This Week in New Haven (March 23 – 29)

N ew Haven goes on a world tour this week, no packing necessary. Tuesday, an honorary European speaks about food and “celebration”; Thursday, a British band riles things up; Thursday and Friday, an Israeli journalist does the same, only differently; and Friday and Saturday, African and other luminaries explore fascinating topics, then party it up.

Monday, March 23
The Yale School of Art (203-432-2600) welcomes famed painter/sculptor/drawer Carroll Dunham—incidentally, the father of Girls creator/star Lena Dunham—for tonight’s installment of its “Monday Night Lecture Series.” The school offers no specifics about Dunham’s talk, but judging from a survey of the work posted at his website, it seems fair to expect plenty of color. 6:30 p.m. Room 204, 36 Edgewood Avenue. Free.

Tuesday, March 24
This evening at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven; 203-432-0670), breathe the same air as a National Book Award winner, a National Magazine Award winner, an Emmy winner, a longtime european correspondent for the New Yorker and a Knight of the Legion of Honour (a mark of great distinction in France). That is, share a room with journalist Jane Kramer, who’s speaking about “Celebration: From Food Ritual to Food Feast” at 5 p.m. Free.

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New Haven Symphony Orchestra - Triumphant Voices

Wednesday, March 25
Tonight at 7, Long Wharf Theatre (222 Sargent Dr, New Haven; 203-787-4282) begins previews for the decidedly lowercase brownsville song (b-side for tray), an Eric Ting-directed play about a promising black high school student in Brooklyn—an “inner city youth,” yes, but one who’s determined not to be a cliche. Carrying echoes of the New Haven youth experience, Long Wharf has reduced the price ceiling of brownsville tickets to about $50 from the usual $75 or so, in an effort to make the show accessible to as many New Haveners as possible.

Thursday, March 26
Recombined ’80s/’90s band Swervedriver’s guitar distortion is preternaturally unleashed: it often eats up more eardrum bandwidth than you might reasonably think advisable. But clarity’s not the point during those moments. Uptempo shoegaze-y, grunge-y maelstrom is. Losing sight behind your sweaty ’90s shag haircut is. And when the song at hand opens up into more clarified stretches, you can brush the mop aside and regain some composure before the next plunge. The lead-in to Swervedriver’s product—showcased in the headlining spot tonight at The Ballroom at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, New Haven; 203-288-6400)—is Gateway Drugs, a “drug pop” band that sounds like it is, indeed, playing through smoke and haze. 9 p.m. $20.

Friday, March 27
Yesterday and today, an anti-establishment journalistic foil to Ms. Kramer gets her turn with New Haven. Lia Tarachansky is a scrappy Russian-Israeli news-catcher and documentarian living in Israel, the nation whose formation comprises the taboo topic at the root of her film On the Side of the Road. A former West Bank settler herself, Tarachansky’s Road confronts “Israelis’ collective amnesia of the fateful events of 1948,” according to the official summary. While the trailer reveals a film that’s often electric and unflinching, it also shows one that strives for insight through reflection. A free 6:30 p.m. screening and director talk yesterday at Yale’s Luce Hall (34 Hillhouse Ave) precedes a free noontime talk today at New Haven’s Main Ives Library (133 Elm St; 203-946-8835), where “Middle Eastern and Russian cuisine” is promised.

Saturday, March 28
Cultural identity and pressure and the effects they have on the aesthetics and politics of an imperialism-ravaged but reawakening Africa form the bottom line at this weekend’s “Africa Salon,” topped off by a heavy-hitting concert plus two after-parties. Altogether it’s an experiential bonanza of informed discussion and inspired performance that began yesterday evening and continues all day today and tonight. Various panels, replete with African and other experts and artists digging into pitch-perfect topics like “The African Imagination and the Western Market: On the Role of Western Validation in the Production of Contemporary African Literature” (10 a.m. today), take place at Yale’s Afro-American Cultural Center (211 Park St, New Haven; 203-432-4131). Meantime, between last night and tonight, 10 p.m. after-parties—first at Harvest (1104 Chapel St), then at Briq (266 College St)—surround an 8 p.m. tentpole concert tonight at Battell Chapel (400 College St), which won’t know what hit it. Registration for the panels carries a single $20 fee, or $10 for students; registration for the big concert on Saturday, which is headlined by dance-grooving Kenyan group Just a Band (pictured above), is free, as it is for both after-parties.

Sunday, March 29
The Westville visual arts scene gets its own bonanza today with not one, not two, not three, but four receptions celebrating new exhibits. From 3 to 6 p.m., Kehler Liddell Gallery (873 Whalley Ave; 203-389-9555) showcases dual exhibitions: The Whole Wide World, featuring composite panoramic photographs by Marjorie Gillette Wolfe, and Breaking Bread, featuring Frank Bruckmann’s oil-painted visions of the intimate titular act. Starting just before that, from 2 to 5 p.m., DaSilva Gallery (897-899 Whalley Ave) features landscape and “place” work by painter Constance LaPalombara; afterward, from 6 to 8 p.m., Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave) shows new paintings by Noé Jimenez and Project Space, located a little way down West Rock Avenue off Whalley, hosts modernist/pop work by Kevin Daly. All are free to attend.

Written by Dan Mims. 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.

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