Monday, September 26, 2016


I’m Maria Johnson, producer and host of Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith, which airs every first, third and fifth Tuesday from 4 to right before the Jive at Five. A week from tomorrow, on October 4, we'll chat with author and columnist Gina Barreca, whose latest collection of essays, If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse, includes a funny/sad take on her long-ago exit from the Catholic Church and why she's been getting therapy about it for years. I actually try to persuade her to come back. I know -- I barely recognize myself. Don't miss it. If you can't listen live, you can find the audio archived at

Now, here's a rundown of what's happening in our area this week:

Tonight, The Buttonwood Tree in Middletown presents their weekly Anything Goes Open Mic + Moments of Gratitude at 7:00 pm. On Friday night you can catch singer Sissy Castrogiovanni, bringing you original Sicilian music along with jazz and Mediterranean melodies. On Saturday morning Annaita Ghandy’s Aligned with Source workshop happens at 10:30 am. Later at 2, the International Beat Poetry Festival presents, “Celebrating the Beats: Their Words, Their Legacy, Their Music,” featuring the Sergio-Mayo Jazz Duo and readings by The Meeting House Poets. Saturday night they’ve got a singer/songwriter double bill with Middletown’s Cathy Kreger appearing with Caroline Doctorow, singing solo and combination blues, adult contemporary, folk, and more. On Sunday at 7 you can enjoy the Great Make Believe Society Improv Show with improvised comedy theater. The Hearing Voices Network meets Monday mornings at 10:30.  Details at

Tonight, down in New Haven at CafĂ© Nine, it’s the first of their new series “Monthly Monday” Residency, featuring Natalie Tuttle and Darian Cunning. On Tuesday they’ve got Kevin Gordon, Beaver Nelson, and Buddy Toth. Wednesday’s Upstart Fest! headlines The Queers, appearing with The Fantastic Plastics, Svetlanas, and more. On Thursday, Hellbound Glory, and Pat Stone & The Dirty Boots take the stage. Friday’s weekly 5 pm set features Gary Heriot & Mike Damico, followed later Friday night by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, and The Right Offs. Saturday’s 4:30 Jazz Jam is with Mike Coppola and Friends, with Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, and Big Fat Combo coming your way later that night. Cygnus Radio & Cafe 9 present The Sunday Buzz Matinee at 3 pm with Mr. Airplane Man and La Tunda, and they round out the weekend Sunday night at 7 with The Helium Brothers and The Birdmen.

Up in Hartford at Black-Eyed Sally’s, tonight, their Jazz Mondays series hosts a fundraising event for Warren  Byrd & Saskia Laroo whose apartment burned while they were on tour in Europe.. On Tuesday nights, Michael Palin’s Other Orchestra works out new material on Sally’s stage. On Wednesdays they presents their long-running Community Blues Jam hosted by Tim McDonald this week. The Balkun Brothers Rock-n-Roll Residency happens on Thursday. Friday night it’s the Dave Keller Band with blues and soul. On Saturday night it’s Bad News Barnes, featuring “Blue Lou” Marini of Blues Brothers and James Taylor fame.

At Toad’s Place in New Haven, every Monday night you can catch a Night of Smooth Jazz with Rohn Lawrence & Friends on the Lilly’s Pad stage. On Thursday, it’s the Bright Night Glow EDM College Dance Party. On Friday it’s Rock This Wild World, a local showcase celebration with a variety of performers.

Manic Productions presents Astronautalis, Oxymorrons, and Sketch the Cataclysm tomorrow/Tuesday at The Ballroom at The Outer Space in Hamden. At the Ballroom again on Wednesday, it’s Blitzen Trapper, appearing with Kacy & Clayton. Or you can catch LVL UP, Puppy, and Spit-Take at Bar in New Haven. On Thursday, Mike Snow headlines at The College Street Music Hall, appearing with Zelia Day. On Friday, it’s Woods, John Andrews & the Yawns, and Elison Jackson at The Ballroom at The Outer Space.

You can discover your inner artist this Wednesday from 11 am – 2 pm at the Old State House, who sponsor the free “I Am an Artist” day at their Hartford location. Enjoy creative and interactive experiences with local arts organizations and artists.

Mindfulness After Work happens every Wednesday at the Hartford Mindfulness Center starting at 6:15. Register at

Middletown Scottish country dancers offer classes for beginners & experienced dancers at First Church on Court Street in Middletown, Every Wednesday from 7-9:30p.   Partners not necessary but soft-soled shoes are! For information, call Lucile Blanchard at 860-347-0278.

At the Russell Library in Middletown, The Veteran’s Writing Group meets every Thursday at 7. From 10 am to 1:30 pm on Saturday, Wesleyan University students present research from the American Studies course, “Anarchy in America: From Haymarket to Occupy Wall Street.” Check the website for the schedule of talks. 

You can tour the historic Swift Factory in northeast Hartford this Thursday at 4:30 and learn about plans for its revival into a vibrant community center. Find it on Facebook at Swift Factory Tours in Northeast Hartford.

This Saturday, Company G of the 14th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry stages a Preservation March starting at 1:00 at the General Mansfield House, 151 Main St. in Middletown. The public is invited to follow along and visit designated sites to hear brief talks about the city’s rich Civil War history. Full details at

The Middlesex County Historical Society’s 31st annual Car Show and Flea Market happens this Sunday at Palmer Field in Middletown starting at 7 am. Car registration opens at 8:30. Rain date is next Sunday, October 9 Details at, or call the county Historical Society at 860-346-0746.

Connecticut’s Farmers' Markets are still going strong. Here in Middletown you can you can support local farmers and get nutritious home-grown goods at two farmers markets through October. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the long running market at the South Green on Old Church Street is open from 8 am-1 pm.  On Fridays, The Middletown North End farmers market happens on Main Street outside Its Only Natural Market. For times and dates, as well as info on the many more in our area you can visit

The 68th annual Berlin Fair happens this weekend, starting off with juggling and marching bands on Friday, and headlining Kick Band on the main concert stage, as well as the On the Serious Side Band. On Saturday there’s spinning and weaving and more, with musical entertainment by the Colin Axxxwell Band, the “Kick It Out” Heart Tribute Band, the Coyote River Band, and 1974 Band. They close it out on Sunday offering food and fun for all, along with country music by Presley and Taylor, and LANco Band. Full details at

Now here's a rundown of cinema off the beaten track in Central Connecticut: 

Through Wednesday, Hartford’s Real Art Ways continues the run of “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – the Touring Years,” directed by Ron Howard, that follows the band during their sixties touring years, through Thursday. Also continuing is “Ixcanul” (sounds like: Ike’s-can-ool), a film exploring the lives of marginalized women in the Guatemalan coffee highlands. On Friday they open “Mia Madre,” the Cannes Film Festival-winning Italian drama about n film director dealing with the imminent death of her mother. It runs through the weekend.  

Though Wednesday, Trinity College’s Cinestudio continues the run of “Dark Horse,” about a depressed Welsh village that puts its faith in a steeplechasing thoroughbred, tonight and tomorrow. On Wednesday they open “Florence Foster Jenkins,” starring Meryl Streep as a deluded diva who believes she’s a talented singer. It runs through Saturday. On Sunday they open “The Fits,” a film about a Cincinnati all-girl dance troupe with mysterious convulsive attacks. 

The Manhattan Short Film Festival happens this Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, offering you the chance to vote on this year’s finalist entries. Details at

Now here’s what’s on the air tonight on WESU Middletown:

Right after the jive, we’ve got Afternoon Jazz with Charles Henry, a well-rounded show for true jazz heads.

From 6-6:30, it’s Building Bridges from Pacifica a 30 min program about workers, their rights, and their struggles.

From 6:30 to 8 it’s 75% Folk with Michael Benson, bringing you blues, jazz, movie soundtracks, world music, interviews, and more.

Next is Unfocused Folk with Chip Austin, playing Americana music from Nashville and around the world from both emerging and veteran artists.

Cruiser’s Radio Program with Jack Sullivan comes your way from 9:30 to 10:30, with Doo-Wop and Rock ‘n’ Roll from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s.

Meet Music with Jeremy Auerbach follows from 10:30 to 11:30, introducing you to a new artist with each show.

After that it’s Something Old, Something New with John and Aurora, with an hour of a musical time machine that connects songs past to present.

Green Tea Time with DJ Ari G follows from 12:30 to 1:30, bringing you coffeehouse-style music with green environmental news tidbits.

It’s Connections from 1:30 to 3 am with DJ EKL & McSteamz, exploring the complexity of music and the music production process.

Maximum Rock and Roll is next from 3 to 4 am, with the best in DIY punk garage rock, and hardcore.

BBC World News airs from 4 to 5 am, and we get the day started at 5 with NPR’s Morning Edition.

That’s all for today’s Jive at Five. If you missed anything, you can find the written version online at And tune in each and every weekday at 4:55 p.m. to hear about what’s going on in the community, and on the air right here at WESU 88.1 FM, a community service of Wesleyan University since 1939.

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