Bent Knee photographed by Eric Freeman

This Week in New Haven (January 11 - 17)

This week, film is pedigreed and music is revelatory, as an oasis springs up on Water Street.

Monday, January 11
Tonight through most of February, Mondays at Best Video (1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-9286) are coming up all sevens. Intended to prepare locals for the 2016 Academy Awards on February 28, the nonprofit film and cultural center presents “The Oscar Race,” a seven-Monday series of 7 p.m., $7 screenings featuring seven current Oscar contenders. Based on real events that took place in 1974, tonight’s contender, The Walk, refers not to the navigation of red-carpet schmooze-fests but to “high wire artist Philippe Petit’s attempt to walk the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.”

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The Lion at Long Wharf Theatre

Tuesday, January 12
Speaking of history-minded Oscar favorites, recent Best Picture nominee Selma (2014) screens today at the Wilson Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library (303 Washington Ave, New Haven; 203-946-2228). Intended to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., who was born January 15, 1929, the film follows MLK at a key turning point of the civil rights movement, as he seeks (and provides) an answer to the question posed by the trailer: “What happens when a man stands up and says, ‘Enough is enough.’?” 6 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, January 13
Berklee College-educated art rock band Bent Knee doesn’t mind getting dirt on its pants. Yet it does it so cleanly. Whether the sextet’s strings are dulcet or distorted; its drums articulate or booming; its vocals clarion or gritty; the whole is relentlessly tight. This despite technically challenging compositions, with complex layering and courageous choices galore. This exceptional band headlines the free 9:30 show tonight at BAR (254 Crown St, New Haven), where local “chamber-folk” outfit Kindred Queer plays second and equally local “experimental pop?” group Procedure Club opens.

Thursday, January 14
Yale’s not quite back in session, but Yale Cabaret is. Opening tonight at 8 p.m. and closing Saturday at 11, the first play of the new semester is Josh Wilder’s Salt Pepper Ketchup. A “political comedy” directed by Al Heartley, the play’s set “in a gentrifying neighborhood in South Philadelphia, where the popular cuisine is chicken wings and fried rice” until “a new health foods co-op sparks tensions between residents”—including one Mr. Wu, who’s got a Chinese takeout spot to defend. Tickets cost $20, with discounts for students and Yale faculty/staff. 217 Park Street, New Haven. (203) 432-1566.

Friday, January 15
Mission Zero’s distinctive live-plus-loops sound—topped off by rich vocals, middled up by driving electronics and bottomed out by hard-hit drums—fill the room tonight at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400), where the New Haven-based brother-sister duo top a five-act show. Rounding out the Connecticut-heavy, 7:30 p.m. bill are the buoyant alt-rockers of Wayward City; the glistening “synthpop/electro rock” band Brighter Than a Thousand Suns; positive-sounding yet requisitely angsty emo/pop punk band Tri-State Era; and opener All Riot, which strikes an appealing balance between polish and abandon, and which too bashfully self-describes as “alt to a fault.” $10.

Saturday, January 16
CitySeed’s Winter Farmers’ Market—enjoying its season opener today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the Metropolitan Business Academy (115 Water St, New Haven)—promises fresh “arugula, beets, bok choy, garlic, herbs, kale, lettuce, micro greens, potatoes, radishes, salad greens, shallots, spinach, sugar pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter greens winter squash.” Also, “baguettes, biscuits and cookies, German-style bread, pastries, pies, pretzel rolls sandwich loaves.” Also, artisanal “honey, hummus, jams, jellies, maple syrup, pesto, pickled vegetables, popcorn, preserves, salsa, tomato sauce, candied ginger dried vegetables.” Also, “butter, cheese, cream, eggs, goat cheese, goat milk, milk yogurt,” plus “all-natural beef and pork products, humanely raised beef, goat meat and veal, chicken, lamb… seafood, fish shellfish.” Also… well, you get the idea.

Sunday, January 17
The uniqueness of the Peabody Museum’s annual two-day “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of and Environmental and Social Justice” gathering—which starts today—is right there in the title, connecting the dots between narrower understandings of societal fairness and “the principle that all members of a society have the right to clean air, water and soil, as well as a right to live in communities where they can raise their families and send their kids out to play in healthy and nurturing natural environments.” Today’s schedule of “world-class performances and educational activities for visitors of all ages,” which precedes a longer schedule tomorrow, includes a teen summit from noon to 2:30, a speech from Mayor Toni Harp at 3 and community music-makers throughout. Free. 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. (203) 432-8987.

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

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