[NHM] New Haven Music

This Weekend: Everything!
Photo by Melanie Stengel

Photo by Melanie Stengel

Maybe its the giant rainbow currently beaming across downtown New Haven, last night’s full moon briefly threatening to crush the horizon, or the city celebrating its 375th birthday but there seems to be all whole lot of ‘something’ going on in New Haven right now. That ‘something’ seems to also be manifesting itself in a whole mess of ass-kicking shows this weekend. It would be damn near impossible to cover everything so here’s a rundown of some of the events we’re most excited about….

Javelin, Jamaican Queens, If Jesus Had Machine Guns (DJ) @ The Outer Space
8pm / 21+ / $10 / Manic Productions presents /

Garbage Barge, Tester, Nasty Disaster, Javier/Los DishDogs @ Cherry St. Station
8pm / 21+ / $5 / https://www.facebook.com/events/481308508582324/

The Proud Flesh (Record Release), Hanging Hills, Johnny Mainstream @ Cafe 9
8:30pm / 21+ / $5 / https://www.facebook.com/events/419543721462500/

Meriden Daffodil Festival, Day 1 @ Hubbard Park including Hostage Calm, The Manchurians, The Alternate Routes, Mark Mulcahy, Goodnight Blue Moon, The Guru, 1974, Daphne Lee Martin, Elison Jackson, The Furors and many more.
10am-9pm / All Ages / FREE / http://www.daffodilfest.org

New Haven 375 @ New Haven Green
1-4pm / All Ages / FREE / http://www.infonewhaven.com/NHV375

Lord Fowl, Backwoods Payback, Sun Gods in Exile, Super Machine @ The Space
9pm / All-Ages / $8 / https://www.facebook.com/events/146902925490185/

Howly Dogs, Hubbell Mountain, Orkestar BAM! @ Elm Bar
9pm / 21+ / $3 / https://www.facebook.com/events/536929343024131/

M.T. Bearington, Cold Fur, Life Eaters, Sperm Donor @ Anna Liffey’s
9pm / 21+ / $7 / Safety Meeting Records presents /

Reverberation (DJ) @ Rudy’s
9pm / 21+ / $ / https://www.facebook.com/events/158509630978557/

Meriden Daffodil Festival, Day 2 @ Hubbard Park including Little Ugly, Paper Hill Casket Company, The Peacock Flounders, Breakthrough Frequencies, Rob Messore, Christopher Bousquet, The Mold Monkies and more.
10am-5pm / All Ages / FREE / http://www.daffodilfest.org

Titus Andronicus, The So So Glos, Chris Cappello (Full Band) @ The Space
7pm / All Ages / $15 / Presented by Manic Productions /

The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Royal Thunder, Xenosis @ Toad’s Place
7pm / All Ages / $18/$20 / http://www.toadsplace.com/

Best get yourself out of the house this weekend!

Fauxchella 2013

Fauxchella 2013

Who needs Coachella when there’s Fauxchella? This Saturday, April 20th will mark the second edition of CT’s own Fauxchella music festival. After the success of last year’s edition (hosted at Bridgeport’s Gallery 305k), Fauxchella returns with more bands and more stages to wet your indie rock appetite. This year’s festival will be hosted at the newly expanded ‘Space’ venue conglomerate (featuring The Space, The Outer Space and the brand new Spaceland Ballroom) located at 295 Treadwell Street in Hamden. All three venues will be staging shows simultaneously for maximum aural impact. Included on the 18 band lineup are local favorites Fake Babies, Ports of Spain and The Files and Fires (all of whom appeared at last year’s festival) as well as buzz bands The Stepkids and The Guru, among others. Tickets for the full day are a reasonable $18 and can be purchased online via E-Tix.

Here’s a rundown of the complete schedule:

The Spaceland Ballroom (21+)
4:00    27 Prophets
5:10    Political Aninals
6:35    Milksop: Unsung
8:05    Moon Hooch
9:50    The Files and Fires
11:45   The Stepkids

The Space (All-Ages)
4:00    Great Caesar
5:00    A Paper Tugboat
6:00    Ports of Spain
7:00    The Guru
8:00    Modern Merchant
9:05    Bear Hands
10:25   Head With Wings

The Outer Space (21+)
4:40    Erik Lamb
5:55    Party Horse
7:20    Fake Babies
9:05    Jus & Co.
11:00    Kool AD

Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/FauxchellaCT

Tickets http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1708589

Despite some drama, B.O.M.B. Fest 2011 finally arrives

When the lineup for the third installment of B.O.M.B. Fest was announced earlier this year, several people in the local and regional music community collectively shit a brick. Man Man? Best Coast? Snoop Dogg?? Wiz Khalifa?? Weezer??? Two days at West Conn? Really??…Could a festival with a lineup this chock full of awesome actually be happening in Connecticut? Then, after it was announced that over 25 local bands would be included in the two day festival, a veritable riot ensued amongst local artists, clamoring tooth and nail to land a slot at the festival. When the dust settled, over 500(!) bands had applied. Rumors then began to swirl in April that, due to overwhelming response, the festival was not happening at West Conn after all but at Meadows (okay, Comcast Theatre) in Hartford. When these rumors were confirmed shortly thereafter, initial reaction was mixed with some ticket holders even demanding refunds. After everyone came to their senses though, it became obvious that there was no way in hell that the WCSU campus (or Danbury) could possibly accommodate a two-day festival of this size. The end result? B.O.M.B. Fest became the first non-profit event ever to occur at the Comcast Theatre. And despite some drama, Connecticut finally got the music festival it always wanted (and deserved).

If When You Go:
B.O.M.B. Fest 2011
Saturday, May 28 – Sunday, May 29th
Comcast Theatre, Hartford

(For a complete festival schedule broken down by day, stage and time, please visit the B.O.M.B. Fest website. There are a ton of great bands including New Haven locals Eula, Wry, NHM Co-Artists of the Month The Guru, Fake Babies, The Manchurians, The Backyard Committee, Cosmic Dust Bunnies, Forget Paris and The Frank Critelli Band)

(To purchase tickets, please see the B.O.M.B. Fest Ticketmaster page. Tickets are available for each individual day as well as for the whole festival (including VIP packages)).


B.O.M.B. Fest is the brainchild of one Frank Bombaci, Jr. A Connecticut native, Bombaci first started B.O.M.B. Fest in 2009 as his high school senior project. The basic idea was to bring together as many people as possible in Connecticut to hear the best in local and national bands, all in the name of charity. In addition to being a play on Bombaci’s surname, ‘B.O.M.B.’ is also an acronym for Bring Our Music Back, a non-profit organization founded by Bombaci’s father, Frank Sr., as a means to distribute proceeds from the festival to local charities. In just three short years, B.O.M.B. Fest has grown from a single day event of mostly local artists held at Harkness State Park in Waterford to a two-day festival featuring local and national acts at one of the biggest venues in the state.

Shaki presents MV+EE and the Golden Road, Flower/Corsano Duo @ Popeye’s Garage, April 15th

Shaki Presents brings MV+EE and the Golden Road and the Flower/Corsano Duo to the recently rejuvenated Popeye’s Garage this Friday, April 15th for a night of blissed out psych and experimentalism.

Hailing from Vermont, MV+EE (aka Matt Valentine and Erika Elder) create a unique blend of Appalachian folk, Indian raga-style compositions and psychedelic experimentalism which they self-describe as ‘lunar-ragas.’ Often performing in more subdued acoustic tones, the group periodically adds more electric instrumentation to their set, which they will apparently be doing for this show.

Like MV+EE, the UK based Flower/Corsano Duo defy easily genre categorization, coming across as an eastern-influenced mix of jazz, psych and, at times, cranked to ten noise. Corsano’s dynamic and inventive drumming, in particular, keeps the duo from ever sounding stale, alternating between endless rolls and rhythm at will.

This is a must-see show for fans of psych and eastern-influenced experimentalism. Be sure to get there early!

If When You Go:
Friday, April 15th
Shaki presents
MV+EE and the Golden Road
Flower/Corsano Duo

@Popeye’s Garage
50 Goffe Street / New Haven
All Ages / 7pm* / $7*

WQAQ Spring Concert April 16th with Suckers, The Fresh and Onlys, Trophy Scars, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Great Caesar

On Saturday, April 16th the Q.U. student-run radio station WQAQ (98.1FM) will be presenting its annual Spring Concert at the Burt Kahn Court on the campus of Quinnipiac University, Hamden. Headlining this year’s concert will be Brooklyn indie-rockers Suckers, led by Branford, CT. native Quinn Walker. Supporting acts include San Francisco based The Fresh and Onlys, New Jersey’s Trophy Scars as well as Brooklyn’s A Great Big Pile of Leaves and CT’s own Great Caesar. As an additional incentive to attend this year’s Spring Concert, WQAQ will be giving away a free pair of tickets to this year’s B.O.M.B. Fest, which will be taking place over Memorial Day weekend on the campus of Western Connecticut State University. All attendees will be entered into the raffle with the winner announced prior to Suckers’ set. Doors open at 6:30pm and admission is FREE for all Quinnipiac students (with ID) and only $5 for everyone else. Tickets can be purchased online via Brown Paper Tickets. Sounds like fun!

If When You Go:
2011 WQAQ Spring Concert featuring…
Suckers (Brooklyn)
The Fresh and Onlys (San Francisco)
Trophy Scars (NJ)
A Great Big Pile of Leaves (Brooklyn)
Great Caesar (CT)

@ Burt Kahn Court / Quinnipiac University
275 Mt. Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT.
All Ages / 6:30pm
FREE for QU students, $5 for everyone else

Popeye’s Garage reopens for a series of shows this month

Mmmm, Popeye’s….

Downtown New Haven’s community-run performance space/gallery, Popeye’s Garage, has re-opened for a series of shows this month. After originally closing its doors for good last October, Popeye’s Garage unexpectedly endured over the endless winter of 2010/2011 for a couple of one off shows. And after another one-off show in early March (featuring regulars Colorguard, among others), and with warmer weather on the horizon, Popeye’s Garage organizers seem to have gotten the green light to put the space back into regular use. This unexpected news is a welcome relief for the local music community which, after starting 2011 with a great deal of hope for the coming year, has had to deal with some terrible losses as of late. Hopefully the re-emergence of Popeye’s can at least partially help get New Haven back on its feet.

April 2011 Schedule (all dates/bands subject to change):
4/7Dust From A Thousand Years, Pillow Skin, The Book Slave / 7pm / $5 donation, 4/15MV+EE and the Golden Road, Flower Corsano Duo + 1TBA / *5pm* / $7 donation, 4/22Queening (Brooklyn noise rock) + 2TBA / 7pm / $5 donation, 4/24 – Dog Lady (Baltimore noise), Eagles Breast (Boston noise), Scorpio and Glass, Sickness (CT noise legend), Reviver (CT harsher) / 7pm / $5 donation, 4/26Moonrises (Chicago psych rock, members of Plastic Crimewave Sound, Tiger Hatchery) / 7pm / $5 donation, 4/29 – Popeye’s Garage Benefit show (Bands TBA) / 7pm / $5 donation

@ Popeye’s Garage
(near Popeye’s Chicken)
New Haven, CT.


This Sunday, April 3rd a benefit concert will be held at Toad’s Place for Mitchell Dubey, a local musician, bike enthusiast and, from virtually all accounts, all-around great guy who was shot and killed on March 24th during a botched home invasion at his Bassett Street, New Haven apartment. Performing at the benefit concert will be some of Dubey’s favorite bands including The Flaming Tsunamis (whom Dubey followed back to CT from Los Angeles), Call It Arson (who will be reuniting for this show), My Heart to Joy (their 2nd to last show ever), Slingshot Dakota and Brunt of It. Tickets will go on sale today at 6pm via eTix who will be waving their usual service fees in light of this tragedy. In addition, Toad’s Place will not be taking a cut of ticket sales, ultimately insuring that Mitch Dubey’s family will receive ALL proceeds generated by the show. Due to the overwhelming reaction from the local community so far this show will most likely sell out so make sure you purchase tickets early. If you are unable to attend, donations can still be made to Mitch Dubey’s family via Paypal at the address Lauren.Dubey@gmail.com.

If When you Attend:
Dubey Family Benefit w/

@ Toad’s Place
Sunday / April 3rd
Doors 6pm / Show 7pm
$10 minimum donation
—->BUY TICKETS HERE<—- (on sale @ 6pm, 3/30/11)

All The Trimmings Benefit @ Heirloom Arts Theatre, November 27th

(Originally published on November 17, 2010 on CTIndie.com)

‘Tis the season for good times and giving, and there will be a whole lot of both going on Saturday, November 27th at Danbury’s Heirloom Arts Theatre with the ‘All The Trimmings’ Benefit concert featuring The Stepkids (CT), Mother Brother (CT), Black Churches (MA), Diztrict Allstarz (CT), Ovlov (CT) and Vinyette (NY).

Organized by Matthew Vitti (of Mother Brother) and Amanda Bloom (of The Mercurial), the event had its beginnings this past July when Vitti and Bloom met following a house show and promptly merged minds in setting up “a monumental rock show.” According to Vitti, “Amanda and I had similar ideas about the concept and nature of the event, so we worked fairly quickly and cooperatively finding the bands, finding the venue and forming the skeletal structure that would hold this party high and mighty above all else.” The main ‘nature’ of the event that Vitti alludes to is the food and clothing drive that will be taking place along with the show. Benefiting will be the Dorothy Day Hospitality House which, since 1982, has fed and sheltered Danbury’s homeless. In addition there will be a booth set up by the China Care Foundation, a Westport, CT. based non-profit dedicated to saving the lives of medically fragile orphaned children in China.


To spice up the good will, Vitti and Bloom have also put together a whole assortment of other activities and treats including a giant Twister competition, $1 plates of pizza and salad provided by Nico’s Pizza, an old-fashioned photo booth courtesy of Tin Sparrows (y’know, for documenting all those big smiles created by giving), and between-band sets by DJ Symetrex who will apparently be spinning faces off at the upstairs bar.


And how about those bands?? In addition to Vitti’s own Mother Brother (often engaging, always shape-shifting synth/noise/jam quartet from Bridgeport), a whole stable of great bands will be performing including Black Churches (odd-timed guitar rock from MA. (with keyboards!)), Diztrict Allstarz (hip-hop with guitars from Danbury), Ovlov (solid alt-rock from Newtown) and Vinyette (alternately dream-rock/hard rock with elements of electronica and post-punk from NY.). Headlining will be CT’s the Stepkids whose brand of synth-psych-soul (and recent signing to Stones Throw Records) has created a significant buzz around the band. If the potential acts of good will don’t draw you to Heirloom Arts Theatre on Nov. 27th, the music should.

Truly living up to its name, All The Trimmings’ equal parts of good cause, good fun and good music look to fit the spirit of the season quite well.

If When You Go:

Saturday, November 27th

The Mercurial and Mother Brother present
‘All the Trimmings’ Benefit

@ Heirloom Arts Theatre
8pm / All-Ages
$10 ($1 off w/food donation!)

Show Review: Apse, Matt Wilga, Roman Wolfe @ Popeye’s Garage, Oct. 2nd

(Originally published on October 5, 2010 on CTIndie.com)

Saturday night I made my way down to Popeye’s Garage, an ad-hoc performance, rehearsal and gallery space located in downtown New Haven to catch a three band bill of New Haven’s Roman Wolfe, Matt Wilga of NY’s the Stoned Ambassadors and Northampton, MA’s Apse. This was to be the first of the venue’s final three shows.

Despite its semi-obvious location (it really is located right behind Popeye’s Chicken), I initially missed the venue because of its unassuming street facade which made it look more like a storage space than a music venue. Upon closer inspection I found my way to the side of the building and was greeted by an arrangement of lawn chairs and a table occupied by some friendly regulars, as well as the door inside. The venue itself was a stage-less, no-frills cinder block room light by a few light bulbs that, true to its name, looked like a garage. A secondary room with sheet rock walls expanded the venue further back into what looked like a former car bay. Aside from a large pom-pom-esque art installation hanging from the ceiling, little else, save a large wall-mounted calendar, decorated the space. Overall it was a bit smaller than I was anticipating given the size of the building as a whole but served its function (a room with a PA) well.

The show itself, which was scheduled to begin around 7pm, got off to a rocky start primarily due to the revelation that all of the venues mic stands had gone missing since the last show (“that’s the fifth mic stand we’ve lost!”). While show co-organizer Ross Menze went off to retrieve more, I made good on the extra time by talking briefly with another of Popeye’s organizers, Stefan Christensen (of Estrogen Highs, Iron Hand, Medication) about the impending closure of the space. According to Christensen, shows are being ceased primarily because of a change of ownership between the current owner and New Haven’s own property Pac-Man, Yale University. Although he remained optimistic about the possibility of one-off shows in the future, Popeye’s Garage as the much-needed weekly venue and downtown multi-purpose space it has become the last 6 months will be ceasing October 9th.

Roman Wolfe (photo by Bob Rock)

At about 8pm the microphone stands had arrived and the night’s first band, New Haven synth-driven Roman Wolfe (who, funnily enough, didn’t need use microphones or mic stands) began their performance. As the band glided into their set amidst a psychedelic wash of synths and tribal drums it quickly became apparent that Roman Wolfe was something different. Songs flowed together and became more like journeys in sound rather than the standard poptastic verse chorus verse. The lack of vocals, especially, placed their sound firmly outside of mainstream convention. Although I would anticipate that the synths (I spotted a microkorg and some yamaha equipment amongst the tabletop of wires) sounded great on record, in a live setting, the drums took center stage. Oscillating between tribal and jazz influences, a consistent rhythm was there but hard to pin down at times. As the show went on drummer Mike Birnbaum became more adventurous and complex in his playing. While keyboardist/synther Donovan Fazzino was locked into texture and high-end frequencies, Birnbaum used his rack, floor and snareless snare drum (basically just another hi-tom) to create drum patterns that slowly morphed in form and intensity. At times a subtle percussive melody began to develop that carried the songs along, giving definition to what would otherwise be pure linear texture. As a drummer myself I really appreciated everything he was accomplishing with only four drums and a ride cymbal. Although none of the ‘songs’ particularly stood out above the rest, the band’s unique sound and free-form arrangements and performance were certainly memorable, especially live. For anyone into instrumental synth-based psychedelica or great percussion, I’d highly recommend checking out Roman Wolfe.

Matt Wilga (photo by Bob Rock)

Following a brief interlude that saw the removal of synthesizers and drums and the addition of guitar amps and pedals, Matt Wilga of Brooklyn’s the Stoned Ambassadors began his set. Originally billed to be a full-on Stoned Ambassadors show, Wilga was forced to go it solo because “there was a wedding,” presumably attended by at least one of the members of the band. Wilga seemed to be fairly comfortable in solo form though, flying through a series of jangly guitar rock gems. At times their was a definite country waltz and/or swamp rock feel to his songs, which seemed to only be enhanced without a band to fill them out. Towards the middle of his set the guitarist for the Stone Ambassadors joined Wilga, adding some great pedal-laden blues guitar lines that added a whole new expanse to Wilga’s songs. Wilga seemed to only be gathering steam as his set moved to a close which made the audience only want more. After some coercion, Wilga performed one more strong number before proclaiming “I don’t play encores.” Encores or not, be sure to check out his single There I Go (available from Labor Of Love) which was a definite standout amongst his set.

Apse (photo by Bob Rock)

After another, slightly longer equipment changeover, Northampton, MA’s Apse growled to life. Regularly a six piece, the band’s lineup has dwindled throughout the course of 2010 to four, with Saturday night’s show being the first in such configuration. Perhaps driven by this fact, the band seemed hell-bent on proving they can still rock it no matter how many people were in the band and, by and large, were pretty successful in doing so. Although they were quite loud for the size of the room (at one point the bass levels made me dizzy but in an entirely awesome way), few in attendance backed away from the bands onslaught. Drummer Brandon Collins and bassist John Mordecai were at the center of the band’s attack as they ripped through one song after another. Although many genres have been used to described Apse through their 11 year existence, their current sound is best likened to a cross between Radiohead and Neurosis stuck at the bottom of a well. They’re simultaneously oppressed and energetic, grating yet melodically beautiful, seemingly forever stuck in a dark place trying to find a way out. Singer/songwriter and sole constant creative force behind the band Bobby Toher seemed particularly stricken, at varying points appearing crazed in his stage movement and yet completely in control with his vocal delivery and musicianship. As the band’s set lurched onwards, their volume and intensity level increased until Toher’s reverb-drenched vocals became just another brick amongst the band’s wall of sound. With one last sonic slice of intensity, capped by Toher dropping his guitar and mic stand to the ground, the band was finished, soaked in sweat but seemingly content in proving to themselves, and the audience, that Apse was still quite alive.

Be sure and check out the final two shows at Popeye’s Garage this Friday, October 8th (headlined by The Field Recordings) and Saturday, October 9th (headlined by Malcolm Tent).

The Pist (Reunion), The Black Noise Scam, Feet First, The Havnotz, M13 @ Heirloom Arts Theatre – May 14th

(Originally published on May 13, 2010 on CTIndie.com)

This Friday, May 14th at Danbury’s Heirloom Arts Theatre marks the most recent return of one of Connecticut’s most beloved punk bands ever, The Pist. Although only active for a little more than three years in the mid-’90s, the Pist made a name for themselves far and wide for their direct but effective songwriting and for their almost unrivaled pure punk rock fury. Following their breakup in 1996, the Pist reunited for a handful of shows in 2001 and 2007. This reunion features the core unit of Al ‘Pist’ Quimet, Bill Chamberlain and Brian Marshall, along with Gerry Stopper (of Broken) filling in for bassist Rick Abbott. Further shows have already been scheduled through the summer, taking them from CT to LA and back. For those not familiar with the Pist, check out some of their recordings online, or better yet, go to this show!

Opening for the the Pist will be New Haven’s newest punk champions, The Black Noise Scam, who follow the Pist with their simple, in your face approach to the punk rock canon. Also performing will be New Haven’s M13, which features several members of old school punksters Brutally Familiar (as well as Al Pist himself on bass), NYC’s Feet First, who will be joining the Pist at future tour dates, and CT’s Havnotz, who will be bringing the punk fury, mohawks and all.

Fans of old school CT punk, or just about anyone worth their weight in punk rock, would be well advised to check this show out.

The Pist Reunion Tour Dates:
May 14th – Heirloom Arts Theatre – Danbury, CT.
May 15th – Club Hell – Providence, RI.
May 29th – Chaos In Tejas Fest – Austin, TX.
June 5th – Club Europa – Brooklyn, NY.
June 25th – Sub/Mission – San Franciso, CA.
June 26th – TBA – Los Angeles, CA.
June 27th – TBA – Los Angeles, CA.
July 30th – TBA – Chicago, IL.
July 31st – TBA – Minneapolis, MN.

If When You Go:

The Pist (Meriden, CT.)
The Black Noise Scam (New Haven)
Feet First (NYC)
The Havnotz (members of Copyright Chaos) (CT)
M13 (ex-Brutally Familiar) (New Haven)

@ Heirloom Arts Theatre
ALL AGES / 7pm / $8/$10