Arts

Witch Hair Finds Its Summer High

by Brian Slattery | Jul 18, 2018 8:12 am

First there’s just a chiming guitar, picking out plaintive, atmospheric chords. A second guitar unleashes a denser set of notes on a splash from the drums. Then the rhythm falls in as both guitars and bass take off into a hazy splendor. Even when the drums double-time it for the chorus, and the vocals bounce on the lyrical hook — the “high” in “somewhere high” stretched out to hah-ee-yah-ee-yah-ee — the song’s sunny fog doesn’t disperse.

Clocking in at only 3:02, Witch Hair’s “Somewhere High” is a song that feels over too soon, which in this case is a good thing. When it’s done, you can just hit play again.

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The Best Shows of 2018 — So Far

by Brian Slattery & Karen Ponzio | Jul 6, 2018 7:56 am

At the end of 2017 reporters Karen Ponzio and Brian Slattery decided to round up the best shows they had seen in New Haven for the entire year. The list was so long that they decided, in 2018, that they would split the year in half. On a recent episode of WNHH FM’s “Northern Remedy,” Ponzio and Slattery discussed which shows stood out in their minds since January, and how New Haven’s music scene is a reflection of the way the city is moving into the future without forgetting about its past.

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Chris Cretella Keeps It Together — Barely

by Brian Slattery | Jul 5, 2018 1:49 pm

Brian Slattery PhotoThere’s a line ripped from the lowest string of a guitar, somewhere between a flutter and a machine gun. The notes rise and fall, like they’re trying to say something. A chirp. Another, interrupting. Now more and more, like hail from the leading edge of an approaching storm. The notes get sharper, more intense, and there are more of them, until it’s hard to imagine at times how one player is making all that sound. It’s the product of a lot of practice, of a rigorous approach to the instrument.

But then there’s the title of the piece: “Blades, Meet Fingers.” It’s the first cut off Chris Cretella’s latest solo release, Just Trying to Hold It Together in the Face of Total Collapse, and as improvisational and spontaneous as the playing is, the blend of the serious and the ridiculous is no accident.

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There’s No Place Like Three Sheets

by Karen Ponzio | Jul 5, 2018 8:00 am

Karen Ponzio Photo“Murdervan is my favorite New Haven band,” said Jeffrey Thunders of The Ratz during their opening set at Three Sheets on Tuesday night. “And I haven’t seen The Danglers in years. I can’t wait.”

Thunders was not only a performer on this steamy Fourth of July eve, but also a friend and fan of the two bands to follow. The room was full of similar men and women all there to see three bands brought together to celebrate a homecoming.

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Songwriters Stay Gold At Best Video

by Karen Ponzio | Jul 2, 2018 7:59 am

Karen Ponzio PhotosWhen musical acts play Best Video Film and Cultural Center in Hamden they occasionally choose a movie to play in the background that suits their style. The four singer-songwriter friends of the aptly named Four Friends on a Night in June — a songwriters in the round event on Friday — chose the film On Golden Pond.

After much joking around about their ages and other individual traits, Best Video’s own Hank Hoffman put it on for them, and also dimmed and adjusted the lights until the movie was set in the darkness and the performers, sitting in a circle, were all bathed gently in the spotlights.

“You’re all covered in a golden glow” said Frank Critelli, who also acted gently and affably as unofficial emcee of the group that also included Shandy Lawson, Ponybird (a.k.a. Jen Dauphinais), and American Elm (a.k.a. Chris Bousquet).

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Will Chyann Ice The Apollo?

by Carly Wanna | Jun 29, 2018 1:00 pm

Carly Wanna PhotoPhoto Courtesy of Jerome HouserNe-Yo, Jamie Foxx, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix are among early stars who performed before the 1,500 scarlet chairs of the iconic Apollo Theatre before launching careers. On July 4, 17 year-old Chyann Houser of New Haven intends to add her name to the roster.

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