Mark Mulcahy at College Street Music Hall

This Week in New Haven (August 19 - 25)

Spirits are up and downed this week in New Haven.

Monday, August 19
New Haven Cocktail Week, which kicked off last night, proceeds through Saturday with spirits tastings/seminars, parties and special cocktail menus across 34 participating bars. Attendees can mark their progress by getting stamps on a special passport, which they can in turn redeem for prizes.

sponsored by

The Knights of Columbus Museum

Tuesday, August 20
Tonight’s headliner at Space Ballroom (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-573-1600) is Ex Hex, a critical darling and self-described “power trio for our generation” whose appealing sound nonetheless draws from rock ’n’ rollers past. Opening the show are Frankie and the Witch Fingers, who infuse trippy ’60s sounds with contemporary energy to create “an ebb & flow of flower-pop horror,” if you will. $16 in advance.

Wednesday, August 21
Two comedy shows on one block leave time for dinner between. The first, starting at 6 p.m. at The State House (310 State St, New Haven), is an hourlong performance featuring local improv troupe The Regicides. “No cover but donations welcome.”

Also boasting no cover is a 9 p.m. comedy open mic hosted by Dan Rice at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281). Performers can sign up at 8, with prizes awarded to the comic with the best set.

Thursday, August 22
The last of three monthly Bike Nights—as in motorbikes—happens outside Libby’s Motoworld (60 Printers Ln, New Haven) from 5 to 8 p.m. Complementing the gathering of the bikes are food, presumably via trucks, and live music. Free to attend.

Friday, August 23
This summer’s final Happy Hour in the Plaza, held downtown in Temple Plaza, runs from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Food, drinks, music and games—“ping pong, corn hole, Big Jenga, Big Connect4”—are on the docket, with the drinks being mixed from behind the Cocktail Cart. Free to attend.

Later, at 8 p.m., Scott Aukerman, anchor of the lovably strange IFC series Comedy Bang! Bang! and longer-running podcast of the same name, comes to College Street Music Hall (238 College St, New Haven; 877-987-6487) for a live, “totally improvised” episode of the ’cast. Announced guests include Lauren Lapkis, who’s had recurring roles on Crashing, Orange Is the New Black, and The Big Bang Theory; Paul F. Tompkins, who’s got too many credits to list; and Ego Nwodim, currently a cast member of Saturday Night Live. Even so, organizers promise “plenty of character drop-ins.” $35-45.

Saturday, August 24
From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., the third annual OH YA—Open Hearts Yoga and Arts—festival returns to the Branford Green, where the schedule includes yoga sessions aimed at different constituencies; workshops ranging from mantric drumming to food, farming and the ways they can deplete or sustain the planet; hula hooping for kids and adults; upcycled art projects for kids; and music courtesy of DJ Mata, a.k.a. the singer WAH, who’s using “loops and beats,” “Sanskrit mantra and English lyrics,” “inspiring projection art” and “live singing” to produce a set of “upbeat, danceable electronic music” starting at 6 p.m. “Complete with amazing vegetarian food, the day brings a good time for all.” Free to attend.

Mark Mulcahy (pictured above), the frontman for locally legendary Miracle Legion as well as the originally fictional Polaris—which older Millennials might remember from the opening credits of The Adventures of Pete and Pete—is perhaps better known now for his potent solo singing-songwriting career. That’s what he’s bringing to Space Ballroom (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-573-1600) tonight during an 8 o’clock show opened by The Split Coils, who sometimes conjure thoughts of REM, Interpol or Vertical Horizon but have also got some country in their local blood. $15 in advance.

Sunday, August 25
The gardens of Bethesda Lutheran Church (450 Whitney Ave, New Haven) host the church’s “annual neighborhood ice cream social” from 4 to 6 p.m., though you don’t have to be a member of the church or the neighborhood to attend. Organizers promise “free ice cream and treats” and “live jazz with Chris Lee and friends.”

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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