Cafe Nine Goes Honky Tonk

by Brian Slattery | Oct 18, 2018 7:51 am

Brian Slattery PhotoJ.P. Harris got a song out of riding a freight train through freezing weather into Washington state. Brian Dolzani got a song of his own out of driving across Indiana. Both acts brought their travels and their tunes to Cafe Nine on Wednesday night to turn it into a honky tonk, with sets of songs that connected New Haven to the highways around it, and the country beyond.

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Elm City Noise Fest Showcases Community

by Karen Ponzio | Oct 11, 2018 8:00 am

Hank Hoffman PhotoElm City Noise Festival — which kicks off next week — has morphed over the years, but it still strives to provide a platform for experimental and improvisational music, the kind that asks its fans to experience it as it happens without expectation. Audiences will have more than one chance to catch a variety of acts, old and new, at shows being held at venues, also old and new, throughout New Haven.

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Two Clubs Show The State Of The City

by Brian Slattery | Oct 9, 2018 7:53 am | Comments (1)

Brian Slattery PhotosThe breath of an accordion. Three people seated in a row playing drums, who couldn’t stop smiling at one another and the musicians around them. A warm, distorted guitar. A soaring violin. A swirling dance floor.

All that could be experienced on a 50-yard stretch of State Street Monday night as Cafe Nine hosted Lil Sluggers, Elison Jackson, and A Hawk and a Hacksaw, while a few doors north, a State House Show featured The Lost Tribe and Orquesta El Macabeo. All the musicians played to packed, enthusiastic houses, in a four-hour stretch that showed just how good a night in the Elm City could be.

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Erector Square Artists Change It Up

by Brian Slattery | Oct 8, 2018 7:56 am

Brian Slattery PhotoA big sign at the entrance to Studio I greeted visitors there for City-Wide Open Studios’ Erector Square weekend. “Welcome,” it read. “We invite you to interact with our visual explorations into the topics of change and empaths.” Inside, artists Jennifer Rae and Christine Kane, who share the studio space, chatted with people eager to do just that.

“Talk about change,” Rae joked. “You should have seen the studio last week.”

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Anbessa Orchestra Makes State House Sweat

by Daniel Shoemaker | Oct 8, 2018 7:54 am

Slate Ballard PhotosShortly after 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nadav Peled and the rest of Anbessa Orchestra took to the stage at the State House and, with little ado, leapt headlong into a set and a half of blazing Ethiopian-inspired tunes. Over the course of a dozen-odd selections ranging from reverent covers to deftly arranged originals, the Brooklyn-based group managed to transform a crowd of 30 or so swaying bodies into an undulating mass more than double that size over the course of their performance.

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State House Gets Conscious

by Karen Ponzio | Oct 4, 2018 12:12 pm

Rolando Silva PhotoRick Omonte recalled the first time he heard of the band Orquesta el Macabeo on a trip to Puerto Rico, the band’s native island.

“My entire life I’ve gone to Puerto Rico,” Omonte said. “I found them while looking for underground punk music there. People asked me if I had heard of them while in record stores there digging around for punk and salsa records.” The band “popped up on radar” because “they have roots in salsa but also grew up listening to and playing punk and metal music.” He finally caught the band in San Juan about five years ago after missing them many times, and opened a dialogue with the bass player, José Ibanez. The two kept in touch and traded playlists according to Omonte, who not only spins records on WPKN and at local clubs under the name DJ Shaki but is also a bass player himself for New Haven-based bands Mountain Movers and Headroom.

Their mutual goal: to get the band to play in New Haven.

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Rachel Bernsen Never Stops Moving

by Cara McDonough | Oct 2, 2018 12:09 pm | Comments (2)

Cara McDonough PhotosThe walls of Rachel Bernsen’s studio in Erector Square on Peck Street are bright white, adorned with posters from various artistic events. There are colorful throw pillows stacked in the shelving in one corner. A model skeleton greets visitors upon entering, hinting at this room’s purpose: it’s all about movement.

“A lot of things happen in this space,” Bernsen said.

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Punk Hits The State House Hardcore

by Karen Ponzio | Sep 27, 2018 1:42 pm

Karen Ponzio Photos“Thank you to The State House for taking a chance on a young bunch like us,” Jim Martin joked in between songs with his band Chem-Trails, a long-time local band, Wednesday night at the newest entertainment venue on State Street.

“They’re friends” he added.

Both friends and fans filled the room to see three bands from as close by as New Haven and as far away as Sweden play punk music. All three bands were described as hardcore and also of the sub genres D-beat and crust punk. Exactly what do these terms mean? I could get into a deeper description of each, or I could tell you to just read on and watch the videos. Punk rock to me is more of a feeling, an experience, than a verbal explanation. It definitely was on this night.

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