Y ou can find peace and quiet this week, but you’ll have to try harder than usual, as an implausibly impressive mix of musicians, poets and actors feed us piece after piece of sweet, sweet ear candy.
Monday, June 6
Cafe Nine starts things off with creativity and levity, hosting a free 9 p.m. “song prompt” that challenges artists to write and perform original tunes given a peculiar theme and title: “Shakespeare Did It.” 250 State Street, New Haven. (203) 789-8281.
Tuesday June 7
Hewing to a season-long theme of “Seven Deadly Sins,” Yale Summer Cabaret has been meeting its gluttony quota since June 2 with the iconic “eat me” and “drink me” directives—plus newly “hellish” tea parties—of a contemporary take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Performances, which producers say “uncover the dark, bizarre underpinnings of your favorite children’s story,” run through June 19, picking up with tonight’s 8 p.m. show inside 217 Park Street, New Haven. Regular tickets cost $30, with discounts for students and Yale faculty/staff.
Wednesday, June 8
June and jams go together like toast and… preserves. Tonight, sometime after a 6:20 start and a slew of other acts, Californian reggae powerhouse Rebelution schmears its chilled-out jams across College Street Music Hall (238 College St, New Haven; 203-867-2000). Performing before Rebelution, in reverse order, are The Green, a super-smooth R&B, jazz, rock and reggae band; Stick Figure, source of paced but bright reggae soundscapes; Through the Roots, playing reggae rock with a modern edge; and party-starter DJ Mackle. $32.
Thursday, June 9
Sponsored by Southern Connecticut State University, twentysomething British poet Andrew McMillan, author of physical, “the first-ever poetry collection to win the Guardian First Book Award,” reads from that collection tonight at 7 p.m. inside Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885). Free.
Friday, June 10
Two days after Rebelution, a longtime critical darling headlines College Street Music Hall: indie rock/folk singer/songwriter Conor Oberst, best known for literate lyrics, DIY sensibilities and the erstwhile stage name Bright Eyes. The show, starting at 8 p.m. and costing $25 (to stand on the floor) or $35 (to sit in the balcony or loge), features opener The Felice Brothers, a lo-fi rock/roots throwback echoing Americana sounds from Bob Dylan’s reedy narrations to the Old West’s piano plinks and fiddle wails.
Saturday, June 11
Though it had its first performance Thursday and its official start yesterday—including a special kickoff event—the International Festival of Arts & Ideas begins hitting its stride today. 21 events are on the docket, including a round-trip bike ride to Cheshire, tours of maker space MakeHaven, a Q&A with major documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney and a headliner on the Green that’s got locals in a tizzy: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. So far, the free 7 p.m. funk show’s Facebook event page has gathered more than 2,000 commitments, with over 4,000 others saying they’re “interested.” That bodes well for the opening acts, too, which begin at 4:45 with a truck-bed performance by Music Haven’s Haven String Quartet.
Sunday, June 12
Pirates invade Milford today. It’s the city’s “12th Annual Cap’n Kidd Treasure Hunt Pirates Day,” a play-acted calamity in which “Captain Kidd and his crew… sail into Milford Harbor, ‘kidnap’ Mayor Blake and ‘take over’ downtown Milford.” Encouraging families to costume up and embark on “a day of special treasures and pirates activities,” the main event seems to be the treasure/scavenger hunt, in which seekers have to collect proverbial Xes from participating businesses. Organizers have peg-legged… er, pegged the free rain-or-shine event to last from noon to 5 p.m.
Written by Dan Mims. Photographed by Judy Sirota Rosenthal. Image provided courtesy of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.