This Week in New Haven (November 2 – 8)

B etween different sorts of dance parties, a blisteringly busy music festival and dramatic, even operatic shows, the city’s music scene is unstoppable this week. Even the few non-music events—talks from interesting, well-practiced speakers and the rich 35mm screening of an action-packed film a New York Times reviewer called a “beautiful, hissing tangle” some 50 years ago—are music to New Haven’s ears.

Monday, November 2
It takes gumption to non-ironically call yourself “Connecticut’s premier acoustic guitar/saxophone duo.” But DittyMack does. With a lead vocal halfway between Tom Waits and Satchmo, and trading flute for sax sometimes, the duo brings its covers of “tin pan alley, pop standards, blues and anything else that grafts to our head” to the latest “DrinkDeeply’s Saloon Singer Showcase” at Cafe Nine tonight. The $4 show starts at 8 p.m. with rootsy country opener Kerri Powers, who plays guitar and harmonica and sometimes puts a twang in her powerful pipes. 250 State St, New Haven. (203) 789-8281.

sponsored by

Brothers in Arts presented by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra
Tuesday, November 3
Two very different 5:30-to-7:30 talks force wisdom-seekers to make a decisive choice tonight. In Kroon Hall (195 Prospect St, New Haven), David Sandalow—whose past senior roles at the U.S. Department of Energy top a resume including wonk work for the Brookings Institution and the Clinton Global Initiative; diplomacy work for the State Department; and writerly work towards a prescriptive book Freedom from Oil—speaks about energy policy and probably many other things. In Battell Chapel (400 College St, New Haven), Krista Tippett—who’s won a Peabody and a National Humanities Medal as creator and host of NPR’s On Being, and made the New York Times bestseller list for her book Einstein’s God—speaks about “The Mystery and Art of Living,” by which she means “the practices of faith and its virtues: the being and doing of spiritual life that our world desperately needs.”

Wednesday, November 4
The free show at BAR tonight offers a surefire midweek mood bump. Topping the 9:30 bill is emergent Aussie group Strange Talk (pictured above), whose crisp synth anthems fulfill EDM dreams but with a less brazenly commercial sound. Before that is second act Intergalactix, offering a congruously dance-y stew, just with fatter beats and thinner synths. Opening the show is ebullient local rock/pop talent Ian Biggs, whose weapons of choice are an electric guitar and a voice that mainstream radio would love, if it only knew about him.

Thursday, November 5
Entering its second year, the Elm City Music Fest is the rare New Haven music event with an explicit bent towards industry education, which explains the panels and workshops happening tomorrow (2 to 5 p.m.) and Saturday (1 to 5 p.m.) at the New Haven Hotel (229 George St, New Haven). Of course, ECMF’s also about music itself, which explains the “75+” regional acts performing in 15 showcases across seven partner venues—Cafe Nine, Cask Republic, Elm City Social, Kelly’s, Pacific Standard, Stella Blues and Tavern New Haven, all clustered around a few block-stretch of Crown Street—over the next three days. For tonight’s kickoff at Tavern (124 Temple St, New Haven; 475-227-0780)—a lone showcase prior to tomorrow’s and Saturday’s 7-venue madness—the music starts at 7:30, following a 5:30 “Welcome Party” for badge holders. Badges, by the way, which include access to the aforementioned panels and workshops, cost $30 for all three days, or $12 for a single.

Friday, November 6
It’s getting colder out, but that isn’t stopping the Elm City Dance Collective from putting on “Tiny Shorts,” a.k.a. “Brief Dances in Small Places,” tonight at 7 and 9 p.m. inside Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885). A “reimagined” take on the group’s annual Elm City Dance Festival, it features a bunch of dancers and companies, including ECDC itself, as they “stretch their vision of what is possible for dance in unconventional spaces, and invites audiences to engage with the pure entertainment of adventurous dance in small bites.” Speaking of small bites, tomorrow night from 6 to 11, also at Lyric Hall, is the ECDC’s yearly fundraising gala, which involves hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and dessert to go with “Tiny Shorts” performances and a separate preview of the company’s latest full-form work. Friday tickets cost $25, while gala tickets go for $100 apiece, or $80 if you buy in bulk, or $65 if you’re a student or professional artist.

Up at 1253 Whitney—a coworking space/social hall named for its Hamden address—you can be the dancer. That’s where New Haven Farms, which helps educate and feed low-income families via eight small farm sites around New Haven, is celebrating this year’s harvest (and helping fund next year’s) with its second annual “Contra Dance and Auction.” Bill Fischer, perhaps the most central figure in New Haven’s vibrant contra dancing scene, is doing the calling. Local restaurants, vintners and breweries, meanwhile, are providing the hors d’oeuvres, the wine ($6) and the beer ($5). Adult and youth tickets cost $12 and $7, respectively. 7 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, November 7
“Opera” comes two ways at Yale this weekend. Last night at 8 and this afternoon at 2, there’s Refuse the Hour—a “multimedia chamber opera” in which “renowned South African artist William Kentridge joins forces with a composer, a choreographer, a video designer and a physicist to deliver an astonishing collision of art and performance”—inside the University Theatre (222 York St, New Haven; 203-432-1234; $25-70). Tonight at 7:30 and tomorrow at 2, the huge voices of Yale Opera perform this semester’s  “Opera Scenes”—with each performance presenting vignettes from a unique “assortment of comic and tragic works” like Verdi’s Rigoletto and Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen—inside Morse Recital Hall (470 College St, New Haven; 203-432-4158; $5-20).

Local indie band José Oyola & The Astronauts is inviting a marching band, a church choir, a hip hop collective and a salsa school up on stage to help perform and celebrate the release of its new album, Hologram, with four opening acts to boot. Tickets to this hyperlocal, all-ages spectacle, starting at 7:30 p.m. at College Street Music Hall (238 College St, New Haven), cost $16 if you want to stand or $21 if sitting is your preference.

Sunday, November 8
Today at 2 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven), the Film Study Center at Yale presents a free screening of a movie considered fine popular art. It’s The Train (1964), about a train inspector and French Resistance member who finds that he and his compatriots are the last line of defense between stolen museum artworks and the Germans who are trying to whisk them out of France by train. Or, as the tagline says, it’s about “one man’s impossible mission—to save his country’s priceless treasures!”

Written by Dan Mims. Image depicts Strange Talk. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped in no small part by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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