Elizabeth Ziman — stage name Elizabeth and the Catapult — began her set solo, with a song that found her fingers racing across her keyboard to tell a story of tumultuous love.
By that point in the evening no fewer than three couples were dancing across the open floor of Cafe Nine. They slowed when the song got more spacious, and leapt into frantic activity when the notes took off.
“Wow. Well, good night everyone!” Ziman joked at the end of the song. Then she got serious: “That is the biggest joy of my life, having you dance in front of me. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
The Connecticut Children’s Museum on Wall Street held a fundraiser concert Saturday night featuring the folk stylings of singer-songwriter John McCutcheon, who performed stories and songs of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
There was a long drone from the keyboard, a pulsing wave of chord after chord. A flourish from the drums. The bass joined in, creating a quietly churning rumble. Then the projections began behind the drummer’s head.
“It was long ago,” the captions read. “It was far away.”
The drums escalated to a big, expansive rhythm as a smoke machine kicked in, filling Cafe Nine with haze and drawing cheers from the crowd.
Then the singer took the stage in a silver cape and approached the microphone. The music got more sparse, and she began to sing. Those with sharp ears in the audience would notice that it was a Meatloaf song, “For Crying Out Loud,” though it was recontextualized, transformed. An electronic voice gave exposition, fleshing out the beginning of a story about a dancer whose star is fading and she knows it. But she still has some life left in her.
In a town where getting a good slice is a given, Robin Bodak and Doug Coffin thought adding one more place to the apizza landscape couldn’t hurt, especially when in a place where people have good memories.
The cell looks more like a tomb, a catacomb, something to get lost and buried in. The barred windows let in so little light that most of the image is taken up by darkness. It might take a minute to locate the prisoner in the picture, slumped on the floor near the window but barely registering the sun streaming in.
It’s a portrait of solitary despair, and is at the heart of “Captive Bodies: British Prisons, 1750–1900,” an exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art that’s in the final weeks of its run but, in the context of a changing gubernatorial leadership, takes on a certain urgency along with its timeless tone of caution.
A note bends down on a synth. There’s a harp flourish. A beat drops. And a clip from a lecture runs. “What do we see what we look at art?” a voice says. “Consider how something is made as well as what it is.” The voice shifts. Art is “not that different from having a conversation with someone.”
The music on gets a little more menacing, and that’s when Ibn Orator comes in, dropping lines that break across the beat in inventive inflections that range from funny to piercing. “I get muscle spasms every time you ask if I’m still doing music,” he raps. “Nobody asks if you still racked in the 9 to 5 / Nobody asks if a lion catches its food alive…. I want to say please wait and enjoy the ride.”