T his week is defined by the senses of taste and hearing, and taste in hearing. A foodie event involving restaurant chefery offers the main course Thursday, with home-cooking getting its turn on Saturday. All the while, exotic and local flavors of music dance and thrash across the city’s discerning aural palate.
Tuesday, January 6
Dance-rock band !!! defies common sense, which says your name should be, you know, intelligible and speakable. The group makes up some of the difference by calling itself “chk chk chk,” though apparently any repeated syllable will do. As an approach to band-naming, it’s cavalier like it doesn’t care, but it’s exclamatory like it does, and that’s a great way to describe the group, whose songs grow and drive yet retain a mellow attitude. They aren’t trying too hard to win your affection—which, along with the naming thing, is probably why !!! has managed to maintain a persistent sheen of underground “cool” since the mid-90s. Experience the exclamation points live tonight at The Ballroom at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400), on a bill that begins with “one-man beat wizard” Darren Keen at 9 p.m. $15.
Wednesday, January 7
Lo-fi but dreamy-sounding indie rock band Tijuana Panthers headlines the free Wednesday show in BAR’s back room tonight at 9. Sprouting up before Panthers is “conceptual punk band” The Garden, which puts a slow-burning electro, industrial, occasionally even danceable spin on a genre known for blink-and-you-miss-it thrashers. And before that is Charly Bliss, a “bubble-grunge” band with a really big sound and two lead singers. One of them in particular, Eva Hendricks, embodies the bubble and the grunge, her high-timbre, almost child-like voice uttering post-adolescent thoughts without any audible hint of irony. 254 Crown Street, New Haven. (203) 495-8924.
Thursday, January 8
Today at 5:30 p.m., chefs from Soul de Cuba Cafe are getting out of their snug, warm restaurant and into an expansive, bright grocer six blocks away. Elm City Market (777 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-624-0441) is the destination, and a free cooking demo is the objective. For the audience, tasting the food is on the menu, as is chatting with the cooks.
Opening last week, Long Wharf Theatre’s latest, Forever, is the world premiere of a one-woman show featuring the extolled playwright/performer Dael Orlandersmith, whose got an Obie on her mantle and came this close—imagine two fingertips held an inch apart—to winning a Pulitzer. Drawing on her own not-so-easy upbringing for inspiration, the play is “about family—the ones we were born into, the ones we create for ourselves—and the legacies that shape us all.” Playing through February 1 within LWT’s intimate Stage II space, tonight’s show starts at 8 p.m., with tickets costing $64.50. 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven. (203) 787-4282.
Friday, January 9
DaSilva Gallery (897-899 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-387-2539) welcomes new exhibition Caravaggio’s Toys today, with an artist reception tomorrow night from 6 to 8 p.m. The artist is photographer Joy Bush, who’s taken kiddish collectible toys and bathed them in chiaroscuro—that is, high-contrast, highly dramatic—lighting. The idea is to “give larger-than-life importance and seriousness to these stuffed, lowbrow figures” (like Beanie Baby Scoop the Pelican, pictured above), making for a light-hearted night at the gallery. Free.
Saturday, January 10
If you’re feeling starved of fresh, local produce since the city’s last regular farmers’ markets ended in December, rejoice. CitySeed’s Indoor Winter Market opens today at 10 a.m. inside Metropolitan Business Academy (115 Water St, New Haven), and among various vendors’ breads, dairy-aisle goods, specialty items and prepared foods, organizers say you can also expect to find “kales, chard, beets, turnips, rutabagas, cabbage, celeriac, herbs, purple potatoes, red potatoes, salad mix, mustard greens, bok choy, radishes [and] broccoli rabe.” Sounds too green to be winter, doesn’t it?
Right as the market ends at 1 p.m., Master Cook Corps, a CitySeed-affiliated “cooking teacher training program,” is putting on a workshop called “Good, Cheap and Healthy: How to Eat Well on $4 a Day” at the Mitchell Branch library (37 Harrison St, New Haven; 203-946-8117). The itinerary includes a screening of the documentary Food Stamped, whose makers wanted to discover whether it’s really possible to eat healthfully on a “food stamp budget,” plus a live cooking demo with several dashes of home-cooking advice.
Sunday, January 11
Die Hipster! Records, a punk-focused “bedroom label” based in New Haven, is putting on a free 3 p.m. showcase this afternoon at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281). Atop the bill is the prolific, kinda old-school punk rockers The Lost Riots, whose album artworks and song lyrics often reference the city. Another local act in the showcase is Goat Herder, which proves that punk and black metal really aren’t so different after all.
Written by Dan Mims. Photographed by Joy Bush. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.