This Week in New Haven (November 20 - 26)

This Week in New Haven (November 20 - 26)

The week begins quietly, with a couple of loud shows. Then, before the aromas of Thanksgiving have even left the house, trees will be lighting, carolers will be roving and Santa Clauses will be coming to towns.

Tuesday, November 21
Local “storytellers of sound” Head with Wings promise “textured, ethereal, and blissfully haunting” art rock during an album release show tonight at 8 at Hamden’s Space Ballroom. Openers include in-demand axe man Randy McStine, whose many irons in the fire include being a touring member of Porcupine Tree, and avant-garde musician Toby Driver, appearing here as Alora Crucible, which makes “excursions into composed, semi-ambient experimental New Age music.”

Wednesday, November 22
“A musical trainwreck for all!” returns to Cafe Nine, where, starting at 9, Dean Falcone’s 27th Annual Thanksgiving Vomitorium invites you to “come hear your favorite songs slaughtered and massacred…” Dishes, served up by nearly 30 announced musicians, include “overcook perfectly good songs and violat them,” “watch friends and enemies battle their way through songs they don’t know,” “watch in amazement as audience members are unwillingly dragged to the stage to sing” and “see who fills the Vomitorium buckets with holiday cheer!”

Thursday, November 23 – Thanksgiving
Enjoy the holiday.

Friday, November 24
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., it’s opening day for this year’s A.C. Gilbert’s American Flyer Train Show at the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop. Young and old can delight in a miniaturized village and countryside built around a historic, locally made, still-running model train set while delighting in crafty projects including building wooden trains.

Details are thin, but it looks like Morris Cove is holding a “Seawall Christmas tree lighting”—presumably along the Pardee Seawall—at 5:30.

Saturday, November 25
A Small Business Saturday Popup from noon to 4 kicks off the holiday season for The Shops at Yale, offering “free indoor craft activities for children, New Haven totes, fresh kettle popcorn, giveaways, an ice carving demonstration, live jazz, strolling Yuletide Carolers and more at 1042 Chapel Street.” Meanwhile, from 1 to 3, take selfies with Santa and Mrs. Claus at B Natural Kitchen.

From 1 to 5, the East Haven Chamber of Commerce celebrates the town’s annual tree lighting on the East Haven Green with a visit from Santa, a kiddie train, carriage rides, live local music, cookie decorating, crafts, raffle prizes and food trucks.

From 2 to 8, Mystic marries this mystical time of year with its maritime culture. Centered around the river downtown and incorporating a toy drive, the event has Santa arriving not by sleigh but rather boat. Then, at 6, the town lights its tree in Mystic River Park and presents a “Holiday Lighted Boat Parade.”

Closer up the coast, from 4 to 5:30, the Madison Beach Hotel holds a bonfire and tree lighting with “complimentary hot cocoa, hot cider and live holiday themed music”—plus a cash bar for adults-only drinks. (While Eventbrite says the event is “sold out,” that only seems to indicate that the optional registration rolls are full.)

Sunday, November 26
At 4 p.m. back at Cafe Nine, there’s a chance to experience the Kevin Saint James Band—“a collective of professional New Haven area Jazz musicians brought together in collaboration with veteran saloon-singer Kevin Saint James”—in a non-smoke-filled room. (They most frequently play the Owl Shop cigar lounge.) “The band revisits, reinterprets and recreates true-to-form selections of classic jazz favorites and popular standards in a variety of artistic styles with a rare balance of musically ‘scientific’ reinvention and profound reverence for historic significance and tradition.”

Waterbury is lighting its tree as well, and scholarship nonprofit Waterbury Promise has arranged a way to view the occasion in style: from the rooftop terrace of the Mattatuck Museum. The fundraiser, “A Night of Promise,” offers a “VIP viewing experience of the City’s annual tree lighting festivities while enjoying fabulous holiday fare and drinks” from 5 to 7.

Written by Dan Mims. Image 1, featuring—we presume—Dean Falcone, provided courtesy of Dean Falcone. Image 2, featuring Head with Wings, and image 3, featuring a scene from a past American Flyer exhibit, photographed by Dan Mims. Image 4, of artwork featuring a holiday vision set on Broadway Island, by Ana Paula Martins for The Shops at Yale. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations, prices and other details before attending events.

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