It is rare that a concert takes so much time to meditate on its most fundamental element: sound. The triple billing of Stefan Christensen, Weeping Bong Band, and Nathan Bowles Trio all deliberately stayed beyond the paradigm of song and instead lingered in a prolonged meditation of sound itself, and how sound, when extended and distorted, can be all that one needs.
New Haven-based record label Fake Four Inc is marking its 10th anniversary through celebration, retrospection and introspection. Fake Four was started by Ceschi Ramos and his brother David in 2008 and became so much more than a business; the brothers are acknowledging this milestone with a show on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Three Sheets New Haven on Elm Street.
Charlie Parr and the Ghost of Paul Revere mindfully walked the line between folk and Americana Sunday night at the Space Ballroom. It was a quiet night, the room filled with 50 or so laid-back but enthusiastic people, milling about and wandering the newly clean walls of the Hamden spot; the room continues to be intimate, but the production values higher.
Saturday evening’s show at the State House on State Street, featuring and curated by indie rock legend Thurston Moore, brought an eclectic assortment of performers together for a night of multimedia boundary pushing that defied the conventions of your average “music icon comes to town” nostalgia act. On this night, no laurels were rested upon. Acknowledgments were made to each performer’s rich past, but all of them trotted out new ideas and projects in a way rarely seen from behind the safety of a long and laudatory career.
Baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton — who is scheduled to perform as part of Predicate Trio at Firehouse 12 on Crown Street this Friday with cellist Chris Hoffmann and drummer Tom Rainey — didn’t expect to be in the middle of a real conversation about how people make a living playing music. In a broader sense, he didn’t expect to be playing music at all, anymore.
Despite having formed a quarter of a century ago, and having played any number of basement shows in town, The Van Pelt will make its first-ever club show appearance Friday night at The State House — ”at least as best as I can recall,” said drummer Neil O’Brien. “If anyone has a flier to the contrary, I’d like to see it.”
For a band completely comprised of non-residents, The Van Pelt has deep New Haven roots. Its members have been connected to New Haven’s indie rock scene for decades. And lately, it has written new material here — material that the Elm City will get to hear first.
The night before Halloween goes by many names — Devil’s Night, Hell Night, Mischief Night — but all are associated with chaos involving everything from mild trickery to destruction of property. There was nothing mild about the show at Cafe Nine Tuesday night, as two trios took to the stage and took down the crowd with an onslaught of sound. Goth rock legends Christian Death headlined the evening with an opening set by New Haven-based rockers Witch Hair, with between-set sounds by DJ Richard.
“This City,” from the New Haven-based Mountain Movers’ recently released album, Pink Skies, starts with an ominous, churning rhythm from guitarist Dan Greene, bassist Rick Omonte, and drummer Ross Menze, while lead guitarist Kryssi Battalene lets out a pulsing alarm from her guitar. Together they establish a complex mood in an instant, somehow peaceful and tense at the same time, dense and heavy yet expansive and atmospheric.
“‘Time out,’ I said / ‘Hold on,’ I said,” Greene sing-speaks. “We’re going two steps at a time / You’ve got to decide if you want the old way or the new way / The sun belongs to you / And so does the sky / The living and the dead / They both walk through this city.”
The lyrics point to everything and nothing. They show Greene’s practiced hand as a songwriter, and the obvious chemistry among its members — a chemistry that, as it turns out, was a decade in the making.
The subtitles appeared first: “Behold! The portals of darkness are open and the shadows of the dead hunt over the earth…” Ragged skeletons rode bony steeds through plumes of greasy smoke while an angel with a flaming sword and a devil with leathery wings fought for dominion over the world. Jeff Cedrone leaned into his keyboard and produced moody chords. Drummer Peter Riccio tapped on a cymbal while Bob Gorry on guitar and Conor Perreault on tapes and other noise-producing gear joined in. I had an upright bass and a bow, and first just hit the same note as the chord, to reinforce it. But as the combined textures of the other musicians made things more dense, more complicated, I varied it up as well.