Love is in the air. So are dirt and howling darkness and badass hip-hop and the industrial revolution. And lots of cool movies. Make the whole multimedia city of New Haven your valentine this week.
Monday, February 10: Dirty and Clairvoyant Folk Cut-Ups
Dirty Bourbon River Show is rooted in New Orleans rhythms yet is very much a modern Americana band. A self-styled “interactive multi-genre variety hour-style band,” DBRS has recorded half a dozen albums of bluesy R&B that feels simultaneously traditional and immediate. The band brings the show to Café Nine (250 State St., 203-789-8281) tonight at 8 p.m. Many cities would be hardpressed to find an appropriate local band to open for such an act as Dirty Bourbon River Show. In New Haven, we’re fortunate to have the clever, whimsical trad-folk ensemble Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps, featuring banjoist/fiddler Brian Slattery, accordionist Adam Matlock, percussionist Mike Paolucci and cellist Nathan Bontrager.
Tuesday, February 11
Trust in Stanislaus
New Haven Preservation Trust is leading an Architectural Tour of Saint Stanislaus Church at 12:15 p.m. It’s open to the general public but the NHPT would like you to register in advance, at (203) 562-5919 or email@example.com. The tour meets in the Saint Stanislaus Church Rectory at 9 Eld St. (This event was originally scheduled for last week, but was postponed due to the snowstorm.)
A Gioia Noise Under the Lord
Poet Dana Gioia—the Harvard- and Stanford-educated poet and former businessman who ran the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003-2009—is reading and speaking at 5:30 p.m. in the President’s Room of Yale’s Woolsey Hall (500 College St.; 203-432-5062). The talk, moderated by Christian Wiman, is entitled “Poetry and Enchantment,” and it’s part of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music’s Literature & Spirituality series. Gioia, who’s also published numerous poetry anthologies and translations, and has penned a couple of opera libretti, will “discuss the relationship between poetry, music, and religious ritual.” Free.
Wednesday, February 12
A Heartbeat Away
There’s a Valentine’s Day Craft activity at Mitchell Branch Library, and it’s for all ages. You’ve only got two days left to get those paper hearts & flowers together. Go for it. 5 p.m. 37 Harrison St. (203) 946-8117.
The Uses of Wooster
New Haven Museum’s exhibit Beyond the New Township: Wooster Square is only up for a few more weeks. Make the most of this deeply detailed interactive display by attending today’s 5 p.m. panel discussion, Design & Style: Raising the Profile. It uses Wooster Square as a model of “the city’s industrial past,” also looks towards the New Haven’s future, and promises “panelists from some of New Haven’s most collaborative and creative workspaces.” 114 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 562-4183.
Hobo Congress is a local supergroup made up of some righteous jamband regulars, hailing from such distinguished acts as Cosmic Dust Bunnies, Deep Banana Blackout, Viral Sound and the Dickey Betts Bands. The Hobos hit their stride tonight at Stella Blues (204 Crown St., 203-752-9764).
Thursday, February 13
The Screening Grooms
If you have seen the Red Grooms exhibit currently at Yale Art Gallery, including the mural showing artists communing in a Greenwich Village bar, you’ll know that Grooms has a strong sense of community. Back in the ‘60s, he staged happenings and made collaborative art pieces at his New York studio. YAG (1111 Chapel St.) is screening several short films from that era, 5:30 p.m. in the gallery’s lecture hall. Shoot the Moon (1962), the cartoon Fat Feet (1966) and Tappy Toes (1969) are as whimsical, fun, avant-garde and community conscious as Grooms’ big colorful paintings. The artist Mimi Gross, who helped create the films, will discuss them following the screenings.
Chasing, Freeing and Bamboozling
The Yale African-American Affinity Group’s 2014 Film Festival lasts for four days, Thursday through Sunday, and includes screenings of Beasts of the Southern Wild (tonight at 6 p.m.), Bamboozled (Friday at 6 & 9:30 p.m.), the local documentaries Dream Chasers and Living Thinkers (Saturday at noon) and Pariah (Saturday at 6:30 p.m.), another set of documentaries, Free Angela and Political Prisoners (Sunday at 11:30 a.m.) and America’s Promise (3 p.m.). The festival is open to the public, and free of charge, but registration is required.
Mere weeks before fellow New York proto-punks The Dictators played the place, and mere weeks before his old New York Dolls bandmate Sylvain Sylvain returns there, David Johansen plays Café Nine (250 State St., 203-789-8281). The square-jawed, big-grinned funky-but-chic Johansen recently returned to the Dolls for three albums and reunion tours, but has followed many other muses—his lounge lizard alter ego Buster Pointdexter, his folk/blues side (with The Harry Smiths) and his challenging solo records that range from hard rock to esoterica. 8 p.m. $25.
Friday, February 14
La Vie Boheme
Romantic date tonight? The Yale Opera program is presenting Puccini’s La Boheme, that wonderful tale of friendship, community and mortality which inspired the musical Rent. The stage direction is by Michael Gieleta, and Giusepppe Grazioli conducts the orchestra. Performances are tonight at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. At the Shubert (247 College St.; 203-562-5666). $14.40 to $56.60.
Hearts and Pasties
The sauciest, silliest Valentine’s Day event is town is undoubtedly the Valentine’s Day Cabaret burlesque variety show 9 p.m. at Café Nine (250 State St.; 203-789-8281). The event, which doubles as a birthday bash for its producer Lipgloss Crisis (aka Sara Scranton), features this pulchritudinous line-up: The Blondettes, Dot Mitzvah, Uber Dami, Kitty Katastrophe, Robin Banks, Scarlett Damnation and DJ E-Bomb. $10.
Howl for Love
Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave.) offers Valentines in the Dark, a free concert by Howl and Friends. The experimental neo-classical ensemble will play three compositions by Howl ensemble member Amy Beth Kirsten (“yes I said yes I will Yes” for soprano and cello, “Ophelia in Pieces” for female voice and percussion and the world premiere of the cello/piano/vocal piece “spun”) as well as works by Bernard Rands (“Memo 7” for female voice), David Lang (“I live in pain,” for soprano and electronics), Fred Rzewski (“To the Earth,” for solo percussion) and Ingram Marshall (“The Balladeer,” for cello and piano, another world premiere). 8 p.m.
Joey Bada$$ is a rapper who’s been on the radar of a lot of hip-hop cognoscenti since self-releasing his first mixtape in the summer of 2012. His second release, Summer Knights, began as an EP, grew into a full-length mixtape, then got turned back into an EP for a commercial release, rating a BET Hip Hop Awards nomination. Last month, around the time of his 19th birthday, the Brooklyn-based Bada$$ released the single “Orthodox” from his soon-to-drop debut album B4.Da.$$. He’s playing Toad’s Place (300 York St., 203-624-TOAD) tonight—not for the first time, but the first time as a headliner, as the key concert event of this year’s Yale Black Solidarity Conference. $35.
Saturday, February 15
The Yale Slavic Chorus is hosting a Balkan folk music frenzy for “Slavs, Klez and Friends” 7:30 p.m. at the university’s Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life (80 Wall St.). The chorus will be there, as well as a Klezmer band. Much dancing is anticipated.
Sunday, February 16
There’s a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. this afternoon for sculptor the new Threads of Serendipity exhibit at Kehler Liddell Gallery (873 Whalley Ave.). The show includes photographs by Penrhyn Cook that “documents things that other people overlook” and sculptor Susan Clinard, who says “I strive to reveal nature’s truths—the duality of chaos against perfect symmetry.”
A couple of organ recitals on the Yale campus tonight: Nathaniel Widelitz at 5 p.m. in the Institute of Sacred Music’s Marquand Chapel (409 Prospect St.) and Patrick Kreeger at 8 p.m. in Dwight Chapel (67 High St.).
Toad’s Place (300 York St., 203-624-TOAD) hosts a whole bunch of local and regional bands tonight, under the auspices of the national booking agency Gorilla Music. This New Haven stop on the so-called The Bold and The Brutal Tour features Amplified Afterthoughts, Dirty Sanchez, Dangerzone, Walking Contradiction, Dystopia, Who’s On First, Banana Bread, The Rips, Breakfast on Neptune and At the Mountains of Madness. This long involved rock show begins at 4 p.m. $15, 410 in advance.