Art, literature, movies and especially music brighten up an already sunny July. Behold some fine outdoor bluegrass.
Monday, July 21
Back to the Beecher
Westville’s annual Beecher Park Summer Concert Series and Hi-Fi Pie Fest begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. The concert is by Wry Bred. The pie contest is berry. If pie and “bred” ain’t enough, the Lunchbox 23 food truck will be nearby. Beecher Park is the lawn outside the Mitchell Branch Library (37 Harrison St.).
The Institute Library can be a quiet, civilized place. This private lending library has been around longer than the New Haven Public Library, and at its current 847 Chapel St. location for around a century. Stable, see? But the Institute’s Book Plates fundraisers bustle with lively conversation, music, and peripatetic literary verve. Attendees have dinner at 6:30 p.m. at a local restaurant with a celebrated New Haven writer. Several are enlisted for the evening, including mystery novelist Mary-Ann Tirone Smith at Thali, speculative fictioneer Brian Slattery at Nini’s House of Tapas, Katharine Weber at the 9th Note, Terence Hawkins at Miso and Nicholas Dawidoff at Bentara. After dinner, Slattery’s band Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps plays 8 p.m. at the Institute, where there’ll also be desserts and other refreshments. The Book Plates also features actual bookplates, designed by George Corsillo. The event costs $125; it’s a fundraiser, remember.
Tuesday, July 22
Too McKhool for School
Neighborhood Music School’s Twilight Tuesdays concert series welcome the Canadian world jazz fusion instrumental outfit Sultans of String. How cool are they? Their leader’s surname is McKhool! 7 p.m. in the NMS Recital Hall (100 Audubon St.; 203-624-5189). $25, $20 in advance. Dinner available (at 6:30 p.m.) for an additional cost.
Wednesday, July 23
Slow Art Zone
The summer’s a more leisurely time, so this week the usual Yale Art Gallery talk at 12:30 p.m. offers “A Slow Look at the Collection.” So slow that the gallery’s assistant curator of education, Elizabeth Manekin, concentrates on just two works. One of them apparently is Manet’s Reclining Young Woman in Spanish Costume. How leisurely.
Crickets at Twilight
Tonight’s outdoor “Twilight Concert” at the historic Pardee-Morris House (325 Lighthouse Rd., 203-562-4183) is the “indie string band” Cricket Tell the Weather. Hear the band deal with real crickets and real weather.
Thursday, July 24
The Morse Summer Music Academy, a music program for 5th through 11th graders, has been giving free concert performances throughout July in the gallery spaces of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (170 Whitney Ave., 203-432-5050).
Friday, July 25
From Page to Screen
Take a break from literature. The New Haven Free Public Library system knows what you need to cool you down in summer: a big blockbuster movie. Yesterday’s feature at the “Movie Madness” series 2 p.m. Thursdays at the Mitchell Branch (37 Harrison St., Westville) was Frozen. Today there’s a Noon Movie at Fair Haven Branch (182 Grand Ave.) at (duh) 12 p.m. and a 2 p.m. Beat the Heat Family Movie at Wilson Branch (303 Washington Ave.); the titles of the movies have not been announced. At 2 p.m. in the Mitchell Branch, they’re screening Hunger Games: Catching Fire—which, to be fair, is based on a book.
From Happy to Screamin’
You can hang out in the Musician’s Living Room, which is what they call Café Nine (250 State St.) for hours tonight. The Happy Hour attraction at 5 p.m., is Useless Degree; the event actually lasts for two happy hours, until 7 p.m. At 9 p.m. is a promising four band local bill of J. Screamin, Clenn Thousand Blades, Pat Dalton and the ever popular Elison Jackson. The Happy Hour is free; the later show has a $5 cover.
Saturday, July 26
The second and final of this summer’s Music on the Green concert series sponsored by Yale’s Smilow cancer center is the pioneering 1980s hip-hop act Salt-n-Pepa. Still consisting of Salt, Pepa and Spinderella, the group reunited in 2004 after a six-year hiatus, and have been touring regularly for the last decade, though they haven’t released an album since 1997. An opening act goes on at 7 p.m. on the New Haven Green’s band stage, with Salt-n-Pepa appearing at 8 p.m. And don’t worry, this isn’t the last concert on the Green this summer: the New Haven Jazz Festival has been expanded, with shows on the Green every weekend in August.
An extra spice to add following Salt-n-Pepa, The Detroit-based female R&B/soul trio Love Dollhouse headlines a “Summer Time Party” at Toad’s Place. The band has its own material but also pays homage to its girl group forebears, covering the Samantha Song/Destiny’s Child hit “Emotion” a cappella.
Sunday, July 27
Archnemesis is a lively and unpredictable duo who take inspiration (and samples) from a wide variety of genres—‘20s jazz, Southern blues licks, contemporary soul, lounge crooning, etc. They have several albums and EPs out, available as free downloads at their homepage. Justin Aubuchon and Curt Heiny, aka Archnemesis, lend some human electronic sonic intensity to Stella Blues tonight. 204 Crown St. (203) 752-9764.