[NHM] New Haven Music


Rock Lottery 2013 begins this Saturday, Aug. 10th

Rock Lottery 2013 kicks off Saturday

As previously reported earlier this summer, Ideat Village may not be happening this year but Rock Lottery, one of the festival’s most popular (and now enduring) events, still is.

So what’s a rock lottery you ask? Well, as the name suggests, a collection of bands are formed at random from a pool of participants who then have two weeks to learn 2-3 songs to be performed live. In previous installments the bands were judged in several categories including ‘Best Merch’ and ‘Best Overall’ and awarded prizes donated from an array of local shops and artisans. The results have thus far been pretty spectacular, with at least one Rock Lottery band (2011’s Millionaires) going to actually become a band (Killer Kowalski). Several past participants whom we’ve talked to have also raved about the experience both as a means to meet other area musicians and also as a way to strengthen the existing musical community at large, not mention just being really darn fun.

This year’s drawing will be held this Saturday, August 10th at New Haven’s Anna Liffey’s, with the actual follow up show occurring on Saturday, August 24th at Cafe 9 (additional dates will be added if needed). Those wishing to participate can still do so by e-mailing ideat_village@snet.net with your name, contact info, and instrument of choice: vocals, guitar, bass, drums, or ‘other’ (i.e. keyboards, trumpet, kazoo, etc). According to event organizer Nancy Shea, this year’s Rock Lottery will be different in that anyone who wishes to participate will automatically be drawn into a band (in previous years some participants were excluded, purely by luck of the draw). So anyone who is looking for some rock n’ roll glory, here’s your chance.

In addition to the drawing this Saturday, local punk/garage outfits The Lost Riots (hot off their show on Aug. 9th at NYC’s Mercury Lounge) and The Gene Gnomes will be performing as well as NYC’s The Recordettes and Montreal’s Light Bulb Alley, surely adding to the night’s festivities.

Great music, Great friends, Rock Lottery, Anna Liffey’s, do we need to say more?

INFO:
Ideat Village presents The Rock Lottery Drawing
Saturday, August 10th
@ Anna Liffey’s
17 Whitney Ave. / New Haven
21+ / $3 cover / 8pm

featuring
The Lost Riots (New Haven punksters)
thelostriots.bandcamp.com

The Recordettes (Great garage-pop from NYC)
therecordettes.bandcamp.com

Light Bulb Alley (Great garage-pop from Montreal)
reverbnation.com/lightbulballey

The Gene Gnomes (Garage rock from New Haven)
genegnomes.bandcamp.com

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/142200992645177/

Those wishing to participate in the Rock Lottery please e-mail ideat_village@snet.net.



Post-Ideat: A Summer without Ideat Village
June 1, 2013, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Festival, Music, News, NHM | Tags: , , , , , ,
Ideat Village

Ideat Village takes a breather


Following weeks of speculation online as to the fate of New Haven’s annual Ideat Village summer arts festival, it was recently revealed, to much disappointment, that there will indeed be no eleventh installment. “We weren’t kidding when we called last year’s Ideat Village ‘The End,’ said Ideat Village co-organizer Nancy Shea in a brief response posted last week to the festival’s Facebook page.

In some ways, news of Ideat Village’s demise can hardly be seen as surprising given the festival’s ongoing troubles with 360 State Street and the City of New Haven. In 2011 a protracted dispute with 360 State Street over the usage of adjacent Pitkin Plaza for amplified music, a space used for years by Ideat Village before 360 State Street even existed, nearly ended the festival. Last year’s seemingly imminent confrontation with the NHPD (again due to noise complaints from 360 State Street) and the consequent arrest of festival co-organizer Bill Saunders seemed to seal the deal. According to Shea though, Ideat Village 10 was planned to be the last regardless of any issues with the city. “Bill and I felt it had pretty much run its course… but that’s another story.”

Regardless of the reasons why, Ideat Village’s absence this summer will still loom large over the local arts community, a community which had grown to depend on the all-inclusive, volunteer run festival as a means to present their work to a wider public audience. Originally developed as a local alternative to the much larger and well-funded International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Ideat Village began to take on an identity of its own through the years, mainly through the perseverance of its organizers and the creative array of events it offered. Programming such as the Gorilla-Ideat Film Festival, which assembled a team of filmmakers and actors to create a movie in less than 48 hours, as well as the Rock Lottery, which assembled a band to write and perform a set of songs in less than two weeks, were just two of the festival’s many popular inventions.

All is not lost though. According to Shea there is still a “huge interest” in the Rock Lottery event: “Jeffrey Thunders (The Lost Riots, The Black Noise Scam) and I are planning to reorganize it and bring it back, sort of under the Ideat Village umbrella, but it will stand on its own…” Thunders confirmed the rumors of a possible stand alone Rock Lottery later this summer: “We do not have a date for it but it will happen at some point this summer. Probably in July or August. But yes the rock lottery is going to happen at some point.” Shea added: “It’s encouraging to see that there is lots of interest! Suggestions welcome…”

Rock Lottery withstanding, it’s still going to be hard to think of Summer without the sometimes controversial, sometimes unpredictable, but always memorable Ideat Village festival.



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….

FRIDAY APRIL 26
Javelin, Jamaican Queens, If Jesus Had Machine Guns (DJ) @ The Outer Space
8pm / 21+ / $10 / Manic Productions presents /
https://www.facebook.com/events/574304069246404/

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/

SATURDAY APRIL 27
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 /
https://www.facebook.com/events/536929343024131/

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

SUNDAY APRIL 28
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 /
https://www.facebook.com/events/141319089379559/

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



Ideat Village Fundraiser and Rock Lottery Drawing @ Cafe 9, June 4th

So what is a ‘Rock Lottery’ anyway? A lottery with the winning prizes awarded in precious gems? A geologists idea of a crazy time? Or one of the most novel and popular events at last year’s Ideat Village festival which allowed New Haven musicians to form a new band, learn new songs, meet new people, play a show and break up all in two weeks time? If you answered the latter, you’re absolutely right.

Ideat Village’s Annual Fundraiser and Rock Lottery drawing takes over Cafe Nine this Saturday, June 4th. Featuring performances by Mayhem Circus Electric, The Wee Bees, The Suicide Dolls, Death Prayers, Doctor Dark and Fake Babies (most, if not all, of whom performed at last year’s festival), the annual event serves as a warning shot of sorts to the full-on festival which begins on Saturday, June 11th and ends on Sunday, June 26th. Now in its tenth year(!), Ideat Village was originally developed by co-organizers Bill Saunders and Nancy Shea as a local-centric alternative festival to the big money International Festival of Arts and Ideas, a mission which remains intact to this day. In contrast to the Arts and Ideas fest, Ideat Village focuses exclusively on local artists, musicians and filmmakers through a vast array of events, openings, exhibitions and concerts across New Haven, all funded through grassroots support and donations. As in year’s past, the duration of this year’s Ideat Village directly corresponds to the Arts & Ideas Fest, further underscoring its mission and focus.


Last year’s Rock Lottery winners, Lunch Ladies

This Saturday’s fundraiser also serves as drawing for the now annual Rock Lottery event. As previously stated, last year’s debut of the Rock Lottery proved wildly popular, drawing a large crowd to Yale’s GPSCY ballroom. Aside from its popularity, Rock Lottery also allowed local musicians, some of whom probably would have never performed together otherwise, to meet, create music and ultimately perform together on stage. Although this year’s Rock Lottery concert will instead be occurring at the newly renovated Rudy’s Bar (on Saturday, June 18th), you can bet the same spirit of musical spontaneity and community will be present. To those musicians too nervous participate in last year’s installment….don’t worry! Ultimately this event is all in the name of fun and building a sense of community in New Haven (a.k.a., no pressure!), two things we here at NHM agree with wholeheartedly (and you should too). Want to try it out? You can still sign up by e-mailing ideatvillage@snet.net. Please make sure to include what instrument you’d like to perform in your new Rock Lottery band. Further details can be found at the official Ideat Village website.

If When you go:

Ideat Village Fundraiser and Rock Lottery Drawing
w/Mayhem Circus Electric
The Wee Bees
The Suicide Dolls
Death Prayers
Doctor Dark
Fake Babies

Saturday, June 4th
@ Cafe Nine
250 State Street (at Crown Street), New Haven

8pm / 21+ / $6
All proceeds go to Ideat Village!



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.



NHM To Co-Organize Elm City Popfest 2011
April 5, 2011, 9:00 am
Filed under: Festival, News, NHM, Shows | Tags: , , , ,

Elm City Popfest

Everyone’s favorite New Haven indie-pop festival, Elm City Popfest, will be returning this Fall and NHM will be helping to make it happen! NHM/New Haven Music is happy to announce that we will be teaming up with the CT based February Records to organize another great lineup for this year’s ECPF.  Earlier this year February Records head Dan Goodwin (who was the primary organizer for the first two Elm City Popfests) had some reservations about there even being a third installment, going so far as to state in a January 26, 2011 New Haven Advocate article that ‘it’s not gonna happen.’ After an intervention of sorts to get Goodwin off of the crazy pills, a preliminary meeting was held to identify the logistics involved in making ECPF 3 a reality. Alas the February Records/NHM partnership was born. Obviously at this point the festival is still in its early stages of organization but you can be assured that we hope to match if not exceed the quality of past festivals. Please stay posted to nhmusic.org and februaryrecords.com in the coming months for more information about Elm City Popfest 2011!



Elm City PopFest, Day One Review


(Originally published on May 25, 2010 on CTIndie.com)

On Friday, May 14th I made my way down to New Haven’s workhorse of a venue, Cafe Nine, to catch the first night of Elm City PopFest. Having attended the first Elm City PopFest this Fall I held high hopes for the evening.


(photo by Bob Rock)

After an initial difficulty finding parking nearby “the Nine” (a sure sign of solid attendance), I arrived just in time to miss the first song by openers, The Wee Bees. Although this was only their third show as a band, the quintet seemed to lock in relatively well on stage together; there were no obvious flubs or flaws that distracted the audience from the songs. While I wholeheartedly agree with some previous descriptions of the band’s music as “’80s- and ’90s-inspired shoegaze-meets-jangle pop,” I’d also argue that the Wee Bees also possessed a slight jazz influence, especially the singer/rhythm guitarist, who repeatedly changed guitar tunings throughout the set. Although the changes definitely helped vary the band’s sound, the tuning breaks themselves affected the overall flow of the set. During such interludes other Wee Bees began to tell jokes to fill in the time, which I feel initially worked well to break the ice a bit with the crowd. By the fourth tuning/joke break though it became more of a distraction than anything. Despite the interruptions, the Wee Bees even mix of mellow and upbeat indie pop was a decidedly good way to open the night and the festival.


(photo by Bob Rock)

Next up on the night’s billing was singer/songwriter Steven Deal. Deal’s brand of punky power pop has long been lauded in local press and I was excited that I finally got to catch one of his shows. In addition his backing band included some pretty accomplished local musicians in guitarist Chris Cretella (Goose Lane) and drummer Dave Parmelee (The Vultures, Atrina). From the get-go though, it seemed the crowd was not as excited as I was. Although each song and performance was solid through and through, Steven Deal & co. repeatedly failed to connect with the audience at large who at times seemed overwhelmed by the band’s volume and velocity. To me the lack of response by the crowd was unfortunate, as the band was putting a lot of energy into the performance especially Deal who, at one point, literally had to take a breather before diving into the next song. After a particularly energetic take on Deal’s “Caitlin’s Crying,” which he described as being written at the Cafe Nine bar “twenty years ago,” the band launched into a great cover of The Damned’s “New Rose,’ which also went over everyone’s head. It seems to me that on another night and another billing, Deal would have went over much better.


(photo by Bob Rock)

After a brief equipment change, the UK’s much anticipated Veronica Falls took the stage. Almost instantly, Cafe Nine was packed, with a significant crowd (for Cafe Nine) gathered near the stage to see the band’s first U.S. show. Where the Wee Bees were a bit mellow at times, and Steven Deal a bit hyper-charged, Veronica Falls relied heavily upon texture as well as a relentlessly driving beat. Somewhere in between the chords of non-stop guitar strumming and infinite floor tom, melody began to sneak out, usually led by a mix of male and female vocals from all four members.


(photo by Bob Rock)


(photo by Bob Rock)

Although they definitely weren’t hit-you-over-the-head power pop, with each chorus and melodic lift the songs slowly became hummable, working their way into your subconscious whether you liked it or not. Bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine immediately sprang to mind, although the band was a bit more thrashy than all three. There was a palpable energy throughout, especially in the drums which seemed to get louder and more driving with each song. In terms of stage presence, the band seemed slightly awkward, even nervous at times (which makes sense given it was their first show stateside) although this didn’t seem to impede upon their performance. By the end of their set, the band finally seemed to lock in, even managing a few smiles. The crowd reaction to the band was strong, with several audience members even requesting an encore, although to no success. Overall, Veronica Falls impressed me, so much so that I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to check out some great new music from the British Isles.


(photo by Bob Rock)

Last but not least on Elm City PopFest’s opening night was NYC’s Boy Genius. Somewhat of an honorary New Haven band due to their frequent appearances in the Elm City as of late, Boy Genius did not disappoint. Even from the beginning, the band was on fire, ripping through their set of catchy melodic pop tunes with abandon. The band seemed particularly happy to have guitarist Mr. Ray Neal (formerly of Miracle Legion, a.k.a., one of the band’s biggest influences) joining Boy Genius for their set, which without a doubt directly impacted the band’s stage presence and energy. Even as the crowd dwindled slightly due to the late hour (the band didn’t hit the stage until after 12:30), the quintet (including Neal) only seemed to strengthen in intensity. After a series of rockers, the band ended their set with a particularly long but particularly awesome jam (dedicated to one Jason Devin), thus sealing the first night of Elm City PopFest with a bang.


(Originally published on May 25, 2010 on CTIndie.com)


(photo by Bob Rock)

Despite some initial ups and downs, Elm City PopFest’s first night ended strongly and, overall, was a resounding success.

Be sure and catch the Elm City PopFest follow up show tomorrow night (May 26th) at Cafe Nine!



Elm City Popfest


(Originally published on May 11, 2010 on CTIndie.com)

Elm City Popfest returns this weekend for three days and 17 bands of indie-pop revelry. Following the success of the first Elm City Popfest this past November, festival organizer and Tweefort/February Records founder Danny Goodwin had to dig deeper this time around in order to top the original. Effectively doubling in size, this installment of Elm City Popfest offers a range of local, regional, national and even international talent. Also, in addition to Artspace (the original home of ECPF), there will be shows held at New Haven’s Cafe Nine. And as with the last ECPF, a portion of the proceeds generated by the festival will go to the aforementioned Artspace, a non-profit downtown gallery, venue and exhibition space. So what’s all the fuss about you ask? Well, here’s the breakdown…

Day One, Friday, May 14th @ Cafe Nine
Kicking off the festival will be a free, four band blowout at New Haven’s Cafe Nine featuring locals The Wee Bees and Steven Deal augmented by the UK’s Veronica Falls and NYC’s Boy Genius.

New Haven’s own The Wee Bees, featuring former members of Manchester By The Sea, The Caligulists and The Inclined Plane, start the evening with their brand of ’80s- and ’90s-inspired shoegaze-meets-jangle pop sound. Although its only been two months since their live debut at March’s Artspace Underground, The Wee Bees have quickly established themselves as one of the better ‘new’ bands in New Haven.

Following the Wee Bees will be one of New Haven’s more established singer/songwriters, Steven Deal. Having toured the country fronting bands like Bleached Black, Chopper, The Absolute Zeros and The Naomi Star, Deal recently returned from a 10+ year songwriting hiatus to deliver his debut solo album ‘Radio Twelve’ this past January. Backed by a band featuring members of The Vultures, Goose Lane, The Naomi Star and Requiem In White, among others, you can bet Deal & co. are going to rip it up well.

Next up on the billing is UK’s Veronica Falls. Making their stateside debut at this show, Veronica Falls has received a relatively heavy amount of press for their recent Captured Tracks 7″ ‘Found Love In A Graveyard.’ Described as ‘a bit of goth, ..some surf..and a heavy dose of shoegaze with pop vocal harmonies,’ Veronica Falls should fit in quite well with the evening’s lineup. Be sure to check these guys (and gals) out.

Last but not least will be NYC’s Boy Genius. Now a veteran of several Tweefort/February Records shows, Boy Genius have shown that they can write a good tune and play it well. Joining Boy Genius will be none other than Mr. Ray Neal, best known for his work with seminal Elm City jangle-pop band Miracle Legion. Ray most recently joined the band for a song at their April performance at Rudy’s. For this show, Mr. Neal will be performing with Boy Genius for their entire set, surely something that does not happen everyday.

For fans of jangle-pop, shoegaze or just plain good music, Elm City Popfest’s first night should do the trick, starting off the festival well on a fittingly upbeat and memorable note.

Day Two, ‘DAY’, Friday, May 15th @ Artspace
Day Two sees the festival moving up Crown Street to Artspace, a great downtown gallery/space that has been at its current location since 2002. Here the Popfest truly begins to ‘pop,’ as nine bands perform throughout the day. Separated into distinct ‘Day’ and ‘Night’ billings, both offer up some great bands no matter how you cut it.

Starting off the ‘Day’ portion of the festivities will New London’s Roadside Attractions. One of several New London supergroups now prowling Connecticut clubs, Roadside Attractions combine a unique blend of jazz, americana, pop and even folk into a sound that must be heard. Currently promoting the release of their new EP ‘Whispers’ on New London’s Cosmodemonic Telegraph label, Roadside Attractions start off the day strong.

Next up on the schedule is New Haven’s The Fictional West. Riding the release of their ‘Giant Clouds’ single earlier this year on Tweefort Records, the Fictional West count as influences artists like U2, The Smiths and The Magnetic Fields. With a mix of serious and satirical lyrical themes, the quartet has, however unwittingly, done well in re-creating late 80’s indie-pop. As the Sugar Sours blog accurately pointed out, ‘No lie, the Giant Clouds single sounds like it could have been sent in to NME and gotten lost in the post for 20 years.’

Following locals Roadside Attractions and the Fictional West, Elm City Popfest goes all windy city on us with the arrival of Chicago’s Midstates and Panda Riot. Currently on tour together, Midstates and Panda Riot collectively bring a psychedelic edge to the proceedings. Midstates (also known as Midstates & The Choir of Ghosts), approach their music with a more ‘space-pop’ bent whereas Panda Riot have seemingly perfected ‘swirl-pop’ a.k.a. shoegazer inspired indie-pop that at times is almost danceable. In either case, the tandem should feel right on home at ECPF.

Following the Chicago invasion, Elm City Popfest returns to its roots with an always anticipated hometown performance by EULA. Quite possibly the hardest working indie-rock band in New Haven, EULA has continually sharpened its lacerating brand of indie-pop/shoegaze/punk into an ever finer point over the past few years. Each show by the band seems to top the last, not an easy feat by a band that plays as many shows as they do. Still coming off their opening slot supporting post-punk legend Mission Of Burma last Fall, one would be ill-advised to miss this performance by EULA, and that means you.

Finishing off the ‘Day’ half Day Two’s festivities is Danbury, CT’s The Field Recordings. Garnering a substantial amount of press since their debut last year, The Field Recordings are a indie rock/pop trio that, from all accounts, seem to vary their live sound depending on the context of the billing. On record, the Field Recordings sound a bit more edgy than one would expect. Regardless, they’ve been creating some of the most interesting indie rock coming out of Connecticut lately and are well worth the price of admission alone.

Overall, the ‘Day’ portion of ECPF, Day Two covers the indie-pop bases well. Despite the fact that it starts at 2:30 in the afternoon, you’d be hard pressed to find a better lineup anywhere in the state, no matter what the start time.

Day Two, ‘NIGHT,’ Saturday, May 15th
After about an hour interlude following the conclusion of the ‘Day’ billing, part two (a.k.a. the ‘Night’ billing) of Elm City PopFest, Day Two kicks off featuring Procedure Club, The Secret History and The Butterflies of Love.

New Haven’s own Procedure Club starts off the evening’s festivities with their noisy brand of too rough to be cutesy, too cutesy to be rough, drum machine indie pop. Procedure Club have created a significant buzz lately, especially following their performance at the last Shaki Presents @ BAR show this past December. Having recently signed to Slumberland Records, you can expect their debut album to be released this June. In the meantime, check them out at ECPF before they become huge.

Next up on the ECPF evening showcase is NYC’s The Secret History. Featuring former members of My Favorite and Mick Ronson’s daughter, the Secret History have made a name for themselves writing some mighty catchy pop songs ‘about ghosts and monsters and sometimes Italy’ (at least according to the band’s MySpace page). The band’s debut album was recently released this past March on Le Grand Magistery so be sure to check it out.

Closing out Day Two of the ECPF will be New Haven’s own The Butterflies of Love. Although relatively inactive in recent years, the Butterflies reformed for the Mark Mulcahy ‘Ciao My Shining Star’ tribute shows. The quintet liked the shows so much that they decided to play more, including this headlining slot at PopFest. A favorite of the late John Peel, The Butterflies of Love have released several records on the Fortuna POP! label in the UK to much acclaim over the years. Having had the opportunity to see them during their original run some years back, I’d have to say it would be well worth the wait to check them out.

In the end, Day Two of Elm City PopFest creates one the best original pop/indie rock billings seen in New Haven in quite some time. With the mix of great local, regional, national and even international artists contributing, there’s plenty here for everyone.

Day Three, Wednesday, May 26th @ Cafe Nine
Although 11 days separate Day Two and Three, this ‘follow-up’ show (as its being advertised) certainly does not diminish the quality and/or energy of the festival. Performing will be the UK’s Allo Darlin’ and Horowitz, as well as Brooklyn/New Haven’s The Tyler Trudeau Attempt and Women’s Basketball.

Kicking off the evening will be the UK’s Allo Darlin’ and Horowitz. A late addition to the PopFest lineup, Allo Darlin’ ‘can turn a room in a famous punk venue into a joyous, jumping, sweaty, pop-mosh pit. Or bring a room of 500 to hushed silence with the few strums of a ukulele and a love song about cooking.’ Such all-encompassing command of the audience is hard to come by and, in addition tho their rock solid pop songs, a major reason to check this band out. Following Allo Darlin’ are fellow Brits Horowitz. Bringing a more fuzzy, danceable bent to the typical indie-pop model, Horowitz have received some pretty glowing press praising the band’s flare for super-sweet vocals and melodies, a sure sign that they do indeed belong on this billing.

Closing out the night (and the festival), will be the two projects of singer/songwriter Tyler Trudeau. First up will be the Tyler Trudeau Attempt, an amalgam of New Haven scene veterans (including myself). Although I am not at liberty to really comment on the Attempt (y’know, since I play drums in this band), the New Haven Advocate is and has said of the band: ‘TTA looks back to the roots of punk and finds something immensely energetic, often hilarious and always political. On top of that, it’s catchy as hell.’

Trudeau’s newer project, Women’s Basketball, will be making its much anticipated live debut at ECPF. What initially started out as a one-off, purely-for-fun project has quickly gained a lot of press attention. The band’s debut album ‘An Octopus, But Like, An Octopus With Massive Wings and Junk’, released earlier this year on Tweefort Records, has in particular gained a lot of positive reviews and its easy to see why. With an omnipresent drum machine beat and often tongue n’ cheek lyrics, Trudeau breaks free from his own songwriting conventions to create a fun, catchy and often more engaging (and revealing) record than his main band’s previous EP (which I didn’t play on). It should be interesting to see how this all plays out live but, knowing Trudeau, it will probably come off well.

So that’s it folks! Surely one of the better festivals in recent memory. But enough of me telling you what to do, its time for you to check it out for yourself on Friday May 14th, Saturday May 15th and Wednesday, May 26th. Don’t miss this one!

Elm City PopFest Lineup:

Day One – Friday, May 14th
9:30 The Wee Bees (New Haven)
10:30 Steven Deal (Milford, CT)
11:30 Veronica Falls (UK)
12:30 Boy Genius (NYC) feat. Mr. Ray Neal (of Miracle Legion)
@ Cafe Nine
doors 9pm / FREE / 21+

Day Two (DAY) – Saturday, May 15th
2:30 Roadside Attractions (New London, CT)
3:15 The Fictional West (New Haven)
4:00 Midstates (Chicago)
4:45 Panda Riot (Chicago)
5:30 EULA (New Haven)
6:15 The Field Recordings (Danbury, CT)
@ Artspace
doors 2pm / $5 / ALL-AGES

Day Two (NIGHT) – Saturday, May 15th
8:30 Procedure Club (New Haven)
9:15 The Secret History (NYC)
10:00 The Butterflies of Love (New Haven)
@ Artspace
doors 8pm / $5 / ALL-AGES

Day Three – Wednesday, May 26th
9:00 Allo Darlin’ (UK)
9:45 Horowitz (UK)
10:30 The Tyler Trudeau Attempt (Brooklyn/New Haven)
11:15 Women’s Basketball (Brooklyn/New Haven)
@ Cafe Nine
doors 8:30pm / FREE / 21+

For more information on Elm City PopFest, check out the official festival blog at http://elmcitypopfest.wordpress.com.



MERIDEN DAFFODIL FESTIVAL @ Hubbard Park, April 24th-25th



Its that time of year again! Meriden’s 32nd annual Daffodil Festival is upon us next weekend, April 24th-25th at the city’s flower-laden Hubbard Park. Each day is promised to be packed with “food, flowers, fireworks and fun,’ at least so says the festival official website www.daffodilfest.com. Held each year during the last week of April, the festival is the combined effort of over 300 volunteers. Amidst the 650,000 blooming daffodils in Hubbard Park, the visitor can enjoy parades; an arts and crafts sale, a carnival with Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, giant slide, pony rides, miniature train and a food tent that houses 50 food vendors, all from community non-profit agencies. Saturday night is capped by a spectacular fireworks display, said to be one of the best in New England. Last but not least are the three band stages featuring 34(!) local and regional artists performing throughout each day. Organized by ThinManMusic head and WESU local music fanatic Rob DeRosa, the festival’s three stages feature a wide variety of (primarily) original music ranging from indie rock to jazz to reggae. Attracting over 100,000 in attendance annually, the Daffodil Fest is definitely one of Greater New Haven’s better festivals and is highly recommended for anyone who loves flowers and fun (and a lot of both).

Saturday April 24th / ALL AGES! / FREE!
(Jeff Crooms Welcome Stage)
11:00 BIG FAT COMBO
12:15 FORREST HARLOW
1:30 THE PEACOCK FLOUNDERS
2:45 DOG BITE
4:00 THE DOWN FI
5:15 KICKING DAISIES
6:30 THE SETH ADAM BAND
7:45 THE MOLD MONKIES

(Bandshell Stage)
12:30 BOXXCUTTER
1:45 THE FRANK CRITELLI BAND
3:00 THE MANCHURIANS
4:15 CHRISTINE OHLMAN & REBEL MONTEZ
5:45 RIVER STREET
7:00 THE BERNADETTES

(Food Tent Stage)
10:30 CHICO & FRIENDS
12:00 THE GONKUS BROTHERS
2:00 THE KEY WEST TRIO
3:30 RIVER CITY SLIM & THE ZYDECO HOGS
5:00 THE SHINY LAPEL TRIO
6:30 THE MICHAEL GREENBERG BAND

Saturday April 25th / ALL AGES! / FREE!
(Jeff Crooms Welcome Stage)
11:00 BABY G
12:15 THE JENN HILL BAND
1:30 CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS
2:45 JAMES VELVET & THE MIGHTY SPARROWS
4:00 THE MCLOVINS

(Bandshell Stage)
11:30 DUNOVO
12:45 PNUT BUTTER JAM
2:00 LAST YEAR’S DEAL
3:15 THE ZAMBONIS

(Food Tent Stage)
10:00 THE CITIZEN SPY
11:30 I.N.I.T.Y. REGGAE
1:00 JAZZ THE RIPPER featuring SIDEWAYS JANE
2:30 AFTER ALL
4:00 SEAN, KELLI & WAYNE

http://www.daffodilfest.com