.

The lady Scenics observed this on an idyllic afternoon at the park recently, one of those Sundays when it wasn't raining. We're looking forward to the majesty of the rose garden (where we're all gonna gay-marry each other one day), and maybe taking the brunch shift at The Pondhouse Cafe some time soon.

Lucky - FOR YOU - I keep chatting up all these hot men

I never get to talk to you all about the hottest rock n roll band on the planet, J Roddy Walston and the Business, because this isn't a music blog or anything and in my years as a fan they have not seen it fit to visit CT, so I've been forced to travel to New York and Boston to see them. As we've noted before, it's a good thing Hartford is so "conveniently" located - it only takes a couple-to-several hours and many dollars to reach destinations in either of those cities. We're lucky if cool bands even stop here for snacks. Well, this week I took a walk on the wild side and traveled to Brooklyn on a weeknight to see them play at my new favorite venue, Brooklyn Bowl, a giant bowling alley/music venue with obscenely portioned food and great beer on tap that plays cult films (like The Warriors and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) projected on the wall and on big screens over the bowling lanes... J Roddy is doing a "residency" there this month, playing every Monday night. You all should go and see them up close and cheap before they are hugely famous and won't be available to humor silly questions while soundchecking their own instruments like "Is there a dollar amount you can tell me that would get you guys to Connecticut?"

The band is from Baltimore and they play rock n roll with classic blues and southern influences. They are charismatic as hell, with dirty, catchy lyrics about fucking and fighting, and everyone in the band does what they do really well and they all do all these great backing vocals and falsettos and stuff, but why should I describe it when you can just listen? First time I saw and heard them I walked in on them playing this song and I was immediately hooked. The room was packed - we couldn't see shit, so I'm not being superficial here, I didn't even know they were handsome for like another year - I turned to my friend and said "OMG I want to sit on their face - METAPHORICALLY"**

But before J Roddy played last night, there were these opening bands, and all this idle time. I was already hanging out with more or less the coolest guy in the room (you remember professional donut model Will... omg he always has the craziest work stories like "and so now this beautiful androgynous Dutch chick is totally licking glaze and sprinkles from the contours of my exquisite washboard abs..."), so it's not like I was trying to meet peeps. But then Will disappeared for a bit, and the next-best-looking man in the club happened to sit down near where our group was sitting, so I asked him if he was a fan of the band.

He didn't know them, but knew they were playing Bonnaroo, and his band was playing Bonnaroo, so he was curious... So OK, this guy is really cool, obvs, but I'm really cool too because I dress badly and know more about J Roddy Walston and the Business, who are about to be his favorite too. And then he casually mentioned that his band played with the Allmans, so I was like "blah blah blah...Matt Zeiner...?" and lo and behold he and I have a mutual friend in Connecticut! And this guy's band, The Jamie McClean Band, is actually gonna be in charming little Colinsville for a gig next month - so it's a good thing he happened to meet Hartford's second favorite local blogger, right?!

He just happened to have a CD on him ("Is that a CD in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Oh! It is a CD! Give me!") which I checked out on the ride home. And what do you know, this guy is really good. We've occasionally mentioned how challenging we Scenics sometimes find it to describe art or music that isn't about being tortured or miserable without sounding like we're being insincere. And here I have that challenge again, because this guy reminds me of Steve Miller or the Black Crowes, and I mean that as a compliment, because I grew up on classic rock radio like anybody else my age, and it's rockin and catchy and he has a nice voice and these great guitar solos. A quick Youtube perusal finds him sitting in with everyone from Govt Mule to Blues Traveler to Gavin DeGraw. But is it my fault that reality has conspired to make me identify most closely with songs about boozing up, fucking up and inner rage, and not so much with songs about this great, total package guy who is not at all ashamed of expressing his sexuality and how he loves this chick and isn't trying to keep it on the DL or also go after some other chick? Whatever. I'm looking forward to checking this guy out June 18th at Bridge Street Live. And don't worry, we'll remind you about it again before then!

**(I cannot emphasize enough the importance of saying what you really mean and differentiating between literal and symbolic language, and neither can this guy)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fishing, anyone?

As a 13 year old kid on the shoreline of Connecticut, seeing those Master Bait and Tackle commercials on TV was a frequent source of amusement.

Yes, its a real store. And yes, 20 years later, it's still funny.

$5 Movies

We've already told you about the late night screenings of old favorites in Hartford and New Haven, but in case you're new, or just not paying attention, here are a few movie outings you may be interested in.

~Friday May 20 and Saturday May 21- Pink Floyd: The Wall @ The Criterion, New Haven

Have you been feeling nostalgic about taking LSD and watching some fucked up shit? Here ya go.

~Friday May 20 and Saturday May 21- The Rocky Horror Picture Show @ Bow Tie Cinema, Hartford

What is going on here? We've noticed that Rocky Horror has been playing pretty regularly at Bow Tie over the last few months, but haven't heard anything about a live cast performing alongside the movie. Anyone want to organize one? We have a veteran Rocky Horror performer right here on Team Scenic.

Spot the Scenic, and win a prize*!

~Friday May 27 and Saturday May 28- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan @ The Criterion, New Haven

....we should also organize some audience participation to go with this one.

~Friday May 27 and Saturday May 28- Pee Wee's Big Adventure @ Bow Tie Cinema, Hartford

Amazing Larry is the most underrated character of this beloved movie (obviously).

*a photoshop of you with Tim Curry

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Soviet CT, Boston Comes to You!

Boston rock band The Few are comin' to town! (We totally know their manager - shoutout Bryan Donoghue!) They're playing 2 shows, Friday at the Hessian Lion in Avon, and Saturday at the Mapletree Cafe in Simsbury. The band has a little something for everyone... they are described as classic rock, blues, funk, soul... y'know, all the funnest genres. The lead singer, Jaime MacKenzie, is not only a hottie, but classically trained and hella talented. Her husband, Kevin MacKenzie, sings, plays amazing guitar solos, and reminds us that functional relationships can exist! Bassist Ryan Martin is a luthier who crafts custom instruments for the band. (How impressive is that??). We don't know much about drummer Shaemus Shepard, but the imternets tell us that he kicks ass. The live show promises both visual AND aural excitement, as they do something involving a projector, and tend to bust out bizarre instruments like the mandolin or the washboard. They are upbeat and fun and dancey and this should be a wonderful time. This is also a great opportunity to check the Hessian Lion which we hear has all of our favorite things - couches, $4 Guinness, and sexy bartenders! See you there.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friends-of-the-blog New Haven takeover

Wednesday, May 11: Sidewalk Dave & Johnny Corndawg @ BAR, New Haven
Friday, May 13: Steven Deal, The Jackies, Stark Raving Lulu @ Elm Bar, New Haven

By now you're all well aware of our special feelings for New Haven's Sidewalk Dave, and if you're not, well, here... This Wednesday watch Sidewalk Dave's Dave play with himself (*sizzle*) for a rare solo gig at BAR, which will also feature this Johnny Corndawg fellow, who we're just looking into now, but his style seems to be that cherry blend of singer-songwriter and autism spectrum disorder that always drives us out of our pants. This show is brought to you by Manic Productions. They seem to like it when we say their name. Maybe if we say it enough they will book our out-of-town pretend boyfriends, Black Taxi, to play in New Haven. We only go to New York for donuts. Gigs are impossible.
Friday night our friend Steven Deal will be playing at Elm Bar, who we apparently bullied into lowering their ridiculous Guinness prices in our greatest accidental accomplishment yet, along with some girlie bands. We totally don't know The Jackies, but their name is certainly promising! 

Steven and Katie met via JDate and hit it off famously over some fries, back when that Elm joint was real Rudy's. Oy! The self-loathing of these two though! He's a nazi reenactor; she once ghost-wrote an unflattering portrait of David Ben-Gurion for a scholarly publication. Ha ha, just kidding - they only look Druish.

I call that a donut, the best I ever had

Sorry CT, sometimes I've got to get away. This weekend I left your sorry ass for Brooklyn, where I drank beer, ate a turkey sandwich, had some mediocre latenite diner food, consumed copious amounts of iced coffee, watched dvds, played videos on youtube, listened to tunes on Grooveshark - stuff I simply cannot do here at home. Well, the least I could do was review some indie donuts while I was there! You remember how we used to review donuts on the regs before donuts went and jumped the shark?

(Professional donut model Will has his work
cut out for him staying so fit selling donuts)

Sunday morning my host and I walked to Dough. I immediately noticed that the donuts were the size of small pillows, then gawked over enticing flavors like chocolate chipotle and hibiscus. Ultimately, I played it kind of safe with a cinnamon sugar donut and one slathered in chocolate "with cocoa nibs." These donuts were huge, but I ate two - for you. And while I am so happy that they were as delicious as one could possibly hope, it is with some regret that I admit they are better than any of those CT donuts we tried last year, which will now pale in comparison. The cinnamon sugar one tasted just like perfect, fresh fried dough, and the topping on the other was rich, real chocolate. Can a thing be moist and fluffy at the same time? Yes, I do believe it can. What if a sheep got left out in the rain? These donuts were simultaneously moist and fluffy. I must report that the "dollars to donuts" exchange rate we've boasted of before is less favorable when we're talking about New York gourmet donuts; in the city, we are only half as wealthy.

(Lucky girl! Katie Scenic can't get over how big it is!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

CT Oddities

This exists:

Abbott Tech, Danbury