This Week in New Haven (December 31 - January 6)

After sending off 2018 with a collective bang, the bangs become more peculiar but no less cathartic.

Monday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve
Check out our list of 18 ways to celebrate.

Tuesday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
Benefiting the Elm City Parks Conservancy, the annual Plunge for Parks and First Day New Haven festival at Lighthouse Point Park (2 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven) starts with a courageous dip in the frigid Long Island Sound at 11 a.m. and a well-earned brunch until 1:30 p.m. Attractions and activities include “live music from New Haven Locals, tours to the top of the lighthouse, crafts games,” plus hot tubs for the plungers. Registration for both the plunge and the brunch costs $25, while brunch alone costs $10.

sponsored by

Miller, Mississippi at Long Wharf Theatre

Wednesday, January 2
As it so often does, Best Video Film and Cultural Center (1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-9286) gives unconventional local performers a chance to shine during a three-act 8 p.m. bill. The Forest Room, a.k.a. Matt Streit of Cheshire, offers expansive instrumental guitar loops, sometimes over driving drum and bass tracks, while New Havener Evelyn Gray combines emotionally raw voice (and equally raw lyrics) with moody but polished ambient guitar work. But Benjamin Hecht might take the post-conventionality cake simply by spotlighting the bass guitar, with which “he builds compositions that are mostly improvised or variations on a theme” marked by “contrasting expressive, guttural leads over trancelike phrasings.” $5.

Thursday, January 3
“A toroidal field of sonic bliss”—between an “opening circle” and a “soothing sound bath”—is on the docket for the next spirituality-infused ecstatic dance party by New Haven Ecstatic Dance. Led by DJ Luminus and held at Your Community Yoga Center (39 Putnam Ave, Hamden), attendees are encouraged to arrive at 8:30 p.m. “to get your body warm and ready to groove.” Sliding-scale admission costs between $12 and $20 and drivers should park in “the lot on Whitney and Ralston” or “the lot behind the post office.” And although the dancing is freeing, don’t forget the basic rules: “No shoes, no booze no chit chat on the dance floor.”

sponsored by

Joyful Learning at Cold Spring School

Friday, January 4
It’s “synth pop, electro rock and ’80s dance jams all night long”—from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., anyway—at The State House (310 State St, New Haven), but that doesn’t quite capture headliner Falconeer (pictured above), a local project fusing “vintage synthesizers, modified video game consoles and a bit of tongue-in-cheek nostalgia for hyperbolic electronic hits of the ’80s” into a one-man show performed “live on stage, without the aid of a modern computer.” Also on the bill is Stereo Off, promising “danceable melodies, catchy guitar riffs and analog keyboard accents,” while DJs Darkglobe and Brancatti are bringing “’80s jams… before, between and after” the main acts. $8.

Saturday, January 5
The weekly CitySeed Winter Market inside climate-controlled Metropolitan Business Academy (115 Water St, New Haven) opens for the season from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to some of farmers’ market staples—greens, root veggies, mushrooms, apples, cider, meats, eggs, cheeses, jams—organizers promise “hot drinks, sweet and savory baked goods from renowned local bakeries and prepared offerings from a weekly rotation of food trucks,” as well as live music, family-friendly activities and even knife- and tool-sharpening.

Sunday, January 6
At Counter Weight Brewing Co. (23 Raccio Park Rd, Hamden; 203-821-7333; no cover), Irish folk music is on tap from 2 to 5 p.m. Meanwhile, Irish pub The Playwright (1232 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-2401; no cover) has a traditional Irish music jam session that’s BYO—as in, “bring your own instrument”—from 4 to 6.

Written by Dan Mims. Image, featuring Falconeer, photographed by Eliza Benitez. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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