This Week in New Haven (July 29 – August 4)

This Week in New Haven (July 29 – August 4)

W e gracefully leave an erratic July and acclimate to August. It has already turned abruptly cooler, and with the school year starting at the end of the month, you’ll see more activity on the streets than in recent weeks. College-friendly bands are already on tour. You’ll detect a bit of a folk-music vibe this week in New Haven (courtesy of Stacy Phillips, Nate Currin and others), but there are also collectives of young visual artists making noise in the Ninth Square and on Audubon Street, and some lively local rock and surf and hip-hop bands at small clubs. You can sense Autumn coming in, but don’t worry—it’s still summer.

Monday, July 29
Tet Offensive is a punk-tinged classical ensemble that plays original songs and grunge covers in rock clubs. Frontman Brian Robinson (managing director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra) says he’s devised a special family-friendly yet still highly energetic set for Tet Offensive’s 7 p.m. gig tonight at Mitchell Branch Library (37 Harrison Street, New Haven). The Tet Offensive show is part of the Beecher Park Concert Series.

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Tuesday, July 30
Cool down with some upbeat bluegrass at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell Street, Hamden) courtesy of Stacy Phillips, Chris Brashear, Ben Freed, Betsy Rome and Pete Kelly—all of whom serve in distinguished bluegrass or folk acts, and perform monthly at this venue as the “Bluegrass Characters.” 7 p.m. Free.

The idea of young people playing weary old corporate automatons in the 1960s office-culture musical comedy How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying seems immensely appealing. If these characters can’t take their coffee break, something inside them dies. The Audubon Arts Theatre Group (a program of Neighborhood Music School) performs the show tonight through Thursday, August 1 at 7 p.m. in Hamden Hall auditorium, 1108 Whitney Avenue, Hamden. $14 for adults, $6 for children under 10. 203-624-5189.

The monthly free Comedy Magic series at BAR continues with Eric Dittelman, who’s been on TV’s America’s Got Talent. 8 p.m. at BAR, 254 Crown Street, New Haven.

Wednesday, July 31
Goodnight Blue Moon certainly is seeing a lot of moonlight these days. The band played the Twilight Tuesdays series at Neighborhood Music School last week, appears at Cafe Nine this Friday (opening for Hurray for the Riff Raff) and tonight they’re at the third of four Jewish Community Center “Grill n’ Chill” Kosher BBQ events this summer. 5 to 8 p.m. on the JCC Terrace (360 Amity Road, Woodbridge; 203-387-2424).

As Elm Shakespeare prepares for its outdoor production of the bard’s Julius Caesar in Edgerton Park (opening August 15), local scholar Susan Feinberg gives a lecture about the play, “Julius Caesar: Primordial and Modern,” 3 p.m. at Mitchell Branch Library (37 Harrison Street, New Haven).

RAW/Natural Born Artists is an independent arts organization, founded in Hartford but recently relocated to New Haven, which promotes and otherwise provides resources for a variety of artists and designers. RAW (not to be confused with that other Connecticut RAW, Real Art Ways) holds its latest showcase, Elevation, tonight from 6 p.m. to midnight at The Russian Lady (144 Temple Street, New Haven). The schedule includes several dance and “hoop” performances, fashion shows, a poetry slam, an “LED performance,” music from Indigroove and Rizzo’s Dilemma, and more.

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Thursday, August 1
The Californian indie pop duo Capital Cities (pictured above with backup) had a hit two years ago with “Safe and Sound” off the band’s debut EP. Capital Cities’s new album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery was released in early June, and the pair plays Toad’s Place tonight at 8 p.m. $15. 300 York Street, New Haven. (203) 624-TOAD.

Friday, August 2
This month’s On9 first-Friday celebration in the Ninth Square has the usual open houses and special deals at businesses in the neighborhood, plus unique events like the “Pie Contest” bake sale benefit for CitySeed’s Food Stamp Double Value Program ($15; $5 for kids); the New Haven Cornhole Championship (it’s like a beanbag toss) on Court Street.; and live music from Hu Man (on Court Street) and Sean Rainey (in Pitkin Plaza). The night’s theme, in case you were wondering: “Noise On9.” Because pie-eating makes noise. 6 to 8 p.m.

Creative Arts Workshop has an opening, even though the gallery’s doors are closed for the month. Every August CAW offers an installation viewable through its building’s windows. This year it’s Inside Out Inside, a “continuation” of the public art photo project Inside Out New Haven which has beautified city underpasses in East Rock. Creative Arts Workshop is at 80 Audubon Street, New Haven; 203-562-4927. The reception is from 5 to 7 p.m., and the exhibit is up through September 2.

Saturday, August 3
Nothing like a raucous local rock show in a small bar on a hot summer night. Eurisko, West Rockers and The High Noon play tonight at Elm Bar (372 Elm Street, New Haven) at 9 p.m. for a mere $3 cover.

For a more reflective club experience, singer/songwriter Nate Currin (who’s from the south, and recently moved to the west coast) plays a free gig at the Outer Space at 7 p.m. His new release The Pilgrim is an 18-song concept album inspired by John Bunyan’s 1678 allegorical religious classic The Pilgrim’s Progress. 295 Treadwell Street, Hamden. (203) 288-6400.

Sunday, August 4
Spend your afternoon riding the curl at Cafe Nine (250 State Street, New Haven, 203-789-8981). Tsunami of Sound offers a 3 p.m. set of surf music. Cowabunga! $5.

At another Crown Street club, InEffect Music Group has a multi-act showcase tonight at Stella Blues, touting hip-hopper J. Ojeda and N.V.i.E, rockers Shaded Grace and a host of other acts: Sun One, G Nice, Team Digital and The Coalition. 9 p.m. 204 Crown Street, New Haven. (203) 752-9764.

Written by Christopher Arnott. Readers are encouraged to verify dates, times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Christopher Arnott has written about arts and culture in Connecticut for over 25 years. His journalism has won local, regional and national awards, and he has been honored with an Arts Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. He posts daily at his own sites and New Haven Theater Jerk (

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