Episode 403, or HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

I have been forgiven by the Gods of Halloween™. I passed on a costume party. I wore no costume today. Yet, as I walked from the workplace to the car, a bat flew by, circled my head twice and continued off into the night. When I picked up sushi dinner, a large spider ran across the windshield.

Could there be better Halloween omens? I guess I am lacking a black cat, maybe eye of newt or whatnot, but I think I've been granted a reprieve this year.


Chicken Pot Pie

IMG_5583.JPG, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

...is not what I ate this weekend, but this might be the best sign, best chicken, and best pywood I've ever seen. It was at the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival, in Rhinebeck, NY.


Do your research.

As Mrs. Cupcakes would surely tell you, research is important. Well, maybe she'd tell you about archives being important in regards to research. ANYWHO, I was researching some info about the opening bands I've seen over the last few weeks, and I came to realize that the Night of the Melvins, Oct. 12, 2006 @ Toad's Place in New Haven, I was truly in the presence of greatness, above and beyond just the Melvins themselves.

I was trying to find out who the opening opener was that night, as all the promotionals and whatnot had listed a band called Big Business (caution, myspace!), yet there was no Big Business there that night. SO, turns out the Melvins absorbed Big Business into their ranks, requiring new openers for the tour. Big Business was two guys (one of whom was in the Murder City Devils, a personal favorite) who were/are playing their own gigs, and then they helped form this dual-drumkit SUPERMELVINS, which we experienced that night. I only caught a few songs from the new opening opener guy, but it was pretty much just him playing electric bass, with occasional light Melvins rhythm accompaniment. Turns out he was Joe Lally, bassist for Fugazi, and he was just joining the tour that evening. The stuff I heard was really good, and pretty low key.

The secondary opener was Ghostigital, an Icelandic combo that I dubbed "Einstürzende Bjorksfather" in my head because the band included a dude with a circuitbent Speak & Spell in the rhythm section, and the lead guy reminded me of the Sugarcubes. Well, turns out it was the guy from the Sugarcubes. Also happens that there will be one Rekjavik Sugarcubes reunion show, which is how I found the info, courtesy of this site.

Sheesh, what a history of my early musical development all wedged into one night! This past week was no slacker, either, musically, though not as historically significant.

Wednesday night was Del, with openers Motion Man (caution, myspace!), Psalm One, Bukue One, and Mike Relm. Mike Relm was an entertaining DJ, but his real schtick was scratching with video. His setup included a sheet hung at the front of the stage with a video projector behind it. He had a little intro bit and then while he was DJing, at certain points he could go over to whatever DVD mixer console thingie he was using and scratch with video. It was fun, and he had clips from all kinds of movies in his presentation.

Which brings us to Thursday night, featuring Deerhoof opening for the Fiery Furnaces (caution, automusical!). I decided that I prefer Deerhoof live and the Furnaces on record. It was a great show, and in no way do I mean to slight either band, but the lyrics for the Fiery Furnaces didn't come through very well and Deerhoof was even more fun to watch than to listen to.

That wraps up the music report. Last night was an art show for Anne Thompson in Hartford, followed by dinner at Bin 228 with Heather, Bethany and the Cupcakes. We all bought some art from Anne and then had a fantastic dinner of small plates and wine followed by desert and espresso.

This weekend is RHEINBECK! Not a band, but the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. I'm sure I'll have plenty of photos, speaking of which, here is a set from Wadsworth Falls, our localest state park, where we took a hike last weekend.

Rocktober out!



Stitchy McYarnpants!

We went to West Hartford this afternoon to see Stitchy McYarnpants live and in person at Sit-n-Knit. She had some awful examples of delightfully awful things, both in picture and actual knit form. She has been frequenting eBay and finding genuine bizarro knits.

We went to lunch at the Elbow Room, right down the street, and thankfully chose to sit outside.


If we had sat inside we would have missed this gentleman's pants.


Topographic snakeskin trousers. Slacks. Not actual snakeskin, just that weird print. On pale yellow. With. That. Sweater.


Oh yeah, also, last Thursday night I went to see the Melvins with Ethan, at Toad's Place in New Haven. It was loud. It brought the rock. Next week is Del and the Fiery Furnaces, on consecutive nights.

Rocktober out!


I <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 this plant

IMG_5397.JPG, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

I probably should've saved this until the depths of winter and valentine's day, but it is leaf season, so here you go. Found right on our house this morning as I took out the trash.


Weekend Update


Went on special The Cupcakes Dinner Date™ to Arugula restaurant in West Hartford, where we were served, by our own choosing, steamed mussels (served in a teapot) and sweet potato fries (served in a pint glass)...

Teapot mussels @ Arugula

Arugula Val

...mixed greens/gorgonzola/walnut salad (sorry, no picture, can't snap, eating), followed by a smoked salmon/goat cheese/red onion/cucumber flatbread (i.e., pizza-thingie)...

smoked salmon flatbread

...and finally, a mocha/coconut creme brulee with espresso on the side...

Happy Val with dessert




We bought a washing machine...

Washing machine vs. liquor cabinet

...to go with our liquor cabinet. I mean, um, to save money and time vs. the laundromat.


OK, to be perfectly honest, the washer wasn't delivered until Sunday, which we had planned to spend doing laundry, but instead I spent figuring out how to not flood the kitchen when the washer drained. Turns out the standard washer draining standards call for a 2" standpipe (vs. a 1.5" standpipe) that can handle 17 gal./minute carry-away. I ended up extending the standpipe by a foot and that seems to be working.

anonymous hookup

Stay tuned for more exciting laundry/liquor cabinet updates!


My new favorite sign

Favorite sign, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

Let's go!



World Wide Web Multitude (of) Minnesota Music


Work is for suckers.

Suckers like me! I have been working 40 hours a week at my part time job these last few weeks. That doesn't mean there's no time for other things, including a trifecta of musical shows.

I made a pact with Ethan to see three shows in three nights last week. Thursday was hip-hop with Dr. Octagon, AKA Kool Keith, with opener 7L and Esoteric. Friday was Elf Power, with openers Geoff Reacher and The Secret Ink. Saturday was The Hold Steady, with openers The Big Sleep and Sean Na Na.

Kool Keith was good, but he didn't Dr. Octagon much, and in fact he did this oddball "medley" which was about 20 seconds of one of his "hits" from some album, then a pause, then another 20 seconds of "hit". I was glad to go because it was my first experience at the historic Toad's Place in New Haven, but the show was less than stellar.

Friday was great, starting with the fact that the rock show was at the Wallingford American Legion, and all the bands were good. It was like having the bands in your livingroom, or your wood paneled basement rec room. Aparently this location is the former HQ, and the legion hangs on to it and just rents it out for the most part. This show and Saturday night's show were produced by Manic Productions, a group of guys that bring a great variety of bands to the local empty lodges of various sorts.

Saturday was the final show, which just happened to be in Hamden, just down the street from my new(ish) job, at the Hamden Masonic Lodge. Much like the Wallingford American Legion, but with a slightly more modern rec room feel, this was a particularly sweet show for me, as the Hold Steady is 40% Lifter Puller, one of my favorite Twin Cities bands of all time. Sean Na Na is also a favorite, and the Big Sleep was heavy rockin' too.

All that and a couplea tag sales added up to a fine weekend.


Pictured: palmy plant, ice cream maker, sewing kit, pots of the tea and flower variety, and a Red Cross water safety manual.