The Bell Chimes For Xavier Serrano

by Karen Ponzio | Apr 11, 2018 8:09 am

Steve Walters Photo“As a Puerto Rican,” the newest tune written and performed by New Haven-based singer-songwriter Xavier Serrano, begins with bare and gentle guitar chords and lyrics that are also bare but not as gentle: “Here I am / In the same position I recall from a few years ago,” he sings. “Except for this time around / I don’t feel so bad for myself / There’s something awfully silent within me.”


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Jazz Spirits Live On

by Paul Bass | Apr 9, 2018 2:02 pm

Paul Bass PhotoThe soul of the late great jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus hovered in Yale Law School’s auditorium Sunday. So did that of the late Stan Wheeler, watching over from an enlarged photo projected on a screen, as two generations of musicians kept their spirits alive.

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You’re Never Too Old To Rock With The Mold Monkies

by Karen Ponzio | Apr 9, 2018 7:44 am

Karen Ponzio PhotosDid Russell Shaddox have any final words after the final set of The Mold Monkies show at Best Video Thursday night?

“I’m old and I’m tired,” he said, which elicited a laugh from those around us, and from Shaddox himself. “Old and tired” were not words anyone at the film and cultural center on Whitney Avenue would have used to describe this New Haven-based band.

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RØY Is In “Control” On New EP

by Brian Slattery | Apr 5, 2018 8:03 am

They fade in from the distance — a booming drum, a driving guitar — setting up the engine of the rhythm on “Control,” the first song from New Haven-based musician RØY’s new EP Thoughts in Sound. Within seconds they’ve arrived and are rising in urgency, only to stop on a dime to let the voice come in over nothing more than the hum of an echo and a couple finger snaps to keep the pulse.

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For Paul Belbusti, It’s About The Song “More Than Ever”

by Karen Ponzio | Apr 3, 2018 7:32 am

GARRISON ZWEERS PHOTO“More Than Ever,” the title track from the New Haven-based band Mercy Choir’s latest four song EP, is a deceptively simple tune, mostly because it is not simple at all. The melody teases you and takes you in immediately with its sweet and jangly guitars until the lyrics implore you to stick around for more: “Treat me right, even though I treat you wrong / Hold me now, listen to my little song.”

From there on in the layers of the song are revealed one by one: more percussion, more bass, backing vocals. In less than three minutes Mercy Choir’s latest is now in your head, and guess what? You already want to hear it again. Paul Belbusti, leader, founder and heart of the band, may have made an almost perfect pop song.

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Queens Crowned At Sofar

by Brian Slattery | Apr 2, 2018 8:18 am

Brian SlatteryDenise Renee began her set at Sofar on Saturday night with a song patterned first from pats and clicks, sounds she could make into a microphone. A sung riff suggested a chord progression. That was all she needed to build her song. Within minutes, with just a few effects — some echo, a pitch shifter, a looper — and a lot of musical ingenuity, she had made a powerful uplifting song full of voices. “Because I need freedom, freedom, freedom,” she sang. As she got most of the audience to sing along, she sounded like she had all the freedom she needed.

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Mo Pleasure Comes Home For Stetson

by Brian Slattery | Mar 26, 2018 7:56 am | Comments (1)

The inside of the Elks Lodge on the corner of Dixwell Avenue and Webster Street was already nearly full when Mo Pleasure and friends —  Morris Pleasure himself on keyboard, Rohn Lawrence on guitar, Ralph Rolle on drums, Dave Livolsi on bass, and Brent Carter on vocals —  hit an energetic take on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”

What was going on was a party to raise money for the Stetson branch of the New Haven Free Public Library as it prepares to move to its new home in the new Q House, soon to be built across the street from the library’s current location on Dixwell Avenue.

Or as Diane Brown, Stetson’s branch manager put it, what was going on was a reunion.

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