A three-band bill in a private lending library. A Ramone from Queens and the Queer Queens of Qomedy. Relentless jazz and rampaging Rachmaninoff. Yale closing out its concert season. ... Diversity rules the cultural calendar.
Monday, May 12
Look It Up
Ben Schmidt, the Northeastern University history professor who writes the Sapping Attention blog and contributes to the open-source search tool Bookworm, lectures on “Exploring Massive Textual Collections Through Metadata” today at 10 a.m. in Yale’s Bass Library (110 Wall St.). It’s a cooler topic than you realize; harnessing and picking through all the information that’s now available to us online is where the true power lies in today’s world. (203) 432-1810.
Three Angels on His Shoulder
Christopher Joseph Ward played bass for The Ramones from 1989 until the band’s farewell in 1996. Then he played with the guy he replaced onstage in the band, Dee Dee Ramone, in The Ramainz. The Queens-born Marine Corps veteran is still going by his adopted name of C.J. Ramone, under which he recorded the 2012 album Reconquista. and will play Café Nine tonight. Local punks The Lost Riots and Damn Broads are also on the bill. 250 State St. (203) 789-8281. $13-$15.
Tuesday, May 13
Do It for the Community
If you can’t find arts events to get out to tonight, learn how to get funding to make your own. There’s an information session regarding the Mayors Community Arts Grants Program, which distributes thousands of dollars to community-based cultural projects. Learn what’s eligible (everything from concerts to block parties to public art) and remember the deadlines: Community Arts Grant letters-of-intent are due May 23 and applications are due June 6. The info session is at Stetson Branch Library, 200 Dixwell Ave.
Another way to join the arts community: Two separate Open Mic nights tonight on Crown Street: 8:30 p.m. at Kelly’s Gastro Pub (196 Crown St.. 203-776-1111), hosted by Bob Edwards with support from Ultra Radio; and 8 p.m. at Stella Blues (204 Crown St., 203-752-9764) with host Seth Adam.
Wednesday, May 14
The New Haven Preservation Trust is leading an “architectural tour” around the site of the Strong School in Fair Haven. Several different school buildings have been built there in the past century, and the most recent one is now vacant. There are plans to turn it into a community arts center. The tour, titled “A New Life for Fair Haven’s Strong School” is free, but you must register as there’s a limit to how many can take part. (203) 562-5919.
After a week of previews, tonight’s the opening night of The Last Five Years, Jason Robert Brown’s musical about a failed relationship, told from two different perspectives and in two different time frames. This new production of the 13-year-old show is directed by Long Wharf Theatre’s Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein, stars Adam Halpin and Katie Rose Clarke, and features a set by Eugene Lee. The Last Five Years is the last show of the Long Wharf’s 2013-14 season. It runs through June 1. 222 Sargent Dr. (203) 787-4282.
Thursday, May 15
Claes Oldenburg created his revolutionary sculpture Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks 45 years ago. Two art scholars/curators, Paulina Pobocha of the Museum of Modern Art and the Yale Art Gallery’s own Pamela Franks, show off Oldenburg’s work (including that impressive lipstick tank) around the Yale campus. Meet 5:30 p.m. at the Yale Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St. (203) 432-0600.
Rach On! It’s the final New Haven Symphony Orchestra show of the 2013-14 season, and it’s ending with oomph and passion. Two dynamic works will attempt to blow you away: Rachmaninov’s Piano Concert No. 2 in C minor (featuring flashy pianist Ilya Yakushev) and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. 7:30 p.m. at Woolsey Hall (500 College St.) $15-$69.
Friday, May 16
It’s a weekend of “Commencement Concerts” at the Yale School of Music. Tonight, for free, it’s the Yale Symphony Orchestra, 6 p.m. in Battell Chapel at the corner of Elm and College streets, doing Vivaldi, Faure, Krommer, Mozart, Popper, Ramage, Elgar, Strauss and Brahms. Tomorrow (Saturday the 17th) there’s the Yale Glee Club in Sprague Hall at 8 p.m. for $12 ($10 students). And Sunday at 4 p.m., also in Sprague Hall and (like the YSO show) free of charge, it’s a general School of Music Commencement Concert with a range of classical styles, from Libby Larsen to Gaspar Cassado to Carl Nielsen to Rossini to William Bolcom to Marcel Grandjany to Ravel.
Firehouse 12 brings in saxophonist Russ Nolan and pianist Manuel Valera (backed by Brian Fishler on drums and Michael O’Brien on bass) for two sets—at 8:30 p.m. ($18) and 10 p.m. ($12) featuring tunes from the quartet’s new album Relentless. 45 Crown St. (203) 785-0468). Info here.
Saturday, May 17
A Culture of More Cultures
Happy International Culture Day! A great day to eat yogurt. Seriously, it’s a day to explore other cultures. The main New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St.) is having a party for kids where they’ll be “sharing “traditional food, costumes, dances and games from their home countries” and also “read some stories from other lands.” 2 p.m. Free. Registration required, at (203) 946-8129. For adults, the selfsame Ives library is screening Kim Longinotto’s 2013 Indian documentary Salma, about a celebrated political activist and poet, at 2 p.m. Free. Info number this time is 203-946-8835.
Award-winning vocalist Fan Jingma, guest soprano Erika Rauer and the China Philharmonic String Quartet present an evening of “Yage,” the new genre of Chinese art songs, 3 p.m. at Yale’s Harkness Hall (100 Wall St.). The concert, sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies, is subtitled “A Poetic Sense of China.” Free.
The Institute Library has been pushing readings and “discussions” for years, but recently has been dipping its intellectual toes into the musical concert realm. Tonight, three smart and eclectic bands—Elison Jackson, Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps and These Busy People—shake the bookcases. 7 p.m. 847 Chapel St. (second floor). (203) 562-4045.
Breaking the Silence
Orchestra New England has been providing live scores to old silent movies for years. They’ve found a great venue for it: the auditorium at Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School (177 College St.). The selections this year spotlight the three best-known comedians of the silent era: Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd. (That’s Charlie, Buster and Harold to those who—gasp!—have no knowledge of how great cinema was 90 years ago). 8 p.m. The concert is part of a fundraising gala for ONE. Tickets are $35 (with a discount “Family Four-Pack” for $99) or $100 to attend to post-show wine & dessert reception at John Davenport’s restaurant in the Omni on Temple Street. (203) 777-4690.
Sunday, May 18
Today’s not a school day, but then Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School is not technically a school. The program, which has outposts in several cities, combines burlesque entertainments, live music and readily purchasable alcohol with the opportunity for artists to sketch some of the performers. The model this month is Brandy Wine, “posing as a pageant queen.” Bring your own art supplies. The event starts around 4 p.m. and goes until around 7 p.m. An hour later, Café Nine’s “Original Sunday Night Jam” commences. 250 State St., (203) 789-8281.
Poppy Champlin returns to Joker’s Wild Comedy Club (232 Wooster St.) with her riotous revue Queer Queens of Qomedy. The show promises “the best of the best lesbian comics from across the country,” with the line-up changing constantly. 7 p.m.