I ndependence is where it’s at this week in New Haven. Out of the thrall of the interconnected and overwhelming International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which ended Saturday, the city is once again a far-flung and random grab bag of cultural delights. Yes, there are fewer events overall than when a festival is in town, or college is in session, but there’s still no end of concerts, fitness activities and other diversions, not to mention a major national holiday. Fireworks!
Monday, July 1
Bookflix is an “interactive story hour” which combines animated films by award-winning Connecticut-based kids’ film studio Weston Woods with copies of the storybooks the cartoons are based upon. The Stetson Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library (200 Dixwell Ave, New Haven; 203-946-8119) is hosting its story hour today from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
The Get to the Point! storytelling series at Cafe Nine is now seven months old. Since it’s warm and quiet in town, this month’s session is more low-key. Musicians will be on hand to back up some of the readers, and it’ll be the closest to an “open mic” that the event has had thus far. Let host Christopher Arnott (same guy who writes these calendar columns) know if you’re planning to read, though, by contacting him here.
Tuesday, July 2
Family Healthercise is an all-ages dance/exercise regimen offered weekdays at 5:15 p.m. at the Wilson Branch of NHFPL (303 Washington Avenue, New Haven; 203-946-2228).
The New Haven Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees has a couple of “recreational buses” which stop at different New Haven neighborhoods every day this summer. Today from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Bus 1 is at Ricefield Playground on View Street in the Cedar Hill part of town, while Bus 2 is at Jocelyn Square Park along Humphrey Street between East and Wallace streets. (203) 946-8027. Scroll down to the final page of the city’s summer brochure for a complete schedule.
Wednesday, July 3
Goodnight Blue Moon is the hot folk band that’s played just about every club and festival in the state. Tonight the group fills the small storefront stage of Stella Blues (204 Crown Street, New Haven; 203-752-9764).
Bleeding Rainbow, formerly known as Reading Rainbow, is the featured band at the free 9 p.m. weekly live rock night at BAR (254 Crown Street, New Haven; 203-495-1111). Fat Creeps, from Massachusetts, and the Connecticut-rooted High Pop open. All the bands play spirited indie pop/rock, with shout-outs to loud bands of yore.
Thursday, July 4
It’s the Fourth of July. Libraries, other government buildings and many clubs and shops are closed. So find a park or a cemetery and reflect on freedom.
Following that… where are the fireworks? Exploding from the top of East Rock starting at 9:15 p.m. tonight. Shuttle buses will bring you to the summit from 4 to 8:45 p.m., then bring you back down afterward. Parking for the shuttle is located at the Davis Street entrance to East Rock Park and is $5 per car. Once you’ve ascended East Rock, you’ll find a live band (Hit List), free books (from New Haven Reads), tours (of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument), horse-drawn carriages, food and other fun.
Friday, July 5
The Zombies, the great ’60s rock band whose hits include “She’s Not There” and whose 1968 album Odessey and Oracle is considered a psychedelic masterpiece, still tour with founding members Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone (pictured above). The band plays a free show at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Town Center Park, 2761 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden. (203) 287-2546.
The Joiner Inners are having what’s billed as their “last show ever.” The modern pop band, which has experimented with everything from rock operas to whirlwind recording sessions, has been earning high acclaim for the album House of Sound, which followed their 2009 retrospective called The Time is Now. Join in the Joiner Inners’ alleged last hurrah as the band headlines at the Spaceland Ballroom tonight, with The Gentle Stunes and Dead Stars opening. 8:30 p.m. $10. 295 Treadwell Street, Hamden. (203) 288-6400.
Saturday, July 6
Toad’s Place (300 York Street, New Haven; 203-624-TOAD) has two big shows today. At 4 p.m. it’s a “Young Stars” concert hosted by teen actor/R&B star Jacob Latimore, which is open to ages 14 and up for $35. At 9 p.m., for a slightly older crowd (you have to be 16 to get in), Toad’s offers a big electronic dance music/dubstep/drum-n-bass extravaganza with Vinyl Child, Joey Fedz, Highlife, A-Ron, Kapsoul, Tango, E-Roc, LarryLuck and Diatonic. $12.
Sunday, July 7
The sounds of summer: surf music and jazz.
Cafe Nine (250 State Street, New Haven; 203-789-8281) has a new “Summer Surf Series,” which today features esoteric instrumental acts from New Haven (The Vultures), New York City (Dark City) and Portland, Maine (Thee Icepicks). Not areas you associatively deeply with “Surf’s Up” and “Cowabunga!,” but these bands’ waterlogged hearts are in the right place. The waves crest from 3 to 7 p.m. for a cover charge of $5; at 8 p.m. the surf yields to Cafe Nine’s traditional (and free-of-charge) Sunday-After-Supper Jam.
The Outer Space has its own free-and-on-Sunday series, a weekly jazz show from 6 to 8 p.m. This week the featured act is the Keenan Asbridge Group. 295 Treadwell Street, Hamden. (203) 288-6400.
Written by Christopher Arnott.