T he local music scene takes some interesting twists and turns this week, jumping from mid-90s emo to free jazz and elsewhere. Meantime, Yale shows it’s back in full swing with noteworthy speakers and artsy spectacles, and an annual festival musters community and contentment over in East Rock.
Monday, September 8
Formed in 1994 and dissolved in 1998, putting out two influential LPs along the way, indie/emo band Mineral was here and gone in a flash. The band’s songs tend to feel considerably less speedy than that, with only one track from its last record, End Serenading (1998), registering anywhere near upbeat, and with singer Chris Simpson’s reedy, untamed voice generally spending a long time expressing few words. And don’t let the “emo” tag fool you; the band’s sound is more Explosions in the Sky than Fall Out Boy. Tonight, Mineral is falling out of retirement at the Center Church on the Green (250 Temple St, New Haven), during the fifth performance of its first reunion tour. Tickets for the all-ages show, which features Into It. Over It. opening things up at 8 p.m., are $22.
Tuesday, September 9
Linda Greenhouse knows a thing or two about the U.S. Supreme Court. She covered it for nearly 30 years as a reporter for The New York Times, earning a Pulitzer Prize in 1998. Now a research fellow and lecturer at Yale Law School, Greenhouse is giving a free 5:30 talk this evening on “The Roberts Court—Nine Years and Counting” at the Whitney Center in Hamden (200 Leeder Hill Dr; (203) 281-6745).
Just before Greenhouse’s talk, from 4 to 5:15 p.m., another impressive speaker is holding court back on Yale’s campus. Charles Bolden, the head honcho at NASA, is discussing “the future of the U.S. space program and its impact on international relations” in room 102 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall (63 High St, New Haven). Free.
Wednesday, September 10
At 12:30 p.m. today, Yale University Art Gallery (1080 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-432-0600) hosts a free classical music performance and talk within its cavernous halls. The event is called “Playing Images: An Exploration of Music and Art,” and the performers are the members of the Haven String Quartet, a.k.a. the faculty at Music Haven, who are joined by Yale curator Jessica Sack. Together, they intend to examine “how combining sound and sight can enhance what you see and hear.” Attendees should gather in the gallery lobby to start.
Thursday, September 11
An opening reception at the Silk Road Art Gallery (83 Audubon St, New Haven; 203-772-8928) tonight may give you an opportunity to apply what you learned yesterday at the YUAG. Silk Road’s new exhibition is titled Emblems of China: Contemporary Ink Wash, featuring the work of “five Chinese ink wash masters,” who mix ink and water to create a variety of shades and textures. In addition to the art, refreshments are promised. 5 to 7 p.m. Free.
Friday, September 12
Tonight, Firehouse 12 (45 Crown St, New Haven; 203-785-0468) opens its fall 2014 jazz series with a bang—lots of them—courtesy of the Ingrid Laubrock Quintet. (Ms. Laubrock is pictured above.) The band’s brand of free jazz seems particularly free, with saxes, tuba, trombone and drums going long stretches without settling into any apparent groove. The recognizable grooves that do emerge now and again are still frenetic and unpredictable enough that listeners are better off letting the quintet’s sound wash over them than registering every little detail, though it’s fun to try. As is customary at Firehouse 12, there are two shows, one at 8:30 p.m. ($20) and the other at 10 ($15).
Saturday, September 13
The perennially cheer-filled East Rock Festival is expected to bring thousands of people to the stretch of Orange Street between Cottage and Willow today for food, live music, dancing, kids’ activities and an abundance of vendors/exhibitors from around the community. The festival gets going at 11 a.m., turning into a “block party” from 6 to 9 p.m. Free to attend.
Three weeks ago, the fifth annual Ideat Village Rock Lottery took an assemblage of local musicians who’d never played together before and randomly grouped them into new bands, each charged with prepping a set to play during a free show tonight at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281). To make things even more interesting, each band was given “a set of mystery music challenges” to fulfill and will be subject to presumably light-hearted judgment by a jury of past Lottery participants. The music starts at 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 14
From 8 to 11 p.m. tonight (and every other night between Wednesday, September 10, and Tuesday, September 16), artist David Michalek’s Slow Dancing—“a series of 43 larger-than-life, hyper-slow-motion video portraits of dance artists from around the world, displayed on a triptych of screens, each measuring 24 feet high by 18 feet across, mounted from scaffolding approximately four stories high”—takes over Yale’s Cross Campus (just north of Old Campus). The installation comes courtesy of Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Free.
Written by Dan Mims. Photograph of Ingrid Laubrock provided by Firehouse 12.