[NHM] New Haven Music

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.

Darkroom Needs Your Help
April 24, 2013, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Fundraiser, News, NHM, Venues | Tags: , , , , ,

Anyone who has ever spent time in New Haven either playing shows or attending them knows that there is an ever-shrinking number of venues available. In particular, downtown venues seem to be relegated to either 70-100 person capacity dive bars or 750+ plus capacity music halls, with little variation in between. Enter Darkroom.

Located beneath Devil’s Gear Bike Shop‘s former digs on Chapel Street, Darkroom is a new upstart venue aiming to fill said gap between venue types. At a sizable 4,000 square feet, Darkroom represents a great opportunity for locals to create something that New Haven has been in dire need of since the days of the Tune Inn: a downtown venue that can not only host local shows but also bring in regional or even national acts too big for Cafe 9 or BAR but too small for Toad’s Place. In addition to its primary usage as a music venue, Darkroom will also double as a rehearsal space, gallery and photography studio, further increasing its benefit not only for musicians and fans but also for the area’s visual arts community.

So how do you fit into the equation? Well, in order to bring the venue up to code (including the installation of handicapped access, stage construction, acoustic improvements, and an additional restroom), Darkroom needs your help. A donation page has been set up via indiegogo.com that allows you to contribute to the venue’s construction costs. As an incentive, Darkroom has set up a series of ‘perks’ based on donation size, ranging from a free beer on the house to a fully catered party for you and 40 of your friends. So why should you care? Well, Darkroom’s proprietors have come up with a pretty extensive list of reasons to donate, any one of which is worth it in our book. Overall, New Haven needs a venue like this to help present the over-abundance of talent in the local music and arts community that, in recent years, has had less physical space to do so.

Please check out the YouTube video above for a full description of what the venue is about and what it hopes to accomplish. With your support, we can make this happen.

To donate, please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/building-darkroom-new-haven

For more info about Darkroom, visit https://www.facebook.com/darkroomCT

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.

“The Dead Shall be Raised”

After a half-baked relaunch attempt in early 2009 failed, NHM retreated into the shadowed tunnels of the New Haven underground. Initially, NHM turned its back on the city and music scene that it had, only months prior, helped celebrate and nurture. Many days passed into many nights, bands broke up, venues shut down or shunned local music; people stopped caring. It was a dark time, indeed. But alas, NHM has returned, a little older, perhaps even a little wiser. Now armed with a completely redesigned site and a renewed obsession with the New Haven music scene, NHM is back and here to stay. SUPPORT NHM, SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!

Bands of GPSCY vs. The Sound Police
January 28, 2009, 5:00 pm
Filed under: 21+, Commentary, News, NHM, Show Reviews, Shows | Tags: , , , ,

Apart from the annual Ideat Village festival, live music at Yale’s GPSCY bar has been a rarity in recent years. That all changed though last night when the first full night of music in years occurred at the GPSCY…or almost did.

At the onset, the show seemed like a success story for the books: Safety Meeting Records‘ Carlos Wells convinces Yale’s GPSCY Bar officials that it would be a great idea to have live music again, booking two of New Haven’s better bands in the process, M.T. Bearington (quirky indie-classicism with beards) and The Simple Pleasure (rock n’ roll electro with lots of dancing and lots of beats). Show gets great buzz online and in local press. Lots of people show up. Aside from a few flabbergasted Yalies (“who ARE all these people????”), the old Bulldog vs. Townie divide is temporarily broken down. A great time is truly had by all. And then, not even halfway through the Simple Pleasure’s high energy performance comes the news: ‘sorry guys, but we’ve got to stop the music…’

Apparently the presence of the ‘Sound Police’ is nothing new at the GPSCY. According to sources in the know, the GPSCY had hosted shows every Saturday night for years, that is until an apartment complex was built in close proximity to the bar. Thereafter, the noise complaints swiftly came rolling in until GPSCY management was forced to ban live music altogether. End of story, or so it seemed.

Fast forward to New Haven 2009: participation in local music is on the rise however many venues throughout the course of the past decade have either closed (Tune Inn, The Blues Cafe, Elm City Java) or have shied away from booking bands (GPSCY, Hell, Alchemy). As a result, there are fewer and fewer places nowadays for local bands (or any sort of band for that matter) to play. With a venue like the GPSCY, which is both located on a university campus and seemingly built for shows, it would have been a great reversal of fortune for local music and the city of New Haven. The difficulties of making something like this happen though begs one to ask: When will the city and its people learn that stifling events like this only hurts everyone involved? Does New Haven not want to project an image of an arts friendly community built on a mix of local and non-local talent? Or is this more about appeasing those who pay the bills?

For now the answers to these questions and more will remain to be seen until the next Safety Meeting Records night at the GPSCY, scheduled for Feb. 10th. Let’s hope that between then and now we can all agree that punishing the local arts community is not in anyone’s best interest.